Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix’

AZ Cities’ General Plan Schedules

May 2nd, 2013

A city’s General Plan is one tool for communities to define how they want their city or town to grow and improve population health.  Currently, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale are updating their General Plans, and each city has a variety of resources that give community members the opportunity to share their opinions and get involved with making their community healthier.  And remember there are excellent tools out there to help folks think through community design. 

Mesa has a website called This is My Mesa that gives their folks an opportunity to share their vision of a healthy community.  Check out the “News” and “Get Involved” tabs to look for upcoming events and ways to participate. Mesa has gone one step further and created  Idea Site. Through September you can share your ideas about what you want in your Mesa…  and voice your thoughts about how health can tie into the city’s General Plan. 

Tempe has an online forum where community members can share their 30-year vision for Tempe and can help craft a plan that makes Tempe a healthier community.  Information about upcoming meetings and the logistics of Tempe’s 2040 General Plan can be found on the City of Tempe website under the Community Development page. Keep your eyes open… there will be a process for public comment and involvement. The Council is scheduled to adopt the plan in late 2013 & Tempe residents are scheduled to vote on the General Plan in May 2014. 

Scottsdale has a website called Scottsdale General Plan, Your Plan, Your Future where community members can stay informed about Scottsdale’s 2014 General Plan. During late January and early February, a group of Scottsdale citizens came together to develop a draft vision statement for the 2014 General Plan…  which you can read and comment on here.  Community engagement will continue throughout 2013, with the General Plan public hearing and adoption process in late 2013 and early 2014. Scottsdale residents will vote on their Plan in August of 2014. 

Phoenix is in the middle of developing their General Plan- and 2013 is the year of heavy lifting.  They have a website called My Plan PHX which serves as their General Plan info hub.  Their “How it Works” site is a good place to start.  A good next step is to go to the Conserve Create ConnectPHX site and weigh in on the development and recreational ideas proposed by others- or post your own ideas.  

The General Plan outlines the plans for your city’s future. What better way is there to create the healthy environment you want to live and grow in over the next 10, 20, or 30 years? 


Building a World-Class Trauma System

March 1st, 2013

 Four years ago- AZ didn’t really have a trauma system.  We had 7 Level I (high-end) Trauma Centers…  but that’s it.  After 4 years and a full court press- we now have a decent trauma system that includes 31 trauma centers, (8 Level I, 4 Level III, and 19 Level IV (16 of the Level IVs are in rural Arizona).  Over the past few years I’ve blogged about the progress we have made.  Our next goal is to develop a world-class trauma system. 

To help us get there we asked the American College of Surgeons to review today’s AZ Trauma System and make recommendations areas for improvement.   So, what’s in the report?  For one, traumatic injury in rural AZ still has room for improvement.  For another, trauma care in the urban areas of Phoenix and Tucson is solid…  and we want to make sure that we keep it that way and improve even further where we can.  That means redoubling our focus on preventing injury from happening in the first place, continuing to focus on building out our rural trauma system, ensuring that trauma patients get high quality and timely care in the field, helping our Level III and IV trauma centers implement performance improvement practices in their facilities, and identifying 3 or 4 hospitals to become Level III trauma centers in rural AZ.

We don’t have the statutory authority to implement a designation moratorium for additional Level I Trauma Centers as the report recommends- but we do recognize the importance of having sufficient patient volume to support the necessary resources and provider expertise required by the highest level Trauma Centers.  As a next step, we’ll be getting a group of experts to examine the data in our trauma registry in detail and come up with evidence-based criteria for determining need for the addition of future Trauma Center(s) in Arizona. These criteria may eventually serve as a substantive policy statement for us, guiding us as we review all future Level I Trauma Center applications. 

We’ll also be engaging with our stakeholders (State Trauma Advisory Board, EMS Council, Medical Direction Commission and the four EMS Regions) in the coming months to develop priorities and a plan for our future trauma system development.  We put together a set of frequently asked questions that shed some light on where we plan on going from here.  I also talked about it for a few minutes on Wednesday night’s Horizon.  I’m excited to think about what additional progress we continue to move the needle on trauma in Arizona- contributing to ”Health and Wellness for all Arizonans”.

UA College of Public Health Info Sessions

February 25th, 2013

The UA College of Public Health Phoenix location has new options for students interested in the Master of Public Health (Public Health Practice Concentration) and the Graduate Certificate in Health Administration.  They also have several online graduate certificate programs and many other degree options at the Tucson campus.  

The College is hosting information sessions in Phoenix, Tucson, and online for interested prospective students.   Most of the programs have upcoming deadlines of March 1…  but the MPH in Public Health Practice (Phoenix) and the MD/MPH programs have deadlines of May 1.  Contact Kim Barnes at for more info.


