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Open Enrollment for Health Insurance is Here!

News from the Partnership Center of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The fourth Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace has begun. Americans are able to visit HealthCare.gov to shop for and enroll in an affordable health plan for 2017.  In launching open enrollment, HHS Secretary Burwell commented, “This Open Enrollment, we’re encouraging every American who might need coverage to visit HealthCare.gov, where they’ll find options for affordable health insurance. This year, the vast majority of consumers will qualify for tax credits that help keep coverage affordable, and it’s easier than ever to shop around and compare options.  As we sound today’s opening bell, let’s also take stock of the historic gains in coverage we’ve made as a country, and work together to continue that progress.”

This year, we’ll be using social media more than ever before to get the word out to consumers to #GetCovered. It’s more important than ever that we share key messages about Open Enrollment: Read more »

National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Caregivers provide a much needed service. According to a report by Indiana University, these informal caregivers provide a service that saves Medicare $375 billion dollars a year. The statistics are staggering regarding caregivers in the last few years. The following statistics are from the  National Alliance for Caregiving website:

  • Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • The majority of caregivers (82%) care for one other adult, while 15% care for 2 adults, and 3% for 3 or more adults. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness or 16.6% of Americans. [Coughlin, J. (2010). Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management.]
  • About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. [Alzheimer’s Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.]

This caregiving may involve such clinical tasks as doling out medications or assistance getting in and out of bed but it also includes providing transportation, housework, grocery shopping, and even financial assistance.  Many caregivers are spouses but also includes friends or other relatives. The average age of caregivers is around 49 years of age but older caregivers tend to provide more hours of caregiving and 34% of caregivers are over age 65. Many of these caregivers are not necessarily doing this voluntarily. Many are pressured by family or the person needing the care. Also, financial constraints such as low income or lack of insurance coverage contribute to the need. Read more »

Upcoming PNR Partners, November 1

When: Tuesday, November 1 at 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Noon Alaska Time, 2:00 PM Mountain Time

How: Connection is through WebEx at  https://nih.webex.com/nih/k2/j.php?MTID=t8c88e862681e7156650006944dc7e5a6

Andrea Ball and Joanne Rich, librarians at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library, will present about recording interviews and lectures and creating interactive modules to expand the reach of the library’s instruction to more patrons. Noel Nicolai, Library Resource/Research Coordinator for Education for Pullman Regional Hospital  and Becky Highfill, Grants Manager with Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation, will present how they increased health literacy and access to health information to the senior population in Whitman county Washington through interactive training.

PNR Partners is a webinar to feature the work of members who have received funding from the PNR. Each presenter has an opportunity to speak about the great work they have done and offer their tips. If you are considering a health program or service you may want to attend to have the opportunity to ask questions.  PNR has announced new funding opportunities and the deadline is approaching.

How to connect: Please note, we have changed our webinar system to WebEx. Please read below how to connect to this free webinar. Read more »

Your Role in the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program

Last month, on the PNR Rendezvous, the guest speaker was Malia Fullerton, Associate Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor in the UW Departments of Epidemiology and Genome Sciences, who informed the audience in regards to the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. This program has since been renamed the All of Us Research Program. The name reflects how All of Us will come together to change the future of health care. Many in the general public may not know much or anything about the Precision Medicine Initiative and may be even less aware of the All of Us program despite the fact that the National Institutes of Health is seeking one million volunteer to participate starting early 2017.

Participating in health studies has not always been a smooth road for participants who may not always understand the release forms they are signing despite steps taken to ensure what their participation means. Sometimes these studies have led to providing information for other uses than was originally understood leading to legal steps, anger, and distrust. This has happened in some populations and communities where government relations are already fragile due to historical events.

Fullerton’s presentation provided information on some of these historical cases as a way to provide context regarding the All of Us Program. The Precision Medicine Initiative is seeking to provide unique healthcare by working towards “providing the right treatment at the right time to the right person”. Volunteers are encourage to participate in the All of Us Program as a way of participating in improving the nation’s health. By voluntarily providing information through various means such as blood samples, it is hoped to that a wider range of data from more diverse groups of participants than in the past will provide better information to improve healthcare. The All of Us Program assures top security and privacy regarding the collected data of participants. Read more »

Welcome Ann Madhavan and Ann Glusker to the Regional Medical Library

The Regional Medical Library (RML) for the NN/LM PNR is pleased to announce two new librarians joining the RML: Ann Madhavan, MSLIS and Ann Glusker, MLIS, MPH, PhD.

ann madhavan

Ann Madhavan

ann glusker

Ann Glusker

Both will serve the NN/LM PNR in Research & Data Coordinator positions to promote equitable access to health information and effective management and use of data. Each position will provide learning opportunities for diverse types of librarians, researchers, pubic heath workforce, and partner organizations in the Pacific Northwest Region about research data management and data literacy.

Ann Madhavan, who joins the RML on Tuesday, November 1, has most recently served as a librarian and data indexer at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) where she performed data seeking and indexing for the United States Research Team and for all other IHME researchers requiring US data support. Prior, for almost 10 years she was the sole public health librarian at Public Health – Seattle & King County and also provided library support to the King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. Ms. Madhavan was the recipient of 2 awards: from the Medical Library Association, she received the 2005 Rittenhouse Award for the best student paper; and she also received the 2005 Sewell Memorial Fund Learning Partnership Fellowship to develop a digital library at Public Health-Seattle & King County for over 1,500 public health employees. She also volunteered with the Core Public Health Journals Project as part of an MLA PH/HA section initiative that was awarded the 2006 MLA Louise Darling Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Collection Development in the Health Sciences for the Core Public Health Journals Project.

Ann Glusker will join the RML on Monday, November 28, bringing experience as a Data Request Epidemiologist for Public Health- Seattle & King County; as a medical librarian at Group Health; and most recently as a public librarian at Seattle Public Library. She has served as program planner and host of a multi-system “open data” summit of library and data professionals, and on the curriculum committee of a three-state data initiative funded by the Knight News Challenge. Ms. Glusker is author or co-author of 11 articles and book chapters; a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals; and member of the Evidence Summary Team (competitive appointment) of the Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice Journal. She is an active member of state and national library associations, including WMLA, PNC/MLA, MLA, ALA, and RUSA.

Both Ann Madhavan and Ann Glusker are very excited about their roles in outreach to clinical translational researchers, the public health workforce, and librarians in the PNR. Contact information will be announced at a later date. Join us in welcoming them to the RML!

PNR Partners webinar

When: Wednesday, October 26 at 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Noon Alaska Time, 2:00 PM Mountain Time

How: Connection is through WebEx https://nih.webex.com/nih/k2/j.php?MTID=t8c88e862681e7156650006944dc7e5a6

PNR Partners is a webinar to feature the work of members who have received funding from the PNR. Each presenter has an opportunity to speak about the great work they have done and offer their tips. If you are considering a health program or service you may want to attend to have the opportunity to ask questions.  PNR has announced new funding opportunities and the deadline is approaching.

October 26, we will feature two presenters, both in the Washington, with two very different projects. Dr. Robin Jones, is a community dentist and the owner of Dental Village, initiated a Dental Village Express Outreach Program to teach multicultural, immigrant and underserved children, adolescents and adults how to access online health information on MedlinePlus. Meg Brunner, librarian at the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute will present about the creation of an online toolkit of resources and an online training module to support professionals who are assisting those impacted by substance abuse disorders.

How to connect: Please note, we have changed our webinar system to WebEx. Please read below how to connect to this free webinar. Read more »