Original Blog Post
(source: Health Commentary)
Over the past few weeks, I have had a serious case of “news junkyitis” for everything I could find out about healthcare reform as Congress and the Obama administration debate what to do for our country’s healthcare crisis. I’m trying to be hopeful that real reform will happen–that we will make some substantial changes to how we conceive of, deliver, and pay for healthcare in America–but I am starting to lose faith. And I’m growing desperate enough to wade into the blogosphere for the first time in my life. Thus, I hope to use this space to share ideas, ask questions, learn from others, and debate the very real and very complex issues that face us all as we wear the multiple hats of patients, family caregivers, coworkers, and voters who want a better way to do healthcare in America.
Last week, one of my readers (who is also a MPH graduate) sent me the following article from the American Public Health Association’s newsletter (APHA). The article pertains to the use of social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc) in field of public health and how it has become an essential tool to communicate to the public. Now public health agencies can utilize this form of communication to inform subscribers of possible outbreaks or updates on recent health policies.
Original APHA Article
(source: The Nation’s Health)
“We’ve tried to make social media a very everyday thing for us here,” Laura Howe, senior director of public affairs for the American Red Cross, told The Nation’s Health. “Basically, we’re trying to advance the mission of helping people prepare for and respond to emergencies. We’re really looking to ensure that people can get very quick, very effective access to the information where they can either get help or give help.”
1) Slim majority of Americans continues to favor moving forward on health care reform. (source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
The August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a slim majority of Americans continues to favor moving forward on health care reform now despite an intensifying ad war and a political climate of contentious town hall meetings that coincide with rising concerns about the reform effort.
2) WHO Recommends Against Using Homeopathic Treatments For HIV, TB, Malaria, Influenza, Infant Diarrhea. (source: Global Health Report – KFF)
The WHO has warned that people with conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments, the BBC reports. The agency was responding to a June letter (full text available here), in which researchers from the Voice of Young Science Network called on the agency “to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV.” The group, which is part of the Sense About Science organization that advocates for “evidence-based” care, has conveyed the WHO’s views in a letter to health ministers, according to the BBC (8/20).
3) Health Policy Tracker (source: Global Health Report – KFF)
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker provides a single reference point for the latest information on Congressional and Administrative action on global health, including the status of key legislation, policies and programs, government reports, hearings, events, and other resources. Links to supporting materials, such as full bill texts, Member statements, and Congressional committee information, are also provided. The Policy Tracker is fully searchable and will soon include an RSS feed option.
Original BNET Post
And new details on the vaccine’s safety. The WSJ reports: Recipients of Merck & Co.’s Gardasil cervical-cancer vaccine had higher rates of fainting and blood clots than those receiving other vaccines, but it doesn’t appear to raise the risk of certain severe adverse events, according to a new safety analysis. The writer of one editorial in this week’s JAMA called the marketing “pushy” and “disturbing.”
Original BNET Article: Health Care Check-Up
Feeling a bit lost in the debate over health care reform? It’s understandable. America’s health care system was already confusing even before Congress’ ideas for changing it. Now, special interests have made things yet murkier. The White House has backed away from its initial support of a government-run insurance program; town hall meetings are brimming with scorn for the ideas on the table, and health care chatter has consumed the airwaves. email print reprint newsletter comments share del.icio.us Digg It!