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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

Resources for National Breastfeeding Month

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Lact Med Mobile Logo

August is National Breastfeeding Month, first proclaimed by the United States Breastfeeding Committee in 2011. This blog post will highlight resources from the National Library of Medicine (and other authoritative sites) related to this topic.

LactMed: Drugs and Lactation Database is a National Library of Medicine (NLM) database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. LactMed offers users the ability to search for a generic, brand or chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number, pharmacologic category, and/or subject terms, and retrieve information on the effects the agent has on breastfeeding. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. LactMed is updated monthly. In addition to access through the website, an App is available for both iPhone and Adroid devices.

Womenshealth.gov from the Office on Women’s Health currently has feature articles which address breastfeeding in the work environment, as well as a health topic page devoted to Breastfeeding. The topics page includes links to a fact sheet and other resources and information on: why breastfeeding is important, learning to breastfeed, breastfeeding challenges, pumping and storage of breast milk, and others.

MedlinePlus also has a Health Topics page devoted to Breastfeeding with links to materials in 14 languages other than English and Spanish. The page includes the usual types of information, including several videos, links to ClinicalTrials.gov and journal articles, and information just for dads!

In addition, two organizations provide national and local support for moms who breastfeed (or are considering breastfeeding) their babies: March of Dimes and La Leche League. Both organizations have local chapters and support groups which provide mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

New Online Self-Paced K-12 Health and Science Resources Class

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Environmental Health Student PortalThe National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) is pleased to offer the following new online class in Moodle format: NLM’s Online Playground: K-12 Health and Science Resources from the National Library of Medicine.

This self-paced online class will open August 25, 2014 and remain open until September 12, 2014.. Cheryl Rowan, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM SCR, will be the facilitator for the class.

This online course is designed to introduce the freely available K-12 resources from the National Library of Medicine. Resources will be focused on three broad subject areas: Basic Health Information, Environmental Health and Toxicology, and Genetics. Participants will become familiar with resources in each of these subject areas, with particular attention to resources which can be used to supplement content curricula, health and science programming, and/or provide homework help. Both websites and online exhibitions from the National Library of Medicine will be included. The intended audience for this class is K-12 librarians and science teachers, public librarians, and any other individuals who work with K-12 populations.

Participants may work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums and complete practice exercises and quizzes related to the resources covered.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 3 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Registration for this class is required: http://nnlm.gov/scr/training/register.html?schedule_id=3057

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone. Preference during this initial offering will be given to individuals in AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Monday, August 11th, 2014

National Immunization Awareness Month LogoAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month! This year, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) has designated a specific population focus for each week:

August 3-9 — A Healthy Start: Babies and Pregnant Women

August 10-16 — Back to School: Children, Preteens & Teens

August 17-23 — Off to the Future: Young Adults

August 24-30 — Not Just for Kids: Adults

Immunizations are important for individuals of all ages. Often times there are concerns as to whether or not we should continue immunizing our children (and ourselves), however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains vaccinations are worthwhile:

It’s true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.

It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.

For more information on vaccines and immunizations, visit the CDC website. On this page you’ll find topics such as Basic & Common Questions, information on Vaccine Side Effects & Safety, recommendations for parents, and immunization schedules for all populations.

To participate in National Immunization Awareness Month, download the toolkit from NPHIC and join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #NIAM14.

August Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

August NIH News in HealthThe August issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Can You Recognize a Heart Attack or Stroke? What to Do When Every Moment Counts
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts.

Surviving Sepsis: Taming a Deadly Immune Response
Many people have never heard of sepsis, or they don’t know what it is. But sepsis is one of the top 10 causes of disease-related death in the U.S. The condition can arise suddenly, and it’s often hard to recognize.

Health Capsules:

Transplant Reverses Sickle Cell Disease

Mind and Body Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Featured Website: Diabetes Health Sense

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.

 

Health Insurance Marketplace 2014 Workshops

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period for 2015 begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is hosting a free 1‑day Marketplace training event for partners and stakeholders who provide general information or help educate consumers about the Marketplace, and/or help them apply for coverage.

This session does not fulfill the certification requirements for Navigators or other assisters, or for agents and brokers. The web-based training for certification of Navigators/Certified Assistance Counselors will be available in August, and for agents and brokers in July.

The training sessions will cover the following:

  • An Overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Information on Health Insurance Literacy
  • Current Marketplace Topics
  • Best Practices and Lessons Learned

As with the South Central Chapter (SCC) of MLA, the states of AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX align exactly with CMS Region 6. Four training events are currently scheduled for Region 6: Houston, TX (August 5); Dallas, TX (August 27 & August 28); and Baton Rouge, LA (September 18).

For more information, including how to register, visit: http://www.seiservices.com/cmsmp2014/mp/MPHome.aspx

Health Insurance Marketplace
 
 

News and Updates on the ACA

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Several recently released studies indicate that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped reduce the number of uninsured Americans by between 8 and 11 million in the first year of the Marketplaces. Other key points from one report¹:

  • Many of the previously uninsured have used their new coverage to obtain needed care
  • The uninsured rate for people ages 19-64 declined from 20% in the period July – September 2013 to 15% in the period April – June 2014
  • Young men and women (ages 19-34) made up a significant portion of the decline
  • In states which expanded Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rate for people in poverty declined at an even higher rate (28% to 17%)

