The new Wellness Information Zone is a project of DeKalb County Public Library, The Humana Foundation and Libraries for the Future.
It contains trustworthy information on medical conditions and diseases, navigating the health care system, fitness, disease prevention and local health care resources.
Wellness Information Zone centers at the Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown, Decatur and Chamblee library branches provide computer terminals dedicated to the project, and staff assistance for patrons who have questions about accessing the web site.
The project is funded by a $30,000 grant from the Humana Foundation. Darro C. Willey, the library's director, said the DeKalb library system welcomes the opportunity to provide an important and much-needed service.
"Reliable health care information is especially important for DeKalb residents and the Wellness Information Zone project will help us better connect the public to the many health information resources available through the library," Willey said,
The nonprofit Genesis Shelter and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library system also are partners in the Wellness Information Zone project, which was launched Sept.12 at the Atlanta-Fulton library system's central branch in downtown Atlanta.
Virginia Judd, Humana Foundation's executive director, said she hopes the project will have a positive impact on the health of Atlanta residents.
"Research shows that low health literacy is the strongest predictor of health problems - more than age, income, employment status or race," she said.
Library patrons can link to the Wellness Information Zone from www.dekalblibrary.org, then "Databases" and look under "Science and Health."
DeKalb and Fulton are first of a number of locations around the country where the project will be introduced. The initiative is expected to be launched in Cincinnati and Houston later this year.