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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

Measles and Vaccinations

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Fifteen years ago, measles was considered eliminated from the United States. However, in recent weeks the number of people infected with measles has gone up to 78 since an outbreak in California’s Disneyland.  In 2014 alone there were 644 reported cases in the United States. Many of those infected were never vaccinated for various reasons.  One of the primary reasons is parent’s fear or concerns regarding the measles vaccine.  Many people may not realize the devastating effects measles can have and therefore do not fear the disease but tend to fear the vaccine due to hearing about possible side effects and reports of its link to Autism which more recent research has disputed

According to the Center for Disease Control, measles is a very contagious disease.  It remains active in the air and on surfaces up to 2 hours.  Generally, symptoms appear about 7-14 days after exposure and often with cough, runny nose, fever, and watery eyes.  Two to three days after first symptoms begin, white spots appear inside the mouth. Following that, a rash begins, starting at the head and spreading down to the rest of the body, usually appearing about 3-5 days from the first signs of being sick.  Serious complications from measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis, which can lead to long-term deafness or brain damage. There is no known cure for measles. (more…)

New Year, New Healthy Habits

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Need some ideas for healthier habits in 2015? Make your resolutions stick with these tips for fun and practical real life changes.

Wishing a happy and healthy new year to all!
happynewyear2015

Plan to Be Smoke-Free in 2015

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

As we head toward the end of this year, the CDC offers a few tips for a smoke-free 2015.

Every January 1, people all over the world make New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the nearly 7 out of 10 current U.S. smokers who want to quit, why not get started today? Smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Quitting now can cut your risk for diseases caused by smoking and leave you feeling stronger and healthier. Most smokers who want to quit try several times before they succeed, but you can take steps that can improve your chances of quitting for good.

Develop a Quit Plan: Planning ahead is a major part of successfully quitting smoking. Smokefree.gov offers details on how to create an effective quit plan.

Use Free, Effective Resources: There are many free resources for people trying to quit smoking. Check out 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a call line and source of encouraging texts; Smokefree TXT, which sends texts of encouragement and advice to your phone; and Smokefree Apps, apps to help you become– and stay–smoke-free. A few information pages also provide tips and personal stories. Check out pages on Smoking (MedlinePlus), Quitting Smoking (CDC), and Tips From Former Smokers (CDC).

Find a Medication That’s Right for You: Many options are available if you are considering using medications to help you quit smoking. Studies show that smokers who use medicine to help control cravings, along with coaching from a quit line, in a group, or from a counselor, are much more likely to succeed than those who go it alone.

Even if you don’t smoke yourself, you can use this article to help a friend or family member become smoke-free in 2015!

November is National Diabetes Month

Monday, November 24th, 2014

turkeyThanksgiving is soon approaching, a time when many are giving thanks for food, family and health. Many favorite dishes are loaded with sugars and it is tempting to overeat. This can be a health issue for those with diabetes. Whether we have a family history or not, we shouldn’t deprive ourselves but rather, consider eating in moderation while enjoying a great feast.

The Diabetes Educator website provides a nice visual on how to divide your plate along with some healthier recipes: https://www.diabeteseducator.org/export/sites/aade/_resources/pdf/general/ThanksgivingPlateResource.pdf

The American Diabetes Association includes tips on Navigating the Thanksgiving Feast and other holiday tips:

http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/tips/2012-11/navigating-the-holiday-feast.html
http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/

So go ahead and enjoy the feast but remember that if you’re thankful for your health, stuff that turkey and not yourself! (more…)

RML Rendezvous January 22 – Health Literacy in Context

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Health Literacy in Context: A Non-clinical Framework for Research & Intervention presented by Sandra Smith, PhD, MPH of the Center for Health Literacy Promotion

January 22, 2013 at 1 PM Pacific (noon Alaska 2 PM Mountain)

In the national vision of a health literate society articulated by the Institute of Medicine, everyone – not only patients – obtains actionable information about health and healthcare, along with support to use it to take health promoting action. National public health objectives aim to promote the health literacy of  the population – not only patients. As healthcare shifts from episodic to chronic and the from clinic to community, health literacy practice and research must evolve accordingly. In this edition of RLM Rendezvous, Dr. Sandra Smith makes the case for a non-clinical approach to health literacy practice and research. She presents a non-clinical framework that views health literacy as a personal and collective asset that enables people to make health related choices and transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. The framework guides practice to develop and improve health literacy and empowerment for health.

If you are unable to tune in live, we invite you to view a recording of the webcast, posted to the Rendezvous website later.

Due to a recent Adobe Connect system update, please test your computer ahead of time to help avoid technical difficulties as a plugin may be needed.

As part of our Federal agency services regarding electronic and information technology resources being accessible to people with disabilities, closed captioning is available on this and future RML Rendezvous webcasts.

MedlinePlus: Health Insurance

Friday, June 21st, 2013

healthcareprofessionals

The “Health Insurance” topic page of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine’s website for patients, their families and friends, has recently been updated to include information on various aspects of the Affordable Care Act. There are several new links to overviews, specific conditions, such as mental health and prescription coverage, financial issues, laws and policies, and related issues such as pregnancy, disabilities, and emergency care from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more, see: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthinsurance.html.