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  • 24 Oct 2022 5:40 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Reimagining Children’s Rights in the US [JAMA Network] "The US remains the only country without a national framework for securing the rights and well-being of all children ages 0 to 17 years.1 "

    The US faces a pivotal moment of opportunity and risk regarding issues affecting children (aged 0-17 years). Although the US remains the only United Nations member state to not have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child rights framework is essential for child health professionals seeking to advance many issues affecting children in the US.

    The Reimagining Children’s Rights project (2020-2021) conducted an in-depth environmental scan of relevant literature and policy analysis using the Three Horizons design process to assess strategies that could advance the rights and well-being of children in the US.

    The project was overseen by a steering committee and informed by an advisory committee composed of youth leaders and experts in children’s rights, advocacy, health, law, and a range of
    child-specific issues (eg, youth justice, early childhood development), who provided expert input on strategic considerations for advancing children’s rights.

    Seven findings about advancing children’s rights in the US are notable, all reflecting current gaps and opportunities for using a whole-child rights framework in the US, even without formal adoption of the CRC. Actionable strategies, tactics, and tools to leverage sustainable change in the multitude of issue areas can advance the current state of children’s rights. 

    Read full article here>

    Download six-page article here>


  • 21 Oct 2022 2:18 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    We often hear talk from older generations about how much more difficult they had it when they were young -- and doctors are no exception. It's not uncommon to hear older physicians and younger physicians argue about whose training was more difficult. But how does medical school today actually compare with medical school in the past? Let's explore both sides of the argument to determine who had it tougher. [MedPage Today]


    Full article here>


  • 20 Oct 2022 10:53 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Update on research on COVID and its long term implications. 

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE This study presents modeled estimates of the proportion of individuals with at least 1 of 3 self-reported Long COVID symptom clusters (persistent fatigue with bodily pain or mood swings; cognitive problems; or ongoing respiratory problems) 3 months after symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Download full paper here


  • 19 Oct 2022 6:14 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

     A pair of new studies shine a light on how overcrowding and staffing shortages may be impacting emergency department (ED) wait times and patient care access. [Patient Engagement HIT]

    The studies, based on EHR data from across the country, were published in JAMA Network Open by researchers from the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and Yale University.

    In the first study, researchers examined how hospital occupancy, the percentage of occupied staffed inpatient beds, was associated with long ED wait length or boarding times.

    Between January 2020 and December 2021, researchers found that boarding times were greater than four hours nearly 90 percent of the time when occupancy was greater than 85 percent.

    ... By December 2021, median boarding times were over nine hours at the five percent of hospitals with the greatest occupancy.

    The Joint Commission, a national accrediting body for hospitals, stressed that boarding times over four hours is a patient safety concern.

    Full article here>


  • 18 Oct 2022 6:01 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Healthcare’s cross-sector collaboration on health equity work is something that Jay Bhatt, MD, the executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions, hasn’t seen at a level like this before. The work to give everyone an equal opportunity for health and well-being is happening across the care continuum, with a renewed focus on retail health clinics and other alternative care sites coming to the fore. [Patient Engagement HIT]

    “We’re creating more access points and putting opportunities to address drivers of health,” Bhatt, who’s also the executive director of the Deloitte Health Equity Institute, told PatientEngagementHIT in a Zoom call. “We're seeing grocers and retailers partner with community health centers and other care settings to enable access to care in the context of addressing healthy behavior and shopping and food security as well as connection to other social service agencies.”

    Alternative care sites, such as retail health clinics, urgent care clinics, telehealth, and virtual health options, create more front doors through which patients can get medical care. And when looking at traditionally marginalized groups, especially Black and Brown populations, this is important.

    Full article here>


  • 17 Oct 2022 7:17 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    A guest post from members of the planning team for the Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Workshop on Achieving Health Equity in Preventive Services (Antoinette Percy-Laurry, Carrie N. Klabunde, Melissa C. Green Parker, Pamela L. Thornton, LeShawndra N. Price, and Rick A. Berzon) and the ODP’s portfolio analysis team (Charlene A. Liggins and Cristan A. Smith)

    Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death, disability, and health care spending in the United States. Many chronic conditions can be prevented, delayed, or caught and treated early. However, despite the progress in research and clinical care, many Americans continue to receive less than recommended preventive health care; this is especially the case for communities that experience a high burden of disparities in chronic diseases. This means not everyone has an equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible. [NIH Office of Disease Prevention] 

    In 2019, we organized the P2P Workshop: Achieving Health Equity in Preventive Services to assess the state of the science on equity in the use of clinical preventive services and develop a research agenda for moving the field forward.

