Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, MEd


Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine
Director Health Literacy Leadership Institute


Tufts University School of Medicine
136 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111

Phone: 617.636.3833


M.Ed.               Boston University School of Education
M.A.                 Muhlenberg College

Research and Practice:

  • Integrating health literacy and cultural competency in workforce development training and practice to eliminate health disparities.
  • Creating audience-centered health communication materials and web resources using plain language principles for public health, and clinical practice.
  • Improving health literacy through training health professionals and implementing the 10 attributes of a health literacy healthcare organization. 
  • Applying adult learning theory for public health practice and the development of health literacy curricula for adult education and English language learning.
  • Exploring health literacy in a global context and the need for an international health literacy association to support research, practice, professionalism, and policy.

Recent Projects:

  • Developed an online consumer health tool for low income Mainers that generates a personalized health assessment, tailored health information, and links to free and low cost resources and services
  • Implemented new model for providing health information outreach to communities experiencing health disparities. Conducted community assessment and key informant interviews to identify audience needs, find community partners, and develop tailored materials and outreach approaches.
  • Developed and piloted tobacco and literacy education curriculum to reach young adults ages 18 – 24 in non-formal adult education classes with information relevant to both smokers and nonsmokers.
  • Developed curriculum to improve health literacy skills and increase community access to reliable Internet-based health information for informed decision making. Collaborated with teachers and librarians in middle and high schools in rural Maine Sourcebook.pdf.
  • Worked with nine hospitals in the U.S. and Canada to raise awareness among first-line health care providers of the need to use easy-to-read health information in patient education and the role of consumer health librarians as an organizational resource.
  • Developed interactive teaching tool on how to use teach-back to confirm patient understanding to improve patient-provider communication among health professionals serving older adults

Select Publications:

  1. Abrams MA, Kurtz-Rossi S, Riffenburgh A, Savage B. Building Health Literate Organizations: A Guidebook to Achieving Organizational Change. Des Moines, IA: UnityPoint Health; 2014. 
  2. Kurtz-Rossi S, Valier C, and Smith G. Staying Healthy for Beginners: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living. Orlando, FL: Florida Literacy Coalition; 2014.
  3. Kurtz-Rossi S. Who Can You Trust? Health Information and the Internet. Rumford, ME: River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition; 2011.
  4. Kurtz-Rossi S, Duguay P. Health information literacy outreach: Improving health literacy and access to reliable health information in rural Oxford County Maine. JCHI. 2010;14:325-340.
  5. Shipman J, Kurtz-Rossi S, Funk C. Health information literacy research project. JMLA. 2009;97(4):293-301.
  6. Kurtz-Rossi S, Coyne C, Titzle J. Using research to inform health literacy program development: Results from the HEAL:BCC evaluation study. Literacy Harvest. 2007;13(1):38-42.
  7. Kurtz-Rossi S, Waldron S, Titzle J. Program evaluation: World Education breast and cervical cancer project. In: Zarcadoolas C, Pleasant A, Greer DS. Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2006:263-285