Posts tagged: Council on Library and Information Resources

Countway and University of Alberta team up to bring hidden medical data to light

By , February 2, 2015

We’re excited about our upcoming joint project with the University of Alberta funded by a grant of $367,600 from the Mellon Foundation via the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections Program. Our project will open hidden collections of research data while developing a more comprehensive data lifecycle management approach to enable long term preservation and access. Together, we will be describing 39 studies comprising 390 electronic files and 135 cubic feet of paper-based records and data related to maternal, infant, and child research.

The University of Alberta recently published this interesting article on the joint project.

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Center Receives CLIR Grant to Open Maternal, Infant, and Child Research

By , December 5, 2014

Teal Shell LogoWith TextThe Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $367,602 in grant funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for its proposal Bridging the Research Data Divide: Rethinking long-term value and access for historical and contemporary maternal, infant, and child research. Grant funding will enable the Center to collaborate with the University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) to create rich metadata for discovery, access, citation, and long-term preservation of maternal, infant, child, and youth health (MCH) research data. The Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by CLIR.

The project aims to help close a significant gap in current instructional and operational approaches to the long-term preservation of research data. Such approaches generally stop at the deposit of research data into a repository for short term retention. This type of approach does not take into consideration: 1) the long-term historical value of research data; 2) interdisciplinary research; 3) how to describe research data for discoverability; 4) the need to identify and describe contextualizing manuscript collections that support the interpretation and reuse of data; 5) the need to describe data and records in advance of transferring the data to institutional repositories and special collections environments; and 6) how to make researchers aware of the existence of research data useful to their arenas of inquiry, even when collections contain protected information, such as HIPAA identifiers.UALogo

To build improved practices, the Center will process and expose Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School faculty research data and related records for the Boston site of the Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development (1930-1987, Jane Gardner, Harold C. Stuart, and Isabelle Valadian, principal investigators) that led to the growth charts used by pediatricians today; early intervention studies deriving from the multisite Infant Health and Development Program led by Marie McCormick between 1985 and 2014; and the Social Transition and Risk for Disordered Eating in Fiji study conducted by Anne E. Becker (2004-2010), which identified the impact of social media exposure on health and body image.

UAL will focus on 36 studies drawn from pediatric clinical trials (two active: Ketorolac and Metoclopramide, 2012-2014; Probiotic/Lacidofil, 2013-2017) and maternal and infant cohort studies conducted by UA-affiliated or supported Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN) researchers. MICYRN, a federal nonprofit society, links 19 academic health centers in Canada and over 20 affiliated practice-based research networks.

In all, the Center and UAL will describe 39 studies comprised of 390 electronic files and 135 cubic feet of analog records. Kathryn Hammond Baker, Deputy Director of  the Center, Sharon Farnel, Metadata & Cataloguing Librarian, UAL, and Kendall Roark, Data Curation Consultant, UAL, will serve as the project’s principal investigators. Emily R. Novak Gustainis, the Center’s Head of Collections Services, will serve as managing archivist.

This is the Center’s third Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant award, and one of only nineteen projects funded by CLIR as part of the program’s final round of awards. Previous initiatives include Foundations of Public Health Policy (2008) and Private Practices, Public Health: Privacy-Aware Processing to Maximize Access to Health Collections (2012).

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AAHM Workshop, Negotiating Access to Patient Related Materials: A Conversation between Archivists and Historians, Highlights Researcher Needs

By , June 3, 2014

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 members of the Private Practices, Public Health project team hosted a lunch session at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine in Chicago. The session, Negotiating Access to Patient Related Materials: A Conversation between Archivists and Historians, represents efforts by the Medical Heritage Library, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins University to develop best practices for archivists to speed access to patient-related and patient-generated records that are informed by the working realities of researchers and historians.  keys

Session panelists included Phoebe Evans Letocha, Collections Management Archivist, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives at Johns Hopkins, who provided attendees with an overview of HIPAA and what has changed as a result of 2013 revisions to the Privacy Rule; historians Janet Golden, Rutgers University, and Cynthia Connolly, University of Pennsylvania, who shared with the audience their research experiences and difficulties using patient records to inform their research; and Emily R. Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services, Center for the History of Medicine, who presented on findings for the survey, Research Access to Protected Records Containing Health Information About Individuals, which sought to elicit information from researchers about what they want from descriptive guides to historical collections containing patient information. The session was moderated by Scott Podolsky, Director of the Center for the History of Medicine and newly elected AAHM Councilor.

