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VPHA News

  • 12 Mar 2014 1:36 PM | Deleted user

    Tobacco is the only product that, when used as directed, kills. Every year, more than 480,000 Americans die, millions more get sick and health care and related costs reach more than $289 billion due to tobacco use.
       
    Target, Wegmans and, most recently, CVS Caremark have all done the right thing – they removed tobacco from their shelves. We applaud their courage and believe that together we can build on this momentum. APHA is asking all pharmacies and retailers in the business of wellness to put their customers’ health ahead of profits from tobacco. Join us.
     
    Sign APHA’s petition: No tobacco sales in stores with pharmacies and
    clinics

     
    Please add your voice to the growing number of people and organizations working to stop the epidemic of tobacco. Sign APHA’s petition and share it with family and friends.
     
    Together we will make the U.S. the healthiest nation in one generation.

    Sincerely,

    Susan L. Polan, PhD
    APHA associate executive director, public affairs and advocacy

    View APHA message

  • 11 Mar 2014 10:41 AM | Deleted user
    The Time is Now for Health Care in Virginia


    The time is now for health care for all Virginians. The Legislature annually wrestles with questions of how to fund a long list of programs and services including quality public education for our children, supports and services for the elderly and disabled and adequate funding for public safety programs, to name a few. But, from the perspective of people of faith, caring for our neighbors and supporting families are guiding principles that shape our view of legislative decision-making and so we say clearly, the time is now for health care for all Virginians.


    Nearly 400,000 Virginians would benefit from increased access to healthcare coverage. They include members of middle to low income families and about 70 percent of those who could be covered are part of a family where at least one adult works in a low-wage job that does not include benefits. They do not earn enough to buy private health insurance coverage.


    The economic argument for expanding Medicaid is strong. What the uninsured aren’t getting is regular preventive health care that keeps them at work and out of expensive hospital emergency rooms. The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services estimates that the expansion could save Virginia $1 billion by 2022 largely because charity care at teaching hospitals, care for prisoners and mental health services would shift from the state's general fund to Medicaid, with the federal government picking up most of the cost. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that expanding Medicaid will create 30,000 new jobs in the state.
     ;

    Ultimately, the decision is about helping people in need. The decision to support expansion does not rest on dollars and cents calculations. The General Assembly has concluded and there is still no solution to the health care coverage gap. The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy is joining along with other advocacy groups to raise the voices of consumers and everyday people to call for the General Assembly to solve the coverage gap during a special session.


    Please join us on March 15
    th in Richmond, Virginia.  We will meet at the Capitol Bell Tower for a rally to solve the health care gap in Virginia.  All together we hope to have 1,000 people participate from all parts of the Commonwealth, so arrive early to allow for parking near the Richmond Convention Center. We are also making plans for buses to come from northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and the New River Valley but those plans are still being finalized so let us know if you need help with transportation.

    Rally for Health Care
    Capitol Bell Tower

    March 15, 2014

    11 am to 12 pm

    Register Online


    Providing health care saves people’s lives, which is what our faith traditions are all about. It is time that our Legislators here in Virginia recognize what we already know: that access to health care is a moral issue, not a political one.

    Marco A. Grimaldo

    CEO & President
  • 28 Feb 2014 4:18 PM | Deleted user

    Boston, MA – Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among childrenundefinedsuch as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexiaundefinedaccording to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed.

    The report will be published online February 15, 2014 in Lancet Neurology.

    “The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis..full article.

  • 25 Feb 2014 4:50 PM | Deleted user

    On Thursday, May 1st, VAPHA will partner with George Mason University to offer the 5th Annual VAPHA Career Fair/2014 Health Career Fair. Registration will open soon for this free event.

    All Public Health Students and recent graduates can take this opportunity to present their research and projects - just submit your poster abstract prior to 5 p.m. on April 17th to be included.

    Abstracts should be no more than 200 words and summarize your rationale, methodology (if applicable), and findings/outcomes. Please include the names of all authors, with contact information, as well as the name of your college/university and program, and note whether your submission will be for display only or should be included in the judging. Prizes will be awarded for those submissions that are judged. Abstract submission deadline: 5 p.m., Thursday, April 17, 2014. Submit your abstracts to Mary Kidd at mary.kidd@vapha.org.

  • 21 Feb 2014 4:36 PM | Deleted user
    Men’s health remains a relatively recent area of study compared to women’s health in the United States and internationally. On average, the health of women is better than their male counterparts, but the health of racial and ethnic minority men lags behind their White male counterparts. However self-management can mitigate poor health outcomes experienced by men, particularly racial and ethnic minority men. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between health information seeking and confidence in managing health and health care interactions among men. Dr. Keith Elder, associate professor and chair of the department of health management and policy at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, and his colleagues found health information seeking was not associated with confidence to manage health.

     

    However, Hispanic men were less likely to agree to have confidence to know when to seek medical care, mention concerns to doctors, and follow...read more

  • 21 Feb 2014 4:30 PM | Deleted user
    Stroke hospitalization rates appear to rise and fall with sharp changes in outdoor temperature and dew point, a pilot study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found. The research, presented this week at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014, shows an association of stroke hospitalizations with exposure to extreme daily temperature and dew point fluctuations. The study examined Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance data from hospitals across the United States.

     

    Researchers found that each five-degree Fahrenheit change in daily temperature was associated with a 6 percent increased risk of stroke hospitalization. Meanwhile, each five-degree Fahrenheit increase in the dew point...read more

  • 19 Feb 2014 5:05 PM | Deleted user

    Program purpose: Convene a one day meeting of partners from Virginia’s HBCUs, along with representatives from the existing Public Health programs and other stakeholders, to develop a consensus action plan to grow the pipeline for minority students to enter the public health workforce.

     

    There is a demonstrated and growing shortage of qualified public health practitioners across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the public health workforce fails to reflect the diversity of the state’s population. In order to begin to remedy this situation, the Virginia Public Health Association has joined with Norfolk State University and the Commonwealth Public Health Training Center to host An HBCU Call to Action: Pathways into Public Health on Friday, March 21st at Virginia State University.

    In Virginia, where nearly 30% of the population self-identifies as minority, the 2011 Healthcare Workforce Data findings (Department of Health Professions’ Healthcare Workforce Data Center) revealed that:

    • Only 8% of licensed clinical social workers in Virginia are black and the median age of licensed clinical social workers was 52.
    • Only 7% of the licensed professional counselor workforce is black, and the median age of Virginia’s licensed professional counselor workforce was 52.
    • Only 7% of Virginia’s physician workforce is black, and the median age of the physician workforce was 49, with over 62 percent being above the age of 45.

    With public health’s focus on health equity and reducing disparities, the partners in this program believe that there is a proven need to encourage more minority students to enter public health as a career field, both to more effectively address looming health crises and to develop a workforce that more accurately reflects the demographic composition of the state as a whole.

    While no one initiative can eliminate all of the disparities that exist, the partner organizations will convene interested stakeholders, including representatives from each of Virginia’s HBCUs and the current Masters of Public Health Programs, to begin to address these needs by:

    • Building pathways for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to work with the existing programs of Public Health to develop course content that would prepare students to enter the public health workforce;
    • Increasing access to and awareness of public health education within the Commonwealth utilizing a collaborative approach amongst the state’s HBCUs and the existing academic programs of Public Health in the Commonwealth; and
    • Allowing students to increase their knowledge of Public Health’s core competencies and make an informed decision about Public Health as a career option. 

    Program schedule:

    8:00 a.m. Registration with Continental breakfast

    8:45 a.m. Welcome/Introduction

    9:00 a.m. Keynote Address: Alan Noonan, MD, MPH, Morgan State University

     

    10:00 a.m.  Break

    10:10 a.m.  Breakout Discussions

    • Faculty Session: Betty Ruth, PhD., MPH, Boston University
    • Student Session: Juanita Jackson, DNP, RN, FRSPH, Mississippi Department of Health

    11:30 a.m. Lunch

    12:30 p.m. Work Sessions

    • Faculty
    • Student

    2:00 p.m. Break

    2:15 p.m. Next Steps

    3:00 p.m. Adjourn

  • 18 Feb 2014 12:11 PM | Deleted user

    Released February 13, 2014

    Today the United States joined 26 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from the threat of infectious disease, and committing to the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda.

    “Global health security is a shared responsibility; no one country can achieve it alone,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “In the coming months, we will welcome other nations to join the United States and the 26 other countries gathered here in Washington and in Geneva, as we work to close the gaps in our ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.”

    Over the next five years the United States plans to work with at least 30 partner countries (containing at least 4 billion people) to prevent, detect and effectively respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring or caused by accidental or intentional releases of dangerous pathogens.

    “While we have made great progress in fighting and treating diseases, biological threats can emerge anywhere, travel quickly, and take lives,” said Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  “The recent outbreaks of H7N9 influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome are reminders of the need to step up our efforts as a global community.  The Global Health Security Agenda is about accelerating progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.”

    Later this year, the White House will host an event bringing together nations who are committed to protecting the world from infectious disease threats to review progress and chart the way forward on building a global system for preventing, detecting, and responding to such threats.

    “The United States and the world can and must do more to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks as early and as effectively as possible,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said.  “CDC conducted two global health security demonstration projects last year in partnership with Vietnam and Uganda to strengthen laboratory systems, develop strong public health emergency operations centers, and create real-time data sharing in health emergencies.  CDC is committed to replicate the successes in these two projects in ten additional countries this year.”

    In FY 2014, CDC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency have jointly committed to accelerate progress on global health security by co-developing a strategy and devoting $40 million toward activities focusing on advancing the U.S. government's GHS objectives in ten nations.

