Friday, May 27, 2016

New food and menu labels unveiled

New nutrition facts label
5 Reasons to Be Excited for the Changes Coming to Menus and Food Labels

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled big news from the Food and Drug Administration: Consumers will soon begin to see an updated and increasingly useful Nutrition Facts Panel on packaged foods and beverages. This is the first comprehensive overhaul of the label since 1994.
Soon, those little black-and-white charts will inform you of the amount of added sugars in a product, and include a “daily value” to help you understand the maximum amount of added daily sugars recommended by experts. Serving sizes will also be revised to reflect the amounts of products that people typically consume in the real world. And, calorie counts will be listed in a much larger and bolder font to make them easier to spot.

Additionally, late last month, the Food and Drug Administration released final guidance on a rule that will require all food retail chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts for their menu options, and make other nutrition information available to consumers upon request.
If you’re not already excited, here is why these are two pieces of great news:
  1. Nutrition information helps consumers make informed choices. 
    In restaurants without menu labeling, people—especially teens—tend to significantly underestimate the number of calories in their meals, with a quarter of people underestimating by 500 or more calories. Posting calorie countsincreases the percentage of people who see and use calorie information to help them decide what to order.
  2. People want health context for the food they buy. 
    Seventy-seven percent of adults report using the Nutrition Facts Panel to inform purchasing decisions, with half using it “always” or “most of the time.” Most Americans also favor requiring calorie labels on menus in fast food restaurants, sit-down restaurants and prepared food counters in grocery stores, and around a third of people say they do not have enough information to decide if they are making a healthy purchase in any of those places.
  3. People who use nutrition information tend to purchase healthier items.
    King County, Wash., was the second jurisdiction in the nation to implement a menu-labeling law. Eighteen months following implementation, one-third of customers at chain restaurants reported using calorie information to guide their purchase—and they bought meals with 143 fewer calories, on average.
  4. Businesses may start offering healthier items.
    Following the requirement that trans fat be declared on the Nutrition Facts Panel, food companies worked to significantly decrease the trans fat content of their products—and we may see a similar pattern for sugar. As for menu labeling, 18 months after the King County, Wash., requirement was implemented, chain restaurants loweredthe calorie content in their entrees.
  5. The new rules apply to a wide variety of places where people buy food.
    Nutrition Facts Panels are required on nearly all packaged foods, and the menu labeling rule will apply to a broad range of businesses, including fast-food and sit-down restaurants, pizza and other takeout and delivery establishments, supermarkets and convenience stores, cafeterias, movie theaters and more.
Soon, people will have more information than ever to help them decide what food to purchase for themselves and their families—whether in a grocery store, restaurant or other food retail establishment. These changes—changes that reflect this season of growth and renewal—will help foster a Culture of Health for consumers nationwide, and that is great news!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Engaging Limited-English Proficient and Rural Populations with In-Person Assistance

Enroll America released a new issue brief, Making the Connection 2.0: Insights Into In-Person Assistance from the Get Covered Connector. They looked at data from Enroll America’s in-person assistance scheduling tool, the Get Covered Connector, during the third open enrollment period (OE3). The brief has findings on consumers’ behaviors and needs regarding in-person assistance, as well as, for the first time, a look at the success of the Connector at engaging limited-English-proficient and rural populations, two groups that remain uninsured at disproportionately high rates.

They observed that while appointments in non-English languages and non-metro areas made up a small number of appointments offered and completed overall, they have comparatively good key appointment metrics. Notably, appointments in non-English languages and non-metro areas had higher attendance rates (see figure below) as well as enrollment rates that match or exceed other appointments. Together, these findings suggest that in-person assistance appointments are a successful way to engage both of these populations in applying for health coverage, and may be a good tactic for groups trying to reach these populations and connect them to coverage.

Attendance Rates of Scheduled Appointments, Nov. 1, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016attendancerates

It’s worth noting that appointment uptake in non-metro areas (meaning the number of appointments that consumers schedule compared to the number of appointments offered) was lower than in metro areas. The uptake rate did vary within non-metro areas which could mean that there’s room for improvement — whether that’s in raising awareness of the availability of in-person help or adjusting current assistance locations or schedules to better match consumers’ needs.

