We are entering a critical time in health care in the United States. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes the American health care system in many ways. Of major importance is the fact that it expands access to health insurance for millions of Americans. But do Americans understand the changes that are coming? Do they understand their options for health insurance or how to choose the insurance plan that best meets their needs? And will they know how to use that insurance plan once they have it? Many people don’t have this understanding, and they have a hard time getting reliable information when they try to learn more.
Six participants in the Collaborative on Health Literacy and Access, Health Care Coverage, and Care of the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy have prepared a discussion paper that presents basic information that can be used to help people understand their health insurance options. The 14-page paper, Helping Consumers Understand and Use
Health Insurance in 2014, is a resource for those who will be helping consumers make important decisions; including patient navigators, community organizations, employers, media, educators, and any individual or organization working to improve understanding of options for health insurance.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced the solicitation of proposals for the 2013 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects (Solicitation No. NIHLM2013704 B), 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 $40,000. Quotations are due to NLM on Thursday, July 18, 2013!
The solicitation for the 2013 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. Small Businesses can apply to a specific set-aside (NIHLM2013704 A). The Federal Business Opportunities Web site will also list all notices, updates, and modifications to the Solicitation.
Projects must involve one or more of the following information access categories: information retrieval; skills development, resource development; 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.
The NLM primary point of contact for the solicitation is Keturah D. Busey, Business Opportunity Specialist, and the secondary point of contact is Robin D. Hope, Contracting Officer.
On May 16, 2013, the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS) awarded NLM’s historian Michael Sappol, PhD, with the 2013 ALHHS best monograph award, and NLM’s History of Medicine Division Chief, Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, with the 2013 ALHHS best article award. Dr. Sappol received his honor for his editorship of the book Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine. Published in 2012, Hidden Treasure is a richly-illustrated volume that celebrates the collections of the world’s largest medical library on the occasion of its 175th anniversary, which occurred in 2011. Hidden Treasure has received praise from the Journal of the American Medical Association, New York Times, Wired Science, Eye Magazine, and numerous other media outlets. Scholars have also praised the book: “Opening this volume is like lifting up the lid of a treasure chest,” observed John Harley Warner, chair of History of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. “Brilliantly conceived and beautifully produced, this is an amazing exploration of the visual and material cultures of health, medicine, and the body in their widest and most imaginative reaches.” Hidden Treasure is available free from NLM’s Digital Collections.
Dr. Reznick received the 2013 ALHHS best article award for “Remains of War: Walt Whitman, Civil War Soldiers, and the Legacy of Medical Collections,” which he co-authored with Lenore Barbian, PhD, of Edinboro University and Paul Sledzik, former curator of Anatomical Collections at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Museum History Journal. “Remains of War” reveals the discovery of the mortal remains of four American Civil War soldiers among the thousands preserved in the anatomical collections of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, which traces its origins to 1862 and the creation of the U.S. Army Medical Museum. These men were among hundreds cared for by author Walt Whitman during his time as a volunteer in the Civil War-era hospitals of Washington, DC. Uniting the remains of these four men with Whitman’s words that describe his experiences, “Remains of War” yields a new interpretation of medical collections that bears witness to deeply individual histories during a time of unprecedented conflict in American history.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will join with other health data leaders and innovators for the fourth annual Health Datapalooza. The unique event will be held June 3-4, 2013, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Health Datapalooza IV highlights new, innovative, and effective ways health data is being used by companies, startups, academics, government agencies, and individuals. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend. The event is organized by a consortium of private sector, non-profit and government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NLM has participated in the event every year.
As the world’s largest medical library, NLM has made its electronic data freely available for decades, so that others can use it to develop new products and services. Additionally, NLM provides application programming interfaces (APIs) so that external products and services, such as electronic health records, can easily access its data. NLM experts will be in the Health Datapalooza exhibit hall (Booth 12), to explain how developers can utilize the variety of available NLM data, including medical literature; consumer health information; clinical trials; medical terminology; and drugs. NLM will also participate in the “Datalab” breakout session, featuring federal government data experts.
The National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Division (HMD) is planning an upgrade to improve access to and usage of its Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) database, the main online access point to over 70,000 digital images from NLM’s historical collections. You are invited to take part in a brief survey, so that NLM may better understand your current use of IHM and what new features you would wish this resource to offer in the future. The survey closing date is Friday, June 14, 2013. This survey has been approved by the National Library of Medicine’s Survey Review process and responses will be anonymous.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to be included in a new exhibition, which opened May 15 and runs through August 18, 2013, at The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for medieval art and architecture in New York City. Search for the Unicorn: An Exhibition in Honor of The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary places the institution’s famous Unicorn Tapestries within the larger context of medieval and Renaissance art, revealing the mythical animal’s persistent inspirational role in artistic imagination over the centuries and in the emerging history of natural science.
Given by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in time for the opening of The Cloisters in 1938, the Unicorn Tapestries are its best-known masterpieces; yet, 75 years later, their history and meaning remain elusive. They have been seen both as complicated metaphors for Christ and as emblems of matrimony, and they are beloved as quaint indications of medieval notions about the natural world. This exhibition of some 40 works of art drawn from the collections of the Metropolitan, sister institutions, and private collections invites audiences to see the Unicorn Tapestries anew, as the finest expression of a subject widely treated across cultures, and in both European art and science.
Featured in Search for the Unicorn are two items from the NLM’s historical collections, Pierre Pomet’s Histoire générale des drogues (1694) and al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation (ca. 1700). Wonders of Creation was compiled originally in the middle 1200s and is considered one of the most important natural history texts of the medieval Islamic world. It is featured in NLM’s Turning the Pages program. Pomet’s Histoire générale des drogues is primarily a historical examination and description of drugs and medicines, and examines unicorns because of the magical healing properties attributed to their horns.
The presentation for the DOCLINE Users Group Meeting, given at the 2013 MLA Annual Meeting, is now available to view from the NLM DOCLINE presentations page. The presentation includes speaker notes. The “MLA 2013 DOCLINE Update” presents data highlights and preliminary analysis from the recent national survey of DOCLINE libraries, as part of the NLM strategic planning initiative exploring the future of resource sharing. The goal of the initiative was to better understand the resource sharing needs of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, given the declining use of DOCLINE for ILL and Loansome Doc for document delivery. The results showed that DOCLINE is still a vital service! The presentation also gave a brief overview of recent and upcoming DOCLINE releases.
Libraries are invited to share their thoughts on the results presented, and any further insights into future needs regarding obtaining biomedical literature for health professionals. Comments may be sent to NLM by using the Contact Us feature of DOCLINE, or by discussing with NN/LM PSR staff.
The National Library of Medicine’s WISER for Android 2.0 is now available and can be installed directly from the Google Play Store. New features in this release include:
- Emergency Response Guidebook data is now updated to the ERG 2012; WISER for Android includes a custom ERG 2012 tool; and
- WISER now fully integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) website.
This integration includes:
- New hospital provider and preparedness planner profiles;
- Acute care guidelines for six known mass casualty agents/agent classes;
- The addition of a wealth of CHEMM reference material; and
- CHEMM Intelligent Syndrome Tool (CHEMM-IST); a new help identify tool designed to diagnose the type of chemical exposure after a mass casualty incident.
These exciting additions are coming soon:
- Updates to the Windows and WebWISER platforms to include CHEMM integration, ERG 2012 data, and more;
- Data updates for all WISER platforms; and
- WISER for Android 3.1, which adds Help Identify Chemical and protective distance mapping to this popular platform.
WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders, and others that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. NLM is soliciting proposals from partnerships that include at least one library and at least one non-library organization that has disaster-related responsibilities, such as health departments, public safety departments, emergency management departments, prehospital and emergency medical services, fire/rescue, or other local, regional, or state agencies with disaster health responsibilities; hospitals; faith-based and voluntary organizations active in disaster; and others. Contract awards will be offered for a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $30,000, for a one-year project. The deadline for responses is Thursday, June 20, 2013, at 11 am PT. Responses are limited to six pages plus supplemental materials such as resumes, letters of support, and a budget.
NLM is looking for innovative proposals that enhance mutually beneficial collaboration among libraries and disaster-related agencies. For example, projects may increase awareness of health information resources, demonstrate how libraries and librarians can assist planners and responders with disaster-related information needs, show ways in which disaster workers can educate librarians about disaster management, and/or include collaboration among partners in developing information resources that support planning and response to public health emergencies. Summaries of projects funded in 2011 and 2012 are available for viewing. The solicitation notice can be found on FedBizOpps. Visit NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center web site for additional information and instructions about the “Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2013.”
The National Library of Medicine has launched an online adaptation of the traveling banner exhibition, A Voyage to Health, an exploration of how the revival of Native Hawaiian sea voyaging traditions helped heal the soul of the community. The launch of the web site celebrates the 19-year anniversary of the May 9, 1994 return of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe island to the Hawaiian people by the United States Navy. This online project begins with the migration of voyagers from the South Pacific who settled on the Hawaiian island of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, and details the loss of sovereignty and suppression of culture Native Hawaiians experienced by the US annexation of Hawai‘i. It highlights the contemporary movement to reclaim and protect Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, and the restoration of traditional sea voyaging, which have served as unexpected catalysts of a Native Hawaiian cultural renaissance; a reconnection to ancient sources of pride and wellness.
The web site is augmented by education resources that explore the exhibition content: two lesson plans for grades 4-8; a six-class higher education module developed by noted Native Hawaiian scholar Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, PhD; two online activities; and a collection of other online resources. A Voyage to Health was curated by Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, PhD (University of Hawai‘i), Hardy Spoehr (Papa Ola Lokahi), and Maile Taualii, PhD, MPH (Papa Ola Lokahi), in cooperation with NLM Exhibition Program curator Manon Parry, PhD. The traveling banner exhibition A Voyage to Health has traveled to 17 locations in the continental United States and nine locations around the world!