When disaster strikes, it is essential responders communicate effectively with those impacted. To do this, they must be able to identify, digest, and disseminate reliable and accurate health information. Few understand this better than Samantha Nation, CTEH’s Library Information Specialist.

Samantha holds a Disaster Information Specialist certificate from the Medical Library Association (MLA), a program affiliated with the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In the Q&A below, she is sharing more about how she’s using her new knowledge to help boost CTEH’s preparedness, response, and recovery services:

First, what does your role at CTEH entail?
As CTEH’s librarian, I am responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including providing research support, citations, and proofing. I also manage CTEH’s physical and digital library, which requires constant maintenance, and handle our use of the interlibrary loan system.

What types of disaster health information does CTEH generally provide?
Despite hectic schedules, many of our team members make time to publish papers, particularly if they can help fill gaps in current research. We make these resources widely available to those who could benefit from it. No matter the situation, our experts want to be current on literature so they are prepared to help our partners in their times of need. Take the coronavirus as an example. Months in advance of COVID-19’s arrival in the U.S., I was combing through reputable sources to compile research needed for response efforts.

Why did you decide to pursue this certificate from the MLA?
I have a background in liberal arts and never thought I’d be a part of the scientific field. After I got my feet wet at CTEH, I began researching professional development opportunities that would allow me to build on my existing abilities and better serve the company. With our leadership’s strong support, I joined the MLA and enrolled in the Disaster Information Specialist certificate program, which seemed tailormade for someone in my position.

You completed the “Advanced Level” program. What types of courses did this include?
The program is focused on equipping us to access, use, and manage information to plan for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters in the U.S. The courses provided a general understanding of disaster health information and how our companies and communities could benefit from it. Among others, I also completed courses on Incident Command Systems and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents.

How will this new certificate benefit CTEH and its partners?
CTEH is a cutting-edge leader in every industry we serve. But it’s essential we stay up-to-date on the latest research. The more we learn, the more benefits we can offer clients. It’s a win-win.

Have additional questions for Samantha? Share them on CTEH’s Facebook or LinkedIn.