In a world where answers to health questions may seem to be easily located with a quick search of the web, it is more important than ever to understand how to locate trustworthy resources, and how to assess what is found. To further that aim, a new project from CoxHealth and The Library will help educate the community on the resources available at their fingertips.
Known as the Southwest Missouri Community Health Literacy Project, the initiative focuses on the creation of interactive modules that provide instruction for locating quality and trustworthy health information on the web. This joint venture between CoxHealth and The Library is supported in part by a grant secured by the CoxHealth Foundation from the project's funding partner, the Network for the National Library of Medicine, MidContinental Region.
The modules will be created by CoxHealth Clinical Information Specialists and, once complete, will be available on The Library's website. It’s expected they will be available in December 2020.
The project is part of an effort to improve health literacy in Southwest Missouri, which was identified as a priority by the Ozarks Health Commission in 2019. In addition, the 2019 – 2022 CoxHealth Community Health Improvement Plan Initiative Measures includes goals of increasing access to culturally appropriate resources, awareness of substance abuse prevention resources, and knowledge of mental health services for populations at risk. Reference staff at The Library also identified mental health, nutrition and diet, new diagnoses, and questions about treatment options as topics receiving the most inquiries.
CoxHealth and The Library have been trusted entities in the Southwest Missouri area for over a century, with compatible missions to improve the communities they serve through education, and enabling lifelong learning and enrichment.