Region 7 Informational Guide

The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Lamar Soutter Library serves as the Regional Medical Library (RML) for Region 7, which provides programs, services, and dedicated support for NNLM Members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Region 7 priority areas and Communities of Interest (COI) serve to focus and inform our outreach, services, and resources. These focus areas guide the implementation of local and regional programming. COIs foster emerging roles for partners in dynamic themes for health information. Members of COIs share ideas, knowledge, and experiences to help each other improve their organizations’ services.

Our Priority Areas and COIs include:
  • Academic Libraries
  • Graphic Medicine
  • Hospital Libraries
  • Limited English Proficiency Populations
  • Public Health
  • Rural Health
  • Substance Use Disorders
Stay up-to-date:

Focused Outreach brings the resources of the NNLM directly to communities to conduct a systematic approach of identifying partners, pursuing contacts, and developing relationships with key stakeholders through key informant interviews. Focused Outreach is an organized approach to identify community health assets and needs, and key partners. The goal is to assess health information use, promote resources, strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones, and conduct training for partners.

The Focused Outreach Model:

  1. Develop and conduct systematic outreach to connect with community partners that serve NLM target audiences.
    • Inventory past outreach activities conducted, identifying agencies that have been served.
    • Identify key organizations serving the community by providing health information and education.
    • Conduct key informant interviews as a community needs assessment.
    • Develop partnerships with more individuals shared by key organizations.
  2. Conduct point of need training for participating organizations.
    • Work with local individuals and organizations to find opportunities for health information outreach training and events.
  3. Develop a comprehensive evaluation plan using methods from the NNLM Evaluation Center (NEC)
    • Develop outcomes assessment that includes indicators, data sources, evaluation methods, and data collection timeline.
    • Develop process assessment plan to determine how well Focused Outreach was carried out.
    • Design data collection tools including a pre-/post project community assessment, pre-/post-project key informant interview protocol, pre-/post outreach evaluation.

Region 7 engages two geographic areas in Focused Outreach each year. The focus areas are set at the beginning of the funding cycle. During the 2021-2026 cycle, Region 7 will focus on rural, medically underserved areas that have previously had low engagement with NNLM.

  • Year One, 2021-2022
    • New York: Essex and Hamilton Counties
    • Maine: Aroostook County
  • Year Two, 2022-2023
    • Vermont: Northern 4 Counties (Grand Isle, Franklin, Orleans, Essex)
    • Massachusetts: Berkshire County
  • Year Three, 2023-2024
    • New Hampshire: Sullivan and Cheshire Counties
    • Connecticut: Litchfield County
  • Year Four, 2024-2025
    • Rhode Island: Western half of Providence County
    • New York: Chenango, Otsego, Delaware Counties
  • Year Five, 2025-2026
    • Maine: Franklin County
    • Vermont: Bennington and Windham Counties

To learn more about Focused Outreach areas in previous contracts, visit the repository.

Region 7’s Communities of Interest (COI) support partners in emerging roles related to health information and education. COIs serve the educational needs of Members, provide regionally responsive training, improve communication between Region 7 and Members, create multidisciplinary networks, and increase awareness of Region 7 funding opportunities to improve Member organizations’ services.

Visit the COI tabs to learn more and get involved:

Due to the large number of academic libraries within Region 7, we are working to increase our programming oriented towards this interest group. We are currently evaluating the needs of our members in this area and will provide training, tools and programming to address this subset of librarianship, while creating connections with other aspects of our programming, in particular research and data management.

The Region 7 Research & Data Management Program consists of various modes of learning about Research & Data Management principles, working concepts, and skills. The Research & Data Management initiative will help stimulate librarians and information professionals involve in the application of Research & Data Management practices. Activities such as the yearly Symposium and Boot Camp offer opportunities for in-person formal learning modes.


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Graphic Medicine is an emerging field that considers the role that comics can play in medicine – including medical education, health literacy, healthcare communication, and more. The NNLM Region 7 Graphic Medicine Community of Interest (COI) provides training and tools, to inform and encourage growth in the use of comics in our work. This includes training, tools to aid collection development and research, and a Book Club Kit lending program.

Contact Sarah Levin-Lederer ( with questions or to get involved with the Graphic Medicine COI.

Learn more about Graphic Medicine with resources from NNLM, NLM and partners (Coming Soon)

Find Graphic Medicine blog post in our archives.

