Arizona Department of Health Services, Director’s Blog

Patient Confidentiality: Public Health’s Sacred Trust

  Public health surveillance is a cornerstone of public health practice…  and the effectiveness of that surveillance system rests on a foundation of patient confidentiality.  The public’s consent for allowing their personal medical information to be reported is made with the understanding that the data will be kept confidential.  The moment we jeopardize the trust, we put the entire public [...]

By |October 17th, 2013|General|0 Comments

Evaluating a Trauma System II

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced the concept of “Over Triage”…  which is when EMS transports a patient to the highest level of care (like a level I trauma center) when they could have taken them to a level III or IV trauma center closer to their home.  The downside of over-triage is that care at high-end centers is [...]

By |October 17th, 2013|General|0 Comments

Health in All Policies Guidance

The California Department of Public Health, the California Endowment, and the Public Health Institute released a document called  "Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments" this week…  which provides best practices to improve the public's health and safety by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across all sectors and policy areas.  The guide features strategies for achieving [...]

By |October 16th, 2013|General, Prevention|0 Comments

Pertussis Exemptions Study

A study came out in Pediatrics last week that looked at how vaccine exemptions were related to a statewide outbreak of pertussis (also known as whooping cough) in California in 2010. As you might expect, the authors found that there were more whooping cough cases in areas with higher rates of vaccine exemptions.  These findings were true even when the authors [...]

By |October 15th, 2013|Prevention|3 Comments

Behavioral Health Outreach Along the Border

We have two Regional Behavioral Health Authorities working to improve and protect mental health along the border. Cenpatico and Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) offer specialized programs to help combat substance abuse and prevent suicide as well as to help those with behavioral health issues.   One of the CPSA-sponsored prevention activities near the border includes substance abuse and suicide prevention. [...]

By |October 11th, 2013|Behavioral Health|2 Comments

Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Underway

A few weeks ago a Superior Court judge decided that a portion of our medical marijuana regulations are unreasonable because they lack a formal appeal process for dispensary registration certificate holders who don’t earn their approval to operate within 1 year.  Because of the  ruling, we approved renewal requests for all the current dispensaries (open or not).  The ruling also [...]

By |October 11th, 2013|Licensing|48 Comments