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Vol. 4, No. 1, October 2001


This issue focuses on a few selected, high 
quality web-based medical and scientific 
news sources for consumers.  Due to the 
events of September 11, we are devoting this 
space to web sites designed to assist adults 
in talking to children about terrorism. 
Finding Consumer Health News continues 
on page 4.

Helping Children Cope with 

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
This non-profit, national health care 
philanthropy site includes links to specially 
selected web resources on terrorism.

Nemours Foundation
This site includes age-appropriate articles 
for both children and adolescents.

Public Television?s Sesame Street
This site includes an age-appropriate 

In Print features several new acquisitions in 
our consumer health collection. Please let us 
know what topics you'd like to see featured 
in the future.  Contact information is on the 
last page of this issue.

CHRC Annual Report

The CHRC's Annual Report for FY01 has 
been submitted to the Mass. Board of 
Library Commissioners. The following 
statistics may be of interest to CHRC 

Treadwell Library received a grand total of 
702 queries from 288 libraries.  This 
represents an increase of 170 questions over 
last year.  Public libraries accounted for 84% 
of queries; special libraries for 12% of 
queries, and the remainder came from 
academic, school and law libraries, and 
regional library offices. 

The Southeast Region and Metrowest 
together accounted for just over half the 
queries, while the rest of the regions and 
Boston accounted for the remainder. 

Like last year, the most frequently asked 
query involved delivery of health care 
(representing a wide range of medical 
questions about diagnoses, health insurance, 
and hospital and nursing home information).  
This was followed by questions about cancer 
and cancer treatment; drugs and 
medications; health care professionals? 
credentials and contact information; 
neurological disorders; and 
recommendations (books, journals, internet 

Treadwell Staff News

Since August, Tufts University Health 
Sciences Library has been enriched by the 
addition of Kate Kelly, formerly CHRC?s 
Project Manager and Senior Librarian for 
Outreach Services at Treadwell.   Kate is 
advancing her career as Head of Information 
Services, Associate Librarian.  Her expertise 
in all aspects of the CHRC will be greatly 
missed.  We are, however, delighted to 
welcome Julia Whelan to fill this position 
and assume CHRC responsibilities.  Julia is 
currently Head of Reference at Sheppard 
Library, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy 
& Allied Health Sciences, where she 
developed and taught classes and also 
created a variety of web pages.  She has 
received and administered grants relating to 
herbal medicine, complimentary/alternative 
medicine, and pediatric holistic medicine.  

In the News

Treadwell?s newest database 

Natural Medicines Comprehensive 
Database is the latest addition to Treadwell 
Library?s alternative and complementary 
medicine databases that can be searched for 
MBLC members.  This database is a 
resource for evidence-based, clinical 
information on natural medicines. Updated 
daily, it includes clinical data on natural 
medicines, herbal medicines, and dietary 
supplements used in the western world.  
Products receive both safety and 
effectiveness ratings. Searches can be done 
by scientific or brand name to find the use, 
adverse effects, interactions, safety and 
effectiveness of each natural medicine. 
Searches can be modified to include or 
exclude concepts such as mechanism of 
action; interactions, including those with 
food, laboratory tests, disease, other herbals, 
or drugs; dosage information, etc.

Enfoque Latino

MassHealth, managed by the 
Commonwealth?s Division of Medical 
Assistance, pays for health care for certain 
low- and medium-income people living in 
Massachusetts who are under age 65 and 
who are not living in nursing homes or other 
long-term-care facilities.  MassHealth also 
sponsors a weekly health segment in 
Spanish on Enfoque Latino and coordinates 
the speakers.  This half-hour community 
affairs show airs on Univision (Channel 27) 
on Sundays at 6:00 p.m.  Peter Droese, 
MassHealth?s Health Librarian Consultant in 
the Cultural Competency Resource Center, 
seeks librarians who would be willing to 
appear as guests or provide further 
assistance.  He can be reached at 617-210-
5354 or .

