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Vol. 4, No. 2, January 2002


The staff of the Treadwell Library wishes 
all CHRC News readers a very happy 
New Year. We look forward to assisting 
you with your patrons’ health questions 
in the coming year. In the latest in our 
occasional series, Massachusetts Models, 
Joan Craig, from the Morse Institute 
Library in Natick, reports on a grant for 
their “Here’s to Your Health” initiative.  
In this issue, we will identify a few 
selected quality web sites for the 
consumer on Anthrax and Bioterrorism.

Treadwell Staff Notes

Remarks from Julia Whelan
Senior Outreach Librarian, Treadwell 
Library, Massachusetts General Hospital 
617-724-2781; jcwhelan@partners.org
Greetings. I am the new manager of the 
Consumer Health Reference Center and I 
would like to introduce myself. I began 
working at MGH’s Treadwell Library in 
November. I am just learning to find my way 
to work on these dark mornings and to 
navigate the hospital’s labyrinth of corridors 
to the cafeteria at lunchtime. My previous 
position was Head of Reference at 
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and 
Health Sciences. In that job I taught many, 
many classes on medical informatics, 
supervised a busy reference desk, and 
enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with 
colleagues at other Boston health care 
institutions. In addition to my background in 
drug information, I have worked extensively 
in finding information on alternative and 
complementary therapies. 

The field of consumer health is receiving 
greater emphasis and support from many 
constituencies. Health care professionals, 
business leaders and public policy analysts 
all see consumer health information as vital 
to health care improvement and reform. 
Business reports tell us that a consumer 
equipped with quality health information is 
key to improving our healthcare system 
because they will demand quality care and 
engage their clinicians in informed, 
thoughtful discussion of healthcare 
decisions. “The underlying concept is that 
patients equipped with information will 
make better health care decisions. That in 
turn will lead to better outcomes and lower 
costs”.  A recent report, “The Online Health 
Care Revolution: How the web helps 
Americans take better care of themselves” 
(available from the Pew Internet and 
American Life Project 
http://www.pewinternet.org), found that 52 
million Americans, or 55% of those with 
Internet access, have used the Internet for 
health and medical information. Quite a 
change from the days when most consumer 
health information came directly from the 
doctor’s office! Indeed, some health care 
professionals see the trend towards informed 
consumers as part of an underlying shift in 
health care, from the specialist in a clinic or 
hospital model, to a new emphasis on public 
health with a foundation of prevention and 

Librarians have an essential role to play in 
this paradigm shift. Because there is a great 
amount of inaccurate, biased, and outdated 
medical information on the Internet, 
consumers need librarians to help them 
navigate to the authoritative information 
available. Librarians are vital players in 
evaluating, selecting, and collecting quality 
links, and then educating the public on how 
to find and use them. The experienced 
medical librarians here at Treadwell library 
provide a resource of advanced expertise and 
support. I am excited to be part of this 
movement. Please contact me with your 
questions and concerns and help me to make 
this the best service possible.

 Prince M. “Information key to consumer-
driven health care”, Business Insurance. 
[serial online] 2001; 35:20 Available at 
Accessed December 3,2001

2 Eyserbach G.“Consumer Health 
Informatics”, BMJ 2000; 320:1713-1716

Cultural Competence Issues

Martha Stone, Treadwell Library’s 
Coordinator for Reference Services, gave 
a presentation titled “Using CINAHL and 
Treadwell Library to Research Diversity 
and Cultural Competence Issues” to 
MGH’s Nursing Grand Rounds in early 
December.  (CINAHL is the acronym 
for Cumulated Index to Nursing and 
Allied Health Literature.) If you would 
like a copy of the handout, including a 
bibliography of selected Treadwell 
books and URLs, please contact us.  

CHRC Workshop Wrapups

In October, the MBLC sponsored five 
workshops covering services offered by 
the Consumer Health Reference Center.  
Approximately 84 librarians from 
libraries throughout the state attended and 
asked many thoughtful questions.

