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Health Literacy Resources Refresher

Adequate health literacy is essential to health care, public health, and the way our society views health. Improving the health literacy of the population has been broadly recognized as an important goal and is one of the major objectives in the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology topic.   Health literacy is not just about reading — it requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations. For example, it includes the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems.

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RFI on the National Library of Medicine

Announcing a very important opportunity to contribute feedback of the value of the National Library of Medicine, and to directly influence the future of this organization.

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, has convened a Working Group to Chart the Course for the NIH National Library of Medicine. In particular, comments are being sought regarding the current value of and future need for NLM resources, research and training efforts, and services (e.g., databases, software, collections).

The working group has issued a Request for Information

Please submit your comments here.

Responses will be accepted through March 13, 2015.

Upcoming PNR Rendezvous February 19 with NLM Associate Fellow, Ariel Deardorff

“Identifying and Developing New Roles for Librarians: the National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship” is the title of current National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow, Ariel Deardorff.

Please note that this month’s PNR Rendezvous is on a Thursday.

February 19, 2015 at 1 PM Pacific (noon Alaska 2 PM Mountain)

Ariel Deardorff, Associate Fellow at the National Library of Medicine, will present an inside look at the Associate Fellowship program and discuss recent projects that showcase new areas of interest at NLM and new roles for librarians. Featured projects areas include data visualization, data management, policy, reference, and clinical terminologies.

To attend go to  and login as a Guest, using your own name.  Once logged into the web meeting, a pop-up box allows you to put in your phone number and the program will call you. If this does not happen, just call the 800 number and use the participant code that appears in the Notes box on the screen.

If you are unable to tune in live, we invite you to view a recording of the webcast, posted to the Rendezvous website later.

Most PNR Rendezvous webcast sessions are eligible for 1 hour of Medical Library Association continuing education (MLA CE) for attending the webcast and completing a brief online evaluation form at a website that is provided towards the end of the webcast.

As part of our Federal agency services regarding electronic and information technology resources being accessible to people with disabilities, closed captioning is available on this and future PNR Rendezvous webcasts.

National Wear Red Day is February 6

In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease*. On National Wear Red Day tomorrow, thousands of people, men and women, raise their voices in support of heart disease awareness and prevention, in efforts to help women learn their risk for heart disease. Show your support by wearing something red and encourage your neighbors, coworkers, friends and loved ones to do the same.

The first step toward heart health is knowing about your own risks. Some risk factors, such as history of preeclampsia during pregnancy or family history of early heart disease, cannot be changed.  Smoking cigarettes, being overweight, having a poor diet, or being physically inactive are also risk factors. Still others, such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, generally do not have obvious signs or symptoms.  To understand your own risk factors, talk with your physician; he or she can be an important partner in helping you identify heart health goals. Here are some tips on how to begin the conversation.

Women of all ages can take steps to prevent heart disease by practicing healthy lifestyle habits, beginning today. Get started by getting active with The Heart Truth’s #4MyHeart –a 4-week interactive challenge (plus a tip a day) designed to help you lower your risk.

Learn more about heart disease in women at MedlinePlus.

*According to the CDC and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

The Heart Truth logo

The Heart Truth logo is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Measles and Vaccinations

Fifteen years ago, measles was considered eliminated from the United States. However, in recent weeks the number of people infected with measles has gone up to 78 since an outbreak in California’s Disneyland.  In 2014 alone there were 644 reported cases in the United States. Many of those infected were never vaccinated for various reasons.  One of the primary reasons is parent’s fear or concerns regarding the measles vaccine.  Many people may not realize the devastating effects measles can have and therefore do not fear the disease but tend to fear the vaccine due to hearing about possible side effects and reports of its link to Autism which more recent research has disputed

According to the Center for Disease Control, measles is a very contagious disease.  It remains active in the air and on surfaces up to 2 hours.  Generally, symptoms appear about 7-14 days after exposure and often with cough, runny nose, fever, and watery eyes.  Two to three days after first symptoms begin, white spots appear inside the mouth. Following that, a rash begins, starting at the head and spreading down to the rest of the body, usually appearing about 3-5 days from the first signs of being sick.  Serious complications from measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis, which can lead to long-term deafness or brain damage. There is no known cure for measles. Read more »

Mobile Data Solutions Course

  • This is a guest post written by Nikki Dettmar, Evaluation Librarian, Outreach Evaluation Resource Center

Mobile Course screenshotsAre you curious about the use of smart phones, tablets, or other mobile data resources to collect data for your assessment project, but are seeking more information on how to determine if this is the right approach for your project or program and how to process the data you collect using this method?

Check out, which was created as part of the Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project, with expertise provided by U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Digital Development Lab and designed by TechChange.

The primary goal of this freely available and accessible online course (free registration is required to access it) is to learn more about mobile tools, processes, and strategies for data collection in order to use mobile devices (referred to as mobile data solutions) to their full potential in doing so. The course will take about 2 hours to complete and can be done at your own pace over time. Your progress in the course is saved so you’ll be taken to the point where you stopped to continue learning the next time you access it.

The learning objectives of the course are

  • Describe examples of mobile data solutions from collection through visualization
  • Articulate the benefit of using these solutions
  • Analyze the challenges and limitations associated with mobile data solutions
  • Assess whether or not particular mobile data solutions are appropriate for a project, program or problem
  • Outline how to design a project or activity to include mobile data solutions
  • Explain the steps involved in implementing mobile data solutions
  • Summarize how to analyze, visualize, and share mobile data