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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

New Project Announced for Collecting Health Data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Populations!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched the first-ever, large-scale national health survey to collect detailed health information for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) households; the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey. The information will be collected through the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and is the nation’s largest in-person, household health survey. Never before has there been a study of this scale to assess the health needs of NHPIs, and this type of survey has long been called for by the NHPI community. This important effort will help improve understanding of the health concerns faced by this community and to identify areas of opportunity for the federal government to better address these concerns.

The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders National Health Interview Survey will include a sample of approximately 4,000 households. Data collection for the survey begins in February 2014 and findings will be available in the summer of 2015. The data will help public health researchers to produce reports on a wide range of important health indicators for the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders comprise just 0.4% of the total U.S. population, which makes it difficult to include them in sufficient numbers in most national population-based health surveys. The lack of reliable health data for this population has made it difficult to assess their health status and health care utilization. However, the available data for this population indicates that they experience significant health disparities when compared to other groups, such as lower utilization of health care services and higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

WISER for Windows 4.5 Now Available!

The National Library of Medicine’s WISER for Windows 4.5 is now available. This new version of WISER fully integrates Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) content and updates the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) content to 2012.

Here’s a closer look at what’s new in this release:

  • Full integration of CHEMM content, which includes:
    • New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles, along with a customized home screen for all WISER profiles
    • Acute care guidelines for six known mass casualty agents/agent classes
    • The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material
    • CHEMM Intelligent Syndromes Tool (CHEMM-IST), a new Help Identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident
  • ERG content is now updated to the 2012 release. This includes the full ERG 2012 tool.

WISER for Windows 4.5 can be downloaded directly from the WISER website.

Coming Soon

Look for these exciting additions in the coming months:

  • WebWISER 4.5, which includes CHEMM integration, ERG 2012 updates, and more
  • WISER for Android 3.1, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform

NLM Releases Enhancements to Its “Digital Collections” Repository

Redesigned homepage with informative images highlighting repository contentThe National Library of Medicine released several enhancements to Digital Collections, the free online archive of biomedical resources, at the end of September.

New features include:

  • Redesigned homepage with informative images highlighting repository content
  • Responsive sizing of homepage and search results to better accommodate the wide range of displays
  • More consistent, cleaner look and feel across the Web site, including the latest NIH & NLM branding
  • New “Refine by” feature on the left which allows users to limit searches to specific facets

In addition to these enhancements, technically inclined readers may be interested to know about these significant changes that improve system performance and flexibility:

  • Fresh indexing of metadata and full text for more efficient search & retrieval
  • Replacement of the Muradora front-end application with Blacklight, an open-source discovery interface which sits on top of the repository’s Solr index
  • Upgrades to all major software components supporting the repository, including the underlying Fedora Commons framework
  • New server architecture that better isolates components for improved security
  • More powerful hardware providing faster search and presentation responsiveness

In November, Digital Collections reached the milestone of providing access to 10,000 digitized resources. The repository contains over 12 million discrete files. NLM regularly deposits content from its digitization activities, including current projects focused on WWII-era materials and NLM-authored publications. For more information about Digital Collections, see the About Digital Collections page and Help Documentation.

New NLM Traveling Exhibition “From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry”

The Era of Antibiotics, painted by Robert A. Thom for Parke, Davis & Company, 1950s. Printed with Permission of American Pharmacists Association Foundation. Copyright 2009 APhA Foundation.NLM’s Exhibition Program has announced a new traveling banner exhibit, From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry, now available for booking! A link to the online exhibition is also available. From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry explores some of the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use microorganisms for health and commercial purposes. Over the past two centuries, scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques using and modifying life forms like yeast, molds, and bacteria, to create a host of new therapies and produce better foods and beverages. The exhibition illustrates the history of this dynamic relationship among microbes, medicine, technology, and industry, which has spanned centuries.

For questions about the traveling exhibit, contact nlmtravelingexhibits@mail.nlm.nih.gov. For information on currently available and future NLM traveling exhibits, please visit the Exhibition Program website.

HHS Launches Second Video Game on Disaster Planning!

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.

New ACA Resources Available on WebJunction!

WebJunction recently updated its website to help library staff connect patrons to available resources and community experts that can provide assistance:

Local Help

  • 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.

Papers of Lawrence Kolb Sr., Addiction Research Pioneer, Now Digitized!

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, 19831994 and Development of Environmental Health Policy: Pope A. Lawrence Papers 19241983. 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.

New NLM online class “Discovering TOXNET: From Paracelsus to Nanotechnology!”

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 ntc@utah.edu.

NLM launches “Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture – Traveling Banner Display and Online Exhibition”

Robert C. Gallo, MD, at the National Institutes of Health, early 1980sThe 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!

NTC Classes: PubMed for Trainers, TOXNET, and PubMed Update

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.