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Updated: 3 hours 47 min ago

Bias Awareness Resources

Fri, 2021-02-26 07:47

Bias in biomedical data has come to the forefront in the last year in light of how groups of patients have received care for COVID-19. This discussion has also highlighted other ways that data can be examined for different types of social justice biases. But before you can examine the data for biases, it’s essential to take time to read and educate yourself on the types of biases, resources, and conversations being had around social justice in the library and in medicine.

The NNLM has recorded workshops and other resources about general concepts in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as resources on specific areas of bias. This background can make you a better informed librarian and provide a foundation for understanding different aspects of looking at, searching for, or teaching about data.

One non-NNLM resource is the book chapter Mitigating implicit bias in reference service and literature searching,by Molly Higgins and Rachel Keiko Stark from the book Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Action: Planning, Leadership, and Programming. The chapter is made available via their institutional repository.

In the past few years, medical and allied health schools have developed curricula to address implicit bias and provide better care for patients. Libraries, too, have created material to address personal biases. We expand upon both of these bodies of literature by considering the impact of implicit bias on finding and accessing the scientific literature. Health sciences librarians play a crucial role in ensuring access to the health sciences literature and as such, teaching librarians to recognize and address implicit bias in reference interviews and literature searches holds the potential to improve health sciences education and ultimately patient care. In this chapter, we aim to provide a relatively comprehensive review of the growing body of literature on implicit bias within health sciences libraries; to briefly describe our workshop on identifying and addressing implicit bias within the reference interviews and searching; and to leave the reader with concrete strategies for addressing implicit bias within their own reference and research process”

These are just a few of the many diverse areas related to this topic, and just a few of the resources available to you through the NNLM and elsewhere. Continued learning and professional development is key to learning to serve all of our patrons better.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

The post Bias Awareness Resources first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Health Information for All: Language Resources

Mon, 2021-02-22 12:04

According to the US Census Bureau 22% of people in the US 5 years or older speak a language other than English at home and 8.2% speak English “less than very well”. In the Northeast, those percentages are slightly higher than the national average at 23.7% and 9.4% respectively.

But what does that have to do with health? And how can we support these individuals and communities find linguistically appropriate, quality health information?

What does language access have to do with health outcomes and health disparities?

What is Health Literacy? “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Healthy People

Learn more about health disparities on MedlinePlus

Find more NLM resources on health disparities and language disparities

How can we support our communities with linguistically appropriate health information?

MedlinePlus has translated health information in a wide array of languages on many of the health topics. There are several ways to find translated health information on MedlinePlus:

Resources from partners:

Looking to learn more about how you can serve LEP populations?  NNLM has two versions of a training, From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Multilingual and Multicultural Health Information

The post Health Information for All: Language Resources first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

#citeNLM Spring 2021 Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Fri, 2021-02-19 07:25

CiteNLMThe Network of the National Library of Medicine is excited to announce its #citeNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon campaign for Spring 2021! Join us for the month of March in our campaign to improve health information on Wikipedia using NLM and other quality health information resources. Our focus this campaign is on Healthy Aging topics, which includes the habits, behaviors, and environmental factors that contribute to healthy living throughout your entire life span.

There are lots of ways to #citeNLM and get involved:

  1. Join our Edit-a-thon Live Session. Participate in our #citeNLM Edit-a-thon throughout all of March 2021. Want to edit with other health sciences librarians and professionals? Join our live editing session on March 31st, 1-3p ET! We’ll overview basic Wikipedia editing tools and work with colleagues and NNLM staff to improve Healthy Aging-related articles. Learn more and sign up through the following link: nnlm.gov/wiki
  2. Take a course on Wikipedia and Libraries. Want an in-depth exploration of how libraries can use Wikipedia as an information literacy and engagement tool? Sign up for our free, asynchronous course: Wikipedia + Libraries. The course will run from March 15 to April 9, 2021 and guides students through the curation and editing process of Wikipedia health articles, as well as how to help community members build their health literacy schools online. Sign-ups are live now: https://nnlm.gov/class/wikipedia-libraries-nnlm/30039
  3. Attend our Health Misinformation Webinar Series. Learn about online health misinformation and how to combat it from leading health information professionals. Join us for the next webinar session on March 1st, 11a PT/ 1p ET for “Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy and Social Media’s Role in Spreading Vaccine Misinformation” with Dr. Kolina Koltai (University of Washington). Register here: https://nnlm.gov/class/understanding-vaccine-hesitancy-and-social-media-s-role-spreading-vaccine-misinformation/30321
The post #citeNLM Spring 2021 Wikipedia Edit-a-thon first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Rural Healthcare Readiness Surge Web Portal

Tue, 2021-02-16 07:22

On January 21, 2021, I attended a webinar co-sponsored by the New England Rural Health Association and the New York State Association for Rural Health.  These two associations are offering webinars on rural health through June 2021. Recordings of previous webinars are located on this page.