In the News
Cancer Librarians Section News
The Fall, 2001 issue of Cancer 
Librarians Section News contains an 
excellent bibliography of books written 
for both parents and children to “help 
open up the lines of communication for 
discussion of the cancer experience.”  All 
bibliographic references are annotated.  
There is also a list of videos.  This 12 
page newsletter includes a lengthy article 
about the Patient-Centered Guides series, 
http://patientcenters.com.  Treadwell 
owns a number of titles in this series.  
English in the Hospital – Point to Talk
Several libraries have asked for 
information about these 44-page 
pamphlets developed at the 
Massachusetts General Hospital to aid 
non-English-speaking patients in 
communicating with their caregivers.  
Patients point to words or phrases 
depicting what they would like to say in 
their language and the caregiver can 
read the English translation directly 
below the non-English phrase.  The 
procedure can then be reversed.   There 
are also pictograms for patients who are 
not literate in their own language.  At 
this time, booklets are available in 
Albanian, Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, 
Farsi, French, German, Greek, Haitian, 
Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Polish, 
Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, 
Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  
Please contact us for an order form.
Developed by New York medical 
librarians, this is a collection of links to 
medical web sites, electronic 
publications, directories, and other 
resources available online in Russian. 
Patient education materials as well as a 
guide to searching PubMed are available.
Merck Manual in Spanish 
Merck Sharp & Dohme de España is the 
producer of this Spanish-language version of 
the Merck Manual.  It appears to cover the 
same topics as the English-language version.

Anthrax and Bioterrorism 
web sites
Treadwell Library Home Page
A recently added link from Treadwell 
Library’s home page contains information 
for the consumer and healthcare worker, 
including pictures and recent key articles 
chosen by Treadwell staff. There is a link to 
Boston Public Health Commission 
Communicable Disease Control, 
that includes information for the public 
written in Cape Verdean Kriolu (Creole), 
Chinese, Haitian Kreyol (Creole), Khmer 
(Cambodian), Portuguese, Russian and 

CDC (Centers for Disease Control)- 
Frequently Asked Questions About 

This is a very readable, consumer-oriented 
collection of information about anthrax from 
the National Center for Infectious Diseases 
and the Division of Bacterial and Mycotic 
Diseases.  Technical information is available, 
as well as links to other governmental 
agencies, and a brief bibliography. The 
consumer information is also available in 

(FTC) Federal Trade Commission 

Produced in cooperation with the Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention and the Food 
and Drug Administration, the FTC’s fact 
sheet, Offers to Treat Biological Threats: 
What You Need to Know, warns 
consumers against purchasing antibiotics or 
other drugs over the internet and includes 
links to other government agencies.

Healthfinder en español

Click on ántrax or bioterrorismo for 
government documents in Spanish on these 
topics.  The English equivalent is readily 


Biological and Chemical Weapons 

The always-excellent Medlineplus now 
offers wide-ranging information about 
Anthrax, continuously updated with news 
from sources such as Reuters, and including 
an interactive tutorial, treatment options, 
information in Spanish, and more. The 
Biological and Chemical Weapons site 
provides information about specific 
conditions such as botulism and food safety.

USACHPPM - U.S. Army Center for 
Health Promotion and Preventive 

This web site provides very readable fact 
sheets available in PDF format as well as 
many links to government sites.

It can be difficult to sort through all the 
information available on such topics as 
anthrax, smallpox, and bioterrorism, and 
find those that are understandable to the 
general public.  Please don’t hesitate to 
ask us for assistance with these or any 
other topics.

Massachusetts Models
Joan Craig, Community Relations 
Coordinator at Morse Institute Library in 
Natick, reports on a recently awarded 
$95,000 grant from the MetroWest 
Community Health Care Foundation. 

