Tag Archives: centers for disease control and prevention

disaster

UA Receives $600,000 CDC Grant

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is the sole awardee of a three-year $600,000 cooperative agreement to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help communities prepare for public health emergencies and mass casualty events.  The research is a collaborative effort between federal, state, tribal, and local partners.

Emergencies can happen at any time for any reason. Being prepared can mean the difference between a quick, easy recovery or a slow and difficult one.  Since 2005, MWPERLC has trained more than 4,500 public health professionals throughout the U.S. in emergency preparedness.

The grant will be administered by lead researcher Jeff Burgess, MD, MPH, professor and director of the Community, Environment and Policy Division at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health and Brenda Granillo, MS, MEP, project director of the MWPERLC.

“We have seen time and time again the devastation our communities face in the aftermath of disasters; whether it is caused by natural events such as the flooding in Colorado, wildfires and hurricanes, terrorism like the Boston Marathon bombings, or unthinkable acts like the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.  The recovery process can be slow, tedious and often overwhelming,” said Granillo.

The team will work to reduce injury related morbidity and mortality in public health emergencies by improving community preparedness and response activities though sharing lessons learned, identifying and documenting best practices, and fostering national collaboration to strengthen community resiliency.

“The support necessary to rebuild our communities requires fostering relationships and partnerships at all levels of government. This grant will provide the Center with the opportunity to advance and expand our existing work on building community resiliency,” said Granillo.

The first year will focus on identifying key issues in planning for and responding to disasters by gathering input from national and federal partners followed by engagement of the community, public health, emergency management and health systems leadership to document lessons learned using robust qualitative methods. Ralph Renger, PhD, a former faculty member of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health who now works for the University of North Dakota, will lead the evaluation performance and measurement plan.

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has an eight year history of successfully developing, implementing and evaluating sustainable and collaborative preparedness activities at the state, local and tribal level.  Since 2005, the center has trained more than 4,500 public health professional throughout the U.S. in emergency preparedness.

woman pinching stomach

Are The Symptoms You're Feeling Early Signs Of Cancer?

Reading the signs: Are the symptoms you’re feeling early signs of cancer? Why women ignore the signs, and what they may mean.


While women are busy caring for their children, their clients or both, there’s one important individual they tend to neglect — themselves. More frequently than not, women don’t make their own health a priority, ignoring symptoms that could be early signs of cancer.

“Women frequently ignore symptoms because they are simply busy,” says Dr. Daniel Maki, M.D., director of breast imaging at Scottsdale Medical Imaging (SMIL). “They are head of the household, often responsible for so many others that they put their own health on the back burner.”

What’s worse is some women believe the symptoms will just go away, so they ignore or deny the symptoms, according to Dr. Clayton Palowy, M.D., medical oncologist with Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in Chandler.

“It’s human nature to ignore symptoms because you don’t want to view the worst, and you start rationalizing them as natural causes,” says Dr. Mike Janicek, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment Program at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center. “I would say it’s the slowness of some of the symptoms that may sneak under the radar and makes it difficult for women to pay attention to symptoms, when in retrospect, it’s clear to them.”

Many symptoms such as bloating, irregular vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain seem typical, but, in reality, these and a few common symptoms that could be signs of various types of cancers.

Breast cancer

The stats:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the U.S. in 2012, it was estimated by the National Cancer Institute that there were nearly 227,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 39,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

The most common complaint or symptom is a lump in the breast.

“Depending on what the lump (cancer) invades during its growth, it may cause a variety of different symptoms based on what it grows into,” says Dr. Maki.

“If the lump invades into the nipple or skin, it can begin causing retraction or dimpling,” he adds. “If the lump invades a blood vessel and milk duct, it can cause blood to be discharged from the nipple. If it invades nerve fibers, it can cause pain. If it invades the skin, it can cause thickening or change in texture of the skin itself.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the nipple (particularly a bloody discharge)
  • Nipple inversion or retraction
  • Skin dimpling (along one edge of the breast) or retraction

“Sometimes patients even describe simply a ‘thickening’ of an area of the breast rather than a discrete lump,” says Dr. Maki.

Palowy says that breast changes such as a red breast is an early sign of inflammatory breast cancer and can be mistaken for infection.

Symptoms mistaken for:

Many of the symptoms are often attributed to cysts or one’s menstrual cycle, according to Maki. And in a large number of patients with lumps or pain, the assumption may often be correct.

“However, occasionally these symptoms do unfortunately represent early stages of breast cancer, and any new breast symptoms should always be brought to the attention of one’s doctor,” Dr. Maki says.

Prevention:

Mammograms and screenings are the best way to find breast cancer early. Also, be aware of your family history and risk factors. The National Cancer Institute has a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool helps estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Visit cancer.gov/bcrisktool.

