GWG on Health Literacy

Health literacy has been established and recognized as a social determinant of health; addressing health literacy is a mechanism for reducing health and social inequities. The 19th and 20th IUHPE World Conferences for Health Education and Promotion have increasingly included health literacy as a topic addressed in the scientific program. During these conferences, organizational meetings were also were held for participants to work together on the topic of health literacy.

During the 20th World Conference in Geneva, a Resolution was presented to the General Assembly, proposing that IUHPE address health literacy as a focus point in the strategic priorities and long term vision. A specific recommendation was included to establish a Global Working Group on Health Literacy (GWG-HL).

Health Literacy is relevant to achieving the new strategic priorities for IUHPE:


  • Social Determinants of health

  • Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control

  • Health Promotion Systems

  • Health Promotion in Sustainable Development

  • Ongoing operation of the IUHPE (internal)


In addition, it is assumed that active involvement of the IUHPE in health literacy will attract new members that are already involved in health literacy, yet to date have not professionally identified with health promotion.


The Global Working Group on Health Literacy at the Pre-conference meeting at IUHPE Curitiba Conference in Brazil 2016:



The Global Working Group on Health Literacy at the Pre-conference meeting at IUHPE Rotorua Conference in New Zealand 2019:



To initiate and support action, policy and research on health literacy, acknowledging the contribution of health literacy to reducing disparities in the promotion of health and wellbeing, and sustainable development, and to the pursuit of equity within and between countries, in the global context



  • To facilitate the development of, and communicate, health literacy theory, policy and practice at global, international, national and local levels;

  • To enable shared learning between programmes, networks and with relevant professions and sectors, at international and national levels;

  • To ensure that health literacy, as a social determinant of health, is included in global and regional discussions on health promotion systems, reducing health disparities, promoting sustainable development and NCDs;

  • To strengthen the knowledge and evidence bases for measuring and assessing health literacy and applying knowledge within the context of health promotion by promoting evaluation, learning and development;

  • To identify relevant stakeholders that can be engaged for collaborative action, research and policy, build synergies and lead where appropriate, working in partnership with other networks and organizations for promoting the issue of health literacy;

  • To work collaboratively with other GWGs in order to promote integrated and cross-cutting support and action;

  • To develop and implement a 3-year action plan reflecting all of the above.


In 2018, the Global Working Group on Health Literacy has published the "IUHPE Position Statement on Health Literacy: a practical vision for a health literate world", which can be downloaded at IUHPE`s journal Global Health Promotion:


Download here.


Working methods

  • Emails, Skype and Google hangout consultations are the main means of communication between members.

  • The GWG-HL organizes global teleconferences twice a year, ahead of the meetings of the Executive Board, in which all members of the GWG-HL are invited to participate.

  • As needed and indicated, smaller teleconferences take place according to region, topic or organizational needs.

  • Face-to-face meetings are planned and conducted in collaboration with regional health literacy networks specifically focusing on health literacy or in association with relevant programme areas (e.g. NCD prevention, health promoting schools and hospitals).



As with all GWGs in the IUHPE, GWG-HL shall be accountable via the VP(Scientific Affairs), with regular reporting to the IUHPE Executive Board.



  • The members of GWG-HL maintains communication through e-mail, and via periodically scheduled teleconferences supported by the IUHPE secretariat at the HQ.

  • The GWG-HL networks with other GWGs and relevant IUHPE projects of the IUHPE on common areas of action and interest via ongoing discussion facilitated by HQ secretariat and VP (SA)

  • The GWG-HL communicates its activity maximizing the use of existing communication avenues such the IUHPE website, publishing reports in Global Health Promotion Journal and in IUHPE regional and world conferences.





  • Diane Levin-Zamir

    PhD, MPH, MCHES, EuHP (Israel)

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Dr. Levin-Zamir is Director of the National Department of Health Education and Promotion of Clalit, Israel's largest health service organization, an Associated Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health of Haifa University and lecturer in health promotion in the Schools of Public Health in and Tel Aviv University. Diane is a summa cum laude graduate of Tufts University in Boston, and earned a MPH and PhD from the Braun School of Public Health of Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine in Jerusalem. After serving in several leadership positions in the IUHPE, Diane co-leads and was one of the founding member of the Global Working Group on Health Literacy and serves on the editorial board of the Global Health Promotion Journal. She teaches health promotion planning, evaluation and health literacy in medical, public health and health professionals training frameworks.

