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New Roles for the Health Information Professional

Michelle BurdaSharing & Caring

Michelle Burda, Network and Advocacy Coordinator

As Network and Advocacy Coordinator, I plan programs with an emphasis on advocacy and changing roles for the information professional.  I serve as the liaison to hospital librarians in MAR as well as manage the region’s membership and resource sharing programs.  As a member of the NN/LM MedlinePlus Connect task force, my role is to promote the use of MedlinePlus Connect which links health IT systems, patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to relevant, authoritative patient health information from MedlinePlus.

I also offer training on NLM’s disaster information resources to librarians who will then be able to outreach to those non-library organizations that have disaster-related responsibilities.  It is exciting to be able to provide emergency responders with “critical information in the palm of their hand” through resources such as the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER).  You can read more about WISER in the CyberCast section of this newsletter.

Getting involved and learning about NLM’s disaster information resources is a perfect opportunity for librarians to expand their role in their organizations and explore a new area of interest.

Disaster Information SpecializationThe Medical Library Association (MLA) and NLM have developed a continuing education program in disaster and emergency preparedness, response and recovery.  A Disaster Information Specialization certificate can be received as recognition of participation.  There are 5 courses that are required for the basic certificate with additional courses being offered for an advanced certificate.  Some of the courses will be offered either in a classroom setting or online at no cost.  Acquiring this certificate will demonstrate to your institution that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to support them and your community in the event of a disaster or public health emergency.

If you have any questions about the Disaster Information Specialization program, please contact either myself or Kathleen Combs, Director, Professional Development, MLA at (312) 419-9094 x29 or mlapd1@mlahq.org.

While September is traditionally “Back to School Month”, it is also National Preparedness Month sponsored by Homeland Security.  The CDC is promoting the month with a campaign called Be Ready! National Preparedness Month with links to kits and preparedness plans.  Why not highlight one of these or NLM’s disaster health information resources in your organization’s newsletter, twitter feed or blog?  If you would like additional promotional ideas, please contact me at mburda@pitt.edu.

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