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2005 Outreach Project Awards Begin

by Linda Milgrom, Outreach Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region

The Regional Medical Library is pleased to announce four new Outreach Project Awards. This year, network members in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska will be collaborating with local agencies in a variety of health information activities. Pedometers? Radio spots? Satellite and cable broadcasts? Yes, library colleagues will be using these and other innovative “avenues” to share information skills and support trainings.

Kathy Martin, at Willamette Falls Hospital, in Oregon City, Oregon will make health information workshops and library promotion part of a “Walking for Health” project. Local physicians, the AARP, and American Heart Association affiliate are encouraging participation in the 10,000 Steps program. With a special focus on overweight seniors, this project seeks to make walking a routine part of a healthy lifestyle. Walkers will be given pedometers and will chart their progress in the Community Health Library. The library will provide training in use of MedlinePlus and other consumer resources, further publicizing services to residents in the area.

The Skagit County Health Literacy Project, directed by Sue Jacobsen, will work to improve the health literacy of the low-income population of the county. The two medical librarians in the area will support public librarians in providing health reference services and will train contacts in key community agencies to access and evaluate health information on the web. A health literacy program for low-income residents will be developed and offered at multiple locations in Skagit County. The project team will also produce promotional materials, in English and Spanish, to distribute at food banks, bus system offices, and agencies that provide services to low-income residents.

Public Health workers in Alaska typically use the Alaska Public Health Training Network (APHTN) for updates and educational programs. The Health Promotions Programwithin the Alaska Division of Public Health will develop four two-hour training sessions and broadcast them via APHTN, a system that reaches 39 Alaska communities via cable and web. These programs will cover topics such as online consumer health resources, PubMed, public health information and data, and CDCynergy. They will also conduct hands-on training where computer labs are available.

Joanne Rich (University of Washington Health Sciences Library) and faculty in the School of Pharmacy have designed a health literacy project in conjunction with the Seattle Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). They hope to promote long-term recovery and long-term self care of recovering alcoholics and addicts who participate in programs at the ARC. Facets of the project include an exploratory study of health literacy, provision of health education materials to residents of the ARC, and training staff to locate appropriate, quality health information. UW students from health sciences schools and the Information School will also be part of the project team.

Summaries of these and other recent projects supported by the RML are linked on the web at http://nnlm.gov/pnr/funding/. The RML plans to announce soon a new opportunity for funding short-term projects. Look for information on HLIB-NW, PNRNews, and on the NN/LM PNR Web site.

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