Preprofessional Opportunities

Columbia University - Health Education and Adult Literacy: Volunteer Program


Category: Columbia
Type: Clinical
Location: New York New York



Community Pediatrics at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, in partnership with local Community Based Organizations, initiated the Health Education and Adult Literacy (HEAL) Program in 2007. The HEAL Program addresses the issue of poor health literacy that exists among the underserved population of Washington Heights. Health literacy refers to “the capacity of individuals to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Healthy People 2020) The Health Education and Adult Literacy (HEAL) Program was developed to improve the health literacy of patients in Washington Heights in New York City.

Community volunteers, pediatricians, pediatric residents, medical students, and family support workers from local community based organization have been trained in the HEAL project on how to appropriately address health literacy in different health care and community settings. .