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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Domain of MedlinePlus URLs Updated to “”

On Tuesday, July 12, the MedlinePlus team updated the domain to “” for all page URLs on the English and Spanish MedlinePlus sites, including health topic pages, drug descriptions, and encyclopedia articles. For example, the URL for the English health topic page “Asthma” changed from to; and the URL for the Spanish health topic page “Asthma” changed from to

The old URLs on MedlinePlus will automatically redirect to the new URLs for the foreseeable future. This update did not involve changes to the site contents or design.

Call for Applications: Sewell Travel Awards to Attend 2016 APHA Annual Meeting in Denver!

The Sewell Travel Award for Public Health (STAPH) Committee is currently accepting applications for the Sewell Stipend to attend the American Public Health Association 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition, which will be held in Denver, CO, from October 29 to November 2. Applications are due by Sunday, July 17. The conference theme is Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health. Consider applying for a stipend if you are in a position in which you have public health-related responsibilities. The committee expects to make at least nine awards, including a minimum of seven non-local awards and two local (Denver area) awards. Librarians new to public health are especially welcome to apply. Membership in the Medical Library Association is not required of applicants.

There is an extensive LibGuide designed to answer just about every question about the awards, and it also has the application form. For additional information, contact Helena VonVille, Chair, STAPH Committee, Library Director, University of Texas School of Public Health Library, Houston, TX.

Call for Applications: 2016-2017 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has announced the 2016-2017 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, which focuses on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries, is accepting applications through July 22, 2016. Fellows will have the opportunity to experience another library environment and to work closely with a mentor and collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. The multi-faceted program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community. Candidates with a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries and with leadership experience in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings are encouraged to apply.

The Leadership Fellows Program has been remarkably successful in helping to move well prepared leaders into AAHSL directors’ positions. Seventy-two fellows and 59 different mentors have participated in the program from 2002-2016. To date, 28 fellows have received director appointments and over 50% have been promoted to director or other positions of higher responsibility. The program brochure, which includes information on program design, schedule, and application process, is now available. More information about the program is available from Carol Jenkins, Program Director, AAHSL Future Leadership Committee.

National Library of Medicine Flags Incorrect Pesticide Toxicity Values

International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER) is part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) and is compiled by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). It provides comparison charts of international risk assessment information and explains differences in risk values derived by different organizations. ITER provides chemical toxicity values or cancer classifications from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Canada, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), NSF International, US EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and other Independent Peer Reviewed Values (IPRV). Chemical toxicity values in ITER are estimated to protect the general population assuming daily exposures to environmental chemicals for a lifetime. The TERA Center and the NLM provide periodic updates to keep the database as current as possible.

The US EPA IRIS chemical toxicity values (RfDs or RfCs) are considered by many to be a “gold standard of toxicity values.” However, up to 187 pesticide chemical toxicity values are currently incorrect, either for the RfD/RfC, for the cancer classifications, or both. ITER/TOXNET has added an alert flag for the IRIS pesticide toxicity values to ensure that users can access the more current pesticide toxicity value developed by the US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).

NAS Food Literacy Workshop Summary Available

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recently published the workshop summary from Food Literacy: How Do Communications and Marketing Impact Consumer Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior? This workshop from September, 2015, discussed various aspects of food literacy including:

  • the role of consumer education, communication, and health literacy with respect to food safety, nutrition, and other health matters;
  • how scientific information is communicated; and
  • how food literacy can be strengthened through communication tools and strategies.

AHRQ Report Shows Gains in Access to and Affordability of Health Insurance

More people have health care coverage, have a usual place to go for medical care and can more easily afford medical bills after the Affordable Care Act’s provisions have taken effect, according to a new report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report and 5th Anniversary Update on the National Quality Strategy. The report finds that the rate of uninsured Americans under age 65 decreased from 18% to 10%. For 18- to 29-year-olds, the uninsured rate declined even further, falling by more than half, from 31% to 15%. Among poor people ages 18-64, the uninsured rate fell from 44% to 25%. Substantial gains in health care coverage also were found for Hispanic and black adults ages 18-64. The cost of health care coverage also became more affordable as fewer people overall reported having trouble paying medical bills within the past year. Poor people (below the federal poverty level) ages 18-64 saw the greatest benefit, and all racial and ethnic groups showed a decline in payment problems during this period.

