Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Healthy People 2020 renews Social Determinants of Health as indicator

Healthy People 2020 highlights the importance of addressing the social determinants of health by including “Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” as one of the four overarching goals for the decade.1 This emphasis is shared by the World Health Organization, whose Commission on Social Determinants of Health in 2008 published the report, Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health.2 The emphasis is also shared by other U.S. health initiatives such as the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities 3 and the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.

Visit the new webpage at

Now Available! The enhanced National CLAS Standards and Blueprint

Today, the Office of Minority Health released The Enhanced National Class Standards and The Blueprint with guidance and implementation strategies.

What are the National CLAS Standards?

The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care(the National CLAS Standards) are intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and health and health care organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Adoption of these Standards will help advance better health and health care in the United States.
The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care: A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice (The Blueprint) is an implementation guide to help you advance and sustain culturally and linguistically appropriate services within your organization. The Blueprint dedicates one chapter to each 15 Standards, with a review of the Standard's purpose, components, and strategies for implementation. In addition, each chapter provides a list of resources that offer additional information and guidance on that Standard.

Health Equity & Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS): How Are They Connected?

Health inequities in our nation are well documented, and the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) is one strategy to help eliminate health inequities. By tailoring services to an individual's culture and language preference, health professionals can help bring about positive health outcomes for diverse populations. The provision of health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and needs of diverse patients can help close the gap in health care outcomes. The pursuit of health equity must remain at the forefront of our efforts; we must always remember that dignity and quality of care are rights of all and not the privileges of a few.

Marketplace Navigators: funding opportunity announcement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of grants to support certain entities in becoming Marketplace Navigators— official resources of consumer information and assistance regarding new public and private coverage options under the ACA. Up to $54 million is available for one-year grants, financed through the Prevention and Public Health Fund. 

Of note for the public health community, the FOA states that at least one Navigator per state must be a “community and consumer focused nonprofit,” which can include “Indian Tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations; State or local human services agencies; and other public or private entities.” Navigators should have experience serving their communities, and will provide information “in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate to diverse communities and accessible to individuals with disabilities.” 

These grants will be available for Navigators in states that have opted for state-federal partnership or federally-facilitated marketplaces (exchanges). States that are establishing their own marketplaces should create their own Navigator programs. Letters of Intent, which are strongly encouraged but not required, are due May 1. Grant proposals are due June 7, and awards will be announced in mid-August. CMS will provide online training for grantees. For more information, visit and search for CFDA # 93.750. CMS is also hosting an informational conference call on Wednesday, April 24 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET (1-877-267-1577, ID# 8100). 

APHA Newsletter 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Options Community Workgroup to Hold First Meeting

What: The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) will host the first Medicaid Expansion Options Community Workgroup meeting to explore options related to the potential expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The workgroup will be charged with collecting input from the community, identifying and analyzing factors beyond financial considerations, and considering alternatives to full expansion or the status quo.

The workgroup will ultimately provide Gov. Gary R. Herbert with a report detailing a full range of options along with key advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Why:  Under the ACA, states have the option of expanding their Medicaid programs to all adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.  If the state decides to expand, the federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs for the first three years.  After that, states would be required to pay a portion of the related costs.  The state would also incur additional administrative costs associated with any potential expansion.
Who: The workgroup is comprised of business, community and government leaders, legislators, advocates for low-income individuals and families, and other stakeholders from the health care industry. 
When:  Tuesday, April 23, 2013
1:30 p.m.

Where: Utah State Capitol 
                Capitol Boardroom (East end of Rotunda)
Medicaid Expansion Options Community Workgroup
Sen. Allen Christensen,Utah State Senate
Sen. Gene Davis,Utah State Senate
Matt Slonaker, Utah Health Policy Project
Wes Smith, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
Pamela Atkison, Community Advocate
Karen Crompton, Voices for Utah Children
Stan Rasmussen, Sutherland Institute
Rod Betit, Utah Hospital Association
Greg Poulsen, Intermountain Healthcare
David Entwistle, University of Utah Health Care
Sen. Todd Weiler, Utah State Senate
Sen. Peter Knudson, Utah State Senate
Michelle McOmber, Utah Medical Association
Alan Pruhs, Association for Utah Community Health
Adam Troup, Utah Association of Counties
David Patton, Utah Department of Health
Michael Hales, Utah Medicaid Director
Kristy Chambers,4th Street Clinic
Royce Van Tassel, Utah Taxpayers’ Association

Public Comment Open for Federal Maternal and Child Health Block Grant

We Need Your Input!
Every year the Utah Department of Health, Division of Family Health and Preparedness submits an application for federal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant funds. Public input is a valued part of the annual MCH Block Grant application process.

The proposed program activities related to the annual health goals for FY 2014 are now available for review and comment.  The proposed activities are listed at the following link:

Please take a few minutes to review and provide your comments. Please feel free to forward on to others you think will have input.  We will accept comments until May 10, 2013.  Thank you for your time and valuable feedback.

Help us improving the health of Utah’s:
· Women
· Mothers
· Infants
· Children
· Adolescents
· Children and youth with special health care needs
· Families
Please visit the following website:

Comments will be accepted from: April 17 - May 10, 2013.

Primary Health Coverage Available for Uninsured Adults

Primary Care Network opens enrollment today

What: Utah’s Primary Care Network (PCN) will open enrollment today.   PCN is a primary preventive health coverage plan for uninsured adults. Benefits include physician services, prescriptions, dental services, eye exams, emergency room visits, birth control, and general preventive services.

