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— Pablo


View local, state and national health news and explore articles that pertain to Pima County's health priority areas.

Needle exchange programs are a deeply needed response to Arizona’s drug overdose crisis

Advocates Urge Arizona Gov. Ducey To Legalize Needle Exchanges

December 24, 2018

Public health advocates are urging Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to legalize needle exchange programs. A letter delivered to the governor’s office this week says it’s a deeply needed response to the state’s drug overdose crisis.

Addiction Haven is also asking anyone impacted by substance use or care about harm reduction and recovery to join them on February 4th at the State Capitol to educate representatives on addiction, recovery, and harm reduction. Learn more HERE.

Read the full article at:

Government Shutdown to Not Affect AZ WIC & SNAP.

Government Shutdown to Not Affect AZ WIC/SNAP

December 21, 2018

Federal funding for several federal agencies and programs expired on Saturday but Arizona WIC and SNAP will continue to issue benefits and provide services as normal in Arizona. WIC participants can still use their eWIC card and go to the WIC office. For questions or to schedule an appointment please contact a local WIC clinic or use the EZ WIC app clinic search feature.

The Child Nutrition (CN) Programs, including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will also continue operations into February.

A list of shutdown plans by USDA agency and office can be found here.  Note that the National Finance Center information can be found on pages 7 to 9 of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) document on that page.

2019 Standards of Care and the 2019 Abridged Standards of Care just released by the ADA.

2019 ADA Guidelines Now Available

December, 17 2018

Today, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published the new 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the global standard for diabetes care. Produced annually by the ADA since 1989, the Standards of Care is the primary resource to ensure personalized diabetes care focused on improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Notable updates include more treatment algorithms to provide decision support for individualized care and a new section focused on diabetes technology including recommendations.

View the new report at:

New report with the current state of complex care and recommendations for the future released today

Blueprint for Complex Care

December 11, 2018

The National Center just released a free report titled: The Blueprint for Complex Care. The Blueprint provides a strategic plan to support multidisciplinary innovations and accelerate opportunities to improve care for individuals with complex health and social needs. It outlines strategies for:

  • Developing a shared identity

  • Codifying standards

  • Building a collective knowledge base

  • Bolstering leadership and grassroots support

  • Solidifying sustainable funding and effective policies

View the report at:

Type 1 diabetes groups protest against rising insulin prices

'We're Fighting For Our Lives': Patients Protest Sky-High Insulin Prices

December 10, 2018

The cost of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013 and has doubled again since then. The list price is over $300 for a single vial of medicine, and most people with Type 1 diabetes need multiple vials every month to live. That cost is typically lower with insurance or with discount programs. Still, for some people the price is unmanageable. Activist groups are protesting around the state and pushing for the same thing — to make the voices of people with diabetes heard.

Read the Op-Ed article at:

New digital health system that integrates a user’s phone with a glucose monitor for individuals with diabetes.

FDA clears glucose monitor for smartphone

December 10, 2018

The FDA cleared POPS! Diabetes Care new blood glucose monitoring system this week, which pairs a digital app with a portable monitor. The POPS! one Blood Glucose Monitoring System, according to the company, is designed to enable people with diabetes to more easily manage their condition. The system consists of a device that can (optionally) stick to the back of your smartphone. It is used to take readings, which are immediately shared with and displayed on the phone. A coaching app is provided that can be used to analyze the readings and help get blood sugar levels under control.

Read the full article at: MedGaget

Online training series for healthcare providers with free credits

Guideline for Prescribing Opioids with Free CEU, CNE and CEU Credits

December 8, 2018

CDC launched two new opioid trainings that support providers in safer prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. The modules are part of a series of interactive online trainings that feature recommendations from the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The seventh module, Determining Whether to Initiate Opioids for Chronic Pain, helps providers identify and consider important patient factors when starting or continuing opioid therapy, while the eighth module, Implementing CDC’s Opioid Prescribing Guideline into Clinical Practice, walks providers through a quality improvement (QI) process using a set of 16 clinical measures outlined in the Quality Improvement and Care Coordination: Implementing the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Both modules include clinical scenarios and tools and a resource library to enhance learning.

View the trainings at:

Statewide report suggests that while vaping and bullying through social media have increased, most other high-risk behaviors are either declining or holding steady.

Most kids don’t do drugs, but half have witnessed violence

December 7, 2018

Results from the new 2018 Arizona Youth Survey Report concluded that about 52% of teens don’t feel connected to school, the community and even their families. Moreover, 55% said teens get rewarded for their anti-social behavior, usually in the form of admiration and respect from their peers. The study said about a third of students have behavior “risk factors” that increase the odds they’ll get into trouble. On the other hand, 70% have “protective” experiences, like praise and rewards for doing well in school and pro-social involvement. Two-thirds report a strong belief in a moral order — with a clear distinction between right and wrong.

Read the full article at:

Arizona Youth Survey Data for 2018 released today

Arizona Youth Survey Data for 2018 Released

December 3, 2018

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission released the results of a statewide survey that included more than 48,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades from all 15 counties across Arizona. The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) is the primary vehicle used in Arizona to collect data and provide one of the most in-depth and comprehensive looks at youth risks and behaviors in Arizona.

View the new 2018 data at:

Provide your feedback by 1/17/19 to shape the mission, vision, and goals of Healthy People 2030!

Help Shape the Next Decade of Healthy People — Submit Your Comments

December 3, 2018

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments on the proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. The public comment period will be open from December 3, 2018 through January 17, 2019. You are invited to review and comment on the proposed objectives, and you may also propose additional objectives for consideration.

