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NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Health Professions Coordinator: Sarah Miles

Sarah Miles, Health Professions Coordinator The NN/LM SCR would like to introduce our newest member of the RML Team, Sarah Miles, who will serve as the Health Professions Coordinator for the South Central Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Sarah completed her Masters in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in early August 2016, and also has a Masters in East Asian Studies from Harvard Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences. While earning her MLIS, Sarah worked as a Research Services Assistant in the De Paul Library at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, and as an Access Specialist for Mid-Continent Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to starting her Masters with UIUC, she spent two and a half years teaching English as a foreign language to elementary and middle school students in Seoul, South Korea, with Chungdahm Learning and achieved the position of Assistant Faculty Manager at her location. In Korea, Sarah was also actively involved in curriculum development, staff training, and outreach with Chungdahm.

As Health Professions Coordinator, Sarah will be working closely with health professionals to develop outreach programs and services throughout the South Central Region. She will serve as the liaison in the areas of program planning, evidence based practice, health literacy, and NLM databases, and as the designated coordinator for the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Contact Sarah at or 817-735-2236.

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Louisiana Sees Record Flooding Over Weekend

“A Louisiana Welcome” by
Stuart Seeger is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Over the weekend, Louisiana experienced record-breaking flooding from heavy rain that has so far killed at least seven and displaced thousands. Roadways disappeared under water, houses flooded, and residents around the south of the state were forced to evacuate. Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported to The New York Times that the effects the flood had on residents, and the response of emergency responders were reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina.

President Barack Obama granted Louisiana’s request for a declaration of emergency Sunday evening, and first responders were working around the clock to ensure the safety of residents. Governor John Bel Edwards said Sunday that more than 20,000 people had been rescued, but any sort of “tally was already out of date,” according to The New York Times.

While most of southern Louisiana is prone to, and used to, heavy rain and at times, flooding, because this sort of downfall is unprecedented, Edwards said the National Weather Service can’t tell anyone what else you can expect or how else to prepare.

To read more about the floods in Louisiana, visit “Thousands Displaced in Storm-Drenched Louisiana.”

If you’d like to find out more about the effects flooding and coastal erosion have had on Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, read our new SCR Regional Highlight series available on the SCR blog.

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Louisiana Flood Emergency Information

In response to the current flooding in Louisiana and other parts of the NN/LM South Central Region, we’ve created a Flooding and Disaster Information Resources webpage with information to help you stay safe during this weather emergency.

If you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at 817-735-2223 or


SCR Regional Highlight: America’s First “Climate Refugees”

“Isle De Jean Charles” by Karen Apricot
is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Isle De Jean Charles - Blue House

Isle de Jean Charles is a tiny, narrow island deep in the bayous of Louisiana. The single-lane “Island Road” is the only land method of transportation to and from the island but is often impassible during times of high water. It has been the home to the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians for more than 170 years—but not for much longer.

Coastal erosion, severe storms, rising sea levels, and poor oil extraction practices have caused the island to literally sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Current island residents remember when Isle de Jean Charles was 5 miles wide. But with 98 percent of it lost since 1955, the island is now only a mere 1/4 mile in width. Southern Louisiana as a whole, actually, is the fastest disappearing landmass on earth.

Edison Dardar, one of the current residents, explains in The New York Times’ mini-documentary “Vanishing Island” that he remembers when there were 250, maybe even 300 homes, on the island years ago. Since the hurricanes have scared most families off, there are now maybe 20 left. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike severely damaged the infrastructure of the island causing many families to flee.

Since 2010, Chief Albert Naquin and tribal leaders, realizing the island they and their ancestors have called home for almost two centuries won’t be around for much longer, have been trying to create a solution by finding a way to relocate the remaining 77 residents. After working with the Lowlander Center for more than five years, they finally received some good news.

In January, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it would grant more than $1 billion in total to 13 communities who have been impacted by major disasters between 2011 and 2013 through the Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant. The grant to assist the community of the Isle de Jean Charles is something new, however. Never before have federal tax dollars been used to relocate an entire community struggling with the effects of climate change. This is a big step for Naquin and island residents — the grant allocates more than $92 million to the state of Louisiana to be split between one other project, the Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments Program.

“Isle De Jean Charles” by Karen Apricot
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Isle De Jean Charles - Ruined House

Now Naquin and tribal leaders face a new challenge, relocating those residents who still want to stay. Isle de Jean Charles residents have varying views when it comes to resettlement. Some are excited to leave the disappearing island behind; others are afraid they will lose their culture if they move away. While the exact path of resettlement for Isle de Jean Charles is still uncertain, the tribe could relocate as early as 2019.

It’s also important to note that Isle de Jean Charles is not the only community dealing with the consequences of climate change; The New York Times reported that 50 million to 200 million people could be displaced because of climate change by 2050. While Isle de Jean Charles residents may be the first climate refugees, they certainly will not be the last.

To learn more about the Island’s history, visit

Watch the mini-documentary “Vanishing Island” produced by The New York Times.

To learn more about the Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant, please visit

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Written by Sara Goodwin, NN/LM SCR

NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Social Media Assistant: Sara Goodwin

Sara Goodwin, Social Media AssistantThe NN/LM SCR would like to introduce our newest addition to the RML Team. Sara Goodwin, BA, will serve as the Social Media Assistant for the South Central Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Sara recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and is the first NN/LM SCR employee to work remotely. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona, and has a passion for social media tactics and digital trends.

In this role, Sara will create daily content for the NN/LM SCR’s Facebook and Twitter channels, as well as posts for the institutes’s blog.

