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New Mexico State University
NMSU Library News

NMSU Library and 16 Partners Awarded $204,000 by National Library of Medicine for Border Health Network

Date: 2000

CONTACT: Jeanette Smith, NMSU Library, (575) 646-7492,

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Library is the lead agency for the Border Health Information
and Education Network (BIEN!), a consortium of seventeen public and academic libraries, hospitals and
health organizations in Dona Ana, Luna, and Otero counties. A $204,000 Information Access grant has
been awarded to BIEN! by the National Library of Medicine. This award will enable BIEN! to achieve its
goal of creating opportunities for improving the health of people in the border region through the provision of
quality health information resources in electronic and traditional formats, and through health outreach activities
in border communities. The energy and enthusiasm of the seventeen partners, and the recognition that
health information can improve the quality of people’s lives, is conveyed by the project’s acronym, BIEN!,
which is Spanish for “well.”

The border area of southern New Mexico has a high poverty rate, and contains several medically
underserved areas and health professional shortage areas. The need for quality health information is great.
The BIEN! partners have been meeting for over a year to assess the health information needs of the border
area and plan the health information activities of the network. The National Library of Medicine funding will
enable the BIEN! consortium to provide reliable online and print health-related resources in Spanish and
English to consumers, health professionals, and educators in the border area, and to provide training in the
use of these resources. Public access computers will be installed in BIEN! partner institutions for access to
online sources of health information.

BIEN! is the brainchild of Norice Lee, Branch Librarian of the Dona Ana Branch Community College
(DABCC) Media Center and Chair of the BIEN! Executive Board. Sylvia Ortiz, the Head of Branson
Library Reference at the NMSU Library, is the project director. Members of the BIEN! Executive Board
are: Carol Brey, Director of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library; Dr. Hugo Vilchis-Licon, Director of the
Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center; Frances Scappaticci, Director of Case Management
and Health Education at Memorial Medical Center; Dr. Paul Lang, Health Promotion Manager of the
New Mexico Public Health Division, District 3; and Molly McGetrick of Las Cruces.

BIEN! partner institutions in addition to those mentioned above are: the NMSU Alamogordo Townsend
Library, the NMSU Health Science Department, Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming, La Clinica de
Familia, the Southern Area Health Education Center, the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, the New
Mexico Border Health Office, the Hatch Public Library, the Alamogordo Public Library, Marshall Memorial
Library in Deming, and the Valley Community Library in Anthony. The National Library of Medicine grant
was written by Jeanette Smith of the NMSU Library, and the project evaluator is Dr. Fred Lillibridge of

BIEN! project activities began this spring with a planning grant of $10,000 from the Paso del Norte Foundation
of El Paso. This funding supports a part-time temporary employee, Linda Sandoval, who is coordinating
initial BIEN! activities so the consortium is better poised to conduct the full project funded by the
National Library of Medicine.


January 1, 2000 Categories: Migrated NMSU Library and 16 Partners Awarded $204,000 by National Library of Medicine for Border Health Network