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VA Health System Leaders Recognized by Partnership for Clear Health Communication at NPSF

Wednesday, May 19, 2010   (0 Comments)
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ORLANDO, FL, MAY 19, 2010 – The Partnership for Clear Health Communication at the National Patient Safety Foundation today announced recipients of the prestigious Pfizer Health Literacy in Advancing Patient Safety Award. Honored for their work in developing and implementing a health literacy tool targeted to the needs of the veteran patient population were Dr. Jolie Haun, from VA Health Services and the Research Center of Excellence, and Patricia Donaldson, RN, from Veteran’s Health System, Malcolm Randall VAMC.


The Pfizer Award, now in its third year, is given to organizations or individuals making significant strides in improving the health literacy of their constituents and community through research, advocacy, and successful program implementation.

Dr. Haun and Ms. Donaldson led a collaborative project to develop a health literacy screening tool and implement a system-wide initiative to keep patients safe. This tool allows VHS clinicians to quickly identify patients with inadequate health literacy skills, post health literacy scores in patients’ medical records, and tailor clinical practice and patient education to meet the individual needs of each patient. And with the health literacy screening results posted in medical records, all healthcare team members are aware of each patient’s specific needs.

This work represents not only the successful meshing of research and policy change, but offers tools that can be replicated by others to help identify their patients health literacy needs and create a protocol to respond with individualized care to promote patient safety.

“These innovators have demonstrated a diligent and enthusiastic commitment to promoting health literacy within the veteran patient population,” said Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. “With tireless efforts, they created change in the largest health care system in the nation, a stellar example of the integration of research and clinical practice to move forward efforts in advancing patient safety by meeting veterans’ health literacy needs.”

“Patient safety is a top priority at Pfizer and health literacy is essential for the safe and appropriate use of any medical product, said Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, Pfizer’s chief medical officer.  “We are proud to partner with the NPSF to honor the VA Health System for their innovative approach to providing patients with the right information at the right time and to recognize these exemplary individuals for their contributions in this arena.”

The Pfizer Health Literacy in Advancing Patient Safety Award was conferred to Dr. Huan and Ms. Donaldson at the 2010 NPSF Patient Safety Congress in Orlando, FL, and recipients shared a $15,000 one-time grant generously provided by Pfizer.


About The Partnership for Clear Health Communication at the National Patient Safety Foundation
The Partnership for Clear Health Communication (PCHC) at the National Patient Safety Foundation is a national, non-profit 501(c)(3) coalition that serves as an information source regarding the scope and impact of health literacy in the U.S., as well as what providers and patients can do to improve health communication in every provider-patient interaction.


The National Patient Safety Foundation®is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been diligently pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997 – to improve the safety of the healthcare system for the patients and families it serves. NPSF is unwavering in its determined and committed focus on uniting disciplines and organizations across the continuum of care, championing a collaborative, inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach.


About Pfizer
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life.  We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals.  Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products.  Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.  For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.  To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at

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