Richmond Instruction: Public Health Informatics

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 10am-11am
Conference Room C-136
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Building C, Richmond, CA


RSVP by Monday, September 8th to Michael Sholinbeck at or (510) 642-2510. Please obtain your supervisor’s approval before you RSVP.


Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

Do you want to know:

* About novel methods of disease surveillance?

* About free medical and health mobile applications?

* What “participatory epidemiology” is?

* About online collaboration tools that allow document and file sharing with colleagues?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s Public Health Informatics class.

Topics covered will include:
1. Public Health Informatics: What is it?
2. Brief overview of historical aspects and syndromic surveillance
3. Tools you can use:
a. for outbreak or disease surveillance,
b. for decision-making and data collection,
c. for collaboration
4. Examples of public health applications of information technology
5. Sources of additional information, trainings, etc.

NOTE: This session will NOT include in-depth coverage of health information exchanges, “meaningful use,” data standards, and similar topics.

Class Objective:
To provide an introduction to Public Health Informatics, with examples of technological tools for public health work, including tools that:
– Help you find relevant research, including via mobile platforms;
– Identify and assess the health status of populations in new ways;
– Recognize linkages between health and environmental, social, and other factors;
– Collaborate in ?communities of practice? across disciplinary and/or jurisdictional boundaries.

These training sessions are free to CDPH employees. A certificate of completion will be available for those who attend the class.

If you are interested in other training classes we offer please go to the library training page for more information.

Sacramento Instruction: EndNote Basics Hands-On

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 10:30-12 pm
Enterprise Computer Training Room 72.169
1500 Capitol Ave, Sacramento
(Turn left as you enter the building and
proceed through the double doors to the
Enterprise Training Room)


RSVP by Monday, September 22nd to Michael Sholinbeck at or (510) 642-2510. Please obtain your supervisor’s approval before you RSVP.


Please note: This class is limited to 12 participants. A waiting list will be created, if necessary, for a possible additional class.

Some seats may be available on the day of the class so if you don’t register in advance, you can just show up to see if there is availability.

Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

* Interested in a program that lets you easily create a customizable database of citations?

* Do you already have the EndNote program but are not sure what it can do for you?

* Do you write journal articles or reports and need to cite literature you’ve read or referenced?

* Are you already using EndNote and have some burning questions?

* Are you interested in a hands-on session so you can learn and practice using EndNote?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s EndNote X7 Basics Hands-On class!

Topics covered will include:

1. Some new features in EndNote X7
2. How to populate your EndNote database with citations from PubMed and elsewhere
3. EndNote X7 features: display, search, groups, etc.
4. How to use “Cite While You Write” with Microsoft Word
5. How to get help

Class Objective:

Learn how to save time and work more efficiently:
– Save article and other citations in a customizable database
– Add PDF files to the references in your database
– Create groups to organize references by topic, project, etc.
– Add citations to a Word document, and automatically format the bibliography and notes in any of thousands of styles

These training sessions are free to CDPH staff. A certificate of completion will be available for those who attend the class.

If you are interested in other training classes we offer please go to the library training page for more information.

Professional Development: Writing in the Sciences

Want to learn how to become a more effective writer? Then this free eight-week course from Stanford Online might be for you! Topics covered will include principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, issues in publication, and peer review.

The first four weeks will go over general principles of effective writing, with the last four weeks examining issues specific to scientific writing, including authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating science for lay audiences.

The instructor, Kristin Sainani (née Cobb) is a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University and also a health and science writer. Students who score at least 60 percent will pass the course and receive a Statement of Accomplishment. Students who score at least 90 percent will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with distinction.

Don’t delay! The class begins September 2. See Stanford Online for more details and to register.

Many Free Ebola Resources on the Internet

Have you been looking for reliable resources for information on the Ebola outbreak? One place to start is the Disaster Information Management Research Center’s Ebola Outbreak page. The DIMRC, a unit of the National Library of Medicine, provides links to a number of resources from a variety of organizations including the CDC, the FDA, USAID, WHO, and others. You’ll also find links to free resources from publishers, Twitter and Facebook accounts with current postings, a link to a map and timeline, and multi-language resources.

