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Teachers, public health prepare for educator vaccinations to start – WKOW

Posted: February 25, 2021 at 6:46 am


MADISON (WKOW) -- Educators across Wisconsin will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, March 1, but that doesn't mean every teacher will be able to get a shot then.

"I can say for sure that Public Health Madison Dane County will not be," Doug Voegeli, PHMDC operations section chief, said Wednesday. "We've been planning to vaccinate our educators and our childcare personnel, and we put in a request for that, and we didn't get enough doses."

He said the department is working with health care systems and all school districts in Dane County to organize vaccination plans for teachers and other school staff.

Some of the vaccinations will happen at schools, some will happen at the Alliant Energy Center and some will happen at health care facilities.

"We're kind of working together as public health and our healthcare systems to maximize the capacity that they have and that we have so we can expand significantly [and] to make sure that we can get the doses and arms as quickly as possible," he said.

One of the Dane County teachers waiting to get her vaccine is Deidre Jarecki, an English teacher at La Follette High School.

"I want to get back to the classroom, and I would feel so much safer being vaccinated, so I'm not at risk," she said.

She told 27 News MMSD is prioritizing teachers and staff who have been working in buildings and then moving to those who will be returning to in-person learning soon.

"To me, [that] makes total sense," she said. "If I'm still teaching from home, I shouldn't be first in line right now."

MMSD is planning for Kindergarten students to return to in-person learning on March 9, with first and second-grade students following a week later on March 16.

Because PHMDC won't be starting educator vaccinations on March 1, some MMSD teachers will likely be back teaching in-person before they're able to get their first vaccine dose.

Voegeli said PHMDC will likely start vaccinations for teachers and school staff the week of March 15.

"That's probably when we will be having our set aside allocation for educators and childcare available, and that's when we'll start getting doses in arms," he said.

He said he expects all Dane County educators who want a vaccine to have both doses within 8 weeks of vaccinations starting.

Although Jarecki is excited to get vaccinated, she said she is worried about supply issues.

"I wish everybody who wanted it could get it right now because I don't want to be jumping in front of someone else who's a grocery store worker because that could be my student or their parent or someone like that," she said.

Voegeli said he doesn't think that will be a concern for much longer.

"I hold a lot of hope that with a couple of vaccines that are in the hopper and going to come to us soon, that we're not gonna be talking about supply issues in a month," he said. "I think at the end of March and going into April, we'll have a lot of vaccine available, and it'll be pretty much just normal operations that we're running through and getting everybody vaccinated as quickly as possible."

He said PHMDC will continue to vaccinate those in tier 1B and those over 65 even as educator vaccinations begin.

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Teachers, public health prepare for educator vaccinations to start - WKOW

University of Toledo offering free mental health first-aid training – WTOL

Posted: at 6:46 am


UToledo leaders want to raise awareness about mental health and educate people on how to help those who may be struggling.

TOLEDO, Ohio A team of experts at the University of Toledo are working to provide first aid training for mental health.

UToledo's Dean of the College of Nursing, Linda Lewandowski, is part of that team. She said the mental health crisis has really come to the forefront in the last 12 months.

"Mental health problems have just increased so much with COVID and all of the events of the past year," Lewandowski said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Jan. through June of 2019, the number of adults reporting anxiety and depression was at 11%. In Dec. 2020, the CDC had found that number jumped to 42%.

Lewandowski said she believes people should know how to recognize and help someone who is struggling.

"Rates of post-traumatic stress are up, substance abuse is definitely up, opioid overdoses are up; so we know this is a pressing public health problem in the United States," she said.

The mental health training is free for anyone, thanks to a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Lewandowski said it is just like first-aid and CPR training, and it's something we should all be educated in.

"It helps you to recognize some of the signs and things that you would see, some of the things you should tune in to," Lewandowski said.

To find more information about the university's mental health first-aid training, click here.

If you're interested in registering for those classes, you can sign up by clicking here.

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University of Toledo offering free mental health first-aid training - WTOL

Educators are key in protecting student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic – Brookings Institution

Posted: at 6:46 am


American students were experiencing widespread mental-health distress long before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. A tragic expression of this distress, youth suicide has been on the rise for the past decade and is now the second leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. Now, the pandemic is making matters worse. In a recent survey, over 80% of college students reported that COVID-19 has impacted their lives through increased isolation, loneliness, stress, and sadness. Although its too soon to conclusively link national youth suicide data to the pandemic, school districts across the nation have been reporting alarming spikes in both suicides and attempts at self-harm.

These connections are entirely unsurprising given what we know about the impact of social isolation on mental and emotional well-being. While stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and social-distancing precautions are essential public-health tools for curbing the spread of infectious disease, these measures may well have the opposite effect on the prevalence of psychological anguish and distress. Students in kindergarten through college faced a sudden transition to online learning in the spring of 2020, finding themselves abruptly disconnected from their established daily routines, support systems, and sources of security. This disruption occurred at the precipice of a year of extended isolation in the context of a devastating global pandemic and social, political, and economic unrest. Millions of students have still not returned to the classroom and new research identifies young adults as the most vulnerable group for anxiety and depression during the pandemic. Indeed, we find ourselves amid a student mental-health crisis.

As we continue to weather the impacts of the pandemic and work toward recovery and an eventual full return the classroom, here are three things educators, school counselors, administrators, and parents can do.

Given the scale of disruption that students have experienced over the course of the pandemic, parents and educators should know that some increased stress, anxiety, and apathy among students is expected. Students who were thriving in an active educational community before the pandemic may resist or find it difficult to fully participate in a virtual environment. As a college professor, Ive noticed students who were confident and enthusiastic participants in the classroom struggle in finding their voice during a Zoom class riddled with technological glitches and new cultural norms related to communication. As a parent, Ive navigated myriad meltdowns trying to convince my six-year-old to log on to yet another day of virtual school. While not necessarily normal, this type of low-grade distress has become the norm in these strange times.

Parents and educators should expect challenges but keep a careful lookout for sudden or extreme changes in student behavior, moods, and activities. If a student abruptly begins refusing to participate in their normal activities or begins lashing out in ways that cause harm to themselves or others, it is important to connect them with resources to help. As students begin returning to the classroom, educators should watch for new signs of social phobia or discomfort, understanding that students may struggle to transition seamlessly back into the social setting they successfully navigated in pre-COVID-19 times.

With so much going on, it may be hard for adults to spot signs of distress in a timely manner. Harnessing increasingly sophisticated technological risk-assessment tools, creating smaller group settings for students, maintaining connection touch points, and championing a culture that empowers peers to look out for each other (such as the Sources of Strength model) are all ways to help ensure that someone spots and acts on a warning sign in time.

For students who are struggling, resources for help are out there. The trick is connecting students to the best form of available support, whether in their homes, schools, or communities. Communication is key to this challenge. At my childrens elementary school, a parents as partners model establishes and encourages pathways for communication between parents and teachers. This is a great place for educators and parents to start. Parents should know whom to talk to at their childs school or university about mental health concerns and should be aware of the schools resources for helping. Educators and administrators should be proactive in sharing information about mental well-being programs available on their campus and in the community as well as school policies with parents, so that adults are working together to identify and address problems before they become more serious.

Parents can provide resources at home, including dedicating physical space for virtual learning and creating structure for students to focus on school at home, while offering plenty of breaks to step away from screens and get outside. Distressed students might benefit from at least some in-person connection with peersanother important resourceif (and only if) parents can find safe ways for such interactions to occur. Considering the high levels of stress that students, parents, and teachers have been exposed to over a long time, we all should actively seek pleasant activities and practice self-compassion to increase our ability to cope.

Educators and administrators can help by making available dedicated resources for mental well-being, resilience, addressing challenges with online learning, and assisting with the transition back to in-person learning. This may take the form of counseling staff or services, or a comprehensive online program such as the Student Resilience Project Toolkit, a trauma-informed, student mental-health and wellness toolkit recently launched at my university to help studentsbuild coping skills and connect them to university resources. Parents, educators, and administrators should always have available community resources at the ready to share with students, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Trevor Project to support LGBTQ youth.

Just as we can intuit that social isolation is likely to exacerbate psychological distress and even suicide risk, we can expect social connection to be a strong protective factor for young people. In fact, research tells us that students at risk of suicide are more likely to turn to a peer than an adult or authority figure for help, and that social connection may reduce the risk of suicide by fostering a sense of belonging. Indeed, tapping into existing peer networks appears to be a promising means of supporting students and intervening with those who are struggling. The challenge, though, is how do schools and universities nurture social connection in the virtual, inherently disconnected environment of the pandemic?

I hope to address this question directly in upcoming research, but for now I can share some best practices already at educators fingertips. For example, when it comes to social connection in an educational setting, class size matters. Especially in a virtual setting, reducing class sizes or offering ample opportunity for dedicated small-group interaction for the same kids to interact over time can help students feel more connected to their peers. One-on-one connection points are critical, too. If it is not feasible to offer students extended one-on-one time with a teacher, pairing students with a peer or an older student mentor can encourage students to support each other and connect over what they are learning. Educators should also take care to prioritize opportunities for active connection (direct, back-and-forth interactions) over passive connection (scrolling a chat or social-media feed), as passive connection can have the opposite effect on the goal of increasing social connection. Educators should also be explicit with students that they are a source of support for mental-health issues.

