Heroes and Changes: Medical Library Association meets in Toronto, ON

Monday, May 16, 2016

0516_1Monday was David Bowie Day at the conference. In the morning, M. J. Tooey, Executive Health Sciences Library Director at the University of Baltimore (Maryland), delivered the Janet Doe Lecture. During her speech, M.J. riffed on Heroes. Heroes do more than stay relevant, she told us librarians, heroes LEAD. Leaders aren’t all wonderful, she cautioned, and sometimes exhibit gender bias and racism. Passion got a lot of mentions in M.J.’s speech. So did firsthand experience. I tweeted out “No substitute for the experience of doing. Agreed. CE’s only get you so far “, as this is a particularly important message for librarians involved in community outreach (@margotmal). M.J. referenced Drew Dudley’s TED Talk on leadership with a small “l”, and stated that our biggest act might be something that we don’t remember doing or saying. With that, we went out to David Bowie’s Heroes.

Recommended reading from librarians tweeting during this speech:

Kotter, J. P. (2013). Management Is (Still) Not Leadership. Harvard Business Reviewhttps://hbr.org/2013/01/management-is-still-not-leadership/# 

Lipscomb, C. E. (2004). Race and librarianship: part I. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 92(3), 299–301.

Lipscomb, C. E. (2005). Race and librarianship: part II. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(3), 308–310.

PH/HA Biz, CAPHIS Biz, with Patient Safety & Reducing Readmissions in Between

My afternoon consisted of two business meetings. The first was for the Public Health/Health Administration Section (PH/HA) and the second was for the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS). At both meetings, I introduced myself as the Chair-Elect of CAPHIS, and expressed my enthusiasm for collaborating for a Special Content Session at the 2017 MLA Annual Meeting in Seattle. In between these meetings, I attended this year’s Special Content Session: Our Role and Impact on Increasing Patient Safety and Reducing Readmissions in a Hospital Setting. I will highlight two of four presentations.

Librarian’s Role on Transition Teams for Young Adults with Cystic Fibrosis. Judy Stribling, Assistant Library Director at Weill Cornell Medical College (New York), gave us our second Bowie reference: Changes. She spoke about the need to support young adults with CF who are making the transition from pediatric care to adult care. I agree with Judy that librarians could play a useful role in providing reliable health information at this juncture. Judy encouraged us to seek out transition teams. Check out GotTransition.org for ideas.

Librarian’s Role in Providing Patient Education Materials at Discharge after RSV. Karen Keller, Library Director at Cook Children’s Medical Center (Texas), described her efforts to reduce hospital readmissions after identifying the inconsistent provision of patient educational materials for families coping with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Cook Children’s is looking at process improvement after involving the library in providing patient educational materials. For additional library services, clinicians can place requests for a family consult through electronic medical record (EMR), or families can request materials by contacting the library themselves.

On Monday night, Ed and I headed to the Blue Jays game–just one day after the Rangers-Blue Jays brawl wherein Rangers Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista. Lucas Powers, Senior Writer for CBC, stated, “This punch was violent. It was emotional. It was real. The benches quickly cleared and pandemonium reigned. Jays Kevin Pillar and Josh Donaldson ran out to the chaos like a pair of berserkers.” Well, nothing so exciting happened at the Blue Jays-Tampa Rays game. Bautista received a warm reception from the hometown crowd, but the Jays lost 13-2. Ed and I walked under the CN Tower light show on our way back to our hotel.  Another fun night.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Very few attendees tweeted during Tuesday morning’s MLA Business meeting, myself included. Suffice to say that we all survived the Bylaws discussion, and the morning moved forward into updates from the National Library of Medicine. The big news is the appointment of Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, as the new Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). I was thrilled to hear about her commitment to patients and caregivers.

“I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Patti Brennan for more than two decades,” said NLM Acting Director Betsy L. Humphreys. “Her wide-ranging contributions to informatics research, program development, education, and health information policy are well-known to many NLM users, supporters, and staff members. She has a longstanding appreciation and understanding of NLM and its important work.  In my view,” Ms. Humphreys continued, “Dr. Brennan’s expertise and experience—and her focus on developing health information systems that support patients, caregivers, and the general public—are a great fit for NLM at this point in the Library’s history. She will also bring a valuable perspective to NIH as it launches the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program.” ~https://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/new_nlm_director_patricia_brennan.html

We heard updates on PubMed indexing and Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). We were encouraged to take a look at the NIH Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. In a session held after lunch, Linda Hasman, Librarian at the University of Rochester (New York) and NLM’s Betsy Humphreys delivered the Legislative Update. I must say, I never think about the legislative activities necessary to keep the NLM funded. I jotted down notes to look up MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. I’ve slipped up on paying attention to these sorts of changes.

MLA Book Authors and Poster Session 3

My Tuesday afternoon involved splitting myself in two so that I could meet with my editor and fellow writers in one conference room, and present my poster in the exhibit hall at the same time.

I was proud to stand with co-author Kelli Ham, National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Pacific Southwest Region (California) and editor/co-author Emily Vardell, doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science (North Carolina), with our book The Medical Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act (2015). Afterwards, I ran up to the exhibit hall to meet librarians Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, National Library of Medicine (Washington, DC) and another co-author, Brenda Linares, Librarian at the UNC Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library (North Carolina–not pictured).

I presented my poster on using the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC)’s Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects booklets. I had hard copies of the booklets with me, and enthusiastically pitched their use for all types of health information outreach. These booklets are available for download. Whew! Time to head out after a very full day…