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Archive for December, 2011

NLM People Finder for Typhoon Sendong

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

The National Library of Medicine provides a People Finder to help locate your loved ones after a disaster. You can now add people and search for people affected by the Typhoon Sendong. You can also report and search for people surviving the Turkey earthquake and the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

From the NLM People Finder About Us:
All data contained on this Web site are available to the public and are searchable by all visitors to the Web site. Data are received from multiple sources: direct submissions to NLM using the “ReUnite” application or email, from the Google Person Finder, and from other organizations, as indicated on individual records. The site may not be moderated, and NLM and other contributing organizations do not review or verify the accuracy of any of the data presented on this Web site. Note that data received by direct submission to NLM may be disseminated to other agencies, institutions, and organizations assisting the effort to locate missing people,including the Google Person Finder.

Ways You Can Search:
Once you have performed a search, you may also limit your results by status, gender, and age. Status choices are missing (blue), alive and well (green), injured (red), deceased (black), found (brown) or unknown (gray). Gender choices are male, female, and other/unknown.
Age choices are 0-17, 18+, or unknown.

Please spread the word about the NLM People Finder, to help family and friends find eachother in times of natural disasters.

The Importance of Community Assessment

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The Importance of Community Assessment in
Community Health Outreach

Before you can plan and implement a successful community outreach event, you must understand your community, which includes knowing its assets as well as its needs. The Healthy People 2020 initiative provides a community assessment guide at its website called MAP-IT
Here you can find a tool to guide you in data collection you can use to determine your community’s assets, needs, and priorities. The assessment tool looks at a community’s physical environment, access to health services, social environment, genetics, and individual health behaviors.

Ken Morse, director of my local community health coalition, Healthy Oxford Hills, has this to say about community assessment and partnership:

“Healthy Oxford Hills, along with all the other Healthy Maine Partnerships, work on health planning processes and community outreach. A key piece of this is dwelling as much or more on community assets as on community needs. This work is sometimes called “strength-based” or “asset-based community development.” The idea is to engage people and resources from as many diverse sectors or components of the community as possible. We sometimes describe this as “knitting together” different community threads. Every person and every group has something unique to offer the community.

It’s really interesting and encouraging how successful collaborations sometimes spring from bringing diverse folks together. For example, to address physical fitness, we worked on building and promoting local walking trails. We identified a brook running through our downtown as a key water trail. It needed some serious cleaning up, so our trails committee was able to enlist the local Trout Unlimited chapter to help out with this.

In times of limited budgets, getting diverse partners to work together using existing resources can often help achieve community goals without new funds being needed. The price of this sort of diverse collaboration is the price and patience it takes to build strong relationships. It does take time for people and group to work together to build trust that helps us all focus on the community goals we share as opposed to dwelling on the things that make us different. We find that, over time, this makes for stronger, healthier communities.”

By: Deborah Clark, MLIS, AHIP
Healthy Communities COI Leader | (207) 744-6196

For further information:
ACHI Community Health Assessment Toolkit
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP)
Community assessment guide

Book Review: Successful Community Outreach

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Book Review: Successful Community Outreach: a How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians by Barbara Blake, Robert S. Martin, and Yunfei Du. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2011. ISBN 9781555707729 $64.95

This practical guide thoroughly covers the “nuts and bolts” of outreach planning for libraries. It will help you take stock of both your library and your community to determine community needs and library service goals which can address those needs. The book contains many worksheets (which are also on an accompanying CD) to aid you in developing a library vision and mission statement, describing the goals and objectives for your library services, mapping community assets, demographics, and needs, as well as drawing up an outreach action plan. There is also discussion and worksheets to help you identify community outreach partners, organize data collection, and evaluate outreach projects. Examples of real outreach project action plans are included on the CD.

The one area I felt the authors did not discuss in enough depth was publicity and marketing. Though there are some specific examples of how libraries publicized their events in the CD action plan files, the book did not offer a separate chapter on the importance and methods of publicizing outreach programs and marketing the library’s services. I would have liked to have seen some examples of creative ways to publicize outreach events as I feel that the most difficult part of an outreach project is getting out the word to your audience in a way that will entice them to attend.

Though this book is meant for public libraries, the concepts and step-by-step process presented will be applicable to most health sciences and consumer health libraries that want to develop and expand their own community health outreach programs. I recommend it to librarians just beginning to plan outreach projects as well as to the more experienced outreach coordinators who want to improve the effectiveness of their programs and events.

Deborah A. Clark, MLIS, AHIP
Healthy Communities COI Leader

PubMed Health, Latest Release

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

With its December release, PubMed® Health grows to over 18,000 systematic reviews and health technology assessments in the last 10 years. With the inclusion of the Database of Reviews of Effects (DARE) from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in England, PubMed Health is getting close to comprehensive coverage of reliable systematic reviews on clinical effectiveness.

Other new features and content additions in this release include:

  • Evidence-based, regularly updated information on cancer for consumers and health professionals from the National Cancer Institute (NCI®) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) database.
  • Two full-text books under “Understanding research results” from the “Understand clinical effectiveness” tab:
  • Simplified and broadened — display of medical encyclopedia search results.

Addition of Over 12,000 Reviews from DARE

A new section in the “Contents” drop-down box on the homepage has been added for the DARE reviews. This new content type rounds out PubMed Health’s coverage of systematic reviews on clinical effectiveness in the published biomedical literature, joining over 4,500 Cochrane reviews and hundreds of systematic reviews by health technology assessment agencies.

DARE is a key database produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) and funded by England’s National Institute of Health Research. Information specialists at CRD regularly search an extensive group of electronic databases, supplemented by hand searching, to identify published systematic reviews that meet their set of scientific criteria.

For about half of the reviews that qualify for DARE, a CRD summary with critical appraisal of the scientific quality of the review is added. These may raise caveats about the reliability of the review.

PubMed Health displays the title of the review and its citation. For those reviews with a full CRD summary and appraisal, the conclusion is then displayed, followed by a link to the complete version. This is followed by the abstract of the review itself, if one is included in PubMed. Each PubMed Health record from DARE includes a link to an explanation of CRD’s process and assessment criteria.

Currently, DARE is added to weekly, and new records and summaries will appear shortly afterward in PubMed® Health. The records will not yet appear in PubMed.

Changes to Display of Search Results

DARE reviews are returned with all results, and can also be viewed under their own content type. Medical encyclopedia content has been simplified, with some content text also appearing. Previously, only medical encyclopedia content for diseases and drugs were shown on the search results page. Relevant medical encyclopedia content for procedures and other types of searches now display.

The parallel “Clinical Queries” filter search for systematic reviews in PubMed remains. This search continues to return results chronologically.

NCI cancer information for patients and health professionals appears under the “For consumers” and “Clinical Guides” links, respectively.

Twitter followers can learn more about PubMed Health content and additions by following @PubMedHealth.

By Hilda Bastian
National Center for Biotechnology and Information

From the NLM Technical Bulletin

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