Written by Jennifer ‘Kiana’ Abel;
AmeriCorps Member, Wisconsin HealthCorps, NorthLakes Community Clinic- Iron River
NorthLakes Community Clinic
Often people face barriers that keep them from achieving their best health. Barriers include poverty, lack of education, discrimination, and living environment hazards like pollution and scarcity of healthy foods. These factors are known as the Social Determinants of Health and refer to circumstances in people’s lives that interfere unfairly with choosing, affording, and living a healthy lifestyle.
One social determinant of health that can make healthcare more challenging for individuals is literacy. Literacy refers to a person’s ability to read and write, and affects people’s function in society, their ability to achieve goals, and to develop knowledge. According to Wisconsin Literacy, one in four Wisconsin adults have low literacy skills.