The University of Alabama

UA’s Health Sciences Library Wins Grant for Disaster Information Outreach

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences’ Health Sciences Library has received one of only seven grants the National Library of Medicine awarded nationwide for disaster health information outreach and collaboration projects.

The new program, called the Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Projects, funds partnerships between libraries and organizations that have disaster-related responsibilities.

The partnerships will work together to improve use of disaster medicine and public health information by librarians, health professionals, first responders, emergency planners and others responsible for disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Nelle Williams, director of the Health Sciences Library and an associate professor in the College, is the principal investigator of the West Alabama Disaster Health Information Outreach Project. The project was awarded $30,000 in funding in September.

The library is partnering with EMPACT West Alabama and the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research. EMPACT West Alabama is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency medical and community training programs in West Alabama.

The West Alabama Disaster Health Information Outreach Project will expand sources of disaster health information and develop collaborative information-sharing practices between providers of disaster health information and the disaster health workforce.

Staff members will conduct a a needs assessment of West Alabama organizations that play a role in all-hazards preparedness, response and recovery to determine their health information needs.

Those sources of information and others will be added to the electronic and physical collections of the Health Sciences Library. The project will also develop collaborative practices for sharing disaster health information with West Alabama organizations with disaster responsibilities.

The College of Community Health Sciences operates a comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical clinic, University Medical Center, where College faculty members conduct their medical practices and where students and residents receive clinical experience and training. The College’s research component supports faculty and student research efforts, including clinical trials. The College is the Tuscaloosa branch campus of The University of Alabama School of Medicine, which has its headquarters in Birmingham.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.