Closing Remarks: Richard Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., Surgeon General
Surgeon General's Workshop on Deep Vein Thrombosis
[Dr. Carmona's comments are paraphrased here.] I have heard during this meeting about a number of priorities related to DVT, including the need for new approaches to education and training. But the biggest issue relates to the health literacy of the public and health professionals. The big challenge is not the science; we have access to the best minds in the world. The challenge is in taking the best science and translating it in a culturally competent manner to thousands of individuals so that they understand the need to change their behaviors so as to improve care and outcomes. Promoting health literacy, in fact, is the primary goal of this Surgeon General, and that is why I emphasize the need for companion documents that accompany Surgeon General reports. These are known as "people's pieces," and are written at a sixth or seventh grade level.
Based on what I have heard, I am authorizing the development of a Surgeon General Call to Action on DVT. The goal of this effort will be not only to reach all health professionals, including physicians, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, and others involved in treating this multifactorial disease, but also to reach the public at large, so as to create greater awareness of and demand for appropriate prevention and treatment of DVT.