News

Current News

2019 January

Access to Rural Maternity Care (January 2019) - 18-Jan-2019
The majority of rural women give birth at their local hospitals and therefore rely on local maternity services. ii However, women have lost access to local services with over 10% of rural counties losing these services in the past fifteen years. Initial studies show a doubling of Infant mortality rate where counties have lost OB services, compared with a decrease in infant mortality rate where services are available. 39 Additionally, out of hospital birth, preterm birth and deliveries in hospitals lacking OB units increased. (National Rural Health Association (NRHA))

Data sources to support local services tackling health risks of cold homes - 18-Jan-2019
This guidance will: help local areas to estimate the number of people who may be at risk of cold-home-related death and illness in a particular population, using a range of housing, vulnerability and health indicators; and help local areas to identify individuals who may be at risk of experiencing health effects associated with living in a cold home, using data on housing and personal characteristics, as well as opportunistic approaches. It is aimed at public health teams, housing professionals and others with a role in local communities to prevent deaths and illness associated with cold homes. (Public Health England)

Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs — New York City, 2000–2017 - 18-Jan-2019
Using toxicology data, New York City identified fentanyl in 2% of drug overdose deaths during 2000–2012. By 2017, fentanyl was involved in 57% of all drug overdose deaths in New York City. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))

Opioid Prescribing Rates in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Counties Among Primary Care Providers Using an Electronic Health Record System — United States, 2014–2017 - 18-Jan-2019
Analysis of patient opioid prescription data from a national electronic health record vendor during 2014–2017 found that the percentage of patients prescribed an opioid was higher in rural than in urban areas. Significant decreases in opioid prescribing occurred across all urban-rural categories after the March 2016 release of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))

Environmental justice and drinking water quality: are there socioeconomic disparities in nitrate levels in U.S. drinking water? - 17-Jan-2019
The goals of this study are to identify determinants of nitrate concentrations in U.S. community water systems (CWSs) and to evaluate disparities related to wealth or race/ethnicity. (Springer)

New Workforce Survey: Public Health Turnover Could Pose Threat to Community Health - 16-Jan-2019
The newest PH Wins survey shows a rise in job turnover among public health professionals. This is despite high levels of job satisfaction. (de Beaumont Foundation)

School nutrition policies reduce weight gain - 16-Jan-2019
Over the three years of the study, implementation of physical activity policies alone did not make a significant difference in students’ BMI. However, implementing nutrition policies—either alone or in combination with physical activity—did help the children maintain their weight. (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS)

Efforts to Expand Access to Oral Health Care to Continue in 2019 - 16-Jan-2019
In 2019, many states are likely to continue efforts to expand access to dental care to more of their residents through multiple approaches, including extending dental coverage to those newly eligible for Medicaid and making greater use of dental therapists. (Pew Charitable Trusts)

Mass Incarceration Threatens Health Equity in America - 16-Jan-2019
Report examines the links between mass incarceration and health equity. Through pairing data with examples of successful approaches, this report shows how mass incarceration negatively impacts everyone’s health and well-being and also suggests solutions for reducing both incarceration and crime rates and increasing opportunities for all. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))

Now Accepting Applications: 2019 HSRProj Research Competition for Students - 14-Jan-2019
This competition provides a unique opportunity for students to use data from the Health Services Research Projects in Progress (HSRProj) database in conjunction with other sources to identify research gaps in health services and systems research. The competition closes on March 1, 2019. (AcademyHealth)

Access by Design, Benefits if Convenient: A Closer Look at the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework’s Standard Material Transfer Agreements - 14-Jan-2019
Paper analyzed WHO's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, its standard material transfer agreements, and secondary sources to determine whether the PIP Framework will effectively function as an access and benefit-sharing (ABS) instrument during an influenza pandemic. (Milbank Memorial Fund)

CDC Provides First In-Season Estimates of Flu Illnesses, Medical Visits, and Hospitalizations - 14-Jan-2019
So far during the 2018-2019 season between about 6 and 7 million people have been sick with flu, up to half of those people have sought medical care for their illness, and between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized from flu. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

Hospital Admissions for Uncontrolled Diabetes Improving Among American Indians and Alaska Natives - 14-Jan-2019
Using IHS data, the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (NHQDR) team found significant decreases in hospital admissions for uncontrolled diabetes in the AI/AN population receiving treatment at IHS facilities. However, the declines are not as pronounced in younger age groups. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS)

