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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Low Cost Mapping Tools on NLM Community Health Maps Blog

Monday, May 11th, 2015

This is a guest post by Karen Vargas, Evaluation Specialist, Outreach Evaluation Resource Center, National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Have you ever wanted to be able to use mapping for your outreach needs, but thought that making maps would be too expensive, time-consuming, or just too difficult?   The National Library of Medicine has a blog called Community Health Maps: Information on Low Cost Mapping Tools for Community-based Organizations, with the goal of facilitating the use of geographic information system (GIS) mapping by providing information about low cost mapping tools, software reviews, best practices, and the experiences of those who have successfully implemented a mapping workflow as part of their work.  The blog is moderated by Kurt Menke, a certified GIS professional.

Here are some examples of the kinds of things you can find on the Community Health Maps blog:

  • A short guide for using iForm for field data collection. iForm is an app that can be used on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, and has a free version.  Using this app, you could go to different locations, gather data (for example, demographic information about attendance at your program), and view it in tabular or map format.
  • A description of a project using youth in the Philippines to collect data on the needs of their communities.  Technology + Youth = Change showed how a dozen donated phones helped 30 young adults survey and map information on access to water, electricity, jobs, and more.
  • A review of a pilot project done by the Seattle Indian Health Board’s Urban Indian Health Institute on noise pollution and health in the urban environment. One of the goals of the pilot project was to determine whether this kind of data collection and analysis would be feasible with other urban Indian health organizations, so they selected participants who had limited experience with data collection and GIS. The feedback suggested that the GIS software tools were very user-friendly and effective.

Lead poisoning risk graphic, CDC

Photo credit: Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Analysis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from the CDC Map Gallery

NLM Funding Opportunity: Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2015

Friday, April 24th, 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders and others that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

NLM is soliciting proposals from partnerships in the U.S. that include at least one library and at least one organization that has disaster-related responsibilities, such as health departments, public safety departments, emergency management departments, pre-hospital and emergency medical services, fire/rescue, or other local, regional, or state agencies with disaster health responsibilities; hospitals; faith-based and voluntary organizations active in disaster; and others.

NLM encourages submission of innovative proposals that enhance mutually beneficial collaboration among libraries and disaster-related agencies. For example, projects may increase awareness of health information resources, demonstrate how libraries and librarians can assist planners and responders with disaster-related information needs, show ways in which disaster workers can educate librarians about disaster management, and/or include collaboration among partners in developing information resources that support planning and response to public health emergencies.  Summaries of the previous years’ funded projects can be viewed at http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/disasterinfofunding.html.

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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…)

National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: Pacific Northwest Region Focus

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week by recognizing the contributions of public health professionals and organizations and highlighting issues that are important to improving the health of our nation.  Today’s post includes recognition for efforts and successes in the Pacific Northwest Region states, plus a sampling of events. Join an event or pledge to support public health in your community by focusing on themes presented in our earlier post, National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: National Themes.

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National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: National Themes

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week  to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.  Today’s post includes some planning ideas around APHA’s 2015 themes for you and your organization to focus on public health issues during the week. Next week, we’ll focus on Pacific Northwest events and connections. (more…)

CDC and NLM to Co-Host Webinars (3/24 and 3/26) on Newly-Released Community Health Status Indicators

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine will co-host webinars on March 24 and March 26 on the newly-released Community Health Status Indicators 2015 Web Application. Learn first-hand from experts who developed CHSI 2015 about how best to use this redesigned and newly released web application. Registration information is below.

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