Boston HealthNet Grant Provides Internet Access and Training to Community Health Centers

The Alumni Medical Library, in collaboration with Boston Medical Center Information Technology Services, has recently received funding from the National Library of Medicine to implement the Boston HealthNet Internet Connectivity project. Dr. David S. Ginn, Library Director, is Principal Investigator for the project, and Ms. Lu Matrascia, Boston Medical Center IT Services' Community Liaison to the HealthNet community health centers (CHCs) is Project Director. The grant runs for a period of one year, from February 2001 through February 2002.

The Boston HealthNet is the fastest growing and one of the most influential community healthcare networks in Boston, serving the city's underserved and working class neighborhoods. The project will provide Internet access to the several Boston HealthNet CHC's that do not currently have access. In addition, a central framework will be established to facilitate future Internet access for all 15 CHCs. A router and T1 line will connect the CHCs to the Boston Medical Center, and from there, to an Internet service provider.

The Library provides information skills training for all CHC clinical staff, residents, and students. The training portion of the grant includes two workshops, offered a number of times over the next year. The first workshop focuses on the National Library of Medicine's databases such as MEDLINE, AIDSLINE, and other biomedical databases. The second workshop teaches healthcare providers to find, use, and evaluate Internet-based resources more effectively and efficiently. A variety of Web-based resources, including the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINEPlus collection of consumer health tools are demonstrated and discussed.

For a list of the fall 2001 workshops, contact Kathy Schilling at 617-638-4271 or kschill@bu.edu, or check the Library's Web site at http://www.medlib.bu.edu/library/bhgregistration.html.

For more information about the Boston HealthNet Grant, contact Lu Matrascia at 617-414-1843 or Lu.Matrascia@bmc.org. To register for a workshop, contact Kathy Schilling at 617-638-4271 or kschill@bu.edu.