Renée Joskow, Chief Dental Officer, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), presented data from HRSA Health Center Program. After giving a brief introduction to the program, Dr. Joskow gave an update on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $2 billion was distributed to participating health centers to support testing and monitoring patients, providing treatments and vaccines, and purchasing necessary supplies. She gave a brief summary of the pandemic’s impact on healthcare services in rural New England.

Dr. Joskow’s presentation was followed by an exploration of the Rural Healthcare Readiness Surge web portal. Christina Lachance, MPH gave a demonstration. The portal is located within the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), a website that may be familiar to those working in rural health.

[The portal] aims to provide the most up-to-date and critical resources for rural healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge. The resources span a wide range of healthcare settings (EMS, inpatient and hospital care, ambulatory care, and long-term care) and cover a broad array of topics ranging from behavioral health to healthcare operations to telehealth.

Developed by the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to provide support and guidance for healthcare delivery and workforce capacity and protection. ~RHIhub 

Resources include:

COVID-19 Hospital Resource Package

The Healthcare Facility Onboarding Checklist

HHS/ASPR COVID-19 Clinical Rounds

Workforce Virtual Toolkit

Additional Rural Health Information at the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addresses the health information needs of healthcare providers,  public health professionals, community-based organization staff, businesses and workplaces, and the general public on the Rural Communities page.

The CDC recognizes that rural America is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Health risk factors for people of color are compounded in rural communities due to transportation challenges and lack of access to healthcare providers.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, November 2017.

James CV, Moonesinghe R, Wilson-Frederick SM, Hall JE, Penman-Aguilar A, Bouye K. Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Among Rural Adults — United States, 2012–2015. MMWR Surveill Summ 2017;66(No. SS-23):1–9. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6623a1.



The post Rural Healthcare Readiness Surge Web Portal first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Call for Proposals for NNLM COVID-19 Infodemic Symposium

Mon, 2021-02-15 16:04

The Network of the National Library of Medicine invites proposals for a virtual symposium: Responding to the COVID-19 Infodemic, on April 8th-9th, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the disparities of underserved, minority, and underrepresented communities. This includes ensuring equal understanding of accurate health information, education in hard hit communities, and valuing inclusion in clinical research to overcome COVID-19. The NNLM Virtual Symposium is an opportunity to engage with NNLM Network Members to address misinformation and mistrust, raise awareness about the pandemic, and efforts to combat it. Symposium attendees can expect to come away from this experience with a better understanding of COVID-19 and share strategies and programs to engage with your community.

Proposals will be due by 11:59PM, February 26th, 2021. To submit, please fill out the form by February 26th.

Decisions will be made and presenters/panelists will be notified of their acceptance by mid-March.

The post Call for Proposals for NNLM COVID-19 Infodemic Symposium first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Love Data Week 2021: Spotlight on “Open”– 23 Things About Open Data

Tue, 2021-02-09 15:42

This year, the NNLM is celebrating Love Data Week with a speaker series and panel discussion with four data practitioners. If you’d like to dive a little deeper into the world of open data, these 23 Things are a starting point for learning more.

1. Learn the “why, what, and how” of open data with the Open Data Handbook.

2. Browse a list of hundreds of different data file formats and then learn the best ones to use for open, accessible data.

3. Learn about data sharing and publishing with NNLM’s Research Data Management On-Demand module.

4. Catch up on the NNLM Research Data Management webinar series with our YouTube playlist.

5. Access and learn about the New York Times’s COVID-19 data.

6. Search for local government datasets on data.gov.

7. Explore the Google Dataset Search.

8. Explore health-related open datasets made available through Kaggle, including the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge (CORD-19) medical literature text-mining dataset.

9. Filter, visualize and export datasets from National Library of Medicine resources from Data Discovery at NLM.

10. Compare the open data efforts of 30 different national governments with the Open Data Barometer, a report from the World Wide Web foundation.

11. Visualize “the issues that will shape the future of New York City” with this interactive civic data exhibit.

12. See how All In: Data for Community Health is working to improve community health outcomes through data-sharing partnerships to identify needs and inform policy.

13. Check out the Civic Switchboard project to see how library workers can get involved in civic data initiatives.

14. Analyze Census data in Microsoft Excel with a tutorial from Census Academy.

15. Make a map using QGIS – a free GIS (Geographic Information System) program – with step-by-step exercises from the Community Health Maps program.

16. Build data analysis, visualization, and programming skills with the self-guided lessons from The Carpentries. Start with Library Carpentry for lessons tailored specifically for librarians.

17. Foster a “data culture” within your organization with engaging learning activities from the Data Culture Project.

18. Build community data literacy with Data 101 workshop toolkit from the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, and attend our Tuesday, Feb 9th “coffee chat” to hear more from WPRDC project director Bob Gradeck.