Diane specializes in action research in health promotion in community primary care, hospital and media settings, and a wide scope of activity in health literacy: practice, policy and research focusing on media and digital health literacy as well as cultural aspects of health literacy. She led the Israel National Health Literacy Survey, led the Israel involvement the Diabetes Literacy Consortium of the EU, and represents Israel in the WHO Euro Action Network for measuring health literacy, as well as a scientific advisor to the Asian Health Literacy Association. She specializes in health promotion among special groups: children and adolescents, elderly, people with chronic conditions, and health promotion in multi-cultural settings, and is active in promoting comprehensive and sustainable health promotion implementation on national and local levels. Diane has published extensively on various aspects of health literacy and health promotion. She is one of the founding members of the Israel Association of Health Promoters and Educators and is an active member of the National Council for Health Promotion of Israel's Ministry of Health.    


  • Gillian Rowlands (UK)

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Gill Rowlands is a General Practitioner and a Professor in the Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University. Her main research interests are the role of health literacy in health, the role of GPs in identifying and addressing the problems faced by patients with lower health literacy, and the development of evidence-based policy. She founded the Health Literacy Group UK, and is an active member of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Health Literacy and the International Health Literacy Association. She is co-clinical advisor on Health Literacy to NHS England. She has published over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, co-edited a book ‘Health Literacy in Context: International Perspectives’, and co-authored two chapters in Health literacy: new directions in research, theory, and practice (IOM Press).


Members in alphabetical order (and their country/territory/area)


  • Paola Ardiles (Canada)

Paola Ardiles BSc (hons) MHSc MBA is a practitioner scholar and the founding manager for Canada’s first provincial multi-sectoral health literacy network in the area of mental health and substance use. Paola was a contributing author of An Inter‐Sectoral Approach for Improving Health Literacy for Canadians and is currently conducting research on youth health literacy. Paola is a Lecturer: Social Innovation, Health and Community Partnerships at Simon Fraser University, Canada, where she developed and teaches a new curriculum on Health Promotion in the Canadian Context for the Master of Public Health program. In 2016, Paola co-designed the new Health Change Lab in partnership with RADIUS Social Innovation Lab, Beedie School of Business; an experiential program to help students identify community health challenges in the City of Surrey and co-design innovative and entrepreneurial solutions with community partners. Paola serves as the Past President of the Public Health Association of British Columbia, a provincial non-for-profit organization, which advocates for healthy public policies and public health workforce development. She founded Bridge for Health in 2013 as a local and global self-organized network promoting social innovation and community health. In 2016, Bridge for Health became a co-operative association with the mission to advance well-being practices in the workplace. Recently, Paola received the inaugural 2017 Health Promotion Canada's Mid Career National Award and was recognized as one of TD Bank's 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians in 2017. For mor information on Paola follow this link.


  •  Roy Batterham (Thailand)

Mr Roy Batterham (Thailand) is currently working on health literacy projects in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia. Roy has high level expertise in designing and conducting evaluations for complex programs and the development of tools and measures, and is responsible for the overall design of the OPHELIA project.


  •   Deborah Begoray (Canada)

Deborah Begoray, PhD is Chair and Professor of Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. Her research in health literacy focusses primarily on school settings with adolescents. She works on interdisciplinary teams to include literacy education and health education; literacy, health and mathematics education to name two. She also works with health care professionals, health promotion experts, and physical education professors. More recently she has begun to conduct health literacy research with Indigenous populations. Her research innovations include the use of student created graphic novels (e.g., Chasing Adland; No Sale, Skelep!) to disseminate health/wellness concepts to adolescents. Deborah also works in critical literacy and media literacy and is currently researching the concept of ‘critical media health literacy’. Her most recent co-edited book is Adolescent Health Literacy and Learning (Nova Science, 2015).  


  •  Janine Bröder (Germany)

Janine Bröder is research associate and PhD candidate at the Faculty of Educational Science and the Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence (CPI) at Bielefeld University (Germany). Being part of the German national Health Literacy in Childhood and Adolescence (HLCA) research consortium, she is working on the conceptual foundations of health literacy and on how to promote it in children and young people. Janine studied Health Sciences and European Public Health at Maastricht University (the Netherlands). Besides health literacy, she is interested in capacity building, health promotion planning and evaluation, health inequalities, knowledge translation and evidence-informed practice and policy-making. As a Carlo Schmid Scholar, she worked for the WHO/EURO Evidence-informed policy network in 2013/14. She is a member of the German Public Health Association (DGPH) and the Health Promotion Section at the European Public Health Association (EUPHA).   


