Big Progress in North Carolina

Thanks to an award from the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic (SE/A) Region, two state coordinators for North Carolina, Melanie Norton and Susan Hardee, organized an emergency preparedness program entitled, “It’s the Big One, Elizabeth!”  Helping NC Hospitals Plan for Information Access Following a Disaster. The event was held at two sites (Raleigh and Charlotte) over a two-day period, and featured Dan Wilson teaching “A 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” and Dr. Barbara Bisset, Executive Director of the Emergency Services Institute WakeMed Health System.  Following lunch, participants worked on developing a state-wide mutual aid agreement.

Dan Wilson’s Slides

10 Steps in Kentucky

Mary Congleton, the AHEC Librarian at the University of Kentucky Medical Library, taught the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” at the recent meeting of the Kentucky Medical Library Association.  She reports that the class was very well-received, and that the participants left with some ideas and tools for helping their libraries become better prepared for emergencies.  (Participants also received MLA CE credit for completing the class.)  Mary is the State Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness for Kentucky in the Greater Midwest Region of NN/LM.  She has been asked to present the class again at the University, helping to spread the word about the importance of looking at risk, developing procedures, and making plans for continuing service to patrons in an emergency.  Great work, Mary!

South Central Chapter/MLA Meeting

Last week, the South Central Chapter (SCC) of the Medical Library Association held its annual meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Dan Wilson and Stacey Arneson were the guest speakers at the final general session.  Dan reported on progress made at different regions of NN/LM and Stacey presented on new developments at the Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC).

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MC/MLA Chapter Meeting

At last week’s annual meeting of the Midcontinental Chapter/Medical Libraries Association in Breckenridge, Colorado, Dan Wilson and the staff of the MCR/NNLM presented a workshop on the 10 steps to service continuity.  Dan introduced the concept of service continuity and risk assessment and then each MCR liaison presented a step to the group by going around the room to different tables where participants were seated.  (See photos in Picture Gallery.)  Feedback about the presentation model was very positive.

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Progress in Alabama

Thanks to a grant from the Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the NN/LM, an Emergency Preparedness & Service Continuity meeting was held before the annual meeting of the Alabama Health Libraries Association (ALHeLA) last week in Mobile, Alabama.  Featured were Dr. Ronald Franks, Vice President for Health Sciences and Beverly Kellen, Practice Director, Student Health, University of South Alabama, who shared their thoughts on pandemic influenza planning.   In addition, Dan Wilson, coordinator, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, presented “A 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning,” and Beth Wescott, Network Access Coordinator for SE/A, spoke about services and support offered by the RML.

Much progress was made at the meeting.  All participants agreed to complete a service continuity PReP plan for their library and to participate in a future statewide table-top exercise.  Thanks to Jie Li, Assistant Director for Collection Management, University of South Alabama Biomedical Library, for organizing the event!

Beth Wescott

Pandemonium in Wyoming!

Many thanks to Jim Honour at the University of Wyoming in Laramie for sending us this report (quoting from Jim below…).  We hope to hear more details about the meeting soon, and are sorry to have missed it ourselves!

“Librarians from all six states in the MidContinental Region attended the Sixth Annual Wyoming Symposium for Health Information Professionals, July 15-17, 2009 at the Coe Library on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie.  This year’s theme was “Plowing Through Pandemonium:  Proactive Librarians.”  Most sessions focused on emergency preparedness for medical librarians.  A highlight of the event was a half-day brainstorming session, using the Cafe-to-Go method, when attendees (20 librarians and eight representatives of Wyoming community-based organizations) met to find ways to partner to make biomedical information available during emergencies.  Presentations during the Symposium included tips for using the WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), continuity of library services during an emergency, funding available through the MidContinental Region for emergency planning projects, an eyewitness account from a colleague who was in New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit, and a keynote presentation by the Director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.”

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SE/A EP&R Committee Meets in Tampa

The Emergency Preparedness & Response Committee for the Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) of NN/LM met at the Embassy Suites near the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL on July 14, amongst live oak trees with Spanish moss and crepe myrtle trees in full bloom–a Southern summer in full swing!  To see the State Coordinators, check out the picture in the Photo Gallery (not pictured–the West Virginia Coordinator).  In addition to the Region’s State Coordinators for emergency preparedness, the SE/A RML was represented by Executive Director Janice Kelly and Network Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator Beth Wescott.  During the morning session, the group heard an overview and updates on the past year’s progress of the NN/LM National Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan from Dan Wilson, Coordinator of the National plan.  Following Dan’s presentation, all state coordinators reported on the status of preparedness in their areas, which had all been fortunate during the past year, having escaped major damage or service disruption from hurricanes or tornadoes, two of the highest risks for the region.  Following the state reports from Maryland, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Puerto Rico, all the state coordinators participated in the ”train the trainer” session for the “10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” for health sciences libraries and information centers, providing some excellent feedback on the new curriculum materials.  SE/A representatives scored high, almost across the board, in the risk assessment exercise, due to the number of weather-related risks as well as port cities, and chemical and nuclear facilities. 

During and after lunch, Dan facilitated a discussion about issues to be addressed in the region such as methods of communication, “buddy library” relationships, and the roles of the RML and the state coordinators.   The consensus was that the group is well-positioned for continued progress with regard to promoting emergency preparedness in the states and across the region, and plans are underway for hosting and teaching classes and representing the initative within local and regional groups.