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Insights

Employment: A Key to Better Health

Collie Thomas is an orderly at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Each day, she stocks patients’ rooms with supplies, transports patients, and delivers medical records. It’s not a glamorous job, but Collie plays an important role in helping the hospital run smoothly, and she is extremely grateful for the opportunity. Unlike many in our country, Collie has a steady source of income.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Based Organizations employment

Empowering Women to Improve Health

Women’s health has taken center stage in 2017, but not necessarily for positive reasons. As healthcare policies continue to be debated in Washington, essential healthcare benefits for women are in jeopardy, including prenatal and maternity care, mammograms, and birth control.

As National Women’s Health Week, it’s an apt time to promote, not demote, women’s health. National Women’s Health Week, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, serves as a time to advocate for women to make their health a priority. The annual campaign encourages women to improve their health, including regularly visiting a doctor, adhering to a healthy diet, exercising, and prioritizing mental health.

Topics: Community Resources Women's Health Community Based Organizations Coordinate Care Womens healthcare week

Is Healthcare Leaving Latino Men Behind?

By 2045, approximately 50 million Latino-American men will live in the United States. Imagine if this growing population avoided healthcare; instead of seeking preventative care, they only sought emergency treatment when necessary. It’s a scary thought on its way to becoming reality if not addressed soon.

Currently, Latino males are more likely to be sick and suffer from chronic illnesses than the average American. They are more likely to be obese, develop diabetes, and have high blood pressure, among other illnesses, and are less likely to seek treatment. Compounding matters, due to a distrust of the American health system, Hispanic men avoid doctors, cancer screenings and medication. Instead, they count on the emergency room as their primary point of treatment.

Topics: Coordinate Care minority health Health care

A Salute to Nurses: Our Caretakers, Educators, and Advocates

There’s a saying that nurses are by our side at the beginning of life and the end of it, and every health event in between. And it’s true. Nurses are the engine that drive the patient care process. 

Topics: Community Resources Coordinate Care nurses

Testing the Effectiveness of Healthy School Lunchroom Interventions

In an effort to combat America’s obesity epidemic, school boards and state legislatures are increasingly turning to interventions in which less healthy food options are replaced with healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Topics: Childhood Development Food obesity Health care class room

Cooking Up Better Health

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates

Topics: Health Disparities Community Resources Food Community Based Organizations Vulnerable populations

Raising Awareness and Bridging the Gap in Minority Health

Your health care depends on who you are.” - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

Topics: Health Disparities Coordinate Care Robert Wood Johnson Foundation minority health month minority health

Using Dual Eligible Plans to Improve Care for our Most Costly Patients

Dennis Heaphy, a Boston resident and 30-year quadriplegic, received new health care coverage in 2014. As part of initiatives ushered in with the Accountable Care Act, Heaphy, a low-income disabled individual, was able to stay home and in his community. This was a drastic change from the expensive and disruptive alternative he was all too familiar with—frequent visits to the hospital and long-term stays at skilled nursing facilities.

Now, improvements are being tested in a pilot program—“dual eligible” plans—aimed at providing better coordinated care for patients like Heaphy, who is among a group of the most costly and complex patients.  

Topics: Medicaid Coordinate Care ACA Medicare Dual Eligibles Elderly

A Breath of Fresh Air for Smoking Cessation Efforts­­­­

More than 50 years ago, the Surgeon General first reported that cigarette smoking was very bad for our health. At the time, 42% of Americans smoked. Even now that the percentage has dropped dramatically to less than 15%, smoking is still a deadly problem. 

The deleterious effects of smoking are well known, including the increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking causes 480,000 deaths annually, which is more deaths each year than the following causes combined: HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents. 

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health Medicaid Coordinate Care smoking

Evaluating Public Health Interventions

One of the most important tools available to public health practitioners is the intervention. These interventions can take a variety of forms - from targeted ad campaigns to educational workshops designed to inform the public about steps they can take to improve their health.

Two recent articles in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine aim to evaluate the progress of public health interventions that utilize different tactics. The first article examines the use of targeted ad campaigns to increase public use of stairs rather than, for example, elevators or escalators. The second looks at the utility of text message reminders as an intervention tactic, as well as whether or not such messages have a lasting effect on public behavior.

Topics: Public Health interventions text messagining