Wednesday, March 28, 2012

April 16 is National Decision Day

April 16 is National Healthcare Decision Day for end of life issues. Now is the time to Start the Conversation with your friends and family. What do you want when you are not able to speak for yourself?

Prayer Vigil for King George Tupou V of Tonga

The National Tongan American Society will host a public prayer vigil to 
pay tribute to His Royal Majesty, King George Tupou V, King of Tonga.
To be held on Saturday, March 31, 2012,
12:00pm to 2:00pm at the International Peace Garden,
Tongan Garden location, 900 West 1050 South
Salt Lake City, Utah.

The NTAS and its' Chief's Council have joined to lead this event. 
All are invited to come together for prayer,
show support and pay tribute to HRM Tupou V, King of the only 
remaining monarchy in the Pacific.

The event is open to the public and will take place rain or shine.

News from the People's Health Clinic in Park City

The People's Health Clinic offers medical care for uninsured people in Summit and Wasatch Counties. Our wonderful volunteer medical providers, translators, phlebotomists and others make it happen. And our monthly newsletter highlights volunteers, patients, programs and events. Read on!

All Utah County residents are invited to come to Spingville's City Town Hall & Health Fair on April 3, 2012 from 6 - 8:30 pm. We will have the following screenings:

  • Vision

  • Cholesterol

  • HIV

  • Diabetes

As well as a presentation by Parents Empowered. Come and enjoy FREE screenings, light refreshments, and a chance to win gift cards.

For more information call 801-427-3993.

March for Babies to Thrive & Stay Alive

Project Fresh Start is excited to walk in the March of Dimes, March for Babies Event for Weber/Davis County on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. & the march will start at 10:30 a.m. @ Big-D Park 1376 Park Blvd.Ogden, UT 84401

Please join us at Big-D Park in Ogden to raise needed money & awareness for prematurity, birth defects & infant mortality. Join families from all over the state to celebrate or remember their precious babies that were born too early.

View the complete article at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Biggest Utah Earthquake Drill Ever will be April 17, 10:15 am

Utah is earthquake country. Nearly 80% of Utah’s population lives within 15 miles of an active fault. No one knows when or where the next earthquake will occur, but scientific fact indicates that we are living in a window of vulnerability. Research shows major earthquakes occur along the Wasatch Fault every 300 to 400 years. The last major quake occurred 350 years ago.

On April 17th at 10:15 am, over 700,000 Utahns will Duck, Cover and Hold On during a simulated earthquake.

You can learn more about earthquake preparedness and register your family or organization to participate in the drill on April 17th at

When the earthquake drill starts, DUCK under a solid object like a desk or table; COVER your head and HOLD ON to a solid object. Watch the following brief video to see a demonstration of how to DUCK, COVER, and HOLD ON.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Two Years Later: The Benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Utah

Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Utah by:
Providing new coverage options for young adults
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family’s coverage; 2.5 million young people have gained coverage nationwide.
Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors
22,353 people with Medicare in Utah received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay
In 2011, 185,608 people with Medicare in Utah received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor.
Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule
876,000 Utah residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars.
Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases
Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Utah has received $4.3 million to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
Removing lifetime limits on health benefits
1,183,000 residents are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.
Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
As of the end of 2011, 696 previously uninsured residents of Utah who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. To learn more about the plan available in Utah, check here.
Supporting Utah’s work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Utah has received $1 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
  • $1 million in Planning Grants:  This grant provides Utah the resources needed to conduct the research and planning necessary to build a better health insurance marketplace and determine how its exchange will be operated and governed. Learn how the funds are being used in Utah here
Preventing illness and promoting health
Since 2010, Utah has received $8.8 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act.
Increasing support for community health centers
Health centers in Utah have received $12.1 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas.
Strengthening partnerships with Utah 
Utah has received more than $34.1 million from the Affordable Care Act. Examples of Affordable Care Act grants not outlined above to Utah include:  
Last updated: March 15, 2012. For entire map and Utah Fact Sheet to go:

Uninsured Adults Urged to Apply for Health Coverage

Primary Care Network opens enrollment today!
Utah’s Primary Care Network (PCN) will open enrollment today, March 19 through Friday, March 30. 
PCN is a primary preventive healthcoverage plan for uninsured adults.

