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History of the
Health Sciences Section

Vital power vacuum massager, 199?

Abstracts for the 2004
MLA Annual Meeting Program, Washington DC

Joint Program: History of the Health Sciences Section, Nursing and Allied Health Information Resources Section

The Power of Leadership

Michael Flannery, MLS
Leadership and Public Health in the South: The Case of Joseph Goldberger and Pellagra

Historically pellagra was endemic to the American South. Casimir Funk, renowned pioneer in nutritional science and coiner of the term vitamin, estimated that in 1915 there were some 165,000 cases of pellagra, nearly 11,000 of which proved fatal. Today this debilitating killer is virtually unknown among practitioners in even the poorest regions of the American South. What happened and how pellagra was conquered is a story of personal leadership on the public health front with Joseph Goldberger taking the lead in a campaign that would ultimately see Conrad Elvehjam isolate and identify niacin as the key pellagra-preventing factor in the 1930s. By 1945 pellagra had been eradicated from the South. Far from a vague faceless process of incremental discovery, the victory over pellagra was one of personal, dynamic leadership.

Patricia E. Gallagher, MLS, MA, AHIP
The Girl in White?: The Real Dr. Barringer

In 1952, a film rendition of Dr. Emily Dunning Barringer's autobiography was released to the public. Like Dr. Barringer herself, the film was unusual; it dealt with the notion of an emancipated woman, a professional woman, and a woman who would choose to have a career as norm, rather than as an anomaly. This paper will examine the life of Dr. Barringer, both through the film and through her autobiography, and will examine media for her day for their response to her presence in the medical community.

Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
The Militant Angel: Annie Goodrich and Army Nursing

Anna Warburton Goodrich (1866-1954) was the irresistable force in the history of American military nursing. She is remembered as a pioneer practitioner, educator, and social activist, but perhaps most famously, as the nurse who brought the highest professional standards to the US Army Nursing Corps during the First World War in her role as Chief Inspecting Nurse of all US Army hospitals in France and The United States, and later founding dean of the first US Army School of Nursing..
This paper will focus on Goodrich's leadership role during the war years, drawing upon her own writings and those of her colleagues.

Lucretia McClure, MLS, AHIP
A Curious Mind

Leadership has many facets. No one characteristic makes the leader. One librarian leader has described herself in a way that also describes leadership. She gives this picture of herself--"native intellectual curiosity and a critical and analytic cast of mind that is keyed toward trying to find solutions." And find them she did, for Nina W. Matheson tackled and solved many library problems. One of her solutions came from a major effort, the Matheson-Cooper Report. Development of the Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) concept changed both the way libraries manaaged information and the place and role of the library within the institution. Producing IAIMS was the result of her curiosity, her desire to solve problems, and her visionary ideas. She is a leader in every sense of the word.

Joint Program: History of the Health Sciences Section, Health Association Libraries, International Cooperation, Public Health/Health Administration, Veterinary Medical Libraries Sections

Emerging Infectious & Zoonotic Diseases - The Power of Disease on Society

Rolf Schafer and Paul Smollen.
Information Pathways during the SARS Crisis in a Sydney Metropolitan Hospital

During the SARS crisis it became apparent that dissemination of the correct information and treatment was paramount in preventing a potential outbreak and reducing staff panic. The containment procedures for SARS was not unlike other air-borne viruses so these procedures had to be updated fast, disseminated quickly and be accessible by all hospital staff. To prevent a possible hospital outbreak of SARS, the medical staff within the hospital required this information to be correct and current. Stringent infection control measures were required as well as the need to educate staff about SARS. The ability to link all of the relevant hospital departments to the various national and international agencies was seen as a contributing effect in disease prevention. This paper will explore the role of information pathways at a metropolitan teaching hospital and how they were developed and utilised by locating, disseminating and storing health information pertaining to SARS.
Authoritative information resources from the Internet will also be identified, highlighting that accurate, current and reliable information is critical when confronted with a newly emerged infectious disease such as SARS. This demonstrates the value of having timely health information accessible in the clinical setting.

Pauline Todd
Re-emerging Infectious Diseases: a Comprehensive Investigation of the Adequacy of Medical Literature Coverages

Objective:Libraries' increasing reliance on digital collections demands careful assessment of print material that may hold key archival knowledge for diseases eradicated in the West but now re-emerging as the focus of bioterrorism preparedness. By developing comprehensive profiles of these diseases, this study will investigate the current literature coverage and the need for reliance on original scientific material describing the conditions.
Methods: This investigation will analyze five diseases (anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia) classified by the CDC as agents with the most significant potential for public health impact. Using evidence identified by extensive exploration of electronic and print resources, a team of experienced librarians with clinician oversight will compile a comprehensive profile of each disease. Each disease profile will incorporate findings characterizing history, signs, symptoms, and laboratory results. The team will then carefully analyze the original sources of data supporting the profile components and define a more strategic plan for material retention. This understanding of the level of evidence available on these topics will also better equip librarians to guide clinical and research investigations in these areas.

Matthew Wilcox and Daniel Chudnov
Canary in a Haystack: Building a Database of Animal Sentinel Literature

Objective: The [project name deleted], aims to overcome barriers which limit the use of animal sentinels to reduce human environmental health hazards, including difficulties in locating studies in disparate biomedical databases and poor communication between human and animal health professionals. We will make the literature on animal sentinels more accessible by using a mix of traditional and contemporary information retrieval techniques.
Methods: We will use sophisticated automated queries to a range of databases (including MEDLINE, Agricola, CAB Health, BIOSIS, others) to harvest reports of studies of potential interest to the animal sentinel community, members of which study wildlife, domestic, and companion animals for health indicators potentially signifying human health hazards. Curators from the community will use a study classification protocol and several additional indexing fields to categorize studies. We will evaluate whether this additional indexing helps researchers from diverse disciplines more easily navigate the breadth of available information, which currently is only available through databases which use vastly different vocabularies and comprise too many resources for individuals to track. Additionally, we will evaluate approaches for bridging the diverse controlled vocabularies used to index each database, including concept matching using the UMLS. This work is being sponsored by [grant information deleted]

2004 Program