National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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SOUTHEASTERN/ATLANTIC REGION

Consumer Health Specialization Classes

What is CHIS?

CHIS is an acronym for Consumer Health Information Specialization, a program provided by the Medical Library Association (MLA).

Why Get a CHIS?

Librarians know the life-saving and life-enhancing value of accurate evidence-based health information. By earning CHIS, you acquire skills and knowledge needed to become a confident, expert provider of health information to your community. Your CHIS shows employers, colleagues, and the public you serve that you are committed to offering quality consumer health information services and to staying current with developments in consumer health information resources, technologies, and services.

How to Earn CHIS

CHIS is organized around eight Core Competencies for Providing Consumer Health Information Services and two levels of accomplishments. Experts in providing consumer health information created two levels of CHIS. Level 1 requires courses in five foundational competencies. While you may take courses in other competencies, you will gain skills in the basics when you earn Level 1. Level 2 requires you to take courses in three additional competencies. While you may take courses in other competencies, you will gain skills in higher level competencies when you earn Level 2.

Level 1

Your Level 1 CHIS shows that you have skills in these 5 Core Competencies for Providing Consumer Health Information Services:

  • Know the Community    
  • Know the Health Consumer    
  • Knowledge of Subject Matter and Resources
  • Evaluation of Health Information
  • Communication, Reference, and Instruction

You meet the requirements for Level 1 by completing 12 credit hours in these five competencies.

There are 2 easy ways ensure you take all 5 competencies to to earn CHIS

  1. Take Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness for Your Community. This course covers all 8 CHIS competencies and provides all 12 CE hours needed for CHIS. At this time it is restricted to public library staff.
  2. Take Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information at Your Library. This course covers all 5 competencies required for CHIS level 1 and provides 4 CE hours. You can then take any additional 8 hours of CHIS approved courses on the topics of your choosing.

You can also take any combination of courses that cover the 5 competencies and use this tracking grid.

Level 2

Your Level 2 CHIS shows that you have skills in all 8 Core Competencies for Providing Consumer Health Information Services:

  • Know the Community    
  • Know the Health Consumer    
  • Knowledge of Subject Matter and Resources
  • Evaluation of Health Information
  • Communication, Reference, and Instruction
  • Literacy and Health Literacy
  • Technology and Health
  • Ethical and Legal Issues

You meet the requirements for Level 2 by completing 12 credit hours in the three bolded competencies above.

You can see a grid of classes and their competencies on the MLA website.

CHIS Cost

CHIS costs $75 and is valid for 3 years, at which point it must be renewed.
NNLM will sponsor the application fee for level 1 or level 2, including renewals for NNLM Network Members. Once you've completed the necessary courses visit Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) Sponsorship to learn more.

Read more about CHIS on the MLA website.