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Vol. 1, No. 4, April 1999

MBLC Renews CHRC Contract

We are very pleased to announce that the 
Massachusetts Board of Library 
Commissioners  (MBLC) has renewed its 
contract with the Treadwell Library for 
another year.  This means that Treadwell 
Library will continue to serve as the 
Consumer Health Reference Center library 
for  members of the regional library systems 
until at least June 30, 2000.  

We at Treadwell would like to take this 
opportunity to say ?Thank You? to those of 
you who have used the CHRC services and 
expressed your satisfaction to the MBLC.

CHRC Workshop - Metrowest

Due to popular demand (really!) the CHRC 
has been invited back by the Metrowest 
Massachusetts Regional Library System to 
do an extra training workshop. 

When:  May 6th, from 9:30 am to 12:30pm 

Where: Metrowest Massachusetts 
              Regional Library System 
             135 Beaver Street, 
             Waltham, MA 02452

Call 781-398-1819 for further details.

CHRC and MBLC at the Museum 
of Science

The CHRC and the MBLC have been 
invited to participate in a symposium 
entitled Demystifying Cancer at the Museum 
of Science on Saturday, April 10th.  The 
symposium is organized jointly by the 
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical 
Research, the Massachusetts General 
Hospital, the Museum of Science and the 
American Society of Law, Medicine & 
Ethics (ASLME).  

A free public lecture, Understanding 
Cancer Research, will take place on the 
Friday evening.  The Saturday sessions 
require registration which  costs $10.  
Speakers include Ivor Benjamin MD, Co- 
Editor in Chief of Oncolink, who will talk 
about Oncolink and cancer information on 
the Internet, and Barrie Cassileth author of 
the Alternative Medicine Handbook. 

CHRC and MBLC will staff  one of several 
displays aimed at informing the general 
public about the array of resources available 
through libraries, hospital-based resource 
centers, and government agencies.

For further details, check the symposium?s 
web site at: 

Additional CHRC Email Address

CHRC now has two email addresses:


You can reach us at either of the above 
email addresses. See last page for complete 
contact information

Massachusetts Models

In the third article in our series, 
Massachusetts Models, Nancy Fazzone 
writes about the Consumer Health 
Information collection at the North Shore 
Medical Center.  Nancy is a member of the 
Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library 
System (NMRLS).

The Beginning

With the opening of a new facility for its 
Health Sciences Library in 1985, the North 
Shore Medical Center (Salem Hospital) 
allocated space for a Community Health 
Information (CHI) collection.  Drs. Patton 
and Kaplan, esteemed members of the 
Medical Staff, and their wives, both active 
volunteers at the Hospital, provided funding.  
Their vision, to provide health information 
in lay terminology, has become an essential 
part of the library.  Health information for 
the non-professional has also become a 
requirement of  the Joint Commission on 
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations 
(JCAHO), an essential part of the wellness 
philosophy and a demand from consumers.

Public/Patients Invited

The library?s mission statement invites the 
public to use its materials.  Through its 
newsletter and personal contact with health 
care providers, the library staff encourages 
physicians and others to refer patients and 
the public to the library?s CHI collection.

The Collection

The CHI collection provides health 
information endorsed by the medical 
community, government agencies and 
professional organizations, in lay 
terminology for patients and the general 

The scope of the CHI collection focuses on 
primary areas of treatment at the North 
Shore Medical Center, and concentrates on 
the following areas: AIDS, aging, 
cardiology, cancer, diabetes, mental health, 
nutrition, obstetrics, substance abuse, 
wellness or health promotion and women?s 

Books (200+), newsletters (l5+ with 5 years 
of back issues), and pamphlets (numerous) 
comprise the print collection.  Electronic 
databases on CD ROM and through Internet 
sites including the Health Reference Center 
database, provide complementary resources 
for the library staff to use in assisting 
customers.  Access to the library?s 
computers is restricted to hospital personnel.


The library staff provides full reference 
support to satisfy requests.  All information 
related to personal health is provided free of 
charge.  A $10 fee is charged for 
bibliographies needed for school 
assignments or business use.  While 
materials do not circulate to non-employees, 
duplicate copies of pamphlets may be taken 
at no charge.  A self-service photocopier is 
available for 10 cents per page.


