Thursday, February 27, 2014

First Look: The FDA's Nutrition Label Gets A Makeover

The proposed Nutrition Facts label on the right has a few subtle differences from the current label on the left including bolder calorie counts and added sugar info.
Old label on the left, new proposed label on the right.

The Obama administration Thursday released its proposed tweaks to the iconic black and white panel that we're all accustomed to seeing on food packages.
The most visible change is that calorie counts are bigger and bolder — to give them greater emphasis.
In addition, serving sizes start to reflect the way most of us really eat. Take, for example, ice cream. The current serving size is a half cup. But who eats that little?

Under the proposed new label, the serving size would become 1 cup. So, when you scoop a bowl of mint chocolate chip, the calorie count that you see on the label will probably be much closer to what you're actually eating.
Another significant change: The new panel will include a separate line for added sugars.

This is aimed at helping consumers distinguish between the sugars that are naturally found in foods (such as the sugar in raisins found in cereal) from the refined sugars that food manufacturers add to their products.
Read more at npr. org

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Request for study participants for research which promotes greater understanding of loss, grief and bereavement

Participants wanted for Suicide Survivor Grief Group Study

Adults who have experienced the death of a close friend or family member by suicide more than 6 months ago and are struggling with grief or experiencing distress are invited to contact Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program to discuss participation in a research study.  For information contact Kathie Supiano or Shawna Rees at 801-585-9522.

Participants wanted for Bereaved Dementia Caregiver Grief Group Study

Adults who have been caregivers for a family member or close friend with dementia, and are struggling with grief or experiencing distress since the death of the person with dementia are invited to contact Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program to discuss participation in a research study.  For information contact Kathie Supiano or Shawna Rees at 801-585-9522.

We are most appreciative of your interest and willingness to pass on these materials to others who might be interested.

Katherine P. Supiano, PhD, LCSW, FT, F-GSA
Associate Professor
Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program

University of Utah College of Nursing
10 South 2000 East room 3640
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

New Service Launched To Track Obamacare Subsidies

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Consumer Reports said Monday they've teamed up to create a website that helps people find out if they qualify for financial assistance when they choose a health plan on one of Obamacare's web-based markets.

Read the story >

Landmark Hispanic study may offer longevity clues

The government’s largest-ever study of Hispanics’ health may help answer why they live longer than other Americans but the first results suggest that for some, the trend might be in jeopardy.

Overall, high rates of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and pre-diabetes were found, especially among older adults. But troubling signs were seen among younger Hispanic adults. They were the least likely to have diabetes under control, and the least likely to eat recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Hispanics from Puerto Rico were among the least healthy, while those from South America, who tend to be more recent arrivals, were among the healthiest.

The landmark study is the most comprehensive effort to document the health of U.S. Hispanics. It has followed more than 16,000 Hispanics aged 18 to 74 since 2008.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute released initial results revealing a diverse group whose health habits depend partly on their age and country of origin.

Mexican-Americans are the largest and oldest Hispanic group nationwide, but there has been more recent growth among Dominicans and those from Central and South America.

Researchers in four cities are documenting prevalence of chronic disease and risk factors, and trying to determine how adopting U.S. lifestyles affects Hispanics’ health. Aviles-Santa said the results may provide a better understanding of what some call the “Hispanic paradox” — longer lives than non-Hispanic white Americans despite some known health risks.

“We’ve never had a study of this magnitude,” said Dr. Martha Daviglus, lead investigator for the study’s Chicago site and a researcher at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “Hispanics and Latinos are underserved and understudied.” She said the results will help communities find better ways to prevent health conditions afflicting different Hispanic populations.

Among the findings:

—High blood pressure affects almost one-third of Cuban-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans, versus one-fifth of those from South America.

—Diabetes affects one in five Puerto Rican-Americans versus 11 percent of South Americans.

—Obesity affects nearly half of Puerto Rican-Americans, versus 30 percent of those from South America.

—One-third of Puerto Rican-Americans are smokers, versus 11 percent of those from the Dominican Republic.

