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Archive for September, 2013

Librarians Join Mental Health Conversation

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Creating Community Solutions Logo

In early 2013, President Barack Obama called for a “national conversation to increase understanding about mental health”. To address this need, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan, launched what is known as the National Dialogue on Mental Health.

Libraries are being encouraged to partner with Creating Community Solutions, part of the National Dialogue intended to increase mental health awareness at a local level, and host events that will bring community members together to participate in open-discussions about mental health. The American Library Association Center for Civic Life is partnering with a number of other civic groups on this initiative including America Speaks, the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD),Everyday Democracy, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) and already positive outcomes are being reported (see results of the day-long event in Sacramento, California-http://creatingcommunitysolutions.org/outcomes/creating-community-solutions-sacramento-ca).

In addition to hosting or participating in events, libraries can use many of the tools available on the Creating Community Solutions website. These tools include a mental health press kit, social media toolkit, several documents on facilitating community dialogue, recorded webinars to assist in training and preparation, as well as information briefs and planning guides developed by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

To find more information about Creating Community Solutions and how libraries are participating, visit the following websites.

Programming Librarian – Libraries Join the National Conversation about Mental Health: http://www.programminglibrarian.org/blog/2013/august-2013/join-the-national-conversation-about-mental-health.html#.UhJ3b5Ksg6k

Creating Community Solutions website: http://creatingcommunitysolutions.org/

Texas Sees Rise in Cases of Pertussis

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Nurse giving toddler a shot

According to a report from Reuters, in the past year, close to 2,000 cases of pertussis (also known as whooping cough) have been reported in Texas alone. Because pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious problems in infants—especially those under four months of age and therefore unable to be vaccinated—and children, these numbers are of great concern to doctors and health officials alike.

Early signs of whooping cough infection include runny nose, low-grade fever, apnea, and a mild cough. After 1-2 weeks, the symptoms worsen into fits of rapid coughing followed by the tell-tale high pitched “whoop”, vomiting, and extreme exhaustion.

Although most common (and dangerous) in infants and children, teens and adults can become infected as well. The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated and keep those that are contagious away from others.  Boosters—called DTaP and protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis—are available for all ages and are especially recommended for those who come into contact regularly with infants.

For more information on prevention and treatment of whooping cough, visit the following:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Pertussis (Whooping Cough): http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html

MedlinePlus—Whooping Cough health topic page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/whoopingcough.html

Reuters—Whooping Cough Reaches Epidemic Level in Texas: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/06/us-usa-health-texas-idUSBRE98502A20130906

September 2013 SCR CONNECTions

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Tablet Computers in the Academic Library Book Cover

Please join us Wednesday, September 18, 2013 from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region’s (NN/LM SCR’s) free monthly webinar, SCR CONNECTions.

This month’s topic is Mobile Devices and Apps in Education presented by guest speaker Rebecca K. Miller, College Librarian for Science, Life Sciences, and Engineering at Virginia Tech University.

Rebecca is no stranger to our Region. She previously served as the Digital Technologies/Information Literacy Librarian at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is currently pursuing a secondary master of arts degree in instructional design and technology from Virginia Tech. Rebecca is also the co-author of the popular book Tablet Computers in the Academic Library as well as the forthcoming title Introduction: Rethinking Reference and Instruction with Tablets.

Mobile devices are changing how library users access information and applications (apps) for mobile devices are being released at a rapid rate. Rebecca will address how mobile technologies and apps can be implemented in library and educational settings. Rebecca will provide an overview for using apps for teaching and provide information about how to assess apps for use in education.

This webinar will be available for 1 hour of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education credit and will be archived for future viewing.

 

How to Log In

Go to https://webmeeting.nih.gov/scr/, on the log in screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name.

Once the room is open the system will provide a prompt asking for your phone number to connect to the audio.

Use *6 to mute or unmute your phone.

**Do Not Place Call on Hold**

Problems? Contact the Regional Medical Library (RML) office at 713-799-7880, or 800-338-7657 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX only).

Gearing Up for BYOD

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Average Number of Internet-Capable Devices Accessing Institutional Networks

Bring Your Own Device or BYOD is a current technology trend that is taking off in organizations and in education. While many organizations still rely on restricted systems, the mass consumerization of mobile devices is helping fuel the BYOD trend. Students, faculty, and staff in many organizations are bringing in their own mobile devices to use in the classroom or on the job. As mobile technology trends reshape learning models they also create new challenges for information technology (IT) departments.

The recent BYOD ECAR Research Hub report from EDUCAUSE focused on the implications of BYOD for IT groups. With so many people bringing it their own devices IT staff are often faced with many questions about the level of support they can offer and the security risks these devices might create. In additional one of the most important aspects of IT and BYOD is the creation of a network infrastructure that can support the many mobile devices being used.

According to the report’s key findings IT leaders in higher education express support for BYOD as the model offers opportunities to diversify and expand the teaching and learning environment. They also report the greatest challenges with BYOD are issues that pertain to faculty and staff use of their own devices for work-related purposes.