Walk to help Valley AIDS Agencies

October 19th, 2012

The world’s first AIDS Walk was developed by Craig Miller in 1984 during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Seeing the need for immediate action in response to this public-health emergency, he drew on his experience as a political and community organizer, combining grassroots activism with fundraising and other campaign strategies to raise both awareness and urgently needed funds for the fight against AIDS.  The AIDS Walk began in Phoenix in 1987 and quickly grew to become a community-wide event that at its peak raised nearly $1 million dollars.  The walks were suspended in ’03 but returned in 2007 when a group of passionate folks convince the Aunt Rita’s Foundation to revive the event.

This Sunday (October 21st) at 8:00 am, the Aunt Rita’s Foundation along with a great group of sponsors will once again host the 2012 Phoenix AIDS Walk and 5K Run.  The walk starts in front of Phoenix City Hall at 200 West Washington.  You can walk, run or sit and donate anywhere from a $1 to as much as you are comfortable donating. You don’t have to give to participate, but every cent goes towards 20 AIDS agencies in the valley.  You can also choose to have any of your pets raise money, so that someday you, too, can win the prestigious “Golden Bone” Award. 

You can find our ADHS team by going to and looking for “Team Public Health”.  For more information, check out the website or contact RJ Shannon at  It’s not too late to sign up- and the forecast is a high temp below 90 Sunday.


September 19th, 2012

Our chronic disease prevention team and the county health departments, community partners, and Pima Prevention Partnership, officially launched STAND last week.  It’s a coalition of local youth groups that have banded together in a common cause against tobacco use.  It’s the culmination of a three-year effort to engage more youth in the actual planning and implementation of tobacco control.  Through adult and youth trainings, an annual celebratory conference, and an increased online presence via STAND Facebook and, local coalitions retain their identities while maximizing their impact on a statewide basis. 

Trainings for adult coalition leaders, as well as youth coalition members, have been held regionally during both the fall and spring in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.  Adult coalition leaders learn how to effectively foster youth coalition development, assist the coalition members where needed and provide additional logistical support. Individual technical assistance is provided where needed to both youth and adults.  Trainings for the youth include education on advocacy, public speaking, social media and message development. A winter summit is in the works that will bring together youth to start planning for the end of the year youth tobacco coalition conference. 

Building on the momentum and outcomes of the highly-successful Venomocity campaign, this represents an expansion of our youth prevention efforts that now includes youth coalition activities, prevention outreach, point-of-sale efforts including the Attorney General’s sting operations, and the FDA program.  As the centralized hub of activity STAND will provide information and resources for youth and adult leaders.  Facebook and YouTube sites have also been created to tap into the social media opportunity that presents itself when working with youth. 

While overall use of tobacco among Arizona youth has mirrored the national trend of leveling off, Arizona has seen the single largest decrease in overall consumption (measured by teens who report smoking more than ten cigarettes per day).  This new launch of intensifying youth-to-youth involvement is the result of our robust formative research in figuring out the how’s and why’s of successful interventions.

Think Before You Ink

August 31st, 2012

Many of you have probably seen the signs around town about the Tattoo Expo that is happening this weekend in Phoenix.  Tattoos have been growing in popularity over the past decade, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely safe. Recently there was a recall of tattoo ink because the ink was contaminated with an unusual (and stubborn)  bacteria called Mycobacteria. Some of these contaminated inks have caused serious infections, including lung disease and joint infections. Mycobacteria infections may look similar to allergic reactions, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your tattoos. If you suspect you have a tattoo-related infection you should contact your health care provider and report the problem to the tattoo artist. You can  also report the problem to the FDA’s MedWatch or 1.800.332.1088. 

Tattooing involves intentional cutting (injuring) the skin and introducing ink to create permanent markings. If the tattoo shop doesn’t practice good control measures then blood can be shared between people- potentially leading to infections like hepatitis C, HIV, and staph skin infections.  Even if they practice good hygiene, you can still end up with a secondary infection- because your skin (which protects your body from bacteria, viruses and fungi) has been injured.  I blogged about this previously in Tattoo You?  and said it’s up to you to decide if the risks are worth it. 

If you do decide to get a tattoo, it’s important to look at the practices of the staff in the shop. Be sure to look around and ask questions.  You’ll want to be sure the shop sterilizes equipment and that the ink, needles or other equipment are not shared between people. Tattoo artists can minimize the risk of infection by using inks that are specially made to ensure they are free from disease-causing bacteria, and avoiding the use of non-sterile water to dilute the inks or wash the skin. Non-sterile water includes tap, bottled, filtered, or distilled water.  Also, pay attention to the infection control advice they give you when you leave.  

You decide.

