|ACPM Headlines 12/22/11|
In This Issue:
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. THE PRESIDENT’S CHALLENGE: TAMING THE ROLLER COASTER
I write this column on this, the second-to-last week of the year, in reflection. This has been a topsy-turvy year for every one of us in many different ways. In some ways it reminds me of a favorite movie of mine: Parenthood with Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen. The two lead characters are sitting at the dining table with their heads in their hands bemoaning the chaos of their family, when the very elderly grandmother (played by Helen Shaw) tells a story about how she used to love to ride the roller coaster. Steenburgen’s character quickly gleans that Grandma is telling a life lesson about the ups and downs of family life—the thrill and fear of going up toward the unknown and then the whoosh of excitement and nerves as you shoot down with your stomach in your throat and whizz around the bends. Steve Martin (my all-time favorite) wails that he just wished life was a merry-go-round; round and round, expected and sure; always knowing what comes next with perhaps a tiny thrill of reaching for the brass ring.
Well, joy for me WOULD be a merry-go-round, but 2011 for all of us certainly has been a roller coaster. The economy still is stagnant with forecasts uncertain, while the stock market gives "volatility” new meaning. Following politics and the machinations of the federal government can make one squeamish; public health is floundering; and poverty and social woes are at a recent new low point.
Yet, there are glimmers of hope. The Public Health and Prevention Fund still survives, and some important provisions of the Affordable Care Act slowly are being implemented—if only barely perceptible; two steps forward and one step backward, but still moving forward. Despite the Secretary of HHS historically overturning the Food and Drug Administration and its expert panel’s recommendations, the FDA is being recognized more for its vital work. Prevention is the buzzword on everyone’s lips, and every Tom, Dick and Harry is eager to get on the bandwagon. Opportunities are abundant and every sector seeks to get involved!
Reflective of the times, ACPM also has experienced a roller coaster year. Our list of accomplishments is long, as we have led, participated in, and contributed to many successful endeavors…not the least of which was another wonderful annual meeting in San Antonio with another stellar program on the way this coming February in Orlando. Our journal, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is attracting significant attention for the quality and relevance of its work, and our members continue to be recognized worldwide for their contributions to our field. We have made significant inroads advancing the preventive medicine agenda within both the executive and legislative branches of government and have signed on to and supported an unprecedented number of prevention-related activities. Through dint of hard work by members and staff we have adopted a new strategic plan and are developing an implementation plan that will allow us to align our mission, vision, and resources with the goals and activities that we all want for our College. We have a fresh and contemporary new logo with a great tag line supporting a new web site and association management system with amazing functionality.
The year has not been without its challenges, however. We began the year concerned that our finances would not allow us to retain our full complement of staff, as soft monies began to dry up; yet, through hard work by members and staff we found small pots of funds and ingenious ways to stretch dollars, so we were able to retain all of our staff and programs. However, as is the nature of soft monies, some of these grants and sponsorships were short-lived, and prospects for new grants and sponsorships are not strong. Hence, I must confess that once again we are looking ahead to a potentially-difficult 2012 and beyond. As we explore new ways to supplement our revenue streams, I recently asked all ACPM Board members to make personal contributions to the College ("The President’s Challenge”), and 100% of them reached into their pockets and made donations to support our future. Similarly, I challenge each one of you, as we reach the end of the year, also to make a contribution. Donations can easily be made through the ACPM web site. In the next few days, as you wind down your year and spend time with those you love and remember what’s important to you, I urge you to make a donation to our College to continue to support all those professional activities and causes that make us such a vibrant profession!
Have a joyous and healthy holiday season, and best wishes for the new year!
2. WASHINGTON STATE TOBACCO PREVENTION PROGRAM SAVES $1.5 BILLION OVER 10 YEARS
A new study finds that Washington state's tobacco prevention and cessation program saved the state more than $1.5 billion in health care costs over its first 10 years, saving more than $5 for every $1 spent on the program. The study found that from 2000 to 2009, the program saved money by reducing hospitalizations for heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer caused by tobacco use. Over the 10-year period, the program prevented nearly 36,000 hospitalizations, saving $1.5 billion compared to $260 million spent on the program.
According to the study's authors, the total savings are even greater when other tobacco-related health and productivity costs are included, in addition to the hospitalization costs. The study further found that Washington's smoke-free workplace law and the state's multiple cigarette tax increases also contributed to smoking declines and health care savings.
An abstract of the study, published online by the American Journal of Public Health, can be found at: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300506.
ACPM is pleased to announce the 2012 class of new Fellows, who will be honored at the ACPM Awards/New Fellows Banquet on February 25, 2012 at Preventive Medicine 2012 in Orlando, FL: Wendy Braund, MD; David Damsker, MD; Hope Ferdowsian, MD; Sandra Guerra, MD; Mark Harris, MD; David Hyman, MD; Nishith Jobanputra, MD; Bernard Kozlovsky, MD; George Moore, MD; Padmini Ranasinghe, MD; Katrina Rhodes, MD; Randall Stafford, MD; and Tisha Titus, MD. Please join us in congratulating these accomplished physicians.
The College also is pleased to announce the 10 ACPM medical student members chosen to receive the ACPM Future Leaders in Preventive Medicine travel grant scholarships. The scholarship winners each receive a $500 stipend to assist with travel expenses to attend Preventive Medicine 2012. Each recipient’s registration fees also are waived, and all receive a free ticket to ACPM’s Awards/New Fellows banquet. Please join us in congratulating Erin Strong; Neil Murthy; Camille Clarke; Malasa Jois; Elizabeth Wiley; Thomas Jeanne; Bobby Kelly; Farhad Modarai; MJ Harris and Bhavini Patel.
4. ACPM HELPS ORGANIZE NATIONAL ACTION DAY TO SUPPORT PREVENTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH FUND
ACPM, as a member of the event steering committee, was a lead voice in the December 15 National Action Day effort to build congressional support for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). The fund recently was targeted as an offset for proposed policy that would have averted the 27% payment reduction to the Medicare physician fee schedule expected to take effect January 1.
As part of National Action Day, ACPM representatives fanned out on Capitol Hill to help build support for PPHF, while ACPM President Miriam Alexander, MD, MPH, FACPM, urged all ACPM members to call their elected officials to urge support for this important funding stream. ACPM also issued a press release opposing use of the PPHF to pay for increased payments to physicians for the treatment of disease.
The PPHF, established under the Affordable Care Act, was created to provide a stable and meaningful funding stream to bolster support for federal prevention and public health programs.
For more information on the National Action Day please contact Paul Bonta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. ACPM PARTNERS ON LAUNCH OF MEDICATION ABUSE EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGNS
ACPM has joined the CDC, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Education Foundation, and a coalition of partners as a program partner to help launch the educational program, Up and Away and Out of Sight, to inform parents and caregivers about safe medication storage and what to do in case of an emergency. Each year, one of every 150 two-year-olds visits an emergency department in the United States for an unintentional medication overdose, most often after finding and eating or drinking medicines without adult supervision. More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking.
For more information on the Up and Away educational program, visit www.UpAndAway.org.
6. PERSPECTIVES IN PREVENTION: TRANSITIONING ADOLESCENTS INTO ADULT HEALTHCARE
The latest ACPM Perspectives in Prevention column, "Transition of Care for Adolescents," is now available for CME on Medscape/WebMD. The transition from adolescence to adulthood represents a significant risk period for many young people, particularly those at highest risk of poor health outcomes. Yet, there are little data to guide the best practice for this important transition of care.
The focus of this column, written by Karen T. Nakano, MD, Geoffrey B. Crawford, MD, Tatiana Zenzano, MD, MPH, and Ligia Peralta, MD, is to provide practical advice for how to effectively transition adolescents from pediatric health care systems to adult health care systems.
To read the full column (available for CME and non-CME) and access previously published Perspectives in Prevention columns, visit http://www.acpm.org/?page=PerspectivesPrevent.
7. AJPM’S TOP BAKER’S DOZEN FOR 2011
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine editors have released their "Top Baker’s Dozen,” the 13 articles most requested through www.ajpmonline.org and ScienceDirect in 2011. If you missed any of these the first time around, this is a great chance to get caught up on articles your colleagues found most compelling in 2011. To access the list, visit the AJPM Blog at http://ow.ly/87dVt.
POLICY AND PRACTICE
8. CONGRESS ADOPTS FY 2012 HHS BUDGET
In response to ACPM’s and other organizational partners’ targeted advocacy efforts, Congress maintained funding for several programs of interest to the preventive medicine community, despite intense pressure to reduce or eliminate funding for numerous federal programs. Passed as part of an end-of-year spending bill, the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill protects nearly $3 million in funding to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support preventive medicine residency training programs, restores $80 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and maintains the $3.5 million annual investment in the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) championed by ACPM’s National Violence Prevention Network. The legislation also provides HRSA with an additional $2.5 million to provide grants to PMR training programs that incorporate competency-based integrative medicine curricula into their training programs.
