January 23, 2018

McKee appointed to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy

Michael M. McKee, MD, MPH
Michael M. McKee, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor

Michael M. McKee, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, was one of seven new appointees to the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Roundtable was established in 2005 to build upon the work of the Institute of Medicine consensus report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. It brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests who have an interest and role in improving health literacy. 

As a physician with a hearing loss, McKee is especially interested in advocating for the rights of Deaf and hard of hearing patients to obtain equitable health care. His research focus includes health disparities for individuals with various disabilities, health information accessibility, health literacy, and telemedicine applications. He is also interested in the application of eye trackers and mixed methodologies to study how individuals acquire health information through visual and incidental learning opportunities

health info lab logo
Health Info Lab study site

McKee is currently the primary investigator of a five year health literacy and health disparities studies, focused on deaf populations. The project titled "Mechanisms of Health Literacy and Information Accessibility in the Deaf" is funded by an RO1 grant from National Institutes of Health. The mixed methods study will examine the role of information marginalization on health literacy in Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. It seeks to better understand the mechanisms of health literacy in deaf signing populations, so as to identify viable targets for future health literacy intervention development.  The study will also assess how varying levels of hearing loss affects individuals' abilities to access and comprehend health information and health literacy adequacy. The study is currently enrolling 900 deaf and hearing participants across three study sites in the United States (NCT03093779).

McKee leads a national team of investigators, which includes partners at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, the Deaf Health program at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. More information about the study can be found at McKee's Health Info Lab website. The project is supported by Kelley Wyse, M.A., project coordinator in the department of family medicine.


Additional resources

  • Read McKee's 2015 research in the Journal of Health Communication "Assessing Health Literacy in Deaf American Sign Language Users."
  • In June 2016, the NASEM Roundtable on Health Literacy co-sponsored a workshop on the intersections of health disparities, health literacy, disabilities, and health equity. Proceedings from that meeting can be found here
  • Browse the latest disability health research from the Department of Family Medicine