Immunizations can help protect your child: National Infant Immunization Week 2017

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Did you know that National Infant Immunization Week started in 1994 as a part of the World Health Organizations effort to increase awareness of the positive effects of vaccinations? Every year since, the World Health Organization WHO, holds this infant immunization week sometime every April. This year it is to take place April 22nd to the 29th.

The goal is almost exactly the name, infant immunization. The WHO strives to incorporate the positives of routine vaccinations into the early health and development of children. One of the flaws of having developed a means to help prevent these childhood diseases is that no one remembers how devastating they could be. In 1920, only 68% of children in the world made it to age 5. That was less than a hundred years ago. Last year that number was at roughly 99.5% in the United States.

There has been some argument that administering so many vaccines, usually 3 or 4 at the same time, overloads the child’s immune system. That has been proven to be false, as they have new immune system. Everyday their immune systems fight off millions of disease causing agents. These vaccines introduce the body to damaged or dead diseases that would otherwise cause harm if they interacted with the live strains.

One example of what mass vaccination has prevented is Polio. There has not been a case of polio that originated in the country since 1979. Every year it would cause several thousand deaths, in addition to paralyzing,blinding or causing damage to the nervous system for tens of thousands every year. Based on historical data, we need an absolute minimum of 86% of the population vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of polio.  You would think that it would be closer to 100% than the minimum, but in 2012 only 92% of the population vaccinated.

There are many examples that prove that vaccinations help prevent epidemics, so why take the risk of not vaccinating?

WHO

CDC

Healthy People 2020 Goals/Evidence-Based practices

https://ourworldindata.org/child-mortality/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

http://vaccines.procon.org/view.additional-resource.php?resourceID=005964

Calling All Users of Science

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This Saturday there is going to be a series of marches and protests occurring in 358 cities in the United States and over 500 world wide. The March for Science is the first event of it’s kind. It is a call for support from all students, science-based careers and anyone who benefits from scientific advances (psst that’s everyone). It’s a nonpartisan even that is urging policy makers to look at evidence based practices and scientific data to influence their policies and ruling instead of money.

You can find a city near you here that is holding a march. The Fargo/Moorhead area is holding a large one that is expecting several thousand visitors. Here are some of the missions or goals that the March for Science hopes to achieve.

  • Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest. They wish for policy makers to make decisions not altered by other agendas.
  • Cutting-edge science education. They believe that a science background isn’t only for a select few, the entire  majority of the population should be able to interpret scientific literature.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. This comes into play with the previous mission, they wish to have an outreach in education.
  • Open, honest science and inclusive public outreach. Several policies that have been passed recently have banned or limited the exchange of scientific literature and dialogue. By restricting access to the newest information, the governmental body is harming it’s people.
  • Funding for scientific research and its applications. Under the proposed 2018 budget, all scientific bodies with federal funding will see a cut from 10% to 31%. They wish to change so that we are capable of producing more advancements.

In the few months that this has been planned, they have partnered with over 300 different scientific agencies and centers. Here is their page for the MN marches specifically.  They have several social media accounts; check them out on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.

 

Care for the Earth, and it’ll care for you Earth Day 22nd 2017

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Take a deep breath, now let it out. The air you just breathed in was probably refreshing at best, tolerable at worst. You might have noticed the onion or tuna you ate, but that was the worst of it. The next time you drink water, look at it. Is it clear? Probably. Is it colorless? Again, most likely. Is there water in your cup? Well duh.

Never before have these two things been at risk before, drinking and breathing, in the human existence time frame. With the help of globalization and a population boom, humans are having a profound effect on the world. We haven’t had to come to terms that it won’t last forever, because we’ve never had to worry about that in the past.

For the first time in human existence, carbon levels have risen above a threshold it has never crossed before. It didn’t just stop there; the current levels of carbon are sitting at 133% of that threshold. This rise in carbon is having an increased effect, often called the Greenhouse Effect. Due to this warming, there are many changes that are taking place in the world.

Professor Wallace recently gave a seminar on climate change here on campus and the effects that it has on human health. In her presentation she introduced us to some interesting points. A warmer world, even by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius shifts the mosquito habitat. More people will be exposed to mosquito borne disease and for longer times; Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile and the list goes on. Currently 3.6 billion are at risk for these diseases. With a temperature increase that number could rise up to 5 billion. Allergies will worsen as their window widens also. Flooding will increase, as will hurricanes and tornadoes.

