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Library speaks volumes on health care

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” With nearly 400 books, journals, articles and videos, Valley View Hospital’s Planetree HealthSource Library officially opened its doors to the public Thursday afternoon.

“This is a tremendous asset to our community,” said Valley View Hospital CEO Gary Brewer. “When you look at other hospitals, it’s rare to find one with a library like this that is free and open to the public.”

“My hat’s off to you,” said Glenwood Springs Mayor Larry Emery to the dozens of Valley View Hospital Auxiliary members who spearheaded and sponsor the library. “To have a facility like this in a community this size speaks volumes to the quality of people who have helped put this together.”



The library is located not at the hospital, but across the street in a medical building on the southwest corner of 20th Street and Blake Avenue. A smaller medical library was located in the hospital’s former gift shop, but was moved earlier this fall for the hospital’s new entrance remodeling.

Cathy Desautel is Valley View’s director of performance improvement. She oversees the hospital’s transformation to the Planetree philosophy and explained the library is one way the hospital is creating more patient-centered care.



“Providing information to people helps to demystify the patient experience,” she said, “and that’s an integral part of Planetree.”

A hospital patient, Angelica Thieriot, started Planetree in 1978 after several traumatic hospital experiences left her wanting to establish better standards of care ” with patients’ needs as the top priority. Now, Desautel said 79 hospitals worldwide have integrated the Planetree model into their health care.

“Planetree’s focus and our focus here at the library is to provide consumer health resources that are readily accessible for those with and without a medical background,” said librarian Laura Hickerson. “Patient-centered care focuses on people taking the reins of their own health care ” and we’re here to help, encourage and assist in that process.”

“Educating patients and their families empowers them,” added auxiliary president Michelle Zancanella.

Brewer said having the Planetree medical library so close to the hospital is invaluable.

“Imagine getting a diagnosis from a physician telling you that you have cancer or diabetes,” said Brewer.

“At the doctor’s office, you can’t even come up with questions, since you’re just processing the news. You need someone to talk to, and you need a place of solace and peace ” and a place to get information. That’s what this library is for,” Brewer said.

Hickerson said the library can provide tools that someone accessing the Internet on their own cannot, and can provide much more specific medical materials than the public library may have.

“You can go to the Internet and get bombarded,” Brewer said, “but here, Laura already has searches in place with the latest medical information.”

Zancanella said the auxiliary has purchased new software specific to medical research.

“And we can do specific searches to whatever depth is needed,” added Hickerson. “Although we are a free library, we do have a small fee scale set up for deeper research. We’re happy to help.”

The library’s materials are almost entirely in English, but Carolyn Hardin of Family Resource Center announced the organization would be donating 60 medical books in Spanish and several videos, too.

“That’s wonderful,” said auxiliary member Jan Kaufman. “We can get direct information to Spanish speakers.”

At the end of the presentation, Brewer presented an enormous, oversized library card, accompanied by applause and laughter, to auxiliary member Barb Barnes, who was instrumental in establishing the new library.

“Be sure to fill out a library card,” said Hickerson as people put their coats on and got ready to leave. “Our books are cataloged and ready to be checked out.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

cclick@postindependent.com

2001 Blake, Suite 1A

Glenwood Springs

Open noon-4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays

945-6535


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