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New Health Information Literacy Project Begins

The Health Careers Program is excited by the start of a new and inventive initiative designed to increase the health information literacy levels of high school students. In collaboration with the National Library of Medicine, MUSC Library, Colleton County High, North Charleston High, and Lowcountry Leadership schools, the South Carolina AHEC is facilitating a dynamic and creative service learning opportunity for high school students. The project provides the high school participants with an exposure to population health issues while developing valuable personal skills. As an additional outcome, the participants will create a series of enduring, educational comic books that introduce younger students to health careers. Funding for the project is provided through a grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the value of classroom instruction of functional health information and the development of skills necessary to adopt and maintain health through health-promoting behaviors. Experiential education offers a process long regarded as an effective method of instilling knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm simultaneously. These types of  educational offerings also help to facilitate a manageable and supervised progression from one level of an educational pipeline to the next.

Four student-led teams will use NLM resources to research a public health topic and the health professions associated with that topic. The teams will interview health professionals and complete an investigative report on healthcare delivery settings. The teams will use the reports will to create storyboards for the production of comic books. The comic books will guide a young reader’s exploration of the public health topic and the inter-professional involvement of healthcare workers.

School-based liaisons will work with AHEC and MUSC Library staff to deliver training and support for the identification and use of NLM and other resources to promote the improved health literacy of the participants.

To find out more about the project, contact Angelica Christie at christae@musc.edu.

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