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Disaster Health Information Outreach & Collaboration Awards

About the Projects


The National Library of Medicine through its Disaster Information Management Research Center and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine provided funding support for outreach and collaboration projects related to disaster health information between 2011 - 2015. These projects were intended to improve disaster medicine and public health information access for health professionals, first responders, community members, and others (paid or volunteer) that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Emphasis was on providing information or access to health and medical information in a way useful to the target audiences, and increasing the awareness and utilization of high-quality, professional-level online medical and public health information resources on disaster, all-hazards, and emergency topics including resources from the National Library of Medicine. The projects were also intended to promote new and creative collaborations on disaster health information needs among and to the mutual benefit of librarians, information specialists, or informationists and the disaster workforce.

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2015 Projects

  • City of Portland, Public Health District
    "Public Health Emergency Coordination with Libraries"
    Portland, ME
    In partnership with:
    Portland Public Library

    The City of Portland, Public Health Division and the Portland Public Library will develop the role of libraries in disaster health emergency response in Cumberland County, Maine through training library staff on preparedness and disaster health information and creating a role for library staff to assist during a public health emergency.

  • Saint Louis University Institute for Biosecurity and the School of Medicine Medical Library
    "The Value of Improved and Sustained Information access By Library Expertise (VISIBLE) in Missouri"
    St. Louis, MO
    In partnership with:
    St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS)
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Council for Emergency Response (MARCER)
    Boone County Department of Emergency Management
    Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA)

    The Saint Louis University Institute for Biosecurity and the School of Medicine Medical Library are collaborating with four emergency management agencies across Missouri to increase awareness and knowledge of National Library of Medicine information resources among emergency responders and reference librarians through a train-the-trainer format. This project will expand the role of Missouri reference librarians by partnering with local emergency responders and will increase the capacity of Missouri emergency managers, disaster planners, public health professionals, and reference libraries to access accurate and evidence-based information on disaster topics.

  • University of Washington Health Sciences Library
    "RRAIN Washington - Response and Recovery App in Washington Phase II"
    Seattle, WA
    In partnership with:
    Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response
    Washington State Emergency Management Division

    The University of Washington Health Sciences Library, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Washington State Emergency Management Division aims to improve access to National Library of Medicine (NLM) disaster information resources in Washington by developing a project website and mobile application (app) for Android devices called Response & Recovery App in Washington (RRAIN Washington). This is a follow-on project to the RRAIN app created in 2014 for iPhone and iPad devices. The app is intended to enhance first responder decision making by providing easy access to reliable health information for statewide disaster response and recovery.

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2014 Projects

  • Idaho State University Health Sciences Library
    "Development of Disaster Health Information Training Program for Hospital Emergency Preparedness Professionals in Southeast Idaho"
    Pocatello, ID
    In partnership with:
    Southeastern Idaho Public Health District

    Idaho State University Health Sciences Library will partner with the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department to conduct an information needs assessment among underserved hospital emergency preparedness professionals in rural Southeast Idaho and to provide a training program for these professionals to gain knowledge and skills in searching disaster health information efficiently in order to support hospital emergency preparedness and response efforts for the community.

  • Indiana State University Cunningham Memorial Library
    "Integrating Librarians into Local Disaster Management and Training"
    Terre Haute, IN
    In partnership with:
    Vigo County Emergency Management Agency

    The Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University and the Vigo County Emergency Management Agency’s project is entitled “Integrating Librarians into Local Disaster Management and Training.” In the initial phase of the project, a librarian will participate in meetings of local disaster management agencies to determine local emergency response training and information needs. This is expected to be followed by training sessions and by the establishment of a disaster management reference service based at the Cunningham Memorial Library. The project will also explore if librarians can play a coordinating role in organizing local emergency response/disaster management agencies.

  • University of Washington Health Sciences Library
    "RRAIN Washington - Response and Recovery App in Washington"
    Seattle, WA
    In partnership with:
    Washington State Department of Health
    Health Evidence Resource for Washington State (HEALWA)
    Virginia Mason Hospital
    Seattle Children's Hospital
    Heritage University
    Seattle Public Library

    The University of Washington Health Sciences Library, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response aims to improve access to National Library of Medicine (NLM) disaster information resources in Washington by developing a project website and mobile application (app) for iPads and iPhones called Response & Recovery App in Washington (RRAIN Washington) and conducting train-the-trainer workshops in cities in four counties including: Seattle (King Co.), Spokane (Spokane Co.), Tacoma (Pierce Co.) and Toppenish (Yakima Co). RRAIN Washington will enhance decision making for health professionals across Washington via personal mobile devices and provide easy access to reliable disaster information for statewide disaster response and recovery.

