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The prestigious Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award goes to...

Terry C. Davis, PhD, a pioneer in the field of health literacy and a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, will be awarded the 2016 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award, Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) announced today.

Davis, a professor, teacher and researcher at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S), has led an interdisciplinary team investigating the impact of patient literacy on health and healthcare for the past 35 years.

Her seminal achievements include developing the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) and creating user-friendly patient education and provider training materials in use nationally.

“Dr. Davis’ work exemplifies the very best in health literacy and health care communication,” said Dr. Steve Pu, HLM board president and a surgeon in private practice in Kennett, Mo.  “She is one of health literacy’s most dedicated advocates. We are proud to honor her truly extraordinary contributions to the field.”

Dr. Davis has more than 140 publications related to health literacy and health communication. She has served on Health Literacy Advisory Boards for both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians (ACP). She was a developer and Master Faculty of the AMA’s Train-the-Trainer Health Literacy Curriculum. She chaired Louisiana’s statewide Health Literacy Task Force, the first legislatively mandated health literacy group in the nation and received the Louisiana Public Health Association’s Founders Award for Significant Achievement in Public Health Research.

She is a member of the IOM Health Literacy Roundtable, Healthy People 2020 Health Literacy/Health Communication Section and serves on US Pharmacopeial Convention Expert Panel on Health Literacy as a health literacy adviser for the FDA. Dr. Davis has a productive record of federally funded research exploring low literacy educational interventions to improve health outcomes of vulnerable populations. As a frequent speaker at national conferences, she has integrated her research findings into practical lessons for providers and policy makers.

HLM will present the award at the 7th Annual Health Literacy Missouri Summit on Oct. 21st at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City. 

Davis joined the LSU Health Shreveport faculty after receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling from Emory University, a master’s in counseling from LSU and PhD in clinical psychology from the Fielding Institute.

Health Literacy Missouri established the Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award to honor individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in health literacy and whose work focuses on bridging the gap between the skills of people and the demands of the health care system.

The award, named after the founders of the health literacy movement, is presented to a single individual or organization each year and recognizes those who exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment over a sustained period of time, and who are creative and highly skilled pioneers in the health literacy field. The award recognizes rigorous work and celebrates collaborative efforts to shape a path to good health. 

Previous winners include:  Michael Villaire, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA),  Dr. Andrew Pleasant, senior director for health literacy and research at Canyon Ranch Institute, a non-profit public charity; Dr. Cynthia Baur, a senior advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the lead editor of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy; Dr. Ruth Murphey Parker, who has worked with health services researchers in medicine, public health and social sciences to advance the understanding of health literacy; Dr. James Kimmey, past president of the Missouri Foundation for Health and a key founder of Health Literacy Missouri; and Dr. Rima Rudd, one of the world’s leading researchers in health literacy and a Senior Lecturer on Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.


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