Written by Abigail Roth Originally posted on the Yale School of Medicine website Heidi, the Yale Police Department’s (YPD) yellow Labrador Retriever service dog and community engagement ambassador, was a frequent—much appreciated—visitor to the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) campus during the fall semester, especially outside the anatomy lab. Heidi greeted first-year medical students, and many stopped to play with her. Providing comfort after anatomy lab Sundari Birdsall, MSW, MPH, RYT500, wellness counselor from the medical school's Student Mental Health & Wellness (SMH&W) Program, came up with the idea for Heidi’s post-anatomy visits. Birdsall then reached out to YPD Officer Rich Simons, Heidi’s “partner,” to coordinate. In explaining the thinking behind her idea, Birdsall says she thought “students could benefit from touching something warm and alive after being in the anatomy lab.” Additionally, she and Lisa Ho, LCSW, YSM’s student mental health & wellness program manager, often brainstorm about “creative ways to support students who wouldn't necessarily seek out therapy or wellness sessions.” Yale School of Medicine and Yale Mental Health and Counseling (MHC) launched the SMH&W Program in October 2021, to provide YSM students more immediate access to mental health counseling. The program provides access to one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and student wellness activities. In addition to Birdsall and Ho, a third member, Kathlene Tracy, PhD, has joined the team and will be available to meet students starting this month. Heidi’s post-anatomy visits, Birdsall says, have been effective. As students are petting Heidi, always with hands washed before leaving anatomy, many make informal, reflective comments about their anatomy lab experience, often related to the five senses. For example, they might mention the contrast of Heidi’s warm body to the cold bodies in the anatomy lab, or Heidi’s sense of smell picking up the lingering scents from the lab. Many students simply express relief to see and get to play with Heidi after what can be an emotional experience, with statements such as, “You knew I needed this today." Additionally, the engagement has led several students to pull Birdsall aside and informally debrief, or ask questions about their lab experience. Because Heidi's visits have been effective, Birdsall plans to expand the initiative in the spring to include anatomy lab visits for both medical students and Physician Associate Program students. Helping to promote wellness services Another outreach strategy Birdsall has initiated, in collaboration with Simons and Melanie Norton, MLIS, head of access and delivery services in the Cushing Whitney Medical Library (CWML), relates to the library. Birdsall explains she had been spending lunchtime on Fridays in the library, since the start of the academic year, to promote the SMH&W Program’s services. “Our wellness programming is robust and open to student interests and ideas,” Birdsall says, adding that frequently changing wellness events are posted on a calendar. To make sure students are of aware of these opportunities, “I'd sit for an hour by the circulation desk or outside the library at the time students were leaving class, offering hot cups of tea and info on our program.” Norton told Birdsall that pre-COVID, the library had had its own therapy dog that students loved, and suggested Birdsall might want to bring a similar dog to the library. Thinking it was a terrific idea, Birdsall reached out to Simons to arrange regular Friday visits. Birdsall appreciates the time Simons and Heidi devote to YSM. “Despite Heidi’s busy calendar, Rich has done a wonderful job of prioritizing the medical school,” she says. Birdsall explains that she books Heidi a month in advance using the LiveSafe app, “and we have been flexible about cancellations during times when Heidi has been needed somewhere else on short notice.” Simons, who refers to Heidi as his “wonderful best friend,” explains that “Heidi’s mission is to make friends and place smiles on everyone’s faces.” Birdsall also expresses gratitude for Norton’s support of the CWML outreach initiative—which includes bringing in candy for students and even giving up her chair and desk for Birdsall. Norton says that the CWML staff enjoy having Birdsall, Simons, and Heidi visit weekly, adding, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.” Reflecting on Heidi, Birdsall shares, “I've felt Heidi's empathic compassion first-hand.” Simons once gave the command, "Heidi, tell me a story," and, Birdsall explains, Heidi “lay down right on my lap and held still while looking up at me. As I petted her in this position, I started to tear up, seemingly out of the blue! Her caring touch was powerful."