Read the full article and comment at:

It’s striking to see that there are more people who died of overdose in 2017 than at the peak of the HIV epidemic or the highest rates of traffic fatalities that we’ve seen in this country
— Kathryn McHugh of Harvard Medical School

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops Amid 'Disturbing' Rise In Overdoses And Suicides

November 28, 2018

For the second time in three years, life expectancy in the U.S. has ticked downward. In three reports issued Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid out a series of statistics that revealed some troubling trend lines — including rapidly increasing rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide.

Read the full article at:

New resource center that shares tools and strategies from trauma-informed care leaders across the country

New Resource Center Dedicated to Helping Providers Address the Health Effects of Trauma

November 25, 2018

New Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center website developed by the Center for Health Care Strategies with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, offers a one-stop information hub for health care providers and other stakeholders interested in implementing trauma-informed care.

View the new site at:

Pima County zoning amendment for medical marijuana in certain zones.

County to allow medical marijuana cultivation in additional zones

November 27, 2018

The Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Nov. 20, approved a zoning amendment to allow designated medical marijuana caregivers to cultivate medical marijuana in certain zones.

Read the full article at:

No states have experienced declines in their diabetes rates since ‘08-‘09

Diabetes Rates Rise in 18 States in Past Decade

November 13, 2018

The percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives has risen in 18 U.S. states in less than a decade, including Arizona. Story Highlights:

  • No states have experienced declines in their diabetes rates since '08-'09

  • Obesity has climbed in 34 states over same period while declining in none

  • Rising diabetes linked to rising obesity among states

Read the full article at:

Federal government announces new physical fitness guidelines; fewer than one in three Americans meet standards.

HHS Releases 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

November 12, 2018

The United States currently has low levels of adherence to the guidelines -- only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents meet the recommendations. According to the guidelines, these low levels of physical activity among Americans have health and economic consequences for the nation, with nearly $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attributable to failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity recommended in the guidelines.

Read the press release at:

Read the new guidelines at:

Three tools for opioid-dependent babies: Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool; Eat, Sleep, Console; and SNOO.

Promising New Treatments for Opioid-Dependent Babies

November 11, 2018

The Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool consists of a comprehensive list of observable newborn withdrawal symptoms. Hospital staff, usually treating nurses,observe the babies every four hours and tally up the number of listed symptoms they observe. Finnegan puts out a training manual, and gives recommendations for the care of infants include swaddling, non-nutritive sucking, decreased stimulation, and plenty of access to mom. Another promising new tool for treating NAS is called SNOO and another is: “Eat, Sleep, Console.”

Read the Op Ed at: TheFix

$225 million to be spent on Tucson park and trail improvements over the next 10 years

Proposition 407 (Parks + Connections Bond): Passed

November 7, 2018

Voters approved Prop 407 which means $225 million in general obligation bonds will be used to improve parks in the city of Tucson over the next 10 years. Prop 407 will provide improvements to 100 of the city’s 128 parks along with new pedestrian and bike paths. Some of the funds will be set aside for aquatic facilities and improvements to recreational centers, sports fields and lighting. The city will also be building three new parks. The program will be implemented in three phases. The first from 2020 to 2022, the second from 2023 to 2025, and the third from 2026 to 2028.

Read more at: The City of Tucson

Health care providers should inquire about psychosocial stressors as part of their assessment of diabetes risk

Stress may increase Type 2 diabetes risk in women

November 6, 2018

A new study being presented on Nov. 10 at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago, found that mounting stress from traumatic events, as well as long-term situations at home or work, was associated with an almost two-fold higher risk of new type 2 diabetes cases among older women.

"From a public health perspective, health care providers should inquire about psychosocial stressors as part of their assessment of diabetes risee" - Dr. Michelle A. Albert, the study's senior author.

Read the full article at: Health Daily

Upstream social factors, like neighborhood conditions, can have a profound impact on mental health

Community Development Innovation Review

October, 2018

Community Development Innovation Review published a free issue dedicated to the topic of mental health and community development. It advances the healthy communities conversation by explicitly recognizing the relationship between mental health and physical health as well as the role social factors play in both aspects of overall well-being. Click here to read the issues.

For more information and to download the issues: Federal Reserve Bank of SF

New initiatives, programs and organizations played a pivotal role in getting people off the street and back on their feet in Tucson and Pima County.

Tucson, Pima County echo national decrease in homelessness

October 25, 2018

According to Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH), Pima County is experiencing its lowest homeless population since 2012. As of January, TPCH reported 363 people sleeping outside or in uninhabitable places, and 1,017  sleeping in shelters and transitional homes. Poor mental health, economic hardship, domestic violence and drug addiction can cause homelessness. TPCH reported that 55 percent of Tucson’s homeless population suffer from mental illness and a majority of homeless women are victims of domestic violence, as well.

Read the full article at: Arizona Sonora News

32 different STAND coalitions throughout AZ are working with city councils to develop ordinances and educate fellow peers on the dangers of e-cigs and tobacco use

Use of e-cigarettes by teens is Arizona health officials’ top priority

October 19, 2018
Last year, about 3.6 million high school and middle school students said they had used at least one kind of tobacco product in the previous 30 days with e-cigarettes being the most-used tobacco product, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. STAND – Students Taking a New Direction – was created about six years ago to address tobacco use among Arizona youth and has been refocused toward vaping for roughly a year.

