The In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) Webinar Recap series will provide a summary of our monthly SCR CONNECTions webinars. We’ll go over highlights from our guest speakers’ presentations and give some additional thoughts about the connections our attendees could be making from the presented topics!
Our September guest speaker, Susana Privett, Data Dissemination Specialist with the US Census Bureau, is no stranger to online webinar presentations. A large part of her duties include giving online and in-person trainings and workshops on data and the census bureau’s online tools. And it’s a good thing, because September was one of our highest attended webinars yet!
For those not aware, all of the data collected from the US census, performed every 10 years, is posted online and available for access from census.gov. The website was recently revamped to be more user friendly and provide more opportunities for learning about census data, including additional training, news, infographics, and stories about data.
Susana demonstrated many of the features of the census website, such as QuickFacts to compare geographical data and American Factfinder, a data search tool that locates tables of population data. She also explained how census data is collected and categorized, with a breakdown of the geographic area types and an overview of census tracts and blocks. “They’re really like Russian nesting dolls,” she said, with a combination of legal and statistical geography.
Data and assessment are increasingly important topics in an era of big data and with the growth of digital data collection. Certainly anyone applying for grant funding knows the importance of data in showing evidence of need and potential for impact! The census bureau provides one possible source of data that can be utilized, and it’s freely available for anyone to use.
Susana just scratched the surface of what data the census bureau has to offer, and we hope to offer another session from her in the future for those looking to enhance their census data searching skills. Be on the lookout for that future session, and catch up with her webinar in the meantime:
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next SCR CONNECTions webinar, Game On! Motivate and Engage Your Staff with Gaming Strategies, scheduled for Wednesday, October 10th at 10am CT / 9am MT!
October 4th – 10th is World Space Week! Health science research in space and aeronautics has had strong influences on medical technologies today. According to NASA Spinoffs, “From experiments on the International Space Station to aeronautics research, NASA programs are resulting in spinoffs that improve health, treat disease, and save lives” (Health and Medicine brochure).
A “spinoff” is a technology that began with NASA, but through partnerships with the private sector have led to the creation of commercially available products. There have been over 230 “spinoffs” related to health and medicine, documented since 1976. From heart valves to ultrasound software, these technologies have reached throughout the world. NASA continues to partner with the private sector to discover new aerospace technologies that can be brought down to benefit those of us down here on Earth.
From the NASA Spinoffs page, some examples of real world applications pertaining to health and medicine include:
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) used for growing plants and healing people.
- Infrared ear thermometers that make it easier to take temperatures for babies or those who are ill.
- Prosthetic limbs that have been developed from technologies developed from NASA space robotic and extravehicular activities.
- Heart pumps, Ventricular Assist Devices or VADs, that serve as a bridge to a heart transplant (keeping patients stable until a donor heart is available).
- Water purification systems were created to “recycle” waste water into drinkable water for the astronauts living on the International Space Station. This technology is now used to filter and create drinkable water in regions where water is contaminated.
- Food safety guidelines were created to prevent food from being exposed to bacteria and toxins.
For more information, check out the earlier links to their Spinoffs page and brochure. Also, MedlinePlus Magazine did a feature about collaboration between the NIH and NASA all the way back in Fall 2007!
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is composed of 8 regions. Each week, other regions post some great blog stories that we’d like to share with our region! Here are some highlights from last week:
A Kansas local shared her family’s story and discussed how precision medicine can help improve the health for all by considering each person’s genetic makeup.
Our Middle Atlantic Region colleagues are highlighting a different theme related to preparedness each month. This post focuses on learning life-saving skills.
Learn more about this recent increase in STDs and resources that libraries can refer to patrons who have questions about them.
Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. The first awareness day was held in 2010. The date, September 13th, was chosen in honor of Dr. Samuel Gee who was a leader in celiac disease research. He was born September 13, 1939.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that impacts the gastrointestinal system. Those diagnosed with celiac disease must avoid gluten. Consuming gluten causes damage to the small intestines. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 141 Americans have celiac disease although the majority of them do not know it.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases lists possible long-term complications of Celiac Disease:
- malnutrition, a condition in which you don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to be healthy
- accelerated osteoporosis or bone softening, known as osteomalacia
- nervous system problems
- problems related to reproduction
To learn more about celiac disease and available resources, visit the National Celiac Association website.