    The FY 2015 President’s Budget will include an increase of $45 million within CDC to prevent avoidable catastrophes, detect threats early, and mobilize effective responses to contain outbreaks.  The increase also would allow CDC to partner with up to ten countries in 2015 to begin implementation and accelerate successful CDC efforts including training of field epidemiologists, developing new diagnostic tests, building capacities to detect new pathogens, building public health emergency management capacity, and supporting outbreak responses.

    Secretary Sebelius, Ms. Monaco and Dr. Frieden were joined at the launch meeting by representatives in Washington and Geneva from 26 other countries, three international organizations, and by other U.S. government officials, including Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox, and Department of Agriculture Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford, whose agencies will lead efforts to fulfill the U.S. government commitment to global health security.

    “Efforts to prevent deadly outbreaks strengthen geopolitical stability and security, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “None of us, not the public health, security or agriculture sectors can accomplish global health security on our ownundefinedit is obvious that an interdisciplinary approach is the best way to make progress.”

    HHS, DoS, USDA, and DoD will work closely with global partners to build countries’ global health security capacities in areas such as surveillance, detection and response in order to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, establish national biosecurity systems, reduce zoonotic disease transmission, increase routine immunization, establish and strengthen national infectious disease surveillance and laboratory systems, and develop public health electronic reporting systems and emergency operations centers.

    “The Global Health Security Agenda set forth today establishes a roadmap for progress that ultimately depends on collaboration between the health and security communities,” said Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Fox. “The Department of Defense is committed to continuing our work, together with our national and international partners, to strengthen global health security.”

    Countries joining the United States to meet the Global Health Security goals at today’s launch were Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, and, Vietnam.

    For more information on the Global Health Security Agenda, visit www.globalhealth.gov/global-health-topics/global-health-security/index.html.

    View the original press release...

  • 05 Feb 2014 11:59 AM | Deleted user

    A statement by Kathleen Sebelius

    Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 4 deaths in the United States, making it the leading cause of death in our nation. As we observe American Heart Month, there are some key steps you and your loved ones can take to protect against heart disease.

    By maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, you can dramatically reduce the risk of premature death or disability due to heart disease. Awareness of risk factors is also critical to preventing heart disease. Far too many people who are at high risk for heart disease don’t know it. That is why it is so important to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly and to speak with your doctor about your health history.

    The Affordable Care Act is making it easier than ever before to take care of your heart. Most health plans now must cover a set of preventive services, such as cholesterol and blood pressure checks, at no out-of-pocket costs to the consumer.

    The security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance is vital to the fight against heart disease. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans are gaining access to health coverage, many for the first time.  Under the health care law, patients can no longer be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.

    In addition to expanding access to care, we are working to coordinate and strengthen heart disease prevention efforts across the nation through initiatives like Million Hearts®, Healthy People 2020 and The Heart Truth®.

    Million Hearts and partners recently urged practices and health systems to improve blood pressure control through the adoption of standardized treatment protocols. Widespread adoption of simple, evidence-based treatment protocols can have a major impact on blood pressure control among patients, saving lives and preventing disability.

    The Healthy People 2020  Heart Disease and Stroke objectives track the heart and stroke health of our Nation and set targets for improvements. 

    The Heart Truth’s nine 2014 community action program grantees are initiating year-long education programs for reaching women of color and low income with heart disease risk factor screenings and tailored interventions that encourage the adoption of heart healthy lifestyle behavior changes.

    This American Heart Month, please consider what steps you and your family can take to promote a heart healthy lifestyle. There’s no better Valentine than a healthy heart!

    Click here to view the press release.

  • 05 Feb 2014 10:07 AM | Deleted user

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    The Department of Health and Human Services applauds CVS Caremark Corp. for their leadership in helping to make the next generation tobacco-free.

    CVS Caremark’s announcement that CVS/pharmacy stores will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products is an unprecedented step in the retail industry. We also commend CVS Caremark on their new national smoking cessation program. With more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations, this private sector health leader’s new policy will have considerable impact.

    Last month, I called on all sectors of the United States – from businesses to local and state governments to the faith community – to join in the Obama Administration’s sustained effort to make the next generation tobacco-free. Smoking takes an enormous toll on our friends, families and communities.  As we know from the recently released 50th Anniversary Surgeon General Report on smoking and health, nearly 500,000 Americans die early each year due to smoking, and smoking costs us $289 billion annually. Each day, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 in the United States try their first cigarette and more than 700 kids under age 18 become daily smokers. If we fail to reverse course, 5.6 million American children alive today will die prematurely due to smoking. This is unacceptable.

    We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America’s young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit. Today’s CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead in this important new step to curtail tobacco use.

    Additional recent tobacco-related announcements from the Department of Health and Human Services:

    Surgeon General report says 5.6 million U.S. children will die prematurely unless current smoking rates drop:
    http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2014pres/01/20140117a.html

    FDA launches its first national public education campaign to prevent, reduce youth tobacco use:
    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm384049.htm

    Click here for more information


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