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Health@CLRC 2nd Annual Health Literacy Conference

June 8, 2023


This is a two-day conference.
Thursday, June 8 (9:15 am to 4:00 pm) and Friday, June 9 (9:15 am to 12:15 pm)
The conference will be recorded and distributed to all registrants.

A Zoom link will be shared with you prior to the start of the event.
Your registration will cover both days of this event.

Are you a librarian, nurse, social worker, or professional who wants to enhance their health literacy proficiency? Sponsored by Health @ CLRC and Upstate Medical University’s Health Sciences Library and presented via Zoom, the Communication for Health Literacy: The 2nd Annual Health@CLRC & Upstate Health Sciences Library Professional Development Event is available free of cost to interested professionals. Join us on Thursday, June 8th and Friday, June 9th. This year, the conference will focus on maternal mortality and graphic medicine.
Maternal mortality is defined by the World Health Organization as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy” and is a major issue in the United States.

Graphic Medicine is the term used to discuss comic book style discussion of health care topics. The stories explored in graphic medicine are engaging, powerful and accessible to people inside and outside of healthcare. Throughout the conference, participants will learn about services and resources to help you feel empowered to offer a patient or patron a referral to an appropriate resource or organization.

9:15 – 9:30 AM:
Welcome – Sarah Lawler, MSLIS

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM:
Maternal Mortality and Doulas as Health Literacy Professionals – SeQuoia Kemp
SeQuoia will provide a multimedia presentation with an overview of full-spectrum community-based doula care and its impact on improving health literacy, body literacy, and maternal and infant outcomes.

SeQuoia Kemp, BSN, certified doula, and community educator from Syracuse, NY. SeQuoia is a community organizer, health justice advocate, and public health educator as well as the Founder of Doula 4 a Queen and Founding Member of Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center.

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM – Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
What About Mom? Health Literacy and Postpartum Education – Teresa Wagner
Maternal Mortality has been recognized as a global health issue. The U.S. considers it a crisis in which most maternal deaths are preventable. Health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known. However, few studies have looked at the effect of health literacy on mom’s ability to recognize postpartum warning signs that might warrant emergent care that could save their own lives. This presentation will focus on our study which examined health literacy of postpartum education from the perspective of new moms using the Integrated Model of Health Literacy. As a result of the study, a team including two universities, community health workers, and interprofessional students developed the “What About Mom?” App to improve postnatal education for all postpartum moms but especially in underserved communities at high risk for maternal mortality while assisting moms and families in potentially saving moms’ lives.

Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CPPS, CHWI, DipACLM, CHWC is an Assistant Professor in the School of Health Professions. Wagner also serves as Clinical Executive for Health Literacy at SaferCare Texas and as Director of the Community Health Worker Training Program. She’s certified in Public Health, Patient Safety, Lifestyle Medicine, Health Coaching and a certified Community Health Worker Instructor. Dr. Wagner has delivered multiple programs, speaking engagements and trainings on health literacy issues. Additionally, she established both a multi-stakeholder health literacy collaborative with the DFW Hospital Council Foundation and Health Literacy Texas, a statewide nonprofit to build community around health literacy efforts in Texas. As a result of her work, she has received both the 2018 Texas Health Literacy Hero Award as well as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Christian University.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM:
Continuing Education: Drawn to Graphic Medicine: Bringing Comics into Medical Librarianship – Kathryn Houk and Ariel FitzGerald Pomputius
1.5 Hour Recorded Webinar
Graphic medicine, the intersection of health care and comics, has emerged over the last ten years as a growing field in the health sciences, particularly in relation to health humanities and education. Librarians can play a vital role in supporting graphic medicine by collecting and distributing graphic medicine materials and including graphic medicine in their work or instruction efforts. In this webinar, we will discuss where graphic medicine came from and why it is valuable, how you can start collecting graphic medicine at your library, and how you can integrate it into your work in the library. #MLAComics.

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
• Define Graphic Medicine
• Learn at least one activity for encouraging drawing or critical engagement with comics
• Access and use resources that support collection development and programming
• Explain how comics can be used to support clinicians and health consumers in various ways
• Discuss how comics can amplify marginalized voices or ideas in health and healthcare

Kathryn Houk, AHIP, is assistant professor and health sciences librarian at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas Health Sciences Library. She began developing a graphic medicine collection two and a half years ago due to her interest in health humanities, health literacy, and innovative educational practice. Houk is a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals, is a member of the 2019–2020 MLA Rising Star cohort, and has the Level I Consumer Health Specialization. She is currently enrolled in a master of public health degree program concentrating in community health education and hopes to eventually contribute to the field by furthering research on the use of comics as a health literacy tool.

