Healthy Communities – 1/25/13

The Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division is seeking feedback from interested parties throughout Oregon regarding the Statewide Health Improvement Plan.

Over the past year, the Oregon Public Health Division convened stakeholders in a collaborative process to develop this plan, titled, “Oregon’s Healthy Future: A Plan for Empowering Communities.”  Many elements of this plan were taken from the 2010 “Oregon Health Improvement Plan,” which was developed for the Oregon Health Policy Board.

Because this planning process is iterative and dynamic, we are asking for feedback on the health priorities and improvement strategies outlined in Oregon’s Healthy Future.

In creating this plan, collaborators based decisions on:

  • The Oregon State Health Profile
  • Public input during the development of the 2010 Oregon Health Improvement Plan and the current plan
  • Health improvement strategies that are evidence-based
  • Timely and strategic interventions that are actionable and achievable in the next five years

Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey.  The survey is anonymous, and your responses will be combined with all responses to be integrated into the planning efforts. The survey can be accessed at, and will close on January 30, 2013.

Questions regarding the survey can be submitted to or call 503-764-9696. Thank you for your support in crafting this plan.


Oregon’s Department of Education issues report cards on community schools and districts. These report cards show how Oregon schools and districts are performing relative to others. As part of a federal flexibility waiver, the Oregon Department of Education is now redesigning its report cards and needs your help. Please take the time to participate in a special report card redesign survey.

NIH launches blog on behavioral and social sciences research
NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) launches The Connector, a new blog featuring OBSSR Director Dr. Robert M. Kaplan’s commentary, Director Connection.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has posted a new interactive map in injury prevention.  The map uses data from last year’s The Facts Hurt:  A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report.  The report concluded that “millions of injuries could be prevented annually if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced.”

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education has released an infographic on the status of physical education in the U.S.

CMS has just released a new interactive tool that allows users to examine chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries.  The CMS Chronic Conditions Dashboard presents statistical views of information on the prevalence, utilization and Medicare spending for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions. The Dashboard displays information on a set of predefined chronic conditions available in the Chronic Condition Warehouse (CCW) at both the national and state level for 2011.  This set of chronic conditions is consistent with the list of conditions included in the currently available 2012 edition of the CMS chartbook, “Chronic Conditions among Medicare Beneficiaries”.   The chronic conditions dashboard is accessible at: under “CMS Interactive Data

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Diabetes Leadership Initiative is pleased to announce publication of a new white paper on diabetes and a series of fact sheets related to systems change for better diabetes care.

The Roadmap to Reduce Disparities
The road to reducing disparities can be long and winding. That’s why Finding Answers developed a six-step framework to help people and organizations keep on track. Now available in a simple graphic that’s easy to distribute—or tack up above your desk—the Roadmap can help you fit reducing disparities into all health care quality improvement efforts.

The FAIR Database
Finding Answers’ FAIR database is the most comprehensive collection of summaries and systematic reviews of racial and ethnic health disparities intervention literature available anywhere. Search by health topic (for instance: asthma, diabetes) or by strategy (for instance: pay for performance, nurse-led interventions).

Reports and Articles

 An ACHIEVE Success Story document was recently posted to NACDD. Features on Multnomah County and Lane County can be found starting on page 37.

Special section: California Field Research Release
Public Health Institute, January 2013
Ninety-four percent of registered voters surveyed in 12 rural California counties say obesity is a serious problem for the nation, and 84 percent believe it’s a serious problem for their communities, a Field Research poll released Tuesday, January 22nd finds. A majority of these voters say their communities should do more to address obesity, and want help from business, government, individuals and community groups.

Harkin Bill Outlines Critical Public Health and Prevention Initiatives
Senator Harkin press release, 1/22/13
Legislation was introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, outlining  critical public health and prevention initiatives. Senator Harkin has reintroduced the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America (HeLP America) Act.  The Act includes wellness provisions in a broad range of areas to include tobacco control.  It addresses: tobacco marketing, access to tobacco cessation, increasing excise tax on tobacco products and other important measures.

Smoke-free Laws Linked to Drop in Child Asthma Attacks
Reuters, 1/21/13
Introducing laws banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to swift and dramatic falls in the number of children admitted to hospital suffering asthma attacks, according to a study in England published on Monday.


Should sugar-sweetened beverages be regulated? NEJM readers vote yes.
Food Politics, 1/18/13
As part of an interactive case study and point-counterpoint on regulation of sugar-sweetened beverages, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) conducted a poll of its U.S. and international readers.  The poll elicited responses from 1290 readers from 75 countries. Overall, 68% of respondents favored government regulation.

Emergency Room Visits Linked To Energy Drinks Have Doubled Since 2007
TIME,  1/16/13
A new government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged drink industry has surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.

Norovirus: Notorious –  and a New Strain
CD Summary, 1/15/13
Each year, noroviruses cause a guesstimated 21 million illnesses and contribute to perhaps 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, mostly among young children and the elderly. In Oregon, that equates to about 260,000 illness­es, 900 hospitalizations and 10 deaths annually.

Preventing Chronic Disease, December 2012
Public health in the United States can be improved by building workplace “cultures of health” that support healthy lifestyles. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes the Prevention and Public Health Fund, will support a new focus on prevention and wellness, offering opportunities to strengthen the public’s health through workplace wellness initiatives. This article describes the opportunity the ACA provides to improve worker wellness.

Sodium Watch
Sodium is an essential nutrient, but consuming too much can lead to high blood pressure – a known contributor to cardiovascular disease. Public health leaders worldwide are advocating for voluntary industry standards, sodium reduction goals, public policies and educational campaigns. Examples set by the United Kingdom indicate that these practices could work. Network Visiting Attorney Shari Dawkins examines excess sodium as a public health problem and offers some potential solutions. Read more.

Farm Bill Fact Sheet
The Farm Bill authorizes programs with far-reaching impacts on public health, including nutrition programs, disaster assistance and conservation. In September of 2012, the Farm Bill expired without any long-term congressional action, and only a few critical programs have been temporarily authorized and funded. The American Taxpayer Relief Act, passed on January 1, 2013 contains a one-year extension of some federal agricultural programs. Network Senior Attorney Jill Krueger prepared a new fact sheet that provides an overview of selected provisions relevant to public health that are included in this one-year extension.

Researchers to Track Progress on Companies’ Calorie Reduction Pledge
Researchers at the University of North Carolina Food Research Program, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, published a study last week that lays out the baseline benchmarks that will be used to track progress of the Health Weight Commitment Foundation (HCWF), a group of 16 major food and beverage companies that pledged in 2010 to collectively remove 1.5 trillion calories a year from the marketplace by the end of 2015. The study found that the 16 HWCF companies account for about 25 percent of calories consumed in the United States in 2007. Researchers also determined that the pledge to remove 1.5 trillion calories by 2015 is about the same as eliminating 14 calories per day for the average adult or child.  Additional analyses to evaluate the impact of the HWCF pledge are expected in late 2013.

Black, Low-Income Youth Consume More Sugary Drinks Than White Peers 
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, black children and adolescents are nearly twice as likely to consume more than 500 calories a day in sugary beverages compared to their white peers. “Heavy consumption”—defined as drinking at least 500 calories of sugar-sweetened beverage per day—dropped among teens and young adults overall between 1998 and 2008, but rose among 2-11 year olds. The study also found that soda remained the most widely consumed sugary beverage among all age groups except for children, while low-income children of all races drank almost twice as many sugary beverages as children from wealthier households.

Click through to read recent news on energy drinks (multiple sources)


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