News in Brief: Week of Oct. 28-Nov. 1

October 30, 2013 01:14 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Family Physician Assumes Official Role as TransforMED's Top Executive

Bruce Bagley, M.D., has officially assumed the title of president and CEO of TransforMED, a subsidiary of the AAFP(www.transformed.com) that, among other things, works with physicians as they revamp their practices to meet new patient-centered medical home standards.

According to an Oct. 28 press release, Bagley, who has served as TransforMED's interim top executive since February, will continue to serve as the organization's key spokesperson and as an advocate for primary care's foundational role in a fast-changing U.S. health care system.

Bagley's years of experience as a forward-thinking family physician in Albany, N.Y., have earned him a reputation as an expert on clinical performance measures, medical practice office redesign and electronic health records. Bagley served as the AAFP's president more than a decade ago.

FDA to Phase Out Last Two CFC-containing Inhalers by 2014

The FDA has announced(www.fda.gov) that it will complete its phase-out of all chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-containing inhaler products by Dec. 31.

Although most of these inhalers already have been phased out, two products -- Combivent Inhalation Aerosol and Maxair Autohaler -- currently remain on the market. Neither inhaler will be available after the end of this year, and the FDA is urging people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who use these inhalers to talk to their family physician or other health care professional about a prescription for an alternative treatment.

"The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and FDA's partnership has facilitated a safe, gradual transition to CFC-free inhalers in the United States," said Drusilla Hufford, director of EPA's Stratospheric Protection Division of the Office of Air and Radiation in the release. "This action is an important contribution to the global effort to repair the Earth's protective ozone layer and save millions of lives through the prevention of skin cancer."

Medical Students Invited to Apply for CDC Fellowship

The CDC has issued a call for applications from rising third- and fourth-year medical students interested in participating in a one-year fellowship program dubbed The CDC Experience Applied Epidemiology Fellowship(www.cdc.gov).

The program's focus is applied epidemiology and public health. Fellows will have an opportunity to work on CDC programs that involve chronic disease, emergency preparedness, environmental health, global health, infectious disease, injury prevention and reproductive health. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

The 10- to 12-monthfellowship is based at CDC headquarters in Atlanta and begins in August 2014. Fellows receive a stipend for living expenses. Read about the application requirements, timeline and more online(www.cdc.gov).

NIH, CDC Create Sudden Death in the Young Registry

According to a recent press release(www.nhlbi.nih.gov), the NIH and CDC have teamed up to create the Sudden Death in the Young Registry, a registry of deaths in young people caused by conditions such as heart disease and epilepsy thaht is intended to help researchers define the scope of the problem and set future research priorities.

Currently, cases of sudden cardiac death or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy are not routinely or systematically reported, and no common standards or definitions for reporting exist. In addition, according to the release, complete information has not been collected on the incidences, causes, and risk factors for sudden death in the young, and the lack of evidence fuels disagreements about the best prevention approach.

The registry will estimate the incidence of sudden death in infants, children and young adults by collecting comprehensive data on each recorded case. The registry is an expansion of the CDC's Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry(www.cdc.gov), which currently tracks sudden unexpected deaths in children as old as 12 months in nine states.

State public health agencies will be able to apply to the CDC to participate in the registry in 2014. The registry will track all sudden unexpected deaths in youths as old as age 24 in as many as 15 states or major metropolitan areas. Child death review teams from each state will examine findings from death scene investigations and will review and compile information from medical records, autopsy reports and other pertinent data sources for each case. A panel of medical experts, medical examiners and forensic pathologists will help develop and guide the implementation of standardized autopsy protocols and case definitions.


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