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Disaster Distress Helpline

[SAMSHA Press Release]

A disaster or tragedy is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the problems related to the severe snow storms in the Northeastern US.  The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy.

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services.

“When disaster strikes, people react with increased anxiety, worry and anger. With community and family support, most of us bounce back. Some may need extra assistance to cope with unfolding events and uncertainties,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “People seeking emotional help in the aftermath of a disaster can now call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 and begin the process of recovery.”

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence or any other tragedy affecting America’s communities. The Helpline complements the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other disaster response capacities, and is available immediately anywhere within the United States.

The helpline can also be accessed at and TTY for deaf and hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517.

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

MLA seeks new MLA News Editor

Looking for a chance to participate in MLA activities? Interested in keeping MLA members informed about professional opportunities, association projects, and resources relevant to health information professionals? If so, consider applying to be the next MLA News editor!

Current MLA News editor Laurie L. Thompson, AHIP, FMLA, will complete her term in May 2015.  A search committee is accepting applications through February 23, 2015, from MLA members who are interested in serving in this volunteer position.

For the full description go to

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume or CV, and three references via email to Elizabeth Lund, staff liaison to the search committee.

Please feel free to contact search committee members with questions: Jason Alden Bengtson, AHIP, Daniel Burgard, Melissa De Santis, AHIP, Beverly Murphy, AHIP, Meredith I. Solomon, AHIP, or Elizabeth Lund.

NN/LM NER Technology Improvement Awards and Exhibit Awards

The NN/LM NER still has funding available for the 2015-2016 contract year! Our Technology Improvements Awards and our Exhibit Awards are a great place to start.

Would you like to purchase a 3D printer for your library? Would you want to purchase an additional computer to improve resource access for your users? Or, purchase iPads to bring educational videos to the patients bedside. Maybe purchase equipment for a training room or expand your reach in an existing one. Do you have a different idea for a new technology that your library could purchase to improve or broaden electronic access to health information, but just can’t find the funds in your budget? Apply for a Technology Improvement Award!

Do you want to attend a local or regional conference to promote your library and would be willing to promote the National Library of Medicine as well? We’ll even lend you our displays and provide educational materials. We can help fund registration and fees, travel, and other related expenses for this type of activity. Just take the following steps to apply for funding.

Steps to apply for funding:

  • Explore our Funding Opportunities.
  • Contact Mary Piorun with your interest to apply.  Tell us about your potential project and how much funding you are seeking.  We can provide you with samples of successful proposals.
  • Plan and write your proposal/budget.
  • Submit your proposal by email.
  • Proposals are reviewed by the NN/LM NER, the National Library of Medicine, and a committee of NER Network Members.


It’s helpful to know your funder’s budget cycle. Our budget year is May 1 – April 30th.  Though, we have ongoing funding.  So, it’s always good to give us a call when you have an idea.  Projects are encouraged to start in May and wrap up by the end of April.  Smaller projects ($1,000 – $3,000) are often funded mid-year.

Proposal Planning Support:

We are always happy to consult with you about a potential project.  Also, currently Janet Cowen is working with us as a Project Planning Consultant.  We can connect you with her for tips and guidance to plan your project and draft your proposal.

Helpful Funding Resources:

Interested to learn more? 

Check out our recently redesigned funding site for more information.

Breaking an EHR system: a sandbox workshop

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region is offering this free class to its members.

Date: April 24, 2015

Place: Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Medical School

Time: 10AM-2PM

Instructor: PJ Grier, Outreach/Access Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Register at

Class Description:

The overall objective is to give librarians an opportunity to “touch and feel” the functionality of a certified electronic health record system (EHR-S) in a “safe harbor” demonstration environment. Because many health sciences librarians are currently excluded from accessing their institutional electronic health record system (EHR-S) on an operational, day-to-day basis, this class provides that opportunity, albeit in a “practice” environment.

EHRs are crucial building blocks in the formation of an encrypted national health information network. This is a key reason why health sciences librarians continue to be engaged in important EHR supporting roles within their respective institutions with regard to planning, deployment and even optimization efforts. Now is the time to start evaluating and identifying strategies of how health sciences librarians can best contribute to the value of an EHR from a daily operations, patient care perspective.

This course will access an EHR-S via actual use in a demo environment. Through guided instruction, lecture and videos, students will create practice authentication that will enable them to access and experiment with the functionality of a certified EHR-S. Practice system exercises include dashboard components such as charting, custom texts, adding/registering a new patient, alerts/warnings, medication reconciliation, patient scheduling, meaningful use and billing. From a clinical encounter perspective, there will be sufficient “sandbox” time to enter appropriate ICD-9 diagnosis codes and/or diagnosed health conditions, treatment plans and patient education information (via NLM’s MedlinePlus Connect query process), into the clinical narrative (SOAP Note) of a fictitious patient, as a “physician user”.

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