The bottom line in these challenging times is that focused, meaningful interactions matter greatly. Encourage students to take breaks from screens when they can and take care to cultivate connections wherever possible. Schools and parents may find the benefits to mental well-being extend far beyond the end of the pandemic.

Thanks to Lily Swanbrow Becker for writing support on this post.

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Educators are key in protecting student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic - Brookings Institution

Knox Co. Board of Health moves to monthly meetings, extends alcohol curfew to 12 a.m. – WBIR.com

Posted: at 6:46 am


As of Wednesday, the number of new COVID-19 cases also remained under 100 in Knox County.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Knox County Board of Health voted to extend COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday. They also extended the time that businesses can stay open, pushing the alcohol curfew back to 12 a.m.

The change goes into effect Thursday evening. It passed with a vote of 9-1, and Dr. Dianna Drake voted against it.

The alcohol curfew and social gathering are now set to expire on March 18, unless the board decides to extend it again at their next meeting. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs voted against extending the social gathering limit.

The county's mask mandate is also still in effect after board members decided to let it continue. It does not have an expiration date.

Dr. Martha Buchanan also proposed moving to monthly meetings instead of meeting every other week and pushing back the time the board meets. She said that the proposal was in anticipation of Governor Bill Lee's State of Emergency possibly expiring.

The proposals passed unanimously. The board will meet again on March 17.

Knox County COVID-19 Benchmarks and Data

Dr. Martha Buchanan, the director of the Knox County Health Department, gave a presentation on the county's COVID-19 data. She said that they are currently vaccinating K-12 teachers, healthcare staff and people who are 65 years old and over.

"There are thousands of more people who are eligible to receive the vaccine, however, eligibility doesn't mean access," Buchanan said.

She said that 84,920 vaccinations were reported in Knox County, and 28,933 residents received their second dose of the vaccine. She said that the health department receives around 5,000-7,000 doses per week and that the number is slowly going up.

Buchanan said that 54 Knox County residents were hospitalized, and the department reported two more deaths due to COVID-19.

The benchmark for new cases was set to 'green' as the average number of cases remained low over the past months, Buchanan said. She also said people should continue following the five-core actions to prevent the number from rising. It was the first time benchmark was green since September, Dr. Jack Gotcher said.

The community testing benchmark also remained 'yellow' as testing stayed low, possibly indicating a lower amount of the coronavirus in the community. Turnaround time for tests remained at less than one-and-a-half days as well.

Public health capability was set to 'yellow' after the health department reworked how it was reported. It examines the full public health system, instead of just Knox County. The department also implemented information about vaccines into the benchmark.

Healthcare system capabilities remained in current surge capacities as hospitalizations fell in Knox County. After speaking with hospital partners, Buchanan said they recommended the benchmark be set to 'green.'

The death rate benchmark remained 'yellow.'

Buchanan also said that the department worked to find a spot to regularly distribute vaccines, which would allow people to flow through and which had a lot of parking. The team decided to host clinics at an old Food City location on North Broadway.

"Basically, it's a home where we could put a lot of people through there and not have to schedule on someone else's schedule," Buchanan said.

She said that Johnson & Johnson doses, which the FDA is expected to approve for use, will continue to trickle in similar to other vaccines.

Dr. James Shamiyeh presented about health care capabilities in East Tennessee and said that Knox County is one of the more stable regions in the state.

He said that all age demographics remained steady and low for new cases and that the county's positivity rate remained around 14%. The rate of new hospitalizations was also stable, he said.

He also said that hospitals have seen almost no influenza cases.

Dr. Spencer Gregg spoke about COVID-19 at the University of Tennessee. He said that the positivity rate for on-campus residents remained less than 1% and that much of the data reflected the Knoxville community.

The university plans to host vaccination events for anyone who is eligible to receive one.

Lisa Wagoner also presented about Knox County Schools. She said that there were less than 100 cases in the system this week and that they started a vaccine rollout at the East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs thanks educators for the work they did throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedule for Future Meetings

Buchanan urged board members to create a plan on how to hold meetings if Governor Bill Lee's order declaring a State of Emergency in Tennessee expires. It requires them to meet virtually, and they could meet in-person if the order expires.

She proposed shifting to monthly meetings and pushing the meeting time back, instead of meeting every other week. Buchanan also urged members to find a physical space.

The main assembly room in the City-County Building has partitions set up to protect people from COVID-19, David Sanders said.

However, Buchanan urged people to sit farther apart than usual if meeting return to in-person.

Other members urged pushing the start time to 5:30 p.m. if they return to in-person.

"I would be comfortable meeting monthly," Shamiyeh said. "I would want the ability to adjust back to every two weeks, and if that means we need to change venues, we can change around that. But based on where we are right now, I'd be okay with it."

Dr. Souza also said she would be okay with the change, as long as the board would be able to return to meetings every other week if needed.

"It's easier for us to do Zoom, but we understand if that order expires then in-person meetings are probably warranted," said Gotcher.

He also said that the board should continue to monitor the county's positivity rates, in case they reach a point when restrictions could be lifted immediately.

COVID-19 Restrictions Discussion

The board decided to allow the mask mandate to continue in Knox County.

"Mask wearing is going to be one of our last things to recommend going away," Buchanan said. "Mask wearing is now part of our vernacular for preventing COVID-19."

Shamiyeh said that the threshold for herd immunity is lower when mitigation efforts, such as mask-wearing, are still in place. So, he said that continuing with a mask mandate can help communities reach herd immunity faster.

"I know people want it to go away," Buchanan said. "People don't want cases to go back up, and we can't have both."

Patrick O'Brien said that other metro areas in Tennessee have amended their alcohol curfews and occupancy restrictions, and urged the board to consider changing the curfew to 12 a.m. instead of 11 p.m.

Shamiyeh said that after the curfew was first pushed back to 11 p.m., cases continued to trend downward. O'Brien also said that every hour is helpful to businesses and that the county should allow them to stay open for longer if it is possible.

Anticipation for End of State of Emergency

Sanders said that, in essence, Gov. Lee's executive orders give the board authority to be less stringent than the state when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Knox County Board of Health is governed under statute, which gives authority to the board to adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary. He said that it does not matter if the executive orders expire, since the board will still have that authority.

The orders instead allow the board to issue restrictions for COVID-19 greater or lesser than what the state has in place.

He said that if the executive orders are not renewed, then the board can adopt rules and measures as may be necessary according to state law.

Sanders said that the state statute which gives the Knox County Board of Health its authority was in place before the framework for locally-run boards of health, which can lead to complications.

O'Brien also said that there was an incorrect time written in one of the board's earlier meetings, and proposed that the board fix the typo.

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Knox Co. Board of Health moves to monthly meetings, extends alcohol curfew to 12 a.m. - WBIR.com

Minnesota health officials ask students and families to take COVID-19 tests every two weeks – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Posted: at 6:46 am


Minnesota health officials recommended Wednesday that schoolchildren and their families get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks as more students return to classrooms.

"This is not a requirement," said Dan Huff, an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health. "COVID-19 testing remains an important tool for limiting disease impacts and ending the pandemic as quickly as possible."

The recommendation applies to families whose children leave home for learning, youth sports or extracurricular activities, and they are being asked to continue testing until the end of the school year.

More than 1,700 schools participate in the state's COVID-19 testing program, providing on-site tests to teachers and other workers.

But schools and youth sports organizations are not being asked to administer the tests to children, Huff said. Rather, families can use more than 20 state-sponsored community testing sites, their own health care provider, or the state's at-home testing program.

"We have the test kits ready so we are ready to handle the demand," he said.

It is unclear what impact the recommendation will have on testing volume, which has been trending downward. Last week saw a daily average of 27,000 tests processed, compared with 32,000 in mid-January. During the November surge in cases, more than 51,000 tests were run daily.

Most schools have returned to filling classrooms, with 88% of districts and charter schools offering some form of in-person learning.

At the same time, confirmed cases among students and staff have increased, with about 400 a week, although that is similar to case counts before the winter break.

"We are seeing a slight increase in cases but nothing that is unexpected," said state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann, adding that some infections originated in community settings rather than within school walls.

Of Minnesota's 480,845 confirmed coronavirus cases, 80,417 have been in those under the age of 20, which represents about 17% of all cases. There have been two COVID-19-related deaths among children out of the 6,443 pandemic fatalities in the state.

Minnesota reported another 761 new cases and nine additional deaths Wednesday. Two of the deaths were among long-term care residents.

A total of 770,021 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, either at community sites, pharmacies, clinics, long-term care facilities or other places.

Of those, 370,981 have received both doses.

