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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Inspiring People in Our Region: Karen Marshall, JD Founder and Executive Director, Kadamba Tree Foundation

Friday, September 11th, 2015




“… caregivers benefit from accessing services and support as early as possible in in their caregiving journeys.”







Karen Marshall, JD
Kadamba Tree Foundation
Washington, DC

What is your position?

I am the founder and Executive Director of the Kadamba Tree Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers education and support programs to family caregivers. We serve family and friend caregivers of aging loved ones and other loved ones with long-term illnesses or disabilities.

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

I was my mom’s primary caregiver before she died of cancer. A couple of months after she died, my father developed a serious heart condition. I eventually ended up leaving my career as an attorney at a large law firm to help care for him.

Although I was very close to both of my parents, I found that the circumstances surrounding their illnesses posed unique caregiving challenges. I also discovered that, in each instance, self-care was vital to effectively caring for my loved ones; so I embarked on a journey to learn how to effectively care for myself while caring for others.

That journey took me to India where I came across a necklace made from the wood of the Kadamba tree. A note attached to the necklace explained that, according to Sanskrit literature, the Kadamba tree blossoms at the sound of monsoon thunder. This story immediately reminded me of the resilience of family caregivers who often overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to help their loved ones. Today, this symbol of hope and empowerment inspires not only Kadamba Tree Foundation’s name, but also its mission.

What do you love most about your outreach work?

I love facilitating partnerships. Whether it’s programming partnerships between organizations or comradery between fellow support group members, I enjoy bringing people and groups together to advance the caregiving mission. Despite the amount of love involved, caregiving can be very isolating. I like to think that every collaboration helps to counter at least some of that isolation.

What is the biggest challenge in what you do?

People are increasingly acknowledging the role that family caregivers play in providing the majority of our nation’s long-term care. But many family caregivers don’t necessarily realize that they’re not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help. Often, they don’t seek support or resources until they are already overwhelmed and suffering negative health consequences.

That’s why we’re always searching for resources and partnerships to help us make a positive impact on caregivers’ lives. We also look for effective ways to convey the message that family caregivers benefit from accessing services and support as early as possible in their caregiving journeys.

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

Family caregivers often experience social isolation. I worry about the impact that isolation has on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Specifically, I’m concerned that family caregivers who experience isolation lack sufficient access to preventative care, treatment, and other resources to maintain healthy lifestyles.

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

I met an outreach librarian from the National Library of Medicine at a Caregiver Day event. Kadamba Tree was there to teach stress management practices and hosted a booth across from NLM’s booth. During a break, the outreach librarian told me about NLM’s resources for caregivers. We later became affiliate members of NN/LM SE/A.

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

Our mission includes equipping family caregivers with tools and resources to assist them in their roles. Those roles include responsibility for medication management, communicating with health care providers, and ensuring continuity of care once loved ones are discharged from skilled care facilities. Thanks to NN/LM SE/A, we can direct family caregivers to reliable health information resources to help them in their caregiving roles.

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

We recently presented the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s “Caring for You, Caring for Me” Education and Support Program for Professional and Family Caregivers to a local caregiver support group. The multi-workshop series covered caregiving skills such as taking care of yourself, building cooperative relationships, and problem solving. We also adapted the program to include a workshop featuring tutorials on NLM’s health information resources. At the end of the program, the support group members applied the skills they learned and NLM resources (e.g., DailyMed, MedlinePlus) to a case study involving a caregiver facing an issue with medication management.

The support group members were highly engaged and eager to work together to solve the problem. They not only demonstrated the ability to apply the skills and resources they had obtained, but also recounted how they had already started integrating the skills into their own lives. For instance, one participant used the program’s self-care assessment tool to initiate needed diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. At the end of the four-week series, he reported that he was already feeling more energetic and experiencing a greater sense of well-being. He also identified specific ways he planned to use NLM resources such as MedlinePlus to sustain his self-care practices.

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

Seeking out strategic partners for program collaboration is vital for successful outreach. These include both funding and programming partners. Such partnerships can help you leverage your and your partners’ collective resources to expand the program’s impact.

For family caregiver outreach in particular, I recommend developing programs that meet caregivers where they are. Being prepared to adapt programs and resources to their needs can improve your chances of making a meaningful impact on caregivers’ well-being.

Learn more about the Kadamba Tree Foundation by visiting:

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

Ann Viera Honored by UT Institute of Agriculture

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

ThompsonVieraThe University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has awarded librarian Ann Viera a J.E. Moss Achievement Award. Viera is Veterinary Medicine Librarian at the Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library.

The J.E. Moss Achievement Award, established in memory of J.E. and Ann Moss, recognizes excellent achievement in teaching, research and extension services for the Institute of Agriculture.

To learn more about the award and award ceremony, please visit:

Call for Applications: NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, 2015-2016

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) is pleased to announce the 2015-2016 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, which focuses on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries, is accepting applications through July 20, 2015.

Fellows will have the opportunity to experience another library environment and to work closely with a mentor and collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. The multi-faceted program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community. Candidates with a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries and with leadership experience in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings are encouraged to apply.

Sixty-seven fellows and fifty-seven different mentors have participated in the program since its beginning. To date, twenty-seven of sixty-one graduate fellows have received director appointments. Overall, 75% of fellow graduates have been promoted to director or other positions of higher responsibility.

