Free Webinar: Public Health Workforce & Substance Abuse in Rural Arizona

Friday, April 26, 2024

9-10am

Agenda

  • Public health relevance of substance use prevention, harm reduction and treatment focusing on opioids and stimulants.
  • Effective prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services that are being deployed across rural Arizona.
  • Importance of addressing both the social and environmental determinants of health in Rural Arizona.
  • Data collection, analysis, and synthesis to inform public health and health care stakeholders as they make policy and program decisions related to the public health and healthcare workforce in Arizona.

Our Speakers:

Dr. Bridget S. Murphy, DBH, M.Ed., has more than three decades of education and experience in public and behavioral health. She has had positions in academic institutions, community-based, and private sector organizations. Dr. Murphy has a doctorate in behavioral health and a master’s in education.

Her principal expertise is in substance use, mental health, and related infectious diseases for culturally diverse populations in various settings. As a teen, Dr. Murphy struggled with substance use and mental health issues and participated in treatment. This experience provided the foundation for her academic and professional direction.

Bryna Koch, DrPH has over 17 years of experience in public health policy analysis, research, and evaluation at the local, state, and national level.

In her current position as an assistant research professor at the University of Arizona, her work focuses on data collection, analysis, and synthesis to inform public health and health care stakeholders as they make policy and program decisions related to the public health and healthcare workforce in Arizona.

Dr. Mona Arora is an Assistant Research Professor at the College of Public Health. Dr. Arora has over fifteen years of experience in disaster preparedness and response, community resilience, and climate change. Dr. Arora currently leads the CDC-ADHS COVID-19 Health Disparities Initiative at the Arizona Center for Rural Health and is Co-Pi on the NIH funded Southwest Center for Resilience on Climate and Health.

Her research focuses on building the public health capacity to address “wicked’ public health challenges through the development of decision-support tools; enhancing science communication and translation; and integrating a health and equity lens to adaptation planning.

Register Here

EPA Issues Contaminant Limit for ‘Forever Chemicals’ (PFAS): Finally Clearing the Way for their Regulation in Drinking Water

EPA just established a maximum limit (Maximum Contaminant Level) for PFAS (aka perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they the chemicals don’t degrade over time in the environment as many other chemicals do, like gasoline.

The main sources of PFAS’ in the environment are:

  • Military bases and airports, mostly from training and testing exercises using firefighting foam;
  • Petroleum stations and terminals, chemical manufacturers, commercial printers, plastics and resin manufacturing sites; and
  • Paint and coating manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, makers of metal products and electrical components, and electroplating and polishing.

The new MCL for the chemicals is 4 parts per trillion, which is the lowest level that can be detected using current laboratory technology. EPA set the limit using the usual process for setting MCLs which considers a chemical’s ability to cause adverse health effects and an extrapolated assessment of a chemical’s ability to cause cancer.

PFAS will now be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act – which in Arizona is overseen by ADEQ (although some counties act under an agreement with ADEQ). Water systems with more than 15 service connections will now have to test for the chemical – and if present either treat to remove it, dilute it, or not use the water (private wells with 14 or fewer connections are off the regulatory grid).

See: EPA sets official limit for six ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

Pima County Health Department Internships

Pima County Health Department has 10 paid summer internship positions open!  These internships are located within various divisions throughout the department including Epidemiology, Consumer Health Vector, Clinical Services, Community Mental Health, Addiction, and Injury, Policy, Equity and Resilience, Cross Functional Operations and the Director’s Office. If you are interested in applying, please use the link below.  These internships require a commitment of 400 hours minimum from May 28, 2024 – August 2, 2024.

Pima County Job Opportunities | Departments: Health | Sorted by Posting Date descending | Current Job Opportunities

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds 1864/1901 Law Banning Nearly All Abortion Care: Training this Friday to Circulate Petitions to Legalize Abortion

This Friday: Training to Circulate Petitions for an Arizona Constitutional Amendment that Would Legalize Abortion Care in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court today upheld a territorial-era law that will shortly end nearly all abortion care in Arizona. Today’s ruling held that Arizona’s pre-statehood law mandating 2 to 5 years in prison for anyone aiding an abortion “… unless it is necessary to save her (the pregnant person’s) life” is the law of the land. The court believes the territorial-era law banning nearly all abortion care supersedes the more recent law from 2022 that allowed most abortions up to 15 weeks’ gestation.

The court indicated that their ruling can’t be applied retroactively – suggesting that providers who have assisted with abortion care prior to today’s landmark ruling can’t be prosecuted and imprisoned.

Governor Hobbs issued an executive order last year giving all power to enforce abortion laws to the state attorney general as opposed to county attorneys as is normally the case. Attorney General Mayes has suggested she won’t prosecute providers providing abortion care. However, Hobbs’ executive order could easily be challenged by various county attorneys who intend to enforce the territorial era law.

Reproductive-Rights-in-Arizona-1864-2022

Criminal enforcement of the new law will depend on whether county attorneys challenge Hobbs’ executive order. The Arizona Department of Health Services, which regulates clinics and hospitals that provide abortion care, has largely administrative authority (e.g. ensuring licensed facilities comply with the ruling). It’s unclear whether or when ADHS will provide guidance to the clinics they regulate that provide abortion care. See: Abortion Care in Arizona – 2023

In any event, it’s likely that all clinics that provide abortion care will suspend that care within the next couple of weeks. Hospitals, which also provide some abortion care, will likely suspend most care. They’ll also need to develop criteria for determining what “… unless it is necessary to save her life” means.

Arizona Supreme Court Ruling: Planned Parenthood v. Mayes No. CV-23-0005-PR

Held:  Simultaneous enforcement of the overlapping criminal and regulatory provisions of A.R.S. § 13-3603 and Title 36, including A.R.S. § 36-2322, does not facially violate physicians’ constitutional due process right to notice of their criminal and regulatory liability because the statutes clearly define the conduct prohibited and the punishment authorized.

Translation: Arizona Supreme Court holds that Arizona’s 1864 law prohibiting the provision of all abortion care unless the mother’s life is in danger is the law of the land. They believe the newer (2022) law limiting abortion care to 15 weeks does not apply and is superseded by the territorial era law.

Arizona for Abortion Access:  Petition Circulator Training for AZPHA Members

Friday, April 12, 2024: 10:00 AM 

Healthcare Rising Arizona is helping a coalition of organizations to collect signatures for a voter initiative to protect access to abortion care in Arizona. Healthcare Rising Arizona is offering a 1-hour online training event for AZPHA members who would like to become authorized to collect signatures for an amendment to the Arizona constitution the Initiative at 10am on Friday, April 12. After participating in the training, you’ll be authorized to circulate petitions.

During the one-hour webinar you’ll learn:

  • Background and context for the Initiative and get messaging frames for the Arizona for Abortion Access Act;
  • Procedures to properly collect petition signatures to ensure that the signatures are valid; and 
  • Learn strategies to avoid engaging with those who oppose the Initiative.

By the end of the training, you should feel comfortable collecting signatures (and know how to do so properly) and will learn how you can pick up petitions.

Register for the Training

View the Constitutional Amendment Language that Would Ensure Abortion Care in Arizona

Public Health Week & AZPHA Partners’ Spotlight: Emergency Preparedness

Each Spring the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week. We’re joining them locally by highlighting some of the work being done by our Organizational Members that focus on some of the areas related to this year’s theme: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

Public health is more than just health care. It’s the steps we take to make sure our neighborhoods and environment are free from pollution. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink.

It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities, and the public health field — can achieve the goals of public health

 

Theme 4 – Public Health Preparedness

Most public health emergencies are unpredictable. Disease Epidemics, Extreme WeatherBioterrorism, outbreaks of new viruses and unpredictable patterns of spread are all challenges we face in emergency public health.

Others, like extreme heat in the desert are more predictable.

AZPHA organizational member Maricopa County Department of Public Health is the primary agency responsible for protecting the health and wellness of residents and visitors during a public health emergency in their county.

