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2012 Request for Proposals

Outreach to Under-Connected Health Organizations
Announcement

Ensuring that all U.S. health professionals have equal access to biomedical information is part of the mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM).

To support this mission, the NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region seeks proposals from Network members in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington for subcontracts to conduct Outreach to Under-connected Health Organizations.

Proposals should describe plans for targeted outreach to "under-connected" organizations that are affiliate Network members or that are without library service -- and are part of the efforts of the Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to increase health information exchange, such as:

  • Organizations of public health workers and/or health professionals in inner cities or rural area
  • Organizations serving populations that suffer disproportionately from health disparities.

Proposals should describe plans to:

  • work with key participants in the targeted under-connected organizations, including health IT staff as well as the salaried employee dedicated to providing access to health information resources, such as health educators, outreach workers, caseworkers, or community advocates;
  • ensure upgraded and maintained technology access for the targeted under-connected organizations;
  • ensure the effective use of evidence-based health information resources by these organizations.

Assessment and planning for the proposed project should be developed with input from Regional Extension Centers (RECs), and the HITECH Community College Consortia in Region A.

We expect that the work carried out through these projects will:

  • encourage Network members to share their expertise and resources with under-connected health organizations not normally reached;
  • test solutions to identified health information needs of health professionals who are not affiliated with Network member libraries;
  • strengthen the role of health information and health literacy promotion in the delivery of health care;
  • increase effective use of MedlinePlus Connect for linking evidence-based health information resources to EHRs;
  • develop or support local or regional partnerships with Regional Extension Centers and community college health IT programs;
  • promote awareness and use of the services, resources and products of NLM and the NN/LM, as well as other online health information resources by health professionals and health care consumers.

Eligibility:

  • The bidder must be an NN/LM PNR Member.
  • The bidder or partner agency must have expertise with PubMed and other NLM resources.
  • The bidder must have the ability to set up an account for the project and obtain the project funds from the NN/LM PNR on a cost-reimbursement basis.

Period of Performance and Funding:

  • The period of performance will be for an agreed upon period of time; typically the project is funded for 12 months.

Submission Instructions:

  • Applicants should inform NN/LM PNR of their intent to apply no later than January 13, 2012, by emailing nnlm@uw.edu.
  • Deadline for completing and submitting a full proposal, via email attachment, is February 1, 2012.

Proposals will be reviewed by NN/LM PNR staff and selected outside reviewers. Bidders will be notified of reviewer comments and questions in February 2012 and award decisions will be made in March 2012. Projects must start by May 1, 2012. Therefore, all processing and final requirements for setting up subcontract documentation must be completed by April 30, 2012.

Awardees will be expected to share and disseminate results of their projects. Recipients of NN/LM funding are strongly encouraged to consider publishing results from NN/LM funded projects in journals that make their contents freely available on the Web.

For more information, contact:

Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director, nnlm@u.washington.edu
Telephone: 800-338-7657 (within AK, ID, MT, OR, WA)

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Application Instructions:

Per outline provided below, the application for a 2012 Outreach to Under-connected Health Organizations project must be submitted via email attachment to Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director, nnlm@u.washington.edu by February 1, 2012. Bidders will be notified of award decisions in March 2012, though actual start dates will be no earlier than May 1, 2012.

Cost Instructions:

Total cost must not exceed $25,000.

Funding will be processed on a cost reimbursement basis.

Food and furniture costs are not allowed.

If mobile technology or computer hardware is proposed, please be prepared to submit the following upon approval of the award:

  • For IT/computer hardware under $3,000 per item: Vendor name and published vendor pricing.
  • For IT/computer hardware of $3,000 or more per item: Three (3) vendor quotes (preferably valid for 60 days). Vendor quotes are necessary to determine price reasonableness for purchases. If a single item is over $3,000 and is not competed, then a sole source justification letter is required to indicate why it is the most advantageous purchase.
  • For personal appeal items such as cameras, MP3 players, smartphones, and laptop computers, the proposal must address the following:
    • Purpose: There is legitimate purpose for the items, and use of the items by the awardee will be managed in accordance with institutional policy.
    • Appropriate Use: Items will not be used in a way that would discredit the NN/LM, the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, or the applicable institution.
    • Cost Effectiveness: Must demonstrate requested items are cost effective and appropriate. For example, will generic brands satisfy the minimum requirements? If not, the proposal/request must describe 1) why it is necessary to purchase branded products, 2) benefits in brand name products. How will items further the mission of NN/LM and achieve the objectives of the contract?

