Health Literacy and Learning Program

The mission of the Health Literacy and Learning Program (HeLP) is to advance the study of limited health literacy and interventions that could improve one’s ability to obtain, process, and understand basic information needed to make appropriate health decisions. This is a groundbreaking effort; Northwestern is the first institution in the country to link the fields of medicine and education in order to improve how health systems educate patients and families on their health. In a reciprocal manner, HeLP envisions opportunities to better inform curriculum in schools and other informal learning settings on health promotion and empowerment.

HeLP is led by Michael S. Wolf, MPH PhD. Dr. Wolf is a behavioral scientist and health services researcher with primary interests in adult literacy and learning, cognitive factors, and the management of chronic disease. He was one of the first recipients of the Pfizer Health Literacy Initiative Scholar Award and has received numerous national awards for his work in the field of health literacy and medication safety.

HeLP partners closely with Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy – specifically the Department of Learning and Cognitive Sciences. Outside of Northwestern, HeLP has forged excellent relationships with leading institutions both nationwide and internationally. Existing collaborations have produced several funded studies, ranging from investigations of basic communication and cognitive science issues such as deconstructing health tasks and comparing the effectiveness of communication modalities (i.e. print vs. video), to the testing of comprehensive health literacy interventions to improve chronic disease outcomes and prescription medication use. For a complete list of HeLP's studies, see the research page.

Contact Us

Health Literacy and Learning Program
750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Our Team

Meet our team