Bridges to Health Care Access

Raising awareness of the threats to health care access
and fostering "community" strategies for achieving best health outcomes.

Can't get an appointment with that specialist? Your primary care provider is suddenly gone? The procedure you need is postponedagain? With each passing day, we recognize more signs of health care's supply chain crisis. No surprise there. The population is aging, there's an epidemic of chronic illness and health care professionals are exiting en masse. It's time to ask: "Where will I be when the music stops?"

Jo Kline has now incorporated her unique expertise in demographics, the health care workforce and health literacy into an innovative initiative, Bridges to Health Care Access. To preserve rights to access, autonomy and safety, it's important to first appreciate what's propelling this perfect storm. Through Bridges, Jo unveils the hard facts being ignored by leadership andmost importantlythe crucial strategies individuals can use to achieve best health outcomes.

The mission of Bridges is to raise awareness of the threats to health care access and to implement strategies that benefit both individuals and their "communities," whether that is a small town, a faith-based organization, a retirement village, a neighborhood, an advocacy group, a business or an extended family. 

Learn about the Bridges to Health Care Access initiative through one or more of Jo's info-packed presentations:  

I. “Battling for health care access:  Where will you be when the music stops?” (20- to 50-minute keynote presentations)

Jo has a fix for health care's broken supply chain and she's ready to talk! If your organization or community gathering wants to host a thought-provoking and informative program, look no further than Jo's introductory presentation. Jo shares facts—not speculation—on patients’ and providers’ aging demographics, critical shortages plaguing the health care workforce and leaders’ failures to acknowledge this crisis. Then she introduces the key elements of her innovative initiative, Bridges to Health Care Access, with straightforward examples of how individuals and their “communities” can work to access health care and achieve best health outcomes. 

II. “Overcoming the Five Big Obstacles to health care access” (Two-hour program including a PowerPoint slideshow)

Once you've been introduced to the backstory of health care demographics and how you can overcome barriers to access, you can start prepping for the approaching perfect storm of health care. Health literacy is crucial to preserving rights to access, autonomy and safety; and being health literate isn’t as complicated as you might think. Whether an employer hoping to maximize health care benefits, a patient trying to manage chronic illness or a direct care provider suffering from burnout, self-advocacy starts with simple strategies leading to best outcomes. This presentation empowers health care consumers with straightforward actions steps to: 1) avoid being “invisible,” 2) befriend health care technology, 3) recognize the threat of medical errors, 4) properly manage medications and 5) practice effective care management. (This presentation follows the 50-minute introductory keynote. Contact Jo to discuss details and applicable pricing.)

III. “It takes a 'community' to build Bridges to Health Care Access” (Two-hour program including a PowerPoint slideshow)

Once you're familiar with the straightforward steps you can take as an individual to access health care and achieve best health outcomes, it may be time for your "community" to support the efforts of its members. Because even when you work to be an engaged and empowered health care consumer, there are still times when it takes teamwork to get the job done. Individuals working together can replicate many of the best parts of health care delivery now under threat, in spite of the demographics, in spite of the shortages, and in spite of systemic failures. Whatever brings together your “community,” having a sense of belonging improves health outcomes and overall wellbeing. And any “community” with the right strategies and determination can facilitate health care access and help members achieve best health outcomes. Bridges to Health Care Access integrates self advocacy with the support and resources of an existing microsystem. Jo’s customizable program is a win-win proposition for every health care partner: consumers, providers, insurers, employers and bureaucracies. (This presentation follows the 50-minute introductory keynote and “Overcoming the Five Big Obstacles to health care access.” Contact Jo to discuss details and applicable pricing.)

Click here for details about Bridges, then contact Jo at to discuss whether one or more of her presentations would be a good fit for your organization or community gathering.


Jo Kline is an attorney, a thought leader on health care access and founder of the Iowa Institute for Health Literacy. She began researching, writing and speaking about health care advocacy and patient safety over 20 years ago while serving as volunteer chair of Iowa’s largest hospice. Jo is a frequent contributor to print and online media, including her Des Moines Register 12-part series, “Health Literacy 101.” Her two most recent books, PATIENT OR PAWN? Epic fails in health care, the approaching perfect storm and strategies for self-preservation and The 60-Minute Guide to Health Literacy are reader-friendly and data-rich guides to patient advocacy and empowerment.

One-sheet for Jo Kline, J.D.