Proposals must meet the following guidelines:

  1. If a web site is developed under this award, the web site must comply with Section 508 requirements for accessibility to people with disabilities [details].
  2. The awardee must acknowledge the support of NLM whenever publicizing the work accomplished as a result of this award [details].
  3. If a journal article is published as a result of this project, the final peer-reviewed manuscript must be submitted to the PubMed Central digital archive in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy [details].

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Proposal Instructions

Proposal applications should adhere to the following outline, completing information in each section.

  1. Cover Sheet
    On a separate page, the Cover sheet should include:
    • Unique identifying project title
    • Date of submission
    • Name of institution submitting proposal application
    • Federal Tax ID Number
    • Name, title and contact information for Project Manager/Leader (include postal and e-mail addresses, voice and fax telephone numbers)
    • Indication that the proposing institution is a member of the NN/LM PNR
  2. Statement of Work
    Please address all sections of the Statement of Work with as much detail as necessary to present the proposed project clearly and completely.

    Prepare the Statement of Work based on the following outline

A. Summary Statement:
Provide a one paragraph summary statement of the proposed project to summarize the goals and specifics of the work planned.

B. Introduction and Background:
Provide an introduction and include background information describing what led to the development of the proposal.

C. Describe the participating (targeted) health organizations. For each organization, include:

  • Name of organization, address, web site (if any) and list of key contact persons
  • The demographics of the populations served
  • Geographic areas covered
  • Type of connectivity to the Internet
  • The number of workstations available for staff access to the Internet
  • The health information resources and/or services currently available
  • The numbers of health IT staff
  • Whether/which types of salaried employees are dedicated to providing access to health information resources, such as health educators, outreach workers, caseworkers, or community advocate

D. Identification of needs and assets:

Explain why there is a need for information outreach to the target health organizations. Describe information resources already available, what is needed, and any barriers to access. Draw from any known needs assessments, formal or otherwise, that may be relevant and other sources of data that support the needs and assets statements. Include input from the target health organizations about their information use patterns, needs and barriers, and what might improve this situation. For more information on needs assessments, see publications of the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center, in particular Getting Started with Community-Based Outreach. If assessment data is weak or lacking, consider a planning award as a preliminary step.

E. Identify the goal of the project being proposed:

Provide a statement about the overall goal of the project. Explain how the proposed project goal relates to identified needs.

F. State the specific objectives to be achieved by the project:

Objectives should be stated in measurable terms. Include process objectives about what will be done (outputs) and outcomes-based objectives that specify what will happen or change as a result. Use of a logic model to develop an outcomes-based project plan is strongly recommended (See Booklet 2: Including Evaluation in Outreach Project Planning.)

G. Methodology:

Describe how each of the objectives will be achieved. Provide a detailed plan of the outreach services and methods that will be used during the course of the project, and include expected outcomes. Detail how the project will be implemented, that is, what tasks will be performed and who will perform them.

If training and/or demonstrations are included as a methodology, describe what will be taught or demonstrated, who will do it, where it will be done, length of class, type of continuing education credit, what training materials will be used, and a description of the target audience for each event. Applicants are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Applicants are encouraged to consult Training Resources You Can Use. If other training materials are developed as part of the project, they should be registered in the Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education (CE) Clearinghouse.

H. Explain how you will evaluate the project and describe how you will measure the success for each objective described in your response to Section F:

See Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects Series Booklet 2: Step Two: Develop an Outcomes Assessment Plan for an example.

I. Experience of proposed personnel:

Identify all project personnel. Include a narrative summary of qualifications as they relate to the statement of work and project responsibilities. Evidence of the ability of the Project Manager/Lead to manage a project of similar scope should be provided. A summary of estimated hours of project work and percentage of total hours worked should be provided for all personnel. Include curriculum vitae or resume for all proposed project personnel. If a position is new and will not be filled by current staff, please provide a detailed job description and minimum qualifications for the position. Preference will be given to bidders with prior experience/knowledge of the target group and experience in providing PubMed, MedlinePlus and Internet training. If the bidder has no prior experience in developing and conducting related programs, indication should be provided concerning the steps that will be taken to obtain adequate background or experience prior to carrying out the project.

J. Facilities/Institutional Support:

Describe the (bidding) institution, its resources and services, as it pertains to the statement of work. Describe the services that will be provided to project participants. Include a letter of commitment from the bidding institution's administration, and letters of commitment from the administration of all organizations involved in the project. Include a description of how this project will build on other initiatives to improve health information services, if applicable.

K. Schedule for the project:

Provide a list of tasks in chronological order and indicate timeline for each task. The schedule must conform to the Period of Performance, not to exceed 12 months.

