Volunteering with a Relief Organization to Provide Consumer Health Information

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Objective: Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps is a nonprofit volunteer relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world. The East Tennessee State University Medical Library participated in two RAM expeditions. Approximately 3,000 patients were seen at the 2 events.

Methods: The library obtained funding to purchase laptops and printers and printed consumer health information. The library had a prominent position in the educational section of the events. Librarians from other medical libraries and public libraries were invited to be part of the team. During the event, library staff aggressively sought out opportunities to give consumer health information to patients.

Results: The library provided health information to approximately 1,300 of the participants.

Conclusions: RAM provided the library with a chance to really help out with the community. It was an interesting eye opening experience. It is the medical library’s wish to have a continued relationship with RAM. The library's presence made an impression on the various health care providers as to what a powerful tool information could be.


Minneanapolis, MN

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