March 2011 Blog Posts (19)

2011 County Health Rankings: Better presentation of information for the average person

As a teacher in a community college preparing students for careers in nursing and ancillary services in ambulatory care, I incorporate units in my curriculum that cover social determinants of health. This is not a hefty unit, but I try to pack as much as possible into a 45-minute lecture in preparation for a video "Unnatural Causes"-the basis for a four-page paper assignment.

I was very disappointed in the first set of County rankings released last years.  The information did not seem…


Added by Cecil Verley on March 31, 2011 at 5:40pm — No Comments

Survey proves we care more about how our food tastes than how healthy it is

A study from Ireland found that taste is an imporant factor in food choices.  I wonder how this information applies here in America where, for example, Latino families are starting to recognize that childhood obesity is a problem for their children. But taste is probably still important because children will let you know immediately that they don't like the way food tastes.

"The study, published in Journal of Functional Foods, found that an informed food choice regarding…


Added by Percival Scott Fife on March 25, 2011 at 6:06pm — No Comments

AVAILABLE: Accountable Care Organization Coordinated Care Metrics

 Conversations with my American colleague's this week have been about the difficult road to increasing access to medical services.  Although accountable care organization (ACO) regulations are not yet availalbe, there seems to be a cottage industry in providing information concerning their administration, components, and financing.  Although care coordination is at the heart of the ACO concept, I've seen very little ink dedicated to the topic until now.  One of your health quality agencies…


Added by Leona Ow Woodbridge on March 25, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments Making health topics interesting reading

Patients are snowed under with health information.  At the physician's office, diagnostic center, drug store, the gym-health information is everywhere.  This makes me wonder why health publications continue to flood the print and cyber marketplace.  Raising capital under these market conditions should be difficult, but not an established publication can take a few risks. Time magazine has a rather entertaining approach to delivering health information.  Time has also taken the risk of…


Added by Leona Ow Woodbridge on March 23, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Prediabetes increasing in U.S. population

The health reform prevention and public health fund may disappear from the federal budget at a time when evidence shows population health improvement is moving in the wrong direction.  The link is to an LA Times article that is not good news.



Added by Tamar Knox on March 20, 2011 at 10:16pm — No Comments

How America responds to disasters

Given the Katrina experience, some may think the federal response to disasters is a national disgrace.  However, preparing for Katrina or any other man-made or natural disaster is not the responsibility of federal government.  It is a local responsibility: municipalities and counties are  responsible for planning and making preparations for disasters based on a hazard vulnerability assessment. 


Japan's triple punch of disasterous events presents an…


Added by Tamar Knox on March 18, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Coal, deadlier than nuclear, fights Clean Air regs

The utility industry has unleashed an army of lobbyists to fight new Clean Air regulations targeting mercury and arsenic emissions from coal-fired power plants. But their arguments have already been proven false.

Read the full post on PHI's ClimateHealthConnect.

Added by Cameron Scott on March 17, 2011 at 1:36pm — No Comments

Global Health Initiative Document Mentions a Non Communicable Disease, But Barely









There have been several significant developments within the past few weeks concering the President's Global Health Initiative (GHI), a planned $63 billion six-year effort to tackle some of the globe's most persistent health problems.  Originally announced by President Obama in May 2009,…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 17, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

India and NCDs: An Opportunity Not to be Missed

...What are India and the foreign donors doing about India’s considerable NCD burden?  While I don’t know the answer to this question, I do know that India will join other nations at the upcoming UN High Level Session on NCDs, as the first time the UN body will officially address the world’s largest source of mortality. Its delegation will speak about NCDs, what can be done to prevent them, and how…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 15, 2011 at 7:53am — No Comments

REPORT: State Budgets Under Federal Health Reform

This analysis examines the potential costs and savings that the health reform law may generate for state budgets, a topic of great interest at a time when states continue to struggle with tight budgets in the wake of the recession. The analysis  seeks to explain why recent state estimates of the likely impact of health reform on their budgets vary widely, and discusses the major expected sources of costs and savings as the new law is implemented.

