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November 2015 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Federal Legislative Updates: Congress Passes Budget Deal

Medicaid Expansion

Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse

UPHASA Fall Event was a Hit!

UPHA and APHA Engaging Early Career Professionals

Save the Dates!

   

Federal Legislative Updates: Congress Passes Budget Deal

Unexpectedly during the last week of October Congress passed the H.R. 1314 Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a two-year agreement to lift the debt ceiling until March 5, 2018 and increase domestic spending by $25 billion in FY 2016 and $15 billion in FY 2017.  Through November and early December, House and Senate Appropriations Committees will renegotiate spending allocations for FY2016 and it is anticipated that many public health programs will see increases from current levels.  This reverses a trend of continued cuts in public health funding from the Sequester and other funding cuts.  Congress has self-imposed a December 11th deadline for this work to be completed.  Expect communications and sign-on letters from various constituencies as they work to secure funding.  

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Medicaid Expansion

After the failures of Healthy Utah, Utah Cares, Frail Utah and Utah Access Plus, Representative Ray Ward has indicated he’ll attempt to forward a plan similar to Healthy Utah implementing taxes on electronic cigarettes.  It is assumed these taxes will raise between $13 million to $15 million towards the estimated $78 million ten percent State share of the cost by 2020.   By Representative Ward’s own estimates this legislation will face an uphill battle in a House distrustful of Congress’s commitments to maintain the 90% federal match.   Senator Allan Christensen indicates that he’ll forward Frail Utah again, covering those under 100% of poverty that suffer from mental health issues.

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Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse

With the increasing epidemic of opioid abuse, behavioral health and substance abuse legislation is moving through committee.  Of note H.R. 2646 the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and S. 1945 the Mental Health Reform Act.  These similar bills would restructure the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) creating a new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders at Health and Human Services (HHS), increase focus of inpatient treatment for serious mental illness, increase the mental health workforce, invest in tele-mental health, and relax HIPPA requirements and Medicaid provisions allowing for the billing of mental health and physical health concerns on the same day.  Behavioral health patient advocates have expressed concern that H.R. 2646 promotes assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) or involuntary outpatient commitment.   H.R. 2646 is moving towards consideration in the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. 

Also being considered in the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee are H.R. 2356 the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act that would reduce restrictions on the prescription of buprenorphine and H.R. 3580 the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act for co-prescribing opioid overdose reversal drugs to eligible public health entities. 

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UPHASA Fall Event was a Hit!

Thank you to all of the students that came out to hear from our public health professional panel.  Our professionals did an excellent job at addressing questions and concerns from the audience. There were various topics that came up in the conversation; we touched on job opportunities, how to capitalize on time spent as a student, getting a Ph.D., the Affordable Care Act and its effects on Salt Lake County citizens, as well as what to expect 5-10 years down the road. It was a great event, and we are look forward to more in the future. The Student Assembly Board wants to thank the University of Utah Public Health Division for providing space for the event and all of our amazing public health professionals that served on the panel!!
Participating Panelists:

  • Dr. Royal DeLegge, Director of Environmental Health at Salt Lake County Health Department
  • Dr. Angela Dunn, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer stationed at the Utah Department of Health
  • Dexter Pearce, Current President of UPHA
  • Heidi Ruster, Regional CEO of American Red Cross
  • Annabel Sheinberg, Education Director for Planned Parenthood of Utah
  • Dr. Jim Vanderslice, Research Associate Professor, Health Promotion And Education at the University of Utah

UPHASA panel event

You can find more information about the Utah Public Health Association Student Assembly on their Facebook page: UPHASA Facebook page

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UPHA and APHA Engaging Early Career Professionals

Have you ever wondered what happens to public health students after they graduate? Where do they go? What are they doing now? Both UPHA and the American Public Health Association (APHA) are asking these same questions. The Student Assembly is one of the most robust membership sections for APHA, accounting for 31 percent of all members, and one of the fastest growing groups in Utah as well. However, after graduation there is a dramatic drop in membership for both organizations; Early Career Professionals (ECP) account for only 7 percent of APHA membership! In an effort to help students transition into the workforce and maintain a lifelong association with both their state affiliate and APHA, a national workgroup was convened. Stephanie Croasdell-Stokes, former UPHA Student Assembly president, was nominated to this workgroup along with a representative from the Washington state affiliate, Lauren Ho. Both were able to attend the APHA conference this year in Chicago and learn how to better engage ECPs at both a national and local level. ECPs are individuals who have graduated in the past 24 months and are transitioning into the public health workforce. Current ECP benefits include: reduced membership and conference attendance, monthly webinars, an exclusive online community that provides tools and resources specific to career enhancement, and networking opportunities.  Though this workgroup is still evolving, UPHA is looking forward to moving ahead with several pilot projects in order to identify successful ways to keep ECPs involved with the organization. To learn more or get involved, contact Stephanie at scroasdell13@gmail.com.

 

Stephanie Croasdell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Croasdell-Stokes, ECP representative, enjoying the sites of Chicago.

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Save the Dates!

Don't forget to mark your calendars, and share these events with your colleagues!

UPHA 2016 Advocacy Summit
Theme:  Public Health, Poverty, People and the Planet
January 12, 2016
9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
State Office Building Auditorium
Registration: $25/professionals, $15 students (includes lunch)
The tentative agenda includes a legislative panel, panel of religious leaders, and speakers such as Dr. Joseph Miner, UDOH Executive Director, and Alan Matheson, DEQ Executive Director.  CHES credits will be available.

Utah Public Health Conference
April 11-13, 2016
100th Anniversary Gala will be on the evening of April 11
Sheraton Hotel, Salt Lake City


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