According to Kaiser Health News author Sandra G. Boodman, studies have linked poor health literacy, which disproportionately affects the elderly, the poor and recent immigrants, to higher rates of hospital readmission, expensive and unnecessary complications, and even death. A 2007 study estimated the problem cost the U.S. economy as much as $238 billion annually.
And Kaiser is doing something about this right here in San Joaquin County.
Last month, Kaiser was a generous sponsor of Lodi’s first Reading Roundup Literacy Fair. Last night, Andrew Mendoza, Kaiser Permanente’s Community and Government relations manager, asked the Lodi Literacy Fair Planning Committee to join him in celebrating literacy efforts in our community at the San Joaquin A+ Gala Dinner, which was also sponsored by Kaiser.
Tables buzzed with ideas to improve literacy rates in our community. People who put their ideas into action were recognized for their excellent efforts. It was a blessing and encouragement to hear about the incredible individuals and organizations whose efforts are truly making a difference.
2012 Spirit of Literacy Recipients
Outstanding Tutor: Student: Bianca Delucci, UOP Adult: Marilyn Hulsoor, Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library
School District: Aspire Public Schools
Program at an Elementary Level: Manteca Unified School District Bridge Programs
Faith Organization: Peniel Neighborhood Center
School Administrator: Dan Faith, Lodi Unified School District
Educator Beyond the Classroom: Van Ha To-Cowell, Lodi Unified School District, Lincoln Unified School District
Corporate America: Food 4 Less/Rancho San Miguel
Champion of Literacy: Suzy Daveluy, Stockton-Joaquin County Public Library
Outstanding Achievement: Kenneth Watkins, Linden Unified School District
Program at the Preschool Level: Central Methodist Nursery School
Parent of the Year: Kay Khaleck, Hazelton School, Stockton Unified School District
Teacher of the Year: Sharon Shiroma-Lee, Jacobson School, Tracy Unified School District
Public Organization: First 5 San Joaquin
Health Care: Health Plan of San Joaquin