“Be SunWise & Play Sun Smart”

June 5th, 2012

The 2012 "Be SunWise and Play Sun Smart" poster-drawing contest winner Aksel Laudon and his teacher Jeffrey GarrettAksel Laudon, a 6th-grade student at Kyrene Centennial Middle School in Phoenix, is this year’s “Be SunWise and Play Sun Smart” poster-drawing contest winner. Aksel’s drawing was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks from more than 7,000 student poster entries.  Aksel and his teacher Jeffrey Garrett, and their families will be celebrated at the June 5 DBacks game in a pre-game award ceremony on the Jumbotron. Aksel’s drawing will be featured as the SunWise Sun Safety Program’s 2012 campaign poster. All 7000+ entrants received a personalized certificate of recognition and there were 50 semifinalists: 50 semi-finalists

Thanks to partners: the DBacks, and Virginia Warren and Lynn Benish in our Health Systems Development shop for the database, personnel, and upcoming printing of 10,000 posters.  Aksel’s drawing will be sent to schools and organizations throughout Arizona.  Also a thanks to Smoke-free Arizona’s Thom Wilson for creating the SunWise operating database. Visit: to learn more about sun safety.

Recovery Through Whole Health Request for Information

March 19th, 2012

We’ll be having a “Request For Information” session regarding our Recovery Through Whole Health, the Regional Behavioral Health Authority with Health Homes” project (a.k.a. the upcoming Request for Proposal for behavioral health services in Maricopa County) this Wednesday beginning 1 pm at the Radisson City Center at 3600 N. 2nd Ave. in Phoenix.

Our Integration Website has more details about the event including the PowerPoint presentation that we’ll be using.    

This will be a relatively informal event where we’ll provide some information about the project and our expectations…  and it’ll provide an opportunity for potential bidders, other behavioral health providers and consumers, peers and family members to ask questions and provide input about the project.  We aren’t asking for written responses – as this is a relatively informal affair.

Step Right Up: Get your Masters in Public Health in Phoenix!

March 14th, 2012

When I got into public health 25 years ago, it was kind of a boutique profession. Since then, it’s really gone mainstream- and public health is increasingly being recognized as a key element in driving down our country’s increasing health care costs.  So if you’re a beginning or mid-career professional- get in on the ground floor and snap up your MPH right here in Phoenix. 

Lucky for you, the U of A’s Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is offering a Master of Public Health (MPH) (with a concentration in Public Health Practice) in Phoenix at the Biomedical Campus.  The next bolus of students will start this Fall.  There’s still time to apply for the fall classes- but the May 1st application deadline is rapidly approaching. 

The Phoenix program offers the Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice which prepares students to develop the public health skills needed to work in a variety of governmental and non-governmental settings including the local, county and state departments of health, the Indian Health Service, Medicaid and Medicare programs, hospitals, and community health centers.  Students work as part of multidisciplinary teams and develop skills to manage and evaluate real-life public health programs. 

Here’s a link about admissions criteria and how to apply.  You can also contact Kim Barnes at or 602-827-2070 for more info.

Fl- – An Inexpensive Public Health Intervention

January 11th, 2012

When I was a kid growing up in Tucson- it seemed like we lived at the dentist- and getting cavities filled was routine.  It’s way better these days because of a host of public health and dental product interventions…  but 75% of Arizona kids still have tooth decay by the time they’re in 3rd grade.

Around 1900 scientists speculated that fluoride might protect against tooth decay based on observations that different communities had different trends in tooth decay.  They didn’t exactly know that it was fluoride, but noted that fewer cavities were present in communities where folks had mottled teeth (now called dental fluorosis) which we now know is caused by high levels of fluoride.  Researchers in the 30s and 40s found the direct relationship between fluoride concentrations and tooth decay, and determined that moderate levels of fluoride prevent cavities.  Water fluoridation as a public health intervention began shortly thereafter.

Water fluoridation today reduces cavities by up to 40% relative to communities with low levels of fluoride.  It costs about 95 ¢ per person per year, saves $38 in unnecessary dental costs per person per year… and fluoridating a person’s water for a lifetime costs less than filling 1 cavity!

Some fluoride is naturally present in water and food. Because of our reliance on groundwater for drinking water In Arizona, many communities have naturally occurring fluoride- so all Arizonans get some.  When you hear the word “fluoridation” it basically means that the community adds enough fluoride to the water to bring the natural level up to the amount needed to prevent tooth decay.  Currently, 10 Arizona communities (Bisbee, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Guadalupe, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Tempe, and Yuma) fluoridate their water supply to the right level.  Many other communities in Arizona have naturally occurring optimal levels of fluoride in their drinking water.  Arizonans can check the fluoride levels in their water systems on the My Water’s Fluoride website.  Folks can also learn more about community water fluoridation on the CDC’s fluoride website and on EPA’s fluoride website

We also recommend everybody brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste—when getting up in the morning and before going to bed.  For little kids, we recommend monitoring the amount of fluoride during tooth brushing by supervising and discouraging kids from swallowing toothpaste- and teaching them to only place a pea-size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush.