Contact: Robert Mehnert
The National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
Office of the Director are installing a fully equipped computer laboratory with
eight computers and high-speed Internet access in the American Indian Cultural
Center in Waldorf, Maryland. The Federal commitment includes all hardware, software,
Internet connectivity, and training.
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of
the National Library of Medicine, noted that this is the latest in a series
of projects sponsored by the NLM to connect underserved populations to health
information on the World Wide Web. "We have an extensive Tribal Connections
Program in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska," he said, "but it is especially
gratifying to help those in need just a few miles from the Library."
members of the Piscataway Indian Tribe live in southern Maryland. Health problems
in this population include high blood pressure and diabetes. "The NIH has created
a number of Web sites with a wealth of good consumer health information," said
Yvonne Maddox, Ph.D., acting NIH deputy director. "This facility is an important
step in reducing health disparities and in improving the health status of an
at-risk population by providing information," she added.
On Wednesday, November
15, at 11:00 a.m. at the American Indian Cultural Center there will be a ribbon-cutting
ceremony presided over by Mike Miller, President of the Maryland Senate, Dr.
Maddox, and NLM director Lindberg.
The American Indian Cultural Center, which
also houses a museum and library, serves as a local venue to which local tribespeople,
both children and adults, come to learn more about their culture. The new facility
will serve as a learning laboratory and a community resource not only for information
about health, but about employment opportunities and culturally relevant issues.
"Because most Piscataway tribal members do not have home computers we're delighted
that we will now be able to provide them with this community resource and with
timely and up-to-date medical information," said Natalie Proctor, Center director.
Members of the press are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The
American Indian Cultural Center is at 16816 Country Lane in Waldorf, Maryland:
10 miles south of beltway Exit 7A on Route 5, left on Cedarville Road one mile,
right on Country Lane. Their phone number is 301-372-1932.