The Grant: The Morse Institute Library in 
Natick received a $95,000 three-year grant 
from the MetroWest Community Health 
Care Foundation to establish a consumer 
health education library called “Here's to 
Your Health.”  The goal of this grant is to 
help individuals who wish to educate 
themselves on their personal health and 
medical options.  The consumer health 
library and reference services will support 
the needs of the community for information 
on health and wellness and options for 
informed decision making.  This grant will 
enable the library to offer up-to-date 
resources as well as programs regarding 
consumer health issues. Planned programs 
are expected to include stress management, 
women's health through the lifespan, the 
media’s role in reporting on women's health, 
a healthier cooking demonstration, health 
literacy speakers specializing in patient 
education and health care communication, 
and computer classes on “Finding Health 
Resources on the Web.” During the school 
year, a minimum of one program per month 
will be offered.  The Morse Institute 
Library's “Here's to Your Health” initiative 
will include a consumer health library 
operated by a well-trained, sensitive staff, 
and a part-time medical librarian has been 
hired to consult with Morse staff.  
Continuing their tradition of mutual 
cooperation, the Library will work with other 
Natick-area health, human services and 
community service agencies such as the 
Massachusetts Prevention Center in 
Framingham to build activities for patrons.

The Foundation: The MetroWest 
Community Health Care Foundation was 
established when two local hospitals, 
Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick and 
Framingham Union Hospital, merged and 
were sold to a for-profit organization.  With 
the sale, funding was earmarked to set up the 
Foundation.  The Foundation is an 
independent health care philanthropy serving 
the unmet health needs of the twenty-five 
communities in the MetroWest area of 
Massachusetts.  More information about the 
foundation is available on their web site 

The Costs: Initially, the first installment of 
the three-year grant will be used to purchase 
books and materials. Some of the guidelines 
used in submitting this grant proposal 
reflected an increase in requests from the 
Adult and Children's Reference Departments 
on such subjects as hygiene, diet, mental 
health, medical and nursing education, 
medical conditions and diseases, learning 
disabilities, treatment and drug options, 
nutrition, exercise, alternative medicine, 
autism, attention deficit disorder, child 
development and parenting materials. A PC 
for the consumer health library will be added 
and the collection will be housed in a 
designated area.

For further information about “Here’s to 
Your Health”: Morse Institute Library 
Director, Paula Polk, 508-647-6523 or 

Location: The Morse Institute Library is 
located at 14 East Central Street, Natick, 
Massachusetts, 01760, one block east of the 
intersection of Routes 27 and 135.  The 
library is accessible to all. The MBTA train 
stop, NATICK, is 1 1/2 blocks from the 

Hours:   Mon.-Wed., 9 am to 9 pm; Thurs., 
1 pm to 9 pm; Fri.-Sat., 9 am to 5 pm;
Sun., 1 pm to 5 pm. Closed on all legal 

Contact information: Article author Joan 
Craig can be contacted at 508-647-6524 or 

Library information: Reference 
Department, 508-647-6521.  

Web site: http://www.morseinstitute.org/


The Complementary and alternative 
medicine information source book / 
Alan M. Rees, editor / Westport, Conn.: 
Oryx Press, 2001.  
This book, another excellent title by Alan 
Rees, is helpful for collection 
development in the area of 
complementary and alternative medicine 
(CAM). Twelve sections cover topics 
ranging from best sources of information 
(books, serial publications, web sites) to 
associations and institutions, book 
reviews, sources of pamphlet material, 
and more.  Numerous appendices contain 
information from reputable sources.  

Instructions for pediatric patients. 
Spanish.  Instrucciones para pacientes de 
pediatria / Barton D. Schmitt / translated by 
Daisy Alas-Robinson  / 2nd ed. /       
Philadelphia, PA : Saunders, 2001.
This book covers the most common 
health problems in infants, children, and 
adolescents, and offers instructions 
written for parents and caretakers.  The 
Table of Contents is in Spanish and 
English.  The instructions themselves are 
entirely in Spanish and the index is in 


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.