  •  Stephan Van den Broucke (Belgium)

Stephan Van den Broucke is Professor of Public Health Psychology at the Psychological Sciences Research Institute and the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He formerly held the positions of senior expert at the Flemish Institute for Health Promotion (Belgium), project officer at the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers of the European Commission, and Associate Professor at the Department of International Health of Maastricht University (Netherlands). His main research and teaching interest include preventive health behavior change, health promotion planning and evaluation, self-management education for chronic disease, health literacy, and public health capacity building. He participated as principal investigator in several large scale international projects, including the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU), Reviewing Public Health capacities in Europe, Action-For-Health, and IC-Health, and coordinated the EU Diabetes Literacy project. He has been an evaluator for research proposals submitted to ZON-MW (Netherlands), the German Federal Ministry of Research, the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal), the Israel Science Foundation, the Hong Kong Healthcare and Promotion Fund, and the Kuwait Research Foundation, and serves regularly as an adviser for the European Commission and the World Health Organization. Stephan is an Executive Board Member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (UHPE), Advisory Board Member of the Asian Health Literacy Association, and President of the Well Done Health Literacy Awards. He is an associate editor of Health Promotion International and editorial board member of Archives of Public Health and Journal of Public Health Research.


Professor Dr. Peter WS CHANG is a medical doctor with master of public health in education and the doctor of sciences degree both from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He has been recognized for his outstanding involvement in global public health by the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) in Faculty of Public Health since 2011. Peter has been interested in the health literacy researches since his early career in the medical school while studying the perception toward traditional and alternative medicine in healthcare by local communities in Taiwan. He developed serial preventive medicine programs for special disadvantaged citizens throughout several cities in Taiwan since the early 1990s; which also provided health education and evaluation program in several major hospitals. He then started to refocus on health literacy researches in the end of 2012, after the meeting with Prof. Helmut Brand in Taipei and a visit in Maastricht University with Dr. Kristine Sorensen. Supported by the Health Promotion Administration of Taiwan, he launched a national-wide health literacy survey using the HLS-EU tool with more than 3,000 representative samples in Taiwan since 2013. Several manuscripts have been developed from that survey. With the support from European health literacy group, an initiative was developed to coordinate and establish a pan Asia health literacy network. In Nov. 2013, the first Asian Health Literacy Conference was successfully organized in Taipei Medical University with more than 200 scientists from 20 countries participated in the Conference. IUHPE Health Literacy Global Working Group had helped organize and contribute to the program significantly. In Oct. 2014, the second Asian Health Literacy was held in Shuang- Ho Hospital, with more than 400 scientists from around 40 countries contributed to more than 50 lectures and panels, as well as 30 poster presentations. The Asian Health Literacy Association (AHLA) was established since then, with 40 members and 20 Board Members been elected to serve the association. In the meantime, Professor Chang has been appointed as Secretary General of the AHLA, and the mission is to coordinate health literacy activities world-widely in public health field.  


Orli Frenkel (Israel)


  • Graham Kramer (Scotland) GP, Annat Bank Practice

Dr Graham Kramer has been a GP at Annat Bank Practice, in Montrose, Tayside for the last 22 years. He has had a strong interest in the primary care management of people living with long term conditions and the challenge of delivering person-centred care and supporting self-management. In 2004 he had a sabbatical in New Zealand studying a postgraduate diploma in General Practice. Between 2011 and 2016 he had been working part-time with Scottish Government, within the Person Centred Health and Care Team as National Clinical Lead for Self-management and Health Literacy. His work had been looking at ways healthcare and polices can support and enable people with long term conditions (NCDs) to have more confidence, understanding, knowledge and skills to be in the driving seat of their health and care. His work in Scottish Government has helped develop a programme of action to address health literacy within NHS Scotland. He continues to be actively involved in Health Literacy through his work with Scottish General Practice and with Health Literacy UK. He is also Executive Officer for Patient Participation with Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland (RCGP Scotland).