Open hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 
4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.


Nancy Fazzone, Director of Library Services
Sue Dhanjal, Associate Librarian
Maryann Papi, Librarian?s Assistant

Voice: (978) 741-1215 X4951
Fax:    (978) 744-9110
E-mail: library@nsmc.partners.org

Massachusetts Models aims to introduce 
CHRC News readers to consumer health 
information services in Massachusetts and the 
models of service they follow.  If you would 
like to submit an article for this series please 
contact Kate Kelly at 617-726-8600.

CHRC Tip:  The ERIC Database

Martha Stone, Coordinator for Reference 
Services at Treadwell Library describes one 
of the more unusual CHRC reference 
questions and the resources she used to 
answer it.

At the beginning of the school year, we 
received a succinct request for information 
on ?school phobia in adolescents?.  

Certainly, this was an easy enough search 
for the Medline database.  After combining 
the subject headings of Phobic Disorders, 
Adolescence, and the word School in the 
title, several references popped up, one of 
which, from the April, 1998 issue of Journal 
of the American Academy of Child and 
Adolescent Psychiatry, titled ?Cognitive-
Behavioral Treatment of School Phobia? 
seemed quite relevant.   In addition, the 
Textbook of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 
(American Psychiatric Press, 1997) 
contained a half page on the subject of 
?School Refusal?.  

But wishing to leave no stone unturned, I 
thought perhaps this query called for a 
somewhat less medical approach.   Enter 

The ERIC database at 
http://ericir.syr.edu/Eric/index.html contains, 
to date, over 950,000 abstracts of documents 
and articles from journal literature, 
conference papers, reports, and other 
materials having anything at all to do with 
Using the title word school, and the 
keywords phobia and adolescent, I found 21 
relevant articles; the first one was titled 
?School Phobia in Adolescence?.  Using the 
keyword refusal instead of phobia, I 
retrieved 18 documents, the first of which 
was ?Factors Associated with School 
Refusal in Adolescents?. (Interestingly, that 
article?s abstract begins, ?School refusal, as 
differentiated from both school phobia and 
truancy, is a term used to denote 
emotionally-based avoidance of school.? )

There is more information about obtaining 
ERIC documents at 
http://www.accesseric.org:81/; or you can 
call ERIC?s toll-free number, 1-800-LET-

National Library of Medicine 
(NLM) Consumer Health 
Initiatives: MEDLINEplus


MEDLINEplus is the National Library of 
Medicine?s newest electronic information 
source providing health information for 
consumers.  It was launched on October 22, 
1998, in conjunction with a new health 
education initiative involving public libraries 
(see below).  Highlights of MEDLINEplus 
include the following: 

HEALTH TOPICS - This is the most 
heavily used section of MEDLINEplus. 
Consumers can choose from a list of 70 
common diseases and conditions ranging 
from AIDS to weight loss and be connected 
to online publications, fact sheets, support 
groups, clinical trials, organizations and 
other sources of information including 
?canned? searches of Medline using 

DICTIONARIES - several  medical 
dictionaries including the AMA?s Medical 

SEARCH DATABASES - a very useful 
page that pulls together databases from 
NLM, National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
and other federal sources.  Some of the 
lesser known databases available on this 
page are the Alcohol and Alcohol Problems 
Science database (ETOH), the NIH Clinical 
Trials databases and the Office of Rare 
Diseases? Clinical Research Database.

Other sections on MEDLINEplus are 
Organizations, Clearinghouses, Publications, 
Directories and Libraries.  This new 
resource is a work in progress and it will be 
worth checking back regularly to see what 
has been added.

National Library of Medicine 
(NLM) Consumer Health 
Initiatives: NLM teams with public 
libraries to help consumers find 
medical answers

In another initiative also launched in 
October, 1998, NLM announced that 39 
public library organizations with over 200 
locations in nine states and D.C. will take 
part in a pilot project designed to increase 
public awareness of, and access to, health 
information via the Internet.  The states are 
Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New York, 
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Texan and Virginia. 

