Moral socialization has an interesting caveat to that provides group-thinking to play a significant role in shaping an individual’s sense of integrity and moral attributes. The moral environment inherently plays a significant role in our actions as we grow from supervised children to independent adults. Personal behavior and moral socialization is intertwined as an individual becomes acclimated to his/her environments and correlating actions commence in line with one’s moral socialization process. Yet, the tendency to moralize one another’s behavior can be disadvantageous to shared identification purposes (Chris M. Bell 2008)

The capacity for personal humanity to be shaped by wisdom traditions and moral capabilities to be emboldened by societal influences such as religion, ethnicity, geographical factors and other variable factors is undeniable. The differentiating societies such as traditional societies, which may delve into a communal pattern can prove to contest in societies where the autonomy of an independent person supersedes the communal thought process. My personal upbringing within an immigrant family taught the importance of communal thought and I believe my family upbringing was my first true experience with moral socialization.


Conscious Leadership

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Just because you are efficient in completing your job and are able to navigate information systems within your organization, it does not mean that you are qualified to be a leader.(Heifetz,Grashow, and Linsky, 2009) Instead, being a leader, especially a conscientious one, involves being able to first of all identify those priorities that carry real value to you. Then the challenge is to earn buy-in from others even if this means basic systems within the organization have to change. For example, someone with authority can train employees on how to use a new phone system, but someone who practices adaptive leadership can lead a change in culture where employees are respectful of each other in all their communications.

Leadership must also be ever vigilant. Systems that fail often fail because of issues with organizational dysfunctions, group dynamics, and individual cognition issues.(Martin, 2011) Leaders should always be aware of the strengths and weaknesses within their organizations. Proactively analyzing where problems exist is a continuous process, and only a leader who is truly engaged can stay on top of the shifting dynamics within their organization. Addressing problems in the group dynamic can alleviate the potential for serious problems. Examples of this can be seen in many of the errors that used to occur in operating suites (wrong arm taken off, for example). Running an operating room takes an entire team of people for just one surgery, and the dynamics were often such that the surgeon was treated as the king of the castle. As such, no one questioned his decisions or they faced social pressures such as belittlement and group strain. This culture was addressed and a new culture of safety was implemented in many hospitals across the country in the 1990s. Now team members are encouraged to ask questions and someone who treats others uncivilly will be the one who is ostracized from the group. As a result, near misses are caught more often, and hospitals have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of wrong site surgeries.

When a leader is not acting conscientiously, they often seem unengaged with their staff. This may be because the initiative or value the leader is promoting is contradictory to their own values, and the distance allows them some ability to rationalize away their own behavior. Also, the leader may not want to be confronted by staff who question the new direction the leader has taken.

One way to respond to challenges concerning your own leadership is to maintain an open and honest dialog with your challenger. It could be that the person who is questioning your integrity merely misunderstands why you have come to the conclusion you have. If your stance has changed on an issue, it is important for those you lead to understand why your stance has changed. They may or may not agree with the reasons for your change in stance, but your integrity will be more apparent than if you simply refuse to discuss the change. Others will view a submission (without reflection) to a contrary position as a flaw in your personal integrity, whether from weakness, ambition, etc.

Healthcare – A Universal Right

Should you get healthcare if you don’t have money to pay for it?

Who should pay for your treatment : the doctor? the hospital or the government ?

We have a right to healthcare without paying cash out of our pockets , but we have a duty to be able to pay for it, and this means having insurance. We also need to have access to affordable insurance .

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Design a Public Health Website for a Limited-Literacy Audience

Not everyone who is looking to gain public health information from a website has heard of Twitter or shares information on Facebook.  There has been extensive research done on what makes an effective public health website for those users who may access the internet, but be less technologically inclined, for a variety of reasons. This will highlight some of the important considerations when designing a web site for the public health audience with limited technology knowledge.

A Better Attempt to Include “Everybody”

Although Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” would have you believe that technology is shining the light on the informational and organizational potential of technology, there remains a large portion of “everbodies” that still stand in the shadows.  These are often the people most in need of public health services: the uneducated, those without resources for technology, and the elderly.  A crucial consideration is understanding the target audience and tailoring the web design to maximize the reach to those who may find the medium more challenging.

  • Half of Americans have limited literary skills
  • 90% of Americans have limited health literary skills

Given these statistics, important design considerations include

  • Cleary written information
  • Simple, uncluttered design
  • Easy naviagtion

This has been shown to improve the usability of a site,not just for those with technology challenges, but for all users.

Limited Literacy Users Read Differently

Those who have limited literacy skills read differently than a competent reader.  Instead of skimming a site for the information they:

  • Read every word
  • Skip over entire blocks of text
  • Start clicking on links before beginning to read

To avoid the distractions that these reading patterns create:

  • Short chunks of text (3 sentences or less is optimal)
  • Bulleted lists
  • Limited results in a search feature
  • Minimize needing to scroll
  • Focus content in the middle and avoid information blocks in the margins
  • Put the most important information first
  • Use center aligned navigation tabs
  • Use “previous” and “next” buttons to simplify navigation

An Example Web Site

Below is an example of a health website for girls aged 10-16.   The notable features are the

  • Top-center navigation tabs
  • Bulleted listsB
  • Blocks with themes
  • No marginal text
  • Simple navigation buttons “Learn More”
  • Appealing visuals.


