Friday, March 31, 2017

Public Health Research - a how to recording from the GMR

Hi All—

Just wanted to recommend this 1-hour program that aired last week.  It has several useful public health sources you may not have heard of – and they are evidence-based.    I watched it 1) because I’ve always been interested in Public Health initiatives (My mom worked in that field for 25 years), and 2) the sources and approach to PUBLIC health care is a little different than what you may be used to in acute care and clinic settings.   Since improving community health is one of the core missions many of our health care organizations share,  I thought many of you could benefit from this webinar, too.   

To top it all off, a day later, our local Community Health Improvement Liaison, who works with the local public health department, asked for some research on any public health initiatives to reduce the amount of sugar people consume.  They wanted best evidence on other successful programs out there.  I know I can use several of the sources presented in the program below … that go beyond searching PubMed / Medline and CINAHL.

  • FROM THE GMR - From Problem to Prevention: Evidence Based Public Health Health Professionals Outreach Specialist Derek Johnson taught “From Problem to Prevention: Evidence Based Public Health” on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. A recording of the class is now available on YouTube. MLA Continuting Education (C.E.) credit is available for viewing this recording. If you’re interested in C.E. credits, email the GMR Office at

Thursday, March 30, 2017

WHSLA Spotlight - Jennifer Schramm at Mayo Clinic Health System Wisconsin Libraries in Eau Claire, WI

Hello, I’m Jennifer Schram, the library supervisor at the Mayo Clinic Health System Wisconsin Libraries.  We have two locations, one in La Crosse and one in Eau Claire, and are part of the Mayo Clinic Libraries across the United States.  One thing that I think is unique to the MCHS-Eau Claire library is that we have a large audiobook collection.  This has been very popular with staff as we are fairly spread out geographically and some staff spend a good deal of time traveling between sites.  We also send out an email newsletter every other week or so highlighting new books/audio or sometimes older items that haven’t been on in a while.  This newsletter goes out to over 5000 staff, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  Not only has this greatly increased our circulation but serves as a reminder that the library is here to help.  

I have a BA in Philosophy from Mount Mary University (2002) and a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2007).  I started as a library assistant at Froedtert Hospital in 2003 before accepting a librarian position in 2006 and moving to Eau Claire, WI.  In 2016, I became the library supervisor.  My primary duties are management, overseeing the patient library, ILL, collection development, budgeting, research requests, orienting new employees, and outreach to departments.  In addition to serving on several state and local library committees, I am the WHSLA membership coordinator, so please send your membership renewals!

While my husband, Tony, and I are both from southeast WI, we found we love living up north.  It can be quite cold in the winter, but we do not miss the Milwaukee traffic!  We have two dogs named Harry and Poogle.  Poogle is a 5 year old beagle poodle mix and Harry is a 1 year Aussie.  We also have a 6.5 month old baby girl named Madeline (Maddie), and while I’m sure that all moms think this, she is truly the best baby ever.
I used to have hobbies but I cannot really remember them right now. (Does doing laundry or washing bottles count as hobbies?)  I think I used to read, scrapbook, travel and cook….and someday will do those things again.  But for now my hobbies are Maddie and the dogs. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Jared, the singing nurse (get your tissues out)

This lovely video came up in one of my social media feeds this morning. When I looked for more videos and postings featuring nurses who sing to their patients, I was overwhelmed at how many there are

Enjoy this short profile of Jared, the "singing nurse", as he bring smiles and comfort to patients in the hospital. You might want to have a tissue handy. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Save the date - 2017 WHSLA conference will be Thursday, October 26

This year we'll be trying something new and having an online conference. All you need to participate is a phone and computer with Internet access. More details coming soon.

Who: WHSLA members
What: 2017 WHSLA Conference 
Where: online
When: Thursday, October 26, 2017
Why: To network, share, and learn

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wisconsin ranks 11th best in US for state health system performance

The Commonwealth Fund just released their 2017 scorecard on state health system performance. Wisconsin came in at a respectable 11 out of 51 states/territories, which puts us in the top third in the nation.  

The interactive version of the report is fascinating to play around
with: Here you'll find more on state gains in access to health care, improvements in readmission rates, and patient safety improvements. Not all news is good though, premature adult death rates rose among adults in almost 2/3 of states and in every state African-Americans are more likely than whites to die from treatable conditions. In WI, we are not doing well in this area (see below).

Did Jane Austen die of accidental arsenic poisoning?

I've been a fan of Jane Austen ever since 1995's Pride and Prejudice (thank you, Hugh Grant). Since then I've read a lot about Jane, her life, and Regency England. She died at age 41 after a long illness. The prevailing theory was that she suffered from Addison's disease, but new evidence has come to light that she may have died from something else: arsenic poisoning. What do you think?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Homeopathic infant teething tablets pulled off CVS shelves - FDA issues warning about products containing unsafe levels of belladonna

Homeopathic remedies are many times thought of gentle and natural. But recently the FDA found unsafe levels of belladonna in infant teething tablets. According to a February 28, 2017 JAMA news item, Amid Reports of Infant Deaths, FTC Cracks Down on Homeopathy While FDA Investigates, CVS has pulled all those items off their shelves and Hyland has stopping manufacturing new products, but has not necessarily removed existing products off their shelves. Since 2010, over 400 adverse events had been reported, including 10 deaths. 
  • “The body’s response to belladonna in children under two years of age is unpredictable and puts them at unnecessary risk,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. ”We recommend that parents and caregivers not give these homeopathic teething tablets to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.”
As a parent I understand the desire to give our children "natural" products. But I don't think many parents know that no U.S. entity regulates homeopathic remedies. If we find an item at a large, national drug store we might place some trust in that item and the companies that manufacture them. But our trust might be misplaced. 

The FTC has recently tried to give consumers a little more information and now requires homeopathic products to contain labels, but critics think it might backfire and encourage use of products "outside the medical mainstream". 

I'm still holding out hope that the FDA itself might get involved in regulation of these "remedies" to protect our littlest patients and our families themselves. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kaiser Family Foundation looks at insurance tax credits under replacement ACA plans

The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act has been getting a lot of attention in the news. Last week the Kaiser Family Foundation, a trusted non-partisan source that analyzes health care policy, trends, and data, released some charts and graphics that help make visual sense of some of the proposed changes.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Take a listen - Virtual reality and quirky questions

For a change of pace this Friday, I've pulled together two stories you can listen to while you work. What do you think?

Can Virtual Reality Make You More Empathetic?


Michael Stevens: How Do You Find Smart Answers to Quirky Questions?