Dana Haugh's blog
Medical librarians have been extremely busy this summer orienting and educating new fellows, residents, and faculty members across the medical campus and Yale New Haven Hospital. These sessions give new and seasoned users the opportunity to meet their dedicated library liaison and receive a primer on the medical library’s numerous resources and services. Perhaps most importantly, these sessions establish medical librarians as partners in research, clinical, and educational endeavors, and help cultivate relationships that will last throughout each user’s Yale career. In June, first-year Surgery residents journeyed to the Medical Library’s large classroom to meet with Alexandria Brackett, Clinical Research & Education Librarian, and Melissa Grafe, Head of the Medical Historical Library, and learn about contemporary and historical library resources. Alexandria highlighted a variety of tools to help them in their practice and emphasized her role as liaison librarian in supporting their success. Melissa showcased many of the Medical Historical Library’s collections and shared tips and tricks for searching the archives. Over on Yale’s West Campus, Janene Batten, Research & Education Librarian for Nursing, met with new Yale School of Nursing (YSN) faculty members to suggest services and library resources that align with their curriculum. Embedded across all levels in the YSN curriculum, Janene regularly educates faculty and students about using evidenced-based resources like Scopus and PubMed, and point-of-care tools like ClinicalKey for Nursing, which are essential to the nursing profession. Back on Cedar Street, Melissa Funaro, Clinical Research & Education Librarian, visited the Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Child Study Center departments to familiarize fellows and residents with the myriad of services and resources the Medical Library provides. Melissa connected each department with their curated research guide and highlighted services such as literature searching, data management planning, and scholarly publishing to ensure new users were aware the many ways the Medical Library can assist in research and clinical practice. Kate Nyhan, Research & Education Librarian for Public Health, held an orientation session at the Medical Library for Yale’s Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS) on evidence synthesis methods, maximizing research impact, complying with funder public access policies, and choosing the right journals to disseminate their work. She also taught in the Summer Program in Environmental Health Sciences, which introduces rising college sophomores and juniors to environmental health and toxicology. Kayla Del Biondo, Simbonis Librarian for Public Health, and Kate also presented virtually and in-person to incoming Executive MPH students, Advanced Practice (AP) MPH students, new MPH, PhD, and MS students. Their sessions covered everything from health science databases to library spaces to historical materials. Kaitlin Throgmorton, Data Librarian for the Health Sciences, and Dana Haugh, Web Services Librarian, held virtual training sessions for Yale School of Public Health summer internship participants. Dana provided tips and tricks for creating effective PowerPoint presentations and Kaitlin gave an overview of best practices for incorporating data visualizations into their presentations. Additionally, Kaitlin taught an introduction to research data management seminar to the Yale Interdisciplinary Prostate Program (YIPP) and the OB/GYN residency orientation. Courtney Brombosz, Research & Education Librarian, headed to the Cohen Auditorium to give a library orientation for incoming medical students who choose to do research before they start medical school through the START@Yale program. Courtney introduced them to some of the key databases for conducting research and shared ways the Medical Library can help them throughout their career at Yale. Alyssa Grimshaw, Clinical Research & Education Librarian headed upstairs to the Beaumont Room to give a Grand Rounds presentation to the Urology Department titled “Connecting to Library Resources and Services.” The presentation covered library resources and services available to the clinical and academic Yale affiliates. Attendees also learned useful tips for searching medical databases, why citation management software is helpful in organizing and preparing their research, and how to take ownership of their author profiles after publishing. In the Medical Library's instruction classroom, Caitlin Meyer, Research & Education Librarian, taught multiple sessions for Physician Associate students to help with their thesis projects. The workshops helped students transform nascent thesis topics into focused