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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

Celebrate Older Americans Month this month of May

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

agingIn 1963, after a meeting between President Kennedy and the National Council of Senior Citizens, May was designated as Senior Citizens Month which eventually came to be called Older Americans Month.  Originally it was a time to acknowledge the contributions of older Americans especially those who had defended the United States.  Older Americans month is a time to pay tribute the invaluable services and contributions of past and present senior citizens to our communities.  It is also a time to be aware of the unique health issues older Americans face as well as realizing the strides that have been made.

When Older Americans month was first established, only 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday and almost a third lived in poverty.  Today, the average life expectancy is 78.1 years and many service and health programs have been created that focus on older Americans.  NIH Senior Health website offers health information resources on topics of importance to the aging population in an easy to understand and user friendly format.  It’s also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. To celebrate both observances, go to the National Institute on Aging’s  Go4Life to learn how older adults can add physical activity to their daily lives by using tracking tools, tip sheets, and other motivational tools. So, Get Into the Act, this year’s Older Americans Month theme and promote the healthy lives of our older generation!

MedlinePlus Releases New Responsive Web Design

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Today, MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov/) and MedlinePlus en español (http://medlineplus.gov/spanish) released a completely redesigned site with a fresh look and feel.

2015-04-28_13-07-51

The new version of MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español uses responsive design for ease of use on any device, whether that is a desktop monitor or mobile touchscreen.  Responsive pages automatically change their layout to fit your screen.  See our announcement page for more details.  (more…)

April is National Minority Health Month

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Typically most people think of minorities in regards to race or ethnicity.  However, minorities can also include sexual identity, age, geographic location, disability, gender and socioeconomics.  For many, being part of one or more of these categories often contributes to health disparities. According to Healthy People 2020, “To better understand the context of disparities, it is important to understand more about the U.S. population. ” In 2008, the U.S. population was estimated at 304 million.

  • In 2008, approximately 33 percent, or more than 100 million persons, identified themselves as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority population.
  • In 2008, 51 percent, or 154 million, were women.
  • In 2008, approximately 12 percent, or 36 million people not living in nursing homes or other residential care facilities, had a disability.
  • In 2008, an estimated 70.5 million persons lived in rural areas (23 percent of the population), while roughly 233.5 million lived in urban areas (77 percent).
  • In 2002, an estimated 4 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 44 years identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Progress has been made to close the gap in health disparities but the work needs to continue to narrow the gap so that everyone has equal opportunities for better health whether it is accessing and understanding health insurance, health literacy, having preventative care available, or open communication between patients and clinicians. (more…)

Upcoming Moodle class: Combatting Information Fatigue: Health Information Resources for Veterans

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Are you working in the public library or a community organization with a health information aspect?  Do you feel you lack the knowledge to run a health reference service?  Do you offer a patient education service in your hospital library?  The PNR office if offering a series of Moodle classes in the next twelve months on consumer health information.  Starting April 13, Combatting Information Fatigue: Health Information Resources for Veterans – PNR, is the first class offered.  This Moodle class is self-directed with online discussion as well as readings and exercises. This class starts soon and it lasts only three weeks so sign up now.  For more information about this class read below: (more…)

Today: IOM Health Literacy and Consumer Facing Technology Workshop

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy is providing online access to view the workshop as it is being broadcast live regarding Health Literacy and Health Information Technology, today March 24, 2015 at The National Academy of Sciences. The topics include health literacy and the use of technology to inform health decision making, to share health information via technology, and giving examples of health literacy best practices as they apply to the use of technology for health decisions. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m (Eastern time). Below is the link to watch live:

http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy/2015-MAR-24.aspx
Health Literacy and Health Information Technology: A Workshop [Attend via Webcast or In-Person Meeting]
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
8:30 AM-5:30 PM (Eastern)

Measles and Vaccinations

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

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. (more…)