Monday, May 9, 2011

Partnership for Prevention published a state case study telling the story of Colorado’s journey toward comprehensive tobacco cessation coverage. Entitled “A Collaborative Approach to Meeting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on Tobacco Cessation Screening and Intervention”, it describes how the Colorado Tobacco Cessation and Sustainability Partnership worked closely with public and private health plans to provide coverage for tobacco treatment. As a result, the majority of Colorado smokers have access to free or low-cost evidence-based cessation services and support for the state’s QuitLine has been enhanced. Advances were made in spite of decreased state tobacco control program funding.

Leaders in many states have begun to work with health plans to discuss the provision of preventive services. As the implementation of federal health reform moves forward it is Partnership’s hope that states can benefit from Colorado’s pioneering work in advancing tobacco cessation treatment. As states and territories progress toward a more integrated approach to preventive health, the Colorado Tobacco Cessation and Sustainability Partnership model for engaging health plans to implement USPSTF recommendations for cessation coverage can be applied to other preventive health services.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother’s Day Health E-Cards

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has over 100 E-Cards with healthy messages about smoking cessation, heart health, women’s health and many more. Send one to your mom for Mother’s Day to show her how much you care about her and her and wellbeing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Despite education and awareness efforts, many myths about sex persist in our culture, particularly among young adults. Tonight, in accordance with the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign and STD Awareness Month, MTV will air the Top Ten Most Outrageous Sex Myths. The show will debunk sex myths such as: “pulling out” is an effective prevention method against pregnancy and STDs; oral and anal sex aren’t really “sex”; if a woman is taking birth control pills, she doesn’t need to worry about STDs; STD testing is for cheaters; and many others. Check out the trailer for tonight’s show here or go to to learn more. And tune in tonight, April 26th, to MTV at 8:30 ET/PT to watch the show!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Partnership for Prevention’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jason Spangler, was interviewed by Luis Perez and Shantell Jamison on Chicago Public Media’s Vocalo Overdrive about STD prevention and sexual health. The key message of the interview was the importance of getting screened for STDs. Dr. Spangler also discussed providing a continuum of care, privacy issues, shifting away from fear-based health messages, and why the STD prevalence is so high. Overall, Dr. Spangler emphasized the need to make prevention a priority, discussing how only a small percentage of health care funding actually goes into prevention. You can listen to the entire broadcast here. For more information on STD awareness month visit the National Chlamydia Coalition or the GYT campaign.

Jacky Fontanella
Partnership for Prevention Intern

Friday, April 15, 2011

Consequences of Too Much Salt

Consumption of excessive sodium is a direct cause of hypertension, which affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. CDC’s next Public Health Grand Rounds, entitled Sodium Reduction: Time for Choice, will be webcast live from CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, April 21st at 1 p.m. (EDT) at Dr. Darwin Labarthe, Director of CDC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division, will lead a discussion with other experts on the consequences of too much sodium in the diet and the regulatory and technological context for the use of salt in our food supply. The session will also review current sodium control efforts such as the National Salt Reduction Initiative and food procurement policies, and separate fact from fiction to support actions needed to address this very real public health burden.

Controlling the amount of sodium is not as simple as removing salt shakers from tables. Much of the sodium in food comes from processing and restaurant use. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to address the health consequences of excessive sodium. Tune in to the CDC webcast to learn the facts and options for addressing this critical issue.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Healthways CEO Ben Leedle, Jr. was joined today by Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder and The New York Times best-selling author of Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest and Thrive-Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way, on Capitol Hill for an educational seminar focused on health and well-being.

Ben Leedle opened the seminar with an overview of Healthways dedication to making the world a healthier place by being a leading provider of programs that maintain or improve public and personal health and well-being.

He demonstrated how, through their simulation model, Healthways is able to profile various populations to determine how that population will “age” in five years. Predicting health outcomes in a community allows Healthways to determine the most costly health related conditions for that population. Behavior change initiatives can then be added to the model to determine what kind of impact they will have on slowing the “aging” process of that population.

Teaming up with Blue Zone’s founder Dan Buettner, Healthways and Blue Zone have created Healthways Blue Zones Vitality City in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Dan Buettner, an internationally recognized researcher, explorer and author implemented a successful prototype Blue Zone community in Albert Lea, MN. By applying the nine lifestyle characteristics, Power 9, Mr. Buettner and his team were able to improve the lives of individuals living in Alber Lea, MN.

