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Archive for the ‘News from Network Members’ Category

Medical Librarians Month – Making a Difference in Swaziland

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Janet Schnall’s experience as an Invited Lecturer to a newly open nursing school in Swaziland and a return trip to teach  students and faculty preparing to open a medical school is next in our stories about librarians making a difference.

By Janet Schnall, MS, AHIP
Information Management Librarian
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Have I as a librarian changed lives? I believe YES!

Last year as University of Washington Health Sciences Library liaison to the UW School of Nursing I received an email from a former UW PhD nursing student, Gloria Nam, whom I had previously assisted with her dissertation, asking for book donations for a new nursing school opening in Swaziland.

Dr. Nam, PhD, MSN, FNP, RN was to become the Head of Department of Nursing Science and Dean of Student Affairs at Swaziland Christian University (SCU). Although I did not have nursing texts to donate, I did inform Dr. Nam about HINARI, the World Health Organization program that enables low and middle income countries to gain access to a large collection of health-related journals, eBooks and databases, such as PubMed.

Shortly after, I was asked to come for several weeks as Invited Lecturer to this newly opened nursing school in Swaziland to introduce online health information resources to the faculty and students, train them on the HINARI World Health Organization program, and assist the new librarian in establishing a health sciences library at the University. (more…)

2014 Medical Librarians Month – A Journey

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Jackie Wirz’ entry in our contest for Medical Librarians Month tells the story of her journey from a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology to Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist. It all started one night in the ER when she knew that Google was not the right tool.

by Jackie Wirz
Biomedical Research Specialist
Oregon Health & Science University

Portland, OR

Sitting in the emergency room, I felt a surprising sense of calm. Going to the ER in the middle of the night was an extreme precaution – although the chemical to which I was exposed could be potentially very dangerous, I was feeling normal (well, as normal as one could feel while doing a 36 hour protein purification). No burning lungs, no severe nausea, just a sense of mild boredom while I was waiting to be seen.

I was told that it was my lucky night, as one of the attending physicians happened to be an expert in chemical exposure. He bustled into the room, firmly shaking my hand while giving me a critical once over. Having ascertained there was no immediate danger; he turned to the computer and asked me to name the chemical I was exposed to. I replied, and watched with mounting horror as he opened up Firefox, and proceeded to Google the name of the chemical. (more…)

2014 Medical Librarians Month – Meeting Jane

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

For our 2014 Medical Librarians Month Contest, Basia Delawska-Elliott told us her story about making a difference in a patient’s life.

by Basia Delawska-Elliott
Health Sciences Librarian
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
Portland, OR

Meeting Jane

I was just coming back from lunch when I ran into Jane at the hospital entrance. I was so glad to see her! Jane was a cancer patient, who used to be a library regular, but she had not come into the library for quite a while and I feared the worst.

Jane first came to see us having just received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Straight from the doctor’s office she marched into the library. I am sure that she was devastated and scared, yet she was determined to learn as much as she could and to stay in control of her treatment. I remember when she walked in to the library she had a look of determination on her face. She sat down, told me of her diagnosis and then before I could respond in any way she said “I am going to need a lot of information to beat this thing and I am hoping you can help me with that”. I immediately assured her that I would be glad to help in any way I could. Jane wasn’t the first cancer patient that came to the library seeking information, but she was definitely the most matter-of-fact about what she needed to do, and that set the tone for our relationship. (more…)

2014 Medical Librarians Month Contest Winner

Friday, November 14th, 2014

We are happy to announce Kathy Fatkin as the winner of the 2014 Medical Librarians Month Contest! Kathy has won a $1500 travel scholarship to MLA 2015 in Austin, Texas. Thanks to all who entered and for telling us your story about how you have made a difference.  Additional entries will be posted over the next few days.

by Kathy J. Fatkin PhD, AHIP, RN
Medical Librarian, Researcher & Evidence-Based Practice Coordinator
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
Idaho Falls, ID

I am a solo librarian working at a community hospital and like other health sciences librarians I work to provide health information that will improve lives. In my position I serve on the hospital’s nursing research council (NRC) and as a group the NRC works on evidence-based nursing practice. We have performed multiple literature reviews with summaries of evidence to guide clinical nursing practice. This activity gave me practice reading and evaluating research articles. I realized I have the skills not only to find current evidence but I could add value to my library services by including summaries of evidence to save time for the clinical staff. (more…)

Polio Then and Now: From Salk’s Game-Changing Vaccine to Today’s Resurgence

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
polio-small
Credit: CDC photo by S. Smith. Member of an Emergency Citizens Group in Oklahoma City, radioing information to headquarters during the 1963 Polio Eradication Campaign. Public Health Image Library (http://phil.cdc.gov), #1624.

This is a guest post written by Ann Glusker, MLIS, MPH, Reference and Consumer Health Librarian at The Seattle Public Library.

The library world is a small one, and when I heard that a friend of a friend had worked with Jonas Salk, and that she would be interested in speaking about him and his work to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, a program was born!  What could be more timely than considering polio, which has yet to be eradicated, as we battle many other endemic diseases worldwide (and this was before the recent Ebola crisis)?   My planning partner and I asked Salk’s colleague, Kathleen Murray, and also Dr. Linda Venczel, who has worked on polio eradication for much of her career, including with the CDC and the Gates Foundation, to speak.  I’m happy to say that you can hear them present their program, “Polio Then and Now: From Salk’s Game-Changing Vaccine to Today’s Resurgence” this coming Tuesday, October 28, at 7 pm at the Seattle Public Library’s Central (downtown) location.

I have always been aware of polio, as my aunt had the disease (luckily with little lasting effect thanks to the innovations of Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny), but until I started reading more about it in advance of the program, I hadn’t really realized how terrifying it was.  It’s been recognized for a long time, perhaps dating back to the early Egyptians, but the epidemics that caused widespread fear really began in the 20th century (ironically, it’s thought, due to enhanced sanitation—if children didn’t get exposed to polio-laden water in very early life, when they still had maternal antibodies, it was harder for them to fight off the virus).  While most people with the virus are asymptomatic, the progress of the disease can be devastating to others, causing paralysis and even death.  Worst of all, it disproportionately affects children. (more…)

Webinar: Storytelling 101: Evolving Your Story and the Way You Tell It

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) National Meeting included this session that will be offered as a webinar on July 30, 2014 at 1pm Eastern.  Attendees will get an overview of the process and tips for developing and delivering a story in the most effective and powerful way possible – to support their community, their mission, and their goals.  Participants will learn from examples of consumers who have successfully applied the core storytelling elements to their work.  Featured spacers are AF4Q consumers Vazaskia Caldwell, Kathy Day, Alicia Staley, Patty Black, along with Dr. Josh Cutler.

July 30, 2014, 1pm – 2:30pm Eastern

All are welcome!  For log-in information visit the AF4Q site: http://forces4quality.org/dashboard/events/show/448

The Washington Health Alliance, a NN/LM PNR member is an Aligning Forces for Quality community: http://wahealthalliance.org