|Spring 2002||Kristine M. Alpi, Editor|
Columns (Edited by Kathy Kerdolff, Assistant Editor
- From the Editor
- From the Chair
- PH/HA @ MLA2002
- Congratulations to the New Officers
- Electronic Journal Club: Evidence Based Public Health
- Member News
CDC Column: New CDC Information Center Facility is UnderwayContributed Articles
GIS Column: Interview with a GIS Student--GIS Uses, Challenges & Library Relationship
Grey Literature Column: Sources of Grey Literature: Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses
In the LiteratureNew Resources
Managing Your Professional Life with a Personal Digital Assistant: Part 3
Aging Activities: Trends in Health and Aging
America's Literacy Directory
American Public Human Services Association
A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at US Colleges
Chemical Diversion and Synthetic Drug Manufacture Report
Congress Online: Assessing and Improving Capitol Hill websites
Data Development Initiatives for Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs
Data Skills Online at UNC
Delivering on the Promise: Preliminary Report
Directory of Development Organizations 2002
Directory of Training Programs in Health Services and Health Policy Research
Documenting Public Health Leadership Video Project
ECOTOX Database System
Electronic Delivery of Government Reports via NTIS
Finding Court Opinions On The Web
Focus on Basics: Health Literacy
Focus on Tuberculosis: Ancient Enemy, Present Threat
Free GIS On-line Support
Guide to Community Preventive Services: Systematic Reviews and Evidence-Based Recommendations
Health Passport Project
Health Services & Sciences Research Resources
Information for Health
Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
Margaret Sanger Papers Project
Medicare: Nursing Home Compare
Mesothelioma Information: The Asbestos Cancer Resource
National Assessment of Adult Literacy
National Children's Study
NIH Draft Statement on Sharing Research Data
Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Obesity and Genetics: A Public Health Perspective
Parasites and Parasitological Resources
Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council White Papers
PERISTATS: Interactive web-based perinatal data resource
Population Profile of the United States: 2000
Principles for Managing Contaminated Sediment Risks
Public Health GIS Users
Scientists & Non-Profits' Ties to Industry
Southeast Public Health Training Center Interactive Database
State Resource Center
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2001 is Available
Surgeon General Reports on the Web
Technology Watch! "We Know Our Audience, Now What?
Toxicological Profile Information Sheet
UCLA publishes Encyclopedia of Public Health
UIC launches Online MPH in Public Health Informatics
Understanding the Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health
VirOligo Compilation Lab
Hi everyone. Welcome to the much delayed Spring issue of the PH/HA Newsletter! Thanks to all the contributers for this issue. This issue is on a white background due to problems with contrast on the blue background. We will be extending the summer issue deadline to give a little more time between issues. Hope to see you all at MLA!
Here are the results of some Section Council votes: The motion for a name change for the Clinical Librarians SIG to the Clinical Librarians and Evidence-based Health Care SIG has been approved (14 approved-4 did not approve) by Council. The motion to waive Section website hosting fees has been approved by Council (18 approved-2 did not approve) and will now be taken to the winter Board meeting for a vote.
We are involved in some great programs at the upcoming conference this year. Below is the schedule for PH/HA programming at MLA2002. We hope to see you at the conference, particularly at the business meeting and the More to Life than MLA session. The business meeting is a great opportunity to see many other PH/HA members, and to see what is going on in the section. You attendance at the More to Life than MLA session will help ensure a good turnout for what looks to be a great session.
If you are doing anything with PDAs or other digital devices, I would also invite you come by the Digital Devices To Go Roundtable that we are co-sponsoring, or to serve as one of our conversation starters at the event. We envision that we'd open with brief introductions of resource folks/discussion facilitators and then have tables that people could congregate at to talk about various topics and to share ideas. Very informal and fun. If you are interested, please let me know.See you all at the conference.
Digital Devices To Go Roundtable
SUN, 5/19/02, 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Sponsor: Educational Media and Technologies Section
Co-Sponsor: PublicHealth/Health Administration Section and Internet SIG
Description: Participate in a lively and informal discussion of issues currently facing health sciences librarians. Possible topic tables include wireless technology, personal digital assistants (PDAs), infrared synching stations, and other handheld devices. This is an opportunity to meet colleagues who are dealing with these issues, share experiences and accomplishments, and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.
