Thursday, February 23, 2012

Let's talk about your local county.

The Office of Health Disparities has added a new section to its website: County Health and Demographic Information.  This new section of our website includes a page for every county in the state of Utah. 
  • Learn about your county's health challenges and strengths related to mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment
  • See how the health of your county ranks statewide.
  • Find out demographic information about your county, such as population, race, ethnicity, age and income, and compare these measures to the rest of the state.
  • Enjoy interactive maps that illustrate facts about local race, ethnicity, income, education, housing and families.
The Utah Department of  Health is also currently working on creating local spotlights of Utah health data within  IBIS (Utah's Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health).  As soon as these spotlights are complete, we will add them to the resources already available in County Health and Demographic Information.
Visit these new webpages at:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Job Opportunity: Utah Dept of Health Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Health Program Specialist

The job announcement for the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program HPS III position is open.  Interested applicants can apply by going to , Req/Job Announcement #25900.  The job announcement will close at midnight on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
If you have any questions about this position please contact Nicole Bissonette at 801-538-6228.

“Bridging the Gap” Medical Interpreting Training

The Bureau of Epidemiology will be offering a 5-day “Bridging the Gap” medical interpreter training course in the month of May, 2012. This training will be held at the Cannon Health Building 288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City, on the following days: 5/10-11, 5/17-18 and 5/24. Classes will begin promptly at 8:00 am and will continue until 5:00 pm.
There will be no registration fee to attend this training and the course materials will be provided to you free of charge. Participants will be expected to attend the course in its entirety. In addition to being fluent in English, all applicants MUST be fluent in a second language and must be willing to act as medical interpreters. Priority will be given to applicants who work within the refugee health, Tuberculosis control, HIV, STD & Hepatitis prevention settings. Participants who miss any portion of the training will be required to leave the course materials and the training.
All participants who attend the entire forty-hour training and successfully complete the final exam will receive a certificate of completion. If you have staff whom you think could benefit from this course, please fill out the attached application ( and return it by March 30, 2012. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, so, it is critical that only those persons willing to commit to the entire forty-hour course apply.
If you have questions concerning this course, please feel free to contact by Edwin Espinel at email at or at (801) 538-9480. We look forward to seeing your applications.
Edwin Espinel, Contract Manager
Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Communicable Disease Prevention Program

Friday, February 17, 2012

Salt Lake City to survey residents as part of Community Food Assessment

Survey aims to identify food sources and link residents with resources
SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker and representatives of Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force will officially launch the next phase of the capital’s Community Food Assessment on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, at 10 a.m. in Room 326 of the City & County Building, 451 South State Street. The comprehensive assessment evaluates the entire life cycle of the City’s local food system from production to plate to food waste.  The City will also unveil a novel new digital tool for residents interested in growing their own food.

The first phase of the Community Food Assessment, initiated in August 2011, concentrated on compiling historic and current data related to food production, health and nutrition in Salt Lake City. The next phase is focused on surveying community members to learn more about how and where they are getting their food and what guides their decisions. Salt Lake City is also hoping to hear about the challenges residents face in feeding their families and in accessing healthy food options.

“A strong local food system relies on an understanding of the existing barriers to food production, accessibility and quality,” said Mayor Becker. “The Community Food Assessment will provide insight and guidance toward crafting effective policies to strengthen our local food system.”

The City will gather information from residents through online surveys and community meetings. Residents will be connected to resources and information that help educate and empower them on how to get and grow local foods. A Community Food Production Mapping Tool – the first of its kind in the nation – will allow residents to access a City map, click on their property and find out how much food they could grow. The purpose of the mapping tool is to provide residents with an estimation of how much they could supplement the produce they buy with food grown in their gardens. The tool was developed by Salt Lake City GIS Coordinator Kevin Bell and University of Utah Department of City and Metropolitan Planning students.

With a commitment to fostering the development of a vibrant, sustainable and equitable local food system that is capable of providing healthy food to all residents, Salt Lake City created the Food Policy Task Force in 2009. The group’s purpose is to recommend and promote sustainable food policy.

More information about the Community Food Assessment is available at

Johnson & Johnson recalls Infants' Tylenol that's too hard to use

There's a problem with more than a half-million bottles of grape-flavored liquid Tylenol for infants.
The "SimpleMeasure" dosing system that's supposed to make it easier to fill a syringe with the right amount of the grapey painkiller and fever-reducer is too complicated for some parents. 
J&J's McNeil division said it has received a "small number of complaints" about how difficult it was to use the docking system for filling the syringe.
Or, to be fair to parents and caregivers, it could be a shortcoming in design that makes it possible to dislodge a doughnut-shaped plastic piece in the neck of the bottle so it can fall into the liquid medicine. (See the video below for how it's supposed to work.)
The affected product is Infants' Tylenol Oral Suspension (1-ounce bottles). The lots are: BIL0U00, BIL0V00, BIL3500, BJL2D00, BJL2E00, BJL2T00 and BJL2U00.
There's nothing wrong with medicine itself, the company said.
If you have the stuff in your medicine cabinet, you can ask for a refund. J&J has an explanation and an apology to consumers.

HHS Ensures Consumers Get Better Value for their Health Insurance Dollar
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that consumers will soon begin receiving unprecedented information on the value of their health insurance coverage, and some will receive rebates from insurance companies that spend less than 80% of their premium dollars on health care. The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies this year begin notifying customers how much of their premiums they have spent on medical care and quality improvement.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Healthy Relationships Rock Concert

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR!!!!  Utah’s Dating Violence Awareness Month has officially begun. Some Utah teens have participated in the statewide media contest which closed Feb. 1st and now it is time to honor the winners. In lieu of the month, we are having a “Healthy Relationships Rock” concert. We have bands, singers, dancers etc. coming to perform and the winners of the media contest will be announced and received recognition at the concert. The concert is Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at Murray High School and begins at 7:00 pm and it is FREE.

Please share this information with communities and teens who are interested in attending. This is a great opportunity for them to come to an event win prizes and have fun while getting information about how to have a healthy relationship, which is what Dating Violence Awareness is all about.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie McMinn at or (801) 538-9277.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

HHS launches Strong Start initiative to increase healthy deliveries and reduce preterm births

To help reduce the increasing number of preterm births in America and
ensure more babies are born healthy, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
announced more than $40 million in grants to test ways to reverse that
trend, as well as a public campaign to reduce early elective deliveries.

Read more at and learn more about the StrongStart initiative
at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

To Hold the Salt, it's Time to Hold the Bread

The sandwich on the left has a total of 1,522 milligrams of salt (per whole sandwich), while the other one has only 853 mg
It's no secret that some of the tastiest snacks around —potato chips, french fries, and processed deli meats — are terrific vehicles for salt. Without salt, they'd be bland, too starchy, or just plain dull.
But would you guess that the white bread on your turkey sandwich could be delivering almost as much as the turkey — up to 400 mg of sodium, or about one-third of the daily recommended limit for 6 of every 10 adults?
A report out today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unmasks bread and some other sneaky sodium-heavy foods. It turns out that 10 foods — from bread to poultry to cheese to pasta dishes — are responsible for more than 40 percent of people's sodium intake.
According to the CDC, the average American consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt that may be added during a meal. That's way more than we need, and puts us at risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 mg a day, except if you're over 51 years or African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. For those groups, the recommendation is 1,500 mg a day.