RPS Newsletter June 2010
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In This Issue:
New RPS Mission, Vision, and Goals
Update on PM Residency Funding
New Loan Repayment Program for Public Health Professionals
Public Health Effects of an Oil Spill
Dates to Remember
New RPS Mission, Vision, and Goals
by Samuel Peik

The Resident Physician Section is heading into a new year, and we have re-organized our priorities to better serve our members. We recently asked you to participate in an online survey regarding the section priorities and thank those who participated: you spoke and we listened.

Top issues identified by RPS members:

  1. Career services and information
  2. Preventive Medicine medical knowledge
  3. Healthcare policy and reform
  4. RPS Databases
  5. Current topics in PM

With these results in mind, here is an outline of our renewed mission, vision, and goals for the year:

However, this is not the final word for the year, and we welcome all feedback and assistance as we strive to reach these goals. We look forward to working for and advancing the section!

Update on PM Residency Funding
by Charlie Preston

As many of you know, the new health reform law authorized HHS to spend $43 million on preventive medicine residency training in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. But authorizing spending and appropriating spending are two different things, and unfortunately, given today's grim budgetary environment, the full amount won't be appropriated.

Paul Bonta and the staff at ACPM are trying to maximize PM funding by working with appropriators in both the House and Senate to get $5 million for FY 2011 and another $5 million for FY 2012. This will maintain the current level of dramatically improved funding seen under the stimulus legislation (ARRA), which allocated $7 million, plus $2.4 million provided to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), through the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill.

While the current funding level of more than $9 million is a tremendous increase over the historic annual funding level of just $1 million, every effort must now be made to ensure that, at a minimum, we maintain our $9 million base each year. Since the ARRA funding will run out in two years, we have to work to build our base funding through the appropriations process from 2.4 million to over $9 million by the end of FY 2012.

If you want to ensure that appropriators fulfill their promise to PM, please write your Member of Congress, and tell them you'd like $5 million to be appropriated for FY 2011.

New Loan Repayment Program for Public Health Professionals
by Charlie Preston

If you have student debt, there's an exciting new loan repayment program available to public health professionals. Under a provision in the health reform law titled, "Public health workforce loan repayment program", HHS will offer loan repayment of up to $35,000 a year in exchange for 3 years of service to a state, local, or tribal public health agency.

To be eligible, an individual must have graduated from an institution providing a public health or health professions degree within 10 years, and be employed or have accepted employment at a public health agency.

Funding will be authorized to start in FY 2010, at $195 million, and "such sums as may be necessary" thereafter, through 2015. While this is just an authorization, Paul Bonta of ACPM feels confident this money will eventually be appropriated.

Specific details of the program are still being worked out, but we know it will be administered by the Bureau of Health Professions, a division of HRSA. Look for more information in the next RPS newsletter.

Public Health Effects of an Oil Spill: Toxicology Review
by Jordana Rothschild

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico provides a unique opportunity to review the direct environmental health effects of crude oil exposure.

Crude oils are complex mixtures that vary greatly depending on their source. The bulk of chemicals in crude oils are hydrocarbons; straight, branched and cyclic alkanes; and aromatics including benzene, alkylbenzenes, naphthalenes and PAHs. Non-hydrocarbon constituents of crude oil include sulfur-, nitrogen-, oxygen-and metal-containing compounds.

Crude oil exposure may occur through inhalation, direct dermal contact, and ingestion.

Effects of inhalation include odors which may cause nausea, vomiting, or headaches. Hydrocarbons can trigger pneumonitis if inhaled. Benzene can be released into the air from crude oil causing immunosuppression, hepatotoxicity, renotoxicity, anemia, and cancers. Release of volatile components can burn and irritate mucous membranes. Oil fire smoke allows for the release of carbon and particulate matter.

Direct dermal contact with hydrocarbons cause skin irritation, dryness and hyperkeratosis, as well as potential allergic reactions.

Acute oral administration of crude oil to animals has resulted in hepatic effects and development effects. Ground water contamination can lead to ingestion of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Ingestion of crude oil and it's byproducts by seafood can lead to biomagnification of contaminants.

The volatile organic compounds found most frequently, and most studied, in crude oil are known as BTEX: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. Below is a list of their health effects.

Hazardous Chemicals

Adverse Health Effects


Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; dizziness; rapid heart rate; headaches; tremors; confusion; unconsciousness; anemia; cancer

Ethyl benzene (high in gasoline)

Irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system; loss of consciousness; asphyxiation; nervous system effects


Irritation to eyes, skin, respiratory system; fatigue; confusion; dizziness; headaches; memory loss; nausea; nervous system, liver, and kidney effects


Irritation to eyes, skin, respiratory system; dizziness; confusion; change in sense of balance; nervous system gastrointestinal system, liver, kidney, and blood effects

For more information:

Dates to Remember

CDC/ODPHP Service Fellowship in Health Communication - The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is seeking applicants who are interested in applying skills of e-health and communication in a federal public health policy office. Deadline is June 4th, 2010. To learn more go to

The Global Health Council's 37th Annual International Conference on Global Health
Dateline 2010: Global Health Goals & MetricsJune 14-18, 2010
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington D.C.

Child Family Health International (CHFI) Accepting Applications for 2011 Program Dates. To learn more, go to their website at

Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program-Deadline: July 1, 2010. To learn more about it, go to

ACPM's23rdAnnual Preventive Medicine Board Review Course.
Hyatt Crystal City (VA) August 14-18, 2010. Please visit

Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative. American Public Health Association 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition. November 6-10, 2010 Denver, CO. Learn more at

2010 Associations of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition, November 6-10, 2010 Denver, CO. Go to
www.asph.orgto learn more.

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