English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Health Information and Career Awareness Program

Southern Alabama Area Health Education Center (SAAHEC) strives to grow the next generation of medical professionals to serve the people of Alabama, train health profession students and provide health information and education to the communities in our 10 counties. The Health Information and Career Awareness Program (HICAP) contributes to the mission of National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) by improving our communities’ access and awareness of health information and enabling them to make informed decisions about their health. It will enable SAAHEC to become a community engagement partner and champion for the All of Us program in our communities. Additionally, HICAP will expand our current programs (pipeline, health profession students (AHEC Scholars), and community outreach) to incorporate National Library of Medicine (NLM) health and science materials and All of Us community resources in our training, presentations and community engagements. It will engage students in grades 9-12, college and communities in rural and under-served areas throughout our service area. Initially, the program will be implemented in two (2) of our rural counties in Southern Alabama (Butler and Escambia) and one (1) urban county (Mobile) and will eventually expand to the rest of our service area. The program will access Medline Plus’ health career information, health promotion and disease prevention resources to enrich the one (1) hour classroom presentations that we already provide to high schools in our service area. It will create health literate 9-12 graders who are able to access, navigate, obtain and understand health information and use it to make informed decisions about their health as well as making them aware of the numerous health career options available to them. Additionally, the HICAP program will utilize our AHEC Scholars to provide outreach education and advance health literacy to the under-served, underrepresented members of our service area. As a part of their community based experiential training hours, our AHEC Scholars already present health information presentations and handouts to homeless clinics, senior citizen communities, and those who are at risk for low health literacy and have limited knowledge regarding quality online consumer health information. This program will be expanded to utilize NLM and All of Us community resources. Specifically, we will train the AHEC Scholars using NLM training resources to locate and evaluate health information and provide awareness of the All of Us program. They will in turn, use those resources in their presentations to the under-served, underrepresented communities we serve. Further, the program will expand our community outreach by developing health and wellness folders with NLM materials and All of Us community resources to hand out during community events (i.e. career fairs, health fairs, conferences, food pantry events, etc.). This will strengthen our community partnerships and engagements as well as provide bundled health information to youth, health profession students, health care providers, seniors, and veterans. In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, we realize we may not be able to provide services in the same manner as before. Therefore, the health and wellness folders can be mailed or information emailed to organizations and schools in the event we can’t interact face to face. Additionally, live presentations and trainings can be done virtually using Video Conferencing Software such as Zoom, Google Meets, or GoToMeeting. Prerecorded video presentations and trainings can also be emailed to community partners and posted to our website and social media accounts. Additionally, Facebook can also be utilized for live presentations and weekly postings as well. These virtual platforms can be used to educate our target audience on how to access NLM resources and improve the understanding and importance of participating in medical research such as All of Us. These same platforms can also be used with the one (1) hour classroom health career presentations with our high schools. Nontraditional ways of delivery can be utilized to enrich and educate the communities in our rural and under-served areas on health information.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
All of Us
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Maternal Health
African Americans or Black
Alaska Natives
American Indian
Latino or Hispanic
Native Hawaiians
Pacific Islanders
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Community based organization staff
Educator, K-12
General public
Health care provider
Public health professional
Student, college & post-grad
Student, K-12
Project Lead:
Vanessa Hall
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
Jun 12, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status: