Health Literacy Steering Group

If you are interested in how we work, please read ourTerms of Reference.

    Jo Protheroe: Chair

Jo joined Keele University as a Senior Lecturer in General Practice in 2011 and continues to practice as a GP in Manchester. Her research, influenced by her clinical practice as a GP in inner-city Manchester, is focused on two NHS priorities - the needs of socio-economically disadvantaged patients and the need for interventions to improve patient self-management in long-term conditions. Research has shown that patients with low health literacy have difficulty in participating in their health care, resulting in poorer health. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Gill.jpg - 399.45 kb Gill Rowlands: Joint Policy Lead

Gill is an academic General Practitioner, and Professor in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University and Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark. her main interests are in the area of health inequalities, particularly the role of health literacy in health, and the role of GPs in identifying and addressing the problems faced by patients with lower health literacy. She founded the Health Literacy Group UK and has authored, and co-authored, over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-edited a book, 'Health Literacy in Context: International Perspectives'.

Janet Solla: Joint Policy Lead

Janet is a founder member of the Community Health and Learning Foundation. Before taking up her present post, Janet was the Policy and Delivery Manager for the Health and Wellbeing team in Contin You. She managed the health and wellbeing projects, including the second phase of Skilled for Health (SfH). Prior to this, she was a director of Sport Active Ltd, one of the organisations taking part in the first pilot phase of SfH. She has worked extensively in the private sector as a manager and then in the education sector as a university lecturer and course leader in Business Studies. Her other interests are in adult and community learning and health and wellbeing, which has helped shape her commitment to exploring ways in which traditionally disadvanataged individuals and communities can make informed decisions about their own and their families health and wellbeing.

   Emee Estacio: Seminars/Meeting Development

Emee is a Psychology lecturer at Keele University who specialises in action research, health promotion and community development. She has extensive experience of delivering participatory, community-based needs assessments and evaluating health promotion interventions, particularly those that prioritise marginalised groups. Emee is co-author of the best-selling textbook, Health Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice (4th Edition), Sage Publications and guest edited a special section on Health Literacy and Engagement in the Journal of Health Psychology with Dr John Comings. She is also a member of the editorial board for Health Psychology Open, Community, Work and Family and the Philippine Journal of Psychology. 

   Bernadette Bartlam

Bernadette comes from a professional background in nursing and her research is on inequalities in later life, particularly from a gerontological perspective. She holds the post of Lecturer in Health Services Research with Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University. Bernadette has recently completed work on the Study of Health Trainer Improving Patient Self-Management (SHIPS) study, led by Jo Protheroe, in which she explores the views of patients, health trainers and practice nurses on the usefulness of health trainers for those with low health literacy and Diabetes Mellitus.

   Evelyn McElhinney: Treasurer

Evelyn is a Nurse Lecturer in the Nursing and Community Health Department of Glasgow Caledonian's School of Health and Life Sciences. Evelyn completed her PhD - Living in 3D Social Virtual Worlds and the Influence on Health Literacy, Health Behaviour and Wellbeing in December 2015. In her PhD she argued for a social model of Health Literacy which included the multiple social skills and cultural competencies she found used by adults in a 3D social virtual world. These multi-literacies were similar to those found to be used by children and adolescents in the social web, avatar-based VWs and games. Evelyn was also involved in the steering group which created the Health Literacy Action Plan for Scotalnd. She has presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Her main interests are the use of new and emerging technology to promote HL, health and wellbeing.

  Mike Oliver

Mike is a Senior Health Improvement Specialist in the Public Health Directorate at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.  He is coordinating the City’s Health Literacy strategy and plan.  Mike is really keen to take the research into health literacy into practical projects, and is working with health care professionals, community groups and individuals to bring health literacy to life in Stoke-on-Trent.  Mike is also a Health Psychologist in training, with a deep interest in how the social determinants of health affect people’s health behaviour both individually and collectively.

   Emma Brooks: Website/Communications

Emma is an ESOL curriculum co-ordinator working in adult education, with extensive experience of material development. She is very interested in how language can act as a barrier to positive health outcomes and is currently conducting doctoral research into ante-natal provision in a superdiverse population. Emma also acts as an educational advisor (ESOL) on local breastfeeding working groups and local public health projects. 

 Sue Weir: Administrator 


 Sue is an experienced administrator at the Research Institute for Primary Care Services at Keele University. In her role for the Health Literacy Group, she is the point of contact for delegates, as well as responsible for organising our seminars and conferences.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Over the past year HLGUK has gone from strength to strength, promoting developments in the field and facilitating international collaboration. We continue to successfully raise the profile of Health Literacy in the UK, leading to both recommendations and a Call For Action by the Royal College of General Practitioners.