  • They create emergency operating plans that guide response to public health emergencies: See their new report of heat-related deaths in 2023 and their evaluation of the effectiveness of a cooling centers investigated what brought people to cooling centers and the barriers that kept people from using them. 
  • Develop and support partnerships with the healthcare community, government agencies and private business
  • Test our plans through drills and exercises
  • Coordinate and run sites that will serve as emergency points of dispensing (PODs) where we will hand out life-saving medication during a large public health emergency 
  • Recruit and train volunteers to aid in a public health emergency. To join our Medical Reserve Corps volunteer program to assist in a Public Health emergency, JOIN HERE.

Public Health Week & AZPHA Partners’ Spotlight: Reproductive Health

Each Spring the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week. We’re joining them locally by highlighting some of the work being done by our Organizational Members that focus on some of the areas related to this year’s theme: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

Public health is more than just health care. It’s the steps we take to make sure our neighborhoods and environment are free from pollution. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink.

It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities, and the public health field — can achieve the goals of public health

Theme 3 – Reproductive & Sexual Health

AzPHA member Affirm’s goal is to create a future where everyone has the trust, support, and information they need to choose what’s best for them. They focus on making sexual and reproductive healthcare accessible to everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Affirm — High-quality health services in AZ

With Title X funding, Affirm coordinates sexual and reproductive healthcare services, connects clients to caring providers, and offers inclusive health education. With added donor support, we advocate for evidence-based health policy at every level of government.

Affirm serves people in Arizona – especially youth, the underinsured and uninsured, low-wage earners, Indigenous communities, and other groups who have been systematically excluded from receiving care. Affirming the dignity of the people we serve is crucial to our approach.

Affirm believes people know what’s best for them. We break down barriers, provide crucial education, and bust stigmas so that everyone can make decisions with confidence and clarity.

Learn more about Affirm here

Public Health Week & AZPHA Partners’ Spotlight: Healthy Communities

Each Spring the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week. We’re joining them locally by highlighting some of the work being done by our Organizational Members that focus on some of the areas related to this year’s theme: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

Public health is more than just health care. It’s the steps we take to make sure our neighborhoods and environment are free from pollution. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink.

It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities, and the public health field — can achieve the goals of public health

Theme 2: Healthy Communities

Where we live, learn, work and play have a greater impact on how long and how well we live than individual behaviors or health care. To improve the health and well-being of Arizonans, we must change the underlying conditions in our communities.  

AZPHA works with the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities and their vision that all of Arizona’s communities should be healthy places to live. 

Their unique approach brings the private and public sectors together to ensure that banks, health insurers, and health care providers are active partners alongside the government and nonprofit sectors.

  • Their Live Well Arizona Incubator coaches teams that have identified a geographically-based health issue through the collaboration process and prepares the team to expand its work.
  • They also provide technical help collaborations can be established, projects developed, and communities can thrive.
  • Their engaging events offer cross-sector opportunities to share data, best practices, and policies to make our communities healthy.

Learn more about Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities on their website

Public Health Week & AZPHA Partners’ Spotlight: Civic Engagement

Each Spring the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week. We’re joining them locally by highlighting some of the work being done by our Organizational Members that focus on some of the areas related to this year’s theme: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

Public health is more than just health care. It’s the steps we take to make sure our neighborhoods and environment are free from pollution. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink.

It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities, and the public health field — can achieve the goals of public health

Theme 1: Civic Engagement

“Civic health” refers to the civic, social, and political strength of a community. It includes civic engagement and reflects the community’s ability to unify to resolve problems. “Civic engagement” refers to the extent to which individuals and groups involve themselves in efforts to edify their community.

Since its founding, AZPHA Organizational Member, the The Vitalyst Health Foundation has connected, supported, and informed efforts that strengthen civic health. Volunteerism has been a key mission from the start, stemming from the robust groups of volunteers who provided charity care and helped at the hospitals.

