Reports, Reports, Reports

January 24th, 2012 by admin No comments »

Various state laws direct our agency to put together a series of reports every year.  Some of the reports are annual, some every 2 years, and some don’t exactly say how often we’re supposed to publish.  We list each of the reports on our Agency Reports web page.  Curious about what some of them are?  Here are a few links to some of them: 

ADHS Annual Report

ADHS Strategic Plan

Annual Arizona Report on Abortions

Child Care Study Report

Annual Report of the Incidence and Reported Causes of Stillbirths

Designation of Arizona Medically Underserved Areas

Division of Behavioral Health Services & Arizona State Hospital Annual Report

Food Analysis Safety Summary Report

Arizona Child Fatality Review Team Annual Report

Smoke-Free Arizona Annual Report

Annual Report on Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

You don’t see the Medical Marijuana annual report on the list yet- because the program isn’t a year old yet…  but you’ll see that one posted sometime next Summer.

Dispatching Saves Lives

January 23rd, 2012 by admin No comments »

The American Heart Association published a scientific advisory statement this week which underscores the crucial importance 9-1-1 dispatchers can play in the “Chain of Survival” for cardiac arrest.  As is often the case- we were ahead of the curve.  Long before this new policy statement came out, we began implementing a bold, statewide program aimed at both training dispatchers in the latest Guidelines and measuring the effectiveness of their CPR coaching.  The goal is to ensure that each time a 9-1-1 caller in Arizona needs help, they will receive clear, simple telephone CPR instructions.

Building the AZ Health Care Workforce: The National Health Service Corps

January 20th, 2012 by admin 1 comment »

Our Health Systems Development shop just got a new workforce recruitment and retention grant from the National Health Service Corps to improve the number of healthcare providers that practice where we have shortages (technically called underserved areas).  The Corps offers medical, dental, and behavioral health providers the opportunity to repay their student loan debts in exchange for serving Arizona’s underserved communities for a period of time.  Up to $60K in loan repayment is available for providers who commit to serve for two years- or up to $170K if they sign up for 5 years.  There’s also a scholarship program.  Visit for more information on the National Health Service Corp Loan Repayment Programs or contact Ana Roscetti, Workforce Program Manager at

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Update

January 19th, 2012 by admin 12 comments »


With the recent ruling in Maricopa Superior Court, ADHS is analyzing the best way to responsibly begin accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries. Last week, the Governor instructed ADHS to proceed with the dispensary portion of the AMMA. One of the stumbling blocks was the pending Compassion First vs. Arizona case, which challenged some of ADHS’ rules for prospective dispensary owners. Now that the judge has ruled, ADHS is working to determine the next steps to begin accepting dispensary applications.

Improving Opportunities for Folks with Developmental Disabilities

January 19th, 2012 by admin No comments »

Accessibility, advocacy and jobs are the focus of the grants given by the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council this year.  The DDPC found 8 projects that will help the community with creating an accessible transportation system, educate folks about the Legal Options Manual and how to use it, work to train people as Partners in Policy Making, and secure a large employer to create internships for people with developmental disabilities.

Keeping Families Together in Emergencies

January 18th, 2012 by admin No comments »

Families often get split up when there is an emergency– but they shouldn’t have to split up at a shelter.  ADHS, along with the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council and other partners, found a way to reduce that problem.  Using CDC grant funds, we purchased special equipment that will let people with functional needs stay in any emergency shelter.  The state now has a cache of special beds, chairs and health care supplies that will let folks who live on their own at other times, stay in a regular shelter and not have to go to a hospital or other facility.  Two benefits – they get to stay with family and friends and our health care facilities are able to tend to those hurt in a disaster.

New Debilitating Medical Condition Applications

January 17th, 2012 by admin 6 comments »

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (36-2801.01) directs us to accept and review applications to add new debilitating medical conditions that qualify folks to hold patient registration cards.  We outlined the requirements and review procedures in the Rules we adopted (R9-17-106)- which say that we’ll accept applications every January and July.  We’re planning to accept applications during the last week of January (January 23-27th).

Here’s the process: Once we receive an application, we’ll notify the requester that the application was received, and we’ll begin our review.  In order for an application to be successful, the submitters will need to provide evidence as outlined in the R9-17-106 Rule, including: 1) evidence that the medical condition impairs the ability of the individual to accomplish activities of daily living; 2) evidence that marijuana provides a therapeutic or palliative benefit for the condition; and 3) whether conventional medical treatments provide a benefit for the medical condition.  Applicants need to include data from peer-reviewed scientific journals to support the application.

We plan on partnering with the U of A’s Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Biomedical Campus teams to review the requests. They’ll be providing us with valuable support, including researching the applications and providing us with summary reports and recommendations using students, faculty and their extensive public health and medical expertise.

