Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

STI Treatment Guidelines 2021 Released

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. This document provides current evidence-based diagnostic, management, and treatment recommendations, and serves as a source of clinical guidance for managing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It includes notable updates from the 2015 guidance including treatment on chlamydia, trichomoniasis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uncomplicated gonorrhea in neonates, children, and other specific clinical situations. It also builds on broader treatment changes that were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report late last year.

Bright Futures 4th Edition Guidelines Now Available

Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition is now available. It is an essential resource that provides healthcare professionals​ with updated background and recommendations for pediatric health promotion, health supervision, and anticipatory guidance for 31 age-based visits. The 4th Edition builds upon previous editions with thoroughly revised and updated content that reflects the latest research. It presents a new focus ​on the social determinants of health and on lifelong physical and mental health. The Bright Futures/AAP Periodicity Schedule​ presents in chart form the screenings, assessments, physical examinations and procedures recommended for each age-based visit.

Pennsylvania LTBI Toolkit Now Available Virtually

The Pennsylvania tuberculosis (TB) program is introducing a new, virtual version of the latent TB infection (LTBI) toolkit. The virtual toolkit includes educational materials about LTBI for healthcare providers and patients that can be downloaded. Several of the patient information materials are available in multiple languages.

New Directions for Mental Health Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing enormous damage to individuals that struggle with their mental health across the globe. This is happening both directly through the trauma of loss, increased levels of fear and anxiety, and the yet not fully known causes of longer-term effects from virus. A new report focuses on and brings insight to the changes that need to occur within the mental health workforce and the patients they serve. This report discusses potential ideas for changes in primary care settings, trainings and development opportunities and the increased need for investment in the field that must occur to meet the growing demands for mental health assistance.

New Guide Available on Community Health Worker Recruiting and Hiring

Draw upon lessons learned from health centers that have successfully hired, trained, integrated, and retained Community Health Workers (CHWs) and peers with lived experience. Community Health Worker/Peer Workforce: Recruiting and Hiring for Social Determination of Health Screening provides best practices developed through interviews and research, focused on the CHW and peer role in social determinants of health (SDOH) screening and addressing related disparities, like the impacts of COVID-19. These lessons can inform efforts to address and eliminate SDOH-associated health disparities that impact the most vulnerable communities.

The guide is a joint effort of several HRSA-funded National Training & Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs): MHP Salud, CSH, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Physicians Worry that Memory Problems After COVID-19 May Set Stage for Alzheimer’s

What scientists have found so far is concerning. For example, PET scans taken before and after a person develops COVID-19 suggest that the infection can cause changes that overlap those seen in Alzheimer’s. And genetic studies are finding that some of the same genes that increase a person’s risk for getting severe COVID-19 also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s diagnoses also appear to be more common in patients in their 60s and 70s who’ve had severe COVID-19.

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Doctors, Nurses and Other Health Groups Call for Mandatory Vaccinations for All Health Workers

Medical groups representing millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health workers called for mandatory vaccinations of all U.S. health personnel against the coronavirus, framing the move as a moral imperative as new infections mount sharply. “We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and 55 other groups wrote in a joint statement. “The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities and the nation depends on it.”

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U.S. House Passes Amendment Calling Contract Pharmacy Restrictions “Unlawful”

The U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote an amendment that called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “to protect the integrity of the 340B program by halting pharmaceutical manufacturers’ unlawful actions that have resulted in overcharges to 340B covered entities.” This amendment does not change the 340B statute to explicitly state that contract pharmacies are allowable. However, it is the first time that either house of Congress has voted on anything related to contract pharmacies, and it sends a clear signal — to HHS, the courts, and drug manufacturers — that Congress views contract pharmacy restrictions as “unlawful.” This vote will be very helpful in pushing back on drug makers’ claims that Congress never approved the contract pharmacy model.