2017 Health Equity Training Series


Language matters. The words we use have the ability to build powerful and lasting allies or, just as quickly, to destroy and disengage entire communities. Words have the power to invite learning and meaningful discussion or to rapidly stigmatize and build walls of distrust. In fact, using language appropriately has lasting effects. The 2017 Health Equity Training Series focuses on the power of language and how you can help protect health and improve lives with thoughtful consideration on the impact of the language we use.


DISCUSSING IDENTITY, POWER, AND PRIVILEGE: HOW THE LANGUAGE WE USE SHAPES THE MESSAGE RECEIVED
August 30, 2017

How do we engage in constructive dialogue around public health challenges related to structural racism, identity, power and privilege? As we engage in these important conversations, it is necessary to recognize how biases (personal or in others) can influence efforts toward positive change. Implicit biases are a well-documented and pervasive feature of human language. These associations, which we’re often not even aware of, can be relatively harmless. Yet, when encoded with human prejudice, the message received can be damaging and counterproductive. 

Presenter: Kip Holley, Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity

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THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE IN STOPPING THE STIGMA OF ADDICTION
September 28, 2017

September is National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who recover. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, not a disease of one’s character. It is a complicated chronic condition and like other chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, addiction can be effectively managed. All of us are likely to be impacted by addiction in our own families, neighborhoods, schools or workplaces, and as the epidemic changes, so should our language. This session focuses on how the language we use might:

  • Reflect bias
  • Form public opinion
  • Label and alienate the individual
  • Promote judgement, moral statements and shame
  • Encourage negative self-talk and criticism
  • Shape our thinking and behaviors
  • Deter people from entering treatment

Presenters: Debbie Helldoerfer & Ashley Garcia, Columbus Public Health

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HEALTH LITERACY: FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS FOR BETTER HEALTH
October 24, 2017

October is Health Literacy Month, a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. The ability to communicate effectively with patients depends on our ability to create a patient-centered and shame-free health care environment. Although health care professionals generally assume that explanations and instructions given to patients and families are readily understood, conversations can be confusing to patients, resulting in medical error and increased health care costs. This training helps us better understand the impact that clear communication can have on our audience. This discussion focuses on:

  • Establishing an environment that promotes health understanding
  • Improving communication through effective practices: plain language and teach-back
  • Identifying health literacy problems and taking action to health care navigation

Presenter: Dr. Sandra Cornett, OSU College of Medicine

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THE LANGUAGE WE USE
November 28, 2017

Our growing new American population contributes to Columbus’ cultural richness and enhances the economic growth and development of the city. Given the growth rate of the immigrant/refugee population, there is continuing need for the use of culturally sensitive language and considerations. Some challenges we face include language barriers and education, access to fair and affordable housing, and differences in cultural and religious practices. Join us for a presentation on how you can help ensure that the needs of refugees and immigrants are being met with cultural competency and humility.  

Presenter: Ibrahima Sow, Ohio History Connection

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