19. Make research data and code more findable with these 10 quick tips and come to the Monday, Feb 8th “coffee chat” to hear more from article co-author Ibraheem Ali, PhD.

20. Support open, equitable, and inclusive scholarly communications with this guide from the Association of College and Research Libraries and come to the Wednesday, Feb 10th “coffee chat” to hear more from co-author Yasmeen Shorish.

21. Learn about common data elements for clinical data collection and management with this presentation from the National Library of Medicine, and then learn how to use the NIH Common Data Element (CDE) repository.

22. Familiarize yourself with upcoming expansions to NIH policies on data management and data sharing for NIH-funded researchers.

23. Join the conversation: get involved with a community of data practitioners through the Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Association or learn about the work of the Academic Data Science Alliance.

The post Love Data Week 2021: Spotlight on “Open”– 23 Things About Open Data first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Happy National Handwriting Day 2021!

Fri, 2021-02-05 11:50


Workbooks published by the Art Cart to Address Micrographia

The following blog post was written by Saba Shahid, CSO (Chief Smiling Officer) of The Art Cart (https://smilethroughart.com/).

In 2018, The Art Cart was awarded a Community Engagement grant from the New England Region. The grant enabled The Art Cart to develop an online training program to address Micrographia, a condition commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease that features small, cramped handwriting. The training program has since been published as a workbook “Let’s Combat Micrographia, Edition 2.”







January 23, 2021 was National Handwriting Day! Fun fact — observing National Handwriting Day actually dates back to 1977. Handwriting is an art, it is something that is very personable and gives people confidence in their abilities. Many people have traded pen and paper for a keyboard and screen. Handwriting is a task that many take for granted however, it is a task that people living with Parkinson’s disease treasure.

Benefits of Handwriting

  1. Stimulates the Brain:  Handwriting involves rich mind-body experience that helps stimulate the brain. When you are writing you are working on creating letters, joining those letters to other letters, then creating words, and ultimately forming sentences. This requires lots of brain power!
  2. Develops Fine Motor Skills:  Handwriting exercises a complex cognitive process involving neuro-sensory experiences and fine motor skills. The ability to hold a tiny pen or pencil requires strength and coordination. Continuing to write as well as doing hand stretches will continue to help develop fine motor skill.
  3. Develops Sensory Skills: By feeling the writing surface, holding the writing instrument, and directing precise movement with thought, your senses come to life and give your brain a full workout!
  4. Increases Focus:  Writing increases focus because we are forced to slow down, think about forming letters into words, and then into sentences. Our brain is working extra hard to string all the pieces together.
  5. Helps Improve Memory:  Handwriting may also improve a person’s memory for new information as the act of writing requires more focus and allows you to visualize what is in front of you.
  6. Encourages Creativity:  Writing can lead to journaling which can then lead to doodling and more. Anytime you use a writing instrument you’re allowing your creative brain to come to life!

What Can Someone with Parkinson’s Do TODAY to Start Improving Handwriting?

Frustration, lack of confidence in using a writing instrument, poor coordination between mind and body, as well as tremors are only some of the challenges that a person with Parkinson’s disease faces. The good news is, that these challenges can be combated through diligent practice keeping in mind the goal of improving handwriting.

Since 2014, The Art Cart through their Let’s Combat Micrographia® program has been devoted to people’s success in improving handwriting. In 2018, our work was recognized by the United States National Institute of Health’s, Network of the National Libraries of Medicine. Today, we are the only internationally recognized research-based program available to help people with Parkinson’s improve their handwriting. The Art Cart would like to share a few no cost resources you can use to get started with improving your handwriting regardless of where you live in the world!

Handwriting comparisons after using the Let's Combat Micrographia curriculum

Our Resources for YOU:

  1. Let’s Combat Micrographia Introduction Workshops: Visit Let’s Combat Micrographia Introduction to tell you more about our course. The introduction is free and can be accessed by  using the link https://letscombatmicrographia.thinkific.com/courses/let-s-combat-micrographia
  2. Let’s Combat Micrographia Live Workshops:  This is our live (delivered via Zoom) 7-week workshop series that people are able to join. These workshops are free and include materials. The next Live Workshop will be starting February 2021. Add yourself to the waitlist by completing this form: https://forms.gle/YDevQcRQy8wZAbyP7 or visit https://letscombatmicrographia.com/live-workshops
  3. Let’s Combat MicrographiaOrganization Sponsored Workshop Series: Typically, these series are sponsored in partnership with other organizations we work with. So, if you are leading a group of people with Parkinson’s disease and would like to bring our programming to your community, please contact us at smilethroughart@gmail.com.



