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On January 28-29, 2009 in Washington, D.C., the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN), with the support of the United Health Foundation (UHF), gathered together 30 experts and leaders from the fields of education, health and philanthropy for the symposium Health Literacy in the 21st Century: Setting an Education Agenda. During these two days, the symposium's participants began a dialog about what kind of K-12 educational infrastructure will be needed to prepare current and future students to participate in the 21st century's health and health care systems. Participants agreed that for schools to play an active role in promoting health literacy, the focus should be on instruction that is based on the National Health Education Standards. Health literacy is the capacity of an individual to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health information and services in ways that are health enhancing. Standards-based health education helps to build the knowledge AND the skills young people will need.
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