This same principal will be applied to the South Bay area of Los Angeles with support from Healthways. Mr. Buettner ended the seminar on an enthusiastic note by illustrating the importance of how changing people’s environments can have, through his experience, the most impact on an individual’s health.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is your Community Healthy?

The passage of the Affordable Care Act created a renewed emphasis on community prevention and population health. With the Prevention and Public Health Fund and the Community Transformation Grants, resources are now available to improve the health of communities around the country. But how do you know how healthy your community is?

On Wednesday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ( released the 2011 County Health Rankings ( The County Health Rankings are a key component of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) project—a nationwide call to action for improving community health—first released last year. The rankings generate 50 state reports, ranking each county within the 50 states according to its health outcomes and the multiple health factors that determine a county’s health. The four different types of health factors are health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Specific county-level data (as well as state benchmarks) are also available. The Rankings are built on America’s Health Rankings, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state analysis, which is published jointly by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

Many counties around the country have used the Rankings to implement strategies and initiate interventions to positively influence health factors and improve their health outcomes. One specific example is Wyandotte County, Kansas, where Mayor Joe Reardon worked with other local stakeholders to create a Healthy Communities initiative after seeing his state’s low rank in last year’s County Health Rankings report.

A new development with this year’s Rankings is the launch of an innovative tool, the County Health Calculator ( The calculator is a new interactive online application that simulates the affect of higher levels of education and income on health in a county. It was developed by Center of Human Needs at Virginia Commonwealth University ( with funding by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Read more on Partnership’s community prevention efforts here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Only one year after the landmark legislation was signed, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already improving women’s access to high quality, affordable health care. When the law is fully implemented in 2014, it will signify the greatest leap forward for American women’s health in decades.

New protections for women under the ACA include:

  • Improved Access to Affordable Coverage: Under the ACA, adolescents and young adults up to age 26 may now remain on their families’ plans. Due to substantial new tax credits, more small businesses are now offering health care coverage to their employees. And beginning in 2014, expanded Medicaid eligibility means improved access to healthcare coverage for lower income women and families.
  • Free Preventive Care: Under the ACA, women receive recommended preventive services without copayments or deductibles. This includes U.S. Preventive Services Task Force A- and B-rated services such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer and chlamydia, prenatal care and more.
  • The End of Gender-Based Discrimination: Before the ACA, women could be charged higher premiums than men for the same insurance policy. Beginning in 2014, it will be illegal for insurance companies to charge women higher premiums on the basis of gender.
  • Being a Woman is No Longer a Pre-Existing Condition: Before the ACA became law, insurers could deny women coverage for “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy, Cesarean sections, and breast cancer. Beginning in 2014, insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone based on pre-existing conditions. Already under the ACA, children cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
  • The End of Lifetime Limits: Under the ACA, insurance companies cannot place a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage an individual receives. Beginning in 2014, annual limits are banned as well.
For more information about the important rights and benefits the ACA provides for women and their families, see’s new page on Women and the Affordable Care Act.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) recently concluded that the “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.”  This recommendation to the FDA is based on prevailing science surrounding menthol cigarettes.  Although menthol cigarettes do not contain more toxins, they increase the number of young people who try cigarettes and the number of children who become regular smokers, increasing overall youth smoking.  Menthol cigarettes have also been found to be more appealing to African-Americans and therefore contribute to higher smoking rates and decreased cessation among this population.

The TPSAC final report is set to go through a systematic review by experts from the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.  They are to take into account menthol cigarettes’ risks and benefits to the population, effects on overall smoking initiation and cessation rates, achievability, and consequential effects that may arise, such as demand for contraband.  The FDA intends to provide its first progress report on the review in about 90 days.

Partnership for Prevention supports the TPSAC’s recommendations and urges the FDA to take action to ban menthol to curb the uptake of smoking by youth and promote cessation among other high-risk groups.  The tobacco industry’s incessant marketing of menthol cigarettes to youth, African Americans and other communities are threats to the public’s health.  We are hopeful that the FDA will recognize the harmful impact of menthol cigarettes on the health of the nation and employ the committee’s advice.

Harmeet Singh
Tobacco Control Team

Happy Anniversary to the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will celebrate its one year anniversary March 23, 2011. Signed into law last year, the ACA puts into place comprehensive health insurance reforms designed to lower health care costs by enhancing the quality of health for all Americans.

The ACA’s small business provisions focus on finding ways for business owners to reduce their heath care costs by ensuring their employees have access to quality, affordable health insurance.

