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Cecilia and Leonard Doak
Health Literacy Champion Award

Health Literacy Media established the Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award to honor individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in health literacy and whose work focuses on bridging the gap between the skills of people and the demands of the health care system.

About the award

Steve Pu, DO.jpg

2023 Awardee

Dr. Steve Pu, D.O.

Health Literacy Media is pleased to announce that health literacy innovator, Dr. Steve Pu, D.O., is the posthumous recipient of the 2023 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion award. Dr. Pu, a general surgeon and wound care specialist who helped create the organization that would become Health Literacy Media, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2019.


Dr. Pu’s advocacy for health literacy and patient-centered health care were the central focus of his career in medicine. He championed improved communication between clinicians and patients as an international speaker, consultant, and through his many state and national appointments.

Join us virtually for the award presentation 

Join us as we honor Dr. Pu. with the 2023 Doak Award! The award will be presented by Catina O'Leary, with comments from Dr. Stephen Griffith and Dr. Will Ross, at the 2023 Health Literacy Summit.

October 17, 2023 at 12:30 pm CST

Date & time

History of the award

The award, named after two other founders of the health literacy movement, is presented to a single individual or organization each year and recognizes those who exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment over a sustained period of time, and who are creative and highly skilled pioneers in the health literacy field. The award recognizes rigorous work and celebrates collaborative efforts to shape a path to good health.

Past awardees

Previous Health Literacy Media Doak awardees include:

  • Dr. Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General of the United States

  • Michael Villaire, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement

  • The late Dr. Andrew Pleasant

  • Dr. Cynthia Baur

  • Dr. Ruth Murphey Parker

  • Dr. James Kimmey, past president of the Missouri Foundation for Health and a key founder of Health Literacy Missouri

  • Dr. Rima Rudd.

Past awardees
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