—One-third of all Hispanics aged 18 to 44 have one risk factor for heart disease.

—More than half of Hispanic men aged 45 to 74 eat five or more fruits and vegetables daily, versus about 2 in 5 women of the same age and just 1 in 3 women aged 18 to 44.

Read entire article at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Utah County Schools Earn National Nutrition Honors

PROVO -- Ask kids what their favorite subject is at school and some will joke "recess" or "lunch." There is good reason that lunch should be high on that list. Twenty Utah County elementary schools have earned honors for their nutrition programs.

It's part of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, a voluntary national certification for schools which participate in the National School Lunch Program.

Lunch itself is only part of the challenge. Schools had to show they had improved the quality of the food available and met the dietary guidelines established by the Institute of Medicine. They had to provide nutrition education and have the students participate in physical activity during the school days.

Provo School District had 10 of its 13 elementary schools meet the challenge and earn the bronze medal.

Bill Seidel, the Child Nutrition Coordinator for the district, said the lunch menus were planned with new regulations focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

One of the main challenges is trying to reduce food waste, he said. It takes time for the students to adapt to eating different food. The servers must first make it available to them, then the students take the next step.

"We encourage them to eat it," he said. "Nutrition is only good if you consume it. It is definitely not an overnight thing."

"We pride ourselves on doing a lot of scratch cooking," he said. "It makes better meals."

On their web page, they show some of the schools' efforts to create interesting and attractive food. Sometimes they introduce certain foods to the students and send baskets of that particular food to each class, along with a fact sheet telling about it.

Read entire article at Provo Daily Harold

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Salt Lake City is One of 10 Places Where Health Insurance Costs the Least

Top 10 places with best insurance bargains, ranked by monthly premium:

  • $154: Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • $164: Pittsburgh and Northwestern Pennsylvania
  • $166: Middle Minnesota
  • $167: Tucson, Ariz.
  • $171: Northwestern Minnesota
  • $173: Salt Lake City
  • $176: Hawaii
  • $180: Knoxville, Tenn.
  • $180: Western and North Central Minnesota.
  • $181: Chattanooga, Tenn.

This list was compiled using the monthly silver premiums for a 40-year-old person. The ranking is based on rates listed in federal and state insurance marketplaces and data compiled by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers.

The 10 most expensive regions, ranked by monthly premiums:

  • $483: Colorado Mountain Resort Region. Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties, home of Aspen and Vail ski resorts. Summit County premiums are $462.
  • $461: Southwestern Georgia. Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, Randolph, Schley, Sumter, Terrell and Worth counties.
  • $456: Rural Nevada. Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Elko, Mineral, Pershing, White Pine and Churchill counties.
  • $445: Far western Wisconsin. Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties, across the border from St. Paul, Minn.
  • $423: Southern Georgia. A swath of counties adjacent to the even more expensive Georgia region. Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Clinch, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Early, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Miller, Seminole, Thomas, Tift and Turner counties.
  • $405: Most of Wyoming. All counties except Natrona and Laramie.
  • $399: Southeast Mississippi. George, Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties. In Hancock County, the lowest price plan is $447.
  • $395: Vermont.
  • $383: Fairfield, Conn. The southwestern-most county, which includes many affluent commuter towns for New York City.
  • $381: Alaska.

Content from Kaiser Health News: editorially independent program Kaiser Family Foundation on health news blog.

VISTA Opportunity with Help Me Grow

An AmeriCorps VISTA position is open in South Salt Lake to help with the expansion of Help Me Grow Utah (HMGU) across Salt Lake County. Help Me Grow is a free information line designed to connect families with community resources and information on child development. The VISTA is needed to (1) develop and engage in targeted outreach strategies for Salt Lake County’s diverse population, (2) identify and cultivate outreach opportunities between HMGU and private businesses, (3) conduct research for and populate HMGU’s dynamic resource database, (4) organize Salt Lake networking breakfasts, and (5) increase volunteer involvement with HMGU.

