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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Save the Date: 2016 Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lectureship on May 4!

The Annual NLM/MLA Joseph Leiter Memorial Lecture will be held this year on Wednesday, May 4, at 1:00pm ET (10:00am PDT) in the Lister Hill Auditorium at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. The two-hour lecture was videocast and archived by NIH. In line with the traditional Leiter Lecture theme of fostering biomedical communication, this year’s lecturer is Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD, who will give the presentation Emerging Infectious Diseases in the 21st Century: A Prevention paradigm for surveillance, information sharing, & health diplomacy. Dr. Mazet is professor of epidemiology and disease ecology, and executive director of the One Health Institute, at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she focuses on global health problem solving, especially for emerging infectious disease and conservation challenges. Currently, she is Principal Investigator for “PREDICT – Wildlife SMART Surveillance for Zoonotic Diseases of Pandemic Potential,” a part of US Agency for International Development. Her specialty is studying diseases that could jump from an animal host population to a human population, such as SARS and Ebola. She will talk about the project and how to disseminate information to relevant agencies and groups to help prevent or minimize pandemic disease from such sources.

National Environmental Education Week: April 17-23

The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 established the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEEF) as an independent non-profit organization complementary to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extending its ability to foster environmental education for all ages and in all segments of the American public. NEEF’s 12th annual National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), Greening STEM: Rooted in Math, is scheduled for April 17-23, 2016 (Earth Day is April 22). It encourages and celebrates environmental learning through events and projects across the country. You can also register an event.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) provides resources related to toxicology, environmental health, and chemistry, most notably, TOXNET, an integrated database system of hazardous chemicals, toxic releases and environmental health. The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a component of TOXNET, has comprehensive, peer-reviewed toxicology data for more than 5,000 chemicals. TOXMAP uses United States maps to explore data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund programs. The Haz-Map database contains information on the health effects of exposure to chemical and biological agents used in industry, on the job and at home.

Tox Town is a guide to toxic chemicals and environmental health issues in everyday locations. It is available in English and Spanish. The Household Products Database gives information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in common products used inside and around the home. ToxMystery, available in English and Spanish, helps children ages 7 to 10 learn about toxic substances in the home. Tox Tutor and ToxLearn are written at the introductory college level and offer a basic introduction to toxicology.

National Public Health Week: April 4-10, 2016

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) salutes National Public Health Week, from April 4-10, 2016, an initiative of the American Public Health Association. NLM is working with PHPartners: Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce to promote their mission of helping the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health.

The Outreach and Special Populations Branch of NLM provides a variety of reliable information resources to help improve public health information access, including:

For other health information resources directed towards specific populations, visit the NLM Outreach and Special Populations Branch homepage.

April is National Minority Health Month 2016!

On April 1 the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) launched the annual observance of National Minority Health Month. The theme this year, Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation, will promote the extraordinary efforts underway by HHS and the Obama Administration to reduce disparities, advance equity, and strengthen the health and well-being of all Americans. The OMH invites everyone across the nation to join together to raise awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and to work together to accelerate health equity.

The observance of the 30th anniversary of the HHS Office of Minority Health will also begin during National Minority Health Month. Since its establishment in 1986, the OMH has served as the HHS lead agency for improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs to help eliminate health disparities. On April 7 there will be a live broadcast of the HHS Equity Forum at 10:30 am PDT. Join OMH for the HHS Health Equity Forum webcast in observance of National Minority Health Month and the 30th anniversary of the HHS Office of Minority Health!

New Specialized Database Added to NCBI Zika Virus Resource Page

The NCBI Zika virus resource page has been updated with a specialized database. This database uses pipelines to annotate genes, proteins and mature peptides, and standardize sample metadata. Using this database, you can:

  • Find sequences easily using standardized annotations and normalized metadata terms.
  • Construct alignments and phylogenetic trees using a suite of online tools.
  • Download sequences and metadata in a variety of formats and create customized titles/description lines (deflines) for FASTA file downloads.

The NCBI Zika virus resource, part of the Virus Variation family of NCBI resources, provides users with a unique, metadata-driven search interface that leverages advanced data management pipelines.

Healthy People 2030 Advisory Committee Seeks Nominations: Apply by April 18!

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) is seeking membership nominations for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030. They are looking for a diverse group of nationally known experts in fields related to disease prevention and health promotion to help develop the vision, framework, and structure of Healthy People 2030. Nominations must be submitted by April 18. For more information on the nomination process, visit the Federal Register notice.

2016 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects Solicitation Announced!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced the solicitation of proposals for the 2016 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects, from organizations and libraries to design and conduct projects that will improve access to HIV/AIDS related health information for patients, the affected community, and their caregivers. Awards are offered for up to $50,000. Quotations are due to NLM by June 13, 2016! The solicitation for the 2016 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

Projects must involve one or more of the following information access categories: information retrieval; skills development, resource development and dissemination; and/or equipment acquisition. Emphasis will be placed upon the following types of organizations or arrangements for developing these programs: community-based organizations (CBOs) or patient advocacy groups currently providing HIV/AIDS-related services to the affected community; public libraries serving communities in the provision of HIV/AIDS-related information and resources; health departments or other local, municipal, or state agencies working to improve public health; faith-based organizations currently providing HIV/AIDS-related services; and/or multi-type consortia of the above-listed organizations that may be in existence or formed specifically for this project.

Patients and the affected community need access to the most up-to-date and accurate health information to effectively manage and make informed decisions about their health. Health care providers and health educators also need access to the most current information to provide the highest quality of care. NLM is committed to assisting organizations in accessing the spectrum of information resources and services that are currently available, and is particularly interested in proposals with creative and different approaches to disseminate information to populations that have a disproportionate prevalence of HIV/AIDS infections in the United States. Emphasis is on increasing the awareness and utilization of NLM online health and medical resources in the HIV/AIDS Community through the use of innovative and evidence-based projects.

The NLM primary point of contact for the solicitation is Greg Benedict, Contract Specialist, and the secondary point of contact is Suet Vu, Contracting Officer.

Applications Available for Office of Dietary Supplements Research Practicum June 7-9 at NIH Main Campus

The Office of Dietary Supplements is now accepting applications for the Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum on June 7–9, 2016, to be held at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD. This three-day practicum will provide a thorough overview on the issues, concepts, unknowns, and controversies about dietary supplements and supplement ingredients. It will also emphasize the importance of scientific investigations to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and value of these products for health promotion and disease prevention as well as how to carry out this type of research. The application deadline is Monday, April 4. About 80 individuals will be selected to participate.

NLM Lends Books and Images to Jewish Museum of Maryland Exhibition

The National Library of Medicine has announced that selected items from its collection are included in a new exhibition, Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America, which opened March 13, 2016, and will run through January 16, 2017, at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore. Beyond Chicken Soup uncovers the often-overlooked cultural history embedded in a scientific enterprise. It probes questions important to all Americans: how do medical categories shape identity; what are the impacts of medical authority; where did our current health care institutions come from; and how does culture influence the medical construction of biological difference.

Focusing on the Jewish experience in the United States, Beyond Chicken Soup demonstrates how the field of medicine has been a vehicle, by turns, for discrimination, acculturation, and strengthening Jewish identity. The experiences of Jews, as both practitioners and patients, offer a case study in the formative impact of medicine on cultural and social identity, as well as the impact of cultural values on medicine.

Among the NLM collection items featured in Beyond Chicken Soup are:

  • Ma’aseh Tuviyah, [The Acts of Tobias], by Tobias Kats (1652?–1729), published in Italy, likely Venice, in 1708 and representing one of the earliest attempts to compare graphically the healthy human body to a well-functioning physical structure: in this case, a properly-run house;
  • Sefer otzar hahayim [Book of the Treasures of Life], by Jacob ben Isaac Zahalon (1630–1693), published in Venice in 1693, and
  • Ueber das Lehren und Lernen der medicinischen Wissenschaften an den Universitäten der deutschen Nation [On the teaching and learning of the medical sciences at the universities of the German nation], by the famous surgeon Theodor Billroth (1829–1894), published in Vienna in 1876.

NLM will also be providing the museum with selected images from its collection, including an image from Isaac ben Solomon’s Opera Omnia [Complete Works], published in 1515, and from the Zwerdling Collection of Postcards on the History of Nursing. NLM joins a number of prominent organizations in loaning items to the Jewish Museum of Maryland for this important exhibition, including the American Philosophical Society, National Library of Israel, and Peabody Museum of Archeology & Ethnology at Harvard Univeristy. NLM loans items from its history of medicine collections for display in public exhibitions to qualifying institutions on a case by case basis. Details about this loan program, and loans which the NLM has arranged since 2012, are available on the NLM web site.

WHO Launches the Zika App for Health Care Providers

The World Health Organization has created a Zika app that gathers all of WHO’s guidance for agencies and individuals involved in the response to Zika Virus Disease and its suspected complications such as microcephaly, and for health care workers such as doctors, nurses and community health workers. The English version of the app is now available both in Android and iOS versions. It will be soon be available in all United Nations’ official languages and Portuguese!