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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Know Your Chances:  Understanding Health Statistics Book Discussion

Monday, October 5th, 2015

[Guest post by Margot Malachowski]

In March 2014, the Healthy Communities COI hosted a webinar entitled “Know Your Chances: How to Become a Better Consumer of Health Statistics”.

The webinar was led by Steven Woloshin, MD, MS and Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, authors of Know Your Chances:  Understanding Health Statistics. This lively book aims to promote a healthy skepticism of touted health claims, and supports consumer decision-making by demonstrating easy ways to look at health statistics.  After the webinar, the Healthy Communities COI developed the Health Statistics Book Discussion Project for librarians. The project ran from June 2014- May 2015. Our idea was to support librarians who wanted to use Know Your Chances to spark conversations in their communities. Twelve librarians participated in this project. Book discussions were offered for a variety of audiences, including a public library book group; a support group meeting; a professional development meeting for librarians; a professional development event for medical interpreters; and a class for seniors.

In collaboration with the NN/LM OERC (Outreach Evaluation Resource Center) , the Health Statistics Book Discussion Project developed a post-survey for discussion participants and a host-survey to send to the sponsoring institutions.  Results showed that participants and the host organizations benefitted from the book discussions.  Fifty-five participants completed the post-survey and six hosts completed the host-survey.

When asked, “will you do anything differently after reading the book”, 67% of participants replied yes.  When asked “if yes, what will you do differently?”, most participants shared that they would be more critical and skeptical about study results.  At several of the book discussions, participants were asked to write their take-away on a post-it note.  One participant stated that “numbers are useless without understanding their full context.”

When asked, “Did attending the discussion add to your understanding of the book?”, 47 out of 55 participants responded “yes,” 7 out of 55 participants responded “not sure,” and 1 participants responded “no.”  Response to “If yes, how?” included:

  • Listening to the comments of other participants added to my own understanding of the book.
  • A clearer understanding of the pros and cons and how to weigh them out for your own personal situation.
  • The book was a lot to digest, so good to discuss.  Handouts valuable and information concerning online sites and hospital librarian valuable, too.

All hosts thought the book discussion benefited their community and agreed that it contributed to their organization’s mission.  In particular, the book discussion provided an opportunity for life-long learning, helped people make more informed decisions about their health, and created a better understanding of health communication related to statistics.

Know Your Chances:  Understanding Health Statistics is a quick read and is freely available online on the PubMed Health bookshelf at:  For more information about the Health Statistics Book Discussion Project, please contact Michelle Eberle or Margot Malachowski.

First offering of NCBI NOW (Next generation sequencing Online Workshop) to begin October 13, 2015

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

From October 13th to October 23rd, NCBI will present the first iteration of NCBI NOW, a free online experience aimed at those new to next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis. Enrollment in this course is limited to the first 1,000 participants who sign up through the ORAU Portal: Since enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, please only sign up for this educational opportunity if you will be able to participate fully.

Learners will watch 6-7 videos (average video duration: 45-60 minutes) online during the first 7 days of the course. These videos will cover the basics of NGS data, preprocessing, quality control and alignment strategies for both DNA-Seq and RNA-Seq, as well as a brief discussion of downstream analysis. Additionally, we will demonstrate how to leverage BLAST tools for NGS analysis.

Next, participants will apply a selection of RNA-Seq alignment algorithms over three days (1-2 hours per day), mapping RNA-Seq data to GRCh38 chromosome 20. Finally, participants will compare the results of these mappers for specific genes. Throughout the course, participants will be able to post questions at Biostars; experts from NCBI and elsewhere will be available online to answer questions.

Learners will emerge from the course equipped to map their own RNA-Seq or DNA-Seq data to the human genome, understand the options for downstream analysis, and use their understanding of the basic steps of data processing to interact more effectively with bioinformatician collaborators.

Planning & Evaluating Health Information Outreach Project

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Is your library committed to making inroads with community partners? We invite you to learn outcomes-based planning in an online group setting. Our group will explore health information outreach project planning. Examples of community outreach include: inviting a community partner to do health screenings at your location; hosting wellness classes taught by a community partner; teaching health information classes at a community partner’s location; or collaborating with partners to bring in guest speakers on health topics. We will use the Planning & Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects Booklets, a series of three booklets from The Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC).

Getting Started with Community-Based Outreach
Thursday, October 29th 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
We’ll discuss the best approaches to get organized to perform a literature search, identify our stakeholders and gather community information.

Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Projects
Tuesday, December 1st 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
Come learn how to connect activities to outcomes with a logic model. Participants will have a chance to share ideas for outreach to community partners and get feedback from others.

Collecting and Analyzing Evaluation Data
Thursday, January 14th 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) leadership will go over the ins and outs of data collection methods. We will learn how to analyze data for quantitative methods and qualitative methods.

Health Information Outreach Project Planning and Evaluation Showcase
Tuesday, April 12th 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
Share your completed worksheets and activities from the Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects booklets. The showcase is open to all NER network members interested to learn more about getting started with community-based outreach, planning outcomes-based outreach projects, and collecting and analyzing evaluation data.

What You Will Get from the Experience:

  • The Planning & Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects Booklets
  • Peer support for planning outreach to community partners
  • Independent study of booklets in advance of group discussion
  • 8 Medical Library Association Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) CE units

If you participate in all for sessions of this project, you will only need 4 other MLA CHIS credits to qualify for the MLA CHIS Level 1.

Register on our training calendar.

You can attend all or teleconferences of your choice. We hope you will attend all.

This project is led by Margot Malachowski (Baystate Health), Michelle Eberle (NN/LM NER), Cindy Olney (NN/LM OERC), and Karen Vargas (NN/LM OERC) and sponsored by the NN/LM Healthy Communities COI (Community of Interest).

October is National Medical Librarians Month

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Our NN/LM NER Network Members are the strength of our organization. To celebrate National Medical Librarians Month, the NN/LM NER will highlight our network members. We would like to feature profiles about information professionals in the New England Region.  This will begin in October and continue throughout the year. Our goal is to learn more about you and what you do as well as provide an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge with the New England Region. Please let us know if you would like to be featured! No special accomplishments are required, we just want you to share what you do. Contact Meredith Solomon, or 508-856-5964.  Please put “National Medical Librarians Month” in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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