Contact Sara at


Brain Responds Differently to Food Cues in Severely Obese Women

Photo by Henrique Félix licensed under CC0.

Woman Eating SoupA recent study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has shown that severely obese women who have just eaten will continue to respond to food cues even though they are no longer hungry. On the contrary, leaner women who have just eaten will not receive these cues from their brain.

The study compared 15 severely obese women to 15 lean women. Researchers took MRI images of the participants’ brains before and after eating. When any person is hungry, their brain will react in a certain way when shown images of food. The study found that once full, the lean woman’s brain no longer reacted to those images—the MRI scans showed the appeal of the food images dropped 15 percent. Obese women’s brains, however, were still excited when viewing those images—the appeal dropped only 4 percent.

“These findings may explain why some people with severe obesity report an underlying drive to eat continually despite not feeling hungry,” said Dr. Puzziferri, who specializes in bariatric and weight loss surgery, in a news release. “In contrast, lean women when full will either stop eating or just sample a food they crave. It’s just not a level playing field – it’s harder for some people to maintain a healthy weight than others.”

To learn more about the study, please visit “Brain activity and response to food cues differ in severely obese women.”

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Funds Study Linking Gene to the Disease

“AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” by AFGE
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeDo you remember seeing videos of people dumping a bucket of water on their head last year or the year before? Chances are if you were on Facebook, you saw at least one. For those who don’t remember or were unaware, those videos were a part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral on social media. Users tagged each other to take the challenge within 24 hours or donate to the ALS Association.

The challenge raised awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS (also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). But why dump a bucket of ice water on yourself? One of the common symptoms of ALS is muscle weakness, which can also lead to a feeling of numbness in a patient’s limbs. By pouring a bucket of ice water over yourself, you are meant to be simulating the numbness that many ALS patients feel.

During the challenge’s popularity peak, it was often criticized that while it raised awareness for the disease, it was unclear if the challenge was doing much good raising money: “The challenge even seems to be suggesting that being cold, wet, and uncomfortable is preferable to fighting ALS,” wrote Time Magazine news editor Jacob Davidson.

While the amount of donations might have been unclear at the time, the ALS Association announced last week that money raised during the challenge funded the study that found the NEK1 gene is linked to the deadly disease. The study looked at the histories of more than 1,000 families and involved more than 80 researchers in 11 countries, ultimately determining a connection between the gene and the disease.

For more information about ALS, the Ice Bucket Challenge or the new discovery, please visit the ALS Association or “’Ice Bucket Challenge’ Funds a Boon to ALS Research.”

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August is Child Eye Health & Safety Month

“students-in-class-with-teacher-reading” by Ilmicrofono Oggiono
is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Students in Class with Teacher

Did you know August is Child Eye Health & Safety Month? Coming just in time for back-to-school season, this is the perfect time to schedule an appointment to ensure your child’s vision is in excellent shape. 

Annual vision checks are especially important for children because if vision problems are caught early, there is a much higher chance that the problem can be corrected. The eye is just like any other body part; a child learns how to see, just like a child learns how to walk or talk. If a vision problem goes undiagnosed, then the brain learns to accommodate the problem and eventually there might not be any way to correct it; instead, doctors may only be able treat the problem with glasses or contact lenses.

While eye health is important, don’t forget about eye safety. Friends for Sight estimates that out of the thousands of children who sustain eye injuries every year, 90% of them are preventable. Children and parents just need to be aware of and use protective eyewear when it is necessary.

To learn more, please visit the American Optometric Association or “Child Eye Health and Safety Month – August.”

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Lifestyle Choices and Gender May Affect a Person’s Resilience to Alzheimer’s Genes

“Alzheimers” by Michael Havens is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Alzheimer'sWe all know we should take care of our bodies. Health professionals tell us to eat healthy and to exercise in order to maintain our physical health; and we know we should challenge our minds to maintain our mental health. Leading a healthy life can lower your risk for many illnesses and diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. And now, a new study suggests that even if you carry Alzheimer’s genes, if you lead a healthy lifestyle you might be less likely to feel the effects of the disease.

Findings indicate that if you’re a woman you might also have a stronger resilience to the disease even if the genes are present in your DNA. The study found that only 32 percent of women showed signs of memory decline while 47 percent of men did. Research suggested that women can further help maintain their memory by having an active social life, healthy lungs, and moderate exercise.

It’s important to also note that even if you carry Alzheimer’s genes, that is not a guarantee that you will get the disease.

To learn more, please visit “Women May Be More Resilient to Effects of Alzheimer’s Genes,” or

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Health Officials Investigating Possible First Local Zika Transmissions

“Stripe on stripe” by coniferconifer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

MosquitoZika Virus has been on the minds of health officials for months, but until recently the main concern to average citizens regarding the virus was simply protecting themselves from transmission while traveling to infected countries, which include much of Central and South America, and many Caribbean islands. Florida health officials are now investigating two cases of Zika in Miami-Dade County and Broward County, which they believe may have been acquired locally, although they have not ruled out sexual transmission. If confirmed, this would be the first case of Zika transmitted by mosquito within the U.S.

In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted small local outbreaks may occur, specifically in the south of Florida and Texas because mosquitoes in those areas have also carried dengue and chikungunya in the past.

So far, more than 1,400 people have tested positive for Zika in the U.S., with all cases having been related to travel to an infected area.

To read more about local Zika transmissions, please see “Florida Investigating 2 Possible Local Zika Virus Infections.”

To learn more about how to protect yourself from Zika, please visit

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