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CPEN is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization; your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. No goods or services were or will be exchanged for this special contribution. CPEN uses contributions to sustain its daily operations and develop professional educational programs in cancer patient education.

Health Literacy Action:
Toolkit for Patient Educators

Target audience:
Patient Education Leads and Health Care Providers

Purpose of CPEN Health Literacy Toolkit:

Health literacy is a major challenge and many Patient Education Leads and Health Care Providers struggle with time and resources to address it. Interventions that have been shown to improve health literacy include: health provider training, patient training (self-management), and alternate document design. In response to a call for health literacy support on the CPEN listserv, a taskforce from seven Healthcare Centres (Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital, Duke Cancer Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Maine Health Cancer Resource Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cancer 101 and Mayo Clinic) have pooled their resources into a toolkit for your use to promote health literacy at your organization (and to use for Health Literacy month in October). This toolkit is posted on the CPEN website and all members can contribute their own tools to it.

If you would like to submit tools for the Toolkit, please upload the document(s) via Google Docs here. The upload icon is on the left beside the "Create" button.

Since research has shown health provider training, patient training and alternate document design to be effective at mitigating the effects of low health literacy, the toolkit is divided into the below headings.


  1. Create awareness
  2. Provide health professional training
  3. Get patients involved
  4. Alternate document design
  5. Committee Member Resource Suggestions

(Give Feedback on the Toolkit)


Toolkit contents

  1. Create awareness:
  1. HCP training/ competency building:
  1. Getting patients involved (patient training):
  1. Alternate document design:
  1. Committee Member Resource Suggestions

There are many other health literacy toolkits, some at a cost:

  • American Medical Association Health Literacy Kit

  • Agency for healthcare Research and Quality Health Literacy Universal precautions Toolkit

Add more!