Another place for information is UC Berkeley, who recently hosted an Ebola Virus Outbreak Special Lecture webinar. Dr. Francis, MD, DSc presented the lecture: The 2014 Ebola Outbreak:
Update on an Unprecedented Public Health Event
which is now available on YouTube. Dr. Francis is the Executive Director at Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases (GSID) in South San Francisco.

The APHA has provided a new book chapter for those who need resources. It made a preview chapter on Ebola freely available for download. It’s from their book “Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 20th Edition”

Looking for information on legal aspects of the Ebola outbreak? The Network for Public Health Law co-sponsored the webinar Ebola and the Law: What You Need to Know” with the American Health Lawyers Association. The webinar describes the recent outbreak, discusses legal issues that arise when infected patients enter the U.S., and explores legal powers and duties health department personnel have if an Ebola outbreak occurs in the U.S.

Do you need more information or have questions on Ebola or other topics? Please feel free to contact us for help. You can reach us Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm by calling (510) 642-2510 and by logging in to the web portal.

Updated tables for the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

The CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences released new data to the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, an ongoing biomonitoring assessment of the U.S. population?s exposure to environmental chemicals.

The Updated Tables, August 2014 provides nationally-representative biomonitoring data from CDC?s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that has become available since the publication of the Fourth Report in 2009. The August 2014 report includes updated tables for 129 chemicals and 70 chemicals that have been added. This release also includes previous updates to the tables and provides new data for some metals, phthalates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The Updated Tables in this release include chemicals that have results available from the NHANES survey periods 2007-2008 or 2011-2012. New chemicals measured for the first time include ethyl mercury, methyl mercury, selenium, and manganese. Urinary metabolites of several volatile organic compounds and urine manganese, strontium, and tin were measured in a special sample of adult smokers and nonsmokers.

Please note: the July 2014 Updated Tables were withdrawn on August 8 after NHANES discovered a sampling weight error. The Updated Tables, August 2014, includes NHANES 2011-2012 data not affected by this error. When the corrected files are available from NHANES, the CDC will add those tables to a future release.

The Updated Tables, August 2014 and additional resources are now available at the CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The website also contains details of the Data Sources and Data Analysis, Interpretation of Report Data, and Chemical and Toxicological Information that pertain to the Updated Tables.

New NLM Tutorial: Searching Drugs or Chemicals in PubMed

Looking for help in searching PubMed for drug or chemical information? The National Library of Medicine has just released the new tutorial called Searching Drugs or Chemicals in PubMed.
This informative tutorial offers tips on effectively and efficiently searching PubMed for drugs and chemicals, through a series of nine brief modules with video demonstrations.

You’ll find out how to use the common name, the MeSH database, and pharmacological action lists to search for your substance. You’ll also find tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid in these helpful modules.

NLM has created many other tutorials to help you use PubMed. These tutorials will help with basic PubMed searches, managing your results, saving searches, and using MeSH.

The Public Health Library has also created many handouts, exercise sets, and tutorials to assist you with your PubMed searches. You’ll find a quick guide, PubMed basics information, a MeSH handout, and a My NCBI guide among other materials.

Please feel free to contact us with your questions on searching PubMed!

CDPH in the News

CDPH in the News

Tough to swallow: Sysco fined $19.4 million for unsafe food storage practices
from Fleet Owner

Food distribution giant Sysco Corporation has agreed to pay $19.4 million in fines and restitution for storing food in unrefrigerated and unsanitary buildings in California. The settlement includes $15 million in penalties, $3.3 million to fund four California Department of Public Health investigator positions for five years, a $1 million donation to food banks across California and $127,000 in costs.