Session participants generated a number of points for archivists to consider, including:

  • Opening up communications with institutional compliance officers to develop best practices for assessing the “real” risk using patient records for historical research presents to institutions
  • Developing better ways to communicate to institutional review boards (IRBs) that historians do not want to distribute research unethically
  • Forging a partnership between the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and a professional legal organization to help explain the different access laws to both archivists and researchers state by state and to help advocate for a more consistent researcher experience through more uniform laws
  •  Crowd-sourcing information on collections with restricted content through researcher participation to help future historians understand whether or not they should pursue an IRB

Feedback from the session will also be incorporated in to Gustainis and Letocha’s presentations at the August 2014 meeting of the Society for American Archivists as part of the session, Partners in Practice: Archivists and Researchers Collaboratively Improving Access to Health Collections.

 

 

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Would your research benefit from access to historical medical records?

By , January 17, 2014

As part of a joint effort to develop best practices for enabling access to special collections containing protected health information (PHI) and other types of access-protected (“restricted”) records, the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions are conducting a survey to determine what information researchers need in order to decide whether or not to pursue access to restricted health records, such as medical records, psychiatric/mental health records, and photographs taken as part of medical treatments.surveyclip

Whether you are new to research or an experienced historian, we’d like to know how you’ve located health related records relevant to your research, if you’ve been through the IRB (Internal Review Board) process, and, most importantly, what information you think should be included in library catalog records and manuscript and archival collection guides (“finding aids”). To participate, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M25BFXF

The survey is being administered as part of grant work funded by a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a program administered by the Council on Library Resources (CLIR) to increase access to critical resources currently unavailable to historical research. The grant, Private Practices, Public Health: Privacy-Aware Processing to Maximize Access to Health Collections, was proposed on behalf of the Medical Heritage Library (MHL), and will allow the Center and its partner, the Chesney Medical Archives, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, both MHL principal contributors, to open currently inaccessible public health collections to researchers while developing best practices for enabling access to special collections containing protected health information and other types of restricted records.

The findings of this survey will be reported at a 2014 American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) annual meeting lunch session and as part of a session at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). By responding, you are helping libraries and archives improve how they describe records and make hidden collections available to researchers in more useful ways.

For more information about the survey, contact Emily R. Novak Gustainis.

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Howard Hiatt Papers Opened to Research

Howard Hiatt, probably 1972, at the start of his tenure as Dean of Harvard School of Public Health. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

The Hiatt collection finding aid is now available here.

Howard H. Hiatt (1925-), M.D., 1948, Harvard Medical School, joined the Harvard Medical School faculty in 1955, was the first Herrman L. Blumgart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Physician-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1963 to 1972, and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1972 to 1984. From 1988 to 1990, he was the Head of the Center for Policy and Education, Harvard AIDS Institute. Hiatt specialized in oncology and internal medicine, molecular biology, and biochemistry. He was also known for his public speeches and essays on the human consequences of nuclear war. During his tenure as Dean, the Harvard School of Public Health introduced teaching and research focused on molecular and cell biology, initiated programs in health policy and management, and biostatistics. Hiatt also integrated Harvard School of Public Health’s teaching and research programs with those in other Harvard University faculties, in an attempt to encourage cross-disciplinary research to bring together medicine and social science in the curriculum.

Records in the Howard H. Hiatt Papers were created by Hiatt during the course of his career as Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Physician-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital from 1941 to 2001. Records in this collection consist of: personal and professional correspondence and subject files from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, and Harvard School of Public Health departments and offices, including the Office for Diversity, the Department of Health Policy and Management, the Harvard AIDS Institute, the Takemi Program for International Health, the Office of Program Planning, the Harvard School of Public Health Development Office, and the Center for the Analysis of Health Practices; ad-hoc and standing committee records such as the Advisory Committee on Planning, the Affirmative Action Committee, and the Chernin Committee on Outside Professional Activities; notes, book reviews, research files, and draft writings and publications on subjects such as nuclear disarmament, end of life care, and health resource allocation; executive administrative files including curriculum development records, meeting minutes, appointment books, grant proposals and reports; research data, lab notes, and reports from the Brigham and Women’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (Medical Intensive Care Unit) Study and the Harvard Medical Practice Study; speech and lecture files and notes; newspaper articles and magazine clippings; conference and professional organization materials; and a smaller number of photographs and memorabilia.

