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Funded Outreach Projects

Submitted by Javier Crespo

NER is pleased to announce the following funded outreach projects:

Tufts University, Hirsh Medical Library: SPIRAL Enhancement Project

Tufts University will expand the work of its acclaimed SPIRAL resource. SPIRAL stands for Selected
Patient Information Resource in Asian Languages ( The subcontract funding will allow the project to increase the language and content offerings on the SPIRAL Asian Languages in Health Information Website.

The goal of the SPIRAL project is to promote health literacy by collecting health information in multiple Asian languages for non-English speakers to search, and for health care providers to make available to their non-English speaking patients.
Project objectives are:

  1. Addition of new topics: Consumer health resources created by Asian medical schools will be investigated, and when appropriate, integrated within SPIRAL’s collection of links.
  2. Addition of new language – Japanese: Recruit Japanese translator(s) to join the pool of translators who were identified previously to work with the SPIRAL project.
  3. Promote and publicize the SPIRAL site to the physicians, health care providers, libraries, and communities serving the targeted patient populations.
  4. Redesign web site layout to improve aesthetics and appeal, user navigation, including provisions for Section 508 compliancy, and organization of featured materials.

River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition: River Valley Health Information Literacy Outreach Project

The goal of the River Valley Health Information Literacy Outreach Project is to increase awareness of reliable online health information and improve the health literacy of youth and young adults in rural Northern Oxford County, Maine. The River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition (RVHCC) will:

  1. Assess community health information needs and services.
  2. Increase the capacity of teachers and librarians to use reliable online health information resources to improve health literacy.
  3. Pilot health information literacy lessons in local schools, community–based adult education programs, and public libraries.
  4. Encourage consumer health information outreach by Healthy Communities Coalitions throughout the state of Maine.

RVHCC is a non-profit organization serving nine towns (Andover, Byron, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury, and Rumford). We first wrote about Healthy Communities projects in a previous newsletter article ( The project team will train 15 teachers and librarians to pilot three health information literacy lessons using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) online resources in schools, adult education programs, and libraries. During the pilot it is expected that the project will reach 200 youth and young adults and that 80% will report increased awareness of NLM resources and 60% will use online resources to find health information. RVHCC is collaborating with Rumford Hospital and Central Maine Medical Center.

The above two subcontracts join the following four current subcontracts that are well under way.

  • Littleton Regional Hospital, Gale Medical Library: Northern New Hampshire Health Information Outreach.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Treadwell Library: Health Information Project with CAPIC (Community Action Programs, Inter City, Inc.).
  • University of Vermont, Dana Medical Library: Connecting Patients, Providers, and the Community with Quality Health Information.
  • Yale University, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library: Information Needs of Connecticut School Nurses.

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