For more information on public health website design and limited literacy, or limited health literacy audiences

Health Websites: Opportunities, Failures and Tips for Success

The world wide web provides us with a near infinite fountain of information on a day-to-day basis. The opportunity that this represents for the world of public health should not be lost on anyone. In fact, according to Cline and Haynes’ study entitled ‘Consumer health information seeking on the Internet: the state of the art,’ there are more than 70,000 websites that provide information about health and over 50 million people worldwide that use the internet to find health information. Health websites are a valuable resource for public health professionals and the public for a myriad of reasons, including near universal access to information, the ability to tailor information to specific individuals, the opportunity for interactivity, community building and support groups, and the ability to remain anonymous when it comes to private health issues and concerns (Cline and Haynes).

Despite these clear benefits, studies have shown that websites that cater to health are often not as successful as they ought to be. In one study, ‘Use of a Website to Accomplish Health Behavior Change: If You Build It, Will They Come? And Will It Work If They Do?‘ it was shown that of 7706 participants that were recruited to test the efficacy of an interactive health website, only 169 or 2.2% actually used it.

No matter how useful the information and features of a website are, it can only be useful if people engage with it. That is why it is important to make sure websites are as user-friendly and appealing as possible. Here are some tips for getting your website to be used actively by your target audience:

  • Keep it simple
    •  One of the number one reason that  websites fail is due to information or design overload (Cline and Haynes). Be sure to use headings and text with plain and understandable language, and to write short and sweet paragraphs. Do NOT over design your website and be sure to stick to dark text on light background, if not good old black on white.
  • Translate the site into the languages of your target audience
    • Many public health websites have a button on the top right corner allowing visitors to select their language. It is critically important not to leave out anyone in your target population due to language barriers! Here, not only offers a Spanish version of their website, but also offers a larger text version for the seeing impaired.
  • Make the site interactive
    • Adding ways for visitors to interact with your website in order to make it more personal to their needs is a great way to keep people actively engaged. Consider adding live chats, or features such as the ability to check off symptoms, or inputting  age, gender, etc to tailor information to specific users. Here WebMD allows visitors to check off their symptoms according to their age and gender in order to cater results to their specific issues.
  • Demonstrate your legitimacy
    • Cline and Haynes discuss the importance of establishing your legitimacy and authority on health issues due to the sea of information on the web and the difficulty the average user has with discerning between the good and the not so good. Be sure to have a fleshed out ‘About Us’ section, in which you state your credentials as well as disclose your mission and any possible conflicts of interest. You should also be sure to allow for feedback and peer review to ensure that there is a self-corrective mechanism for the site’s information. Finally, be sure to always cite sources when presenting news and/or research so users can follow up and feel confident in the reliability of your information.Follow this link to UNICEF’s Who We Are page for an example of a job well done.
  • Update continuously
    •  Finally, be sure to keep your site updated! If news, links and/or information appear outdated you will lose your audience.

Best of luck, and let us know in the comments if you have any additional tips!

What I Want In A Health Web Page


This week we read about the Diffusion of Innovations theory which looks at how, why, and at what rate new ideas spread through cultures. So what influences the spread of new ideas? You have the innovation itself, communication channels, time, and a social system. The type of reception from the general public will determine whether the idea/innovation will be self-sustainable. So what makes for a “good” web design?

First of all, I like simplicity. Minimal, yet informative information is much easier for me to swallow than a huge block of text and links to a million different resources. I want to know what you have to offer me and why I should buy into it. If I want to know any further details, there should be contact information readily available on the website.

Here is an example from

Here is an example for a simplistic design from

I also need a lot of visuals and what I learned when exploring websites this week is that interactive scrolling or some sort of fluidity in the text is extremely appealing to the eye. There’s an ease and simplicity about scrolling down a page with visuals and important information that makes me WANT to continue reading.  This is similar to when iPhones first came out and you had the capability of swiping through your pages of apps on your phone. If the navigation system of page comes down to simply knowing how to scroll, I’m sold. Every Last Drop is a great example of this.

Lastly, I like the use of video. Every Last Drop embedded a video at the very end of the webpage (when you can no longer scroll any farther) for those interested in learning more about the cause. I love the design of this webpage because it’s approachable, user friendly, and fun to look at. Video helps make the idea you’re trying to convey even clearer. Sometimes reading even simplest of text can be confusing and it takes hearing the idea for the message to sink in.

So simplicity, contact information, navigation, visuals, and video are all things that need to be nailed in web design in order to have me (and the general public) sold.