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October 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of circuits and arrows inside a man’s brain.Check out the October issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Biology of Addiction: Drugs and Alcohol Can Hijack Your Brain
    People with addiction lose control over their actions. They crave and seek out drugs, alcohol, or other substances no matter what the cost—even at the risk of damaging friendships, hurting family, or losing jobs. What is it about addiction that makes people behave in such destructive ways? And why is it so hard to quit?
  • Keep Your Mouth Healthy: Oral Care for Older Adults
    Oral health is important for people of all ages. But the simple routine you learned as a kid—brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly—can become more of a challenge as you get older. That’s partly why nearly 1 in 5 older Americans has untreated tooth decay. Among adults ages 75 and older, about 1 in 4 has lost all natural teeth.
  • Predicting Suicide Risk
    Researchers developed an approach that may help to identify patients most likely to attempt suicide. The experimental technique still must be tested in larger groups of people to assess its effectiveness.
  • Helping Older Loved Ones from Afar
    Many of us find that we need to help care for aging parents or other loved ones who live far away. Caregiving can be difficult and time-consuming, but it can also be rewarding.
  • Featured Website: Did You Know? Cancer Videos
    A new series of short videos from NIH explains some of the statistics and trends behind different types of cancer, including colorectal, prostate, breast, and lung cancers. Learn about related topics, such as the link between excess weight and cancer risk. To choose from more than a dozen options, open the “Choose a video” drop-down menu.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

HHS Launches Resources System to Improve Disaster Preparedness

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. This effort resulted from the collaborative efforts of local, state and federal government agencies, regional health-care coalitions, academia, and partners from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.

TRACIE provides technical resources and a technical assistance center, a comprehensive national knowledge center, and multiple ways to share information between federal, state and local officials. TRACIE’s technical resources include a living library of audience-tailored and subject matter expert-reviewed topic collections and materials highlighting real-life tools and experiences. TRACIE’s resources include user rating and comments, which can be used to help choose the best resource for a particular need. Through TRACIE’s assistance center, state, tribal, local and territorial officials can reach subject matter experts for technical assistance and consultations on a range of topics. Technical assistance could vary widely, including pediatric preparedness resources, crisis standards of care, tools to assess the readiness of hospitals and health care coalition for emergencies, lessons learned about delivering dialysis care during disasters, and more. Officials also can find training related to preparedness, response and recovery. The assistance center is available through a toll-free number, email, and online.

TRACIE also includes an information exchange. Through this forum, health care emergency preparedness stakeholders can discuss, collaborate and share information about pending and actual health threats and promising practices. Users also can exchange templates, plans and other materials through this feature. Users can get advice, including just-in-time advice, from hundreds of health care, disaster medicine, public health and public safety professionals, through TRACIE. TRACIE’s free registration allows users to rate the usefulness of the resources and to access the information exchange.

Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Website Redesign and Content Update!

Redesigned REMM websiteRadiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) has released its first major redesign since its 2007 launch. The redesign includes a more modern banner, a new color palette and font style, and a new navigation system. There are now six content groups on the new home page. One of the most popular features, the Multimedia Library in carousel form, remains on the home page, with seven categories of multimedia assets. The redesigned site now includes behavioral health resources and material for additional stakeholders, including first responders, senior health care leaders, veterinarians and public information officers. Since the last major content update in November 2014, significant content updates have been added to the web site including:

Users who have previously bookmarked REMM pages of interest should know that all prior URLs have been retained, so the bookmarks will still work. Users who have visited REMM pages before may need to refresh (reload) the web page to see the new design. Otherwise, only the old pages cached in your browser will display. The majority of the information from the website can be downloaded for use during an emergency if the internet is not accessible. A smartphone app containing REMM information, called Mobile REMM, also is available for the Apple and Android platforms.

Healthy People 2020 Public Comments Open October 15 – November 13

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding objectives proposed for inclusion in Healthy People 2020 since the last public comment period in fall 2014. Healthy People 2020 will continue to provide opportunities for public input periodically throughout the decade to ensure that Healthy People 2020 reflects current public health priorities. During the first phase of planning for Healthy People 2020, comments were received regarding the vision, mission, and implementation. Those comments helped establish the framework for Healthy People 2020. Comments from the public also helped determine the final set of Healthy People 2020 objectives. During this round of public comment, input is requested on the objectives proposed for the following topic areas: Family Planning, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Preparedness, and Social Determinants of Health. The public comment period will be open from October 15, 2015 through November 13, 2015.

These proposed objectives were developed by topic area workgroups, which are led by various agencies within the Federal government. They have been reviewed by the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020 and are now presented for public review and comment. You are also invited to suggest additional objectives for consideration that address critical public health issues within the 42 existing topic areas of Healthy People 2020. All proposed objectives must meet the objective selection criteria. Please review these criteria prior to reviewing and commenting on objectives.

Webinar: Public Health and Public Libraries: Librarians as Health Literacy First Responders

Join OCLC for the Public Health and Public Libraries: Librarians as Health Literacy First Responders webinar on October 21, 2015, from 12:00 – 1:00 PM PDT. This webinar will explore health-related outreach, programming, training, and funding so that your library can improve the health literacy of your community. Misinformation about health abounds in today’s info-glutted environment. What is the role of public libraries in addressing issues of accurate health information? Public libraries are uniquely positioned to contribute to healthy communities by providing informed access to reliable health information. This panel presentation provides an overview of the field of public health, highlighting innovative health promotion initiatives at public libraries, and covering training and funding resources for health-related library outreach and programming. Join the conversation about building your community’s health literacy.

