Friday, May 22, 2015

Public Health and Cognitive Aging: Register Now for Webinar

Cognitive Aging Report Cover
Join us Thursday, June 4 from 1:00-1:45 p.m. EDT for a webinar onCognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, which was recently released by the Institute of Medicine. Members of the IOM committee will provide an overview of the report’s findings and recommendations as well as implications for state and local public health. Please register online.

The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013-2018, jointly developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alzheimer’s Association, recognizes the need for clear and consistent public messages about brain health. The IOM report provides the foundation for such public awareness by reviewing the state of the science on risk factors.

Public Health Roadmap E-05The IOM report examines the public health implications of “cognitive aging,” the gradual and variable changes in mental functions that occur with age. It concludes that three key behaviors – being physically active, managing certain cardiovascular risk factors, and regularly talking with a health care provider about issues that might affect cognitive health, including medications – can reduce the risk of cognitive decline, protect cognitive functioning, and promote healthy aging in older adults. 

Dr. Kristine Yaffe – Vice Chair of the Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging – will review the report’s findings and recommendations. Committee member Dr. Jason Karlawish will discuss the public health implications.

We hope you will join us to learn more. Register online, mark your calendars, and forward this message to any interested colleagues

New FAQ’s on Birth Control Coverage

This week the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help insurance companies better understand the scope of coverage that is required (including contraceptive care) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to help people better the ACA and benefit from it as intended.
This guidance follows recent Kaiser Family Foundation  and National Women’s Law Centerresearch that reported variation in how the ACA contraceptive coverage provisions were being interpreted and implemented by health plans.
Some main points of interest:
  • All non-grandfathered plans and insurers must cover, without cost sharing, at least one form of contraception within each of the 18 methods of contraception that the FDA has identified for women.
  • If an item or service is not covered but is determined medically necessary by the woman’s attending provider, there must be an easily accessible process for the woman to get that item or service;
  • If an insurer covers dependent children, recommended preventive services for women (such as preconception and prenatal care) must be covered for the dependent children as well (i.e., not just the parent(s) on the plan); and 
  • Clarifies that insurance companies may still use reasonable medical management techniques within each of the methods of contraception (there are currently 18 identified by the FDA for women). For example, a plan can discourage the use of brand name over generic pharmacy items through cost sharing. 

Funding Opportunitis from RWJF: New Leadership Programs to Build A Culture of Health


Building on decades of successes through our human capital investments, RWJF is developing four new boundary-spanning leadership programs that reflect our vision to work with others to build a national Culture of Health.
RWJF will select up to four national leadership program centers to receive a three-month planning grant to co-develop the launch of the leadership program(s), with a maximum amount of $750,000 per award per program.
The four new programs (and their working titles) are:
  • RWJF Diversity in Health Policy Research will support a large cadre of doctoral students from diverse backgrounds whose research, connections, and leadership will contribute to a Culture of Health.
  • RWJF Interdisciplinary Research Leaders will support a network of researchers whose leadership and community-relevant, policy-relevant, and action-oriented research will help to drive social change that builds a Culture of Health.
  • RWJF Multisector Leaders for Health will develop and leverage a diverse group of leaders representing key sectors (e.g., education, transportation, public health and policy, social work, business, community engagement, urban planning, and health care) who, as a result of this program, will take their leadership and influence to the next level to lead communities, organizations, and the nation toward a Culture of Health.
  • RWJF New Clinical Scholars will develop networked cohorts of clinicians who have attained a terminal clinical degree and who have the competencies and capabilities to lead transformative change that helps to build a Culture of Health in communities across the country.
Applicants may submit a proposal for one or more programs; each of the individual program proposals will be considered separately.

Utah's Juneteenth Festival: June 19-20

Utah is celebrating the 26th Annual Juneteeth Freedom Festival

Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, 2015
Weber State University - BELL TOWER

Family Centered Festivity

Live entertainment
Soul Food
Health Screenings
Games for all Ages
Go to for more information.

