The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season officially began today, June 1st and ends November 30th. To help the citizens of South Texas prepare for storms that might affect the Texas Gulf Coast, several state and county agencies launched ReadySouthTexas.gov. The site includes a sample emergency supply kit, evacuation plans, road and highway closure information, links to local emergency management resources, and more.
Staying Well. Connected.
Are you ready? Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1st
Possible Link Between Vitamin K and Lowered Risk of Diabetes
A possible link between higher intakes of vitamin K and a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes may have been found in a Dutch study. In the study group, those in the top quarter of vitamin K intake had an approximately 20 percent less chance of developing diabetes than those in the lowest quarter. Although not definitive proof, the results should encourage further research into the role of vitamin K in the development of type 2 diabetes. The article “Dietary phylloquinone and menaquinones intake and risk of type 2 diabetes” can be found in the “Online Ahead of Print” section at the Diabetes Care journal site.
South San ISD Tackling Childhood Obesity
South San Independent School District is halfway through a three year program to fight childhood obesity by increasing health knowledge and improving health behavior among its elementary and middle school students. The program, called Proyecto Bienstar, is a diabetes and obesity prevention education program. According to Gary Sadlon, South ISD’s health and physical education coordinator, “The real issue here is prevention. It is an epidemic. It will take a community effort to reduce the youth diabetes issue in the South San Antonio ISD community and some initial results are showing some great progress.”
It is hoped that through a change in knowledge and eating habits, biological markers can then be modified in order to lessen the risk of diabetes and obesity.
JoAnn Fowler, whose son is participating in the program, says . . . “It is a fabulous program and it should be implemented all over the United States. It has offered my son a world of information regarding his well being.”
Two Nonprofits Merge to Meet San Antonio Children’s Mental Health Needs
From guest contributor Sara Villaruel:
SAN ANTONIO – Two of San Antonio’s oldest nonprofit organizations have merged to increase the accessibility of mental health care services for children ages 3-17. Southwest Mental Health Center and Child Guidance Center of San Antonio have now combined their inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment programs to form the new Clarity Child Guidance Center.
“We chose the name Clarity for our new organization because clarity is what we want to bring to anyone looking for answers to a child’s behavioral or emotional problems,” says Fred Hines, Clarity Child Guidance Center president and CEO.
The newly formed organization now has the region’s largest staff of mental health professionals specializing exclusively in the treatment of children and adolescents. The merger creates a $14 million nonprofit agency with over 200 employees.
The mental health treatment center plans to increase access to its services by adding locations throughout Bexar County over the next five years. Currently, Clarity Child Guidance Center has two locations in the South Texas Medical Center area and a satellite office at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Clinic.
“As a unified organization, we are stronger and better able to serve more children with greater efficiency and continuity of care,” says Steven D. Jansma, Clarity Child Guidance Center governing board chair.
Over the next few months, the nonprofit will launch an outreach campaign aimed at increasing awareness of behavioral and emotional challenges children face and reducing the stigma associated with seeking treatment.
Child Guidance Center of San Antonio and Southwest Mental Health Center have merged to form Clarity Child Guidance Center. We exist to transform the lives of children and families. Our treatment centers provide children ages 3-17 in San Antonio and South Texas with compassionate mental health care. Our inpatient and outpatient programs include a range of services including crisis stabilization, psychiatric evaluations, and ongoing therapy. Currently, we have the region’s largest staff of children’s mental health professionals at our two family-friendly campuses and several satellite locations. As a United Way agency, we provide greatly needed mental health care for children who could not otherwise afford to receive treatment. To learn more, please visit our website at www.claritycgc.org or call us at 877.676.KIDS.
Why you should consider organ or tissue donation
Each day, about 74 people receive an organ transplant — but 17 people die because of a critical shortage of organ donors. A single donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 others. Yet, especially in minority communities, donations do not keep pace with need. The Office of Minority Health states: “Successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching of organs between members of the same racial and ethnic group. Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races. Therefore, matches are more likely and more timely when donors and potential recipients are members of the same ethnic background.” (http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=3123) While most organ donations occur at the time of death, kidneys, blood, platelets, and some other tissues can be donated by a living donor. Most major religions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and most branches Judaism consider organ donation to be consistent with their beliefs and tenets.
