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Li J.,University of Minnesota | Shah G.H.,National Association of County and City Health Officials NACCHO | Hedberg C.,University of Minnesota
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2011

Foodborne illnesses are an important public health problem in the United States in terms of both the burden of illness and cost to the health care system. Strengthening foodborne illness surveillance helps address the growing issues of food safety in the United States. Very little is known about the use of consumer complaint surveillance systems for foodborne illness. This study evaluates the use of these surveillance systems by local health departments (LHDs) in the United States and their practices and policies for investigating complaints. Data for this study were collected through two Web-based surveys based on a representative sample of LHDs in the United States; 81% of LHDs use complaint-based surveillance. Of those that did not have a complaint system, 64% reported that the state health department or another agency ran their complaint system. Health departments collect a wide variety of information from callers through their complaint systems, including food intake history. Most of the LHDs, however, do not store the information in an electronic database. Outbreak rates and complaint rates were found to be positively correlated, with a Pearson's correlation coefficient of 0.38. Complaints were the most common outbreak detection mechanism reported by respondents, with a median of 69% of outbreaks during the previous year found through complaints. Complaint systems are commonly used in the United States. Increasing the rate at which illnesses are reported by the public and improving investigation practices could help increase the number of outbreaks detected through complaint surveillance. Copyright © International Association for Food Protection. Source

Rosenfeld L.A.,Emergency and Environmental Preparedness Solutions Inc. | Etkind P.,National Association of County and City Health Officials NACCHO | Adams A.J.,Pharmacy Programs | Rothholz M.C.,American Pharmacists Association
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice | Year: 2011

Objective: Palm Beach County Health Department (PBCHD) in Florida collaborated with pharmacists, community pharmacies, and pharmacy-based retail health clinics to increase access to influenza prevention through a widespread H1N1 influenza vaccination campaign and to disseminate timely and accurate public health recommendations and information using Flu Ready Cards. Selected pharmacy and store managers were surveyed, before and after distribution of H1N1 vaccine regarding issues facing pharmacists and the public in deciding whether or not to recommend or accept influenza vaccinations. Participants: Palm Beach County Health Department collaborated with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, Publix and Winn-Dixie Super Market Pharmacies, and the Palm Beach County Pharmacy Association. OUTCOMES:: More than 200000 Flu Ready Cards were distributed in 250 pharmacies between September 2009 and March 2010 as part the county-wide H1N1 influenza pandemic response. Approximately 40000 doses of H1N1 vaccine (12% of the PBCHD allocation) were shipped to local pharmacies and retail health clinics to immunize individuals and families, including those most at risk, vulnerable, or without a medical home. Eighty percent of surveyed store managers and 52% of pharmacists reported the Flu Ready Cards were useful and more than 60% of both groups felt partnership with the local health department was useful during the H1N1 pandemic. Conclusions: The collaborative relationship proved invaluable for distributing, transferring, and administering the H1N1 influenza vaccine, managing access to antivirals, and serving as a vital link to hospitals and other healthcare providers. Pharmacists can be an integral part of the nation's "first line resource" for health and wellness and can extend the reach for public health initiatives. The public-private collaboration between health departments and community pharmacists could improve individual and family readiness, increase access to trained and trusted professionals and strengthen overall preparedness and community resilience. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Bauermeister J.A.,University of Michigan | Pingel E.S.,University of Michigan | Jadwin-Cakmak L.,University of Michigan | Harper G.W.,University of Michigan | And 3 more authors.
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2015

Southeast Michigan accounts for over 70 % of all HIV/STI cases in the state, with young men who have sex with men (YMSM) between the ages of 13 and 24 encumbering the largest burden in HIV/STI incidence. Using community-based participatory research principles, we developed and pilot tested a web-based, randomized control trial seeking to promote HIV/STI testing (“Get Connected!”) among YMSM (N = 130; ages 15–24). Randomized participants completed a baseline assessment and shown a test-locator condition (control) or a tailored, personalized site (treatment). At 30-day follow-up, we found high acceptability among YMSM in both conditions, yet higher credibility of intervention content among YMSM in the treatment group (d = .55). Furthermore, 30 participants reported testing by following, with the majority of these participants (73.3 %; n = 22) completing the treatment condition, a clinically meaningful effect (d = .34) suggesting preliminary efficacy for the intervention. These results demonstrate the potential of the intervention, and suggest that a larger efficacy trial may be warranted. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Chudgar R.B.,National Association of County and City Health Officials NACCHO | Shirey L.A.,National Association of County and City Health Officials NACCHO | Sznycer-Taub M.,National Association of County and City Health Officials NACCHO | Pearson R.L.,Central Washington University | Erwin P.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice | Year: 2014

Community health improvement processes that yield community health assessments (CHAs) and community health improvement plans (CHIPs) provide data and a process to determine key community priorities and take action and are ideally collaborative endeavors. Nationally, increased focus on CHAs and CHIPs highlights the role that Academic Health Departments or other local health department (LHD)-academic linkages can play in completing CHAs and CHIPs. Drawn from the experiences of 5 LHD-academic partnerships that participated in a national demonstration and a detailed account of the experience of one, this article presents how such linkages can support CHA and CHIP work, ways to anticipate and overcome challenges, and the tangible benefits that may be realized for both the LHD and the academic partner. Community health improvement processes are ripe opportunities for LHD-academic linkages and can be fruitful and mutually beneficial partnerships to be used in completing CHAs and CHIPs to measurably improve the public's health. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

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