Archive for June, 2013
On Sunday, June 30, during the American Library Association annual conference, an announcement will be made which will mark the beginning of recruitment of the nation’s librarians to help people sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law. The initiative starts October 1, when people without health coverage will start shopping for insurance online on new websites where they can get tax credits to help pay the cost. About 7 million people are expected to sign up for coverage in the new marketplaces next year, but the heavy emphasis on the Web-based portals puts anyone without access to a computer at a disadvantage. According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), libraries already provide health information to 28 million people each year via public access computers. Many libraries also have public spaces where meetings can be held.
Since librarians are likely to get questions on the health law from the public, the IMLS is contracting with the Online Computer Library Center to develop an online toolkit and training webinars for librarians. Libraries will be particularly important in conservative states that aren’t making much effort to promote the health law’s opportunities. They may choose to link to HealthCare.gov, the revamped federal website that is the hub for health law information, or to embed the widget on their websites. Some libraries may decide to set aside some public computers for people seeking health insurance or extend time limits on computers. Some may work with community health centers on educational events. The degree of participation will be determined locally with each library.
On June 13, The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Center for the Digital Future released the 11th Digital Future Project Report, the longest continuing study of its kind, which includes findings on more than 180 issues that explore the views and behavior of Internet users and non-users. The 2013 report features new questions about negative online attention (bullying, harassment, and unwanted sexual attention), the impact of mobile devices, and a closer examination of the “Millennial Rift;” the vast differences between how Millennials (age 18-34) and non-Millennials use online sites and services. A press release with highlights from the report is available, and the complete report is available for downloading.
People Recover is a new resource from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. People Recover uses a comic book format to tell the story of two people, Hal and Nikki, who abuse substances and who are also affected by anxiety and depression, respectively. Because of their co-occurring addictions and mental disorders, their relationship suffers, and they struggle in their professional work. Each also faces a personal crisis. With the help of friends, professionals, and each other, Hal and Nikki begin their individual paths to recovery. People Recover, in its easy-to-read comic book format, presents a hopeful message of recovery for individuals with a substance use disorder and a mental illness.
Today the Obama administration kicked off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused HealthCare.gov website, and the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center, to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance. The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1. HealthCare.gov is the destination for the Health Insurance Marketplace, where Americans may now access new educational information and learn what they can do to begin to get ready for open enrollment this fall. The website will add functionality over the summer so that, by October, consumers will be able to create accounts, complete an online application, and shop for qualified health plans. For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov will also be updated to match HealthCare.gov’s new consumer focus.
Key features of the website, based on consumer research and online commercial best practices, include integration of social media, sharable content, and engagement destinations for consumers to get more information. The site will also include web chat functionality to support additional consumer inquiries. The website is built with a responsive design, so that consumers may access it from their desktops, smart-phones, and other mobile devices. In addition, the website is available via an application interface .
Between now and the start of open enrollment, the Marketplace call center will provide educational information and, beginning Oct. 1, 2013, will assist consumers with application completion and plan selection. In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service. Customer service representatives are available for assistance via a toll-free number at 1-800-318-2596 and hearing impaired callers using TTY/TDD technology can dial 1-855-889-4325 for assistance. HHS is on target for open enrollment in the Marketplace, which begins Oct. 1, 2013, and other key milestones approaching in the months ahead. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.
The CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis and Hep B United have launched Know Hepatitis B, a national communications campaign promoting Hepatitis B testing among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This multilingual campaign has materials in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, and messages will be delivered through a variety of multimedia channels. Community-level outreach, in partnership with Hep B United and its local affiliates, will also incorporate campaign messages and materials that facilitate education and communication about Hepatitis B among healthcare providers, local partners, and patients.
Though AAPIs make up less than 5% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 50% of the 1.2 million Americans estimated to be living with hepatitis B. Testing identifies people living with hepatitis B and helps them take steps to protect their health, including starting treatment that can delay or reverse the effects of liver damage. An estimated 1 in 12 AAPIs is living with hepatitis B, yet as many as 2 out of 3 people do not know they are infected. Many people can live with the disease and not feel sick or have any symptoms.