Current Status and Response to the Global Obesity Pandemic: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief - 11-Jan-2019
Summary of a October 2018 workshop which examined the status of the global obesity pandemic and explored approaches used to manage the problem in different settings around the world. (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM))

State Strategies for Establishing Connections to Health Care for Justice-Involved Populations: The Central Role of Medicaid - 11-Jan-2019
Issue brief identifies emerging trends in the care delivery models that state Medicaid programs use for former inmates. (Commonwealth Fund)

Adolescent Beliefs About Hookah and Hookah Tobacco Use and Implications for Preventing Use - 11-Jan-2019
Hookah tobacco use is popular among youths and there is evidence that perceived risks and normative beliefs are associated with hookah use. The aim of this study was to further examine associations between perceived risks of hookah use, normative beliefs, and lifetime hookah use among youths. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

Assessment of dietary patterns, physical activity and obesity from a national survey: Rural-urban health disparities in older adults - 11-Jan-2019
Open-access study assesses rural-urban differences in obesity rates in older adults, and the potential for the associations between obesity and physical activity and dietary patterns to vary by rural-urban status. (Public Library of Science)

The Role of State Health Leaders in Addressing Substance Use Disorders Among Women, Infants, and Families - 11-Jan-2019
This report highlights six public health approaches for addressing the rising incidence of substance use disorder and neonatal abstinence syndrome and draws out the critical role that state health leaders play in each. (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO))

Drug Overdose Deaths Among Women Aged 30–64 Years — United States, 1999–2017 - 11-Jan-2019
From 1999 to 2017, the death rate from drug overdose among women aged 30–64 years increased by 260%. Drug overdose deaths involving antidepressants, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids all increased. Among women aged 30–64 years, the average age at death for drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 3 years. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))

The Science Is Clear: With HIV, Undetectable Equals Untransmittable - 10-Jan-2019
In recent years, an overwhelming body of clinical evidence has firmly established the HIV Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) concept as scientifically sound, say officials from the National Institutes of Health. (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS)

Data Maps the Impact of Where a Child Grows Up - 10-Jan-2019
The Opportunity Atlas allows users to interactively explore data on children’s outcomes into adulthood for every Census tract in the United States. This can inform local efforts to build equitable, prosperous, and healthier communities. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))

Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce: Final Update - 10-Jan-2019
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions in northern and central California. This outbreak appears to be over. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

State Policies on Testing Drinking Water for Lead in U.S. Schools - 09-Jan-2019
This Brief summarizes select characteristics of state-level policies and programs to test for lead in school drinking water. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))

Measuring Resident Health Outcomes in Affordable Housing - 09-Jan-2019
Tool enables its users to measure changes in resident health outcomes most likely to be influenced by healthy housing development. (Build Healthy Places Network)

USDA Announces Plan to Protect SNAP Participants’ Access to SNAP in February - 09-Jan-2019
To protect SNAP participants’ access for February, USDA is working with states to issue February benefits earlier than usual. USDA will rely on a provision of the just-expired Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides an appropriation for programs like SNAP and child Nutrition to incur obligations for program operations within 30 days of the CR’s expiration. (U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA))

The Youngest Victims: Disaster Preparedness to Meet Children’s Needs (2018) - 09-Jan-2019
Commentary identifies a variety of guiding principles and key messages that AAP members and child advocates can use to guide decision-making and support the implementation of new public policy, effective community/state planning, and appropriate education and training. (American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP))

Draft Recommendation Statement and Draft Evidence Review: Screening for Hepatitis B in Pregnant Women - 09-Jan-2019
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seeks comments on a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for hepatitis B virus infection in pregnant women. (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF))

Comparison of US County-Level Public Health Performance Rankings With County Cluster and National Rankings: Assessment Based on Prevalence Rates of Smoking and Obesity and Motor Vehicle Crash Death Rates - 08-Jan-2019
Study compares county-level percentile rankings on outcomes of smoking, motor vehicle crash deaths, and obesity within sociodemographic peer clusters vs nationwide rankings. (American Medical Association (AMA))