As the foundation’s brand has evolved, so has its approach to strengthening civic health. Vitalyst has:

  • connected residents through Arizona Town Hall for effective deliberations and consensus building;
  • supported Arizona Gives Day, which inspires charitable giving and more donations to local nonprofits;
  • supported place-based community development through the Live Well AZ Incubator; and
  • informed legislation and public policy, and nonpartisan awareness building. These efforts represent opportunities for the community to engage in civic life toward the common good. They are examples of activities that build social and cultural cohesion, and ultimately civic health.

Civic participation improves civic health, increases the social connectedness of communities, gives participants a sense of belonging, and connects them to the people and resources they need to thrive.

Civic engagement includes full access to voting, which requires fair and inclusive voting systems. In a healthy democracy, inclusive voting systems end inequities in voter registration and voting turnout. Fair and inclusive voting means policies are in place to assure that everyone who is eligible to vote can register and vote.

See the Full Report: Strengthening Civic Health in Arizona – The Intersection of Civic Engagement and Health

Celebrate National Public Health Week by Watching ‘The Invisible Shield’ on PBS

The Four-Part PBS Series Exploring the Hidden Public Health Infrastructure in America That Saves Lives Every Day

This award-winning series reveals how the field of public health has saved countless lives, protecting people from the constant threat of disease, and increasing lifespans.

Using vivid character portraits, interviews, and archival elements, The Invisible Shield depicts public health as a progressive and revolutionary movement, whose successes have come from a diverse, cross-disciplinary coalition of dedicated public servants (like you) working together to improve the conditions of society.

The series looks to history to show how public health practices have emerged over centuries as humanity confronted problems arising from urbanization, industrialization, and globalization.

It examines public health’s major achievements — including the more than 30-year increase in life expectancy between 1900 and 2000 and the eradication of smallpox in the 1970s.

Public health challenges are also explored, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlights how misunderstood, undervalued, and underfunded public health is.

Episode 1: The Old Playbook  Public health has transformed human life, silently protecting us from disease and fatalities. Interventions large and small — from quarantines to crosswalks, vaccines to modern sanitation — have allowed American society to flourish and keep illness, injury, and death at bay.

Episode 2: Follow The Data Data has been an essential public health tool since at least the 17th century, when cities began regularly recording mortality statistics. Data science has guided public health policy since the earliest practices of data collection in the 1800s to identify the spread of disease.

Episode 3: Vaccination & Inequity From the early days of vaccination in the late 1700s through the rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine, scientists have achieved extraordinary feats to combat, contain, and eradicate disease — but solutions only work if people trust the science.

Episode 4: The New Playbook Inequality, structural racism, inadequate health care access, insufficient job protections, and a badly neglected public health system all contributed to catastrophic systemic failures.

All four episodes of The Invisible Shield are now streaming on PBS.org and the PBS App including Arizona PBS Passport – Arizona PBS

Note: Arizona PBS Passport is one of the benefits you receive when you support Arizona PBS by giving $5/month or $60/year. With Passport, you can stream your favorite PBS programs – full seasons of Masterpiece, episodes of Nova, Arizona Horizon, Nature, American Experience, Great Performances, Independent Lens and more.

FDA Recommends Dropping B Strain from 2024/2025 Influenza Vaccine – Moving to a Trivalent Shot

FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met this month to make their recommendation for a formula for this year’s influenza vaccine.

The FDA is recommending influenza vaccine manufacturers drop the B/Yamagata lineage and just go with a trivalent vaccine this year (down from a quadrivalent vaccine that has been in place for many years).

The decision was rooted mostly in surveillance data and antigenic characteristics of recent influenza isolates. The committee recommended that the trivalent formulation of egg-based influenza vaccines for the U.S. 2024-2025 influenza season have the following:

  • an A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Thailand/8/2022 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus.

Manufacturers will now begin making the vaccines for the 2024/25 season. The egg-based vaccines will get started first because of the long lead time needed for that process.

Selecting Viruses for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | CDC

The final step will be the CDC recommendations. The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices will be meeting on June 26-28 to make their final recommendations, which will almost vaccine recommendations based on demographics like age, pregnancy etc.