  • Elkhart General Hospital Medical Library
    "Preparing your Go-Bag for Disaster-related Information Needs"
    Elkhart, IN
    In partnership with:
    Elkhart General Hospital Emergency Preparedness Committee
    Elkhart General Hospital Education and Program Committee
    Elkhart Fire Department

    The Elkhart General Hospital (EGH) Medical Library will partner with the EGH Disaster Preparedness Committee and Education Committee, and Elkhart Fire Department to develop training sessions to: (1) identify authoritative sources for information in a disaster or public health emergency by using the National Library of Medicine’s, Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) focusing on
    • WISER Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders
    • CHEMM Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management
    • REMM Radiation Emergency Medical Management
    (2) explain the value of portable equipment choices, and the key differences between internet access, and tools that provide stand-alone content, and (3) describe the types of questions these databases can answer and provide examples.

    Participants will be placing WISER, CHEMM and REMM, as well as their own patient tracking / treatment and communication software on the units, purchased with the NLM funding. This award will allow the participants to take the units to the patients, instead of bringing in the patients to the unit. The participants will hold a Full Scale Drill. The drill will incorporate a Hazardous Material spill with multiple patients that will need to be evaluated, decontaminated, treated and tracked. The collaborating group will deliver this sequence of education and experience to increase self-reliance in selecting and searching disaster-related literature in an application that contributes to the hospital’s Emergency Operations Plan, and will benefit the entire community.

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2013 Projects

  • City of El Paso Department of Public Health
    "Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2013"
    El Paso, TX In partnership with:
    Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office of the World Health Organization/U.S.- Mexico Border Office

    The City of El Paso Department of Public Health in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Office of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the 2-1-1 Texas Rio Grande Region will enhance access to health and emergency preparedness information in El Paso County, Texas. The aims of the projects are to:
    1. Enhance the knowledge of librarians, special-population healthcare providers, and Community Health Workers (CHWs) on the functional role local emergency and disaster organizations, and develop skills to participate and assist in emergency and/or disaster events.
    2. Increase awareness on local practices and methods of information sharing, including the use of the 2-1-1, 24/7 Information and Referral system, 911, the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) PAHO’s virtual library, NLM, and others.
    3. Bolster the existing capabilities of the DPH and PAHO/WHO to provide fast and easy access to accurate, evidenced-based information to Librarians, CHWs, healthcare agencies serving special populations and their workforce.
    4. Work collaboratively with Red Cross, City of El Paso Office of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety-Emergency Preparedness, and other first responders to develop unique cross training opportunities for librarians, healthcare providers, lay CHW and first responders.

  • Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
    "Disaster Health Information in American Samoa"
    Pago Pago, American Samoa In partnership with:
    Feleti Barstow Public Library (Pago Pago, American Samoa); American Samoa Department of Public Health.

    Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) will collaborate with the Feleti Barstow Public Library (FBPL) and the American Samoa Government’s Public Health Department, LBJ Tropical Medical Center, both of the US Territory of American Samoa (AS), to promote the use of reliable disaster health information and increase awareness of the NLM resources available to librarians, public health workers, and first responders in times of crisis. The resources covered will include tools such as WISER, REMM, CHEMM, TOXNET and the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Center website. The 2009 American Samoa earthquake and tsunami disaster response will be used as a case study throughout this project.

    The project objectives are to: 1) provide health information access training workshops for librarians, public health personnel, disaster and emergency first responders, and the health and disaster workforce; 2) conduct cross-training and mutual awareness of the roles of librarians (information providers), emergency disaster teams, and health care workers; 3) to assess the roles and needs of librarians (information providers), emergency disaster teams, and health care workers; 3) add the latest NLM disaster and emergency resource links to the FBPL website to support training workshops and services. The project will establish a framework for AS librarians and disaster workers to exchange information, so they can network to improve disaster services and response beneficial to the entire community.

