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2011 Major and Express Outreach Award Highlights

Outreach funding is a key component of the RML program, greatly extending our efforts to reach target populations. Outreach projects completed during the 2006-2011 contract were very impressive in quality and diversity. The following summaries are highlights from recently completed outreach projects. In addition, several in-depth narratives, written by the funding awardees, follow this article.

Breast Cancer Health Information Project
Rebecca Birr, Maricopa Integrated Health System Library, Phoenix, AZ

The Breast Cancer Health Information Project (BCHIP) impacted women facing a breast cancer diagnosis, and their families. The project increased and improved communication pertaining to breast cancer health and treatment options by utilizing written and video presentations; created a breast cancer health information web site; and empowered women to be involved with their own health care. Twenty-three women received education and completed a post test administered via Survey Monkey. Bilingual brochures and posters were developed, produced, and distributed in English and Spanish. A website was created and is fully usable for both patients and the general public. The website includes the video created by this project that contains the breast cancer educational information. The video is available on YouTube and embedded on the project website. In addition to the website, an educational DVD was developed that included the video and allowed patients to take it home to share with family members. QR codes were developed with direct links to the English and Spanish educational videos on YouTube and affixed to the breast cancer brochures. A letter was mailed to fifty cancer patient libraries in the United States and Canada detailing the project and sharing the project web site and DVDs.

Consumer Health Initiatives for Asian and Hispanic Communities in California
Min-Lin Fang, University of California, San Francisco, Library and Center for Knowledge Management

The biggest accomplishment in this initiative was the significant and ongoing promotion of MedlinePlus and PubMed among underserved populations (that have the most to gain from accessing these underutilized resources), through efforts at the Rural Area Medical (RAM) Free Clinics in Los Angeles, as well as workshops at Tzu-Chi Medical Foundation in Los Angeles, and Martin Luther King Middle School in San Francisco. The RAM Free Clinics, held April 27-May 1, 2010, provided access to free medical, dental, and vision care to uninsured people. Hundreds of medical and non-medical volunteers came together to serve a total of 6,227 patients. The purpose of participating was to promote reliable consumer health resources. Because the majority of patients at the Free Clinics, primarily African American or Hispanic, had pressing medical needs, one-on-one communication was important in order to get a sense of their computer skills and literacy levels, and to promote MedlinePlus as appropriate. In addition, workshops introducing PubMed and MedlinePlus were held for health care professionals and staff of the Tzu-Chi Medical Foundation in South El Monte, CA. A series of workshops was also held for an 8th grade science class at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy Middle School in San Francisco. The goal of these workshops was to target an underserved population which lacked a knowledgeable information base at home and computer/information access at school. These training efforts targeting both disadvantaged populations as well as health care providers began to close the gap in knowledge of available health information resources on both ends of the consumer spectrum.

Youth Enrichment in Science/Junior Nurse Program
Yi Gong, American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) Library, Signal Hill, CA

The Youth Enrichment in Science (YES) | Junior Nurse Program was a collaboration between the American University of Health Sciences and Signal Hill Elementary School. AUHS held six YES conventions for 210 fourth and fifth grade students at Signal Hill. During the conventions, elementary school students listened to the success stories of AUHS volunteer students and learned how to measure weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature. The elementary school students also read picture books on first aid and practiced using first aid kits. They were introduced to NLM resources, taught how to use MedlinePlus, and practiced using MedlinePlus by searching for information on diseases they know, such as fever and diabetes. The participating students from Signal Hill Elementary School were mostly minorities, among which 50%-55% of the students are Hispanic, 30%-35% are African American, and 5%-10% are Cambodian. Through the YES program, some of the elementary school students that were not originally interested in medicine are now interested in medicine and nursing. One way to address health care disparities is by introducing minority students to medical careers at an early age and encouraging them to consider devoting themselves to the medical field when they grow up.

Medical Librarian Training Program Pacific Islands Health Officers Association
Greg Dever, Pacific Islands Health Officers Association (PIHOA), Honolulu, HI

On behalf of the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) regional medical librarians and in partnership with the AYUDA Foundation, the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) submitted a 2010 Express Outreach Award proposal to the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region RML, to fund select meeting expenses for seven librarians from American Samoa, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia, to attend the 20th Annual Conference of the Pacific Island Association of Libraries, Archives and Museums (PIALA). This exposed the USAPI librarians to new and relevant library information, practices, and technologies; initiated the first formal opportunity for them to build the human and resource networks so important to library development; provided general library and medical library training in new information, practices, and technologies; and introduced the medical librarians to information regarding the opportunity to matriculate in accredited library / medical library programs, such as that offered by LEAP (University of Texas) and proposed to be offered by Palau Community College.

Checking the Pulse of Community Health: A Public Forum Presenting the HARC 2010 Assessment Data for Eastern Riverside County
Eileen Packer, Health Assessment Resource Center (HARC), Palm Desert, CA

This Express Outreach Award allowed HARC to disseminate the results of the 2010 health needs assessment data for Eastern Riverside County; share the data with the community; and to promulgate the availability of the data to the community in an open forum. On April 14, 2011, from 8:30 am to 9:45 am, the results of the 2010 health needs assessment were presented to approximately 120 attendees, representing community based organizations, policy makers, educators, and community leaders. The attendees were given a brief history of HARC’s evolution, followed by a preview of selected key findings from the assessment. Significant changes from the 2007 health needs assessment were highlighted. The presentation of the data was followed by a question and answer period to a panel comprised of Dr. Eric Frykman, Director of the Community Health Agency and Public Health Officer; Dr. Shelley Osborn, Associate Director of HARC; Terry Casella, Consultant to the HARC project; and Eileen Packer, RD, CAE, Executive Director of HARC. Each participant was given an Executive Report. HARC printed 3,000 copies of the Executive Report to be distributed, free of charge, throughout the next three years.

Rural Integrated Partnership Network for Mental / Primary Health Care
Terry Henner, Savitt Medical Library at the University of Nevada in Reno

This project created the foundation for improved support of clinical practice in rural rotations and began an exploration of iPads as a useful tool for accessing and presenting clinically useful information in the delivery of patient care for primary care providers; including students, residents, and School of Medicine faculty, who provide mental health and primary care services in Nevada’s rural hospitals and community health centers. Six iPads were distributed to health care providers along with vouchers to purchase clinically relevant software and textbooks for the iPads. The participants were selected based on their emphasis on primary care medicine, focus on serving rural and underpopulated areas, and commitment to preceptor training of medical students and residents. Concurrent with the iPad project, we introduced a web-based resource developed using a commercial wiki platform. The web site, which is still in the formative stage, creates a clearinghouse for best practices in rural health and provides a mechanism to improve communication and collaboration among rural practitioners.

Thanks go to all outreach awardees. You are essential to the RML program’s success!

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