The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) at the University of Utah recently received a $10 million grant (award number: 1UG4LM013732-01) from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award solidifies EHSL's national distinction as a Regional Medical Library (RML), one of only seven in the nation. It also names EHSL as the continuing—and only—home of the Network of the National Library of Medicine Training Office (NTO), a designation it was first awarded in 2011.
Since 2001, EHSL's role as the RML for Region 4—encompassing Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming—has been renewed every five years through a rigorously competitive grant process.
"We are excited to begin the work of this five-year grant to improve access to reliable health information throughout our region of nine states," said Catherine Soehner, the library's executive director. "Our continued grant as the NTO acknowledges our accomplishments in providing high-quality instruction and instructional content across the NLM training program while enhancing access to and use of NLM products nationwide."
The renewed grant will focus on improving access to quality health, giving special attention to underserved communities. It will also allow EHSL to continue collaborations with other NLM RMLs, offices, and centers.
As the NTO, EHSL will be responsible for creating and implementing a national education program to expand the reach and impact of key NLM products and services while coordinating the instructional efforts of all NLM trainers.
As the Region 4 RML, the library will implement regional and national programs support the NLM's mission to provide researchers, health professionals, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. This includes training, funding, and engagement opportunities for member libraries and other organizations to carry out regional and national programs.
"There is a new arrangement of states, so we will cover a larger geographic area extending from Montana, Idaho, and the Dakotas to Arizona and New Mexico," said Soehner. "We are centrally located in the region and are uniquely positioned to successfully engage with this great work." Region 4 includes a number of commonalities, including large rural areas with few cities, Native American Reservations and Tribal Universities and Colleges, extensive areas lacking internet service, border regions with Canada and Mexico, many medically underserved communities and individuals, and rural hospitals and clinics.
Other grant-supported activities will include promoting NLM products and services at national health professional meetings, pushing health information access news through blogs and newsletters, partnering with state and local public health departments and community-based health organizations, and facilitating increased access to resources and services from the NLM throughout the country.
"This award highlights the vibrancy, relevance and importance of the Eccles Health Sciences Library throughout the University of Utah Health community," said Michael L. Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health. "It confirms the Eccles Health Sciences Library's role as a regional and national thought leader. This grant allows us to continue serving our state, region, and nation in a way that will improve health care delivery, innovation and training, and in turn change lives."
Read the NLM's press release regarding this award.