Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The International Child & Youth Care Network

CYC-NET

The International Child & Youth Care Network (CYC-NET) is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation in South Africa. It aims to “promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty.” However parents and others will undoubtedly find information at this Web site to be useful.

Many items at the home page are updated at least weekly as Daily News, Today, Press Release, and Link.

The home page has two main gateways to information through the tabs

  • Learning Zone with free online courses and training/educational podcasts
  • Network with site statistics, as recent top queries and the average number of daily visitors. On January 26,2011 the Recent top search queries were  bullied to death, homeless children statistics, bowlby, montesorri, anorexia nervosa, principles of management, punishment for children, bipolar disorder, peer influence, positive reinforcement for children, effects of corporal punishment, heroin stories.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Food Museum Online

The Food Museum Online is a tax exempt educational organization devoted to food history and food issues.

Information is offered through online exhibits, book reviews, educational programs, and more.

The Food Museum Online: a tax-exempt 501 c-3

The museums major offerings

  • Food History Online Exhibits includes permanent, special, and seasonal exhibits on specific foods. Items  have short historical descriptions accompanied by colorful historical images
  • The Issues page presents definitions and overviews of selected food issues as factory farming and school lunch reform.
  • The Global Food Heritage Project identifies the places connected with our food heritage and spotlights the people who continue to preserve these sites today.
  • The Fun page includes links to puzzles, quizzes, and exhibits.

Some Web pages at this site are in progress and the information on most pages consists mainly of overviews.

However this is a great starting place for food issue information which could engage many middle and junior high students.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles [pdf]

Reducing Gun Violence

Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles

Cover: Reducing Gun Violence

How does one solve violent crime in big cities? It’s a vexing problem, and one that attracted the attention of a group of scholars at the RAND Corporation. This 82-page eBook released in 2010 takes a close look at how the Boston Gun Project might work if applied in East Los Angeles. In Boston, a coalition of researchers, community leaders, clergy, and others, worked together and designed, implemented, and monitored a project to reduce youth violence by reducing gang and gun violence. The program was quite successful, so this led the National Institute of Justice to work with RAND to see if this might work in Los Angeles. Specifically, the intervention included increased police presences, more stringent enforcement of housing codes for properties used by gang members, more stringent enforcement of parole and probation conditions, and referral of gun violations to federal prosecutors. While the program was somewhat successful when applied to this section of Los Angeles, the report recommends, “city leaders should establish processes to support agencies in such collaborations.” Both a summary of the report and the eBook in its entirety are available for free download. [KMG]

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Information Technology Resources from NN/LM

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), Greater Midwest Region has a Web page devoted to health information technology resources. It includes links to pdf files of the presentations at the December 2010 meeting – “EHRs and Librarians: A Symposium”.

From the web page

Health information technology (Health IT or HIT) describes the management and secure exchange of health information among consumers, providers, government entities, and insurance agencies. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a special focus of HIT. EHR’s can assist in maintaining an accurate picture of a patient’s health and to more securely share information between doctors. Using an EHR can replace paper medical records to maintain your health information.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Personal Health Records (PHRs)

In December 2010, the GMR held a meeting called “EHRs and Librarians: A Symposium” before the fall RAC meeting in December 2010. Below are pdf files of the presentations.

Regional Extension Centers – David Sweet

Summary: Overview about what Regional Extension Centers (RECs) are doing to assist health professionals with implementation of electronic health records; what AHIMA is doing related to RECs, and possible roles for librarians.

Using New Digital Resources to Promote and Understand PHRs – Allison Vance

Summary: Learn about AHIMA’s consumer education campaign, my Personal Health Record (myPHR), and the various digital resources available to librarians interested in assisting patients and community members with learning more about PHRs and larger health literacy issues.

Implementation of a Patient Portal and MedlinePlus Connect in a Low-Income Population – Maxine Rockoff, Ph.D.

Summary: The Institute for Family Health, a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and the Mid-Hudson Valley, has had an electronic medical record (EMR) since 2002. In 2008, the Institute implemented the patient portal for its EMR. This talk will present research findings to date from focus groups, a Health IT Readiness Survey, usability studies, a survey of providers & staff, and a statistical analysis of patients who received access codes and those who didn’t. The talk will also describe the process of developing MedlinePlus Connect with the National Library of Medicine, as well as some preliminary information on the classes developed for patients to teach them how to use these tools.

