Am Fam Physician. 2004 Aug 1;70(3):429-430.
Family Physician Named AMA President-Elect
On June 14, members of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates selected J. Edward Hill, M.D., Tupelo, Miss., as AMA president-elect. Dr. Hill will serve as AMA president from June 2005 through June 2006. He has served in the House of Delegates since 1979, has been a member of the AMA Board of Trustees since 1996, and is a past AMA board chair. He is a past president of his state medical association and of the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Hill is a board-certified family physician and was in private practice for 26 years in the rural Mississippi Delta, providing care for a traditional underserved population.
AAFP Helps Develop Report Supporting Influenza Vaccine for Health Care Workers
At the end of June, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with assistance from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) released a report indicating that only 36 percent of U.S. health care workers get the influenza vaccine each year. The new report, “Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in Health Care Workers: Strategies to Increase Protection for Workers and Patients,” stresses the importance of vaccination and lists strategies for improving vaccination rates. Suggestions include developing an institutional policy promoting annual vaccination, securing buy-in from top management, and holding annual on-site vaccination clinics. The report is available online at http://www.nfid.org/publications.
AAFP Updates Online Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Resources
The AAFP has updated its Web page on tobacco use prevention and cessation (http://www.aafp.org/x27811.xml). In response to requests from physicians, a link to an index of state and local quit-smoking help lines has been added. For states without help lines, national numbers are listed. Other resources for physicians include clinical guidelines from the Public Health Service, the smoking cessation leadership center, and the AAFP policy on tobacco use, prevention, and cessation. Resources for patients include a stop-smoking guide and educational materials.
Report Indicates Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates on Decline; Survival Rates Improve
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries released their annual report in June on the status of cancer. New data indicate improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment, but not all parts of the U.S. population have gained equally from these improvements. Mortality rates from all cancers dropped 1.1 percent between 1993 and 2001, and the percentage of patients who have survived more than five years after being diagnosed with cancer has increased over the past 20 years. More information is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r040603b.htm, and the report can be accessed at http://interscience.wiley.com/cancer/report2004.
NLM Web Site Focuses on American Indian and Native Alaskan Health
As part of a series focusing on specific patients, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched a Web site for the health needs of the American Indian and Native Alaskan population (http://americanindianhealth.nlm.nih.gov). The site provides information about various health topics, including diabetes, pneumonia, cancer, heart disease, human immunodeficiency virus, and mental disorders. Featured links include tribal information, research findings, resources on traditional healing practices, environmental health, health care access, and government Web sites.
HHS Extends Use of Rapid Oral HIV Test to Physician Offices and Other Sites
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the availability of the recently approved rapid oral human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test to more than 100,000 sites, including physician offices, counseling centers, and community health centers. HHS also announced funding of $4.8 million to add the rapid test to programs for reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS among injection drug users. The OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody test provides results in about 20 minutes. The person being tested swabs once around the outer upper and lower gums, and inserts the swab into a vial containing the testing solution. The test, which is 99 percent accurate, will indicate if HIV-1/2 antibodies are present by displaying two reddish-purple lines on the device. As with all HIV tests, positive results must be confirmed with an additional specific test. More information is available online at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040625b.html.
CDC Campaign Provides Resources for Teaching Girls About Osteoporosis Prevention
“Powerful Bones, Powerful Girls” is a CDC-sponsored campaign to help families develop healthy habits and prevent osteoporosis among women in later life. The resources can help parents teach their nine- to 12-year-old daughters about building and maintaining strong bones. The campaign materials include Web pages containing a variety of information, including a toolbox showing a grocery list and recipes; facts about nutrition; and ideas for bone-building exercises (http://www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/parents/index.html). For a girl-friendly site that features interactive games and quizzes, recipes for tasty foods with calcium, and ideas for weight-bearing physical activity, go to http://www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/index3.html.
CDC Reports More Children Insured, More Working-Age Adults Uninsured
A new report from the CDC states that more U.S. children had health insurance in 2003 than ever before. According to data from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey, the percentage of children who were uninsured was 10.1 percent, compared with 13.9 percent in 1997. The proportion of working-age adults who were uninsured increased from 18.9 percent in 1997 to 20.1 percent in 2003. Overall, 43.6 million Americans were uninsured when the survey was taken, and lack of coverage continues to disproportionately affect minority populations. More information and a copy of the report is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/04news/insur2003.htm.
Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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