March 11th, 2013
The current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child. That’s because emerging science shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about climate change when it’s portrayed as a health issue, rather than an environmental problem.
“This is a new topic for public health,” Luber says. “This is emerging largely as a result that the scientific evidence around climate change has evolved to the point that public health feels confident engaging the science; that this is a credible threat.”
February 28th, 2013
The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and BioDistrict New Orleans recently signed a MOU highlighting a new partnership designed to promote New Orleans as a hub for healthcare innovation.
The healthcare and biosciences industries are rapidly growing in New Orleans, which Dr. James A. Richardson, John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics and director of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, has estimated to generate 34,000 new or retained jobs and $24 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. By working together, along with their respective partners, the organizations will strive to improve population health outcomes, accelerate economic growth and employee/labor productivity, provide broader access to quality healthcare, and increase research funding for area Universities through educational training and workforce development opportunities.
February 21st, 2013
The Crescent City Beacon Community (CCBC) and its numerous partners, convened by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), was recently awarded the 2013 Innovator Award from Healthcare Informatics for its efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system in the Greater New Orleans area.
The CCBC program and the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE) are part of a larger healthcare improvement revolution that demonstrates how health information technology investments and meaningful use of electronic medical records advance the vision of patient-centered care, while achieving the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs.
In April 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology chose the Greater New Orleans area as one of only 17 federally funded Beacon communities. Since then, CCBC has advanced several innovative projects, including creating a new patient-centered care coordination system for the New Orleans area, enabled by the GNOHIE, the city’s first Health Information Exchange.
February 8th, 2013
While the effects of alcohol abuse are well known, “binge drinking is an important and under-recognized women’s health issue,” according to Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recent report looked at the drinking behavior of approximately 278,000 U.S. women aged 18 and older and 7,500 U.S. high school girls, and found that:
- 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls report binge drinking;
- half of all high school girls who drink alcohol report binge drinking;
- drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes 23,000 deaths among women and girls in the U.S. each year; and
- 14 million U.S. women binge drink three times a month and consume an average of six drinks per binge.
February 5th, 2013
Healthcare.gov has been relaunched recently. Check it out for new information about the Marketplace section, where families and small businesses will be able to easily compare and purchase high-quality health insurance plans starting October 1, 2013, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
January 29th, 2013
Household cleaning products may contain toxic substances linked to health problems such as asthma, allergic reactions, and cancer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.
The environmental group rated more than 2,000 household cleaners — from laundry soaps and stain removers to bathroom cleaners and floor care products. Products are graded A to F based on the safety of the ingredients and how well the maker discloses those ingredients.
January 23rd, 2013
You’re right to want to do whatever is in your power to stay flu-free this season, especially given the severity of this year’s outbreak. But before you put your personal flu-prevention plan in action, make sure those methods are actually going to do the trick. Pritish Tosh, M.D., an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Infectious Diseases, details some of the biggest mistakes people are making when it comes to flu prevention.
January 17th, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed sweeping rules to curtail food-borne illnesses that kill thousands of Americans annually — and, in the process, to transform itself into an agency that prevents contamination, not one that merely investigates outbreaks.
The rules, drafted with an eye toward strict standards in California and some other states, enable the implementation of the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed two years ago in response to a string of deadly outbreaks of illness from contaminated spinach, eggs, peanut butter and imported produce.
The first proposed rule would require domestic and overseas producers of food sold in the U.S. to craft a plan to prevent and deal with contamination of their products. The plans would be open to federal audits. The second rule would address contamination of fruit and vegetables during harvesting.
Click here to read more from the LA Times.
January 14th, 2013
The nation’s early flu season continues to grow in the U.S., with no sign yet of a peak in the spread of coughing, achy, feverish illness, health officials said recently. Twenty-nine states and New York City reported high levels of flu activity, up from 16 states and NYC the previous week. Flu was widespread in 41 states, up from 31 states, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of the week ending Dec. 29, 2,257 people had been hospitalized with flu, and 18 children had died from complications of the illness, CDC reported.
Click here to read the full story from MSNBC.
January 7th, 2013
According to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), when asked what would solve traffic problems in their community, 42 percent of Americans say more transit. Only 20 percent say more roads. And 21 percent would like to see communities developed that don’t require so much driving. Two-thirds support local planning that guides new development into existing cities and near public transportation.
Recently, New Orleans passed a Complete Streets ordinance, which you can read here. If you’re interested in more information about the work being done to make our streets safer for all on the road, check out these resources:
The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s Active Environments Planning initiative.