Sometimes office conversation here at SCR turns to controversy around typing conventions or punctuation, such as the Oxford Comma or the debate around two spaces after a period. But we’re not looking to start any trouble, so we will avoid those topics! However, accessibility is something that we think about often and not just because we require all of our documents to be 508 accessible.
In the Healthy Aging class that is taught by NNLM coordinators, I have occasionally included a section on web usability and design. For instance, we know that older adults (which means these issues will eventually affect everyone) have difficulty when:
- Color contrast is low
- Pages are too cluttered with information
- Text is smaller than 16px
There are many built-in tools that can assist with those issues. But accessibility isn’t just about responding to losses in vision. It’s about helping those with sensory and attention challenges (legal disclaimer: this blog does not reflect official policy).
Traditional reading is not something that everyone is able to do easily. At least, this is the premise of an Atlantic article from 2016 by James Hamblin: “People who don’t read well in this one particular way tend to fall behind scholastically early in life. They might be told they’re not as bright as other people, or at least come to assume it. They might even be diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, or a learning disability, or overlooked as academically mediocre.”
One proposed solution? Color gradients in text. Using the Chrome browser plug-in Beeline Reader (this is not an endorsement or paid advertisement; however, this app brought attention to this approach), take a look at the following text from the Atlantic article:
The idea is that people have trouble with line to line transitions, sometimes skipping lines before returning to the correct line in an environment where all text is the same color. With color gradients or perhaps other types of formatting, this problem is corrected. The gradients draw the reader to the correct line and subsequently allows them to focus better on the passage.
Here is the same text without the color gradient:
The color gradients might be helpful not just with return sweeps, but simply in
keeping people’s attention – so they’re less likely to dart from tab to tab. Bias
sees an important role for this technology in the era of waning attention spans.
He’s 64 years old and describes himself as a “slow but good reader” who “can
sometimes stay with something for a long time.” But in recent years, he’s
sensed a decline in his attention, and has a feeling that this is a growing
problem. “Can we multitask?” he asks, rhetorically. “The research, more and
more, shows that we all suck at it.”
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is composed of 8 regions. Each week, other regions post some great blog stories that we’d like to share with our region! Here are some highlights from last week:
Native Voices: An Exercise in History; Collaboration and Fun: This blog shares information about their traveling exhibit that “explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.”
Words Matter: This blog highlights some of the stigmas and stereotypes that prevent those with addiction issues from seeking or receiving proper medical treatment.
Register Now for New NLM Webinar Series Beginning September 6! Learn more about this 5 week interactive series that “will focus on the roles and products of the NLM related to applied medical informatics, particularly as applied to electronic health records (EHRs) systems and clinical research.”
This past month, we hosted Natalie Roy, co-founder and executive director of AgriSafe Network, a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and safety of farmers and ranchers. The unique health issues faced by communities of agricultural workers across the country make organizations like Natalie’s essential in reaching individuals in those communities.
In her presentation, Natalie described some of the challenges facing these groups, including:
- Lower literacy rates
- Greater work-related risks
- Low income households
- Limited accessibility to information and care
She also spoke about some of the work that AgriSafe is doing to reach these communities, such as:
- Ongoing needs assessment
- Training for rural health professionals
- Partnerships with other agricultural centers, rural research centers, and other nonprofit organizations
So, what is the connection here for all of you? We hope this presentation introduced or re-emphasized the needs of a unique population that might be served by some of your institutions, as well as a unique nonprofit organization that works directly with that population.
Natalie herself mentioned wanting to gain a greater understanding of what libraries do, for example, and encouraged the creation of innovative partnerships between libraries and agricultural centers, particularly in addressing the issue of health literacy and sharing information about free, easy-to-use resources.
In addition to AgriSafe Network, there are a number of institutions Natalie covered in her talk that could serve as potential partners in the field. The US Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, an effort by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are located throughout the country and would be happy to connect with other groups interested in working with agricultural communities. Find your nearest Ag Center online!
Be sure to check out our next SCR CONNECTions webinar, Assessing a Community – By the Numbers with Census Data, scheduled for Wednesday, September 19th at 10am CT / 9am MT!
