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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

April SCR CONNECTions Recording Now Available

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The recording of this week’s SCR CONNECTions webinar, Evidence Based Public Health (EBPH) is now available in the SCR CONNECTions archives. A link to the presentation materials can also be found at that site. The class is available for 1 hour of MLA CE through May 14, 2014.

As a reminder, we will not be holding SCR CONNECTions for the month of May.

Join us June 18th for our next SCR CONNECTions webinar!

Join Us for SCR CONNECTions Tomorrow on Evidence Based Public Health

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Nurse giving a toddler a shot

Join us April 16, 2014 for the monthly SCR CONNECTions webinar.

Wednesday, April 16th from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT)

Presenter: Naomi Gonzales, Public Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region

Topic: From Problem to Prevention: Evidence Based Public Health”

This month’s webinar will be a one-hour preview of an upcoming NN/LM SCR class that will go over the basics of evidence-based public health and highlight essentials of the EBPH process.

How to Log In

Go to,  on the log in screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name.

Once the room is open the system will be able to call you to connect to the audio. If this system does not work for you, a call-in number will be provided in the room.

Use *6 to mute or unmute your phone.

**Do Not Place Call on Hold**

Problems? Contact the Regional Medical Library (RML) office at 713-799-7880, or 800-338-7657 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX only).

This webinar will be available for 1 hour of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education credit and will be archived for future viewing.

National Public Health Week 2014

Monday, April 7th, 2014

National Public Health Week 2014 logo

Each year during the first full week of April, the American Public Health Association (APHA) celebrates National Public Health Week (NPHW) in an effort to highlight the public health contributions to the community as well as issues still facing the nation. Each day this week (April 7-11), NPHW will focus on a different theme:

Monday 4/7 – Be Healthy From the Start (public health starts at home)

Tuesday 4/8 – Don’t Panic (disaster preparedness)

Wednesday 4/9 – Get Out Ahead (education and prevention)

Thursday 4/10 – Eat Well (nutrition and health)

Friday 4/11 – Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation (public policy and looking ahead) 

In addition to these daily themes, NPHW is also hosting a new online event–the NPHW Face Off. From the news bulletin:

“Each weekday of NPHW, APHA will select two partner events to feature as “events of the day” and will promote the events on social media through an online voting “face off.” Each morning, APHA will share the two selected events on APHA’s Facebook page. Voters can then “like” the photo of the event they are most excited about. At the end of the day, the photo that has the most “likes” wins. The winning event will be announced the following morning on APHA’s Facebook page.”

For up to date information on NPHW information and events, be sure to follow the Twitter account @NPHW!

MAXIMUS Health Literacy Webinar Series

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Three adults look at a laptop screen

The MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy announced a new webinar series focusing on health literacy. Each webinar in the series, entitled “Communications Tune Up”, will spotlight a different aspect and/or challenge of effective communication to populations with varied health literacy levels.

The six topics include:

  • Plain Language 101: Making Sense of Complex Content (March 28) – Encore Presentation on Wednesday, April 2nd at 1pm Central
  • Quick and Easy Field Testing: Asking for Affirmation, Corrections and Suggestions (April 25)
  • Design for Readability: Creating Visual Order (May 30)
  • Making Content Accessible: Removing Barriers to Print and Web Information (June 27)
  • Getting the Message Out: Planning and Implementing Public Health Campaigns (July 11)
  • Removing Language Barriers: Reaching Your Spanish Speaking Audience (August 15)

Webinars are an hour long each and recordings will be posted as webcasts on the MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy website. For registration links and links to previously recorded health literacy webinars from MAXIUMS, visit their Webinars page.


March 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

Monday, March 10th, 2014

NIH News in Health _Feature 1

NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this edition:




 Health Capsules:

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 301-402-7337301-402-7337 for more information.

