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Archive for the ‘News from Network Members’ Category

Introducing WASCLA Tools for Health

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Editor’s note: This outreach project report was completed and submitted in 2014, but the information is still very relevant: 

By Joana Ramos,
Washington State Coalition for Language Access

ramos-1The Washington State Coalition for Language Access marked an important milestone on April 24, 2014, with the launch of its Tools for Health project at a special event held at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. This project created the first centralized resource in the state for multilingual consumer materials about language access rights in healthcare. The launch date itself had special significance as it coincided with the 50th anniversary week of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, on April 21, 1964. The Act’s Title VI includes a ban on discrimination based on national origin which is the legal basis for guaranteeing equal access to services for people with limited English proficiency (LEP).

The idea for the Tools for Health project itself came from ongoing observations by WASCLA members of the need for increased awareness of the right to meaningful language assistance, among both the general public and healthcare providers. While some facilities in Washington now do an excellent job in providing language access services, the situation varies tremendously across the state. It is still common to hear of patients being turned away due to lack of interpreter services, or being told to bring a friend or relative or even their child, to interpret at medical appointments. The need for language assistance is greater than ever, as Washington’s changing demographics mean that LEP residents are now 8% of the population, or over 512,000 people. Our LEP population, about half of whom are Spanish-speakers, increased 210% between 1990- 2010, compared to an 80% increase nationally for this period. Courts, schools, social service programs and medical providers report providing interpreter services in up to 200 different languages. This project was also timely because of the start of implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, with our state-based marketplace Washington Healthplanfinder set to open for business in the fall. Immigrants and refugees, many of whom have low incomes as well as LEP, have had some of the highest rates of uninsurance, often due to lack of employer coverage or eligibility for government programs. (more…)

2015 Medical Librarians Month Profile – Liisa Rogers

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

LHR03profOur first NN/LM PNR Network member librarian profile is of Liisa Rogers, Sr. Research Library Manager at Healthwise in Boise, Idaho.

1. What is your library’s mission and who do you serve? The Healthwise Research Library is a strategically designed physical and virtual collection of tailored resources and services dedicated to meeting the research, bibliographic and knowledge organization needs of Healthwise staff, in support of the company mission to help people make better health decisions. We provide evidence-based medical research in support of our award-winning consumer health content, literature reviews for our researchers, and healthcare industry research in support of our internal intelligence and external advocacy. We consult throughout the company on bibliography best practices and how to use our Intranet for knowledge organization and presentation. We serve the writers, physicians and user experience staff who develop the content, along with researchers charged with documenting the impact of our products, executives writing white papers and presenting at conferences, as well as sales, product development and client services teams.

2. Is there a time when you made a difference or someone was grateful for your help you’d like to tell us about? There have been many times when the library’s research has helped our physicians and content developers make important decisions about additions, updates or improvements to our consumer health content, and that we have provided valuable data or literature to support a grant proposal, scope a new project or evaluate the market. Most recently, a project that has (more…)

Technology Improvement Award Brings Portable Health Literacy Training Lab to Legacy Health

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Submitted by Cindy Ramzy, MSLS, Senior Medical Librarian/CME Coordinator, Legacy Health System, Portland, OR,

As a recipient of a 2014 NNLM/PNR Technology Improvement Award, Legacy Health System’s Library Services was able to create a portable computer lab to bring hands-on training of clinical electronic resources to a Legacy campus for the first time.

One of the key tenets of information literacy, as it relates to healthcare professionals, is the ability to identify appropriate information sources and use them to retrieve relevant information. Legacy Library Services provides access to numerous high-quality electronic resources that are available to fill the knowledge-based information needs of our organization. Library Services makes information literacy training available to staff at all five Legacy campuses to increase awareness of these resources and to ensure fluency in effective search skills. Our goal with this project was to acquire computer hardware and equipment to bring our library literacy classes to the Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center (LGS), which lacks training facilities, and had not previously been the setting for any live interactive training sessions. With this award, we purchased 6 laptop computers (plus storage and charging equipment and a portable projector), in order to offer 13 training sessions to the staff of Legacy Good Samaritan (LGS) on their own campus. In addition, the equipment was used to train the staff of the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Department in the use of library electronic resources at one of their staff meetings. (more…)

Member Profile: Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE)

Monday, June 15th, 2015

This member organization profile was contributed by Elise Miller, MEd, Director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment.

