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Polio Then and Now: From Salk’s Game-Changing Vaccine to Today’s Resurgence

polio-small
Credit: CDC photo by S. Smith. Member of an Emergency Citizens Group in Oklahoma City, radioing information to headquarters during the 1963 Polio Eradication Campaign. Public Health Image Library (http://phil.cdc.gov), #1624.

This is a guest post written by Ann Glusker, MLIS, MPH, Reference and Consumer Health Librarian at The Seattle Public Library.

The library world is a small one, and when I heard that a friend of a friend had worked with Jonas Salk, and that she would be interested in speaking about him and his work to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, a program was born!  What could be more timely than considering polio, which has yet to be eradicated, as we battle many other endemic diseases worldwide (and this was before the recent Ebola crisis)?   My planning partner and I asked Salk’s colleague, Kathleen Murray, and also Dr. Linda Venczel, who has worked on polio eradication for much of her career, including with the CDC and the Gates Foundation, to speak.  I’m happy to say that you can hear them present their program, “Polio Then and Now: From Salk’s Game-Changing Vaccine to Today’s Resurgence” this coming Tuesday, October 28, at 7 pm at the Seattle Public Library’s Central (downtown) location.

I have always been aware of polio, as my aunt had the disease (luckily with little lasting effect thanks to the innovations of Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny), but until I started reading more about it in advance of the program, I hadn’t really realized how terrifying it was.  It’s been recognized for a long time, perhaps dating back to the early Egyptians, but the epidemics that caused widespread fear really began in the 20th century (ironically, it’s thought, due to enhanced sanitation—if children didn’t get exposed to polio-laden water in very early life, when they still had maternal antibodies, it was harder for them to fight off the virus).  While most people with the virus are asymptomatic, the progress of the disease can be devastating to others, causing paralysis and even death.  Worst of all, it disproportionately affects children. Read more »

Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Opportunities: How to Become a Certified Application Counselor and Marketplace Enrollment Information

Thinking about having a Certified Application Counselor on staff to help with this year’s Affordable Care Act enrollment? Join this webinar on Thursday from the Partnership Center to learn how you can become a CAC Organization and Champion for Coverage. Or if you just want to be informed and get ready for enrollment (begins November 15) you might be interested to check out the Health Insurance Marketplace 101 webinar coming up next week:

Webinars on the Health Care Law
The HHS Partnership Center has updated webinars on the health care law for faith and community organizations. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session.
To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred topic from the list below and submit the necessary information. After registering you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing information about joining the webinar. Please contact us at ACA101@hhs.gov if you have problems registering or if you have any questions about the health care law. You may also join the webinar by telephone only. All webinars are one hour. Read more »

New Versions of MedlinePlus Mobile Sites Released

Today, MedlinePlus released new versions of the MedlinePlus Mobile sites in English and Spanish. The mobile site URLs are http://m.medlineplus.gov and http://m.medlineplus.gov/espanol

Like the original versions of the mobile sites, the redesigned sites are optimized for mobile phones and tablets.  Unlike the original mobile sites that contained only a subset of the information available on MedlinePlus, the new sites have all of the content found on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español.  They also have an improved design for easier use on mobile devices. Read more »

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘To End AIDS, Commit to Act‘ – ‘Para Acabar con el SIDA, Comprometete a Actuar.

Established in 2003, the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day campaign works annually at building capacity for non-profit organizations and health departments in order to reach Latino communities, promote HIV testing, and provide HIV prevention information and access to care. The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), the Hispanic Federation and many other organizations organize this day.

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which now guides all federal HIV/AIDS-related efforts and programs, recognizes the disproportionate impact of HIV on Hispanics/Latinos communities. Although Hispanics/Latinos represent about 16% of the US population, they account for an estimated 21% of new infections each year. In 2010, the estimated rate of new HIV infection among Hispanics/Latinos in the US was more than three times as high as that of whites. Read more »

Health Insurance Exchange: One year anniversary

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since the launch of the Health Insurance Exchange and the chaos surrounding it!

Enrollment for the Health Insurance Exchange (also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace) begins November 15, 2014 and goes to February 15, 2015. Many individuals enrolled last year and some changes have occurred. For instance, Oregon’s Cover Oregon website remains a place to start but Oregon has switched to using Healthcare.gov for its Health Insurance Exchange source.

Those involved in the Health Insurance Exchange process may want to take some time to review the information in preparation for those seeking help when enrolling for the coming year.

A new feature to the Pacific Northwest Region’s Affordable Care Act page is a section of information specific to such populations as Seniors, Americans with Disabilities, Immigrant and Refugee Populations, LGBTQ community, Farm and Migrant Workers, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, and Veterans. These particular populations often have concerns regarding their rights and responsibilities that others do not face. We want to make sure all populations have the information they need when it comes to the Health Insurance Exchange.

PNR Update

Fall is a busy season! Here’s a quick summary about what’s happening in the NN/LM PNR.

New Coordinators in the NN/LM PNR
• Carolyn Martin, MLS, AHIP, NN/LM PNR Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator, effective Sept. 15, 2014
• Emily Glenn, MSLS, AHIP, NN/LM PNR Community Health Outreach Coordinator, effective Sept. 22, 2014

Former PNR coordinators appointed to new positions at University of Washington (UW)
• Gail Kouame, MLS, Assistant Director for HEALWA (http://heal-wa.org/), effective August 18, 2014
• Mahria Lebow, MLIS, UW Data Repository Librarian, effective October 1, 2014

Update at Quint*Essential meeting
If you are attending the Quint Meeting in Denver, don’t miss the Quint*Essential Update of the NN/LM on Wednesday, October 15 at 8am in the Evergreen Ballroom A-D. The program will include a Conversation Cafe and also a Crowd Source session to enlist your bold ideas and suggestions for ways the NN/LM could support you. This is a chance to think creatively and “dream big.” We look forward to hearing your input! Read more »