Health in the News
The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health’s latest issue brief, “A Profile of the Uninsured in South Carolina,” summarizes the newest data on the uninsured released from the American Community Survey at the state, county and congressional district levels. A lack of health insurance is shown to negatively impact the health of individuals. Those without health insurance tend to be sicker and die at an earlier age than those who have health insurance. The uninsured typically lack regular recommended health screenings and preventive services crucial in identifying and preventing chronic diseases.
This year National Public Health Week will be held April 7-13. Sponsored by the American Public Health Association, National Public Health Week brings together communities across the country to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues critical to improving the health of our nation.
IMPH is assisting the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute in promoting the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Nearly every county in the country is ranked on health outcomes (how healthy we are) and on health factors (how healthy we can be). This year’s release includes several new measures.
The South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) released letter of intent guidelines for implementation projects to be conducted between July 1, 2014 and June 15, 2015.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently partnered with the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research to produce a new website called Visualizing Health. Through the project led by Tim Leong, researchers investigated different ways of visually communicating data that is often difficult for a patient to understand. A gallery of images was created for health professionals and researchers to use, modify and build on to communicate health and health care messages.
On Thursday March 6, 2014, Governor Nikki Haley signed a proclamation recognizing the role caregivers play in the lives of the elderly and disabled in South Carolina. The proclamation supports the work of IMPH’s recently established Long-Term Care Taskforce, which is assessing the long-term care system in South Carolina in order to establish a strategic direction that meets the future needs of the system and those it serves.
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 South Carolina Tobacco-Free Collaborative and its partners have released an evaluation of the South Carolina Tobacco Control Plan (2007-2013) and report progress in reducing the use of tobacco in the state. This release is followed by the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking. The report advises the state to spend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended $51 million a year on comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.
The South Carolina Public Health Association has released a call for student abstracts for the annual conference that will be held May 21-22, 2014. The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health will present the highest scoring student abstract with the Outstanding Student Abstract Award of $100.
Eleven members of the South Carolina General Assembly have been recognized as the inaugural class of fellows from the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health’s (IMPH) Health Policy Fellows Program.