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Technology Opens Doors to Scientific Discovery

Susannah Fox, chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wants to expand the public's access to health information.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Spencer, NIH

The Friends of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently hosted NLM's Board of Regents, NLM senior staff, and other leaders from across the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The invited speaker was Susannah Fox, chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her talk, "At the Crossroads of Health, Technology, and Service," she focused on the innovative work under way at the HHS IDEA Lab and her efforts to make data information and tools more broadly available.

Fox has pioneered participatory research methods to explore how information technology and social media affect the health care industry and the consumer health care experience, with a special focus on people living with chronic and rare conditions. (Learn more about NIH's support for rare disease research here in this issue.)

"When I started my research into the social impact of the Internet back in the year 2000," she stated, "[the NLM was] already ahead of the game, making sure that people had access to the information and data that they needed."

One of her passions is facilitating expansion of the public's access to information that can help them better understand how to improve their health. Technology is playing a primary role, and she is a leader in this effort.

"The changes that technology is bringing to [HHS] and to government are positive ones. This moment we are living through is opening doors to innovative thinking and scientific discovery and in people's pursuit of health," she said.

Glen P. Campbell, Chairman
Friends of the National Library of Medicine

Dr. Donald Lindberg and his wife, Mary

Photo Courtesy of Ernie Branson, NIH

Portrait Unveiled of Former NLM Director Lindberg

On February 10, the National Library of Medicine was the scene of a special unveiling ceremony for a portrait of former NLM Director Dr. Donald Lindberg and his wife, Mary. Lindberg retired in 2015 after more than 30 years of service as NLM Director. During his tenure, the Lindbergs were a much-admired team, always closely involved with the people and activities of the Library. Commissioned and sponsored by the Friends of the NLM, this new painting now hangs in a prominent location at NLM.

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Spring 2016 Issue: Volume 11 Number 1 Page Inside Front Cover