Just for the Health of It
Just for the Health of It is a proprietary health literacy program developed by the East Brunswick Public Library to promote health literacy in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The program aims to promote better health outcomes among all groups with a special emphasis on the poor, elderly, and new immigrants. The program received an award from the New Jersey Hospital Association in 2017 and the following year was recognized by Library Journal as a model program on how public libraries can create healthy communities. The program received a grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2019 to expand the program throughout Middlesex County as part of a broader statewide initiative to build and maintain a culture of health in New Jersey.
What is Health Literacy?
Health Literacy is defined by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. This is a complex definition. Here at the East Brunswick Public Library we simply say that people with health literacy enjoy better quality of life if they have information that they can understand and act on to change their behavior. Did you know that people with health literacy recover more quickly when sick; visit the emergency rooms less often; have shorter hospital stays; have health insurance; eat healthier and exercise to avoid the onset of disease and illness? Health literacy even makes it possible for people living with a chronic condition to enjoy life to the fullest because they can care for and manage their conditions for the best outcomes.