  • Valérie Lemieux, OTR, M.Sc

Valérie Lemieux, M.Sc is a public health practitioner at Direction régionale de santé publique in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Her interest in health literacy prompted her to work closely with low literacy populations and develop an array of tools to support use of plain language and accessible communications in the health care sector. She has developed a health literacy guide and contributed to a French plain language lexicon for health and public health workers in Quebec as well as in the French-speaking world. She is a member of the Réseau francophone international pour la promotion de la santé (REFIPS).


  • Angela YM Leung, (Hong Kong) PhD, MHA, BN, RN (HK & Australia), FHKAN (Geron)

Dr. Angela YM Leung is Associate Professor of the School of Nursing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Director of Centre for Gerontological Nursing (CGN), PolyU. She is also the recipient of Hartford Fellowship for the 2014 Hartford Geriatric Scholars Program in Intervention Research at Johns Hopkins University. As the Executive Board member of Asia Health Literacy Association (AHLA), Dr. Leung set up the Hong Kong AHLA office, providing consultation and leadership in various health literacy studies in Hong Kong and China. Dr. Leung’s scholarship is dedicated to improving health literacy and older adults’ well-being through multidisciplinary team approach. She pioneered the application of technology in health promotion. Two recent projects include Diabetes Risk Score app for identifying persons with undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes, and E-painting app for caregivers. Acknowledging the uniqueness in communication and culture in Chinese population, her research team has developed instruments for measuring health literacy (available in Health Literacy Tool Shed), and developed culturally sensitive health literacy-oriented interventions for patients and caregivers. These developments have given researchers and practitioners new tools for implementing evidence-based care in Chinese communities.


  • Evelyn McElhinney (Scotland, webmaster)

Dr Evelyn McElhinney is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Community Heath in Glasgow Caledonian’s School of Health and Life Sciences. Evelyn is a registered nurse teacher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has an interest in health literacy and the use of technology in healthcare. Her PhD explored the health literacy practices of people in 3D social virtual worlds. She was involved in the Global Working Group which produced the Scottish Government Action Plan on health Literacy - Making it Easy: A Health Literacy Action Plan for Scotland and contributed to the updated action plan Making it Easier. She is on the steering group of Health Literacy UK group and is the treasurer.  Evelyn tweets on the our group twitter account: @gwgiuhpehl (follow us there). 


  • Don Nutbeam (Australia)

Don Nutbeam is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and a Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute. He is a public health scientist with research interests in the social and behavioural determinants of health, and in the development and evaluation of public health interventions. His more recent research has been focussed on the development and testing of interventions to improve health literacy in different populations. He is widely published and cited on these subjects. His career has spanned positions in universities, government, health services and an independent health research institute. He has worked as an advisor and consultant on public health issues for the World Health Organisation for over 30 years, and as consultant and team leader in health system capacity development projects for the World Bank.  


  • Orkan Okan (Germany)

Orkan Okan is academic staff member at the Faculty of Educational Science and the Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence (CPI) at Bielefeld University (Germany). He is project manager of and researcher in the German national Health Literacy in Childhood and Adolescence (HLCA) research consortium. His current research addresses health and health literacy policies considering children and adolescents. Orkan is currently vice president of the Health Promotion Section at the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and he is engaged in national and international networking and transfer activities, collaborative inter-sectoral action, and synergy and capacity building for health literacy. For more information on Orkan’s activities see: Bielefeld University, HLCA, EUPHA, Twitter.


  • Professor Richard Osborne, PhD (Australia)

Richard is an epidemiologist and health services researcher. He has practical experience in a wide range of health sectors including community, hospital and health policy settings, across a wide range of countries including both low-income and high-income settings. He is an advisor to WHO and to several governments.

For the WHO he has delivered health literacy capacity building in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. This work enables countries to develop National Health Literacy Action Plans in support of the WHO Shanghai Declaration and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed research manuscripts which have been cited over 24,000 times.

He led the development of new ways to measure health literacy, and ways to develop and implement health literacy interventions using co-design. He developed the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) now used in 100s of studies including in National Health Surveys. In Victoria, in partnership with the Victorian government, he led the development of the widely applied Ophelia (OPtimising HEalth LIteracy and Access) process for health systems strengthening through co-design. This is now applied within WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects in several countries. His team has also developed and released new tools to measure: e-health literacy (eHLQ), organisational health literacy (Org-HLR), health literacy in communal societies (ISHAQ), and ways to improve patient-doctor communication (CHAT). For the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, he facilitates an online global Community of Practice focusing on health literacy with over 500 members across 78 countries.

