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 for April, 2015: New Health Best Sellers.

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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.

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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.

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The Portland Public Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer “Let’s Talk About It,” a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library.

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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.

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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:
Health Insurance Assistance10:00am - 12:00pm
Main Library
Health Insurance Assistance10:00am - 12:00pm
Main Library
From the PPL blog:
New England Osteopathic Heritage Center
Osteopathic History exhibit at main library for the month of August.   More »
A Day to Remember at the Library
A summary of the events at PPL on June 17th   More »
October is Health Literacy Month
October is Health Literacy Month! “Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capac   More »
Contact the team leader
Brandie Burrows   Email »
Health Librarian
207-871-1700 x725
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