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VCU Libraries Develops Website for Health Care Providers in Primary Care Settings

Collaboration with area health education centers provides vital health information

Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University will now offer a free online resource of vital health care information for public health care professionals and community health center practitioners seeking information to better care for their patients. 

VCU librarians organized the materials for the new website, “A Common Wealth of Public and Primary Care Information,” to provide the most up-to-date information for health care practitioners – physicians, nurses, dentists, nutritionists and health educators in medically underserved areas. The information will support research, clinical practice, interdisciplinary training and continuing education.

"Now a health care provider in downtown Petersburg or rural Pulaski or on the water in Reedville on the Northern Neck has equal and easy access to important medical information,” said Barbara Wright, research and education librarian and project manager with VCU Libraries. “It's all free and reliable."

Tompkins-McCaw Library and two of Virginia’s eight Area Health Education Center (AHEC) programs – the Capital and the Rappahannock Area Health Education Centers – collaborated on the development of the website.    

AHEC programs work "to bridge the gap between academic health centers and the community,” said Jane Wills, executive director of the Rappahannock Area Health Education Center. “VCU Libraries' technical expertise in collaboration with AHEC has created a project that can benefit communities in the commonwealth."

An advisory committee consisting of VCU public health faculty members and public health and primary care professionals provided guidance for the project. 

The librarians identified relevant public health and primary care subject areas and developed research guides highlighting resources on topics such as nutrition, maternal health and children’s health. Additionally, they searched free websites to find databases, journals, books and other information that may be relevant to the communities that providers serve. 

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.