View the full report at: KTAR NEWS

USDA Launches Interactive Data Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

New Community Assessment Tool Empowers Rural Leaders to Make Data-Driven Decisions to Build Resilient Communities

October 4, 2018

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an interactive data tool to help community leaders build grassroots strategies to address the opioid epidemic. The Community Assessment Tool is free and available to the public. It can be accessed on USDA’s Rural Opioid Misuse Webpage or at

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

Justice Department is Awarding Almost $320 Million to Combat Opioid Crisis

Justice Department allocates $319M+ to fight opioid epidemic

October 2, 2018

The Department of Justice will distribute almost $320 million to support individuals affected by opioid-related crimes. The department announced the funding Oct. 1 to mark the first day of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. The department's Office of Justice Programs will distribute the $319.6 million among the following opioid programs across the country:

  • Innovative Prosecution Solutions for Combating Violent Crime and Opioid Abuse — $2.8 million

  • Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program — $162 million

  • Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program — $5.9 million

  • Helping Children and Youth Impacted by Opioids — $46.6 million

  • Drug Courts — $81.2 million

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program — $17 million

  • Opioid-Related Research for Criminal Justice Purposes — $4.1 million

Read the full article at: US Department of Justice


About 44% of falls occur inside the home.

How the elderly can avoid one of old age's most dangerous events

September 21, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four older adults will fall each year. The good news is that most falls are preventable, research has identified many modifiable risk factors for falls, and older adults can empower themselves to reduce their falls risks. This means there are opportunities to intervene in clinical and community settings to promote protective behaviors and improve safety.

Read the full article at: The Conversation

FDA Chief Considers Ban of Flavored E-Cigarettes

The FDA Is Considering Pulling Some Flavored E-Cigarettes From the Market to Fight 'Epidemic' of Youth Vaping

September 12, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving vaping companies 60 days to figure out how to reverse what it’s calling an epidemic of youth usage, or risk having some of their products potentially pulled from the market.

This is the latest in a series of steps the FDA is taking to limit children’s use of e-cigarettes, which has “reached an epidemic proportion” in the U.S., FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced Wednesday. The agency may also ban sales of some flavored e-cigarette products, which Gottlieb says are particularly appealing to underage users, and consider shortening a grace period that currently gives e-cigarette companies until 2022 to apply for FDA approval.

Read the full press release at:

Only about 15 of 180 American medical programs teach addiction as including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs

Most Doctors Are Ill-Equipped to Deal With the Opioid Epidemic. Few Medical Schools Teach Addiction

September 10, 2018

How can a doctor win over a patient who fears being judged? How to determine whether the patient’s demand for opioids is a response to dependence or pain? While most medical schools now offer some education about opioids, only about 15 of 180 American programs teach addiction as including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Read the full article at: NY Times

Studies find injection sites avert deaths from drug use

What's The Evidence That Supervised Drug Injection Sites Save Lives?

September 7, 2018

As drug-related deaths rise to record numbers, at least a dozen U.S. cities are considering opening supervised injection sites, where people can use illicit drugs with trained staff present, ready to respond in case of an overdose. A 2014 review of 75 studies concluded such places promote safer injection conditions, reduce overdoses and increase access to health services. Supervised injection sites were associated with less outdoor drug use, and they did not appear to have any negative impacts on crime or drug use.

Read the full article at: NPR

Students who feel connected to their school are more likely to succeed academically, have better attendance, and are less likely to engage in risky or violent behavior

Creating Safe and Supportive Schools: 5 Promising Areas for Policy Change

September 4, 2018

A positive school climate is the cornerstone of a healthy, safe, and nurturing learning environment. To improve school climate, we need to meaningfully examine and address policies and practices that harm or alienate young people or that do not go far enough to advance health equity. This blog post highlights 5 areas in which promising legal and policy levers can transform school climate and promote healthy development of the whole child.

View the full article at: ChangeLab Solutions

TMC claims opioid manufacturers aggressively pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction

Tucson Medical Center files suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors

August 22, 2018

Tucson Medical Center (TMC) today filed the first hospital action in Arizona against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The suit, filed in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima, names 25 manufacturing/marketing defendants and six distributor defendants related to the companies’ alleged deceptive marketing, distribution and sale of opioids. 

Read the press release at: TMC Communications

Smoking among youth has dropped by 50% since 1991

New data show that more youth today have healthier behaviors than 25 years ago

August 16, 2018

While there are a handful of disappointing trends (e.g., increases in obesity and time spent gaming, and decreases in sleep and consumption of vegetables), more youth today than ever before report wearing seatbelts, and fewer report that they smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, take drugs, have sex, and do these things in combination.

Read the full article at: Child Trends

80% of opioid users start by using drugs not prescribed to them.
— NHS on Drug Use & Health

What The Media Gets Wrong About Opioids

August 15, 2018

The story most journalists and editors tell about opioid use does not accurately characterize the most common story of opioid addiction. Most opioid patients never get addicted and most people who do get addicted didn’t start their opioid addiction with a doctor’s prescription. The result of this skewed public conversation around opioids has been policies focused relentlessly on cutting prescriptions, without regard for providing alternative treatment for either pain or addiction.

Read the full article at: Columbia Journalism Review

The field of police-community relations offers social workers many opportunities to get involved.

How Social Workers Improve Relationships Between Police and Communities

August 14, 2018

Social workers at the USC are stepping in to help with a new program that places interns in police departments where they can help officers address social issues that affect local communities. The partnership aims to build internship and workforce development opportunities for the school’s graduates.

Read the full article at: USC School of Social Work

SDOH and prevention-focused strategies are important to address community health issues and achieve health equity

Clinical Prevention and Population Health in Health Professions Education: Tackling the Social Determinants of Health

August 8, 2018

How do we create a future healthcare workforce dedicated to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities across populations? Most fundamentally, we must educate health professions students about the importance of prevention, the social determinants of health, and give them the skills needed to function effectively in interprofessional teams. There is increasing recognition among educators and policymakers that the social determinants of health (SDOH) and prevention-focused strategies are important to address community health issues and achieve health equity.

