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Focused Outreach Vignette

Holyoke Public Schools Inservice for Health and Information Technology Teachers

In January of 2012, NN/LM NER taught an inservice for health and information technology teachers in the Holyoke Public School District. The class evolved out of the NN/LM NER’s Focused Health Information Outreach. Focused Health Information Outreach guides the work of NN/LM NER to reach two specific geographic areas each year: one rural and one urban. From May 2011 – May 2012, Holyoke, Massachusetts was the urban area for NER’s community engagement. To connect with the public schools, NER called the Superintendent’s Office. The Superintendent’s Office connected NER with the Director of Health, Science, Physical Education and Technology. Michelle Eberle met with the Director to teach her MedlinePlus and other National Library of Medicine resources for teachers. NER provided copies of the Resources for Teachers and the Lesson Plans from NLM handouts for the Director to give to all of her teachers.

On Jan 6, 2012, Michelle Eberle and Mark Goldstein taught an inservice at Holyoke High School for the Health and Information Technology Services (ITS) teachers working for Holyoke Public Schools. Most of the twelve teachers in attendance taught health for the elementary and middle schools. Mark prepared taught: ToxTown, ToxMystery and NIH LifeWorks. Michelle presented MedlinePlus. The teachers explored the sites hands-on in the High School Library. The teachers were particularly interested in the games and health check tools on MedlinePlus. At the end of the class, presenters asked what resources were most helpful. Teachers expressed much interest in both ToxTown and ToxMystery. Also, NIH Life Works was a big hit. NIH LifeWorks is a health and science career mentoring site. NN/LM NER will continue to present NIH LifeWorks for teachers to help support the healthcare workforce pipeline.

Michelle and Mark presented National Libray of Medicine resources with lesson plans and provided time for the teachers to explore each. The most popular site from this handout was the Visible Proofs exhibit which provided forensic views of the body. One of the health teachers was interested in a NN/LM NER presentation for the High School’s Health Professions Club. The evaluations were positive. NN/LM NER will continue to offer in-services for teachers in districts of our Focused Health Information Outreach. In the post-surveys, teachers shared what they liked most about the training: the variety of information that is available and learning how to use and find information on MedlinePlus, LifeWorks and Career Finder. Several teachers said they planned to add the resources to their class portals, and use them for student project. Public school teachers are a new audience for NN/LM NER training. NER plans to reach out to the public schools in Hartford, CT and Northern Worcester County (CHNA District 9).

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