What is PCN? 
Benefits include physician services, prescriptions, dental services, eye exams, emergency room visits, birth control, and general preventive services.
Since December 2011, PCN has been closed for enrollment and has not accepted new applications. Beginning today through March 30, all uninsured Utah adults may apply online, by mail, or in person to receive
primary health care.
Who may apply?
Adults who meet the following requirements may apply:
- Age 19 through 64
- U.S. citizens or legal residents
- Not covered by other health insurance
- Meet income guidelines (e.g., a family of 4 with a maximum income of $34,575 per year)
- Not qualified for Medicaid
- Have no access to student health insurance, Medicare or Veterans benefits
When can I apply? 
Today, March 19 through Friday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m.
Where can I apply?
Apply online at or call the PCN hotline at 1-888-222-2542.

UDOH Training Opportunity: Ask, Screen, Intervene-Effective Prevention in HIV Care

The Utah Department of Health, in collaboration with the Denver STD/HIV Prevention Center and the Utah AIDS Education & Training Center would like to invite you to participate in a special training focused on incorporating HIV prevention into the medical care of persons living with HIV. 

The training is Ask, Screen, Intervene (ASI)- Effective Prevention in HIV Care

Clinicians: ASI is a skills-based course intended for Physicians, Nurses, Advanced Practice Nurses, Physicians Assistants, and others currently involved in HIV clinical care or who see HIV+ patients in their practice.
To register
Clinicians, 4/12/2012, 7:30am – 12pm:

Non-clinical staff: A shorter version of the training will be offered in the afternoon for non-medical providers, such as case managers and other non-clinical staff involved in HIV care or who see HIV+ patients in their practice.
To register
Case managers, 4/12/2012, 1:00-3:45pm:

The ASI training will be held on April 12, at the University of Utah Guest House & Conference Center (Alpine Room), 110 S Fort Douglas Blvd in Salt Lake City.  There is no cost for this training, a continental breakfast will be provided and continuing education certificates are available upon completion. 

What is Ask, Screen, Intervene (ASI): ASI is a course developed by the National Network of Prevention Training Centers and the AIDS Education & Training Centers that focuses on incorporating HIV prevention into the medical care of persons living with HIV. The 3-module curriculum focuses on: 1.) helping providers understand why HIV prevention should be a routine part of HIV care; 2.) building their skills to assess a patient’s level of risk and readiness to change/adapt risk reduction strategies; 3.) utilize referrals and partner services. I like to describe it as motivational interviewing with an HIV care focus.

We hope you can join us.  If you have any questions let me know or feel free to contact Katie Amaya at 303-602-3637 or

Edwin Espinel, HIV Prevention Counseling and Testing Coordinator | Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Communicable Disease Prevention Program| 801-538-9480 |

Thursday, March 15, 2012

OHD Creates a New Language Identification Booklet

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Office of Health Disparities Reduction (OHD) has created a new Language Identification Booklet to help you identify what language a person may understand.  This booklet contains 35 of the most likely encountered languages spoken in Utah according to the latest Census Bureau American Community Survey (2007‐2009).

The intent of this Language Identification Booklet is to help clinics, hospitals and other agencies comply with federal Title VI regulations that require recipients of federal funding to “take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to the information, programs, and services recipients provide.”   Recipients of federal funding have flexibility in determining how to fulfill this obligation.  OHD has created this booklet to help agencies take the first step to offer language services and assistance to Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons.

Go to   for this free online resource.  It is in PDF format that you can download and print.

For more information about Title VI and Title VI regulations, visit:

For a complete list of National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) visit:
For a list of the most commonly spoken languages in Utah go to:

Did Utah meet its health goals over the past decade?