AIDS in Africa
MON, 5/20/02, 10:30AM - 12:00PM
Sponsor: International Cooperation Section
Co-Sponsors: Public Health/Health Administration, Medical Library Education Sections, and African American SIG
The spreading of HIV/AIDS in Africa greatly limits the continent's human, social, and economic development. This session will discuss ways to combat the epidemic, such as strategic plans, international partnerships, financial and technical support, care for Africans living with AIDS, community education on HIV, information access, and librarians' roles in fighting HIV/AIDS.
Diversity, Demographics, and Disparities in Accessing and Delivering Health Information and Health Care: Part II
MON, 5/20/02, 10:30AM - 12:00PM
Sponsor: Chiropractic Libraries Section
Co-Sponsors: Relevant Issues, Consumer and Patient Health Information and Public Health/Health Administration Sections and Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Osteopathic, African American, and Outreach SIGS
Description: The ability to access quality health care may be viewed as a "health parity" issue. Particularly in the areas of mental health, chronic illness, HIV, diseases that affect specific populations, and for the underserved and underinsured, the lack of parity exacts social, economic, and personal costs. In some cases, managed care has only added to this disparity. Papers should examine ways that obstacles to parity are being addressed.
PH/HA Business Meeting
TUE, 5/21/02, 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Sponsor: Umm...as this is the PH/HA business meeting, PH/HA is sponsoring it
Description: Section business, news, information, gossip, and general mayhem, as well as discussion of the core journal project.
More To Life Than MLA: Outreach to other professional associations
WED, 5/22/02, 9:00AM - 10:30AM
Sponsor: Public Health/Health Administration Section
Co-Sponsor: Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section
Description: This session will feature reports on outreach to other professional associations, particularly those of a library or information center's primary clientele. Topics will also include reports of teaching continuing education or the benefits and knowledge gained from serving on committees for groups beyond typical library-related associations.
Reported by Will Olmstadt, PH/HA Chair-Elect
PH/HA will be sponsoring an electronic journal club on the topic of Evidence Based Public Health. We'll be looking for some partnering sections. Earn 7.5 Academy points/CE credits by reading and discussing 6-12 articles. The proposed bibliography will be available on the web and announced to the PH/HA list after MLA. The club will begin in June and run through November. Those interested in participating should contact Kristine Alpi at email@example.com by May 25.
MLA's Journal Club Guidelines are available at http://www.mlanet.org/education/telecon/jcguide.html.
New contact information: Stephanie L. Normann, 3815 Sun Valley, Houston, TX 77025-4138, 713-666-2540, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groundbreaking for a new CDC Global Communications and Training Facility is scheduled for this fall (2002), with building completion scheduled for early 2005. Currently, the Information Center occupies vintage “library” space on the Roybal campus in Atlanta, GA. But, not for long!
The Global Communications and Training Facility will serve as the CDC's flagship Public Health building. It will provide both a safe and secure environment and a Public Health “knowledge” facility open to the public. The CDC's broad mission of outreach and collaboration with partners throughout the nation and world will be reflected. The building is designed to be a state-of-the-art training facility conducive to information exchange among the public health community, as well as a technological center to facilitate communication among CDC employees around the globe from Anchorage to Zimbabwe.
CDC Centers/Programs to be housed in the new facility are:
The new CDC Information Center is planned as a knowledge center and learning environment to support both internal and external audiences. Features will include:
The design of the new CDC Information Center emphasizes CDC's desire to develop a comprehensive public health resource with growing digital collections and services. For further information, contact Jocelyn Rankin at email@example.com.
This month's GIS column features an interview with a Texas A&M University student. J.D. McRae is an A&M senior, who will receive his B.S. in geography in May 2002. In the fall of 2001, J.D. completed Thematic Cartography (GEOG 332), a required course. The course covered using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create maps. Most assignments were completed using ArcView®, GIS desktop mapping software. J.D. was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to explain the educational aspects of GIS, as well as some of the challenges in learning how to use the GIS software to create maps. He also provides insight into the relationship between GIS users and library resources/services.
Tell me about the health-related assignment you completed for GEOG 332.
I chose to map the 25 most obese cities in the United States using ArcView. Since this information was not already part of the ArcView dataset, I had to search for it. I used Google to find a list of the most obese cities in 2001, and input that data in Excel. Then I imported it into ArcView to create the map.
What was the most challenging part of learning GIS last semester?
