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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

MedlinePlus changes

Friday, July 1st, 2016

On Tuesday, July 12th, 2016, the MedlinePlus team will update the domain to “” for all page URLs on the English and Spanish MedlinePlus sites, including health topic pages, drug monographs and encyclopedia articles.

For example, the URL for the English health topic page “Asthma” will change from



The URL for the Spanish health topic page “Asthma” will change from


The old URLs will automatically redirect to the new URLs for the foreseeable future. However, we suggest updating your pages to point to and concurrent with this update.

This update does not change the site contents or design.

Contact MedlinePlus for questions about this update at

Summer Safety

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

hikers Summer is often the time of year most people enjoy. It is more relaxing, a chance to enjoy outdoor activities, take vacations, and spend time with friends and family. However, many may also find it a time to take more precautions with sunburn, mosquito bites, and accidents. While not all accidents and health issues can be eliminated steps can be put in place to help prevent such concerns.

Sunlight provides health benefits including vitamin D which helps absorb calcium. It is also thought to boost mental health and cognitive function. But too much sun can lead to health problems one of which is Melanoma which is the most serious type of skin cancer which affect primarily adults but has also been diagnosed in children and teens. How to stay safe in the sun and which sunblock to use? Check out these resources:

Many are concerned about mosquitoes and not just their annoying itchy bites but concerns about Zika and other related illnesses. Though the Northwest may not have as much concern as warmer and more humid parts of the US it is good to consider using mosquito repellent. Which ones are safe and effective to use? Check these resources:


June is Men’s Health Month

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

silhouette of runnersWhile attending the Children’s Author luncheon at the Public Library Association conference in Denver this past April I couldn’t help but take note that Sherman Alexie began his talk by talking about a medical condition. The focus of his talk was not about medicine and medical care but he did focus several minutes  humorously recounting his medical experience regarding the benign brain tumor that was removed. He involved the men in the audience by noting that few men take the initiative to seek preventative health care, including himself, because every time they go they receive a diagnosis. So why would you go?!

Alexie’s logic may be questionable but is is not an unusual perception by many men.  Men tend to live unhealthier lives compared to women. They tend to drink and smoke more, take greater risks, and tend to delay or just not seek medical care such as regular checkups, health screening, or treatment. And, if you are a man of a racial or ethnic minority, your health is trailing behind even more than the general population. (more…)

Next PNR Rendezvous, June 15

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

PNR Rendezvous
Wednesday June 15
1:00-2:00pm PT, noon- 1:00pm Alaska, 2:00-3:00pm MT

Engaging Public Libraries in Community Health Information and Services is the name of the the next PNR Rendezvous presentation. In collaboration with the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest regional medical library (NN/LM PNR), University of Washington Information School MLIS candidate Liz Morris planned and executed outreach activities to gather input from public libraries in Idaho regarding their current efforts, needs, priorities and perceptions regarding community health information and services.

The broad goal of this work has been to further clarify and refine ways in which NN/LM PNR can continue to meet the health information needs of public libraries and their communities in Idaho (and across the network), via training or other services. Attend this Rendezvous to a) learn more about current trends in consumer health information in public libraries, b) discover key take-aways from the focus groups with the Idaho public library community, and c) share your perspective on community health outreach needs or activities at your library and in your community.

View a 1 minute promo video:

Use this link to the project overview/description of Liz’s project: (more…)

2016 Summer Reading Theme of Wellness, Fitness, and Sports

Monday, April 25th, 2016

This year’s summer reading slogan from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSL) is focused on health and wellness. Many public libraries have already begun their program planning. The National Library of Medicine health resources are a great way to help in the planning and supplementing of programs and activities following this theme.


MedlinePlus covers a wide range of topics including Healthy Living, Exercise and Physical Fitness, Sports Safety, Child Nutrition and more.  MedlinePlus even has pages of health topics focused specifically on children’s and teen health topics and specific topic pages written just for teens and just for children. These health topic pages include health tips that can be incorporated into health and wellness activities and programs.  Your programs can include collaborating with local organizations and professionals who focus on health and wellness whether it is to lead a program on cooking for weight loss, learning about preventing concussions in school sports or leading a yoga class. These MedlinePlus pages can help supplement such programs in the form of handouts, special webpages with links, newsletters or social media.

Summer reading isn’t just for kids. NIH Senior Health is another great resource for information to include on programs for older adults in your communities. MedlinePlus also have topic pages specifically for Seniors but NIH Senior Health is a great resource on its own. This resource includes ways to improve usability for those who may have visual difficulties.  The text can be made larger and the web page contrast can be changed to make it easier to view.  Videos are also included on several health topics so if reading is difficult this might be an alternative. Information about the importance of health through exercise includes videos including videos of exercises to try.

The National Institute on Aging has an extensive amount of information for Seniors (more…)

National DNA Day, April 25

Thursday, April 14th, 2016


Are you familiar with the  Genomic Medicine, the Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Human Genome Project?  Have you tried one of the direct to consumer genetic testing through such companies as or 23 and Me? These and other programs can help you discover  your own genetic makeup.  Learning about who we are genetically often has to do with learning about our health. It can be fun to learn about our ancestry and helpful to know what diseases we might be at risk for getting.  But most of us do not know where to begin and many of us really only have an idea of what all this means. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is hoping to help educate us a little more with DNA Day. Congress approved the first National DNA Day in April 2003 to celebrate both the completion of the Human Genome Project and the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick’s discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) continues to celebrating DNA Day annually on April 25. The goal of National DNA Day is to offer students, teachers and the public an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives. And for this year’s DNA Day, NHGRI wants to spread the word about this day’s observance. Efforts have been made to help by teaming up to organize events across the country, create a DNA Day toolkit, update the webpages, expand the listing of resources for students and educators, and increase the usage of social media to engage the public. To learn more about DNA Day and how to get involved go to