Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health Care Reform and the Patient Centered Medical Home Model

If you've been following the news about health care reform, you have probably heard the term 'medical home' used and may have wondered what that meant.

Dr. Lori Heim, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), spoke with us on Tuesday to assure us that patient centered medical homes (PCMH) are not the same as nursing homes!

Want to learn more about PCMH? Read my coverage of her presentation that includes some graphs to better understand the discussion. Dr. Heim also shared a great website from the Kaiser Family Foundation that gives a side by side comparison of the current health reform proposals, and more information about AAFP's Health Care for All policy is available on their website.

Dr. Heim had to run to catch her plane immediately afterward but I am so glad she took the time to come to Seattle and help us better understand the terminology, politics, and positions of primary care physicians in the current issue of health care reform.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top Ten Memories from PNC/MLA '09

In the style of Mr. Jonathan Potter (oh, and that Letterman fellow), here are ten of my favorite memories from PNC/MLA 2009.

10. Planning for PNC/MLA 2009. Planning a conference is a lot of work! The dynamic duo of Susan Barnes and Gail Kouame ran a tight ship and kept us all moving in the right direction. It was great to see everything come together after so many months.

9. Twitter. We tweeted the heck out of this meeting. In so tweeting, we captured key points from the conference sessions, shared references and links mentioned by the presenters, asked questions, snapped photos, and shared the events of PNC/MLA with our colleagues around the world. If you haven't yet, take a look at the tweets tagged with #pncmla09. Thanks to all of the tweeters out there.

8. Powerful keynote addresses about healthcare reform from Drs.Will Welton and Lori Heim. Is this the year that meaningful reform legislation is finally possible? Everyone's talking about reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of care. Let's make sure they're also talking about medical librarians and how we help make those things happen every day.

7. The library school / iSchool students who joined us. Thanks for everything you are already contributing to our profession. I wish I'd been brave enough to attend a professional conference when I was in graduate school. May your efforts be rewarded with fantastic internship opportunities and job offers.We hope you'll be back year after year.

6. The Unshelved Guys. Up until now, I've only been an occasional reader of this library-themed comic strip, but the presentation Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum gave last night kept everyone in stitches. I finally understand what is up with that beaver mascot, and I am loving my "Frequently Asked Questions" t-shirt. It was great to see conference attendees lining up after the banquet to tell Bill and Gene their hilarious cataloging stories.

5. The panel discussion about mentors and mentorship was extremely well done. I refrained from tweeting so I could take real notes during this session. It made me think about my own formal and informal career mentors and how thanking them would be an excellent way to celebrate National Medical Librarians' Month.

4. Dianne McCutcheon's talk about disruptive technologies and the future of library collections. One word: post-papyrocentric. Preserving access to digital materials presents huge challenges for our library of record, the National Library of Medicine. Dianne's talk renewed my great respect for those in our profession who are working out the solutions.

3. The food. The food was incredible, and so was the service from Washington Athletic Club staff. The contents of my refrigerator are completely inadequate by comparison.

2. The Web 2.0 a.k.a. "Let's just call it the internet" session. You're making LibGuides. You're podcasting and screencasting. You're using wikis to keep projects organized. You're introducing soon-to-be graduates to the beauty of RSS feeds... and as the editor of Technology Tuesday posts in the RML's Dragonfly blog, I'm taking notes and taking names! I'm always seeking guest posts from PNR network members and would love to help you show off your excellent web work.

1. Recognizing so many people. I'm lucky to have a job that involves traveling around the Pacific Northwest and meeting all sorts of health information professionals. When I started almost two years ago, I thought I would never be able to keep track of all the names, faces, and personalities. I'm getting there thanks to conferences, site visits, and social media. Thanks for making an introverted green-ish librarian from Ohio feel so welcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What Roles Will Medical Librarians Play in Reforming the Nation's Healthcare System?

This morning we began the conference with a compelling presentation by Dr. Will Welton, and note the change of the presentation's title from the previously submitted Is There A Role for Medical Librarians To Play In Reforming the Nation's Healthcare System? to What Roles Will Medical Librarians Play in Reforming the Nation's Healthcare System?

Subtle difference yet powerful when it comes to the message.

My traditional method of conference blogging is to take fast and furious notes in Google Docs and share the pretty rough and unedited version immediately in my personal blog.

Here is my coverage, including photos of some of the slides with diagrams, that I have begun to edit and will continue to do so in order to form complete sentences and coherent thoughts but it will be a work in progress over the next few days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Welcome Reception & Posters

After fighting some pretty nasty traffic due to one heck of an accident, we enjoyed a fabulous time together at the welcome reception and posters.

You can check out the posters in our new PNC/MLA 2009 Flickr group pool. I hope others will join the fun, simply upload your photos to your regular Flickr account then join the pool and add them there for all to see as well. There was sunshine and clear weather today and hopefully some folks took pictures of the AYPE walk on the University of Washington campus this afternoon too.

