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WIU Student Nurses to Help with Fall Health Fairs in Fulton County Thanks to Federal Funds

May 8, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – A partnership between the Western Illinois University School of Nursing, the University of Illinois at Chicago's Library of the Health Sciences in Peoria, IL (UIC-LHSP) and public libraries in Fulton County has been awarded funding to provide health fairs in Fall 2019.

The funding was awarded by the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine which is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The partnership, named "Healthy Communities in Fulton County, Illinois," will allow librarians, nursing professors and student nurses to work in public libraries throughout the county.

The health fairs will assess blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI) for attending members of the public, and will provide information and education about heart disease, health literacy, the National Institute of Health's All of Us program, and the NLM's reliable information resources. A health sciences librarian will provide information and training to public librarians and library staff based on the Stand Up for Health materials available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

Each library participating in the program will receive a health literacy kit, which will include materials available from the NNLM, along with display stands and consumer health books for their collection.

WIU Assistant Professor of Nursing Patricia Eathington said there is a great need for the HCFCI project in Fulton County.

"In 2018, a basic blood pressure clinic was provided by WIU School of Nursing students in a few of the small towns throughout Fulton County," she said. "During this experience, it was discovered that many small towns were eager to have the nursing students and many of the local businesses advertised the event through their Facebook pages. Another unexpected outcome of the blood pressure clinics was that many of the small-town residents asked for the nursing students to return to their town. They reported that they greatly appreciated their service and were glad that their small rural town was not forgotten."

For more information on the WIU School of Nursing, visit

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