Four out if 10. That’s a failing grade on any scale.
West Virginia only met four out of 10 standards in recent reports released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But the state is in good company.
The report found that outdated systems and limited resources are hampering the nation’s ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks, and West Virginia is certainly among the states lagging in their approach.
That includes failing to meet benchmarks for flu and whooping cough vaccinations; not maintaining or increasing funding for public health programs from the 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 fiscal year; not vaccinating at least half of its population ages 6 and up during last year’s flu season; and failing to meet a federal goal of vaccinating 90 percent of preschoolers against whooping cough.
The state also failed to require or fund a cervical cancer vaccine for teens, or provide education about the vaccine for the sexually transmitted HPV; lacks a plan for severe weather, air quality and other environmental threats that affect health; and the state didn’t evaluate an emergency management plan through a real event or exercise in 2012-13.
Those are the issues.
There are things that West Virginia has been very proactive and progressive with when it comes to some programs.
“We believe (the state) is doing a good job at protecting against infectious disease threats, but we are always looking for ways to improve,” said Allison Adler, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Resources.
We can improve, and we need to. West Virginia has the opportunity to surge ahead of many states and serve as an example by concentrating on areas of public health that are lagging.
Just because we’ve made huge gains when it comes to public health and infectious diseases, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels.
“We can’t become complacent against the threat that they pose,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the group that completed the nationwide study.
We must constantly work to ensure that whether it be a normal day, a catastrophic event or a public health crisis, we are prepared.
Four out if 10. That’s a failing grade on any scale.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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