  • Texas Health Fort Worth Medical Library
    "North Central Texas Disaster Health Information Initiative"
    Fort Worth, TX
    In partnership with:
    Texas Health Resources, Emergency Management
    Texas Health Fort Worth, Safety Department
    MedStar EMS Mobile Healthcare

    The Texas Health Fort Worth (THFW) Medical Library will partner with Texas Health Resources (THR) Emergency Management, THFW Safety Department and MedStar EMS Mobile Healthcare to deliver reliable disaster health information resources training which is crucial for dynamic and effective disaster crisis management and operational support. Project objectives are to : 1) increase awareness and utilization of National Library of Medicine databases, including but not limited to WISER, CHEMM, REMM, and MedlinePlus to emergency management personnel, medical first responders, healthcare providers, and hospital community liaisons; 2) expand the Library’s current role by partnering with the above named agencies; 3) increase access to equipment and software that Emergency Management and other healthcare personnel can use at multiple facilities when managing a crisis. The Library will create a foundation for understanding current and future needs of Emergency Management operations with the mutual benefit of Emergency Management understanding the informational role the Library can perform during disaster events.

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2012 Projects

  • Arkansas Department of Health, Emergency Response and Preparedness Branch
    "Disaster Health Information for the Medical Reserve Corps of Arkansas"
    Little Rock, AR
    In partnership with:
    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library

    A state sponsored mobile resource website and downloadable mobile smartphone applications for the Apple and Android platforms will be developed to provide the Medical Reserve Corps of Arkansas with greater access to state and area-specific disaster-related health information and statewide emergency documents. Public health and first-responder emergency documents also will be easily accessible within the online mobile resource; which will serve a variety of day to day and emergency health information needs. The local tool kit would include, but are not limited to the following NLM resources; WISER, CHEMM, REMM, MedlinePlus, and TOXNET. Accessible state-specific emergency response documents include contact information of emergency preparedness coordinating personnel, annual flu reporting documents, vaccine information sheet, Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) evacuation routes and disaster instructions, radiation exposure monitoring forms, and more.

  • Georgia Regents University, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library
    "East Central Georgia Disaster Health Information for Public Health Partners"
    Augusta, GA
    In partnership with:
    Georgia East Central Health District, Office of Bio-Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness

    The Georgia Regents University Library faculty will connect with public health emergency preparedness partners in the East Georgia Central Health District to bridge the information gap between health professionals and vital disaster information resources. The public health partners will receive hands-on training focused on mobile information and key resources from the National Library of Medicine. A guide to disaster medicine information will be developed for the library website to link public health professionals to local and global disaster resources.

  • MESH (Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare, Inc.)
    "MESH Healthcare Emergency Management and Informationist Working Group"
    Indianapolis, IN
    In partnership with:
    Central Indiana Health Sciences Libraries Consortium

    MESH, a non-profit, public-private coalition that enables healthcare providers to effectively respond to emergency events and remain viable through recovery, will collaborate with the Central Indiana Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (CIHSLC) to provide enhanced access to the most up-to-date and accurate health and disaster preparedness information to local and state public health and emergency management agencies, librarians, healthcare providers and institutions, and informationists in Indiana. Specifically, a Librarian/Informationist Working Group comprised of librarians, informationists, and public health and disaster management professionals will define processes and systems to enhance the content of a free, subscription-based Daily Situational Awareness Brief and by developing methodology to provide, real-time information, online. In addition, MESH will work with CIHSLC to develop unique cross-training opportunities for librarians, informationists, healthcare providers, and first responders. Proposed topics, targeting librarians and informationists, that will be incorporated include continuity of operations, the incident command system, healthcare leadership, emergency triage, family reunification following disasters, and emergency medical services operations. Trainings targeting healthcare providers and first responders will help them to locate, access, and utilize pertinent information available from online and offline resources, as well as learn about procurement procedures, cataloging and organizing information, and maintaining and managing dynamic content.

  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library
    "Sharing Disaster Health Information"
    San Diego, CA
    In partnership with:
    Public Health Services, Health and Human Service, County of San Diego

    The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library (PCOM) will collaborate with the Public Health Services, Health & Human Services Agency, of the County of San Diego (SDPHS) to share disaster health information and increase awareness of the NLM resources available to first responders and health workers in times of crisis. The objectives are to: 1) provide health information access training workshops for SDPHS disaster, emergency first responders, and the health workforce; 2) conduct cross-training and mutual awareness of the roles of emergency disaster teams, health care workers and information providers (librarians) to gain insights of each other's roles and needs; 3) add the latest NLM disaster and SDPHS emergency resource links to the PCOM Library website to support training workshops and services. The project establishes a framework for SD librarian groups and disaster workers to exchange information, so they can improve disaster services beneficial to the entire community.

