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Published on October 21, 2014

Hospital + Library = healthier community

By Aynsley Anderson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Lawrence Memorial Hospital is a major sponsor of WellCommons.

Along with all of the great new amenities and services at the newly reopened Lawrence Public Library, there is a special area devoted to health and wellness. It is called the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Health Spot. This area is a collaborative partnership between Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Lawrence Public Library.

Aynsley Anderson, RN Community Education Coordinator

A few years ago, officials from the library approached LMH with an invitation to create a dedicated space for health and wellness resources in the new building. Since then, a vision for the space, resources and programming has come together.

Over the past two years, members of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Public Library staff have met regularly to plan for programming, events and amenities that this space and the partnership will provide. In addition, other community partner agencies, including United Way of Douglas County/AmeriCorps, have been brought into the conversation, so that much of the health and wellness programming to be offered will be a unified community effort.

Current and future plans for this space include:

  • Reference information on common health and wellness topics
  • A knowledgeable reference librarian with a health education background available to assist patrons with their health research
  • Information about LMH resources, including physician practices
  • An automatic blood pressure machine
  • A dedicated computer with reputable health information websites, including easy access to the LMH website and its resources
  • Health screenings
  • Health education displays
  • A site for wellness coaching and other individual and small group wellness related activities

LMH also hopes to relocate some of its community education programming from LMH to the library's larger and easier accessible meeting spaces.

The first joint Library/LMH program was held last week and was a discussion about how to find reputable health information on the Internet, with facilitators from both the Lawrence Public Library and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The Lawrence Public Library website at has a calendar of events that includes all planned health and wellness related activities for all ages. Visit it regularly to see what is planned each month. In the near future, watch for a dental floss bar, a nutrition carnival, smoking cessation counseling, teen yoga classes, a program about knowing what to do when your child is sick, plus more.

One of the things you will see in the LMH Health Spot area is a quote posted on the wall from Sir Francis Bacon that says “knowledge is power.” Both Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Lawrence Public Library are big proponents of people being able to learn about their health and wellness. This partnership is an opportunity for both organizations to support this in happening.

Aynsley Anderson, MA, RN, is Community Education Coordinator at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, which is a major sponsor of WellCommons. She can be reached at

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