Pfizer funds health literacy research

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 6, 2004

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Pfizer is funding health literacy research through the Partnership for Clear Health Communication. Three medical schools -- the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine -- were awarded grants of $70,000 each to evaluate the efficacy of health literacy communication tools.

The schools were chosen from a pool of 25 applicants.

The inability to read, understand and act on health information affects nearly one in two Americans and by some estimates costs the U.S. health care system more than $58 billion annually, according to a recent Institute of Medicine report.

The communications tool, Ask Me 3, developed in the fall of 2002, encourages patients to ask three questions of their health care professionals: What is my main problem?, What do I need to do?, and Why is it important for me to do this?

The Partnership for Clear Health Communication bills itself as a national coalition of more than 100 organizations working together to find solutions to low health literacy.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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