Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Predicted Heart Age and Racial Disparities in Heart Age among U.S. Adults at the State Level

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release a Vital Signs report on “Predicted Heart Age (HA) and Racial Disparities in Heart Age among U.S. Adults at the State Level.” This CDC Vital Signs report shows that for most Americans, their heart age is much higher than their actual age, particularly for men and African Americans. There are also geographic differences in average heart age across states.  Mississippi and Louisiana have the highest heart ages, while Utah and Colorado have the lowest. Heart age provides a new way of framing risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), potentially simplifying communication about CVD risk and facilitating opportunities for healthy lifestyle changes and enhanced adherence to treatment recommendations.

Information will be available at www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.

Monday, August 31, 2015

OHD awarded State Partnership Grant from HHS

The Office of Health Disparities was awarded the State Partnership Grant to Improve Minority Health, a grant from the U.S  Department of Health and Human Services aimed at reducing health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities in geographic hot spots in communities (not at the state level). 

The project proposed by OHD will address the problem of inadequate access to primary health care and oral health services among racial/ethnic minorities and other under-served populations in the Glendale suburb of Salt Lake City and the City of South Salt Lake. These two locations have the highest combined proportion of racial/ethnic minorities and poverty levels of any other urban communities in Utah. The communities living in those areas face significant barriers and challenges to obtaining health and dental care, such as limited English proficiency/language assistance needs, low health literacy levels, and limited familiarity with clinical guidelines and local health systems.

This five year project will be implemented in partnership with different agencies and community organizations. This was a very competitive grant and only sixteen states nationwide were awarded. Utah is the only state in Region VIII that received the award.

For more information contact OHD at disparities@utah.gov

Utah Youth E-Cigarette Usage Nearly Doubles in 2015

(Salt Lake City, UT) – New data released today by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) showed a substantial increase in the use of electronic cigarettes by youth in grades 8, 10, and 12.  The data was included in the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) annual Legislative Report and revealed that in 2015, 10.5 percent of Utah youth reported they currently use electronic cigarettes; nearly double the 5.8 percent reported in 2013.  In the same time frame, adult e-cigarette use remained unchanged at 4.8 percent.

Traditional tobacco use among youth remained low at 3.4% but e-cigarette use grew at an alarming rate.  The report indicated 30 percent of youth in grade 12 have tried e-cigarettes.  Additionally, nearly half of all Utah youth who use e-cigarettes have never tried conventional cigarettes.

“While the use of electronic cigarettes leveled off among adults in 2014, the youth experimentation and use rates are more than double the rates reported by Utah adults,” said Dr. Joseph Miner, Executive Director of the UDOH. “The prevalence of fruit or candy-like flavored e-juices and the use of celebrities in advertising make these products especially enticing to youth.”

Findings in this report also detailed where youth are accessing e-cigarettes and e-juice. Most youth are borrowing the devices from friends, but others are illegally obtaining them from convenience stores, supermarkets, discount stores, gas stations, and tobacco or vape shops.

The UDOH works in partnership with Utah’s 13 local health departments to address tobacco prevention. “Despite this alarming trend, all of our local health departments have been working hard to educate their communities about e-cigarettes and the dangers of nicotine use by youth,” said Brian Bennion, Executive Director of the Weber-Morgan Health Department.  “We are now seeing the impact of their work in relation to policy changes that make it harder for teens to access tobacco products but there is still more to be done.”
The UDOH encourages Utahns currently using tobacco and other nicotine devices to consider the long-term damage to their health, including emphysema, lung, mouth and other cancers, and tooth loss.  Information on how to quit and free cessation services can be found at www.waytoquit.org.

To download a copy of the 2015 TPCP Legislative Report or to view e-cigarette data specific to your area, visit http://health.utah.gov/legislativereports/.


Media Contact:
Brittany Karzen
Media Liaison
Cell: (714) 267-3679

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

OHD Holds Summit with Community Partners

OHD Summit: Partnerships with Purpose on August 20
On August 20, OHD held the 2015 Partnerships with Purpose Summit to celebrate successes and look ahead to exciting new projects and partnerships.