Want to know more? Check out the full issue brief. Enroll

Monday, May 23, 2016

Webinar: Advancing Preconception Health in Communities

Webinar Presenters:
Sarah Verbiest -, Executive Director, UNC Center for Maternal & Infant Health and Senior Advisor, The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative(PCHHC)Suzanne Woodward, Communications Manager, The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative(PCHHC)
OMH Resource Center logo. blue green and grey lines.
Webinar Title: Advancing Preconception Health in Communities: Launching the First National Consumer Preconception Health Resource & Campaign

Webinar Detail: May 27 @2 pm EDT
The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC), a national public-private partnership of over 70 organizations working to promote preconception wellness and life planning, will be launching Show Your Love, the first national consumer preconception resource and social campaign this summer. Show Your Love encourages young adults and their support systems to show love to themselves, their loved ones, and future families by educating themselves about optimal preconception health practices and taking an active role in their health and wellness. The campaign is designed to activate men and women of reproductive age, who do not wish to enter pregnancy, are undecided, or currently planning to become pregnant.

During this webinar, Sarah and Suzanne will share best practices and key learnings from teaming up with organizations nationwide to launch the first national preconception health resource and campaign. They will introduce the Show Your Love Ambassador Program, which will be launching during the formal campaign launch this summer. Webinar attendees are eligible to nominate themselves or others to join the Ambassador Program.

View Sarah and Suzanne’s bios here: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HHS finalizes rule to improve health equity under the Affordable Care Act

Final rule prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability; enhances language assistance for individuals with limited English proficiency; and protects individuals with disabilities

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued a final rule to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities. Under the rule, individuals are protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping. In addition to implementing Section 1557’s prohibition on sex discrimination, the final rule also enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and helps to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities. The protections in the final rule and Section 1557 regardingindividuals’ rights and the responsibilities of many health insurers, hospitals, and health plans administered by or receiving federal funds from HHS build on existing federal civil rights laws to advance protections for underserved, underinsured, and often excluded populations.

The Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities final rule implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which is the first federal civil rights law to broadly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded health programs. Previously, civil rights laws enforced by HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) broadly barred discrimination based only on race, color, national origin, disability, or age.

“A central goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help all Americans access quality, affordable health care.  Today’s announcement is a key step toward realizing equity within our health care system and reaffirms this Administration's commitment to giving every American access to the health care they deserve," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

The final rule helps consumers who are seeking to understand their rights and clarifies the responsibilities of health care providers and insurers that receive federal funds. The final rule also addresses the responsibilities of issuers that offer plans in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Among other things, the final rule prohibits marketing practices or benefit designs that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The final rule also prohibits discriminatory practices by health care providers, such as hospitals that accept Medicare or doctors who participate in the Medicaid program. 

The final rule prohibits the sex discrimination in health care including by:
  • Requiring that women must be treated equally with men in the health care they receive.  Other provisions of the ACA bar certain types of sex discrimination in insurance, for example by prohibiting women from being charged more than men for coverage.  Under Section 1557, women are protected from discrimination not only in the health coverage they obtain but in the health services they seek from providers. 
  • Prohibiting denial of health care or health coverage based on an individual’s sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.
It also includes important protections for individuals with disabilities and enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency including by:
  • Requiring covered entities to make electronic information and newly constructed or altered facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Requiring covered entities to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency.  Covered entities are also encouraged to develop language access plans.
While the final rule does not resolve whether discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation status alone is a form of sex discrimination under Section 1557, the rule makes clear that OCR will evaluate complaints that allege sex discrimination related to an individual’s sexual orientation to determine if they involve the sorts of stereotyping that can be addressed under 1557. HHS supports prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination as a matter of policy and will continue to monitor legal developments on this issue.

The final rule states that where application of any requirement of the rule would violate applicable Federal statutes protecting religious freedom and conscience, that application will not be required.

