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National Medical Librarians Month — 2005

The Medical Library Association has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month. In honor of this event, the National Library of Medicine and your NN/LM Regional Network Office are celebrating the contributions of medical librarians in two ways — by providing a letter of recognition to hospital administrators and by promoting Network member outreach projects.

Letter of Recognition for Hospital Administrators

We have prepared a letter from the Regional Network Office to hospital administrators that reinforces the important work that hospital librarians do and the contributions you make to your institution. We have had an excellent response to this offering; thirty-three librarians have agreed to have the letter sent to their hospital administrators.

If you have not already requested a letter, go to http://nnlm.gov/psr/members/nmlm2005.html to see a copy of the letter of recognition and to submit your administrator information. We will accept requests until October 14, 2005, and we will send out letters shortly thereafter.

Promoting Network Member Projects

The National Library of Medicine has highlighted several noteworthy projects undertaken by medical librarians and has provided links to each region’s projects. Projects from the Pacific Southwest Region are:

Access to Health Information for Arizona’s Tribal Nations
University of Arizona
Arizona Health Sciences Library
Tucson, AZ
Project Director: Jeanette McCray

With this project, the Arizona Health Sciences Library (AHSL) sought to improve access to health information resources for Native Americans in Arizona, and to have tribes identify and rely on AHSL as their primary broker and resource for assistance in addressing the health information needs of tribal members. During the course of the project, AHSL interacted directly with members of 10 of Arizona’s 21 tribes, and reached all 15 counties in Arizona with training workshops on PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Loansome Doc; descriptions of services and resources available from AHSL; and presentations on Internet resources for specific topics, such as diabetes. Towards the end of the project, with the help of the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records and NN/LM PSR, AHSL identified and invited tribal librarians to Tucson to participate in a 1 ½ day conference on Health Information for Tribal Libraries. Twenty-six people attended this very-well-received conference. As a result of the project, AHSL forged and will maintain long-term relationships with Arizona’s American Indian populations.

Internet Professional and Consumer Medical Information Access
Guam Memorial Hospital Authority
University of Guam Robert F. Kennedy Library
Oka, Tamuning, Guam
Project Directors: Carol Perez, Arlene Cohen

Through this project, training was provided to medical and allied health professionals by presentations at meetings such as the Annual Guam System for Assistive Technology Conference and the 1st Medical Micronesian Symposium, held in Guam. Additional training sessions were held for members of the Guam Library Association and staff at Guam Memorial Hospital. Training sessions covered the following activities: Effective usage of PubMed and Loansome Doc, obtaining consumer health information using MedlinePlus, using other NLM resources, and introducing other health information resources available through the Internet. Equipment procured through this project was also used for hospital-sponsored Community Health Education classes offered to the community.

Senior Health in San Diego: Access to Electronic Information in San Diego
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) Library
San Diego, CA
Project Director: Naomi Broering

This project involved development of a health program for seniors in two San Diego Senior Centers; the First Lutheran Church’s Third Avenue Charitable Organization and the Florence Riford Senior Center in La Jolla. The project implemented a health information access network relationship with these partners, provided weekly computer training workshops and instructional workbooks for local senior citizens, added pertinent NLM and other resources to the PCOM web site for use by seniors, and extended document delivery services and Loansome Doc to the project partners. Training sessions focused on MedlinePlus, NIHSeniorHealth, resources available from the PCOM Library web site, and resources available from other local libraries, such as San Diego Public Library. Additional training presentations were held each semester for PCOM’s senior clinic health professional students. A special “Senior Health Databases” section was created for the PCOM Library’s web site, and may be viewed at: http://www.pacificcollege.edu/library/senior_health_databases.htm.

Operation Health Outreach
Glendale Public Library
Glendale, AZ
Project Director: Frieda Ling

The overall mission of the one-year Operation Health Outreach project is to improve access to health information for the major non-English speaking minority group, the Hispanic population, in Glendale, Arizona, by providing health information in Spanish, the identified native language. Specific activities of the project included providing free hands-on Internet Health Search Classes in Spanish covering resources such as MedlinePlus; offering free health information seminars in Spanish featuring speakers on such topics as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression; and sponsoring a large health fair with participation from Spanish-speaking health workers and over 50 health-related community organizations. Health information pathfinders were created for topics such as glaucoma, heart disease, and cancer prevention. Collaborating organizations that participated in Operation Health Outreach included REFORMA Central Arizona, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill West Valley, the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, and many others.

Kudos to everyone for a job well done!

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