The report found that few (18%) of the institutions surveyed had an plan or policy in place to deal with the proliferation of BYOD but despite formal policies or plans action to accommodate BYOD was common. 52% of those surveyed were planning for a formal strategy to better accommodate BYOD demand.

BYOD

Regarding the hot button issue related to security in BYOD environments the report “approaches security issues from the perspective that data are the paramount institutional asset and are therefore the most important consideration when discussing BYOD security issues. From this standpoint, the most important risk management issues for BYOD are securing data, carefully managing access to systems and services, using secure networks for enterprise-based activities, and authenticating identities.” The report suggests that financially speaking investment into the security of data, system access, and secure networks is better than approaching the unique security issues of user-owned devices. The report goes on to suggest that “educating users about sound security practices will raise their awareness of security risks.”

While BYOD sounds like an alluring option for institutions seeking to cut costs, the report demonstrates that cost saving with BYOD is elusive as the investment into infrastructure to support devices and secure data can be high. “Middleware that bridges users/devices and systems/services/data is an
increasingly significant part of IT frameworks. Middleware components are the commodities that bridge users, their devices, and their consumer-level applications to the institution’s data, services, systems, and enterprise-level applications.”

Positive aspects of BYOD in the field of education include the ability to create extended classrooms with the use of mobile technologies. BYOD is set to transform classroom and campus space into technology hubs assisting in the development of new learning models and techniques which take full advantage of the benefits mobile technology offers.

Protecting Your Pets During a Disaster

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Emergency worker carrying puppy

At the beginning of hurricane season, we mentioned some resources to help prepare for the worst but in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, it’s also important to have an emergency plan in place for pets!

The American Red Cross recommends taking the following steps to ensure pet safety during a disaster:

Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example). Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:

• Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
• Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
• Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
• Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.

It’s also important to remember that should the need to evacuate arise, plan to take your pet with you or board them somewhere safe. Be sure to become familiar with nearby evacuation shelters that allow you to bring animals and be aware of the health risks involved when sheltering somewhere that allows a large number of animals and people in one location (See link to CDC’s Animals in Public Evacuation Centers).

For more information and resources:

American Red Cross – Plan and Prepare – Pets: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/pets

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Emergency Preparedness and Response – Animals in Public Evacuation Centers: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/animalspubevac.asp

Ready.gov – Make a Plan – Caring for Animals: http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals

Disaster Information Management Resource Center – Disasters – Animals in Disasters: http://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/animals.html

Using NN/LM’s Outreach Evaluation Resource Center Tools And Resources Guide

Friday, September 6th, 2013

images of people in a pie chart

One of the Centers in The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is the Outreach and Evaluation Resource Center (OERC).  This center is located at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA http://nnlm.gov/evaluation.   The OERC has created a Guide to evaluation tools and other resources that you and your library can use to evaluate your programs: http://guides.nnlm.gov/content.php?pid=494137&sid=4058311.   Here are some of the tools and resources described in the Guide:

Community Oriented Outreach

  • Building Partnerships: tips on successful collaborations, tools for improving collaboration with community networks
  • Participatory Evaluation: toolkits for practical participatory evaluation, processes for conducting outcome-based evaluations

Evaluation Planning

  • OERC Guides to incorporating evaluation planning into your outreach projects
  • Evaluation planning resources from other organizations, including logic models
  • List of outreach projects funded by NLM

Data Collection and Analysis

  •  Needs Assessments and Data Collection: access to data indicators, tips for questionnaire development, guides for using Appreciative Inquiry for evaluation
  • Data Analysis: Resources for statistical methods and guides for analyzing qualitative and quantitative data

An image of a series of data visualizations, known as a data dashboard

Reporting and Visualizing:

  • Data Dashboards: guides for creating popular data dashboards
  • Data Visualization: teachings of Edward Tufte and lists of visualization methods
  • Reporting: tools for presentation design and TEDtalks about presentation structure

 

 

 

Developing a Disaster Supplies Kit

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Emergency checklist

As part of National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross has created a great video with tips on what to include in a disaster supplies kit (along with good examples of what should be left out!): The Kit You Don’t Want to Have: National Preparedness Month.

Even though the video takes a humorous approach to educating the public, it also does a good job of highlighting the importance of being prepared. Although the contents of a disaster supplies kit may vary, depending on the type of disaster common to your geographical area, there are some basic supplies every kit should include:

  • Water— a good, general rule of thumb is one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food— the best foods to add to your kit are non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries—these should be of various sizes, depending on the items for which you need them
  • First aid kit – items in a first aid kid can vary; for a good break down of what you should include, see the Red Cross’ Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and any accompanying medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers (including car chargers, if you have them)
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area—don’t rely on your cell phone or GPS device for this! During a disaster or emergency situation, internet access and connectivity is limited and may not be available to you.

When putting together your disaster supplies kit, be sure that you put into consideration the needs of every family member–including babies and pets! If you know that you might be hosting friends and family during a disaster, keep that in mind as well when purchasing/storing water and food. For more ideas and resources on putting together a disaster kit, see the list below.

