Cut Waste, Cultivate Content: On the President’s Campaign to Cut Waste

From an email we received yesterday from “There are nearly 2,000 top-level web domains across the Federal Government. While many of these sites provide taxpayers with valuable services and information, this proliferation of separate websites creates unnecessary confusion and inefficiency, wastes taxpayer dollars, and makes it difficult for the public to find important government […]

CommunicateHealth Wins National 2011 ClearMark Award!

ClearMark Award Logo

This post was written by CH alum, Amy Behrens.  Each year, the Center for Plain Language acknowledges the hard work it takes to create easy-to-understand materials and Web sites. This year, our work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health on Lead Poisoning: Words to Know from A […]

Introducing Healthy People 2020

I Believe in a Healthier Nation for All Americans - Healthy People 2020

The newest edition of Healthy People, officially released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on December 2nd, sets “ambitious, yet achievable” national public health priorities for the next decade. Healthy People establishes national benchmarks and identifies relevant data sources, allowing health professionals and the government to monitor progress over time. One […]

Push blue button, get medical records.

My HealtheVet Blue Button to download medical records

Many Americans have experienced the hassle of getting their own medical records. The process is complex—calling different phone numbers, signing forms, sending faxes, making photocopies, paying fees—and often deters people from accessing their records at all. That is until now. Thanks to some creative developers and support from the Federal government, users will be able […]

Plain Writing – required by law!

On Monday, September 27th, the US Senate took an important step toward ensuring that government publications, forms, and documents are written in a way that everyone can understand by passing the Plain Writing Act of 2010. The Plain Writing Act requires the federal government to write new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents in a […]

Making Public Health… Sexy?

Public Health logo

David Tuller, coordinator for public health and journalism at the UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Journalism, points out the need for better public health branding in the wake of the health care reform bill: Beyond ensuring access to insurance, the new legislation incorporates an expansive view of health […]

"Health literacy is needed to make health reform a reality” – Kathleen Sebelius

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released The National Plan to Improve Health Literacy – with support from Sebelius and others who see the relationship between improving health literacy and increasing access to cost-effective, high-quality health care. The action plan contains seven goals, each with specific strategies for different sectors of […]

Plain Writing Act of 2010 Passes the House

The Plain Writing Act was passed by the House of Representatives as part of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to encourage open government. The Plain Writing Act will require federal agencies to write public documents in plain language. Rep. Bruce Braley, who introduced the bill, said: “There is no reason why the federal government can’t […]