Program Session

"Engage for Health": A Partnership for Improved Patient-Doctor Communication

Sunday, May 28
3:00 PM - 4:25 PM
Room: 604

Objectives: Efficient doctor-patient communication is an essential skill for individuals of all ages. Recognizing that many health care systems are moving toward the patient-and family-centered care model, the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) created ‘Engage for Health’ a tool for health literacy community education. HAP, its Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) developed ‘Engage for Health’, a series of tools to conduct a community education program on taking an active role in your health care.


In order to bring the program to the community, the HAP-HEN partnered with the Pennsylvania State Library Association (PaLA) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR) to offer this innovative program via a cohort of public libraries across the state. Learn how public libraries partnered with hospitals and health care providers to offer the ‘Engage for Health’ program at their libraries. Learn how to take the materials and replicate this program in your community.


Methods: NNLM MAR and the NNLM Evaluation Office (NEO) trained public library staff and health care providers on how to run the ‘Engage for Health’ program. In addition, cohort members learned how to establish partnerships with local hospitals and health care providers, were trained how to use consumer health resources (MedlinePlus and NIHSeniorHealth) and how to evaluate health information programs.

Results: The cohort librarians reported attendance of 150 adult participants who were part of the user populations for the 18 cohort libraries.  They used a pre-post assessment evaluation form that they all helped to develop. Librarians collected evaluation forms from 132 (88%) of participants.


Key findings include:




Conclusion: The successful ‘Engage for Health’ program is available for replication and provides an opportunity for hospital and health sciences libraries to provide outreach within their communities focusing on a topic of major importance for health consumers, in collaboration with public libraries.

Keywords: communication, patient engagement, partnerships, community outreach, doctor-patient communication, patient-and-family centered care, healthcare systems



Program Session

Lydia Collins

Consumer Health Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lydia N. Collins is the consumer cealth coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR), at the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System. Lydia has experience working in hospital, academic, and public library settings. She began her library career as a solo librarian at Doctors Medical Center, in Modesto, CA, providing library services to a rural area population. She recived her MLIS from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA. In her current position at NN/LM MAR, Lydia is responsible for providing consumer health outreach and training on National Library of Medicine resources to public libraries, K-12 educators, community- and faith-based organizations, veterans, military personnel and their families, caregivers, and seniors.

Presentation(s):

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Jennifer R. Collins

Director, Public Affairs
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, PA

Jennifer R. Collins, APR, has focused the majority of her career on helping hospitals and other health care organizations tell their stories of healing, health and hope.

She serves as the Director of Public Affairs at The Hospital and Healthysystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), where she establishes collaborative relationships with stakeholders and develops public relations programs that support its more than 240 member hospitals and health systems and their nearly 300,000 employees.

Jennifer was instrumental in the development of Engage for Health. As a member of the Health Literacy Task Force of “PA Forward” (the Pennsylvania Library Association’s 21st Century Literacies Initiative), Jennifer worked with HAP’s clinical staff to use its expertise in the “teach-back” technique to develop a community education program that teaches individuals how to use the technique to take an active role in their care. With the support of Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems, the Pennsylvania Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, hundreds of Engage for Health programs have been conducted across Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic Region.

She also serves on the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s Consumer Health Literacy work group in an effort to support a statewide initiative that aims to improve the way Pennsylvania pays for, delivers and coordinates health and health care services.

Jennifer is a member of the HAP team that developed and launched “Healthy Me PA,” a digital community devoted to empowering the 100,000+ community members to take charge of their health, navigate the health care system and support consumer-centric health care policy in Pennsylvania.

Jennifer has been recognized for her work with several awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Central Pennsylvania Chapter and has earned the Accredited in Public Relations designation from PRSA.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Jennifer Collins


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