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Resource for Writing Mission Statements

Mission statements are important. Organizations use them to declare to the world how their work matters. For employees, they guide efforts toward supporting organizational priorities. And mission statements are important to evaluators, because evaluation methods are ultimately designed to assess an organization’s value. Having those values explicitly stated is very helpful. The Nonprofit Hub’s document A Step-By-Step Exercise for Creating a Mission Statement is a tool that succintly lays out an effective 1-2 hour process to engage multiple stakeholders in the development of a mission statement, starting with a foundation of shared stories about the organization’s best work. In the end, everyone understands and endorses the mission statement because they helped develop it.

This exercise has potential that reaches beyond development of mission statements. It would be a great exercise for advisory groups to contribute their ideas about future activities, based on the organization’s past successes. The stories generated are data that can be analyzed for organizational impact. The group qualitative analysis process, alone, could be adapted to other situations. For example, a small project team could use the process to analyze stories from interviews, focus groups, or even written comments to open-ended survey questions.

Inaugural National Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Native American Communities October 15-16 in Scottsdale, AZ

The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Native American Program will host the first National Native American Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia in Native American Communities on Thursday and Friday, October 15-16, at the Scottsdale (AZ) Plaza Resort. Targeting urban and tribal health care and social service professionals, this two-day conference will provide eight plenary and more than 30 concurrent sessions from stellar Native American and dementia specialists from across the U.S. This conference is designed to provide the opportunity to learn best practices in the diagnosis, treatment and care available for Native American families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

New PubMed Link: “Articles Frequently Viewed Together”

PubMed has introduced a new type of link called “Articles Frequently Viewed Together” to assist with locating important articles on a given topic. For some PubMed abstracts, this feature will appear in the “Related Information” section in the right column. Currently, only 1.3 million out of the 24 million records in PubMed have this link. The calculation is based on anonymous click data for the last year, so older articles will be especially underrepresented. To find all articles with these relationships, search PubMed with the query “pubmed_pubmed_alsoviewed[filter]” and add additional terms to narrow the focus to your area of interest.

Updates for NLM’s Tox Town City Neighborhood

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Tox Town City neighborhood now has updated graphics with a new photorealistic look. The City, Town, and Southwest scenes are now in HTML 5. Location and chemical information remains the same, but the new graphics allow users to better identify with real-life city locations. Tox Town can be accessed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. Regardless of where you live, check out the updated Tox Town City neighborhood and learn about potential environmental health risks!

NLM Hosting 2015 DailyMed/RxNorm Jamboree Workshop on September 24!

Registration and agenda information for the National Library of Medicine’s third annual DailyMed/RxNorm Jamboree Workshop is now available. The Jamboree is a free public meeting to be held on September 24, 2015, 9:30 am to 4:15 pm EDT, at the Lister Hill Auditorium on the NLM campus in Bethesda, MD. The session will also be webcast and archived for future viewing. Registration is required for attendance. Since 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of DailyMed, the meeting will feature a retrospective look at how industry has made use of DailyMed during that time.

Featured speakers will include representatives from the federal government, industry, academia and non-profit sectors. Speakers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, and Avalere Health will talk about biosimilars naming. Ed Millikan, representing the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, will present an extended look at Risk Evaluation and Mediation Strategies. The meeting emphasis is on practical and novel ways to use and understand this free drug information, which is produced and consumed by a number of federal agencies.

New NIH BD2K Funding Opportunity Announcement!

A new Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) funding opportunity (FOA) is available, Development of Software Tools and Methods for Biomedical Big Data in Targeted Areas of High Need, with an October 6 application due date. This FOA solicits development of innovative analytical methods and software tools with the objective of addressing critical current and emerging needs of the biomedical research community for using, managing, and analyzing the larger and more complex data sets inherent to biomedical big data, focusing on the three topic areas of Data Privacy, Data Repurposing, and Applying Metadata, all as part of the overall BD2K initiative. This FOA aims to support the development of innovative tools and approaches to tough problems, as opposed to having fully fledged software tools developed for less-daunting problems. It is not expected that software and methods developed under this FOA will be fully hardened, but rather that investigators show a novel approach to a difficult problem and show some proof-of-concept for this new approach using relevant biomedical big data. While this FOA is intended to foster new development, submissions consisting of significant adaptations of existing methods and software are also invited.

