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Her Health Article

John wrote this aricle and interview for for the Fall 2002 issue of Her Health, a biannual publication of The Washington Hospital sent to women living throughout the hospital's service area.

Free HELP is available for your health questions

When you need to find the most accurate information about health issues, concerns, illness prevention, or wellness, call, fax, e-mail, or stop by the Ruth York Morgan Health Education Learning Place (HELP) at The Washington Hospital.

Open since March on the hospitalÕs third floor, HELP is a unique resourceÑoffering publications, videos, Web-based information, and more--made possible by a generous donation from James and Nancy Cameron of Washington, in memory of NancyÕs mother Ruth York Morgan.

HELP is free to all and open six days a week to provide access to an extensive range of resources intended to supplement physiciansÕ medical advice. HELPÕs on-site staff, led by a registered nurse, provide personalized, confidential interaction and assistance.

The center is open Monday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are encouraged. Call 724-250-4310.


Kathie Allen, a registered nurse, is the coordinator of the Ruth York Morgan Health Education Learning Place (HELP) at The Washington Hospital.

Q What services are offered at HELP?
Visitors have access to a wide variety of publications, videos, and more, with information available on specific diseases, chronic conditions, treatments, drugs, and a broad array of health-related topics. A computer enables them to view health information on the Web, and HealthAnswers, a health and information database. Computers at the center are wheelchair accessible and can accommodate the visually-impaired with a text-to-speech function. ThereÕs also a private reading room, a play area for children, and much more.

Q With so much health information available today, why use HELP?
ThereÕs a lot of information out there, but thereÕs always a huge question of credibility. At HELP, we have a vast amount of information thatÕs extremely credible, medically sound, and continually updated. And I often add value by explaining or interpreting information that may be unclear. People really appreciate that. YouÕd have to search pretty far and wide to find anything even close to the quality we offer.

Q Are todayÕs consumers more health-aware? Yes, patients of all ages are more aware of health issues than ever before. Through our diverse collection of information resources and timely, individualized services, we can help them become active participants in their health and medical care, and make informed decisions regarding their health and medical management.

Q WhatÕs the best way for people to reach you? Anyone may walk into the center on the hospitalÕs third floor. I can also be reached by phone (724-250-4310), fax (724-250-4303), e-mail (kallen@washingtonhospital.org), or on the hospitalÕs Web site at www.washingtonhospital.org. And I welcome everyone.

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Copyright © 2003 by John Fries, Pittsburgh, PA.
Please direct all correspondence to JohnFries@aol.com.

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