From 1997-2001, the Bio-Medical Library managed a NLM grant called Health Information Access for Rural Nurse Practitioners. The purpose was to eliminate distance and other barriers to health information encountered by nurse practitioner students living in rural areas. The project included loaning laptops to nurse practitioner students, providing training, offering financial support for local Internet access, and document delivery.
Excerpts from the grant application:
"Health care providers in rural, medically underserved areas also have limited access to health science information. Further, attracting primary care providers to rural underserved and shortage areas is problematic due to the isolation from colleagues and lack of access to current health information."
"Library service to remote sites has concerned librarians for years and new initiatives are discussed in the literature."
Tri-County Hospital in Wadena received a National Library of Medicine Access to Digital Libraries grant. They subcontracted with the Bio-Medical Library to provide training to hospital staff. The hospital is a 49-bed facility in Wadena with three satellite Rural Health Clinics. The hospital's library consists of some books and one journal (JAMA) in print with some archives on CD-ROM.
Relevant excerpts from the grant application:
"Tri-County Hospital expects digital connectivity to assist in supporting the scarce human resources of healthcare providers and professional practicing in the Wadena, MN rural environment. Reducing isolation and increasing access to high quality databases through technology applications will have a positive impact on recruitment, retention, and every-day decision making for the rural setting."
"Rural healthcare facilities face challenges to providing high quality services that can be partially met by using technology applications successfully and through meaningful collaborations."
Health Talk and You (community outreach initiative)
Publications and Newsletters from the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.