The Department of Health estimates that 13.8% of the state population has received one dose, with 42.4% of seniors getting at least one shot.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded Minnesota $3 million to help pay for the costs of running three community vaccination sites.

More than 94,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered at state-sponsored sites, which initially included several locations that have since been closed.

A fourth permanent site will open at the Mall of America, which is scheduled to give 8,190 doses to school and child-care workers this week.

The vaccine supply is expected to increase after federal regulators give approval to the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine possibly later this week.

After a federal vaccine advisory panel makes its recommendation by Monday, doses are expected to start flowing to the states.

"We are not sure when vaccine could start arriving in Minnesota, but we are told it should be in the short term," Ehresmann said.

The new vaccine requires only one dose and does not have stringent cold storage requirements, making it a good candidate for smaller facilities that lack the deep freezers that are needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

It could also be a candidate for people who face barriers to getting two shots, such as the homeless or those who lack transportation.

Ehresmann said a plan for distributing the vaccine will be made after federal recommendations are finalized.

"There will be some settings where this type of vaccine will be a better fit," she said. "But we will be using this across the board."

The makers of the existing two-dose vaccines are conducting clinical trials to see if their shots are safe and effective for children.

Moderna is testing its vaccine on children 12 to 17, while Pfizer is focusing on the 12 to 15 group because it already has approval to vaccinate those age 16 and 17.

"It is quite possible by late 2021 we will have vaccines for the children," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Trials for those under age 12 won't begin until it can be shown that the vaccine is safe for older children, he said.

"We definitely will need vaccines for children against the COVID-19 infection," Jacobson said. "While the rates of infection and the severity of infection is lower in children, they do get infected."

Jacobson said that even if parents get vaccinated, they still need to maintain COVID-19 safety measures because not enough is known about whether the vaccine prevents transmission, particularly asymptomatic spread.

"This is not the summer for planning family reunions," he said. "Don't change your behavior, don't change your rules on masking, on social distancing, on avoiding crowds."

Likewise, Minnesota health officials said Wednesday that educators who get fully vaccinated should also get tested every two weeks, just as it is now asking of students and their families.

"We feel that two weeks is a good point between being too much for families but also providing us with a really good way of keeping tabs and finding cases early so we can prevent them from spreading," Huff said.

The state's at-home testing program could be a good option, Huff said. Although there were some delays with UPS and the postal service when the program was first launched, the state has been working with the delivery services to avoid future bottlenecks.

"They are now ready to handle what we throw at them," he said.

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Minnesota health officials ask students and families to take COVID-19 tests every two weeks - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Clinician to respond with CUPD officers to calls involving mental health crises – CU Boulder Today

Posted: at 6:46 am


A clinician will join the ranks of the CU Police Department to support officers responding to mental health crisis situations and to serve as a mental health consultant and liaison between CUPD and Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) in the Division of Student Affairs.

The clinician will work with CUPD officers to provide in-the-moment assessments and follow-up care coordination.

Chief Doreen Jokerst said the embedded clinician is in addition to the telehealth service that CUPD offers in partnership with CAPS. The service, which debuted in October 2019, enables officers to connect students and other individuals in need with counselors in real-time during after-hours mental health crises.

The services are part of ongoing efforts by CUPD to expand its role as a community partner and resource for students, faculty and staff. Jokerst said the decision to hire an embedded clinician was based on input from student leaders who have been meeting with her since 2019 following a racist incident on campus.

The university in October announced the allocation of an additional $1.8 million to support the mental health and wellness needs of undergraduate and graduate students, and students from historically marginalized communities.

The plan includes embedding clinical services in colleges and schools and hiring 13 more counselors with multicultural competencies over the next four years.

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Clinician to respond with CUPD officers to calls involving mental health crises - CU Boulder Today

Salem College refocuses its curriculum on health and leadership – Inside Higher Ed

Posted: at 6:46 am


A handful of collegeshave debuted health-related programs during the pandemic, and Salem College just joined their ranks.

The smallwomens liberal arts college in Winston-Salem, N.C., announced Wednesday that it will begin to offer three new health-related majors -- health sciences, health humanities and health advocacy and humanitarian systems -- beginning next fall. The college will also unveil a curriculum revamp that centers on leadership and health.

Despite what the announcements timing would suggest, Salems curricular changes were in the works long before the pandemic roiled colleges last spring. Susan Henking, interim president, said that the college's board and the campus worked together todevelop the new curriculum.

Several years ago, the college'sBoard of Trustees sought to differentiate Salem from other liberal arts institutions. Choosing a focus area helped the college resist the homogenization of American higher education, Henking said.

Its critical for liberal arts institutions to differentiate themselves and show students why the education they offer is relevant, said Rick Hesel, principal at Art & Science Group, a higher education consulting firm.

If they dont, I think their survival in the long term is in question, Hesel said. Weve done a number of studies on the liberal arts, and just the mere words give institutions a disadvantage, we found.

Salem is not the first liberal arts institution to try to break away from the pack. Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., has its students focusing on leadership and global dynamics through a signature experience program called SUMMIT. Mills College in Oakland, Calif., also created a signature experience program several years ago.

Health is a particularly good focus area, Hesel said. Many colleges are currently looking to expand their health care and health-related programs. Saint Josephs University in Philadelphia recently announced a plan to acquire the University of the Sciences and along with it a slate of health sciences programs. A few years ago, Wheeling University in West Virginia gutted its liberal arts programs but left its health-care programs intact.

The handwriting is on the wall, Hesel said.We have an aging population.Theres a genomics revolution going on that provides encouraging promise for health care, so a lot of places are moving in this direction.

But many colleges are only looking to add health-care programs, and Salem is distinct in choosing to incorporate health into all its offerings, Hesel added.

Before it settled on health leadership, the board examined county-level data that answered questions about what career paths most interested high schoolers.It found that many potential college students were looking at health care. The new focus area fits the skill sets of current Salem students, too -- nearly 90 percent of Salem students who graduate with a degree from the natural sciences or mathematics departments are accepted into health-related programs, according to the college.

The board created a set of parameters for the curricular changes and then handed the reins over to the faculty.

The board has established a set of guiding expectations in terms of an overall trajectory for health leadership, said Daniel Prosterman, vice president for academic and student affairs and dean at Salem. In terms of the development of the majors, the decisions with regard to the curriculum and the co-curriculum, that was then completed by a campus-designed team thats composed of faculty leaders as well as a variety of members of staff from different sectors of the college.

Faculty members and college boards are notorious for clashing over curricular and programmatic changes, but that hasnt been the case at Salem, Henking and Prosterman said.

Faculty governance adjusted itself to be able to act more quickly -- without being asked to do so -- and has really taken a leadership role in a way that I think challenges that narrative that boards are fast and presidents are fast and faculty are slow, Henking said.

The new majors will not require any additional funding at this time, and the college doesnt plan to hire any new faculty or staff members to support the changes. Instead, Henking described funding for the new programs as a redeployment of resources. The college hopes to build on the new programs in the futureand may end up adding a few more employees. It will not cut any programs or employees in order to make room for the new majors.

We wish to build a lot more things over time that will require fundraising, and we are in the process of moving that forward in a fairly aggressive way, Henking said.

The new focus will hopefully attract new students as well as external partnerships, said Lucy Rose, a former Food and Drug Administration executive and global health-care consultant who isvice chair of Salem's board.

We expect this transformation to attract more students, partnerships and funding, Rose wrote in an email. Were excited that our plan, which will be implemented in phases, will offer us an opportunity to work with new partners and organizations that share in our values and will have a direct benefit in developing a new pipeline of women leaders in health.

Salem College's undergraduate enrollment has dropped in recent years. During the 2018-19 academic year, Salem enrolled only 677 full-time undergraduate students, compared with nearly 1,000 during the 2015-16 academic year. The college also enrolls some graduate students and adult learners who are older than 23.

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Salem College refocuses its curriculum on health and leadership - Inside Higher Ed

NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Zucker slated to testify at budget hearing – NEWS10 ABC

Posted: at 6:46 am


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, is scheduled to testify in a joint legislative budget hearing on health and medicaid Thursday.

This is a hearing that was pushed back several weeks from its original scheduled date, leading to calls from Republican legislators for more hearings to subpoena D.O.H. information about COVID-19 in nursing homes. One senator says Thursday wont be enough to get all the answers they want.

Senator Sue Serino posting on Twitter that 48 witnesses are scheduled to testify, writing add this to the very long list of reasons why we needed a separate hearing (w/subpoenas) to get nursing home questions answered thoroughly.

Dr. Zuckers testimony is slated for the earlier portion of that long list. Also on the schedule of nearly 50 witnesses are the Greater New York Hospital Association, a group that advocated for the states COVID-19 legal immunity law for health care providers; as well as Bill Hammond from the Empire Center for Public Policy, the group that sued the state over nursing home records.

The hearing will be held via video conference starting at 9:30 AM.

