National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Health literacy outreach to underserved populations

Margaret Zimmerman, an Assistant Professor with the University of Iowa’s (UI) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) requests a grant for a third iteration of her pilot program to develop and implement a health literacy training for immigrant and refugee women living 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 implement the curriculum she developed over the past two years to rural populations in public libraries. So far, the project has been extremely successful, resulting in statistically significant gains on health literacy assessments for the participants, as well as two conference presentations and an article that is under review- with plans for another to follow when the current pilot is complete. This new project is a three-tiered program meant to be the final phase in creating and testing this curriculum for efficacy. Selecting two public libraries with large local Latinx immigrant and refugee populations, Dr. Zimmerman will first give an instructional workshop to public librarians on using and promoting NLM’s consumer health information resources for the benefit of their patrons. Then, in the same public libraries, Dr. Zimmerman will supervise SLIS students delivering the health literacy curriculum to small groups of six to eight women from the local target population. Included in the curriculum is instructional time on utilizing NLM Spanish language and multicultural resources including Health Reach and MedlinePlus. The participants will be pre and post tested to demonstrate the efficacy of the course. Finally, in accordance with research findings that parents reading books to their children learn from them, too, the women will be given Spanish language children’s books on topics related to child health and nutrition to thank them for their participation and encourage further education on family health.
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Adults
Children
Women
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
Rural
Suburban
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Maternal Health
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
General public
Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Margaret Zimmerman
Funding Source: 
GMR
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2020
Funding Amount: 
$19327
Funding Period:
May 1, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status:
Awarded