research questions as well as develop search strategies for multiple literature databases. Sofia Fertuzinhos and Rolando Garcia-Milian, of the Medical Library’s Bioinformatics Support Hub, organized a hybrid teaching series entitled “Intro to Transcriptomics: from counts to functional analysis.” This series of seven workshops is designed for researchers interested in learning the basic steps for re-analysis of publicly available bulk-RNAseq data. It covers basic genomic data annotation concepts, databases where to find datasets for re-analysis, how to perform differential gene analysis, add gene annotations and perform gene pathway analysis, as well as tools to visualize the results. Additionally, Rolando and Sofia gave several orientation classes to new medical students and BBS graduate students. Terry Dagradi, Cushing Center Coordinator, gave dozens of tours of the Medical Library and the Cushing Center to groups of middle and high school students in programs around New Haven and Yale. Students enrolled in programs such as the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, EduExplora, Horizons at Foote, Yale Pathways to Science excitedly followed Terry through the library while learning about Harvey Cushing, Phineas Gage, and saw real human brains for the first time. Finally, a cohort of medical librarians recently welcomed this year's incoming class of medical students to Yale and the Medical Library. Led by Courtney Brombosz, the group comprised Megan Nance (Access Services Librarian), Caitlin Meyer, Melissa Grafe, Zsuzsa Nemeth (Head of Clinical Research and Education), Sofia Fertuzinhos, and Lei Wang (Head of Technology and Innovation). Each librarian provided a brief overview of services and tools available to the incoming students and reiterated the Medical Library's commitment to supporting them throughout their educational journey.
The medical library will be closed July 1 - July 4, 2022. We will reopen on Tuesday, July 5th at 7:30am. As always, the 24/7 room will remain open and accessible via the staircase by the library entrance.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine showing no signs of easing, violent assaults continue to wreak havoc and devastation on civilians in Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries. In an effort to help those who are suffering, the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library is working with the Franciscan Bridge of Help to deliver desperately needed medical supplies to hospitals in Lviv, Ukraine. Father Norbert M. Siwinski of St. Michael’s Parish of Bridgeport, Connecticut, created the Franciscan Bridge of Help after he connected with Bishop Edward Kawa in Lviv, which is near the border with Poland. The initiative establishes a direct path between Bridgeport and Lviv to help those affected by Russia’s military operations. All donated medical supplies are sent, with the help of a Polish shipping company, to Lancut, Poland, where the supplies are then transported to Bishop Edward in Lviv. On March 7, a donation box was placed near the Medical Library’s circulation desk and, in just two days, three boxes were filled with donated medical and surgical supplies. Student worker Anna Baker, YC ’22 translated medication labels into both Ukrainian and Russian so those overseas could read the ingredients and dosages, while Thomas Shao, YSPH ’22 helped pack boxes. “I am glad my language skills were able to come in handy here,” said Baker. “This war feels deeply personal to me and while it feels like nothing I can do could be enough, I hope that this helps at least some. I also hope that this medical supplies drive is an opportunity for others who feel powerless to do anything to help.” This war feels deeply personal to me and while it feels like nothing I can do could be enough, I hope that this helps at least some. - Anna Baker YC '22 The first shipment of supplies was sent to Lancut, Poland, on March 10. The medical library will continue to collect medicines, gauze, and other medical supplies until the atrocities end. St. Michael’s Parish is also collecting monetary donations for Ukrainian relief efforts through Venmo: @stmichaelbpt Items Needed: sterile gauze, sterile packing materials, different kinds nitrile gloves IV catheters, large gage- G18 or close tourniquets nasopharyngeal airway Chest seal (asherman, halo, other) decompression kit (chest air release system) CPR face shield IV kits surgical needles, and suture material medical scissors antibiotic creams Acetaminophen 1000mg dose Meloxicam 15mg dose Antibiotics: gatifloxacin 400mg or other oral antibiotics for trauma use Tylenol for Adults and Children Ibuprofen Neosporin Bandages Aspirin 325mg This article is also viewable on the Yale School of Medicine website.
