Friday, May 05, 2006

Health Issues in the Headlines

In her session on on "Health Issues in the Headlines: Reading Between the Lines," beginning at 0830 on Thursday morning, Gail Kouame, the Consumer Health Coordinator the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (University of Washington) left her audience with much food/medicine for thought. During her stimulating presentation, which included chair- if not homework, Gail challenged us to determine the difference between a good and a slipshod consumer health article.

Gail spoke about the background of training of healthcare journalists, the scientist's perspective, the evaluation of news stories and how to follow up for more information, how to analyze a research report for accuracy and relevance, and how to help patrons sift through health news stories to get to the source.

Ms. Kouame also brought us into active learning by having us read some articles and evaluate them at her session. Articles we read and considered using Gail's directions included "Study finds another reasion to eat chocolate: A little chocolate may go a long way to reducing blood pressure" from The Associated Press; `"Is milk to blame for overweight children? Recent studies link dairy consumption, increased body mass in kids" from MSNBC; "Red Wine and Your Heart" from the American Heart Associaiton; and "An Evaluation of Echinacea angustuifolia in Experimental Rhinovirus Infections" from The New England Journal of Medicine. For those who might be interested, I am willing to assist you to evaluate medical information for your patrons. Thank you, Gail for all your great work and inspiration!

Rich Wojtowicz
MSU Libraries--Bozeman
Phone: 406-994-1873
Fax: 406-994-2851

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