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2011 Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is funding seven Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects in a new program which began September 2011. The program supports efforts of libraries and other organizations to work together to improve use of disaster medicine and public health information by agencies working in any phase of all-hazards management. Projects will:

The 2011 projects are:

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. For more information, contact Laura Aird, MS, American Academy of Pediatrics, at laird@aap.org.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Information about the Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects.


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