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Christina Zarcadoolas

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  • M.A., SUNY Stony Brook

  • Ph.D., Brown University

  • B.A., Barrington College


    Professor Christina Zarcadoolas is a sociolinguist. She is a nationally recognized expert in health literacy and public understanding of health and science. Her research focuses on analyzing and closing the gaps between expert knowledge and public understanding of health and environmental issues. Dr. Zarcadoolas is Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty of Mount Sinai she was on the faculty of Brown University.

    Her critically acclaimed book, Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action, (co-authored with Andrew Pleasant, PhD., and Dr. David S. Greer, Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2006) develops an elaborated model of health literacy in terms of fundamental literacy, science literacy, civic literacy and cultural literacy. A review of the book in the New England Journal of Medicine referred to it as "required reading" for public health professionals responsible for developing new tools for communicating with patients and the general public.

    Her applied social research is presently focused in three broad areas of public health: chronic disease management, informatics, and emergency preparedness communication.


Zarcadoolas C, Timm E, Bibeault L. Brownfields: a case study in partnering with residents to develop an easy-to-read print guide. J Environ Health 2001 Jul-Aug; 64(1): 15-20.

Zarcadoolas C, Blanco M, Boyer JF, Pleasant A. Unweaving the Web: an exploratory study of low-literate adults' navigation skills on the World Wide Web. J Health Commun 2002 Jul-Sep; 7(4): 309-24.

Pal FI, Zarcadoolas C. Interplay of Perception, Culture and the Media in the Enforcement of Philippine Coastal and Fishery Laws. UPV J of Nat Sci 2002; 7(1&2): 214-22.

Zarcadoolas C, Pleasant A, Greer DS. Elaborating a definition of health literacy: a commentary. J Health Commun 2003; 8 Suppl 1: 119-20.

Borkan JM, Zarcadoolas C, Pleasant A, Goldman R, Thomas M, Bell J, Scott HD. The view from the trenches: primary care practitioners' views of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Med Health R I 2004 Nov; 87(11): 347-9.

Rudestam K, Brown P, Zarcadoolas C, Mansell C. Children's asthma experience and the importance of place. Health (London) 2004 Oct; 8(4): 423-44.

Zarcadoolas C. Environmental Literacy. Literacy Update 2005 January; 14(3): 1.

Zarcadoolas C, Pleasant A, Greer DS. Understanding health literacy: an expanded model. Health Promot Int 2005 Jun; 20(2): 195-203.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Zarcadoolas during 2015 and/or 2016. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.


  • MAXIMUS Inc.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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