Make A Difference Day (National Day of Doing Good) emphasizes community service and volunteerism and is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October. Every year, millions of people across the United States volunteer and perform projects for their community, for individuals in need and for charitable organizations.
This holiday was founded in 1992 when USA Weekend – the second largest national newspaper at that time – suggested to its readers that since 1992 was a leap year people should take the extra day and use it to do something good for their communities or for those in need. The idea caught on and has been celebrated ever since.
Make A Difference Day is a great way for individuals to give something back to the communities they live and/or work in. The mission should sound very familiar… “dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service”.
This month marks the 20th Anniversary of Health Literacy Month. Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 out of 10 persons struggle with understanding and using health information when it is unfamiliar, complex, or filled with medical jargon.
The good news is, many health care facilities are trying to improve the way they communicate with patients to make sure everything is clear before the patient leaves. They are doing things like simplifying their written materials, using video and photos to teach patients, and more to help doctors clearly get their message across.
There are a few things you can do to improve your own health literacy, too.
- Improve your communication with health professionals. It is easy to forget to bring issues to your doctor’s attention during exams. Make a list of your symptoms before you go in, have questions written down, and take a few notes when your doctor is explaining things to you.
- Read your visit summary that most doctors provide at checkout.
- Make sure you know who to call with any questions when you leave.
- Attend health education programs at a library, community center, or anywhere you can find them in your community.
How will YOU make a difference?
October is Health Literacy Month – Finding the right words for better health.