Public Health News Roundup: September 26
HHS Program to Expand Mental Health Care for Rural Area, Military Personnel
A new program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will increase the number of social workers and psychologists providing care to military personnel, veterans and people living in rural areas. The $9.8 million grant will be shared by 24 graduate social work and psychology schools and programs. “Mental health services are critical for those dealing with posttraumatic stress and other severe problems,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a release. “Increasing the number and quality of providers to care for these individuals is a major step forward in addressing these challenges.” Read more on mental health.
Study: 20 Percent of Prescriptions Unfilled for Kids on Medicaid
A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that more than 20 percent of prescriptions to children on Medicaid may not be filled. The study looked at 4,833 kids receiving approximately 17,000 total prescriptions over a two-year period at two Chicago clinics, finding that 22 percent of the prescriptions were never filled. The study did find that prescriptions for antibiotics were far more likely to be filled than those for vitamins and minerals. Rachael Zweigoron, MD, lead researcher from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, said the findings suggest pediatricians need to do a better job of explaining the importance of particular prescriptions. Read more on pediatrics.
Peanut Butter Recall as 30 Sickened by Salmonella
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified peanut butter as the likely cause of 30 cases of salmonella across 19 states. So far four people have been hospitalized from the tainted Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt. The chain is recalling that and other types of peanut butter. Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps in most patients, but can lead to more serious complications and even death. Read more on food safety.