Susan Reid, Director

Susan was recently a joint winner of the inaugural international award for health literacy from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. The Institute for Health care Advancement is a not for profit organisation based in California, USA which has led health literacy efforts on the West Coast.

From 1992 to 2015 Susan worked at Workbase Education Trust, where she built a strong health literacy team. The establishment of Health Literacy NZ , with the full support of Workbase, sees the creation of a dedicated health literacy organisation in New Zealand.

Susan has a wealth of experience in the adult education, literacy and numeracy fields which she uses in her health literacy work. Her legal background also enables her to draw upon robust business and analytical frameworks.

Susan has been involved with many health literacy projects and programmes, including:

  • co-leading a project for the Ministry of Health to develop a review process and guide for reviewing in health organisations, including trialling the review guide with a regional diabetes service. The Guide is published on the Ministry of health website:
  • providing input into the Ministry of Health's decision to analyse the health literacy data from the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, published in Kōrero Mārama
  • leading a project which reviewed health education resources on gout medication
  • assisting health organisations (including District Health Boards) to address the impact of health literacy on their organisations, systems, workforce, and clients
  • contributing to local and international health literacy research projects on cardiovascular medicine and palliative care in partnership with the University of Auckland
  • leading a health literacy research project which focussed on the prevention and early detection of gout for Māori
  • developingand delivering education and training packages to improve the health literacy knowledge and skills ofhealth professionals including midwives, practice nurses, Tamariki Ora nurses, community pharmacists and community health workers
  • contributing to other projects on asthma, lung cancer, live kidney donation and abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • as part of the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme collecting consumer insights and feedback about Warm and Dry toolkit for families at risk of rheumatic fever.
Susan regularly presents about health literacy at national and international conferences and has wide networks in literacy and health literacy.

Susan is Te Rarawa. She has an LLB and a MA (Adult Literacy and Numeracy).

Carla White, Director

Carla has been working in adult literacy since 2003 and health literacy since 2009 - with Workbase and now Health Literacy NZ. Her background is in organisational development and change management, strategic and business planning, capability building and resource development. She has also worked in senior public sector policy and management roles.

Carla has worked on many health literacy projects for the Ministry of Health including supporting medicine adherence in the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Project, research and resources for the prevention and management of children's skin infections, improving screening rates for gestational diabetes mellitus and the review of child and maternal health resources. She also developed the final version of Rauemi Atawhai – A guide to developing health information resources in New Zealand. She is currently developing new communication resources for BreastScreen Aotearoa.

Carla has assisted health organisations to address the impact of health literacy on their systems, services, workforce, and clients. In 2014 she co-developed the guide to health literacy reviews and trialled the review process with two DHBs. One DHB review was focused on health literacy and oral health services and the other on health literacy and non-attendance at out-patient services.

Carla has recently developed a health literacy professional development package for general practitioners and nurses aimed at improving participation in cervical screening. She has also carried out consumer research in the pharmaceutical industry and developed communication training and materials for health professionals to support medicine understanding and use.
    Carla is Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Toarangatira. She has a Bachelor of Business Management, and a MA (Adult Literacy and Numeracy).

    Jenny Bratty, Consultant

    RGON, PGDip PH, Cert TT

    Jenny's experience includes health promotion for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, project management for Counties Manukau District Health Board and as Senior Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT Jenny developed and delivered a successful new qualification in health promotion called the 'Diploma in Health Promotion' at MIT, using her instructional design, resource development and facilitation skills. Jenny has also worked as a health literacy consultant for Workbaseworking on diverse range of projects including

    • collecting consumer insights and feedbackabout warm and dry homes as part of theRheumatic Fever Prevention Programme
    • rewriting resources health professionals use with patients about to start dialysis
    • developing and delivering a professional development package for residential care workers to act as cultural mentors for other staff
    • mentoring primary care nurses, midwives, Tamariki Ora nurses and community health workers in relation to the Three Step model to build health literacy.
    Jenny's experience in project management and strengths in communication, building relationships and inclusive facilitation are particularly valuable in health literacy projects.
    Jenny is a Registered Nurse with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health and tertiary teaching qualifications.

    Victoria Damaris, Consultant

    BA, CELTA, Dip Sec Teaching, MA (Applied Linguistics)

    Victoria has extensive experience in teaching English as a second language in New Zealand, Italy and Japan As a result Victoria has acquired considerable knowledge on how language skills are best learnt, and the impact an individual's culture and values have on their behaviour and interaction with their education, family, and community.

    Victoria has worked with a number of organisations developing professional development workshops and contextualised training materials.

    These experiences provide a strong foundation for understanding diverse groups and how to engage with them.

    Victoria has been involved in a number of health literacy research projects, including:

    writing literature reviews on health literacy, health literacy and gestational diabetes mellitus, andhealth literacy and patient medication safety.

    reviewing written health resources, including maternal and child health resources and palliative care resources

    assisting with the development of health literacy resources for community pharmacists

    creating educational materials about skin infections for use by teachers and others in primary schools.

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