  • Southeastern Regional Medical Center
    "Collaborative Partners of Robeson (CPR) Disaster Health Information Initiative"
    Lumberton, NC
    In partnership with:
    Robeson County Department of Public Health
    Robeson County Emergency Management
    City of Lumberton
    Lumberton Emergency Management

    This project will allow the Southeastern Regional Medical Center Incident Command Center, Health Sciences Library, the Community Health Education Center (CHEC), Robeson County Emergency Medical Services, Lumberton, Emergency Services and the Robeson County Health Department to collaboratively improve current Incident Command Center operations and provide much needed disaster health training and resources to the first responders and the community. We will establish a partnership named the Collaborative Partners of Robson (CPR) and provide training to first responders in Robeson County regarding tools such as WISER, REMM, CHEMM, TOXNET and the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Center website. We will provide disaster information resources to the community. During this project period, a shared Incident Command Center online portal will be created to provide a shared cohesiveness between partnered agencies. We will participate in mock training exercises to work out the logistical and operational details in the event of a disaster or emergency.

  • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Calder Memorial Library
    "Just-in-Time Mobile Training on Disaster Health Information Resources for Medical First Responders"
    Miami, FL
    In partnership with:
    The William Lehman Injury Research Center of the Department of Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

    Surgeons and medical librarians will work together to create and deliver just-in-time training on high quality National Library of Medicine disaster health information resources. Succinct, engaging video training will be downloaded to IMSuRT first responders' mobile handheld devices at the time of deployment for disaster/emergency response. Responders may view the training as they are being transported to the incident.

    Publications/Training Classes
  • Western Maryland Area Health Education Center, Learning Resource Center
    "Safe Seniors: Appalachian Disaster and Emergency Health Information Outreach"
    Cumberland, MD
    In partnership with:
    Allegany College of Maryland Health Continuing Education Department
    Allegany County Health Department
    Emergency Preparedness Caucus, WMAHEC
    Frostburg State University Pre-Medical Society
    Garrett County Health Department
    Meritus Health Medical Library and Education Department
    Social Work Caucus - Allegany/Garrett Counties, WMAHEC
    Social Work Caucus - Washington County, WMAHEC
    Washington County Health Department
    Western Maryland Health System Parish Nurse and Health Minister Program

    The goal of Safe Seniors: Appalachian Disaster and Emergency Health Information Outreach is to improve disaster medicine and public health information access for health professionals, first responders and others (paid or volunteer) who play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in three rural Appalachian counties in Maryland, with a focus on the elderly population.

    A needs assessment will be disseminated to at least 100 local libraries and first responders to determine their interest in and availability for training on accessing local and national disaster public health resources, particularly those relating to the elderly and those from the National Library of Medicine. Culturally competent training on accessing local and national disaster medicine and public health resources will be provided for at least 250 area health professionals, first responders, librarians, and volunteers with a role in disaster response, management, and information. And, resources to increase access to local and national disaster medicine and public health resources will be produced, including an ADA Section 508-compliant training video on accessing disaster resources and a downloadable, culturally competent handout on key local and national disaster resources for seniors.

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2011 Projects

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    "Disaster Outreach and Collaboration for Kids Project"
    Elk Grove Village, IL
    In partnership with:
    University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) propose to improve preparedness and response efforts for children by supporting pediatricians and librarians to work collaboratively and improve use of and access to disaster medicine and public health information. Project objectives are to a) Identify and disseminate collaborative strategies for pediatricians and librarians to use in improving awareness of children’s unique needs in disaster preparedness and response, b) Promote cross-training and mutual awareness of disaster roles and health information needs, and c) Enhance availability of and access to disaster health-related documents. Project activities include conducting a survey of pediatrician/librarian involvement in disaster preparedness, creating a new project Web page within the AAP Children and Disasters Web site, and disseminating a list of collaborative strategies and stories of pediatrician and librarian partnerships.

