Public Health - General

Category archives for Public Health – General

Here’s what states get when they expand Medicaid: more savings, more revenue, more jobs, more access to care for their communities.

A recent study finds vaccine refusals have, indeed, accelerated the resurgence of whooping cough and measles here in the U.S. The findings are making headlines around the country — and comment sections are filling up with vitriol from anti-vaxxers — but it would feel amiss not to highlight the study on a blog dedicated to public health. But first, let’s remind ourselves of the pain and suffering that preceded vaccines.

Recent stories address prescribing by doctors paid by drug companies; excessive lead levels in nearly 2,000 US water systems; how to understand candidates’ claims about health insurance reforms; and more.

In another example of the value of investing in public health, a recent study finds that PulseNet, a national foodborne illness outbreak network, prevents about 276,000 illnesses every year, which translates into savings of $507 million in medical costs and lost productivity. That’s a pretty big return on investment for a system that costs just $7.3 million annually to operate.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Vox explores the mental health impact of medical errors on health care workers; California policymaker announces efforts to protect women janitors from sexual assault; farmworkers call on fast food chain Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program for better wages; and a judge upholds a worker’s social media rights.

Poverty and poor health often go hand-in-hand. However, the effects of poverty may be especially profound for children, who are moving through critical developmental and educational phases in their young lives. Knowing that this social determinant of health can lead to a lifelong struggle with poor health and disease, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now calling on pediatricians to screen their young patients for poverty.

It seems obvious that workers with paid sick leave are more likely to stay home and seek out medical care when they or a family member is ill. But it’s always good to confirm a hunch with some solid data.

During the years that community health researcher Jill Johnston lived and worked in San Antonio, Texas was experiencing an explosion of fracking. She and the community partners she worked with on environmental health issues had a strong hunch that most of the fracking wastewater wells were being located near communities of color. So, they decided to dig a little deeper and quantify the pattern.

In the U.S., just a tiny fraction of the chemicals used in consumer products have been tested for human health effects. And with the current climate in Congress, it feels unlikely that we’ll see any true reform of the nation’s terribly outdated chemical safety rules anytime soon. In the meantime, scientist Thomas Hartung may have created the next best thing.

Occupational Health News Roundup

State investigations at New York nail salons uncover widespread violations; Oklahoma regulators rule that state law allowing employers to opt out of workers’ compensation is unconstitutional; EPA proposes new safety rules for chemical facilities; and reporters at Reuters investigate labor brokers who recruit and exploit foreign workers.