Ariel FitzGerald Pomputius is a health sciences liaison librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries, University of Florida–Gainesville. She leads a graphic medicine book club for the geriatric clerkship students and teaches courses to undergraduates on dying and women’s health using graphic medicine materials.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Break

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM:
GraphicMedicine.org – MK Czerwiec and Matthew Noe
What began as a humble blog to accompany Dr. Ian Williams’ graduate work has grown over the years to become an internationally renowned resource for the burgeoning graphic medicine community. Join two of the site’s editors, MK Czerwiec and Matthew Noe, for a dive into the site’s growth, what it can offer today, and where it could go in the future.

MK Czerwiec is a nurse, cartoonist, and educator. She is the creator of the graphic memoir Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, editor of the two-time Eisner Award winning Menopause: A Comic Treatment, and a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto. MK regularly teaches graphic medicine at the University of Chicago and Northwestern Medical School. See more of her work at www.comicnurse.com.

Matthew Noe (he/his) is Lead Collection & Knowledge Management Librarian at Harvard Medical School and a Part-Time Instructor in Library Science at the University of Kentucky. Most well-known for mixing comics and health sciences librarianship, Matthew serves on several professional organization boards, as well as on the Worcester Public Library Board of Directors. He is an author on several book chapters, a scoping review on graphic medicine, and is a regular contributor to Diamond Bookshelf and Booklist. Find him most easily on Twitter, @NoetheMatt.

4:00 PM – 4:00 PM:
Wrap Up and Final Details for Friday – Sarah Lawler, MSLIS


9:15 – 9:30 AM:
Welcome – Sarah Lawler, MSLIS

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Graphic Health Literacy: Expanding the Graphic Medicine Canon – Soha Bayoumi

Graphic Medicine is defined as the intersection of the discourse of healthcare and the medium of comics. As a field, Graphic Medicine has been praised for facilitating a better understanding of patients’ experiences with illness and enabling more empathy between healthcare providers and recipients. This talk explores the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has invited us to expand our understanding of the field of Graphic Medicine and argues that health literacy needs to go beyond the clinical to encompass the social and political dimensions of health and illness.

Soha Bayoumi is a Senior Lecturer in the Medicine, Science, and the Humanities Program at the Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Her work focuses on the medical humanities, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Critical Visual Science Studies, and the medicine-politics nexus. She is working on two book projects, one (with Sherine Hamdy) on doctors’ roles in the Egyptian uprising of 2011 and its aftermath and the other on doctors’ social and political roles in relation to health and justice in postcolonial Egypt. She is the editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and associate editor of the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies.

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Book Talk: Graphic Public Health: A Comics Anthology and Road Map – Meredith Li-Vollmer

All registrants will receive a copy of the book (Physical materials will not be mailed Internationally)
Book Description
As we confront the challenges of emerging diseases, environmental health threats, and gaps in health equity, medical professionals need versatile communication tools that help people make informed decisions and engage them in constructive conversations about the health of their communities. This book illuminates the power of comics to meet that need.

Graphic Public Health demonstrates the range and potential of comics to address topics such as immunization promotion, outbreak prevention, gun violence, opioid addiction prevention, and climate change. It features the work of acclaimed cartoonists Ellen Forney, David Lasky, and Roberta Gregory, pieces by up-and-coming artists, and comics that Meredith Li-Vollmer produced as a communications specialist for Seattle’s public health department. More than a collection of cartoons, this book connects comics with fundamentals of health communication and discusses why the form can be uniquely effective for these purposes. Each chapter focuses on the use of graphic public health in the context of four specific goals: health literacy, risk communication, health promotion, and advocacy. Li-Vollmer also includes guidance for practitioners getting started in creating comics for any form of public information, and especially for public health.

Practical and purposeful, Graphic Public Health is a clarion call for the current era and an invaluable resource for public health professionals and advocates, scholars of comics and graphic studies, and fans of the graphic medicine genre.

Meredith Li-Vollmer is a communications manager at Public Health – Seattle & King County and author of Graphic Public Health: A Comics Anthology and Roadmap. In her role at the health department, she has collaborated on comics with many indie comics artists since 2008. Her own comics have been published in The Stranger, Illustrated PEN, and the American Journal of Public Health. Meredith is a board member for the Short Run Comix and Arts Festival, a public health liaison for the nonprofit Graphic Medicine, and a clinical assistant professor in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She received a doctorate in communications from the University of Washington.

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM:
Wrap Up and Final Housekeeping Items – Sarah Lawler, MSLIS

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Olivia Tsistinas or Sarah Lawler


June 8, 2023
Event Categories:


Online Via Zoom
NY United States