Richard`s positions and affiliations: Professor of Public Health; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow; Director of the Health Systems Improvement Unit, Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaboration Centre for Health Literacy, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia;  Affiliate Professor of Health Literacy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • Jürgen M. Pelikan (Austria)

Jürgen Pelikan has passed away in January 2023, and was a valued member of Global Working Group on Health Literacy who has made significant contributions to the field. A full message of recognition can be found in our News section.


Jürgen is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Vienna / Austria and Director of the WHO-CC Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at the Austrian Public Health Institute (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH) in Vienna / Austria, and also Adjunct professor, Centre for Environment and Public Health, Griffith University, Brisbane / Australia. Together with Ilona Kickbusch and Helmut Brandt he initiated the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) (2009-2012), where he was PI for comparative data analysis and reporting of results. In Austria he was directing studies on HL of adolescents, HL of two migrant groups and on defining and assessing organizational HL of hospitals. Since 2018 he is co-chairing an action network for Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) within WHO-Europe´s European Health Indicator Initiative (EHII). He was a co-editor and co-author of WHO´s The Solid Facts: Health Literacy (2013). He is a member of the core group of the GWG Health Literacy of IUHPE, a member of the scientific advisory board of Asian Health Literacy Association (AHLA) and a member of the executive board of the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA). Besides his interest in defining and measuring health literacy in general populations and developing Health Literate Organizations his recent research interests include theory of health (salutogenesis), health promotion, the settings approach especially in health care settings, sustainable hospitals, self-help-friendly hospitals, and applying systems theory in health care organizations.   


  • Andrew Pleasant, PhD (USA)

Dr Andrew Pleasant was a founding member of the Global Working Group on Health Literacy, and a pioneer in the field, recognized globally. He sadly passed away in November 2022. His innovative and insightful thinking, across decades, has added much to the field of health literacy, and he will be sorely missed. 


Andrew is Senior Advisor on Health Literacy Interventions, Research and Evaluation at Health Literacy Media. Andrew believes that health literacy is one of the most powerful tools to create informed behavior change. Andrew has led and participated in hundreds of presentations and trainings in the United States and around the world, primarily on the topics of health literacy, and science, risk, and environmental communication. He has taught at Cornell University, Brown University, and Rutgers University. Andrew has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, and is co-author of the book Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action (2006). Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University, and a PhD in communication from Cornell University.   


  • Jo Protheroe (UK)

Joanne Protheroe is a Professor of General Practice at Keele Medical School and has been a practising General Practitioner in England for over 18 years. Jo leads the Academic Primary Care team in Keele Medical School and is responsible for primary care in the undergraduate medical curriculum, as well as continuing to be research active in health literacy. She continues to practise as a GP in an inner-city practice, a role which fuels her interest in health literacy and patient participation in their health, especially those in disadvantaged groups. She is a member of Scientific Committees of Health Literacy conferences in UK, US and Europe and sits on Editorial boards of national and international Journals. She is the current Chair of the Health Literacy UK Group and has recently been appointed as Honorary Health Literacy Clinical Advisor to NHS England.   


  • RV Rikard (USA)

R.V. Rikard is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. R.V.’s research focuses on how the social determinants of health impact health literacy, the intersection of health literacy and health disparities, and the social impact of information and technology (ICT) on health. R.V. is a founding member of the International Health Literacy Association, a member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Global Working Group on Health Literacy (GWG-HL) and the Health Equity Initiative. R.V. is also an Honorary Fellow in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia.   


