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How to Rebuild Trust in Public Health

This past year has been tumultuous but promising, given the trifecta of COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) combined with unprecedented vaccine development and responses to other outbreaks. Despite recent medical advancements and more knowledge about infectious diseases, public health is under increased scrutiny. The spread of misinformation and disinformation has undermined our healthcare system’s ability to protect the population and deal adequately with public health threats.  The start of a new year brings the potential to respond to these perceptions of mistrust and...

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Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month

With winter comes all the sports you’ve missed during the warmer months—ice hockey, snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, and more. Whether you’re looking forward to your yearly trip to the slopes with the family or gathering on the ice to skate with friends, winter sports are a great way to get outdoors and stay active in the cold weather.  Still, they come with a warning label. Winter sports can be dangerous, specifically regarding the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). January is Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month, and now is a good time to remember that a TBI can happen to anyone and...

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Post-COVID Times

Your age, education, zip code, or employment background can determine your health status and access to quality healthcare in the U.S. and other parts of the world. To raise more awareness about this occurrence, public health experts and educators mark January as Social Determinants of Health (SDH) Month. This month-long observance presents an opportunity to recognize how economic and social factors can enhance or hinder health.  Social Determinants of Health and Their Influence  Social determinants of health (SDH) influence various aspects of our lives, including our ability to preserve our...

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Public Health Year in Review: The Biggest Headlines in 2022 

The spotlight remained squarely focused on public health in 2022 due to the development of significant new issues, such as the sweeping changes to women's reproductive rights and the emergence of a relatively unknown infectious disease, MPox, all superimposed on the COVID/RSV/Influenza tripledemic. While we have made great strides in responding to these issues, there is still much work to be done in 2023.  This includes addressing the re-emergence of polio, the escalating opioid crisis, the persistence of chronic diseases from smoking and obesity, and building capacity for mental health.  The...

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Pregnant People Hit Hard by Flu, but Many Remain Unvaccinated 

Flu season came early this year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that shows a sharp increase in pregnant people hospitalized for flu. It’s no coincidence that these hospitalizations are happening alongside lower flu vaccination rates this season. The Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) data shows that 46.5% of women aged 15-44 hospitalized for flu were pregnant.  Pregnant people are at a higher risk of complications and hospitalizations due to the flu. As a result, reduced vaccination rates are a danger to the health of the...

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