Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO) has released its second web-based security training module, CyberSecure: Your Medical Practice. This latest game focuses on disaster planning, data backup and recovery, and other elements of contingency planning. Contingency planning helps providers and staff prepare for power outages, floods, fires, or weather related events such as hurricanes or tornadoes. These events can damage patient health information or make it unavailable. Planning for these events can help ensure that patient health information is protected and that patient information can be accessed when the disaster is over. This training module uses a game format that requires users to respond to privacy and security challenges often faced in a typical small medical practice. Users choosing the right response earn points and see their virtual medical practices flourish. But users making the wrong security decisions can hurt their virtual practices.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and is an opportunity for ONC to remind providers about the need to create contingency plans to assure a safe and secure cyber environment. Contingency Planning is also required by the HIPAA Security Rule.
WebJunction recently updated its website to help library staff connect patrons to available resources and community experts that can provide assistance:
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has soft launched LocalHelp.healthcare.gov, where individuals or organizations can enter their geographic location to identify local ACA consumer assistance destinations in their area. Local consumer assisters, including Navigators, Certified Application counselors, etc., can provide personal help in applying for healthcare coverage through the ACA. This resource is also available in Spanish. CMS has also made English and Spanish widgets available for those that may be interested in hosting this resource as a widget on their website.
- Please be advised that, according to CMS, many consumer assistance organizations are still completing the training and certification process. The database will be regularly updated to add new locations as they become available, so check back frequently. Please also note that states operating independent health insurance marketplaces may have more details about customer support networks at their state’s individual marketplace site. Unsure what type of marketplace is operating in your state? Visit the Get State Information page on HealthCare.gov to determine your state’s approach and access the most relevant source for local marketplace information.
Printed Publications and Forms
- If your state is participating in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has an online ordering system for print materials. Libraries are welcome to request these print materials from CMS, however, it is important to note that quantities are limited and stock is constantly changing. You will need to create an account to be able to view and order materials. Once you have an account, search on the keyword “marketplace” to see the available publications.
- In the near future, CMS expects to add an option to order and/or download print versions of the Federal Application form (not available until open enrollment begins on October 1). While print forms will be an option, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online because they will see real-time eligibility and available health insurance options.
The National Library of Medicine has announced the completion of its third collaborative digitization project with Gale/Cengage Learning’s Archives Unbound service. Narcotic Addiction and Mental Health: The Clinical Papers of Lawrence Kolb Sr., a searchable online collection of 15,000 images drawn from the personal and professional papers of a pioneer in the medical approach to narcotics addiction treatment, and in public health research and treatment of mental illness, is now freely available within the NLM’s History of Medicine reading room and via local libraries with subscriptions to Archives Unbound.
The National Library of Medicine’s previous collaborations with Archives Unbound, completed in 2012, include AIDS Crisis: Records of the National Commission on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1983–1994 and Development of Environmental Health Policy: Pope A. Lawrence Papers 1924–1983. The newly-digitized Kolb collection deals chiefly with the subjects of drug addiction, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, and mental health. Although parts of the collection were not digitized due to the patient privacy, privacy of Kolb’s coworkers, and copyright concerns around specific documents, the entire collection is available to researchers at the National Library of Medicine. The complete finding aid for the Kolb papers is available free from the National Library of Medicine, and researchers are cordially invited to visit the Library to consult the collection directly.
Dr. Lawrence Kolb was born in Galesville, Maryland, on February 20, 1881, and graduated from the University of Maryland medical school in 1908. The next year he was commissioned an Assistant Surgeon in the Public Health Service. From 1913 to 1919, he was stationed at the Ellis Island, New York Immigration Station, specializing in the mental disease and illness of incoming immigrants. During this same period, he also developed a program for the study and treatment of post-World War I patients suffering from war-caused neuroses. In 1923, Dr. Kolb came to Washington, D.C. and spent five years studying drug addiction and its relationship to crime. He was one of the first to advocate treating drug addicts as patients, not criminals. By 1934, Dr. Kolb was an international expert in the study of psychiatry and narcotics, and was appointed head of the Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky to lead the U.S. government’s first experimental unit for treating drug addicts. His final duty station was as Chief of the Public Health Service Mental Hygiene Division from 1938–1944. He was promoted to Assistant Surgeon General in 1942. His work there, along with that of Dr. Thomas Parran, led to the creation of the National Institute for Mental Health in 1946.