  • Irving Rootman (Canada)

Irving Rootman, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. He has been a researcher, research manager, program manager, professor and consultant in the field of health promotion for more than thirty-five years.  Currently, he is the Chair of the Steering Committee for the BC Health Literacy Network. He was a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine Expert Committee on Health Literacy and Co-Chair of the Canadian Expert Panel on Health Literacy.  He has published widely on Health Promotion and Health Literacy. In 2014, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree for his contribution to health promotion and in 2016, an award for his Lifetime Contribution to Health Promotion at the Sixth Global Forum on Health Promotion. He is the lead editor on the Fourth Edition of Health Promotion in Canada released in November 2017. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


  • Luis Saboga Nunes (Portugal)

Luis Saboga Nunes (MA Soc, MPH, PhD) Luis Saboga Nunes (MA Soc, MPH, PhD) is a health sociologist who teaches at the National School of Public Health (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) in Lisbon. He holds the chair of Sociology of Health and is also responsible for the development and implementation of several post-graduate courses, including “Smoking Prevention and Cessation” training for health professionals. His research interest has focused on theoretical and evidence-based good practice in public health on health literacy, extensively discussed in the course “Health Paradigms, Salutogenesis and Public Health” that he leads annually. This has been the natural context for the discussion of the salutogenesis paradigm and for its establishment within specific public health interventions where health literacy is at stake. As a researcher and health promoter, he has contributed to the development of several applications in which information and knowledge management are key elements in easing the everyday burden of responsibility for health professionals and also promote citizens’ health literacy. A member of the Portuguese Observatory of Health Systems, his publishing endeavour has concentrated on channelling knowledge from breakthroughs in scientific research into health literacy and on facilitating the assimilation of these innovations by the public domain. Coaching life styles changes has been a major area of activity and implementation. He has been a member of the group that meet in Zurich in 2007 where the foundation for the research of the evaluation of health literacy in Europe was set. He has participated actively in several national and international meetings like for instance the European Health Literacy Conference (Brussels, 2011) where results were presented and discussed following the European Health Literacy Survey project. His contribution to the development of health literacy research has led to the authorized translation and validation to Portuguese of the European Health Literacy Survey HLS-EU-PT, and he is now concentrated on strengthening the Portuguese network for the promotion of health literacy. Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., homepage:


Linda Shohat (Canada)


  • Kristine Sørensen (The Netherlands)

Kristine Sørensen is committed to advance the global scale and scope of health literacy. She is the founder of the Global Health Literacy Academy and advisor for international organizations such as i.e. the European Commission, the World Health Organization and McKinsey. She is the executive chair of Health Literacy Europe and president of the International Health Literacy Association. For more information: Global Health Literacy Academy   


  • Stefania Velardo (Australia)

Dr. Stefania Velardo is a Lecturer and Early Career Researcher with expertise in qualitative research methods that capture people’s perspectives on sociocultural aspects of health and diet. Stefania is particularly interested in inclusive child-centred methodologies, on the premise that children are active beings who can make meaningful contributions to research and practice. Her doctoral research explored children's health literacy experiences, in a nutrition context.   


  • Jane Wills (UK)

Jane Wills is Professor of Health Promotion at London South Bank University and also Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation (CApRII). She has taught health promotion for many years and is the author of a core textbook and teaches in postgraduate programmes at the Universities of Aarhus, Athens, Nanjing (Southeast University). Her particular interest is in the area of critical health literacy and developing the capability of individuals and communities to take control over their health and understand its determinants. She has investigated how critical health literacy is best developed and measured and has written widely on this aspect of health literacy. Other aspects of her research have focused on capacity building for health literacy and how to incorporate this into the curricula for health care professionals.


Gerard Van Der Zanden (the Netherlands)



Defining and characterizing membership

  • As a GWG, it is intended that the group's activity reflect the global nature of the IUHPE. As such, the group will strive to have representation from all regions of IUHPE.

  • Membership in the GWG-HL can include members from IUHPE and non-member experts in HL.

  • Non-IUHPE members of the GWG are potential members of the IUHPE; in time it is hoped that an increasing proportion of GWG-HL members become active members of IUHPE.

  • In order to facilitate management of group progress, a core-group/steering committee within the larger GWG will be established with representation from all IUHPE regions.


Expectations from members

In general, the group members will be expected to contribute to defining the IUHPE global strategy and priorities on health literacy. Towards this end, more specifically they will be asked to:

  • participate in electronic or conference call meetings on a regular basis;

  • stimulate collaborative ideas and action among various regions and sub-networks;

  • bring regional/sub-network input into the global discussions to ensure that all interests and specificities are taken into account.


Follow our Twitter account to keep up to date with news from the group - @gwgiuhpehl





In 2018, the Global Working Group on Health Literacy has published the "IUHPE Position Statement on Health Literacy: a practical vision for a health literate world", which can be downloaded at IUHPE`s journal Global Health Promotion:


Download here.