October is Health Literacy Month

October is health literacy month. Health Literacy is the ability to read, understand, and act upon health information.  According to the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using routine health information. A large gap exists between the way health care issues are delivered and the ability of most people to understand them.

When you are looking for health information online, MedlinePlus.gov and Magill’s Medical Guide Online are great resources. MedlinePlus.gov is a government website that has health information on every medical topic in easy-to-read format. It’s available in multiple languages, there are also videos, encyclopedias, and drug information.

Magill’s Medical Guide Online is available through JMRL databases, you’ll need to login with your library card number to access it. There’s general health information, including causes and symptoms, and treatments and therapies. You can also print or save articles with Magill’s.

JMRL also has a list of local health resources which includes mental health services and local clinics.

Check out these titles about health and wellness:

 

Complete Guide to Fitness and Health, edited by Barbara Bushman, PhD.
American College of Sports Medicine’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health merges research-based, scientific information with practical and adaptable plans that you can use. The book provides the reader with simple ways to assess themselves, and then, using insights gained, enhance their exercise programs and make optimal nutrition decisions that fit with their personal goals.

Mayo Clinic A to Z Health Guide, edited by Scott C. Litin, MD.
This is a home reference for the most common conditions.

Know-It-All Medicine, edited by Dr. Gabrielle M. Finn
Fifty crucial milestones, treatments, and technologies in the history of health, each explained in a minute. It takes the reader on an engrossing journey from the first “medicines” to today’s keyhole surgery, bionic limbs, and breakthrough drug treatments. It’s an essential and engaging read for anyone who wants to know more about the contemporary state of medicine, and what the future may hold for medicine and its practitioners.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast-cancer-ribbon-2October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 85 percent of those diagnosed have no family history of cancer. It’s the most common cancer among women, among nearly every racial and ethnic group. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 7,510 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 alone. Approximately 1,090 of these women will die from this disease. Men also get breast cancer- in the United States approximately 2,550 men will be diagnosed this year.

The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation offers many resources, including lists of support groups, information about financial resources, and phone and online support. The Every Woman’s Life program, which is a part of the Virginia Department of Health, is a public health program that helps uninsured, low income women gain access to free breast and cervical cancer screening services. The National Breast Cancer Foundation is giving away breast health guides to anyone who requests one for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Here are some titles available at JMRL for more information about breast cancer:
Breast Cancer Clear & Simple: All Your Questions Answered by the American Cancer Society
The New Generation Breast Cancer Book by Elisa Port
The Whole Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors by Edward Bauman

“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”

handmaids taleThe Brown Baggers gathered on September 20 to discuss The Handmaid’s Tale by award-winning author Margaret Atwood just in time for Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, The Handmaid’s Tale has been one of the “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” since 1990.

The novel is told by Offred- her real name is unknown. She is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian state that has replaced the United States of America. In this future there are dangerously low reproduction rates, so Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that can’t conceive. Offred’s freedom, and the freedom of all women, is completely restricted- women aren’t allowed to have jobs, own property, or have money. Offred tells the story of her life, sometimes through flashbacks.

The Brown Baggers loved this dystopian novel- and also hated it. The group was divided on the book- some thought it was thought-provoking and really enjoyed how the messages in the book were portrayed. But others found it difficult to read and even upsetting.

Some readers mentioned that the caste system in Gilead was similar to other caste systems (past and present) around the world. Colors were referenced throughout the novel, and readers quickly picked up on the meanings of colors that the women in the book were forced to wear. Some also mentioned that there was a lot of reporting and spying on neighbors depicted in the novel and thought this was very reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

Most Brown Baggers agreed that they like the character Moira- who was Offred’s best friend and had a fiery, strong personality, and it was sad that we did not find out her fate. Other readers did not like the ending of the book because it was so ambiguous, but some didn’t mind this. Overall, most felt that the book was interesting and made for a great discussion!

The Brown Baggers will discuss H is for Hawk on October 18 at 12pm.

More Information:
Article about Atwood from the New Yorker
Review from the Washington Post (from 1986)

Titles mentioned:
Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Children of Men by P.D. James
Pure by Linda Kay Kline
1984 by George Orwell
Educated by Tara Westover