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NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Zucker slated to testify at budget hearing - NEWS10 ABC

We Must Change the Way We Measure Economic Health – The Nation

Posted: at 6:46 am


Signage on the ground during a protest outside the Santa Clara County Courthouse in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. to halt eviction proceedings from taking place. (Gabrielle Lurie / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

The clock has started on Bidens promise to Build Back Better, as Americans anxiously wait to see what will be passed in hisAmerican Rescue Plan. Will the bill center the needs of everyday people and dedicate resources accordingly, or will deficit hawks and lackeys of the rich continue to play an outsize role in guiding our economy?

Too often our conversations about the economy rely on the latest GDP figures or the stock market, measures that feel out of touch to most people.Such headline measures sanitize and dehumanize an issue that has a profound human impact.

Too many people are facing impossible circumstances because policy-makers have consistently done too little. A few weeks ago, a DoorDash driversvan was stolenwith his children insideas a result of his having to take his kids to work, andayoung womanfelt compelled to give up her college savings to prevent her mother, who had lost her job, from being evicted. And this past week,Texans were without powerand dying during a snowstorm.

This is why talk about overheating the economyas Larry Summers recently did in a Washington Post op-edis problematic. It detaches people from policy and commodifies the value and welfare of human life. It suggests that failing to invest in the policies and programs critical to human well-being is optional, and ignores the fact that decades of failing to invest in equitable care and energy infrastructures, robust public health programs, quality jobs, and adequate unemployment policiesjust the tip of the icebergis a key reason we are in this mess.Related Articles

Throughout the pandemic and its accompanying recession, our tepid response, in consort with institutional racism and sexism, has not protected Black and brown women from being pushed out of the labor marketat a shocking rate, while their families and communities experience disproportionately high Covid-19death rates. Black and brown renters are facinghigher risk of eviction.Domestic workerslargely women of colorhave lost their jobs with little recourse. And Black and brown communitiesthose most likely to be on the front linesarestrugglingto secure vaccines.

Meanwhile, millions of mothers across the United States are facing the very real crisis of juggling work and overseeing their childrens remote learning without child care. In a recent Washington Postop-ed, Vice President Kamala Harris called attention to the ongoing crisis that women are shouldering, calling the mass exodus of women from the work force2.5 million have been pushed out of their jobs since March 2020a national emergency that demands a national response.

How, when faced with these circumstances, can we fear doing too much?A better question is, What will it mean for race and gender inequities and the stark imbalance of power in America if wedont dothe absolute most we can to rectify the failings of our past and present?Current Issue

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As Heather McGheeexpertly points out, decades of budget-deficit fearmongering has resulted in divestment from public goods and infrastructure, which furthers racial and gender inequityandshortchanges all of us in times of need. After everything we have been through this past year, we literally and figuratively cannot afford to keep making thesame mistakes over and over again, setting ourselves up for more of the same.

We must push past thinking of our economy as a zero-sum budget game. When we do so, our immediate discussion becomes how much a policy will cost, with little consideration about what the cost of inaction is.

The primary focus of our conversations today must be what is required to improve the lives of our most marginalized, and without an arbitrary price tag.We didnt see collective hand-wringing in 2017 over the cost of a nearly $2 trillion tax package that did nothing but make rich people and corporations richer and more powerful. If we center people in our economic discussions, it helps everyone understand the tangible gains they will receive, building both the political and public will to adopt the policies we so desperately need in our Covid response and recovery. As renowned messaging expert Anat Shenker-Osorio says,sell the brownie, not the recipe.

The health of our economy is only as good as the economic health of the American peopleall of them. When racial and gender injustice are running rampant and people are facing eviction, cannot feed their families, and are coping with prolonged job loss, they do not care about K curves and wave charts. All they know is that they are hurting now, and that they deserve better.

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Many of those who are in crisis today were on the brink of crisis long before the coronavirus upended our society and economy.Black and brown people and women are tired of being treated as essential when it comes to work, yet dispensable and forgotten when it comes to pay equity and governing.We cannot go back to the normal we once knew. And we shouldnt want to.

Now is the time to dedicate resources and investment to address the flaws of our society that were unearthed by the pandemic. A big step in accomplishing this lies in how we measure and talk about the health of our economy. Centering the lived experiences of people would go a long way in ensuring a just and equitable new normal as we work to build back better.

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We Must Change the Way We Measure Economic Health - The Nation

Worldwide Animal Health Industry to 2026 – Major Players Include Bayer, Elanco and Merck Among Others – ResearchAndMarkets.com – Business Wire

Posted: at 6:46 am


DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Animal Health Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global animal health market reached a value of US$ 48.1 Billion in 2020. Looking forward, the publisher expects the global animal health market to exhibit moderate growth during 2021-2026.

Animals regularly require adequate care from their owners in order to have a good health. As the production of healthy livestock ensures safe food supply and retains the stability of consumer prices, regular monitoring of animal health and averting animal disease outbreaks have become indispensable for every country. As effective control and prevention is necessary for limiting the spread of zoonotic diseases among animals and human beings, the animal health market is gradually gaining traction across the globe. Moreover, pet and livestock owners nowadays are willing to spend on animal healthcare products and services owing to their inflating disposable incomes, growing awareness through print and electronic media, and the emerging trend of pet humanization.

Currently, the animal health industry is flourishing on account of rapid technological advancements and increasing research and development activities in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. With the help of advanced technological systems, data produced in veterinary clinics can be now uploaded on the internet and shared with other researchers and clinicians. This technology also aids in facilitating real-time analysis of fluctuations in the prevalence of diseases. In order to optimize the veterinary healthcare sector, governments in several developed countries are also undertaking initiatives and implementing animal vaccination programs.

Some of the major players operating in the market include:

Key Questions Answered in This Report:

Key Topics Covered:

1 Preface

2 Scope and Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Introduction

4.1 Overview

4.2 Key Industry Trends

5 Global Animal Health Market

5.1 Market Overview

5.2 Market Performance

5.3 Impact of COVID-19

5.4 Market Breakup by Animal Type

5.5 Market Breakup by Product

5.6 Market Breakup by Region

5.7 Market Forecast

6 Market Breakup by Animal Type

6.1 Commercial

6.1.1 Market Trends

6.1.2 Market Forecast

6.2 Companion

6.2.1 Market Trends

6.2.3 Market Forecast

7 Market Breakup by Product

7.1 Pharmaceuticals

7.1.1 Market Trends

7.1.2 Market Forecast

7.2 Biologicals

7.2.1 Market Trends

7.2.2 Market Forecast

7.3 Medicinal Feed Additives

7.3.1 Market Trends

7.3.2 Market Forecast

7.4 Diagnostics

7.4.1 Market Trends

7.4.2 Market Forecast

8 Market Breakup by Region

8.1 North America

8.1.1 Market Trends

8.1.2 Market Forecast

8.2 Europe

8.2.1 Market Trends

8.2.2 Market Forecast

8.3 Asia Pacific

8.3.1 Market Trends

8.3.2 Market Forecast

8.4 Middle East and Africa

8.4.1 Market Trends

8.4.2 Market Forecast

8.5 Latin America

8.5.1 Market Trends

8.5.2 Market Forecast

9 Global Animal Health Industry: SWOT Analysis

9.1 Overview

9.2 Strengths

9.3 Weaknesses

9.4 Opportunities

9.5 Threats

10 Global Animal Health Industry: Value Chain Analysis

11 Global Animal Health Industry: Porters Five Forces Analysis

11.1 Overview

11.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

11.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

11.4 Degree of Competition

11.5 Threat of New Entrants

11.6 Threat of Substitutes

12 Global Animal Health Industry: Price Analysis

12.1 Key Price Indicators

12.2 Price Structure

12.3 Margin Analysis

13 Competitive Landscape

13.1 Market Structure

13.2 Key Players

13.3 Profiles of Key Players

13.3.1 Bayer

13.3.2 Elanco

13.3.3 Merck

13.3.4 Merial

13.3.5 Zoetis Inc.

13.3.6 Biogenesis Bago

13.3.7 Boehringer Ingelheim

13.3.8 Ceva Sante Animale

13.3.9 Heska

13.3.10 Neogen

13.3.11 Novartis

13.3.12 Thermo Fisher Scientific

13.3.13 Vetoquinol

13.3.14 Virbac

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/d7374o

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Worldwide Animal Health Industry to 2026 - Major Players Include Bayer, Elanco and Merck Among Others - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire

Pandemic focuses funding on mental health, but advocates say more is needed: Coping through COVID – cleveland.com

Posted: at 6:46 am


CLEVELAND, Ohio Ohio Gov. Mike DeWines budget recommendations increase funding for mental health and addiction treatment services that have been vital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposals have garnered the support of organizations addressing the challenges created by the pandemic. But do they go far enough to address the potential mental-health fallout of the crisis, which experts say could last even longer than the pandemic itself?

Advocates said the budget recommendations are a significant step. Theyre grateful to see an increase amid the crisis, though they say more investments could be needed to create long-term stability for services that have traditionally gone underfunded.

Investing in mental health and behavioral health is critical for Ohios return to normal after the pandemic, said Scott Osiecki, the CEO of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. Issues like anxiety, depression, stress and grief could linger well after the coronavirus vaccine is widely available.

