Program Development

Program Development

Certificate Program Development

The Health Literacy Specialist Certificate Program wouldn’t be possible without the tireless dedication and effort of many people. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who contributed to this project!

We know that not all health literacy training programs are created equal. That’s why we partnered with subject matter experts (SMEs) and health literacy leaders to create engaging lessons that are up-to-date and aligned with current research-guided best practices.

Who developed the content for the certificate program?

The program’s training content was developed by SMEs with specialized knowledge in their field. Qualified and trained SMEs also participated in standard-setting to establish the passing score. See below for a list of SMEs involved in developing this program.

In 2016, IHA convened a Job Analysis task force, a diverse, demographically representative panel of subject matter experts (SMEs) and tasked them to identify the essential roles and responsibilities related to health literacy specialists.

In 2017, knowledge statements and task statements were compiled and sorted by a psychometrics firm then disseminated to members of the health literacy community to vet and validate.

A group of SMEs, instructional designers, writers, peer reviewers, and editors created, reviewed, and tested the learning modules. 
Item writers, SMEs, and a psychometrician created the assessment exams then – through standard-setting reviews and beta testing – set appropriate cut scores necessary to earn each micro-credential.

Read the complete Job Analysis Executive Summary.

Acknowledgments and Appreciation

A project of the scope and detail of the Health Literacy Specialist Certificate requires the dedication and effort of many people. We’re likely to miss a few folks, but our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to this project. 

First and foremost, our deep gratitude to Jann Keenan EdS, who served as Editor-in-Chief and Curriculum Coordinator for Subject Matter Experts and Writers. Jann spent countless hours and surmounted myriad obstacles to create something profound that truly serves as the capstone to a phenomenal career in health literacy. Jann, we know you infused your knowledge and experience into this project, and I’m sure you left bits of your heart and soul on it during its creation. We, and the health literacy community, thank you for that. 

Following are those individuals who served as subject matter experts (SMEs) and editors of each section. They each shared their expertise to make sure the Health Literacy Specialist Certificate represented the best and most current information in each area. We thank them for their contributions: 

  • Wilma Alvarado-Little, MA, MSW
  • Dr. Mary-Ann Abrams, MD, MPH
  • Cynthia Baur, PhD
  • Dr. Cliff Coleman, MD, MPH
  • Joy Deupree, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAAN
  • Stan Hudson, MA
  • Jann Keenan, EdS
  • Janet Ohene-Frempong, MS
  • Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES
  • Audrey Riffenburgh, PhD
  • Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES
  • Chris Trudeau, JD

Also, thank you to the countless SMEs who lent their expertise during the development phase – Peer Review, Item Writing and Review, and Standard Setting. Over 50 individuals spent countless hours reviewing the content, writing and editing the exam questions and distractors, and establishing the passing score. Many met synchronously via Zoom to perform tasks that are typically done in person. Although there are too many to name, they represent diverse backgrounds, professions, and geography.

And last, but not least, all the writers, copy editors, and instructional design professionals who helped manifest this project into the modules you see here now.

Main Editor: Julia Wittner, MA

Final Proofreader: David A. Kelly, MEd


  • Glenna Bailey, MA
  • Jann Keenan, EdS
  • Andrea Mongler, MPH
  • Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES
  • Becca Rothchild, MPA
  • Laura Scheuer Sutton, MA
  • Rebecca Swartz
  • Chris Trudeau, JD
  • Julia Wittner, MA

If we missed listing you, please send a note to Thank you all again.

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Program Content

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