The Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (MHSLA) received a GMR Expert Speaker Award for our annual conference in Lansing, Michigan, October 2-4, 2019. Thanks to the award, we were able to bring Cecilia Vernes to the conference, where she offered a Continuing Education course, True North: Navigating your way to Freely Available Public Health Resources. Ms. Vernes is the Education Coordinator for the NNLM National Public Health Coordination Office at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Lamar Soutter Library. Her course at the MHSLA conference was attended by academic health sciences librarians, hospital librarians, and non-librarians who are interested in or have roles relating to public health. Ms. Vernes discussed NLM resources such as Toxnet, PHPartners, and PubMed, as well as other freely available online public health resources such as GreenFILE. She also walked us through the process she uses to find and appraise public health literature and offered a case study from her own recent work on PFAS in drinking water (unfortunately especially relevant to Michigan residents).
MHSLA is grateful to GMR for the Expert Speaker Award, which helped us to bring an out-of-state CE instructor to our relatively small regional conference. Course attendees walked away with an improved sense of how to find less accessible resources, literature, and documents related to public health issues.