Updates to Nutrition Facts Label

Friday, March 7th, 2014

FDA Serving SizeOn February 27th, 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published several proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label found on the majority of packaged foods in the United States. According to the FDA Guidance and Regulation page, the proposed changes include the following:

  • Greater understanding of nutritional science
  • Updated serving size requirements and new labeling requirements for certain package sizes
  • Refreshed design

In order to encourage a greater understanding of nutritional science, the FDA will require that labels include information about added sugars, updated daily values, the amount of potassium and Vitamin D, as well as continuing to include “Total Fat”, “Saturated Fat”, and “Trans Fat” amounts while “Calories from Fat” will be removed.

The serving size requirements will be changed to reflect how people currently eat and drink, which is vastly different than 20 years ago–when serving sizes were first established. Serving size on labels will now include “what people actually eat, not what they ‘should’ be eating”. In addition, items usually consumed in a single sitting (ie, 20 oz sodas) will now be labeled as one serving instead of multiple. Larger packages that are usually consumed in multiple sittings will include “dual column” labels to include nutrition information for per serving as well as per package.

The new design of the label will feature larger text for caloric information and serving sizes. Consumers will also notice a shift of Percent Daily Values to the left of the label (for prominence) from it’s original position on the right. A clear explanation of Percent Daily Values will also be included.

For more information, details, and images of the proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label, visit the FDA Guidance & Regulation page.

Physicians Called to Advance Health Literate Organizations

Monday, February 10th, 2014

A pharmacist explains a label to a patient

The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a commentary this month that gives physicians guidance on their role in implementing health literate health care organizations. Physicians’ responsibilities to address health literacy are not restricted to improving the clinical encounter, declared authors Cindy Brach, Benard Dreyer, and Dean Schillinger. For health care organizations to become health literate, physicians must also be willing to serve as health literacy champions.

The authors detail actions physicians can take to implement each of the ten attributes of health literate health care organizations, as described in an Institute of Medicine discussion paper by Brach et al. The article also points readers to the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit to help physicians lead their practices in implementing health literacy universal precautions.

Access the commentary, Physicians’ Roles in Creating Health Literate Organizations: A Call to Action at: 

To access Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations, go to:

To access the Health Literacy Universal PrecautionsToolkit, go to:

Public Health Hashtags and Tweet Chats

Friday, February 7th, 2014

hashtag public health

Looking for ways to connect to others interested in public health? Try Twitter! Tweet chats are a great way to interact with individuals and organizations involved in public health topics across the spectrum. Typically held on a regular basis, these chats are usually lively discussions between people approaching the subject from different perspectives. If you aren’t familiar with the topic or are hesitant to participate, simply following the hashtag makes it easy to lurk or monitor the chat.

Here are some hashtags and tweet chats to get you started (descriptions from Healthcare Tweet Chats):

#abcDrBchat – Chat with ABC News Chief Health/Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.

#hchlitss – Discussing health, health communication, health care, health and social media, health care disparities and social determinants of health. Every Thursday at 8pm EST. Moderators: @drkdhoffman @rv_rikard

#medlibs – The Medlibs Twitter chat occurs weekly on Thursday evenings at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern times. Topics are selected and published at the #medlibs chat blog, Inaugural chat held June 21, 2012. Coordinated by @eagledawg

#mladisparities – The Health Disparities SIG of the Medical Library Association’s monthly twitter chat about ways for medical libraries to be involved with raising awareness of healthcare disparities. Healthcare providers, librarians and others welcome.

#pubHT – The purpose of this chat is to establish a platform where public health professionals can have the opportunity to share their experiences and resources, while also learning and networking. All are invited to join the conversation, yet the target audience includes public health professionals from NGOs, government, academia, etc. Add @PubHealthTalks or follow #PubHT for updates and or visit Established August 2012 and co-founded by @NinaJTweets and @SaraRubin.

#RWJF1stFri – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s First Friday Google+ Hangouts are broadcast live the first Friday of every month at 12 pm ET. Moderated by Susan Dentzer, senior policy adviser, this initiative keeps friends of the Foundation up to speed on its activities.

