Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hacks4Health - Solving food and nutrition challenges with a hackathon

I was looking for some healthcare data sets and instead ran across this news release from the USDA. A hackathon was held last fall to solve real social problems related to health and nutrition including poverty and hunger, food deserts, and maternal/infant health.

hack·a·thon: noun, an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming

Who were the winners?
  • 1st Place – REMEDI’s innovation was a revolutionary app that tracks your personal medication schedule, and tells you where your medicine is available cheapest in your area. You can input the distance you wish to travel for the medication and the price you wish to pay, and the app will find the best fit. 
  • 2nd Place – MAMA U hacked an approach to a reward-driven pregnancy education and governmental resource center for new expecting mothers. With the app, mothers have access to videos, articles and seminars in their area to help them along their journey and earn points towards reward coupons. 
  • 3rd Place - #LeftoverShare has a social media platform designed with the mission of educating people about the intensity of the food waste problem. Shocking statements that put into perspective the food we throw away in the United States drives a great social purpose with the aim to do good.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What old bones and teeth can tell us about health

We know that our bones and teeth can reflect our health, but how exactly do our bones and teeth show this? A video from our friends at TED-Ed take us on a tour of an ancient skeleton and explain this connection along the way. See what you think.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

WHSLA Spotlight - Julie Schneider at Ebling Library in Madison, WI

Hi Everyone,

I am currently the director of the Ebling Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have been a librarian for 28 years in a variety of jobs, with a variety of titles, in a variety of library types and I left the best for last -- Ebling Library. Before I tell you a bit more about me, I want to tell you about Ebling Library. It is the staff that make the library outstanding and, because of the fabulous people that work at Ebling, the services and resources provided at Ebling Library are the best. These eighteen people meet with faculty and clinicians and students, they perform systematic reviews and detailed literature searches, address questions about ORCiD, data management and public access compliance, help people with using citation management tools, teach a number of class sessions, meet with students about their coursework, and so much more. They manage a complex print and electronic collection to make each title easily found, searched, and accessible to all the faculty, staff and students of the campus including UW Health. The Ebling Library also has outstanding Rare and Special collections that set it apart from many other medical and health libraries. In addition, when we do not have the titles that people need, we have the staff that can find and get those resources for them.

There is so much more that they do but I do not have the space to describe and talk about all the great work that Ebling Library staff do.

I was born in San Diego, CA and grew up in Fremont & Hooper Nebraska. We moved to Wisconsin when I started high school and I've been living in Wisconsin since then (except for four years in New Mexico). Before I was 16, I sold greeting cards door-to-door and detasseled corn. When I could get a "real job", I worked at A&W as a cook (ask me sometime about making root beer there) and some part time work at the Sun Prairie library. I got a B.S. in biology with an emphasis on microbiology at UW-Green Bay and an M.L.S. from the UW-Madison.

After receiving the B.S., I worked as an industrial microbiologist, part-time phone sales at Lands End, trucking expeditor at Wisconsin Cheeseman and a machinist in Waterloo. I decided it was time to get a master’s degree in library science. I followed that with work at Wisconsin Interlibrary Services (WiLS) and as a hospital librarian at Mercy Hospital in Janesville. I quit the librarian job after four years and my husband, Dave, and I moved to Silver City, New Mexico. I had always wanted to start a gift shop and I opened up a gourmet food and kitchen housewares store that I called, Coyote Chef. It was a great experience but I had to close it up after two years. I then got a position with an NGO as a researcher and writer on U.S./Mexico border issues. That was a very interesting position for two years but then my husband and I decided to move back to Wisconsin. Soon after moving back to Wisconsin, I got a job in collection development at the Health Sciences Library in 2000. In the last eighteen years, three libraries (Medical, Pharmacy and UW hospital libraries) moved and merged as the Ebling Library. I changed positions from collection development to scholarly communication to assistant director and then as director. I’ve been the director of Ebling Library since 2009 and I’ve never learned how to desk surf (seeEileen Severson’s Spotlight).

When I’m not working I like to cook, drive my motorcycle, travel, do Jan Van Haasteren jigsaw puzzles, occasionally play Candy Crush, play piano with the band 6.4.Sunday, and the occasional afternoon nap.

P.S. Did I mention that I am retiring and my last day at the Ebling Library will be July 7?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Will climate change alter how ticks and mosquitoes spread disease?

A few weeks ago, in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper article on infectious diseases, there was a line on how large amounts of rain in Brazil resulted in a large "crop" of mosquitoes in 2016, which led to a increase in yellow fever

NPR's Goats and Soda series has also looked at the issue of how climate change may impact the spread of infectious and communicable diseases. Here is their take on how ticks and mosquitoes are affected by a warming climate. On the one hand, the physical range of ticks across the U.S. is increasing, but on the other hand, higher temperatures mean that mosquitoes live shorter lives. Maybe climate change has a silver lining after all?