We all know about local or national events that can draw communities together at times of joy and sorrow. This week, our health education community comes together from many places around the country to recognize the loss of one of our leaders.
Len Doak, co-author (with his wife Ceci Doak and Jane Root) of the text Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills , died this week. This seminal book helped define the need of people with literacy challenges and the difficulties they face in understanding health information. These authors have been tireless advocates and reformers since the original publication in 1985 and have remained active in the public health community to the present day.
Over 20 years ago, HealthEd became committed to the cause of health literacy. Nearly 10 years ago, we utilized the Doaks’ and Root’s work to help define our own Clear by DesignTM health literacy principles for use in the patient education/pharmaceutical marketing realm. Everyday our creative and health education teams think about health literacy as we develop strategies and programs that help patients take better care of their health.
It is with a deep sense of history and appreciation that we express our gratitude for Mr. Doak’s contributions to this important field. Our work could not be what it is without his work that preceded us.