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Join us for the next PNR Rendezvous October 21

Date: Wednesday, October 21

Time: 1:00pm Pacific Time, Noon Alaska Time, 2:00pm Mountain Time

Creating a Library “Holdings” Group: A Joined Service Model will feature Isaac Huffman, Heather Martin and Basia Delawska-Elliott from the Providence Health & Services library system.

Faced with resource constraints many hospital libraries have considered joint operations. However successful, systemization can be a challenge.  Providence Health & Services library share their innovative approach, using a holding company model to develop partnerships and collaborations, to growing a system-wide team and expanding library services.

Join us to learn about the successes and challenges Isaac and his team faced and see what strategies may work in your library system. Read more »

Introducing WASCLA Tools for Health

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. Read more »

October is Health Literacy Month

This year’s theme for Health Literacy Month 2015 is “Be a Health Literacy Hero”.  Whether you’re an individual or an organization, promoting health literacy makes you a hero.

Health literacy has been in the spotlight in recent years and is part of a growing movement to improve communication between patients and clinicians, reduce medical errors, lower medical expenses, and reduce health disparities.

What is health literacy?  According to Healthy People, “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”

A person’s health literacy may affect their ability to navigate the health care system such as filling out forms, understanding the mathematical concept of risk for a disease, compliance with medication or other medical services.

Though a person’s literacy may be a factor in their health literacy, no one is exempt from low health literacy.  The health care world is a very foreign place even for those who are well educated.  Everyone’s health literacy level can drop just by hearing a diagnosis, having an emergency, or being in an unfamiliar health care setting.

A number of resources are available for libraries and others who want to work towards increasing health literacy. Read more »

NLM’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Site Redesigned

The National Library of Medicine’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) site has been redesigned.  REMM now includes a more modern banner, a refreshed color palette and font style, and a new navigation system.

Read more »

2015 Medical Librarians Month Profile – Liisa Rogers

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 Read more »

WebJunction webinar, Public Health and Public Libraries: Librarians as Health Literacy First Responders

WebJunction is offering a great webinar featuring two Consumer Health Coordinators from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Date: 21 October 2015

Time: Noon – 1:00pm Pacific Time


  • Lydia N. Collins, Consumer Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
  • Anita Kinney, Program Analyst, United States Access Board
  • Christian Minter, Nebraska/Education Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region

A webinar exploring health-related outreach, programming, training, and funding so that your library can improve the health literacy of your community. Read more »