Like most of my classmates, I had never been exposed to GIS in the other courses for our major. I think there are two big challenges. First, most of us approached ArcView and other GIS products as though they were Microsoft Office products - user-friendly and powerful. GIS software is powerful, but not especially user-friendly, and it's intimidating at first. Second, GIS software is resource-intensive, and our computers regularly crashed while completing assignments. The intimidation and the amount of troubleshooting we had to do were the two biggest challenges in learning GIS last year.
Do you perceive any limitations for GIS after completing your course?
Not really. Professional cartographers who use GIS can create a mind-boggling array of maps for almost any dataset you can imagine. However, I certainly think GIS software has room for improvement, particularly in their capacity for displaying graphics.
Would it benefit you if libraries supported GIS teaching and learning? What about by providing data repositories or dedicated GIS workstations?
I think any institution that wants to support GIS would further professional development in geography. It would encourage students to join the field. However, cartography is not necessarily something one sits down and does for fun, so there would probably be ongoing challenges in promoting such services.
One of the biggest problems last semester was the mysterious and constant corruption of datasets mounted on public servers in the geography computer lab. If a library could guarantee us fewer errors like these and provide a user-friendlier environment in which to work, I think it would be an inviting environment in which to learn. Predetermined datasets would be nice, especially if they were protected from corruption, and in a variety of formats. Without question, the most time-consuming part of starting a GIS project or completing an assignment is the data collection, and if a library could act as a data repository without the user having to do a lot of initial work, it would be great.[Editor note: For more on GIS check out David Dorman's article "GIS Provides a New Way of Seeing Service Areas" in the February 2002 issue of American Libraries on page 62. It discusses LibraryDecision, a GIS application designed explicitly for libraries from Civil Technologies [http://www.civictechnologies.com/].
One of the most frequently asked questions I've heard over the years I've been working closely with the grey literature in health policy and public health has been, "Where do you find this stuff?" Generally, there is no one simple answer to that. Anyone who collects grey literature knows, you find it wherever you can. Most often you have to go directly to the source, and you have to know where to go. Over the next years, we will dedicate several columns to identifying some of these sources of grey literature, including profiling some individual organizations. First up is this column on federal health information centers and clearinghouses where one might go to find health publications.
What's a clearinghouse? Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a clearinghouse in its second definition as “a central agency for the collection, classification, and distribution especially of information.” As we know, there is no one source that does this as well as we might like, no one clearinghouse that captures all of the information available on a topic.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) goes a long way by maintaining the Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses site at http://www.health.gov/nhic/Pubs/clearinghouses.htm. This site links to many governmental health information clearinghouses and websites where consumers and researchers alike might go for health information. Some of these sites that have been found to be particularly useful include:
Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses is a tremendously useful site which could be improved by one basic (but extremely difficult) improvement. It would be extremely useful and time-saving if there was a way to search across the publications available through all of the various clearinghouses, especially since most of them are products of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As it is, you must go into each clearinghouse separately. Which of course reminds me of my previous column on collaboration. But I digress.
Announcement: I am no longer at The New York Academy of Medicine. In leaving NYAM, I have passed on the editorship of the Grey Literature Report and the collaboration with NLM, to my worthy colleagues Lea Myohanen and Elizabeth Taylor. I can now be reached at New York Medical College at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have suggestions for future columns or would like to guest edit a column, please feel free to contact me.
Extramurally Speaking: Earth Science Information for Protecting Public Health. Environ Health Perspect 2001 Dec;109(12):601. Read the full text online.
Special issue (part II) on digital information and tools. Toxicology. 2002 Apr 25;173(1-2) Issue Table of Contents.
In this third part, we continue the search for productivity-increasing software tools that can be used on Palm PDAs. Here described is software that will help you author your own dictionary, encyclopedia or other reference tool, write an article, reconcile the edited version with MS Word (or print it out from your handheld), review a PowerPoint presentation, create a spreadsheet and analyze the data, and capture survey data. We will cover currently available keyboards so that you can type instead of using graffiti [digital shorthand] or the onboard keyboard to enter information, as well as an application that makes it easy to hotsync just one application or PDB file onto your device instead of refreshing all the data on your device. In the sidebar of this article, see links to Palm applications for health educators and public health veterinarians.