Instructor with students on computers

A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Navigators and Assister programs nationwide found that an estimated 10.6 million people received personal help from Navigators and Assisters during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014). In total, more than 4,400 Assister Program provided assistance for enrollment. Most Assister programs reported that people looking for health insurance sought help because they did not understand the ACA or health insurance and lacked confidence to apply on their own. In addition, the survey showed that 90% of Assister Programs have already been re-ontacted by consumers with post-enrollment questions and problems.²

The next Open Enrollment Period for insurance coverage will begin on November 15, 2014. If your organization is a community health center or other health care provider, hospital, a non-federal governmental or non-profit social service agency in a state with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace or a State Partnership Marketplace, and your organization would like to help by training your staff to assist people applying for coverage through the Marketplace, you can apply to be a Certified Application Counselor (CAC).  Attend an informational webinar on July 23rd at 1:00 p.m. CT for clarification regarding eligibility requirements. For more information on the CAC program, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/cac.html

Information on the webinar:

From Coverage to Care (C2C) is a national initiative from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), specifically designed to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. It also seeks to give healthcare providers the tolls they need to promote patient engagement. An overview of the full range of resources included in C2C will be presented in a webinar on Wednesday, July 30th, at 11:00 a.m. CT: http://ow.ly/zpUfo

¹Gaining Ground: American’s Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care After the Affordable Care Act’s First Open Enrollment Period

²Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs

Health Insurance Marketplace

 

July 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

NIH News in Health Fun in Sun

The July issue of NIH News in Health,
the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Sun and Skin: The Dark Side of Sun Exposure
Sunlight is essential to many living things, but it also has a dangerous side. The good news is you can take simple steps to protect your skin from sun damage.
Read more about sun and skin.

Fight Off Food Poisoning: Food Safety for Warmer Weather
It can be hard to keep foods safe to eat during warmer weather. Learn how to handle food properly to avoid the misery of food poisoning.
Read more about food poisoning.

Health Capsules:
Physical Activity Helps Seniors Stay Mobile
Kidney Failure and Its Treatment
Featured Website: Bionic Man

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.

June is LGBT Pride Month

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

rainbow caduceus

In celebration of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bixesual, and Transgender) Pride Month, we have put together a list of LGBT health information resources. Often an underserved population, people who identify as LGBT have health needs that are widely varied. The compiled list, although far from comprehensive, covers resources for LGBT individuals from youth to older adult. If you are unfamiliar with LGBT health resources or just want a refresher, start here.

The first of these resources is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (or SAMHSA). SAMHSA’s LGBT health page includes a wealth of information, including links to resources like “A Practitioner’s Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children”, “Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations Information & Resource Kit” as well as links to federal initiatives and resources.

The second of these resources is from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). ACOG has two particularly useful resources for LGBT health; one is a committee opinion piece from the Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women on Health Care for Lesbians and Bisexual Women , and the other is a Transgender Resource Guide from the same committee. Although these pages are not to be “construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure”, they offer quality information concerning barriers to health care, routine health visits, as well as mental health considerations and more.

The third resource is the LGBT Community Field Guide from the Joint Commission. The purpose of the LGBT Community Field guide is to advance and improve effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care. This field guide includes sections on how to use the guide, an explanation of terminology, as well as chapters on provision of care and patient/family engagement. Also included are checklists, designed to help practitioners stay in line with Joint Commission standards and mission.

The final resource is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health page from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The introduction to the page states “The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities.” This resource features specific health topic pages for gay and bisexual men, youth, lesbians and bisexual women,  and transgender persons. In addition to these health topic pages, the CDC also offers information on health services as well as data and statistics.

For additional links to LGBT health resources, visit the MedlinePlus Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender health topic page.

Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcment for 2014-15

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a recent funding opportunity intended to support Navigators providing health insurance enrollment assistance in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces in 2014 – 2015. Navigators provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).   You may learn more about this opportunity here: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=93.332 

Many libraries have actively partnered with Navigator organizations in their communities to support outreach, education, and enrollment in the health insurance Marketplace established as part of the Affordable Care Act. Libraries have contributed in many ways, such as providing space for Navigator information sessions, making library computers available for enrollment sessions, and sharing resources from Navigators in person and online. HealthCare.gov defines Navigators as: An individual or organization that’s trained and able to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. These individuals and organizations are required to be unbiased. Their services are free to consumers.

The funding opportunity is available to all eligible individuals, as well as public and private entities, applying to serve as Navigators in states with a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace. It is open to new and returning Navigator applicants; applications are due July 10, 2014.

Health Insurance Marketplace

NLM Presentations at MLA Recordings Available

Friday, June 6th, 2014

MLA 2014 Annual Conference

Every year at the MLA Annual Meeting, the National Library of Medicine holds a variety of presentations in their exhibit booth to bring users up-to-date on NLM databases and services.  The recordings of the 13 presentations are now available from the NLM Technical Bulletin.   Learn about:

  1. The ACA, Hospital Community Benefit and Needs Assessment: NLM Resources
  2. Beau-TOX: TOXNET Gets a Facelift
  3. MedlinePlus: Usability, Mobile & Responsive Design
  4. Modernizing History: The New (and much improved) IndexCat Interface
  5. My NCBI Update: SciENcv & NIH Public Access
  6. NLM Resources & Electronic Health Records: MedlinePlusConnect, RxNorm & UMLS
  7. NLM Resources Used in Disasters
  8. PubMed Commons
  9. PubMed Health
  10. PubMed Update
  11. RDA One Year Later
  12. Still Scanning After All These Years: New Digital Projects from HMD
  13. Using the ClinicalTrials.gov Results Database