Staffing and Resource Considerations for Health Literacy Programs
When developing a rural health literacy program, it is important to have the appropriate type and level of
staffing. Successful programs have staff with a deep understanding of and connection to the community they
serve. Program staff may include community health workers (CHWs), communication experts, web designers, and
graphic designers — depending on content and whether the program is focusing on using digital tools.
As a program builds its workforce, program leadership should consider training opportunities for staff and the
resources necessary to support training. For example, providing training for CHWs or other lay community members
leading education and outreach efforts to improve health literacy can expand the CHWs' knowledge base and widen
program impact. Additionally, strong communication and interpersonal skills are key considerations for CHWs and
other outreach staff, and programs may wish to consider providing specialized communication training. See the
Community Health Workers Toolkits for more CHW
Trainings on effective patient-provider communication techniques should also be considered as a workforce
development strategy for health literacy programs with clinical staff and partners. Rural programs have
incorporated health literacy into professional trainings, such as medical student training, residency training
programs, certificate programs, and other continuing medical education. This approach can improve quality of
care and patient-provider communication. To learn more about the types of health literacy training opportunities
available, see Module 2: Program Models.
Incorporating equitable hiring practices as part of workforce development can help facilitate trust and lead to
an increase in investment and buy-in of program goals. Organizations that embed health equity principles overall
will be more likely to meet the cultural and linguistic health literacy needs of the people they serve.