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LATEST NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Nearly Half of Adult Cancer Deaths in the U.S. Could be Prevented by Making Lifestyle Changes

A recent American Cancer Society study reveals that nearly half of adult cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented through lifestyle changes. The study found that 40% of new cancer cases and nearly 50% of cancer deaths among adults aged 30 and older are linked to preventable risk factors.

Leading risk factors include smoking, excess body weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, diet, and infections such as HPV. The findings underscore the importance of lifestyle modifications in reducing cancer risk and empowering individuals with a sense of control over their health. Read more from CNN here.

Familiarity With the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Remains Low at Two-Year Mark

On the second anniversary of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released new resources highlighting steps for improving mental health crisis response. Over 10 million contacts have been made to 988 since its launch in July 2022, yet awareness and understanding of 988 remain limited.

NAMI's recent poll reveals that while trust in 988 is high, only 23% of Americans are familiar with it. The data underscores the need for increased public education and robust funding for 988 services, supported by 83% of respondents. State-level legislative successes in sustainable funding and crisis care coverage provide a model for federal action to enhance crisis response systems. Read more here.

PHCC: Extreme Heat Resource

Temperatures are soaring across the country. Help your community members stay informed and prepared for extreme heat conditions this summer by sharing Beat the Heat: Staying Safe in Extreme Conditions, a guide created by the Public Health Communications Collaborative in partnership with the Health Action Alliance. The resource has helpful tips for your communities to prevent, identify, and treat heat-related illnesses. The resource includes shareable social graphics that are available in English and Spanish.

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In the realm of public health communications, the rapid emergence and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ushering in a transformative era. As a comprehensive leader in communications, public relations and marketing technologies, the Cision company understands the importance of embracing AI’s capabilities early in its development stages as a critical element in the future of addressing complex challenges, bolstering crisis response, and ultimately improving the health outcomes of communities worldwide.

During the Cision-sponsored showcase session “AI & the Future of Crisis Comms,” at the 2023 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media (NCHCMM), its panelists shared key findings and insights derived from real-life crises before delving into a focused conversation on how AI is re-shaping crisis communications in healthcare and empowering healthcare communications teams.

As a supplement to that inspiring and insightful discussion, Cision has followed up with six ways public health communicators, at all levels, can integrate the enormous power of AI tools into their daily work processes. The NCHCMM management team is happy to share these steps as part of our ongoing efforts to keep public health communicators informed and up to date on the evolution of public health communication in a changing world.   

Please click here to access the Six Steps to Using AI in Your Communication Strategies.

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Many of the health threats that plagued Americans several decades ago—such as unclean drinking water, bacterial and viral illnesses, and the consequences from behaviors such as smoking cigarettes and not wearing seatbelts—have been successfully diminished. These health threats were reduced thanks in part to the work of public health initiatives. 

However, a significant public health threat lingers without much hope on the horizon for a definitive resolution – the threat of gun violence. 

Unfortunately, results from a recent Axios/Ipsos American Health Index poll indicate that the majority of Americans surveyed now name gun violence in their communities as the number one health threat, followed closely by the threat of the opioid epidemic. 

The discussion of gun violence is intrinsically linked to political divisiveness. However, regardless of political lines, the threat to everyday Americans’ safety remains. The more that public health communicators and health organizations can reframe the issue of gun violence as a salient public health threat, the more progress may be made to ensure that Americans are safe. 

Here’s what you need to know about the state of gun violence in 2023 and how this kind of violence represents a threat to public health. 

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The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration came on May 11, 2023. One significant lesson emerging from the COVID crisis is that the U.S. and most of the world were unprepared for it. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies stress that it is never too soon to prepare for the next global emergency. 

Will the U.S. be able to respond to the next global public health crisis?  

“We Cannot Kick This Can Down the Road” 

While it may feel like the country is winding down from the effects of COVID, many public health leaders and experts warn against complacency and inaction. Instead, they urge governments to negotiate policies and enact legislation to prepare for the next pandemic. 

At this year’s United Nations annual assembly, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the inevitability of the next pandemic. He claimed, “We cannot kick this can down the road” because it is only a matter of when, not if, the next public health threat will emerge. 

The WHO is drafting a pandemic treaty that the member states will vote on in next year’s general assembly. This new treaty represents an agreement including more than 200 recommended actions countries can take to improve global security. Also, the treaty’s call to action covers the entire spectrum from pathogen identification to widespread vaccination. 

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Men and women should be proactive about their health. However, some health issues pertain specifically to men. Each June, healthcare organizations around the country recognize Men’s Health Month as a way to encourage men to take care of their health and prevent future illnesses. 

National Men’s Health Month can also serve as a helpful nudge for some men who are reluctant to discuss health issues with their medical providers. 

Whether you work in public health, are a man, or are a person who loves a man, raising awareness about specific men’s health concerns is a great way to recognize Men’s Health Month this June. 

This article will show you how to encourage men to take care of their bodies, prevent disease, and seek medical attention to stay well. Furthermore, supporting men’s health overall can also help men in minority groups stay healthier. 

How Can Men Stay Healthy Over the Long Term? 

Staying healthy as a man means maximizing one’s longevity and taking steps to avoid the development of disease. This lifelong mission boils down to a few key pillars of healthy living that include exercising, healthy eating, and sleeping enough. And avoiding habits that can impact your long-term health, such as smoking cigarettes or drinking heavily. 


Podcast

"Public Health Speaks"

A bi-monthly podcast series about public health issues to educate, inform and assist our members, partners and affiliate organizations in understanding and overcoming urgent communication challenges