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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

‘Piles of Info’ discussion a success

By Julie Nickerson
Contributing Writer

On Tuesday Oct. 6, from 3-4 p.m., a small gathering of students attended the “Piles of Info: Improving Your Health Literacy” event in the student activities conference room. The discussion was led by Simmons College Librarian Shanti Freundlich.

The event, which was sponsored by the Simmons Wellness Ambassadors, aimed to help students navigate the field of health information. Freundlich encouraged critical thinking when it comes to this important task.

The Pew Research Center reported that one in three people have gone online to figure out a medical condition, according to one of its studies. Freundlich’s advice to anyone searching for medical information online is to make sure the source is reliable. Her hope is that students will determine the background, benefits, and purpose of the website. She advised audience members to ask themselves if the site is trying to sell them something.

Another topic of discussion during the event was about Google tracking every search and its effect on search results. For example, if one student searches “is coffee good for you,” then it may bring up different results based on previous search histories. For this reason, searching for medical information on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing may not be completely accurate.

“Try to hold yourself to the same standard as your doctor. If you wouldn’t want your healthcare providers to be doing it, then why would you do it yourself?” said Freundlich.

For additional health conversations, Simmons Wellness Ambassadors is hosting a “Choosing the Right Contraception” discussion on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. in Bartol. The discussion is part of the three-part series entitled “let’s talk about ‘down there.’”

If you are looking for a reputable health source, Freundlich suggested students check out Medlineplus by going to if they are overwhelmed by content.

“At the end of the day, your health is too important to leave it up to a Google search!” she said.

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