The report features annual trends on more than 250 measures of care quality, access and disparities that cover a broad array of health care services and settings. Overall, the report shows that quality of care is improving, particularly in hospitals, and for measures that are being publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, quality of care is still less than optimal overall for many Americans. Disparities related to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status continue to impact the care that many people receive. For example, the quality of care for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians and Alaska Natives was worse than that for whites for about 40% of the report’s measures.

Apply by May 5 for NCBI-Sponsored Hackathon at the University of California, Davis, June 13-15

NCBI will assist the University of California Davis in hosting a biomedical data science hackathon June 13-15 at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis, CA, focusing on advanced bioinformatics analysis of next generation sequencing data and metadata. This event is for students, postdocs, investigators and other researchers already engaged in the use of pipelines for genomic analyses from next-generation sequencing data or metadata. The event is open to anyone selected for the hackathon, and able to travel to Davis. Working groups of 5-6 individuals will be formed into five or six teams. These teams will build pipelines and tools to analyze large datasets within a cloud infrastructure.

Applications are due by May 5 at 5:00PM EDT. Participants will be selected from a pool of applicants based on the experience and motivation they provide on the form. Prior participants and applicants are especially encouraged to reapply. Applicants must be willing to commit to all three days of the event. No financial support for travel, lodging or meals is available.

NLM Welcomes Applications to the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine

Earlier this year, the National Library of Medicine announced its receipt of a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM and to establish the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. NLM is now pleased to announce the first call for applications to the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

Michael E. DeBakey (1908–2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston’s Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world.

The Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine will support individuals in pursuing research in NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey papers, related collections held by the NLM, and the vast range of subjects which informed, or were informed by, Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career – from surgery to health care policy, medical libraries and expanding access to medical information, medical technology to medical ethics, military medicine to veteran health, humanitarianism to international diplomacy in the medical arena. Applications are invited from anyone over the age of eighteen, of any academic discipline and status. Non-U.S. citizens may apply.

Fellowships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, to help offset the costs associated with visiting and using the NLM collections, but may not be used for institutional costs or overhead (e.g. clerical costs, supplies, or other attendant project expenses). To receive consideration, all materials must be submitted via the online system, by 5:00pm EDT, September 1, 2016. Awards will be announced by the end of the calendar year.

Images from the NLM History of Medicine Division Now Available in Open-i Search Engine

On March 22 the NLM History of Medicine Division’s image database, Images from the History of Medicine (IHM), launched in Open-iSM, the National Library of Medicine’s open access biomedical image search engine from the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC). Open-iSM enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from open source literature and biomedical image collections. IHM’s nearly 70,000 images now join over 1.6 million images already available through Open-iSM from sources including the open access subset of PMC, a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the National Library of Medicine, the Indiana University hospital network, and the Orthopaedic Surgical Anatomy Teaching Collection at the University of Southern California (USC) Digital Library. For additional details, visit NLM’s Circulating Now blog posting.

NLM @ MLA 2016: Schedule of Events

The Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) will be held May 13-18, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Attendees are invited to visit the NLM exhibit booth #427 (May 14-17) to meet NLM staff and see NLM Web products and services. The NLM Theater at the booth will feature demonstrations and tutorials on a wide variety of topics. All presentations are recorded and made available on the NLM Web site shortly after the meeting. The NLM Update will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 11:00 – 11:55 am, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Room 105/106/107. It will feature presentations by Betsy Humphreys, Acting Director; Joyce Backus, Associate Director for Library Operations; and Stacey Arnesen, Head, Office of Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). For a complete NLM Theater Schedule, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.