Nov 6 2012

Public Health News Roundup: November 6

Deadline Extended: National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health Accepting Applications

Update: The deadline to submit applications to participate in the NLAPH program has been extended to November 30th at 5:00pm PST to align with the extended deadline for those who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH), which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is accepting applications through November 14, 2012, for its yearlong leadership academy. The Academy brings together teams of leaders from multiple sectors to actively engage their communities to achieve health equity. Application is open to teams of four people in current leadership roles. Teams must be multi-sector including representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors and each team must have one member from the public health department. NLAPH is free for all selected teams including the cost of round-trip transportation and lodging at the national retreat, access to all program material and archived webinars, and enrollment in the Leadership Learning Network after completion of the program year. Read on for more information.

USDA Mobilizes Resources to Help Feed Many Impacted by Hurricane Sandy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating with states and organizations to provide food in 13 states affected by Hurricane Sandy. In New York State, for example, the USDA is working with the state, the Food Bank of New York City, and partner agencies to distribute approximately 1.1 million pounds of food. That will be distributed through nearly 1,000 designated emergency feeding outlets to affected households in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland counties, which were hit very hard by the storm. 

In certain areas USDA has granted a waiver to allow SNAP (formerly known as food stamp) recipients to purchase hot foods using their benefits, an option not usually allowed under the program. And the USDA and the Department of Education are reminding states and schools that they are permitted to use USDA provisions purchased for the National School Lunch Program to help prepare meals at schools, shelters or other feeding sites to help feed local residents who need food assistance. Read more on the public health role in emergency preparedness and response.

New JAMA study finds Latinos and Blacks Face Heart Disease Risks Far Greater than Whites
Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have found that Latinos and Blacks living in the U.S. have far higher risks for heart disease than Whites. The multi-state Latino study of over 16,000 men and women found that 80 percent of the men and 71 percent of the women have at least one risk factor such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and smoking. The second study, which included close to 25,000 people, found that Black men and women were about twice as likely to die from heart disease compared with age-matched whites. Black women had a higher incidence of fatal and nonfatal heart disease than white women. “This research shows clearly that there is much work to be done in addressing racial health disparities. We haven’t been able to move the needle in this important population that is disproportionately affected by coronary heart disease and stroke,” said Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “It highlights the need for a campaign to control known vascular risk factors that lead to premature death and loss of quality of life.” Read more on heart health.

Hospitalized Smokers Often Still Light Up
A study of smokers admitted to a large urban teaching hospital in Massachusetts found that 18.4 percent reported smoking during their hospitalization, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The Joint Commission, a hospital accrediting body in the U.S., requires accredited U.S. hospitals to have a policy prohibiting smoking in hospital buildings, but that requirement does not extend to the hospital campus. In most hospitals where a campus-wide smoking ban is not in place, hospitalized smokers can go outside the hospital to smoke. The hospital in the study, Massachusetts General, bans smoking in all indoor areas and on the outdoor campus except in two outdoor shelters, which patients may use. According to the authors, patients were more likely to report having smoked while hospitalized if they were younger, had more severe cigarette cravings, did not report planning to quit, had longer stays and were not admitted to a cardiac unit. When tobacco counselors ordered nicotine replacement therapy for a patient on the day of admission, patients smoked less before the counselors’ visit, but continued to smoke during the stay. Read more on tobacco.

Tags: Health disparities, News roundups, Preparedness, Public and Community Health, Tobacco