TULSA, Okla. – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced at the OU Board of Regents meeting today the donation of a $270,000 grant from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation to support the health literacy library at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa’s Schusterman Clinic.
The Morningcrest Health Library, opened in March 2013, is the only one in Oklahoma dedicated solely to consumer health information. It was created to help patients, their families and the public improve their health literacy – the ability to access and understand health information and services – in order to make more informed decisions about their health care.
“We’re most grateful to the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation for its support in establishing the library and now providing funding to continue this important resource in our community,” said OU-Tulsa President Gerard P. Clancy, M.D. “Health literacy has emerged as a crucial predictor of people’s health. There are so many aspects of health treatment today – it often feels overwhelming to patients, especially for some elderly people and those with learning challenges. The Morningcrest Health Library is there to help patients find and better understand the information they need. This is especially needed in Tulsa, where there are significant health disparities across our community.”
The consumer health library at OU-Tulsa features books, periodicals and other resources geared toward different reading levels, as well as a multi-media collection to assist visual and auditory learners. There are educational games and worksheets for children, plus full computer workstations and printers with access to the extensive research collection of the OU Health Sciences Library.
The Morningcrest Health Library is staffed by full time medical librarian Ruth Neal, who says use of the library has been building in its first year, and reaction from patients is positive.
“Some patients visit after first learning they have a health issue, or families come in seeking information about their loved ones’ needs. I try to make sure visitors leave with something they didn’t know before, even it is just a place to start. Also, as more physicians become aware that we’re here to support patient education, they refer their patients to us for additional help.”
Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation Director Greg Foland said, “We’re proud to partner with OU-Tulsa in helping people take a more active role in improving their health. It’s gratifying to see use of the health literacy library increasing, and we hope more and more people will learn about and take advantage of these resources. It’s challenging for most anyone to understand the vast amount of available information on various health issues today. We want patients to know they can find help in answering their questions. This will also enable them to communicate better with their health care providers.”
The Morningcrest Health Library is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the first floor of the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Clinic. For information about library services, contact Ruth Neal at 918-619-4880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional projects supported by the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation include the Morningcrest Endowed Leadership Chair at the OU School of Community Medicine, construction of the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Center and Healthy Women, Health Futures, a program of the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing.
The University of Oklahoma Schusterman Center is home to all OU programs in Tulsa. Located on a 60-acre campus at 41st and Yale, it strengthens OU’s presence in northeast Oklahoma and expands educational, research and patient care programs in the Tulsa area. OU-Tulsa offers six bachelor’s degree completion programs; 14 master’s degree programs, including the physician assistant program, nurse practitioner program, doctoral programs in medicine, physical therapy, education, early childhood education, engineering, pharmacy and nursing, as well as nine residency programs in medicine. It is also home to the OU School of Community Medicine, the first of its kind in the nation, created with the explicit purpose of improving the health of all Oklahoma communities. For more information about OU-Tulsa, call 918-660-3318 or visit http://tulsa.ou.edu.