Doctoral Students (completed) 

Health Literacy Barriers to Screening for Lung Cancer - Heather Platter

Title: Identifying and Understanding Health Literacy Barriers to Screening for Lung Cancer among Older Adult Long-Term Smokers: A Grounded Theory Study

Ms. Platter's dissertation explores if health literacy relates to intentions and behaviors for lung cancer screening among current smokers, or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years, who are between the age of 55 to 80 years old and have a 30-pack year smoking history. Using a grounded theory approach, four domains of health literacy (patient-provider communication, stigma, access and navigation of the healthcare system, and health information seeking behaviors) will be explored through semi-structured intensive interviews with older adults eligible for lung cancer screening. Given the current dismal screening rates, it is critical that potential barriers to lung cancer screening are explored to inform future lung cancer screening interventions.

Health Literacy Education for Dental Students - Catherine Maybury

Title: National Survey of Dental Students About Their Knowledge, Skills, Self-efficacy and Intention to Use Selected Communication Techniques and Caries Preventive Regimens

Effective dentist-patient communication is critical to quality patient care. Effective communication can increase patient health literacy by helping patients understand health information, treatment options and behaviors that promote health and prevent disease. Ms. Maybury’s dissertation examines fourth year dental students’ perspectives about the education and training they receive about communication techniques. Findings will be used to inform dental curricula development and board examinations.

Doctoral Students (in process) 

Parental Health Literacy and Food Allergy Management in Schools - Laura Koo

Title: Parental Health Literacy, Empowerment, and Advocacy in the Context of Food Allergy Management in Schools

Ms. Koo’s research examines the associations among parental communicative and critical health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy behaviors in the context of food allergy management in elementary schools. She will use a nationwide sample of parents of school-age children with food allergies from a food allergy support group for an online survey. Health literacy will be measured with an adapted version of Ishikawa, Takeuchi, & Yano’s Functional, Communicative, & Critical Health Literacy Scale. Future research will explore the relationships among critical health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy for other health conditions.

Master Students (completed) 

Organizational Health Literacy - Sammar Butt

Title: A Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) Approach to Organizational Health Literacy in a County Health Coalition

Ms. Butt is helping staff the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Health Literacy Sub-committee, part of the Health Equity Workgroup in the county’s Healthcare Action Coalition. The sub-committee is using a PSE approach to collect and review the health literacy policies in the county’s public health and healthcare services organizations and encourage organizations to develop policies. The sub-committee is also working to implement the 2012 Cultural Competency and Health Literacy Education Act (Maryland) in the county. The Act encourages all healthcare professionals to have cultural competence and health literacy training.  

Infographics for Healthy Teen Dating - Lauren Creamer

Title: The Creation of Infographics Synthesizing Content from Healthy Teen Dating: A Guide for Educators and Youth Service Providers

Ms. Creamer used the CDC Clear Communication Index and other design tools to create six infographics to help disseminate healthy teen dating resources to professionals who work with middle and high school-aged youth and direct more traffic to an online resource guide. This project was done in collaboration with the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Healthy Teen Dating Workgroup. 

Strategic Planning - Bridget Higginbotham 

Title: Partnership Strategy for the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

To ensure the successful re-development of a statewide health literacy coalition, Ms. Higginbotham developed a partnership and communication strategic plan based on interviews with former coalition members and the goals of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. The student's plan included background information, a list of relationships to cultivate, and stratgies with corresponding concrete and specific goals and objectives. This strategic plan became the reference guide for the re-launch of Health Literacy Maryland in August 2018. If you are interested in receiving updates from Health Literacy Maryland, sign up here.

Latino Men and Family Health - Nathaniel Woodard 

Title: The Role of Latino Men in Health Literacy and Family Health 

Mr. Woodard is conducting exploratory research on how Latino men affect health literacy and family health, especially for chronic disease prevention. The project involves a literature review, qualitative interviews with Latino families, and a summary report with recommendations for future projects. 

Master Students (in process)


Undergraduate Students (completed)

Adult Basic Education - Azeen Farahani

Ms. Farahani reviewed the literature on how to include health literacy skill building in adult basic education and English as a Second Language instruction and drafted a project plan and questionnaires to include the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick book in a family literacy program. 

Diabetes Prevention - Gelila Haile 

Ms. Haile reviewed the literature on diabetes prevention programs, with a particular focus on those that involve health literacy or examine the barriers and facilitators for participation in the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program and other evidence-based, effective diabetes prevention activities. 

Health Literacy Prioritization in Maryland - Camilla Obasiolu

Ms. Obasiolu conducted background research on each Maryland county's health priorities, attended county Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC) meetings, and noted whether and to what extent each county prioritized health literacy. Based on her findings and observations, the student created next step recommendations for LHICs and for the Center.

Undergraduate Students (in process)