Newspaper article News Sentinel

LaFrancis Gibson, 32 ; Health Education Specialist Project Manager, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Newspaper article News Sentinel

LaFrancis Gibson, 32 ; Health Education Specialist Project Manager, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Article excerpt

The health information LaFrancis Gibson shares with a single person at a conference has the potential to improve the lives of countless others she'll never meet.

"I will speak to one person in the hopes that they will take (the information) back to their community and share it with their patients, their students and their communities," she said.

As a health education specialist project manager for Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Gibson supports the National Library of Medicine's efforts to improve access to accurate and quality health, toxicology, environmental health, HIV/AIDS and disaster preparedness information to underserved and special populations.

"The National Library of Medicine has online health information resources that are available free of charge for anyone to access," she said. "My role is to make sure our medical professionals, our students and our general community members know about these resources and are utilizing them."

Throughout the year, Gibson attends conferences, develops training programs, including online web-based training, and works with historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and other minority-serving physicians and institutions to improve their ability to address health literacy and eliminate health disparities in their communities.

"A lot of times the communities they serve are challenged with economic issues or access to health care," she said. "That's why it's so important that we go out and do outreach and make sure people know (about our resources) so we can bring those national numbers down or get a handle on it."

Gibson, a certified health education specialist, also serves as the project leader for the NLM's AIDS Community Information Outreach Program, which provides funding to local organizations that provide HIV and AIDS education to patients, caregivers and the general public.

"Her background in public health and outreach experience that encompasses training, development and evaluation of programs, and facilitating collaborative partnerships is invaluable to our programs," Nicole Scott, a National Institutes of Health program manager, wrote of Gibson. …

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