The ideal candidate will be a self-starter who is hard-working, excellent at following instructions, good at creative problem-solving, and thorough. The candidate will also possess superior interpersonal skills and must feel comfortable approaching and interacting with families, community leaders, and health care professionals. Spanish-speaking skills, nonprofit or community outreach experience, and knowledge of child development are highly desirable but not required.

VISTA is needed to start on April 22nd. Position is one year starting with a pre-service orientation in Los Angeles (expenses paid by the VISTA program) from April 22-26th.

-Living Allowance ($946 a month pre-taxes),
-A $5,550 education award or $1,500 cash stipend upon completion of one year

-Health Coverage
-Relocation Allowance
-Childcare assistance, if eligible

-Full-time (40 hours per week) service for one year without school or other work commitments
-Some college experience
-At least 18 years of age
-General office and computer skills 

TO APPLY: Email resume and cover letter to Julie Miller at by Friday, March 21,  2014. An online application with AmeriCorps is also required after the interview process is complete.  

Free, Easy-to-Use Tool Helps People Learn How to Lower the Cost of Plans Offered Through Marketplaces

For the first time, financial help is available to Americans who buy their own health insurance plans-individuals earning up to $45,960 and families of four earning up to $94,200. A new tool from RWJF and Consumer Reports helps consumers to learn if they may be eligible, and describes the various scenarios for receiving the tax credits.

Visit the Health Tax Credit Tool website

Opportunities in the Legal Field - Event for underrepresented students - February 21st

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is pleased to invite you to “Passageways to the Law”.  This program is presented as part of our continuing 
commitment to inform underrepresented high school and college students about opportunities in the legal field. It will be held at the College of 
Law on Friday, February 21, 2014 from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m. 

Passageway participants will have a chance to hear about legal issues, law school life, and the practice of law.  Students will also be able to take part in a mock 
law school class and engage in an admissions workshop. Lunch and parking will be provided and there is no cost to attend. 
 Space, however, is limited and students must register to participate in this program.

To register for the program, please click here. You may also call the College of Law Admissions Office at 801-581-7479 or email   
Students will be enrolled on a first-come-first-served basis so please register as soon as possible.  
Registration will close when the program is filled, or at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bridging the Gap - Medical Interpreters Training course

The Bureau of Epidemiology of the Utah Department of Health will be offering a 5-day “Bridging the Gap” medical interpreter training course in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This training will be held April 28-30 and May 8-9, 2014. 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.  However, participants need to submit a complete application and 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 setting. 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 enclosed application and return it by March 31, 2014.  Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, so, it is critical that only those persons willing to commit to the entire forty-hour course apply.

Applications and additional course information could be found at:

For questions concerning this course, contact Edwin Espinel at or at (801) 538-9480.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Deadline this week: Affordable plans are still available. Enroll by Feb 15.

In Utah, a family of four could pay as little as $122 per month for health coverage. A 27-year-old could pay as little as $95 per month.

We don't want you to miss your opportunity to get affordable health coverage as soon as possible, so we are reaching out.

If you want coverage that will start as early as March 1, 2014, make sure that you complete your application and enroll in a plan by February 15, 2014.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CVS Makes Game-Changing Move in Tobacco Prevention

CVS Caremark announced it will end the sale of all tobacco products in more than 7,600 stores, an unprecedented milestone in our nation's journey toward building a culture of health.
The last fifty years of tobacco control have been an enormous public health success. Since the release of the first Surgeon General's Report on smoking and health in 1964, smoking rates in the United States have dropped by more than half. A new interactive timeline explores progress in reducing smoking rates, with a look ahead at how to achieve a future free from tobacco-related death and disease.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Breastfeeding Health

Here is the first edition of a twice-yearly newsletter by Utah WIC:

ShakeOut: Time to Prepare for Earthquakes

ShakeOut is now less than 3 months away on April 17 at 10:15 a.m. and more than 399,000 Utahns are already registered to participate! 

