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).

Award from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Susan Reid was one of the joint winners of the inaugural international award for health literacy from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. The award presented on 4 May 2016, recognises efforts to better health through improved health literacy. Susan's award recognises, among other things, the recent work she and her colleague Carla White completed in developing a Guide for health care organisations to use to review whether they are health literate organisations. Susan has also been involved in a number of health literacy projects at Counties Manukau Health including workforce development with Well Child Tamariki Ora nurses, community midwives and others in the Te Rito Ora project; the Live Kidney Donor project; professional development for primary care nurses as part of ARI training; and the Maaori Gout Action Group.

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement is a not for profit organisation based in California, USA which has led health literacy efforts on the West Coast.

Susan was presented with her award by Dr Rima Rudd form the School of Public Health, Harvard. Dr Rudd visited New Zealand in 2012 to present at the health literacy conference From Discussion to Action and provide guest lectures on health literacy for a number of District Health Boards.

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).


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