public health

Office designers are scrambling now to try to get more members of the workforce safely back to their desks. Clear plastic sneeze guards have become familiar, as have floors taped off at 6-foot increments. But by 2025 or so, after the immediate threat of the coronavirus has likely passed, which short-term fixes will be part of the new normal? And what other design changes could be coming our way?

Florida's Cautionary Tale: How Gutting And Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire

Aug 24, 2020
Dr Cain
Associated Press

On a sweltering July morning, Rose Wilson struggled to breathe as she sat in her bed, the light from her computer illuminating her face and the oxygen tubes in her nose.

Wilson, a retiree who worked as a public health department nurse supervisor in Duval County for 35 years, had just been diagnosed with COVID-19-induced pneumonia. She had a telemedicine appointment with her doctor.

COVID-19 Data Failures Create Pressure For Public Health System Overhaul

Aug 16, 2020
Dr. Sonia Angell speaking and pointing to chart on a big screen TV
Associated Press

After terrorists slammed a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11, ambulances rushed scores of the injured to community hospitals, but only three of the patients were taken to specialized trauma wards. The reason: The hospitals and ambulances had no real-time information-sharing system.

Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus

Jul 1, 2020
Rick Bowmer / The Associated Press

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century.

Marshaled against a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million in the U.S., killed more than 126,000 people and cost tens of millions of jobs and $3 trillion in federal rescue money, state and local government health workers on the ground are sometimes paid so little that they qualify for public aid.

Gregory Maze, a chef, cooks with his mother, Arlene, at home in Austin, Texas. Gregory left Los Angeles in April to shelter with his parents but plans to return to California when the pandemic conditions allow.
Maze Family

AUSTIN, Texas — It took three weeks, but Lawrence and Arlene Maze finally persuaded their younger son, Gregory, of Los Angeles, to get on a flight home to Austin.

“He basically shut his business down to come here and has to restart his business when it’s safe,” his father said. “It was a very difficult decision.”

Florida law allows the state Surgeon General to enforce the isolation or quarantine of individuals believed to pose a threat to public health.

Income inequality in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to the Census Bureau. And a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that regardless of their income, Americans generally view this as a serious problem.

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
iStock

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.

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