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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

HHS Strengthens Patients’ Right to Access Lab Test Reports

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Federal Register  Feb 6, 2014

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken action to give patients direct access to their completed lab test reports. These changes give patients a new option to obtain their test reports directly from the laboratory while maintaining their privacy.

Read the final rule (FR DOC #: 2014-02280) at:

Nations Commit to Accelerating Progress against Infectious Disease Threats

Friday, February 14th, 2014

From the US Department of Health and Human Services:

Today the United States joined 26 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from the threat of infectious disease, and committing to the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda.

“Global health security is a shared responsibility; no one country can achieve it alone,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “In the coming months, we will welcome other nations to join the United States and the 26 other countries gathered here in Washington and in Geneva, as we work to close the gaps in our ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.”

Over the next five years the United States plans to work with at least 30 partner countries (containing at least 4 billion people) to prevent, detect and effectively respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring or caused by accidental or intentional releases of dangerous pathogens.

For the complete press release, visit the Department of Health and Human Services news page:


Valentine’s Day Preparedness e-Cards

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The American Public Health Association has developed a series of e-Cards as part of its “Get Ready” campaign to help people prepare for disasters and hazards. This month, they have added an e-card for Valentine’s Day. Send someone you love a message of preparedness!

To see the complete list of APHA e-Cards, visit the APHA GetReady page: 

National Public Health Week 2014 Toolkit Available

Friday, February 14th, 2014

National Public Health Week (NPHW) is an initiative of the American Public Health Association (APHA) that takes place April 7-13, 2014

The NPHW Partner Toolkit includes the following sections:

Section I — Overview: Includes a welcome letter from APHA; an overview of this year’s theme and useful talking points; and suggested activities and related talking points for each day’s theme.
Section II — Event Planning: Includes in-person and online event suggestions and tips on how to plan a successful NPHW celebration.
Section III — Media Outreach and Social Media Promotion: Includes tips for gaining media coverage for your NPHW event; how to prepare for an interview; sample news releases, letters to the editor and social media content; and advice on making social media work for you.
Section IV — Legislative Advocacy: Includes ways to get involved in public health advocacy; advocacy resources and tools; a sample NPHW proclamation; advice on meeting with your decision-makers; and tips for town halls.
Section V — Resources: Additional sources of information related to this year’s NPHW theme.

To view and download the complete toolkit, visit the NPHW toolkit page:

February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Friday, February 7th, 2014

February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity to promote HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment among African Americans in the United States. African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that blacks accounted for nearly half (44 percent) of all new infections in 2010, despite making up only 14 percent of the population. This represents a rate that is eight times higher than whites. Overall, African American gay and bisexual men, especially young men, are the hardest-hit. In addition, African American women are far more affected by HIV than women of any other race or ethnicity.

Resources for more information about diagnosis, treatment and prevention include
AIDSinfo’s African American HIV/AIDS Health Topics:
CDC’s HIV Among African Americans:

CDC Announces 2014 Adult Immunization Schedule

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has announced its recommended adult immunization schedule for 2014. Among the key changes to the schedule for 2014 include revised notes on administering vaccines for flu; tetanus, diphtheria, and accellular pertussis; human papillomavirus (HPV); zoster virus; pneumococcal disease and meningococcal disease.

CDC’s easy-to-read immunization schedules are available for health care professionals and the public. Schedules are available for infants and children (birth through 6 years old), preteens and teens (7 through 18 years old), and adults (19 years and older).

CDC Immunization Schedules:

Tips from Former Smokers: new ads from the CDC

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

From the Centers for Disease Control:

“Dramatic, new TV ads that show the harms of smoking air across the country this year, beginning February 3, with CDC’s 2014 Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign. If you smoke, the real people who tell their stories can inspire you to quit for good. More than 100,000 people are now smokefree, thanks to earlier Tips ads.

The ads show the suffering caused by cigarettes: asthma, cancer, heart attack, and amputations. Many people call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit an online quit smoking guide within minutes or hours after seeing an ad. These resources offer free advice and support for quitting.”

View the ads and access smoking cessation resources:

February is American Heart Month

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.  The US Department of Health and Human Services has created a toolkit for raising awareness of heart disease and American Heart Month.

Resources include:

  • Sample newsletter articles, list serv announcements and tweets
  • E-cards
  • Personal health check tools
  • Heart Healthy recipes

Access these and other resources:

50th Anniversary Report on Smoking and Health

Friday, January 17th, 2014

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

A new Surgeon General’s Report (SGR) on smoking and health—The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress—offers startling new details about the dangers of smoking as well as strategies to curtail the tobacco use epidemic that still sickens and kills many Americans. The 2014 report comes out 50 years after the first SGR on smoking was released—a time when about 4 in 10 Americans smoked.

For more information, visit the CDC 2014 Smoking Report:

Enhanced Availability of Data for Nationally Notifiable Diseases

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Provisional data for cases of selected diseases and conditions reported through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) by the 50 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are collated and published weekly in MMWR. Beginning with the January 10, 2014, issue, these data are now available at in various sortable, machine-readable formats that will make them more usable for analyses. Each weekly issue of MMWR includes a link that takes users to that week’s dataset, from which they can link to the new formats.

For the complete notice and more information, visit the CDC website: