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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for February, 2012

Consumers Win Big in Vegas at CES Digital Health Summit

Monday, February 27th, 2012

by Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A and Andrew Youngkin, Emerging Technologies/Evaluation Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A

Last month in Las Vegas, the 44th annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — dubbed “the world’s largest consumer technology show” — allowed companies to announce new products and showcase exciting and innovative new products, devices, and technologies. It also offered consumers, retailers, and industry insiders a birds-eye view of emerging tech trends to come. Of particular significance to health care consumers, the 2012 CES included the first Digital Health Summit to promote and facilitate conversation surrounding the growing volume and increased presence of mobile health or “mHealth,” and the overall trend of emerging consumer-focused technologies designed to monitor, assess, and communicate about various areas of our health and well-being.

Healthcare consumers are experiencing a revolution in technology and unprecedented information access that empowers them to incorporate new mHealth tools into their daily lives. The fact that the largest consumer electronics show added a digital health summit for the first time this year points to the wave of the future. Companies are focusing on creating new products, apps, and devices that enhance health and give patients access to appropriate care that improves outcomes while helping to manage escalating costs. These new products focus on prevention and wellness and raised the level of excitement among the conference attendees and the public at large. Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Health delivered two keynote presentations at the conference. He spoke about personalized medicine and the idea that a newer, more precise method of characterizing the genetic qualities of individual patients for diagnosis and treatment is at odds with the century old population-based practice of medicine. “Wireless medicine is not some sort of far-fetched science fiction dream – it’s real and it’s here right now.” He believes that none of these things will happen, however, unless consumers become informed about these new technologies and lead the revolution. [1]

Personalized medicine through the genomic revolution is one of the most intriguing ideas in healthcare today. One of the most talked about products at the summit was the Life Technologies Ion Proton Genetic Sequencer. Dan Costa of PC Mag called it “the coolest thing I saw at CES 2012.” [2] A full genome sequence can be completed in one day using this machine, which costs about the same as an MRI machine. What used to cost approximately $10,000 now can be done for $1000 per sequence. And as the technology continues to improve, the cost of the machine and the time and cost to do the analysis will continue to drop. There are still many unknowns when it comes to using genomic data in healthcare, but machines like this are going to make it possible for medicine to find new ways to use this data for good, including personalizing medications tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup.

Many other products were also featured at the show and included robotic aids, tele-health systems, remote monitoring devices for the home, electronic medical records, and therapeutic and diagnostic medical devices. The opportunities are endless when it comes to these technologies which can eliminate distance and borders and be preventive in their approaches. Apps, including games, can reinforce healthy behaviors and help people monitor vital information to take more control of their own health. There were over 20,000 new products launched at this year’s convention, so it can be a bit overwhelming. However, some products could make an even bigger splash this year. One such buzzed about product is the Doctor in Your Car, which is to be developed by Ford and Microsoft this spring as a method of monitoring the health and wellness of drivers. Inventors say the idea for this technology stemmed from a Pew Research study that found 93% of people say they search online health information because of its convenience. The study also found that 83% seek online health information because they get more information from the Internet than their own doctor. [3] The goal for the developers is to determine how to noninvasively extend health management into the personal vehicle using wearable devices that will monitor health data such as blood pressure, heart rates, glucose levels, and behavioral data.

There’s no question that we, as health consumers, will be exposed to these new technologies and that they will change our lives. There are still hurdles to overcome, but we are at an exciting junction. We are delicately poised on the edge of the revolution and are indeed living in interesting times. The following link is to a video available on the challenges of mHealth, made at the Digital Health Summit, and provides further insight into these technologies and their challenges:

From the daily lives of consumers to the daily practices of healthcare providers, to medical school classrooms and health sciences libraries, technology has made and will continue to make consumer healthcare more mobile, more visible, more accessible, and more personal.


About Us: J. David Midyette - Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Monday, February 27th, 2012

J. David Midyette


Exhibiting at national, regional, state, and local conferences is an integral part of life at SE/A.  As part of the contract with NLM, we establish a comprehensive plan of when and where we plan to exhibit each year. Still, there is a good deal of flexibility beyond our fixed schedule. A key part of my job is to manage the exhibiting schedule, and in consultation with the other coordinators and the executive director (and with the support of our awesome staff), I select, register, and schedule all of the conferences where we will exhibit. I also work with RML members who are awarded exhibit grants to make sure that appropriate materials arrive on time for conferences all over the region.