Cervical cancer

The stats:

All women are at risk for cervical (uterine cervix) cancer, which forms in the tissue of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) and is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. However, it occurs more often in women over the age of 30.

In the U.S. in 2012, the National Cancer Institute estimated more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

  • Bleeding with intercourse: This is often mistaken for “just too much friction,” according to Dr. Deborah Wilson, M.D., of Scottsdale.
  • Bleeding after intercourse: Mistaken for the start of one’s period.
  • Irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding pre-menopausal: Mistaken for an abnormal period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.
  • Bleeding after menopause: Mistaken for an unexpected period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.

Prevention:

Two tests can help prevent or find cervical cancer early: a Pap test (or a pap smear) and the HPV test.

Ovarian cancer

The stats:

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the ovary, with most ovarian cancers either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were more than 22,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 15,000 deaths in 2012 in the United States.

The symptoms:

  • Bloating: Mistaken for gas pain.
  • Pelvic pain: Mistaken for indigestion.
  • Early satiety
  • Chronic indigestion: Mistaken for food intolerance.

Prevention:

As with breast cancer, know your family history and inherited risk and changes, such as changes in the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, according to the CDC, most breast and ovarian cancers are primarily due to aging, the environment and lifestyle.

“Ovarian cancer has no screening test, so that’s the one that most people focus on the symptoms,” says Janicek. “By the time you get bloating and some of the other symptoms, it’s often in its advanced stages.”

Know your history

The No. 1 symptom to consider? Family history, according Janicek.

“Family history is an unusual but very important symptom,” says Janicek. “And it’s not just for breast, but for ovarian and lynch syndrome. People don’t think of family history as a symptom, but it is. If you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may be at genetic risk for cancer.”

Compile your family’s health history, and go as far back as three generations. Janicek says to let other family members know when another family member gets cancer. Not only will you and your family be informed, but it will also help the doctor look for any patterns of disease in the family.

Visit My Family Health Portrait’s website at familyhistory.hhs.gov to help collect and track your family health history.

Collect the following information about both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family:

  • Number of close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer: mother, sister(s), daughter(s), grandmothers, aunt(s), niece(s), and granddaughter(s)
  • Ages when the cancers were diagnosed
  • Whether anyone had cancer of both breasts
  • Breast cancer in male relatives
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry

For more information about cancer treatment and prevention, visit:

Scottsdale Medical Imaging
Scottsdale Medical Center
3501 N. Scottsdale Rd., #130, Scottsdale
(480) 425-5081
esmil.com

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
695 S. Dobson Rd., Chandler
(480) 821-2838
ironwoodcrc.com

Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center
Scottsdale Gynecologic Oncology
10197 N. 92nd St., #101, Scottsdale
(480) 993-2950
arizonaoncology.com

Deborah Wilson, M.D., Gynecology
8997 E. Desert Cove,  #105, Scottsdale
(480) 860-4791
drwilsonobgyn.com

Scottsdale Living Magazine Winter 2013

Texting while driving

Texting While Driving: A Growing Hazard

“Drive Hammered, Get Nailed,” and “Click It or Ticket” are Arizona initiatives that aim to advise drivers of the rules of the road, yet there is currently no campaign in place regulating texting while driving. Texting while driving is such a growing hazard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have categorized it as “distracted driving.” However, Arizona has very loose laws preventing texting while driving. Although texting while driving is illegal in Phoenix’s city limits, it isn’t illegal statewide.

Texting while driving is a lethal combination because it involves three different distractions: visual, manual and cognitive, according to the CDC. These distractions interfere with the amount of brain activity necessary to operate a vehicle by reducing a driver’s reaction time, depth perception and cognitive awareness of the road conditions and the surrounding environment.

Ironically, these are the exact same functions that are impaired by alcohol. Distraction from cell phone use while driving — handheld or hands-free — extends a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent, according to a study conducted at the University of Utah. A driver’s reaction rate is one of the most important factors in motor vehicle collisions and may make the difference between life and death. It takes two seconds for your brain to react to the situation and tell your body to make a braking movement; therefore, any distraction resulting in a delay of reaction time makes you a danger on the roadway.

National statistics illustrate that driving while distracted is a factor in more than 25 percent of police-reported crashes. Texting while driving does not just cause automobile accidents, it also puts pedestrians, road cyclists, motorcyclists and others in severe danger.

There are many simple precautions that drivers can take in order to protect themselves and others from a vehicle collision.

