|ACPM Headlines 9/26/14|
In this Issue
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. ACPM ‘TEXTING WHILE DRIVING’ STATEMENT DRAWS MEDIA ATTENTION
ACPM has published "Preventing Texting While Driving,” its latest position statement available online through the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). Given national interest in distracted driving, this timely statement has generated media attention by Reuters Health. ACPM’s recommendations are to:
The ACPM position statement is expected to be released
in the November print edition of AJPM.
2. ACPM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOINS PUBLIC HEALTH CEO’S ON CAPITOL HILL
ACPM executive director Michael Barry joined several chief executives of leading public health organizations for a day of meetings with U.S. Senators to urge they adopt a leadership role in support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The timing of these meetings was critical given the void that will be left with the impending retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) from Congress. Sen. Harkin was the chief architect of the Fund, which was established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide a mandatory funding stream of roughly $1 billion annually to expand support for disease prevention and health promotion programs.
Mr. Barry noted ACPM’s strong support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund as preventive medicine physicians are often working on the front lines of programs that aim to promote health at the population level. Several Senators, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ed Markey (D-MA) pledged to work more aggressively in support of the Fund.
The public health organizations participating in the lobby day included the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Coalition for Health Funding, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of School Nurses, National Network of Public Health Institutes, School-Based Health Alliance, Trust for America’s Health, and YMCA of the USA.
3. ACPM SIGNS LETTER SUPPORTING CHILD NICOTINE POISONING PREVENTION ACT
In partnership with 29 public health and consumer organizations, ACPM has signed a letter to Senator Bill Nelson in support of the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014 (S. 2581) introduced in August. If passed, this legislation will grant the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to require child-proof packaging on liquid nicotine containers sold to consumers.
Liquid nicotine, commonly sold for e-cigarette use, is highly toxic if orally digested. With the increased use of e-cigarettes, poison control center calls have increased significantly from 12 calls in 2010 to 215 calls in February 2014 alone. Through August 2014, poison control centers have received 2,724 e-cigarette and liquid nicotine related calls.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has approved this legislation and now awaits consideration by the full U.S. Senate. A companion bill is expected to be introduced shortly in the U.S. House of Representatives.
ACPM welcomes Healthways as its newest Bronze-Level Corporate Roundtable member. As the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions, Healthways is dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time by using the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being.
Healthways’ partners include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. The company provides highly specific and personalized support to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. Healthways serves approximately 68 million people on four continents.
reflects the type of innovation toward prevention and well-being that we are
beginning to see more frequently throughout the health care system, and we are
pleased to welcome them as one of our Corporate Roundtable partners,"
said Michael Barry, CAE, ACPM Executive Director.
5. AJPM-PUBLISHED RESEARCH IN THE NEWS
The reach of newly-published, prevention-related research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine continues to grow, evidenced by the press coverage of several articles published in the October edition of the journal.
Chief among the studies broadly-covered in the media is a study led by Shu Wen Ng, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that found major food and beverage companies have made good on their pledge to cut calories in their U.S. products. The two articles and two commentaries published under the theme, "The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Pledge” received national coverage in CQ Roll Call, HealthDay, Hagstrom Report, Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, Politico,Reuters, Fox News, and U.S. News & World Report, as well as in many top blogs, industry reports, and scores of web-based publications.
A study by ACPM past president Michael Parkinson et al on incentivized workplace wellness programs also received strong coverage. The report, based on a five-year observational study of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) health management and wellness program MyHealth, concluded that there were significant improvements in health-risk status as well as increases in the use of preventive and chronic disease management services among UPMC employees who participated in the program. "This study is the largest and longest continuous research effort on incentive-based health and wellness programs in the health care organization workplace to date," said Michael D. Parkinson, MD, senior medical director for UPMC Health Plan.
6. FROM THE USPSTF: TWO FINAL RECOMMENDATION STATEMENTS RELATED TO STI’S
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released two new recommendation statements focused on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections received a B recommendation from USPSTF, encouraging clinicians to offer or recommend intensive behavioral counseling for all sexually active adolescents and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs. Effective counseling will provide basic information about STIs; assess individual risk for infection; and provide training in condom use, talking about safe sex with partners, problem solving and goal setting.
Screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea also received B recommendations encouraging clinicians to offer or provide screening to sexually active women up to 24 years of age and older women who are increased risk for infection.
ACPM joined several of its partner organizations on a sign-on letter to Congress urging full funding in the FY 2015 budget to implement the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The letter notes that, "In 2011, Congress wisely enacted FSMA, which fundamentally changes the FDA’s approach to food safety, allowing the agency to focus on preventing food safety problems before they make people sick, rather than reacting to illnesses after they occur. The law also directs the agency to create a comprehensive food import oversight system which, for the first time, makes importers responsible for the safety of the food products they bring into the United States.”
8. NEW STUDY LINKS ARTIFICAL SWEETNERS AND DIABETES
The Associate Press has reported on a study that shows using artificial sweeteners may lead to diabetes for certain segments of the population by changing the way their bodies handle sugar. According to the AP report, the study suggests that "sweeteners change the composition of normal, beneficial bacteria in the gut. That appears to hamper how well the body handles sugar in the diet, which in turn can result in higher blood sugar levels.” The study authors are not recommending any changes in how people use artificial sweeteners at this time, as they note more research is needed.
The CDC has issued a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics that documents a nearly-quadrupled increase in the rate of opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths from 1999 to 2011. The report, Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics in the United States, 1999-2011, analyzes National Vital Statistics System data and documents trends. Misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals, including opioid-analgesic pain relievers, is a major cause of poisoning deaths.
An article published in the Wall Street Journal cites leading cancer experts serving on a National Cancer Institute advisory panel who are questioning the benefits of finding "really lethal cancers” through early screening and advanced diagnostic tools. The article, "Some Cancer Experts See Overdiagnosis, Question Emphasis on Early Detection,” noted "While it's clear that early-stage cancers are more treatable than late-stage ones, some leading cancer experts say that zealous screening and advanced diagnostic tools are finding ever-smaller abnormalities in prostate, breast, thyroid and other tissues. Many are being labeled cancer or precancer and treated aggressively, even though they may never have caused harm.”
A new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) confirms that vitamin D and calcium benefit both bone mineral density and bone mineral content but finds inconsistent evidence of the value of these nutrients for other health outcomes. These outcomes include cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate; heart disease; pregnancy; immune function; falls and fractures; and all-cause mortality.
The report from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program echoes findings of an AHRQ 2009 systematic review, which also showed inconsistent evidence regarding the effect of vitamin D alone or in combination with calcium on health outcomes other than several aspects of bone health. The new report, written by the AHRQ-funded Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center, concludes that associations observed in various studies between the supplements and health outcomes were either inconsistent or rarely supported by results of randomized controlled trials.
Beyond these observations, the report concludes, inconsistent evidence makes it difficult to make substantive statements about links between vitamin D levels in the body, vitamin D and calcium intake, or both, and various health outcomes.
12. DIRECTOR SOUGHT FOR CHRONIC DISEASE PREVENTION PROGRAM
In close collaboration with Interior Health, the Southern Medical Program of the University of British Columbia (UBC) has announced the establishment of the Chronic Disease Prevention Program, an academic program focused on the prevention and management of chronic disease, and is seeking to recruit a director of the program.
The Director of the Chronic Disease Prevention Program will be appointed to UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and will be located on UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, British Columbia and will have the exciting opportunity to recruit six additional faculty positions to the growing program.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is looking for qualified medical professionals with disaster response experience to volunteer in West Africa to assist those affected by Ebola. If selected, volunteers will receive safety training to work in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Africa. All volunteers must have a valid passport prior to selection.
Unite For Sight, a non-profit global health delivery organization, is seeking scientific abstracts for its 12th annual Global Health & Innovation Conference. Global health professionals and students are invited to submit research-, clinical-, or program-focused abstracts with project outcomes for oral or poster presentations. The final abstract deadline is September 30th.
The National Quality Forum (NQF) seeks up to 10 collaborative groups from across the country to field test the NQF Action Guide 1.0 – a handbook designed to promote improvement of health across a population, on the local, regional, state, or national levels. The Guide, which was developed by an NQF-convened, multi-stakeholder committee, and the field testing are part of a three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to stimulate effective collaboration to improve the nation’s health.