Some cities have to issue warnings over smog exposure. It is estimated that of the 10 million deaths every year in China, 1 million is caused by pollutants. Exposure to all these new chemicals is wreaking havoc on our bodies and the environment. In addition to this smog exposure, there is an increasing amount of people with other respiratory problems such as asthma. In 2001, 1 in 14 people had asthma. In 2009, 1 in 12 people. That is the most recent number, although the CDC projects that as many as 1 in 10 people have asthma today.

The goal of Earth Day is to bring awareness to all these issues. It is trying to create scientifically literate people who will in turn be scientifically literate voters on environmental policies. They aim to change the direction of the world towards more green energy, jobs and technology. They hope that by 2020 a majority of the population will be able to understand the scientific literature that affects their lives and environments.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, and attendance was well above what anyone was expecting. 20 million people, roughly 10% of the population, joined the rallies and marches. It has been one of the most effective awareness days because it is bipartisan for the most part. After that first celebration, the government felt pressured into creating the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and the Endangered Species Act were also created.

Here are some more facts about Earth Day and our environment.

  • There is roughly 155 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean and roughly 9 billion is added every year
  • We will only be able to fill 60% of the world’s water needs by 2030 without better management
  • The Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 banned many chemicals that were ripping a hole in the ozone. Thanks to that act, the ozone is now healing and the hole is closing.
  • A convention was held in 1997, the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here many countries around the world pledged that they would work to sustain a diverse biosphere starting in their own countries.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standard is an aggressive self- proposed bill in California that says that the state has to get half their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Many states followed, but theirs is the most ambitious.
  • In 2012 the Earth Day Network planted 1 billion trees to try and bring back forested areas.

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/asthma/

http://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Earth-Day-Action-Toolkit-2017.pdf

http://mashable.com/2015/04/22/earth-day-facts/#ugyWvQqJIaqB

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-earth-day-46-facts-environment/

 

Update: Conference Review by Tracy Wright

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The Health Educator’s Conference was held in Minneapolis, MN on April 6, 2017.  This is an annual conference with health educators from throughout the state invited. MSUM had a vendor booth at the conference. I was fortunate to connect with many past and present MSUM students! We had many students that were interested in our program asking us questions that we were glad to answer.               

There were several attendees interested in pursuing MSUM Graduate Programs in Nursing and/or MHA.  Also present were faculty from community and technical colleges around the state. Information regarding MSUM’s RN-to-BSN program was provided to these faculty to disseminate on to their own Associate Degree Nursing graduates who may desire to continue their nursing education.

Below are a few of the great sessions at the conference:

  • -Deck, M. (2017.04.06). Creative ways to teach diverse learners: It’s all about engagement.  Health Educator                                 Conference. Minneapolis, MN.
  • -Beasley, L. (2017.04.06). Lateral violence, breaking the silence. Health Educator Conference.Minneapolis, MN.
  • -Elliot, A. (2017.04.06). Professional values competency evaluation. Health Educator Conference. Minneapolis, MN.
  • -Bristol, T. (2017.04.06). Item analysis made easy: Or at least tolerable. Health Educator Conference. Minneapolis, MN.
  • -Deck, M. (2017.04.06). Be wise to what’s up & coming. Health Educator Conference. Minneapolis, MN.

 

-Tracy Wright

 

 

Overcoming and Battling Addictions: Bobby Chakraborty

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Join us tonight to for a presentation by Bobby Chakraborty. He will be talking about the difficult subject of addiction. His presentation will be in CMU room 121 from 4 to 8.

One of Bobby Chakraborty uncles died while addicted to a substance, and this is what he says motivates him during his presentations. He originally aspired to be a marine engineer. During this time he saw several of his friends fall into substance abuse and wouldn’t let him help them. He felt he wasn’t making a big enough difference, which lead him to a drastic career change. He made the career change to acting, but struggled at first. For the first three years he could only land small roles, but for the last eleven years he has been in the limelight.

Now he is making a difference and is being invited to schools and public forums to help fight a war on substance abuse and addiction. The tagline for his campaign is “I am the king of my mind.” He wants to help end current addicts addiction and prevent new users by showing them that sometimes the only thing they need is willpower to make a difference in their own lives.

Here are some quick facts to bring the struggle with addiction home.

