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Black Box Warnings About Suicide Risk of Antidepressants

An FDA advisory panel has recommended that warning labels about the suicide risk associated with antidepressants-now required for children and adolescents-should extend to adults under 25. However, the panel also chose not to extend the black box labeling to antidepressants for all adults.


The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare points out that a vast body of evidence shows that antidepressant treatment works-persons with depression, regardless of age, who take medication do better than those who don't. Patients with depression and their families and care providers must be aware of and address any risks associated with medicines but must not disregard the proven benefits.


Community mental health providers have repeatedly emphasized to the National Council that it is critical for them to be able to treat depression fully, choosing from medication and other appropriate therapies. In prescribing medicines, they must weigh the risks and benefits, and keep patients and their families informed.


- National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare press release December 14, 2006


Call for Abstracts: American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) 32nd Annual Conference

The AAMN is currently accepting submissions for oral and poster presentations for its annual conference, Men in Nursing: Contributions to the Health of Men and the Profession of Nursing. Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, the conference will be held October 26-27, 2007, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2007.


New Tool Helps Hospitals 'Diagnose' Their Own Professionals

Healthcare Performance Solutions (HPS) in partnership with Success Profiles Inc. announce new national benchmark standards that enable organizations to compare data from their employee satisfaction surveys with other hospitals.


The two companies have compiled huge amounts of data, over a four year period, on over 180,000 healthcare professionals in 500 delivery systems throughout the United States and incorporated this data into a scoring system.


The outcome is that hospitals can now 'diagnose' their own professionals, or predict future problems related to employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty, enabling them to problem solve and accelerate improvements.


HPS is performing ongoing research to quantify connective links between work practices and results. Results will be available on a quarterly basis through the HPS web site at - Healthcare Performance Solutions press release January 9, 2007


Bush Signs Ferguson's Respite Care Bill

On December 21, 2006, President Bush signed a bill making it easier for the estimated 50 million families caring at home for adults and children with special needs to find respite care. The Lifespan Respite Care Act provides $289 million over five years for States to train volunteers and provide other services to families.


The legislation was sponsored in the House by New Jersey Rep. Mike Ferguson. He commented, "This important law not only recognizes the selfless sacrifices made by millions of family caregivers but also sends them an important message-help is on the way." Ferguson gained firsthand experience with respite care when his father, Thomas, quit his job to care for his ailing wife after she was diagnosed with cancer. Roberta Ferguson died in 2003 after battling multiple myeloma for six years. -Copyright 2006, Newsday Inc.


Congregational Health Ministries Make a Difference

In a national study of 349 pastors in 80 Christian denominations, a team of researchers found that with limited resources, Congregational Health Ministries (CHMs) provide significant health promotion, disease prevention, and support services. Using a quantitative, cross-sectional survey design, the researchers compared the perceptions of pastors with and without organized CHMs and examined the characteristics of CHMs. Pastors with CHMs were significantly more involved in health promotion and disease prevention activities. Pastors without CHMs perceived a need for their congregations to be involved in health-related services and were willing to become involved if they had adequate resources.


The researchers concluded that because congregants typically have long-term trusting relationships with their church, religious congregations may be ideally suited to provide cost-effective, community-based health promotion and disease prevention services as well as services to community-dwelling elderly and persons with chronic illnesses. - Ana Maria Catanzaro, Keith G. Meador, Harold G. Koenig, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, Elizabeth C. Clipp. (2007). Congregational Health Ministries: A National Study of Pastors' Views. Public Health Nursing 24 (1), 6-17.


Short Term Mission Opportunity

The Rafiki Foundation, Inc. is a Christian missions organization operating 10 orphanages in Africa. Rafiki shelters, feeds, clothes, educates, and loves children from infancy to 18 years in their villages. They need nurses of all specialties to volunteer from 1 to 2 weeks or more helping provide daily medical care to children; or with a medical team during quarterly 10-day community medical clinics. A pre-mission Friday evening/Saturday training program is required and all missionaries raise their own ministry support (i.e., travel, expenses, etc.). The rewards for service are outstanding!!


For more information about serving with Rafiki, contact Rafiki Area Rep. Joe Baucom at, 574-370-2699 or visit