The Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library in Kerrville was the site of a recent diabetes information presentation held for the Alamo Area Library System (AALS). Six AALS libraries started hosting the presentations in March and the presentations are scheduled to conclude during the summer of 2011. The UT Health Science Center Libraries will be presenting programs in the AALS area as well as the South Texas Library System (STLS). Entitled Diabetes Information: How to Find Answers to Your Questions, the presentations are geared for a wide audience in order to promote access to reliable health information through sites such as MedlinePlus® and NIHSeniorHealth®. The Butt-Holdsworth presentation was the last event to take place in the library before the beginning of a major rennovation that will culminate with the library reopening in January of 2012.
Staying Well. Connected.
Alamo Area Library System Diabetes Presentations
Be Wary of Fake Antibiotics
The Texas Department of State Health Services has sent out a health alert concerning products being sold as dietary supplements that appear to be look-a-like antibiotics. The products, which contain not active antibiotic ingredients, are being sold under names such as Amoxilina, Pentrexcilina, Ampitrexyl, Citircillin, Amoximiel and Pentreximil. The labels on the products are misleading and are being distributed primarily to small independent stores that serve Hispanic communities. Stores are being urged to take the products off their shelves, and products that have already been purchased by consumers, discarded.
The Texas Department of State Health Services can be reached at 512-834-6755 for more information or complaints.
Importance of Promotores de Salud in Fight Against Diabetes
The use of community health workers (promotores de salud) to better reach the Hispanic population in the fight against diabetes is being investigated in a study being conducted in San Antonio. These health educators can be found in a wide variety of locations such as community-based organizations, clinics, churches and schools. Therefore, it is easier for those in the most need to bypass some of the barriers (language, economics, and access to health care) that might keep them from obtaining the assistance they need in a more “conventional” health setting.
A partnership between Humana and the National Council of La Raza is behind the research. According to Dr. George Smith, president of Humana Senior Products in Texas, “There is evidence that community health workers can effectively engage, educate, and activate individuals with chronic diseases in ways that the formal health system cannot.”
Senior Fiesta 2011 Draws Large Crowds for April 13th Event
The Senior Fiesta is an annual event that brings together many San Antonio area agencies and organizations to highlight services and products of interest to area senior citizens. Sponsored by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Catholic Charities, the event drew 3,500 people in 2010. This year, along with food and live entertainment, there were 87 vendors available at the event including the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library. Pictured here is Lydia Fletcher, Health Science Center Outreach Services Assistant, demonstrating MedlinePlus® to event attendees interested in learning more about finding reliable health information.
Victor Oliveros, Border Health pioneer
Mr. Victor Oliveros, who was Chief of Environmental Health Services for the City of Laredo Health Department, retired in 2005 after a career that spanned over 45 years in public health. Mr. Oliveros is considered a pioneer in border health due to his recognition of the important health issues and concerns along the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo border. After his retirement, Mr. Oliveros donated a collection of slides used in presentations, as well as documents and other print materials, to the UT Health Science Center Library. The print resources have been catalogued are located in the Laredo Regional Campus Library, while many of the slides were digitized. A short biography of Mr. Oliveros and links to the slides and an oral history are available at http://library.uthscsa.edu/exhibits/oliveros.cfm.
Mexicans Migrating to U.S. Face Greater Mental Health Problems
Are there greater mental health problems awaiting those who emigrate from Mexico to the United States compared to those who stay in Mexico? A recent study involving 550 Mexican-born migrants and 2,500 Mexicans who lived in their home country, points to that conclusion. According to Associate Professor Joshua Breslau, of the UC Davis School of Medicine and researcher with the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, “The results suggest that after migrating from Mexico to the U.S., migrants are more likely to develop significant mental-health problems than individuals who remained in Mexico.” The greatest risk seems to be to those individuals 18-25 years of age, who migrate to the United States. They are four-and-a-half times more likely to suffer depression and three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer anxiety than those who remained in Mexico. Previous studies have shown that acculturation into American society is the cause of the deteriorating mental health.
MedlinePlus Featured at 2011 San Antonio Community Health Worker/Promotor(a) Summit
On Friday, April 1st, the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library exhibited at the 2011 San Antonio Community Health Worker/Promotor(a) Summit held at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa. Linda Levy and Peg Seger were there to demonstrate MedlinePlus for the Community Health Workers (CHWs) and other area health organizations in attendance. This year’s summit drew approximately 135 attendees, doubling the total for the previous year.
According to a 2010 Annual Report from the Texas Department of State Health Services:
As of December 31, 2010, there were 1,153 community health workers, an increase of 84% as compared to 625 community health workeers at the end of 2009.
The number of Texas counties with at least one certified community health worker grew form 49 counties at the end of 2009 to 82 counties as of December 31, 2010, an increase of 67%.
Community health workers must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their certificate, including at least ten (10) DSHS-certified contact hours.
CHWs reach out to members of the community through school, church and home visits in order to provide health information to patient groups who are contending with chronic diseases or conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. By increasing the level of health literacy in at-risk populations, health outcomes and disease management show improvement by utilizing individuals who are drawn from the community in which patients live. The level of trust built through these efforts facilitate the communication necessary for meaningful change and health improvement.
The summit was sponsored by the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Patient Navigator Research Program, Northwest Vista College, Community Resources LLC, South Central Area Health Education Center and the San Antonio CHW/Promotor@ Association.
HHS Launches Action Plan to Reduce Ethnic and Racial Health Disparities
From the announcement: “Goals of the HHS Action Plan include transforming health care and expanding access, building on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to expanded insurance coverage and increased access to care. The plan also calls for more opportunities to increase the number of students from populations underrepresented in the health professions, train more people in medical interpretation to help serve patients with a limited command of English, and train community workers to help people navigate the system.”
DFPS renews campaign to prevent infant sleeping deaths
(DFPS News Release)
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is renewing a three-month broadcast and social media campaign to educate parents and caregivers on lowering the risk of infants dying in their sleep.
Hundreds of Texas babies die in their sleep each year – suddenly and without a clear explanation. Still more die in their sleep from accidental suffocation or strangulation. Last year, DFPS’ Child Protective Services program investigated 177 infant deaths that occurred as infants slept with adults or older children.
For more information, visit BabyRoomToBreathe.org.
Emergency response preparedness: emergency response coordinators learn about WISER
On Friday, March 18, UTHSC Librarians Linda Levy and Peg Seger introduced WISER and WebWISER to a group of emergency response coordinators from San Antonio’s Metro Health Department. WISER, produced by the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine, is a free system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER (http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/) provides a wide range of information on hazardous chemicals, biologicals, and radiologicals, such as substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. WISER, which is updated regularly, can be downloaded to a variety of wireless devices including iPhones and Blackberries. The WebWISER interface provides the same information when Internet access is available. WISER represents a compilation of information from tools like the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, the POISINDEX® System from Micromedex, the ACGID Guidelines for the Selection of Chemical Protective Clothing, the Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, and the Emergency Response Guidebook into a single, readily available resource.
The class was very well received as the coordinators appreciated how easy it was to learn and to use WISER, and they recognized the value of having the information from multiple sources literally at their fingertips. One of those attending the class commented, “I can really see using this…having it available all the time (on a handheld device)…getting used to looking things up and finding something and saying ‘I didn’t know that!’” As a result of this class, a second class is planned for additional responders and coordinators from Metro Health.