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Internet Access via iPads for Community Based Organization Outreach

Three community based organizations are currently partnering with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) to support access to relevant health information resources for their users. The NN/LM MCR provided each of these organizations with an Apple iPad with a cellular data plan. This allows the organizations to have Internet access where they normally would not during their outreach activities. Additionally, participants have received training on health information resources from the National Library of Medicine and on the use of the iPad.

 Participating Organizations:

Servicios de La Raza – Colorado
Provides basic services for at risk members of their community with services ranging from academic support for youth through counseling for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
Healthy Baby Program – Missouri

A program of the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Provides in home visits to new mothers.
HealthStreet – Missouri
A collaboration between the Center for Community-Based Research at the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences and the Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group.
Provides residents with opportunities to learn about medical research, register in research studies, obtain free testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and learn about and apply for jobs.

Servicios de La Raza has used the iPad at community fairs to demonstrate HIV/AIDS social media sites and STD prevention/educational resources, including the services found on their web site. They were also able to show clients where the nearest HIV testing sites were located. The Healthy Baby program has been successful during home visits by providing education on immunization for at risk pregnant and parenting women. HealthStreet community health workers have been able to use the iPads to help neighborhood residents learn more about their personal health concerns.

Each organization reported that they like having access to the Internet and that the iPad is easy to use once they learned to use some of the more common applications. We are very encouraged by these initial reports and look forward to hearing more about how these community based organizations use mobile technology and access to the Internet to improve their services. We will report again in the Plains to Peaks Post when the project comes to an end in April 2013. If you come across one of these organizations at an outreach event, please be sure to introduce yourself and learn more about what they do.

– John Bramble – Utah/Technology Coordinator


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