Graphic Medicine Listserv Sign-up



Book Club Kits 

Kits are…

  • Available for organizations based in Region 7
  • Loaned for eight weeks
  • Free: return shipping included
  • Good for both new and long-time comic readers

Request a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit

Verify kit availability on WorldCat

Kits are lent through the Lamar Soutter Library (UMass Chan Medical School) interlibrary loan. For questions about kit lending policies and procedures please call 508-856-6099 or email

Topic: Addiction

  • Title: Sobriety: A Graphic Novel by Daniel Maurer (2014)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Through rich illustration and narrative, Sobriety: A Graphic Novel offers an inside look into recovery from the perspectives of five Twelve Step group members, each with a unique set of addictions, philosophies, struggles, and successes while working the Steps.”
  • Addiction Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Aging

  • Title: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (2014)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Roz Chast and her parents were practitioners of denial: if you don’t ever think about death, it will never happen. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is the story of an only child watching her parents age well into their nineties and die. In this account, longtime New Yorker cartoonist Chast combines drawings with family photos and documents, chronicling that “long good-bye.
  • Aging Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Alzheimer's Disease

  • Title: Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt (2010)
  • Description:  From the publisher: “Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, Midge, and her family forever. In spare black-and- white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions—shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration—all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness.”
  • Alzheimer's Disease Discussion Guide

Topic: Cancer

  • Title: Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies (2006)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Mom’s Cancer is a graphic novel about one family’s struggle with metastatic lung cancer. Honest, unflinching, and sometimes humorous, it is a look at the practical and emotional effect that serious illness can have on patients and their families. In the end, it is a story of hope – uniquely told in words and illustrations.”
  • Cancer Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Emergency Preparedness and Recovery

  • Title: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown (2015)
  • Description: From the Publisher: "On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana…The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history."
  • Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Eating Disorders

  • Title: Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green (2013)
  • Description: From the publisher:  “A poignant, heart-lifting graphic memoir about anorexia, eating disorders and the journey to recovery. Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she’d have to eat it for breakfast. But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behaviour might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.”
  • Eating Disorder Discussion Guide

Topic: Familial Substance Use 

  • Title: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (2018)
  • Description: From the publisher: “Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family as it grapples with addiction, finding the people who help get you through, and the art that helps you survive.” 
  • Familial Substance Use Discussion Guide

Topic: Grief

  • Title: Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart (2016)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Rosalie Lightning is Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart’s beautiful and touching graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. Hart uses the graphic form to articulate his and his wife’s ongoing search for meaning in the aftermath of Rosalie’s death, exploring themes of grief, hopelessness, rebirth, and eventually finding hope again.”
  • Grief Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: LGBTQ

  • Title: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (2006)
  • Description: “At once a coming-out story, an examination of the complex relationship we can have with our parents and the role of art and literature in processing our lives… Smart, darkly funny and a little fearless, Fun Home reads like a true-life modern American Gothic.” – Time Best Comics of 2006
  • LGBTQ Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Mental Health

  • Title: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney (2012)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic but terrified that medications would cause her to lose her creativity and livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability without losing herself or her passion. With dazzling storytelling, bold illustrations, and razor-sharp wit, Marbles offers a wholly unique and visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work and seeks to answer: IS mental illness a curse, or is it actually a gift?”
  • Mental Health Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Migrant Health

  • Title: The Most Costly Journey: Stories of Migrant Farmworkers in Vermont Drawn by New England Cartoonists Edited by Marek Bennett, Andy Kolovos, Teresa Mares and Julia Grand Doucet (2021)
  • Description: “This non-fiction comics anthology presents stories of survival and healing told by Latin American migrant farmworkers in Vermont, and drawn by New England cartoonists as part of the El Viaje Más Caro Project…aimed at addressing the overlooked mental health needs of these vulnerable immigrants…this collected edition brings the lives and voices–as well as the challenges and hardships–of these workers to an English-language audience, granting insight into the experiences and lives of the people vital to producing the food we eat.”
  • Migrant Health Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: OCD/Doctor-as-Patient

  • Title: The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams (2015)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Meet Dr. Iwan James: cyclist, doctor, would-be lover, former heavy metal fan, and, above all, human being. Weighed down by his responsibilities – from diagnosing personality disorders to deciding who can hold a gun license – he doubts his ability to make decisions about the lives of others when he may need more than a little help himself. Cartoonist and Doctor Ian Williams introduces us to Iwan’s troubled life as all humanity, it seems, passes through his surgery doors.”
  • OCD/Doctor-as-Patient Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Topic: Veteran’s Health

[This Kit contains two titles]

  • Title: At War With Yourself by Samuel Williams (2016)
  • Description: From the publisher… “In this illustrated conversation between Samuel C. Williams and his friend, Matt, they talk candidly about Matt’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. From scoping out quick exits in coffee shops to re-experiencing his traumatic events, Matt describes his unique experiences and how he has learnt to cope.”
  • Title: When I Returned from The Center for Cartoon Studies (2016)
  • Description: When I Returned is a comics anthology containing six unique stories from veterans at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont. Illustrated by a number of cartoonists from The Center for Cartoon Studies, these stories help show the depth and variety of the “veteran experience”.
  • Veteran’s Health Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Non-Circulating Resources