Eight Hospitals Fined $775,000 for 10 Disastrous Mistakes
from AllGov

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced last week that it had fined eight hospitals a total of $775,000 for 10 incidents, and like the list released last October, it included safety violations that resulted in serious injury and death. Fines ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 were meted out to medical centers in five counties for incidents including the improper mixing of medications and surgical materials left behind in a patient. Some of the cases date back to 2012, but have only recently been closed.

California Department of Public Health Reports No Confirmed Cases of Ebola in the State
from Sierra Sun Times

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with local health departments and health care providers statewide to identify patients who have traveled to countries affected by Ebola. CDPH is directing health providers to follow protocols established by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients. People returning from the affected areas who may be at high risk for Ebola should be isolated and their blood sent to CDC for testing. Some low-risk patients, like the one from Sacramento, may be tested out of an abundance of caution. CDPH works with local health departments and hospitals to arrange for proper specimen shipment and Ebola virus confirmatory testing. There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California. There have been no patients admitted to California hospitals who are considered to be at high risk of Ebola according to CDC criteria.

On Calif. coast, biotoxins cause deadly sea lion seizures, seafood scare
from Aljazeera America

Peppa, the name given to a rescued sea lion, is like many of the animals crowding the six pens at Marine Mammal Center’s San Luis Obispo Operations, which has brought in as many as 20 seizing sea lions a day in the San Luis Obispo area since June. Earlier this spring, its partner rescue center in Monterey experienced a similar boom. Of those rescued at both sites, half succumb to the seizures within days. The culprit? Domoic acid, a deadly neurotoxin produced by algae, that appeared at record high levels along California’s Central Coast this spring and summer, closing fisheries and taking the lives of many marine mammals. But domoic acid also poses a grave risk to humans, which is why the California Department of Public Health closed certain fisheries up the coast in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in April after high levels of the acid were reported by a team of marine scientists at University of California, Santa Cruz, that has been monitoring domoic acid for 14 years.

Man accused of infecting another person with HIV charged with misdemeanor
from ABC10 News

Team 10 is uncovering new information about a man charged with willfully exposing another person to HIV. The accuser, who did not want to be identified, says he is devastated but trying to focus on taking care of his health. Team 10 also contacted the local and state public health departments. A spokesperson said health officers can alert someone if they have been exposed to HIV without consent from their sexual partner. A spokesman with the California Department of Public Health said that California has a dual HIV/AIDS reporting system. That means both health care providers and laboratories are required to report cases of HIV/AIDS by name to the local health officer.

New test unveiled to quickly detect mercury in skin-lightening creams
from Lexology

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) scientists have reportedly identified a new method of screening product samples to determine mercury contents in skin-lightening creams. According to Gordon Vrdoljak of CDPH, some of the creams have been found to contain mercury levels as high as 210,000 parts per million (ppm) despite the U.S. limit of 1 ppm. "If people are using the product quite regularly," he said in an August 13, 2014, press release from the American Chemical Society (ACS), "their hands will exude it, it will get in their food, on their countertops, on the sheets their kids sleep on."

New Books!

The Public Health Library has the following new books available in print:

1. Global case studies in maternal and child health. By Ruth C White. Burlington, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014. Call number: RG940 .W45 2014. See a description, sample materials, and table of contents.

2. Bad acts: the racketeering case against the tobacco industry. By Sharon Eubanks and Stanton Glantz. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association, 2013. Call number: KF229.U55 E93 2013. Read the summary and table of contents.

3. Delivering personal health budgets: a guide to policy and practice. By Vidhya Alakeson. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2014.
Call number: RA971.3 .A45 2014. View the summary and table of contents.

and here are some new titles available online from the National Academies Press which require a free registration to download a pdf of the title:

4. Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors: Workshop Summary. Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.

5. Can Earth’s and Society’s Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?: Summary of a Workshop. National Research Council. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.

6. Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging: Workshop Summary. Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.

Please note that these books are only a small selection of what is newly available. If you are interested in checking out any book(s), submit a request using our online form and we will mail the book(s) to you.

You may also log into your web portal account to request book(s).

If you do not currently possess a UC Berkeley library card, you will need to apply for one before we can check out a book to you.