Read the full article at:

Tucson City Council Considering Raising Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

Minimum age to buy tobacco, e-cigarettes in Tucson could be raised to 21

August 7, 2018

On August 8th, the Tucson City Council will consider exploring options for raising the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age. While cigarette smoking is at an all-time low, e-cigarette use in middle and high schools is ramping up at alarming rates. The rate is double or triple that of youth who smoke traditional cigarettes and research has shown that kids who vape are much more likely to go on to smoke conventional cigarettes.

Read the full article at: Tucson News Now

Loneliness raises the risk of premature death by up to 50%

Loneliness kills: A new public health crisis

July 27, 2018

Loneliness raises the risk of premature death by up to 50 percent-that makes loneliness a public health hazard on the scale of smoking and alcohol. Yet many medical and public health professionals haven't heard about how many risks it poses. Lack of human contact has serious physiological consequences. Studies show that without human contact our risk of functional decline increases as does our risk of mobility loss. The risk of clinical dementia goes up by 64%.   These health problems further isolate those suffering from social isolation, threatening a vicious cycle of physical, emotional, and psychological decline.

Read the full article at:  The Hill

Some states, such as Indiana, are taking steps to allow remote prescribing of drugs that can help treat substance misuse.

Can Telemedicine Help Solve the Opioid Crisis?

July 19, 2018

Although medical professionals of all backgrounds may be able to help patients struggling with opioid abuse, not all doctors are trained or specialize in treating opioid abuse. Specialists have many patients, but they cannot impact those who are out of their geographical area in traditional treatment plans. Using telemedicine, physicians’ impact could expand greatly. Patients who might not be able to travel to a clinic can still get a high level of care, and physicians can see more patients.

Read the full article here: UA Telemedicine Program

Without Peer-Run Injection Sites and the availability of the overdose antidote naloxone, the death toll would be 3x higher.
— Chief Coroner of British Columbia

Watchful Eyes: At Peer-Run Injection Sites, Drug Users Help Each Other Stay Safe

July 13, 2018

People who use injection drugs in Vancouver, British Columbia, can do so, if they choose, under the watchful eyes of someone trained to help them if they overdose. This is the idea behind supervised injection sites, and it's an approach that over a dozen U.S. cities or states are considering to prevent drug overdose deaths and the spread of disease.

Read the full article at: NRP

Read more about Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users

Kingman, AZ (Mohave County) also identifies drug use and mental health as the most pressing health concerns in the community.

Mental health is the number one health priority

July 10, 2018

Mental health is the first priority in Kingman’s Community Health Improvement Plan.

Almost 16% of Mohave County residents who responded to the CHA survey said they did not have access to mental health professionals in their community. Another 7 percent said they were uncomfortable using the providers in their community, and 10 percent believed the services provided were insufficient.  Access to mental health care in Mohave County is limited with the ratio of residents to mental health care providers is 1,420 to 1, which is worse than the state average of 800 to 1.

The two strategies going forward to help decrease stigmatization of mental health by 10 percent before 2020 are developing a training toolkit and partnering with Mohave Community College.

Read the full article at: Daily Miner

Tucson Village Farm receives $445,000 grant to build new teaching kitchen

Tucson Village Farm receives grant to build culinary center for local youth

June 27, 2018

Tucson Village Farm was chosen as an Angel Charity beneficiary and begins its $445,000 construction on a certified teaching kitchen starting June 28. The Tucson Village farm, located at 4101 N. Campbell Ave., serves the Tucson community as a source of education for children and young adults looking to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their everyday diets.

Read the full article at: The Daily Wildcat

Tucson police work with CODAC and Cenpatico on referral and treatment program

Tucson police hope program helps opioid addicts

June 21, 2018

Over 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, and in Pima County fatal overdoses have been the No. 1 cause of death for the past three years. In an effort to combat that Tucson police have started a referral and treatment program aimed at helping those who want to stop using.

The Tucson Police Department (TPD) began training for the program with the help of CODAC on Thursday, June 21. TPD and CODAC have joined for the program, along with a few other groups including Cenpatico, hoping to decrease the number of fatal overdoses and opioid addicted people in the area. 

Read the full article at: Tucson News Now

Arizona received $189M in NIH research support in 2017

Arizona received $189M in NIH research support in 2017

June 20, 2018

Asthma, Alzheimer’s, cancer, the aging immune system, diabetes, precision medicine and Valley fever are among the health issues affecting Arizonans and the nation that are being tackled by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers, thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Read the full article at: AZBigMedia

Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention is an evidence-based approach used to decreased violent incidents and lower hospital admissions due to violence

A Successful Model That Predicts and Prevents Violence

June 18, 2018

A surgeon in Cardiff, Wales, who regularly treated victims of violence, discovered that many cases went unreported. He devised a model for collecting data and collaborating with both law enforcement and community to predict and prevent violence. This approach is now taking root here in the United States.

With this pioneering approach, called the Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention, the number of violent incidents in Cardiff dropped 42 percent, while they increased in similar cities in England and Wales. And they stayed down—hospital admissions due to violence in Cardiff halved between 2002–2013.

Read the full article at: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

New study shows witnessing violence in early adolescence predicted smaller volumes of both the hippocampus and amygdala in this group of teens

Living with neighborhood violence may shape teens' brains

June 12, 2018

Researchers know from decades of work that exposure to community violence can lead to emotional, social and cognitive problems. Few studies, though, have specifically looked at the toll community violence may take on the growing brain.A recent study by researchers here at the University of Southern California showed that witnessing violence in early adolescence predicted smaller volumes of both the hippocampus and amygdala in this group of teens. Youth with smaller hippocampal volumes may show learning and cognitive difficulties, whereas smaller amygdala volumes have been linked with depression risk and behavior problems.

