A Donegal woman has won a major award at the National Health Literacy Awards.
Joan Crawford, from Castlefinn, who is a Senior Health Promotion Office with the Health Service Executive, was amongst the winners at the Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards.
At a ceremony in Dublin, Joan and her team were recognised for their project, ‘The Be Active After School Activity Programme’ which aims to improve the health literacy of children aged 7-8 and their parents by introducing them to a variety of after school activities.
Speaking about their win, Joan said she was delighted with her award because she really believed in the project.
“We are delighted to be recognised for our work. Being physically active is one of the most important steps that parents and teachers can take to improve their children’s health.
“We felt a programme needed to be developed to communicate these activities in a clear and simple way and instil positive healthy habits for children”
Commenting on Joan and her team’s win, Dr Gerardine Doyle, UCD Business Schools and chairperson of the Crystal Clear Awards judging panel said “This entry was praised by the judges because they felt it was an excellent initiative that involved children, parents and teachers and through doing so, helped build a community of people who were educated about their health”.
Five winning initiatives were selected from over 100 entries and were chosen in their respective categories because of the clear and accessible way in which they communicated important health messages.
Entries were assessed for how they addressed the issue of health literacy, which is a person’s ability to understand and use basic health information, whether they receive it in writing, in person or over the phone.
Health literacy also involves a person having the knowledge to understand their options and make informed decisions about their health.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Inez Bailey, Director of NALA said ‘Around 1 in 4 adults in Ireland will have difficulty fully understanding information presented to them in health care settings.
“Health literacy includes the ability to understand instructions on medication packs and bottles, appointment slips, medical education materials, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems.
“It requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations. As part of NALA’s work to advance health literacy, the MSD Crystal Clear awards play a pivotal role in highlighting the good practice amongst health practitioners in this area.’
Further information on health literacy and the Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards can be found at www.healthliteracy.ie <http://www.healthliteracy.ie> .