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Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category

Recording Available: Beyond The SEA: December 19th, 2012 - State and Local Consumer Health Information Service, Pre and Post Go Local

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The recording of this presentation can be found at:


Date:  December 19, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EDT)

Presenters: Kay Hogan Smith, MLS, MPH, AHIP

Kay is Associate Professor and Community Services Librarian at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, where she has been employed since 1994. She has also been director of Health InfoNet of Alabama, a free health information service of the state’s medical and public libraries, from its beginning in 1999 as Health InfoNet of Jefferson County (AL). Kay’s research interests include health literacy, and she teaches an MLA-certified course on the subject for medical librarians. Kay completed a second master’s degree in public health in 2012.

Presentation: State and Local Consumer Health Information Service, Pre and Post Go Local

This presentation will focus on the evolution of consumer health information service via the medical and public libraries in Alabama before, during, and after the NLM Go Local project involvement. The challenges, successes and lessons learned throughout the development of this effort may provide insight for others interested in promoting this service in their libraries or library networks.



Inspiring People in our Region: Samuel Toba - Co-founder, Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


“Do it! Be patient as it takes time to build an effective outreach and volunteer group. But you will feel good that you have made a positive difference.” 

 Samuel Toba
Co-Founder, Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC)
Washington, DC

What is your position? 

I am a co-founder of Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC), a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded by partners of active duty military service members. MPFC’s mission is to provide support, advocacy, education and outreach for partners and children of LGBT service members – including families of service members on active duty, in the reserves, national guard, and veterans.

Is there something in your own personal story that led you to do the work you do?

I am the spouse of an active duty Navy service member. My spouse has served two deployments and has been in the military for over ten years. I feel privileged to support our service members and their contribution to our country. However, gay and lesbian spouses are denied this opportunity on many fronts.

During the holiday season last year, I volunteered to join other military spouses in putting up holiday decorations on base in preparation for a command holiday celebration. It was a cold and wet night; the rain was starting to turn into snow. Puddles were beginning to form wet slush. I arrived at the base security gate, but was denied entry because as a gay spouse, I do not have a base access card.

In that freezing rain, I gained a better understanding that despite the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, gay and lesbian families of service members are still denied many services available to heterosexual families, which are taken for granted; from base access, to help with moving, and health care. It is my goal that no families should be out in the cold and be denied the ability to support their loved ones in the military. By getting involved, I hope my work with MPFC and other military family organizations will make a positive difference.

What do you love most about your work?

I get to hear heartwarming stories from fellow military families on how MPFC has made a difference for them. Here is an example of an email that I will always cherish “I always thought I was so alone in the world being a woman married to a woman in the Army and all of the struggles that came with it. The idea that there are others out there like me was so heartwarming.” It makes me feel good that I can be part of a community that cares, as well as help create a welcoming military environment for all service members and their families.

What is the biggest challenge in what you do?

I am trained as a drug-discovery scientist, so starting a non-profit is a steep learning curve, all while keeping a full-time day job.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your work in terms of getting health information out to your community?

The gay and lesbian families of service members face the same issues as their straight counterparts. These partners and families are dealing with their service members returning as wounded warriors, struggling with PTSD, deployment stresses, family re-integration, and a range of other mental health family issues.

The children raised in partnered households are faced with the same separation issues and emotional anxiety that all military children face when a parent deploys, but without access to ‘family support’ from the military. MPFC works to make sure that military families are aware of the vast and reliable health resources available from NLM. A strong military starts with a strong family. It is very fulfilling to me to do my part to support my country by supporting all military families.

What do you see as the biggest health concerns in the community you serve?

Many LGBT military families have been ‘shaped’ to hide their families for decades because of fear of their loved one being kicked out of the service under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. While the law has been repealed, many LGBT military families remain hidden and have a lack of health and mental-health access. Until the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed, LGBT military partners and families will continue to be denied health and mental-health care available to military families.

How did you first come to know NN/LM SE/A?

A few year ago, one of the NN/LM SE/A staff approached our MPFC booth during Pride Festival in Washington, DC. This was before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. Having become accustomed to being denied access to health care, we were very happy to learn that NN/LM SE/A recognizes the challenges of reaching underserved communities.  We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to do outreach to the ‘hidden’ LGBT military families. Thank you NN/LM SE/A for your leadership and outreach to the community.

In what ways has NN/LM SE/A been of help to you?

Through my involvement, I have gained a much better appreciation of the range of services and challenged faced by NN/LM SE/A in bringing health information to the community and health professionals. I feel that I have benefited from the NN/LM SE/A staff who are always there ready to lend a helping hand (or advise) when needed.

Can you share a success story about the impact of health outreach in your community?

Under an award received from NN/LM SE/A, MPFC conducted a community study to assess the health and mental health needs of the LGBT military service members and families. In giving voice to the feelings of the respondents, the survey begins to identify the impact on LGBT military families of being denied everything from health insurance, to visiting a loved one in the military hospital, to receiving spousal benefits for fallen service members in combat.

This report on mental and physical health of LGBT service members and their partners and families is just the beginning of our efforts. From here, MPFC intends to team up with other like-minded organizations both within and outside the military to continue our work. MPFC study results will be applied to a large military-wide study. Building on MPFC results, the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) along-side researchers from Palo Alto University plan to conduct a study to assess sexual minority stress and changes in perceived stigma post Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

What advice would you give others who are interested in doing health outreach work in their communities?

