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CDPH in the News, February 2017

CDPH in the News

Thousands of California Workers Alerted to Elevated Lead Levels

from Newsweek

More than 6,000 California workers in munitions, manufacturing and other industries have elevated levels of lead in their blood that could cause serious health problems, according to a recent report from the state’s public health agency. The report, containing the results of tests conducted between 2012 and 2014, comes as the state’s workplace health and safety agency, Cal/OSHA, is considering a major update of its safety standards for workplace lead exposure for the first time in decades. The current standards are based on 35-year-old medical findings, which at the time did not recognize the dangers of even low-level exposure to lead. More recent science shows chronic, low-level lead exposure can cause lasting harm.

CA PrEP program delayed

from Bay Area Reporter

Problems with California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program are leading to the delayed launch of a program that would help people statewide get access to PrEP. California Department of Public Health officials have said the trouble with ADAP, which is supposed to help thousands of people get the care they need to stay alive, started after the agency switched to new contractors last July. CDPH spokespeople have said the agency’s still trying to resolve the issues.
Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, director of state and local affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said some clients have reported being turned away by their pharmacies or even being dropped from ADAP because of the glitches.

What Researchers Found in California’s Marijuana

from ATTN:

Researchers in Northern California have delivered some unsettling news for marijuana users: It turns out, a sizeable amount of the pot sold in California’s medical marijuana dispensaries test positive for mold and bacteria that could be dangerous for patients with compromised immune systems. Fungi and bacteria – including Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii – were detected in 20 of the marijuana samples. If inhaled, these pathogens “could lead to serious illness and even death” because inhaling a contaminated substance “provides a direct portal of entry deep into the lungs, where infection can easily take hold,” Joseph Tuscano, a researcher UC Davis, said in a statement.
For the time being, more research is needed in order to better inform patients and recreational users about the quality and safety of their weed. California’s Department of Public Health is actively developing statewide standards for cannabis testing, with the intention of implementing them before the state fully rolls out its recreational marijuana system in 2018.

Children’s Bureau of Southern California Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Address High Obesity Rates in Los Angeles, University Park, Jefferson Park, and West Adams

from prweb

Children’s Bureau was awarded $880,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will support the Champions for Change – Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education eligible populations by providing nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and shop.
Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables, and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physically active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites, and cities.

Advocate of Toxicants Policy Reform Reappointed to State Scientific Guidance Panel

from UC Riverside

Carl F. Cranor, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and a longtime advocate of reforming policies for regulating exposure to toxic substances, has been reappointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program. Cranor was first appointed to the panel in 2012. The Senate Rules Committee approved his reappointment in January to a three-year term that ends Jan. 1, 2020.
The Scientific Guidance Panel plays a significant role in the California Biomonitoring Program, making recommendations about the program’s design and implementation – including the identification of chemicals that are a priority for monitoring in California – and providing scientific peer review. Five members are appointed by the governor, two by the speaker of the Assembly, and two by the Senate Rules Committee.
Established by Senate Bill 1379 in 2006, the California Biomonitoring Program is a collaborative effort of three departments in two state agencies: the California Department of Public Health in the Health and Human Services Agency, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Toxic Substances Control in the California Environmental Protection Agency.

UC SHIP board looking to add surgery options for transgender students

from Daily Bruin

University of California representatives are working to include certain transgender surgeries in student health insurance coverage. Attendees at the UC Student Health Insurance Plan meeting Tuesday discussed voting to add breast augmentation surgery for male-to-female transgender students to the UC SHIP plan, said David DiTullio, an Executive Oversight Board graduate representative for the Student Health Advisory Committee. However, they tabled the vote and decided to collect more data about the feasibility of adding the surgery to UC SHIP coverage over the next year before making a final decision.
The UC SHIP staff hopes to implement the male-to-female top surgery benefit for the 2018-2019 school year but has not reached a decision, said Karina Keus, a SHAC and EOB undergraduate representative. UC Berkeley added the surgery to its plan this year, but no students have taken advantage of the top surgery yet… Keus said the Berkeley campus is not under the umbrella of the UC SHIP system; it receives insurance through Anthem. The benefit is temporary and might be discontinued at UC Berkeley if the California Department of Public Health does not approve it, Keus added.

