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SCR Regional Highlight: Arkansas Offers Abundance of Healthy Outdoor Activities

“The Old Mill – North Little Rock, AR” by
Richard Walker is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

The Old Mill - North Little Rock, AR

As many people know, every state within the U.S. has a nickname. California is the Golden State, Texas is the Lone Star State, and Florida is the Sunshine State. But what is Arkansas? Arkansas has been nicknamed the Natural State. Does it seem odd? It shouldn’t.

Arkansas was nicknamed the Natural State because it is famous for its natural scenic beauties. Arkansas is home to 52 state parks, three national forests, five national parks, 250 parks and recreation trails, and the U.S.’s first national river. Arkansas is just as good a place as any, if not the perfect place, to get active and remain healthy while also enjoying the outdoors.

If you live in central Arkansas, be sure to check out the Arkansas River Trail, which spans an 88-mile loop through Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, and Conway. With a primarily flat terrain, it’s an easy trail for people of all ages and fitness levels. Not only is it great for getting some physical activity, but the trail connects 38 parks and six museums, so if you’re hiking, biking, skating or walking, you can make a stop along the way for another activity.

Residents of the eastern side of the state have quick access to the Bayou De View, which flows across the Arkansas Delta and eventually makes its way to the Mississippi River. The Bayou De View is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature around you. You may even be able to spot the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, often called “The Lord God Bird” because of its size, beauty and majesty.

In the western part of the state, Eureka Springs is nestled in the northwest corner in the Ozark valley, and is nicknamed “Little Switzerland of the Ozarks” for its Victorian-esque architecture.  The Ozarks are a perfect place for hiking and Eureka Springs has many parks and trails for the active recreationist.  It is also home of the basin springs, rumored to have healing powers for those in need of a little rejuvenation.

No matter where you are, there are always recreational activities to keep you healthy and active. Visit Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH to learn more on how to fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life.

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Written by Sara Goodwin, NN/LM SCR

Meet Me Monday: Spencer Acadia, Stephen F. Austin State University

Spencer Acadia, Stephen F. Austin State University

Spencer Acadia is an Associate Librarian at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. In addition to an MLS, he holds a PhD in sociology and a master’s degree in psychology. His research interests include medical sociology and health psychology, as well as knowledge management in academic libraries. Spencer also has an interest in Arctic studies, especially as they relate to social and behavioral topics in the health and information sciences.

Spencer is highly active in IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations. Through IFLA, he has presented papers and served as program chair at IFLA conferences in such places as Helsinki (Finland), Lyon (France), and Cape Town (South Africa). Next year, he plans to participate in IFLA at Wrocław (Poland), as well as lead a session on library, archival, and information sciences at an Arctic conference in Umeå (Sweden).

More information about Spencer, including a list of publications and conference activities, can be found on his LinkedIn profile.


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Vaping Leads to Teen Cigarette Use

“Photo” by Andrew Pons
is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Butt

Back in September, we posted a blog about teens using e-cigarettes (or “vapes”) for flavor. A new article published on says teens who regularly use e-cigarettes are more likely to be heavy smokers.

A survey studied students from 10 Los Angeles schools and found teens are twice as likely to start smoking cigarettes on a weekly basis if they vape frequently.

“The more you vape, the more likely in the future you’re going to be smoking (cigarettes),” according to lead researcher Adam Leventhal, associate professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California. “You’re going to be smoking more frequently and you’re going to smoke more cigarettes per day on your smoking days.”

Leventhal also suggested that teens may become hooked on nicotine through vaping and turn to nicotine for a stronger fix.

On the other hand, which the e-cigarette industry has criticized, frequent vaping, is defined in this study as three or more days in one month.

To read more about the study, please visit “E-cigs Tied to More Frequent Heavier Teen Tobacco Use.

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

“Photo” by Huy Phan
is licensed under CC0.

Elderly Man Walking in Park

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible brain disorder, seen most often in elderly people, but occasionally in those who are younger (known as early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease). Its most common symptom is memory loss. There is no cure or treatment, and scientists are still unsure what causes late-onset Alzheimer’s (they believe early-onset Alzheimer’s is caused by a genetic mutation), but it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

New research suggests that if an older person is experiencing feelings of loneliness, it could mean they are developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that high levels of amyloid, what people who are truly at risk for Alzheimer’s have, are 7.5 times more likely to feel lonely.

The research team studied 43 women and 36 men, with an average age of 76, who were all deemed healthy with no signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Those who felt isolated or socially detached, even when around family, were at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

It’s important to note that there is no direct correlation between loneliness and increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, director of geriatric education for Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y., described the research and findings as still “very new.” More research will need to be completed to fully determine if there is a connection.

For more information on the study, please visit “Could Loneliness Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s?”

For more general information on Alzheimer’s Disease, please visit the National Institute on Aging’s website.

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Meet Me Monday: Lorraine Sheldon, Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library

Lorraine Sheldon, Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library

Lorraine Sheldon serves as the Outreach Librarian for the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library in Fort Worth, Texas.

