Canyon Ranch Institute and Health Literacy Media are a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity working to improve health based on the best evidence-based practices of health literacy and integrative health. As an organization, we offer a spectrum of health literacy work extending from plain language services to intensive community-based interventions. (See www.canyoranchinstitute.org & www.healthliteracy.media) In this chapter, we discuss the methodologies and outcomes of two of those community-based interventions – the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program and our Theater for Health program. Perhaps uniquely, an underpinning approach to both efforts is based on the increasing body of evidence of health literacy as a social determinant of health. Therefore, our research and evaluation of these programs captures not only changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs but explicitly includes changes in informed behavior change and objective health outcomes as well. Our work makes it clear – that if you engage people in a health literate approach to informed behavior change (and respect their knowledge of their own lives and context) you can help people help themselves to better health. Further, from the perspective of health as a right and a resource for living, we find people who advance their health use this resource to continually better their own and their family's lives as well as the communities where they live. Hopefully, the examples provided in this chapter provide a sense of direction and motivation to others to fully explore the potential of health literacy to improve health and well-being, increase satisfaction with life, and produce health outcomes at a lower cost.
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