On the Bus with MedlinePlus
Anna Ercoli Schnitzer
Health Sciences Libraries
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
On Friday, May 15, 2009, several librarians from the University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries took part in the first employee health fair organized by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA). Bus drivers, bus mechanics, office workers, and their family members were encouraged to attend this event for health assessment and disease prevention: blood sticks for cholesterol and glucose readings, an ultraviolet screening for melanoma, prostate specific antigen (PSA) analysis, and other types of health testing.
Vendors included the local Visiting Nurses Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and similar organizations. In addition, free back massages were offered by a local firm; Whole Foods Markets gave out coupons and freebies; and a running shoe store exhibited its wares. There was also the possibility of winning a windshield screen, t-shirt, or water bottle by spinning a wheel of chance, as well as a $100 gift certificate—all as inducements to take part in the health fair. Healthy snacks were available: veggies, fruit cups, yogurt, and turkey franks.
In the midst of all this activity, throughout the day, the librarians had their own table from which they were offering reliable health information through distributing flyers (and pens) about MedlinePlus. It was a well planned and well organized event that elicited good feelings that time and, potentially, good health results in the future.