Our work will focus on five themes or focus areas. These focus areas reflect the changing dynamics across all health care and health services institutions:
Health Care Workforce: This focus area is concerned with issues and trends related to the composition, distribution, preparation, and ongoing development of students and professionals in the health care setting. The Health Care Workforce area examines the information needs of diverse health care professionals, the education levels for health care certification, the expansion of health care access in rural and metropolitan areas, cultural competency in health care, among many other issues.
Healthy Communities: This focus area relates to approaches in community-based problem solving that address local health care issues. These problems or issues are usually related to preventive medicine, healthy lifestyle and behavior choices. Healthy Communities are based on a broader definition of health than previously considered, understanding common values and developing a shared vision and ownership of problem solving approaches.
Health Literacy: This theme deals with the communication of information and the critical literacy skills needed for personal and community empowerment. Promoting health literacy involves fostering new skills for health sciences librarians moving beyond acquiring a basic understanding of health literacy issues.
HealthIT: The HealthIT theme is concerned with the dramatic changes affecting health care by the mandated adoption of an Electronic Health Record (EHR). These changes are widespread and affect hospitals, large and small practices, and those state system offices charged with establishing its infrastructure.
eScience: This focus area will continue to explore the expansion of library services to include the management, curation, and dissemination of locally produced data sets resulting from large and small scale research. eScience describes the collaboration among computationally intensive science disciplines that create data sets that are captured, transported, stored, organized, accessed, mined, visualized, and interpreted in order to extract knowledge.
Our Communities of Interest will be groups engaged in the ongoing discussion of how a focus area affects the library and health information setting and how libraries prepare and respond to these themes. There will be five Communities of Interest that will correspond to the above focus areas. These Communities of Interest will consist of librarians and local experts who will explore a particular area and develop learning opportunities and other projects around that area.
Communities of Interest (COIs) can submit program proposals for all day programs to be organized for the region. COIs will organize online learning sessions either with a sponsored speaker or a panel of participants. COIs will also be involved in reviewing and scoring funding opportunities related to their focus area.