As Outreach Librarian, Lorraine works to connect the communities in the North Texas area with the knowledge and resources available through the National Library of Medicine. Since the 1980s Lewis Library has had a long history of reaching out to populations beyond its own campus community. In her work, Lorraine seeks to generate programming that is informative, empowering, and visually appealing. Before joining Lewis Library, she started her career working at the Bahá’í World Center International Archives in Haifa, Israel as a photo archivist. After returning to the U.S., she worked for several years as a Regional Coordinator for the South Central Training Institute, a non-profit education system designed to build capacity in individuals to improve society. During this time, she received her Masters of Science in Information Science from the University of North Texas.

Lorraine plans to continue her work serving both health professionals and non-health professionals alike in order to create vibrant and healthy communities.

Contact Lorraine at or 817-735-5125.

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Louisiana Sees More Cases of West Nile Virus

“Photo” by FotoshopTofs
is licensed under CC0.


The Louisiana Department of Health reported this week that it has seen 36 cases of West Nile virus in Louisiana so far in 2016. Six more cases were reported within the last two weeks.

Of those diagnosed with West Nile virus, 15 were asymptomatic or fever cases, a mild illness. Twenty-one were neuroinvasive, a very severe case which can lead to brain damage and even death.

Like Zika virus, West Nile virus is a mosquito-transmitted disease. Many people (70 – 80 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) who contract the disease do not experience any symptoms. However, symptoms do include, fever, headache, body aches, joint aches, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, neck stiffness, tremors, seizure, paralysis, disorientation and coma.

Currently there is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile virus. The CDC recommends over-the-counter painkillers or hospitalization if symptoms are severe.

The primary way to prevent West Nile virus is to protect yourself from mosquitos. This can be done by using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants.

For more information regarding West Nile virus in Louisiana, please visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s website.

For more general information regarding West Nile virus, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Bacteria on Nurses’ Scrubs Can Transfer to Patients

“Photo” by Parentingupstream
is licensed under CC0.


Hospitals are a place you go, generally, if you’re unwell and need immediate medical attention. But what happens if the place where you’re meant to be recovering is actually making you sicker?

In a new MedlinePlus article, they explain that nurses who are treating multiple patients can often pick up those disease causing germs and then spread them to other patients. According to researchers, the germs are often found on the sleeves and pockets of a nurse’s scrubs, and then often on bed railings.

A 40-person study found that during a 12-hour shift there were 22 instances of one of five diseases being transmitted by a nurse’s scrubs.

One of the primary takeaways of this sort of study is that healthcare providers have to be ever cautious on how they are treating patients and take the necessary steps to prevent disease transmission.

To read more about disease transmission by nurses’ scrubs, please visit “Nurses’ ‘Scrubs’ Pick Up Bad Hospital Germs.”

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Meet Me Monday: Marilyn Goff, TWU – Houston Center Library

Marilyn Goff, Librarian, TWU - Houston Center Library

Marilyn Goff has been the librarian for the Houston campus of Texas Woman’s University since 2000.

Marilyn manages a virtual library in the health sciences and supports about 2,000 faculty, staff, and students on the subjects of Business, Health Care Administration, Library & Information Studies, Nursing, Nutrition & Food Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Management. TWU Houston focuses primarily on advanced degrees, but does have one undergraduate program for junior and senior BSN students.

Please visit TWU Institute of Health Sciences – Houston Center for more information!


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Arkansas Mumps Outbreak Growing

“Photo” from jaytaix
is licensed under CC0.

Preparing a Shot

Northwest Arkansas has seen an increasing number of mumps cases in the last month. As of Oct. 12, there were 492 individuals involved. The majority of the individuals involved are children, and more than 30 schools in Arkansas have reported one ore more of these cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is a very contagious disease best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Symptoms typically don’t appear until more than two weeks after infection. Many people who contract the disease show few to no symptoms and often aren’t even aware they have the disease. There is no treatment, but most people will recover completely within a few weeks.

The CDC recommends that everyone born after 1957 receive the mumps vaccine. Two doses of the MMR vaccine (vaccinating against mumps, measles and rubella) is 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. Adults born before 1957 are considered immune.

For more information regarding the Arkansas mumps outbreak, please visit the Arkansas Department of Health.

For more information regarding general mumps information, please visit the CDC’s website.

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NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Emerging Technologies Coordinator: Brian Leaf


The NN/LM SCR is pleased to welcome Brian Leaf to the RML. Brian will serve as the Emerging Technologies Coordinator and also as the liaison to the States of Louisiana and New Mexico.

Prior to working for the South Central Region, Brian served as the Instructional Design Librarian at The Ohio State University (OSU) for the past five years. While there, he contributed to a variety of instructional projects, facilitated workshops for faculty/staff/students, and served as a consultant on pedagogical issues. In this role, he also worked across departments to enhance teaching and learning, which included anything from revising an instructional grant program to producing educational multimedia works for exhibits. Last but not least, he helped lead and grow the interdisciplinary OSU Digital Storytelling Program through outreach and program development.

Brian completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his time in Chapel Hill, he worked as a graduate research assistant to Dr. Joanne Marshall and had the opportunity to help with the Value of Library and Information Services in Patient Care study.

In 2013, he was awarded the OSU University Libraries Teaching Excellence Annual Award for his work redesigning credit courses offered through the library. He is also an alumni of the American Library Association’s 2010 Spectrum Leadership Institute as well as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Career Enhancement Program. Currently, he serves on the Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.

Brian is very excited to join the NN/LM SCR in enhancing public health and access to health information.

Contact Brian at

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