The project, titled ?Medical Questions? 
MEDLINE has Answers? will evaluate the 
degree to which public libraries and the 
Internet can help meet the information needs 
of the public and determine the feasibility of 
mounting these programs in public libraries 
nationwide.  A complete list of participating 
libraries can be found at:


New Resources

CHI Services Column

National Network, the newsletter of the 
Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical 
Library Association, has a new Consumer 
Health Services column.  The column, CHI 
Services,  began in the January, 1999 issue 
with an article on volunteers and will be a 
regular feature in National Network from 
now on.

Consumer and Patient Health 
Information Section (CAPHIS) of the 
Medical Library Association:

CAPHIS has a new web address:
The site has also been updated and revised.  
New additions include:
Finding it on the Web: a guide to finding 
and evaluating information on women?s 
health on the Internet at  

and an updated Consumer Health 
Bibliography for the Small Public Library 
at http://caphis.njc.org/ConsHealthBib.html

Non-English Language Resources:

Rees, Alan.  Informacion de Salud para los 
Consumidores.  Oryx Press. 1998  $74.95.  
ISBN 1573561665.

This  new book by Alan Rees, author of the 
Consumer Health Information Source 
Book, Oryx Press, 1998, is a compilation of 
consumer health and patient education 
information available in Spanish.  The 
materials are from federal and state agencies, 
health associations, pharmaceutical 
companies and other health related 
organizations.  It includes approximately 
300 publications from about 50 sources.

Note: This book does not have an English 
language index, but all is not lost because 
Kate Smith of the Family Health Library at 
Children?s Hospital, Denver has very kindly 
posted one on the CAPHIS website at 

The Center for Applied Linguistics has 
announced the second edition of the 
Multilingual Health Education Resource 
Guide.  The Guide lists health education 
materials on nine topics (hepatitis B, 
HIV/AIDS, STDS, tuberculosis, breast 
health, dental care, family planning, 
immunization, and prenatal care) in ten 
languages (Arabic, Bosnian/Serbo Croatian, 
Cambodian/Khmer, Haitian Creole/French, 
Hmong, Lao, Russian, Somali, Spanish and 
Vietnamese).  Price $7.00, prepayment 
required.  For more information contact: 
Kathleen M. Marcos
Center for Applied Linguistics
1118  22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: 800-276-9834 or Fax: 202-659-5641
Email: kathleen@cal.org

National Guideline Clearinghouse:

The National Guideline Clearinghouse 
(NGC) is a new web based resource for up-
to-date evidence-based clinical practice 
guidelines sponsored by the Agency for 
Health Care  Policy and Research (AHCPR) 
in partnership with the American Medical 
Association and the American Association 
of Health Plans. 

The NGC database contains evidence-based 
clinical practice guidelines as defined by the 
Institute of Medicine: 

"Clinical practice guidelines are 
systematically developed statements to 
assist practitioner and patient decisions 
about appropriate health care for specific 
clinical circumstances.? 

Guidelines have been drawn from numerous 
sources such as the American Academy of 
Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric 
Association, and the American Heart 
Association.  So check it out to find 
recommended treatments or prevention 
measures for disorders ranging from low 
back pain to osteoporosis to skin cancer.  
You can either search the database or 
browse by disease/condition or treatment.

Food Safety

With all the recent news reports about 
pesticide residues in food it seemed timely to 
list a few resources for this topic.

The Massachusetts Department of Public 
Health Food Protection Program 

The Food Protection Program (FPP) has a 
revised and updated web site with links to 
food safety sheets, FPP programs,  Boards of 
Health, and FPP publications.


This is the gateway to government food 
safety information.  Here you will find news 
and safety alerts, consumer advice, 
information pertinent to kids, teens and 
educators, information on foodborne 
pathogens, food safety initiatives and much 

Consumers Union Food Safety Index

Consumers Union publishes Consumer 
Reports as well as a recent  food pesticide 
residue report that received much media 
attention.  Their food index is a listing of 
reports, press releases, and news items 
published  by the Consumers Union in 
response to various FDA, EPA, USDA 
initiatives and commentary on food safety 
issues listed by topic.


CHRC Contact Information

Tel: 1-877-MEDI-REF (1-877-633-4733)
 or    617-726-8600

Fax: 617-726-6784

or treadwellqanda@partners.org

Consumer Health Reference Center
Treadwell Library 
Bartlett Hall Extension 1 
Massachusetts General Hospital 
Boston, MA 02114.