The post Happy National Handwriting Day 2021! first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Reading Club’s February Selections

Wed, 2021-02-03 10:12

Like tires, the heart does not run forever but can last longer if the driver makes smart choices. NNLM Reading Club’s February selections focus on the heart with three books that provide valuable information for people dealing with heart conditions.

In Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A Personal Guide to Taking Control of Your Health While Living with Chronic Conditions, Dr. Phoebe Chi seeks to empower those with chronic diseases of all types, including heart disease and high blood pressure, in the self-management of their conditions. The internal medicine and public health physician does so with practical exercises and tools in each chapter to address symptoms, even throwing some poetry into the mix.

Restart Your Heart: The Playbook for Thriving with AFib by cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Aseem Desai clears up some of the confusion surrounding atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm that can interfere with blood flow. In addition to providing knowledge about AFib, Desai discusses how to deal with the diagnosis from a mental and emotional perspective.

Finally, in When the Words Suddenly Stopped, former television broadcast journalist Vivian King describes her experience recovering from a stroke that took away her voice, sharing how determination bolstered by a reliance on faith, family and friends allowed her to recover.

Strengthening your heart knowledge can help strengthen your heart. We hope these books will provide you an opportunity to do both. Visit the NNLM Reading Club for discussion guides to these titles and other useful information.

The post NNLM Reading Club’s February Selections first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

New Guide from the NNLM: Substance Use Disorders

Mon, 2021-01-25 14:50

The Network of National Library of Medicine’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Initiative aims raise awareness of National Library of Medicine’s Substance Use Disorders resources and the resources of partner organizations. ​

As part of this initiative, Network of the National Library of Medicine staff launched a new guide to information on Substance Use Disorders. The guide links to free and reliable online resources for general and specific audiences. The “SUD Resources: General” tab is a great place to start learning about SUD with resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and more. The “Libraries” tab provides educational information about Narcan/ Naloxone, a resource guide for public libraries, and more. The “Educators” tab includes classroom resources and information for all ages. The “Community Based Organizations” tab focuses on response to Opioid use in communities and includes the Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit: Helping Faith and Community Leaders” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The “Public Health” tab provides information for public health professionals, including links to resources for locating guidelines, research, and training, and information about safe disposal of unused medications. “Resources by Age or Population” lists recommended resources specific to families, rural populations, faith-based organizations, teens and young adults, and women. The “SUD Training & Education” tab includes links to recorded webinars and other online trainings, suitable for all audiences.

Check the NNLM’s Class Catalog for additional upcoming and recorded webinars related to Substance Use Disorder.

The post New Guide from the NNLM: Substance Use Disorders first appeared on NER Update.
Categories: RML Blogs

Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021

Tue, 2021-01-19 08:38

Do you login to NCBI to use MyNCBI, SciENcv, or MyBibliography? Do you submit data to NCBI? If so, you’ll want to read further to get a first glimpse at some important changes to NCBI accounts that will be coming in 2021.

What’s happening? In brief, NCBI will be transitioning to federated account credentials. NCBI-managed credentials are the username and password you set at NCBI — these will be going away. Federated account credentials are those set through eRA Commons, Google, or a university or institutional point of access. Learn more!

The post Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021 first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM’s Data Thesaurus Provides Key Tools for Data-Driven Exploration

Tue, 2021-01-12 07:46

Are you struggling to find a simple definition for key data terminologies? Wondering where to find resources and relevant literature regarding data vocabularies? Look no further! The Network of the National Library of Medicine’s Data Thesaurus provides key tools for data-driven exploration.

The Data Thesaurus is a resource connecting and defining concepts, services, and tools relevant to librarians working in data-driven discovery. A definition, relevant literature, and web resources accompany each term along with links to related terms. Users can search or browse the 70 different terms.

Launched in 2013, the original data thesaurus has undergone updates and transformations. As the world of data evolves, so too does the thesaurus. In fact, over the past year, a group of dedicated librarians from across the country have come together to serve on the NNLM Data Thesaurus Advisory Group. Members of the Advisory Group are working on evaluating and updating the current thesaurus with new resources, terms, and definitions. As you explore the thesaurus, please share your feedback! Do you see missing terms? Broken links? General feedback? We’re open to hearing it all!

We hope the Data Thesaurus proves to be a useful resource for you and your stakeholders!

The post NNLM’s Data Thesaurus Provides Key Tools for Data-Driven Exploration first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

A Resilient New Year!

Fri, 2021-01-08 08:34

The New Year is a celebration of new beginnings.  This may be especially true as we welcome 2021, which we hope will be a resilient New Year. Resilience sustains us through adversity by cultivating practices that help us cope … and 2020 was nothing if not full of adversity.

How can we practice resilience in the New Year? Psychologists define resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”1 This doesn’t mean we deny reality but instead we develop the strong coping skills needed to deal with harsh realities. Fortunately, resilience is something we can cultivate and grow. These featured books offer helpful tips for your resiliency garden.

In Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Rick Hanson provides a roadmap to develop resilience. In a society that is so often toxic and unwelcoming, Dr. Anneliese A. Singh, Tulane University’s first Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development and a prolific author, offers skills to gain resilience in The Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook. Noted Black mental health expert, Dr. Rheeda Walker, illuminates how to attain what she describes as “psychological fortitude” in The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help you Deserve.

Each of us can benefit from cultivating resilience, so let’s make 2021 a resilient New Year! To learn more about these books and their authors – and to find related helpful information from the National Library of Medicine and other authoritative sources – visit NNLM Reading Club’s Mental Health Resilience page.

1American Psychological Association. (2020, February 1). Building your resilience. http://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

The post A Resilient New Year! first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

NIH HEAL Initiative Workshop on Myofascial Pain

Tue, 2021-01-05 16:21

logo for NIH HEALIn September 2020, the National Institutes of Health hosted a two-day workshop on the intersection of substance use disorder and the management of myofascial pain. You are able to view the VideoCast for Day One and Day Two. The workshop opened by recognizing that our current opioid crisis arose from the mishandling of chronic pain. Rebecca G. Baker, PhD, Director of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, spoke eloquently about the need for scientific solutions to high levels of overdose deaths in our country. Dr. Baker talked in particular about the need for interdisciplinary research on understanding chronic pain.

Helene Langevin, MD, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, followed Dr. Baker’s talk with a review of our current understanding of myofascial pain syndrome. Unlike pain resulting from injury, the origins of myofascial pain are unknown. Healthcare practitioners can palpate “knots” of pain. Pressure or needling will make the area twitch and may offer temporary pain relief. Dr. Langevin invited researchers to explore objective measures of myofascial pain, and to develop better treatments. She is a proponent of acupuncture, manual therapy and physical therapy.

If you are pressed for time, I recommend jumping ahead to 1:13:44 on Day One. David Lesondak, Fascia Specialist at University of Pittsburg Medical Center, speaks from the perspective of a clinician who works with chronic pain patients. He provides manual therapy and guides patients through therapeutic movement. He spoke in detail about posture. At the end of his 12-minute presentation, I was delighted to hear him thank research librarian Heidi Patterson, MLIS. “Without her, I would not be so effective.”

The majority of the two-day workshop was a discussion of noninvasive techniques to measure tissue structure, as well as computational modeling to promote the understanding of myofascial pain. The Executive Summary of the workshop is located at this link.

NIH HEAL Initiative

Twelve NIH Institutes and Centers are collaborating to develop “concrete strategies for rapid and long-lasting solutions to the opioid crisis.” Launched in 2018, the NIH HEAL Initiative sponsors research in pain management and improved treatment of opioid misuse and addiction. Addressing myofascial pain is just one of many initiatives.



The post NIH HEAL Initiative Workshop on Myofascial Pain first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

MCSTAP: Guidance for Clinicians Treating Substance Use Disorder, Pain or Both

Tue, 2020-12-29 14:57


One of the NER’s Year 5 funded grant recipients is the Massachusetts Consultation Service for Addiction and Pain or MCSTAP (https://mcstap.com/) for short.

MCSTAP’s goal is to help primary care providers increase their capacity for and comfort in using evidence-based practices to screen, diagnose, treat and manage the care of patients with chronic pain, substance use disorders, or both. MCSTAP believes that with the right support, all providers and clinicians can effectively care for patients with chronic pain and/or substance use disorder. Helping those who are treating patients with these challenges to have the highest quality of life possible is at the heart of their work.

How does the MCSTAP service work? The service is free and any Massachusetts primary care physician can call 1-833-PAIN-SUD (1-833-724-6783). After basic information about the practice and the patient is gathered a MCSTAP physician consultant who has extensive academic and clinical expertise in safe prescribing and managing care for patients with chronic pain and substance use disorder assists the provider in one of the following ways:

  • Medication management related to medication-assisted treatment, opioids, and non-opioid pain medications.
  • Pain Management strategies, including non-pharmaceutical treatment of pain.
  • Addressing the needs of specific populations like pregnant women with substance use disorders and people with co-occurring diagnoses
  • Resource and referral information about community-based providers, programs, and services to support patients with either chronic pain or substance use disorders.

MSCTAP is a no cost service that is funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services through its contract with the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership. This service is available to all clinicians in a Massachusetts primary care practice and assists those providers in caring for all patients with chronic pain and/or substance use disorders regardless of the patient’s insurance coverage.

