Outreach to Health Care Providers
The Preeclampsia Foundation has already made a significant investment into health literacy research in 2009 and 2010, funding and working closely with top researchers and opinion leaders at Northwestern University in Chicago to develop an evidence-based patient education tool that will work with a broad range of patient populations today. That research study has been concluded and is ready to be tested on a wider audience. Research has shown that low health literacy is not necessarily correlated to low socio-economic conditions and that across many health conditions, patients may not have the resources to read or understand in-depth materials, and as a result are not adequately informed.
In addition, there are many education opportunities when pregnant women interact with a variety of care providers - childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, nurse-midwives and the traditional physicians and nurses they encounter in clinics, hospitals and medical offices. Each of those encounters is an opportunity to provide that woman with important information about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and to encourage her to take action if she has concerns. Throughout 2010, the Preeclampsia Foundation attended medical conferences and conducted an educational survey on what nurses, midwives and doulas provide in the way of preeclampsia patient education. The statistics, which will soon be published, show an alarming lack of regular preeclampsia education.
This year, thanks to a grant from the Beckman Coulter Foundation, the Preeclampsia Foundation will again be traveling to health care provider conferences and working to advocate for better prenatal preeclampsia education. The focus in 2011 will be on educating the educators on how to provide signs and symptoms information and include access to printed, audio and video materials. This also benefits the main audience, the patients themselves. Ultimately, our goal in reaching out to the extended medical provider community is that they will be providing the patients with accurate information in a form that is easy to understand and not overwhelming. We are looking for volunteers in the following cities: San Antonio, TX; Denver, CO; Dallas, TX; Boston, MA, so if you live there and would be interesting in volunteering to help at the exhibit for a few hours, please email Program Coordinator Laney Poye.