Breaking the Language Barrier

Martha Stone, Treadwell Library?s 
Coordinator for Reference Services, 
presented ?Accessing Patient Information 
in Languages other than English? at Mass. 
General Hospital?s Nursing Grand Rounds 
on September 13 attended by nurses, 
librarians, and other MGH employees.  
Please let us know if you would like a 
copy of the handout.

Web Sites in the News

General Pediatrics.com

General Pediatrics.com is partially funded 
by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
grant.  The Foundation is the largest in the 
U. S. devoted to improving the health and 
health care of all Americans. The web site?s 
goal is to provide a starting point for entry 
into general pediatrics and identify high 
quality general pediatrics web sites.  On the 
home page, click on any of the 200 topics in 
Search A-Z for Patients, or scroll down to 
the bottom of the home page and click on 
Common Problems for Patients and 
Families.  For instance, click on Birth 
Defects/Genetics to find links to Rare 
Genetic Diseases in Children sponsored by 
the New York University Medical School, as 
well as a half dozen other important sites.  

Health Info Iowa

Health Info Iowa is a result of a grant 
provided by the National Network of 
Libraries, Greater Midwest Region. The 
grant provided funds to support access to 
electronic health information for the public.  
This excellent, comprehensive site has links 
to Collection Development Tools such as 
the Brandon-Hill lists; CHOICES in Health 
Information: The New York Public Library 
Consumer Health Reference List; links to 
tools for educating staff and patrons, 
including guidelines on handling medical 
questions in the public library; and more.

Merck Manual 
This new Merck site includes printable 
radiographic images (e.g. the lung, as seen 
by x-ray, magnetic resonance image, 
computed tomography scan, and nuclear 
lung scan), clearly drawn pictures (e.g. 
cochlear implant), animations, videos and 
audio.  For those who prefer, the site is still 
available text-only.  The print equivalent is 
The Merck manual of medical 
information / Home ed. / Robert Berkow, 
editor-in-chief  / Whitehouse Station, NJ : 
Merck Research Laboratories, 1997.
Multiple Sclerosis.com 
Medical professionals at major institutions 
comprise the editorial board of this new site. 
Click on MS for Professionals for 
information about clinical trials; click on 
News for current information from both 
popular and scientific literature; click on 
Resources for a chat room, a message 
board, and links to organizations including 
support groups and advocacy organizations.
Provider's Guide to Quality and Culture 

Supported in part by the U. S. Dept. of 
Health and Human Services, Health 
Resources and Services Administration 
(HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care, and 
developed by Management Sciences for 
Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to 
the improvement of global health, this site is 
designed to assist health care organizations 
throughout the U. S. in providing high 
quality, culturally competent services to 
multi-ethnic populations. Highly relevant 
contextual links are provided.  Click on 
Additional Topics to find links related to 
broad areas such as ?Common Health 
Problems in Selected Minority, Ethnic, and 
Cultural Groups.?  One of the links at that 
site is to Achieving Cultural Competence: 
A Guidebook for Providers of Services to 
Older Americans and Their Families, at 

Finding Consumer Health News

Health News

It is often difficult to track down the primary 
source of medical news that a patron may 
have seen on TV or mentioned in a news 
article.  At CHRC?s Health News, we have 
collected some of the most comprehensive 
health news sites.  Below are sites for more 
specific medical and health news.

Cancer News
National Cancer Institute (NCI) 

There are a number of highly reputable web 
sites offering cancer news.  However, the 
NCI?s site differs in that it contains not 
only links to information from the 
National Cancer Institute (NCI) but also 
other Federal agencies. Information is 
provided on cancer issues in the media, 
advances in research, as well as news 
about cancer prevention, detection, 
diagnosis, and treatment.  Click on 
?Press Releases.? You can search news 
releases by date or by topic.  For 
example, type leukemia in the topic box.  
The first press release listed, about 
complete remissions in a clinical trial, is 
from a report in the New England Journal 
of Medicine.  The full citation is given, as 
well as links to photos of the articles? 
authors, a schematic drawing, and an 
interview with the study?s authors.