American Red Cross – Plan and Prepare – Get a Survival Kit : http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit

Ready.gov (Federal Emergency Management Agency) – Build a Kit: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Emergency Preparedness and Response – Gather Emergency Supplies: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/index.asp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Emergency Preparedness and Response – Information for Pregnant Women: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/pregnantfactsheet.asp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Disaster Preparedness for your Pet: http://www.cdc.gov/features/Petsanddisasters/  as well as a checklist of items for a kit (cat and dog): http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/resources/pet-preparedness.pdf

Award Funding Provides First Hand Look at mHealth Summit

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Guest Author: Maureen “Molly Knapp, Research Support & Education Librarian at Tulane University Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences

mHealth Summit Logo

In December 2012 I had the opportunity to attend the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, thanks to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region’s (NN/LM SCR’s) Professional Development Award. The mHealth Summit is an annual event sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), with strategic support from mHIMSS (a division of HIMSS interested in mobile tech), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the mHealth Alliance (an international group with a global focus on the use of mobile devices in health care).

So what is mHealth, you wonder? According to the mHealth Alliance FAQ page:

Mobile Health, or mHealth, can be defined as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, tablets, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices.

Some uses of mHealth include:
• Education and Awareness – Messaging in support of public health and behavioral change campaigns
• Diagnostic and Treatment Support – Mobile phone as point-of-care device
• Disease and Epidemic Outbreak Tracking – Sending and receiving data on disease incidence, outbreaks and public health emergencies
• Supply Chain Management – Using mobile solution to improve stock-outs and combat counterfeiting
• Remote Data Collection – Collecting real-time patient data with mobile applications
• Remote Monitoring – Maintaining care giver appointments or ensuring medication regime adherence
• Healthcare Worker Communication and Training – Connecting health workers with sources of information

Rest assured, all of these topics and more were addressed at the 2012 mHealth Summit. One of the more provocative keynote sessions I attended was Vinod Khosla’s “Can we have Health and Healthcare without Doctors?” Khosla is a venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems. His answer – yes – is detailed in the article “Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do“.

Another interesting panel discussion addressed patient advocacy, featuring Donna Cryer, president & CEO of the American Liver Foundation (@DCpatient) & and Mary Anne Sterling (@SterlingHIT), a health IT consultant and family caregiver. (On a side note, there is a growing role for librarians in patient advocacy, as future MLA programming may soon reveal.)

ZombiePox Game Logo

My favorite, final ‘find’ of the summit was in the Gaming Pavilion in the exhibit hall. There I discovered Tiltfactor Games, specifically a game called ZombiePox, which explores group immunity and the need to vaccinate…WITH ZOMBIES. Tiltfactor was demoing an iPad version of the game, which is unavailable at this time. (Perhaps it was too infected?) With gamification a growing trend in libraries, awareness of companies providing educational, health related games is definitely relevant for collection development. (Also: zombies.)

Overall, the mHealth Summit was heavier on entrepreneurship and investment opportunities and lighter on science. I attended several contributed paper sessions that were hit and miss. Honestly, I don’t know that many librarians would find this type of summit useful to their everyday practice, as it was geared more towards bringing together business and industry. However, for those interested in trends in mobile health technologies and its application to public health and health care, or those who have a really cool app or website in need of a wealthy investor, the mHealth Summit is definitely your scene.

NN/LM SCR Affordable Care Act (ACA) Resources Page Updated

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Health Insurance Marketplace BadgeHealthcare.gov reminds us that there are now 27 days left until open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Updates to the NN/LM SCR Affordable Care Act (ACA) Resources page have been made recently to reflect updated information now available.

A link is provided to a list of recipients of the Navigator grants for Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

Check this page frequently to stay informed on more updates as we get closer to October 1st.

 

 

 

Are you ready?

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Wet Cat

This September marks the 10-year-anniversary of National Preparedness Month (NPM)! Since its inception in 2004, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has partnered with other government organizations (such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in an effort to encourage communities and individuals to be prepared for the worst in emergency situations.

As one part of FEMA’s NPM initiative, the National Preparedness Community website offers a multitude of resources for users and community members. Included on the website is a tool-kit with marketing information and a comprehensive list of NPM videos, PDFs, and webpages. In addition, users can use the National Preparedness Community website to find NPM events happening in their area or register for free with the community and access additional resources, such as discussion forums and region-specific activity.

In addition to the National Preparedness Community website, the American Public Health Association (APHA) will be celebrating Get Ready Day on September 17th as part of NPM. The Get Ready website contains many fun and education resources for a variety of users and communities. These resources include factsheets, videos, podcasts, and other disaster preparedness-themed media for marketing use.

 

Additional information on National Preparedness Month can be found on these websites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Be Ready! : http://www.cdc.gov/features/BeReady/index.html

National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management and Resource Center homepage : http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc.html

APHA Get Ready : http://www.getreadyforflu.org/newsite.htm

Ready.gov (from FEMA) : http://www.ready.gov//www.getreadyforflu.org/newsite.htm