Staying Well Connecteds

Staying Well. Connected.

2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference

Photograph of a San Antonio Fire Department fire truckThe University of Texas Health Science Center Briscoe Library participated in the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference in downtown San Antonio on April 2nd through the 4th. Sponsored by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the conference brings together representatives of law enforcement, border and port security, transportation and cyber security, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, Texas Military Forces, voluntary organizations and private sector partners. Patrick Lemelle, Outreach Library Assistant, and Peg Seger, Head of Outreach Services, provided information and demonstrations on disaster information resources available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

One of the featured NLM programs demonstrated by the Briscoe Library representatives was the WISER program.  WISER  is an information system designed and maintained by the National Library of Medicine for first responders and all emergency personnel who need critical information at their fingertips.

WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.”

A free application is available for smart phones and other technical devices and can be acquired at the WISER website:

The conference became all too real this year when up to a dozen tornadoes hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area and emergency management operations were mobilized on the convention floor.

March is National Nutrition Month

We have a serious situation on our hands.
For the first time in the history of the world we are seeing great progress in the near complete eradication of hunger. While we have not solved the problem completely, it can be said that we are supplying food to at least most of the world. More of the poorer countries are learning agricultural techniques to insure a sustained food supply.

Why then, with such success, are we now facing a global epidemic of obesity?  Perhaps nutrition cannot be defined merely as fuel for the body, but it must also include adequate work and exercise for the body.  Nutritious foods can make us healthy, but food alone will not necessarily produce a total picture of health; we need also nutritious work and exercise to build good muscle, bone, blood and tissue.

Last year, a global study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD),  on the health of the world in general, found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that obesity was spilling over from the wealthy into poorer nations. It’s become an epidemic.

So, what can be done?

Most healthcare professionals agree that the most obvious and imminent causes for over-weight and obesity problems are consumption of excess calories, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity among children and adults. Individuals in the medical sciences, are being called upon to be leaders in opening the eyes of our communities to see the inherent dangers that threaten us all.

Below is a collection of articles aimed at studying and addressing our complete nutritional problem. You may want to share some of these articles and videos with your clients, patients, students and caregivers.  Together we can turn things around and help make lives better and healthier.


MedlinePlus: Obesity rates rise, threaten health in OECD nations:

US Department of Agriculture:

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute – For Health Professionals:

Texas Department of State Health Services:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Nutrition for Seniors:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:


Scholarly articles


Obesity in Latino Communities:

Obesity prevalence and the local food environment

Texas Health Institute, 2006 Report

Behavioral intervention program

Science Daily

Children and Nature Network



February 2012: National Children’s Dental Health Month

In 2002, the Urban Institute reported that one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses facing children in the United States today is tooth decay. It is astounding that oral health problems persist among children in spite the fact that tooth decay is largely preventable through regular dental cleanings and checkups. Still, 24 percent of children ages 5 to 17 account for 80 percent of the tooth decay disease in permanent teeth among this age group. Socioeconomic disparities are blamed for these oral health burdens and low-income children are disproportionately affected. Inadequate access to dental care can be cited as the problem. Please read the report:

It is with this problem in mind that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) offers Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Dental Services though a managed care model. Beginning March 1, 2012, HHSC will expand managed care dental services to include Medicaid. The goal of this expansion is to provide quality, comprehensive dental services to eligible recipients. HHSC will select two or more dental contractors to provide services to both Medicaid and CHIP Members. Please read the report:

It is good to remember also, that we can help protect our children’s teeth and diminish the growth of caries with various applications of dental sealants and with topical and systemic fluoride, but most importantly, a sound education and a good oral hygiene program will go a long way to help maintain healthy teeth and gums for a long, long time.

“Something Fun” from the American Dental Association in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month:

Laredo 14th Annual Health Occupations Planning Exposition (HOPE)

UT Health Science Center Librarian Linda Levy talking to Laredo area students attending HOPE

Sponsored by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area of Texas

Students and teachers alike were very interested in a number of the features of
MedlinePlus and learning how NLM resources could be used for class projects. In
student health fairs, the MedlinePlus Videos & Cool Tools section often
gets the most immediate attention. We also handed out materials on ToxNet and
heard comments that some classes were working on projects with related topics and that this was a resource that they could use. We used the iPad exclusively at this fair and found that students were more apt to try their hand at looking up topics in MedlinePlus while also getting a chance to use the iPad.