Presented by:

  • Lydia N. Collins, Consumer Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
  • Anita Kinney, Program Analyst, United States Access Board
  • Christian Minter, Nebraska/Education Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region

New OMH Webinar Series: Guide to Successful Grant Proposals

The Office of Minority Health Resource Center is presenting a new webinar series designed for community-based, faith-based and other organizations that want to learn the basics of creating successful federal grant applications:

Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PDT: Technical Assistance: Foundations of Grant Writing (Rescheduled due to technical problems. Please re-register)
This introductory webinar, for community-based organizations that want to respond to federal funding opportunity announcements, covers the basics — from how to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) to the key sections in funding announcements to successful strategies for responding.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PDT: Why All the Excitement about Logic Models?
This webinar provides an overview of logic models and when to use them in both applications and evaluations. The webinar includes how to write specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) objectives and how to access logic model designs. Logic model templates are provided.

Thursday, November 5, 2015 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PST: Getting to Know the Federal Government and Funding Opportunities
A federal funders panel reveals best practices in responding to federal funding announcements. Opportunities for federal funding are identified.

Announcing DOCLINE 5.2 Release on October 14

The National Library of Medicine has announced the upcoming release of DOCLINE 5.2, on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The version includes several new features, including the ability for lenders to set a “standard weekly schedule when library provides ILL service,” and the ability for libraries to schedule multiple upcoming “out of office” dates along with a calendar date-choice widget. Also, temporary deactivation, i.e., “out of office,” will no longer require RML review. ILL software vendors Clio, ILLiad, QuickDoc, and Relais were given the opportunity to validate their software against DOCLINE 5.2. To learn more about the upcoming changes, visit the Release Notes, which include helpful screenshots.

Photovoice Evaluation Guides

Photovoice is an evaluation method that engages program stakeholders (learners, service recipients, community members) in taking photographs and using them as springboards to express their experiences and points of view. With the prevalence of cameras in mobile devices, along with social media forums, many of us are already engaged in the foundational practices underlying photovoice: taking photos, posting them, and sharing our experiences. Add in some facilitators who provide systematic method design, project management and ethical oversight; and you have the potential to gather program insights that would go untouched through traditional methods. The following two practical resources are written by action researchers describing their lessons learned about conducting photovoice projects. The documents also show you or link you to photos and commentary from contributing participants.

One comprehensive guide comes from the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE), located in Canada. The center engages in collaborative, community-based research on social and other determinants of the health of women and girls. The center’s mission is to provide expert advice on social policies related to women’s health. The authors (Beverly Palibroda, Brigette Krieg, Lisa Murdock and Joanne Havelock) published A Practical Guide To Photovoice: Sharing Pictures, Telling Stories and Changing Communities, a nuts-and-bolts photovoice manual. It provides detailed advice, with periodic sidebars summarizing process. An appendix includes a helpful checklist. You will find sample photovoice entries throughout the document. The manual was written in 2009. Since then, the PWHCE has introduced digital story-telling into its portfolio of participatory methods. 

Another guide was produced based on a photovoice project for, an educational website providing authoritative information about brain injury symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. The project featured the stories of eight members with traumatic brain injury, with a gallery of essays. Facilitators Laura Lorenz and Barbara Webster developed a succinct facilitator guide based on this project.

Women’s Health Resources Information Portal to Be Retired

On Monday, October 5, NLM will retire the Women’s Health Resources (WHR) information portal that was started in partnership with the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) in 2008. Anyone accessing the site after that date will be redirected from the WHR portal to the Office of Research on Women’s Health homepage. NLM appreciates the assistance of ORWH in the development of the portal and for providing outreach project funding to libraries to promote the portal and sex and gender differences in research among university faculty and students. NLM will continue our partnership by helping ORWH develop avenues for those seeking to search NLM databases such as PubMed and for research on women’s health.

First Offering of NCBI NOW (Next Generation Sequencing Online Workshop) Begins October 13!

NCBI will present the first iteration of NCBI NOW, a free online experience aimed at those new to next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis, from October 13-23. Enrollment in this course is limited to the first 1,000 participants who sign up through the ORAU Portal. Since enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, please only sign up for this educational opportunity if you will be able to participate fully. Learners will watch 6-7 videos (average video duration: 45-60 minutes) online during the first seven days of the course. These videos will cover the basics of NGS data, preprocessing, quality control and alignment strategies for both DNA-Seq and RNA-Seq, as well as a brief discussion of downstream analysis. Additionally, there will be demonstrations about leveraging BLAST tools for NGS analysis.

Next, participants will apply a selection of RNA-Seq alignment algorithms over three days (1-2 hours per day), mapping RNA-Seq data to GRCh38 chromosome 20. Finally, participants will compare the results of these mappers for specific genes. Throughout the course, participants will be able to post questions at Biostars; experts from NCBI and elsewhere will be available online to answer questions. Learners will emerge from the course equipped to map their own RNA-Seq or DNA-Seq data to the human genome, understand the options for downstream analysis, and use their understanding of the basic steps of data processing to interact more effectively with bioinformatician collaborators.