Meet Sam Watson, Outreach Specialist for the National Library of Medicine-Greater Midwest Region.
As a late comer to the library field, I’m still grooming my information professional pedigree. I bring with me an academic librarian instruction and science liaison experience from my time at Knox College and an MLIS degree from my fledgling librarian years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My health information focus is the result of my inspirational medical librarian mother and my early career of pharmacy work in both retail and in-patient settings. Years of witnessing, firsthand, the overwhelming behemoth of managing personal health encouraged me to pursue a career that would inform people of their options and the resources available.
My role here at the GMR will focus on outreach to community colleges; making connections, advocating NLM resources, and empowering people to use high quality information to make informed healthcare decisions both professionally and personally.
If ever I’m not working, you will most likely find me futzing over old fountain pens in a vain and fruitless attempt to improve my handwriting.
Meet Brittney Thomas, Manager for the NNLM All of Us Coordinating Center. Brittney joined the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of the Libraries of Medicine in November and has spent the last few weeks learning as much as she can about health librarianship.
In her new role, Brittney will be coordinating outreach and engagement efforts to targeted communities in collaboration with the 8 Regional Medial Libraries on genetics and precision medicine. She’s currently using Jacqueline’s workspace while she waits for her own to be created.
Prior to joining the All of Us National project Brittney worked at the Main Library as the Learning Commons Coordinator where she oversaw programming and outreach, facilities and technology maintenance, marketing, faculty and student support, and much, much more!
Brittney received a Masters in Library and Information Science from The University of Iowa and has a B.A. in Art & Design from Iowa State University. Welcome Brittney!
UI to lead national campaign educating Americans, health care professionals about precision medicine
$3.6 million NIH grant will make the UI a national hub for creating and distributing educational information for the ‘All of Us’ initiative
By: Richard C. Lewis | 2017.11.29 | 09:45 am
The University of Iowa is poised to lead a new national campaign to educate Americans and health care professionals about personalized medicine.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its National Library of Medicine, awarded the UI $3.6 million over three years to create and distribute educational information for the All of Us Research Program, an NIH-led effort “to gather data over many years from one million or more people living in the United States, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and improving health,” according to the program’s website.
The UI will be a national coordinating center charged with creating content to prompt people to enroll in the All of Us initiative and to help health care providers—such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and genetic counselors—understand the promise of precision medicine.
The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences will partner with the National Library of Medicine on the funding award, which supplements a $6.5 million award to the Hardin Library in the spring of 2016 to support the National Library of Medicine’s goal to provide U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and to improve the public’s access to information so citizens can make informed decisions about their health.
“We are excited that the University of Iowa will be part of this very important NIH precision-medicine
initiative that may ultimately improve the health of all,” says Linda Walton, associate university librarian and director of the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. “We have put together a strong team to develop the educational component for the All of Us research program, keeping in mind the many different biological, environmental, and behavioral influences that affect our citizenry.”
A primary focus of the new award is to demystify personalized medicine through educational materials, online courses, and seminars for the public and health care professionals. Among the ideas being considered are a traveling photographic exhibit, interactive online games, and various apps for mobile devices.
“We look forward to the opportunity to educate and empower all Americans on precision medicine topics,” says Colleen Campbell, assistant director at the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics based in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and a co-principal investigator on the grant. “And, we are very excited to put into action the educational materials and activities we have proposed to help make personalized medicine easy to understand and accessible for the public and health care professionals.”
Campbell, Walton, and Rema Afifi, professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the UI College of Public Health, are the supplemental grant’s three co-principal investigators.
Other participants are Liz Hollingworth, professor in the College of Education; Elizabeth Kiscaden, associate director of the regional medical library at the Hardin Library; Edith Parker, professor and chair in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health; and Richard Smith, director of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics.
The GMR Office is using its Facebook page to help members make connections between health news and available National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources and databases.
Health news is presented to us daily and the GMR Office hopes to increase health literacy by linking these current health issues to a variety of resources to help its members get the most out of their healthcare.
NPR published “Caring For A Loved One At Home Can Have A Steep Learning Curve,” which stated that about 44 million Americans are unpaid family caregivers, such as parents, children, and spouses caring for their elderly, sick, or disabled loved ones. The article mentions that many of these family caregivers don’t receive enough training to properly provide care.
The GMR Office posted the article to its Facebook page and directed readers to NLM 4 Caregivers, a collection of over 16 health databases from the specialized information services branch of the NLM and NIH. These include ClinicalTrials.gov to help caregivers find and research clinical trials; Pillbox, which can help caregivers identity unlabeled or lost medications; and the Drug Information Portal to help caregivers look up side effects, the manufacturer’s drug label, and references to the drug in scientific journals.
Many consumers aren’t aware of the vast variety of free and trusted health resources available through the NLM, but the GMR hopes to remind its members of their existence, one news story at a time.