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Advancing Health Literacy
An important part of getting and staying healthy is being able to understand and communicate with your health care provider and engage in your health decisions. Johnson & Johnson works to better educate people about health care issues and how to use the resources and services available to them.
Understanding health information is commonly referred to as "health literacy," which is defined by the Institute of Medicine and National Library of Medicine as the “degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Health literacy, through health education, helps to address issues of ethics and equity related to medical access.
As a society, access to and understanding of health information could positively impact the incidence, quality of life, and mortality associated with certain illnesses through better prevention, diagnosis, management, and intervention. Here are examples of health education programs we support that help children, mothers and families.
The U.S. has the third highest infant mortality rate among developed nations. Much is known about the behaviors and conditions that can improve a baby’s chances of being born healthy and thriving, but this information is not getting into the hands of those who need it most. As the founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson partnered with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies; Voxiva; and the international association for the wireless telecommunication industry (CTIA) to create text4baby, a free mobile information service designed to reduce infant mortality and promote healthy birth outcomes among underserved populations.
Women who sign up for text4baby receive three free text messages a week—timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth—on topics such as preventing birth defects, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to health care services and resources in their communities. The messages are based on research compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and represent the most critical health information that pregnant women need at various points in each trimester. Mothers in a number of communities affected by infant mortality are involved in the process. BABYCENTER®, LLC, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, provides additional support and research.
Safe Kids Worldwide
Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading cause of death among children age 14 and under. Founded in 1987 by the Children’s National Medical Center, Safe Kids Worldwide is now in 19 countries with more than 600 coalitions composed of health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.
UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute
The UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute prepares Head Start personnel to teach parents of Head Start children to care for basic childhood illnesses. These parents, who are predominately uninsured or utilize Medicaid to treat minor childhood illnesses, learn which problems they can address at home and which require professional attention. The results are fewer lost school days or workdays and more effective care at a lower cost to the health care system. The Institute’s 10-year goal is to serve 400,000 families, or about half of all families enrolled in Head Start.