For more information about Section 1557, including factsheets on key provisions and frequently asked questions, visit

To learn more about non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, your civil rights, and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on how to file a complaint, visit us

Follow OCR on Twitter at

RWJF funding opportunity

Improving community health seems like it would make good business sense for businesses with a stake in the communities around them—but does it?

We’re looking to better understand how businesses can create healthier communities––both within and beyond corporate walls. We know that investing resources into building healthier communities can be good business, but need to build the evidence base of how and why.

Up to $2 million in funding will be awarded, with individual grants up to $250,000 for studies ranging from 12-28 months.

Submission deadline: June 14, 2016
Learn more about the funding opportunity and register for an informational webinar 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

22nd National Health Equity Research Webcast

22nd nherw graphicPlease join us for the 22nd National Health Equity Research Webcast

Political Power, Policy, and Health Equity
Tuesday, June 7, 20161:30-4:00pm EDT
Presenter panel
·         Malia Villegas, Director, National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center
  • Lydia Camarillo, Vice-President, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)
  • Thomas Ross, President Emeritus, The University of North Carolina, Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC; Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy (Moderator)
This free, interactive session will be broadcast with a live audience in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work and can be viewed over the internet (webcast). Please register (free) to attend in person or view online.

For more information on the speakers, ways to participate, sponsor, or register:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Utah Peer Conference: Recovery Works 2016

Utah Peer Conference

Recovery Works 2016
"Uniting Our Voices"

June 10, 2016
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Lunch provided

Salt Lake Community College Student Center
4600 Redwood Rd, Taylorsville, Utah 84123

PEER is someone who has used mental health or substance use services for themselves or a loved one in Utah. Often PEERS also identify as advocates of improving the behavioral health system.

Register at

Hosted by Latino Behavioral Health Services
Conference will be interpreted in Spanish

Save the Date: First Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition, Sept. 26-27, 2016 , Prior Lake , Minnesota

Seeds of Native Health
A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition

This conference presents a first-of-its-kind opportunity to share knowledge which can lead to improved nutritional outcomes within Native communities.

Tribal leaders, Native and non-Native practitioners, researchers, public health experts, and others are invited to:

  • Exchange Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge
  • Discuss current practices
  • Listen to, connect with, and learn from each other
  • Candidly explore ways to overcome the existing obstacles to greater understanding

Additionally, the conference aims to identify new areas of potential research, practical application, advocacy, and collaboration on Native dietary health and food systems. 

September 26-27, 2016
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Prior Lake, Minnesota

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

RWJF Funding Opportunity

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Science and common sense agree: Kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. But across the U.S.— especially in cities—too many children miss out on the chance to play because of where they live, where they come from or how much their families earn. Play is just too important to a healthy childhood for any kid to be left out. 

Playeverywhere challenge from Kaboom!That's why we're collaborating with Kaboom! to help cities create the spaces and opportunities for kids to play as they grow. The Play Everywhere Challenge is a $1 million, national competition that will award innovative, replicable ideas that make play easy, available and fun for kids and families.

Submit your creative solution to make play a way of life in everyday and unexpected places—sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, open streets and beyond.

May is Lupus Awareness Month

Directors of Health Promotion and Education

May is Lupus Awareness Month

May is Lupus Awareness Month and you can take action in the fight against this cruel and mysterious disease. Lupus is an autoimmune illness that strikes without warning, has unpredictable, sometimes fatal effects, lasts a lifetime, and has no known cause and no known cure. It is pervasive and affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States. Despite its prevalence, nearly two thirds of the public know little or nothing about it. 

DHPE Lupus Education and Awareness Program (LEAP) will host a free lupus webinar entitled, ‘Patient Perspective: Living with Lupus’ from 2:00 PM3:00 PM EST on Tuesday, May 10th. In Observance of National Women’s Health Week, Hetlena Johnson, Lupus Patient Chief Volunteer Officer South Carolina Lupus Foundation of America, will serve as the presenter.

