I have ported my posts from the Southeast Atlanta Public Health Blog to the Atlanta Public Health Blog.  I realized that my local posts mostly pertained to broader Atlanta.  With Atlanta being known as the public health capital I will use this broader forum to discuss items related to the many public health entities in Atlanta as well as address other public health issues.  Friday posts will be dedicated to global public health concerns. I will leave old posts here for a while too.  Coming soon I will be posting to other blogs as well….keep watching (the new space).  See you there.

Emory forgives $20 million of Grady’s debt!

I’d say this was about due from a school with a $5 billion endowment who trains most of their med school interns at Grady.  It is a great step in the right direction. The new CEO has a big task ahead and this shows great promise for both him and Grady’s partners.

And speaking of Emory I’ve finished my first semester there in the MPH program so that means more activity in the writing department from me.  At least until next semester kicks in.

Keep your fingers crossed for Grady.

Atlanta: Public Health Capitol

September 18, 2008

At tonight’s Vaccine Dinner Club (c’mon, who where else can you attend such a thing?) the esteemed Bill Foege spoke this evening.  Foege was instrumental in the smallpox eradication program and has served public health in many ways through his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and at the CDC and the Carter Center.

My Vaccines professor swore that he makes you feel like a better person just being in the same room with him and he was right.  He talked about what it was like to help rid the world of smallpox, his work on polio eradication efforts and finally addressed the fiasco that is “the autism/vaccine” debate – all in a completely self-deprecating way…until the end with the autism.  He talked about dramatically changing consent forms for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.  He had some pretty radical ideas about this which I won’t go into here because it misses the point (but I will post a link to the video when it gets posted).  But I wish I’d heard just a little bit about is how to reach the increasing number of parents who are choosing to delay or forebear vaccinations in a positive way.  That one issue notwithstanding (who really does have that answer?)  he was awe-inspiring.

I’ve said it repeatedly – I completely relate to the frustration that parties on both sides of this debacle.  I’m starting to think that the only way to get to the bottom is to focus research (unbiased, scientific, collaborative research) on finding the true cause of Autism.  So in the next few weeks (among other things) I’ll be sifting through the plethora of Autism sites trying to distinguish the misleading from the misguided. Somebody has to do it…who knows, maybe I can get a point added to my Vaccines grade somehow.

A tiny crumb…

September 11, 2008

Graduate school is fabulous but sucking every morsel of coherent thought I have right out, so I’m offering up a small crumb for now by posting some upcoming events.  If I get rowdy with the scanner later, I’ll post my thoughts on health insurance with a real life sample of the nightmare hospital billing has become.

Upcoming short and long races can be tracked through Run Georgia’s website.  There’s a 5K coming up in the hood at the East Atlanta Strut. I love 5K’s because they accomplish so much all in one Saturday morning:

  1. First and foremost, when you’re done you’ve run/walked/dragged butt 3.1 miles.  It’s a doable distance.
  2. Usually you’ve raised a little money for a charity. So in addition to that runner’s high, you get an extra 5 minutes of moral superiority for the day.
  3. They’re fun for all fitness levels. You’ll find a huge variety of runners, walkers, and sufferers so you can find your sweet spot and hang with your crowd.
  4. You can do them with your family and sometimes even your dog.  Most elementary school kids can handle the distance, especially if you let the little ones walk instead of run.  For the tiny ones you can usually push them in a jogging stroller.
  5. Making a habit out of signing up for 5Ks either once a month or once a quarter, whatever floats your boat, can help you keep motivated to train for them, integrating regular exercise into your routine.

For the more intense there’s always Operation Bootcamp right here in Grant Park, though you’ll never, ever see me out there at 6 am.  I do have neighbors who enjoy Bootcamp, and they look fabulous as a result.  There’s other programs like it, such as the one Harry Brewster does in the park as well, which I have done and loved, as much as I can love pain (his are later in the day).

That may seem like an odd collection of links but I wanted to peek back into the land of the living, if only for a bit.

Cheers!

According to this New York Times article: “Experts to Discuss One Puzzling Autism Case, as a Second Case Has Arisen” federal health officials will be discussing two cases today that may provide a clue to the link between children with a mitochondrial disorder, vaccines, and autism.

My favorite quote from the article:

“We’re talking about two things we don’t understand very well, mitochondrial disorder and autism, and putting them together,” Dr. Insel said. “It’s like two drunks holding each other up.”

Hope to see a follow up to this in the Times or somewhere.

Summer Slump

June 25, 2008

If anyone is looking I’m sure you’ve noticed that summer posting has gotten light.  I am preparing for graduate school (in public health) in the fall and I’ve been enjoying what will most likely be my last summer at home with the kids.  Next summer I hope to be doing my practicum and after that working full time.

I would like to share some links to resources that I have been enjoying related to public health.  Posting will continue sporadically through summer and will pick back up to full speed (1 post per week) in the fall with school.

Effect Measure is a science blog that serves as a “forum for progressive public health
discussion and argument as well as a source for public health information from around the web…”.

The Wall Street Journal has a health blog that encourages interactive communication through the comments.

Another interesting blog is Dr. Razavi’s Good to Know Info.  A physician offers practical and reliable responses to FAQ’s from Googlers.

A resource for real public health geeks is the CDC’s MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report now online.

CNN just published an article about West Nile Virus.  It is expected to be a bad summer for the disease peaking between mid-July and mid-September.  Controlling mosquitos is your best protection.  Use mosquito sprays with DEET.

Stay cool and healthy!

Katy

Emory Healthcare is partnering with Whole Foods for a series of free lectures and demonstrations on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm . Tonight’s lecture is regarding relaxation and stress and the effects on your health.

RSVP by calling 404-778-7777 or by filling out this form.

Event: Whole Foods Lecture Series – Relaxation/Stress
Date: May 21, 2008
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Whole Foods Market
(Midtown Location)
650 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Enroll: (404) 778-7777
Cost: Free