The Conway Public Library (CPL), in partnership with the Gibson Center for Senior Services and Carroll County Coalition for Public Health, is one of 21 NNLM All of Us Community Award recipients for a program called “Improving the Use of the Internet for Health.” The program’s aim is to improve health literacy and facilitate the use of telehealth services in Carroll County, New Hampshire. Read more about the program from Conway Public Library’s Director, David Smolen:
We are hoping to reach our underserved citizens by expanding access, understanding, and participation in internet available healthcare resources.
Starting February 10, 2022, we kick-off a 4-part virtual speaker series through the CPL. The first session is titled “Evaluating Medical Information Online.” Participants will learn how to distinguish between medical misinformation and reliable online resources. Several websites will be recommended.
The second session on Feb. 16th is titled “What is Telemedicine and When Can it be Used?” Participants will learn about the basics of telehealth, when its use is appropriate, and insurance coverage.
The third session on March 10th is “Understanding Clinical Trials.” Participants will learn how clinical trials are initiated, how research participants are recruited, the phases of clinical trials, how data is evaluated and how the final approval for treatments, medications or vaccines is granted.
The final session, on March 17th, will describe the All of Us Research Program—a precision medicine initiative that seeks to enroll over 1 million participants from underserved regions, ages, and ethnic backgrounds with the goal of helping researchers understand more about why people get sick or stay healthy.
Those interested in attending these online programs can register on the website of the Conway Public Library: https://conwaypubliclibrary.org/slider/medical-speaker-series.
In addition to the speaker series, we are helping our community use the internet for reliable healthcare services in other ways. Using Community Award funds, the Gibson Center acquired 30 Chromebooks to give to seniors in need of adequate devices. Andrea Libby of Libby Computers and Jeff Beavers of CPL are providing over 60 hours of free training in their use.
In addition, the CPL is installing a two-person privacy pod for telehealth visits. Similarly, the Gibson Center is providing a private space for telehealth visits and opening the Gibson Commons Internet Café, located on the first floor of the main building. These booths and the trainings will continue to be available after the grant has ended, as part of ongoing efforts by the CPL and the Gibson Center in a program called Equip, Train and Connect. The need for internet healthcare services and information is not only growing, but rapidly becoming standard; we intend to provide these resources to all community members.
Founded in 1900, the Conway (NH) Public Library serves the communities of Conway, Albany, Tamworth, Madison, and Jackson, New Hampshire. CPL is a major source of information on the history of the White Mountain region and is the only public library in the State who is a member of the New Hampshire History Network. The library building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The All of Us Research Program is supported and overseen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and aims to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. To do that, the program is asking one million or more people to share health information to build one of the most diverse health databases, and help researchers learn how lifestyle, biology, and environment affect health.
This award is supported by funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health under cooperative agreement number UG4LM013729 at the University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.
About David Smolen, Guest Writer
David Smolen is a 1999 graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Science and has served as Director of the Conway Public Library since 2013.