Its a basic need, like housing, Osiecki said. Behavioral health is really important to the overall health of the community.

The cleveland.com series Coping Through COVID aims to help Northeast Ohio residents manage the stress of COVID-19 by examining by examining the mental health aspects of the pandemic. The series tells individuals stories and explores various challenges and coping strategies with experts.

DeWines budget recommendations include a 10.9% increase in funding for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in fiscal year 2021, and another 1.9% increase in FY 2022. The state legislature could alter any of the recommendations before approving a final budget.

Terry Russell, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Ohio, said he is cautiously optimistic the legislature will adopt the DeWines recommendations. But he cautioned that reducing the proposed level of funding could leave Ohio scrambling to address the fallout from the pandemic.

Any reduction of that would be a disaster, he said. It would literally put the mental health system in crisis.

For examples, experts point to domestic violence programs. They say the pandemic has created a perfect storm of risk factors for domestic violence, and more than half of Ohios domestic violence programs have reported an increase in the number of people seeking shelter or requesting services.

DeWines budget includes $1 million per fiscal year for domestic violence programs, but the Ohio Domestic Violence Network is lobbying for an increase to $5 million per year, the organizations executive director Mary ODoherty said.

Domestic violence programs have been hurt by recent cuts to grants from the Victims of Crime Act, the federal program that provides money for therapy and other services. Ohios domestic violence programs lost $7.7 million for the next fiscal year, and have seen budget reductions of nearly 40% over the past two years, ODoherty said. The network is asking the state to provide more money to make up for those losses.

We are a pretty critical part of the social safety net, and we just need to do a better job of funding these programs, ODoherty said.

Addressing the issues exacerbated by the pandemic

Advocates have long argued that mental health, addiction treatment and domestic violence programs have been underfunded in the U.S., resulting in limited access to treatment in many communities. The problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic because many providers were forced to limit in-person services and switch to telehealth.

Some of DeWines budget recommendations target the issues that have been a focus during the pandemic. For example, the recommendations include $2.25 million per year to help parents, pediatricians and teachers identify signs of mental health conditions. Experts say that could be critical, because its unclear how children will be affected by taking classes from home for a full year.

The recommendations maintain funding in several key areas for the ADAMHS Board, Osiecki said. The Northeast Ohio collaborative which includes the ADAMHS Boards in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake, Geauga, Summit and Medina counties could get $7.5 million for withdrawal management and crisis stabilization funding.

The recommendations also increase the states continuum of care budget from $76 million to $82 million; the line item pays for services like suicide prevention, crisis response and treatment and recovery services, Osiecki said. The ADAMHS Board is hoping the final budget approved by the legislature includes an increase of closer to $15 million instead of just $6 million, he said.

The recommendations also begin to address some of the states long-term needs, advocates said. NAMI Ohio has been advocating for years for funding for people with a debilitating mental illness who often wind up in jail or a homeless shelter.

The budget also provides funding to help people living with debilitating mental illness. That group, which Russell estimated to include 50,000 people living in Ohio, have often lacked the community support they need. The result has either been an increased burden on their families or homelessness or jail time, he said. The governors recommendations include $5.5 million per year to help various systems coordinate to meet their needs, and $6 million per year to improve residential facilities for adults with a serious mental illness.

Domestic violence services struggle for funding

Advocates acknowledged that money is tight during the pandemic, but there are certain areas where theyd like to see more investment.

Domestic violence services have already seen budget cuts of roughly 40% over the past two years and are expecting another 30% cut in VOCA funds next fiscal year, ODoherty said. The result is that many shelters have been forced to lay off staff, reducing the number of workers and counselors who are available to assist women and children in crisis.

Domestic violence programs could use additional funding to hire more staff, ODoherty said. Staffing limitations are causing many programs to struggle to meet the needs of women in crisis who are seeking help.

Right now, our programs turn away people every day, ODoherty said. It would help us meet the need.

ODoherty said part of the issue with funding domestic violence could be that it often goes underreported, so its difficult to pinpoint how prevalent it is. But a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey from 2015 found one in five women experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime.

During the pandemic, many advocates have worried that women being isolated at home with an abuser led to a decrease in calls to domestic violence hotlines early in the crisis. ODoherty is hopeful that attention to the issue could persuade some lawmakers to increase support.

Its a significant social issue that families live with day in and day out. Its just like substance abuse or mental health, or any other kind of social issue society deals with, she said.

Moving forward

To meet the states long-term mental health needs, NAMI Ohio is primarily focused on changing the way the money is used, Russell said. He believes services should take an individualized approach to care, rather than a one-size-fits all approach to mental illness.

We need to be looking at the individual with the mental illness, and not the system, he said.

Advocates are also focused on the employees and counselors who provide services, because the strain on the workforce isnt unique to domestic violence programs. Agencies that provide mental health and addiction treatment services have also seen significant turnover during the pandemic.

Investing in a pipeline to train and retain workers could be critical for the long term, advocates said. That would help reduce turnover and help agencies provide better services.

The workforce was struggling even before this, Osiecki said. Theres not enough people to provide services. And this is throughout the whole state. Actually, the whole country.

Are you, a family member or a friend in crisis?, or do you need mental health or substance use services? Heres a list of agencies that can help.

Frontline Services: 24-hour crisis hotline 216-623-6888

Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-TALK or 800-SUICIDE

Cuyahoga County suicide prevention, mental health/addiction crisis, information and referral hotline: available 24 hours at 216-623-6888

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Cleveland: Non-crisis hotline 216-875-0266 (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County: Online new service finder tool

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: Online resource for COVID-19 related information and services available amid the pandemic

Ohio CareLine: Emotional support call service from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Toll-free at 1-800-720-9616

Ohio Crisis Text Line: Text keyword 4HOPE to 741 741

Find Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment: https://findtreatment.gov

Disaster Distress help line: available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 or TTY at 1-800-846-8517. Also available by texting TalkWithUs to 66746; Spanish-speakers can text Hablanos to 66746.

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Pandemic focuses funding on mental health, but advocates say more is needed: Coping through COVID - cleveland.com

Allegheny Health Network Begins Vaccination Clinics at Senior Living High Rise Residences Across the Pittsburgh Region – WFMZ Allentown

Posted: at 6:46 am


PITTSBURGH, Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ --As part of Allegheny Health Network's (AHN) and Highmark Health's ongoing commitment to expanding access to COVID-19 vaccinations for residents of the greater western Pennsylvania community, AHN, in partnership with Allegheny County, Bethany Christian Ministries and Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, is offering a series of clinics at local senior citizens' high-rise apartment buildings.

"We are very pleased to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to older local residents, many of whom have limited mobility and access to healthcare, or have health conditions that would put them at high risk of severe illness with the COVID-19 virus," said Imran Qadeer, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Allegheny General Hospital and a leader of AHN's COVID vaccination task force.

"Combined with our outreach to high-risk individuals at PNC Park, and to marginalized populations throughout the Pittsburgh region, AHN has provided COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of local individuals who otherwise would have had limited access to this important service," Dr. Qadeer said. "In order to effectively control the pandemic, it is essential that we expand access to the vaccine to all corners of our western Pennsylvania community."

Clinics are scheduled today in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood, and are tentatively scheduled for additional locations in the Pittsburgh region.

"We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with AHN and other vaccine providers to create easy access and processes that ensure that our most vulnerable older adults are literally not left out in the cold," said Cassandra Law, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Senior Director, responsible for its 30+ affordable housing communities.

The senior high-rise clinics are by invitation only and limited to residents.

With the continuing limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, AHN is currently holding appointment-only vaccination clinics. Some high-risk patients who have an AHN MyChart account will be alerted when a vaccine is available to them for scheduling. Appointment availability will also be announced on AHN social media channels. As vaccine supply allows, the AHN will also activate a scheduling portal on its website (ahn.org/coronavirus/vaccine), and begin telephone-based scheduling, for those who are eligible to receive the vaccine based on the Pennsylvania Department of Health's eligibility phases. To ensure both speed and equitable distribution of the vaccine, AHN will continue to target the most vulnerable populations, including marginalized communities which have been most acutely impacted by the pandemic.

About AHN

Allegheny Health Network (http://www.AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. Among the network's 300 clinical locations are 13 hospitals and five Health + Wellness Pavilions. AHN also is home to a comprehensive research institute; home- and community-based health services; and a group purchasing organization. The network employs more than 20,000 people and has more than 2,400 doctors on its medical staff. Established in 2013, AHN's member hospitals share legacies of charitable care that date back more than 160 years.

Media Contact

Stephanie Waite, Allegheny Health Network, 412.337.5484, Stephanie.Waite@highmarkhealth.org

SOURCE Allegheny Health Network

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Allegheny Health Network Begins Vaccination Clinics at Senior Living High Rise Residences Across the Pittsburgh Region - WFMZ Allentown

3 Actions Health Systems Should Take Now to Bolster Telehealth – HealthLeaders Media

Posted: February 17, 2021 at 12:53 am


In the quest to roll out telehealth initiatives to meet the needs of patients during the pandemic, many health systems rapidly launched solutions. There is nearly universal agreement that 2020 catapulted virtual care several years beyond strategic timelines.

