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. Healthy Roads Media develops and disseminates resources to provide health information for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
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, hospital systems and 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. During the past 12 years The number of information resources has grown considerably – currently 25 languages, 100+ topics, 6 formats. During the first 8 months of 2014 over 50,000 unique visitors came to the Healthy Roads Media website to find multilingual health information and over a half million free health education files (handouts, audio files or streaming videos) were 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 have funded the development of specific materials. The Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine provided on-going operational support so that many of these developed resources could be made available for free. This ended in September 2014. New strategies to secure support to again provide free and widespread dissemination of many HRM materials are being pursued. Healthy Roads Media has never accepted advertising. It was organized as an LLC in 2012 to formalize its structure and to provide opportunities to sustain the work as funding availability evolves with more licensing strategies in addition to grants.
The Healthy Roads Media Store
The Healthy Roads Media Store was developed to help provide low cost mulitlingual video resources that can be used in multiple settings and platforms. This includes broadcasting the videos for TV-based video-on-demand patient education systems in hospitals, installing the videos into digital libraries, intranet use, integrating into the patient education databases of electronic health records and loading onto mobile devises for outreach work.
Our content of the materials is always from reliable sources and the information is reviewed and updated regularly. 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, 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.
Healthy Roads Media is currently based in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
Director: Mary Alice Gillispie, M.D.