April 19, 2006
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
Phone: (973) 972-3000
UMDNJ’s University Libraries Feted
for its Web Site Creation of "Healthy NJ"
NEWARK—The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's University Libraries, a key source of health information for researchers and the general public, recently received a national award for their creation and implementation of "Healthy NJ," the worldwide web site at www.healthynj.org.
The Health Information Award for Libraries was given to UMDNJ University Libraries by the United States National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. They received the award for addressing a wide array of health-related topics, including diet, exercise, smoking cessation, immunizations, health screenings, alcohol and drug prevention/cessation and improved health literacy.
In each state, a panel of judges selected the state winners based on how well the program encouraged lifestyle improvement among the target population, the program's adaptability, collaboration with other community organizations and how successfully the program was able to reach out to people with easy-to-read information.
"Healthy NJ gets constant hits from physicians and health researchers as well as the general public, in New Jersey and throughout the United States," said Judy Cohn, university librarian and associate vice president for scholarly information. She said that much of the available information on the multi-lingual site is both in English and Spanish. "The site has become a reliable source for a multitude of medical information and access references, and its usage has risen steadily since its inception."
Healthy NJ, established in 2000, is accessible to anyone at no charge and is a source for 383 health, wellness, and disease topics related to health care. Recent enhancements of the web site, which include tags proclaiming, "Read me First!" have resulted in more widespread use of the site.
According to Cohn, in May 2001 there were 21,359 hits on the web site; in May 2005, 241,364 hits were recorded. Several of the Spanish language topics are regularly among the 25 most highly requested topics each month. For example, requests for information on diabetes in Spanish rose from 179 in January 2004 to 3,817 in May 2005.
Healthy NJ was conceived in 1999 to meet the health administration needs of the citizens of New Jersey, with a mission to connect people with evaluated, current, authoritative health information in a format that is easy to read and comprehend. Development of www.healthynj.org was facilitated through collaborations with a variety of UMDNJ departments including the University Libraries and Information Services and Technology. Librarians from each of the UMDNJ Libraries' campuses created the site's portals and linked content. IST provided assistance with software, site design and networking. Verizon, New Jersey State Libraries and the New Jersey Library Association were responsible for supporting the Healthy NJ web site in its early stages.