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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

March 2017 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of mom reading ingredients on a jar of food while baby waits in high chair

Check out the March issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Find Help for Low Vision
    Millions of Americans have low vision caused by an eye injury or a disease such as glaucoma. The sooner an eye problem is detected and treated by a physician, the greater your chance of keeping your remaining vision.
  • Featured Website: Bone Health Resources
    How do you keep your bones healthy and strong? It’s never too late to improve your bone health. Find out how to eat the right foods, exercise safely, and make other healthy lifestyle choices to protect your bones.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

NIH Open Science Grand Prize Winner Announced!

A prototype online platform that uses real-time visualization and viral genome data to track the spread of global pathogens such as Zika and Ebola is the grand prize winner of the Open Science Prize. The international team competition is an initiative of the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The winning team, Real-time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation, created its nextstrain.org prototype to pool data from researchers across the globe, perform rapid phylogenetic analysis, and post the results on the platform’s website. The winning team will receive $230,000 to fully develop their prototype with NIH awarding $115,000 to the U.S. members of the winning team, and the Wellcome Trust and HHMI also contributing $115,000.

The Open Science Prize is a global competition designed to foster innovative solutions in public health and biomedicine using open digital content. The prize, which was launched in October 2015, aims to forge new international collaborations that bring together open science innovators to develop services and tools of benefit to the global research community. All six finalist teams were considered exemplary by the funders and are to be commended for their tenacity in developing creative approaches to applying publicly-accessible data to solve complex biomedical and public health challenges. The topics spanned the breadth of biomedical and public challenges, ranging from understanding the genetic basis of rare diseases, mapping the human brain, and enhancing the sharing of clinical trial information. As evidenced from the six Open Science Prize finalists, public health and biomedical solutions are enriched when data are combined from geographically diverse sources. Further details are available in the NIH Press Release.

Resources for Finding and Visualizing Health Data and Statistics

Health outreach professionals often need to locate health statistics and data, to learn what kinds of health issues affect specific populations. The data may need to be visualized in chart, graph, or map format, to include in reports for policy makers and for the general public. Where can you find the raw data related to public health, and what tools are available to visualize the data? Following are a few resources related to health data, statistics, and data visualization that may be useful:

  • Learn about Health Statistics on MedlinePlus: Your first stop can be the Health Statistics page on MedlinePlus, where you can read a quick summary about health statistics and access links to a wide variety of reliable health statistics resources.
  • Find Public Datasets Related to Health Disparities: The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the release of the National Partnership for Action (NPA) Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources, a free resource that compiles descriptions of and links to 132 public datasets and resources that include information about health conditions and other factors that impact the health of minority populations.
  • Visualize Toxic Chemical Health Data on TOXMAP: The TOXMAP tool can be used to visualize locations of Toxic Release Inventory facilities, Superfund sites, Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory data, location of nuclear plants, and location of EPA coal plants, with additional layers of US census and health data added to the map to illustrate environmental health disparities in specific locations.
  • Learn How to Create Community Health Maps: Use the Community Health Mapping Lab Exercises to learn free and low cost methods for collecting field data, combining field data with other organizational data, and visualizing the data through online mapping tools.

What’s New on NLM’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Resource

Since the last REMM update in August, 2016, the following important US government document have been incorporated into the resource. Additional information is available by visiting What’s New on REMM?

An update to Mobile REMM is also coming soon!

National Library of Medicine’s TOXMAP Resource Now Includes TRI 2015 Data

NLM’s TOXMAP now includes 2015 Toxics Release Inventory data. This corresponds to the most recent TRI National Analysis published by the US EPA. TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA is available on the website.

February 2017 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life
    Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other health problems if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes ABCs: A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Featured Website: Easy-to-Read Drug Facts
    Get a wide range of helpful information about drug abuse, addiction, treatment, and prevention. Animated videos explain the basics of addiction and why drugs are so hard to quit.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

NIH Funding Opportunity: All of Us Research Program Engagement Partners

The National Institutes of Health has announced a new funding opportunity for organizations interested in helping engage volunteers in the All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. This opportunity is open to national and regional organizations, as well as local community groups, and will support activities to promote enrollment and retention in the All of Us Research Program across diverse communities. All of Us is an ambitious effort to gather data over time from 1 million or more people living in the United States, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and improving health. Unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers will use data from the program to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological make-up can influence health and disease. By taking part, people will be able to learn more about their own health and contribute to an effort that will advance the health of generations to come. NIH plans to launch the program later this year.

Pending available funds, NIH is designating up to $5 million per year over the next three years to support these community-led outreach efforts, to complement the program’s existing research and engagement infrastructure. Eligible organizations include nonprofits, other community- and faith-based organizations, minority-serving institutions and local governments, among others. Applicants must submit their proposed strategy for helping educate community members or health care providers about All of Us, whether through special events, trainings, communication programs or other activities. Applicants must also include a funding proposal tied to specific outreach goals. In addition to conducting their engagement activities, awardees will provide input on program plans and share feedback about community needs. Applications are due on March 24, 2017, and NIH plans to issue awards in May 2017.

NLM Outreach Resources for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, January 23-29

National Drug and Alcohol Fact Week, a public education project from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), aims to shatter myths that teens may believe about drugs and alcohol. The National Library of Medicine provides outreach materials that can be used to teach teens and the general public from many different special populations about the health risks associated with drugs and alcohol, including:

  • General Public: Use MedlinePlus to provide summaries and links about drug and alcohol abuse in consumer-friendly language for the general public, including multilingual information.
  • Native Americans: The American Indian Health portal provides links for Native American communities, researchers, and the general public on alcohol abuse and substance abuse.
  • Non-English Speakers: The HealthReach website can be used to locate patient handouts, audio, and video in multiple languages, related to drugs and alcohol.

New Navigation Resources Available on AIDSource

NLM’s AIDSource now offers PrEP Navigation Resources and HIV Navigation Resources. These resources, selected by subject matter experts, are designed to assist frontline “navigators” who work with affected populations. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once daily pill that helps protect against HIV. Resources include basic information about PrEP and navigator training tools. The HIV navigation resources cover retention in HIV care and tools for patient navigators. Both sets of navigation resources link to content for Spanish speakers.

NLM’s HSRProj Database Now Available for Download

NLM has announced that the Health Services Research Projects in Progress (HSRProj) database is available for download. HSRProj is produced by the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) and provides access to data for research into health services research investments. Established in the 1990s, HSRProj contains searchable structured descriptions of more than 16,000 current or recently completed health services research projects from more than 350 funders, both international and domestic. While access to the entire dataset of more 30,000 records has always been available on a partial or ad hoc basis, this new XML file download is expected to greatly broaden the accessibility of the information for those interested in health services research trends by topic, funder, or researcher/research organization.

Documentation for researchers seeking to manipulate and download the full file from the FTP site is available, including a complete list of all the elements and their attributes and a sample record using the NLM DTD, as well as a description of each field and its attributes. The XML data can be used with the XML converter of your choice. An updated file will be created and posted to the FTP site on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the regular quarterly update of the HSRProj record set. The current file is October 2016. NLM anticipates retaining older files on the FTP site for at least one year, but would welcome community input on this question. File names will include the month and date of release. No license is required to obtain or use the data. Per the Terms and Conditions, the National Library of Medicine should be identified as the creator, maintainer and provider of the data, for any use that is not personal; other conditions also apply.