ValleyCare Health Library, Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Open House

"Thanks for 10 Years of Support," is the theme for the ValleyCare Health Library & Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center open house, to be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 15.

The public is cordially invited to attend the no-charge event at the library that is located in Hacienda at 5698 Stoneridge Drive, at the corner of Stoneridge and Gibraltar Drives. The open house will showcase materials, and staff will be available to explain the many library resources. Refreshments will be served.

"The open house is our way of thanking the community for their support," says library director Janie Eddleman, RN, OCN, an oncology nurse. "The library is a place where people of any age, including children with their parents, can receive help with their medical questions. There should be no one in the community who does not understand a diagnosis of any medical condition. Whatever the question, if they need information on medical conditions, we'll get it."

This type of can-do, compassionate attitude by Eddleman, Medical Librarian Cheryl Warren, MLS; volunteer coordinator and trainer Lynette Rekert and more than 30 volunteers from the ValleyCare auxiliary, has made the library and cancer resource center a first stop for many after hearing a physician's diagnosis.

The library's services include medical information in formats such as books, videotapes, audiocassettes, anatomical models and charts, periodicals, computerized databases, CD-ROM software and internet access with bookmarked sites. The resource center also has support and referral services, a breast cancer information stationthrough a grant from the Susan Komen Foundation, children's and youth health collections and preventative health outreach. Use of the library is free. A charge of 10 cents per page is made for database printouts or photocopies.

More than 40,000 people have used the library since it opened in December 1991. More than 500 people per month currently seek information. People come to the library for many reasons. Sometimes it is for help because they or someone in their family has an illness. Students come to research projects, and many people who aren't ill come to learn more about maintaining their good health. Physicians, nurses and other health care personnel use the resources.

The idea of the library began in the late 1980s with senior hospital administrators and physicians who were creating an accredited cancer center. They felt that one of the biggest patient needs was information. So, they went to the hospital foundation, the fundraising arm of the ValleyCare Medical Center, where they received funds to begin the project. The Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center was funded from medical treatment funds donated by the community that remained after Comer's unsuccessful cancer treatments.

Originally located near the hospital on Las Positas Blvd., the library moved to its current location several years ago.

The library is funded entirely by philanthropy, donations made to the ValleyCare Foundation by businesses and individuals. Eddleman said that donations in memory or in honor of a loved one or a friend or co-worker are always appreciated. She and her staff have a Wish List of items for the library and businesses and individuals can donate toward specific items.

This year's holiday fundraiser for the library, Christmas Tree Lane 2001, includes a Cowboy Christmas party on Friday, November 30, with dancing, food and auctions. On Saturday, December 1, is the traditional gourmet luncheon, "Denim to Diamonds." Both events are at the Livermore Aahmes Center. On December 8, a new event, a Teddy Bear Tea party for the family will be at Castlewood Country Club, Pleasanton. For information and tickets, call (925) 373-8021.

The library hours are Wednesday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

If you would like to attend the open house, learn more about donor opportunities or have questions about the library, please call (925) 734-3315.

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