United States Department of Health and Human Services

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Outreach Activities and Resources

National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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About the Outreach & Special Populations Branch

In 2000, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) created the Office of Outreach and Special Populations (OOSP) in the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) as a way to focus efforts to reach its objectives of improving access to quality and accurate health information in underserved and special populations. In 2008, the Office was elevated to the Outreach and Special Populations Branch (OSPB).

Outreach programs are developed in an effort to eliminate disparities in accessing health information by providing community outreach support, training health professionals on NLM's health information databases, and designing special population websites that address specific concerns in various racial and ethnic groups. SIS outreach programs reach health professionals, public health workers and the general public especially about health issues that disproportionately impact minorities such as environmental exposures and HIV/AIDS. OSPB collaborates with other components of NLM involved in similar activities, particularly the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the Office of Health Information Programs Development.

OSPB is committed to improving access to toxicology and environmental health information to underserved communities, improving access to health-related disaster information in Central America, improving access to HIV/AIDS information resources by community-based organizations, and improving access to health information for all minorities and underserved populations.