Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WHSLA Spotlight - Elissa Kinzelman-Vesely at All Saints [Ascension Libraries] in Racine, WI

WHSLA Spotlight - Elissa Kinzelman-Vesely 

Opened in 2003, the All Saints Library & Community Resource Center’s goal is to provide access to quality health information resources and services that support superior patient care, continuous learning and development, informed decision making, research, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.  Elissa Kinzelman-Vesely joined the staff of the All Saints library shortly after its opening as the library assistant.  Having completed her master’s degree in Anthropology from Western Michigan University in 2003, Elissa enthusiastically delved into the world of medical libraries and, in 2004, enrolled part-time at UW-Milwaukee for her MLIS.  In 2008, upon the completion of her MLIS, Elissa became the site librarian for All Saints. Elissa supports the learning and information needs of patients, community members, physicians, nurses, and allied health providers.  She teaches classes on information literacy and provides topical in-services to hospital departments.  Her favorite part of the job has always been the literature searches; she finds them challenging and rewarding and always learns something from them.

In March of 2016, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare transferred to Ascension Healthcare.  The library underwent organizational restructuring in July of 2016.  Elissa is working with other librarians from Wheaton Franciscan, Ministry/Affinity and Columbia St. Mary’s to integrate library services and resources to become Ascension One Wisconsin Libraries.  There is a new emphasis on electronic resources and development of the virtual library.  Despite the push toward a more virtual library environment, the physical library at All Saints remains a popular place for nursing students completing their clinical rotations on campus, students, and associates to gather, study, and complete educational modules.

Elissa is married to Randy Vesely, a professor at the University of Toledo.  During her frequent trips to Ohio, Elissa is an avid audiobook “reader.”  She enjoys reading historical fiction and mysteries in particular. Elissa & her husband are the caretakers of 4 feral cats who live in their backyard: Zazzles, Moh-Cakes the Rotund, Stinker, and Hissy.  Elissa loves gardening and has flower gardens around the house as well as a vegetable garden in the backyard.  Much to Randy’s delight, Elissa likes to cook & bake.  When she has time, Elissa dabbles in calligraphy and collects fountain pens and stationery.

Friday, September 23, 2016

WHSLA annual meeting - October 4, 2016 in Madison

Our annual meeting will be held Tuesday October 4 at Meriter Hospital, from 11:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Directions to Meriter.

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Board Meeting
  • 11:30 –  Gather
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 12:30  -GMR Outreach Librarian, Bobbi  Newman
  • 1:30 -  2:30 Business Meeting

The WHSLA Board Meeting will meet prior to lunch, from 10:00 am to 11:30.  Attendance is required for board members, but general members are also welcome!

Lunch is free to all WHSLA members in good standing.  To renew your membership, please send the application and check to Jennifer Schram.

Please review the Boxed Lunch and Boxed Salad Catering Menus from Panera. https://cater.panerabread.com/catering-webapp/?gclid=CKT59tvDgs8CFQ0DaQod1xINCA Choose Browse our Menu and specify the Madison, WI and the639 W. Washington Location.

Indicate your food and beverage choice on the Meeting Reply form.
The 2T Conference Room is located on the same floor as the lobby entrance.  Guests can ask for instructions at the lobby desk.

If you would like to attend the board meeting or annual meeting electronically, please email me and I will send you an invitation.

Barbara Ruggeri, MLIS, Clinical Services Librarians
Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries
bruggeri@mcw.edu |414-266-2340
2016 President
Wisconsin Health Science Library Association(WHSLA)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What’s in Claire’s Medical Kit? - a post by Michele Matucheski

What's in Claire's Medicine Kit?
by Michele Matucheski, MLS, AHIP  mmatuche@affinityhealth.org
Librarian for Ascension-Wisconsin, based at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, WI

Public Domain image from Wikimedia Commons

In July 2016, I was able to take a wonderful trip to Scotland that focused on The Outlander novels written by Diana Gabaldon. You know : the stories with a time-traveling WWII nurse/physician/surgeon who goes back in time to Scotland of the 1700s and falls in love with a Highlander … Perhaps you've seen the recent STARZ series that brings Jamie and Claire to life? One of the most interesting aspects of the novels is Claire's life as a healer … Hence, one of the highlights of the Scotland  trip was a special guided tour of The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh (RBGE) with botanist, Greg Kenicer.

The RBGE garden was founded in 1670 as a physic (physician), or medicinal garden. Modern Medicine as we know it had its roots in Scotland. The RBGE Gardens have grown through the years, and it is now “a world-renowned centre for plant science, horticulture and education and extends over four Gardens (Edinburgh, Benmore, Dawyck and Logan) boasting a rich living collection of plants.”

Greg Kenicer showed us many plants generally used by physicians through the ages including (These are just the ones I wrote down) :
Nettles as a spring tonic
Foxglove for heart conditions
Meadowsweet for pain relief
Raspberry Tea for labor and childbirth

Reading the Outlander novels, I noted the many medicinal herbs Claire used to help her patients, but I wasn't taking notes as I read, so I couldn't remember any of them on the tour. I finally got a copy of The Outlandish Companion : Vol. 2 this week from my local public library. There's a chapter written by herbalist Dr. Claire MacKay, who offers some interesting background info on the herbs Claire used and the times in which she practiced.

