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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

APHA 2013

Friday, January 10th, 2014

By Stephanie Friree, MLIS, Outreach Coordinator, NN/LM NER

Having never been to the American Public Health Association annual meeting, I expected to be overwhelmed, similar to an ALA Annual conference. That was the only way that the conference failed to meet my expectations. While very large, it was manageable.

Prior to my arrival, I had looked at the schedule online and marked some sessions as must-see. The Film Festival had some fascinating short films. I regret I didn’t have more time to spend watching all of them.  Families with Autism: Let Them Stand Tall, was one that I was able to catch and it really opened my eyes to the experiences that families with autistic children go through. It highlighted four families from Hawaii.

The highlight for me was a presentation by Karen Dahlen, MLS, “Digital Access to the World’s Literature: A Blueprint to Integrate Evidence with Practice”. Since part of my day is spent working with Karen on a project creating digital libraries for Public Health Departments, I was eager to see what she had to say and she did not disappoint. When you work on small segments of a project, it is nice to see the big picture as it gets presented to the public.

While exhibiting at the NLM booth, I met a lot of Public Health professionals and students. It was great exposure to that audience and nice to be able to focus on a different area than what I normally do in my work. It’s always wonderful to hear from current users of our resources and I heard one moving story from a public health professional that had used our resources for personal reasons. He expressed great thanks at the ability to get authoritative information without institutional affiliation and the ability to find information on clinical trials. There were interesting questions about a wide range of resources, but PubMed was the most common resource for inquiries and I highlighted most frequently. Another key benefit of exhibiting was the chance to connect with some colleagues from other regions and NLM. It’s nice when we have the opportunity to talk in person.

If you will be attending this conference in the future, my best suggestion is to plan ahead! Look at the schedule and plan your days. It can be overwhelming trying to find a session to attend if you haven’t already narrowed down your choices to two or three (but the Film Festival was always an available option). There was a half hour of open time between sessions which allowed for plenty of time to get around the convention center. The number of sessions available and the broad range of topics, made this conference appropriate for anyone with an interest in Public Health. Next year the conference will be held in New Orleans, which is just one more reason to go if you have the opportunity!

Become a Champion for Coverage

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Today, October 1, 2013,  is the first day of open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace. For 2014, the Open Enrollment Period is October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014.  Uninsured citizens not enrolled by the end of March 2014 have to pay a fee and pay for all of their care. Coverage starts as early as January 1, 2014.  For 2015 and later years, the open enrollment period is October 15 to December 7 of the previous year.

In New England, some states participate in the federally facilitated marketplace, and others have state marketplaces. The Health Insurance Marketplace helps the public learn how to get insurance in each state. Maine and New Hampshire will use the site to enroll, compare coverage and apply for plans. New England states with their own marketplaces include:

Become a Champion for Coverage.

Libraries have the opportunity to become a Champion for Coverage.   Many libraries have already volunteered to be a Champion for Coverage.  There are many ways your organization can be a Champion for Coverage.  These include:

1) Send your patrons to the official consumer sources to learn about the Marketplace and get coverage ( and, 24/7 Consumer Call Center (800) 318-2596)

2) Send an email to your patrons regarding the Marketplace.

3) Post the and/or widget on your website.

4) Hang posters and/or give our factsheets and brochures about the Marketplace. (Libraries can order print materials at:

5) Host a conference call, webinar, or another education event about the Marketplace.

6) Include a story about the Marketplace in your organizational newsletter or other publication.

7) Record and send out a public service announcement about the Marketplace.

8) Have your staff/members learn about the Marketplace in educational sessions.

9) Connect with your partners/members/customers through official Marketplace social media channels to share their stories. (;; @HealthCareGov; @CuidadoDeSalud)

10) Provide space for enrollment sessions or fairs (ideally, with computers so people can check out the Marketplace online).

To be publicly recognized as a Champion for Coverage, complete this online form:


ACA Resources on UCONN Healthnet Subject Guide

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

[Announcement from UCONN Healthnet]

Looking for some quick links to Affordable Care Act information?

The long anticipated Affordable Care Act will soon be a reality. Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins October 1. Coverage may begin as soon as January 1, 2014.

Here’s a quick way to find information….
A new section of the UCONN Health Center Library’s Subject Guide, “Navigating the Health Care System,” has links to Affordable Care Act resources all in one place.

Click on the “Affordable Care Act” tab to see links to …
the federal government’s official website for health consumers, including a link to the Spanish language version, and the 24/7 toll-free phone number.

  • Access Health CT, the State of Connecticut’s new “Official Health Insurance Marketplace”
  • A chart describing the provisions of the new Health Care Law, in plain language, on the website of the Connecticut Office of the Health Care Advocate
  • A one-page overview of the new Affordable Care Act from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

These links will provide you with basic information….all in one online location.

Role of Librarians and the ACA

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

[Forwarded from NLM]

WebJunction’s web site has been updated to reflect a question related to the role of libraries and librarians and the Affordable Care Act:

“How can I explain the role of libraries in supporting the ACA to people who wonder how libraries are involved and what our role is?

Libraries have a long history of helping people access health information. A recent study supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that, in one year, 28 million people used a library computer to get health information.

We know that people will continue to go the library for health information and, as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, we can expect that many people will turn to the library for help. Librarians are experts at helping people find web sites and information they are looking for. Library workers can help people find CMS Navigators and certified application counselors in their area who have special training to help people make decisions about health insurance enrollment through the Marketplace.

Public libraries are located in nearly every community in the United States and are recognized as a valuable community resource, offering public meeting spaces, computers, and allowing for quiet conversations—making them a natural location for trained counselors to provide outreach and education efforts.”

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