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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

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…)

New Year, New Healthy Habits

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Need some ideas for healthier habits in 2015? Make your resolutions stick with these tips for fun and practical real life changes.

Wishing a happy and healthy new year to all!
happynewyear2015

Plan to Be Smoke-Free in 2015

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

As we head toward the end of this year, the CDC offers a few tips for a smoke-free 2015.

Every January 1, people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the nearly 7 out of 10 current U.S. smokers who want to quit, why not get started today? Smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Quitting now can cut your risk for diseases caused by smoking and leave you feeling stronger and healthier. Most smokers who want to quit try several times before they succeed, but you can take steps that can improve your chances of quitting for good.

Develop a Quit Plan: Planning ahead is a major part of successfully quitting smoking. Smokefree.gov offers details on how to create an effective quit plan.

Use Free, Effective Resources: There are many free resources for people trying to quit smoking. Check out 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a call line and source of encouraging texts; Smokefree TXT, which sends texts of encouragement and advice to your phone; and Smokefree Apps, apps to help you become– and stay–smoke-free. A few information pages also provide tips and personal stories. Check out pages on Smoking (MedlinePlus), Quitting Smoking (CDC), and Tips From Former Smokers (CDC).

Find a Medication That’s Right for You: Many options are available if you are considering using medications to help you quit smoking. Studies show that smokers who use medicine to help control cravings, along with coaching from a quit line, in a group, or from a counselor, are much more likely to succeed than those who go it alone.

Even if you don’t smoke yourself, you can use this article to help a friend or family member become smoke-free in 2015!