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Heritage Public Library Community Health Outreach and Training

Heritage Public Library will improve the public health of our community by vastly expanding access to online health information for our underserved population. This will enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The library will purchase and install reliable and up to date computer workstations and configure each with specialized portals to access reliable National Library of Medicine resources. These resources will target populations in the counties we serve with online health information that is culturally sensitive, and relevant to our diverse community, consisting of approximately 40% African-Americans and members of the Chickahominy Tribe and other local native Americans and an over-65 population of 21%. Heritage Public Library will cultivate partnerships will local health providers and local groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Senior Navigator, Triad, New Kent Outreach Committee, the VCU Health New Kent Emergency Center, and Charles City County’s HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) Campaign to make them aware of what the library provides and to promote National Library of Medicine resources. Heritage Public Library will use a set of class laptops to train community members to find and evaluate reliable health information. Using laptops, library staff will train community members both inside the library buildings and in other community locations. Heritage public Library is a small institution with a limited budget so we are not able to provide a comprehensive print health collection. We follow the principle that it is better to have nothing in print on the shelf on a topic rather than erroneous or out of date information, so we are not able to meet all our patrons' needs for health information in print. To improve public health it is vital that we promote, direct patrons to, and train patrons on an authoritative and up to date health source like MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
All of Us
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative
African Americans or Black
American Indian
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Jan Marry
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
May 1, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status: