APHL: President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request is “disheartening and disappointing”

APHL: President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request is “disheartening and disappointing” | www.APHLblog.org

APHL: President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request is “disheartening and disappointing” | www.APHLblog.org

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is very concerned about the decline in federal funding for public health functions such as detection, surveillance and response in the administration’s budget for fiscal year 2019. “It is extremely disheartening and disappointing to see such severe cuts to public health programs at CDC, HRSA, USAID and the Department of State at a time when the services they support are most in need,” said Scott Becker, executive director of APHL. “What is more, these cuts to public health funding come after a historic bipartisan agreement between Congress and the White House to increase federal spending overall for the next two years.”

CDC cuts include:

HRSA cuts include:

Global Health Programs:

  • $1.26 billion cut to Department of State Global Health Programs which includes funding provided to CDC for PEPFAR; and
  • $1.11 billion cut to USAID Global Health Programs.

While the majority of the president’s budget proposal is grim for public health, there were a few areas that are not as dark. APHL was pleased to see that the budget request designates $175 million to CDC to address the growing opioid crisis. Additionally, funding for the Global Disease Detection Program would increase by $51 million and funding for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program would increase by $4.5 million.

As Scott Becker explained, “The director of the president’s Office of Management and Budget said, ‘the budget is a messaging document.’ In that case, the message to the American people seems to be, ‘Good luck if there is an outbreak or other public health emergency because federal early warning and response programs won’t be there to help you through.’”

APHL will continue work with Congress to assure that funding levels continue at the much-higher amounts provided in previous years. Adequate levels of federal support for state and local laboratory contributions are critical to the nation’s public health security.

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Journée Scientific Niger

0000-0002-8715-2896 Journée Scientific Niger   Posted January 31, 2018 by post-info PLOS Medicine Specialty Consulting Editor Lorenz von Seidlein presents some highlights from the first Epicentre scientific day in Niger Epicentre, the research arm of

APHL responds to “banned words,” remains focused on CDC’s budget

APHL responds to “banned words,” remains focused on CDC’s budget | www.APHLblog.org

By Scott J. Becker, executive director, APHL

Recent news concerning limits on language permissible in CDC budgetary communications has drawn considerable attention in the media. As a longstanding partner of CDC, APHL shares its commitment to science-based work to protect the public’s health and improve its health status. We are heartened by CDC Director Fitzgerald’s statement that CDC remains committed to evidence-based work described using all appropriate language, and we are confident that CDC will continue to serve all communities, including those most vulnerable and diverse.

Our primary focus is on ensuring that CDC receives funding that will enable APHL members – local, state and territorial public health laboratories – to do the vital work necessary to detect and respond to public health threats. We feel strongly that, while the words CDC uses in their budget submission are extremely important, the funding levels are at least equally deserving of our attention.

We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to ensure the best scientific evidence is used in all public health decision making and that all public health professionals are able to use language that appropriately conveys the public health policies and programs that allow for improvement for the health of our nation.

You can also read Scott Becker’s letter to the editor of The Washington Post on this matter.

 

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New Lab Matters: Biomonitoring

New Lab Matters: Biomonitoring | www.APHLblog.org

In the 1970s, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that gasoline lead was a major exposure for children and adults—a huge finding that would not have been known otherwise. Today NHANES provides a critical baseline for national background levels of exposure to other chemicals, but state efforts to test and document local, possibly elevated exposures to the new “alphabet soup” of PFOAs and PFOSs have been little funded and lagging. As our feature article shows, public health laboratories aim to change that through new technologies and the establishment of the new National Biomonitoring Network.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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APHL says thank you

APHL says thank you | www.APHLblog.org

This year, APHL again joined Research!America and other public health partners to celebrate Public Health Thank You Day! Each year on the Monday before Thanksgiving, we take a moment to thank our staff, members, partners and others in the public health community for all the hard work they do to keep us safe and healthy.

A special thanks to all the unsung heroes in public health. I am especially grateful for those combating antibiotic resistance. It’s a difficult task, but we have the right people on it. Your talent and drive do not go unnoticed.