  • Title: Pedro & Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned by Judd Winick (2009)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Pedro Zamora changed lives. When the HIV-positive AIDS educator appeared on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco, he taught millions of viewers about being gay and living with AIDS. Pedro’s roommate on the show was Judd Winick, a cartoonist from Long Island, and the two soon became close friends. Judd created Pedro and Me to honor Pedro Zamora, his friend and teacher, and most of all, an unforgettable human being.”
  • AIDS Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

RETIRED-Topic: Epilepsy

  • Title: Epileptic by David B. (2005)
  • Description: "A painfully honest examination of the effects of debilitating epilepsy on one man and his family, told through a combination of straightforward text and expressionist imagery that ranges in its palette from centuries-old symbolism to the secret worlds of childhood. Even as he shows up the hollow promises of every school of esoteric and alternative medicine his family encounters in their quest for help, David B. works a real kind of deeply human magic on the page-- something forged from black ink and a soul's struggle--that marks Epileptic as one of the first truly great narrative artworks of the new millennium." --Jason Lutes
  • Epilepsy Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide

Other NNLM Graphic Medicine Resources

For the University of Kentucky's 2022 Alternative Spring Break Program, R7 hosted Raeshelle Cooke and Lauren Laumas. Raeshelle and Lauren created graphic medicine discussion guides and explained the process for creating a guide of your own.

How to Make a Discussion Guide for Tangles (10 minute video): Hear Raeshelle discuss the process of making a discussion guide and what she learned.

Graphic Medicine Discussion Guide Creation for Lighter Than My Shadow (7 minute video): Hear Lauren discuss the process of making a discussion guide and what she learned.

NNLM Reading Club Graphic Medicine Resources

A Fire Story by Brian Fies (Disasters and Emergencies)

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Addiction and Recovery)

Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood (Eyes and Vision)

Kimiko Does Cancer by Kimiko Tabimatsu (LGBTIA+ Health)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki (Teen Dating Violence)

Rx by Rachel Lindsay (Mental Health)

Taking Turns by MK Czerwiec (HIV-AIDS)

The Hospital Library Advisory Group (HLAG) consists of members from within the region whose libraries serve a teaching or community hospital. The HLAG advises Region 7 on the status and issues facing hospital libraries. Working with Region 7 staff, the group proposes pilot projects, programs, and other initiatives. The group will inform the development of national webinars directly addressing needs or challenges faced by hospital librarians. HLAG members will meet virtually twice a year or more frequently if requested.

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Daily digest summary format  


History of the Rochester Study (link is external) (1/2023)

Ransomware Attacks: What Medical Librarians Need to Know (link is external) (12/2021) 


Region 7 Blog Posts tagged #hospital librarians


NNLM Guide on Resources for Hospital/Health Sciences Libraries

Substance Use Disorder is a serious and pervasive problem in many communities. This initiative seeks to provide training, tools, information, and resources that will serve anyone affected, while also breaking down barriers and stigma around this topic.

For webinar recordings in previous contracts, visit the repository.

The Region 7 Funded Projects Guide is designed to support awardees and answer questions about the funding process from the Region 7 and the UMass Chan Medical School.

Please reach out to our office with questions:

After You Have Been Funded

  • Keep a record of your Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and NNLM ID number handy.
  • A Region 7 staff member is assigned to monitor your project and their contact information is listed on your notice of award letter. That staff member welcomes your questions any time during the project period.
    • Be prepared to provide regular updates! We'll work together to plan the best way to do that.
  • Christian Molina is your contact for anything financial - invoicing, payments and related things.
  • Tell us your outreach story! Take photos and share participant feedback.

Find more in-depth information about NNLM grant requirements on Guidelines for Award Requirements.

For Region 7 specific information, consult your MOA and the FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Invoices and accompanying documentation should be emailed to and copy Jessica Kilham by the 10th of each month.

Reimbursement is on a net 30, so 30 days from when the invoice is submitted to R7.

Important- the process for reimbursement can take up to 30 days. It is best to submit invoices each month so that you receive reimbursement for project costs as quickly as possible.

Work with your grant liaison if you have questions. 

Learn more about activity reports on the Guidelines for Award Requirements Reporting tab.

Activity reports should be submitted before the 5th day of the month following the end of the activity.

Learn more about activity reports on the Guidelines for Award Requirements Reporting tab.

A final report has to be submitted within 30 calendar days of the completion of the award.

Health Information Outreach awards and Technology awards require different final reports. Learn more about final reports on the Guidelines for Award Requirements Reporting tab.

Work with your liaison to update your budget. In general, the grant cannot support purchasing food, furniture or swag.