The webinar will provide a patient perspective on living with lupus, discuss how lupus affects the quality of life of someone diagnosed, and explore possible solutions to how a lupus patient can live successfully while living with lupus.All participants may earn 1 CHES Credit.  Register at (Copy and paste into browser if link does not work)

May 10th is World Lupus Day! You are invited to participate in the World Lupus Day Twitter Chat at #Monarcas Lupus Chat at Noon on CST that is hosted by Northwestern University. Then, ten days latercelebrate Put on Purple Day on May 20th by wearing purple and asking your colleagues to do the same. Take a pic of your team in purple and post it to social media with hashtag #dhpePOP and #dhpelupus

Join DHPE LEAP and the Lupus Foundation of America to learn what you can do to help and take action by visiting and  Use #dhpelupus and #LupusAwarenessMonth to contribute to the lupus awareness conversation on social media.

Maternal and Child Health block grant public comment period is now open

Now is your chance to participate in improving the 
health of Utah’s mothers and children!  

Public input is a valued part of the annual Federal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant application process. Take a few minutes to review the proposed MCH program activities for FY2017.  

Provide your ideas, comments, or concerns.  Your input will be carefully considered
for incorporation into the grant.

Please visit the following website and provide your comments:

From May 12 through May 30, 2016.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Medically Complex Children’s Waiver Opens Enrollment

Medically Complex Children’s Waiver Opens Enrollment

Medicaid Program Now Accepting Applications for 75 New Participants

The Utah Department of Health’s Medically Complex Children’s Waiver will open enrollment today and accept applications until Monday, June 6. This program is intended to serve children with disabilities and complex medical conditions, providing them access to respite services, as well as traditional Medicaid services.

During the 2016 General Legislative Session, the waiver was appropriated in additional $1 million to be spent over the next two years. The new funding will provide services to an additional 75 new applicants. Children currently participating in the program will not need to re-apply.

In order to qualify for this program, a child must:
  • Be age 0-18
  • Have three or more specialty physicians
  • Have three or more organ systems involvement
  • Demonstrate a level of medical complexity based on a combination of need for device-based supports, high utilization of medical therapies, and treatments and frequent need for medical intervention
  • Have a disability determined by the State Medical Review Board
The program will accept applications from May 2 through June 6. Applicants will not be selected on a first-come-first-served basis. Once the application period ends, if more applications are received than spots available, UDOH clinical staff will review the applications and base entrance into the program on the highest medical complexity and critical needs of the family, as identified through the application process.

Apply online at or print an application and submit by fax (801-323-1593) or by mail (UDOH, Medically Complex Children’s Waiver, DMHF, PO Box 143112, Salt Lake City, UT 84114). To be considered for the program, applications must be received or post-marked on or before Monday, June 6.

Media Contact:
Kolbi Young
Public Information Specialist
801-538-6847 / 801-231-6350

USDA Releases Final CACFP Rule
The United States Department of Agriculture has released a final rule updating nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program for the first time in more than four decades, requiring more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and fat.

The new rule will take effect October 1, 2017.

Celebrate National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

The first week of May brings National Maternal Mental Health (MMH) Awareness Week.  Join a Utah MMH awareness event including screening the Dark Side of the Full Moon, a health fair with local services and support groups around the valley and a panel after the film at IMC from 5:30-9pm! Please share our FB link with regularity in the next week:

At the film screening we will be honored to have the family of Emily Dyches, the Salem Utah mother who died in February in an accident related to severe perintal mental health complications, joining us and speaking before the film. Emily was a mother of five and her family is working hard through their foundation, Nurture the Light, to bring awareness and improved care to women in Utah.  For more information on their foundation please visit:

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and CDC recently released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), “Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15–19 Years — United States, 2006–2007 and 2013–2014.”

The report highlights that teen birth rates have fallen nearly 50 percent among Hispanic and black teens, dropping the national teen birth rate to an all-time low. While dramatic declines among Hispanic and black teens have helped reduce racial/ethnic gaps, birth rates remain twice as high for these teens nationally compared to white teens, and more than three times as high in some states. Data also highlight the role socioeconomic conditions play, finding that higher unemployment and lower income and education are more common in communities with the highest teen birth rates, regardless of race. Learn more about reducing disparities in teen births.