How are MCSTAP and the NER working together? In addition to providing evidence-based consultation and clinical monitoring, MCSTAP provides in-person and internet-based didactic workshop sessions to clinicians on salient topics. The funds awarded to MCSTAP by the NER as part of this grant pay for the cost of the CME credits for participating clinicians who attend a web-based, monthly Case Review Call-in Hour, during which the MCSTAP medical director discusses recent MCSTAP consultations with key teaching points and participants can discuss cases of concern related to chronic pain and/or substance use disorder. Any clinician can participate in the monthly Case Review Call-in Hours. It is important to note that in the case reviews do not jeopardize patient confidentiality as all information that could identify a patient is removed.

What are some of the topics that have been discussed during the Monthly Care Reviews?  Here are a few from recent months:

  • How to treat a patient with chronic pain and an unexpected drug screening result?
  • Use of buprenorphine for a patient with opioid use disorder
  • How to manage a lost prescription for a patient with chronic back pain

MSSTAP is also offering their expertise to the NER through a webinar that is coming up on January 28, 2021, 2-3PM. Dr, Christopher Shanahan, MCSTAP’s Medical Director, will be discussing the challenges and changes to substance use disorder treatment during this time of COVID. You can learn more about the webinar and register for it at the following link https://nnlm.gov/class/substance-use-disorder-treatment-time-covid/29150.  Medical librarians and nurses are eligible for continuing education credit for attending this webinar, for more information about CE credit, see the following link to be sure your state participates in issuing nursing continuing education credit – bit.ly/2xIGm6o.


The post MCSTAP: Guidance for Clinicians Treating Substance Use Disorder, Pain or Both first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

The Past and Understanding the Present: NLM’s History of Medicine Division

Mon, 2020-12-21 15:42

We talk a lot about resources like MedlinePlus or PubMed, but one of the things we don’t talk about as much is the fact that the National Library of Medicine is a physical library that includes a large collection of historical documents, records and more.  And these resources are available to the public through the History of Medicine Division databases.

The History of Medicine Division (HMD) includes digitized archives of:

  • Films and videos
  • Prints and photographs
  • Rare books
  • History Talks

HMD also creates and oversees the exhibition program that includes traveling exhibits that bring museum quality exhibition banners to partner organizations allowing community members to learn about health, wellness, medicine and more throughout history.  There are also digital exhibits, lesson plans for teaching about different topics to your community and more.

These resources are interesting on their own, but they can also help us understand current events through relevant historical documents.  Recently the HMD blog, Circulating Now, posted “Collections Tour: Epidemics” that highlights the resources available from the collections about past epidemics, public health measures undertaken and other interventions.

Here in New England, we also have the additional resource of the NER funded partner, The Public Health Museum (PHM). PHM is a physical museum in Tewksbury, MA that also reaches the next generation of public health professionals through their historical records and displays (including an iron lung) and programming around current public health practice in context.

PHM has also used their resources, web archives and resources from HMD and other trusted sources to create digital exhibits, including one on pandemics. The timeline section includes well-researched and well-cited write-ups of key events in outbreak history, as well as links to outside resources such as the HMD traveling exhibits related to Yellow Fever and HIV/AIDS.

Check out these great resources to learn more about the past and better understand the basis of our current thinking on topics from outbreaks to historical contexts for specific diseases to graphic medicine.

The post The Past and Understanding the Present: NLM's History of Medicine Division first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

NASA and Trees?

Fri, 2020-12-18 13:52

On Saturday morning, with my morning coffee I look at the trees lining the front of my property and feel relaxed.  Something about the little wooded area just seems to feel right.  So, when I read about the Globe Observer: Trees project being presented by SciStarter.  I thought, why not trees!  We all have some near us even in the city.

Citizen Scientists this project is for you!   NASA’s and the Global project is this – Healthy forests play a crucial role in Earth’s ecosystem as growing trees take up carbon from the atmosphere. NASA satellites and airborne missions study forests to see how carbon moves through ecosystems. Adding in height measurements to more general observations of land cover gives a more complete, three-dimensional portrait of the ecosystem. Scientists need that third dimension to calculate how much carbon is stored in a tree or in a forest. The GLOBE Observer: Trees tool allows citizen scientists to help investigate by using their smartphone to measure tree height. With the tool, observers record tree height by tilting their phone up and down to align the screen with the tree’s top branch and base, and pace off the distance to the tree; the app does the rest to calculate the tree’s height.

To get started:  Sign up or Log in to SciStarter. Your free account, while not required, enables your participation to be credited on your SciStarter Dashboard.

Click the Get Started/Visit Project’s Website button on this page. You will be directed to the project’s website or app and invited to create a project account there.

New and interested users are encouraged to go to SciStarter.org/NASA to learn more and receive step-by-step instructions. You can visit https://observer.globe.gov to learn more about GLOBE Observer and the Trees tool. Especially for educators, the main GLOBE Program can be found at http://www.globe.gov.

