Kim Parson, Marin P. Allen, PhD, Wilma Alvarado-Little, and Rima Rudd, ScD, MSPH

Kim_Parson.pngKim Parson is a Strategic Consultant in Humana’s Healthcare Services segment where she represents the voice of the consumer. She helps teams develop and test new clinical communication strategies to improve people’s engagement in their health, leading to improved health outcomes and lower costs for members, employers and Humana.

Kim leads enterprise health literacy efforts sponsored by Humana’s chief medical officer. Since 2013, she has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy, which brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests who work to improve health literacy. To achieve its mission, the Roundtable discusses challenges facing health literacy practice and research, and identifies approaches to promote health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and private sectors.

Previous roles at Humana include defining the desired consumer experience with Humana as part of the corporate Consumer Experience Center of Excellence; identification of the commercial small group onboarding experience; identification of the holistic provider experience with Humana; and leading the Provider Interface team, which was responsible for helping providers and Humana reduce administrative costs by increasing provider self-service.

Kim uses human-centered design thinking and experiential learning in ideation workshops and futuring sessions to stimulate innovative thinking. This results in insights that serve as the basis for strategies designed to improve consumer experiences and patient engagement.

Kim joined Humana’s Innovation Center in 2006 as part of the Integrated Consumer Experience team that developed SmartSummary and SmartSummaryRx, the healthcare industry’s first comprehensive and personal consumer-focused health benefits budgeting, planning, and reporting statements. 


Contact Kim at: [email protected]

­­marin-allen770.jpgMarin P. Allen, PhD,is the Scholar-in Residence for the Science of Science Communication at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. Marin was the former Deputy Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) and Director of the Public Information Office in (OCPL), in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). OCPL is responsible for all phases of internal and external strategic communication. The Public Information Office is a focal point for health and science writing, health literacy, clear communication, plain language, cultural competency, and language access initiatives. It is also responsible for NIH programs and resources for the public including regular publications in print and on the web:  The NIH Record, NIH: News in Health, and Research Matters!  The Public Information Office also manages the NIH Visitors Center and the NIH Nobel Laureate Hall, special events, and grantee public information office relations. 

Prior to 2004, Dr. Allen was the Communication Director and Public Liaison Officer for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at NIH. She led the NIDCD’s first communications, legislation, and policy office programs.  Marin has 30 years of communications, public health education, outreach, and media relations experience. Before joining NIH, she directed public relations for Gallaudet University (GU) from 1988-1990. From 1981 to 1990, she was on the faculty and became a tenured, full-professor and Chair of the Department of Television, Film, and Photography in the School of Communication at GU during her service there. Prior to Gallaudet, Marin was a media specialist with the White House Conference on Aging. 

At the beginning of her career, she was a faculty member in communications at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Marin has two Emmy awards for programs she produced that aired for five years on the Discovery Channel and PBS. She was elected for two terms to the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences DC Chapter and as an emeritus member of the Board of the Council on International Non-Theatrical Events (CINE). She is a two-time CINE award winner. She has been involved in trans-agency efforts in health literacy, cultural respect, behavioral research communication, women’s health, and health communication. Marin is the NIH representative to the HHS working group on health literacy and has been a repeated contributor to Healthy People efforts for 2000, 2010, and 2020 in communications, health IT, and health literacy. During her academy experience, Dr. Allen has taught in all areas of public communication and health policy and developed a new course in Communicating About Health: Strategic Communication in the New Media Environment that she is teaching for the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  


Contact Marin at: [email protected]

AlvaradoLittle_Headshot_(2).jpgWilma Alvarado-Little addresses health equity issues from a linguistic and cultural perspective. In addition to her interests in public policy, research, and health literacy and health disparities prevention, she has been instrumental in the development and implementation of hospital and clinic-based programs and is a healthcare interpreter and trainer with over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare field.

She is the former Co-Chair of the Board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, serves as a member of the National Project Advisory Committee for the Review of the CLAS Standards, HHS Office of Minority Health, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy, and is the immediate past Chair of the New York State Office of Mental Health Multicultural Advisory Committee.

She also serves on boards at the state and local levels which address multicultural and language access issues.   She has a Master Arts degree in Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Social Welfare. Currently residing in New York, Wilma dedicates her time to issues involving the provision of linguistically and culturally appropriate health services nationwide. 


Contact Wilma at: [email protected]


Rima_Rudd2.jpgRima Rudd, ScD, is the Senior Lecturer on Health Literacy, Education and Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. She is considered one of the founders of this new area of research knows as health literacy studies. Dr. Rudd served as the Principal Investigator for the health literacy component of the Study of Adult Literacy and Learning, a 12-year effort funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and developed some of the earliest studies of links between literacy and health outcomes, provided the first two comprehensive reviews of the literature in the nascent field of inquiry, convened the first national conference address emerging issues, designed and implemented one of the first trials related to health literacy, and developed innovative programs for use in adult literacy programs, hospitals and professional schools.
Dr. Rudd conducted the first inquiry into literacy-related barriers of health and healthcare institutions and developed, tested, and disseminated the first audit tool, helping institutions identify factors that facilitate or diminish access to care and serves. This work has forged the way for the expansion of health literacy concepts and set the foundation for the current work to define and measure attributes of health literate organizations. Dr. Rudd helped shape health literacy related policy in the U.S. and in parts of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Contact Rima at: [email protected]