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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Updates for NLM’s Tox Town City Neighborhood

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Tox Town City neighborhood now has updated graphics with a new photorealistic look. The City, Town, and Southwest scenes are now in HTML 5. Location and chemical information remains the same, but the new graphics allow users to better identify with real-life city locations. Tox Town can be accessed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. Regardless of where you live, check out the updated Tox Town City neighborhood and learn about potential environmental health risks!

Toxicology and Environmental Health Highlight: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART)

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) is a bibliographic resource on NLM’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET). It covers teratology and other aspects of developmental and reproductive toxicology and includes more than 200,000 references to literature published since the early 1900s. DART may be searched using MeSH terms/keywords, title words, chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (RN), and author. Search results are displayed in relevancy ranked order, but may also be sorted by publication date, entry month, author, or title.

DART was initially funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Center for Toxicological Research of the Food and Drug Administration, and NLM. Some meeting abstracts and non-MEDLINE literature are historically included in DART; however, new citations come only from PubMed, based on a search strategy profile. New references are added weekly.

Request for Information (RFI) for NIH-wide Five-Year Strategic Plan: Comments Due by 8/16/15!

In response to a request from the US Congress, NIH is developing a 5-year NIH-wide Strategic Plan to advance its mission and outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan that identifies areas of opportunity across all biomedicine and unifying principles to guide NIH’s support of the biomedical research enterprise. The Strategic Plan is due to Congress in late December 2015.

NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community and the general public regarding the proposed framework for the NIH-wide Strategic Plan. You are invited to review the framework and submit feedback by visiting the NIH web site or the RFI submission site. Comments are due by August 16.

Stakeholder organizations (e.g., patient advocacy groups, professional societies) are urged to submit a single response reflective of the views of the organization/membership as a whole. NIH will also be hosting webinars to gather additional input in early to mid-August. Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the NIH Strategic Plan positions biomedical research on a promising and visionary path!

HHS Unveils First Compendium of Resources for Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the first online collection of the federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) sponsored the HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium to aid state, tribal, territorial, and local officials in health and emergency management as they guide communities in responding to and recovering from disasters.

The compendium offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive, web-based repository of HHS products, services and capabilities available to state, state, tribal, territorial, and local agencies before, during, and after public health and medical incidents. The information spans 24 categories, and each category showcases the relevant disaster resources available from HHS and partner agencies, a brief description of each resource and information on accessing each one. Categories range from patient movement to hospital care and from situational awareness to decontamination. Resources include platforms such as GeoHEALTH and the HHS emPOWER Map that use Geographic Information System capabilities to support health response as well as consultation services, such as emergency planning, disease surveillance and tracking, and food, drug and device safety. Resources also include personnel, such as medical staff from the U.S. Public Health Service and National Disaster Medical System who can deploy to communities to augment local hospital, shelter or public health staff. The compendium will be updated regularly and expanded as federal agencies add products, capabilities and services to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from the health impacts of disasters.

Metrics that Matter for Population Health Action: A Workshop

The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement will be hosting a workshop, Metrics that Matter for Population Health Action, on July 30, 2015, at the Oakland Conference Center of the California Endowment in Oakland, CA. This workshop will:

  • highlight existing and emerging population health metrics sets and explore their purposes, areas of overlap and gaps
  • highlight population health metrics with attention to equity/disparities
  • discuss characteristics of metrics necessary for stakeholder action (across multiple sectors whose engagement is needed to transform the conditions for health in communities)
  • highlight population health metrics useful to addressing health beyond health care and engaging “total population health” (again, across multiple sectors)

The workshop is open to the public and will also be webcast live on the Institute of Medicine website. Register for the workshop and/or webcast, and follow the conversation on Twitter: #pophealthRT.

ALA’s Reference & User Services Association Approves New Health and Medical Reference Guidelines!

The latest version of Health and Medical Reference Guidelines, developed by the Reference Services Section’s (RSS) Health & Medical Reference Committee of ALA’s Reference & User Services Association (RUSA), was approved by the RUSA Board at the ALA annual conference in June, 2015. These guidelines are for all information services staff, regardless of questions or library type. Health and Medical Reference refers to questions that pertain to any aspect of health, medicine, or biomedicine, including but not limited to consumer health, patient health, public health, environmental health, complementary and alternative medicine, biomedical research, and clinical medicine.

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist staff in responding to health or medical inquiries. For staff who rarely answer medical questions, the Guidelines are intended to assist staff to be prepared and feel confident that they are providing the best possible response. For staff who regularly answer medical questions, the Guidelines are intended to ensure that reference skills are well-rounded.

Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research: He Huliau 2015 Conference in Honolulu

The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research, Department of Native Hawaiian Health’s He Huliau 2015 Conference will be held on September 12, 2015, at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Honolulu, HI. The conference theme is Native Hawaiian Health: Looking Back as We Move Forward. Objectives include integrating the knowledge of past foundations in Native Hawaiian health into their practice; implementing culturally models of health care service and delivery in improving the health and wellness of Native Hawaiians; and integrating into the efforts of the existing programs in workforce development for culturally competent providers. This program should be of interest to physicians, physicians-in-training, social scientists, nurses and health care providers who serve Native and Pacific populations. The program brochure and registration information are available on the conference website. Early registration ends on August 28, 2015.

Medicare Facebook Page Launched!

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Medicare and Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just launched the official Medicare Facebook page, which will serve as an informational resource for those who will soon enroll in Medicare and people currently on Medicare. The Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. For 50 years, these programs have been protecting the health and well-being of millions of American families, saving lives, and improving the economic security of our nation. Though Medicare and Medicaid started as basic insurance programs for Americans who didn’t have health insurance, they have changed over the years to provide more and more Americans with access to the quality and affordable health care they need.

During the summer of 2015, CMS will mark the anniversary of these programs by recognizing the ways in which these programs have transformed the nation’s health care system over the past five decades. Use the following resources to help spread the word!

Hashtags:

  • #KeepingUpWithGrandma
  •  #Medicare
  • #KeepingUSHealthy

Medicare 50th anniversary pages:

New Report from US-México Border Health Commission: Healthy Border 2020

U.S.-México Border Health Commission has released a new report, Healthy Border (HB) 2020 (PDF). HB 2020 is a binational initiative that focuses on the public health issues prevalent among binational border populations and establishes the Commission’s border regional agenda on health promotion and disease prevention. HB 2020 comprises measurable and binationally relevant goals and objectives that bring together key regional partners to develop and support policy change and culturally appropriate, evidence-based interventions. It addresses five public health priorities of binational concern, including chronic and degenerative diseases; infectious diseases; maternal and child health; mental health and addiction; and injury prevention. These priorities reflect the work of a diverse group of public health professionals, academicians, and other border stakeholders and organizations assembled to serve as a border binational technical work group tasked to develop a binational strategic plan that border stakeholders can use to coordinate public health responses at the binational, state, and local levels.

The main purpose of HB 2020 is to provide a framework for border region public health goals and the actions needed to improve the health of U.S. and México border residents. This is aligned with the Commission’s mission to provide international leadership that optimizes health and quality of life along the U.S.-México border. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the México Secretariat of Health, as integral to the structure of the U.S.-México Border Health Commission, support this initiative with the goal of eliminating health disparities and improving the quality of life of all border region residents.

HHS Office of Minority Health Releases E-Learning Program for Promotores de Salud

An e-learning program to develop culturally and linguistically competent messengers, advocates and educators to promote health and wellness among their peers and within their communities is now available. Launched by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes program is a key component of the HHS Promotores de Salud Initiative, launched in 2011 as part of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The initiative recognizes the important contributions of community health focused efforts to reach low-income, vulnerable members of Latino/Hispanic communities. While promotores de salud have intimate knowledge of their communities’ cultures and needs, the training resource launched today offers more tools, knowledge and skills to strengthen community health and to narrow the health equity gap.

Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes aims to build upon the capacity of promotores de salud to improve community health. Available in Spanish and English at no cost, this e-learning program is designed for any promotor de salud, regardless of years of experience or the type of outreach in which they are engaged (e.g., nutrition, cancer or diabetes). It is comprised of four units that provide promotores de salud with the basic knowledge to promote healthy choices at the individual and community levels; to apply principles and strategies to motivate behavioral changes among the community members they serve; and to empower those individuals to create change in their communities. Learners will receive a Certificate of Completion upon completing each unit.