The post NASA and Trees? first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19

Sat, 2020-12-12 17:29

On December 3-4, 2020, the National Institutes of Health hosted the Workshop on Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19. The goal was to summarize existing knowledge and to identify key knowledge gaps. On Day One, Dr. Anthony Fauci welcomed over twenty biomedical researchers to give quick summaries. Dr. John Brooks (CDC) lay the groundwork with the epidemiological and clinical landscape, followed by Drs. Ann Parker (Johns Hopkins) and Joshua Vasquez (UCSF) with reports from their respective clinics. Dr. Janet Diaz (WHO) gave the global perspective.

Dr. Brooks stated that humans have coped with coronaviruses in the past, but coronaviruses are like family–each virus is not exactly like its sibling. COVID-19 is extraordinary in its effects on multiple systems. From the clinical perspective, Dr. Parker observed that all survivors of critical illness are at risk for developing impairments in physical function, cognition and mental health. Bedrest, sedatives, social isolation and grief take a toll. Likewise, we are seeing these phenomena in COVID-19 patients. Dr. Vasquez remarked on the waxing and waning of physical, functional, psychosocial and cognitive symptoms that he is observing in his patients after the acute phase of COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Diaz followed these presentations with a global overview. Worldwide, patients are experiencing reduced respiratory muscle strength, myocarditis, “brain fog”, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and multiple other symptoms. Dr. Diaz pointed to the CDC survey on symptom duration and disability in the post-acute phase of infection. In the afternoon, researchers presented their observations on immunological responses, and the impacts of COVID-19 infection on neurological, psychiatric, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, GI, metabolic, immunologic and rheumatologic systems. Dr. Peter Rowe (Johns Hopkins) finished the day with a case study of young adults infected with COVID-19.

On Day Two, the workshop included breakout sessions to explore knowledge gaps. The recordings of these 90-minute breakout sessions are available for viewing through NIH videocast.

  1. Neurological/Psychiatric/Neuromuscular 
  2. Cardiovascular
  3. Pulmonary
  4. Renal/GI/Metabolic
  5. Immunologic/Rheumatologic 
  6. Pediatric

As we head into the winter months, consider this opportunity to learn what researchers are talking about as they explore the post-acute sequelae of COVID-19. As one researcher said, this is pretty messed up. Solutions will need to be multidisciplinary.

The post Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Providing Food and Nutrition Education with a Charlie Cart

Fri, 2020-12-04 15:51

The following post was written by Margaret Woodruff, Director of the Charlotte, Vermont Public Library and Cheryl Sloan, the Youth Services Librarian and Assistant Director. The Charlotte Public Library received NNLM NER grant funding to purchase a Charlie Cart, a portable kitchen that enabled them to implement a food literacy project for their community. 

Greetings from the Charlotte Library in Charlotte, Vermont.  When we first planned the expansion to our library back in 2018, we intended to include a kitchen in the new program room.  Budget and construction constraints derailed that plan, but not our dreams for a way to offer food literacy and cooking programs here at our small rural library.  Thanks to a grant from NNLM-NER, we fulfilled our dreams with the purchase of a Charlie Cart mobile kitchen (https://charliecart.org/).  The equipment, on wheels, with power, storage and sink is just part of an all-in-one, hands-on food education and nutrition program.  With age-leveled curriculum and a kitchen’s worth of tools and supplies, the Charlie Cart provided a lot of inspiration for our adult and children’s programs.  We imagined afterschool “Snack on a Book” sessions for kids and cooking lessons with local chefs for adults. Both would teach library patrons of all ages about the link between good food choices and good health, as well as link to the NNLM Nutrition Health resources.

These plans came to an abrupt halt with the COVID crisis.  Our Charlie Cart was scheduled to arrive in June, but by late March our library was closed and our program room reassigned as quarantine space, with no end to restrictions in sight.  We decided that COVID-restriction time could also be training time.  Our library staff attended the live sessions with Charlie Cart trainers and familiarized ourselves with the kitchen equipment and accessories.  By the start of fall, with the library reopened in a modest way, we ventured to offer a couple of socially distanced Charlie Cart programs.  These were not to be full-scale cooking sessions but would introduce the Charlie Cart to our library community.

The first of these, entitled “Yes, I Can: Learn Canning Basics and How to Make Dilly Beans,”  took place in late September. We wheeled the Charlie Cart out to the library parking lot, plugged it in through a window and got started.  Participants were socially distanced as two library volunteers and veteran canners showed how to prepare ingredients and materials to safely preserve vegetables at home.  We never imagined cooking on the sidewalk, but the program proved successful and engaging.  Attendees expressed gratitude for the introduction to healthy options for eating during the coming winter months, as well as the chance to try something new.

Our next Charlie Cart program was designed for kids – and for the birds!  Our youth librarian planned an outdoor bird watching program, which included making up a bird food recipe.  Once again, we wheeled our trusty cart outside, this time to the library porch.  When the time came, kids stepped up, individually and safely-distanced, to stir the ingredients for bird food rings.  The combination of book and culinary activities is one we will repeat in the future.

