Session B: Critical Pathways to Adulthood: Health Literacy, Communication and Self-Management
Janet Hess


This session will provide participants with actionable steps and tools they can use to prepare adolescents with autism and related disabilities to better meet their own health and wellness needs in adulthood. It includes information about how to ensure young people have the support they need to make health care decisions and access insurance coverage. The GLADD (Give-Listen-Ask-Decide-Do) model is used as a framework for identifying key activities and skills to improve health care self-management and communication with providers.


Janet Hess, DrPH, MPH, CHES, is Assistant Program Director in the Department of Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, at the University of South Florida. In her role as Project Director for Florida Health and Transition Services (FloridaHATS), Dr. Hess works with the Florida Department of Health, Children’s Medical Services, and other partners throughout the state to build community-based systems that support transition from pediatric to adult health care. She also serves as Principal Investigator for “My Health Care,” a training program to empower persons with IDD to better meet their own wellness and health care needs through improved health literacy and communication with physicians and other providers. Dr. Hess works with USF medical students, residents and faculty to implement patient-centered medical home best practices and to improve the quality of clinical care. She develops and conducts professional trainings; has served on many federal, state and local advisory committees; and has numerous publications concerning systems of care for children, youth, and young adults with special health care needs.


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Contact Information

Janet Hess
Assistant Program Director
Department of Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine
University of South Florida

Presenter materials

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