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National Network of Libraries of Medicine,

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Health Ministry Outreach Toolkit  

Outreach tools to assist faith-based organizations in developing, implementing and assessing health outreach programs that meet the needs of their unique communities.
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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So You Want to Start a Health Ministry...

You've got a strong network of caring people and the passion to serve your community - Now, what?

The good news is that you're already ahead having established those two components of your outreach model. Now, you can make your plan for assessing the specific health needs and resources in your community and choosing an approach that best serves the goals of your outreach.

Even better news is that health ministries are effective. For a jump-start in inspiration, consider these success stories:

Health Disparities & The Underserved

Health Literacy

Health Literacy refers to a person's ability to read, understand and act on health information. The American Medical Association identified literacy as the number one social determinant of health, above education, income and race. Imagine what your health ministry can do to for your community with this information!

  • NN/LM Health Literacy Guide
    NN/LM SE/A's Health Literacy Guide includes introductory videos and resources for promoting health literacy in your outreach as well as many other resources and tools for your health literacy outreach.
  • CDC Health Literacy
    CDC's Health Literacy resources include the Simply Put manual for creating easy-to-read materials and healthy literacy activities by state map as well as training for older adults and health professionals. Blog & discussion list and many more excellent resources are shared.
  • Health.Gov - Health Literacy
    This site provides a great introduction to the subject of health communication - covering health literacy and e-health, offering a variety of tools and other resources for information. The site is also good as a general health topic site.
  • Harvard School of Public Health - Health Literacy
    Led by Health Literacy expert, Dr. Rima Rudd, the HSPH Health Literacy Studies provides valuable resources and tools you can use to assess and increase health literacy in your community.

Outreach Partners

Partnerships are key in successful community outreach - these resources will assist you in choosing and building them.


Toolkit Topics

  • So You Want to Start a Health Ministry...
  • Health Disparities & The Underserved
  • Health Literacy
  • Health Statistics - Local, National & Population Specific
  • Community Assessment
  • Topics & Audience
  • Outreach Partners
  • Funding Tips & Opportunities
  • Outreach Evaluation
  • Reliable Online Health Resources
  • Health Ministry Models & Programs - Ready to Use!
  • Health Ministry Materials & Resources
  • Power Point Templates to Customize & Use
  • FREE Stuff!

Health Ministry Models & Programs - Ready to Use!

Health Ministry Materials & Resources

These resources don't include full action plans but contain valuable information that will be useful to your health ministry as you customize your outreach to meet the needs of your community. Some are specific to health ministries, some are applicable to any kind of health outreach.

Power Point Templates to Customize & Use

These customizable Power Point presentations were created by NN/LM SE/A for your use from planning to implementating and evaluating your outreach project. Use one, some, or all.

A: Healthy Ministry: Health Information for All - a Power Point to guide you through your first planning meeting. Gather your core group together and begin!

B: Health Disparities & Health Literacy - A Power Point that illustrates the health disparities crisis in the US and how increasing Health Literacy is part of the solution.

C: Health Information: Be Equipped - A Power Point that provides a basic introduction to getting clear and reliable health information online and from your doctor.

D: Reliable Health Information from NLM - A Power Point introduction to MedlinePlus, NIHSeniorHealth, Clinical Trials, Genetics Home Reference & AIDSInfo.

Also included are an 'Introduction Sheet' that explains the templates, 'Questions' to print out and use for hands-on class exercises in conjunction with Power Point D - and 'Question and Answers' to hand out as well so your students can remember how to find information long after the class is over.

These presentations are intended for you to customize as you wish - add them together, use them separately, remove slides you don't want, add some of your own - do anything you want to make them work for you!

FREE Stuff!

Foundations, nonprofit and government organizations provide free materials and services ranging from informational brochures to promotional items - and class materials you can tailor. Some, including NN/LM SE/A, even provide instructors free of charge.

There are too may sources of free materials to list here. Check the websites of organizations, foundations and government agencies that focus on your topic of interest and look for "resources", "publications", or "educational materials" to find more freebies.



Nancy Patterson, MLS 

NN/LM SE/A, Community Outreach Coordinator

(410) 706-2858 or (800) 338-7657

Reliable Online Health Resources

These reliable (and free) online resources provide health information covering a range of topics and appropriate for various audiences.

  • MedlinePlus  
    Health Topics, Drugs & Supplements, Videos & Cool Tools - The #1 resource for your health information needs, created by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It can toggle between English and Spanish with full content and offers some health information in multiple languages.
  • MedlinePlus Tour in English
    A tour of MedlinePlus in English
  • MedlinePlus Tour in Spanish
    A tour of MedlinePlus in Spanish
  • Understanding Medical Words
    This tutorial is accessible via MedlinePlus but deserves to be singled out - a great resource for learning basic word roots that will help patients better understand medical information.
  • NIH Senior Health
    Created by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative and up-to-date health information for people 60 and older. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes and frequently asked questions (FAQs). The Toolkit for Trainers is an excellent resource for those training seniors on online health information access.
  • - Health Insurance Marketplace for Consumers
    All current information on the Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) for consumers. Website can be toggled from English to Spanish. Offers some resources in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Creole, and Polish.
    This website provides state-specific information and, as of October 1st, will be ready for consumers to use for choosing insurance and for enrollment in their plan of choice.
    This website is also a great resource for understanding health insurance basics.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - Affordable Care Act Resource
    For professionals or volunteers who are learning about the Marketplace and helping people apply, the latest Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) information is here.
  • Clinical Trials is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. Even if you're not looking to join a trial, you can learn valuable information by reviewing posted results of trials.
  • Choose My Plate
    Brought to you by the USDA, this resource provides all the information and tools needed to learn and maintain a healthy diet. Activities and information for kids to seniors will help you motivate your community to live a healthier life.
    From the Department of Health & Human Services, this English/Spanish resource includes National Health Observances listed by month for assistance with programming, Health Topics A-Z, Health Care Reform information & more.
  • Kids Health
    From the Nemours Foundation, this English/Spanish resource presents information for kids, teens and parents. Content includes health topics, quizzes, games and expert advice on a variety of health topics.
  • Genetics Home Reference
    GHR is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes related to those conditions. It has fantastic introductory information on DNA/Genetics - glossaries, a handbook, homework help. And it contains advanced information as well.
  • Household Products Database
    Another consumer resource from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room? Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.
  • AIDS Info
    For information on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention & research. Excellent drug information as well as clinical trials, mobile resources and more.
  • Tox Town
    Environmental health information for kids to young adults from the National Library of Medicine. In English and Spanish, it's an interactive site that provides different types of neighborhoods and living environments for exploration.
  • Tox Mystery
    Household environmental health information for kids from
    K-6 - in English and Spanish. Kids explore rooms in the house and learn about potential hazards.
  • Women's Health
    Health Topics, Fact Sheets, and more information relevant to Women in English and Spanish. Spanish is offered on topics pages once leaving the Home page.
  • Health.Gov
    Excellent site for information on health communication, health literacy & e-health besides offering information on a wide range of health topics.

Funding Tips & Opportunities

Your health ministry may wish to apply for funding to support your outreach project. These reources provide health outreach funding tools and information.

Outreach Evaluation

Is your health outreach impacting your community as you hoped? Is your approach working?

Evaluation is key to fine-tuning your outreach model to be the most effective it can be. Evaluation is also a required component of most funding so these tools will come in handy.

Contact us at:

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

National Network Office

National Library of Medicine

8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38, Room B1-E03

Bethesda, Maryland 20894


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