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It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

“Photo” by realworkhard is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Smoke
Research on smoking is finding that it’s never too late for a person to quit. Even if it’s at 60 years old, you can gain years back on your life.

It’s a long-known fact that cigarettes and smoking are harmful to a person’s health—it causes more than 480,000 deaths in Americans per year, nearly 1 in 5 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides just adding years to your life, quitting smoking also reduces a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

The research studied data collected on 160,000 men and women, in which they completed a survey about their smoking habit between 2004 and 2005 and the deaths of the participants were tracked until the end of 2011. While the study did find that participants were more likely to die earlier if they quit later in life, the data also pointed out those who quit smoking at any time fared better than those who were still current smokers when they died.

“…The study also makes the point that I try to tell my patients, some of whom believe it and some of whom don’t, that smoking cessation is good for you even late in life. If you stop, you will live longer than if you don’t stop,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, senior medical consultant to the American Lung Association in a MedlinePlus article.

To read more about the study, please visit “It’s Never Too Late to Stop Smoking.”

To read more about the dangers of smoking, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Meet Me Monday: Brandy Klug, Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library

Brandy Klug, Gibson D. Lewis Library

Brandy Klug is the Web Services Librarian at Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, TX.  She currently manages the library’s web and social media presence and is very passionate about web development and design, usability testing, and social media strategy. Since May 1st, Brandy has also had the opportunity to provide interim web and social media support for the NN/LM South Central Region.

In addition to web services, Brandy has worked in a variety of other areas over the last 15 years including acquisitions, serials, cataloging, reference, instructional design, and electronic resources.  She received her MLS from Texas Woman’s University and her M.S.Ed. from University of Nebraska – Kearney.

Contact Brandy at


Texas Medicaid Cuts Hurts Rural Kids With Disabilities

Photo by Gabby Orcutt is licensed under CC0.

Child Playing in Field

More than a year ago, Texas lawmakers ordered the state to cut the amount of money for therapists who work with children with disabilities. After the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit against the cuts, they are finally taking effect.

The cuts are significant—taking away $350 million in Medicaid reimbursement—and they impact some of the most vulnerable. These Texas children often are born premature, or with down syndrome, or with some other genetic disorder that delays them developmentally. And even as these providers lost money, they still served the children. Now many of these providers are closing their doors.

A story on NPR shares some of the real stories of kids in Texas who have disabilities, how the service providers have helped them, and what will happen if they don’t have access to services.

To read the NPR article and learn more about the Texas Medicaid cuts, please visit “Cuts in Texas Medicaid Hit Rural Kids With Disabilities Especially Hard.”

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Hospital Quality Data Available

“Photo” by SilasCamargo is licensed under CC0.

Hospital Beds

The Joint Commission has released its 2016 annual report on America’s hospitals. The report contains data contributed by more than 3,300 hospitals nationwide. Extensive changes were made to the metrics collected in past years. Several measures previously included were dropped from the data collection process because hospital performance was consistently high and considered to no longer represent a useful quality metric. The new process now gives organizations a choice in determining which measures to report. Additionally, eCQM (electronic clinical quality measures) are now reported.

Examples of the national performance summary data presented include measures of rates of tobacco screening, influenza immunization, stroke education, percent of stroke patients discharged on statin medications and more.

While the annual report synthesizes data collected from hospitals nationwide, granular data reflecting the quality and safety results for individual hospitals may be found on The Joint Commission Quality Check website.

See Annual Report – Improving America’s Hospitals to learn more about the data collection process and view the results of the report.

Citation: America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety – The Joint Commission’s Annual Report 2016

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Written by Lisa Smith, NN/LM SCR



Surgeon General Releases Landmark Report Regarding Addiction in America

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Alcohol Bottles

In a landmark report, the United States Surgeon General issued a report on alcohol, drugs and health. The report comes at a time when many organizations are calling for action in the U.S.’s opioid epidemic.

“With this report, I’m calling our country to action around one of the most underrecognized and underaddressed public health issues of our time,” said Surgeon General Vivek Murphy, MD, told Medscape reporters in a conference call.