    After the workshop, we brought together representatives from eight NIH Institutes and Offices and seven federal agencies for a Federal Partners Meeting to discuss agency activities and resources relevant to the workshop and create an action plan. Participants identified opportunities for federal agencies to address many of the workshop panel’s recommendations (PDF), organized around four cross-cutting themes:

    1. Integration of Services and New Delivery Models
    2. Need for Innovative Methods
    3. Community Engagement and Systems Approaches
    4. Workforce and Training.

    As we progress through that action plan, we’ve come to recognize that increasing the use of implementation science in the work done by the NIH, our federal partners, and researchers in the field will be a critical part of making progress toward health equity in preventive services.

    Why focus on implementation science to improve health equity?

    Applying implementation science concepts and methodologies has proven successful in increasing the adoption of many evidence-based practices. Implementation science identifies factors that make it harder or easier to achieve the uptake of evidence-based clinical innovations. We believe that linking health equity research with implementation science offers new possibilities for addressing the workshop panel’s recommendations and improving the use of evidence-based clinical preventive services.

    What research is the NIH currently supporting in this area?

    To better understand the ways in which implementation science is already being used to advance health equity research—and where it is still lacking—we conducted a brief review of the NIH’s research grant portfolio (PDF) using the NIH RePORTER database.

    See full article here> 


  • 13 Oct 2022 8:55 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Children as young as 5 years old can now receive an updated COVID-19 booster following a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to expand its authorization of reformulated shots from Moderna and partners Pfizer and BioNTech. [Healthcare Dive] 

    Moderna’s vaccine, which was previously cleared in adults 18 years and older, is authorized for use in children at least 6 years of age. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine can now be used in children 5 years old and up, after previously being available for those 12 years or older. 

    The FDA’s authorizations come a little less than three weeks after the companies submitted applications to expand use of their updated shots, which are adapted to better protect against the omicron variants that are currently most prevalent in the U.S. 

    “Since children have gone back to school in person and people are resuming pre-pandemic behaviors and activities, there is the potential for increased risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19,” Peter Marks, the head of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement on the authorizations.

    Full article here>


  • 13 Oct 2022 5:26 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Illinois ranks 20th nationally when it comes to the health of women and children, according to a report from America’s Health Rankings released Wednesday by the United Health Foundation. [Health News Illinois] 

    The report placed Illinois the best among its peers for the prevalence of neighborhood amenities. It finished 2nd overall for having a low prevalence of women with frequent mental distress and 4th overall for having a low prevalence of insufficient sleep among women. 

    However, the state received low marks for the low prevalence of cervical cancer screening, which was the 4th worst in the country.

    It finished 42nd overall for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children coverage among children 4 and younger, and 39th overall in the prevalence of illicit drug use among youth.

    Illinois finished 22nd overall for women’s health and 19th overall for children’s health. 

    Minnesota was ranked the healthiest state for women and children in the country, while Louisiana finished last.

    Overall, the report found that rates of mental and behavioral health challenges have increased among women and children in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating issues.

    Anxiety among children ages 3 to 17 increased 23 percent between 2018 and 2021, while depression among that age group increased 27 percent during that same period. Women between the ages of 18 and 44 saw a 14 percent increase in frequent mental distress during that time.

    Additionally, suicides among those between the ages of 15 to 19 increased 29 percent between 2012-2014 and 2018-2020.


  • 12 Oct 2022 4:38 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    After 'unprecedented" jump in 2020, firearm-related homicides increased another 8.3% last year.  

    Rates of gun-related homicides and suicides both jumped by over 8% in 2021, and to levels not seen in 30 years, according to CDC data.

    From 2020 to 2021, homicides involving firearms increased from 6.12 to 6.63 per 100,000, while gun-related suicides increased from 8.07 to 8.75 per 100,000, reported Thomas Simon, PhD, of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and colleagues, writing in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    What's so concerning about these findings, said Simon, is that they follow on the back of an already "unprecedented" 35% increase in firearm homicides from 2019 to 2020. 

    Full article here> 


  • 11 Oct 2022 9:43 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Evidence-based strategies should be implemented to eliminate the stigma and discrimination around mental health conditions, according to an extensive report from The Lancet Commission.[MedPage Today]

    Group outlines six goals, including training for healthcare workers. 

    The Commission's recommendations are intended for a broad cross section of stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, schools, public and private employers, and healthcare workers and their organizations, noted co-chair Graham Thornicroft, PhD, of King's College London, and more than 50 global colleagues in The Lancet.

    Full article here> 


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