#sm4ph – #sm4ph is a Twitter hashtag dedicated to exploring aspects of social media use and how it affects public health, including Public Health the field and the public’s health at large. Moderated by Jim Garrow, the #sm4ph chat is held every Wednesday evening at 9pm Eastern Time, and is open to anyone interested in public health or social media. @phsocmed

#smem – Social media for emergency management is a live Twitter chat on Fridays at 12:30 PM Eastern Time. It begin and persists as a regular hashtag.

For a full list of healthcare tweet chats, descriptions, and transcripts visit the Healthcare Tweet Chats page via Simplur.

For a list of healthcare hashtags visit the Healthcare Hashtag Project.

Flu Season Still in Full Swing

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Elbow Cough

With flu season still in swing, it’s more important than ever to get that flu shot and practice good health behavior! As of the week ending on January 4, 2014 at least 35 states are now showing widespread geographic influenza activity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the activity across the country, every state in the South Central Region is showing the highest level of influenza activity. The unusually high number of those affected by the flu prompted the CDC to issue an official health advisory notice to clinicians.

The health advisory notice states:

From November through December 2013, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 (pH1N1) virus. Multiple pH1N1-associated hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and some fatalities have been reported. The pH1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.

One common misconception of the flu is that fatalities are more likely to occur in the very young and very old–this is not the case with the pH1N1 strain. According to the Influenza Associated Hospitalizations in the CDC FluView Weekly Index, those ages 18-64 account for 61% of hospitalizations. This means everyone is at risk for catching the flu, regardless of age and health status. Despite these numbers, those in 18-64 age range are still the least likely to get vaccinated.

To do your part in preventing the spread of flu germs, here are the CDC’s Good Health Habit tips:

1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Variety of no smoking signs

January 11, 2014 marked 50 years since U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released the landmark report that concluded smoking causes cancer. Since the report was released in 1964, the United States has seen a number of tobacco control campaigns and litigation in an attempt to improve public health. Here are some of the highlights, taken from JAMA’s interactive timeline of  Tobacco-Related Events, United States, 1900-2014. 

  • In 1965 the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act is passed and US Congress requires health warnings on cigarette packages.
  • In 1966 warning labels reading “Caution—Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.” begin to appear on cigarette packaging.
  • 1967 marks the first World Conference on Smoking and Health in New York.
  • 1969/1970 Congress passes the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 which requires a stronger warning label on packaging. The act also bans cigarette advertising on television and radio.
  • January 2, 1971 sees the television and radio advertisement ban go into effect.
  • In 1975 Minnesota becomes the first state to enact the Clean Indoor Air Act, which “requires separate smoking and nonsmoking areas in public settings”.
  • 1983 marks the beginning of workplace smoking restrictions.
  • In 1984 the Food and Drug Administration approves “nicotine gum as a pharmacologic aid for smoking cessation”.
  • In 1988 California voters approve Propsition 99, ” increasing the cigarette tax from 10 cents to 35 cents per pack. Revenues are earmarked for tobacco-related public health initiatives and research.”
  • 1990 marks the end of smoking on airplanes.
  • In 1996 the Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation is published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
  • After being denied in 2000, the FDA gains regulatory authority over tobacco products in 2009.
  • In 2012-2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launch the first fully federally funded “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign encouraging smokers to quit.

Although much progress has been made in the past 50 years, there is still much work to be done; according to the CDC an estimated total of 43.8 million people are still smokers who put themselves and others at risk every day. Cigarette smoking is also the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, something which many organizations are working to change. Examples of anti-tobacco organizations and campaigns include Smokefree Women and Tobacco Free Kids.

For more information on the Surgeon General’s Report and tobacco control, check out the following resources:

In addition to the interactive timeline, JAMA has also designated this month’s theme as “50 Years of Tobacco Control“.

To read more about the original 1964 report, visit the CDC’s page on the History of the Surgeon General’s Reports on Smoking and Health.

To read an interview with acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak on “The past, present and future of tobacco”, visit the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Public Health Newswire Voices page.