Download the program brochure, which includes information on program design, schedule, and application process. For more information about the program, please contact Carol Jenkins, Program Director, AAHSL Future Leadership Committee,

Inspiring People in our Region: Brenda Linares, MLIS, AHIP Outreach Librarian and Coordinator of User Services Graduate Assistants

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015








“…by reaching a small group of people, you have already made a difference.”


Brenda Linares, MLIS, AHIP
University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

What is your position?

I serve as the Outreach Librarian and Coordinator of User Services Graduate Assistants at the Health Sciences Library at UNC Chapel Hill.

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

As a Latina immigrant, I grew up with the experience of noticing the big digital divide and health disparities that impact the Latino community. When I became a medical librarian, I wanted to reach out to those communities affected by health disparities and make a difference with quality information. I know that well informed people will make better decisions about their lives; therefore, I felt that I could make a difference in someone’s life by providing the right information at the right time. Being a medical librarian has provided me with the opportunity to reach out to those communities with tools and health information that can help them improve their health.

What do you love most about your outreach work?

I love that I get to create new partnerships with diverse groups such as community colleges, public librarians, nursing homes, and community organizations. I can provide some assistance with pointing people towards authoritative health information and providing a tool for people to make better health choices. I love to see people’s faces light up when I show them helpful information in MedlinePlus (and their tax money at work)! It is always a rewarding feeling when I find someone information on a topic they are researching and it makes sense to them.

What is the biggest challenge in what you do?

I always wish I had more time to do outreach in the community. There is a lot of potential and also a great need to educate and reduce the health disparities impacting multiple minority groups. Because a lot of people have access to the Internet and mobile devices, we forget that there is still a big digital divide and that creates a challenge in how you can reach out to people. There is always the need for resources.

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

I love providing health information to people, especially when they find a page on their health topic! One of the best groups to work with is kids. They are sponges and you know that they listen to what you say to them. Kids are great listeners and love a challenge. I really enjoy showing them some of NLM’s interactive resources such as Tox Town and Tox Mystery! They love playing with Toxie and getting a certificate of completion at the end of the game. I also have seen kids show their parents the website and health information presented on MedlinePlus and even search for information for their parents. It’s great to feel like you can reach out to the parents and the kids at the same time.

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

When I was in Miami, one of the issues that stood out to me was how people assumed that everyone in Miami was rich and had access to health care. In our health fairs when we went to Key West for example, many of the locals do not have access to quality health care. For them the annual health fairs were their annual check-ups. At these health fairs, the medical students came to that area with free medical services. Therefore, the locals drove long distances to make sure they took advantage of that. The same happened in Broward County, which included Little Haiti. Southern Florida is a very diverse place with a mixture of all socio-economic status and diverse languages. In my current project with community colleges, I learned that in the academic setting, community colleges are left behind in terms of outreach and collaboration. That is why I am glad that NN/LM is taking extra steps of reaching out to this group. I have been able to meet with several community colleges librarians and can see there is a need to promote a lot of NLM’s resources and funding opportunities from the NN/LM.

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

I learned about the NN/LM when I was an NLM Associate Fellow in 2007. We had the chance to visit the RML office at the University of Maryland and learned about the funding opportunities for outreach projects and the importance of health literacy.

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

I have been fortunate to have the RML provide funding for two major outreach projects that I have been involved with. My first project was doing outreach to free clinics and promoting MedlinePlus to the medical students who interacted with the patients. We were able to buy iPads that the students could use to interact with their patients and educate them on various personal health topics. The second project is the one with community colleges. We did an information needs assessment of the students and the faculty in nursing, geriatrics, and occupational therapy classes. We learned that students wanted interactive tools to learn the materials presented by their faculty and librarians. With this information, we decided to collaborate with two community colleges, Central Carolina Community College and Durham Technical Community College. We are working on creating two interactive modules that the librarians and professors can use with their classes to learn about evidence-based practice resources and consumer health information resources.

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

I always remember doing the health fairs in southern Florida when I worked at the University of Miami. I loved working with the kids and showing them Tox Mystery! They loved Toxie and I enjoyed seeing the kids play the games and then the parents playing with the kids learning together about how to avoid toxins. The kids were always excited to get their certificate of completion when they were done with the game.

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

First of all I would tell them that outreach is a very rewarding thing to do! Any ideas they might have can work! Health literacy is important and by reaching a small group of people you have already made a difference. Also I would tell them that the NN/LM funds all types of outreach projects that show that it will have a positive impact in the community. All ideas are welcome!

I would also advise people to learn more about the community they want to work with. They should know about their culture, language, environment, and other important aspects of that community that will help them create a partnership, collaboration, and relationship.

Nakia Joye Woodward Recognized as one of Library Journal’s 2015 Movers and Shakers – Advocates

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Congratulations to Nakia Woodward, one of the advocates in Library Journal’s 2015 Movers and Shakers! Nakia is the Senior Clinical Reference Librarian at Quillen College of Medicine Library, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Read more about what made Nakia a “health care and grant-getting wonder” by the Library Journal.

Nakia recently interviewed for our SEA Currents Newsletter in the Inspiring People in Our Region series.

This year’s class of Movers and Shakers will be honored at a luncheon, along with previous honorees, on June 26 at the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco. Please take a moment to congratulate Nakia!

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.