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.

A Study on Coffee Drinking

A wonderful article has appeared on the Medical News Today website. Written by Catharine Paddock, PhD, it dives into some of the questions we all have had about the debate over the value, or hazards of coffee drinking. “There was a time when the only news about coffee and health was how it was bad for the heart, likely to give us ulcers and aggravate our nerves, but now it seems this popular beverage is receiving a more favorable kind of press.”

In the United States, we consume 1.3 metric tons per year, at a rate of 4.2 kg per person. The latest figures for 2012 suggest 65% of American adults drink coffee, placing the beverage “neck and neck with soft drinks”, says the National Coffee Association.

However, the researchers uncovering the good news are all saying the same thing: while there appear to be some health perks from drinking coffee, there are also a few cautions, and the evidence is not solid enough to actively encourage people to go out and drink coffee.

This article takes a good look at the shift in the research view on coffee consumption, touching on some of the key studies, and finishes off with some facts and figures about coffee and caffeine.

Copyright: Medical News Today

Drinking Coffee: More Good Than Harm?

Briscoe Library Participates in the 2nd Annual San Antonio CHW/Promotor(a) Summit

Over 140 Community Health Workers (CHWs) attended the 2nd Annual San Antonio CHW/Promotor(a) Summit held on June 8th. Community Health Workers, also known as Promotores, are widely recognized as a vital part of the public health workforce in part by providing  health literacy training and patient navigation services to undeserved populations. Through the many roles played by CHWs, the health disparities that exist in many parts of our nation are more effectively addressed on a community level. Texas is only one of 2 states that currently offer certification programs for CHWs.

The UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library attended the summit to promote resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that support public health workers and health consumers alike with trusted health and research information. Peg Seger, Head of Outreach Services, and Patrick Lemelle, Outreach Library Assistant, provided demonstrations on MedlinePlus and PubMed while distributing and answering questions on many other NLM products and services. Of particular interest were the NLM Mobile Apps and Sites.

Earlier in the year, the Briscoe Library had collaborated with the University Health System CareLink program on a video in which the partnership between the library and the University Health System CareLink program was featured with a focus on the CareLink Patient Education Initiative: Using MedlinePlus Videos to Reach the Underserved. The CareLink Patient Education Initiative depends heavily on student interns from the Northwest Vista College Community Health Program in San Antonio. The video was played for summit attendees during a presentation by Rafael Maldonado, CareLink Education Director. This and a new MedlinePlus exhibit banner created quite a bit of additional interest in the use of NLM resources such as MedlinePlus.

Briscoe Library Outreach Services Assistant Patrick Lemelle and new MedlinePlus exhibit banner

Some Key Texas CHW Facts:

In the state of Texas, 280 individuals graduated from a DSHS-certified community health worker certification training program of at least 160 hours in 2011. A total of 53 instructors were newly certified…As of December 31, 2011, there were 1,583 community health workers, an increase of 37% as compared to 1,153 community health workers at the end of 2010. The number of Texas counties with at least one certified community health worker grew from 82 counties at the end of 2010 to 101 counties as of December 31, 2011, an increase of 23%. In the UT Health Science Center Libraries outreach services area, Hidalgo County has 153, Bexar 106, Cameron 98, Webb 25, Starr 7, and Willacy 0. Bexar county along with Webb, Hidalgo and Cameron are all locations for Promotor(a)/Community Health Worker Training & Certification Programs.

Texas Department of State Health Services, Community Health Workers – Promotor(a) or Community Health Worker Training and Certification Program. 2011 Annual Report: Promotor(a) or Community Health Worker Training and Certification Advisory Committee. Available at: . Accessed 6/15/12


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