It is anticipated that a single application will have a primary focus on one of the three topic areas. Applicants can submit multiple independent applications, each addressing a separate topic area. The award mechanism will be a Cooperative Agreement, used used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after the award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. NIH intends to fund 8-12 awards in fiscal year 2016, corresponding to a total of $5 million. The maximum project period is three years, and direct costs are limited to a maximum of $300,000 in each year. Scientific Merit Reviews of applications are expected in February 2016, and the earliest award start date is expected in July, 2016.

Toxicology and Environmental Health Highlight: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART)

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) is a bibliographic resource on NLM’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET). It covers teratology and other aspects of developmental and reproductive toxicology and includes more than 200,000 references to literature published since the early 1900s. DART may be searched using MeSH terms/keywords, title words, chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (RN), and author. Search results are displayed in relevancy ranked order, but may also be sorted by publication date, entry month, author, or title.

DART was initially funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Center for Toxicological Research of the Food and Drug Administration, and NLM. Some meeting abstracts and non-MEDLINE literature are historically included in DART; however, new citations come only from PubMed, based on a search strategy profile. New references are added weekly.

Request for Information (RFI) for NIH-wide Five-Year Strategic Plan: Comments Due by 8/16/15!

In response to a request from the US Congress, NIH is developing a 5-year NIH-wide Strategic Plan to advance its mission and outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan that identifies areas of opportunity across all biomedicine and unifying principles to guide NIH’s support of the biomedical research enterprise. The Strategic Plan is due to Congress in late December 2015.

NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community and the general public regarding the proposed framework for the NIH-wide Strategic Plan. You are invited to review the framework and submit feedback by visiting the NIH web site or the RFI submission site. Comments are due by August 16.

Stakeholder organizations (e.g., patient advocacy groups, professional societies) are urged to submit a single response reflective of the views of the organization/membership as a whole. NIH will also be hosting webinars to gather additional input in early to mid-August. Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the NIH Strategic Plan positions biomedical research on a promising and visionary path!

MedlinePlus Health Topic Category and Subcategory Changes

MedlinePlus currently has over 950 health topics in both English and Spanish. These health topic pages contain collections of vetted links to consumer health resources. The links are organized into categories, such as Basic, Learn More, and Research; and subcategories, such as Start Here, Prevention/Screening, and Related Issues. A table of contents is included at the top of the pages to help users find the most useful information.

In response to feedback from usability testing and use patterns, MedlinePlus has made changes to the subcategories for the health topic pages. On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, subcategories were consolidated and reduced, with the goal of presenting better organized content and a better user experience. For a detailed description on how subcategories were combined or renamed, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Asthma health topic page with new, revised subcategories:
2Asthma Table of Contents with New Categories

HHS Unveils First Compendium of Resources for Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the first online collection of the federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) sponsored the HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium to aid state, tribal, territorial, and local officials in health and emergency management as they guide communities in responding to and recovering from disasters.

The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS and partner agencies, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one. Categories range from patient movement to hospital care and from situational awareness to decontamination. Resources include platforms such as GeoHEALTH and the HHS emPOWER Map that use Geographic Information System capabilities to support health response as well as consultation services, such as emergency planning, disease surveillance and tracking, and food, drug and device safety. Resources also include personnel, such as medical staff from the U.S. Public Health Service and National Disaster Medical System who can deploy to communities to augment local hospital, shelter or public health staff. The compendium will be updated regularly and expanded as federal agencies add products, capabilities and services to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from the health impacts of disasters.