    Publications

  • Health Sciences Library, College of Community Health Sciences, University of Alabama
    "West Alabama Disaster Health Information Outreach Project"
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    In partnership with:
    EMPACT (Emergency Medical Programs and Community Training) West Alabama
    University of Alabama Institute for Rural Health Research

    The West Alabama Disaster Health Information Outreach Project will expand sources of disaster health information and develop collaborative, information-sharing practices between providers of disaster health information and the disaster health workforce. The project will focus on the following objectives: 1) conduct a needs assessment of organizations in West Alabama that play a role in all-hazards preparedness, response, and recovery to determine their disaster health information needs and, based on those findings; 2) add those sources of information, as well as others, to the electronic and physical collections of the Health Sciences Library at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences/School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus; and 3) develop collaborative practices for sharing disaster health information with organizations in West Alabama that are responsible for disaster planning, response, and recovery and, in turn, serve as a repository for those organizations and the information they share and deem essential for the disaster health workforce.

    Publications

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital
    "Northern Virginia Disaster Health Information Initiative"
    Falls Church, VA
    In partnership with:
    Inova Fairfax Hospital Health Sciences Library
    Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance

    This disaster health information outreach project proposes to develop a medical librarian-led disaster information specialist role in collaboration with members of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance (NVHA) to serve disaster planners, responders, and community members. Through a process of needs assessment, resource gathering, portal development, and promotion, this project will attempt to improve the access, in real-time, of members of the NVHA to disaster-related health information and also to improve access to disaster-related health information for community members within the target area. This project will rely on already established partnerships and programs in place within NVHA and the Inova Health System.
  • Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, Division of Emergency Preparedness
    "Master the Disaster: Rural Response Vortal & Application"
    Charleston, WV
    In partnership with:
    West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
    Concord University

    The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) in West Virginia will be collaborating with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) Library in Lewisburg, WV and Concord University in Athens, WV to create both a vortal (a web-based portal specific to the needs of a particular community), and related mobile application derived from the vortal, to be used during a health-related disaster by health professionals, first responders, and other persons willing to become volunteers that will provide them with critical information, access to training, real-time updates during a disaster, protocols, and current contact information of emergency preparedness personnel. The state of West Virginia provides many unique challenges during disasters because of our high prevalence of special populations and the remote location of many homes as well as the inaccessibility of many resources. The mobile application will be able to be tailored to the specific needs of West Virginia.

    Publications/Presentations

  • Marshall County Health Department
    "Partnering to Protect the Protectors through Education: A Replicable Project"
    Benton, KY
    In partnership with:
    Marshall County Public Library

    The Marshall County Health Department is implementing a project in conjunction with the Marshall County Public Library. The first goal of the project is to, "Equip all three branches of the Marshall County Public Library with proper educational materials to prepare response agencies in responding to disasters, and public health emergencies in an educated manner." The library is going to incorporate a special section with relevant books just for first responders as part of this goal. The second goal is to, "Equip the public library computer system and health department website with all tools available to better prepare public health workers and first responders (WISER, REMM, CHEMM and ebooks)". This will include incorporation of social networking into public health responses. First response apps and resources will also be incorporated on all library and health department webpages and computers. Another goal of this project is to, "Provide a study for public health and first responders' use at the new health department facility to better prepare responders for disasters". Resources will be made available for responders to create and duplicate training/educational materials. The last goal of this project is to, "Provide and train all response agencies in the County with educational response kits to be used before, after or during an emergency to gain vital, potentially life-saving information". All response agencies in the County will be provided and trained on a field response kit containing field response guides and an iPad preloaded with WISER, REMM and CHEMM apps.
  • Monroe County Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness
    "Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration, 2011 between the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness and the Rochester Public Library, Arnett Branch"
    Rochester, NY
    In partnership with:
    Rochester Public Library, Arnett Branch and Phillis Wheatley Community Libraries

    The Monroe County Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness and the Rochester Public Library will develop a model partnership for collaboration and outreach that capitalizes on the strengths and assets of each. This collaboration will create a replicable model for partnership by developing a collection of public health emergency resources for the public, raise awareness of community leaders and residents who live in the neighborhood surrounding the library about the importance of developing emergency plans and ways to support a public health emergency response and, brief response professionals and health department planners from neighboring counties to foster greater awareness of library resources and strengthen emergency response throughout the region.

    Publications

  • University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
    "Role of Librarians and Informationists in Disaster Response"
    Albuquerque, NM
    In partnership with:
    University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center
    University of New Mexico Center for Disaster Medicine

    The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center project will develop a framework for extending the role of librarians and informationists in providing access to the resources of the National Library of Medicine and other federal and state sources to the National Disaster Medical System and other federal response entities. The project will also develop and implement processes for improving local emergency responders’ ready access to quality disaster management information at time of need.

    Publications

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