Building a Health Literate Organization: Helping People Make Informed Decisions and Actions

Cindy Brach, MPP

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Cindy Brach is a Senior Health Care Researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Cindy is the Co-Chair of the HHS Health Literacy Work Groups and serves on the HHS Language Access Steering Committee. As the lead for AHRQ’s health literacy activities, Cindy’s projects have included the development of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions ToolkitCAHPS® Item Sets for Addressing Health LiteracyAHRQ Informed Consent and Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk ResearchMaking Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training Modules for Health Care Leaders and Professionals, and the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT).

Cindy is also AHRQ’s point person for cultural and linguistic competence and served on the National Project Advisory Committee to enhance the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. In addition to overseeing the development of the TeamSTEPPS Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Module, Cindy commissioned and co-authored the Re-engineered Discharge Toolkit to address the needs of diverse patients. Cindy served on the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, where she led an effort to define the ten attributes of a health literate organization. Cindy is a founding Editorial Board member of the journal HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and on webinars, and has published book chapters, blogs, and in journals such as Health Affairs, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal for Healthcare Quality, Journal of Health Communication, and Medical Care.