The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a nonprofit, bipartisan organization, represents fifty state human services administrators, hundreds of local administrators, and thousands of human services professionals. Their mission is "to develop, promote, and implement public human services policies that improve the health and well-being of families, children, and adults." Their site offers not only valuable human services related information, like relevant links and policy resolutions, but also papers that discuss state perspectives, establish the background of specific policy issues, and present APHSA's policy stances. Even though nearly all information deals mostly with APHSA and their viewpoints, researchers and users interested in human services policy will find the site worthwhile. [From the Scout Report]
Recent Trends in Mortality Rates for Four Major Cancers, by Sex and Race/Ethnicity -- United States, 1990-1998
Tobacco Control State Highlights 2002: Impact and Opportunity
Trends in Racial and Ethnic-Specific Rates for the Health Status Indicators: United States, 1990-1998
Births: Final Data for 2000
The Congress Online Project is a two-year project to study Congress' use of the Internet and to help congressional offices use Internet technologies to inform and communicate with constituents, reporters, and the engaged public more effectively. According to the report, there is a gap between what Web audiences want and what most Capitol Hill offices are providing on their websites. Instead of providing basic legislative information such as position statements, rationales for key votes, status of pending legislation, and educational material about Congress, offices are using websites primarily as promotional tools - posting press releases, descriptions of the member's accomplishments, and photos of the members at events. As a result, this report provides substantial data on the five essential building blocks of an effective website --audience, content, interactivity, usability, and innovations. This information is useful not only for Congressional sites but also for any website in general. Therefore, anyone interested in building his/her own website should definitely investigate further. [From the Scout Report]
The Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service report on Data Development Initiatives issues the findings of a study commissioned to establish and/or improve methods of data collection used to assess the effectiveness of government-sponsored food assistance programs like the Food Stamp and WIC programs (among others). Resources considered by the study are an array of new technologies (e.g., GIS and POS monitors) and older ones that could be linked to already existing databases of food assistance recipients (e.g., linking WIC and food stamp databases to Medicaid and vital statistics logs to ensure benefits remain in the hands of their intended recipients). [From the Scout Report]
Now in its second year, the Data Skills Online project in the Department of Maternal and Child Health in the School of Public Health, UNC, has updated its website. They have upgraded their Web Course Tools (WebCT or Tool) enhancing the site's capacity to provide web accessibility for persons with disabilities. A simplified log-in and access, and 11 self-instructional distance learning tools are available to assist MCH professionals with day-to-day tasks. WebCTs take an average of three hours each to complete, and can be accessed from any Internet connection. A "resume" function allows users to return to a Tool at any time.
As one of his first acts in office, President George W. Bush unveiled the New Freedom Initiative to carry out his plan to tear down remaining barriers to equality for the "54 million Americans with disabilities." The President then acted on this plan with Executive Order 13217: Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities, asking federal agencies to work together to identify and address barriers to community integration. As a result, this status report was submitted to the President by Tommy G. Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in an effort to meet the charge of "delivering on the promise." According to Thompson, this report "establishes a blueprint for action that will make a measurable impact on the lives of people with disabilities as they work to secure appropriate health care, housing, transportation, employment, education and other opportunities in their communities." [From the Scout Report]
One new project that Association of Schools of Public Health is proud to announce is a collection of videos documenting the life of an accomplished public health leader. Through this project, funded through the ASPH/HRSA cooperative agreement, each of five SPHs (Columbia, JUH, Michigan, Minnesota, and UT-Houston) have developed and produced a brief video documenting the life of an accomplished public health academician or senior faculty-one who might be considered a "leader" in public health. These videos may become available through http://www.trainingfinder.org
Each video focuses on the challenges, accomplishments, lessons learned and contributions to public health of one of these leaders in public health-with the intent of highlighting this person as a role model who will be inspirational to those considering entering the field of public health as a career. The five videos form an initial set of videohistories that can be used to assist with student recruitment and retention in public health, in order to ensure that people going into this field will continue to improve in quality and increase in numbers.
Coming early 2002, NTIS' updated website will provide electronic access to hundreds of thousands of documents. NTIS is redesigning its website to:
The Task Force on Community Preventive Services has just completed its systematic reviews of early childhood development interventions and family housing interventions. The reviews focus on an assessment of the effectiveness of interventions in addressing sociocultural factors that influence overall health (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5101a1.htm).
The report Information for Health: A Strategy for Building the National Health Information Infrastructure is now available. It provides recommendations from the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, which advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on health information policy, is the result of extensive input from individuals and organizations around the country. Recent events have underscored the need for an effective health information infrastructure linking the public, healthcare providers, and public health professionals. This report is intended to stimulate collaborative action toward that goal.
