For years now, the Dana Medical Library has worked collaboratively with the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center, Fletcher Allen Hospital’s patient medical library, but we’re often asked:
What is the Frymoyer and what do they do?
The Dana Medical Library Newsletter sat down with Alan Lampson, Coordinator of Fletcher Allen’s Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center, to find out more about this library, its services and staff recommended resources for patients.
What is the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center and what is its mission?
The Frymoyer Center is a patient education center. We help patients, their family members and members of the general community who are looking for health information and local resources. People can come into the Center and use our computers to do health research, borrow materials or ask for assistance. In addition people can call or e-mail for help. We help everyone, whether they are a Fletcher Allen patient or not and there is no charge for any of our services.
What is your relationship to the Dana Medical Library?
First off, I think of our relationship as a triage: if we have questions that are very complex or very technical, we can refer the patron to Dana.
But we also work collaboratively with Dana. We have worked on two large projects together: Vermont Go Local and a project called Connecting Patients, Providers and the Community to Quality Health Information. Vermont Go Local is a statewide directory of health care services that is linked to MedlinePlus. The Connecting Patients, Providers and the Community to Quality Health Information project was an outreach and education project that involved the staff and patients at Milton Family Practice as well as the staff at the Milton Public Library. Both of these projects were NLM/ NER (National Library of Medicine/New England Region) funded projects. In the past we have also tabled together at the Breast Cancer Conference, as well as other outreach events.
How many staff members do you have and what is their background?
We have 2 staff members. I am the coordinator of the Center and have a Master of Library Science from the State University of New York, University Center at Albany. I have been here 7 years and previous to this I worked for 14 years as a medical librarian for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Kristine Zaker is the Center’s Health Educator. Kristine has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the State University of New York, College at Potsdam. Kristine can be found in the Center helping our many patrons or out in the community spreading the news about our services and informing people about healthy living and wellness.
Does the Center offer instruction of any kind?
Several times a year I do classes and presentations for the public and health care providers on how to use the Internet to search for health information. When someone comes in to the Center we offer to help them either by doing the search for them or showing them how to search for themselves.
You see a lot of patients and families, and you answer a lot of questions. What are some of your favorite resources? Do you have any favorite lesser-known health internet sites?
Kristine and I both use MedlinePlus several times a day. I like a web site from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (http://decisionaid.ohri.ca/AZlist.html) that provides a list of Patient decision guides that are available on the internet. Decision guides help patients make decisions about testing and treatment options. Kristine is a big fan of Natural Standard (a database of evidence based information about complementary and alternative medicine) and the wealth of information it provides.
For more information about the Frymoyer, including a video tour, see their web site.