Healthy Cleveland: Health Literacy & MomsFirst

TV20 is back with another episode of Healthy Cleveland, in today’s episode, we discuss health literacy and the MomsFirst program.

In the first half of this episode, host Leah Haslage sat down with Jessica Jurcak from the Cleveland Department of Public Health and Karen Komondor from the Health Literacy Institute, to discuss how health literacy can lead to quicker recoveries and healthier lifestyles.

Health literacy is defined as: “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions”

Those who live with diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure, knowing how to measure those areas can mean life or death.

Health literacy involves knowing how to communicate with your doctor. A doctor may use medical terms when diagnosing a patient, they can be asked to speak in simpler terms. It’s your right as a patient to leave an appointment with a better understanding of your medical ailment.

For more information on health literacy or the Healthy Cleveland Initiative, you can visit a number of sites:,,, and 
Additionally, you can call the Cleveland Department of Public Health at 216-664-2324

After the break, we sat down with Tiffany Ashley from Merrick House to discuss MomsFirst; a Cleveland organization providing support to expecting mothers of Cleveland.

MomsFirst provides pregnant mothers access to free home visitations & case management until their child reaches the age of two. The goal of MomsFirst is to give their clients the necessary knowledge to keep their newborns/infants happy and healthy.

As of 2016, there were 6 cases of infant mortality for every 1000 births, or about 0.6%, in the U.S. While that already may seem low, ultimately the goal of programs like MomsFirst is to bring that number to 0.

To learn more about MomsFirst, you can go to their website at or call 216-664-4194.

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