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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for October, 2012

NN/LM SE/A Closed Tuesday, October 30, Due to Hurricane Sandy

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The offices of the NN/LM SE/A will be closed Tuesday, October 30, due to the inclement weather we have been experience from Hurricane Sandy. For emergencies, please call our usual toll free number, 1-800-338-7657; your call will be routed to the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR), and they will be happy to help. Please keep in mind that service hours for PNR are Pacific Time, so office hours will be 3 hours later than on the East Coast. We plan to resume our regular hours on Wednesday, October 31.

NLM and NN/LM, SE/A Offices Closed October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

NLM and the NN/LM, SE/A Region offices will be closed on October 29, 2012 because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Thank you for your patience.

Share Your Success: “Value-Added” activities at the University of South Alabama

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

By Judy Burnham, Director – Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Instead of sharing my individual success story, I would like to share the story of how the University of South Alabama Biomedical Library team contributes to the success of the Health Sciences Division.

Like other libraries, we offer traditional library services (reference, circulation, education, collection management, etc.) However, the Biomedical Library (BL) has become involved in many “value-added” activities including:

  • Based on the new organ/system based curriculum for the College of Medicine, the BL developed a multi-media clinical skills page with links to videos that would reinforce the clinical skills learned during the coursework.
  • The BL developed and is delivering a medical informatics/evidence-based medicine thread for COM curriculum.  This consists of 12 modules integrated throughout the 4-year curriculum and covers topics including EHR, evidence-based medicine, patient safety and technology, patient informatics, and emerging technologies.
  • A BL librarian verifies citations for COM dissertations and annual reports, resulting in more accurate documents.
  • BL librarians participate in a variety of committees:  COM Curriculum Committee (including subcommittee), COM CME Committee, COM GME Committee, COM SPEC Committee, ad-hoc interviewer for COM Admissions Committee, University IRB Committee, University ROC (Research Organization Council), and University Library Committee.
  • BL librarians regularly exhibit at the Health Services Division Health Fair and the USA Benefits Fair — after all the Biomedical Library is a benefit of being a USA employee!
  • The BL contributes to diversity of health professions by working with DREAM, STARS & STRIPES students.  DREAM students are college students, usually from Historical Black Colleges and Universities who are interested in a health care career.  STARS & STRIPES students are rising junior and senior high school students who are interested in health care careers and are students who excel, but are from under performing schools.  The BL conducts library literacy instruction for the students, teaching skills they can use when they return to their schools.
  • The BL participates in University’s Center for Health Communities Health Disparities Research Group and Community Health Advocates. Both of these groups have the goal of decreasing health disparities in the Mobile community.
  • BL librarians participate in Faculty Senate, both as representatives of the University Libraries and the COM, with one serving as COM Caucus Leader.
  • The Biomedical Library seeks out opportunities to exhibit at state health care professional meetings.
  • A BL librarian participates in Our Neighborhood Health Clinic at Dumas Wesley Community Center and 15 Place.  These are nurse-managed clinics and the librarian contributes by helping both the health care professionals (including students rotating through the clinic) and the clients with health literacy needs.
  • A BL librarian is participating in the IPEC (Inter-professional Education and Collaboration) Working Group.  The goal of this group is to increase inter-professional involvement across campus.
  • BL librarians are integrated into several hospital committees. One librarian is participating in a project to improve patient outcomes by showing MedlinePlus videos to patients who will be undergoing a heart procedure.

We feel that these extra activities contribute to the mission of the Health Sciences Division and the health of our community.


Public Health Classes from the SE/A

Friday, October 26th, 2012

By Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

Are you in the field of Public Health? Do you support public health professionals or students? If so, the NN/LM SE/A has classes available that might be of interest. Please help us spread the word: tell your friends and colleagues about these free learning opportunities. The following in-person classes address the basics of Evidence Based Practice and introduce the many free resources available from the National Library of Medicine. For a complete class listing, please see  (classes for Public Health are grouped together at the bottom of the page).

