A University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law professor has been named to the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Christopher Trudeau is the first lawyer to be appointed to this committee. He is also one of only a handful of lawyers who serve as members of the National Academies’ nine roundtables.
The roundtable is a multidisciplinary group that works to improve the quality and value of health care and individual and community well-being. Its mission is to inform, inspire, and activate a wide variety of stakeholders to support, develop, implement, and share evidence-based health literacy practices and policies.
Trudeau has been an advocate for health literacy since 2012 and frequently speaks about the law’s impact on health literacy at regional, national, and international events.
“I hope that by bringing my legal perspective to the Roundtable, we will be able to focus our efforts on connecting with subgroups of the health system who don’t fully realize how important addressing the health literacy needs of patients is to healthcare,” Trudeau said. “Health literacy impacts adherence rates, hospital readmissions rates, and so many other parts of healthcare that we need everyone who has an impact on health policy and practice to understand and appreciate how to integrate the evidence-based best practices into the healthcare system.”
Trudeau joined Bowen in 2017. He has a dual appointment with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Center for Health Literacy, where he teaches about health literacy, risk communication, and law and medicine. His expertise lies in creating clear contracts that people can understand, which led to his involvement in health care drafting in 2012. He now uses his unique legal drafting skills to make a positive impact on healthcare policy and process.
Health literacy is defined as how well a person can find, understand, and use health information needed for good health, according to the Center for Health Literacy. Low health literacy is linked to increased hospitalizations and urgent health care, poorer total health, and higher death rates.