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2013 Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award

Page history last edited by Kacy Allgood 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to MESH and the Central Indiana Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (CIHSLC)!


Both MESH and CIHSLC received the 2013 Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award for disaster education and information partnership in central Indiana.  This award was granted by the Midwest Chapter/ Medical Library Association for the collaboration between the disaster preparedness agency and medical information professionals on multiple projects.  These agencies created a unique partnership to provide disaster education to medical and public librarians as well as medical information resources for first responder agencies during crisis.


CIHSLC consists of medical librarians who are experienced in providing health information to both professionals and consumers, in a hospital, academic and/or clinical environment.  The consortium exists to encourage resource sharing, joint purchases, cost savings, professional camaraderie, and to create, provide and fund unique continuing education & professional development opportunities for members and non-members alike. CIHSLC is a consortium of health science libraries in Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Since its inception in 1979, CIHSLC’s membership has been active in promoting the professional development of health science librarians; advocating for professional concerns in the workplace, library community, and local/national government; advocating for access to quality healthcare information; and promoting resource sharing.

MESH consists of clinicians and non-clinicians who unite the Indianapolis healthcare community.  MESH provides training and education to first responders, including public safety partners such as the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis EMS, area hospitals, including two Level 1 Trauma Centers,  the Indiana State Department of Health and more.  MESH is a nationally recognized, innovative, public-private non-profit coalition that enables healthcare providers to respond effectively to emergency events and remain viable through recovery. MESH provides four core services to the healthcare, public health, and public safety community: (1) Education and Training; (2) Planning and Exercising; (3) Policy Analysis; and (4) Healthcare Intelligence.  MESH programs increase capacity of healthcare providers to respond to emergency events, and all programs and services are designed to support and promote improved healthcare operations every day.  MESH serves as the Medical Multi-Agency Coordination Center (Medical MACC) for Marion County, providing healthcare intelligence fusion services to the emergency management community by gathering, analyzing, and reporting on intelligence gathered from throughout the healthcare sector. In addition to providing intelligence from the healthcare sector to public sector officials, MESH provides just-in-time information and intelligence to the private healthcare sector about ongoing events and known risks in the community.

MESH was awarded a grant by the National Library of Medicine to provide enhanced access to up-to-date and accurate health and disaster preparedness information to local and state public health and emergency management agencies.  This innovative collaboration resulted in benefits to Indiana emergency response agencies and the Indiana information professional community. 

A CIHSLC librarian working group was established to advise MESH on the best evidence-based print resources to deploy with emergency responders during disaster.  These print resources will be stored with the MESH Mastfs.  A Mastf is a large army-type medical tent, capable of being deployed immediately and establishing a fully functioning mobile field hospital within 4 hours of delivery. This print collection was designed specifically with the needs of first responders and an all-hazards approach in mind.  Reference books were selected based upon established authority, and ease of use in a clinical setting. Subjects covered include primary care, emergency care, vulnerable populations including children, the elderly, the homeless and human companion animals (veterinary care for cats, dogs, etc).  

MESH also provided trainings to medical and public librarians in the state of Indiana on continuity of operations, the incident command system, healthcare leadership, emergency triage, family reunification following disasters, and emergency medical services operations.  These trainings help information professionals better understand where their skills and resources can be utilized in disaster planning, during crisis response and recovery.  Libraries have become indispensable resources during natural disasters and man-made crisis.  These trainings help librarians prepare their own institutions for catastrophic events and teach them how to help their local disaster response agencies and their communities.

An important part of the MESH healthcare intelligence program is the Daily Situational Awareness Brief, which was developed as a means to provide emergency preparedness and healthcare providers with critical information about potential threats. The Brief began publication in April 2011 and is a free, subscription-based, service in Marion County Indiana. The Brief is comprised of three sections: (1) Environmental; (2) Threat Analysis with Action Steps; and (3) Events. The Environmental section includes information on environmental conditions that can impact the health and welfare of the population. The Threat Analysis section includes information on current and/or potential threats to the healthcare sector and provides specific action steps the reader can take to mitigate, prepare, respond and/or recover from the threat/potential threat. The Event section includes a listing of local mass gathering events.  MESH consulted CIHSLC on the Brief for feedback on subjects, appropriate literacy/reading comprehension level/ writing, and additional avenues of distribution/increased readership.  Information availability of disaster planning increased by increasing total distribution of the brief and by including information professionals on this dissemination.

This partnership benefits the disaster response community, Indiana libraries and librarians, and the Indianapolis Community.

Congrats again! Many thanks to the Midwest Chapter/MLA.

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