The results are in! We can now see how Utah's progress toward Healthy People 2010--a set of long-term goals (targets) established in 2000 for advancing the health of Utah citizens. 

Unfortunately, many of these targets were not met. In particular, it is concerning that Utah did not meet targets related to preventing infant mortality and adolescent suicide.  It is clear that we need to step up our efforts during the upcoming decade to keep our young people alive and thriving.

However, in the area of chronic disease prevention, Utah met many goals.  Cancer, stroke and heart disease are declining, although they continue to be major killers of Utahns. Utah met its goals for lowering smoking rates, which may have contributed to declines in chronic disease. An unfortunate exception was diabetes, with a prevalence that nearly triples the target.  This high rate may be related to the high obesity rate, which was also well above target.

View the complete report at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

'Ohana Saturday!

Come and join The Queen Center, Pacific Islander Medical Student Association and the Administration for Native Americans as they host this free community event!

Date: April 21 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Hawaiian Cultural Center 741 Smelter Street, Midvale (801-56-ALOHA)

FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS-Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Children's vision
BOOTHS: Health and Community Information, Food

To sponsor a booth at this event contact Joyce Ah You at 801-796-5808.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Health care reform law helps 1.3 million minority young adults obtain health insurance

New data released by Health and Human Services shows that the Affordable Care Act has extended health insurance to a substantial number of racial and ethnic minorities nationwide. The health care reform law allows young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans through age 26. 

The data, based on combined estimates from the National Health Interview Survey and the Current Population Survey, indicate that approximately 736,000 Latinos, 410, 000 Blacks, 97,000 Asian Americans, and 29,000 American Indian/Alaska Natives have gained coverage because of the law.
Highlighted in an HHS issue brief, the data coincides with a research letter also published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
“As a result of the Affordable Care Act, we are making strides in giving every American regardless of race or ethnicity a fair shot at quality, affordable health coverage,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Because of the law, more and more young adults can breathe a little easier knowing they have health coverage.”
The studies released today provide the first estimates of the law’s effects on young adults in minority groups. 
“These results show that the Affordable Care Act has already made a real difference in the lives of young adults, and that the benefits have occurred for Americans across racial and ethnic lines,” said Richard Kronick, Ph.D., HHS deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, and one of the study’s authors.  “The Affordable Care Act has helped give millions of young adults – white and black, Latino and Asian – the security of health insurance as they begin to build their careers and their families.”

For more information about this topic, please see the HHS Issue Brief at
For more information about the JAMA research article released March 7, 2012, please visit Exit disclaimer icon

Monday, March 12, 2012

Want to find something in the CONNECTION archive?

Great news!  The Connection blog now includes a search tool, so you can look up all the articles you may have missed on your favorite topics.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Utah kids unequally affected by dental problems

A recent report by the Utah Department of Health, Oral Health Program shows that in general, Utah kids have healthier teeth than they did five years ago.  However, concerning health disparities still exist:
  • Non-White children are more likely to have cavities than White children.
  • Many areas of the state still lack access to fluoridated water.
  • Hispanic children are more likely to drink unfluoridated bottled water, rather than fluoridated tap water.
for more information, see the complete report.

PCN Open Enrollment March 19-30

PCN covers services for uninsured adults
such as:
• Visits to a primary care provider
• Four prescriptions per month
• Dental exams, cleanings, fillings,
routine x-rays, tooth extractions
• Immunizations
• Routine lab services and x-rays
• Limited coverage of emergency room visits
• Emergency medical transportation
• Birth control methods
Depending on your income, you will pay an
enrollment fee of up to $50 a year.
Apply online or call for an application:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Now in Effect: Affordable Care Act Requirements for Disparities Data Collection

Understanding and Fighting Health Disparities

Effective March 2012
To help understand and reduce persistent health disparities, the law requires any ongoing or new federal health program to collect and report racial, ethnic, and language data. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will use this data to help identify and reduce disparities.

Read more about these new standards.