While many health systems are looking into the future to determine how to continue acceleration of virtual care, experts say it is also essential to hit the pause button. To ensure long-term success, organizations should assess whether they are delivering the best experience, determine how telehealth fits into the overall care delivery model, and examine the role trust plays in their endeavors.

Throughout 2020, telehealth experienced phenomenal growth, according to FAIR Health, an independent, nonprofit organization that tracks commercial insurance claims as part of a healthcare cost transparency initiative.

In November 2020, the most recent month for which data is available, usage of telehealth increased by 2,938%, compared to the same month in 2019. Telehealth services comprised 6.01% of all "claim lines" processed by the payers the organization tracks, compared to 0.20% the previous November. FAIR Health defines claim lines as an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim.

These statistics reflect the solutions health systems aggressively launched at the beginning of the pandemic. Some organizations trained thousands of providers in a compressed time frame.

While consumers and providers quickly adapted to virtual care, their experiences were not flawless. Some patients had difficulty downloading and using apps, others had connectivity issues. Some physicians became adept at guiding patients through these processes.

Because of the extraordinary circumstances during the crisis, "People would accept a less than optimal experience," says Brian Kalis, MBA, managing director of digital health and innovation in the health practice of consulting firm Accenture. Don't expect that goodwill to last, he cautions.

"Consumers really are looking for a good digital experience," says Kalis. In a pre-pandemic survey about telehealth, "50% of people stated that a bad digital experience can ruin their entire experience with the provider and will even drive switching" to another provider, he says.

Now is the time to hit the reset button and determine whether additional training is necessary, say the experts.

"We've heard a lot about the need for more education and training," says Ann Mond Johnson, MBA, MHA, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). And it's not just for providers.

Consumers "are at different levels," Mond Johnson says. "Some folks are scared, and others are fearless. You have to [remember the] whole mantra of meeting people where they are virtually, digitally, or in person. However that plays out, you have to recognize where they are in their own journey."

"Out of necessity during COVID, many health systems used multiple telehealth platforms in order to meet the need and the demand at the moment," says Kalis. "What we're starting to see health systems do now is step back and think through what strategic platforms they need for telehealth going forward."

Part of the equation is integrating virtual care into the overall care model; another component is determining the most effective workflow for clinicians and consumers.

"Think about how you blend virtual and physical environments together as part of how care is delivered," he says. "There's the opportunity to make virtual health not a standalone solution, but something that is integrated into traditional modes of care."

To permanently transition from physical-based encounters to a model that blends digital and physical experiences together, Kalis has the following recommendations for health systems:

The latter issue could be addressed through education, says Mond Johnson. "In many instances, on the consumer side, it's an issue of digital literacy," says Mond Johnson. "You can have all the connectivity in the world, you can have all the devices in the world, but if the end user isn't able to make it workif it's not easythen they're not going to get the benefit from it."

Before COVID-19, a growing barrier to consumer acceptance of telehealth was lack of trust, according to Kalis. Concerns were related to how an individual's data is being used, as well as apprehensions about security.

The past year did not deliver any reassurances. A report recently released by cybersecurity firm Tenable indicates healthcare accounted for the largest share of publicly disclosed data breaches in 2020 (25%), with nearly 8 million records exposed.

One key element in building trust is addressing data security. "Organizations need to make sure that they are buttoned down in terms of privacy and security, and cybersecurity in particular," says Mond Johnson. During a recent ATA conference, she says, "One thing that we heard was that cybersecurity is a patient safety issue. If you're going to get maximum value, you have to do everything possible to mitigate risk."

Interestingly, the pre-COVID Accenture survey noted a curious trust issue trend unrelated to cybersecurity.

"We saw trust in technology companies as a steward of health data was falling, but we also saw that there was a decreasing trust in physicians specifically, which historically receive a high degree of trust," says Kalis.

"It's critical for organizations to think through how to both build and sustain trust," says Kalis. He offers three recommendations:

COVID changed that dynamic. "Now, out of necessity," says Kalis, "clinicians were recommending digital health solutions to keep people safe in their homes and also maintain their health." For virtual care to continue thriving beyond the crisis, providers need to continue to play an active role in recommending it, he says.

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

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3 Actions Health Systems Should Take Now to Bolster Telehealth - HealthLeaders Media

Tenet, Providence, other health giants band together to form new health data startup – FierceHealthcare

Posted: at 12:53 am


Some of the biggest names in healthcare including Tenet Health, Providence and CommonSpirit Health have launched a new startup to pool and analyze patient data for research and drug development.

Capitalizing on health systems' troves of patient data, 14 health systems are backing the new company, called Truveta. Among the backers are AdventHealth, Advocate Aurora Health, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Hawaii Pacific Health,Henry Ford Health System,Memorial Hermann Health System,Northwell Health, Novant Health, Sentara Healthcare and Trinity Health.

The Seattle-based startup will pull together and sell normalized andde-identifieddata from the group of providers with a keeneye onprotecting patient privacy and security, the companies said in a press release.

Disruption, Acceleration & Innovation: Pharmacists on the Frontline

This year, pharmacists will play a critical role in the United States COVID-19 immunization efforts. Although this is welcomed news, this new duty and other coronavirus responsibilities are exacerbating pharmacist burnout. In this panel, experts will explore how pharmacists can leverage technology to automate administrative tasks and satisfy patient needs.

The new data platform, using the power of artificial intelligenceand machine learning, will helpdeliver "personalized medicine, advance health equity, and empower the health community with insights on how to best treat patients," the press release said.

The 14 health systems representtens of millions of patients and operate thousands of care facilities across 40 states.

RELATED:Mayo Clinic taps Google Cloud as strategic partner to accelerate innovation in AI, analytics and digital tools

Truveta will be jointly ownedby the hospital operators and willbe board-advised with a strong focus on ethics and health equity, data integrity and clinical outcomes.

Former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson will lead the new startup.

Myerson told The Wall Street Journal that the company is still developing its pricing plans. Potentially, fees will vary depending on the type of entity seeking access, the WSJ reported.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how much the world needs to learn faster, so we can better serve our communities, Myerson said in a statement.Our vision is to save lives with data. We want to help researchers find cures faster, empower every clinician to be an expert, and help families make the most informed decisions on their care. We believe the Truveta platform can help improve health equity and advance personalized medicine. We are honored to be partnering with innovative and world-class health providers in this pursuit.

For years we have seen the opportunity for diverse health providers to come together with a shared sense of purpose and use our collective data for the common good of humanity. With Truveta, we created a unique model that is led by the health providers yet supported by one of the most talented technical teams to focus on health, said Rod Hochman, M.D, president and CEO of Providence, in a statement.

Hochman said the hospital systems will focus on research questions around health equity as well as improving medical treatment, the WSJ reported.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates how quickly healthcare must move to effectively serve patients, according to the companies. The healthcare community has made remarkable progress, from diagnosis to vaccine distribution in less than a year.

Truvetas innovative health provider partners agree COVID-19 must be a catalyst for even more rapid progress,the companies said in the press release.

Truveta aims todrive innovation in patient care and the development of new therapies through the creation of adata platform researchers can use to analyzebillions of clinical data points with a single search.

RELATED:Google, Ascension defend their health 'data transformation' partnership

The Truveta platform will structure and normalize a wide range of data across structured and unstructured data types to unlock the power of de-identified data across all diagnoses, geographies and demographics. Using advanced AI and machine learning, Truveta will deliver continuous learning to physicians, researchers, biopharma and more with aggregate analysis of conditions, therapies and prognoses, according to the press release.

Health system leaders involved in the effort said protecting patient data privacy would be a key priority forTruveta.

We know health data is unlike other data. It is the very definition of personal, Myerson said. While we embark on our pursuit to generate knowledge and insights to improve patientcare around the world, we must do so with the utmost caution to protect the privacy of patients.

The initiativeis an important step in unlocking the hidden insights from data sitting in silos in large health systems, saidPaddy Padmanabhan, founder and CEO of Damo Consulting, a growth strategy and digital transformation advisory firm.Healthcare has been hobbled by the inability to harness available data to improve healthcare outcomes, enhance patient experiences and reduce health inequities," he said.Truveta's success will depend on execution, he added.

Where will the data be hosted? How will Truveta build the advanced analytics and AI capabilities required to turn the vision to reality?" he said. Truveta is a welcome new approach to industry-level collaboration for turning data into insights. However, the fact is that it is a collaborative effort among health systems and the data sets therefore provide only a partial view of patient histories for driving innovations in care management and developing new therapies."

Over the longer term, the industry will need to achieve active collaboration across health plans and life sciences companies as well tounleash innovation in new therapies, drive research and improve healthcare outcomes,Padmanabhan said.