The colder weather has brought a return to library limitations, so we will put the time to good use, planning new programs with our Charlie Cart for the spring and summer.  For anyone looking to incorporate food literacy and a lot of fun into their health literacy programming, we can’t recommend this program enough!

Other resources we found helpful include:

Gather ‘Round the Table: Food Literacy Programs, Resources and ideas for Libraries” by Hillary Dodge. (ALA Editions 2020, ISBN: 97800838946299

The NNLM Webinar “Cooking Virtually: Culinary Literacy Programming Online”.

We are always looking for new ideas and would love to hear from you if you’re interested in sharing with us, drop us an email info@charlottepubliclibrary.org

NNLM also offers a 1-hour webinar, Food for Thought: Exploring Nutrition Resources (webinar recording, slides and resource list) can be found at the following link


The post Providing Food and Nutrition Education with a Charlie Cart first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Reading Club: Inherited Disease

Wed, 2020-12-02 07:57

We inherit many things from the people who went before us – our physical characteristics, aspects of our personality and, sometimes, our health. December’s Reading Club selections discuss inherited diseases, focusing specifically on cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell disease, and cancer caused by the BRCA mutation.

In Resurrection Lily, Amy Byer Shainman discusses her experiences after learning that she inherited a BRCA gene mutation that put her at high risk of developing certain cancers. She struggles with preventively removing her breasts even when she does not have a breast cancer diagnosis. The late Mallory Smith tells how she faced the daily challenges of cystic fibrosis in a diary she left behind in hope of aiding others who live with the disease in Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life.  In A Sick Life: TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage, singer Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins recounts her experiences as a member of the all-time best-selling American female music group and as a person with a particularly challenging form of sickle-cell disease.

Perhaps you know someone facing one of these illnesses or another inherited disease. Perhaps you would just like to know more about what it is like to deal with such illnesses. Either way, each of these books will provide you with a first-hand account.

To learn more about these books and their authors – and to find related information from the National Library of Medicine and other authoritative sources – visit NNLM Reading Club’s Inherited Diseases page.

The post NNLM Reading Club: Inherited Disease first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Project Showcase: Adaptive Cycling

Mon, 2020-11-30 11:31

In, its quest to continue providing adaptive recreation programs in the Blackstone River Valley, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (BRVNHC) has acquired a state-of-the-art, electric-assist wheelchair bicycle. A grant received from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, New England Region (NNLM,) provided the funds to purchase a Van Raam OPair bicycle from Bike-On of Warwick, RI. BRVNHC is partnering with All Out Adventures of Northampton, MA, who will be caretakers of the bike, to offer adaptive cycling to people with mobility impairments and their caregivers in the Blackstone River Valley.

On November 23, all four organizations met at the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Center in Worcester, MA, so that Bike-On could deliver the equipment. A special test ride was arranged with Susan Halpin, Education and Outreach Coordinator at NNLM, and her mother, Ellie Guild.

“Being involved with the “Opening Doors to the Outdoors” grant awarded to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor has been rewarding both personally and professionally for me,” Halpin shared. “I have always thought that social connection was important to overall good health. With COVID-19, the importance of being connected has become very apparent to me because I am missing that connection to my family, friends and community. Those around us with physical and intellectual challenges experience the isolation many of us are feeling currently, all the time.”

According to Halpin, programs such as Opening Doors to the Outdoors and organizations like the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, All Out Adventures, and Bike-On, are addressing the need for inclusivity and for connection through opportunities that adaptive bicycles like the OPair provide. “In my experience, it’s not only the participants who receive those health benefits,” Halpin added. “Those who volunteer to make these events happen come away grateful for the opportunity to be involved. Giving my Mom a test ride on this new bike certainly showed that to me! Gratitude is essential to good health.”

Since 2017, BRVNHC has partnered with All Out Adventures to offer adaptive exercise programs in the Blackstone River Valley including adaptive cycling and adaptive kayaking. In 2019, adaptive kayaking events were made possible through a grant received from NNLM. Earlier this year, BRVNHC received an additional grant from NNLM to offer a series of adaptive cycling programs in partnership with All Out Adventures, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, those events could not be held. Instead, funds were used to acquire an adaptive bicycle that would provide additional programing opportunity in the spring of 2021.

“This bike will open doors and break down barriers, and we are thrilled to be able to use it in our programs,” noted Karen Foster, executive director of All Out Adventures. “At All Out Adventures we see time and again how providing access to outdoor recreation for people of all abilities has the power to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. The OPair Wheelchair Tandem will help us to extend the opportunity to participate in cycling to people with mobility impairments and their caregivers.”

The post Project Showcase: Adaptive Cycling first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs