From IAIMS to Archimedes:
Building a Network for Health Information

By Elizabeth Smigielski
Reference Librarian, Kornhauser Library

A year has passed since UofL received word that the Phase 1 IAIMS Planning Grant was awarded. This was an award of $150,000 per year for two years. So, how did we spend the loot? Well, and with good benefit. The IAIMS grant has become the foundation for the Archimedes Community, Greater Louisville’s People Network for Health Information Resources.

Why did we choose this name? This name was chosen because it better represents the goals of the project, and because, frankly, IAIMS is hard to say and doesn’t mean anything. When trying to explain what the IAIMS grant was and what we hoped to do with it, we were perpetually stumbling over the name and not the message behind it.

So here we are, new name, same goals.

The Archimedes Community is a grassroots organization, largely consisting of people with common health information needs and interests. Think of it as a dating service. We coordinate people making contacts, creating ideas, and working together to get them off the ground. There are no membership fees or other strings attached to being a member of Archimedes except openness to the community concerning your ideas. The community interacts via the Archimedes web site, listservs, and Community Meetings, which occur several times a year. The point of Archimedes is to reduce the number of silos, or people working in isolation, sometimes redundantly, within the healthcare community.

People in the Archimedes Community work together by forming Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, on a topic of interest to them. There are currently 21 SIGs. The scope of the Archimedes Community covers six general areas of interest: clinical care, research, education, infrastructure and management, community health, and consumer health. Each area of interest is represented by a Council, a multi-institutional group responsible for attention to the Community’s needs in that area. The Councils’ vision statements are posted on the Archimedes web site. SIGs align themselves with one or more of these areas, depending on the scope of their topic. SIGs are encouraged to meet regularly and to post their meeting minutes on the Community website.

The Archimedes Community recently announced awards of $15,000 in seed money for five pilot projects proposed by Special Interest Groups. Funding came from the IAIMS grant. The pilot projects selected for funding are:

Summaries of the proposals for these projects can be found on the Archimedes Community website.

The Archimedes Community has recently launched a new promotional campaign, “Got Data?”, a take on the other “Got…?” campaign we all know so well. If you want a chuckle, check it out at If you’re on the HSC, look for the flyers that will point you to the web site.

What we have accomplished thus far is an outcome of this Planning Grant. We are beginning the process of writing the funding proposal for the Phase 2 Implementation Grant. This award would be for $500,000 each year for five years. Of the 40 institutions to receive Phase 1 funding, 11 have received Phase 2 funding. It is far too early to speculate about whether or not we’ll get to Phase 2, but we’re pretty proud of what we’ve developed thus far, and we are full of confidence for what can be done down the road.