Twitter? Facebook? RSS? Blog? Email? How do we get the word out? These are some rather challenging issues I face as the Communications Coordinator. We have a small group here who help make some of these decisions, but it is my responsibility to make sure that the word gets out. All of the coordinators contribute original content to SEA Currents and it is my goal to make our blog an informative resource. I am currently working with our editorial team to put together a more comprehensive plan on how and where we disseminate information. I have also been asking various members in the region how they currently receive and how they prefer to receive information. Many institutions limit the ways their employees can receive information which makes our efforts more of a challenge. My biggest goal is to inform without overwhelming.


I have been an educator for many years teaching both Anthropology and Library and Information Science. I also taught informational sessions to medical and health science students and faculty prior to my position at the RML. I plan to teach some of our existing classes as well as develop classes on qualitative methods, virtual communication, and working with special populations. I am always looking for new ideas for classes, especially topics that are of great interest to those in the region.


I will be working with awardees to help them manage their awards and report on their successes. Most of the awards I will be working with are for exhibits, but I am also working with some outreach and technology awards. I think this is one of the most important areas of RML work as it requires a great deal of collaboration and support. Things are always changing, and with the pending implementation of a new reporting system, I look forward to guiding awardees through a new process.

Despite being new to SE/A, I have had a great deal of contact with multiple RMLs over my career and it is wonderful to finally be able to work for such a wonderful program. As a North Carolina native, it is a great feeling to return to the region where I spent so much time growing up. I look forward to working with everyone in the region and hope that you will feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, ideas, and suggestions.

Beyond the SEA: February 15, 2012 - The Changing Hospital Library Environment: New Roles for the Librarian

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Presenter: Sybil Bullock, MLIS, EdS, has had a full career as a Federal Librarian in medical, scientific, and technical libraries/scientific information centers.  Upon early retirement, she chose a new career track:  Teaching at the University of Alabama School of Library & Information Studies (SLIS), Tuscaloosa, Alabama as well as establishing a Library Consultant Business.

The Healthcare environment continues to experience rapid change affecting hospitals and hospital libraries.  Some of the things happening are outside the control of the Librarian but have big impacts on the Library and the Library Staff.  Some libraries/librarians are disappearing; others are adapting to these outside changes.  If you are one of those affected by these changes, what can you do?  This Webinar will look at some of the options available to you and will offer advice on how to re-frame your thinking, leverage your information knowledge skills, update your professional  ID/Brand, and offer examples of what others are doing to succeed in this turbulent environment.

To hear this webconference, please go to our list of previously presented web conferences.

Inspiring People in our Region: Christianne Pinell-Jansen, Community Development/Public Health & Beyond, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

“Culture plays a big role in the way patients and providers perceive services.”


Christianne Pinell-Jansen
Community Development/Public Health & Beyond
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health/Delta Region Institute
UMMC Phone: (601) 815-9000

What is your position and what was the path that led you to it?

For the last 20 years, I have been working as a biostatistician and community development and public health practitioner. I am employed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where I currently wear many hats. I serve as a Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) program coordinator and biostatistician for UMMC’s Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health/Delta Region Institute (MIGMH/DRI); I have also functioned as the Medical Spanish Coordinator for UMMC’s Family Medicine Pre-doctoral Program and a study coordinator for the Neurocognitive Reading Center of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (SOL) in the Department of Medicine.

At MIGMH/DRI, my functions include being an instructor, program development/administrator, evaluator, and social marketing contact while providing a model to the Department of Family Medicine (DFM). At the DFM I coordinate a 10-hour course to introduce Hispanic linguistic and cultural awareness into their M3 (3rd year medical student) rotation. I have also planned a longitudinal Medical Spanish course to be included into the SoM curriculum. Additionally, I have created cultural and linguistic awareness training among healthcare workers and students within academic health services systems in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, functioned as interpreter and translator and developed evaluation tools to collect data and information among institutional partners and cores. Finally, in the Department of Medicine, I have collaborated with counterparts to improve the Spanish version of a battery of neurocognitive tests (both in English and Spanish) given to multi-state Hispanic study participants. As part of the latter, I have monitored and evaluated its procedures and development for quality and effectiveness in order to maintain certification and homogeneity along all four sites involved in the study.

