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Christy Kent, shown above, was one of four biomedical librarians recognized by the Medical Library Association as consumer health specialists.
Christy Kent, outreach librarian; Geneva Staggs, assistant director for hospital library services; Nancy Pugh, USA Biomedical Library supervisor for the Health Information Resource Center at USA Medical Center; and Heather Hoven, USA Biomedical Library technical assistant; have all been certified by the Medical Library Association as consumer health specialists. Hoven has achieved Level I and Kent, Staggs and Pugh have all achieved Level II of the Consumer Health Information Specialization.
Kent uses information gained through this certification to better provide healthcare information to the community at health fairs, as a part of the Community Health Advocates, and by presenting and teaching at community groups such as SAIL Centers and other senior citizen groups.
The goals of the Medical Library Association's Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) program is to improve health information services for patients, create partners in the delivery of consumer health information, and increase access to consumer health information courses.
Level I is for those who desire a basic familiarity with consumer health information resources; and it requires 12 hours in approved CHIS courses. Level II is for those who want additional training with consumer health information resources; and it requires 24 hours in approved CHIS courses.
The CHIS program has given these Health Information Resource Center (HIRC) personnel more confidence in providing the best health care information possible to not only physicians, but to our patients and community.
The CHIS program puts a special emphasis on providing patients access to the best resources and health information. The USA Biomedical Library has developed a consumer health information kiosk to link people to quality websites. The kiosk is located in the HIRC and is also available at: http://biomedicallibrary.southalabama.edu/health/.
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