Health information access is a basic healthcare need. Literacy, health-literacy, illness, aging, disability and language are all issues that can pose barriers to obtaining basic health information. This site contains health education materials in a number of languages and a variety of formats. They are being developed to provide health information for diverse populations in a variety of settings. We need your feedback!
Healthy Roads Media was begun in 2002 with a grant from the National Library of Medicine. At the end of this grant period there were four topics in four languages in three formats. The grant evaluation work was conducted with four local agencies (refugee resettlement agency, public health department and two community health centers) in Fargo, North Dakota. Fargo has a very large and diverse refugee population. The results of the evaluation indicated that further exploration and expansion of this work was justified. Additional funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine helped to continue evaluation efforts and to develop information resources dealing with emergency health issues and vaccine information. There have been a number of non-profit or government organizations who have been interested in having materials developed on specific topics or in specific languages. For example, the Virginia State Health Department has supported the development of the tuberculosis education materials and Heartland Alliance has supported the development of a number of diabetes and mental health materials. As part of these resource development projects, it has been agreed by both partners that the resulting materials would be made available on the Healthy Roads Media website for free use by anyone who wanted to access them.
The number of information resources has grown considerably during the past 6 years – currently 25 languages, 100+ topics, 6 formats. Each week approximately 22,000 individual free health education files are accessed/downloaded from the Healthy Roads Media website by users from all over the United States and around the world.
Healthy Roads Media is funded through several sources. Grants help fund new materials development and evaluation work. Contracted projects fund the development of specific materials. The Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine has provided on-going support to help partially fund the dissemination of the materials, the continued evaluation of Healthy Roads Media strategies, the updating/revision of materials as needed, and the website maintenance.
Healthy Roads Media accepts no advertising. Healthy Roads Media was recently organized as an LLC to formalize its structure and to provide opportunities to sustain the work. This organizational change does not change the goals and mission of the project.
There are many contributors to Healthy Roads Media. Our text is always from reliable sources and the information is reviewed regularly. Sometimes our partners provide both English and non-English text. We only accept translated materials that have been created through a quality controlled process. If Healthy Roads Media does the translation, then the work is carried out by certified translators, again through a quality controlled process. We work to make sure that the translations are done in a way to make them easy-to-read and as accessible as possible to people with literacy challenges. High quality translation is a complex and difficult process, especially when trying to accurately communicate health information. We welcome any suggestions.
The materials are available in multiple formats that can be used on-line as well as downloaded and used off-line. By making the same content available in many ways, we hope to provide information access for people in diverse situations. For example, someone who has difficulty with written materials may want to watch the on-line video or listen to the audio but also have a handout to take home so they can share with family members. An outreach worker who does not have access to the Internet on home visits can use downloaded multimedia files on her laptop or tablet. Video iPODs can be connected by a standard cable for presentation of the mobile videos on a television. Please let us know how you are using our materials and ideas you have to make them better.
In the past year we have begun to develop low-cost videos formatted for use in closed-circuit TV and/or video on demand systems. The videos can also be loaded onto portable devices such as laptops or tablets. These materials are helpful for patient teaching in hospitals, clinics, public health departments, nursing homes, school based healthcare centers, home health visits, etc. The narrated text is on each screen in each language so provide built in closed-captioning. As always, there is a handout to accompany each video that contains the same information. Funds generated from these resources help to both sustain the free Healthy Roads Media web resources and to develop more content.
The free web-based materials are either Public Domain or licensed using the Creative Commons approach. Creative Commons defines a spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. These licenses help the original authors maintain copyright while expanding the ability to share materials more broadly — a "some rights reserved" copyright. Basically you can copy the materials freely and distribute them as long as you do not charge money to the people receiving the information, keep the attributions intact and do not change the materials. Permission is given to adding local telephone numbers or addresses to help people access services in your own area. We are using an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license.
Click here to learn more about the Creative Commons.
Healthy Roads Media is currently based in New Brighton, Minnesota.
Director: Mary Alice Gillispie, M.D.