Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Tools Launched to Improve Health Services for Diverse Communities

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Utah’s increasingly diverse population poses unique challenges to health care facilities and public health agencies that serve growing numbers of clients and patients. In response to a growing number of requests for assistance, the Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities (OHD) has developed a training video and a practical toolkit to help state and local health agencies put into practice a set of national standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS).

To ensure the materials are relevant, the CLAS video and toolkit are based on nationally promoted best practices, as well as on Utah-specific information obtained through surveys and interviews with personnel from 36 programs from state and local health departments. The results revealed a significant need for CLAS standards and policies, as only 15% of the surveyed personnel felt their programs were “fully capable” of providing verbal or written language assistance to people with limited-English proficiency (LEP).

Language assistance is only one component covered under CLAS standards, and all health care organizations can benefit from enhancing their culturally- and linguistically-appropriate approaches to staff training, governance, workforce diversity, and policy  making.

The CLAS video, “A Class about CLAS”, provides an overview of CLAS themes and features expert commentary and guidance from public health agencies, health care organizations and community-based organizations.

To provide practical guidance for anyone interested in implementing CLAS standards, the CLAS Toolkit offers discussion scenarios and highlights real examples of CLAS-related practices and policies now used across Utah. “We believe all health care organizations and public health agencies can benefit from these tools,” said UDOH Office of Health Disparities Outreach Coordinator Jake Fitisemanu, who notes that CLAS standards compliance is mandated for all programs that receive federal funds and all agencies seeking national accreditation.

The CLAS video and toolkit, along with additional CLAS-related resources, are available online for free download at

Utah Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities Collaborate for a Free Health Event

Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Health Event

Date: Friday, January 30
Time: 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Location: Sorenson Unity Center, 900 W. 1383 S. 

Description: Health navigators will be on hand to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and to assist with applying for health insurance. Dinner will be provided as well as a movie screening for children.

Contact: Randal Serr,

BYU Study Shows Kids Eat More Veggies When They had Recess Before Lunch

A baked potato with toppings on a lunch tray at a school in Wisconsin. Students are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they're rushing to get to recess, researchers say.
Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools.

In many schools, kids tend to eat the entrée, like pizza, first, and leave the fruits and vegetables for last. If they aren't hungry after the entrée, they won't eat the healthy foods. But "they definitely don't leave the dessert on the tray," says Joe Price, a professor of economics at Brigham Young University.

Price, along with David Just, a researcher at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, wanted to see if perhaps stoking kids hunger by letting them go to recess before lunch might change the equation.

A study they've just published in Preventative Medicine suggests it does. They found that students who have recess before lunch tend to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables than kids who eat lunch first.

The researchers sent assistants to seven elementary schools in Utah, to stand by the trashcans at lunchtime and tally what students ate and what they threw away. The assistants then tallied the contents of more than 22,000 lunch trays for about four days at each school in the spring of 2011 and for about nine days at the same schools in the fall (after three of the schools had changed their schedule to have recess before lunch).

They found students who ate lunch after recess consumed 54 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who ate lunch before recess. In addition, the number of students who ate at least one serving of fruits or vegetables jumped 10 percent when they ate after running around outside.

The researchers also noticed that the students who had recess first didn't seem to feel the same hurry to eat as those who had recess after lunch. "Now that you have a little more time," says Just, "you eat the entrée and think 'OK, I'm still hungry maybe I'll try this broccoli.' "

Yet both researchers acknowledge that there's a big challenge here: Not every school can send kids to recess before lunch. "Scheduling is really difficult at schools," says Just, "particularly if they're overcrowded."

Just also maintains a list of suggestions to encourage kids to eat healthier, including lunchroom makeover tactics.

But he also recommends that schools get creative to sell the healthy options, like one school near Cornell that was struggling to sell a bean burrito. "They started advertising it as the big bad bean burrito," he said, "and then they started having to make extra trays."

Friday, January 16, 2015

New From Coverage to Care Roadmaps available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese

From Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to help people with new health coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You is now available to download and print in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Office of Minority Health
The C2C Roadmap includes 8 steps that explain what health coverage is and how to use it to get needed care.

CMS acknowledges the following community partners for their assistance in reviewing these resources:
• Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations; 
• Asian Health Services; 
• Korean Community Center of the East Bay; and 
• North East Medical Services.
C2C resources in additional languages are forthcoming.

To download or print these resources in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, please visit

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

The theme for 2015 is “Making Health Choices to Prevention Birth Defects – Make a PACT for Prevention.”  Although not all birth defects can be prevented, steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby.  Encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to:

Plan ahead
o   Get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant.
o   Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Avoid harmful substance
o   Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
o   Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home.
Choose a healthy lifestyle
o   Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats and oils.
o   Be physically active.
o   Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control.
Talk to your doctor
o   Get a medical checkup.
o   Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
o   Talk about family history.

You can make a difference in the lives of Utah families.  Review the materials at this link and share them with coworkers, colleagues, staff, and others who might benefit.

If you have questions or would like additional materials, please contact the Utah Birth Defect Network, Utah Department of Health at 801-883-4661 or by email to Amy Nance at

Monday, January 12, 2015

Latino #GetCovered Week of Action January 12th - 18th

Need 2015 coverage? There’s still time to act – visit today & sign up for coverage starting in February.

¿Necesitas cobertura del 2015? Todavía hay tiempo para actuar. Visita hoy e inscríbete en un plan de cobertura que comienza en febrero. #Asegúrate
Check out this video!
Getting covered is more than a precaution; it’s the right thing to do.” – Rusk of #TX

Fue un «gran momento» para Alicia #Asegúrate. Ahora recibe la atención que necesita para estar saludable.

Deadline alert: Apply today

3 days left ticker - Jan 15

Applying is now easier than ever.

For health coverage starting on February 1, you must enroll by January 15.Submitting your application is easier than ever. You can even do it on your mobile device.
get started-red

Don’t miss out on savings. 87% of people who signed up for health insurance during the first month of open enrollment qualified for financial help. So if you haven't submitted your application for coverage, now's the time to take the next step.
Join the millions who are getting covered!
The Team