Please tell us about CHE’s work.

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) works to strengthen the science dialogue on environmental factors impacting human health. CHE does this by bringing attention to emerging environmental health research and catalyzing collaborative, prevention-oriented initiatives towards upstream solutions and interventions. Founded in 2002 as a program of Commonweal, CHE is an international partnership of almost 5,000 individuals and organizations in 79 countries and all 50 US states, including scientists, health professionals, health-affected groups, nongovernmental organizations and other concerned citizens, committed to improving human health across the lifespan.


Neighborhood Health Link connects consumers in King and Pierce counties to health-promoting resources in their communities

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Two librarians at a table at Health Fest at the Seattle Center

Carol Cahill and Michelle Chapdelaine demonstrate Neighborhood Health Link at the October 2014 HealthFest at Seattle Center

Submitted by Carol Cahill, Research Associate, Center for Community Health and Evaluation, Group Health Research Institute

There is increasing recognition of the role that community resources play in helping people be healthy and the need for stronger linkages between those resources and primary care practices. Neighborhood Health Link (NHLink) is a web-based portal of affordable and high-quality community resources that support people in eating healthy diets, being physically active, and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes. Group Health Community Engagement sponsors NHLink as both a health promotion strategy and a clinical tool, in partnership with the Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE), part of Group Health Research Institute (GHRI).

Some background: Conversations in 2010 with a number of healthcare and public health leaders pointed Group Health in the direction of strengthening clinic-community linkages as a health promotion strategy. During focus groups held in 2011 physicians at three Group Health clinics told us their patients were more likely to use a community resource like Weight Watchers if they knew the exact time and place the program was offered, but that getting information about these resources was a challenge.
To help fill this gap, we built NHLink from scratch and designed it to have both resource andgeographic granularity: Searches point to individual services and programs, such as women-only exercise classes in a particular ZIP code, rather than just to the organizations offering those programs. The database—with a customized interface—is hosted by NorthLight, which provides the platform for a number of statewide information and referral sites, including WIN211. One of NHLink’s special features is the ability to copy a permalink to search results and paste it into a patient’s medical record for later viewing at home.

Neighborhood Health Link was soft-launched in 2012 at a Group Health clinic in south King County. Providers and staff were given one-on-one training and NHLink was showcased at a number of staff meetings and huddles. Usage throughout the year remained disappointingly low, mainly because of lack of time to search for community resources during a patient visit. Updates to the NHLink database were put on hold after a Community Engagement position was eliminated.

In 2013 a GHRI/CCHE investigator received a three-year grant from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to pilot a clinic-community liaison role at two Group Health clinics (one in King County and one in Pierce County). An up-to-date and user-friendly NHLink database is a critical tool for success of this project, “Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care” or LINCC. (Note to Washington readers: the LINCC project will be featured at this year’s WMLA annual meeting.) Community Resource Specialists (CRSs) were hired in summer 2014 to help patients set health goals and link them to community resources. To support this effort, CCHE received a 2014-15 NN/LM PNR Medical Library Pilot Project award to expand and update database content, train users, and engage community partners. (more…)

Save the date! April 30 Open House for NLM exhibit Native Voices: Native Peoples Concepts of Health and Illness

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

The University of Washington Health Sciences Library invites you to come join in celebrating the Native Voices exhibit on Thursday, April 30, 2015 for an open house from 2 – 4 pm in the Red Area (2nd floor).


Activities include a traditional opening blessing performed by Annette Anquoe, and a presentation by Ralph Forquera, both of the Seattle Indian Health Board.  Mr. Forquera is featured in several of the interviews in the exhibit. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for the open house! Friends of the UW Libraries and family are also welcome to this special event and exhibit. See the Health Sciences Library website for directions and parking information: (more…)