Southern Alabama Area Health Education Center SAAHEC strives to grow the next generation of medical professionals to serve the people of Alabama, train health profession students and provide health information and education to the communities in our 10 counties. The Health Information and Career Awareness Program HICAP contributes to the mission of National Network of Libraries of Medicine NNLM by improving our communities access and awareness of health information and enabling them to make informed decisions about their health. It will enable SAAHEC to become a community engagement partner and champion for the program in our communities. Additionally, HICAP will expand our current programs pipeline, health profession students AHEC Scholars, and community outreach to incorporate National Library of Medicine NLM health and science materials and community resources in our training, presentations and community engagements. It will engage students in grades 9-12, college and communities in 95 and under-served areas throughout our service area. Initially, the program will be implemented in two 2 of our 95 counties in Southern Alabama Butler and Escambia and one 1 98 county Mobile and will eventually expand to the rest of our service area. The program will access Medline Plus health career information, health promotion and disease prevention resources to enrich the one 1 hour classroom presentations that we already provide to high schools in our service area. It will create health literate 9-12 graders who are able to access, navigate, obtain and understand health information and use it to make informed decisions about their health as well as making them aware of the numerous health career options available to them. Additionally, the HICAP program will utilize our AHEC Scholars to provide outreach education and advance health literacy to the under-served, underrepresented members of our service area. As a part of their community based experiential training hours, our AHEC Scholars already present health information presentations and handouts to homeless clinics, senior citizen communities, and those who are at risk for low health literacy and have limited knowledge regarding quality online consumer health information. This program will be expanded to utilize NLM and community resources. Specifically, we will train the AHEC Scholars using NLM training resources to locate and evaluate health information and provide awareness of the program. They will in turn, use those resources in their presentations to the under-served, underrepresented communities we serve. Further, the program will expand our community outreach by developing health and wellness folders with NLM materials and community resources to hand out during community events i.e. career fairs, health fairs, conferences, food pantry events, etc.. This will strengthen our community partnerships and engagements as well as provide bundled health information to youth, health profession students, 126s, 89, and veterans. In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, we realize we may not be able to provide services in the same manner as before. Therefore, the health and wellness folders can be mailed or information emailed to organizations and schools in the event we cant interact face to face. Additionally, live presentations and trainings can be done virtually using Video Conferencing Software such as Zoom, Google Meets, or GoToMeeting. Prerecorded video presentations and trainings can also be emailed to community partners and posted to our website and social media accounts. Additionally, Facebook can also be utilized for live presentations and weekly postings as well. These virtual platforms can be used to educate our target audience on how to access NLM resources and improve the understanding and importance of participating in medical research such as . These same platforms can also be used with the one 1 hour classroom health career presentations with our high schools. Nontraditional ways of delivery can be utilized to enrich and educate the communities in our 95 and under-served areas on health information.
Southern Alabama Area Health Education Center