National Suicide Prevention Week will take place September 9th-15th. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and September is National Suicide Month. One way you can raise awareness around the risks of suicide is by joining others around the world as they cycle around the globe to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented. According to the World Suicide Prevention Day website, a person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and there are “many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has made an attempt.”
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “one of the risks for suicide is social isolation, and there’s scientific evidence for reducing suicide risk by making sure we connect with one another”. This is fitting, considering this year’s theme: The Power of Connection. Other risk factors a person might exhibit is:
- Talking about killing themselves
- Being a burden to others
- Giving away prized possessions
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from activities and/or loss of interest
For more assistance and further resources, see the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Begin actions to promote healing and remember to:
- Keep them Safe
- Be There
- Help Them Stay Connected
- Follow Up
September is National Preparedness month. Disasters can be devastating and our region has certainly experienced this firsthand. What can you do to prepare?
FEMA has offered the following tips:
- Make and practice your family’s preparedness plan so your family knows how to reconnect and reunite when an emergency strikes.
- Learn life safety skills. Neighbors and coworkers are often the first to take action immediately after a disaster strikes. Train to be a citizen responder through CPR and first aid training or learn how to be the help until help arrives.
- Check your insurance coverage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding, earthquakes, or high winds in hurricane-prone areas. If you’re not insured against those hazards, talk to your insurance agent.
- Save for an emergency. Anticipate initial out-of-pocket disaster expenses for lodging, food, gas, and more. A 2016 survey by the Federal Reserve revealed that 44 percent of Americans indicated they would not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense.
Each week this month has a focus:
- September 1—8: Make and Practice Your Plan
- September 9—15: Learn Life Saving Skills
- September 16—22: Check Your Coverage
- September 23—29: Save for an Emergency
There are some great resources that can be beneficial if the worst does happen.
WISER: This tool is best utilized by first responders and first receivers in hazardous material incidents. This system provides a substantial scope of information on hazardous substances.
CHEMM: This tool gives guidance in planning, response, and recovery when faced with a chemical mass casualty incident.
REMM: This tool can be used to assist with clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injuries if a radiological and/or nuclear emergency was to occur.
You can also visit the website of the Disaster Information Management Research Center to view additional resources. They have some great tools to assist with disaster preparation!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that shows more adolescents are up to date on the HPV vaccine. Data comparing 2016 to 2017 show that the number of those who completed the series has increased by 5 percentage points.
HPV, or human papillomaviruses, are a group of viruses spread by sexual contact. HPV includes more than 200 types divided into two categories: high risk or low risk. Low risk viruses can cause warts on various parts of the body. High risk viruses can cause certain types of cancer including:
- Cervical cancer
- Anal cancer
- Some types of oraland throat cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Penile cancer
The HPV vaccine is recommended by healthcare professionals to prevent HPV. Read more details about the vaccine including who should get it and when!
Concussions happen daily in the United States and are a form of traumatic brain injury or TBI. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there were 2.8 million emergency room visits related to TBI. With the prevalence of TBIs, it is no surprise that there are multiple research studies focus on this injury. A new study made a breakthrough by studying woodpeckers!
TBI’s can be mild or severe enough to result in death. Symptoms of a concussion include:
- balance problems/dizziness
- double or blurry vision
- sensitivity to light and noise
- fatigue or drowsiness
- changes in sleep patterns
- trouble comprehending and/or concentrating
- irritability, nervousness, or sadness
- feelings of being “just not right” or in a “fog”
Researchers have been looking for ways to minimize the impact TBIs have on sufferers. A previous study examined whether how tense the neck muscles were could impact concussion risk. It was believed that tense neck muscles slightly reduced acceleration. A new study, however, found that at higher velocity rates the neck muscles did not play a role. The study out of Stanford shows that head positioning does affect concussion risk. Read the entire study to learn more about the specifics of their findings and the role woodpeckers played.
These findings could be vital in TBI prevention. David Camarillo, associate professor of bioengineering added, “ “Discovering how sensitive the head is to slight changes in positioning has implications on design of helmets and other protective equipment,” Camarillo said. “For example, could the facemask in football be offering a lever arm that adds to the rotation of the head and therefore risk of concussion? Are downhill mountain bike helmets protecting the chin at the cost of the brain? We hope to use this model we have developed to determine better design geometry of helmets and potentially for input to coaching on how to brace for impact.”