Small business provisions include:

Currently four million small business owners have been able to claim a tax credit up to 35% of their health insurance costs. But tax credits are not the only benefit for small business owners. By 2014, small businesses will be able to increase their buying power through state-based health insurance marketplaces. Employers will be able to identify health insurance plans that better meet their needs. The ACA has allowed small business employers to provide health benefits to their employees.

Throughout this week the Small Business Majority will host a series of roundtables and webinars designed to better understand what the ACA has meant to small businesses. Today, the Secretary of the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius will kick off the series in Ohio. The Secretary will join The Consortium of African American Organizations and the National Policy Director of the Small Business Majority. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Healthy People 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' master plan for improving the health of the American population over the next decade, covers 42 topics and nearly 600 objectives.  A new report from the Institute of Medicine singles out 12 indicators as immediate, major health concerns that should be monitored and 24 objectives that warrant priority attention in the plan's implementation. 

The report updates and expands on the 10 leading health indicators that served as priorities for Healthy People 2010.  The recommendations on what should be the priorities for the latest version of this decadal health plan reflect the consensus of a committee comprising population health experts, epidemiologists, health statisticians, and others.  Indicators provide yardsticks that health experts and policymakers can use to measure progress, and objectives set out clear, concrete goals for improvements. 

The 12 recommended indicators include measures of access to care and quality of health care services, healthy behaviors, injury, physical and social environments, chronic disease, mental health, responsible sexual behavior, substance abuse, tobacco use, and healthy births.

The 24 objectives that the committee identified are:

•      Increase educational achievement of adolescents and young adults.
•      Increase the proportion of people with health insurance.
•      Increase the proportion of people with a usual primary care provider.
•      Increase the proportion of people who receive appropriate evidence-based clinical preventive services.
•      Reduce the overall cancer death rate.
•      Reduce the number of days the Air Quality Index exceeds 100.
•      Increase the proportion of children who are ready for school in all five domains of healthy development: physical development, social-emotional development, language, cognitive development, and approaches to learning.
•      Reduce pregnancy rates among adolescents.
•      Reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infections.
•      Improve the health literacy of the population.
•      Reduce coronary heart disease deaths.
•      Reduce the proportion of people with hypertension.
•      Increase the proportion of sexually active people who use condoms.
•      Reduce fatal and nonfatal injuries.
•      Reduce the proportion of people who experience major depressive episodes.
•      Reduce low birth weight and very low birth weight.
•      Reduce the proportion of obese children and adolescents.
•      Reduce consumption of calories from solid fats and added sugars by people age 2 and older.
•      Increase the proportion of adults who meet current federal guidelines for aerobic physical activity and for muscle-strengthening activity.
•      Reduce the proportion of people engaging in binge drinking of alcoholic beverages.
•      Reduce past-month use of illicit substances.
•      Increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep.
•      Reduce tobacco use by adults.
•      Reduce the initiation of tobacco use among children, adolescents, and young adults.

Partnership for Prevention is pleased to learn that in only two months over 150,000 Medicare beneficiaries have received the annual wellness visit authorized in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This good news comes on the heels of an HHS report earlier this week indicating that those over 65 are not getting the preventive services they need.  Click here for HHS news release.

The ACA requires a health risk assessment (HRA) for Medicare beneficiaries to assist in developing personalized prevention plans. Partnership has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to develop guidance for implementing this important tool. Specifically, Partnership organized and helped lead a Public Forum meeting in response to a Federal Register Notice for public comments and submitted, with Thomson Reuters, a report that CDC will use to inform CMS on the development of guidance for the HRA.

For additional information about Partnership’s work on the annual wellness visit and HRA, please click here or contact Jason M.M. Spangler, MD, MPH, FACPM, Chief Medical Officer, Partnership for Prevention,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Older Adults Lack Preventive Care

Adults over the age of 65 are not getting the preventive services that they need, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday. The report found that preventive services, including vaccinations, tobacco cessation, and screening for cancer, diabetes, lipid disorders, and osteoporosis are underutilized. The report emphasizes that adults over 65 should be taking advantage of preventive services on a regular basis, and notes that many beneficiaries don’t know what services are covered by Medicare.

As a provision of the Affordable Care Act, certain USPSTF A and B recommended preventive services are covered without cost sharing by Medicare patients. In order to promote uptake of preventive services, including those services that are currently underutilized, Medicare has instituted an annual wellness visit. The wellness visit will allow Medicare beneficiaries access to preventive services on a regular and continued basis. It will be based on a detailed Health Risk Assessment (HRA), which allows patients and providers to create a personalized prevention plan. Partnership for Prevention, along with the CDC, has assisted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the effort to design and implement the HRA by interviewing and convening a group of HRA experts.

