2022 Speaker Profile

Erin Sturgeon headshot

Erin Sturgeon, Patient/Family Relations Specialist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Erin Sturgeon, MBA has worked in the Center for Patients and Families at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for 6 years. Primarily, she’s worked as a Project Specialist alongside Patient Advisors providing guidance to hospital staff on new patient education materials and strategies on how to create materials for patients and families.

Most recently, her role has accumulated into a Patient/Family Relations Specialist facilitating effective communication between patients, families and providers to advocate for the best possible experience. Erin completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Endicott College and has earned her Masters in Business Administration with a healthcare focus from Simmons College. 


Improving the Patient Experience Using Health Literacy

Our goal for health literacy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is to collaborate with clinical staff, providers, and patient/family advisors to create patient-facing materials at the 5th-6th grade reading level to ensure understanding. 

Health literacy is important because patients with low health literacy are more likely to visit an emergency room, have more hospital stays, less likely to follow treatment plans and have higher mortality rates.

Health literacy is important because:

  • Patients need to understand their role in their healthcare experience and the hospital can help change health behaviors

  • Communication engages patients and families in their care and increases patient satisfaction

  • The information they receive should be at a level they are able to understand so they can comprehend what is being discussed

  • Once patients fully understand their healthcare situation, then they can partner with their provider in shared decision making