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Vol.2, No. 2, January 2000

Happy New Year to all Our 

The staff of the Treadwell Library wishes all 
CHRC News readers a very happy New 
Year.  We hope you survived any Y2K 
incidents and are looking forward to helping 
you answer your patrons’ health questions in 
this coming year.

CHRC Workshops for 2000

Mark your calendars now!  CHRC will be 
joining with the Statewide Legal Reference 
Service (SLRS) to offer joint workshops on 
these dates:
- May 15th, 1-5 PM, WMRLS at Head 
- May 16th, 12:30-4:30PM, NMRLS – 
Location to be decided.
- May 17th, 9:00AM-1:00PM, CMRLS at 
Head Quarters
- May 18th, 12:30-4:30PM, SEMLS at 
Middleboro Public Library
- May 19th,  9:00AM-1:00PM, MWRLS at 
Head Quarters

Remember, members of a regional 
library system can attend workshops 
in any location.

New England Region Consumer 
Health Information Coordinator

Pam White has recently joined the staff of 
the New England Regional office of the 
National Network of Libraries of Medicine 
(NNLM) at University of Connecticut.  As 
the new Consumer Health Information 
Coordinator, she will be working with health 
sciences libraries and public libraries in the 
New England region to improve and ensure 
access to consumer health resources.  She 
may be contacted toll free at 800-338-7657 
or reached directly at 860-679-8493.  Her 
email address is pwhite@nso.uchc.edu 
Look for more information on the New 
England consumer health initiative in future 
issues of CHRC News. 

Healthy People 2000

It’s the year 2000, a highly appropriate time 
to take a look at Healthy People 2000, which 
defines health policy by setting national 
health targets, and the forthcoming Healthy 
People 2010 initiative.  

Healthy People 2000 was published in 1990 
with three goals – to increase the years of 
healthy life for Americans, to reduce health 
disparities among Americans, and to achieve 
access to preventive services for all 

The Healthy People 2000 web site at:
contains a  wealth of statistical information 
including data sources, progress reviews and 
specific information on 22 priority health 
areas.  For example, under the progress 
review for nutrition (one of the 22 priority 
areas) you can find out “the prevalence of 
overweight”, how many worksites offer 
weight management programs, how many 
servings of fruit and vegetables are 
consumed by different age groups and much 
more.   You can also find health statistics on 
specific populations including Black 
Americans, People with Disabilities, People 
with Low Income and Hispanic Americans.

Healthy People 2010

The Healthy People 2010 initiative, which 
sets broad, national health goals for the first 
decade of the new century, will be released 
in Washington, D.C. on January 25, 2000 at 
the Partnerships for Health in the New 
Millennium conference, a joint meeting of 
the Healthy People Consortium and the 
Partnerships for Networked Consumer 
Health Information.   Watch the Healthy 
People website for more details:

Health Promotion Resources for 

In keeping with the above theme, here are 
some resources for health promotion 
activities this year:

- Year 2000 National Health Observances 
Download the pdf version of the calendar 
from the National Health Information Center 

Health observances are days, weeks, or 
months devoted to promoting particular 
health concerns.  For instance, January is 
Cervical Cancer Month, National Birth 
Defects Prevention Month, National Eye 
Care Month and National Glaucoma 
Awareness Month. February is designated 
American Heart Month among others, and 
March observes National Nutrition Month 
and many more.  May is by far the busiest 
month for health promotion activities with 
observances ranging from Asthma and 
Allergy Month to Childhood Depression 
Awareness Day (May 2) and National 
Running and Fitness Week (May 14-20).

The 18 page pdf version of the calendar 
provides contact details for obtaining 
promotional materials from a wide range of 
organizations.  Health professionals, 
teachers, community groups, and others can 
use these to sponsor health promotion 
events, stimulate awareness of health risks, 
or focus on disease prevention. Materials 
available from sponsoring organizations 
range from a single flyer to packets of 
promotional materials.

The one page Year 2000 At a Glance 
listing of health observances is 
appended to this issue of CHRC 
- 2000 Federal Health Information 
Centers and Clearinghouses

- 2000 Toll Free Numbers for Health 

In addition to the Health Observances 
Calendar, the National Health 
Information Center has reorganized and 
updated its directory listings for health 
information clearinghouses and toll free 
numbers.  These can be downloaded 
from the addresses above.

- Good Health Tips for the New 
The American Medical Association issued 
the following health tips for the new 
millennium in December.  

