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Stress and the Relaxation Response

[Guest post by Siobhan Champ-Blackwell]

WHEN:  Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM ET

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE:  The Disaster Information Specialist monthly webinar is free and open to everyone – please spread the word and invite others in your organizations, send to your email lists, and post to your social media accounts.

TOPICS:  “Stress and the Relaxation Response”

Stress is a very common reaction to disasters and humanitarian crises. Disaster-related stress affects the local population as well as the professionals and volunteers responding to a disaster. Even in the absence of a disaster, over 60% of visits (for any reason) to health care professionals are caused or exacerbated by stress for which there is no effective pharmacologic or procedural therapy. This presentation will focus on a counter-stress capacity –  the relaxation response. Its elicitation effectively counteracts stress and is therapeutic for a multitude of stress-related disorders. The relaxation response will be defined historically and physiologically. Its genomic underpinnings as well as its dramatic impact on health care resource utilization will be described.


Herbert Benson, MD, Director Emeritus Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine <> at Massachusetts General Hospital, Mind Body Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Manoj Bhasin, PhD, Director of Bioinformatics, Co-Director of Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center <>, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School; James E. Stahl, MD, CM, MPH, Section Chief, General Internal Medicine Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Associate Professor of Medicine Geisel School of Medicine.


To join the meeting at 1:30 pm ET, Thursday, October 8, click on

Meeting number: 627 830 517
Meeting password: 1234


Or, if you are in the area you can attend the meeting in person at our offices at 6707 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD, Suite 440. Park in the visitor’s parking lot (we will validate your parking), walk to the middle building (Democracy Two) and take the elevator to the 4th floor. Suite 440 is around the corner behind the elevators.


MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on this and past meetings, see

Guide to finding health information on Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events,

Hope you can join us!

Siobhan Champ-Blackwell
301-496-2742, phone
301-480-3537, fax

Specialization in Disaster Information, Level II, Medical Library Association, completed 2012

Announcing DOCLINE 5.2

NLM announces the upcoming release of DOCLINE 5.2, on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.


DOCLINE 5.2 includes several new features.  One allows lenders to set a “standard weekly schedule when library provides ILL service”.  5.2 also adds the ability for libraries to schedule multiple upcoming “out of office” dates along with a calendar date-choice widget. Lastly, temporary deactivation, i.e., “out of office”, no longer requires RML review.


To learn more about the upcoming changes, see the Release Notes:, which have helpful screenshots.


The Regional Medical Libraries and CISTI have had the opportunity to test the new version. They can answer any DOCLINE questions and provide assistance to libraries in their regions.   ILL software vendors Clio, ILLiad, QuickDoc, and Relais were given the opportunity to validate their software against DOCLINE 5.2.


DOCLINE and Loansome Doc will be unavailable for approximately two hours, October 14, from 6:00 am to 8:00 am Eastern Time while NLM makes the changes.

Know Your Chances:  Understanding Health Statistics Book Discussion

[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.

New Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects Funded

For the fifth year, NLM is funding projects for partnerships between libraries and organizations with disaster-related responsibilities. The partners will work together to improve the use of disaster medicine and public health information by librarians, health professionals, first responders, emergency planners and others responsible for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Projects will increase the use of high-quality online resources on disaster topics including those from the National Library of Medicine.


The 2015-2016 projects are:


  • City of Portland, Public Health District
    “Public Health Emergency Coordination with Libraries”
    Portland, ME
    In partnership with:
    Portland Public Library
    The City of Portland, Public Health Division and the Portland Public Library will develop the role of libraries in disaster health emergency response in Cumberland County, Maine through training library staff on preparedness and disaster health information and creating a role for library staff to assist during a public health emergency.


  • Saint Louis University Institute for Biosecurity and the School of Medicine Medical Library
    “The Value of Improved and Sustained Information access By Library Expertise (VISIBLE) in Missouri”
    St. Louis, MO
    In partnership with:

St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS)
Mid-Atlantic Regional Council for Emergency Response (MARCER)
Boone County Department of Emergency Management
Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA)

The Saint Louis University Institute for Biosecurity and the School of Medicine Medical Library are collaborating with four emergency management agencies across Missouri to increase awareness and knowledge of National Library of Medicine information resources among emergency responders and reference librarians through a train-the-trainer format. This project will expand the role of Missouri reference librarians by partnering with local emergency responders and will increase the capacity of Missouri emergency managers, disaster planners, public health professionals, and reference libraries to access accurate and evidence-based information on disaster topics.


  • University of Washington Health Sciences Library
    “RRAIN Washington – Response and Recovery App in Washington Phase II”
    Seattle, WA
    In partnership with:
    Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response
    Washington State Emergency Management Division

    The University of Washington Health Sciences Library, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Washington State Emergency Management Division aims to improve access to National Library of Medicine (NLM) disaster information resources in Washington by developing a project website and mobile application (app) for Android devices called Response & Recovery App in Washington (RRAIN Washington). This is a follow-on project to the RRAIN app created in 2014 for iPhone and iPad devices. The app is intended to enhance first responder decision making by providing easy access to reliable health information for statewide disaster response and recovery.



For further information about these and previous years’ projects visit:


The National Library of Medicine (  is the world’s largest biomedical library and provides extensive online health information resources. Visit the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center site (  to learn more about disaster-related health information resources and tools.

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