NIH Announces New National Diabetes Education Program Resources
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has released two new resources for school personnel, parents, and children. “Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel,” advises school personnel about diabetes management and helps ensure a supportive environment and equal access to educational opportunities for students with diabetes. The guide includes tools for initiating a team approach to diabetes management. The sample medical management and emergency action plans can be used as models for the school health team to follow. “Tips for Kids with Type 2 Diabetes,” is a series of four patient education handouts that provide basic information about diabetes and how to manage it to live a long and healthy life. These tip sheets are tailored for children and their parents; topics include, “What is Diabetes?” “Be Active,” “Eat Healthy,” and “Stay at a Healthy Weight.” These resources can be downloaded from the NDEP Web site at:http://www.ndep.nih.gov/diabetes/youth/youth.htm, or they can be ordered by calling 800-438-5383. Single copies of the school guide and packets of 25 tip sheets are free. All NDEP materials may be reproduced and distributed without copyright restrictions.
Journals Publish Robert Graham Center Research Articles
The Robert Graham Center in Washington, D.C., has released two new research articles that focus on the uninsured elderly and malpractice claim reports in primary care. “Who Are the Uninsured Elderly in the United States?” appears in the April 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The report aims to describe the size, sociodemographic characteristics, and health status of the uninsured elderly in America. “Learning from Malpractice Claims About Negligent, Adverse Events in Primary Care in the United States,” was published in the April 2004 issue of Quality and Safety in Health Care. A new analysis concludes that these claim reports could help identify certain areas in primary health care that would benefit from a more focused approach to preventing medical errors. The press release for each study is available online at:https://www.aafp.org/x15377.xml.
IOM Releases Report on the Safety of Dietary Supplements
On April 1, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report on measuring the safety of dietary supplements. The report, “Dietary Supplements: a Framework for Evaluating Safety,” outlines a science-based process for assessing supplement ingredients, even if data are lacking about the safety of those products or substances in humans. The definition developed for the framework was based on existing frameworks and consisted of two components, including a process for prioritizing, evaluating, and describing available information to establish risk of harm, and a set of science-based principles that serve as guidelines for evaluating risk to human health. The full report, which includes recommendations and prototypes, is available online at:http://books.nap.edu/books/0309091101/html/1.html#pagetop.
AAFP and Partner Produce a Toolkit for Active Aging
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and Hygenic Corp. have teamed up to produce the Active Aging Toolkit. The product is a part of the National Blueprint: Increasing Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 50 and Older project. Other partners include the AARP and the American College of Sports Medicine. This resource was put together as a strategy for helping physicians prescribe physical activity programs for their patients that address cardiovascular work, stretching, strength, and balance. The blueprint was developed as an outline of broad strategies that will lead to increasing activity levels in older Americans. More information about the kit, blueprint, and patient education materials is available online at:http://www.firststeptoactivehealth.com/FSAH.com_2-16-04_files/page0024.htm. The toolkit can be downloaded fromhttp://www.firststeptoactivehealth.com/FSAH.com_2-16-04_files/page0011.htm.
AAFP Submits Testimony Covering Title VII and Chronic Care Management
The AAFP submitted a statement supporting funding for family medicine training programs (under Title VII, Section 747 of the Public Health Service Act), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and rural health programs. The AAFP backs the recommendation from a congressional advisory committee for $198 million for Section 747 in 2005. In 2004, the funding is $82 million, which is $10 million less than in 2003. The second statement from AAFP encourages testing of a chronic care case-management program that enrolls primary care physicians, including family physicians, and covers their services through Medicare. The statement says that the system of care that the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act seeks to create for beneficiaries with chronic conditions must have primary care physician offices as its basis. The testimonial statements are available online at:https://www.aafp.org/x659.xml.
Number of Applicants to U.S. Medical Schools Increases
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of applicants to U.S. medical schools is on the rise after a six-year decline. Almost 35,000 persons applied to attend medical school in the 2003-2004 school year, which is a 3.4 percent increase over the previous year’s number of applicants (33,625). Women made up the majority of applicants for the first time, with an increase of almost 7 percent over the previous year. Almost 10 percent more black women applied, but the overall number of blacks who entered medical school declined by about 4 percent. The sharp decline in men applying to medical schools, a trend that started in 1997, leveled off for the 2003-2004 school year. More information is available online at:http://www.aamc.org/newsroom.