Richmond Instruction: Public Health Informatics Web Tools Hands-on Class

Thursday, February 9, 2017, 10:00am-11:30am
Computer Training Room P-1246, Building P
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Richmond, CA

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RSVP by Tuesday, February 7th to Lee Adams at ladams@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-2510.
Please obtain your supervisor’s approval before you RSVP.

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NON-BUILDING P OCCUPANTS: Please make sure to register so your name will be on the class participant list given to the Building P Security Desk for entry into Building P.

PLEASE NOTE: This class is limited to 16 participants. A waiting list will be created, if appropriate, for an additional class.

Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

Do you want to know:

* About novel methods of disease surveillance?

* About free medical and health mobile applications?

* What “participatory epidemiology” is?

* More about integrating information technology into public health practices?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s Public Health Informatics Web Tools Hands-on class!

Topics covered will include:
1. Public Health Informatics: What is it?
2. Brief overview of historical aspects
3. Tools you can use:
a. for outbreak or disease surveillance,
b. for decision-making and data collection,
c. for continuing education
4. Examples of public health applications of information technology

NOTE: This session will NOT include in-depth coverage of health information exchanges, meaningful use, data standards, or similar topics.

Class Objective:
To provide an introduction to Public Health Informatics, with examples of technological tools for public health work.

These training sessions are free to CDPH staff. A certificate of completion will be available for those who attend the class.

A schedule of other upcoming training sessions is available online here.

Sacramento instruction: EndNote X8 Advanced Hands On class

Wednesday February 22, 2017, 10:30am-12pm
Computer Training Room 72.169
1500 Capitol Ave, Sacramento

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RSVP by Tuesday February 21 to Michael Sholinbeck at msholinb@library.berkeley.edu or (510) 642-2510.
Please obtain your supervisor’s approval before you RSVP.

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PLEASE NOTE: This class is limited to 12 participants. A waiting list will be created, if appropriate, for an additional class. A few seats may be available on the day of the class so if you don’t register in advance, you can just show up to see if there is availability.

Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

* Do you want to learn how to use ‘smart groups’ to automatically group references together?

* Do you want to learn how to create or modify existing output styles?

* Did you know you can annotate PDF files in your library? And that you can search these annotations, as well as the content of PDFs in your EndNote library?

* Are you already using EndNote and have some burning questions?

* Do you want to konnw how you can share an EndNote library with others?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s EndNote X7 Advanced Hands-On class!

Topics covered will include:
1. Creating Smart Groups
2. Creating/Modifying Output Styles
3. Annotating PDF files In EndNote
4. Other Advanced Features
5. Introduction to EndNote Online
6. How to get help

The EndNote X8 software will not be distributed at this class. If you need EndNote for your work, the instructor can tell you how to obtain a licensed copy from CDPH.

Class Objective:
Learn how to save time and work more efficiently by:
– Creating smart groups in your library.
– Modifying output styles to fulfill your needs.
– Annotating PDF files in your EndNote library.

These training sessions are free to CDPH staff. A certificate of completion will be available for those who attend the class.

A schedule of other upcoming training sessions is available online here

Professional Development: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Have you ever wondered how to respond to misinformation around climate change? Do you want to learn more about the science behind climate change? If so, then you might want to take this free online course offered by edX.

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

This course examines the science of climate science denial. Why is there such a gap between many in the public and scientists? What are the psychological and social drivers behind the denial of climate change?

You will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

You’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well come to a better understanding of how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

With every myth that is debunked, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.

Course length: 7 weeks
Time involved: 2 – 4 hours/week
Price: Free, with a Verified Certificate available for $49
Institution: University of Queensland, Australia
Instructors: A baker’s dozen from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia

Registration is available online here.

Climate Change, Health, and Populations of Concern: an EPA website

All Americans, at some point in their lives, are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Some people are more affected by climate change than others because of factors like where they live; their age, health, income, and occupation; and how they go about their day-to-day lives. Understanding the threats that climate change poses to human health can help us work together to lower risks and be prepared.

EPA has developed communication materials that summarize key points from the U.S. Climate and Health Assessment for eight different populations that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. The agency is providing these materials for use and modification for anyone seeking to communicate the health impacts of climate change to a range of audiences.

