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Home   Contact Us   Career Center   Education   SHCA Store Nov. 10, 2010
Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole. Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison. More

Anti-smoking programs are slashed
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many cash-strapped U.S. states are slashing budgets for tobacco-prevention programs, raising alarms among public-health groups as the nation's progress toward getting adult smokers to quit has stalled. The adult smoking rate was 20.6 percent in 2009, the same as a year earlier and largely unchanged since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That amounted to 46.6 million adult smokers in 2009. The $517 million allocated by states for tobacco prevention and cessation in fiscal-year 2011 is down 9.2 percent from $569 million a year earlier and 28 percent less than states spent in 2008, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington advocacy group preparing the report, along with the American Lung Association and others. States have cut their combined funding for smoking prevention in the current fiscal year to the lowest level since 1999, according to data gathered by a coalition of antismoking groups for a report that will be released later this month. More

School nutrition bill could be revived in Congress
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
First lady Michelle Obama's campaign for healthier school lunches could be revived in Congress after two key Democrats said they will drop opposition to using funding from food stamps to pay for it. Representatives Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts have said they will support House passage of a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill that passed the Senate earlier this year. Backed by some anti-hunger groups, the two lawmakers led opposition to passage of that version before the election because it is partially paid for with $2.2 billion taken from future funding for food stamp programs. More

Upcoming SHCA Webinar - Members enjoy a discount of $100

My Way, Right Away, Now! Establishing Structure for Addressing the Disruptive Patient/Family Members
Dec. 1, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. CST
Click here for more details and to register.

Study: Patient satisfaction with hospitals on the rise
Health Affairs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals are improving the inpatient care experience, according to a study reported today in Health Affairs. The study assesses changes in the mean percentage of positive responses on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey for hospitals participating in March 2008 and March 2009. "We found improvements in all measures of patient experience, except doctors' communication," the authors state. "These improvements were fairly uniform across hospitals. The largest increases were in measures related to staff responsiveness and the discharge information that patients received." The Hospital Quality Alliance, whose members include the AHA, began reporting the survey findings on the Hospital Compare website in March 2008. More

Harvard Medical School launches $30 million primary care center
The Harvard Crimson    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Harvard Medical School recently announced the launch of a new Center for Primary Care, funded by a $30 million anonymous gift, that will serve as the focal point of the Medical School's campaign to devote attention to primary care. "Harvard Medical School's commitment to leadership in all aspects of academic medicine led to serious, action-oriented discussions about the future of primary care, and this gift is a direct result of those conversations," University President Drew G. Faust said in a press release. "I applaud Dean Flier for his bold and inclusive approach to forging primary care's next frontier." The primary care initiative began in response to reports suggesting that primary care physicians are typically overworked and underpaid in comparison to colleagues who specialize in other disciplines. This trend has dissuaded medical students nationwide from primary care and has prompted some current practitioners to consider changing specialties later in their careers. More

Emergency room nurses suffer violence, often without employer response
Nurse News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Between 8 percent and 13 percent of emergency room nurses are victims of physical violence each week in the U.S., according to a study by the Emergency Nurses Association. Almost 55 percent of nurses in the ENA survey reported experiencing either physical or verbal abuse within the previous seven days. Of the nurses in the Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study who reported experiencing physical violence, 15 percent said they suffered an injury. In 44.9 percent of incidents resulting in an injury, no action was taken against the perpetrator. Three in four nurses who were victims of physical violence said the hospital gave them no response. More

SHCA Board Nomination Deadline Extended: Applications Due Nov. 19, 2010

This is an exciting time to be a member of SHCA! Serving on the national Board of Directors positions you to give back to your healthcare community and promises you significant professional development.

Download the candidate application to nominate yourself or a colleague.

Why should you serve on the SHCA Board of Directors?

• Your skills are needed.
• You want to have an impact.
• You will help effect change and contribute to the development of the patient advocate profession.
• You will feel good by doing good.
• You will enjoy collaborating with interesting people who have the similar interests and values.
• You will be recognized for your efforts and your success can be a resume builder.
• You will have an opportunity to give back to the community.
• It's fun.