– Eric Ransom, APHL-CDC Antimicrobial Resistance Fellow

I am thankful for APHL members, associates, colleagues and partners who collaborate to promote, monitor and regulate public health.

– Tyler Wolford, senior specialist, Laboratory Response Network, Public Health Preparedness and Response

I am thankful for the school nutrition specialists who visit our school as part of the USDA Extension Program through the University of Maryland. They explain where food comes from and how to make healthy yet inexpensive choices in the foods we eat. Children stay engaged in what they learn by through simple recipes that are sent home each month. They even get my seven year old to try new snacks and vegetables as part of the “Two Bites” club.

– Shari Shea, director, Food Safety

Thank you, public health colleagues and partners, for your tireless dedication to the greater good. Whether you’re on the front lines or behind-the-scenes, the work you do is meaningful and appreciated! Many of you go above and beyond, especially when outbreaks emerge and disasters strike. Your passion, adaptability and commitment inspire me and I am grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with you.

– Robyn Sagal, specialist, Global Health

This year, I am thankful that the public health community reacted to Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria quickly and collaboratively to ensure that the people affected have access to clean water, safe food and other essential resources.

– Sean Page, associate specialist, Public Health Preparedness and Response

It never gets old to say thank you to all of the unsung heroes who work in public health. These individuals ensure that our water is safe to drink; our food supply is safe and our communities are protected. From antibiotic resistance to Zika, public health scientists work tirelessly to protect communities. I salute all public health scientists and thank them for their hard work and dedication to public service.

– Chris Mangal, director, Public Health Preparedness and Response

This year, I am thankful for the collaborative nature of public health. Having just attended a multidisciplinary detection and response meeting, I really appreciate how intertwined different disciplines are from epidemiology to veterinary science, agriculture, clinical sector and laboratories. I am thankful when I see such respect being given from one sector to the other acknowledging that in order for public health to work the way it is supposed to we have to rely on each other.

– Stephanie Chester, manager, Influenza, Infectious Diseases

As we gear up for flu season, I’m thankful for all of the epidemiologists and laboratorians testing and sequencing influenza viruses. Thanks for keeping tabs on this ever-changing virus and keeping us prepared for the next pandemic.

– Elizabeth Toure, senior specialist, Global Health

I am thankful for hardworking colleagues dedicated to improving the health of all.

– Anne Gaynor, manager, HIV, Hepatitis, STD and TB Programs, Infectious Diseases

I’m thankful for all of the dedicated, passionate laboratory scientists who work in APHL’s member laboratories, tirelessly striving day in and day out to assure that our water is clean, our food is healthy, our babies grow up to be the best they can be, our families are safe from emerging infectious diseases and our world is a healthier place!

– Linette Granen, director, Membership & Marketing

I’m thankful that I can travel the world and know my vaccinations will protect me from deadly diseases!

– Madeline Rooney, specialist, Strategic Communications

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New Lab Matters: Sharing the value of public health laboratories

New Lab Matters: Sharing the value of public health laboratories | www.APHLblog.org

The need for a laboratory voice in budgetary discussions has become more urgent recently, and “human-to-human relationships” are as critical as technical knowledge. So how does a public health laboratory raise its profile within the community? By telling a good story…over and over again.

In the summer issue of Lab Matters, our feature article examines how laboratories are sharing their value, one interview, photo or outreach moment at a time.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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You are what you eat…and so is your baby

Asian baby drinking breastmilk

“As a mother of a baby born in 1973 when nobody was breastfeeding, I didn’t know why, but I instinctively knew breastfeeding was the best thing to do.” After my first son was born, I went back to school to become a nurse. During my interview I said, “I’m not interested in sick people, but I want to work with new moms and babies.” So, I worked in labor and delivery for 10 years. During my time on the labor and delivery floor I dedicated all of my free time to helping new mothers initiate breastfeeding. I realized this was my true passion, so I became a certified lactation consultant and have been helping mothers and babies ever since.