You can read the interagency report The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment that these communication sheets were drawn from online as well.

Professional Development: Data Visualization for All

Want to learn how to tell your story and show it with data? This data visualization course will teach you how to design interactive charts and customized maps to illustrate your work.

You’ll start off with easy-to-learn tools, then gradually work our way up to editing open-source code templates with GitHub. You’ll follow step-by-step tutorials with video screencasts, and share your work for feedback on the web. You’ll see real-world examples drawn from Trinity College students working with community organizations in the City of Hartford, Connecticut.

This course is suitable for non-profit organizations, small business owners, local governments, journalists, academics, or anyone who wants to tell their story and show the data. No prior experience is required.

Begins on: Feb 28
Length: 6 weeks
Time involved: 3 hours/week
Price: Free, with a Verified Certificate available for $49
Institution: Trinity college (Hartford, CT)

You can register online for this class here.

How to Get Published in Peer Reviewed Journals: A Webinar

Thinking of writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal? Want to learn effective strategies that will help you to get it published? Then this free webinar may be of interest to you!

Editors and directors from the Public Health Reports present this one-hour webinar to help public health practitioners at the state and local levels turn their work into manuscripts for publication. The speakers will discuss general strategy of what is needed to begin thinking about an article for peer-reviewed literature, how to structure it, how to plan it, how to execute it, and how to position it so that it will be attractive to journals and their peer reviewers.

When: Thursday, Feb 16
Time: 10-11 am Pacific time

You can RSVP online here.

Health Disparities: You know there’s a need, now prove it! A Webinar

Is health disparities a part of your work? Do you need to provide policy makers, grant funders and other decision makers with statistics on it? Would you like to learn about possible sources for model interventions that you can replicate? Then this free webinar might be of use to you in your work. This entry-level presentation will explore mainly free online sources of reliable health statistics, research and evidence-based community interventions.

The webinar is suited for community-based organizations, public health workers, and public library staff and is presented by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region.

When: Friday, Feb 24, 2017
Time: 9–10 am Pacific time

Discovering Toxnet (and other NLM environmental health databases)

Would you like to learn how to search more effectively in TOXNET and the other National Library of Medicine’s environmental health databases? Then this free online class might be of interest to you!

You will explore these databases through videos, guided hands-on tutorials, and discovery exercises in your time with this class. TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment, regulations plus occupational safety and health.

The class is taught online in thirteen independent modules. You may choose to solely take the half hour Introduction to TOXNET, which is the only required module. The other 12 are optional. The modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, Haz-Map, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, and REMM. Not sure what these are? You can see a description of each of these databases online.

You will work at your own pace. Instructors will be available to answer questions via email and provide assistance throughout the course.

When: March 1 – March 31

New Books!

The Public Health Library has the following new books available in print:

1. Recruiting the heart, training the brain: the work of Latino Health Access. By America Bracho, Ginger Lee, and Gloria P. Giraldo. Berkeley, California: Hesperian Health Guides, 2016.
Call number: RA778.4.H57 B72 2016
See more on this in OskiCat, UC Berkeley’s online catalog.

2. Improving health care management at the top: how balanced boardrooms can lead to organizational success. By Sharon Roberts and Milan Frankl. New York, NY: Business Expert Press, 2016.
Call number: RA971.R544 2016
See the table of contents and a short excerpt at amazon.com.

3. A practical approach to analyzing healthcare data. By Susan E. White. Chicago, IL.: American Health Information Management Association, 2016.
Call number: R864.K84 2016
View the table of contents in OskiCat.

and here are some new titles available online from the National Academies Press:

4. Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2016.

5. Big Data and Analytics for Infectious Disease Research, Operations, and Policy: Proceedings of a Workshop.The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2016.

6. Enhancing BioWatch Capabilities Through Technology and Collaboration: Proceedings of a Workshop. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2016.

Please note that these books are only a small selection of what is newly available. If you are interested in checking out any book(s), submit a request using our online form and we will mail the book(s) to you.

You may also log into your web portal account to request book(s).

If you do not currently possess a UC Berkeley library card, you will need to apply for one before we can check out a book to you.

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