The National Library of Medicine Board of Regents welcomed three new members at its recent meeting:
- Jane Blumenthal, MSLS, the associate university librarian for health sciences and director of the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A past-president of the Medical Library Association, she has more than 30 years of experience in information and library services.
- Eric Horvitz, MD, PhD, managing director and technical fellow at Microsoft Research. His research focuses on principles of machine intelligence and leveraging the complementarities of human and machine reasoning.
- Gary Puckrein, PhD, executive director of the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), in Washington, DC. The NMQF strengthens efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to eliminate premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. Dr. Puckrein created and launched Minority Health Today, which served clinicians practicing in minority communities.
NLM’s TOXMAP now includes 2015 Toxics Release Inventory data. This corresponds to the most recent TRI National Analysis published by the US EPA. TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA is available on the website.
The National Library of Medicine seeks applications for novel informatics and data science approaches that can help individuals gather, manage and use data and information about their personal health. A goal of this program is to advance research and application by patients and the research community through broadly sharing the results via publication, and through open source mechanisms for data or resource sharing. To bring the benefits of big data research to consumers and patients, new biomedical informatics and data science approaches are needed, shaped to meet the needs of consumers and patients, whose health literacy, language skills, technical sophistication, education and cultural traditions affect how they find, understand and use personal health information. Data science approaches are needed to help individuals at every step, from harvesting to storing to using data and information in a personal health library.
Application deadlines are May 1, 2017, and March 19, 2018. Eligible applicants include higher education institutions, government entities, faith-based or community-based organizations, and other institutions. Applicants must base their proposed work on an informed profile of the intended users, and, the work should be developed through interaction with the user. The strongest projects will provide approaches that incorporate health data and information from more than one source, such as diagnostic images and links to full-text articles or genome sequence data linked to a family health history. An application should be centered on the problem area being addressed and the intended audience, propose a possible solution that employs novel data science or informatics, and undertake a pilot that will result in evidence of the degree of success and/or needed next steps. Applicants should expect to involve the intended users in their work. The number of awards will be contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Up to $250,000 direct costs may be requested in any single year. The total project period may not exceed four years.
A major milestone was recently reached as MedlinePlus.gov launched its 1,000th health topic page about “Eye Care.” Created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s website providing trusted health information to the public. The winner of multiple awards and a consistent top scorer among federal websites, MedlinePlus debuted in 1998 with 22 health topic pages, which bring together information on a particular disease, condition, or wellness issue. Each health topic page provides a description of the condition or issue and directs users to vetted information from the NIH and other trusted sources. All content on MedlinePlus is reviewed and must meet strict quality guidelines.
MedlinePlus has steadily added new topics to respond to the growing needs of the public for reliable, up-to-date health information. The demand for additional health topics grew with the 2010 launch of MedlinePlus Connect, a service that links Electronic Health Records and other Health IT systems to targeted information from MedlinePlus. Today, over a million people visit MedlinePlus daily and benefit from the health topic pages, a medical encyclopedia, health news, surgery videos, a medical dictionary and much more. A Spanish language version of the site, MedlinePlus en español, premiered in 2002.
The archived recording of the January 25 session for the NN/LM collaborative webinar series, NN/LM Resource Picks, is available. The topic was PubMed Update with Katherine Majewski, from the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLARS Management Section, Bibliographic Services Division. View the webinar by clicking on the YouTube video player below.
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Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:
- 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life
Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other health problems if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes ABCs: A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Featured Website: Easy-to-Read Drug Facts
Get a wide range of helpful information about drug abuse, addiction, treatment, and prevention. Animated videos explain the basics of addiction and why drugs are so hard to quit.
NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!
The American Dental Association named February 2017 as National Children’s Dental Health Month. The National Library of Medicine has multilingual information about children’s dental health available for free online:
- Check MedlinePlus for a collection of reliable links related to Child Dental Health, and use the Medical Encyclopedia on MedlinePlus to find instructions on brushing your child’s teeth and preventing tooth decay in early childhood. Various informational handouts in seven languages about child dental health can be downloaded on MedlinePlus.
- Browse HealthReach for topics like dental care and oral hygiene to view and download patient information in over a dozen languages, including audio and video options for some records. For instance, the brochure Healthy Teeth, Health Kids is available in 13 languages, with audio downloads in eight languages. Use the split-screen view on HealthReach to view the document in English and a second language simultaneously.
The National Network of Librarians of Medicine (NN/LM) Southeastern/Atlantic (SEA) and Mid-Continental Region (MCR) Regions are hosting the 9-week, self-paced, asynchronous course Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles from February 27 to April 28. The course is designed to help health sciences librarians understand the issues of big data in clinical outcomes and what roles health sciences librarians can take on in this service area. Course content comes from information shared by the presenters at the Using Data to Improve Clinical Patient Outcomes forum, top picks from the NN/LM MCR Data Curation/Management Journal Club articles, and completion of the course Big Data Fundamentals from the Big Data University. This is a Medical Library Association approved course that will earn students 9 contact hours upon completion of all requirements.
The Medical Library Association Guide to Data Management for Librarians, edited by Lisa Federer, provides a background from theoretical foundations to practical applications for librarians who are new to data management, as well as new ideas and approaches for experienced data librarians. It highlights the many ways that librarians are addressing researchers’ changing needs at a variety of institutions, including academic, hospital, and government libraries. Each chapter ends with “pearls of wisdom,” a bulleted list of 5-10 takeaway messages from the chapter that will help readers quickly put the ideas from the chapter into practice. This new publication supports librarians with exciting new opportunities to use their expertise and skills in the development of services and programs to help researchers meet the demands of the data-driven research enterprise!
The National Institutes of Health has announced a new funding opportunity for organizations interested in helping engage volunteers in the All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. This opportunity is open to national and regional organizations, as well as local community groups, and will support activities to promote enrollment and retention in the All of Us Research Program across diverse communities. All of Us is an ambitious effort to gather data over time from 1 million or more people living in the United States, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and improving health. Unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers will use data from the program to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological make-up can influence health and disease. By taking part, people will be able to learn more about their own health and contribute to an effort that will advance the health of generations to come. NIH plans to launch the program later this year.
Pending available funds, NIH is designating up to $5 million per year over the next three years to support these community-led outreach efforts, to complement the program’s existing research and engagement infrastructure. Eligible organizations include nonprofits, other community- and faith-based organizations, minority-serving institutions and local governments, among others. Applicants must submit their proposed strategy for helping educate community members or health care providers about All of Us, whether through special events, trainings, communication programs or other activities. Applicants must also include a funding proposal tied to specific outreach goals. In addition to conducting their engagement activities, awardees will provide input on program plans and share feedback about community needs. Applications are due on March 24, 2017, and NIH plans to issue awards in May 2017.