For more information on the FY 2012 HHS budget, contact Paul Bonta at email@example.com.
9. ACPM SIGNS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION
ACPM joined with other national public health organizations on a thank you letter to Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) for her leadership in re-introducing the "Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act.” The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategic action plan for addressing the public health impacts of climate change and would allow for the development of programs to educate public health and health care professionals and the public about the health impacts of climate change. The letter notes that, "by prioritizing the public health response to climate change, your bill would bolster the capacity of our public health system and help to avoid many preventable illnesses and deaths.”
To view a copy of the letter, visit…. To register for ACPM’s free conference, "Global Climate Change and Health: Best Practices for Mitigating the Effects and Impacting Policy,” on February 22, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, visit www.acpm.org/?ClimateChangeConf.
10. HHS ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO REDUCE PREVENTABLE HEALTHCARE ACQUIRED CONDITIONS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $218 million will go to 26 state, regional, national, or hospital system organizations to make health care safer and less costly by targeting and reducing the millions of preventable injuries and complications from healthcare acquired conditions. The announcement is part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans. For more information, visit http://ow.ly/87f37.
RESEARCH AND REPORTS
11. CDC SURVEY FINDS SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS WIDESPREAD
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, according to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, more than 1 million women are raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) is one of CDC’s newest public health surveillance systems and is designed to better describe and monitor the magnitude of sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence victimization in the United States. It is the first survey of its kind to provide simultaneous national and state-level prevalence estimates of violence for all states.
For more information on the survey findings, visit http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/.
12. IOM identifies scientific standards for studies on modified risk tobacco products
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a report that identifies the minimum standards for scientific evidence that manufacturers of modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs) must demonstrate to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to market their product as having the potential to reduce the harms from tobacco use when compared to traditional tobacco products. This report concludes that a diverse range of scientific evidence is required, including: the chemical composition and performance of the MRTP; perceptions on the MRTP’s risks and benefits; the addictive nature of the MRTP; and the MRTP’s effects on human health. As the next step moving forward, the FDA will need to generate guidelines on the design, analysis, and reporting of studies on MRTPs.
To view the IOM report, visit http://bit.ly/vGiyZq.
13. NO LINK BETWEEN ADHD MEDICATION AND CARDIAC EFFECTS AMONG ADULTS AND CHILDREN
Medications used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults are not linked to increased risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or stroke, according to new research from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. The research results were published in the December 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found no evidence of an increased risk of serious cardiac outcomes associated with current use compared to non-use or former use of ADHD medications.
The study follows another recent AHRQ-funded study, published in the November 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed no increased risk of serious cardiac outcomes in children and young adults ages 2 to 24.
Journal of the American Medical Association Report: http://bit.ly/u5yiKv
New England Journal of Medicine Report: http://bit.ly/tDaK2W
14. USPSTF SEEKS COMMENT ON SCREENING FOR PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted a Draft Research Plan on screening for peripheral artery disease for public comment. The research plan, once finalized, will guide the systematic evidence review the USPSTF will use to update its recommendation. The USPSTF wants to ensure the questions are framed correctly at the beginning of the recommendation-making process so that the final recommendation is the most valid, reliable and useful it can be. You may provide your comments to the USPSTF at: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.
15. APHA ANNOUNCES POLICY INNOVATION CONTEST
The American Public Health Association (APHA) has announced a new policy contest for health departments, "The Power of Policy: Innovation to Improve Health." Between five and eight health departments will receive awards ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 to develop, implement, or evaluate an innovative policy approach to a critical public health problem, with a focus on reducing health inequities and building policy capacity. U.S. health departments at all levels of government are eligible to apply for funding. They may apply in partnership with non-profits.
A non-binding e-mail of intent is due January 18, and applications are due January 31.
For more information and a copy of the RFP, please visit: http://www.apha.org/programs/cba/CBA/policycontest/.
16. MEMBERS IN THE NEWS – HERMAN ELLIS
ACPM Public Health Regent Herman Ellis, MD, MPH, FACPM, has accepted and begun a new position as the Director, Clinical Services Division, Federal Occupational Health, in the USDHHS Program Support Center. In his new position, Dr. Ellis will oversee the development and delivery of all clinical, occupational health and health promotion and wellness services to more than 500,000 federal employees.
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