Insight News

Oct 10th


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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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).

Minnesota dentists extend helping hand to children in need

Free dental care will be given to an estimated seven thousand children facing barriers to care through the Give Kids a Smile program on Fri., Feb. 4 and Sat., Feb. 5. Minnesota dentists across the state will open their clinic doors to provide service. This unique program matches thousand of volunteer dental professionals with children to make sure they get the treatment they need.

“We don’t want reduced government services, a family job loss or change in insurance to stand in the way of children getting the dental care they need,” said Dr. Tim Flor, president of the Minnesota Dental Association and a practicing dentist in Waseca, Minn. “Sadly, tooth decay is the number one disease in children and low-income children face unnecessary barriers to care.”
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