Category: Public Librarians Symposium

122 - Librarians as Health Advocates in Health Fairs

Tuesday, May 22
2:00 PM – 2:55 PM

Objectives: Health fairs are convenient avenues for health professional students to recruit patients for class requirements. Inter-professional collaboration engages and enriches the experience of the students and also foster relations with neighboring communities. This effort is a good health preventative tool for communities. Analyzed data will help improve our health fairs and identify the most vulnerable individuals who need hospital referrals.

As a member of the National Network of the Library of Medicine, our library is a resource for medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing and allied health sciences students and faculty. It is also a health information resource for individual patients, healthcare providers and researchers globally. Promoting health literacy in our neighboring public housing apartments and city’s Housing Authority engages inter-professional health students to improve health literacy on patient’s well-being. The Health Sciences librarians partner with student health fair coordinators, health sciences faculty and students to promote health literacy. Given the low socio-economic status of our neighboring communities, communication strategies are tailored to the participant’s needs and abilities.

Analyzed data will help librarians improve health information pamphlets. Negative health screenings of the most vulnerable individuals are referred to respective health professional. The health fairs are the best platform for students to learn from each other and also recruit patients to fulfill their discipline requirements.

Through this study, health sciences librarians use health fairs to foster collaboration with students and faculty in the health sciences. The librarians partner with health fair coordinators to address health needs of the Public Housing for the Senior and Disabled, located across the street from the University. Communication strategies will be tailored to the needs and abilities of the participants.

Keywords: health fairs, literacy, communities, students, clinicians, collaboration, inter-professional

Jahala Simuel

Medical Librarian
Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library
Howard University
Clayton, North Carolina

Jahala Simuel MIS, MLS Head of Access Services and Medical Librarian at Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library. I have been in the library world for over 13 years and have been a Health Sciences Librarian for 2 years now.

Fatima M. Mncube-Barnes

Executive Director
Howard University
Arlington, Virginia

One of my hobbies is to learn new skills and share the knowledge through workshops, presentations, publications, and training. The best strategy that I use to market my services and that of the library is to present the skills, knowledge and capabilities of the library staff. As a leader and educator, I believe this strategy challenges my team to tackle projects that require learning of new skills and approaches to better serve the needs of our patrons. Consequently, we have become avid learners and are devoted participants of webinars. My new year resolution for 2018 is to learn all that I can about Global Health Advocacy and have already obtained certificates on two Coursera courses. Certificates motivate me to learn more as they require completion of assignments and course requirements.