Tonuza Bazli,
Health Literacy Volunteer

"My favorite thing about volunteering is getting the chance to empower people with the knowledge of nutrition.  People often don't realize the easy changes they can make in their diet that will have a huge benefit to them"

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Health Literacy Program:
Health Smarts While You Wait

Health Literacy Volunteers display some tools of the trade.


The goal of the Health Literacy Program is to empower patients to manage their health in a more informed way. Health Literacy volunteers work individually or in pairs to present health-related information in the waiting rooms of Outpatient Pediatrics, Outpatient Adult Medical, the Women's Clinic and Infusion Center.  Volunteers present to a group of patients as well as provide one-on-one consultations with waiting patients.

Health Literacy volunteers are trained to teach patients on the following topics:

  • navigating and understanding over-the-counter and prescription medication labels
  • proper dosing and managing multiple medications
  • nutrition basics including navigating the Nutrition Facts Label 

Volunteers are at least 21 years of age or currently enrolled in a community health, health promotion, nursing or pre-med program.  Volunteers are comfortable speaking publicly with diverse groups of people.

Minimum Commitment: Six months, one 3-hour shift per week.
Minimum age: 21 or enrolled in a college degree program
Minimum time: 3 hours per week
Times: Monday- Friday 9:00am-12pm or 1pm-4pm

Program Best Suited for:
Pre-health students


Health Smarts While You Wait was honored at the Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals (AHVRP) 2012 Anuual Meeting and Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas, and was given the Extraordinary Program Award. The selection committee are AHVRP members from hospitals all over the country. This award highlights the program's success and benefit to the patients, the Hospital and the volunteers providing the service.

Volunteer-driven health literacy programs have been at New York Methodist for the last six years in the form of the Health Smarts While You Wait, Step By Step, and the CHF VIP programs. Our volunteers are committed to helping patients access and understand basic health information so that they can make informed healthcare choices. To learn more about our health literacy programs watch this video: