Increasing Health Literacy with Fotonovelas

The popular USC School of Pharmacy fotonovela series combines health information with dramatic storytelling and photography. Published in both Spanish and English, more than half a million booklets have been distributed at safety-net clinics, health fairs, pharmacies and other locations to date, providing information to at-risk populations in a culturally sensitive way.

These health education tools fill crucial knowledge gaps, conveying information in a way that encourages behavioral changes.

Below are 10 fotonovelas produced on topics ranging from diabetes to breast cancer and pediatric asthma to immunizations.

“Lucia’s Llama Drama” (“Lucia y el drama de la llama”)

Managing hypertension (published 2019).

“Gloria Takes the Leap” (“Gloria da el gran salto”)

Breast cancer and the importance of mammograms (published 2017).

“Infectious Rumors!” (“¡Rumores infecciosos!”)

Dispelling myths about immunizations; the importance of getting vaccinated (published 2016).

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“Rosa Out of Control” (“Rosa fuera de control”)

Prevention and treatment of childhood obesity (published 2011, revised 2012).

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“Forgotten Memories” (“Recuerdos olvidados”)

Recognition of and treatment options for dementia (published 2010, revised 2012).

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“Oscar and the Giant” (“Oscar y el gigante) 

Improving the management of and drug compliance for pediatric asthma (published 2010).

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“Fiesta Fiasco” (“Fiesta de fiasco”)

Medication adherence (published 2009).

“Secret Feelings” (“Sentimientos secretos”)

Depression (published 2009).

“Sweet Temptations” (“Tentaciones dulces”)

Diabetes management and the risks and myths associated with the disease (published 2006, revised 2012).

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“What My Girlfriend Didn’t Know” (“Lo que no sabia mi novia”)

Folic acid and its importance in reducing birth defects (published 2002).

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For more information on the fotonovela project, including printing and licensing, please contact Gregory Molina, producer, at or (323) 442-2252 or Mel Baron, PharmD, project director, at or (323) 442-2686.