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Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1996 April; 84(2): 223–228.
PMCID: PMC299410

Electronic networks, community intermediaries, and the public's health.


Information technology (IT) has the potential to assist disadvantaged communities in gaining access to mainstream resources, and to a new kind of community health-supporting infrastructure. Federal and state information technology policy will affect how and how well community institutions can reach their goals, collaborate with service agencies, and effectively advocate investing essential, health-supporting resources in their communities. The current information technology focus of the health professions is institution and provider-oriented. It should have a wider scope to include community-based organizations. Laborious efforts undertaken by community-based organizations (CBOs) with only a patchwork of resources and without policy support suggest their value to the public's health. Increasingly burdened public health organizations should examine the public health interest in closing the gap between IT-poor and IT-rich organizations and develop a strategy for building inclusive electronic webs with CBOs.

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Selected References

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