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November 2016 E-NEWS

Table of Contents

Don't Forget to Vote

Advocacy Update

Public Health Spotlight: Diabetes Awareness Month

Advocate for Public Health Funding

Board Member Spotlight: Jessica Strong, MPH, MCHES

Student Spotlight: Katie Harris

Save the Dates!

 

   

Don't Forget to Vote

November 8, 2016 is Election Day. Don’t forget to exercise your civic duty and vote. Many precincts in Utah offer mail in ballots- which you should have received already. You can vote in person at a polling location or by mail. UPHA does not endorse any political candidates, but does encourage everyone to research the issues that are important to you and participate in the election process. If you have questions about how or where to vote, you can visit www.vote.utah.gov for information.


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Advocacy Update

Dustin Jones recently attended the 8th annual Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress, Corporate Wellness Conference (EHBC) in Washington D.C. The EHBC brings together industry pioneers in Healthcare, Insurance, Benefits and Wellness to exchange ideas, share evidence-based practices, and examine the latest trends that help companies positively affect health plans and reduce healthcare cost, while improving health behaviors of their employees. During the conference there was an opportunity to participate in a Walk on the Hill and attend a private meeting with Senator Mike Lee and his staff.
Dustin was joined by member of Health Agents for American who discussed priorities around insurance regulations and how to keep a fair and level playing field for agents and brokers in a post Affordable Care Act world. Dustin asked about public health funding in general, worksite wellness and more specifically, the Prevention and Public Health Fund. While Senator Lee was supportive of public health efforts overall, but was less supportive with how it is funded and believes that power should be given to the states. He stated that the ACA give far too much power to government and believe we must defund and possible means must be applied to stop and repeal the ACA. Dustin brought up the fact that the Prevention and Public Health was a part of the ACA and how the Fund has invested in a broad range of evidence-based activities including community and clinical prevention initiatives. Senator Lee stated that he was completely against the Affordable Care Act and went on to say that we deserve quality health care and Obamacare is giving us the exact opposite.
Dustin continued to ask about an opioids bill that would combat the growing prescription painkiller and heroin abuse crisis in the U.S. Senator Lee was one of two senators to vote no on this bill. The senator did not believe that legislation was likely to help solve the problem, nor did he believe it was properly paid for.

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Public health spotlight: diabetes awareness month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. The 2016 theme is This is Diabetes. The American Diabetes Association will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of the disease. One in 11 Americans have diabetes and 86 million people are at risk for diabetes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.

Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it. For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money. People with diabetes can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.

You can join the American Diabetes Association in raising awareness and advocate for change. Visit their site to learn more.
http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

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advocate for public health funding

Cynthia Morgan, UPHA Board Member
It is important for public health professionals to keep the general public informed of decisions in Washington that affect their health and well-being and encouraging them to contact their representatives in Congress. Many decisions by Congress are made without understanding the scope, impact, or outcomes that these decisions will have. For example, excessive funding was provided for Ebola, a disease with little likelihood of causing person-to-person transmission, significant case numbers, or causing long term impacts at the state and local levels in the US. Four cases of Ebola were first identified in the US, 7 were evacuated from other countries for a total of 11 cases and 2 deaths, yet Congress appropriated $5.4 billion for Ebola, most of which was focused on international activities.
Yet with Zika disease, money has been difficult to obtain. President Obama first requested $1.9 billion in February. To date, Congress has still not appropriated the funds. On July 1, CDC provided $25 million to states, cities, and territories to support Zika response efforts. CDC was able to award another $60 million made available August 1 to continue these efforts. As of August 30, $194 million of the $222 million allocated to date for Zika has been spent. Still, no progress on February's $1.9 billion request. However, as of September 19, there have been 43 cases of locally transmitted disease and 3.132 travel-related cases in the 50 states and 17,629 locally transmitted cases in US territories. It is imperative that the public health professionals contact their federal Senators as Representatives via telephone and letters to emphasize the urgency of funding. During this election year, providing information and asking pertinent questions at public forums attended by nominees is a great way to influence decisions.
One way to get the word out, is to write an opinion piece to send to local newspapers. Cynthia Morgan, UPHA Board Member recently has a letter published with the Salt Lake Tribune. Click here to read her letter.
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4257225-155/letter-congress-needs-to-fund-cdc

