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Award Report: Health Information Center Development–Lancaster General Hospital

“Health Information Center Development,” a project supported through an NN/LM MAR Small Project Award,  involved the Lancaster General Health Sciences Library partnering with professionals who work directly with senior citizens.  The three targeted collaborative groups were The Library System of Lancaster County, Lancaster County Senior Center personnel, and the Lancaster Activity Directors Association.

On April 26, 2011, the library hosted a session attended by senior center personnel from throughout Lancaster County. The session started off with a video that emphasized the issues—and possible consequences–associated with low health literacy.  The presentation then detailed information-seeking behaviors of seniors, clarifying the important role the targeted audience plays in supporting older adults in health information literacy.  In addition, recommended resources were demonstrated, including HealthyLancasterCounty.org, the Library System of Lancaster’s Health Information Network.  The portal is the gateway to numerous local and national organizations and resources, including MedlinePlus for Seniors, NIH Senior Health, and the National Institute on Aging, which were also individually explored in the session.

Participants were given the opportunity to provide feedback through pre- and post-session surveys.  Although not statistically significant,  all attendees answered “True” to the post-survey items indicating that the session had improved their ability to find good health information for seniors, and made them more confident in their ability to find good health information.  All participants received a mouse pad (pictured below) that included project information and a link to HealthyLancasterCounty.org, bookmarks to distribute to seniors at their work sites, and copies of selected government health-related publications, which they can also obtain on their own.  We look forward to following up with those who attended, as well as to expanding our outreach to others who would benefit.

Cynthia McClellan
Director, Health Sciences Library
Lancaster General Health

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