public health

How Measles Detectives Work To Contain An Outbreak

Jun 10, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

On any given day, more than 4,000 people pass through the library at California State University-Los Angeles. 

Taylor Walker is wiping down tables after the lunch rush at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill in remote Arthur, Nebraska, a tiny dot of a town ringed by cattle ranches.

The 25-year-old has her young son in tow, and she is expecting another baby in August.

"I was just having some terrible pain with this pregnancy and I couldn't get in with my doctor," she says.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

This year's measles outbreak is the largest since the 1990s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that 75 more measles cases were confirmed last week in 23 states, bringing the U.S. total to 839 so far this year.

Florida has improved its ranking in an annual report that rates states on how prepared they are for public health emergences.

Death By 1,000 Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong

Mar 19, 2019
Bobby and Tara Dilliplaine hold a photo of daughter Brooke, who suffered complications when she was given medication she was allergic to. (She later died of causes unrelated to the EHR issue.)
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

The pain radiated from the top of Annette Monachelli’s head, and it got worse when she changed positions. It didn’t feel like her usual migraine. The 47-year-old Vermont attorney turned innkeeper visited her local doctor at the Stowe Family Practice twice about the problem in late November 2012, but got little relief. 

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, has promised to shake up the state’s health-care delivery system during his two-year tenure leading the House of Representatives.

A lot of the work will fall on two health-care panels: the Health Quality Subcommittee and the Health Market Reform Subcommittee.

Health Quality Chairwoman Colleen Burton, R- Lakeland, told her subcommittee Wednesday the panel would focus on Florida Department of Health issues.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gabaldon is homeless. When she went to the emergency room in late January, doctors told her she also had pneumonia, a sinus infection and the flu.

Training Tomorrow's Doctors: Graduate Medical Education in Florida 2017

The Trump administration is embarking on a sweeping effort to redefine civil rights in health care, with critics accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of sidestepping the rights of patients to soothe a far smaller constituency: conservative nurses, hospitals and other caregivers.

National Institutes of Health

As lawmakers face another deadline this week for passing legislation to keep the federal government open, one of the outstanding issues is long-term funding for a key health care safety-net program.

Hospitals’ Best-Laid Plans Upended By Disaster

Jan 24, 2018
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr

It was 3:35 a.m. and flames from a massive Northern California wildfire licked at the back of a Santa Rosa hospital.

When Food Stamps Pass As Tickets To Better Health

Jan 17, 2018
Courtney Perkes / Kaiser Health News

Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother’s farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border.

Person smoking near a window.
Wikimedia Commons

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

Updated Monday 12/18/17 at 11 a.m.

State Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, is co-sponsoring a bill recognizing pornography as the cause of a public health crisis. The bill’s primary sponsor is Ross Spano, R-Dover.

In April 2014, state and federal drug agents raided Jeffrey Campbell’s medical clinic in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Police cars blocked the parking lot as bewildered patients scattered and the agents carted off boxes of records from the doctor’s office.

Google Maps

The Food and Drug Administration last month sent criminal investigation agents with search warrants into nine storefronts across Central Florida that help customers order drugs from pharmacies in Canada and overseas at big discounts.

Pierre de Champs / Flickr

After Hurricane Harvey flooded her city of Houston in August, Dr. Jennifer McQuade planned to donate socks to those affected. Instead, surprised by the lack of medical care at a nearby shelter, McQuade, an oncologist, became the unofficial leader of a group of physicians and mothers providing emergency aid at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. She triaged patients, solicited donations and recruited more doctors to join.

Birth Control pills
Wikimedia Commons

Few people were surprised last week when the Trump administration issued a rule to make it easier for some religious employers to opt out of offering no-cost prescription birth control to their female employees under the Affordable Care Act.

For Some Refugees, Women’s Health Care Is A Culture Shock

Sep 28, 2017
AP

Dinnertime is nearing, and the kitchen in this tidy home in Buffalo, New York, is buzzing. Lamyaa Manty, a 29-year-old Iraqi refugee, wears a neon-pink T-shirt and stirs a big pot of eggplant, onion, potatoes and tomatoes on the stove, a staple of Iraqi cooking called tepsi.

Minorities Shown To Get An Excess Of Ineffective Care

Jun 9, 2017
Associated Press

Minority patients face a double whammy: Not only are they more likely to miss out on effective medical treatments than white patients, but, according to a new study, they’re also more likely to receive an abundance of ineffective services.

Satori World Medical / Flickr

Does investing in public housing keep people healthier?

People are still dying of cancer linked to asbestos, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says, despite decades of regulations meant to limit dangerous exposure.

Starting in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulated how much asbestos workers can be exposed to, because it contains tiny fibers that can cause lung disease or cancer if they are swallowed or inhaled.

GOP Plan Aims To Curb Medicaid, Expand State Options

Mar 23, 2017

For all its populist design, the House Republicans’ latest proposal to overhaul federal Medicaid funding creates financial risks for states and could leave some enrollees worse off.

Dramatic changes in Medicaid are a big part of the House bill to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act that’s steaming toward a floor vote scheduled for Thursday.

CDC

Influenza season is at its peak nationwide, and Florida is no exception. That's obvious on the map at the Centers for Disease Control website.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

Members of the public health community are calling for action on gun violence by shifting the conversation away from gun control.

Debate Continues Over Fluoridation

Sep 26, 2016
Kaiser Health News

Many people take for granted the addition of fluoride into public drinking water systems that aims to prevent tooth decay. It’s a seven-decade-old public health effort. But it’s not nearly as universally accepted.

CDC Using New Rapid Response Teams To Fight Zika

Sep 14, 2016
CDC

It was a call that public health officials were dreading, but for which they had prepared. An elderly man in Salt Lake City died after contracting the Zika virus, the first fatality from the disease in the continental United States. His son, who had been a caregiver, also had become sick, but health officials did not know how.

  The University of Miami held a public forum on Tuesday about human trafficking in the United States.

 

It’s pretty much a rerun of last year: The annual County Health Rankings report shows St. John’s took the top spot for healthiest and Union County - home to Florida State Prison - came in last.

After St. John’s, the report lists the next-healthy as Collier, Seminole, Martin, and Miami-Dade. Least-healthy, after Union County, were Washington, Putnam, Baker and Hamilton.

At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo laments the proposal by Congress to cut $1 billion from what has already been promised for public health and prevention. After all the dust settled with the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention Fund that was supposed to contain $80 billion had only $15 billion -- and Congress keeps trying to cut more. 

Like radio, public health communication is all about figuring out how to connect with the audience.

New York City is betting that if you're anticipating a night of adventure, you might make use of the Find Condoms NYC app.

The app scans the New York Health Department's list of 3,000 sites that distribute free condoms, and uses a smartphone's GPS to list and map the five closest spots. In the moment, convenience counts.

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