Evidence Based Practice I: asking the right question – A  good clinical question is integral to successful Evidence Based Practice (EBP). This class covers the basics of EBP and uses the PICO model to strengthen participants’ ability to formulate well-structured, answerable research questions.

Evidence Based Practice II: finding the right information – Finding and assessing quality peer-reviewed literature is an important but challenging task for public health professionals. This class helps participants develop a clear understanding of different study designs, including strengths and weaknesses, and introduces basic resources for peer-reviewed literature.

Health Statistics on the Web – The importance and relevance of health statistics in various contexts is addressed, with a focus on the location, selection, and effective use of statistics at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Introduction to NLM Resources – This class introduces free online resources from the National Library of Medicine, including but not limited to PubMed, MedlinePlus,, Household Products Database, the Drug Information Portal, and TOXNET databases.

Research Shortcuts – Not everyone has a librarian’s researching skills. This course introduces, PubMed, and the Healthy People 2020 Structured Evidence Queries which allow quick searching for published literature related to the Healthy People 2020 topic areas.

TOXNET: Toxicology & Environmental Information – This class introduces some of the different databases available on TOXNET.  Attendees will gain experience locating drug, toxicology, chemical, and other hazardous substance information.  Databases covered include but are not limited to the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), LactMed, TOXLINE, TOXMAP, HAZMAP, and the Household Products Database.

For more information or to discuss other Public Health training needs, please contact Sheila Snow-Croft at

Patient Advocacy

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

By Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

One of the most exciting areas of consumer health is emerging as a lay specialization in health care. This area covers patient education and navigation through the health care system and patient advocacy. There are many types of patient advocates and many routes to becoming an advocate. The education, skills and experience required are very similar to health sciences librarians. Right now, there is no formal certification recognized for patient advocates, but there are educational programs including certificate programs and continuing education. An individual patient advocate usually acts as a liaison between a patient and their health care provider. This role is frequently assumed by nurses and social workers, but increasingly, advocates are people that have had a health care experience that now leads them to the career of patient advocate. Some have become advocates for family members or even themselves after experiencing a life-threatening or serious illness. Their frustration and difficulties encountered with the field of medicine lead to their interest in helping others overcome barriers in obtaining health care.

Two individuals come to mind who have attained national recognition for their work in patient advocacy: E-Patient Dave and Regina Holliday. Both spoke at the MLA E-Patient Symposium in Washington, DC in 2010. E-Patient Dave, also known as Dave deBronkart, was diagnosed in 2007 with Stage IV renal cell carcinoma and his median survival time at diagnosis was just 24 weeks. Prior to his illness, he was already a speaker and writer, but after he beat his disease, he actively began to advocate for patients to be engaged in their health care, empowering patients to be an active member of their health care team. Today he is an accomplished speaker and activist. You can learn more about him and find links to his blog entries for at his website:

Regina Holliday regularly and passionately advocates the importance of open data access for patients and access to medical records. She came to her role after her husband’s illness and death, in which it was a struggle to get appropriate care during “11 weeks of continuous hospitalization at 5 facilities.” ( She is an artist, speaker and author and speaks powerfully about her experience trying to obtain access to her husband’s medical records. As her blog mentions, “her work is a visual reminder of the patient in the center of any policy debate and technical application.” You can find much more information about her and see her artwork at her blog.

As someone passionate about consumer health and interested in patient empowerment, I have been attending classes online in the patient advocacy certificate program through the University of Miami. I am learning a lot and am struck by the similarities and parallels between patient advocate work and our work as health information professionals. We are all patient advocates in some ways. We work with consumers, librarians, and health professionals in an effort to connect people with the information they need, whether it is for direct patient care or to help empower people to be active, engaged participants in their own health care.

As I head into the home stretch of the program, I am looking for ways to incorporate what I have learned into future classes and presentations. I am also eager to see what new and exciting ways consumer health and the patient advocacy movement will continue to evolve as we enter the most patient-centric time in health care in history. To read more about the movement, here are several organizations and links:

Patient Advocate Foundation:

National Patient Advocate Foundation:

AdvoConnection Blog:

For more information, please contact Terri Ottosen at


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.