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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

October Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Friday, October 10th, 2014

NIH News in Health_Oct

The October issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Sweet Stuff:  How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health
Is sugar really bad for us? How about artificial or low-calorie sweeteners? Learn more about the sweet things most of us eat and drink every day.

Cold, Flu, or Allergy:  Know the Difference for Best Treatment
You’ve got sniffles, sneezing, and a sore throat. Is it a cold, flu, or allergies? Learn to tell them apart so you can choose the best treatment.

Health Capsules:

Genetic Clues to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

NIH Health Information at Your Fingertips

Featured Website: It’s a Noisy Planet

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.

 

Update on the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Ebola

Since publishing our previous blog post on the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the South Central Region has seen the first official imported case of Ebola.

On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first imported case of Ebola in the United States. The patient, a man who traveled from Liberia to Dallas, Texas, “did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately five days after arriving in the United States”. After being given experimental treatments, the patient passed away on October 8, 2014. The CDC is currently monitoring the people that have come into contact with the patient, although the risk of infection is very low.

From the CDC:

Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food.

A person must be exhibiting symptoms in order for Ebola to spread. Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days and the average time for symptoms to appear is 8-10 days. These symptoms often include fever, severe headaches, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplained hemorrhaging. Isolation precautions and proper sterilization are the primary methods of prevention.

As these developments impact our region, the NN/LM SCR is committed to connecting you with quality health information resources. To register for an upcoming webinar on Managing Health Information Resources regarding Ebola hosted by the National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), visit their page.

An additional webinar, entitled Fighting Ebola and Infectious Diseases with Information, also featuring presenters from DIMRC will take place on October 14, from 1pm-2pm CT.

Media-Smart Youth Teen Leaders Program: Call for Applications

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!

The National Institutes of Health is now accepting applications from young adults ages 15 to 20 for its Media-Smart Youth (MSY) Teen Leaders Program.

MSY is a 10-lesson curriculum for youth ages 11 to 13 that explores media, nutrition, and physical activity. Throughout the program, youth analyze advertisements and make media messages of their own, try healthy snack recipes, and discover fun ways to be physically active.

MSY teen leaders commit to carrying out the program from start to finish. In return, they receive leadership experience, community service hours, and recognition from the NIH, plus training and $1,000 for program expenses.

Applications are due October 24, 2014. For more details and to apply, visit http://go.usa.gov/pCwY.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) suggests the following posts for promotion via social media.

Twitter:
• .@NICHD_NIH releases a call for applications for its #MediaSmartYouth Teen Leaders Program: http://go.usa.gov/pCwY
• Be a #MediaSmartYouth teen leader & teach kids in your community to analyze media, eat right, & move more: http://go.usa.gov/pCwY
• Funding opportunity for teens: Apply to lead a #MediaSmartYouth program in your community: http://go.usa.gov/pCwY

Facebook Posts:
• NICHD is accepting applications from young adults ages 15 to 20 for its #MediaSmartYouth (MSY) Teen Leaders Program. MSY is a 10-lesson curriculum that explores media, nutrition, and physical activity. Teen leaders carry out the program from start to finish. In return, they get leadership experience, community service hours, and recognition from the NIH, plus training and $1,000 for program expenses. Applications are due October 24. http://go.usa.gov/pCwY
• Heads up, teens! If you care about health in your community and are on the lookout for a unique service project, consider applying for the #MediaSmartYouth (MSY) Teen Leaders Program. Applications are due October 24. http://go.usa.gov/pCwY

For more information about Media-Smart Youth, visit: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/msy/Pages/index.aspx

Resources for National Breastfeeding Month

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Lact Med Mobile Logo

August is National Breastfeeding Month, first proclaimed by the United States Breastfeeding Committee in 2011. This blog post will highlight resources from the National Library of Medicine (and other authoritative sites) related to this topic.

LactMed: Drugs and Lactation Database is a National Library of Medicine (NLM) database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. LactMed offers users the ability to search for a generic, brand or chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number, pharmacologic category, and/or subject terms, and retrieve information on the effects the agent has on breastfeeding. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. LactMed is updated monthly. In addition to access through the website, an App is available for both iPhone and Adroid devices.

Womenshealth.gov from the Office on Women’s Health currently has feature articles which address breastfeeding in the work environment, as well as a health topic page devoted to Breastfeeding. The topics page includes links to a fact sheet and other resources and information on: why breastfeeding is important, learning to breastfeed, breastfeeding challenges, pumping and storage of breast milk, and others.

MedlinePlus also has a Health Topics page devoted to Breastfeeding with links to materials in 14 languages other than English and Spanish. The page includes the usual types of information, including several videos, links to ClinicalTrials.gov and journal articles, and information just for dads!

In addition, two organizations provide national and local support for moms who breastfeed (or are considering breastfeeding) their babies: March of Dimes and La Leche League. Both organizations have local chapters and support groups which provide mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

New Online Self-Paced K-12 Health and Science Resources Class

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Environmental Health Student PortalThe National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) is pleased to offer the following new online class in Moodle format: NLM’s Online Playground: K-12 Health and Science Resources from the National Library of Medicine.

This self-paced online class will open August 25, 2014 and remain open until September 12, 2014.. Cheryl Rowan, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM SCR, will be the facilitator for the class.

This online course is designed to introduce the freely available K-12 resources from the National Library of Medicine. Resources will be focused on three broad subject areas: Basic Health Information, Environmental Health and Toxicology, and Genetics. Participants will become familiar with resources in each of these subject areas, with particular attention to resources which can be used to supplement content curricula, health and science programming, and/or provide homework help. Both websites and online exhibitions from the National Library of Medicine will be included. The intended audience for this class is K-12 librarians and science teachers, public librarians, and any other individuals who work with K-12 populations.

Participants may work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums and complete practice exercises and quizzes related to the resources covered.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 3 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Registration for this class is required: http://nnlm.gov/scr/training/register.html?schedule_id=3057

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone. Preference during this initial offering will be given to individuals in AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Monday, August 11th, 2014

National Immunization Awareness Month LogoAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month! This year, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) has designated a specific population focus for each week:

August 3-9 — A Healthy Start: Babies and Pregnant Women

August 10-16 — Back to School: Children, Preteens & Teens

August 17-23 — Off to the Future: Young Adults

August 24-30 — Not Just for Kids: Adults

Immunizations are important for individuals of all ages. Often times there are concerns as to whether or not we should continue immunizing our children (and ourselves), however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains vaccinations are worthwhile:

It’s true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.

It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.

For more information on vaccines and immunizations, visit the CDC website. On this page you’ll find topics such as Basic & Common Questions, information on Vaccine Side Effects & Safety, recommendations for parents, and immunization schedules for all populations.

To participate in National Immunization Awareness Month, download the toolkit from NPHIC and join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #NIAM14.

August Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

August NIH News in HealthThe August issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Can You Recognize a Heart Attack or Stroke? What to Do When Every Moment Counts
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts.

Surviving Sepsis: Taming a Deadly Immune Response
Many people have never heard of sepsis, or they don’t know what it is. But sepsis is one of the top 10 causes of disease-related death in the U.S. The condition can arise suddenly, and it’s often hard to recognize.

Health Capsules:

Transplant Reverses Sickle Cell Disease

Mind and Body Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Featured Website: Diabetes Health Sense

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.

 

Health Insurance Marketplace 2014 Workshops

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period for 2015 begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is hosting a free 1‑day Marketplace training event for partners and stakeholders who provide general information or help educate consumers about the Marketplace, and/or help them apply for coverage.

This session does not fulfill the certification requirements for Navigators or other assisters, or for agents and brokers. The web-based training for certification of Navigators/Certified Assistance Counselors will be available in August, and for agents and brokers in July.

The training sessions will cover the following:

  • An Overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Information on Health Insurance Literacy
  • Current Marketplace Topics
  • Best Practices and Lessons Learned

As with the South Central Chapter (SCC) of MLA, the states of AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX align exactly with CMS Region 6. Four training events are currently scheduled for Region 6: Houston, TX (August 5); Dallas, TX (August 27 & August 28); and Baton Rouge, LA (September 18).

For more information, including how to register, visit: http://www.seiservices.com/cmsmp2014/mp/MPHome.aspx

Health Insurance Marketplace
 
 

News and Updates on the ACA

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Several recently released studies indicate that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped reduce the number of uninsured Americans by between 8 and 11 million in the first year of the Marketplaces. Other key points from one report¹:

  • Many of the previously uninsured have used their new coverage to obtain needed care
  • The uninsured rate for people ages 19-64 declined from 20% in the period July – September 2013 to 15% in the period April – June 2014
  • Young men and women (ages 19-34) made up a significant portion of the decline
  • In states which expanded Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rate for people in poverty declined at an even higher rate (28% to 17%)

Instructor with students on computers

A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Navigators and Assister programs nationwide found that an estimated 10.6 million people received personal help from Navigators and Assisters during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014). In total, more than 4,400 Assister Program provided assistance for enrollment. Most Assister programs reported that people looking for health insurance sought help because they did not understand the ACA or health insurance and lacked confidence to apply on their own. In addition, the survey showed that 90% of Assister Programs have already been re-ontacted by consumers with post-enrollment questions and problems.²

The next Open Enrollment Period for insurance coverage will begin on November 15, 2014. If your organization is a community health center or other health care provider, hospital, a non-federal governmental or non-profit social service agency in a state with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace or a State Partnership Marketplace, and your organization would like to help by training your staff to assist people applying for coverage through the Marketplace, you can apply to be a Certified Application Counselor (CAC).  Attend an informational webinar on July 23rd at 1:00 p.m. CT for clarification regarding eligibility requirements. For more information on the CAC program, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/cac.html

Information on the webinar:

From Coverage to Care (C2C) is a national initiative from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), specifically designed to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. It also seeks to give healthcare providers the tolls they need to promote patient engagement. An overview of the full range of resources included in C2C will be presented in a webinar on Wednesday, July 30th, at 11:00 a.m. CT: http://ow.ly/zpUfo

¹Gaining Ground: American’s Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care After the Affordable Care Act’s First Open Enrollment Period

²Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs

Health Insurance Marketplace

 

July 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

NIH News in Health Fun in Sun

The July issue of NIH News in Health,
the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Sun and Skin: The Dark Side of Sun Exposure
Sunlight is essential to many living things, but it also has a dangerous side. The good news is you can take simple steps to protect your skin from sun damage.
Read more about sun and skin.

Fight Off Food Poisoning: Food Safety for Warmer Weather
It can be hard to keep foods safe to eat during warmer weather. Learn how to handle food properly to avoid the misery of food poisoning.
Read more about food poisoning.

Health Capsules:
Physical Activity Helps Seniors Stay Mobile
Kidney Failure and Its Treatment
Featured Website: Bionic Man

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.