Rima Rudd

Senior Lecturer on Health Literacy, Education, and Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Rima Rudd is Senior Lecturer on Society, Human Development, and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Her work centers on health communication and the design and evaluation of public health programs. She teaches courses on innovative strategies in health education, program planning and evaluation, health literacy, and theory.

Dr. Rudd is focusing her research inquiries on literacy related disparities and literacy related barriers to health programs, services, and care. She works closely with the adult education, public health, oral health, and medical sectors and with several national literacy initiatives in Canada, England, and Europe. Her Harvard website on health literacy [www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy] serves scholars and practitioners.

Dr. Rudd wrote several reports that are helping shape the agenda in health literacy research and practice. They include the health literacy chapter of the Health and Human Services book Communicating Health: Priorities and Strategies for Progress (2003) and the Educational Testing Services report, Literacy and Health in America (2004). She introduced the concept of a ‘health literacy environment’ that is shaping examinations of barriers to care in hospitals, health centers, and social service agencies. Her long standing emphasis on the dual components of  literacy: social system demands and the skills of individuals has re-shaped definition of terms with a focus on health literacy as an interaction and not simply a characteristic of individuals.

She served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Literacy, on the National Research Council Committee on Measuring Adult Literacy, on the Joint Commission Advisory Committee on Health Literacy and Patient Safety. She currently serves on several national advisory boards and is principal investigator and co-principal investigator on several health literacy research inquiries. Dr. Rudd serves as Senior Health Literacy Advisor to the Missouri Foundation and holds appointments as Visiting Professor at London South Bank University and as Visiting Senior Scholar at the Horowitz Health Literacy Center, University of Maryland School of Public Health. Rima Rudd is considered a leader in this new field of inquiry.