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From the GMR: New Consumer Health Coordinator

The GMR is delighted to announce that Samanthi Hewakapuge began working as the Consumer Health Coordinator on May 16, 2008.

Samanthi was the Health Sciences Reference and Outreach Librarian at Ohio University until May 2008. She was the liaison librarian and conducted library instruction classes to Schools of Health Sciences, Nursing, Hearing Speech & Language Sciences, Recreation and Sport Sciences and served as the subject bibliographer for the Consumer Health book collection . Her outreach work included Go Local Ohio Southeast site navigation presentations.

Samanthi earned her Library Science degree from the University of Arizona in 2003. Soon after graduation, Samanthi was employed by the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona for three years as an outreach information specialist. She conducted health education outreach projects on environmental health and toxicology for local schools and communities. She was also the project coordinator for the Health Observances and Public Education (HOPE) Partnership, which was a partnership among seven other universities to promote health education literacy.

Samanthi had the opportunity to work with the Native American tribes in Arizona and South Dakota. She was an intern for the Native American Access to Technology Program in Arizona, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation during 2001-2003. She visited and taught computer literacy classes at several tribal libraries. Samanthi worked on the reproductive health manual, Indigenous Women's Health Book, Within the Sacred Circle, as a co-editor when she was interning at the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center in Lake Andes, South Dakota.

Samanthi holds a second masters degree from Ohio University, in Communication and Development Studies. She presented at a panel at the International Communication Association Meeting in 2000. Samanthi is a native from Sri Lanka and has been living in the United States since she came to pursue her graduate studies in 1998. She is interested in information dissemination, health communication, health literacy, and working with diverse communities.

I hope you will all join me in welcoming Samanthi to the GMR Office.

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