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New Web Site Helps Louisianans Find Local Health Services

Governor Proclaims October 28, 2009 "Go Local" Day

People across Louisiana now have a free, fast, and easy way to find health care services in their community. A new Web site called Louisiana Go Local lists thousands of services across the state. People can find doctors, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, support groups, diabetes care, cancer services, home health care, weight management services, and much more by visiting Louisiana Go Local (www.medlineplus.gov/lagolocal.)

Gov. Bobby Jindal proclaimed October 28, 2009 Go Local Day in Louisiana to recognize the launch of the site. The proclamation [PDF] notes that "knowing how to locate health services in the community can aid in the prevention of disease and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle."

Louisiana Go Local is produced by Baton Rouge General’s Health Sciences Library in collaboration with the LSU School of Library and Information Science, and the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"Louisiana Go Local provides health resources that will help empower our citizens to make more informed decisions for themselves as well as their families," says Melissa Fahrmann, manager of Baton Rouge General’s Health Sciences Library.

The Web site is simple to use. You can search for health care services by parish, by the type of service needed, or by a particular health topic. The site offers additional information and convenience because it is connected to MedlinePlus.gov, the consumer health Web site of the National Library of Medicine. For example, if someone searching for diabetes care on Louisiana Go Local wants to learn more about the disease, they can click on "Health Information" and be taken to MedlinePlus. Or, someone reading about diabetes on MedlinePlus can link to Louisiana Go Local to find diabetes care, support groups, and other services in their community.

There currently are more than 2,000 resources listed in Louisiana Go Local. Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge is one of those resources. The organization's librarian, Katy Stowe Bordelon, sees the benefit of being listed. "Life is a whirlwind for newly diagnosed cancer patients," she says. "Louisiana Go Local will be an excellent resource for anyone with cancer, their families, friends or caregivers to consult to quickly find oncologists, treatment facilities, support groups, and community agencies that will help make their journeys a little less trying."

The National Library of Medicine created Go Local to make its MedlinePlus Web site an even more valuable resource. Go Local sites are established in states or regions through partnerships with libraries. The National Library of Medicine makes available the Go Local computer technology while the partner libraries create and maintain the sites. Go local debuted in 2003 in North Carolina. With the addition of Louisiana, there are now 34 Go Local sites in 31 states, serving 46% of the US population.

The Louisiana Go Local team offers special thanks for contributions made by the Louisiana Go Local Advisory Board, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and Pennington Library and Information Center.

** Links to download a copy of the Louisiana Go Local brochure [PDF] (Louisiana Go Local brochure html version) and Louisiana Go Local bookmark [PDF] (Go Local bookmark html version).

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