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Health Literacy Missouri recognizes Freeman physician for commun - KOAM TV 7

Health Literacy Missouri recognizes Freeman physician for community outreach

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY FREEMAN HEALTH SYSTEM

Dr. Saba Habis honored with Trailblazer Award

Health Literacy Missouri recognizes Freeman physician for community outreach

JOPLIN, Mo.—Dr. Saba Habis, Freeman Health System Chief Quality Officer, received the Missouri Health Literacy Trailblazer Award at a ceremony held recently in St. Louis. Dr. Habis was recognized for his work to improve multigenerational communication and, at the same time, help older adults learn to better manage their medications and make appropriate healthcare decisions.

Health literacy refers an individual’s ability to understand basic health information, such as instructions on prescription bottles. Repeated research has shown that the geriatric population is at risk for inadequate or marginal health literacy. As the need for healthcare professionals rises, care is increasingly provided by nursing staff and physician assistants. The net effect is younger professionals caring for an aging population—resulting in a generation gap that can impede effective patient/provider communication.

Recognizing that improved communication enhances health literacy, Dr. Habis created an educational program to reach senior citizens, emerging healthcare professionals, and pharmacists in rural southwestern Missouri. The program involved two educational components—one for senior citizens to help them take charge of their health by learning to manage their own medications and ask questions of their healthcare providers and one for students enrolled in healthcare career courses to help them better communicate with older adults. The program was funded by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

“This award is a great honor and serves as a testament to Dr. Habis’ commitment to improving the health of the community he serves,” said Dr. Richard Schooler, Freeman Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Dr. Habis joined Freeman Health System in 2006, and was recently named Chief Quality Officer. In this new role, Dr. Habis provides a link between the Freeman Quality Improvement Department and physicians, with a goal of assuring delivery of the highest quality care at Freeman.

Board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine, Dr. Habis received his medical degree from Damascus University Hospital and completed his fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, Illinois. A Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Habis serves as Clinical Professor of Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Missouri.

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