Know Hepatitis B seeks to increase awareness about this silent epidemic and encourage people who may be chronically infected with hepatitis B to get tested, so they can take care of themselves and protect their families. For additional information in multiple languages on Hepatitis B, please visit MedlinePlus.
The first day of summer is June 21st and vacation season has arrived! DOCLINE users are reminded that you can prevent requests from routing to your library during a closure by completing the ‘Out of Office’ request form in DOCLINE. To access this, go to “Institutions,” “Update,” then “Out of Office.” Enter the date range when requests should not route to your library, and then click on Request Approval.
It’s best to submit any request for deactivation a few days in advance of your departure to allow the RML time to review it. Please note that only one ‘Out of Office’ date range is permitted at a time; you cannot request a second deactivation period until the initial period has past. Detailed instructions for use of this feature can be found at the FAQ: DOCLINE – Temporary Library Deactivation. On the last day your library is active, please process as many requests as possible as “Filled” or “Not Filled.” At the end of the day, please receipt any new requests and process all outstanding requests as “Not Filled,” so they will immediately route to the next potential lender.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-338-7657 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also reach DOCLINE customer support by with the “Contact Us” feature in DOCLINE and completing the “Ask a Question” form.
Libraries and museums are effective, but often overlooked, resources in our nation’s effort to turn around a crisis in early learning, exposing children to reading and powerful learning experiences in the critical early years, and keeping them learning through the summer months, according to a new report issued by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR). The GLR Campaign is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The GLR Campaign focuses on the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation; grade-level reading by the end of third grade.
The report, Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners, documents dozens of examples and 10 key ways libraries and museums are supporting young children. It provides a clear call to policy makers, schools, funders, and parents to make full use of these vital, existing community resources. As the nation commits to early learning as a priority essential to our economic and civic future, the report provides case studies and research documenting that libraries and museums are part of the solution. To support this goal, the IMLS issued $2.5 million in grants last year to institutions seeking to improve early literacy. Another $2.5 million in funding has been committed for 2013. More information about this initiative is available from the IMLS web site.
The NN/LM Health Literacy web site now includes content related to culture in the context of health literacy. As part of a project of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship Program, Diana Almader-Douglas evaluated the existing health literacy web-based resource at the NN/LM, and determined that it would be beneficial to address the importance of culture in understanding health literacy.
Culture is one component of health literacy, but it is also a critical element of the complex topic of health literacy. Culture shapes communication, beliefs, and the comprehension of health information. By enhancing the NN/LM Health Literacy web page with content and links to valuable resources about health literacy in a cultural context, users will be able to better meet the health information needs of vulnerable and diverse population groups they serve. The new content raises increased awareness about vulnerable and special populations, and highlights the connection to health disparities and health literacy. For a better understanding of culture and health literacy, consider visiting these additional resources:
Benjamin RM. Improving Health by Improving Health Literacy. Public Health Rep. 2010, Nov-Dec; 125(6):784-785.
United States Department of Health & Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA). Culture, Language and Health Literacy.
United States Department of Health & Human Services. National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Outreach Activities & Resources. Multi-cultural Resources for Health Information.
The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit provides community health workers with tools to inform people with diabetes about diabetic eye disease and maintaining healthy vision. The toolkit has a flipchart that is easy to use in community settings and can be incorporated into existing diabetes classes or information sessions. It provides all the materials and tools necessary to inform people how diabetes affects the eyes, the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams, and how people can protect their sight from diabetic eye disease. It is available in English and Spanish.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced the final 11 medical schools that will receive funding as part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. This initiative is aimed at transforming the way future physicians are trained. The proposals encompass many educational innovations, including models for competency-based student progression, total student immersion within the health care system from the first day of medical school, and the increased use of health IT and virtual patients.
Project funding has been awarded to the following 11 U.S. medical schools:
- Indiana University School of Medicine
- Mayo Medical School
- NYU School of Medicine
- Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
- Penn State College of Medicine
- The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
- The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- University of California, Davis School of Medicine
- University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
- University of Michigan Medical School
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
The AMA will provide $1 million to each school over five years to fund the educational innovations envisioned by each institution. A critical component of the AMA’s initiative will be to establish a learning consortium with the selected schools to rapidly disseminate best practices to other medical and health profession schools.