This website is a comprehensive resource on mesothelioma, usually caused by exposure to asbestos. The site addresses what mesothelioma is, the various types of mesothelioma, and the risk factors. A brief overview of asbestos and some types of workers who are often exposed to it is also included. Other information includes medical treatment options, frequently asked questions about legal issues surrounding asbestos cancer, and links to additional resources. This site does not provide in-depth information on any of the topics addressed; rather, it serves as a broad overview of asbestos cancer. [From the Scout Report]
The new statement reflects NIH's expectation of, and support for, the timely release and sharing of final research data from NIH-supported studies. Data sharing, NIH explains, is consistent with its overall research goals. Data sharing reinforces open scientific inquiry, promotes new research, permits the creation of new data sets from multiple sources and avoids duplication of expensive data collection activities. Sharing is particularly important when research generates what NIH describes as "unique data that cannot be readily replicated." Select Draft Data Sharing Workbook to access text. The actual text is located at: http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_workbook.pdf.
Ronald Abeles, Ph.D., special assistant to the director at NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, explains that "The new statement is a logical extension of existing NIH policies. There have been sharing requirements in some areas of biological research. Also, specific RFAs in the past have had data sharing requirements." Release of the final policy statement is expected on Aug. 1, 2002, with a proposed effective date of Jan. 1, 2003.
Once the final statement goes into effect, NIH notes, "Investigators submitting an NIH application will be required to include a plan for data sharing or to state why data sharing is not possible. This statement will apply to extramural scientists seeking grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts as well as intramural investigators." Until the effective date, Abeles says, "It certainly won't hurt applicants to address data sharing issues. Indeed, it could be a plus; some study sections do look for sharing plans." Written comments on the draft must be received no later than June 1, 2002.
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) is a small independent agency of PA state government which offers data and information on the comparative costs and risk-adjusted outcomes of various hospital procedures, analysis of hospitals' finances, managed care data, and other information that is important to purchasers and consumers of health care. Once a month, the Council issues a white paper designed to communicate about a topic of interest to purchasers and others in the health care community. It is not a position paper, nor is it a vehicle for PHC4 opinions. Rather it is intended to be informative on current health care topics.
The Population Profile of the United States: 2000 is the first Internet-only version of this US Census Bureau product. It includes data from surveys conducted in the year 2000 and earlier, as well as some limited Census 2000 data. This report attempts to provide the public with updated information in the years in which a printed version has not been issued. Chapters include population dynamics, households and housing, social characteristics, household economics, and the facets of diversity. Primary sources for this report come from the Census Bureau's Decennial Census of Population and Housing, the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the American Housing Survey (AHS). [From the Scout Report]
The State Resource Center is one of the categories of LexisOne's free Legal Internet guide, a collection of 20,000 links organized into 32 categories, up from 24 categories in July, 2000. For each of the fifty states, the State Resource Center provides extensive lists of links to statewide offices, the state's legal branches, its counties, its rules of court, important legal forms, and more. The site remedies the maze of many state government websites, making it easier to find legal materials. The site will also be useful for other users who want to find information on state legal systems. [From the Scout Report]
Technology Watch! is a bi-monthly feature that focuses on the latest issues and challenges in distance education. Topics will range from course development to an examination of the latest technology.
The first-ever Encyclopedia of Public Health, edited by Lester Breslow of the UCLA School of Public Health, is now available from MacMillan Reference USA. The four-volume encyclopedia set, written especially for lay readers, will serve as a valuable reference for high schools, community colleges, and public libraries as well as professionals in public health and related fields. The encyclopedia's 900 entries were written by subject experts and range in length from one hundred to several thousand words. The encyclopedia also contains a collection of some of the most essential writings and statements about public health and an annotated bibliography. The encyclopedia can be ordered via e-mail: email@example.com or by calling 1-800-877-GALE.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health (SPH) is offering a MPH degree specializing in public health informatics (PHI) in a program focusing on the study of information management techniques to improve the practice of public health. All courses in the program are delivered via the internet. A cooperative effort between the UIC SPH and the School of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences, the three-year program will provide core competencies in public health information systems and management and consists of 14 didactic courses plus field and capstone experiences mentored over the Internet. Target audiences include public health officials and administrators, health information professionals, and managed care organization analysts.
Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2001. http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/ Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.
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