Today, I want to share four things you might not know about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is good for your baby (and you!)Do what’s best for mom and baby

  • Breastmilk has cells, hormones, and antibodies that help protect your baby from illnesses. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to have asthma, ear infections, diarrhea and vomiting, and lower respiratory infections.
  • Breastfeeding can help your baby feel more secure, warm, and comforted. Physical contact also increases a mother’s oxytocin levels, which can help breastmilk flow.
  • Breastfeeding helps a mother heal after childbirth. It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding is adaptable

  • Your baby’s saliva transfers chemicals to a mother’s body that causes breastmilk to adjust to meet the changing needs of your baby as they grow.
  • The first milk that a mother’s body makes during pregnancy and just after birth is called colostrum. It is a deep yellow color and is very rich in nutrients that helps your newborn baby’s digestive system grow and function.
  • Mature breastmilk has the right combination of fat, sugar, water, and protein so your baby continues to grow.

Breastfeeding can save your baby’s life during a natural disaster

  • Breastfeeding can protect your baby from illnesses caused by dirty water, including diarrhea. It can also help prevent respiratory illnesses.
  • When you breastfeed your baby will always have milk available without have access to additional supplies.
  • Breastmilk is always at the right temperature and can help keep your baby’s body temperature from dropping too low.

Breastfeeding benefits societyWorld Breastfeeding Logo

  • Babies who are breastfed usually go to the doctor for sick visits less often, need to take fewer prescription medications, and are less likely to go to the hospital.
  • Mothers who breastfeed miss less work to take care of their sick babies, compared to moms who feed their baby formula.
  • Milk is a renewable resource that does not create trash and plastic waste from things like formula cans and bottle supplies.

Learn more

August 1 – 7 is the 25th anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week. This year the campaign is focused on “sustaining breastfeeding – together” and the important role of support at all levels for successful breastfeeding.

Prepare to be patriotic!

Young blonde boy carrying an American Flag over a wooden Bridge.

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate Uncle Sam, enjoy the summer weather, and spend time with family and friends. Keep these five things in mind as you plan your 4th of July celebration.

Prevent fireworks injuries

Fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, cuts, bruises, and foreign objects in your eyes.

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers.
  • Make sure you and your family watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
  • Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.

Beat the heat

In hot temperatures your body may be unable to properly cool itself. This could lead to serious health problems.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Put on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher – the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.
  • Stay in the shade!

Don’t let a stomach bug slow you down

The summer months typically see a spike in reports of foodborne illness. Keep the food safe at your 4th of July picnic or BBQ.

  • Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry and ready to eat foods, like raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs.
  • Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours – one hour if the outside temperature is over 90 degrees. Keep perishable food in an insulated cooler packed with ice or ice packs.

Prepare to take the plunge

Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 years old than any other cause except birth defects.

  • Designate a responsible adult to watch all children swimming or playing in or around water. Drowning occurs quickly and quietly, so adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children.
  • Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
  • Always swim with a buddy. Whenever possible choose swimming sites that have lifeguards.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.

Fight the bite

Bugs, including mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies can spread diseases like Zika, dengue, and Lyme disease.

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection.
  • Check yourself and your children for ticks. Ticks are easy to remove.

You can find more tips for a safe and healthy summer on the CDC website. Happy 4th of July!

Farewell, Providence! APHL Annual Meeting — Days 3 and 4

Farewell, Providence! APHL Annual Meeting — Days 3 and 4 | www.APHLblog.org

After four days of fascinating speakers, networking with peers and partners from around the world, and enjoying public health jokes that only insiders would understand, the 2017 APHL Annual Meeting came to a close. It was the largest meeting yet with over 700 attendees. We are so thankful to the APHL staff, members, partners, exhibitors and speakers who made this meeting a success! See you all in Pasadena, California in 2018!

Below is a round-up of days 3 and 4.

Day 1 round-up

Day 2 round-up

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Hello, Providence! APHL Annual Meeting — Day 1

Hello, Providence! APHL Annual Meeting — Day 1 | www.APHLblog.org

We had an exciting first day of the 2017 APHL Annual Meeting in Providence! The meeting kicked-off with a warm welcome from Dr. Ewa King, director of the Rhode Island State Health Laboratories, and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. For more updates from the meeting, follow #APHL on Twitter and Instagram.

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