Thursday, February 21, 2013

Utah Pacific Islander Study published in peer-reviewed journal

A peer-reviewed article about the Utah Department of Health, Office of Health Disparities 2011 Utah Pacific Islander Study has been published in the March issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.


Developing a Multilingual Questionnaire and Surname List to Sample Utah Pacific Islanders

Bennett, April Young MPA; Friedrichs, Michael MS; Nickerson, Marilynn MPA; Díez, Dulce MPH, MCHES

Context: Analyses of Utah vital records indicated that Utah Pacific Islanders had unique health problems that merited further investigation through a behavioral survey. However, statewide surveys did not reach a large enough sample of Pacific Islanders and were not administered in Samoan or Tongan.
Objective: The authors sought to complete a surveillance study of Utah Pacific Islanders.
Design: The authors created a surname list on the basis of names of parents who identified themselves as Pacific Islanders on Utah birth certificates. A questionnaire was developed with input of local Pacific Islanders and administered in English, Samoan, and Tongan.
Setting: Utah.
Participants: We interviewed 605 adult Utah Pacific Islanders.
Results: The Utah Pacific Islander Survey (UPIS) generated estimates of health status among Utah Pacific Islanders with smaller confidence intervals than those derived from the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), even when combining 6 years of BRFSS data. Standard errors were less than half the value of the BRFSS estimates in all cases. The UPIS estimated higher rates than the BRFSS for Pacific Islander diabetes, obesity, and male arthritis. Respondents interviewed in Samoan or Tongan had higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Conclusions: The UPIS identified significant health disparities among the Utah Pacific Islander population that warrant public health intervention, such as high rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure and low rates of preventive screening. The UPIS estimates of Utah Pacific Islander health status are more precise than those acquired by the BRFSS, establishing strong baseline data that can be used to measure the success of interventions targeting these disparities.

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
March/April 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p E25–E31
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318252ee60

Utah Income and Education Disparities

Articles by the Office of Health Disparities in two recent Utah Health Status Updates highlight health disparities by income and education.  See the complete reports here:

2012 Utah Statewide Health Status Report

This report was developed based on IBIS to inform the Statewide Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), a strategic planning effort by the Utah Department of Health and Utah's 12 local health departments. It provides summary tables to easily show where local measures differ from the overall state measures. The report also includes information about Healthy People 2020 and at-risk populations.

We also have linked to the new report in the Data and Reports and County Health and Demographics sections of our website.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OHD Free Training: Me or We? Understanding your Client's Perspective for Health Workers

Office of Health Disparities presents

Me or We? Understanding your Client’s Perspective

for Health Workers

Join us as we explore how two global views of self, individualism and collectivism, may influence personal interactions and client services in health care. This may be especially relevant as many immigrant groups in the U.S. are often collectivistic whereas the U.S. is individualistic.

When: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Where: 3760 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah in the 3rd Floor Auditorium.  
Free parking available around the building.

RSVP Requested: Contact Christine Espinel at or 801-273-4137.

Presented by Moisés Próspero, PhD. MBA

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Job Opportunity: Medical Billing and Interpreter Coordinator

Location:Catholic Community Services of Utah, 745 E. 300 S., Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Status: Full-time, Non-exempt
Salary: $12-$14.50/hour DOE
Job Description: Oversee, manage, hire, and supervise Medical Interpreters.   Manage all record keeping and billing aspects of Health Services. Perform other duties as assigned by Medical Services Supervisor.
Responsibilities include:

  • Coordinates with Human Resources and Refugee Resettlement Director in the interviewing, hiring, training and supervision of Medical Interpreters.
  • Ensures accuracy of paperwork of Interpreters including time sheets, Medicaid billing forms and client Medicaid coverage.
  • Works closely with health insurance companies and health care providers and make sure that all claims are processed and paid on time. Review unpaid or denied claims and resubmit on a timely basis.
  • Coordinates dental benefits and appointments for all the refugee clients while understanding and complying with a dental grant.
  • Works closely with interpreters in coordinating medical appointments, client care, and payroll.
  • Assists Director with administrative duties as necessary.
  • Other duties as may be assigned.
Skills, knowledge and abilities:
  • Work independently in a safe and appropriate manner.  Demonstrates both problem solving and problem prevention.
  • Be able to be sensitive to the needs of clients, client’s families, visitors, co-workers, volunteers, and other persons with whom the employee may interact.
  • Recognizes time as a valuable resource and responds promptly to needs of clients, and co-workers.  Consistently performs work assignments in a time-efficient manner.  Adheres to deadlines.
  • Understanding of the core service requirements for newly arrived refugees and the special medical needs.
  • Knowledge of Health Care Service Provider Network capable of handling special needs of refugees.
  • Proficiency in English oral and written communication.
  • Must maintain confidentiality regarding clients.
  • Familiarity with medical billing processes.
  • Proficiency in computer skills to maintain case files, complete documentation, scheduling and e-mail in Outlook.
  • Availability of an automobile with proof of current driver’s license and auto insurance.
  • Personal qualities of openness and respect for co-workers and clients, compassion, graciousness in helping clients to assess and to face their situations and to accept assistance.
Education, training and or experience:  
  • Bachelor’s Degree or at least two years’ experience in a related field.
  • Computer literacy, Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite applications especially Excel and Word, Internet and e-mail.
  • Familiar with and supportive of the mission of Catholic Community Services of Utah and the Vision of the Catholic Church articulated by the diocesan bishop.
DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: This job description lists typical examples of work and is not intended to include every job duty and responsibility specific to a position.  The employer reserves the right to change or assign other duties to this position.

