Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New Web site helps Illinois residents quickly find nearest health services

Loyola played key role in the development of Health-E Illinois

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Thanks to federal funds that the National Library of Medicine provided to Loyola University Medical Center, locating the nearest healthcare services to your home in Illinois is about to become as effortless as a click of the computer mouse.

Health-E Illinois is a free online service that will help you to quickly find hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, specialists, support groups, medical information and many other health care services throughout the state. Its comprehensive directory is easily searchable by location, providers, services, specialty and health issues or diseases. Each entry lists contact information and a link to any available Web site. Many of the entries also have a full description of the facility and the services provided.

“There are thousands of health services, providers and facilities throughout Illinois, yet there is no single directory to help consumers identify and locate them,” said Logan Ludwig, Ph.D., associate dean for library and telehealth services, Loyola University Health System, co-developer of the system. “Health-E Illinois will be that single directory for Illinois and will link to similar ‘Go Local’ projects in other states, forming a national network of local healthcare directories.”

Consumers seeking information on Illinois health services will find Health-E Illinois to be very simple to navigate. For example, if you’re seeking information on immunizations, click on Immunization Services in the system’s Services for Diseases and Health Issues index, enter a zip code and you’ll get instant access to information on services or facilities within 10, 25 or 50 miles of your home.

Health-E Illinois’ database is linked to MedlinePlus, an online service of the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. This system is designed to allow someone who is reading information about diabetes in MedlinePlus, for example, to also locate a nearby endocrinologist, dialysis center or diabetes support group in Illinois. The quality of the database is maintained by professional librarians who use standard Web criteria for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, coverage and local relevance.

The database currently contains over 9,000 records for health services and resources in the state of Illinois and will contain many more by its official debut at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7 at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood. The database will be continually updated with more entries as they become available.

Health-E Illinois was created and is being maintained by governmental health care agencies and qualified library staff, including representatives from the Health Sciences Librarians of Illinois, Alliance Library System, Illinois Council of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Illinois Rural Health Association, Illinois AIRS, Illinois CLICKS and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Health-E Illinois is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To access the Health-E Illinois database, go to: http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/local/illinois/homepage.cfm?areaid=32.

Interested media should contact Perry Drake in the media relations division of Loyola at (708) 216-7940, on his cell phone at (708) 441-7736 or call (708) 216-9000 and have him paged.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.