Library Outreach

Best in State: San Antonio Annual Texas Health Literacy Conference

 

It is estimated that only 12% of American adults are considered proficient in the health literacy skills they need to effectively navigate and use our health care system. The Texas Health Literacy Conference, held annually in San Antonio for the past 13 years, is recognized as the top health literacy conference in the state. The conference is sponsored by the Bexar County Health Collaborative and the San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative, SAHLI.

The UT Health Briscoe Library supports the conference each year by demonstrating and promoting health literacy resources available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). In addition, this year librarian Karen Barton (shown below) presented a poster on her National Network of Libraries of Medicine Award entitled The Youth Health Literacy Challenge: A Partnership between UT Health San Antonio Libraries, North East ISD, and the San Antonio Public Library. For the project award, Karen designed a calendar that elementary through high school-aged students can use to learn how to access nutritional resources and reliable health information from the NLM while working through fun and interactive exercises. She also presented on this project at the IIMS Community Engagement Symposium.

 

Briscoe Library Assists with the SGA Annual Community Outreach Event

On Saturday, April 8, the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted “UTHealthier: A Grand Future, A Health Fair for Kinship Care Families” at the YWCA Olga Madrid Center with assistance from Karen Barton, Liaison to the School of Health Professions and Community Engagement Librarian. Karen has been providing outreach and health information to the San Antonio Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group since last year. In Fall 2016, she approached SGA with the idea that they ask their peers to consider the support group for Community Service Learning (CSL) or other projects. Soon after, SGA informed the library that they wanted to provide outreach to the families through a health fair as part of their annual community outreach event and they asked for the library’s assistance in planning the event. Each of UT Health San Antonio’s five schools participated in the health fair, which aimed to provide health and nutrition information and also interest youth in health careers. Children were able to take part in many hands-on activities, such as extracting DNA from strawberries, learning physical therapy balance and coordination techniques, and using various medical tools. Local company CPR 123 was also on site to provide CPR demonstrations with the use of infant and adult manikins. Additionally, an HEB Registered Dietitian presented a cooking demo and provided health and nutrition information. The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) and the Alzheimer’s Association were also present to provide information.

Briscoe Library Hosts Community Health Worker CEU Day

Hosted by the UT Health Briscoe Library, Texas area Community Health Workers (CHWs) attended a continuing education day focusing on Chagas disease in Texas. This is the 2nd year one of the quarterly CEU Days has been located on the UT Health campus thanks to an ongoing collaboration between the Library and Dr. Fernando Martinez, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Community Health Worker Program at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio.

Chagas disease is transmitted to humans, as well as animals, by the Triatomine or Kissing Bug. Due to the occasional lack of symptoms or flu-like symptoms, people are often unaware that they are infected. Between 2013 and 2016, there were 91 cases of Chagas disease diagnosed in Texas. The CHWs attending the day learned about Chagas disease as well as how to improve awareness of the disease among the public and clinicians. For more information on Chagas disease, see the link below.

Program Coordinator Fernando Martinez

 

The Community Health Worker program at Northwest Vista College prepares students to work in public health, private health care delivery systems, community-based social service agencies, and health care insurance organizations. Community Health Workers provide services to increase wellness and improve access to health services through outreach activities to target populations.

In Texas, Community Health Worker programs are certified by the Texas State Department of Health as an authorized and certified training site for Community Health Workers. Senate Bill 1051 (77th Texas Legislative Sessions) calls for the Texas Department of State Health Services to establish and operate a training and certification program for persons who act as promotores or community health workers, instructors and sponsoring institutions/training programs.

 

Texas Area Community Health Workers

 

Curtis-Robles R, Wozniak EJ, Auckland LD, Hamer GL, Hamer SA (2015) Combining Public Health Education and Disease Ecology Research: Using Citizen Science to Assess Chagas Disease Entomological Risk in Texas. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(12): e0004235. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004235

http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0004235

 

 

Briscoe Library Participates in 2015 Science Expo

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Close to 1500 high school and college students from San Antonio and South Texas attended the 2015 Science Expo this year which is held annually on the UT Health Science Center campus. The event  features activities and presentations to encourage students to consider health occupations and research careers. A number of campus departments participate including the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Health Professions, School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

This year, Library staff Emme Lopez, Patrick Lemelle, and Peg Seger talked with students about resources from the National Library of Medicine. Patrick Lemelle also developed a special exhibit presentation introducing students to the career of Health Science Librarianship. Accompanied by music, the presentation proved quite successful in drawing attention to a career option that seemed to appeal to many students.

Briscoe Library to Partner with SAPL on NPR Campus Community Book Club

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The UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library and the San Antonio Public Library Forest Hills Branch are joining forces to start a new NPR (National Public Radio) Book Club as a community engagement project. There are many community issues that can benefit from engagement utilizing a book club as a platform for interaction and conversation. The club will meet once a month from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at either the Briscoe Library (room 4.074, the Collaboratory) or at the Forest Hills Library (5245 Ingram Rd). An NPR reviewed book will be featured at each meeting.

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh has been selected for the first meeting on September 17th, 6 -7 p.m., held at the Briscoe Library.

Do No Harm provides unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital.  Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life’s most difficult decisions.

A few copies are available at the Briscoe Library on a first come, first served basis. Other copies are available through the San Antonio Public Library. Contact Peg Seger for more details at (210) 567-6398 or segerp@uthscsa.edu.

Those interested in taking part in this project can stop by either library to pick up a bookmark with dates, times, and location information.

 

Earth Day Celebration

The Briscoe Library joined in on UT Health San Antonio’s Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 21. The Green Initiatives Committee sponsored this celebration to raise awareness about the environment, promote sustainability, reduce waste and improve efficiency. The library joined a number of other exhibitors in the Lecture Hall Commons with a table promoting resources from the National Library of Medicine, as well as environmental health resources and databases available through UT Health San Antonio Libraries.

Students, faculty, and staff came out to visit the library’s booth and received information on some of the following environmental health resources:

NLM’s TOXNET

Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Agricultural Online Access (AGRICOLA)

GreenFILE

International Programme on Chemical Safety (INCHEM)

Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

Girl Scout Carnival of Hope

With the help of many dedicated adult leaders, Girl Scout Troop 128 created a one-of-a-kind health event at the Salvation Army Hope Center  Emergency Shelter For Women and Children on Saturday, April 8th. Many UT Health San Antonio campus departments, including the library, volunteered to make this event a success. Women and children who attended the event were treated to many fun and educational activities revolving around  nutrition, exercise, relaxation, health screenings, and more.

Shown above, librarian Kirsten Lorenzen uses an anatomy model to show carnival attendees how to identify organs in the body. Crayons and handouts were available for kids to color in order to learn how to identify nutritious fruits and vegetables.  Girl Scout troop member, Carolina Toboada, eagerly helped at the library exhibit table handing out crayons and coloring sheets.

To achieve the Girl Scout Silver Award,  troop members have also created a website, Worthy Women, that provides support information to homeless women.

To learn more about how the UT Health Libraries can partner with you on community outreach events, contact Peg Seger segerp@uthscsa.edu.