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Gathering Welcome: Creating a Curriculum to Teach Health Literacy to Immigrant and Refugee Women

Margaret Zimmerman, an Assistant Professor with the University of Iowa’s (UI) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) requests a grant for a second iteration of her pilot program to develop and implement a health literacy training for immigrant and refugee women living in Johnson and Linn counties in Iowa. This grant will build upon Dr. Zimmerman’s current successful project employing SLIS graduate students to deliver a health literacy course to immigrant and refugee women. Based upon the findings of the current pilot, Dr. Zimmerman will develop a formal, more extensive curriculum with the assistance of a graduate student in curriculum development from the College of Education. Dr. Zimmerman will utilize collaborators from the Obermann Center Public Engagement Working Group, of which she is co-director, and from the School of Public Health. The new curriculum will be tested through delivery to the target population by SLIS students, encouraging them to understand the challenges of meeting the needs of traditionally underserved individuals and promoting the NLM’s consumer health information resources. The result of this project will be a cohesive, vetted curriculum designed to improve the health literacy and health information access and outcomes of immigrants and refugees. This outcome supports the mission of the NNLM by improving a traditionally underserved community’s access to information, and therefore enabling them to make informed decisions about their health. Similarly, it supports the aims of the GMR by providing access to quality health information for consumers, and developing and implementing an outreach and education program that focuses on an underserved health community. This project will also assist with the aim of improving GMR consumer’s understanding of quality health information resources available online so to aid in medical decision-making. This resultant educational intervention has the potential to improve the health literacy and address the health informational needs of refugee women and their families. While the immediate impact will be on refugee women participating in the pilot program, this project is meant to create replicable programming for other community organizations and has the additional benefit of engaging SLIS students with traditionally underserved communities using NLM resources.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Maternal Health
African Americans or Black
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
General public
Library or information professional
Student, college & post-grad
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
May 1, 2019 to Apr 30, 2020
Project Status:
Withdrawn by Subawardee