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HOSA-National Library of Medicine Health Information Ambassador program to begin in August 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and HOSA announce the HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador pilot program will begin in Utah at the start of the fall academic year.

The HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador pilot encourages high school students (within HOSA chapters) to be familiar with - and teach peers how to use - MedlinePlus.gov and evidence-based health information resources on the Internet. The pilot encourages the development of Health Information Ambassadors among high school students within HOSA chapters. Health Information Ambassadors are identified through a knowledge - and Internet capability - screening test that was developed at NLM. High school students who receive a high score on the screening test receive a certificate designating them as HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassadors.

Moreover, certified HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassadors are then encouraged to give talks (or develop media) to encourage peer use of MedlinePlus.gov, NLM’s consumer health website for patients and their families, and evidence-based health information resources. Persons who receive high audience evaluations for their presentations (by peers) can receive an additional HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador Certificate of Merit.

Finally, HOSA chapters can receive a program participation certificate if two or more students receive HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador Certificate of Merit.

The coordinators of the pilot program include:

  • For HOSA - Denise Abbott, state advisor to HOSA in Utah, will coordinate the pilot program among HOSA chapters.
  • For the National Network of Libraries of Medicine - MidContinental Regional Medical Library, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
  • For the National Library of Medicine - Robert A. Logan Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

‘The Health Information Ambassador program generates knowledge and encourages school as well as community involvement among high school students’ Logan said. ‘NLM is proud to work with HOSA as well as the MidContinental Regional Medical Library at the University of Utah on this project,’ Logan added.

‘HOSA is pleased to begin this innovative program that benefits students and chapters,’ said Denise Abbott, HOSA’s state advisor in Utah.

If the Utah pilot is successful, the model will be taken to other states where HOSA is active.

HOSA is a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education. HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.

The Utah MidContinental Regional Medical Library is a member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine sponsored by NLM and is located at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah.