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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

April is National Minority Health Month

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Typically most people think of minorities in regards to race or ethnicity.  However, minorities can also include sexual identity, age, geographic location, disability, gender and socioeconomics.  For many, being part of one or more of these categories often contributes to health disparities. According to Healthy People 2020, “To better understand the context of disparities, it is important to understand more about the U.S. population. ” In 2008, the U.S. population was estimated at 304 million.

  • In 2008, approximately 33 percent, or more than 100 million persons, identified themselves as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority population.
  • In 2008, 51 percent, or 154 million, were women.
  • In 2008, approximately 12 percent, or 36 million people not living in nursing homes or other residential care facilities, had a disability.
  • In 2008, an estimated 70.5 million persons lived in rural areas (23 percent of the population), while roughly 233.5 million lived in urban areas (77 percent).
  • In 2002, an estimated 4 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 44 years identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Progress has been made to close the gap in health disparities but the work needs to continue to narrow the gap so that everyone has equal opportunities for better health whether it is accessing and understanding health insurance, health literacy, having preventative care available, or open communication between patients and clinicians. (more…)

National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: Pacific Northwest Region Focus

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week by recognizing the contributions of public health professionals and organizations and highlighting issues that are important to improving the health of our nation.  Today’s post includes recognition for efforts and successes in the Pacific Northwest Region states, plus a sampling of events. Join an event or pledge to support public health in your community by focusing on themes presented in our earlier post, National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: National Themes.


National Public Heath Week is April 6-12, 2015: National Themes

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week  to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.  Today’s post includes some planning ideas around APHA’s 2015 themes for you and your organization to focus on public health issues during the week. Next week, we’ll focus on Pacific Northwest events and connections. (more…)

CDC and NLM to Co-Host Webinars (3/24 and 3/26) on Newly-Released Community Health Status Indicators

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine will co-host webinars on March 24 and March 26 on the newly-released Community Health Status Indicators 2015 Web Application. Learn first-hand from experts who developed CHSI 2015 about how best to use this redesigned and newly released web application. Registration information is below.


Health Literacy Resources Refresher

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Adequate health literacy is essential to health care, public health, and the way our society views health. Improving the health literacy of the population has been broadly recognized as an important goal and is one of the major objectives in the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology topic.   Health literacy is not just about reading — it requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations. For example, it includes the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor’s directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems. (more…)

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…)