Read the full article at: The Conversation

Results from a new study show that when both depression & intimate partner violence were present in a mother, there was developmental delay in multiple cognitive modalities

Maternal Depression and Intimate Partner Violence: Impacts on Children

June 11, 2018

Results from a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics show that when both depression and intimate partner violence (IPV) were present in a mother, there was developmental delay in multiple cognitive modalities.  In addition, IPV even without maternal depression was associated with expressive communication delay. While depression did not show an association with poor growth, IPV did increase the odds of a child showing stunted growth compared to toddlers whose mothers did not experience IPV.

Read the full article at: AAP News

Read the journal article here: Journal of Pediatrics

FDA urges Naloxone carriers to check their product against a national recall list

Naloxone Recall—Two Lots From Hospira Recalled Due to Particulate Matter

June 4, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging Naloxone carriers to check their product against a national recall list. The maker of the drug, Hospira, has issued a voluntary recall of the opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone due to the presence of loose particulate matter in the syringe plunger. Please inform the healthcare professionals in your network immediately. The FDA includes information on the specific product lot numbers affected by this recall.

The number of people addicted to heroin, number of ER admissions for overdoses, & number of fatal overdoses from all drugs (legal and illegal) are rising.

Op-Ed on The Grim Future of the Opioid Crisis

June 4, 2018

A new review from the British Journal of Anesthesiology found that opioid dependence or abuse occurs in less than 5 percent of patients prescribed opioids for pain.

By most other measures, the opioid crisis is rapidly getting worse. The number of people addicted to heroin is rising, the number of ER admissions for overdoses is increasing, and the number of fatal overdoses from all drugs -- legal and illegal --  has skyrocketed to nearly 64,000 a year.

Read the full article at: Pain News Network

Read the journal article at: British Journal of Anesthesiology

As of May, all of the action items directed in the public health emergency declaration signed by Gov. Ducey have been completed.

In New Front Against Opioid Epidemic, Formal Statewide Health Emergency Declaration Comes To A Close; Fight Against Crisis Just Beginning

May 30, 2018

On June 5, 2017, Governor Ducey signed an emergency declaration to address the growing number of opioid deaths in the state giving the state the ability to coordinate public health efforts between state, local, and private sectors. As of this month (May, 2018), all of the action items directed in the public health emergency declaration have been completed:

  • The new reporting and information-sharing procedures are now codified in policy and rule.

  • Almost 1,000 law enforcement officers statewide have been trained to provide naloxone.

  • Healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and outpatient treatment centers, now have rules for opioid prescribing and treatment.

  • The Arizona Opioid Prescribing Guidelines have been updated and distributed.

  • The comprehensive Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act went into effect on April 26th.

And, the 12 recommendations of the Opioid Action Plan will be fully implemented by the end of June.

Read more about the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act HERE.

Read the official end of the emergency declaration HERE.

Researchers’ discover that just 12 factors related to demographics, clinical care, social and economic characteristics, and the physical environment explain over 90% of the variation in well-being across the country.

Where You Live Affects Your Happiness And Health, But How Exactly?

May 23, 2018

Well-being has been associated with longer life expectancy and better health outcomes. Previous studies have also shown that where someone lives can improve or diminish well-being. A Yale-led team of researchers has identified 12 community factors independently related to well-being. The factors included some obvious ones, such as higher levels of education and income, as well as some surprises, including a higher percentage of black residents, a higher percentage of bicycle commuters, and better access to preventive care, such as mammograms.

Read the full article at:

Read the journal article in: PLOS ONE

When employers implement programs to create healthier places to work, they are developing more engaged workforce and contributing to the overall health of our communities
— Dr. Cara Christ, Director of ADHS

Healthy Arizona Worksites Program Recognizes 127 Statewide Employers

May 22, 2018

The Healthy Arizona Worksites Program (HAWP) is a public health initiative to help employers learn how to successfully implement worksite wellness initiatives to improve the health of their employees and businesses.

HAWP provides guidance and tools for employers to create a healthy workplace, FREE of charge, and recognizes employers annually with Copper, Silver, Gold, and Platinum awards for their worksite wellness program strategies. This year, HAWP recognized 127 statewide employers who have made their workplaces healthier places for their employees.

The next no-cost HAWP 101 training is scheduled for June 1. All interested employers can register at

Opioid overdose deaths among Latinos are surging nationwide. While the overall death toll is still higher for whites, it’s increasing faster for Latinos and African Americans.

Opioid Overdoses Are Rising Faster Among Latinos Than Whites Or Blacks. Why?

May 17, 2018

Article that examines data and research on opioid overdose deaths among different demographics and provides some opinions on why the data trends are disproportionately affecting Latinos. Reasons (collected through interviews) include:

  • Bilingual Treatment Options Are Scarce

  • A Matter of Machismo: ‘It’s Not Cool to Call 911’

  • A Tight Social Network

  • The Burden of Poverty

Read the full article at: Kaiser Health News

Research shows that only about 10 percent of adolescents who need treatment for substance misuse actually receive it.

Recovery high schools have been shown to have positive effects on students who struggle with addiction

May 15, 2018

Recovery high schools provide post-treatment education and recovery support for young people with substance use disorders. This op-ed provides an overview of the need for recovery high schools and their benefits.

Journal Article Referenced: The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Recent study shows teenagers glued to their phones are 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions than those who reported one hour of use per day

FSU researcher finds link between excessive screen time and suicide risk

May 11, 2018

Depression and suicide rates for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 increased dramatically since 2010, especially among girls, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A recent study by Florida State Universityfound the rise in mental health problems among teens since 2010 coincides with an increase in ownership of cell phones.

