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Health Literacy Core

Connie Arnold

Connie Arnold, PhD
LSUH Shreveport
(318) 675-4324



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About This Core

LA CaTS Health Literacy Core will aid investigators, coordinators and providers in communicating plain language, patient centered information to patients and the public. The Health Literacy Core is a valuable resource for LA CaTS in addressing disparities in access, understanding and participation in clinical trials among those with low SES, limited health literacy, racial and ethnic minorities and those living in rural areas.

The Health Literacy Core Team of Drs. Terry Davis and Connie Arnold offers practical training, easy to use methodology, and friendly ongoing consultation to enhance the oral and written health communication skills. We also provide iterative consultation in the development of protocols and consent forms appropriate for safety-net patients.  Our goal is to provide LA CaTS researchers and providers with the knowledge and skills needed to give patients and the public information that is easy to access, understand and use in order to make informed health decisions.

Specifically the Health literacy core provides:

  • skill-building in using health literacy methodology to to develop literacy and culturally appropriate public health messages and patient-centered materials, consent forms, questionnaires and health education materials which are understandable and actionable for patients, particularly those cared for in safety-net hospitals and clinics. 
  • strategies to improve out-reach and relationship-building skills with community and rural clinic providers and patients to improve access to clinical trials with underrepresented populations. 
  • supportive, ongoing consultation to researchers and scholars in applying health literacy methodology in their existing and planned translational research, as well as with the implementation and dissemination of research findings.

The Health Literacy Core offers the opportunity to bring the benefits of research to underserved populations and to subsequently produce a positive impact on the health of Louisiana vulnerable populations.

The goal is to expand our network to more investigators within and outside LA CaTS institutions to include HL principles and SDOH in their clinical research. We will continue to lead our North LA Community Advisory Board and expand to establish community boards in rural areas. The Specific Aims of the HL Core will focus on the following:

Specific Aim 1. Enhance and expand trust-building relationships with historically excluded populations to understand their specific needs, barriers, and strategies to reduce health disparities.
Specific Aim 2. Collaborate with investigators at LA CaTS institutions to improve vulnerable patients’ understanding and use of new health technologies that improve management of chronic diseases, medication adherence, preventive care, and recruitment in clinical trials, particularly in rural areas.
Specific Aim 3. Network within LA CaTS, with CTRs and CTSAs in our region and nationally, and with health agencies within the state, to provide equitable recruitment to clinical trials for historically excluded populations (e.g., rural, and inner-city communities, diverse race/ethnicity, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated individuals) to address health disparities and social determinants of health and to improve health outcomes.