Friday, September 25, 2015

Mid-life Obesity Linked to Earlier Age of Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease

BMI Caliper
A higher body mass index (BMI) during mid-life is linked to an earlier age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. Analyzing data from cognitively normal adults who later developed Alzheimer’s, researchers found that each unit increase in BMI at age 50 lowered the age when Alzheimer’s symptoms first appeared by six and-a-half months.

The authors also found that a higher BMI at mid-life may be associated with a greater amount of Alzheimer’s-related brain changes. Specifically, higher mid-life BMI was associated with increased levels of tau tangles – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s – even among people who did not develop the disease.

This study adds to the body of scientific evidence linking mid-life obesity and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life. And, it complements the growing scientific consensusthat managing cardiovascular risk factors – such as obesity – can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and possibly dementia. 

Public Health Roadmap E-05The Public Health Road Map, a guide for public health officials to promote cognitive health – which was jointly developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Aging Program and the Alzheimer’s Association – encourages integrating brain health messages into existing prevention and awareness campaigns. Since many cardiovascular risk factors – including obesity – are modifiable, incorporating cognition concerns into existing obesity prevention and control campaigns and/or heart health efforts may not only improve cardiovascular outcomes but also future cognitive decline. 

Some Pregnancy Complications Signal Seven-fold Increase in Risk of Heart Disease Death

September 22, 2015

Pregnancy Events Reveal Cardiovascular Risk

Some Complications Signal Seven-fold Increase in Risk of Heart Disease Death
Women who experience complications during pregnancy may be at greater risk of dying from heart disease later in life than women with uncomplicated pregnancies, according to new research from the Public Health Institute, published yesterday in the American Heart Association’s journalCirculation.
Researchers found that some combinations of pregnancy complications were associated with as much as a seven-fold increase in risk of cardiovascular disease death overall. Other complications were associated with a four- to five-fold higher risk of dying of cardiovascular disease early, before the age of 60.  
“Pregnancy is really a stress test for the cardiovascular system,” said senior study author Barbara A. Cohn, PhD, of the Public Health Institute’s Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) in Berkeley, CA. “And it can be used to identify women at highest risk for cardiovascular disease death so they can receive earlier and more intensive preventive care.”
This large, longitudinal study, which followed women for half a century, confirmed several pregnancy complications associated with cardiovascular disease reported in other studies (pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery and small-for-gestational-age delivery) but also uncovered new risks, finding that cardiovascular death risk increased significantly for combinations of some pregnancy events. It also found that pre-eclampsia in early pregnancy strongly predicts premature death from cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of American women. According to the American Heart Association, 399,503 women died of cardiovascular disease in 2013.
Taking a comprehensive pregnancy history is a low-cost intervention that can make the incredible advances in cardiovascular disease medicine accessible to higher risk women of all ages,” Cohn said. “These risk factors should lead doctors to discuss with these women ways to reduce their risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. By asking women about pregnancy history, doctors might be able to save lives."
The study has already been featured in multiple news outlets, including KQEDCBS, and Live Science.

New Webinar Series: Guide to Successful Grant Proposals

Office of Minority Health

The Office of Minority Health Resource Center is pleased to present a new webinar series designed for community-based, faith-based and other organizations that want to learn the basics of creating successful federal grant applications. 

October 6 at 3:30 pm EDT: Technical Assistance: Foundations of Grant WritingThis introductory webinar, for community-based organizations that want to respond to federal funding opportunity announcements, covers the basics -- from how to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) to the key sections in funding announcements to successful strategies for responding. Register for this webinar.

October 20 at 3:30 pm EDT: Why All the Excitement about Logic Models? 
This webinar provides an overview of logic models and when to use them in both applications and evaluations. The webinar includes how to write specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART)objectives and how to access logic model designs. Logic model templates are provided. Register for this webinar.
A federal funders panel reveals best practices in responding to federal funding announcements. Opportunities for federal funding are identified. Register for this webinar.

November 5 at 3:30 pm EDT: Getting to Know the Federal Government and Funding Opportunities 

Visit for more information about this webinar series and the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.  

New obesity data: How does Utah rank?

Infographic showing the State of Obesity 2015
The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, provides an in depth overview of obesity rates across the country over the past year. Findings underscore the need to continue promoting good nutrition and physical activity for all, especially starting in early childhood.


