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Information and Referral Resources

Welcome to our Information and Referral Page. Below you will find a host of resources that will help you and your family be informed and connected to social and medical needs in Massachusetts. Please click on any of the blue links below for additional information regarding a resource of interest. As always a Mayor's Health Line staff is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm to assist you and your family with any questions and/or concerns. 



Mayor's Health Line
Information, referral, advocacy, and enrollment services.
Phone: (617) 534-5050 or 1 (800) 847-0710

HelpSteps is a web and mobile​-based referral system that connects individuals and families to health and human service agencies in MA. For more information please view: HelpSteps video
phone: (617) 534-5050

Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone (SHINE)
Educates and assists Medicare beneficiaries, those eligible for Medicare, and caregivers about Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D, Medicaid, Medigap Insurance, pharmacy assistance programs, Medicare assistance programs (QMB,SLMB,QI), and other issues related to health insurance
Phone: 617-534-5050  (Sonia Amado or Beatrice Martin, MHL SHINE counselors)

Greater Boston Legal Services
Legal representation
Phone:(617) 371-1234

City of Boston Elderly Commission
Information and advocacy
Phone:(617) 635-4366

Massachusetts Division of Insurance
Non-group health insurance information
Phone:(617) 521-7794

Massachusetts Office of Patient Protection
Information and advocacy
Phone: (800)-436-7757

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
For information and referral for mental health/substance abuse problems
Phone: (800) 221-0053.

Prescription Advantage
Prescription Advantage is a prescription drug insurance plan available to all Massachusetts residents age 65 and older, as well as younger individuals with disabilities who meet income and employment guidelines.
Phone: (1-800-243-4636) TDD/TTY 1-877-610-0241​

Consumer health information on more than 700 topics provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Pediatric Library
The Pediatric Family Resource Library is located on the second floor of the Benedict Building in the UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center.

Drug Information Portal
Information on more than 12,000 different medications provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Lab Tests Online
Find information on many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases.

Hospital Compare
From the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Provides information on how well the hospitals in an area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions.

​General Medical Research

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
NLM contains the largest collection of health and biomedical related information in the world.  Located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, NLM houses books, journals, and microfilms covering topics ranging from biomedical technology to the social sciences. NLM's extensive collections are online and are available to the public.

  • NLM Gateway integrates most of the library's databases so they all may be accessed with a single search. Some categories in NLM Gateway search results include journal articles, citations, books, serials, and audiovisual materials. NLM Gateway is a good search tool for individuals who are new to the NLM system.
  • MEDLINE Plus is NLM's consumer friendly Web site that is updated daily and contains information regarding over 600 diseases. It also lists a medical encyclopedia and dictionary, health information in Spanish, prescription drugs, and links to clinical trials.
  • MEDLINE/PubMed is NLM's searchable database. It contains abstracts and text from almost 4500 journals. Articles are updated weekly and date back to 1966.  Topics cover medicine, nursing dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the health care system.  Most articles are from scholarly journals, and access to the information listed on MEDLINE.
  • PubMed Central is a digital archive of approximately 75 life sciences journals.  Queries may be entered by author name, journal title, or other search terms.  This database of journals is available for the public to search.
  • Medical Encyclopedia The Adam Health Illustrated Encyclopedia includes over 4,000 articles about diseases, tests, symptoms, injuries, and surgeries. It also contains an extensive library of medical photographs and illustrations.​
  • DIRLINE is a Directory of Health Organizations including organizations where patients can go for treatment and organizations that provide other types of patient support.  DIRLINE's search tool allows the public to search for health organizations by key word and provides toll free numbers.
  • LOCATORplus is an online catalog of books, journals, and audiovisuals.  This search tool allows the public to complete a simple search by key term and find out where to locate specific articles.
  • NIHSeniorHealth provides health information for older adults.  This Web site, created in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), has a topic index of research, by diseases relevant for older adults.
  • TOXNET is a database of research on toxicology, environmental health, and hazardous chemicals.  The public may search for information regarding toxins by keyword or term.

Health Finder
Health Finder is a gateway consumer health and human services information Web site from the United States government. It is intended to lead users to selected online publications and medical journals, clearinghouses, databases, Web sites, and support and self-help groups, as well as the government agencies and organizations that produce reliable information for the public. The health library provides links to information (some of which is to the NLM Web site) such as medical dictionaries, health and medical journals.

American Medical Association (AMA)
The American Medical Association (AMA) library page provides access to scientific journals, news, medical science and education, and many links to other medical sites.

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) includes a search feature and a list of which editions of JAMA are available online (whether full text, abstracts, or index only).

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: