Friday, December 19, 2014

Community Water Fluoridation in Summit County

Dan Hendershott, manager of Summit County Environmental Health, was recently interviewed on "County Connection", a local TV production for the residents of Summit County. He discussed the safety, efficacy and benefits of community water fluoridation, an evidence-based public health intervention critical to oral health for all. Click to view the video interview.

RWJF's Top 10 signs U.S. is moving toward a culture of health

Last January the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation alerted the world to its new strategy: To build a Culture of Health for all, one that would allow every one of us to make healthy choices wherever we live, work, and play. A big reach, we know, but we are nothing if not optimistic. So, 12 months on, we asked ourselves—How’re we doing? Pretty good, as it turns out. Here are the top 10 signs that America is moving towards a Culture of Health (in no particular order).
10. The evidence is in—kids are beginning to slim down.
Research published in February shows continued signs of progress toward reversing the childhood obesity epidemic: Obesity prevalence among 2 to 5 year olds dropped by approximately 40 percent in eight years, a remarkable turnaround. There is still much work to do in this area, but at least our youngest kids can look forward to a healthier future.

9. Kids are also eating healthier lunches—and liking them.
In July a study funded by RWJF revealed that 70 percent of elementary school leaders nationwide said their students generally like the healthier school lunches that rolled out in fall 2012; 70 percent of middle school students and 63 percent of high school students also like the meals.
8. mHealth has arrived! Silicon Valley is putting its innovators to work developing mobile apps that will help us get healthier.
When Apple introduced its latest iPhone in June, much of the hullabaloo was around Healthkit, a new mobile app that will help consumers track their health. Google, Samsung, and Microsoft also rolled out health tracking devices and/or platforms this year, developments sure to appeal to millennials.
7. The new trend in offices—sitting is bad, walking is good.
Washington Post illustration showing the dangers to our health of sitting all day became wildly popular this year, and more people started taking their meetings on foot—at RWJF, we love our walking meetings.
6. Cycling takes off.
2014 could be called the year of the bicycle. At least 36 urban areasnow have bike sharing programs, up from just six four years ago. Even small cities and towns are embracing pedal power—just look atCyclobia in Brownsville, Texas, one of six communities to win an RWJF Culture of Health Prize this year.
5. Workplace wellness programs are spreading—even cigarette makers are getting with the program.
Over the next three to five years, 48 percent of employers intend to put in place workplace wellness programsthat improve productivity and reduce absences.  Among the more surprising ones—in October, Reynolds American, the second-largest U.S. cigarette company, announced that smoking is banned inside its facilities. “We believe this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it,” a Reynolds American spokesman told U.S. News & World Report. We agree.

4. CVS Health kicks the habit as well, and demonstrates that good health is also good business.
In September CVS stopped selling all tobacco products in its 7,700 stores nationwide, forgoing $2 billion in annual sales. It is the only national drugstore chain so far to take this important step. “Tobacco just doesn’t fit in,”  said CVS’s chief medical officer. CVS’s stock price rose on the news.

3. Voters pass the nation’s first city tax on soda.
In November voters in Berkeley, Calif., passed the nation’s very first tax on sugary beverages, including soda—a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. I know what you’re thinking—Berkeley. But consider all the trends that started in California!
2. College campuses are becoming hotbeds of health.
There are now 1,477 tobacco-free college campuses, up from 446 just four years ago, and the infamous Freshman 15 has shrunk to a Freshman 3 to 6 at many campuses. The Princeton Review even rates college health facilities. A sign perhaps, that the 20-something generation will create their own Culture of Health?
And finally, the Number One sign that we are making progress:
1. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, some 13 million formerly uninsured people are now covered by health insurance.
The rate of uninsured people in the U.S. dropped by more than 30 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. With the next open enrollment period ongoing, the numbers should continue to improve.

School-Based Obesity-Prevention Program Helps to Decrease Parents’ BMI

WHAT: A study released today shows that benefits of a school-and community-based childhood obesity intervention program can spill over to parents, decreasing parents’ body mass index (BMI).

WHERE:  “Shape up Somerville” initiative; Public schools focused on early elementary grades 1st through 3rd in Somerville, Massachusetts.

WHY:  More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to CDC data. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Obesity-related conditions include some of the leading causes of preventable death: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars and the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

RESULTS:  Schools play a critical role in obesity prevention by establishing safe and supportive environments with policies and practices that support healthy eating and physical activity. The results of this study imply that the benefits of a school-centered, community-based obesity intervention program helps children but also improves parents’ BMIs. The study shows that without any additional investment, society may influence parent BMIs by using resources on properly structured child-focused obesity prevention efforts. Further research is warranted to examine the effects of this type of intervention on parental health behaviors and health outcomes.

For up-to-date information about school health programs, visit

A copy of the full report is available at

Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Benefits & Services Promotion Initiative RFP Open for Application

The Tobacco Prevention, Cessation and Education Grants program has opened up the application period for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Benefits & Services Promotion Initiative.

This Request For Proposal is open to any organization in Colorado that has the capacity and experience to meet the requirements for consideration. Interested applicants can visit and search for the the project name to find out more information and to obtain the application forms. The application period will remain open until January 27, 2015. We encourage you to share this information with anyone in your network who may be interested in applying.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tobacco Free Schools Laws have been updated

School Districts, School Resource Officers, Local Public Health Agencies, and Educators:

Did you know that the Tobacco Free Schools Laws has been updated and now includes retail marijuana in the prohibition language?

The new law amended the Tobacco Free Schools statute to require school districts to prohibit retail marijuana use on school property.

To help school districts and local public health agencies with the updated requirements, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Retail Marijuana Education Program has contracted with RMC Health to review and analyze current Colorado school districts policies for compliance and identify model policy language.

RMC Health is available to work with you to provide training, education, and technical assistance to review and revise current policies to comply with the updated Tobacco Free School Laws.

For technical assistance please contact Natalie Boyer at, RMC Health, Project lead or call her at 303-867-9107.

For more information: Please read this letter to learn more about the types of resources available, details on the legislation, and where to find tools and communication templates.

Million Hearts in Colorado: New Research Funding for Blood Pressure Control in High-Risk Populations

New funding opportunity will test interventions to improve blood pressure control in minority racial/ethnic, low-income, and rural populations

This funding opportunity hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support up to two patient-centered comparative-effectiveness clinical trials. The initiative is a part of a research partnership among the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). 

The purpose of the clinical trials is to compare alternative, evidence-based approaches to reduce poor hypertension control among high-risk populations, including racial/ethnic minority groups, patients with low socioeconomic status, and individuals residing in rural areas with an above average lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. Letters of intent are due January 13, 2015, with applications due in February.

High blood pressure management is a key strategy of the  Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  Colorado participates in this initiative and you can too. Be one in a million - make your commitment and pledge today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center is a Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recognizing Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center for preventing injury and violence in Colorado and working to implement effective evidence-based programs and systems changes for older adult fall prevention.

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center supports the Stepping On program addressing older adult fall prevention as a system-wide initiative. One staff member, Kiva Thompson, has been trained as an instructor to lead Stepping On classes. Additionally, each HealthOne facility has a trained Stepping On leader as part of their Injury Prevention initiatives. Working together, between the HealthONE hospital system, much of the Denver Metro area has access to this evidence-based fall prevention program.

For more information on the Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence or to nominate a person or agency doing evidenced-based work in this field go to the VIPrevention website.

For more information on Older Adult Falls Prevention go to the Older Adult Falls Coalition website or the Colorado Falls Prevention webpage.

Thank you and congratulations to Presbyterian/St. Luke's!