The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering a new online opportunity to learn more about NLM’s environmental health resources. Join the NTC from October 21 – November 5, 2013, for Module 1 of the online class, Discovering TOXNET: From Paracelsus to Nanotechnology. TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Module 1 covers three TOXNET databases; ChemIDPlus, LactMed, and TOXLINE, as well as three emergency response tools; CHEMM, REMM, and WISER. Module 2 will cover the risk assessment databases and will be offered at a later date. You will learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, discovery exercises, and solving real-life reference questions. Classes are designed for health sciences librarians and health sciences professionals interested in unlocking the available information in these resources!
The class will involve three hours of work on your own time, followed by a one-hour synchronous session using Adobe Connect. Participants who complete all class requirements are eligible for 4 MLA Continuing Education credits. The asynchronous work on your own (allow 3 hours) will be conducted from October 21 – 31, 2013, followed by the synchronous Adobe Connect session on November 5, 2013, at 10:00 AM PST. Enrollment is limited, so register soon! For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Library of Medicine has launched a traveling banner exhibition and online adaptation of Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture, an exploration of the rise of AIDS in the early 1980′s and the evolving response to the epidemic over the last 30 years. In 1981, a new disease appeared in the United States. Reactions to the disease, soon named AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), varied. The exhibition illustrates an iconic history of AIDS alongside lesser-known examples of historical figures who changed the course of the pandemic. Utilizing a variety of historic photographs, pamphlets, and publications, Surviving and Thriving is divided into five historical investigations, each of which highlights how different groups responded to AIDS. Early responders cared for the sick, fought homophobia, and promoted new practices to keep people healthy. Scientists and public health officials struggled to understand the disease and how it spread. Politicians remained largely silent until the epidemic became too big to ignore. Activists demanded that people with AIDS be part of the solution. Early stops for the traveling banner exhibition include the University of California, San Francisco, CA, during November 25, 2013, to January 4, 2014.
The title Surviving and Thriving comes from a book written in 1987 by and for people with AIDS that insisted people could live with AIDS, not just die from it. Jennifer Brier, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago), the exhibition’s curator, explains that, “centering the experience of people with AIDS in the exhibition allows us to see how critical they were, and continue to be, in the political and medical fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS.” This exhibition presents their stories alongside those of others involved in the national AIDS crisis. The companion website includes an extensive selection of NLM’s diverse poster collection about HIV/AIDS. This “Digital Gallery” displays 238 posters grouped into fifteen thematic clusters, providing viewers new historical avenues to explore beyond the exhibition. Brier sees these as invaluable resources for multiple audiences: “not only will these visual materials be incredibly useful for teachers interested in engaging students in historical thinking about HIV/AIDS, but they will also allow the general public to learn more about how public health efforts relied on graphic design and imagery to effect behavior change.” The website is augmented by education resources that investigate the exhibition content, including two lesson plans for grades 10-12; three six-class higher education modules; and two online activities. In addition, a selection of published landmark HIV/AIDS articles are provided by NLM’s PubMed Central, which freely provides access to over 2.8 million life science journal articles, and modern day information is provided by AIDSInfo/InfoSIDA.
For more information about booking the Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture exhibit for your library, visit the traveling banner exhibition web site!
On December 12, 2013, staff from the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) and NLM will present NLM Express: A PubMed® Update for PSR Network members and others who register. Learn about recently added PubMed features and interface changes from the last six months, and bring your PubMed questions to this online webinar!
PubMed® for Trainers is coming to our region (San Francisco) in February, 2014. The hybrid sessions run from Thursday, February 6, 2014 – February 26, 2014. Three of the session are online, with the final one conducted in-person at the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management. Class participants are eligible for 15 MLA CE credits. The class is an in-depth look at PubMed and a chance to share training ideas with your fellow participants! This hands-on course consists of lectures, individual exercises, group work, and discussions, with approximately 2-3 hours of independent work to be done outside of class time. All sessions must be attended to receive credit. The in-person Session Four is in San Francisco on February 26, 2014, 9 am – 4:30 pm PT. Registration is now available!
