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EthnoMed Transformation

photo by Josh Malamy

UW HSLIC Acting Director Neil Rambo introducing the EthnoMed team. Photo by Josh Malamy.

Congratulations to the EthnoMed team at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Health Sciences Library on the unveiling of its redesigned website. EthnoMed:

http://ethnomed.org/

EthnoMed debuted in 1994 as a collaboratively developed online resource for cultural health information. The redesigned site has enhanced content, display, and navigation features. Behind the scenes is a Plone-based content management system which will allow for faster updates and editing. The site also features a new, prize-winning logo.

EthnoMed “contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.”  Although its primary focus has been ethnic communities (Cambodian, Ethiopian, Hispanic, Oromo, Somali, Tigrean and Vietnamese) served by Harborview Medical Center’s Community House Calls program in Seattle, EthnoMed has added pertinent information by and for other cultural groups.

Users may search or browse the new site by health topic, culture or language to locate provider or patient-oriented information.  EthnoMed also includes case studies, cultural pearls and links to resources on refugee health, immigration, interpretation, religion and cultural competency.  Freely accessible on the web, EthnoMed has more than 320,000 visitors each year–a local, national and international audience.

The redesigned website includes more information in visual formats (streaming video, photos and slide shows) and has expanded its authorship base by encouraging students and faculty to submit information via Contributions Pathways.  Recently published student contributions include Karen Cultural Profile, Khmer Language: Fonts and Romanization, Perinatal Profile for Patients from Somalia, Assessment of King County Residents at Risk of Exposure to Avian Influenza, and Cambodian Shop Around Program.

The EthnoMed team received funding from numerous sources, including NN/LM PNR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and, recently, an NIH/NLM Translational Informatics Grant to support the new content management system and updated design.

A celebration of the transformed website and the multidisciplinary team of librarians, clinicians, technologists, students, interpreters, cultural mediators, and community members was held February 9, 2010 at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library.

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