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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

AHRQ Report Shows Gains in Access to and Affordability of Health Insurance

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

More people have health care coverage, have a usual place to go for medical care and can more easily afford medical bills after the Affordable Care Act’s provisions have taken effect, according to a new report by AHRQ. The 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report and 5th Anniversary Update on the National Quality Strategy reflects gains in enrollment in qualified health plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace as well as expanded Medicaid coverage that became available in more than half of the states. Hispanics showed the biggest gains in having a usual place to go for medical care. For more information on the report, see the AHRQ’s press release,  http://1.usa.gov/1SPHIOq

AHRQ Health Insurance InfoGraphic

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health, and people of all ages and body types can be physically active. National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. http://1.usa.gov/1X5uJtE

SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Clean Your Hands is WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers. Besides Cinco de Mayo being know for commemorating the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, the World Health Organization celebrates Clean Your Hands 5 May 2016. Improving hand hygiene practices in all surgical services through the continuum of care, from surgical wards to operating theatres, to outpatient surgical services, is the primary focus of this year’s 5th of May campaign. There are tools and promotional resources available. http://bit.ly/21Bm9mX

Study shows link between e-cigarette ads and use by youth

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found a link to exposure to e-cigarette advertising and the use of e-cigarettes in middle and high school age students. This study was published in the April 2016 edition of the journal Pediatrics. Analyzing data from the 2014 NYTS, CDC researchers found that the greater the exposure to e-cigarette advertisements among middle and high school students, the greater the odds of their e-cigarette use To read the full report go tohttp://1.usa.gov/1Wt3bxN

Originally posted by Michelle Burda on April 28.

Pink Eye

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Is it seasonal allergies or conjunctivitis? Pink itchy eyes may be pink eye or conjunctivitis.  It is common and is very easily spread.  To learn more about this condition and when to see a doctor  visit the CDC web site, http://1.usa.gov/1UGf6J7

Originally posted by Michelle Burda on April 28.

Creating a Culture of Wellness: A 360 Degree View

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Achieving health and wellness calls for a focus on integrated care, but is your organization truly incorporating health and wellness into everything you do? Join this free webinar on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:30 PM EDT. Learn how to use a self-assessment tool to increase your organization’s awareness of the key components of a wellness-focused culture. Learn how to engage in a reflective process to identify what you should keep doing, stop doing, and start doing to truly have a culture of wellness, and hear from a SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grantee who has used this tool to assess and implement wellness across their agency. http://bit.ly/21fFpWW

Originally posted by Pat Devine on April 27

U.S. Suicide Rates are up 24 Percent since 1999

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Suicide rates in the United States rose 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with young girls and middle-aged men accounting for the largest increases, the Centers for Disease Control reported recently. Awareness of the likelihood of suicide is an important step towards prevention. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers suicide prevention tools and training at: http://1.usa.gov/1rArzm3

Originally posted by Pat Devine on April 27

CDC Launches Improved Online Foodborne Outbreak Search Tool

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a redesigned online tool making it easier to search data on foodborne disease outbreaks. The updated Foodborne Outbreak Online Database Tool (FOOD Tool) lets users search nearly 20 years of outbreak data by state, food, or germ. An estimated 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illness every year. Tracking and reporting outbreak information is critical to understanding how foodborne illness affects America’s health.

Originally developed in 2009, the FOOD Tool includes national foodborne outbreak data reported to CDC from 1998 to 2014. New interactive features such as maps, graphs, and tables now allow users to search by specific foods and ingredients, view a “quick stats” display, and get case counts for multistate outbreaks. To learn more and access the tool, please see: 1.usa.gov/1T3lCDX

CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Birth Defects

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

“Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded, after careful review of existing evidence, that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects…”

“The report [in the New England Journal of Medicine] notes that no single piece of evidence provides conclusive proof that Zika virus infection is a cause of microcephaly and other fetal brain defects. Rather, increasing evidence from a number of recently published studies and a careful evaluation using established scientific criteria supports the authors’ conclusions.”

Read the complete media statement at CDC.gov, http://1.usa.gov/1qZLMkz

Zika virus representation from Purdue University and NIH

Representation of Zika virus, NIH Flickr Image Gallery, http://bit.ly/1VF0U3l 
Credit: Purdue University image/courtesy of Kuhn and Rossmann research groups

Don’t forget you can find current news and background information at the Zika virus MedlinePlus Health Topic Page.

 

Walking and Walkable Communities

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The benefits of walking as exercise are numerous. But for people who live in areas where sidewalks are few or walking presents a danger, getting out and moving around can be more difficult. The Surgeon General published a Call to Action to promote walking and walkable cities. Even the Transportation Secretary touted the health benefits of walkable communities and safe streets. If you’re stuck in an unwalkable area (for the time being at least), consider some activity alternatives to walking outdoors, such as those listed on “How 10 Minutes Can Be Your Friend When You Want to Workout” http://1.usa.gov/1NqZrpB.

Infographic from SurgeonGeneral.gov

Infographic for Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. For a text-version of the information displayed on the infographic, go to http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/sector-infographic.html.