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August 26, 2011 > Find the Information You Need at the Community Health Resource Library

Find the Information You Need at the Community Health Resource Library

Resources Include DVDs, Medication Drop-off, Free Screenings and Resources for Teens

Do you have a health question? Are you an educator looking for good health-related materials for your students? Or are you just looking for a free and convenient way to check your blood pressure or bone density?

The Community Health Resource Library (CHRL) at Washington Hospital is more than just a resource for a great collection of books on topics ranging from strokes and cancer to nutrition and eating disorders. The library also is known for providing consumer-friendly health resources such as DVDs and videos on a wide range of health care topics, as well as magazines and Internet access.

A unique library

"The Community Health Resource Library at Washington Hospital is unique in that it offers community members a centralized resource for information about health-related topics," explains Operations Coordinator Lucy Castillo. "If you've ever gone to the Fremont Main Library, you'll know that it's huge and the materials are spread out. Our collection is specifically devoted to health topics, and some of the topics we carry here they don't have at the main library.

"It's a nice place for people to come learn about a condition they-or a family member-might have. We also offer materials about how to cope with things like anxiety and depression."

What's new?

There also are plenty of new materials to check out at the library, according to Castillo, with something for all age groups.

"We're definitely increasing our DVD collection, which has doubled in size since last year," she says. "We also have recently implemented a young adult section with items that address health issues for teens, including information about lifestyle choices and healthy relationships.

"They can find information about teen dating issues, sport-related topics and other issues that affect them. We also offer fliers for educators to use in educating students about relevant issues at their campuses."

A range of services

Another important program available is the ongoing bone-density (osteoporosis) screenings in the library. Additionally, the library has a self-service blood pressure screening station, which also calculates the person's height and weight to determine their body mass index (BMI).

The library is also a great resource for students in the health care field, according to Castillo.

"One of our resources that people may not be aware of is our anatomical models, which are also available for check out," she says. "This is a valuable resource, particularly for nursing students and health educators. The models complement projects and function as interactive tools."

The library also serves as a convenient site for community members to drop off unused or expired medications (excluding sharps, lancets or glass bottles) as part of Washington Hospital's effort to reduce the environmental impact of improper disposal of medication through a partnership with Union Sanitary District. The program offers Tri-City area residents a convenient, safe and environmentally sound option for medication disposal. The service is free to residents and helps prevent pharmaceuticals from ending up in rivers, bays, and oceans, which can damage fish and wildlife.

"I would like to have more people come in and take advantage of the drop-off box," Castillo says. "It's easy and it ensures these items will be properly disposed of. The box is emptied each weekend, so it should never be too full for drop-offs."

Calling all volunteers

For individuals looking for a great volunteer opportunity, Castillo highly recommends getting involved with the Community Health Resource Library.

"The library is a good opportunity for both for adults and junior volunteers," she enthuses. "The adult volunteers are valuable in the library as they share much of their knowledge on services available at Washington Hospital. The junior volunteers are just as essential in the library. For example, I have one junior volunteer who comes in just about every day since the beginning of summer; he's become my go-to person for cataloging our books and other computer projects. I am definitely always looking for volunteers who are computer savvy, enjoy sharing their knowledge and are ready to serve the community."

To learn more about becoming a Community Health Resource Library volunteer, call Castillo at (510) 494-7009.

Check out the library

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 2500 Mowry Avenue (in the Washington West building), Suite 100, Fremont
Call: (510) 494-7030

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