Health BINGO

Health literacy is the ability to understand and use health information to make good decisions about health and medical care. Health information can overwhelm people with advanced literacy skills. About a third of the adult U.S. population has limited health literacy.

With a grant from the Security Health Plan Foundation awarded in 2014, CWLC developed a HEALTH BINGO game delivered at community meal sites throughout our two county area. Several hundred people experience the game each week, learning about exercise, nutrition, prevention, community resources, and numbers.

Because health and health care is a topic of interest for many people, many literacy programs integrate health literacy into basic adult education programs and English language services.

Integrating health information into our programs is a great way to help learners learn and practice new literacy skills, including:

  • Identify important health information from many sources
  • Evaluate health information for credibility and quality
Document Use
  • Fill out medical and consent forms
  • Read warning signs
  • Read food labels
  • Read exercise diagrams
  • Read medicine bottle instructions
  • Calculate medicine dosages
  • Determine body mass index (BMI)
  • Determine a serving size of food
  • Track symptoms over time
Oral Communication
  • Explain concerns and symptoms accurately to health professionals
  • Ask health questions
  • Understand spoken medical advice or treatment directions
Working with Others
  • Develop relationships with health professionals
Thinking Skills
  • Locate health information
  • Make decisions about health
  • Remember health and medical information
  • Analyze relative risks and benefits
  • Manage a healthy lifestyle and finding time to exercise, reduce stress, and eat well
  • Manage a chronic disease
Computer Use
  • Search the Internet for health information and evaluate websites
Continuous Learning
  • There is always more to learn about how to be healthy or how to manage a chronic disease.