Hourly earnings lowest in primary care
Med Page Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Primary care physicians earn, on average, the lowest income of doctors in any medical specialty, researchers found in an analysis based on hours worked. On an hourly basis, primary care physicians earned just two-thirds what general surgeons made, J. Paul Leigh, PhD, of the University of California Davis, and colleagues reported in the Oct. 25, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Evidence of disparities among the specialties is nothing new, the researchers acknowledged, but, they said, their study is among the first to look at earnings per hour rather than annual income. The consistent finding of a gap might be in part because of an inequitable fee-for-service scheme, suggested Michael E. Chernew, PhD, of Harvard, in an accompanying editorial. More

More Americans opt for high-deductible health insurance plans
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rising costs lead to a nearly threefold increase in the number of workers covered by the policies since 2006. Health experts worry about consumers who forgo preventive care. Looking to save money in a weak economy, Americans increasingly are turning to health insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles — prompting doctors and health experts to worry that consumers may be skipping routine care that could head off serious ailments. Nationally, the number of workers with individual deductibles of at least $1,000 has nearly tripled over the last four years, reaching about 20 million, according to a recent survey of employers. More

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Step 1: Sign up today and be a part of our continually growing SHCA Learning Network – ask questions and hear from peers in the profession with similar experiences. It takes two minutes to sign up!

Step 2: Maximize your member benefit and start to learn from your peers today!

How do I send a message to the list? Send an e-mail to Make the subject line of the e-mail clear and concise, so other subscribers can discern the relevance of the message. Include your name and e-mail address for follow-up.

How do I reply to a message? To reply to a message, hit "reply to" -- the e-mail address for the list - - should appear in the "to" line of your e-mail. Write your message in the body and hit send. Replies to an individual should be sent directly to the individual's e-mail address and not to the list.

Who's afraid of the flu? Not moms
TIME Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a typical flu season, up to 150 U.S. children die; last year's numbers were even worse: the swine flu pandemic killed 1,100 kids. Still, one-third of U.S. moms don't plan to get their children a flu shot this season, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). Paul Offit, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, is a vaccine booster. He's even helped invent a new one, for rotavirus, which can cause severe diarrhea and affects nearly all children, everywhere in the world, by the time they turn 5. But even Offit is trying to put a positive spin on the NFID data. More

Eggs from Ohio farm recalled from 8 states over salmonella
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than a quarter of a million eggs from an Ohio farm have been recalled from eight states because of Salmonella enteritidis concerns. This marks the latest high-profile woe for the nation's food-safety system. And it potentially could add to the legal troubles faced by the Iowa farmer at the center of two massive egg recalls over the summer. Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the nation's leading egg seller and distributor, said recently that it was recalling 288,000 eggs that the Jackson, Miss., firm had bought from Ohio Fresh Eggs. More

Your SHCA membership rewards you with the following benefits:

• Professional Development Opportunities and Discounts - Webinars, Annual Conference, Publications and Products

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Review of prostate cancer drug Provenge renews medical cost-benefit debate
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal officials are conducting an unusual review to determine whether the government should pay for an expensive new vaccine for treating prostate cancer, rekindling debate over whether some therapies are too costly. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which dictate what treatments the massive federal health-insurance program for the elderly will cover, is running a "national coverage analysis" of Provenge, the first vaccine approved for treating any cancer. The treatment costs $93,000 a patient and has been shown to extend patients' lives by about four months.

We are what we eat
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hunger isn't confined to a single zip code. But there are few places where its impact is more evident than within this city's First Congressional District, rated the second-hungriest in America. Inquirer reporter Alfred Lubrano recently detailed how that hunger, rooted in poverty, can paradoxically lead to obesity. Many among the poor are overweight not from eating too much, but because they eat the wrong foods. Poor inner-city families eating a cheap but unhealthy diet of fattening, processed foods larded with high-fructose corn syrup, fats, and salt are bound to pack on the pounds. These families often live in neighborhoods without a grocery where they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Lacking viable transportation to get to better stores, the poor are left to frequent corner shops and bodegas stocked with items like ramen noodles and Little Hugs, a popular sugary drink. Grocery-deprived neighborhoods are known as 'supermarket deserts' because of the dearth of stores with fresh foods. Fortunately, recent efforts to open supermarkets in impoverished areas are slowly making an impact. But more groceries are needed, as well as community gardens that can offer seasonal fruits and vegetables. More

Outsourcing food safety
St. Louis Post-Dispatch    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On June 8, an inspector from a private company called AIB International completed a two-day food safety audit of Wright County Egg Farm in Iowa. He awarded it a "superior" rating, the highest possible score. That month, nearly 900 people around the country were diagnosed with salmonella from eggs produced at the farm and another nearby facility. It was only two months later, after an investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, that the two farms began the nation’s largest-ever egg recall. Private food inspection companies like AIB have sprung up around the nation in recent years as food processors and retailers seek to protect themselves against lawsuits and brand-damaging recalls. Their role has drawn renewed scrutiny as part of a recent congressional investigation of food safety. More
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