Four outstanding projects were funded in response to the 2015-16 Request for Proposals: Express Outreach/Training/Technology Awards. These projects will be funded for $9,000 each, for a period of 12 months, beginning May 1, 2015. The projects strive to improve access to health information for health professionals and health consumers, and to promote the awareness and use of products and services available from the NLM and the NN/LM.
Finding Reliable Health Information Online: Trusted Sources & MedlinePlus
Institution: Bay Area Cancer Connections Medical Information Service, Palo Alto, CA
Project Director: Erika Bell
Bay Area Cancer Connections Medical Information Service (BCC MIS) is integral to the organization’s guiding principles, which include empowering “people touched by breast and ovarian cancer by providing education that helps them make informed decisions.” For people touched by cancer, finding accurate and appropriate medical information is an essential part of getting good health care. When BCC was founded, health information written for consumers was not easy to find, and medical information was difficult for patients to access. The BCC MIS meets the need for health information with a comprehensive lending library, educational brochures, and personalized research. The BCC Medical Information Specialist also meets with clients to help them understand their pathology reports, oncology treatment guidelines, and current medical research on their conditions. Since BCC’s founding 21 years ago, the Internet has made it easier for patients to access information, but it has also made it harder for people to identify trustworthy resources. The proposed project seeks to increase health information literacy and awareness of MedlinePlus among members of the breast and ovarian cancer community, minority healthcare trainees, and members of minority communities. Working collaboratively with partner organizations, BCC will deliver a training session, Finding Reliable Health Information Online. Through lecture, exercises, and discussion, participants will learn how to critically evaluate health information, and will learn to use MedlinePlus as their first choice for discovering quality health information. BCC will also promote health information literacy and awareness of MedlinePlus at outreach events in the breast cancer community and in the African American community.
Improving Response Capabilities of Northern Nevada Emergency Management Specialists through Critical Information Access
Institution: University of Nevada, Reno, Savitt Medical Library, Reno, NV
Project Director: Terry Henner
This project reflects a partnership between the Savitt Medical Library of the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Washoe County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. This office serves as a focal point for over 50 different regional jurisdictions and agencies encompassing public health, hospitals, emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire services, public works, tribal nations, transportation, and government administration. It is also responsible for management of the Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) that coordinates system-wide efforts of first responders to prevent, mitigate, and recover from all threats, hazards and emergencies. This project aims to improve the capacity of first responders in determining situational status, coordinating response activities, and making critical decisions during emergency and disaster situations. The scope of work is directed at improving access to disaster medicine information in the Washoe county region by developing a web enabled directory of disaster medicine subject specialists; creating a well organized clearinghouse of important disaster medicine resources; and providing training in finding disaster medicine information through federal and regional databases and related tools. Project deliverables will also include a streamlined collection of regional emergency plans and quick response guides to disaster medicine resources designed to run natively on mobile devices should Internet access be curtailed during emergencies.
Building an Environmental Health Information Program: Charles R. Drew University (CDU) Pipeline and the CDU Health Sciences Library
Institution: Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Health Sciences Library, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Darlene Parker-Kelly
The project seeks to promote the value and the awareness of the National Library of Medicine’s environmental health information resources. The University has a robust Pipeline consisting of four programs, including the Saturday Science Academy (SSA II), the Short-Term Research Experience for Under-represented Persons (STEP-UP), Project Short Term Research Involving Disparities Elimination (Project STRIDE) and iSTEM program. These students have the potential of becoming the next generation of physicians, researchers, nurses, and healthcare professionals. The CDU Pipeline programs are unique in that the majority of the students in the program reflect the CDU community. Students in the programs represent both Latino (Hispanic) and African American young individuals. For example, the iStem program last year consisted of 150 students, 70% were Latino and 15% were African American. Over the past 10 years, the Saturday Science Academy II involved over 2423 students, 81% African American and 10% Latino. The goal of these programs is to introduce minority students to the sphere of science, math, engineering, and technology. The project will enable students to learn how to use the NLM environmental health information resources. A curriculum will be developed which will enable students to explore and demonstrate the use of the resources. One of the final outcomes of the project will be the creation of a scientific poster which demonstrates the use of NLM environmental health resources in supporting the elimination of health disparities.
EnviRN – Evidence: Enhancing nurses’ capacity to search for environmental health evidence
Institution: University of San Francisco, Gleeson Library, San Francisco, CA
Project Director: Claire Sharifi
The Institute of Medicine notes that all nurses should integrate environmental health into their education, practice, research, and policy efforts, yet environmental health is poorly incorporated into nursing curricula. Thus, new nurses are ill prepared to assess and address environmental health problems. With this project we will create a self-paced, problem-based tutorial for nurses; faculty, nursing students, and practicing nurses; about the relationship between environmental exposures and health outcomes and the location of reliable information and data sources that are part of TOXNET®. The training will include an introduction to environmental health for nurses, introductions to select TOXNET® resources, and four environmental health case studies to illustrate how TOXNET® can be used in education, practice, and research. The training program will include instructions to faculty who may want to use this training for curricular purposes, instructions for practicing nurses on how they can use TOXNET® resources to help determine the risks associated with their patients’ and communities’ environmental exposures (home, work, school, community), and instructions for nurse researchers on TOXNET®’s unique resources. The proposed training will incorporate case studies involving one on children’s exposures, one involving women during pregnancy, one involving a rural community’s population-based exposure, and one illustrating the environmental justice implications of asthma. The project will be developed in collaboration with librarians serving nurses at the USF, NN/LM PSR staff, NLM TOXNET® staff, and USF faculty experts, in partnership with Education Committee members of the international Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
NN/LM PSR will also continue to support the Arizona Outreach Cooperative Agreement with the University of Arizona, Arizona Health Sciences Library. Congratulations to all of the awardees on their successful proposals!