L. Continuation of Activities After Project Completion:

Describe intent to continue project services to targeted community after completion of the project. What services will be continued and how will they be funded? Describe any plans for sharing results of the project with participants.

M. Other NLM or NN/LM PNR Support:

Please list grants/contracts/competitive purchase orders with NLM or NN/LM PNR that were funded previously, are currently active, pending review, or being prepared for submission. Include dates of awards, amount of award, title of project, period of performance and funding agency.

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  1. Attachments to Include
  • Curriculum vitae of key personnel
  • Letters of support from applicant's institution as applicable (administration, information technology, etc.)
  • Letters of support from participating institutions and organizations
  • Other supporting information
  1. Budget

    Use the budget form linked here as a template. Submit an itemized budget form with costs clearly indicated. A brief narrative justification for each expense category is required and should accompany the budget form. Note that food may not be included. The following budget categories may be used:
  • Salaries
  • Benefits
  • Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Travel
  • Other costs (e.g. postage, telephones, Internet access, database access, shipping, photocopying/printing, miscellaneous exhibit or training site costs)
  • Total Direct Costs (TDC): The sum of the above
  • Modified Total Direct Costs: (MTDC): TDC minus equipment costs
  • Indirect Cost (IDC) is allowable using your institution's negotiated rate, with the MTDC as the base of calculation
  • Total Costs: The sum of TDC and IDC (Note: Total Costs should not exceed $25,000)

Reporting Requirements

  1. Quarterly Reports: Description of activities during the reporting period and those planned for the next, including progress toward major objectives, problems encountered and steps taken to resolve them, evaluation activities and significant feedback. Outreach Activity and Exhibit Report forms are also due with the Quarterly Reports. A toolkit with links to all reporting forms will be provided.
  2. Final Report: Content for the final report will include (but not be limited to): Executive Summary, Approaches and Interventions Used, Evaluation, Problems or Barriers Encountered, Impact, and Lessons Learned. The final report should be submitted via online format office within 30 days after the last day of the performance period. The NN/LM PNR office will supply an outline and guide for the final report as soon as a new Online Reporting System is implemented in the 2011 - 2016 NN/LM Contracts.
  3. Dragonfly article: Brief description of the project to be shared via the NN/LM PNR blog, Dragonfly.
  4. Recipients of NN/LM funding are strongly encouraged to consider publishing results from NN/LM funded projects in journals that make their contents freely available on the Web. In addition, if results are accepted for publication, NIH policy Article H.13 requests that authors submit an electronic version of the final manuscript to the NIH National Library of Medicines (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC). This policy applies to projects supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The PMC archive will preserve permanently these manuscripts for use by the public, health care providers, educators, scientists, and NIH. The Policy directs electronic submissions to the NIH/NLM/PMC: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov Additional information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-022.html

Factors to be Used in Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated by selected outside reviewers and NN/LM PNR staff. Requests for clarification and revision may be asked of proposal writers as determined by the reviewers. Proposals will be forwarded to the NN/LM National Network Office at the National Library of Medicine for final approval.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals. These criteria are based on the contents of the Statement of Work. The relative weights assigned the criteria will be used to score proposals.

Target Population: The target population is well defined and is centered on health professionals without adequate access to health information. There is a clear understanding of population characteristics and demographics. 10 points

Statement of Needs and Assets: The information needs and preferences of the target population, barriers as well as available resources, are understood and well described. Evidence of audience involvement in determining needs and assets. 15 points

Outcomes-based Project Plan: The goals and outcomes are reasonable and at least some are sustainable. Applicant has a clear, well-designed plan described in a narrative and an accompanying logic model. Approach to accomplishing plans reflects realistic awareness of target community and is ambitious yet feasible. 20 points

Evaluation Planning: Plans are described to evaluate outcomes objectives and to monitor extent and quality of project activities, services, or products. Plans include identification of indicators, data sources, and data collection timelines. 15 points

Partnerships: Evidence of engagement of appropriate entities in planning, conducting, and/or assessing the project. Adequate description of planned partnerships and compelling letters of support. Intent and understanding of roles is clear. 15 points

Personnel and Facilities: Adequate evidence of qualified staff and organizational resources to assure likelihood of successful completion of the project. Documentation includes appropriate letters of support and resumes of key personnel. 15 points

Budget Plan and Schedule: The budget is reasonable and sufficient to accomplish the project. The budget is complete, clear, and well justified. The timeline and schedule are reasonable and well thought out. 10 points

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