Focus on Health
The United States (U.S.) health system ranks poorly compared to peer countries. According to a report released this week from the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. health care system ranks last among 11 industrialized countries. The United Kingdom ranks first.
The Centers for Disease Control released a new Vital Signs report titled Adults with Disabilities: Physical Activity Is for Everybody. This report brings light to the fact that only half of adults with disabilities are getting enough physical activity.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates a significant decline in the prevalence of obese children ages two to five years old. From 2003-2004 the obesity prevalence was at 14 percent and decreased to eight percent in 2011-2012, signifying a 43 percent decline according to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently released Prevention Status Reports for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The reports cover ten different public health concerns and offer a three-level rating system to provide assessment policies and practices within the state. A simple framework was used to assemble the reports and includes defining the public health problem, identifying solutions and reporting the status of the solutions for each state.
The Education and Health Initiative, a program of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health has published an issue brief titled “Education: It Matters More to Health than Ever Before.”
The “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013″ report is now available and shows progress in the fight against obesity.
Reducing sodium intake is an important component of creating healthier eating habits and can lower blood pressure which can lead to a decrease in the risk for hypertension. It is estimated that reducing daily sodium intake by 1,200 milligrams can prevent up to 92,000 deaths and save up to $24 billion in health care costs each year, nationally. A brief published by IMPH outlines sodium reduction strategies in SC. Following publication of the brief, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a resolution (H. 3879) to raise awareness of the danger of excessive salt intake to the health of South Carolinians.
The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) has received collaborative funding from The Duke Endowment and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina to enable the development of a health policy fellows program for members of the SC General Assembly. The combined $400,000 award will support the planning and initial offering of the fellows program over the next two years.
The State Alliance for Adolescent Sexual Health in South Carolina (SAASH) recently released a new report, the Call to Action Resource Document, which challenges school leaders, health care providers, policy makers and parents to work together to take immediate action to improve the sexual health and well-being of South Carolina’s youth.
Dr. Lee Pearson, director of operations for IMPH, served on the committee which drafted the report.
In 2010, shortly after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a conversation started in South Carolina to envision ways to improve health for everyone in our state. Under the banner of what was then the SC Public Health Institute, we invited stakeholders with varying interests and opinions to come together and begin the process of understanding the health care reform legislation. For the last two years, that conversation around reform has continued through nine workgroups focused on the key components of the Affordable Care Act.