The report, more than 400 pages long, shares key findings broken into five categories:

·       The Neurobiology of Substance Use, Misuse and Addiction
·       Prevention Programs and Policies
·       Early Intervention, Treatment, and Management of Substance Use Disorders
·       Recovery: The Many Paths to Wellness
·       Health Care Systems and Substance Use Disorders

Some of these key findings are that addiction is a chronic brain disease that has potential for recurrence and recovery, communities and populations have different risk levels for addiction, and laws targeting the alcohol-impaired have significantly decreased alcohol-related traffic deaths.

For more information, see Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health..

To read the report’s key findings, please visit the Surgeon General’s website.

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Meet Me Monday: Katelyn Helberg, UT-Austin iSchool

Katelyn Helberg, UT-Austin iSchool

Katelyn Helberg is a second year MSIS student at the UT-Austin iSchool.

Prior to graduate school, Katelyn worked as a Pre-K Teacher and Assistant Director before working in circulation for the Harris County Public Library system. Since beginning her Masters program, she has held a variety of student positions and internships, also gaining experience in academic libraries, digitization, MARC cataloging, and taxonomy development.

Katelyn’s coursework has largely focused on health informatics and special libraries, and she has especially enjoyed her time as a volunteer in the Family Resource Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center. She is excited for the chance to design and deliver library instruction at Dell Medical School for her capstone project next spring, but she is even more excited to be graduating in May 2017!

Contact Katelyn at


Be featured as part of our #MeetMeMonday series and share information about your position, program, or organization and connect with other network members and potential program partners!


Study Suggests Women Who Have Kids Later Are More Likely to Live Longer

“Photo” by William Stitt is licensed under CC0.

Pregnant Woman

According to an article on MedlinePlus, a study, which is the first of its kind, suggests women who have children at 25 and older are more likely to live to the age of 90. The research also found that these women were more likely to be married, have college degrees and have a higher income.

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and study author Aladdin Shadyab said he’s not sure what the link between delaying childbirth and a women’s longevity is.

One idea is that women who wait are more likely to be of a higher socio-economic class, which research has consistently suggested increases a person’s longevity.

Research published from 2015 found that women who gave birth to their last child after age 33 were twice as likely to live to 95 than those women who gave birth to their last child at age 29.

The researchers looked at data from a nationwide study in 1993 that tracked 20,000 women to come to their findings. Of them, 54 percent of them lived to 90 years old.

To read more about the study, please visit “Do Women Who Have Kids Later Live Longer?

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Three New Mexico Counties See Shigellosis

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The New Mexico Department of Health just reported Tuesday that counties Lea, Chaves, and Eddy have all seen an outbreak of bacterial disease shigellosis.

Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease that causes about 500,000 cases of diarrhea annually. Other symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and toxemia. Oftentimes, diarrhea will contain blood or mucus.

Since May of this year, NMDOH has seen 140 confirmed and probable cases of shigellosis, often among school-aged children, but officials believe the disease may be affecting a wider community.

Shigellosis is extremely contagious and infected persons can have bacteria in their stool for up to a month after the diarrhea has subsided. It can be spread by people not washing their hands well after using the bathroom, caretakers changing an infant’s diaper and not taking care to wash their hands properly, swallowing recreational water (for example from a pool) that has been contaminated, or exposure to feces through sexual contact.

NMDOH is urging anyone who is experiencing symptoms of shigellosis to get tested.

For more information about the shigellosis outbreak in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.

For more general information about shigellosis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

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National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship Program

The NLM Associate Fellowship Program is a one year postgraduate program for recent graduates to learn about health sciences librarianship while working at the NLM in Bethesda, MD.

For almost sixty years this program has prepared recent library and information science graduates for careers and leadership roles in the health science library field.  A current associate fellow, Tyler Moses, is from the South Central Region and throughout the years many graduates from the region have been selected. To peruse the list of fellows since 1957, visit the Alumni Associate Index.

The application deadline for the 2017-2018 cycle is January 27, 2017.  For more information about the program and application process, please visit Associate Fellowship Program for Librarians on the NLM website.

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-Written by Bethany Livingston, Research Administrator, NN/LM SCR


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