Healthy Behavior: Literacy and Activation the Gateway to the Future of Health

March 24 – 26, 2015 | Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, St. Louis, MO

Health care costs for patients enrolled in Medicare who were identified with low health-literacy skills were more than four times as high as costs for patients with high literacy, roughly $13,000 per year compared to $3,000 per year.

Activation scores have been demonstrated as predictive of health care outcomes. Patientswith low levels of activation have been found to have significantly greater health care costs than those with higher levels of activation. When socioeconomic factors and the severity of health conditions are controlled, patient activation remains predictive of health care costs and utilization.

How can we bend the health care cost curve while increasing the wellness and recovery of those we serve? Heath Literacy and Activation is one part of the answer.

According to Healthy People 2010, an individual is considered to be “health literate” when he or she possesses the skills to understand information and services and use them to make appropriate decisions about health. Lack of health literacy is estimated to cost $106-$236 billion annually. Activation goes beyond seeing a health care provider and understanding how to promote recovery; it’s the art and science of taking action on the information you have been given. It’s doing the things necessary to move toward recovery and wellness.

The 2015 ACHMA Summit explores this topic from several angles. What can we learn from the “physical health” community on this topic?  What about technology – is it helping or hurting?  How can we take a community approach? What does the research tell us?  What does it mean to approach this in a culturally competent or at least sensitive manner?   What can we learn from the positive psychology movement?

As an added bonus, we have an optional pre-Summit event exploring health homes in Missouri, the first to implement health homes statewide.

Goals of the Summit:
  • Explore how activation and health literacy change the nature and process of healthcare delivery
  • Reframe health literacy as more than being able to read and understand a prescription; literacy is specific to communities and cultures and requires working respectfully and cross-functionally with a broad set of partners.
  • Understand activation as not something done to those who consume healthcare services (including each of us), it’s about supporting change, listening to motivations, hopes and dreams; addressing stigma; and working as partners with every person to facilitate access to the right tools and programs at the right time.
  • Learn from individuals leading successful and innovative programs within this space in order to replicate and expand in our own settings, moving activation and health literacy forward.
The Summit features:
  • Catalysts: Keynote speakers who help us think about Activation and Health Literacy in new and fresh ways.
  • Going Deeper: Facilitated conversations using Appreciative Inquiry techniques for those who what to think deeply together about the implications of catalyst presentations.
  • Tech Tracks: For those who want to think about how technology can facilitate health literacy and activation.
  • Putting it Into Practice: Sessions that showcase programs that have implemented innovations within the health literacy and activation space.
  • Show Me the Data: Sessions that dig into the data around activation and health care literacy as a support to building the case when seeking to implement innovation back home.
  • Resource Ready: Fast-paced sessions that outline tools and resources you can use to implement programs at home.

Prior to the event, attendees will receive an eBook filled with information, articles, research, tools, and resources that help put health literacy and activation into practice. Attendees will have the chance to participate in creating an enriched version of the eBook post-Summit.

Optional pre-Summit Event – Exploring Missouri’s Behavioral Health Homes:  Innovations and Cultural Shift

Experience Missouri’s journey as the first in the nation to create a health home initiative. During the day, you will:

  • Learn how Missouri implemented and sustained the initiative,
  • Hear from the people who helped to shepherd this idea into reality, and
  • Visit an innovative health home and dialogue with staff.

More information and registration is available. Registration is limited to 30 people.



New Peer Initiative – February 3 Deadline


Application Deadline: February 3, 2015

The ACMHA Peer Leadership Interest Group (PLIG) is doing meaningful and important work for the field. If you have not seen it, the tool kit that arose out of our discussions and input is available and being promoted to the members. The PLIG has another opportunity to do some really valuable work…but the deadline is very short. We have received sponsorship funding to support the development of a program or product that collects and shares information about how peers are supporting At Risk Individuals (ARI) who, for these purposes, are defined as:

  • Individuals in Rural and Frontier areas where resources are geographically hard to access
  • Justice Involved Individuals
  • Individuals experiencing multiple ongoing hospitalizations
  • Individuals with multiple physical and behavioral health issues
  • Homeless individuals

A work group is being put together to create the project.  Individuals in the ARI PLIG work group will be asked to commit to the following

  • Attend the 2015 Summit (funded) and listen to and consider activation and health literacy information.
  • Participate in a 2-3 hour post-Summit session where individuals process conference findings, share other best practices, and determine what program or product the group will create to support the field:  An eBook?  A Toolkit?  A Learning Collaborative? A white paper?  A series of webinars? Sessions at Alternatives Peer Conference? Compendium of tools and resources?
  • Receive input from the full PLIG on the content of the program/product.
  • Create, finalize and distribute the selected program/product(s) by December 31, 2015.

Peers who are interested in being a part of the ARI PLIG work group will need to apply by completing an application and returning it to no later than February 3, 2015. This is a hard deadline as all applications will be sent to the reviewers at the same time. We could not act sooner as funding just became available and the board approved the projectUNCA