Tobacco Retail Licensing and Youth Product Use - 07-Jan-2019
Strong local tobacco retail licensing ordinances may lower rates of cigarette and electronic cigarette use among youth and young adults. Success of regulations restricting youth access to cigarettes and alternative tobacco products may depend on ensuring a robust enforcement scheme. (American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP))

2018 Public Health Law and Policy Review - 07-Jan-2019
Blog post provides a state-level look at public health legislation and policies enacted over the course of 2018. (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO))

Factors Affecting Obesity and Waist Circumference Among US Adults - 07-Jan-2019
Physical activity, sedentary activity, and food intake affect waist circumference and obesity among adults; however, the relationship is unclear. The objective of this study was to explore how these factors affect waist circumference and obesity prevalence among adults. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

Rural–Urban Differences in Baseline Dietary Intake and Physical Activity Levels of Adolescents - 07-Jan-2019
Differences in dietary intake and physical activity may explain the higher prevalence of obesity among adolescents living in rural versus urban settings. The objective of this cross-sectional secondary analysis was to compare baseline dietary intake and physical activity of adolescents by rurality. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

Now Accepting Applications for the ASPPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellowship Program – Due February 20th - 04-Jan-2019
ASPPH is now accepting applications for the ASPPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellowship. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Eastern, February 20, 2019. (Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH))

Understanding and Overcoming the Challenge of Obesity and Overweight in the Armed Forces: Proceedings of a Workshop - 04-Jan-2019
Proceedings from a May 2018 workshop which examined how obesity and overweight are measured in the armed forces and how they affect recruitment, retention, resilience, and readiness; discussed service-specific issues related to these problems and highlighted innovative strategies to address them through improved nutrition, physical activity, and stress management; and offered perspectives from outside of the armed forces on approaches to prevent and treat obesity. (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM))

Human Rabies — Virginia, 2017 - 04-Jan-2019
A U.S. citizen was bitten by a puppy while in India; rabies postexposure prophylaxis was not sought. The traveler developed rabies upon return to the United States and died during hospitalization. Seventy-two health care providers were exposed to infectious materials. Treatment for exposures cost approximately $235,000. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))

Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of American Indian/Alaska Native Adults in HIV Care — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2011–2015 - 04-Jan-2019
Among adults receiving HIV care from 2011 to 2015, AI/AN patients had high poverty levels (51%), depression (27%), HIV stigma (78%), and suboptimal sustained HIV viral suppression (64%). (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR))

New HRSA Program Will Help Clinicians and Patients in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction - 03-Jan-2019
On December 27, 2018 HRSA launched a program that is critical to HHS’ response to the opioid crisis. The National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Progam will support the HHS Five-Point Opioid Strategy by increasing patient access to high-quality substance use disorder preventive, treatment, and recovery services. (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS)

NACCHO Announces New Award to Recognize Excellence in Upstream Work in Rural Communities - 03-Jan-2019
NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pleased to announce the Achieving SDOH Population Improvement in Rural Environments (ASPIRE) award. The goal of the ASPIRE Award is to recognize excellence in rural communities that are committed to addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH). Submissions are due January 25, 2019. (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))

Youth and the Opioid Epidemic - 02-Jan-2019
Open-access article published in Pediatrics reviews the development of the current opioid addiction treatment system, examines shortfalls in regard to youth-specific needs, and proposes suggestions for addressing the current crisis while simultaneously preparing to address future epidemics of addiction by enabling pediatricians to better manage substance use disorders in primary care. (American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP))

CDC launches new pneumococcal vaccination app: PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor - 02-Jan-2019
CDC recently launched an app to help vaccination providers quickly and easily determine which pneumococcal vaccines a patient needs and when. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS)

TOOLKIT: Cervical Health Awareness Month - 02-Jan-2019
Cervical Health Awareness Month in January is a chance to share information about how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), HHS)

Improving Oral Health Care Services in Rural America (December 2018) - 02-Jan-2019
Policy brief outlines barriers, highlights federal programs and initiatives, and provides policy recommendations to improve oral health care in rural America. (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS)

Resources: Connecting Public Health and Education to Prevent Adolescent HIV/STIs - 02-Jan-2019
Resources from a project to increase the capacity of local health departments (LHDs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to work in partnership to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents. (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))

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