This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the January 17, 1994 M6.7 Northridge earthquake, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at the time. to watch ground-shaking stories and to find a variety of resources and facts. 

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are a chance to practice getting prepared and how to protect ourselves during big earthquakes like NorthridgeWe are continuing our series of earthquake safety tips (see below) with Step 2:Plan to be Safe.

If you are an organization or school, now is a great time to finalize plans for your ShakeOut drill:

  • Have you notified your participants about your ShakeOut drill date? (Most will participate on April 17 at 10:15 a.m., but your drill can be held anytime within 2 weeks).
  • Have you described or updated your drill plans on your ShakeOutprofile?
  • Will you be playing theShakeOut Drill Broadcastduring your drill?  Be sure to download the recording and test how it plays on your sound system prior to drill day.
  • Will your drill include activities of interest to the news media? If so, please complete our event submission form and your event may be included on our list of media venues.
All participants can also review simple instructions for how to participate that are available for each ShakeOut participation category and for a variety of situations. If you have registered recently, please review previous ShakeOut Update e-mails that you may have missed.

The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

In the coming weeks, we will continue to highlight each of the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, recommendations for what to do before, during, and after earthquakes. Following these steps is an optional aspect of your ShakeOut participation that may improve your preparedness for a big earthquake or other emergencies. 
Icon for Step 2, Plan to be Safe Step 2: Plan to be safe.

Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency. Visit Be Ready Utah for great suggestions about planning for disasters. Here are aspects to consider when planning for earthquakes:
  • Identify safe spots in every room, such as under sturdy desks or tables, or on the ground next to an interior wall away from windows and things that may fall.
  • Earthquakes can start fires, so store a fire extinguisher where it can be easily accessed, and learn how to use it (P.A.S.S. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep).
  • People often cut their feet during or after earthquakes when they get out of bed and walk barefoot on broken glass or other fallen objects. To keep shoes and a flashlight within reach, put them in a bag and tie it to your bedframe or headboard.
  • Access to making long distance phone calls is usually restored first.Choose someone who lives out of the area for everyone in your family to report their status, then learn how to Text First, Talk Secondfrom ShakeOut partner Safe America Foundation.Woman demonstrating what to do in an earthquake while in a wheelchair
  • If you are a person with a disability or need extra help, include your personal support network in your plan and visit for a variety of resources.

  • You may also want to check out last Friday's edition of the Deseret News for a special section on preparing your family for disaster. "When Disaster Hits Home" will be included in every Deseret News on Friday. Copies of "When Disaster Hits Home" will also be available in Emergency Essentials stores in Orem, South Jordan, Murray and Bountiful.
For more about how to plan to be safe, go

Who will ShakeOut with you? 
Join Us for the Largest Earthquake Drill in U.S. History A great way to help your community, your employer, and others to prepare to survive and recover is to encourage them to register to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOutSpread the word at family gatherings, community events, and work meetings, and online via social media. You can also place one of the ShakeOutweb banners on your organization's website, distribute flyers, and use other materials available on the ShakeOut Resources page.

Thank you for your participation in this historic event and for your commitment to disaster preparedness!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Job Opportunity: Bilingual/Spanish Speaking Medical Assistant at Salt Lake County

Job Title: Bilingual/Spanish Speaking Medical Assistant
Salary: Grade 13           $11.49 Hourly          $23,899.20 Annual
or              Grade 15           $12.62 Hourly          $26,249.60 Annual

Opening Date: 01/31/2014     Closing Date: 02/07/2014
Position Type: Full-Time     Work Hours: 40
Department: Human Services            Division: Health-2150000000
Work Location: South Main Clinic - 3690 South Main Street
Important Information:

  • Applicants are required to read, write, and speak English and Spanish fluently. 
  • It is mandatory all new hires receive the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis) vaccine before beginning employment.
  • The mission of the Salt Lake County Health Department is to promote and protect community and environmental health. To help reach their goals and objectives, there is an exciting opportunity for a passionate Medical Assistant in the Clinical Services area.

For more information or to apply go to