Integrating Health Literacy and Health Care Equity Efforts: Increasing Consumer Understanding and Engagement in their Health and Health Care

April 30, 2014
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EST

A Webinar Series  

As increasingly diverse consumers enter the health care marketplace, a new survey shows health insurance literacy among Americans is low with significant differences seen among racial/ethnic groups, especially Hispanics/Latinos, and low income adults.

Research studies have linked low health literacy with poorer health outcomes and higher health care costs resulting in consumers being less engaged in their care and having a harder time staying healthy or managing chronic conditions. While low health literacy affects people of all ages, races, income, and educational status, the impact of low health literacy disproportionately impacts lower socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups. 

These findings demonstrate the need for transformational health care system changes that entail the use of simple, plain, and clear health information and the development of targeted cultural and linguistically appropriate communications and programs. AHIP’s webinar series will discuss health plans’ long-standing commitment to improving health equity and its leading efforts to provide consumers with information on their health and benefits that can be easily understood and used to good advantage.

Participants will learn how health plans are integrating their health care equity and health literacy initiatives to help improve consumer understanding and engagement. The series will also highlight health plan programs and services that are currently in place and address challenges and opportunities that have arisen from these leading efforts.

Join us for a series of compelling conversations with industry leaders! 

In recognition of National Minority Health Month in April  
Series I:  Wednesday, April 30, 2014 
1:30 – 3:00 pm EST 


Wayne RawlinsWayne Rawlins, MD, National Medical Director for Racial and Ethnic Equality Initiative, Aetna

Dr. Wayne Rawlins is a National Medical Director for Racial and Ethnic Equality Initiatives at Aetna, reporting to Aetna’s Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Rawlins serves as the lead clinician focused on identifying activities to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care for Aetna’s members. Dr. Rawlins has also assumed the additional role of Chief Medical Officer, Aetna Student Health. Aetna Student Health provides high quality, innovative and competitively priced health insurance programs for college and university students. Dr. Rawlins received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut in 1980, then completed an internal medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Rochester in New York. He is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Rawlins received his M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2001. Prior to joining Aetna in 1997, he was a physician manager with the Northeast Permanente Medical Group for 13 years, treating a wide variety of patients in a busy primary care practice.


DuranCrystal Duran, MPH, CHES, Clinical Program Manager, Health Equity and Multicultural Health, Cigna
Crystal Duran, MPH, MCHES is a Clinical Program Manager at Cigna.  She provides leadership and direction for the development and implementation of the health equity communication strategy and cultural competency training efforts.  She played a major role in launching and developing Cigna’s Health Equity Council and coordinates many workgroup activities focusing on identifying and reducing health disparities. She often presents at meetings on Cigna’s health literacy and health equity best practices. Prior to Cigna, Crystal worked as a health educator for many years in various settings engaging diverse and under-served populations. 

steve_rushSteven Rush, Director, Health Literacy Innovation, UnitedHealth Group 

Steven Rush, MA, LP has been the Director, UnitedHealth Group Health Literacy Innovations Program; an enterprise-wide program to help consumers understand and use health and wellness communications for the past 5 years.  Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Physician Engagement at UHC Health Services. He is a licensed psychologist. His interest in health communication has been a natural part of his work in psychology.  Steve’s interest in health literacy intensified about 13 years ago; when he was the Practice and Patient Safety Manager for the American Academy of Neurology; and was one of the first group of trainers trained by the American Medical Association.

HellingaJennifer Strohecker Hellinga, PharmD, BCPS MTM Operations Manager, Molina Healthcare

Dr. Strohecker-Hellinga is the Manager of the Medication Therapy Management Program (MTMP) for Molina Healthcare, in Long Beach, California. Dr. Strohecker-Hellinga received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida, followed by postgraduate training, including Board Certification as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist.  Dr. Strohecker-Hellinga is actively engaged in outcomes research with Molina Healthcare and oversees the development of corporate disease-state education modules. Her areas of expertise include clinical research, components of effective pharmacist communication, medication adherence, and pharmacy process improvement. She is responsible for the MTMP team including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and students, and clerical staff. 


In recognition of Health Literacy Month in October 
Series II:  October 21, 2014
1:30 – 3:00 pm EST 

  • Kathryn L. Coltin, External Quality Data Initiatives, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Rhonda Moore Johnson, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Director, Health Equity & Quality Services, Highmark, Inc.
  • As senior medical director, Dr. Johnson leads Highmark’s enterprise-wide efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health care disparities among its members through clinical interventions and improvements in health literacy and health plan cultural competency. She also currently serves on numerous national and state health care advisory committees. Dr. Johnson earned her A.B. degree from Harvard University, her M.D. at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, and her M.P.H. from Ohio State University. She is board certified in pediatrics and health care quality management. Dr. Johnson has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, and she was recently named “2013 Most Powerful and Influential Woman” by the National Diversity Council. She and her husband are the proud parents of three children.

  • Gayle Tang, MSN, RN, Senior Director, National Diversity & Inclusion, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.


The content presented in this webinar is solely attributable to the speaker and does not represent an endorsement by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) of the accuracy of the information presented in the audio conference or any opinion expressed by the speaker.