Tag Archives: Consumer Health

It’s County Fair Time!

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.  Deep-fried cheese curds, elephant ears, deep-fried corn dogs, chili cheese nachos, deep-fried onion rings…. fair food! Don’t you just love county fairs?  I do, and between now and the end of September there are over 60 county fairs in Michigan with the assorted youth, agricultural, and 4-H fairs mixed in.  There’s even an Upper Penisula State Fair (August 13-19 in Escanaba).  The Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions produces a handy pamphlet that lists all fairs by date, location, and contact phone number.  But, what we really need to talk about is how to attend all of those fairs and stay healthy in the process!

  • First of all, walking around on sunny days in the  heat calls for normal summertime precautions – sunscreen, light-colored clothing, a hat that covers your entire head (not just a sun visor).
  • Next, remember to stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of water.  Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (noon – 5pm).  Rest under a shade tree or view the exhibits in the pavilions.
  • Eat healthy.  Or, eat unhealthy foods in moderation!  More and more vendors offer fruit cups, plain grilled burgers (even veggie burgers), frozen yogurt, frozen bananas on a stick.  So you do have choices.

    flickr user: Attila con la camara

Did you know?  Michigan Agricultural Fairs are an economic and social asset to over 86 communities. They are the ultimate showcase of Michigan Agriculture. With an attendance of over 6,149,000, they are a major factor in Michigan Tourism. The average Michigan fair has 282 volunteers contributing a total of 6,221 hours and $32,945 of in-kind contributions annually to help make the fair a success.  The Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions was organized in 1885.  The Michigan State Fair was the oldest state fair in the United States, begining in 1849 and was located for over 100 years on the same spot at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Ave in Detroit Michigan. (MAFE Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitons)

Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian, downtown Lansing library 

Healthy! Capital Counties

In late 2010, the four hospital systems in the Lansing, Michigan area began planning for a community health needs assessment and improvement project required by the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  They reached out to the local Public Health Departments in the tri-county capital area — Clinton, Eaton & Ingham — to begin the process and after a few months, the Healthy! Capital Counties organization was established.  Their goals were to assess the overall health of the area, present their findings, engage the community, and design and implement a health improvement plan.

The vision of the Healthy! Capital Counties Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning Process is that all people in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties live in:

  • a physical, social, & cultural environment that supports health
  • a safe, vibrant, & prosperous community that provides many opportunities to contribute and thrive
  • a community with minimal barriers & adequate resources to reach their full potential

On June 19, 2012, the Healthy! Capital Counties Community Health Profile Report went live.  The report measures the health of the tri-county Capital area across a wide array of indicators.  The next step is to engage the public by promoting community dialogues in which residents will examine data from the profile and discuss ideas for improving the overall health of our area. Seven dialogue meetings are scheduled between June 26 and July 19.  Anyone can attend regardless of where they live or work but pre-registration is requested.  Take a few minutes to review the report and then sign up to attend one of the community dialogues.  Don’t miss this opportunity to provide input for the projects and plans that will benefit all of us.

– Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

May – National Bike Month

Take off the training wheels and join your fellow Americans in celebrating National Bike Month during May!

For the past 56 years, advocacy groups like the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) and League of American Bicyclists have promoted the many benefits of bicycling — health, environment and community building.  They’ve lobbied legislatures (federal and state) to protect the rights of bicyclists, promote creation and preservation of trails, allow bicycles on public transportation (thank you CATA!), standardize right turn signals, provide public safety training and promote bike share programs (Adrian College is one example).

The LMB office is located in downtown Lansing at 416 S. Cedar Street.  They offer many resources on their website and at their office: lists of rides throughout the state (2012 Michigan Ride Calendar), Routes and Maps, Education and Advocacy Toolkits, and free publications such as “What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know,” “What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know,” and the 2012 Michigan Ride Calendar. We now have a supply of these 3 publications available at CADL Downtown Lansing.  You can also check out CADL resources for tips on bike repair, maintenance, guidebooks, and training.

Here are some May dates to remember:

    • May 9 = Bike-to-School Day
    • May 14-18 = Bike-to-Work Week
    • May 18 = Bike-to -Work Day

 “It’s like riding a bike.  You never forget how.”

– Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian 

We Want to Show (Off!) Our Health Resources

It’s been awhile since we’ve shared details about the resources available in the library and online for staying informed about health topics.  Since we’re always adding new titles — books, magazines, databases, ebooks — now’s a good time to make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest CADL offers.

  • New books — print and electronic — are ordered frequently and our online catalog contains 8 different lists of new items to check out or place on hold.
  • CADL offers electronic reference (eReference) books.  They can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any internet enabled device.
  • The Gale Virtual Reference Library  provides information in 16 subjects including Medicine, Environment and Multicultural Studies.
  • In terms of magazines we have titles such as  Consumer Reports on Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, Yoga Journal, Cure and Diabetes Forecast.
  • For anyone doing research – personal or professional, and needing current journal or newspaper articles, our databases are the best option.  Click Research Tools on our homepage then select Magazine Articles or News & Newspapers.  These databases are fantastic resources.  Many of them are updated every 24 hours and some contain millions of articles dating back to 1980.

Not sure how to use these resources or which ones may best fit your information need? Just ask a staff person.  We’d be happy to show (off!) these resources.

-Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian

Compare Hospital Care

Flickr user: Jose Goulao

When you or a family member need medical attention, you of course want the very best you can find – a facility or doctor who specializes in the exact problem you’re dealing with. Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a resource for comparing hospitals and doctors and other medical service providers to objectively assess their effectiveness and reliability?

Fortunately, there is just such a tool available from the U.S. government through the Health & Human Services Department and  Medicare.gov websites. This interactive site enables you to search for a facility or person by name or have the system develop a list of possibilities for you based on criteria you specify.  For hospital comparisons, the search begins with a location – zip code or city, state and the search type – general, medical conditions, or surgical procedures.  From the results, you can pick up to 3 hospitals to compare in the areas of general information, quality of care, medicare payment and volume data.

Although this tool is located on the Medicare site, it’s for everyone – not just Medicare eligible individuals.  In addition to the hospital comparison feature, you can also compare drug and health plans, nursing homes, dialysis facilities, and home health care.  Each of these compare options include search refinements unique to the service.  For example, under the nursing home compare you can refine your search to include nursing homes within a continuing care retirement community or located within a hospital.

– Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian

Walking Works!

Have you signed up yet for the 2012 annual Winter Warm-Up Challenge?  This is the 9th year that local communities are invited to participate in this free, 8-week long walking program, sponsored by Community Partners in Health.  Participants register online at www.walkingworks.com and then return regularly to log in the number of miles or steps they accomplish each day. Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan is awarding grants to all participating teams, with larger rewards earmarked for communities with the most logged miles and most active participants. The grants will be used to support public health and wellness projects in each community.

This year’s participating communities are:  Lansing Township, Delta Township, Delhi Township, Lansing, Williamston, Grand Ledge, Charlotte, St. Johns and East Lansing.

Go to www.walkingworks.com to sign up.  Choose Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield, then 2012 Winter Warm Up Blues Community Challenge, then select your team from the list, enter the required information, and click submit.  You’re now registered with a personal tracking page that links to your overall team page.

Weekly health themes will be discussed  in a single-page newsletter. Newsletters will be e-mailed weekly and paper copies will be available at the Lansing Mall information desk and during the Lansing Mall weekly program. If you would like to receive the newsletter by mail, contact Alicia Armstrong, Playmakers at 517-282-5035.

Community sponsores include: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, Capital Area District Library, Delta Township Parks and Recreation, Capital Area Health Alliance, City of Lansing, City of St. Johns, East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, Ingham County Health Department, Ingham County Parks, Ingham Regional Medical Center, Lansing Community College, Lansing Mall, Meridian Township Parks and Recreation, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, MSU Health4U Program, Playmakers, Sparrow Health System, and YMCA of Lansing.

– Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian

Keeping Up with Health News

Flickr user: takomabibelot

Are you interested in keeping up to date with the latest trends and news in health care?  Do you wonder what the latest research shows is the most effective treatment for various diseases?  Would you like to be more informed the next time you discuss a concern with your doctor?  While there certainly is no lack of information available from the internet, media, books, and magazines, determining which sources are credible and accurate can be tricky.  So, here are a few resources CADL offers that you can trust:

Medical newsletters:


We can also recommend the New York Times Health section and the FDA Consumer Updates.  You can subscribe to their RSS feeds or read them online.

– Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian