Insight News

Thursday
Nov 27th

Health

American Cancer Society Recognizes Firm for Cancer-fighting Efforts

A stroll through the campuses of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota in Eagan and Virginia, Minnesota (Blue Cross) show they are designed to improve the health—and in turn, reduce cancer risk for its 3500 employees.

The facilities feature a tobacco-free campus and/or; walking meetings and paths; healthy cafeterias and vending machines—often at discounted prices; onsite fitness centers with reduced rate fitness classes and personal trainers; an employee-led Wellness Council to seek new ways to improve employee health; and onsite doctor visits via webcams.
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Restoring family planning

Restoring family planningDear EarthTalk: Global population numbers continue to rise, as does the poverty, suffering and environmental degradation that goes with it. Has the U.S., under Obama, increased or at least restored its family planning aid to developing countries that was cut when the Bush Administration first took office? -- T. Healy, via e-mail

The short answer is yes. President Obama is much more interested in family planning around the world than his predecessor ever was. One of Obama’s first acts upon assuming office in 2009 was the restoration of funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). George W. Bush had withheld some $244 million in aid to the UNFPA over the previous seven years. UNFPA works with developing countries around the world to “reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.”
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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

The 11th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) will be held Feb. 7 to draw attention to the devastating toll HIV/AIDS has on African-American communities.

Over 6% African-American men will be diagnosed with HIV infection some time in their lives, as will over 3% African-American women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost half of the one million Americans currently living with HIV are African-American.
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Nordstrom announces Black History Month initiative

Be The Match® is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor.

Nordstrom, Inc. announced today that it is recognizing Black History Month in 2011 by teaming up with Be The Match® to help raise awareness of the critical need for more African American marrow and umbilical cord blood donors.
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Stopping Diabetes: Test makes it quick and easy

Avoiding diabetes is easier than many people might think.

According to Indiana University researchers, a simple blood test can help stop the onset of diabetes and reduce long-term medical costs.

The hemoglobin A1c test, which can be administered quickly in a physician’s office during a routine visit, can accurately and easily determine if a patient is pre-diabetic, or at significant risk of developing diabetes.
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Hamline health law institute director named to governor's cabinet

Governor Mark Dayton appointed Lucinda Jesson, as Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Human Services. Prior to her appointment, Jesson was Director, Hamline School of Law, Health Law Institute.

“On behalf of Hamline University, I am very pleased to congratulate Professor Lucinda Jesson on her appointment to Governor Dayton’s administration,” said Hamline University President Linda Hanson. “Her extraordinary work as director of our Health Law Institute created a hub for the health care policy community in the Twin Cities and elsewhere in the Upper Midwest. As a professor in our School of Law, she has guided the next generation of legal minds in the areas of health care organization and finance, food and drug law, and health care compliance. I thank Cindy for her tremendous contribution to Hamline University, and I am confident she will be a vital asset to Governor Dayton’s team and to the state of Minnesota.”
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Pertussis: New Vaccine Recommendations

Despite the availability of Tdap, a vaccine designed as a booster for adolescents and adults, pertussis cases have been increasing in Minnesota as in other parts of the country, such as California. Minnesota is in its third year of a peak pertussis wave, with more than 1,000 cases reported each year in 2008–2010. This is about 20 cases per 100,000 people in Minnesota.

In an effort to combat this persistently high level of pertussis (or whooping cough), state and federal health officials are urging physicians and their patients to make wider use of a pertussis booster vaccine called Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis).
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