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Terri Ottosen, MLIS, AHIP

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Terri Ottosen



Terri is the Community Engagement and Health Literacy Librarian at the Health Sciences Library at UNC, Chapel Hill. She provides community outreach services, consultation, and instruction on topics like clear health communication, plain language, consumer health resources and patient education.

Terri has an extensive background and expertise in consumer health, patient advocacy and health literacy. Prior to joining the HSL team, she coordinated the consumer health program efforts for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, the outreach arm of the National Library of Medicine, for a large area of the Southeastern U.S. She has taught numerous classes, both in-person and online, on a wide variety of topics pertaining to consumer health. She has a track-record of passionately advocating for patient empowerment and engagement, and is dedicated to improving patient-physician communication. She is a knowledgeable health sciences librarian, who has years of experience working with health consumers, health professionals and librarians.



BA, Sociology, California State University, San Bernardino, CA

MLIS, San Jose State University, Fullerton Campus, CA

Patient Advocacy Certificate, University of Miami, FL

Health Literacy Certificate, Institute for Healthcare Advancement


Professional Activities

Association of North Carolina Health and Science Libraries (ANCHASL)

Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MAC)

Medical Library Association (MLA)

Distinguished Status, Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP)

Services and Expertise

She can provide assistance with:

  • Health literacy including:
    • Teach-back method
    • Reading level assessments and document review to improve the understandability and actionability of patient education materials
    • Workshops/Instruction in making print materials easier-to-understand using plain language
    • Workshops to the public on evaluating free health information on the web, and locating reliable and authoritative resources for specific health topics such as veteran’s health or consumer genetics
    • Improving patient-health professional interaction in verbal communications
  • Patient engagement
  • Consumer health
  • Last Updated: Jan 30, 2024 1:02 PM
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