Why: Since March 2012, PCN has been closed for enrollment and has not accepted new applications. Beginning today, all uninsured Utah adults may apply online, by mail, or in person to receive primary health care.

Who: 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 $35,325 per year)
- Not qualified for Medicaid
- Have no access to Medicare or Veterans benefits
- Have no access to student health insurance (as full-time students)

When: PCN will be accepting applications:
For adults without children April 22 – May 6.
For parents/caretaker relatives with dependent children April 22 – May 17.

Where:  Apply online at or call the PCN hotline at

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film: Preparing for Disaster Starting Now

This film explains disaster preparedness and includes interviews with victims of a recent fire in Herriman, Utah.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

OHD and KUTV Video about Breastfeeding and the Affordable Care Act

 Breast Feeding and the Affordable Care Act |

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies breastfeed until they are at least one year-old. However, about one out of 3 Utah mothers have already stopped breastfeeding 2-6 months postpartum and racial and ethnic minority groups have even lower breastfeeding rates.

The Affordable Care Act law which is now in place has potential to address many of the barriers to breastfeeding that minority Utahns have described to us, such as:

·        Problems balancing breastfeeding and employment

·        Lack of professional help to address pain and latching problems

·        Expense of breast pumps

Breastfeeding Laws in the Affordable Care Act

Expressing Milk at the Workplace

Break Time for Pumping Milk

·         Employers must allow breastfeeding employees to take breaks to pump breast milk.

·         Employers must accommodate a reasonable amount of break time as frequently as needed by the nursing mother. The frequency of breaks needed to express milk as well as the duration of each break will likely vary. 

·         These federal protections last until the employee’s baby is one year-old.

Space for Pumping Milk

·         Employers must provide breastfeeding employees with a private location to pump, other than the bathroom.

·         Requiring employees to pump in the bathroom is not allowed by the law.

·         Creating a designated room to express milk is one way to comply with the law.  A space that is used for other purposes, such as an office, may also meet this requirement as long as it is available whenever the nursing mom needs it, shielded from view and free from any intrusion from co-workers and the public.

Workplace Exemptions

·         Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be eligible for an exemption if they can demonstrate that compliance causes undue hardship.  Otherwise, they are required to comply.

·         Employees who are exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act are not covered by this law.

Health Insurance Coverage for Breastfeeding Support and Supplies

Lactation Counseling

·         Health plans must cover comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers without co-pays.

Breast Pumps

·          Health plans must cover rental or purchase of breast pumps without co-pays.

  • Rental pumps are hospital-grade electric machines like this one.
  • They are more powerful than a personal pump, collecting milk more quickly and effectively than personal pumps.
  •  It is actually only the motor that is shared.  Each mother must buy her own attachments, which are the parts of the pump that touch a mother’s breasts and milk.  Hospital-grade pumps are designed to prevent contamination across multiple users.

o   Some insurers are giving mothers the option of buying a personal pump instead of renting a hospital-grade pump.

  •  Personal pumps may be manual or powered by electricity or batteries.
  •  Manual pumps do not require batteries or electricity, but many women find it difficult to use them.
  •  Electric and battery-powered pumps are more efficient than manual pumps, but less so than hospital-grade pumps.  They are not designed to last as long as hospital-grade pumps and will wear out over time.  However, they are more portable than hospital-grade pumps.

Health Insurance Exemptions

·         Some health plans that existed prior to health reform are “grandfathered” and not required to offer these breastfeeding supplies and services.

·         Health insurance plans vary in the types of pumps and lactation counseling offered.  Many health plans have rules about preferred providers and distributors or other limitations.  Check with your health plan for details about your coverage.

Video: Supporting LGBT Refugees within Communities of Faith

A Religious Call to Action: Supporting LGBT Refugees within Communities of Faith from Heartland's Rainbow Welcome on Vimeo.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Affordable Health Insurance Enrollment Training to be held on Thursday, April 25

April is national Minority Health Month and in recognition of this year’s theme, Advance Health Equity Now: Uniting our Communities to Bring Health Care Coverage to All, the Utah Dept of Health Office of Health Disparities (OHD) is hosting a training about how to enroll individuals in affordable health insurance.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period begins October 1st, 2013 along with the requirement that all Utahns have health insurance by 2014.

In order to help you and your agency prepare for the road ahead, OHD has invited Randall Serr, Director of Take Care Utah, to provide step-by-step instructions through the enrollment process.  He will be discussing eligibility requirements, necessary documentation, authorization requirements and others items.  The presentation will be held on Thursday, April 25 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Highland Building located at 3760 South Highland Drive in Salt Lake City, in room 425.  

If you or members of your organization serve the underinsured or uninsured, we urge you to take advantage of this free training opportunity. For additional information or to RSVP, contact Christine Espinel at or call 801-273-4137.

Are you ready? Preparing for Disaster, Starting Now

Find out what you and your family can do to make an emergency plan and be prepared for the unexpected. During Utah's Earthquake Preparedness Month the Great Shake-Out, KUED premieres Preparing for Disaster Starting Now on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Immediately following the documentary at 8:00 p.m. is Next Steps-Utah Prepares for Disaster, a half-hour followup program hosted by KUED with local experts. For more information, visit

For more information about preparing for disaster go to .