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UIC Library of the Health Sciences-Peoria announces partnership with the School of Nursing at Western Illinois University to increase access to consumer health education resources in Fulton County, Illinois

The UIC Library of the Health Sciences-Peoria (LHS-Peoria), in partnership with the School of Nursing at Western Illinois University (WIU-Nursing), has been awarded more than $15,000 in funding by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Greater Midwest Region (GMR) for the “Healthy Communities in Fulton County, Illinois” (HCFCI) project to conduct health education training and health fairs at local public libraries.

Over the next year, LHS-Peoria and WIU-Nursing will develop informational content for three to four health fairs and work with Fulton County public libraries to garner high local community turnout at the events. In preparation for each health fair, LHS-Peoria librarians will provide training and information kits to public library staff. The kits will include consumer health information, posters, brochures and other materials from the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine (NLM)/NNLM “Stand Up for Health” curriculum (nnlm.gov/classes/stand-up-for-health) and “All of Us” project (nnlm.gov/all-of-us); other information about the NLM and the American Library Association; as well as a health information library partially comprised of titles from the NNLM’s “Stand Up for Health’s Consumer Health Titles” (nnlm.gov/classes/stand-up-for-health) bibliography. The “Stand Up for Health” course for library staff explores consumer health, health reference in a public library environment, free health resources for library staff and patrons and developing health and wellness related programming. The “All of Us” project aims to improve health information literacy, access to high-quality health information and understanding of medical research in order to speed up health research and medical breakthroughs. In addition to the kits, LHS-Peoria will develop an HCFCI online portal to increase Fulton County public libraries’ staff awareness of the benefits of NNLM membership and access to all of its programs and resources.

At each community health fair, WIU-Nursing students and their supervisors and LHS-Peoria librarians will staff five booths with free health checks and information. The booths will give Nursing students an opportunity to apply concepts from their research courses such as evaluating the relevance of research results, critically evaluating research and resources and applying research to clinical practice. Community member attendees will benefit from obtaining general and heart health literacy information and free blood pressure and body mass index checks. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Fulton County and the health fairs provide increased and better access to educational materials about maintaining heart health to meet a critical need in the community.

“We are excited to be again partnering with WIU Nursing. Together, working collaboratively with Fulton County public libraries, we anticipate many positive outcomes though providing valuable consumer health information and health education training,” says LHS-Peoria Regional Head Librarian Deborah Lauseng.

The Healthy Communities in Fulton County, Illinois project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM0123467 with the University of Iowa.

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