Based on an analysis of new state-by-state data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, adult obesity rates by state from highest to lowest were:
Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity.
1. Arkansas (35.9%); 2. West Virginia (35.7%); 3. Mississippi (35.5%); 4. Louisiana (34.9%); 5. Alabama (33.5%); 6. Oklahoma (33.0%); 7. Indiana (32.7%); 8. Ohio (32.6)%; 9. North Dakota (32.2%); 10. South Carolina (32.1%); 11. Texas (31.9%); 12. Kentucky (31.6%); 13. Kansas (31.3%); 14. (tie) Tennessee (31.2%) and Wisconsin (31.2%); 16. Iowa (30.9%); 17. (tie) Delaware (30.7%) and Michigan (30.7%); 19. Georgia (30.5%); 20. (tie) Missouri (30.2%) and Nebraska (30.2%) and Pennsylvania (30.2%); 23. South Dakota (29.8%); 24. (tie) Alaska (29.7%) and North Carolina (29.7%); 26. Maryland (29.6%); 27. Wyoming (29.5%); 28. Illinois (29.3%); 29. (tie) Arizona (28.9%) and Idaho (28.9%); 31. Virginia (28.5%); 32. New Mexico (28.4%); 33. Maine (28.2%); 34. Oregon (27.9%); 35. Nevada (27.7%); 36. Minnesota (27.6%); 37. New Hampshire (27.4%); 38. Washington (27.3%); 39. (tie) New York (27.0%) and Rhode Island (27.0%); 41. New Jersey (26.9%); 42. Montana (26.4%); 43. Connecticut (26.3%); 44. Florida (26.2%); 45. Utah (25.7%); 46. Vermont (24.8%); 47. California (24.7%); 48. Massachusetts (23.3%); 49. Hawaii (22.1%); 50. District of Columbia (21.7%); 51. Colorado (21.3%).

View state-by-state adult obesity rates and more  >

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Conversation about Medical Language Interpreters Status in the state of Utah

Dear Community Member:

We invite you to join Senator Luz Escamilla and Representative Rebecca Chavez Houck for a meeting on September 23, from 4 PM 6 PM to discuss the status of Medical Language Interpreters in our state.  We value your dedication and input as we continue to improve the health care services in a culturally and linguistically manner in our state. 

This meeting will be held at the Utah State Capitol Senate Building Copper Room (first floor of the east building in the Capitol Complex). 

To RSVP please contact Sylvie Batchelor: or 801-708-5164.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 - October 15

Asian pacific Family together

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Get the facts on seasonal flu

Thousands of people will get the flu this year in the United States. But by knowing the steps to avoid getting sick, we can have a safer flu season — and you and your family can stay healthy.
How to prevent the flu
The flu is a virus. It can get inside you and make you sick. Flu is spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. It can stay alive on a lot of surfaces.

Wash your hands with soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds, which is about how long it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, headache, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. Call your doctor if you’re very sick or worried about your illness.
The flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t work. You can treat your fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
For some people, the flu can be very dangerous. In fact, the flu causes thousands of deaths every year in the United States, mostly among seniors.

The best way to avoid the flu is by getting your flu vaccination every year. Just because you got a flu shot last year doesn’t mean you’re protected this year. Flu vaccinations protect you from several kinds of flu. And remember: You can’t catch the flu from a flu shot.
Vaccines are available by a nasal spray or injection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months or older get a flu shot each year. But don’t get a flu shot if you have an allergy or other condition that might make it unsafe. Ask your doctor if a flu vaccination is safe for you.
Another easy way to help prevent the spread of flu is by washing your hands. Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth and eyes throughout the day and wash your hands often. 
What are the symptoms of flu? What if I get sick?
If you think you have the flu, help keep your friends and coworkers safe by staying home while you’re sick. Stay away from other people in your house, too, so you don’t get them sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
While you’re home, make sure to get plenty of rest. Drink a lot of fluids. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
What about treatment?
However, your doctor may also prescribe antiviral medications. These medicines slow down the virus inside your body. Antiviral drugs are available through your pharmacist with a prescription from your doctor. Check with your doctor to see if they might be an option for you.
Other supplies you may want to have near you when you are home with the flu include tissues, a wastebasket with a lid and plastic liner, a thermometer, a humidifier and water.
Who is at high risk for flu complications?
Other people at high risk from flu complications are young children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. But people of any age can get very sick from the flu, which is why vaccination is so important.
For more information, visit CDC’s seasonal flu Web page at

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Add health coverage to your back to school list

College Blog Post
Now that school’s back in session, don’t forget about putting one of the most important things on your college must-have list: health coverage. 
Getting health coverage may be easier and cheaper than you think. College student have several options:
  • Health coverage through your college.
  • Staying covered under your parent’s health plan until you turn 26.
  • If you’re under 30, you can buy a Catastrophic health plan to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.
  • You can enroll in a 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace plan starting on November 1, 2015. Most people qualify for financial help to lower premium costs.
  • You may qualify for Medicaid, a combined state and federal program that provides coverage to people with limited income. 
Learn more about health coverage for young adults.
The Team

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

US Surgeon General launches campaign with National Call to Action on Walking

Office of Minority Health

Effort highlights health benefits of walking while addressing barriers to access
The United States Surgeon General today issued a call to action to address major public health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communitiesarticulates the health benefits of walking while addressing the fact that many communities unacceptably lack safe and convenient places for individuals to walk or wheelchair roll.

