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Patient Safety Awareness Week is Scheduled for March 8-14, 2015

Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for healthcare safety led by National Patients Safety Foundation (NPSF). Each year, healthcare organizations around the globe take part in the event by prominently displaying the NPSF campaign logo and promotional materials within their organizations, creating awareness in the community, and utilizing NPSF educational resources among healthcare providers and patients.

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The theme for 2015 is "United in Safety." Everyone in the healthcare process plays a role in delivering safe care and by uniting together and sharing that common goal, we can make a difference in patient safety. From patients to care providers, from the front lines to the executive suite, from the patient and family advocate to the corporate solutions provider-we are all united in the goal of keeping patients and those who care for them free from harm. The focus of this campaign is patient engagement and emphasizes the importance of the relationship between providers and patients and their families. Enhanced communication begins with an informed and engaged patient and helps to lead to safer care.


The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) Publishes Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes

NDEP has published a set of 10 clinically useful principles that highlight areas of agreement for diabetes care in diabetes management and prevention. The result of a major collaborative effort between federal agencies and professional organizations, this resource is intended to assist with identification and management of the disease, self-management support for patients, physical activity, and blood glucose control, among other topics. You can view or download Guiding Principles at:

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Talk Health Insurance to Me

Robert Woods Johnson Foundation has launched a bilingual advertising campaign to encourage key segments of the uninsured population to enroll in health coverage. The campaign, called Talk Health Insurance to Me, is designed to provide information on quality, low-cost health insurance plans, financial help, and in-person assistance. Visit the campaign Web site at:

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Conservation of Hearing Study (CHEARS)

According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people have disabling hearing loss, a condition often considered unavoidable in some people with increasing age. However, research findings from the Nurses Health Study (NHS) Conservation of Hearing Study (CHEARS) have identified potentially modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors that may help prevent the onset of hearing loss and/or delay its progression. Investigators found that a higher body mass index and a larger waist circumference are associated with a higher risk of hearing loss in women. Likewise, a higher level of physical activity-even walking 2 hours/week or more-is associated with a lower risk. Detailed information for CHEARS is being collected with the Hearing Study Supplementary Questionnaire, and over 2,000 NHS II nurses out of the planned 3,300 have had their hearing tested nationwide as part of this study. To learn more about CHEARS, please visit

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will celebrate Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. As the nation's food and nutrition experts, registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are committed to improving the health of their patients and community. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day commemorates the dedication of RDNs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) to increase the awareness of RDNs as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and to recognize RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.


Beverage Companies Still Target Kids With Marketing for Unhealthy Sugary Drinks

Beverage companies spent $866 million to advertise unhealthy drinks in 2013, and children and teens remained key target audiences for that advertising, according to a new report released by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. The report, Sugary Drink FACTS 2014, highlights some progress regarding beverage marketing to young people, but also shows that companies still have a long way to go to improve their marketing practices and the nutritional quality of their products to support young people's health. Although the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative regulates advertising placed in TV and other media where 35% or more of the audience is made up of children aged 11 and under, this report measures total exposure to TV advertising for sugary drinks by preschoolers (2-5), children (6-11), and teenagers (12-17), as well other forms of marketing they encounter.

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"Despite promises by major beverage companies to be part of the solution in addressing childhood obesity, our report shows that companies continue to market their unhealthy products directly to children and teens," said Jennifer Harris, PhD, Yale Rudd Center's Director of marketing initiatives and lead author of the report. "They have also rapidly expanded marketing in social and mobile media that are popular with young people, but much more difficult for parents to monitor." For the full story visit:


Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012


* During 2009-2012, 7.6% of Americans aged 12 and over had depression (moderate or severe depressive symptoms in the last 2 weeks). Depression was more prevalent among females and persons aged 40-59.


* About 3% of Americans aged 12 and over had severe depressive symptoms, whereas almost 78% had no symptoms.


