Author Archives: LocalHealthGuide

Website helps you support retailers that don’t sell cigarettes

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Cigarette thumbThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports the supported Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has launched a new mobile-friendly website, shoptobaccofree.org, that will allow shoppers to take their business to retailers that don’t sell tobacco products.

Plug in your ZIP code, city or state, and you’ll get a handy interactive map showing where to find tobacco-free shops and stores in your area.

Shoptobaccofree.org

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Seattle-area nurse monitored for possible Ebola infection | Local News | The Seattle Times

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The number of cases with Ebola, shown here, could double by the end of the month. There is a one in five chance it will reach the U.S. in that same time, researchers predict. Photo:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Seattle-area nurse being monitored for possible Ebola infection has shown no sign of the disease and is voluntarily restricting her movements to minimize the risk to others, health officials say.

Editors note: Even if a person has contracted Ebola, they are not contagious if they do not have symptoms.

via Seattle-area nurse monitored for possible Ebola infection | Local News | The Seattle Times.

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What would happen if you ended the Obamacare subsidies? The individual mandate?

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Question MarkWhat would happen if you ended the tax credits that subsidize premiums for health insurance purchased on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act?

Or ended the requirement that everyone buy insurance or pay a fine — the much maligned individual mandate?

The RAND Corporation, a non-partisan research organization, looked at how various tweaks to Obamacare would likely play out.

Some of their key findings:

Eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) tax credits would cause large declines in enrollment and substantial increases in premiums.

Without the ACA’s premium support, premiums rise by nearly 45 percent, and enrollment falls by nearly 70 percent.

Without the ACA’s individual mandate, the number of people enrolled in the individual market falls by more than 20 percent, and premiums rise by about 7 percent.

To learn more read their study: Assessing Alternative Modifications to the Affordable Care Act

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Paul Allen boosts his donations to fight Ebola to $100 million, creates donation website

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Paul Allen

Paul Allen

Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause.

“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Allen said. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis.”

To help individuals contribute to the effort, Allen has created crowd-sourcing website — TackleEbola.com.

The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving, Allen said

Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola.

Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need.

The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.

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Free online site to help parents with children coping with ADD/ADHD

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In the U.S., one in five children struggles with a learning and/or attention issue. That’s 15 million kids ages 3–20, and many of their issues go undiagnosed.

The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources.

As a result, these children often face both academic and social challenges.

However, with the right strategies and support, they can succeed in the classroom—and outside of it, too.

This campaign stems from the idea that parents can sense when their children are struggling but may not know why. Or what to do.

By demonstrating the realities that children with learning and attention issues face daily, the campaign aims to increase the number of parents who are actively helping and seeking help for their kids.

Parents are encouraged to visit Understood.org, a comprehensive free online resource that empowers parents through personalized support, daily access to experts and specially designed tools to help the millions of children with learning and attention issues go from simply coping to truly thriving.

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Whoa! Before you give the kid the keys to the car . . .

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You’ve been protecting your kids their whole lives. So don’t just hand them the keys to a two-ton machine with no rules… Talk it out. Tell your teenagers they have to agree to 5 rules to drive:

  1. No cell phones,
  2. No extra passengers,
  3. No speeding,
  4. No alcohol, and
  5. Buckle-up.

Set the rules before they hit the road.

Learn more here.

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US to fund $840 million initiative to improve patient care and lower costs

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All interested clinicians are invited to participate in the initiative.

stethoscope doctor's bag chest x-rayUS Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced an initiative that will fund successful applicants who work directly with medical providers to rethink and redesign their practices, moving from systems driven by quantity of care to ones focused on patients’ health outcomes, and coordinated health care systems.

These applicants could include group practices, health care systems, medical provider associations and others.

This effort will help clinicians develop strategies to share, adapt and further improve the quality of care they provide, while holding down costs.

Strategies could include:

  • Giving doctors better access to patient information, such as information on prescription drug use to help patients take their medications properly;
  • Expanding the number of ways patients are able communicate with the team of clinicians taking care of them;
  • Improving the coordination of patient care by primary care providers, specialists, and the broader medical community; and
  • Using electronic health records on a daily basis to examine data on quality and efficiency.

To learn more about the the initiative go here.

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Washington state emerges as a leader as interest in palliative care rises – Puget Sound Business Journal

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Dr. Randy Curtis

Two years ago this month, the University of Washington founded its Palliative Care Center of Excellence to provide greater support to people with serious illnesses. The start of that center coincided with an increase in the use of palliative care around the country.

via Washington state emerges as a leader as interest in palliative care rises – Puget Sound Business Journal.

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Inside a high-level biocontainment unit

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The United States Centers for Disease Control commissioned The Nebraska Medical Center biocontainment unit in 2005.

It was designed to provide the first line of treatment for people affected by bio terrorism or extremely infectious naturally occurring diseases. It’s the only non-governmental facility of its kind in the U.S.

The staff, all receive specialized training and participate in drills throughout the year. In a recent drill, the staff practiced dressing in spacesuit-like personal protection suits.

The suits provide each staff member the ability to care for an infected patient without exposing themselves. They also practice transporting an infected patient in a “bio pod” into a specially designed room inside the biocontainment unit.

The entire unit is specially isolated from the rest of the hospital, using its own ventilation system and security access.

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What is Ebola contact tracing? CDC video explains

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Contact tracing is finding everyone who comes in direct contact with a sick Ebola patient. Contacts are watched for signs of illness for 21 days from the last day they came in contact with the Ebola patient.

If the contact develops a fever or other Ebola symptoms, they are immediately isolated, tested, provided care, and the cycle starts again – all of the new patient’s contacts are found and watched for 21 days.

Contact tracing finds new cases quickly so they can be isolated, stopping further spread of Ebola.

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What to drink? Recommendations for health beverage choices.

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Beverage choices contribute significantly to dietary and caloric intake in the United States.

Choosing healthy beverages and other lower-calorie options, instead of high-calorie, sugar-sweetened beverages, has great potential to help Americans reduce caloric intake, improve diet quality, and reduce their risk for obesity.

Healthy Eating Research convened an expert advisory panel to develop Recommendations for Healthier Beverages.

The panel reviewed and analyzed data from scientific bodies, national organizations, public health organizations and the beverage industry to come up with its age-based recommendations.

Schools, child-care centers, hospitals, governments, and businesses can use the guidelines to provide children and families with healthy beverage choices.sinesses can use the guidelines to provide children and families with healthy beverage choices.

To read and download the guidelines, go here.

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