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Expanding virtual patient education and access to community resources in the nation’s most rural state.

Maine is the most rural state in the country. This can mean long travel times to reach medical appointments and to access community resources that can help patients manage acute and chronic conditions and improve social determinants of health. COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges as medical appointments are reduced and local public services and businesses continue with decreased hours and other restrictions. Although libraries play critical roles in Maine’s rural towns, they tend to be small and lack comprehensive health sections. The proposed project is two-fold but has one goal: to increase access to underutilized free resources, bringing library and health resources into the homes of Mainers, with a specific focus on rural and medically underserved areas. The project will create two brief videos: for the public, a video explaining how to access available health education and empowerment information via books (print, audio and e-books) and online chat with a health educator; and for providers, a video outlining the use and benefits of the cloud-based platform Thinkific for offering virtual patient education classes and class material online – and featuring physician peers who are currently using the platform successfully.

Organization:
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Adults
Children
Men
Seniors
Teens
Women
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
Rural
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
HIV/AIDS
Maternal Health
Opioids
Vaping
African Americans or Black
American Indian
Asian
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Data resource or tool developer
Health care provider
Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Lynn Connolly
Funding Source: 
NER
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2021
Funding Amount: 
$6908
Funding Period:
May 1, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status:
Awarded