Health & Wellness

Today’s health consumer must know the facts, know the choices, and be the decision maker along with his/her medical professionals in this increasingly complex and information (and misinformation) loaded environment. Health literacy has become vital and most of what we learn about health happens outside of the medical office. Beyond your own health, you may also seek information in order to make informed choices about health care, health insurance, and a healthy environment for the community.

Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. The law intends to make health care more accessible and affordable for all Americans.

Unsure about the Affordable Care Act? Need to know how it affects you? Thinking about signing up for insurance? Need help? Meet with a Health Insurance Marketplace Certified Assistors from Opportunity Alliance at the Main Library Wednesdays from 10am until noon during the open enrollment period. Certified Assistors from Mercy Hospital and Portland Community Health will be here on Fridays from 10:30-12:30. The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage begins on November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.  

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The results are in for HeLPURS, the first ever research study into the relationship between public library use and public health, a partnership between Portland physician Dr. Sam Zager and the Portland Public Library. The results provide evidence that public library use has quantifiable associations with health, particularly in the areas of substance abuse and depression-anxiety disorders. The most dramatic finding is that moderate or higher use of public libraries is associated with tobacco cessation. Individuals who have ever been smokers and who used the library at least moderately – seven or more items checked out per active year – were more than two times more likely to have successfully quit smoking, compared with smokers who used the library less.

Listen to Dr. Lisa Belisle’s November 14, 2014 interview with Dr. Sam Zager and PPL Executive Director Steve Podgajny.

updated: November 26, 2014

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[ See our original October 2013 post about the launch of the study. ]

Healthy Living

There’s a wealth of health information out there – resources on healthy eating, lifestyle, aging, living with disabilities, and dealing with life’s medical detours and trajectories.  We’ve put together sources and resources to provide you with the help you need and authoritative advice you can use for a healthy you and a healthy community.

Related Online Resources »
Recommended Websites »

Do you have questions about Ebola? Here are some links to sites we have found helpful to answer questions, get updates on the current status of the outbreaks, as well as information about the disease and prevention.

For more information:

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Up Next at the Library:
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Our Places, Our Times : Portland Through the Decades, 1930s – 2000s10:00am - 7:00pm
Our Places, Our Times : Portland Through the Decades, 1930s – 2000s
Songs & Stories en Français10:30am - 11:00am
Songs & Stories en Français
From the PPL blog:
October is Health Literacy Month
October is Health Literacy Month! “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capac   More »
PPL partners with Maine Physician to Show Link Between Public Library Use And Tobacco Cessation
PPL partners with Maine Physician to Show Link Between Public Library Use And Tobacco Cessation   More »
Science of Character – March 20th
Let It Ripple launches the Science of Character, including 8 min film and discussion.   More »
Contact the team leader
Linda Putnam   Email »
Health & Science Librarian
207-871-1700 x725
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