In addition to the Office of Minority Health, there are many other online resources that can answer questions — and debunk myths — about organ and tissue donations including MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/organdonation.html), the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (http://www.southtexasblood.org/), Donate Life Texas (https://www.donatelifetexas.org/TXDear_Secure/default.aspx), and OrganDonor.gov (http://organdonor.gov/).
You have the power to donate life by signing up today to become an organ, tissue and eye donor.
getHip 2010 kicked off at the annual Texas Library Association Conference at the San Antonio Convention Center on April 14. The half day preconference was a follow up to getHIP 2008, which saw librarians, school nurses, teachers, school administrators, health educators, and health sciences librarians come together to discuss a coordinated approach to school health. This year’s conference aimed to build on the success of getHIP 2008, and by connecting it to the TLA conference, hoped to bring a diverse set of ideas and collaboration from across Texas Libraries.
Dr. Pat Cooper, the Chief Executive Officer of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation in New Orleans, LA, delivered an inspiring keynote address detailing his struggles and accomplishments with improving the school system in McComb, Mississippi. His address detailed the Coordinated School Health Program, a program that Dr. Cooper instituted at the McComb School District and described as “creating a nurturing family within the school system.” The program has had significant success in raising graduation rates, improving the health and well being of students, and providing a nurturing environment conducive to learning.
After Dr. Cooper’s address, a panel of health professionals and librarians from across Texas delivered presentations illustrating their own research and experiences delivering quality and relevant health information to children and families of Texas and promoting health careers among young people. Participants to the conference then had a chance to work in small group workshops and brain storm plans of action for implementing the ideas of the speakers into their own communities.
By bringing together informative presenters and motivated health care professional and librarians, getHIP 2010 has taken a positive step towards providing Texas schools and families with access to the health information and resources they need to make their lives better.
UTHSC librarians introduce Laredo promotores to environmental health resources
On April 1, 2010, UTHSC librarians Linda Levy and Paula Maez participated in a conference held for promotores (community health workers) at the UTHSC Laredo Regional Campus. The “Common Health Stressors on the Tex-Mex Border: The Health Risk, Prevention and Control Workshop” featured a number of speakers who discussed border health issues. Linda and Paula introduced several environmental health and toxicology resources produced by the Specialized Information Services (SIS) division of the National Library (http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro.html), focusing on resources most useful for the public. These resources included MedlinePlus, LactMed, Household Products, the Drug Information Portal, and the Dietary Supplements Labels database, as well as the educational tools ToxTown and Tox Mystery.
San Antonio receives federal grant to fight childhood obesity
San Antonio, where a recent study showed that 30% of children aged eight to ten are obese, has received a 15.6 million dollar federal grant funded through government stimulus money that will be used to fight childhood obesity. The funding, announced on Friday, March 19 and discussed in the San Antonio Express News on March 20, will focus on both increased physical activity and education to make better choices. The funding will be spent to
- Establish the “Active Living Council of San Antonio”
- Implement a “Ride to Own” bicycle fleet program
- Create an Internet-based health and wellness portal
- Train schools to improve physical education and food choices for their students
- Expand the Healthy Menu initiative in area restaurants
- Increase the number of safe crosswalks and intersections
Hispanic Teen Parents and Intimate Partner Violence
Dr. Janna Lesser and others at UTHSC San Antonio recently published a study of teen parents’ experience managing intimate partner violence:
“At a young age they develop strategies to manage violence, but new challenges with violence manifest themselves as they enter into intimate partner relationships. For some of these youth, parenthood is perceived as a transforming experience that offers an opportunity for a positive change in their life trajectory.”
USDA Calls for Apps for Healthy Kids
As part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity, the USDA has launched the Apps for Healthy Kids contest. The contest challenges software developers, game designers and students to develop fun apps and games that motivate children to eat better and be more physically active. For more information about Apps for Healthy Kids, visit: http://www.appsforhealthykids.com/.