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Terri Ann Parnell | Health Literacy Founder

Dr. Terri Ann Parnell

Experienced Insiders Who Can Get The Job Done

Health Literacy Partners was born of the commitment to person-centered care that our founder, Dr. Terri Ann Parnell, spent her nursing career championing. From her early days visiting patients in their homes as a nurse in Greenwich Village, New York to her executive roles at large health systems, Dr. Parnell has always understood that the best care speaks to meeting the unique needs of each patient.

Extensive career as an RN, with decades of knowledge in nursing, management, administrative, and leadership roles.

Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) & New York Academy of Medicine 

Spearheaded and launched an Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Health Literacy in a large integrated healthcare system.  

Health literacy publications include books, white papers,  book chapters and peer
reviewed journal articles. 

Various academic appointments in schools of nursing, medicine, and health care administration.

B.S. in Nursing, M.A. in Healthcare Administration, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Recognized national health literacy expert, expert panel participant, advisor, interviewee, and invited podium presenter.  

Ex Officio Member, Roundtable on Health Literacy; National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. 

Authored Health Literacy in Nursing which received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award.

Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach, Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (UZIT)


Participated in mission trips to India and Haiti. 

Select Book  Publications
Health Literacy in Nursing Book Cover Terri Ann Parnell
Caring for the Family Caregiver Book cover Terri Ann Parnell
Communication in Palliative Nursing Book cover Terri Ann Parnell

Select Publications

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy views health literacy as a tapestry. When you think of a tapestry, you imagine many colorful threads interwoven to reveal a complete picture. Health literacy is a tapestry of diverse and multidimensional threads that are woven together to create a dynamic landscape.

Health Literacy Tapestry
Health Literacy Tapestry Graphic

©2014. Health Literacy in Nursing: Providing Person-Centered Care.
Springer Publishing Company.

Health Literacy Threads

Woven horizontally across The Health Literacy Tapestry are six different "threads" that embody an individual's overall life experiences, knowledge and their behaviors.

Patient & Provider Partnership

The overlapping center circles illustrate how both provider/health care professional and patient/consumer may each bring misconceptions and unconscious biases to the relationship.

Health Literacy Domains

Vertically displayed and represent the broad concept of health literacy. How much a patient understands what was said (verbal), what was written, and what services are available and how to access them (envirionmental) 

Magnitude of the Problem

Surrounding and influencing the patient-provider partnership is the overall low health literacy rate of the U.S. population. Only 12% has proficient health literacy skills.

Tapestry Borders

The borders of The Health Literacy Tapestry represent the overarching goals of health literacy.

  • Empowerment, engagement and activation

Empowered patients are much more likely to engage in shared decision-making and become active partners in their health management.

  • Evaluation/Teach-Back

Using teach-back principles help foster engagement and understanding. The teach-back method is  a cornerstone of health literacy success.


  • Enhanced Outcomes/Overall Well-being

Ultimately, enhancing health literacy skills of both providers/health care professionals and patients/consumers leads to improved health outcomes and overall well-being.

Get in Touch

Want to learn more about Health Literacy Partners? Have a question? We would love to hear from you! 

Email us at or fill out the contact form and we will reach out. 

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