Board Member spotlight: Jessica Strong, MPH, MCHES

Jessica Strong

  1. Where do you currently work/go to school? I work for Intermountain Healthcare as a Project Manager in Integrated Care Management.
  1. Why did you choose to pursue public health as your profession? I initially wanted to go to medical school, but quickly realized that I’m not cut out for a profession that regularly comes in contact with the unpleasantness associated with human anatomy. I found health education and loved the idea of still being part of the medical field without the (at times) gore. As my career has advanced, I’m so glad I choose this field. I’m a huge advocate of prevention and believe the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
  1. What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere I can learn something new, see some history, and visit a museum. Although I would never turn down a vacation that includes an ocean, palm trees, and fruity drinks.
  1. What time do you typically go to bed and get up in the morning? Go to bed at 10:30-11:00 pm, get up at 7:00 am
  1. If money weren’t an issue right now, what would you be doing? Global health philanthropy work using my millions of dollars.
  1. What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on as a public health professional? I helped build a call center for patients being discharged from the hospital to make sure they are transitioning home well. It also is a place people can call and talk to a nurse about health concerns. It’s helping thousands of patients, and I love knowing I was a part of it.
  1. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Fresh produce; tree ripened peaches, fresh strawberries, fat, juicy tomatoes. Yum!
  1. What is the best thing you’ve done in your life? Only one? Marry my husband. Life is not always easy, but he has been so good for me, pushing me to become better and more authentic. My two girls are pretty incredible too.
  1. What do you to do relax? Read, watch TV, hike, family time, make silly T-shirts.
  1. If you could give only one reason why someone should join UPHA, what would it be? The people! I’ve met incredible people through networking at UPHA and love hearing about all the different, cool things happening in public health from various agencies.

 


Student Spotlight: Katie Harris

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/MX-abmbcH89FgLv-Pg69_-ubYI3NKR396QpS41G1uOtfJgIuQXguxGvv4KiS2AGhS1dYCn_zKdKKbKgqe4EzPo8K5oG_y-bU4KkirbDArE1yv_Iw4ILsRRV06BRY9ZmrR8nSf-Wb
Katie was born and raised in Holladay, Utah. Growing up soccer was a large part of her life. In fact, Katie’s soccer pursuits led her to playing at the Division-I collegiate level for two great programs in her undergraduate career. Katie finished her studies earning her BS in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. After working two years for the University of Utah Hospital as a rehabilitation aide, she began looking into master programs that focused on preventive health, which is where she found public health. Katie began the MPH program at Westminster knowing very little about public health and the impact it has on populations. Now, as a second year in the program, she has truly developed a passion for public health and the populations it serves. Upon graduation, Katie wants to be working with patient populations creating diet-related chronic disease prevention programs.
For her practicum experience, Katie worked as an intern for the Utah Department of Health in their EPICC program. While there she took on many projects to assist in addressing the burden of childhood obesity in the state. Katie monitored the data collection and developed the final reports for the biennial Height/Weight Study in elementary schools, revamped the online training program for early child care providers as part of their TOP Star Program, developed social media for their Utah Family Meals initiative, created a white paper of Green Prescriptions, as well as assisted with a multitude of other projects.
Katie is now an employee at the Salt Lake County Health Department in their Health Lifestyles department. As part of their employee wellness benefits, she conducts biometric screenings for all the employees in the county. This opportunity fulfills her passion for health and wellness, and public health.
Katie loves being physically active. In her free time, she can be found on the mountain-side running the trails, road biking, swimming, or practicing yoga.
Katie is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the UPHA Student Assembly as one of the Professional Development Committee Chairs and looks forward to expanding the reach of the assembly to include students who are passionate about public health issues. As part of the assembly, she wants to help our community decrease disparities, increase quality of life, and become aware of the needs of those around us.

Save the Dates!

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

UPHA Annual Conference: Save the Date

The conference committee has been hard at work planning another amazing conference for 2017.
Preconference Sessions: Monday, March 27, 2016
Conference Sessions: Tuesday - Wednesday, March 28-29, 2016
Park City, Utah
Building a Culture of Health in Utah

The call for abstracts will be coming soon, so start thinking if you are interested in submitting

2017 upha logo

Advocacy Summit: Save the Date
Please save the date of January 19, 2017 for the annual UPHA Advocacy Summit at the State Office Building Auditorium. The theme and times are not yet final, but plan on attending and having the opportunity to hear from legislators and advocates for mental health, opioid overdose and other interesting and relevant topics. More to come . . .

 

 

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