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Consumer health library profile

Contributed by Cindy Stewart

    The Heath Education Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

In October 2007 the Health Education Center (HEC) at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, was officially opened for business. The HEC serves DHMC patients, their family members, and the community at large.

The HEC is a collaborative effort among several departments: the Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries, the Dartmouth College Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, and the hospital’s Center for Shared Decision Making. The Center for Shared Decision Making helps individuals with difficult healthcare decisions. Shared Decision Making staff in the HEC offer helpful videos from their Decision Aid collection.

The HEC is focused on connecting the dots between information requirements, the need for emotional and educational support, and
on-site counseling for medical decision making. Biomedical Libraries staff, a health
educator, and Center for Shared Decision Making staff are available to assist users. A team of trained volunteers from the hospital’s Volunteer Services department also helps to make the HEC a friendly and welcoming environment.

Computers and Internet access are available 24/7 for individuals to check email, search the web for health information, and to work on a health status questionnaire. The health status questionnaire is required of many of the patients at DHMC. If they do not have a computer or Internet access at home, or if they are not comfortable using a computer, they can work with a HEC staff member or volunteer on their questionnaire. There is a quiet reading room, equipment for viewing video based decision aids and other health education material.
There is also a classroom for use by support groups and other health-related programs (including tobacco cessation, advance directives, and finding health information).

For more information about the Health Education Center, visit or contact Cindy Stewart, Associate Director, Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries.

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