Jun 11 2012

Public Health News Roundup: June 11

United Health to Keep New Health Provisions Regardless of Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act

Reuters is reporting that UnitedHealth Group, a major U.S. health insurer, has announced it would retain new health coverage rules—such as dropping co-pays for some preventive care—regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the legislation. The Court is expected to rule this month. Read more on access to health care.

USDA Promotes Free Summer Food Service this Week

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is holding its second annual Summer Food Service Program Week June 11 through June 15 to promote awareness of summer food programs for millions of children who typically eat free or low cost breakfast and lunch at school during the school year.

In partnership with the advocacy group WhyHunger, USDA has developed downloadable Public Service Announcements to inform parents and guardians about summer meals sites for school-age children. To find a site in your community, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273.) Read more on community health.

Extreme Rest Very Soon After Concussion May Prevent Long Term Symptoms in Some Patients

A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics finds that taking a week off from nearly all mental and physical activity within a week after a concussion may lead to fewer symptoms, such as headaches, and better mental performance, months after the injury.

The researchers found that study participants who rested physically and mentally soon after their injuries had much improved symptoms compared with concussion patients who waited weeks to months before they started resting their bodies and brains, such as no socializing, no computer, no TV and no phone use. Read more on injury prevention.

Rise in Military Suicides Reported

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that there have been 154 military suicides in the first 155 days of 2012, a higher number than military members killed in action in Afghanistan, based on Pentagon statistics the AP obtained. Among possible explanations: combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. The AP reports that multiple deployments is a risk factor for suicide, but that a large number of suicides have been among soldiers who were never deployed. The number of suicides at this time last year was 130. The AP also reports that the Pentagon recently established a Defense Suicide Prevention Office. Read more on military health.

Tags: Access to Health Care, Community Health, Injury Prevention, Military, News roundups