Newswise — Thanks to federal funds that the National Library of Medicine provided to Loyola University Medical Center, locating the nearest healthcare services to your home in Illinois is about to become as effortless as a click of the computer mouse.

Health-E Illinois is a free online service that will help you to quickly find hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, specialists, support groups, medical information and many other health care services throughout the state. Its comprehensive directory is easily searchable by location, providers, services, specialty and health issues or diseases. Each entry lists contact information and a link to any available Web site. Many of the entries also have a full description of the facility and the services provided.

"There are thousands of health services, providers and facilities throughout Illinois, yet there is no single directory to help consumers identify and locate them," said Logan Ludwig, Ph.D., associate dean for library and telehealth services, Loyola University Health System, co-developer of the system. "Health-E Illinois will be that single directory for Illinois and will link to similar 'Go Local' projects in other states, forming a national network of local healthcare directories."

Consumers seeking information on Illinois health services will find Health-E Illinois to be very simple to navigate. For example, if you're seeking information on immunizations, click on Immunization Services in the system's Services for Diseases and Health Issues index, enter a zip code and you'll get instant access to information on services or facilities within 10, 25 or 50 miles of your home.

Health-E Illinois' database is linked to MedlinePlus, an online service of the National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library. This system is designed to allow someone who is reading information about diabetes in MedlinePlus, for example, to also locate a nearby endocrinologist, dialysis center or diabetes support group in Illinois.

The quality of the database is maintained by professional librarians who use standard Web criteria for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, coverage and local relevance.

The database currently contains over 9,000 records for health services and resources in the state of Illinois and will contain many more by its official debut at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7 at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood. The database will be continually updated with more entries as they become available.

Health-E Illinois was created and is being maintained by governmental health care agencies and qualified library staff, including representatives from the Health Sciences Librarians of Illinois, Alliance Library System, Illinois Council of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Illinois Rural Health Association, Illinois AIRS, Illinois CLICKS and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Health-E Illinois is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To access the Health-E Illinois database, go to:

Loyola University Health System, a wholly owned subsidiary of Loyola University Chicago (LUC), includes the private teaching hospital at Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), 14 specialty and primary care centers in the western and southwestern suburbs, the Loyola Ambulatory Surgery Center at Oakbrook and the Loyola Oakbrook Terrace Imaging Center; and serves as co-owner-operator of RML Specialty Hospital, a long-term acute hospital specializing in ventilation weaning and other medically complex patients in suburban Hinsdale, Ill. Loyola is nationally recognized for its specialty care and groundbreaking research in cancer, neurological disorders, neonatology and the treatment of heart disease. The 61-acre medical center campus in Maywood, Ill., includes the 589-licensed bed Loyola University Hospital with a Level I trauma center, the region's largest burn unit, one of the Midwest's most comprehensive organ transplant programs, the Russo Surgical Pavilion and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of LUMC. Also on campus are Loyola's Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center and LUC Stritch School of Medicine. The medical school includes the Cardiovascular Institute, Oncology Institute, Burn & Shock Trauma Institute, Neuroscience Institute and the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy.

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