New Release: 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System-Adolescent Health

CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health has released the 2013 National, State, and District Combined Datasets on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) website at

The combined datasets are unique because
  • they include more than 1.3 million records from 820 YRBS high school surveys conducted from 1991-2013;
  • the standard variables have been aligned across the years to facilitate trend analyses and combining data; and
  • they include selected additional data from optional questions about sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, HIV testing, bullying, and other topics.
The website includes:
  • documentation that explains the contents of the datasets and how to use the data;
  • MS Access® and ASCII versions of the data; and
  • SAS® and SPSS® programs to access the data.

The YRBS website has been redesigned and reorganized to make it easier to view and access content across devices.  Learn more!

May 21 - The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education


Improving AIAN Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities

The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (WHIAIANE) leads the implementation of the President's Executive Order 13592 by working closely with Federal agencies and offices to help ensure American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) participation in the development and implementation of key Administration education priorities.

 Ron Lessard, Chief of Staff, WHIAIANE will discuss the impact of the Initiative in improving educational outcomes for all AI/AN students. He will also provide information on activities for the students to learn their native language, receive complete and competitive education, and prepare for college and careers. The presentation will highlight how the program can close the achievement gap for Native American students, decrease the alarmingly high dropout rates, and help to preserve and revitalize Native languages. The webinar will highlight updates on the Native Student Environment Initiative, the Native Language Memorandum of Agreement and the 2015 Native American Language Summit. Mr. Lessard will share updates on capacity building efforts related to Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU); Native Serving Institutions Initiatives, and the progress of the US Department of Education's efforts to implement the President's Generation Indigenous Initiative.

The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education: Improving AIAN Opportunities  and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities
  Ron Lessard, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
DATE: May 21, 2015
TIME: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT
Click Here for Full Abstract and Speaker Biographies:

Friday, May 15, 2015

About 137 million individuals with private insurance are guaranteed access to free preventive services

Contact: HHS Press Office  202-690-6343
May 14, 2015                                                                                                          

About 137 million individuals with private insurance are guaranteed access to free preventive services

Nationwide, about 137 million individuals, including 55 million women and 28 million children, have private health insurance that covers recommended preventive services without cost sharing, according to a new ASPE Data Point from the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans are required to provide coverage for recommended preventive health care services without copays. Increased access to preventive services can reduce and prevent costly chronic diseases and help Americans live healthier lives. 

  • These services include but are not limited to:
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Well-baby and well-child visits 
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Flu vaccination and other immunizations
  • Well-woman visits
  • Tobacco cessation interventions
  • Domestic violence screening and counseling
  • Vision screening for children
  • Breastfeeding support and supplies
  • HIV screening
  • FDA-approved contraceptive methods
  • Depression screening

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more Americans have access to preventive services, including vaccinations, well-baby visits, and diabetes and blood pressure screenings," said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “These services can substantially improve the health of families, and in some cases even save lives. We urge all individuals with health care coverage to take advantage of these services. This can make a tremendous difference in the health of Americans.”

The data released today are broken down by state, age, gender, and race and ethnicity.  Of the about 137 million individuals with access to recommended preventive services without cost sharing:

  • 28.5 million are children, who have access to free preventive service coverage for flu vaccinations and other immunizations, vision screening, and well-baby and well-child visits.
  • 55.6 million are women, who have access to free preventive services such as well-women visits, breastfeeding support and supplies, and recommended cancer screenings.
  • 53.5 million are men, who have access to annual wellness visits, blood pressure screening, and cancer screenings.
  • And an estimated 15 million are Black, 17 million are Latino, and 8 million are Asian-Americans who have access to recommended preventive services without cost sharing.

Some of the estimated 137 million individuals that are guaranteed access to preventive services without cost sharing today may have had access to one or more of those services without cost sharing prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey in 2012, 41 percent of all workers were covered by employer-sponsored group health plans that expanded their list of covered preventive services due to the Affordable Care Act. Based on this and available Health Insurance Marketplace data at the time, HHS previously estimated that approximately 76 million Americans – and 30 million women – received expanded coverage of one or more preventive services because of the Affordable Care Act.

To read a fact sheet explaining today’s data point, please visit: