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Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Expert on literacy, health literacy and their impact on health and health care, and primary care practice-based research

Professor emeritus, family medicine School of Medicine and Public Health Work: 608-316-9786 — Home and cell phones available upon request Home page


  • Literacy, the ability to understand and convey information in written and oral form, is the strongest predictor of health status
  • Health literacy, a combination of individual literacy skills, prior health knowledge and the communication skills of the health care providers and system
  • Primary care practice-based research, conducted in the offices of pediatric, internal medicine and family physicians


  • Sally Sunde Family Advocate Award for work with Wisconsin Literacy from Community Shares of Wisconsin, 2009
  • Literacy Advocate of the Year, Wisconsin Literacy Council, 2008
  • Principal investigator, "What are Important Health Issues for Low Literate Adults? A Focus Group Evaluation of Health Literacy Issues"
  • Principal investigator, "Improving the Health Literacy Environment of Wisconsin Hospitals — A Collaborative Model," American Academy of Family Physicians