“Everyone deserves to have a safe place to walk or wheelchair roll. But in too many of our communities, that is not the reality,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General. “We know that an active lifestyle is critical to achieving good overall health. And walking is a simple, effective and affordable way to build physical activity into our lives. That is why we need to step it up as a country ensuring that everyone can choose to walk in their own communities.”

Data consistently show there are safety and accessibility issues that make communities less walkable. A 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, found that 3 out of every 10 Americans reported that no sidewalks existed along any streets in their neighborhood. In many communities violence – and the perception of violence – may prove a barrier to walking.

The Surgeon General calls on community planners and local leaders to create more areas for walking and wheelchair rolling and to prioritize the development of safe routes for children to get to and from schools. The call to action suggests that these designs should include sidewalks, curb cuts, crosswalks, safe crossings for the visually impaired and more green spaces. The Surgeon General further calls on city managers, law enforcement and community and public health leaders to address safety concerns by better maintaining public spaces, working with residents to promote a shared sense of community ownership, ensuring proper street lighting and fostering neighborhood watch programs.

The Surgeon General’s report discusses the health benefits of walking and calls on individuals to make walking a priority in their lives. Fewer than half of all U.S. adults get enough physical activity to reduce their risk of chronic disease, and only a quarter of high school students get the recommended amount. Physical inactivity contributes to heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer, which account for 86 percent of our nation’s health care costs. Building walking into daily life can reduce disease and save money.

“We know that an average of 22 minutes a day of physical activity – such as brisk walking – can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,” added Dr. Murthy. “The key is to get started because even a small first effort can make a big difference in improving the personal health of an individual and the public health of the nation.”

To read the Surgeon General’s Call to Action and learn how to promote walking and walkable communities, please 
And, if you’d like to add a little music to your walks, be sure to check out the Surgeon General’s walking playlist on Pandora at (dropping on 9/9).


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Enrollment for the Marketplace as of June 30, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETitle: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logo - Description: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logo

September 8, 2015

Contact: CMS Media Relations

June 30, 2015 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot
On June 30, 2015, about 9.9 million consumers had effectuated Health Insurance Marketplace coverage – which means those individuals paid their premiums and had an active policy at the end of June.1 These numbers are consistent with HHS’s effectuated enrollment target of 9.1 million for the end of 2015.
Of the approximately 9.9 million consumers nationwide with effectuated Marketplace enrollments at the end of June 2015, about 84 percent, or more than 8.3 million consumers, were receiving an advanced premium tax credit (APTC) to make their premiums more affordable throughout the year. The average APTC for those enrollees who qualified for the financial assistance was $270 per month.2  
There were 7.2 million consumers with effectuated enrollments at the end of June 2015 through the 37 Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces (including State Partnership Marketplaces) and supported State-based Marketplaces (collectively known as states) and 2.7 million through the remaining State-based Marketplaces.3
“Consumers from coast-to-coast are continuing to show how important health coverage is to their families,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Millions of Americans are benefiting from the peace of mind that comes with having quality coverage at a price they can afford as they access coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace.”


Thursday, September 3, 2015

CMS awards $67 million in Affordable Care Act funding to help consumers sign-up for affordable Health Insurance Marketplace coverage in 2016

Title: Official Logo of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - Description: Presented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Communications.
With Marketplace Open Enrollment set to begin on November 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at Awarded to 100 organizations located in 34 states that operate Federally Facilitated Marketplaces, State Partnership Marketplaces, and supported State-Based Marketplaces., the three year-long Marketplace Navigator grants will fuel efforts to help consumers enroll in a health plan that fits their budget and best meets their family’s needs.

“There are a lot of choices when it comes to signing up for health insurance and we want to help make sure consumers feel confident that they’ve picked the right plan,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. "In person assistance from Navigators and assisters has proven to be an incredibly important avenue for consumers to get the right coverage. I'm pleased that Navigators and assisters will be available in even more geographic areas this year."

Of the Navigator grantees awarded for this three-year cycle, 67 are returning grantees, providing stability and continuity for many consumers who have come to rely on the assistance offered by these Navigator grantees both for enrollment and post-enrollment concerns.  While grants could continue for three years, each year, CMS will assess Navigator grantees’ performance for ongoing support.

In addition to Navigators, Marketplaces make other resources available to consumers to help them access Marketplace coverage, such as certified application counselors, non-navigator assistance personnel (also known as in-person assisters), and agents and brokers. Consumers in federally-facilitated and state partnership Marketplaces can visit Find Local Help to find assistance in their area.