Medicare coverage, along with outreach and education for the annual wellness visit, will help to bring awareness to the need for and use of preventive services for those over the age of 65.

Rebecca Doigan, MPH
Research Fellow and Program Associate

Monday, March 14, 2011

As one of the most popular sports in the United States, baseball is a highly integral and influential part of American culture today. Unfortunately, tobacco companies thrive on Major League Baseball players, who are the most prominent spokesmen for smokeless tobacco. The very heroes that many people, especially young kids, look up to are conveying a dangerous message that promotes a behavior that leads to mouth diseases, cancers, and heart attacks.

Despite the sufferings of Babe Ruth and Tony Gwynn with cancer, MLB players, coaches, and managers continue to chew tobacco all season long. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that smokeless tobacco use among high school boys has increased by 36% in the past seven years.

In a January article in the Washington Post, Washington Nationals superstar pitcher Stephen Strasberg recalls how he began using smokeless tobacco as a teenager to better emulate the ballplayers he idolized. Strasberg is attempting to quit tobacco and his goal was to be tobacco free by spring training. Not only is Strasberg quitting because of the many health risks associated with tobacco use, but he also doesn't want kids who want to be like him to see him chewing.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and nine supporting organizations are calling upon MLB and the Players Association to ban all tobacco use on the field and in the dugout in their upcoming contract negotiations. The contract to be signed will be in place for five seasons, so taking action now is crucial.

Tobacco use has already been banned in the minors, the NCAA and the National Hockey League. It is time that MLB does the same.

Join the Campaign’s efforts to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park by sending a message to Major League Baseball denouncing smokeless tobacco.

Harmeet Singh
Tobacco Control Team

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.


Doctors Urge Indoor Tanning Ban for Minors

U.S. tanning salons should close their doors to minors to protect them from skin cancer, a group of 60,000 pediatricians said Monday in a new policy statement. With the move, the American Academy of Pediatrics joins the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Dermatology and other groups that are already pushing for a ban. Since 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the WHO, has classified tanning beds as cancer-causing. Research shows people who start going to tanning salons before age 35 have a 75-percent increase in their chances of developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.


Smoking Linked to Infant Heart Defects

A pregnant woman who smokes in her first trimester is much more likely to have an infant with a congenital heart defect, U.S. health officials say.  A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found tobacco exposure is associated with a 20 percent to 70 percent increased risk of certain types of defects such as those that obstruct the flow of blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs and openings between the upper chambers of the heart.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kathie Ruffatto, Partnership’s Program Associate for Worksite Health, co-presented with Bill Sells ,Vice President, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association at the YMCA State Wide Pioneering Healthier Communities Conference today. The YMCA State Wide Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative was launched in 2008 at local and state levels in six states and in 32 communities. This year Illinois, Michigan and Ohio have been selected to join the movement to create healthier communities through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

Participants from each state were able to attend various break-out sessions on different topics. The focus of Kathie and Bill’s break out session was how employers and employees can increase their health through worksite wellness policies. Bill Sells discussed the importance of physical activity both in the workplace and the community and how the workplace can influence one another. He emphasized that creating a culture of health amongst the nation’s youth should be top priority for policymakers.

Kathie followed Bill’s presentation by highlighting the significance of good nutrition in workplaces and underscored the important role CEOs and top management play in creating environments conducive to good health. With new Leading by Example publications, Kathie was able to give specific examples of successful nutrition policies from the featured companies.

The presentations spurred a lively discussion on the importance of worksite wellness and how they could help support businesses within their communities. Questions ranged from transportation to program and/or policy implementation. All of these communities are or will begin to take great strides in removing barriers so that their citizens can be healthy. They are taking an important first step in understanding what it takes to create a culture of health.

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.


Berries May Offer Sweet Protection Against Parkinson's Disease

People who eat foods rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, especially berries, may be protecting themselves from developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. In addition to berries, flavonoids are found in a variety of foods such as apples, chocolate, and citrus fruits. These compounds have been touted as protective against some diseases because of their antioxidant effects, researchers say.

However, not all flavonoids are created equal. Only those known as anthocyanins, found in berries and other red/purplish fruits and vegetables, protected both men and women, according to the results of this study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health..


