New York Medical College
Public Health Information Partners
Harnessing Global Information to Meet Local Needs
A Health Sciences Library and School of Public Health collaborative sub-contract with Local County Health Departments
Training Reports Public Health Links  
Welcome Public Health Information Partners!
  • About PHIP
  • 2011 Tool Kit
  • Reports
  • Training
  • Bios
  • Contact Us
  • About PHIP

    Beginning in 2004, the New York Medical College (NYMC) now School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHS&P) and Health Sciences Library (HSL) created the Public Health Information Partners (PHIP), an academic/local partnership with health professionals in the seven counties of the Hudson Valley Region of New York State.

    The initial PHIP project was entitled: "Meeting the information needs of public health professionals in the Hudson Valley Region: pilot research project." Beginning October 2008, this 18 month project was funded as a sub-contract of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) through the New York Academy of Medicine. The project aimed to assess public health informatics competencies and information needs of public health employees working in Orange and Putnam county departments of health.

    This project expanded almost immediately to include the employees of the Dutchess county department of health, collaborating on a new level with the New York Academy of Medicine's project entitled, "Increasing public health departments' organizational effectiveness through information: A pilot project." The results of both of these projects referenced below.


    2007, this partnership launched a region-wide health literacy conference along with the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet). The conference was entitled, "Health Literacy: Tools for Improving Health Communications" and included an agenda with a strong list of national health literacy experts. This event reached more than 200 health professionals from the Hudson Valley Region (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester), 34 NorMet member hospitals, NN/LM network members, and other interested community members. And, one outcome was the creation of an actual and virtual health literacy tool kit. The program, results, and health literacy tool kit are detailed below.


    2009, the PHIP partnership received a continuing health literacy sub-contract entitled, "A Health Literacy Curriculum: Tools and Strategies for Improving Health Communications." The purpose of this project was to continue the collaboration and build on the earlier PHIP projects, notably including the participants from the earlier efforts. The purpose of this project is to develop a curriculum with practical solutions for improving provider-patient communications in healthcare. To this end, the project proposes to train a cohort of health professionals and providers who self-identify their need for health literacy training and who are willing to apply specific tools and strategies for improving health communications in their own practice setting. The outcome will be a cohort who will train others as well as a curriculum tool kit of practical tools and strategies.


    Initial sessions entitled, "Health Literacy: Communication techniques to improve patient outcomes" highlight Jonathon Fader, PhD, clinical psychologist who will present "Motivational Interviewing, guiding health care professionals in the principles and practice using this approach to change health communication and behaviors. The sessions are scheduled for March 23 and March 29, 2011 at the Visiting Nurse Service in Westchester and the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY. All health care professionals and NN/LM network members are invited to attend. More detailed information may be found by clicking here.

    A preliminary summary of the findings follows: Summary and Highlights - Presented 3/22/06.

    Related Project Publications and Reports:
    Ascher MT, Crooke DA, Cunningham DJ, Ansehl A. Seizing the power of the systematic review of the development of a health literacy curriculum for health care providers. Poster presented at the Medical Library Association annual meeting May 2010, Washington DC.
      Ascher, MT, Crooke DA, Cunningham DJ, Ansehl A. Health literacy: Communication strategies for health care providers - What is the Evidence? A Systematic revies. Progress report. Poster presented at the 3 By the sea, an MLA Trichapter Conference, October 5-8, 2009 Atlantic City, NJ.
      Ascher MT, Cunningham DJ. Identifying targets for training public health workers: The gap score adapted to a needs assessment instrument. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Medical Library Association, May, 2006, Phoenix, AZ.
    Cunningham DJ, Ascher MT. Lessons learned from the public health workforce: Keys to relevant informatics instruction in schools of public health. Poster presented at the meeting of the Group on Information resources, AAMC, March 19-21,2006, Charlotte, NC.
    Cunningham DJ, Viola D. Proposing a marriage of academe and public health. Public Health Rep, 2005 May-June: 120(3): 358-61. PMID: 16134581 

    Cunningham, DJ, Viola D, Ascher MT, & Visintainer, PF. Baseline assessment of public health informatics competencies in two Hudson Valley health departments. Public Health Rep, 2007 May-June; 122(3):302-10. PMID: 17518301

    Rockoff, ML, Cunningham D, Ascher MT, Merrill J. Information outreach to a local public health department: a case study in collaboration. J Med Libr Assoc 2007 Jul 95; 98(3): 355-7. PMID: 17641776.
    Updated 02/11/2011 H. Lougee-Heimer