Virginia Public Health Association
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Connecting the voices of public health in Virginia


  • 11 Aug 2014 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    A new special online issue of APHA’s American Journal of Public Health compiles some of the latest research and commentary regarding the health of U.S. veterans as it relates to equity, quality of care and disparities.

    “Any lapse in care quality, access or equity is antithetical to our duty to those who have served to protect our freedoms; it is simply not who we are as an organization,” wrote Robert Jesse, MD, PhD, former acting undersecretary for health for the Veterans Health Administration.

    “Recognizing additional areas for improvement by identifying disparities in care has reinvigorated our commitment to these uniform principles,” he wrote.

    The open-access issue, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Health Equity, investigates tobacco use and smoking habits, mental health, homelessness, racial disparities and access to care for transgender people and for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, along with a host of other topics impacting veteran health care. (Journal of Public Health)

  • 11 Aug 2014 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    Partnership for Prevention's ActionToQuit initiative has released a new guide titled, Help Your Patients Quit Tobacco Use: An Implementation Guide for the Armed Force.  It points out that rates remain higher among people serving in the military than in the civilian population.  "This is of particular concern because of the substantial negative effects of tobacco use on military readiness. Among these are impaired physical endurance, increased absenteeism for illness, delayed wound healing, and reduced night vision."  The Partnership recommends that tobacco cessation treatment should be a standard of care at every patient encounter, and views the Guide as a practical supplement to the publication, VA/DoDClinical Practice Guideline on Management of Tobacco Use (2008).

  • 11 Aug 2014 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    A new National Healthy Housing Standard could help millions of U.S. residents and homeowners make living spaces safer and healthier.

    Public health and housing leaders, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, gathered to unveil the new standard on May 16 in Washington, D.C. The standard, released by APHA and the National Center for Healthy Housing, is a “health-focused property maintenance policy targeting the nation’s 100 million existing homes,” and serves as a guide to help homeowners, landlords and tenants maintain dwellings that are safe for people to live in. (The Nation’s Health) Read more…

  • 11 Aug 2014 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    FDA enforces rule saying the claim can only be used for foods containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten Starting Tuesday, the label “gluten free” will actually mean “gluten free.” Before Aug. 5, there were no standards or regulations governing the use of gluten-free claims placed on packaged foods. As of Tuesday, however, the Food and Drug Administration determined that the claim can only be used for foods containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten.(Time) Read more


  • 06 Aug 2014 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    A popular health care program that serves more than 130,000 military family members and retirees is redundant and should be eliminated, the Government Accountability Office says.

    The U.S. Family Health Plan, an association of six health care companies that provides Tricare Prime to military beneficiaries in 15 states and the District of Columbia, costs the Defense Department more than $1 billion a year, and its unique nature restricts DoD from maximizing use of military hospitals and clinics, GAO officials wrote in a report released Thursday. ( Read more...


  • 06 Aug 2014 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health will offer free Tdap vaccinations for rising city sixth-graders this month.

    The shots will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and again on Aug. 23 at 4452 Corporation Lane.

    Parents or guardians should bring a picture ID for themselves and the child's shot record. The department's immunization clinic also offers the shots. For dates and times, call 757-518-2700. The child's shot record also is required for vaccinations at the clinic.


  • 06 Aug 2014 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    The once tough-to-treat liver infection hepatitis C could become a rare disease in the United States in the next two decades, a new study estimates.

    Hepatitis C, a viral infection that harms the liver, is usually passed through infected blood. For most people, the infection becomes chronic and it can eventually lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.

    U.S. health officials estimate that over 3 million Americans currently have chronic hepatitis C -- most of whom don't know it because the infection usually causes no symptoms. (The Charlottesville Newsplex) Read more...


  • 06 Aug 2014 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    Political leanings unquestionably influence how many people hear the conversation over climate change. The political polarization of the discussion has made it difficult to reach agreement on changes in environmental policy.

    Might more people be persuaded to act if the issue was framed in terms of public health?

    A new study by Earth Institute researchers suggests that talking about the human health impacts of air pollution related to burning fossil fuels might make a more convincing argument for action among conservatives, who are generally more skeptical of the scientific evidence for climate change. ( Read more...

  • 04 Aug 2014 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    In Washington, a pivotal battle over sugar is heating up. One small corner of the wider culture war over public health and sweeteners, this fight isn’t about how much sugar should be in your food, but how much you should know about it. U.S. food regulators say the public needs to know how much sugar manufacturers add to their products, beyond the sweetener that naturally occurs in the raw ingredients. Companies such as Campbell Soup Co. say they don’t need to inform the public, and that making a distinction risks dangerous confusion. (Chicago Tribune) Read more...

  • 04 Aug 2014 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    Medical costs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States are more than $32 billion each year, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The yearly financial toll of COPD (which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis) is expected to reach an estimated $49 billion by 2020. (HealthDay News) Read more...

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