Prior to the positions I now hold at UMMC, I served as a program coordinator or project data administrator for several multi-state epidemiological studies. These studies included the Genetics of Microangiopathic Brain Injury (GMBI), the Ambulatory Blood Pressure (AMBP), the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy (GENOA), the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) and the ARIC MRI and Neurocognitive Longitudinal. I have also functioned as the Program Coordinator for the Arthritis Program at the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH), and as the first patient navigator and data manager at the Cancer Preventorium, The Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

Is there something in your own personal story that led you to do the work you do?

Since high school in Nicaragua, I knew I wanted to work in the health field. I studied statistics with the idea of applying it in the health field. My thesis was developed as a collaborative effort of the Department of Statistics and Applied Mathematics (Department of Science) and the Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (in the Department of Medicine). When I graduated, I was able to work as the Statistician of the Epidemiological Surveillance of the Nicaraguan Health Department. This experience motivated me to learn more and allowed me to obtain my Master of Public Health in Autonomous University of Madrid.

What do you love most about your outreach work?

I love to work on medical research and health education, cultural and linguistic awareness, and occupational Spanish.

What is the biggest challenge in what you do?

Marketing the workshops. The hardest part is identifying the key person to talk to in order to make our workshops and training available to the healthcare providers.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your work in terms of health outreach to your community’s underserved populations?

It is certainly fulfilling to see physicians, pharmacists, nurses, public health workers, and health professionals take 4 hours of their busy schedule, sit through our sessions, ask questions, perform the exercises, and not apply for CE credits because the just “wanted to know this information.” It is also rewarding to meet with the students and receive their feedback, comments, and questions, and realize in one way or another, this sessions have been fulfilling for them as well.

What do you see as the biggest health concerns in the communities you serve?

In my experience, one of the biggest health concerns in our communities is the difficulty that well intended and knowledgeable health care providers have in communicating with their patients. Culture and language barriers accentuate the communication barrier. The services we offer are only a drop in the bucket – there are so many cultures interacting in our country. Culture plays a big role in the way patients and providers perceive services. There is still a lot to be done.

How did you first come to know NN/LM SE/A?

In 2005, I was looking for curricula and Spanish materials. I searched the web, as well as asked around.  That’s when I found “¿No Comprende?”. I reviewed the materials, handouts, and lesson plan. The workshop targeted librarians, but it contained information that most certainly would be helpful for healthcare providers.

In what ways has NN/LM SE/A been of help to you?


When I contacted NN/LM SE/A and asked what I needed to do in order to provide this workshop to the university medical center healthcare personnel, I talked with the person who developed the program, Becky Hebert, and she told me she would come and do the presentation. I was ecstatic! I organized two groups, one with my local librarians, and the other group integrated by bilingual healthcare personnel and our medical librarians. When later on, and due to my new title, I was looking for cultural awareness and health literacy materials, I thought again about this workshop. I contacted again NN/LM SE/A.  Mandy Meloy and then Sheila Snow-Croft taught subsequent well-attended classes.  Subsequently, the new instructor, Nancy Patterson did two sessions and, later on, paired us with our local medical librarians.”

 Can you share a success story about the impact of health outreach in your community?

We have been able to offer a couple of sessions in the spring and a couple of sessions in the fall. The sessions are open to faculty and staff (clinicians and non-clinicians), as well as to students. At this point, we offer CE credits to physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapist, social workers, psychologists, dentists, and pharmacists. Specifically with students, we have been able to serve all 3rd year regular and accelerated nursing students, as well as 3rd year occupational therapy students. Most recently, we offered a reduced (2.5 hour) session to the 3rd year pharmacy students.

What advice would you give others who are interested in doing health outreach work in their communities?

There are resources available out there. Partner and collaborate with other institutions and/or groups with the same goals/dreams. We have been able to partner with our own medical library, Rowland Medical library, and we have been able to offer more services in this way.

If you would like to share your story or suggest another person for our “Inspiring People” feature, please email Nancy Patterson:

NLM Closure

Friday, February 17th, 2012

NLM will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2012 in observance of Presidents Day.  The NN/LM, SEA offices will be open.

Last updated on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016

Funded under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine.