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.
The first wealth is health. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Highlighted book list: New Health Best Sellers.
Our health resources are meant to aid in your online research and learning. To access our online resources, you will need your library card number. If you have trouble logging in, please contact the reference department at 871-1700 x725.
The next Open Enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on November 1, 2015 for coverage starting on January 1, 2016. This page will provide information and resources.
October is Health Literacy Month. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. This is problematic as literacy impacts health knowledge, health status, income level, occupation, education, housing, and access to medical care.
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? Meet with a Health Insurance Marketplace Certified Assistors from Opportunity Alliance at the Main Library Wednesdays from 10:30-12:30 during the open enrollment period. Certified Assistors from Portland Community Health will be here on Fridays from 10:00-12:00. The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage begins on November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.
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
[ See our original October 2013 post about the launch of the study. ]
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.
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:
- Ebola Virus Disease – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Ebola Virus Disease - World Health Organization (WHO)
- Ebola Virus Disease page - Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Division of Infectious Disease
- Ebola: Facts for Maintaining Your Health - Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
- Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness page - Maine Disaster Behavioral Health (Maine CDC)
- An Open Letter to All US Healthcare Professionals – Department of Health & Human Services
Up Next at the Library:
From the PPL blog:
Update on PPL's programs about "Being Mortal" by Dr. Atul Gawande, plus downloadable resources. More »