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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Resource Guides on Public Health Incidents

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently developed resource lists for three public health emergencies affecting both local and global communities. An incident Web page was created to gather resources on the emerging health issues arising from the Zika Virus. Two PDF documents on recent chemical incidents have been updated.  Links to these lists are included below and also can be found on our NLM Disaster Health home page. https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov

Please share these resources freely!

These resource lists link to a variety of sources such as:

  • Local, state, federal and international agencies and organizations
  • Database searches for the health information issues around the incidents
  • Social media resources for situational awareness

To keep up-to-date on these and other Disaster Health resources, please sign-up for our email updates: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNLMDIMRC/subscriber/new.

Submitted by Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS
Health Sciences Librarian
Specialized Information Services Division
Disaster Information Management Research Center
6707 Democracy Blvd.  Suite 510
Bethesda, MD 20892-5467
301-496-2742, phone
301-480-3537, fax
siobhan.champ-blackwell@nih.gov
https://twitter.com/NLM_DIMRC
“Support for librarians providing disaster information outreach to their communities.”

New Hampshire Focused Outreach Final Report

Monday, December 21st, 2015

From May 2014- April 2015, the Focused Outreach Project connected underserved communities in New Hampshire with the resources and services of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region and the National Library of Medicine.  NER identified project partners following key informant interviews.  NER staff worked with project partners to guide them through the funding process, provide initial training on National Library of Medicine resources, and ensure the projects fulfilled goals and objectives as identified in their proposals.

Project partners included:

  • City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services
  • City of Nashua, Office of Emergency Management
  • Concord Public Library
  • New Hampshire Area Health Education Centers
  • New Hampshire Community College Librarians and Nursing Educators
  • New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration
  • New Hampshire State Library

NER conducted a state-wide membership drive.  NER provided the New Hampshire State Library with membership packets to mail to libraries in New Hampshire that were not already NN/LM Network Members.  As a result of the membership drive, 29 libraries joined the network.

NER developed relationships with seven new project partners.  Each project partner used their own evaluation methods.   Several project partners shared the value of their experience partnering with NN/LM NER in their reports and publications:

“These activities served to significantly increase awareness of the multitude of reliable NN/LM resources and tools available that can help guide the development of evidence-based strategies for those developing Health Plans, provide information for professionals about clinical trials, improve knowledge of how to conduct PubMed searches, refer patients and families to MedlinePlus, and learn about the PHPartners.org resources that will ultimately provide better outcomes for patients.”  –Judy Proctor, New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Plan, Foundation for Healthy Communities, Final Report

“Janet Eklund, administrator of library operations at New Hampshire State Library, says the most important outcome to emerge from the project is the education of librarians and their confidence providing consumer health information. “Now, of course, they’re not going to be providing medical advice, but they’re comfortable in using the resource so that they can help educate their patrons to use it themselves,” Eklund says. “I think an increase in comfort level, knowledge, and skill is an excellent outcome for a program like this.” – By Lea Radick, American Libraries Magazine, Nov/Dec 2015

“Our partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine began before our Focused Outreach project through participation in an Extreme Weather Summit hosted by their team.  At the summit they convinced my Office of the importance of partnering with libraries to promote health and emergency preparedness initiatives.  With the support of NN/LM, we were successfully able to conduct an outreach project to promote preparedness to at-risk populations within our region with excellent technical assistance provided by our library.”  – Justin Kates, Director of Emergency Management, City of Nashua

The New Hampshire Focused Outreach Final report is available at:  http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/ner/33

Resignation: Hathy Simpson

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Please join us in congratulating Hathy as she transitions into her new position as Program Manager for the New England AIDS Education and Training Center. Hathy will continue to be a UMass employee working in the Center for Health Policy and Research in Commonwealth Medicine. Hathy and will be working at the South Street location. Heathy has been in a number of positions at the Lamar Soutter Library.  She began as a Research, Education, and Information Services Associate under Jim Comes provided reference services and developed and conducted training programs on EndNote and searching biomedical information from 2000-2001. From there she took on the role of Public Health Project Coordinator, Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Project (2002-2006) overseeing a research project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that evaluated research evidence for practice and assessed public health information needs creating the Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health website to provide access to journals, databases, evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews, and best practices for public health practice. Hathy’s next position took her into the RML as a Public Health Coordinator (2006-2011) focusing on outreach and training program targeted to state and local public health professionals to promote and increase the use of evidence-based information. Hathy’s current position began in 2011 when she took on the role of Project Coordinator for the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce Website Project. In this role she managed a national collaborative project funded by the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology, National Library of Medicine, NIH, to help the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health, and developed and managed content of the website, PHPartners.org, which provides access to credible public health information including health data and statistics, research reports, government publications, health policy resources, databases, and education and training materials.

 

As I said, Hathy has been in numerous positions while at the Lamar Soutter Library. She brought to the library an expertise in public health and applied that knowledge to how consumers and practitioners seek information.  We will all miss having Hathy as part of the library team and are wish her well as she brings her talents and dedication to another division of the medical school.

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”. https://webmeeting.nih.gov/p3n5k2rykp0/

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) https://nnlm.gov/evaluation , 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:   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0050876/  For more information about the Health Statistics Book Discussion Project, please contact Michelle Eberle or Margot Malachowski.

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