Energy Drinks May Hurt Kids

Energy drinks such as Red Bull, AMP and Rockstar have no health value and may even harm some children and teens, a new review finds. The increasingly popular, highly caffeinated drinks are especially risky for children with heart abnormalities, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other health or emotional problems, said Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, co-author of the study, published online Feb. 14 in the journal Pediatrics.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Associated Press (“Obama has kicked smoking habit, first lady says”) reported earlier this week that President Obama had “given up smoking.” The source for the report wasn’t the White House Press office but First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama confirmed that the President had successfully quit smoking and had been smokefree “almost a year.”

This is wonderful news for the Obama family and for millions of Americans who struggle to quit smoking and wonder if they will ever be successful.

The President’s success sends an unmistakable message of hope to those struggling to quit. Now children whose parents smoke can refer to the President’s example and his struggle. Quitting is possible…even if you are President of the United States.

In a recent meeting of Partnership’s ActionToQuit state grantees, the news from Mrs. Obama was greeted with much excitement and admiration. In a letter of congratulations to the President these state tobacco cessation leaders wrote: “Your experience in quitting smoking gives hope to millions who struggle with their (tobacco) addiction. Your example – that quitting … is possible with the right combination of therapy and family support will encourage others to make the effort and realize the success, even in one of the world’s most stressful jobs.”

The ActionToQuit members joined Partnership VP Diane Canova in urging the President to take pride in his accomplishment and “consider sharing your experience to help other smokers seek out the smoke-free pathway to a longer, healthier life.”

The President’s experience with quitting tobacco is all too human. Quitting takes time. His example demonstrates perseverance and should encourage all of us to redoubling our efforts to expand access to tobacco cessation and encourage the types of social and family supports that increase smoking cessation success. The Affordable Care Act expands access to tobacco cessation through health insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid. The new Prevention and Public Health Fund will make financial assistance available to help communities promote health and wellness including preventing and reducing tobacco use. These are important tools that can accelerate progress towards a healthier, smokefree nation.

But let’s not underestimate the important motivational role that examples of successful quitters can play. We hope the President’s struggle and his success will motivate others to successfully quit.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.


Breast-Feeding May Counter Some Effects of Childhood Cancer

Breast-feeding may help reduce some long-term negative side effects of cancer treatment in women who survived childhood cancer, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that making women aware of the benefits of breast-feeding should be part of routine recommendations for a post-cancer healthy lifestyle, said Susan W. Ogg and colleagues from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.


Smoking, Obesity Slowing U.S. Life Expectancy Gains: Report

Longevity isn't increasing as fast in the United States as it is in other developed countries, says a new report that points a finger at high rates of smoking and obesity.

For 25 years, U.S. life expectancy at age 50 has increased, but more slowly than in most of the other 21 countries studied, including Japan and Australia, notes the report from the National Research Council, an arm of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at

Friday, January 28, 2011

Today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius released a report highlighting the health insurance premium and out-of-pocket savings families and businesses can receive under the “Affordable Care Act” in 2014. Between 1999-2009 premiums more than doubled by rising over $7,500 for families that get their health insurance through an employer.

The report outlines several of the provisions the “Affordable Care Act” has and will implement. Provisions already in progress include new resources for states to improve their review of proposed health insurance premium rate increases and the eligibility for small businesses to receive tax credits that covers up to 35 percent of insurance costs of their employees.

The provisions for families that will be implemented disclose the importance of State-based Health Insurance Exchanges to middle-class families and tax credits that reduce cost sharing. Small businesses will also experience significant cost savings. By 2014, small businesses on average could save up to $350 per family policy and will be eligible for tax credits up to 50 percent of premiums. All businesses will likely see lower premiums of $2,000 per family by 2019.

Partnership for Prevention’s new Leading by Example The Value of Worksite Health Promotion to Small and Medium Sized Employers publication provides real examples of successful worksite health promotion programs for small to medium sized employers. The employers highlighted in this publication have taken the initiative to reduce health care costs by increasing the health of their employees. The publication can be downloaded at

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.


Study Shows Building Up to 10,000 Steps a Day May Lead to Weight Loss and Better Insulin Sensitivity

Building up to 10,000 steps a day can help control weight and may reduce diabetes risk, suggests new research in the journal BMJ.

Of 592 middle-aged Australian adults, those who increased the number of steps they took during a five-year period and built up to 10,000 steps per day had a lower body mass index, less belly fat, and better insulin sensitivity than their counterparts who did not take as many steps daily during the same time period. Of 592 middle-aged Australian adults, those who increased the number of steps they took during a five-year period and built up to 10,000 steps per day had a lower body mass index, less belly fat, and better insulin sensitivity than their counterparts who did not take as many steps daily during the same time period.