Drug News
Doctor?s Guide to the Internet 
This is a commercial site from P\S\L 
NuMedia, a member company of P\S\L 
Group, a global organization dedicated to 
putting information at the service of 
medicine.  The medical and drug news 
comes from a variety of top quality medical 
and scientific sources including national 
association meetings and medical journals. 
The home page always features "Today's 
News.?  Articles are written by Doctor's 
Guide staff and the full source of the 
information is given.  You can search for a 
drug name or for a disease.  For instance, 
type thalidomide in the search box and 
choose to search the default, ?Doctor?s 
Guide.? About two dozen articles are listed, 
with sources ranging from the FDA?s 
clearance to treat leprosy, to reports from 
ASCO?s (American Society of Clinical 
Oncology) annual meeting describing 
thalidomide?s use in cancer treatment.  
When appropriate, citations to the medical 
literature are given.
World Health News
Center for Health Communication 
A very timely online news digest comes 
from the Center for Health Communication 
at the Harvard School of Public Health. It 
offers a combination of original reporting 
and a digest of news stories and 
commentaries from newspapers and 
magazines worldwide on pressing issues in 
public health. You can sign up to receive 
weekly e-mails detailing the updated 
content.  Since a search engine is not 
available, you can use your browser?s ?find? 
command to look for a word.  When you 
click on the story of interest, you leave the 
World Health News site. For instance, 
choose ?Many children won?t be the same? 
(Dallas Morning News, Sept. 16, 2001) to 
see the full text of the article.

In Print

Adult leukemia : a comprehensive guide 
for patients and families / Barbara 
Lackritz / Cambridge [Mass.] : O'Reilly, 
2001.  Well known as "Granny Barb" to 
readers who have consulted her web site 
html, the author is a survivor of CLL 
(chronic lymphocytic leukemia).  This book 
describes many types of leukemia in an 
understandable style, as well as tests, 
treatment options, signs and symptoms, and 
prognosis.  There is also a chapter on how to 
carry out research, including Medline search 
strategies and web sites. O?Reilly & 
Associates? Patient-Centered Guides, 
are high quality, attractive, understandable 
books for consumers, with useful 
Lung cancer : making sense of diagnosis, 
treatment, and options / Lorraine 
Johnston  /  Cambridge [Mass.] : O'Reilly, 
2001.  There are many different types of 
lung cancer, and this guide covers diagnosis 
and staging; how to find the right specialist; 
interacting with medical personnel; a broad 
overview of lung cancer including statistics; 
and information on prognosis and treatment.  
Much of the more general information on 
clinical trials, insurance, and stress, can be 
applied to other diagnoses. 
Tourette?s Syndrome : finding answers & 
getting help / Mitzi Waltz / Cambridge 
[Mass.] : O?Reilly, 2001.  With an 
international (English-speaking) view, Waltz 
has pulled together a remarkable amount of 
information on diagnosis and treatment of 
Tourette?s Syndrome (TS).  Of particular 
interest is the section on school issues, as 
well as medical information on treatment, 
diagnosis, and diagnostic tests for TS and 
TS-related disorders.   There are extensive, 
annotated bibliographies and web sites.
Consumer health : a guide to Internet 
resources / compiled by Cecilia Durkin / 
Chicago : Medical Library Association, 
2001.  The late Cecilia Durkin was well 
known in medical librarianship for her depth 
and breadth of knowledge.  This book, 
seventh in the Medical Library Association?s 
BibKit Series, is comprehensive and clearly 
written.  It is accompanied by a diskette and 
is divided into chapters covering topics such 
as Diseases and Conditions; Family Health 
Issues; Health Materials in Multiple 
Languages; Mental Health and Substance 
Abuse; and Surviving Internet Overload.  
Each entry?s URL is followed by a lengthy 
annotation including the site?s sponsoring 
organization.  There?s also a comprehensive 
bibliography.  Consumer Health is an 
excellent source of information.

Tracking down consumer health news from 
print, media, or electronic sources can be 
frustrating and time-consuming.  Don?t 
hesitate to ask us for assistance on this or 
any other subject.  Please let us know if 
there?s a topic you?d like to see covered in 
the CHRC News.


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.