A $390,000 federal appropriation will support the UT School of Public Health – Brownsville’s Hispanic Health Research Center and its Cameron County Hispanic Health Cohort of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. A press release from UT School of Public Health notes: “These vital funds will allow us to continue this important program dedicated to obtaining accurate information on the health status of people in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, particularly with regard to obesity, diabetes and mental health. It allows us to measure the impact accurately and to gain support for development and implementation of effective community-wide interventions” (Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., regional dean and James H. Steele Professor at the UT School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus).
$390,000 Appropriated for Hispanic Health Research Center
2008 KIDS COUNT Data Available
From the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book is now available. Using the Data Book Online, you can generate custom graphs, maps, ranked lists, and state-by-state profiles; or, download the entire data set. The KIDS COUNT Data Center includes the most recent statistical data available on Education, Employment and Income, Poverty, Health, Basic Demographics, and Youth Risk Factors for the U.S., all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and has data for the 50 largest U.S. cities.
The KIDS COUNT profile of Texas also includes statistics for San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, and Houston. The complete 2008 KIDS COUNT is also available for purchase or download in PDF format.
2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference
The University of Texas Health Science Center Briscoe Library participated in the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference in downtown San Antonio on April 2nd through the 4th. Sponsored by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the conference brings together representatives of law enforcement, border and port security, transportation and cyber security, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, Texas Military Forces, voluntary organizations and private sector partners. Patrick Lemelle, Outreach Library Assistant, and Peg Seger, Head of Outreach Services, provided information and demonstrations on disaster information resources available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
One of the featured NLM programs demonstrated by the Briscoe Library representatives was the WISER program. WISER is an information system designed and maintained by the National Library of Medicine for first responders and all emergency personnel who need critical information at their fingertips.
“WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.”
A free application is available for smart phones and other technical devices and can be acquired at the WISER website: http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/
The conference became all too real this year when up to a dozen tornadoes hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area and emergency management operations were mobilized on the convention floor.
21st Annual San Fernando Health & Safety Fair
The weather was beautiful but an early morning fire in downtown San Antonio caused a delay and some relocation of exhibit tables at the 21st Annual San Fernando Health & Safety Fair. The UT Health Science Center Briscoe library has exhibited at this fair for many years and this year was no exception. In spite of difficult circumstances due to smoke and emergency equipment, over 100 fair attendees visited the library exhibit table to learn about the health information resources provided through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Fair attendees learned how to look up medications and medical conditions on MedlinePlus® and many children were introduced to ToxMystery.
3 pilot sites for the Hispanic Aging Initiative in South Texas
Three areas of South Texas — the San Antonio, McAllen, and Houston metropolitan areas — are among eight areas nationwide to be selected as pilot sites in the US Department of Health and Human Service’s new Hispanic Aging Initiative.
The pilot project is designed “to help communities work together to develop coordinated strategies for improving Hispanic elders’ access to important benefits, including the new Medicare prescription drug and prevention benefits as well as low-cost evidence-based prevention programs . . . and other initiatives that can reduce health disparities”, according to a HHS’s press release.
The year-long “learning network” gets underway at a three-day workshop in Houston later this month. For more information about the Initiative, check out http://www.academyhealth.org/ahrq/elders/
A Pregnant Pause: Reflections on Teen Pregnancy in Our Community
For the second year in a row, the Annie E Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT report for 2007 found that Texas had the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the fifty states. Texas Public Radio News just completed a three-part series looking at aspects of the issue, entitled “A Pregnant Pause: Reflections on Teen Pregnancy in Our Community.”
- Part One (WMA, MP3) looks at the Casey Foundation report and the failed effort to pass Texas House Bill 1842, the Texas Prevention First Act, last legislative session.
- Part Two (WMA, MP3) looks at Project WORTH, the City of San Antonio’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention program, and Big Decisions, an accompanying curriculum designed to help teens make healthy and informed choices about sex.
- Part Three (WMA, MP3) looks at Seton Home, a residential facility for girls aged 12-19 who are pregnant or already mothers, which helps them to proceed with their education and learn parenting skills.
A Study on Coffee Drinking
A wonderful article has appeared on the Medical News Today website. Written by Catharine Paddock, PhD, it dives into some of the questions we all have had about the debate over the value, or hazards of coffee drinking. “There was a time when the only news about coffee and health was how it was bad for the heart, likely to give us ulcers and aggravate our nerves, but now it seems this popular beverage is receiving a more favorable kind of press.”
In the United States, we consume 1.3 metric tons per year, at a rate of 4.2 kg per person. The latest figures for 2012 suggest 65% of American adults drink coffee, placing the beverage “neck and neck with soft drinks”, says the National Coffee Association.
However, the researchers uncovering the good news are all saying the same thing: while there appear to be some health perks from drinking coffee, there are also a few cautions, and the evidence is not solid enough to actively encourage people to go out and drink coffee.
This article takes a good look at the shift in the research view on coffee consumption, touching on some of the key studies, and finishes off with some facts and figures about coffee and caffeine.
Copyright: Medical News Today
Alamo Area Library System Diabetes Presentations
The Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library in Kerrville was the site of a recent diabetes information presentation held for the Alamo Area Library System (AALS). Six AALS libraries started hosting the presentations in March and the presentations are scheduled to conclude during the summer of 2011. The UT Health Science Center Libraries will be presenting programs in the AALS area as well as the South Texas Library System (STLS). Entitled Diabetes Information: How to Find Answers to Your Questions, the presentations are geared for a wide audience in order to promote access to reliable health information through sites such as MedlinePlus® and NIHSeniorHealth®. The Butt-Holdsworth presentation was the last event to take place in the library before the beginning of a major rennovation that will culminate with the library reopening in January of 2012.
Australian study suggests that weight-loss surgery works better than medical therapy in newly diagnosed diabetic patients.
A recent study (JAMA. 2008;299(3):316-323) suggests that weight-loss surgery works much better than standard medical therapy as a treatment for Type II diabetes in obese people. The randomized controlled trial, conducted between December 2002 and December 2006, studied 60 patients with a recent diagnosis of diabetes. Remission of diabetes was achieved in 73% of the patients treated with laparoscopic adjustable gastic banding vs 13% of the patients receiving standard therapy. Study authors recognize that the results need confirmation through larger trials with a more diverse population and with longer term follow-up.