Smoking 'causes damage in minutes', US experts claim

Smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years, according to research in the US. The report, published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, shows that chemicals which cause cancer form rapidly after smoking.

Scientists involved in the small-scale study described the results as a stark warning to people considering smoking. Anti-smoking charity Ash described the research as "chilling" and as a warning that it is never too early to quit.

The long term impact of smoking, from heart disease to a range of cancers, is well known. This study suggests the damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample consisting of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention.


KC Health Department hands out vouchers for flu shots

If you are uninsured in the metropolitan area and still need a flu shot, the Kansas City Health Department has a deal for you: It is handing out 25,000 vouchers for free vaccinations at Walgreens pharmacies. Walgreens donated 350,000 of the vouchers to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The department is distributing them to Kansas City and more than a dozen other areas nationwide where there are disparities in vaccination rates and opportunities to address them.

“They’re targeting people who wouldn’t usually get a flu shot; they don’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover it,” said the Health Department’s Jeff Hershberger. The department last week began handing out thousands of vouchers to community organizations.


Youths With STDs May Not Admit They Had Sex: Young People Not Always Truthful About Sexual Activity, So Routine STD Screenings Are Needed

Young people who say they’ve abstained from sexual intercourse may not be telling the whole truth, an important finding in the ongoing battle against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta examined data on 14,012 young adults in their early 20s, who completed a computer-assisted interviewing survey and provided a urine specimen aimed at detecting three common STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.

More than 10% of the young people found to have at least one of the STDs had reported not having penile/vaginal sexual intercourse in the past 12 months. This suggests that routine screening of STDs may be a better way to reduce transmission of diseases.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at

Friday, January 7, 2011

Partnership for Prevention has awarded three new ActionToQuit State Grants to Georgia, Iowa and Michigan for the implementation of innovative strategies to increase access to tobacco cessation treatments. Funds are to be used primarily for the development of state alliances/summit meetings and the creation of strategic plans. The projects will range from focusing on employer groups and health care systems to increasing cessation coverage for Medicaid recipients.

The six original ActionToQuit grantees - Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New England, New York and Virginia – have also received funds to continue efforts made in 2010. Funds will be used to the implement the state strategic plans developed during the first year of the program.

With funding from the Pfizer Foundation, Partnership hopes to dramatically increase access to and use of proven tobacco cessation treatments through this grant program. The focus of the ActionToQuit State Grants is system and policy change in tobacco cessation which will be accomplished through the strengthening of state level alliances for tobacco cessation. These alliances will chart a course for increasing coverage for these services in States, strengthen quitlines, work with health systems/employers/insurers, and promote the importance of tobacco cessation. As a result, utilization of these treatments will increase and tobacco use will decline.

To learn more about the ActionToQuit state grant program and the 2011 projects, please visit

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Partnership for Prevention is pleased to submit these comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in regard to required textual warnings and accompanying graphics to be displayed on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.

Partnership commends the FDA on the development of the new graphic health warnings. We urge the FDA to proceed with the implementation of the warnings without delay. The tobacco industry will inevitably work to impede and overturn the plans for the new health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements, to take effect 15 months after issuance of this final rule. However, it is crucial that the FDA stay the course. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 46 million people (aged 18 years and older) in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. Each day in the U.S., approximately 3,450 young people between 12 and 17 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 850 youth become daily cigarette smokers. These statistics make it clear that more needs to be done to reduce the initiation of tobacco use and the prompt enforcement of this Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requirement will be a step in the right direction. These graphic health warnings will not only help young people to never start smoking, but also be beneficial in helping adults to quit.

Partnership for Prevention also strongly supports that 1-800-QUITNOW be required on all cigarette packages as a way to offer help to smokers who want to quit. A report released by the North American Quitline Consortium in 2010 showed that the total number of tobacco users accessing quitline services in FY 2009 was 515,000 (representing 1.2 percent of smokers), an increase of 129.7% over the FY 2005 level of 224,000. Quitlines are being used now more than ever so including the national access number on cigarette packages would be a simple and practical way to aid smokers who want to quit.

We thank you for the opportunity to comment on the cigarette warning labels and for your consideration of our views. Please contact David Zauche, Managing Senior Fellow & Senior Program Officer, at (202) 375-7807 or for further information or assistance.