The preparation of this collection for research access was funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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David Rutstein Collection Opened to Research

Rutstein at the studios of WGBH in Boston, ca. 1955

The Rutstein collection is the twelfth and final collection opened under the Center’s CLIR-funded Foundations of Public Health Policy project. The finding aid is available here.

David Davis Rutstein, (1909-1986), S.B., 1930, Harvard College, M.D., 1934, Harvard Medical School, joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1947 as Professor of Preventive Medicine and was head of the Department of Preventive Medicine until 1969. In 1966, he was appointed the Ridley Watts Professor of Preventive Medicine, and held that position until his retirement in 1975. Rutstein was also the Deputy Commissioner of Public Health for the New York City Department of Health from 1943-1946, and was a consultant in preventive medicine for many hospitals in New York and Massachusetts from the 1940s to the 1970s. Rustein played a national role in the organization of medical care, the integration of preventive medicine into the care of individual patients, and the measurement of medical outcomes. In the 1960s he directed a study on forming health maintenance programs, lobbied for a change in state laws regarding birth control for the poor, and advocated the use of nurse midwives for delivery. Some of his later studies with the U.S. Veteran’s Administration were on the genetic basis of alcoholism and on standards of health care. In 1955, Rutstein began a 40-episode television series on WGBH-TV called “Facts of Medicine”. This was one of the first uses of television to inform the public about local and national health concerns and current research.

The collection includes correspondence files documenting programs Rutstein initiated within the Department of Preventive Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as his larger influence on curriculum development at the school; teaching activities; and plans for a program in community health care at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Other aspects of his professional life covered in the papers include involvement in medical societies, especially the American and Massachusetts Heart Associations and American Council on Rheumatic Fever; consulting and advisory work for a variety of international and national medical bodies, including WHO and U.S. Public Health Service, and chairmanship of U.S.-United Kingdom Cooperative Rheumatic Fever Study; research on pneumonia, rheumatic fever, heart and blood vessel diseases, etc., and dissemination of its results to scientists and to the general public through Rutstein’s weekly television program and various articles; and lobbying efforts to change state laws, such as liberalizing birth control laws.

Harvard files contain considerable correspondence with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Public Health Service; curriculum committee records, such as minutes, memoranda, correspondence, proposals, and reports; faculty meeting dockets and related material; lecture schedules, correspondence with students, class rosters (with grades) for the Health Resources program, and other teaching papers; departmental records, such as budgets and recommendations for tenure; and correspondence relating to committees he served on, including the Harvard-MGH Committee on Family Health and Medical Care Program, a community health program at Boston City Hospital, and other subjects. Also includes correspondence and related material concerning Lowell lectures, and his advisory and other work for the Veterans Administration, New York State Health Department, Boston area hospitals and professional societies; subject files for the TV program “The Facts of Medicine,” with fan mail, transcripts, and drafts; correspondence, notes, statements, reports, and printed material related to legislation; and drafts of articles and other publications. Also includes correspondence and notes related to articles published on occupational diseases.

The preparation of this collection for research access was funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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Public Health Collections Now Open for Research

By , February 28, 2011

Brochure for Skylab, the United States’ first space station. From the collection of Robert Benford, who specialized in aviation medicine and had been editor of several aerospace journals. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Three public health collections are now available for research:..

Robert J. Benford Papers: Robert Joseph Benford (Nebraska, M.D. 1934) was an officer in the Medical Corps, U.S. Air Force during World War II and made Colonel, 1947-1960. He was also Chief, Engineering Development Division of the Armed Services Medical Procurement Agency. The collection includes many photographs and printed material, such as reports about aeronautical research. Processed by Cheryl Ostrowski.