Carla Funk & Connie Schardt claimed they were discussing Medical Library Association business in the lobby after the reception but I'm not so sure I believe them based on Da Bears on TV. What do you think?

Looking forward to more fun tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tweet with us!

Using Twitter at meetings and conferences can be a great way to network and share ideas. It's a nice complement to being able to do those things in person!

Do you tweet? Please use the hashtag #pncmla09 when tweeting about our annual meeting. That way all of our tweets will appear together in a search. Here's what people are already saying about #pncmla09.

If you're new to Twitter but would like to give it a try, bring your laptop or smartphone and ask at the registration desk for someone to help you get started. We'll have special Twitter stickers for the name badges so you'll know who's tweeting. Also see Look Who's Tweeting for some basics and Using Twitter at Events and Conferences for some best practices.

Can't be limited to 140 characters? Contact Alison about writing posts for this blog!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Time Out for Culture

Here is a sampling of exhibits, music and theater performances, and other cultural events that will be waiting for you in Seattle in mid-October.

At the Seattle Art Museum, you can catch SAM Next: Corbin Hewitt, a contemporary art exhibit, which runs through October 18. Remembrance: Andrew Wyeth featuring some of the 20th century artist's finest paintings, also closes on October 18. Opening October 15 will be Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act and Michelangelo: Public and Private.

Take the Monorail to Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) for TurkFest on October 17 and 18. Experience a bit of Turkish culture through food and drink, folk dancing, arts and crafts. Admission to the festival is free.

Also part of Seattle Center, the very unique Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum will feature Spaced Out: The Final Frontier in Album Covers, an exhibit of space-themed album covers from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

The Earshot Jazz Festival, running October 16-November 8, will feature dozens of great jazz performances in locations all around the city.

Just blocks from our conference venue, the 5th Avenue Theatre will be hosting performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

If none of these events suit your fancy, visit Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau for many more possibilities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Baker's Dozen Free Things to Do in Seattle

by Lisa Oberg and Alison Aldrich

Part of growing both yourself and your career means taking time to recharge your batteries and experience new things! The challenge these days is finding ways to have fun without spending a lot of money. Well, here is a list of thirteen things to do in Seattle that won’t cost you a thing, except perhaps bus fare!

1. Hiram M. Chittenden"Ballard" Locks - Seattle’s answer to the Panama Canal brings boats from Puget Sound into the interior lakes. Located at 3015 NW 54th St., the locks have beautiful tranquil grounds, fish ladders and the occasional clueless boater. Starboard? Which side is that again?

2. Olympic Sculpture Garden – Seattle's newest outdoor wonder, located at 2901 Western Avenue, offers a leisurely stroll through outdoor sculptures combined with views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

3. Theo's Chocolate – Located north of downtown at 3400 Phinney Avenue, Theo’s organic free-trade chocolate is gaining in both prestige and popularity. Tour the factory and pick up a free sample to maybe two!

4. Volunteer Park Conservatory – Bromeliads, palms and ferns, oh my! Located on Capitol Hill, the conservatory has all that and more! The park’s water tower features an exhibit about the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm which designed many college campuses, parks and other public spaces throughout the U.S.

5. Washington Park Arboretum – The arboretum is a spectacular urban green space on the shores of Lake Washington just east of downtown Seattle and south of the University of Washington at 2300 Arboretum Drive E.

6. Frye Art Museum – Located just up the hill from conference center at 704 Terry Avenue, the Frye features an eclectic, ever-changing collection of art and a fabulous cafĂ©!

7. Green Lake Park - If you're a runner, jogger, walker or an avid people-watcher, hop on the bus and head up to Green Lake park. It's a natural oasis in the middle of the city. There's a 2.8-mile paved path around the lake.

8. Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington is featuring an exhibit of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition until October 30th in room 102. Photographs, ephemera and other objects take you back to yesteryear when Seattle was just emerging as an important Pacific city and women's suffrage was gaining momentum.

9. Seattle Public Library – Like it or lump it, Seattle's flagship Central Library is an architectural wonder and something to be seen. It is located just blocks from the conference site at 1000 Fourth Avenue. Check out the views from top floors, the art work and the Friends shop.

10. Uwajimaya, Seattle's premier Asian market in the International district at 600 Fifth Avenue South, is full of interesting sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

11. Kerry Park at the top of Queen Anne Hill boasts incredible views of the Seattle skyline. Bring your camera!

12. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Located at northwest corner of Jackson Street and Second Avenue, the park preserves the story of the 1897-98 stampede to the Yukon gold fields and Seattle’s role in this event.

13. Of course, no trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to the Pike Place Market - Have your picture taken with Rachel, the bronze pig, the Market's unofficial mascot. Just in case you haven't seen enough of them, located just across the street from Rachel is the original Starbucks. Pike Place Market is located just off First Avenue and Pike Street at 1501 Pike Place. Remember it's Pike Place, not Pike's Place, the sure clue to Seattle-ites you're a tourist!