First and foremost, keep your cell phone in a location that is out of your reach and out of sight; this will reduce the temptation to check your phone while behind the wheel … even at a red light! Individuals who use a cell phone while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes that are serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Parents of teenage drivers must set a good example and not use a phone while driving. Teenagers are the highest at-risk group of being affected by the dangers of texting while driving as they are inexperienced on the road and may have more distractions. The CDC statistics exemplify that younger, inexperienced drivers have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, prompting many states to ban drivers younger than 18 years old from using their cell phone while driving.

The statistics regarding the dangers of texting while driving are eye-opening and should empower Arizonans to think before they pick up their phones while behind the wheel.

For more information about auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents or
motorcycle accidents that occur from texting while driving, please contact Friedl Richardson Trial Lawyers in Phoenix at (602) 553-2220 or visit azrichlaw.com.

Banner Baywood Medical Center

Arizona’s Health Care Providers Are Working To Eradicate On-Site Infections

Hospital-acquired infections — illnesses that attack patients after they have been admitted — have health care officials taking myriad steps to combat, control and prevent this insidious enemy.

One of those steps is a name change courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They now are called healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs.

Jessica Rigler, HAI prevention coordinator at the Arizona Department of Health Services, explains the reasoning behind the terminology change: Health care infections occur not only in hospitals, but in all health care venues, including long-term care, assisted living, and urgent care centers. In addition, Rigler says, these infections are brought into a hospital by an ailing patient, and not necessarily acquired there.

Nevertheless, whatever term applies, HAIs present a serious challenge for hospitals in Arizona and throughout the country. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the number of HAIs in U.S. hospitals was 1.7 million, resulting in nearly 99,000 deaths each year.

In April 2008, Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa was thrust into the spotlight following an HAI outbreak. The staff launched an aggressive program to deal with the situation, such as correcting air-pressure problems in some of the 10 operating rooms, and firing an overnight cleaning crew that was found to have missed germs on operating room floors, equipment and operating tables.

The hospital also limited the number of students and observers allowed in operating rooms, switched to thicker surgical wrap, and directed surgeons to wear only hospital-laundered scrubs.

Seven months after numerous changes were implemented, Banner Baywood, a general, acute-care hospital that performs about 10,000 surgeries each year and serves many senior citizens, detected just one surgical-site infection, according to Chris Halowell, director of perioperative services at the hospital.

Arlene Gimbel, chief nursing officer at Banner Baywood, says some infections are the direct result of overuse of antibiotics.

“We have dealt with this for quite some time, and we will continue to do so,” she says. “Our rate (of infection) has improved over the last couple of years due to our infection prevention program.”

While the hospital’s goal is to have zero infections, Gimbel says, “It’s almost impossible to be at zero, but it’s something we strive for every day. An area we can control is personal hygiene.”

A key element in preventing the spread of HAIs is to identify patients with an infection upon admission and take appropriate precautionary measures, Gimbel says. Every single patient found to have an infection was treated successfully, she adds.

Rigler says the problem is not as serious as it was some months ago because of infection prevention and control measures taken by health care facilities. Each hospital tracks its own data, but Arizona does not require public disclosure of infections that occur in health care facilities.

“We’re continually moving in the direction of preventing infections,” she says.

Early this year, ADHS established a new healthcare-associated infection advisory committee to follow up on recommendations of a legislatively created HAI panel in 2008. The original committee issued a report last December concluding that “strategies other than public reporting would be more successful in preventing healthcare-associated infections,” Rigler says. Four subcommittees, which Rigler calls the workhorses, focus on prevention strategies, surveillance, public education and provider education.

“The prevention strategies subcommittee is working to synthesize HAI prevention, gather the best practices and guidelines recommended from institutions nationally, and pull together a tool kit of information to help health care organizations decide on costs, how to implement programs, and how sustainable interventions are going to be,” Rigler says.

The surveillance panel is exploring how health care facilities are monitoring infections, what data they are collecting, and will then work closely with the National Healthcare Safety Network, which is run by the CDC.

Regarding the need for more transparency, Rigler says ADHS has an excellent relationship with its partners throughout the state. If ADHS notices an increase in infections, it contacts local health agencies, which then provide expertise and assistance.

“We have an obligation not to disclose certain pieces of information about one’s health condition,” Gimbel says. “It’s true that the public has a right to know, but one of the reasons health care facilities are reluctant is because of our responsibility toward patient privacy.”

To provide guidelines for other hospitals facing an outbreak of infections, Banner Baywood published an extensive article on its outbreak and plan of action in the March 2010 issue of AORN, a publication of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

“We wanted to share our experience with the rest of the community,” Halowell says. “We included a timeline of what we did. They can use that as a check list if they have an outbreak. We’re proud of our infection prevent program and feel very good about our patients being safe when they come to Baywood.”