Children and Adolescents:  
- Make your child’s world a safe one.
- Open up a dialogue about the dangers of 
smoking, drinking alcohol and using 
- Protect your kids from infection. 
- Begin the millennium as a non-smoker 
and stay that way.
- Eat right and keep the pounds off.
- Be a cautious internet user.
Seniors (65+):
- Remember: Good health equals 
successful aging.
- Take your medication properly and as 
Elderly Adults and Their Caregivers:
- Protect your quality of life by taking 

Explanations and more information on each 
tip are provided at the AMA website at: 

- Medem®  Medical Empowerment
In October, the AMA announced that it was 
joining with six other national physician 
associations to launch a high quality health 
information and communication site on the 
Internet. The associations have formed a 
new company, Medem® - standing for 
"medical empowerment" - which will make 
its Web site, medem.com, available in early 
2000. Content consists of sites that exist 
separately elsewhere, such as the home 
pages of the AMA and the other 
participating associations.

Collection Development 
Resources on CHRC Web Page

New additions to the CHRC web page 
under Internet Resources: Collection 
Development Resources include:

CHRC Training Materials
Materials used in recent CHRC training 
session, specifically: an annotated list of 
sources for reviews of books, journals, 
audio-visual, and electronic resources; a 
selected list of popular consumer health 
journals, newsletters and magazines; and an 
annotated list of databases useful for 
answering consumer health queries.

Core Pediatric Materials
A core bibliography of pediatric consumer 
health information developed by Brenda 
Pfannenstiel, Kreamer Family Resource 
Center, Kansas City, MO.  The bibliography 
includes books, journals, CD-ROMS, 
videos, and internet sites.

Special Health Library Coalition 
(SHLC) Massachusetts

What is the SHLC?
SHLC was established in 1996 as a
collaborative effort involving the resource 
libraries of the Massachusetts Prevention 
Center in Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess 
Learning Center, AIDS Action Committee, 
Multicultural AIDS Coalition, ABCD, and 
John Snow, Inc.  Since then the coalition has 
grown to include more than 30 members.

What does it do?
The Special Health Library Coalition 
(SHLC) aims to make health information 
more accessible to both providers and 
consumers in Massachusetts. Coalition 
members are health librarians and 
information specialists in Eastern 
Massachusetts who explore ways to improve 
health information services and increase 
public access to health resources. 

Resource Directory
The SHLC has developed a detailed 
resource directory with information on 
member libraries, their services and 
collections. A print version of the directory 
is currently available for free upon request.

Web Page
SHLC is currently working on a web page 
which will be completed in 2000.
The New England Regional office of the 
National Network of Libraries of Medicine 
has agreed to host SHLC's web site, which 
will include an on-line version of the group's 
resource directory. The on-line directory 
will be searchable by subject area and 
organization name. Visitors to the SHLC 
web site will also be able to use links in the 
directory to jump immediately to the web 
pages, e-mail addresses, and library catalogs 
(where available) for SHLC member 

Who can join?
Membership of SHLC is free, and quarterly 
professional development programs are 
provided at no charge. New members are 
always welcome! For more information 
about the coalition, contact Susan Wilson 
at 617/423-4337 or Anne Fladger at 

Oh, man!  There’s a lot of material in 
OMIM – 10,000 entries, to be exact.  
OMIM is the trademarked acronym for 
Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, a 
“catalog of human genes and genetic 
disorders authored and edited by Dr. Victor 
A. McKusick and his colleagues at Johns 
Hopkins and elsewhere, and developed for 
the World Wide Web by the National Center 
for Biotechnology and Information”, to 
quote the web site home page.  OMIM is 
available at: 


 It’s not the first place to go to look for 
information about rare, genetic diseases.  As 
the web site states, “OMIM is intended for 
use primarily by physicians and other 
professionals concerned with genetic 
disorders, by genetics researchers, and by 
advanced students in science and medicine.”  
But OMIM is the perfect place to find 
highly technical information for patrons who 
specifically ask for such information about 
rare, genetic diseases.  If the information 
available in the National Organization for 
Rare Diseases, available through the 
Consumer Health Reference Center, is too 
general; if the technical information that 
Magalini’s Dictionary of  Medical 
Syndromes (Lippincott-Raven, 1997) or 
Buyse’s  Birth Defects Encyclopedia 
(Blackwell Scientific, 1990) provide is just 
not lengthy enough, then OMIM should be 
considered as the next step in the 
information-gathering process.  For the most 
part, all you need to do is click on “Search 
the OMIM database” on the OMIM home 
page and type the name of the disease, 
disorder, or syndrome.  A list will be 
generated, ordered from most relevant to 
least relevant, and you can choose from the 
list.  For instance, the entry for the 
Machado-Joseph Syndrome, a neurologic 
disorder named for “affected families of 
Azorean extraction”, many of whom live in 
New England, runs to 18 pages and includes 
many links to Medline citations.  

New Resources

Cancer Incidence in Massachusetts
In November the Department of Public 
Health released Cancer Incidence in 
Massachusetts 1990-1995: City/Town 
Supplement.  Each city and town in 
Massachusetts is listed alphabetically in the 
tables section with the expected number of 
cases, the observed number of cases, and 
standardized incidence ratios for twenty-
three types of cancer and for all cancers 
combined.  The report is online at:


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.