* Persons living below the poverty level were nearly 2 times more likely to have depression than those at or above the poverty level.


* Almost 43% of persons with severe depressive symptoms reported serious difficulties in work, home, and social activities.


* Of those with severe symptoms, 35% reported having contact with a mental healthcare professional in the past year.


Depression is a serious medical illness with mood, cognitive, and physical symptoms. Depression is associated with higher rates of chronic disease, increased healthcare utilization, and impaired functioning. Rates of treatment remain low, and the treatment received is often inadequate. This data brief examines both depression and depressive symptom severity in the last 2 weeks from a symptom-based questionnaire, by demographic characteristics, functioning difficulties, and recent contact with a mental healthcare professional. Severity is categorized as severe, moderate, mild, or no depressive symptoms. Current depression is defined as severe or moderate symptoms; no depression is defined as mild or no symptoms. Read more at:


Adult Cigarette Smoking Rate Overall Hits All-Time Low

The cigarette smoking rate among adults in the United States dropped from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That is the lowest prevalence of adult smoking since the CDC's National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965. The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the United States.

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"There is encouraging news in this study, but we still have much more work to do to help people quit," said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, Director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We can bring down cigarette smoking rates much further, much faster, if strategies proven to work are put in place like funding tobacco control programs at the CDC-recommended levels, increasing prices of tobacco products, implementing and enforcing comprehensive smoke-free laws, and sustaining hard-hitting media campaigns." Although smoking rates have dropped, there is a significant need to help those who continue to smoke. Cigarette smoking remains especially high among certain groups, most notably those below the poverty level, those who have less education, Americans of multiple race, American Indians/Alaska Natives, males, those who live in the South or Midwest, those who have a disability or limitation, and those who are lesbian/gay/bisexual. Data specific to sexual orientation were collected for the first time by the NHIS in 2013.


Nearly One Million Doctor Visits for Eye Infections Annually in United States

Each year, Americans make nearly a million doctor visits for eye infections, resulting in $175 million in direct healthcare costs, the CDC has estimated in the first study of its kind. Keratitis, an infection of the cornea, causes pain and inflammation and can lead to blindness in severe cases. Wearing contact lenses is the largest single risk factor for developing the infection. CDC analyzed national databases of outpatient care centers and emergency rooms to develop the first national estimates of how much keratitis occurs in the United States. CDC experts found that Americans made an estimated 930,000 visits to doctor's offices and outpatient clinics and 58,000 emergency room visits annually due to eye infections. Women were slightly more likely to be affected than men, accounting for 63% of office visits and about 55% of emergency room visits. The condition was spread relatively evenly across age groups.

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To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:


* wash hands with soap and water and dry well before touching contact lenses;


* take contacts out before bed, showering, or swimming;


* rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them;


* rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue, and store upside down with the caps off after each use;


* replace contact lens cases at least once every 3 months;


* do not "top off" solution in lens case; and


* carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out.



For more information on preventing eye infections and proper contact lens wear, please visit:


Only 3 in 10 Americans With HIV Have Virus in Check

Just 30% of Americans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had the virus under control in 2011, and approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care, according to a new Vital Signs report published today by the CDC. The new study underscores the importance of making sure people with HIV receive ongoing care, treatment, and other information and tools that help prevent transmission to others, as well as the need to reach more people with HIV testing. Among those whose infection was not under control, more than three times the proportion (66%) were no longer in care as had never been diagnosed (20%). The HIV epidemic continues to threaten the health and well-being of many Americans-with more than one million people living with the disease in the United States and 50,000 new infections each year. When used consistently, antiretroviral medication can keep HIV controlled at very low levels in the body (known as viral suppression), allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and reducing the likelihood they will transmit HIV to others. Treatment has been shown to reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 96%, and U.S. clinical guidelines now recommend that everyone diagnosed with HIV receive treatment, regardless of their CD4 cell count or viral load. Read more at