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Tenet, Providence, other health giants band together to form new health data startup - FierceHealthcare

Western New York health officials puzzled by secondary role in COVID vaccinations – WGRZ.com

Posted: at 12:53 am


After counties spent months getting ready, state government bypasses them to set-up its own system

BUFFALO, N.Y. Western New Yorks public health officials are playing an important role in providing COVID vaccinations to residents. It just wasnt the role they had prepared for.

For months, local health departments tweaked, and in some cases, practiced the roll-out of their individual mass vaccination plans. Since 9/11, every county has been required to have a plan to vaccinate large numbers of people in case of a public health emergency.

We were ready as soon as the vaccine was ready but unfortunately that was not the (states) initial plan, says Dr. Kevin Watkins, director of the Cattaraugus Countys Public Health Department.

What the state government did instead when vaccines arrived was launch its own statewide system. Senior state health officials describe as a hub system with county governments in a secondary role.

Initially, hospitals were tabbed to be primary players with making sure healthcare workers were vaccinated. Pharmacies were assigned seniors, those 65-years and older. State government oversees operations regionally through its hub and also operates pop-clinics around the state largely to insure poor and minority communities have access to vaccinations.

Counties were chosen to inoculate essential workers. A recently added responsibility is vaccinating people with health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID.

2 On Your Side contacted public health officials in all eight counties of Western New York. It was unanimous. All of them said they had confidence, if fully implemented, their county mass vaccination plan would have worked.

We are told that sentiment is common with local health officials from across the state.

Watkins is also president of the New York State Association of Public Health Officials. He says members of the association have expressed to him their disappointment and frustration about the state bypassing their vaccination plans.

We have been planning for this final piece of the pandemic and although we were ready, we had to come off the bench for vaccinating our community, Watkins said.

So, why did the Cuomo administration create a statewide vaccination system and reduce the role of county health department that had been planning to do the job?

Late Tuesday afternoon, senior health officials talked with 2 On Your Side on the condition of anonymity.

Officials explained because the state had prior successes with its regional approach to COVID testing, it was thought a similar regional approach with state government in charge would work most effectively.

The importance of counties in the state plan was repeatedly stressed and counties are expected to take on larger roles as more vaccines become available.

There was also this from Jack Sterne, a spokesman with Governor Cuomos Office:

This is an apples and oranges comparison the COVID vaccine supply is extremely limited, theres prioritization guidance, it requires ultra-cold storage, and is a two shot regimen, so we could not solely rely on past planning. The State picked the most relevant elements of prior plans that made sense here like mass vaccination sites used during H1N1, targeted distribution to healthcare facilities to serve their workforce, and scalable parts of the annual flu vaccination effort such as pharmacies and operationalized them to fit the unique requirements of COVID. As we expanded eligibility, weve expanded our partners.

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Western New York health officials puzzled by secondary role in COVID vaccinations - WGRZ.com

Notable Health seeks to improve COVID-19 vaccine administration through intelligent automation – TechCrunch

Posted: at 12:53 am


Efficient and cost-effective vaccine distribution remains one of the biggest challenges of 2021, so its no surprise that startup Notable Health wants to use their automation platform to help. Initially started to address the nearly $250 billion annual administrative costs in healthcare, Notable Health launched in 2017 to use automation to replace time-consuming and repetitive simple tasks in health industry admin. In early January of this year, they announced plans to use that technology as a way to help manage vaccine distribution.

As a physician, I saw firsthand that with any patient encounter, there are 90 steps or touch points that need to occur, said Notable Health Medical Director Muthu Alagappan in an interview. Its our hypothesis that the vast majority of those points can be automated.

Notable Healths core technology is a platform that uses robotic process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to find eligible patients for the COVID-19 vaccine. Combined with data provided by hospital systems electronic health records, the platform helps those qualified to receive the vaccine set up appointments and guides them to other relevant educational resources.

By leveraging intelligent automation to identify, outreach, educate and triage patients, health systems can develop efficient and equitable vaccine distribution workflows, said Notable Health strategic advisor and Biden Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board Member Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, in a press release.

Making vaccine appointments has been especially difficult for older Americans, many of whom have reportedly struggled with navigating scheduling websites. Alagappan sees that as a design problem. Technology often gets a bad reputation, because its hampered by the many bad technology experiences that are out there, he said.

Instead, he thinks Notable Health has kept the user in mind through a more simplified approach, asking users only for basic and easy-to-remember information through a text message link. Its that emphasis on user-centric design that I think has allowed us to still have really good engagement rates even with older populations, he said.

While the startups platform will likely help hospitals and health systems develop a more efficient approach to vaccinations, its use of RPA and NLP holds promise for future optimization in healthcare. Leaders of similar technology in other industries have already gone on to have multibillion dollar valuationsand continue to attract investors interest.

Artificial intelligence is expected to grow in healthcare over the next several years, but Alagappan argues that combining that with other, more readily available intelligent technologies is also an important step toward improved care. When we say intelligent automation, were really referring to the marriage of two concepts: artificial intelligence which is knowing what to do and robotic process automation which is knowing how to do it, he said. That dual approach is what he says allows Notable Health to bypass administrative bottlenecks in healthcare, instructing bots to carry out those tasks in an efficient and adaptable way.

So far, Notable Health has worked with several hospital systems across multiple states in using their platform for vaccine distribution and scheduling, and are now using the platform to reach out to tens of thousands of patients per day.

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Notable Health seeks to improve COVID-19 vaccine administration through intelligent automation - TechCrunch

LMH Health, Heartland and health department share process for ensuring no COVID-19 vaccine doses go unused – Lawrence Journal-World

Posted: at 12:52 am


photo by: Associated Press

A bottle of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is seen on a table before Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly received an injection Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Story updated at 3:26 p.m. Tuesday:

Local vaccine distributors have processes in place to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines dont go unused at the end of their vaccination clinics.

LMH Health, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and Heartland Community Health Center said that if doses remained at the end of a clinic, their strategy was to contact Phase 1 or Phase 2 candidates who have yet to be vaccinated.

Autumn Bishop, a spokesperson for LMH Health, said that for the last appointments of the day at the hospital, team members draw up doses on demand, rather than in advance. Then, if there are still unused doses at the conclusion of a clinic, the team will contact Phase 1 candidates who have not been vaccinated or Phase 2 patients who are scheduled to receive vaccines in subsequent days.

Ensuring no doses go unused is especially important because of the short shelf-life of COVID-19 vaccines. Once vials of the vaccine are pulled out of the freezers, they cannot be put back in, Bishop said, but they can be refrigerated. The Pfizer vaccine is good for five days in a refrigerator, and the Moderna vaccine is good for 30 days.

That is only if the vials have not been punctured, however. Once punctured, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are good for only six hours. Vials of the Pfizer vaccine typically include six doses, although it can vary from five to seven, Bishop said. Vials of the Moderna vaccine include 10 doses.

LMH Health spokesperson Amy Northrop said that the hospital had used all doses allotted to it by the health department except for five doses that were lost because of syringe malfunctions or failures. The health department and Heartland said they have not had doses go unused.

Karrey Britt, a spokesperson for Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, said the health department always has a standby plan for using any leftover doses at the conclusion of mass vaccination clinics, which includes contacting Phase 1 or Phase 2 candidates who have not yet been vaccinated. In some instances, the health department may contact groups such as law enforcement, education or food service to alert them that there are more doses available. Then, the groups can reach out to their employees.

Public health is committed to doing all it can to avoid contacting people at the last minute, Britt said.

Britt also said that if necessary the health department would conduct a second clinic to administer remaining vaccines. A second clinic was held on Friday at the Lied Center, she said, to administer remaining doses. In addition to providing an opportunity to administer additional doses Britt said 182 doses were given out that day the Lied Center clinic also helped the health department test the delivery of vaccines in an indoor environment.

Robyn Coventon, chief executive officer at Heartland Community Health Center, said that a primary reason no doses have been wasted at Heartland was clear and timely communication whatever the hour between Heartland and other Unified Command agencies.

We are provided with a list of randomized names for our vaccine allotment and are able to schedule from that list, Coventon wrote in an email to the Journal-World. Should additional names be necessary to ensure that all doses are administered, the list does contain a few extra names who are on standby to receive the doses.

As of Feb. 11, 11,892 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Douglas County, and 1,716 second doses had been administered. The Journal-World has asked Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to provide updated vaccine distribution numbers every Friday.

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LMH Health, Heartland and health department share process for ensuring no COVID-19 vaccine doses go unused - Lawrence Journal-World

NMSU researcher: COVID-19 information causing negative impacts on mental health – New Mexico State University NewsCenter

Posted: at 12:52 am


Date: 02/16/2021Writer: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest

New research from a New Mexico State University professor shows the vast quantity of COVID-19 information from mass media outlets is causing poor mental health outcomes such as anxiety and depression among Americans.

Jagdish Khubchandani, public health sciences professor at NMSU, was part of a team of researchers who conducted a quantity-versus-quality analysis of the impact of pandemic-related information on mental health. The study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity-Health, evaluated how people react to the quantity and quality of COVID-19-related information they consumed.

