Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category
by Yamila El-Khayat, M.A.
Outreach Services Librarian
University of Arizona Health Sciences Library
The University of Arizona Health Sciences Library (UAHSL) hosted the very successful Native Voices in the Southwest Conference, a two-day event held in October, 2015, featuring the National Library of Medicine’s Native Voices traveling exhibit. The Conference provided time and space to discuss and learn more about health, wellness, and medicine among Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The event was launched with an insightful talk given by a panel of Native American health care professionals, highlighting Native American Culture in Patient- Centered Care. During lunch, attendees were treated with the opportunity to meet Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, National Library of Medicine Director Emeritus, who provided an insightful talk, illuminating his progressive vision for the world’s largest biomedical library, and how he foresaw the important role that information technology would play. The day concluded with a screening and discussion about the film, Carlos Montezuma: Changing Is Not Vanishing, about a Native American Arizonan physician in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The second day of the Conference featured opportunities to have additional interactions with Dr. Lindberg, including a Q&A session and informal conversations held on both the University of Arizona health science and general academic campuses. These casual moments gave students, faculty and staff the opportunity to meet this groundbreaking professional “up close and personal” and learn more about this highly influential and innovative leader. The Native Voices exhibit was on display at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library from August 24 through December 8, 2015, attracting many community members and increasing the visibility of the library.
In March of 2010, federal legislation known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but it wasn’t until June of 2013 that public libraries fell into the spotlight and became the go-to community place for information related to health care reform. During the 2013 American Library Association annual conference, President Obama issued a call to librarians to assist the community and the nation at large with ACA-related health insurance questions. The only problem was that there was no playbook, no reference text with ready answers. What ensued was a time of mass confusion, misinformation in the media, and bumpy roll-outs of the federal and state health care exchanges. Librarians and staff stepped up to the challenge, learning and doing as they went along. Libraries opened their doors to the public, partnered with community organizations, hosted enrollment events, and assisted as best they could with the information they had at the time.
Luckily, librarians now have a resource with much-needed information at their fingertips in the new book, The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act, published by Rowman & Littlefield in October, 2015. The Affordable Care Act has stood up to legal challenges and attempts to overturn it, and information is still needed as new provisions to the law take effect. Thus, ACA-related library services remain in high demand. The book is a practical guide for reference librarians and front-line staff who continue to receive questions about the ACA.
The book was edited by Emily Vardell, teaching fellow at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapter authors were chosen for their experience and expertise with the topics, and all together the authors have woven together a guidebook that will be very useful for anyone tasked with responding to health insurance and ACA reference questions. I co-authored two chapters of the book, “The Health Insurance Reference Question: A Step-by-Step Approach,” and “Recommended ACA Resources for Patients and the General Public.”
The ACA is a complicated law with many facets. Librarians may be faced with questions about the law itself, tax implications, or health insurance options. Questions may come from individuals and small business owners, health practitioners, or those who are interested for other reasons. With all this in mind, the book sets the stage with an overview of the ACA, and then segues into topics related to the role of the librarian, health insurance literacy, and the reference interview. Current and best practices are covered in detail, and the book concludes with chapters covering recommended resources for consumers and practitioners.
In summary, this Guide simplifies the complex topic of the ACA into manageable pieces. It provides the necessary information for readers to provide relevant services, improve their own health insurance literacy, and acquire skills for helping library users find and utilize quality health insurance information.
by Miranda Lam, MLIS, Medical Librarian and
Darlene Parker-Kelly, MSLS, Director
Health Sciences Library
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Los Angeles, CA
In celebration of the 2015 National Medical Librarians Month, Charles R. Drew University (CDU) Health Sciences Library proudly displayed the National Library of Medicine’s Pick Your Poison traveling exhibit. This particular exhibit is CDU Health Sciences Library’s fifth such exhibition and it is an opportunity to cultivate conversations with students, faculty, staff and the community. From the exhibit, one learns about the evolution of perceptions of select mind altering drugs in American society: tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine, and marijuana. (more…)
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) funded six HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects in September 2015, in the 22nd round of the program. NLM has continued its HIV/AIDS-related outreach efforts to community-based organizations, patient advocacy groups, faith-based organizations, departments of health, and libraries. This program provides support to design local programs for improving information access for HIV/AIDS patients and the affected community, as well as their caregivers. Congratulations to all the recipients! (more…)
October is National Medical Librarians Month (NMLM)! Highlighting the fact that medical librarians are the best and most cost effective way to obtain quality health information, this year’s NMLM theme is Are You A Risk Taker? When you need to be right, ask your medical librarian. In honor of this event, we are recognizing the contributions of medical librarians by promoting Network member outreach projects. (more…)
For the fifth year, NLM has funded projects for partnerships between libraries and organizations that have disaster-related responsibilities. The partnerships will work together to improve use of disaster medicine and public health information by librarians, health professionals, first responders, emergency planners, and others responsible for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Projects will increase the use of high-quality online resources on disaster topics including those from the National Library of Medicine. (more…)
As mentioned in a recent Latitudes article, September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). Preparation and planning will provide the best chance of more positive outcomes after a disaster, but the library can also have great impact during an emergency or disaster event. The library can be a source of relevant and timely information, and may even be called upon to be a safe haven. Uncertainty about how to respond or delays in action can be avoided by having knowledge and tools in place ahead of time for immediate response. Today we have tools and resources that we hope we never have to use, but knowing about them in advance is key. (more…)
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and the Great American Shakeout is just around the corner after that. Is your library prepared for a disaster or emergency? Taking steps to prepare for emergencies has clear benefits; it helps reduce fear and anxiety beforehand and can reduce or avoid losses and devastating impacts associated with the event. (more…)
by Yamila El-Khayat, M.A.
Outreach Services Librarian
Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
This year our Outreach program in Arizona had quite a diverse set of programs reaching various populations within the state and beyond. This article provides a mini-overview of the many events accomplished. (more…)
Four outstanding projects were funded in response to the 2015-16 Request for Proposals: Express Outreach/Training/Technology Awards. These projects will be funded for $9,000 each, for a period of 12 months, beginning May 1, 2015. The projects strive to improve access to health information for health professionals and health consumers, and to promote the awareness and use of products and services available from the NLM and the NN/LM. (more…)