Community paramedicine is an emerging and rapidly evolving field that can help improve health care access in rural communities. Community paramedicine involves Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers operating in expanded roles in an effort to reach underserved populations, and can be particularly impactful in rural communities as a way to reach geographically-isolated areas.
Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in August include disaster response and public health hazards in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, New York City’s strategy to reduce tobacco use, new powers for air quality officials in California, and improved access to health care through telemedicine in New Jersey and expanding the scope of practice for dental hygienists in Wisconsin.
Despite overwhelming research in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination schedule, some physicians continue to advise patients against following the schedule, and some voice their criticism of vaccinations publicly. Such criticism can contribute to lower vaccination rates, which in turn increases the risk for the spread of vaccine preventable diseases. But policy options to address this issue are problematic.
In the U.S., 42.2 million people lack access to adequate food due to insufficient income or other resources. Food insecurity is associated with a wide range of health issues including depression, anxiety, behavioral problems in children, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Conversely, it’s estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted. This waste, in turn, generates substantial greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Tax incentives for food donations could be one policy approach to address these issues.
The opioid epidemic continues to escalate in its national repercussions. Against this backdrop, President Trump’s White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued its interim report on July 31, 2017.
Effective messaging of public health issues and solutions is essential to public health practice and especially to developing public health laws and policies in a polarized political environment. A number of strategies presented in the workshop were grounded in Moral Foundations Theory, which offers insights into moral psychology and decision-making that are helpful for understanding how value judgments are made.
Since 1965, chlorpyrifos has been a commonly used pesticide, and nearly six million pounds of it are used domestically each year on more than fifty different types of crops. Scientists have linked the pesticide to harmful effects in children and adults, including developmental damage to children’s brains, reduced intelligence levels, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders. A proposed a ban by the Environmental Protection Agency on the use of chlorpyrifos slated to go into effect in March, 2017 has been denied, leaving states to decide whether to take action to subject the pesticide to more stringent rules.
The opioid overdose epidemic is a continuing public health crisis. When we began tracking laws aimed to increase access to naloxone in late 2012, they existed in only eight states. As of July 1, 2017, every state and Washington D.C. has passed at least one law increasing access to naloxone—a remarkably rapid progression for public health legislation.
Vaccine policies play a vital role in protecting public health and are particularly relevant given the recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In this Q&A, the co-authors of the article, “The Latest in Vaccine Policies: Selected Issues in School Vaccinations, Healthcare Worker Vaccinations, and Pharmacist Vaccination and Authority Laws” discuss this critical public health issue
Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in June include local food production regulation in Maine; body art regulation; prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco; tobacco use; the effectiveness of ‘baby boxes’ in improving safe sleep for newborns; mental health care and telemedicine; Hawaii law and climate change; and hospitals partnering with lawyers to help patients.