CCS manages Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services, Basic Needs Services and Treatment Services programs – all aimed at helping people regain their lives. Join a great teamand make a difference by helping to serve those most in need in our community.

CCS is an equal opportunity employer.
To apply:  Please go the company website: and apply under the employment tab.
Position closes:  When Filled Requisition #:  13.2.1

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Now in Effect: ACA Primary Care Provisions

Improving Preventive Health Coverage

Effective January 1, 2013
To expand the number of Americans receiving preventive care, the law provides new funding to state Medicaid programs that choose to cover preventive services for patients at little or no cost.

Increasing Medicaid Payments for Primary Care Doctors

Effective January 1, 2013
As Medicaid programs and providers prepare to cover more patients in 2014, the Act requires states to pay primary care physicians no less than 100% of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014 for primary care services. The increase is fully funded by the federal government.

Expanded Authority to Bundle Payments

Effective no later than January 1, 2013.
The law establishes a national pilot program to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other providers to work together to improve the coordination and quality of patient care.  Under payment “bundling,” hospitals, doctors, and providers are paid a flat rate for an episode of care rather than the current fragmented system where each service or test or bundles of items or services are billed separately to Medicare. For example, instead of a surgical procedure generating multiple claims from multiple providers, the entire team is compensated with a “bundled” payment that provides incentives to deliver health care services more efficiently while maintaining or improving quality of care. It aligns the incentives of those delivering care, and savings are shared between providers and the Medicare program.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Funding Opportunity: Improving Nursing Workforce Diversity

HRSA, Division of Nursing, Nursing Workforce Diversity FOA 

The purpose of this FOA is to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among registered nurses. The program supports projects that provide student stipends or scholarships, stipends for diploma or associate degree nurses to enter a bridge or degree completion program, student scholarships or stipends for accelerated nursing degree programs, pre-entry preparation, advanced education preparation, and retention activities.

Eligible applicants are accredited schools of nursing, nursing centers, academic health centers, state or local governments, and other private or public entities that the Secretary determines are appropriate, including faith-based and community-based organizations, and tribes and tribal organizations.

Here is the link to the announcement titled Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) available at;jsessionid=JvlcQvvJlmxPVQyyv0H2P2JrRcGJ1yvfHxQL5bLGJ3TlP4D9TfJT!-2129049045?oppId=214973&mode=VIEW.

2nd Annual Workplace Safety Seminar

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

USDA Aims for Healthier Snacks and Drinks in Schools

Proposed Standards are First Update in More Than 30 Years
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed updated nutrition standards for school snack foods and beverages. The first update since 1979, the proposed standards aim to help schools provide healthier fare in vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, and other places where foods and beverages are offered outside of the school meals program.

Currently, many of the snack foods and beverages sold in schools are high in calories, fat, and sugar and offer few nutrients. Notably, the proposed standards call for schools to offer more snacks with whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, or vegetables as their main ingredient. If implemented, the proposed standards would improve the nutritional quality of the snacks and beverages available to tens of millions of students before, during, and after the school day. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed USDA to update the standards for all foods and beverages sold in schools throughout the school campus during the school day. USDA finalized regulations for school meals in January 2012.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Monday, February 4, 2013

UDOH Launches New Self-reporting Food Complaint Website

Next time you think something you ate may have made you sick, you’re encouraged to visit the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) food-related illness website, online self-reporting system allows the general public to report illnesses that may be related to food they consumed at home, in a restaurant, or at a group gathering, etc.  

The system was developed to make it faster and easier for the general public to securely notify Utah public health professionals of potential foodborne illnesses and relevant exposures. “Rapid detection of foodborne illnesses and identifying common sources are essential to timely investigation and reducing foodborne outbreaks,” said Allyn Nakashima, M.D., State Epidemiologist. The web-based reporting system is designed to capture data from anyone who is ill and experiencing symptoms of foodborne illness, since not everyone who becomes sick chooses to see a doctor.

All information submitted by users is confidential and will automatically be sent to the appropriate local health department. The information will be used by public health to determine whether food caused the reported illness and where the food may have originated. The sooner public health can receive the information and the more people they hear from, the more likely it is public health is to detect an outbreak, launch an investigation and stop it from spreading.

At, users can watch a brief video showing how the system works and complete a form indicating where food was consumed, what was eaten, and other potential high-risk exposures during the time period just before becoming ill. The website can be used whether a person lives in Utah, visited Utah, or traveled through Utah before getting sick. Health care providers who see patients with complaints of diarrhea and vomiting are encouraged to refer them to this website.

Foodborne illnesses can be serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that foodborne microorganisms cause 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year.

Food can become contaminated when it is undercooked, improperly washed, or accidentally contaminated during harvesting or preparation. It can contain bacteria, viruses, or toxins. Contamination can happen before food reaches a grocery store right up until serving time. And, it’s possible for food to make a person sick even if it looks or tastes just fine.

Foodborne bacteria, viruses, and toxins can cause infections in the stomach and intestines that can lead to symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever. Sometimes, foodborne illnesses can have more serious complications such as kidney failure, reactive arthritis (RA), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and sepsis (infection of the blood). They can be expensive if you have to miss work, school, or need to stay in the hospital.

For these reasons, public health officials encourage anyone who may have contracted a foodborne illness to use website to report their symptoms. Consumers can play an important role in reducing their risk of foodborne illnesses.

For more information about or foodborne illnesses, contact the Bureau of Epidemiology at 801-538-6191.