TOXNET® and Beyond is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM’s TOXNET®, a Web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related fields. TOXNET® is a free class, offering 6.0 MLA continuing education credits. This daylong in-person course will be held Thursday, February 27, 2014, beginning at 9:00 AM PT in San Francisco at UCSF. Registration is now available!
For questions about the Pacific Southwest Region training program, please contact Kay Deeney, Educational Services Coordinator.
An updated version of TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) will be released in 2014. The new design will offer seamless navigation for non-professionals as well as professionals. The update will include a more current look and feel, improved interactive capabilities, and a better integrated “All Search Results” feature.
TOXNET is a group of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and related areas. The Web interface provides an easy way to search databases of varying formats and content. It can be used to locate toxicology data, literature references, and toxics release information on particular chemicals, as well as to identify chemicals that cause specific effects. TOXNET was originally designed and developed prior to the Internet, primarily for a professional audience. It has become increasingly important for its data to be accessible for a wide variety of users, many of whom are not professionals in the toxicological fields, and who are not familiar with the related vocabulary and acronyms.
The Obama Administration has announced the launching of Business.USA.gov/healthcare, a one-stop-shop website which provides employers of all sizes with educational materials on how the Affordable Care Act may affect businesses and help them compete. The site includes a wizard tool that is tailored based on size and location, so businesses can learn how the law helps them provide affordable coverage options to their employees while still meeting their bottom line. The site will act as a user-friendly hub that connects employers to informational content on tax credits and other provisions of the law from the Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury Department. As part of the Administration’s ongoing dialogue with leaders of our nation’s top businesses, this latest tool will help ensure that employers of all sizes know what the Affordable Care Act means for them, and have the information they need to take advantage of the new benefits and opportunities under the law. The Administration will work with the employer community to ensure the site continues to be a helpful resource for businesses and their employees, including updating the site with additional, timely information.
Many parts of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect, including new consumer protections, and improvements to health care coverage, that ensure consumers get more value for their premium dollars. Additional benefits will take effect in late 2013 and beyond. Starting October 1, 2013, individuals, including those who are self-employed, and small businesses looking for a better plan, will have a new way to shop for private health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) found at HealthCare.gov. Individuals may be eligible for lower costs on their monthly premiums and self-employed individuals and small businesses may be eligible for tax credits to help with the costs of coverage.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has just announced $12 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs in 32 Teaching Health Centers across the nation. Funding will help train more than 300 residents during the 2013-2014 academic year, doubling the number of residents trained in the previous academic year. Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Payment Program, created by the Affordable Care Act, expands residency training in community-based settings. Residents will be trained in family and internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and general and pediatric dentistry.
The current awards expand the number of states with Teaching Health Centers to 21, from 14 in 2012. Teaching Health Centers are located in a variety of settings, including urban, rural, and Tribal communities, and serve populations such as veterans and their families, minority communities, older adults, children and adolescents. Four of the FY 2014 awards are based in the Pacific Southwest Region:
- Fresno Healthy Community Access Partners, Fresno, CA
- Shasta Community Health Center, Redding, CA
- Social Action Community Health System, San Bernardino, CA
- Valley Consortium for Medical Education, Modesto, CA
A complete list of awards is available.
Earlier this month, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in grant awards to 1,159 health centers across the nation, to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With these funds, health centers are expected to hire an additional 2,900 outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist millions of people nationwide with enrollment into affordable health coverage. Health centers have a long history of providing eligibility assistance to patients, along with delivering high-quality, primary health care services in communities across the nation. Today, health centers serve more than 21 million patients annually.
Awards have been made to health centers in all 50 states, to help consumers understand their coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; determine their eligibility and what financial help they can get; and enroll in new affordable health coverage options. These awards, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded Navigator program. A list of health centers receiving this funding is available on the HRSA web site.