Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Cancer Facts & Figures 2021

The American Cancer Society has released Cancer Facts and Figures 2021, which includes estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths; current cancer incidence, mortality, and survival statistics; and information on cancer symptoms, risk factors, early detection, and treatment. This year’s edition features a special section on the relationship between COVID-19 and cancer.

Understanding Racial Trauma Among Asian Americans

The increase in violent attacks against Asian Americans has confronted many people with the reality of Anti-Asian violence in the United States. The Pennsylvania Care Partnership is hosting a free webinar on April 29 at 2:00 pm to educate individuals on the long history of Anti-Asian racism and the impact of racially-based trauma on individuals. This workshop is free; to register click here.

Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a final recommendation statement on screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults. The Task Force determined more research is needed to make a recommendation for or against screening. To view the recommendation, the evidence on which it is based, and a summary for clinicians, please go here. The final recommendation statement can also be found in the April 13, 2021 online issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

National Infant Immunization Week Is April 24–May 1

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 25 – May 2, highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization partners. This year, because of the pandemic, it is critical to ensure that families stay on track for their children’s routine checkups. Since 1994, hundreds of U.S. communities have joined during NIIW to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities and public health. Giving babies and toddlers the recommended vaccinations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases. Access the CDC’s 2021 NIIW Digital Media Toolkit to plan and implement your organization’s NIIW activities. The toolkit includes updated logos, sample social media content, social graphics and key messages. Please share them, using the hashtag #ivax2protect.

National Coalition of Dentists for Health Equity

Dentists are often limited in expressing their views when it comes to issues of equity and workforce improvements. The new National Coalition for Dental Health Equity aims to unite dentists in support of evidence-based, high-quality, and cost-effective oral health services, including disease prevention and treatment and care delivery models. The organization’s purpose is to unite dentists who support evidence-based practices in the U.S. to advance the goal of comprehensive health equity with a specific interest in oral health equity for all.

STDs Reach All-Time High in 2019

For the sixth straight year, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) reached an all-time high according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with more than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2019. Congenital syphilis has increased a staggering 279 percent since 2015. And these numbers are not reflective of the year during COVID-19 when people were heeding stay at home orders and preventive and screening came to almost a virtual halt. Click here to read the report on the CDC website.

Ransomware Price Tag for Health Care Exceeded $20 Billion in 2020

Ransomware attacks cost the health care industry $20.8 billion in downtime in 2020, which is double the number from 2019, according to a new Comparitech report. The healthcare industry experienced 92 individual ransomware attacks. A separate SonicWall Cyber Threat Report found that the number of ransomware attempts against the healthcare sector jumped 123% last year.

NHSC Offers Facebook Chat Q&A

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is currently accepting applications for the Loan Repayment Program (LRP)Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP (SUD Workforce LRP), and Rural Community LRP. If you or a staff member need assistance choosing a program or applying, get answers to these questions and more during NHSC’s Facebook Chat on Thursday, April 22 from 8:00-9:30 pm. The Facebook Chat offers attendees the opportunity to hear from NHSC members and staff and administrators from NHSC-approved sites. Participants can ask questions in the event’s comment box and a panelist will respond. Select “Interested” or “Going” on the Facebook event page to receive a reminder as the event date approaches. Deadline for applications is May 6, 2021, at 7:30 pm.

Legacy CHWs Can Get Certified until June 15

Community Health Workers (CHWs) who have been on the job but have not graduated from a certified CHW program can attain certification based on previous coursework. These experienced CHWs have been “grandparented” by the Pennsylvania Certification Board until June 15, 2021. Download the legacy certification application. Under the education section of the application, CHWs must attach documentation of trainings that meet the minimum of 75 hours of education in the CHW field. The education must be completed before June 14. After that date CHWs must obtain a minimum of 75 hours of education from a single accredited program.

Pennsylvania New Unemployment Compensation Update Coming in June

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has announced that the department will be launching its new unemployment compensation system on June 8, 2021. The new system will provide access to more information and self-serve options, reducing the need for claimants to contact the understaffed and overworked UC service center. The current system has been in place for more than 40 years and has experienced significant problems, recently being heightened as a result of the pandemic. Read more about the new UC system.