Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.


CHEC Librarian Dana Ladd shown in the stacks holding a book

Dana Ladd

The Community Health Education Center is staffed by a full-time health sciences librarian, a part-time library assistant and trained volunteers.

CHEC Librarian Dana L. Ladd, Ph.D, associate professor, has more than 17 years experience as a librarian. Following graduation with a bachelor of arts degree from the College of William and Mary, she earned a master of science degree in information science from the University of Tennessee. In her first professional position at a public library, she managed the library’s consumer health collection. That work sparked her interest in consumer health librarianship. She went on to receive an additional degree as a specialist in library and information science for health sciences and consumer health information from the University of South Carolina. Ladd recently earned a doctorate degree in social and behavioral science from VCU School of Medicine. Her dissertation is titled, “The Information Needs and Sources of Patients Diagnosed with Rare Cancers.”

The CHEC librarian for more than eleven years, she assists patients and their family members in finding reliable health information. She also selects and orders resources, speaks to health care providers’ groups and helps plan monthly health and wellness presentations.

Ladd and co-author Alyssa Altshuler wrote “The Medical Library Association Guide to Finding Out about Diabetes: The Best Print and Electronic Resources,” which was  published in 2013 by Neal-Schuman Publishers.  Her curriculum vitae Contact her at or (804) 628-2429.

CHEC Assistant Sarah Amick has worked in libraries for more than 17 years.

Photograph of CHEC Assistant Sarah Amick

Sarah Amick

While attending the University of Mary Washington, she gained valuable experience as a student assistant at Simpson Library. During summer breaks, she worked at her local public library in Summers County, West Virginia. After completing her bachelor of arts in English, she worked at Simpson Library for three years before joining the VCU Libraries staff in 2006. She held various positions at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus and at James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus. Sarah has been at CHEC for over seven years. She regularly assists patients, family members and other patrons. She also helps plan and promote monthly health and wellness presentations, provides support for day-to-day operations, and manages social media for the center. Contact her at or (804) 828-2432.

Volunteers assist patients and their families in using computers, photocopying, faxing and in finding information. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Volunteer Services Department at (804) 828-0922.

Did You Know?

173,285 sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions among children and adolescents, are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. – Centers for Disease Control