Read the full article here: Florida State University

Read the full study at: Clinical Psychological Science

Low income can negatively affect one’s health, but a new study shows building a better neighborhood may help blunt poverty’s ill effects.

Build a Better Neighborhood to Boost Kids' Health

May 9, 2018

According to the study by researchers at the University of California—San Francisco, low-income children were found to have less stress and be in better physical health if they lived in higher-opportunity neighborhoods. Researchers examined the impact of neighborhood quality and a family's socioeconomic status on the health of a group of kindergartners in the Bay Area.

Read the full article at: University of California San Francisco

The number of individuals using CODAC’s MAT clinic is 151% higher than it was 10 years ago.

Tucson's first 24/7 methadone clinic reflects a growing need

May 5, 2018

CODAC Health, Recovery and Wellness opened Tucson's first 24/7 methadone clinic. In addition to methadone, the clinic offers Suboxone and Vivitrol to help people quit their addictions. The need for MAT gets people in the door, but once they are there the clinic provides a “whole patient” approach with services like behavioral therapies, medical care and job assistance. Peer-reviewed medical studies have shown MAT decreases opioid use, opioid-related overdose deaths, criminal activity and infectious-disease transmission.

Read the full article on:

Mental illness and substance abuse affect an estimated 60% of the jail population

Pima County Safety and Justice Challenge

May 4, 2018

The Pima County Safety and Justice Challenge seeks to safely reduce over-incarceration by implementing innovative and common sense strategies and programs. Successful efforts so far include expanded risk screening for all misdemeanor defendants; additional substance abuse and mental health screening before initial court appearances; enhanced automated call, text and email court-date reminders; weekend and weeknight court sessions for working people; and using technology to facilitate alternatives to home detention. Helping guide the SJC is a 33-member Community Collaborative made up of justice system partners and community representatives, including formerly incarcerated, victim advocates, clergy, and tribal members.

View the video here: YouTube

View more information here: Safety & Justice Challenge

UA Receives $1.1M to Study Genetic Risk Factors for Type-2 Diabetes and Heart Disease

UA Receives $1.1M to Study Genetic Risk Factors for Type-2 Diabetes and Heart Disease

May 3, 2018

University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to understand the genetic and biological connection between type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The researchers will also examine why cholesterol lowering statin drugs are linked to an increase in the risk of type-2 diabetes, even as they reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Read the full article at: UA-MEZCOPH

State officials say retroactive three-month coverage has cost AHCCCS, which is funded with a blend of federal and state money, nearly $70 million since 2014

Arizona's AHCCCS coverage limit would hurt low-income families, critics say

April 28, 2018

Arizona’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, has a three-month retroactive eligibility period, which means those applying for Medicaid coverage may receive benefits for services provided three months prior to their application.

The state now seeks to limit retroactive coverage to the month of an individual’s application. Arizona officials said this request is in line with the state’s historical waiver authority before January 2014. Arizona estimates the new proposal would save $39.4 million in fiscal year 2019, if approved after the waiver application.

Read the full article at: Arizona Daily Star



Researchers found that adolescents who reported a positive family climate tended to go on to have better relationship problem-solving skills and less-violent romantic relationships

Parents may help prep kids for healthier, less violent relationships

April 27, 2018

New study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence gives insight on how early family relationships can have long-term impacts on young adult romantic relationships.

Researchers found that when adolescents reported a positive family climate and their parents using more effective parenting strategies -- like providing reasons for decisions and refraining from harsh punishments -- those adolescents tended to go on to have better relationship problem-solving skills and less-violent romantic relationships as young adults.

Read the full article on: ScienceDaily

Study finds LGBT youth are 120% more likely to be homeless than straight young people.

Abuse, violence common among LGBT homeless youth, study finds

April 25, 2018

New study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago that surveyed 26,161 young people nationwide about their housing status including in-depth interviews with 215 homeless young people ages 13 to 25 who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The study found that LGBT young people are more than twice as likely to become homeless as their straight counterparts, but not necessarily because they’re LGBT. Sexual orientation is usually one factor among many that lead young people to leave home. (The Voices of Youth Count national survey also reveals that urban and rural youth experience homelessness at similar rates and that particular subpopulations are at higher risk for homelessness, including black and Hispanic youth; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (LGBT); youth who do not complete high school; and youth who are parents.)

Read the full article on: EdSource

Read the study at: Chapin Hall or visit their website at: Voices of Youth

Nasal spray formulation of ketamine shows promise in the rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression and suicidal thoughts

Fast-acting benefits of ketamine for depression and suicidality

April 16, 2018

Most antidepressants take weeks to become effective, but esketamine, which is part of the ketamine molecule, may act much more quickly to treat the symptoms of depression, according to the American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers found that the drug, when administered through a nasal spray, led to "significant improvement" in symptoms, including some degree of relief of suicidal thoughts among patients at imminent risk of suicide.

Read the full article at: ScienceDaily

Read the study at: American Journal of Psychiatry


Research study finds a correlation between testosterone levels and symptoms of paternal postpartum depression

Can postpartum depression affect dads, too? Recent research says it might

April 16, 2018

New study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, found a correlation between testosterone levels and symptoms of paternal postpartum depression. Using a saliva sample, the researchers measured each father's testosterone levels. They discovered that those with dipping levels of the hormone were more likely to feel depressed.

Read the full article in the: Washington Post

Similar article: Everything Dads Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

Gov. Doug Ducey proposes 20% teacher pay raise by 2020

Governor Doug Ducey Announces Teacher Pay Increase

April 12, 2018

"Arizona teachers are some of the biggest difference-makers in the lives of children. They deserve to not only be respected for their hard work -- but also rewarded. That’s why we have a plan to provide teachers in Arizona a 20% pay increase by school year 2020. The education community supports this plan because it also makes significant NEW investments in K-12 education -- with flexible dollars for superintendents and principals to use for building improvements, new textbooks, technology or additional raises for support staff. Here’s how it will work: 10% pay raise for teachers by the start of the fall 2018 school yearA 5% pay raise in 2019; And another 5% pay raise in 2020. " ~ Doug Ducey

If you agree that Arizona’s teachers deserve a 20% raise, co-sign the plan HERE.

Read thew press release at:

NIH researchers have devised a patch to painlessly deliver insulin through the skin similar to how nicotine / muscle pain relief patches work

Diabetes skin patch could abolish finger-prick tests

April 10, 2018

Finger-prick tests for blood glucose monitoring may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to scientists who have developed an adhesive skin patch that measures glucose levels every 10–15 minutes. Created by researchers from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, the novel patch has proven to be a feasible noninvasive strategy for blood glucose monitoring in tests of both pig and human skin

Read the full article at: Medical News Today

Read the journal article at: Nature Nanotechnology

Preliminary results from Arizona Youth Survey show 7% of students across all three grade levels have carried a handgun in the past 12 months

Preliminary results from a survey of youths in Arizona show worrying trends concerning gun violence and drug use

April 8, 2018

Every two years, about 8th, 10th, and 12th graders across the state take the Arizona Youth Survey, answering dozens of questions about substance use, gang involvement, bullying, violence, texting while driving and other risky behaviors.

A new question this year asks whether students have carried a handgun in the past 12 months. Across all three grade levels, about 7 percent responded that they had. Of those, about half said that they had threatened someone or shot at someone with a gun.

“The thing we are increasingly concerned about, with the school shootings taking place across the country, is carrying a gun to school, but most of the gun carriers are not doing it at school." - Dustin Pardini, ASU Associate Professor.

Read the full article at: ASUNow

Surgeon general urges more Americans to carry opioid antidote naloxone

Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose

April 5, 2018

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., issued an Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose urging more Americans to carry Naloxone, a lifesaving medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The medication, naloxone, is already carried by many first responders, such as EMTs and police officers. The Surgeon General is now recommending that more individuals, including family, friends and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, also keep the drug on hand.

See the Surgeon General Advisory here.

Please join the Surgeon General on Friday April 6th, 2018 at 10AM. He will speak on the release of the Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose, leaving time for questions from callers. Use this information join the call:

Participant #: 888-282-0367    Passcode: HHS

USDA is reserving $5 million in community grants for innovative projects to address the opioid epidemic in rural communities.

USDA Prioritizes Investments to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural America

April 4, 2018

USDA is reserving $5 million in the Community Facilities Grant Program for innovative projects such as mobile treatment clinics. Rural communities, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes can apply for grants up to $150,000.

 Applications for Community Facilities grants funded with this National Office reserve should be submitted on or before June 4, 2018.

Read the press release at:

Some of the most dangerous brain injuries today don’t come from hitting your head on a hard surface

Researchers probe the complex nature of concussions

April 4, 2018

It seems simple enough: Taking a hard hit to the head can give you a concussion. But in most cases, the connection is anything but simple, according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford University.  

Combining data recorded from football players with computer simulations of the brain, the researchers found that concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries seem to arise when an area deep inside the brain shakes more rapidly and intensely than surrounding areas. But they also found that the mechanical complexity of the brain means there is no straightforward relationship between different bumps, spins and blows to the head and the likelihood of injury.

Read the full article at: Standard Medicine

Read the journal article at: American Physical Society

Read about UA's contributions at: UANews

In a recent study, researchers found that the risk of depression and suicide in transgender youths falls when they are allowed to use their chosen name

Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

March 30, 2018

According to new research, using the "chosen names" of transgender teens and young adults dramatically reduces symptoms of depression, and boosts their mental health overall. Researchers discovered that transgender youths who were able to use their name in just one area of their life reported a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts and experienced a 71 percent decrease in symptoms of severe depression.

Read the full article at: UT News

Beginning 2019, Arizona will be required to develop a diabetes burden report every two years

House Bill 2258 Signed Into Law

March 29, 2018

ADA sponsored House Bill 2258 was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey on March 29, 2018. HB 2258 provides a more balanced and comprehensive means of addressing the social and economic burdens of diabetes in Arizona.  Beginning 2019, the state will be required to develop a report and every two years thereafter, outlining the prevalence of diabetes, costs associated with the disease, and recommendations for the legislature on policy changes that could be implemented to address the burden of diabetes.

View the official document at:

To improve the safety of Arizona schools and communities, Governor Doug Ducey today released the Safe Arizona Schools Plan

Governor’s School & Firearm Safety Proposal

March 19, 2018

To improve the safety of Arizona schools and communities, Governor Doug Ducey today released the Safe Arizona Schools Plan. Calls for action in the plan include:

  • Investing in mental and behavioral health resources at schools

  • Creating a central tip line for reporting school safety concerns

  • Restricting firearms access for dangerous individuals through a Severe Threat Order of Protection (STOP)

  • Enhancing background checks by improving the completeness and accuracy of the criminal history database

  • Increasing school resource officers and law enforcement resources for schools

  • Eliminating background check gaps

Watch the video on: Office of the Governor Doug Ducey

Read the press release on: Office of the Governor Doug Ducey

View the plan details:  Safe Arizona Schools

Administration plans to tackle opioid epidemic and reduce future addiction

President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand

March 19, 2018

President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse will address factors fueling the opioid crisis, including over-prescription, illicit drug supplies, and insufficient access to evidence-based treatment, primary prevention, and recovery support services. The President’s Opioid Initiative will:

  • Reduce drug demand through education, awareness, and preventing over-prescription.

  • Cut off the flow of illicit drugs across our borders and within communities.

  • Save lives now by expanding opportunities for proven treatments for opioid and other drug addictions.

Read the full press release at:

States with the highest school to student counselor ratios include Arizona (924:1)

Study ranks Arizona last in student-to-counselor ratio

March 12, 2018

School counselors in American public schools currently serve an average of 482 students, a caseload nearly twice the recommended maximum of 250. Findings highlighted in a new report from the NACAC and ASCA show that the average student-to-school counselor ratio has increased by 1% over the past decade. States with the highest student-to-school counselor ratios included Arizona (924:1), Michigan (729:1), and Minnesota (729:1).

View the report: NACAC State-by-State Student-to-Counselor Ratio Report

View the article at: Tucson News Now and NACAC Newsroom

Local law enforcement agencies respond to about 13,000 domestic violence calls each year.

Grant awarded to Pima County hopes to reduce domestic violence with innovative program

March 9, 2018

The Tucson Police Department (TPD) recently was awarded $250,000 for its Risk Assessment Management and Prevention (RAMP) Program to reduce the severity and frequency of domestic violence in Pima County. RAMP is an innovative collaboration between the Pima County Attorney’s Office; Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse; Southern Arizona Legal Aid; and numerous law enforcement agencies, including TPD and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

Read the full press release here: Pima County Attorney's Office

Study shows populations living at higher altitudes have increased suicide rates

Could living at high altitude increase suicide risk? Evidence suggests possible treatments.

March 9, 2018

The increased suicide rates might be explained by blood oxygen levels due to low atmospheric pressure, according to the article by Brent Michael Kious, MD, PhD, of University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues. Pending further research, the evidence may point to possible treatments to reduce the effects of low blood oxygen on mood and suicidal thoughts.

Read the full article at: ScienceDaily

16% of students currently use an e-cigarette

Pima County Health Warns Of Student Vaping: Report

March 8, 2018

The Pima County Health Department warns that the student use of vapes is a growing problem. They say that 16 percent of students are currently use an e-cigarette. They explain that e-cigarette use has been a problem for years and are concerned that e-cigarette use leads to the use of harder drugs.

Read more at: Tucson News Now

Research suggests that I-talk may be a marker for depression

Frequent 'I-Talk' May Signal Proneness to Emotional Distress

March 7, 2018

People who talk a lot about themselves are not narcissists as one might expect, but may be prone to depression, anxiety and other negative emotions, UA researchers found.

Read more at: UANews

Integration streamlines health care delivery by focusing on the whole person and improving outcomes for the members we serve
— Tom Betlach, AHCCCCS director

AHCCCS Awards Integrated Health Care Contracts to Seven Managed Care Organizations

March 5, 2018

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has awarded managed care contracts to seven integrated managed care organizations (MCO’s) that will coordinate the provision of physical and behavioral health care services to 1.5 million Medicaid members. Called AHCCCS Complete Care. On the October 1, 2018 contract effective date, AHCCCS will transition approximately 300,000 members to a new MCO in their geographic service area. From learned experience managing previous health care plan transitions, AHCCCS has proven processes in place to ensure continuity of care for members. These members will be notified of their health plan assignment in June and can make changes to their assignment during the month of July.

Learn more at:

Arizona prepares to launch opioid hotline for health care providers

One of the nation’s first real-time, comprehensive opioid hotlines for medical providers to launch

February 28, 2018

The hotline was one of the recommendations in the Opioid Action Plan developed by ADHS to respond to Arizona’s opioid epidemic. The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line will expand in the Spring of 2018 to provide referrals for the general public seeking treatment resources for opioid-use disorder.

Read more at: State of Reform

Learn more about AZ efforts at: ADHS Opioid Epidemic

New app may predict diabetes long before blood sugar levels do

Cardiogram’s DeepHeart App Can Detect Diabetes

February 8, 2018

Cardiogram released a new study Wednesday that demonstrated the ability of its DeepHeart app to use data gathered from wearables to correctly detect diabetes in 85% of users.

The study had 14,011 participants from all over the world, and collected 200 million unlabeled sensor measurements.

Although the app isn’t intended to be a primary diagnostic tool, it could be used to help alert patients with undiagnosed diabetes to the possibility that they have the condition, and could encourage them to seek medical care.

Read more at: The Longevity Network

Find the app here: Apple

4-year $3.1 million grant awarded to ADHS and UA Center for Rural Health to fight opioid crisis.

Tackling the Opioid Crisis in Arizona: UA Center for Rural Health Has Key Role

February 1, 2018

The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health is partnering with the Arizona Department of Health Services and other state agencies to train first responders to recognize opioid overdoses and to administer the drug naloxone to prevent fatalities.

The effort is funded with a four-year, $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the UA Center for Rural Health, at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Read more here: Arizona Teleedicine Program

Complete Streets Policy for the City of Tucson

LSA Takes the lead in developing a complete-streets policy for tucson

January 29, 2018

In October 2016, Living Streets Alliance (LSA) was awarded a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids to pursue a robust and equitable Complete Streets policy in Tucson.

LSA’s approach is focused on developing a Complete Streets policy in the City of Tucson, ensuring that all future road construction and reconstruction projects create a complete network that is safe and convenient for all people using all modes of transportation. 

Read more here: Living Streets Alliance

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act

Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act

January 26, 2018

The Arizona Legislature unanimously approved Gov. Doug Ducey's proposal to crack down on excess opioid prescribing and add other regulations designed to cut down on addictions and overdose deaths.

The Act bars doctors from prescribing more than an initial five-day supply of pain medication in most cases, boosts pain clinic regulation and adds $10 million to help uninsured people get addiction treatment.

Read more here: Phoenix New Times