NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series – December 2013

The National Institutes of Health welcomes Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow as the speaker for the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series on December 19, 2013.

Health information and services are often unfamiliar, complicated, and technical, even for people with higher levels of education. People of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels, not just people with limited reading skills or people for whom English is a second language, are affected by limited health literacy. According to research from the U.S. Department of Education, only 12 percent of English-speaking adults in the United States have proficient health literacy skills. The impact of limited health literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups. Research also indicates that nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information in health care facilities, retail outlets, media and communities. Without clear information and an understanding of prevention and self-management of conditions, people are more likely to skip necessary medical tests, end up in the emergency room more often and have difficulty managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
In his presentation, Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow will critically examine the definition of health literacy, present data on the prevalence of limited health literacy, review the relationship between limited health literacy and health outcomes, describe some of the causal pathways linking health literacy to health outcomes, exhibit how these relationships lead to health disparities, and discuss some of the responses that are warranted.

Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is a general internist and a nationally recognized expert in the field of health literacy. Dr. Paasche-Orlow is also the Associate Chief for Research for the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center and the Associate Program Director for the Boston University School of Medicine General Internal Medicine Academic Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. He earned a medical degree from Albert Einstein school of medicine, an MA from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He completed a fellowship in internal medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Presentation Title:

The Role of Health Literacy in Health Outcomes and Health Disparities

Guest Speaker:

Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MA, MPH (Click here for bio)
Associate Professor of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA


Thursday, December 19, 2013
2:00 - 3:30 P.M.

Seminar Video Recording:

Click here to view December's video recorded seminar.


NIH Campus
Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Main Auditorium
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD

Additional Information:

There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest Metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check. The seminar will be video cast and made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.