Historic effort to accelerate research and improve health
By Dan Burgard
The medical library at UNT Health Science Center is assisting a historic national effort to gather health data on 1 million people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health.
UNTHSC’s Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library recently received a $6.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to administer community engagement programs in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The library also received a $1.5 million supplement to support education programs for the NIH’s groundbreaking All of Us research, which officially launches May 6 nationwide and is aimed at uncovering paths toward delivering precision medicine by taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biology.
The All of Us project has partnered with the National Library of Medicine to help public libraries and community organizations support the health information needs of their users and to support community engagement in managing personal health information.
Lewis Library is beginning its All of Us effort by working with both the Albuquerque, N.M. Public Library and the New Orleans Public Library. Using funding from Lewis Library and the National Library of Medicine, both public libraries will employ a full-time health educator who will build awareness of the All of Us program in each city.
Since 2016, UNTHSC’s library has served as the South Central Regional Medical Library, one of eight libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The network is supporting the NIH’s All of Us research by helping public libraries and community organizations engage with their users on managing personal health information and operating the All of Us Training Center, a home for resources related to the program for customers, health professionals, librarians and researchers.
“Regional medical libraries like ours will partner with public libraries and community organizations to provide access to quality health information,” said Lisa Smith, Executive Director of the South Central Regional Medical Library at UNTHSC. “We want to guide people of all ages to trusted health information so that they can make educated decisions about their health and that of their loved ones.”
Through the national network of libraries, Lewis Library works with 17 resource libraries and dozens of community groups to coordinate, support and fund programs in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico – a five-state region that has some of the nation’s lowest rates of health literacy and highest rates of poverty.
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Learn more about how to partner with the South Central Regional Medical Library at UNTHSC.
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