Thanks to all of our partners who shared their expertise with us.   If you missed it or want more information, here are the presentations that were offered:
  • The Myths of Multitasking  - David Strayer, PhD, University of Utah (YouTube video of presentation at 2014 Governor’s OPS Conference)
Thanks again to all of our partners who made this event a success.  Questions? Comments? Contact OHD at 801-273-4140 or disparities@utah.gov

The 6th Annual Pink Dress Masquerade

This fall, we are celebrating community empowerment and highlighting our work in the fight against debilitating health disparities like breast cancer! Join us for:
 ~ A Breast Cancer Survivor Fashion Show ~
~ Best Mask Contest ~
~ Food, Drinks, Entertainment and Prizes! ~

 Make sure to save the date on your calendar for this exclusive Masquerade.

We Can't Wait to Celebrate with You!
When: Friday, October 30, 2015
7:00 PM-9:00 PM. Doors open at 6:15 for VIP Guests.

Where: The Leonardo Museum
209 East 500 South SLC, UT - Third Floor
General Admission: $50 in advance
$60 at the door

VIP Package: $75/ticket
$550/table for 8

VIP package includes drink ticket,
reserved seating & 2 opporunity drawing tickets
Advance tickets are on sale!

85% of Hospitals Committed to Population Health, says AHA/PHI National Survey

As the healthcare sector continues to go through tremendous transformation, an overwhelming majority of hospitals now voice a strong commitment to population health, according to a new national survey of hospitals conducted by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI) and Health Research & Educational Trust, in partnership with the Public Health Institute. Takeaways include:

Hospitals are committed to population health.
  • 85% of responding hospitals reported “strong” or “total” commitment to population health, or have population health in their vision statement.
  • 90% “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that population health was aligned with their mission.
Hospitals seek collaboration and partnership.
  • 69% reported being part of a community-wide coalition.
  • Over 80% agreed or strongly agreed that they had strong collaborations with community organizations. The most common partnerships were with public health departments, chambers of commerce, health insurance companies and community clinics.
There is more to be done.
  • Less than 20% “strongly agreed” that their hospital had programs to address the socioeconomic determinants of health.
  • Some strong, potential partners have yet to be brought to the table. Hospitals were least likely to collaborate with housing/community development and transportation allies.

“I have spent my career jointly working on behalf of hospitals and working on behalf of public health. We each have so much to learn from each other—I am encouraged to see that synergy is beginning to happen,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute (PHI), and former head of AHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust. “Providing excellent clinical care for patients remains essential, but hospitals are also in a strong position to engage in efforts in the broader community that address factors that cause illness in the first place.”

Find out more about the survey results.

Apply Now for Free Program Evaluation Planning Services


 The BYU MPA program is seeking community partners for our course in public program evaluation. We work with our community partners to develop logic models, evaluation plans, and evaluation instrumentation (surveys and other data collection methods). Consultations run from September until December. Organizations do NOT have to know anything about evaluation and do not have to be considered "evaluation ready." We help organizations/programs identify what evaluation activities are appropriate and practical for their particular circumstances, and then develop detailed, step-by-step plans tailored to your organization.

The application process takes about 5-10 minutes. APPLY HERE

Program evaluation plans help your organization to gather data that can be used to: 

  • Provide evaluation information in grant proposals*Evaluate feasibility of engaging in program evaluation activities*Improve current evaluation practices*Generate data that can be used to justify your program to stakeholders, funders and clients

By working as a community partner with Master’s of Public Administration students from BYU, you will receive a comprehensive program evaluation plan tailored to your specific needs including:

  • Budget and timeline tailored to your resources (even if you don’t think you have any!)
  • Program logic model
  • Evaluation stakeholder analysis
  • Program process evaluation model
  • Instructions for data collection and analysis including sampling methodology
  • Data collection tools including surveys, focus group questions, etc.
  • Written and oral presentations of the program evaluation plan 

In exchange for the learning experience for our master’s level student consultants, these services are provided to selected partners free of charge and are completed under the supervision of Dr. Eva Witesman of the BYU Marriott School of Management. Projects will begin in September 2015. 

To qualify, you must:

  • Represent a public or nonprofit organization or a charitable program
  • Have a specific project or program requiring evaluation (one-time or ongoing evaluation)
  • Identify a contact person from your organization who will be available for consultation by phone, e-mail, video conference, or in person (so that we can best tailor the program evaluation plan to meet your needs) 
TO APPLY, PLEASE SUBMIT AN APPLICATION BEFORE AUGUST 29. You will be directed to a short form that will ask for your name, organization, contact information, and information about the specific project(s) to be evaluated. Once we have received your information, we will contact you to discuss your project(s). 


For more information, please contact Dr. Eva Witesman by e-mail at eva_witesman@byu.edu.