News November 7, 2023

Saskatchewan Blue Cross partners with Foundations & Learning Skills Saskatchewan to support Health Literacy

Saskatoon, Sask., Nov. 7, 2023 – Saskatchewan Blue Cross, a leading health and wellness solutions provider in the province, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan to support Health Literacy across the province.

Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, communicate, process, understand and act upon basic health information and services needed to make health decisions. The Saskatchewan Blue Cross’ Investment program’s goal is to create strategic partnerships to support tools and resources that will close Health Literacy gaps in Saskatchewan.

Foundations Learning and Skills Saskatchewan is a local literacy organization that offers free literacy services to adults and families. Since 1979, they have provided adult tutoring services with the help of trained volunteers and community partners. Plain language workshops will be hosted by Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan for University of Saskatchewan medical administrative staff and medical students. These workshops will assist in raising awareness of Health Literacy challenges and highlight gaps when communicating clear language with patients and individuals.

“Our community partnership with Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan is our first program that focuses on the development and distribution of clear language Health Literacy resources,” says Kelly Wilson, President and CEO at Saskatchewan Blue Cross. “This partnership is key to overcoming Health Literacy barriers by providing events such as workshops that support health practitioners with direct-to-patient environments and interactions.”

Sheryl Harrow-Yurach, Executive Director at Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan says “Clear communication ensures clear understanding. How do you make confident choices for yourself when you don’t have equal access to information? Saskatchewan’s literacy challenges arise from a limited ability of many to apply reading, writing, numeracy and problem-solving skills to everyday life. Everything is hard and privacy is compromised when you rely on others to help with insurance, making health decisions, or ensuring you are taking your prescriptions correctly. Intensive and collaborative supports are needed and we are pleased Saskatchewan Blue Cross is helping ensure clear language supports are available throughout the province.”

The clear language Health Literacy resources will be available in 2024, distributed with a multi-prong approach using Foundation Learning & Skills Saskatchewan’s strategic list of 241 community partners across Saskatchewan. Future goals include expanding to hospitals, care home facilities and wards.

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Cheryl de Villiers
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