Navigators and assisters are trained specialists who provide consumers in their communities with in-person help, answering their questions about their health insurance and financial assistance options and assisting them as they complete their application. Navigators and assisters are knowledgeable about the range of health plans available on as well as other public health insurance programs offered in their state, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The navigator awards announced today will allow organizations to work with consumers for the next three years. 

This year’s Navigator grantees will expand access to local help in many states.  In Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, more counties will be covered by Navigator entities during the Marketplace’s third open enrollment period than during the second open enrollment.  In West Virginia alone, an additional 42 counties will be covered, providing improved access across the state.  These gains will enable more consumers to get the help they need with enrollment. 
For a list of HHS Navigator awardees or more information about Navigators and other Marketplace resources, please visit:
Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake. Anticipated grant amount: $180,656 Counties Served Target Population Box Elder, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, Duschene, Tooele, and Juab counties • Tribal and urban American Indians of the Ute Tribe of the Ouray and Uintah Reservation, the Confederated Tribe of the Goshutes of Ibapah and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake who reside along the Wasatch Front. Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, a 2014 Navigator grantee, will target tribal and urban American Indian (AI) members of the Ute Tribe of the Ouray and Uintah Reservation, the Confederated Tribe of the Goshutes of Ibapah, and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake (UICSL) who reside along the Utah’s Wasatch Front. It plans to build on their experience and implement a community based, health facility/clinic based outreach and one-to-one patient and family enrollment assistance project. 
Utah Health Policy Project. Anticipated grant amount: $740,090 Counties Served Target Population Statewide • Communities include those with income < 200% of the federal poverty level; communities of color; the LGBT community; rural Utahns; and young people age 19-34. The Utah Health Policy Project, a 2013 and 2014 Navigator grantee, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to lasting solutions to the crisis of the uninsured and rising health care costs. The Utah Health 42 | Page Policy Project will lead the Take Care Utah Navigator Hub that will connect nonprofit community-based organizations with resources on health coverage options. UHPP seeks to enhance the work of the past two years as a navigator grantee and build on a successful statewide network for enrollment with a statewide call center and website (2-1-1; by expanding into underserved counties and focusing on communities that are disproportionately uninsured.
Get CMS news at, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter @CMSgov

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshops in Spanish and Available online. Just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015

The DGA 2015 scientific report
National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, 2015. Teach your community about culturally diverse healthy dishes using our Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshops — available in Spanish and English! Order free copies on our website.

Free Performing Arts Festival

A Celebration of Cultural Diversity
Free Performing Arts Festival
Sept 5, 2015 Saturday Festival Program
In cooperation with Downtown Farmers Market, 
Pioneer Park, 350 S 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

9:30 am - Salt Lake Saints Jazz
10 am - Native American Children’s Group Little Feather
10:30 am - Classic Dance Group Children from India
11 am – Zivio Balkan Dance Group
11:30 – Japanese Kenshin Taiko Drummers              
12 pm – Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
12:30pm – Songs & Music from Somalia
1 pm – Eastern Arts
1:30 pm – Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers
2 pm – Mariachi America


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Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Model

The Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Model (MH Model) is currently accepting applications through September 10, 2015. The MH Model uses a randomized-controlled design to identify and test scalable models of care delivery that reduce Cardiovascular Risk. The MH Model offers financial incentives to providers who participate. 

We want to expand the types of practices taking part in the study to include a diverse set of populations. Enroll today to secure your spot in this important study! Act now – space is limited! 

You can also Register Here for our Q&A Session on Thursday, September 3, 2015 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Learn more about the MH Model by visiting our website, listening to an informational webinar, or reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions. You can also call us at 703-894-4399 or email us at mhmodel@cms.hhs.govemail to get your questions answered.

We value your participation in this unique opportunity and want to remind you that:
  • The application process is relatively quick and easy to complete 
  • Participation in this important model represents no new reporting burden 
  • This model of care can help you engage with your patients to improve health outcomes 
  • The model offers financial incentives to participate
In addition, we wanted to let you know that:
  • The American College of Cardiology has endorsed the MH Model – the first of its kind from CMS and the largest test of value-based prevention payment ever conducted. 
  • CMS has awarded NORC at the University of Chicago and its partner Forum One with a contract to help CMS recruit physicians to participate in the MH Model. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Predicted Heart Age and Racial Disparities in Heart Age among U.S. Adults at the State Level
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release a Vital Signs report on “Predicted Heart Age (HA) and Racial Disparities in Heart Age among U.S. Adults at the State Level.” This CDC Vital Signs report shows that for most Americans, their heart age is much higher than their actual age, particularly for men and African Americans. There are also geographic differences in average heart age across states.  Mississippi and Louisiana have the highest heart ages, while Utah and Colorado have the lowest. Heart age provides a new way of framing risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), potentially simplifying communication about CVD risk and facilitating opportunities for healthy lifestyle changes and enhanced adherence to treatment recommendations.

Information will be available at