Information Today
Volume17, Number 3 • March 2000
NLM Announces Online Health Information Initiative

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced that it is funding 49 electronic health information projects in 34 states, affecting rural, inner-city, and suburban areas.

“The projects we are supporting will increase Internet access in a variety of settings, from middle schools serving low-income and educationally underserved students to shopping malls and senior centers,” said Donald A. B. Lindberg, director of the NLM. “These are imaginative and well-targeted projects that will help us determine how we can best provide millions of Americans who are still not connected to the Internet with access to health information. They will stimulate medical libraries, local public libraries, and other organizations to work together to provide new electronic health information services for all citizens in a community.”

Henry Foster, senior advisor to President Clinton on teen and youth issues, said: “Many of the contracts will focus on making computers available in community-based centers and teaching computer skills to minorities and low-income populations—individuals who lack access to computers and hence fail to gain the needed computer skills essential to contemporary American living. From Native Americans in Wyoming to minority populations in the lower Mississippi Delta to those isolated in Appalachia, these consumers will soon have access to Web-based health information. We hope that the skills consumers learn through these projects will enable them to make better informed health decisions.” Foster is also a member of NLM’s board of regents.

Here are examples of a few of the projects:

On the NLM Web site there are descriptions of each of the 49 projects, including the name of the project director, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. The projects total more than $1 million and will run variously from 1 year to 18 months.

Source: National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, 888/FIND-NLM, 301/594-5983;

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