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Health Literacy Student Fellows: Final Report

Final Report


NNLM Subaward Final Report Questions
Year 2 (July 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023)

Final Reports must be submitted by May 31, 2023.

  1. Approaches and Interventions Used

Describe the specific steps or activities used in the following areas: identifying and scheduling sessions; promotion/marketing; training; personnel/staffing; equipment/telecommunications; web site development. Guiding questions:

  • List your goals and objectives for this project.
  • What were the steps and activities you used to accomplish your goals and objectives?
  • How did each team member contribute to the project?
  • Please list URLs to project resource material that is publicly available (e.g., abstracts, posters, promotional material, slide presentations.)

The goal of this project was to increase the dissemination of health information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable. Students were to learn of resources available to them online and through the community, including MedlinePlus, report gaining new knowledge, and become advocates for high-quality health information. As a result of this project, student projects would be highlighted on the library’s website and social media channels to help inform other students and community members about these issues.

Project partners and presenters were secured and training opportunities were designed for the Health Literacy Student Fellows program. There were two cohorts offered, one each in the fall and spring semesters. The opportunity and student application link was publicized through the IRSC Libraries website, social media channels and at faculty meetings. The IRSC Student Engagement and Leadership division promoted the offering by allowing completers to receive student leadership credit towards the legacy leaders program. A total of 24 student participants completed the program over the 2022-2023 academic year. This total was 4 more participants than originally planned, made possible by using the school’s learning management system to offer a digital workbook, rather than the printed workbooks that the original proposal called for.

A project update was provided to a partner, Healthy St. Lucie, on February 9th, 2023. A copy of the presentation slides is available at:

Completed student projects that were video productions are available for viewing at:

  1. Problems or Barriers Encountered
    (The NNLM will make this response available to the public via the NNLM web site.)

List any major problems or barriers you encountered when pursuing your objectives, including (but not limited to) the areas of promotion/marketing; scheduling; training; equipment/telecommunications; personnel/staffing; unanticipated budgetary issues; web site and resource development; exhibiting; translations; and partnerships.

Due to delays, the promotional campaign that was originally planned to spotlight this project to the community was not able to be shared prior to the recruitment phase for the fall semester. This resulted in the number of participants in the fall semester being significantly lower than the number of participants in the spring semester. 

  1. Evaluation

How was the project evaluated? What results were achieved based on the objectives of the project? Guiding questions:

  • What methods did you use to assess whether you met your goals and objectives?
  • Were your original project goals and objectives met?
  • What goals and objectives were not accomplished and why?

Attendance was tracked at all in-person trainings. Students were expected to attend make-up sessions if they missed a required in-person training. All students complied with this requirement and participated fully in the project. End-of-project surveys were administered and the results were evaluated.

The original goals of increasing each participant’s knowledge of what health literacy is and how to increase their own health literacy levels was met. Students were able to define health literacy and were able to successfully navigate the MedlinePlus website. They demonstrated knowledge of community health resources by way of their final projects.

  1. Continuation Plans

What parts of this project will continue and how? Guiding questions:

  • What activities will be continued, and which partners will participate in the continuation?
  • If there are plans to expand or replicate this project, explain how this will be done. Who will provide the funding and staffing to continue project activities?

The sustainability of this project will take place in a few ways. The relationships with community partners that offered trainings and presentations for this project were strengthened through this experience. They are eager to partner with IRSC Libraries in the future and we are collaborating on other grant-related projects from their funding partners. The second way this project will continue is through the use of health literacy lessons and activities as part of the curriculum for the one-credit class LIS1002: Electronic Access to Information. This implementation was already piloted in the Spring 2023 offering of a one-course section and was successful. Plans to incorporate in future offerings are in progress.  

  1. Lessons Learned

If answers to these questions are contained elsewhere in your report, repeat them here. Guiding questions:

  • What unexpected results (positive or negative) did you have with the program?
  • What recommendations would you have for someone who wanted to apply your program in their region?
    • What significant lessons were learned which would be of interest or use to others conducting outreach projects?
    • Which strategies were the most effective in implementing the project?
  • Which of your strategies would you not use again and why?
  • If you offer this program in the future, what will you do differently?

There is not a common understanding of the issue of health literacy. Future projects that tackle this issue will require a longer promotional period than what was first incorporated into this project because publicity needs to educate as well as promote the issue. Having a clear framework for students with simple and succinct instructions to ensure a successful project is important. Offering too much choice is viewed by many students as a waste of time. Providing additional explanatory videos and written instructions was a change made from the fall semester to the spring semester, which resulted in stronger student final projects. 

  1. Impact

(The NNLM will make this response available to the public via the NNLM web site.)

Why do you think this project was important? Guiding questions:

  • What was the impact of your project? For example, did the project:
    • Help a low-resource organization serve a high-risk population?
    • Contribute toward the ability of your organization’s or your partner organization’s ability to meet its mission, values and priorities?
    • Benefit any of the partner organizations, e.g., raising visibility; increasing utilization)?
  • Please tell a “success story” that gives an example of your project’s impact.
  • How do you plan to share your project and lessons learned with colleagues, such as through a conference presentation or publication?

Students genuinely wanted to help educate other students about their selected health literacy topic. When presented with the opportunity to connect with community leaders who were experts in their selected topic, they asked intelligent questions and were eager to apply what they learned. The most common critique of the program was that students wanted it to last longer than the one-month allotted timeframe for each cohort.

Miguel Cruz just graduated this May with his bachelor’s degree in Biology. He is currently applying to medical schools because he wants to be a doctor. He participated in the fall cohort of the Health Literacy Student Fellows program and selected the topic of moving more for health and wellness. He collaborated with the St. Lucie County Health Department and was able to research the dangers of our county’s sedentary rates. He helped design social media posts and outreach activities to promote the county’s Billion Steps Program, which is a free initiative that allows residents to track their steps on the Walker Tracker app and engage in teams to support one another’s movement progress. He was so moved by this work that he petitioned IRSC’s biology department to allow him to continue his service learning work and accompanying research in the spring semester for his senior capstone class. He researched the connections between academic performance and movement and presented his findings at both the Student Leadership Summit in February and the Biology Senior Symposium in April.

This project directly supported St. Lucie County’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to increase the dissemination of health information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable. The website that was generated ( was a targeted activity in this five-year plan. I was recognized at the recent St. Lucie County Health Department Volunteer Luncheon for my work on this Health Literacy Student Fellows Program as well as other health literacy related work over the past year. IRSC was recently awarded financial support from the county health department to continue health literacy work for the fall 2023 semester, focusing this year on the issue of food literacy.      

I have shared the success of the Health Literacy Student Fellows program with the St. Lucie County Healthy St. Lucie Coalition as a guest presenter at the February monthly meeting. I am currently exploring opportunities to further share the success of this program via other venues such as with a publication or conference presentation.