Health Literacy Grant

Miami Public Library receives Health Literacy Grant

The library recently received a $9,000 Health Literacy grant.  The funds, provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), will be used to provide health education through such events as diabetes classes, yoga classes, and some healthy cooking demonstrations.  It will also provide for needs in the Community Garden and the Children’s Garden as well as a couple of new gardens – a pumpkin patch and a sunflower field.

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information.  Poor health literacy is a stronger predictor of a person’s health than his or her age or economic status. According to Leslie Gelders, head of ODL’s Office of Literacy Resources, Oklahoma ranks 46th in the country for the health of its citizens and 48th for  the health of its seniors, in the latest America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation.  The latest report from the Oklahoma State Department of Health indicates that some of the major issues for Ottawa County are tobacco use (Ottawa Co. 26%, Oklahoma 23.3%, United States 15.1%), obesity (Ottawa Co. 37.9%, Oklahoma 35%), and diabetes (Ottawa Co. 15.4%, Oklahoma 13%).

The library has received a Health Literacy grant for the past four years and it has made it possible to develop strong partnerships between the library, the Ottawa County Health Department, Northeastern Tribal Health Systems, and INTEGRIS Miami Hospital as well as other community organizations.  Together they have formed the Health Literacy Project Partnership.  “It is important for the library to be intentional in  aligning with community needs,” says Director Marcia Johnson.  “Improving the health of our county is a great need and through this grant and we can bring something to the table.”

For more information about the Health Literacy Project and upcoming events and classes, contact the Miami Public Library at 918-541-2292.