Helping parents of sick children uncover vital details about rare health conditions is something Rachel Fenske is passionate about. She often brings the information straight to a patient’s bedside, with an iPad and access to health journals the average person might not know about.

Published Aug 22nd, 2019

By Casandra Andrews
candrews@health.southalabama.edu

Helping parents of sick children uncover vital details about rare health conditions is something Rachel Fenske is passionate about. She often brings the information straight to a patient’s bedside, with an iPad and access to health journals the average person might not know about.

In recognition of her dedication to providing health information, the assistant librarian at the Biomedical Library at the University of South Alabama has been selected to receive the 2019 Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award.

This award, given by the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, recognizes outstanding outreach librarians serving rural or underserved communities. Michael E. DeBakey established the award to recognize contributions to medical education and librarianship. It honors a practicing health sciences librarian who works in the tradition of the advances and medical innovations of DeBakey to provide valuable health information to those in underserved and rural settings.

“We are thrilled Rachel is being recognized on a national level for the important work she does with parents and caregivers of our patients,” said Chris Jett, administrator at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile. “Sometimes, parents aren’t able to find information as quickly as they would like. Rachel goes out of her way to make sure they have the details they need when they need them. That assistance can make a world of difference when your child is sick.”

Fenske’s other outreach projects include work with seniors in the Mobile area to locate free, reliable health information. At USA Health University Hospital and USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, she assists parents and patients in finding appropriate and reliable health information.

She also has been recognized for her work in the U.S. Virgin Islands where she conducted outreach with the Virgin Islands Department of Health, Virgin Islands Community AIDS Resource and Education and Lutheran Social Services.

Fenske will receive the Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award at the Friends of the National Library of Medicine’s 14th Annual Gala in Washington D.C. on Sept. 10, 2019.

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