MedlinePlus Connect: Linking Patients to Health Information – Joyce Backus

Summary: Overview and background for developing MedlinePlus Connect, a new service from the National Library of Medicine that allows electronic health records (EHR) systems to link users to information in MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus Connect delivers information about conditions and disorders, health and wellness, and prescription and over-the-counter medications to patients, families, and health care providers when it is needed. MedlinePlus Connect accepts requests for information on diagnoses (problem codes) and medications. For problem codes, MedlinePlus accepts ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT CORE. For medications, MedlinePlus Connect accepts RXCUIs and NDCs. The API for this service conforms to the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) Knowledge Request URL-Based Implementation specification.

The GMR has set up a listserv to continue the conversation about EHRs and PHRs. To subscribe to EMR-GMR, send the command SUBSCRIBE EMR-GMR BARACK OBAMA to listserv at uic.edu, replacing “Barack Obama” with your first and last name. Make sure the subject line is left blank.

HIT Resources

AHRQ

AHRQ National Registry Center for Health IT

AHIMA

American Health Information Management Association

Beacon Community Program

Beacon Communities will focus on specific and measureable improvement goals in the three vital areas for health systems improvement: quality, cost-efficiency, and population health.

MyPHR

MyPHR – Resources for seniors, parents, the chronically ill and more.

Health and Data Standards

Health Information Technology and Data Standards at NLM

HealthIT

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

HRSA Health Information Technology

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

Overview EHR Incentive Programs

Centers for Medicaare and Medicaid Services

Regional Extension Centers (RECs)

Explanation of the the Regional Extension Center Program

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legally poisoned

Legally poisoned

UC Riverside professor outlines risks of daily exposure to toxicants and advocates regulatory changes to protect public health

From a January 24, 2011 Eureka news alert

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Americans are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected toxic substances every day, substances that affect the development and function of the brain, immune system, reproductive organs or hormones. Children are the most vulnerable. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the marketplace.

That must change, UC Riverside professor Carl Cranor argues in a new book, “Legally Poisoned: How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants” (Harvard University Press, 2011).

The current harm-based or risk-of-harm-based legal structure for regulating exposure to toxic substances is problematic, says Cranor, a professor of philosophy and longtime advocate of reforming U.S. regulatory policies. “Because most substances are subject to post-market regulation, the existing legal structure results in involuntary experiments on citizens. The bodies of the citizenry are invaded and trespassed on by commercial substances, arguably a moral wrong.”

Scientists are finding that every industrial chemical and pesticide produced today is capable of entering our bodies, says Cranor, who has served on science advisory panels for the state of California and on Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences committees. For three decades he has studied U.S. regulatory policy and philosophic issues concerning risks, science and the law, as well as the regulation of carcinogens and developmental toxicants, and protection of susceptible populations from new and existing technologies and toxicants. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program.

Cranor notes that the Centers for Disease Control has identified more than 200 toxicants in the bodies of average Americans, a number that he contends is low only because the CDC has not yet developed protocols to reliably identify other substances.  [See  National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals]

“The list is only going to grow over time,” Cranor says.

With the exception of pharmaceuticals and pesticides, the U.S. legal system permits most substances to come in without testing for toxicity, without knowing whether they cause cancer, birth defects, developmental effects, or reproductive effects. Only about 2 percent of 62,000 substances in commerce before 1979 have been reviewed at all for their toxicity by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he says. Of the approximately 50,000 substances introduced since 1979, about 85 percent were allowed to market with no data concerning health effects.

Industrial, often toxic, chemicals are everywhere – bisphenol A used in plastic bottles and that lines cans of food; non-stick cooking surfaces or Gore-Tex material that contains perfluorinated compounds; curtains, baby car seats and TV sets manufactured with brominated flame-retardants; and countless cosmetic ingredients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and other compounds, all of which enter our bodies and remain briefly or for years.

Chemical contamination is so prevalent, Cranor says, “that it will make future human studies more difficult; there will be no clean controls against which to compare people who are contaminated. We are all contaminated. It’s a question of more or less contamination. So it’s going to be increasingly difficult for the science to detect some of these effects in humans, when they exist.”

The legal process for identifying adverse health effects and removing the responsible substances from the marketplace is extremely slow, he says.

“The only way to reduce toxic contamination is to require testing of products before they come in to commerce,” he says. “If they appear to pose adverse health effects, they should not be permitted, or they should be required to be reformulated so the problems disappear.”

Related Resources

US Centers for Disease Control (especially headings under Environmental Health – Toxic Substances and Your Environment)

US Environmental Protection Agency (especially Learn the Issues)

US National Library of Medicine / US National Institutes of Health Resources, esp

**Toxnet – databases on toxicology, hazardous substances, and environmental health

**ToxTown – Interactive guide to toxic chemicals and environmental health risks. Also in Spanish (ToxTown en español).

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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