We wanted to assess the impact of mass media information quality and quantity on mental health outcomes, said Khubchandani, the lead author of the study, released almost one year since the start of the pandemic, as rates of depression and anxiety are skyrocketing across the United States.

More than 1,800 adults participated in the study a collaboration between NMSU, Ball State University, University of Houston-Victoria, University of Toledo and the University of Florida.

The results show 49 percent of the study participants were either very concerned or concerned about the quantity of COVID-19-related information, while 51 percent were either slightly concerned or not concerned. Quantity refers to the number of information sources, options for information and volume of information.

The results also show 64 percent of the study participants were very concerned or concerned about the quality of COVID-19-related information, while 36 percent were slightly concerned or not concerned at all. Quality refers to truthfulness, accuracy, and reliability of the information on symptoms, prevalence, effects and other concerns.

Overall, people seem to be more concerned about the quality of news and media theyre exposed to during the pandemic, Khubchandani said. The World Health Organization has already warned that we are dealing with an infodemic along with a pandemic.

Participants who were concerned about the quantity and quality of COVID-19 information were significantly more likely to be 18-25 years old, African-Americans, Hispanics, urban dwellers, individuals with an annual income of less than $60,000, and those without a college education.

Unfortunately, the groups who are less informed, vulnerable and marginalized have been exposed to greater information and misinformation, causing fear in this population, Khubchandani said. These populations have been hit badly by the virus and related socioeconomic challenges. Mass media, including social media, is further impacting these populations adversely.

Participants who were concerned about mass media information also experienced adverse effects on their mental health. Overall, the rates of depression (39 percent), anxiety (42 percent), and both depression and anxiety (13 percent) were high in the total study population.

Likewise, participants who were concerned about the quantity of COVID-19 information had a higher probability of depression (75 percent higher), anxiety (80 percent higher), and symptoms of both depression and anxiety (79 percent higher). But having concerns about the quality of COVID-19 information was not significantly associated with depression and anxiety.

Much has been said about the quality of information from mass media and social media during the pandemic, Khubchandani said. Our study reflects that the majority of Americans, about 64 percent, are concerned about truthfulness and accuracy of COVID-19 information in mass media and social media. However, information quality in mass media does not influence mental health to the extent quantity does.

According to Khubchandani and his co-authors, the most critical finding of the study is that the quantity not the quality of COVID-19 information is causing poor mental health outcomes such as anxiety and depression.

We must reduce our screen time and social media use, improve sleep and exercise routines, and avoid boredom, Khubchandani said. There are many long-term benefits to reducing the quantity of screen time. This will also help prevent consumption of inaccurate and untruthful information from mass media and social media.

To read the study, visit https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666354621000168.

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NMSU researcher: COVID-19 information causing negative impacts on mental health - New Mexico State University NewsCenter

Missouri teachers send letter to state health director asking to be vaccinated now – WDAF FOX4 Kansas City

Posted: at 12:52 am


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Some of Missouris top teachers are asking the state to make educators a priority and get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Five Missouri Teacher of the Year award recipients sent a letter with their request to the state health director.

Teachers fall under Phase 1B-Tier 3 in Missouris vaccination plan. Currently, the state is vaccinating Phase 1A and 1B, Tiers 1 and 2. Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams said it could be the middle of March before the next tier is eligible.

But educators say theyve waited too long to be protected.

I understand which tier we are in, but it is really important that we were vaccinated yesterday, said Darrion Cockrell, Missouri Teacher of the Year.

More than 25 states in the US are currently vaccinating teachers, but Missouri isnt one of them.

They want their teachers to be there for their students because they know how important teachers are for those kids, Cockrell said. I wish and I hope that Missouri understands that we are just as important as those other teachers and that we need to be at the top of the list, too.

Cockrell is an elementary physical education and health teacher in the Lindbergh School District and has been teaching for six years. He was one of five teachers who sent the letter to Williams; the others were all past Missouri Teacher of the Year winners, as well.

The state wants us to be there for our kids. They want us to be in person. They want us to continue being there to support and be the foundation for our students. But at the end of the day we need to understand that we definitely care about our health and our lives, Cockrell said.

Cockrell said teachers need to be vaccinated so they know theyre protected.

Once you are vaccinated, then you know you have that extra layer of protection, which is what we need to be there for our kids, he said. We want to be there for our kids. That is a huge priority for us.

The letter asks the state to prioritize Missouri teachers and staff for the vaccine. It goes on to say some districts no longer identify close contacts and some schools are teaching without mask protocols.

Being a teacher is hard, but not having the support from your own state makes it harder because at the end of the day, were not safe. Were not in a safe environment, and were doing the best that we can with the resources we have, but we know there are more for us to have, Cockrell said.

Once youre vaccinated, then you know you have that extra layer of protection, which is what we need to be there for our kids.

Williams said in response to the letter:

We look forward to the day when supply increases to the point where we can vaccinate our teachers and enhance classroom safety.

Right now, Missouri remains committed to protecting the more than 3 million senior citizens, health care providers, first responders and those with underlying health conditions who are currently eligible for the vaccine. With the limited amount of vaccine currently available, we must prioritize those most vulnerable.

We remain hard at work on our goal to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to EVERY Missourian who wants to be vaccinated.

Cockrell said teachers and staff have to be around multiple people throughout the day, and do not know where those people have been or who theyve been in contact with.

I dont want everyone to think that we as teachers feel like we are more important than the elderly or people in the tiers above us, but at the end of the day, we are all important, Cockrell said.

He said most teachers he has spoken to say they want to get the vaccine, and they want to get it as soon as possible.

I dont think its okay for us to wait until the end of the school year when weve been around people all year long, Cockrell said. It almost defeats the purpose. We want to finish the year off as strong as possible.

According to DESE, about 98% of school districts across the state are offering some type of in-person or hybrid learning. Cockrell said if teachers could get vaccinated, teachers, parents and students could have more confidence to return to school.

I think the sooner we are able to get vaccinated, the sooner some of these kids can get back in school and the more confidence we have as teachers to teach the way that we want to, Cockrell said.

Cockrell said the pandemic has reminded people how important teachers are.

I think when parents either had to teach or be home with their kids full time, they understood the stuff we have to deal with, what we have to go through, Cockrell said. The silver lining made people understand how valued we are and how valued we should be and I hope the state sees that as well and get these shots out.

Williams has previously said he hopes Phase 2-Tier 3 will become eligible next month, pending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine receives emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Gov. Mike Parson responded to the letter with the following statement:

We are doing everything we can to vaccinate as many Missourians as quickly as possible, and we look forward to the day when supply increases to the point where we can vaccinate our teachers.

Right now, Missouri must remain committed to protecting the more than 3 million senior citizens, health care providers, first responders, and those with underlying health conditions who are currently eligible for the vaccine. It is critical that we prioritize those most vulnerable with the limited amount of vaccine currently available.

Recent CDC reports indicate that COVID-19 transmission in schools is low and in-person learning does not commonly increase community spread. In Missouri, we have seen that with proper COVID-19 preventive measures in place, schools offer a controlled and structured environment that is unlikely to increase the risk of students or teachers contracting COVID-19.

We remain hard at work to achieve our goal of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to EVERY Missourian who wants it as soon as possible.

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Missouri teachers send letter to state health director asking to be vaccinated now - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City

Parents express concern over long-term mental health concerns for children – KTTC

Posted: at 12:52 am


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A year into this ongoing pandemic, there's growing concern about the mental impact of isolation in many aspects of our lives.

That's especially true when it comes to school-aged children and distance or hybrid learning.

Along with the short term aspect, parents are also wondering about how it'll affect development down the road.

Jana Miller has two kids at Harriet Bishop Elementary in Rochester. She said her children never really had any issues about feeling frustrated before the pandemic took the things they loved away.

"My son, a while ago, said that there's no happiness in distance learning," Miller said. "My daughter came home from school in tears the other day, she was so frustrated with being separated from everybody."

Miller said it's due to being separated from those things in life that they've really loved in the past.

Miller agrees with the saying; "it takes a village to raise a child." She says it's a village where teachers play a major role, and she's not the only one who feels that way.

Jessica Cruz said her children have also felt the negative impact of the pandemic, resulting in her seeking help for them from a counselor.

"We've been waiting for over two months to get in to see a counselor," Cruz said. "How do we get them help when the help that we are trying to get them is full?"

Rochester psychologist Dr. Patricia Price works with children ages 12 and up and experienced an increase in the number of patients she saw.

"It got to the point that in November I had to completely stop taking the patients. I haven't taken any new patients," Price said.

Even with Price doing that, her workload hasn't slowed down.

"I really do worry about the plan that RPS has in place right now because I personally feel like mental health has been on the absolute back burner," Price said.

Cruz added that she would ask district if this harm is really worth keeping children out of school any longer.

Price advises parents speak with the children often, look out for warning signs of children alone in the dark, and if the situation gets serious, take them to an emergency room.

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Parents express concern over long-term mental health concerns for children - KTTC

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