Archive for September, 2009

Hehe. She said “your mom”.

September 29, 2009

I love this article from the Women’s Health Policy Report that’s published daily by the National Partnership for Women and Families. The Senate Finance Committee is marking-up its health reform bill and Senate Minority Whip (R-Ariz.) tried to remove a proposal in the bill where the federal government can determine a minimum amount of care that insurance companies would be required to cover. Refer to Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) response to his assertion that he doesn’t need maternity care.

You can subscribe to receive the daily (or weekly top 10) report here if you feel so inclined. I’ve been reading it for two days and I’m already hooked.

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And finally…

September 28, 2009

Last one from Vancouver, I promise.

Research on an alternative energy option, wave power.

School started today and I’ve already been assigned some amazing reading. I promise to post some of it soon.

Garbage Management

September 28, 2009

Another interesting one from Vancouver…

I read this article in the Vancouver weekly, Georgia Straight. There’s been a major discussion there about the future of garbage handling. As we all know, the way that waste is handled is crucial to health. I was really surprised to find out that recycling in Vancouver is currently at 55%, with goals to reach 70% by 2015.

Homeopathic Therapies for the Flu

September 28, 2009

While in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago I read an article about homeopathy and the flu. I know some people can be skeptical about homeopathy, but Sonya McLeod makes some interesting points. I can’t vouch for the studies she cites because I haven’t read them, but her arguments are compelling.

Tonight I found out my university is officially not letting professors dock grades for absences because they don’t want any students to feel that they have to come to class if they have symptoms of H1N1. Additionally, professors can require students to leave class if they look sick. Wowza.

I don’t know whether to think they’re being paranoid or to be glad they’re taking H1N1 seriously. Either way, it makes for some good public health talk!

Sorry for the down time…

September 17, 2009

I’ve been moving but I’ll be back up and running next week.

Interview with Elizabeth Saewyc on Queer Teen Health

September 10, 2009

My fabulous friend Emily sent me this.

Interestingly, queer teens who are sexually active have higher rates of pregnancy than their straight peers.  The researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (who I can only assume is AWESOME) comments on why it’s hard to determine the cause:

There are a lot of different factors that help explain the pregnancy risk, and I really cannot say which one is the most common or more likely, because in part some of those questions are not asked on large population surveys. So we didn’t ask, what was your sex education like, or did you even have any. We don’t ask about how stigmatized do you feel as an LGB youth. We don’t ask why you got pregnant. So for a lot of those kinds of things, we can’t see how common those are. We’ve got ideas and plans of what we’d like to study. You know, how we’d like to answer those questions.

I especially like how she discusses the need to do further research on sexual violence.

For the record, I haven’t actually read the study.  I’m going to try to find it and do a follow-up post.

Dell’s Joining the Electronic Medical Records Game

September 10, 2009

A friend sent me this.  Looks like Dell wants to get into the electronic medical records field.  I’m guessing this is a cash cow at the moment, especially considering President Obama’s plan to streamline healthcare.  I find this interesting considering one of the major EMR players, Epic, is situated right outside of Madison, WI, where I lived for seven years before moving to Portland to attend grad school.  It feels like half of the 20-somethings in Madison work for Epic.  I’m wondering if Dell even has a shot considering the others have such a huge head start. Dell’s plan to target small practices (10 doctors or less) will probably help with that.

For the record, I think EMR is genius.  Not only does it reduce errors and increase efficiency, but it makes many types of research more feasible. And I am a research nerd through and through. That said, the transition is often bumpy. So godspeed, Dell.

President Obama Discusses Healthcare Reform

September 10, 2009

The health-related blogosphere is blowing up!

Sure enough, I won’t be able to escape discussing healthcare reform on this blog.  Which I think I’m fine with.  Anyhoo, I only caught the last 12 minutes of the speech, but I just finished reading a transcript of the part I missed. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/09/obama-health-care-speech_n_281265.html

A few stats from the speech:

  • More than 30 million Americans can’t get healthcare coverage.
  • The US spends 1.5 times more than any other country on healthcare [and as I mentioned in my last post, have poorer health outcomes].
  • $1000 per year of that money goes to pay for stuff for the people who aren’t covered.
  • Healthcare represents 1/6 of our economy.

I’m really glad President Obama outlined his plan in order to squelch the ridiculousness that’s been flying around on both sides of the aisle.  Basically, no changes for those who are already covered except that you won’t be denied coverage for preexisting conditions.  Limits on how much people can be charged out-of-pocket.  Tax breaks or exemptions for small businesses and government-sponsored options for those individuals who can’t afford insurance.

My favorite part? “Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.”

I’m interested to see what people will be saying tomorrow.  Maybe fewer tears on the local news?  One can only hope.

Physician answers questions about healthcare and healthcare reform

September 9, 2009

I saw this article: http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2009/08/27/coverstory2.html when I was in Eugene last weekend (apologies for the long link, I’m still figuring out how to work this blog contraption). It’s no New York Times and it’s clear where he stands on the healthcare debate, but I think the physician, Dr. Todd Huffman, did a good job talking about healthcare statistics in the US. For example, the US has the highest per-person medical bill in the world ($7000/person/year) but lag far behind many other countries in critical health statistics like infant mortality and life expectancy.

First post, the pressure’s on.

September 6, 2009
Welcome to The Public Healthist.  This blog is meant to be a resource for current events in public health.  My friends and I will be posting things we find interesting or important.  Or just stuff we can’t get away from.  Enjoy.
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