Dr. MacKay provides "An Outlandish Materia Medica" (p.585) with 9 herbs from Claire's Medicine Kit, including :

  • Willow Bark - for pain relief and fever. Active ingredient is salicylic acid, aka aspirin.
  • Pine – used as an antiseptic and expectorant. Good source of vitamin C.
  • Comfrey (Boneset) – At one time, it was used to make casts for broken bones.
  • Foxglove (Digitalis) – Used for treating heart failure. Considered a poisonous plant.
  • St. John's Wort – Used to treat depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Antiviral, antibacterial.
  • Bogbean – a spring tonic; used to treat arthritis.
  • Wild Garlic – Blood strengthener, used to treat kidney stones, wound-cleaning; Now we know garlic to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
  • Marsh Mallow – Used to treat inflammation and irritation inside and out, from itches to coughs to flatulence.
  • Yarrow – stops bleeding, treats fever. This was considered a “warrior's plant” as it was so useful to soldiers on the battlefield to staunch bleeding wounds.

The usual disclaimer applies : It's best to consult a physician or herbalist before using any of these herbs. Some are considered poisonous, and/or can interact with other medications.

So the next time you are working in your garden, or visiting a public garden, I hope you'll think about Claire and other healers through history and how they used the available medicinal plants to improve the lives of their patients.

Resources :
The RBGE website is worth a visit : You can even take a virtual tour in each season with 360-degree panoramas. http://elmer.rbge.org.uk/rbgepanoramas/grid/grid.html

If you would like to know more about Scottish Medicinal Herbs, Greg Kenicer recommends the following books [The RBGE have a wonderful research library, too!] :

The Scots Herbal by Tess Darwin
Healing Threads by Mary Beith

If you would like to know more about Outlander, see the following :

Lists the entire series, including the Outlandish Companion references.

St. John's Wort

Public Domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Radium Girls

As a rule I don't tend to read non-fiction, however I do enjoy reading books that have a historical take on medicine, science or public health health in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Books like The Poisoner's Handbook, Terrible Typhoid Mary, and The Disappearing Spoon are some of my favorites. 

One thing I find awful but fascinating are occupations that have led to serious illnesses. "Radium Girls" are a perfect example. These were young women hired to paint numbers on watch faces. The paint they used had radium in it, which allowed the numbers to glow in the dark. Back then the dangers of radium were not known, but within a few years Radium Girls starting showing signs of radium poisoning. As related by Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook, "There was one woman who the dentist went to pull a tooth and he pulled her entire jaw out when he did it...Their legs broke underneath them. Their spines collapsed." You can learn more about via the NPR snippet below.  

Read more on the Radium Girls from this short comic

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The lowdown on prebiotics

No doubt you've heard about probiotics. You might even take them yourself. But what about prebiotics? Until this morning I don't think I had ever heard that word. Thanks to a search request I am now on the hunt for research on prebiotics and probiotics for gestational weight gain. So, what is the low-down on prebiotics? Let's see what NCCIH has to say about it. 


  • "Prebiotics are not the same as probiotics. The term “prebiotics” refers to dietary substances that favor the growth of beneficial bacteria over harmful ones. The term “synbiotics” refers to products that combine probiotics and prebiotics." [https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm]

A few more search terms from my customer lead me to this interesting graphic on where in the gut different prebiotics act. Who knew?

Friday, September 9, 2016

WHSLA Wisdom Chat summary - Michele Matucheski on "Literature Search Evaluations: Assessing Our Impact and Proving Our Worth to Quality Care”

 The latest WHSLA Wisdom Chat was presented via WebEx on September 8, 2016:

Michele Matucheski, MLS, AHIP, presented on the topic of “Literature Search Evaluations: Assessing Our Impact and Proving Our Worth to Quality Care.”

Michele demonstrated the survey tool she and Deb Knippel developed which asks users how their librarian-mediated searches impacted patient care, changed practices, and decision-making at their organization.  The survey results are then populated into visual graphs and charts that make the data easy to understand and interpret.   The visual report will be used to educate organizational administrators as well as stakeholders about the value of Library Services.   

With the availability of survey tools like QuickBase, Survey Monkey,  and other applications, it makes creating such surveys, collecting the data, and crunching the responses a breeze.  

WHSLA Members listened intently, and asked excellent questions, generating even more ideas and possibilities for this kind of user feedback.

Michele works as a Librarian for Ascension-Wisconsin.  She is based at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, serving Affinity Health System and Ministry Health Care.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Proposed WHSLA bylaws and organization changes - draft now available

To reflect our much smaller organization, and the fact that technology can transcend geographical boundaries,  Barb Ruggeri, current WHSLA president, proposes the following Bylaw changes.  Your suggestions and comments are welcome.  The bylaws will be voted on by the WHSLA executive board at the Fall Board Meeting on October 4.