July 15th, 2011 by admin
No comments »
With all the fire response activity this week- I thought I’d do a piece on the framework that we’re all using for our response activities. We use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to guide and organize all of our responses because it provides a systematic, proactive structure with which to organize response activities. Many of you have taken the NIMS courses- but I’m pretty sure many of you haven’t. The introductory course is called IS-700. This course is provides an introduction to NIMS components, concepts and principles. It’s a very good overview course for political and government leaders, agency and organization administrators and department heads. There are also a series of new, more specialized, follow-up courses including the basic IS-100.b which introduces Incident Command; IS-100.HCb Incident Command for Healthcare Facilities; IS-100.HE for Higher Education; and IS-100.SCa for Schools. All these courses are on-line and free- and are a very good telework activity.
July 15th, 2011 by admin
1 comment »
Our behavioral health coalition completed and published our brand-new Raise Your Voice! Report… a product of our behavioral health focus groups with peers and family members in late 2010. We’re most proud of the fact that the entire process—from beginning to end—had the full participation or peers and family members (from the Arizona Peer and Family Coalition) in planning, organizing, leading and monitoring—making the result a true reflection of their voice. The Coalition finalized and approved the report yesterday.
Our behavioral health system transformation team sponsored the series of forums so that folks can express their opinions about how we should shape the future of the behavioral health system in Arizona. The forums actively involved the community through a series of focus groups that gathered the collective opinion of members on what they want and need from the behavioral health system. The team used an evidence-based practice called Community Based Participatory Research- which is used in public health research to engage the community in designing programs that are responsive to the public’s needs.
The first 13 pages of the report provide an easy-to-read summary of the findings. More detail is contained in the attachments to the report including the data and analysis for each question asked in the focus groups. The categories described on the charts are specifically defined for each question using the actual words and phrases spoken and written down in the focus groups.
We’ll continue to partner with our peer and family run organizations to bring the peer and family voice into the system. This is especially critical as we continue our work to transform Arizona’s publically funded behavioral health care service delivery system.
July 14th, 2011 by admin
15 comments »
The Arizona Department of Health Services has serious concerns about the legality of so-called cannabis clubs. The information that we have regarding these “clubs” suggests that they are distributing marijuana to customers in a way that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and the persons involved could be conducting illegal marijuana transactions. For this reason, we have referred this issue to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for review and analysis by its civil and criminal divisions.
July 13th, 2011 by admin
No comments »
Public health and the law are intertwined- and you can’t really be effective at developing public health policies and interventions without understanding how the law interfaces with public health. We’re fortunate to have a fantastic local resource right here in Arizona. The Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Center for Law, Science & Innovation brings together scholars, practitioners, students, and others to focus on critical issues at the intersection of law, ethics, and the public’s health. They have a diverse group of faculty, scholars, fellows, and collaborative partners.
They leverage funds from the HHS and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to: 1) Conduct legal research and analysis in targeted areas relevant to public health through core projects on select public health law topics; 2) Work with international, federal, state, tribal, and local public health leaders to provide technical assistance on public health law and policy issues; 3) Develop innovative public health law tools and training/education materials; 4) Serve as an interactive resource for practical and scholarly information on public health law and ethics; and 5) Develop practice-based resources and other tools in public health preparedness and other topics.
They’re putting together an October 6 event at ASU that will bring together leading public health officials, attorneys and practitioners across the 11 states of the Western Region of the Public Health Law Network to examine and discuss areas of law and policy. Participants will have opportunities to provide their input on key public health law topics, build partnerships among colleagues across states and learn about core areas of legal technical assistance capacity. You can check out more at their registration website.
The University of Washington has also posted an online training module on Practical Law for Public Health Officials. The objectives of this module include: recognizing legal issues; implementing effective strategies for working with legal counsel; and identifying key public health laws that govern leadership’s responsibilities, authority, and limitations. Click here to access the module.
Finally, the CDC has recently revamped their public health law resource website. The site includes a variety of helpful public health law resources including opinions and statutes other states have provided or implemented. The CDC Public Health Law News is another monthly e-mail digest of current, worldwide news stories, court opinions, announcements and special features related to public health law and legislation. The News is free and available to anyone with an interest in public health law.
July 13th, 2011 by admin
No comments »
A new law was passed last legislative session (HB 2416) that expanded the definition of an abortion to include “any means” (the former definition was limited to surgical abortions) and changed the qualifications for who can perform the procedure. For us, it meant that beginning July 21 (when the law was to take effect) we’d be responsible for ensuring compliance with the new provisions (including licensing an additional 12 or so abortion clinics). We already license them; outpatient treatment clinics- so our job would be to ensure that they also comply with our abortion clinic rules. However, earlier this year Planned Parenthood of AZ challenged some aspects of the new law-and at a hearing this week a judge held up the implementation of the new law pending an August 22nd hearing.
July 12th, 2011 by admin
No comments »
A few weeks ago I blogged about the June plenary session of the Arizona Mexico Commission called Arizona & Sonora: Gateway for Innovation. The conference provided an opportunity to move forward a bi-national agenda supported by Arizona and Sonora. The health committee discussed regional approaches to valley fever surveillance, burn patient infrastructure, substance abuse, TB, border first aid services and Sonora’s upcoming efforts to provide licensing and quality assurance services for assisted living in Sonora (and how we can partner with them as they set up their program).
A couple of weeks ago I was in Washington DC working on another border partnership called the US-Mexico Border Health Commission. The Commission was created in July 2000 and is comprised of the federal secretaries of health, the health officers of the 10 border states and appointed community health professionals from both nations. The Commission provides a unique opportunity to bring together the two countries and its border states to solve border health problems.
Each year the Commission establishes strategic objectives. This year’s priority areas include TB, physical activity and nutrition, infectious disease and public health emergencies, access to care, data collection, and academic alliances. We develop action items for each of the strategic objectives. Through the Commission, each of our border states are able to directly communicate with our respective federal agencies so that we can better align federal priorities with our border strategic objectives. A couple of weeks ago we were able to meet with several sub-cabinet agency decision-makers as well as several members of the House of Representatives and made real progress toward synchronizing federal policy with our strategic objectives for the border.