Liane, this is a strategy that I use frequently. I also includes links to that links page throughout the site where applicable. For example, if I have a paragraph of content on another page that refers to finding providers in other areas, I would provide a keyword phrase link to the links page.
On the links page, I structure it just like the SERP's. I use a short keyword rich linked title (3-7 words), and then a 15-30 word description after the link. This is for the users benefit as people do not like to click on links not knowing where they are going. I'll also include a line somewhere letting them know that we are not responsible for the content of those sites and that the links will open a new window so as not to take them away from the site.
Keep your descriptions brief and on target. I'll normally go to the page I'm linking to, use their title and their meta description if available. If the meta description is not available, I look at the first paragraph on their page to see what I can extract making sure to target the primary phrases.
P.S. When linking from other pages on the site, make sure to use a bookmark and take the user right to the link on the links page that you are referring to. This puts them right where they need to be, and they can read your short description and decide if they want to follow the link.
Many times I will also provide a link back to the paragraph where they just were (another bookmark), so they can easily jump back and forth between pages.
[edited by: pageoneresults at 10:14 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2002]