Have you ever been around someone who insists they smell an odor that you and others are unable to smell? There’s a scientific name to describe this phenomenon: phantom odor perception.
A new study from the National Institutes of Health determined nearly 1 in 15 Americans have phantom odor perception. This conclusion was drawn after researchers examined over 7,000 participants who were all asked if they occasionally smelled an unpleasant odor. Although a distortion in the sense of smell might not seem like a serious medical condition, smells can alert to danger such as smoke, gas leaks, or spoiled food.
Phantom odor perception is not the only potential explanation for a change in the ability to smell. Other potential causes include:
- A stuffy nose caused by the cold or flu
- Nasal polyps
- Certain medications
- Cancer treatments
- Head injury
Judith A. Cooper, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) said, “Problems with the sense of smell are often overlooked, despite their importance. They can have a big impact on appetite, food preferences, and the ability to smell danger signals such as fire, gas leaks, and spoiled food.”
Have you ever been in a situation where a friend or family member seemed to be experiencing mental distress and you didn’t know how to help? Do you wish you knew more about mental illness and how to identify signs and symptoms? Then a Mental Health First Aid training might be right for you!
The SCR team had the opportunity to attend a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training earlier this summer. Mental health is an area all of us are passionate about, and unfortunately it’s also an area that seems to be trending lately, with rising substance use disorders (often associated with mental health issues) and the suicides of several prominent figures in the past several years. We were looking for a way to get more information on what we might be able to do to help, and MHFA was one of the most highly recommended suggestions we received!
MHFA training is designed to give participants the information and strategies needed to provide support, a type of “first aid,” to those in immediate need of mental health care. It is not a replacement or substitution for the care of a mental health professional, of course, but it allows the average person to be able to assist someone in distress and help get them the care they do need.
We received our MHFA training from Metrocare Services, the largest provider of mental health services in Dallas County with an array of services for people with mental and developmental disabilities. Our instructor, Abel Hernandez, ensured our 8 hour training was infused with his enthusiasm and compassion for helping others, and he emphasized that anyone can learn to provide mental health first aid.
The important thing is to remember to ALGEE! This five-step action plan for individuals to provide help to someone who may be in crisis, call ALGEE, is a central component of the course and provides an easy-to remember set of actions to follow.
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
- Listen nonjudgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
With this process, and good knowledge of mental health issues and appropriate care, you might, as Abel has, literally save a life! If you’re interested in finding a MHFA training near you, be sure to check out the course finder on the MHFA website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with partners, is promoting the fifth annual Contact Lens Health Week August 20-24, 2018. This year’s campaign theme is “Healthy habits mean healthy eyes” and focuses on encouraging contact lens wearers to practice safe contact lens habits every day.
It is estimated that 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses. Proper usage and care of contact lenses is important to avoid eye infections. Every year, nearly 1 in 500 contact lens users suffer serious complications from infections due to not following care instructions. In some cases, these complications lead to blindness.
The Contact Lens Health Week campaign messages cover three key areas:
- Healthy contact lens hygiene habits
- Risk associated with improper contact lens use
- Regular visits to an eye care provider
For additional resources, visit the official webpage for Contact Lens Health Week and download their toolkit.
Heart disease can be deadly. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. The estimated prevalence is 1 in 4 female deaths is due to heart disease. The most common form of heart disease for women is coronary artery disease (CAD) but they are also at risk for coronary microvascular disease (MVD) and broken heart syndrome.
CAD increases the risk for a heart attack. This occurs when the blood flow to the heart stops due to a blockage. This prevents the heart from getting oxygen that then results in heart tissue dying or even death. During a heart attack, quick treatment is recommended and many providers urge that minutes matter. Could the gender of the physician providing treatment matter, too?
A recent review of nearly 582,000 cases than span a 19 year history revealed data that suggests the gender of the physician does matter for women seeking treatment for a heart attack. Women who have heart attacks have a higher rate of survival when their physician is also a woman. Seth Carnahan is part of the team that did the review. He said, “You have highly trained experts with life or death on the line, and yet the gender match between the physician and the patient seems to matter a great deal.”
The next time you spend time outside, you might want to check closely for ticks. Officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) report an increase in the number of tickborne diseases.
The most common tickborne illness is Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection resulting from a tick bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are nearly 30,000 cases of Lyme disease reported each year. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, and skin rash; however, if left untreated the disease can spread and cause additional complications.
Although Lyme Disease is the most common, other U.S. tickborne disease include:
- Borrelia mayonii
- Borrelia miyamotoi
- Bourbon virus
- Colorado tick fever
- Heartland virus
- Powassan disease
- Rickettsia parkeririckettsiosis
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
- STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness)
- Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF)
- 364D rickettsiosis
Despite the increase the CDC states that incidences of these disease are underreported. The article in which NIH discusses the increase in tickborne disease states it is critical scientists work to develop vaccines. Read the entire article to see other NIH recommendations.
At first glance, obesity and Influenza A seem to have no correlation. A new study with multiple cohorts found that obesity prolongs the length influenza A stay in the body. Participating institutions include:
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Nicaraguan Ministry of Health
- Sustainable Sciences Institute in Nicaragua
- University of California-Berkeley
Influenza A is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that is highly contagious. Symptoms last for approximately 4-7 days and typically include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and general body aches. The flu also causes those with chronic health conditions to experience an exacerbation in the symptoms associated with that condition. There is also a risk for complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis, and seizures.
Over 3 flu seasons, researchers monitored 320 households in Nicaragua. Their findings show that it took those who are obese 1.6 days longer to shed the virus compared to those who are not obese. They suggested that this could be to the inflammation that obesity causes. They plan to continue to research this topic and began to examine if reducing obesity could be a potential deterrent in future spread of disease.
As parents and caregivers around the country start to adjust to back to school routines, students are also adjusting. One area that impacts students as they return to the classroom is sleep. How much sleep should your student be getting? What are the benefits of getting a good night of sleep? What are the risks of not getting enough sleep?
Sleep is essential to helping one feel rested, healthy and assists with processing new information. There are 5 stages of sleep and quality rest through all 5 stages is necessary for a healthy sleep. The brain cycles through all the stages while we sleep and each stage produces a different biological response and benefit. The stages are stage 1, 2, 3, 4, and rapid eye movement (REM).
This leads us back to the question of how much sleep is enough. Although there are several factors that impact this number, the general recommendations are:
- Newborns:16-18 hours a day
- Preschool-aged children:11-12 hours a day
- School-aged children:At least 10 hours a day
- Teens:9-10 hours a day
- Adults (including the elderly):7-8 hours a day
It is also recommended that regardless of age, establish a bedtime routine designed to encourage healthy sleep habits. Tips for achieving a healthy bedtime routine include:
- Stick to a bedtime, and give your kids a heads-up 30 minutes and then 10 minutes beforehand.
- Include a winding-down period in the routine.
- Encourage older kids and teens to set and maintain a bedtime that allows for the full hours of sleep needed at their age.
The risk of not getting enough sleep can produce an impact on your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
Millennials likely grew up most familiar with the Food Pyramid. When the USDA released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the visual food guide was updated in 2011 to MyPlate as a more eye-catching and less complicated model for healthier eating.
Take a look at this side-by-side comparison:
Others may be aware that these guidelines have also taken other iterations in the past. In the 1940s and then again in 1984, there have been circular diagrams or “wheels” – the former including butter and margarine as a recommended food group!
But as our understanding of health and nutrition increases, so does the approach to recommending foods. Since 1980, dietary guidelines for consumers have been informed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a policy document for professionals. For instance, it informs:
- The National School Lunch Program
- The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The 2015-2020 guidelines suggests health eating as “not a rigid prescription, but rather, an adaptable framework in which individuals can enjoy foods that meet their personal, cultural, and traditional preferences and fit within their budget.” It offers the following limits as part of its key recommendations:
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
- Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium
- If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age
For more information on the Dietary Guidelines, visit the following site: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietary-guidelines
For helpful handouts and other resources related to nutrition, visit the MedlinePlus topical page on nutrition.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Breastfeeding Week was created to bring awareness and focus to how breastfeeding helps prevent malnutrition, ensures food security in times of crisis, and is a part of breaking the cycle of poverty.
This awareness week takes place from today August 1st to Tuesday August 7th. In addition to WABA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF are all showing support for breastfeeding to promote the public’s health. The objectives for this year’s awareness week are to inform, anchor, engage, and galvanize.
The hashtag being used on social media to bring awareness is #WBW2018.