It finds that there are many…


Added by Marisel Brown on March 12, 2011 at 8:48pm — No Comments

Japan versus Haiti: The importance of good governance when dealing with disaster

It isn't very often that we get a chance to compare two starkly different scenarios. Haiti versus Japan analyses will be popping up soon comparing how these two countries responded to a disaster/earthquake. There is a lesson here for people who say government gets in the way of free markets and personal liberty.


Free market theory was at work in Haiti.…


Added by Fiona Hyde on March 11, 2011 at 10:19pm — No Comments

PHI Hosts Showings of Ipas film "Not Yet Rain" on International Women's Day

On Tuesday, March 8, (International Women's Day) the Public Health Institute (PHI) hosted two showings of the documentary film "Not Yet Rain," which deals with safe abortion services in Ethiopia.  The film, produced by the international development organization Ipas, documents some improvements in maternal health that have taken place…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 11, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

UN to Convene Civil Society Working on Non Communicable Diseases

The United Nations is convening a High Level Session on Non Communicable Diseases during September 19-20, 2011 in New York.  The meeting will feature high level delegations from all UN member nations, including in some cases heads of state and Ministers of Health.


In order to gather information from non-governmental organizations and the private sector related to the subject of non…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 10, 2011 at 8:52am — No Comments

Combination Products on the Horizon for Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health

“Imagine one product that would prevent BOTH unintended  pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections...”


Despite significant advances in women’s health over the past 50 years, women are still too much at risk for unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.  For millions of women, consistent use of methods to prevent either unintended pregnancy or HIV is a challenge for a variety…


Added by Bethany Young Holt on March 7, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Cook Stoves Kill

Check out Jeff Meer's post summarizing a talk Berkeley public health professor Kirk Smith gave about the dangers of cook stoves. The Center for Public Health & Climate Change has a cook stove project, also mentioned.

Added by Cameron Scott on March 7, 2011 at 11:50am — No Comments

Bottom Billion Conference on NCDs: Indoor cooking fires pose significant health risk to women

Kirk Smith presented compelling evidence at the Harvard Medical School conference on non communicable disease that the simple act of daily cooking over an indoor campfire is hazardous to health.  Smith, who is professor of Global Environmental Health at the University of California at Berkeley, spoke at "The Long Tail of Global Health Equity: Tackling the Endemic Non Communicable Diesease of the Bottom Billion," on March 3,…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 7, 2011 at 11:24am — No Comments

Bottom Billion conference: Non communicable and infectious diseases are linked

One of the many stories to emerge from the conference on non communicable diseases (NCDs) in the poorest of the poor held at Harvard Medical School over March 2-3, 2011 is the idea that there is no sharp dividing line between NCDs and infectious ones.  "This is a false dichotomy that must be rejected," said Jean Claude Mbanya, president of the International Diabetes Federation and professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Yaounde, Cameroon.…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 4, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Paul Farmer on Non communicable disease and the "Bottom Billion": Conference at Harvard Medical School

In a stirring and inspirational keynote address, global health giant Paul Farmer exhorted a group of 500 advocates and students at Harvard Medical School on March 2 to "end the defeatism" concerning non communicable disease (NCD) advocacy.  Farmer, the chair of Harvard Medical School's Global Health and Social Medicine Department and the founder of the nonprofit Partners in Health, told the audience that the state of advocacy on NCDs is similar in many ways to where HIV/AIDS was in the 2001…


Added by Jeff Meer on March 3, 2011 at 5:20am — No Comments

Responsible Wastewater Management Techniques, I

When educating a community about watershed systems, it might behoove you to explain what a watershed means. In my experience, when EPA and county water representatives explain their objectives, the layman terms often are missing. The explanation of a watershed in laymens' terms is important not only for understanding of a water system, but as a way to pull together a community.

A watershed is an entire geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries. For instance, while a…


Added by Linda Goin on March 1, 2011 at 2:00am — No Comments

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