Do it! Be patient as it takes time to build an effective outreach and volunteer group. But you will feel good that you have made a positive difference.  :)
If you would like to share your story or suggest another person for our “Inspiring People” feature, please email Nancy Patterson:

Hospital Librarian Toolkit Launched

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

Back in January 2010, hospital librarians from the region, SE/A staff, and experts from around the U.S. converged on Baltimore for a Hospital Librarian Summit. The goal was to look at the future of hospital libraries and librarians, with an eye towards how the SE/A could best support them as they face unprecedented challenges. There were many wonderful discussions about multiple aspects of hospital librarianship, and a good deal was accomplished in a very brief time.

One of the major outcomes of the summit was a desire to create an updated, dynamic, and useful Hospital Librarian Toolkit. After a long brainstorming session, the various ideas were consolidated into main topics. Participants voted for the topics they felt were most important, and a ranked list was produced. From that list and utilizing SE/A expertise, a plan was devised, which has now come to fruition:

Resources for Hospital Librarians

In this LibGuide, we have pulled together resources that address the summit topics as well as other areas that have become increasingly important over the past two years. This guide is intended to be both dynamic and collaborative. The world of hospital librarianship is changing rapidly, so this guide will be updated regularly as issues arise. Collaboration is key and input from the region is vital. If you have questions, concerns, additions, deletions, suggestions, or any other ideas on keeping this guide current and vital, please let us know.

We thank everyone who has contributed to this guide and look forward to supporting hospital libraries and librarians in this ever-changing world.

Please contact David Midyette ( P.J. Grier ( or Sheila Snow-Croft ( with your suggestions and comments.

Recorded Presentation - Beyond the SEA: August 15, 2012 - Empowering Health Ministry Leaders

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Date:  August 15th, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EST)

Presenter: Judy Burnham

Judy Burnham has been with the University of South Alabama since 1989, where she was named Director in 2007.  She has worked in reference, instructional services, technical services and outreach, and is liaison to the College of Allied Health Professionals. Judy was a NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellow from 2004-2005 and was recipient in 2001 of the Southern Chapter/Medical Library Association Academic Librarian of the Year Award. In 2002, she was the MLA Estelle Brodman Academic Medical Librarian of the Year. Her research interest is in bibliometrics. In addition to the project with health ministry leaders, Judy has participated for several years in instructional sessions on library literacy skills for minority high school students interested in health care careers. However, one of her favorite roles is grandmother to four outstanding grandchildren.

Presentation: Empowering Health Ministry Leaders

This presentation will focus on the SE/A NNLM funded project that provided health ministry leaders in ten African American churches with the technology, equipment and information needed to help them better serve the health information needs of their congregations.

Please click on the link below to hear the recorded presentation:

New Training Opportunities for Public Health

Friday, August 10th, 2012

By Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

In an effort to more effectively reach the public health workforce and the librarians who support them, SE/A has some new training opportunities available. Note that all of our available classes are listed here on our website,, with those specific to the public health audience in a separate section at the bottom of that page.

Most public health workers do not have an excess of time available for training, so I have created a few one-hour sessions that will hopefully better fit into those busy schedules:

The two Evidence Based Practice classes are taken from my longer course titled And PICO was his Name-O: what to look for in an EBM study. The first uses the PICO model to help attendees learn to formulate an answerable question, and the second takes a close look at the different types of studies represented in the literature and at the importance of evaluating study results. Introduction to NLM Resources is tailored to fit the needs of individual audiences, and includes information about the NN/LM, PubMed, MedlinePlus, the Environmental Health and Toxicology Portal, the Drug Information Portal, the Disaster Information Management Research Center, along with other resources such as the Household Products Database, LactMed, TOXMAP, Tox Town, and WISER.

Research Shortcuts includes a basic introduction to PubMed and, focusing on the SEQs (Specialized Evidence Queries), a joint project from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. SEQs provide pre-formulated PubMed search strategies to identify research evidence for selected Healthy People 2020 objectives. In case you are not familiar with these, they are highlighted on the homepage in the top right corner, and can be linked to from PubMed’s homepage: choose “Topic-Specific Queries” from the PubMed Tools section, then choose “Healthy People 2020” from the top section of Clinicians and Health Services Researchers Queries.

Along with these shorter classes geared specifically for the public health audience, I am also offering three classes that are new for me:

  • Promoting Health Literacy through Easy-to-Read Materials,
  • From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Health Information to Refugee Populations
  • TOXNET: Toxicology & Environmental Information

Promoting Health Literacy is a revamped version of Beth Wescott’s much loved class, thanks to Cheryl Rowan, Public Health Coordinator in the South Central Region of the NN/LM, and my colleagues who have created a version for Consumer Health, Terri Ottosen and Nancy Patterson. Also courtesy of Cheryl is From Beyond Our Borders, a two or three hour class designed to assist anyone who is working with refugee populations in locating health information. The TOXNET class was developed by Ruicha Mishra, NN/LM South Central Region, and introduces quality toxicology and environmental resources for beginners. These three classes each provide MLA continuing education contact hours.

Please contact Sheila Snow-Croft if you would like more information or to request any of these classes,