View local, state and national health news and explore articles that pertain to Pima County's health priority areas.
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
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
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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: NPR.org
Read the journal article in: PLOS ONE
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 www.HealthyAZWorksites.org
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
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
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
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
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: Tucson.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Read thew press release at: azgovernor.gov
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 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
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 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: USDA.gov
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
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
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: AZLeg.gov
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
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: WhiteHouse.gov
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
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
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
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
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
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: AHCCCS.gov
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
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
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
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
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