DHHS, NIH News  
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development (NICHD)

For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Robert Bock
or Marianne Glass Miller

The National Institutes of Health and Jackson Medical Mall Launch Informative Health Series for Mississippians

A quarterly health information series was launched today by the National Institutes of Health and the Jackson Medical Mall.

The NIH/Jackson Medical Mall health information series will provide residents of the Jackson, Miss., area with informational presentations on diabetes, stroke/hypertension, asthma, and mental health. The health series will also include quarterly continuing medical education (CME) presentations for health care professionals.

The launch commemorates the second anniversary of the NIH Health Information Center, a repository of NIH health publications at the Jackson Medical Mall. The center, developed in early 2006, features health information materials from many of NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers and includes information on vision health, cancer, heart disease, dental care, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, and many other health topics.

“It is essential to provide all Americans with the skills they need to better understand the results of health research, so that they can make healthier choices for themselves and their children,” said Yvonne T. Maddox, Ph.D., deputy director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD.) “We’re delighted to launch this series in partnership with the Jackson Medical Mall, and look forward to providing information on a range of health topics.”

Dr. Maddox noted that the Mississippi Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) African American Outreach Project, in collaboration with the NIH, is conducting training throughout the nine Mississippi health districts in the methods for reducing the risk of SIDS.

“Many individuals ignore their ailments and illnesses because they are afraid to come to the doctor and find out something that could be potentially devastating,” says Dr. Aaron Shirley, chairman of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation board of directors. “It is vitally important that we celebrate this unique occasion and cultivate it around health literacy so that people will not feel intimidated to go to the doctor’s office. They can come to the Health Information Resource Center first and alleviate any worries they may have.”

Today’s health forum included a health fair from the official launch of the series; a health literacy panel for health professionals; and a community health forum on health literacy.

The NIH kiosk at the Jackson Medical Mall includes information on various health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and SIDS.

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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