D. Mark Hegsted Papers: Hegsted (Wisconsin, Ph.D. 1940) taught nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health starting in 1942. In 1968 he served as head of the Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. His principal research interests are in nutritional needs in underdeveloped areas of the world and protein and calcium requirements. The collection documents Hegsted’s professional activities, especially his work with the Food and Nutrition Board to formulate national nutritional policies; his research and other concerns, such as food labeling and coordinating national nutritional programs; and his work toward raising public interest in nutritional issues. Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck. Finding aid available here.

Jean Mayer Papers: Mayer (1920- ) (Yale, Ph.D. 1948) taught nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1950 to 1976, when he became president of Tufts University. He chaired the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health and served as consultant on nutrition to various countries. He has lectured extensively and written articles and books. His research has dealt primarily with the brain mechanism regulating hunger and food intake and with experimental and clinical obesity. Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck. The finding aid is here.

These collections were processed as a part of the Center’s CLIR-funded project, Foundations of Public Health Policy, which recently concluded. for more informatoion about these collections, additional Foundations collections, or the project, see the project website.

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Howard Hiatt Dean’s Records now available

Hiatt (center) surrounded by HSPH alumni in Oslo, Norway. Directly in front of Hiatt is seated Gro Harlem Brundtland, MPH ’65, later Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the World Health Organization. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Howard H. Hiatt (1925-), MD, 1948, Harvard Medical School, joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1955 and was the first Herrman L. Blumgart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Physician-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass from 1963 to 1972, and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1972 to 1984. From 1988-1990, he was the Head of the Center for Policy and Education, Harvard AIDS Institute. Dr. Hiatt specialized in oncology and internal medicine, molecular biology, and biochemistry. He was also known for his public speeches and essays on the human consequences of nuclear war. During his tenure as Dean, the Harvard School of Public Health introduced teaching and research focused on molecular and cell biology, initiated programs in health policy and management, and biostatistics. Dr. Hiatt also integrated Harvard School of Public Health’s teaching and research programs with those in other Harvard University Faculties, in an attempt to encourage cross-disciplinary research to bring together medicine and social science in the curriculum. Continue reading 'Howard Hiatt Dean’s Records now available'»

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Preliminary Results for Center’s Processing Metrics Survey Now Available

By , May 19, 2010

To better understand appropriate-level processing methodologies and metrics capture, the Center recently invited individuals affiliated with the New England Archivists, the Society of American Archivists, and the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences to participate in an online survey of how repositories measure processing activities and outputs. Respondents included archivists, curators, library directors, and program administrators from across the country, with the majority of participants representing college or university archives (36.8%) and special collections in an academic or library environment (29.4%).

Of the sixty-eight respondents, 21.1% reported that their repository does not capture any metrics related to processing collections and 29.8% reported that their workplace had only started to collect metrics within the last five years. The survey generated the following findings: 23.7% of repositories do not keep statistics on collections processed in a calendar or fiscal year; 86% do not measure the amount of time they spend on creating processing plans; 77.6% do not keep statistics on box and folder listing; 82.5% do not keep statistics on arrangement; 80.7% do not keep statistics on description; 54.4% do not keep statistics on creating and encoding finding aids; 75.4% do not keep statistics on preservation photocopying; and 47.4% do not keep statistics on digitization.

Of interest, the survey revealed that, as professionals, we focus on the cumulative results of our activities and are less concerned with the amount of time we spend on particular arrangement and description activities. Participants tracking collections maintained the bulk of their statistics at the collection level, tracking volume of material processed second, with a very small number of respondents evaluating workflow for specific activities (between 1.8% and 8.8%, depending on activity monitored).  The survey will inform the Center’s development of a tool for generating database-driven management data related to the processing of archival and manuscript collections to better understand (and measure) the costs and benefits of processing to different levels. The Center’s Beta database, currently in use for tracking all activities itemized in the survey, was developed as part of its CLIR-funded Foundations of Public Health Policy grant work. The Center will publish its findings related to collections processed by staff utilizing discrete tracking in the coming year.

For more information about the Center’s processing metrics initiative, please contact Emily R. Novak Gustainis (Emily_Gustainis@hms.harvard.edu).

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