December 10, 2023

The Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards 2011 has announced the 15 short-listed candidates that have been recognised for their outstanding efforts to communicate with people in a clear and accessible fashion.

2010 winner Una O’Brien, midwife, Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda

The awards, now in their fourth year, recognise anyone working in the healthcare arena who is making real efforts to ensure their communications with the public are ‘crystal clear’ and easy to understand.

Health literacy is about being able to understand basic health information so people have the knowledge to understand their options and work with their healthcare professional to take better control of their health.

The Awards are a partnership between MSD and the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), with representation on the judging panel from the HSE, the Health Information and Quality Authority, the Irish Practice Nurses Association, UCD, a general practitioner and the Adelaide Hospital Society. Irish Medical Times is the media partner on the awards.

This year saw more than 100 projects submitted across the five categories, with entries from receptionists in GPs’ surgeries, consultants, doctors, nurses, advocacy and patient groups, and journalists. Each of the short-listed candidates will be invited to attend the awards ceremony in Dublin on May 9.

“The Crystal Clear Awards are an important event in the health literacy calendar,” commented Ciara O’Rourke, External Affairs Director, MSD and a judge of the awards. “The short-listed entries highlight the great work being done all across the healthcare sector to better inform people about their health.

“Good health literacy helps people to make informed decisions about their health and the short-listed candidates clearly demonstrated their commitment to improving the health literacy of the people who use their services,” she added.

Also speaking at the announcement of the shortlist, Inez Bailey, Director of NALA, said that with over 100 entries again this year, it was clear that health literacy remains an important topic. “By communicating more clearly and making information more accessible to patients, the healthcare sector can make a huge difference in moving forward health literacy in Ireland. We commend all those short-listed this year for the work they are doing.”

The short-listed entries are:
Category A: Best Project in General Practice

  • Pauline Cooley, Practice Nurse, Health Centre, Athenry, Galway, ‘Thou Shalt Hear’;
  • Inform Display Systems, GP Waiting Room Brochure Display Service;
  • Edenpark Surgery, ‘Edenhealth Newsletter’.

Category B: Best Project in a Hospital

  • Speech and Language Therapy Department, St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park, ‘Golden Girls Gossip’;
  • The Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group, HSE South, ‘Take Heart — A Guide to Heart Surgery’;
  • Edette O’Dea, Laser Nurse Specialist, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital , Crumlin, ‘Journey with me’;
  • Susan Brosnan, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, ‘Assessment of patient knowledge regarding an antipsychotic medication’.

Category C: Best Project in the Community or in a Social Setting

  • Irish Osteoporosis Society, ‘Bones’;
  • Irish Heart Foundation, ‘F.A.S.T. Stroke Action Campaign’.

Category D: Best Health Promotion Project

  • The Be Active Team, HSE Dublin North East, Health Promotion Department, ‘Be Active After School’ Activity Programme.
  • National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS), CervicalCheck information leaflet;
  • Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Health (ISQH), ‘Let’s Talk Medication Safety’.

Category E: Best Health Communication Through Journalism

  • John O’Mahony, Irish Examiner, ‘Suicide in Ireland’;
  • John McCarthy and Liam O’Brien, Documentary on One, RTÉ Radio 1, ‘Lives Less Lived’;
  • Siobhán Holliman, The Tuam Herald, ‘Tubby toddlers can mean trouble’.

For more information on the Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards, go to


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