If the information provided by the applicant meets the requirements, we’ll schedule a public hearing to discuss the request and provide a date for the hearing.  If the information provided doesn’t meet the requirements, we’ll notify the requester with reasons and provide for a process for requesting judicial review.  You can see more information about the process in our Fact Sheet on submitting petitions.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Application Process to Proceed

January 13th, 2012 by admin 28 comments »

Last May (after receiving a threatening letter from the Arizona U.S Attorney’s Office) the Governor suspended the dispensary portion of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act with a genuine concern that state employees would be federally prosecuted.  Last year, we asked the federal court to provide us with guidance regarding the obvious conflicts between the Arizona law and the federal Controlled Substances Act.  The federal court’s refusal to address the issue on the merits left many unanswered questions regarding these conflicts.  It’s unfortunate that the Federal court and the Arizona U.S Attorney’s Office couldn’t provide clarity for us on this issue.  However, after careful consideration, the Governor has asked us to implement the dispensary portion of the AZ Medical Marijuana Act.

Our first step will be to review the rules for accepting dispensary applications.  Our rules had originally stated that we’d accept dispensary applications last June.  Obviously, that’s no longer possible- so we’ll need to set new application dates using the State’s rulemaking process.  We’re working on those rules right now. The process is complicated by the fact that a lawsuit called Compassion v. Arizona is challenging the scope and constitutionality of our medical marijuana rules.  If that lawsuit is withdrawn or settled quickly, we could begin accepting dispensary applications this Summer.

Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program

January 13th, 2012 by admin 5 comments »

Our Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program enrolled our 1000th participant this month- providing new opportunities to more than 1000 families to bake food at home and be able to sell it commercially.  This week also marks the 6 month anniversary of this innovative new program.  We also recently completed the official rules- which will go into effect in early February.  If you’re on board as one of our 1000 registrants- check out our updated Home Baked and Confectionery Goods website where you can find information on labeling requirements, hazardous foods, food handler cards, and production guidelines. 

Looking for some recipes that taste good, offer good nutrition, and are suitable for preparing for sale under the program? Check out this high-volume recipe for glazed lemon bars. Rest assured, these recipes were developed to provide quality and yield consistency; taste panels of adults and children tested these products for texture, taste, aroma, appearance, and overall quality. You can find more healthy recipes like this from the USDA Recipes for Child Care on the healthy recipes page of our website.  Don’t forget to bookmark and watch our informational video for home-based businesses.

If you’re interested, but not signed up yet- what are you waiting for?

Public Health’s 10 Essential Services

January 12th, 2012 by admin No comments »

Public Health’s 10 Essential Services

Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture – what is public health?  Public health is everywhere and is a part of the infrastructure that keeps our communities safe and healthy and focuses on the entire populations while other models may focus on the individual.  In the 1900s the average lifespan of people in the US increased by 30 years and according to an article by Bunker, Frazier, and Mosteller (1994), 25 years can be attributed to advances in public health. 

But what’s public health?  One way to describe it to newcomers is what we call the “10 Essential Public Health Services”, which summarizes and categorizes public health into 10 core disciplines.  Here they are: 

  • Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems… (what’s going on in our state/community? Do we know how healthy we are?)
  • Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community…  (Are we ready to respond to health problems or threats? How quickly do we find out about problems? How effective is our response?)
  • Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues and keeping folks informed about health issues and healthy choices… (How well do we keep all people and segments of our State informed about health issues?
  • Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems and engage people and organizations in health issues… (How well do we really get people and organizations engaged in health issues?)
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts and plan and implement sound health policies… (What policies promote health in our State? How effective are we in planning and in setting health policies?)
  • Compliance with standards designed to that protect health and ensure safety..  (Are we effective at ensuring that our health regulations are  up-to-date, and do we gain compliance in effective, competent, and fair ways?)
  • Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable and make sure people receive the medical care they need… (Are people receiving the medical care they need?)
  • Assure a competent public health and medical workforce… (do we have a competent public health staff? How can we be sure that our staff stays current?)
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services… (Are we doing any good? Are we doing things right? Are we doing the right things?)
  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems… (Are we discovering and using new ways to get the job done?)

When you get a chance, click on some of the elements above- I’m pretty sure you’ll see yourself and your program in a least a couple of places.  The elements above are independent of each other yet are complementary goals for communities to work toward.  The Community Toolbox has great information to further explore the services.  The elements above are also used as a foundation for the National Public Health Performance Standards Program instruments whose goal and mission are to improve the quality of public health practice and the performance of the public health system.  These instruments (assessments) are a part of the prerequisite for accreditation.