The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library is delighted to welcome three new staff members to our team: Megan Nance, Kaitlin Throgmorton, and Laura Juliano. Megan Nance joined the Access and Delivery Services team as the Evening/Weekend Access Services Librarian. Previously, Megan was at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida where she was Acting Head of Access Services and Archives. Kaitlin Throgmorton joined the Technology and Innovation team as the Data Librarian for the Health Sciences. Kaitlin came to us from Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit health research organization, where she was the Bioinformatics Analyst and Data Curator. Laura Juliano joined the Medical Historical Library team as a Term Archivist. Laura will be processing the Gary Burget papers, a large collection of plastic surgery records and materials. Laura most recently interned at the American Civil Liberties Union, and previously worked as a Collections Assistant at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Hours for the upcoming 2021 Thanksgiving holiday will be: Wednesday, November 24: 7:30am - 5pm Thursday, November 25: Closed Friday, November 26: Closed The 24/7 room will remain open and accessible via the stairwell to the left of the Medical Library entrance. Normal hours will resume Saturday, November 27. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving!
Melanie Norton, Head of Access and Delivery Services, was recognized for her outstanding leadership of the DiversAbility at Yale (DAY) affinity group. Throughout her career Melanie has been passionate and responsive to the needs of individuals impacted by disability, and in particular with the challenges students with disabilities encounter when trying to use public spaces and academic libraries. As the co-chair of the DAY from 2019 to 2021, Melanie championed the causes of faculty, staff, and students with disabilities (either visible or invisible) so as to improve their sense of belonging at Yale. DAY's mission is to create a personal and professional network for all Yale employees impacted by disability, identify opportunities to promote recruitment, retention and advancement of people with disabilities, support and collaborate with other Yale affinity groups and efforts to create an inclusive Yale community, and increase awareness of issues related to disability through learning opportunities, social activities, and participation in outreach activities. Deborah Stanley-McAuley, Associate Vice President for Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture, presented Melanie with the award and commended her for her committment to accessibility, disability advocacy, and community building at Yale and beyond. Kudos from DAY colleagues: "Thank you for your dedication, contributions and outstanding service as affinity group leader in making Yale a better place for different staff constituencies across camps." - Henry Kwan, Director for Shared Interest Groups "Thank you so much for everything you've done to make Yale a better place. Your commitment to the Yale community and our well-being is so very appreciated." - Tracy MacMath, Web Application Developer at Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library "Thank you for your leadership of DAY during an extraordinarily challenging time; I'm so grateful for everything you did to maintain and strengthen community during your term as co-chair!" - Julie Linden, Director of Collection Development Scholarly Resources
Interested in learning more about what the medical library can do for you? Whether it’s setting up citation alerts for your papers or accessing journals off campus, we’re here to help! Stop by the medical library entrance on September 15 from 9:00am – 11:00am to find out more.
The medical library will be closed on Monday, September 6 for Labor Day. As always, the 24/7 room will be open for Yale and YNHH ID holders. To access the 24/7 room when the medical library is closed, use the stairwell to the left of the medical library entrance, go down one set of stairs, and turn right into the corridor. The 24/7 room door is located down the hall on the right side. Please note: there is no elevator access to and from this room when the medical library is closed.
The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library is delighted to welcome two new staff members to our team. On the Academic and Research Education team we welcomed Kayla Del Biondo and Sofia Fertuzinhos. Kayla Del Biondo joins us as the Simbonis Librarian for Public Health. Kayla will work with Kate Nyhan in providing support to the YSPH community, particularly students, as well as assist Lindsay Barnett with scholarly communication projects and topics, such as open access, copyright, and processing YSPH and other student theses. Sofia Fertuzinhos joins our Bioinformatics Support Hub as the Research and Education Librarian for Bioinformatics. Sofia received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale and the University of Coimbra in Portugal as part of a prestigious joint program. Sofia has worked in neuroscience labs at Yale since 2010, first as a postdoctoral associate, postdoctoral fellow, and associate research scientist.