Arizona Department of Health Services, Director’s Blog

First Case of MERS in U.S.

A healthcare worker who recently returned from Saudi Arabia is the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the U.S.  The person's in stable condition in isolation in an Indiana hospital. All public health agencies around the world have been carefully watching for new cases of MERS since the disease was discovered in Saudi Arabia in [...]

By | May 2nd, 2014|General, Preparedness|0 Comments

Dodging the Measles Bullet?

You might remember from a few weeks ago that a single patient exposed over 1,000 Arizonans to measles.  Because measles is highly infectious and 90% of unvaccinated contacts become infected, Public Health worked overtime to identify and interview suspected cases.   Health care facilities were placed on heightened alert.  The State Laboratory rushed testing of suspicious measles cases.  Media interviews alerted [...]

By | May 1st, 2014|Preparedness|0 Comments

5 Years of Behavioral Health Innovation Paying Dividends (Part III)

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve reflected about some of the innovative strategies that we’ve implemented with our behavioral health community partners over the last several years to improve the health status of folks with a serious mental illness.  So far, I’ve covered integrated health homes and improvements to the crisis system. On the kids front, more than 1,500 [...]

By | April 30th, 2014|Behavioral Health|1 Comment

FDA Study Committee Recommends Disapproval of New Opiate Painkiller

Last week an FDA panel unanimously recommended rejecting a new drug that’s a combination of morphine and oxycodone – two very strong painkillers.  The panel, Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee, said the company didn’t provide data to prove that Moxduo is more effective or safer than using one of the already available drugs.  

By | April 29th, 2014|General|0 Comments

“Health Windows” Provide Important Health Information to Hard-to-Reach Populations

Ventanilla de Salud (Health Windows) is a program that improves access to preventive health care, health education, and public health screening at Mexican consular offices throughout the US. There are 5 Ventanillas in AZ (Douglas, Nogales, Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma).  The Ventanillas are operated jointly by the Department of Health of Mexico (Secretaria de Salud de México) and the Department [...]

By | April 28th, 2014|Prevention|0 Comments

Got drugs?

You may be contributing to one of Arizona’s biggest public health problems and not even realize it.  Arizona has the 6th highest rate in the country for prescription drug misuse and drug overdose death. What’s really frightening is that more than 90% of Arizona youth that misuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends. The best way for you, and [...]

By | April 25th, 2014|Prevention|0 Comments