  • 21.5 million Americans struggled with some form of addiction in 2015. That’s roughly 7% of the population. If you had 20 people in a room, someone would be struggling with addiction.
  • Only 10% of people that need help receive it in the United States. That figure is much lower in other parts of the world.
  • Of the people that get the help they need, between 40 and 60 % will relapse in their lifetime
  • 10% of the American population claim to be recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction
  • In 2011, 5 million emergency room visits were drug or alcohol related.

 

https://mnstate.collegiatelink.net/organization/ODI/calendar/details/1274917

http://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/addiction-statistics/

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Actor-Bobby-Chakraborty-in-anti-addiction-crusade/articleshow/20353370.cms

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bengali/movies/did-you-know-/Bobby-Chakrabortys-Anti-Addiction-Campaign/articleshow/18573924.cms

Autism Awareness April 2017

There are approximately 3.5 million people living with autism in the United States, affecting about 1 in every 68 births. The rate in 2004 was roughly 1 in every 125 births, showing that the occurrence rate has doubled since then. As more and more American families are being affected, the nation has to decide how to best service these families and their needs.

Autism Awareness Month hopes to increase the 4 A’s and an I of Autism; Awareness, Action, Acceptance, Appreciation and Inclusion. One of the driving reasons for wanting these five things is to make them feel human and a part of society. This is important, because legislation that affects their lives is being written right now by people that don’t know much about this disorder. They don’t have the proper background to make informed decisions, which this month is trying to change.

The symptoms of autism usually become prominent in ages 2 to 6 years. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has five behaviors that parents should watch for and use as indicators for further evaluation.

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months
  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
  • Does not say single words by 16 months
  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

Having even 1 or 2 of these symptoms is not a diagnosis. You need to bring your child to a panel of specialists that know more about the disorder and how to diagnose it. These are just behaviors that suggest you should do this.

There is for no for certain cause for autism at the moment. The main things that are thought to play apart in the development in autism are genetics, epigenetics (gene folding due to a shifting environment) or a possible comorbidity with other genetic diseases. It used to be thought that it developed after a traumatic event in their childhood, but that has been disproven. It is also currently thought that certain immunizations cause autism to develop, but numerous epidemiological studies have disproved that belief.

MSUM is having an Autism Documentary and Panel night on campus to help raise awareness. It will be in Langseth 104 at 7pm this Monday April 7th. They will be a film followed by a panel for any questions.

One way that you can show your support for this month is by wearing the unrecognizable puzzle ribbon. The Autism Society sells the ribbons here and the proceeds go towards research and aid. If someone approaches you, don’t turn them away. Take this moment to educate them. If you are unsure of something, say so instead of spreading false information.

Autism Society

Autism Research Institute

World Health Organization

Autism Speaks

Student Academic Conference April 11th 2017

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Everyone out there must be confused. No class tomorrow? On a Tuesday? What gives? Well, there is the Student Academic Conference (SAC) on campus. Good news, if your a non-STEM student you can sleep the day away. Bad news, most STEM majors are required to go for their classes.

The SAC is a way for students to present their research instead of it just hiding on some professor’s shelf or on a wall. There will be 3 different oral presentation time slots. Each slot will last 100 minutes and have about 4-6 presenters. There will also be poster presentations rotating out through out the day. Students will be standing next to their work and will answer any questions that you may have. Feel free to engage, they want to show off what they’ve learned.

The School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership is inviting you to the HSAD presentations tomorrow. We have more than 10 students who will present for the first time in SAC! We hope to see you there exploring and showing your support.

  • Structure-Process-Outcome – Applying Donabedian Quality Improvement Model to Improve Health Care by Daniel Danuser, Laura Kjolhaug, Serah Demmer *Time – 9:40 – 11:00
  • Six Sigma: A Strategy for Health Care Organizations by Jacqueline Volkert, Haley Cox, Ashlee Torgerson, Paris Williams, Molly Zachman *Time – 9:40 – 11:00
  • Plan-Do-Check- Act – An approach to improve Health Care Quality and Patient Safety by Tony Santos, Cecelia Winter *Time – 9:40 – 11:00
  • International internship experience (Patient Satisfaction Survey in Abu Dhabi -(Oral Presentation) by Marah Omar *Time – 12:40 – 1:00 pm

There are over 230 posters scheduled to be there from every major on campus in addition to the oral presentations. If you think there isn’t something for you, you’re wrong. Here are some examples of posters:

  • The Past, Brexit, the Future: Insights for firms and investors by Moyinoluwa Abiola
  • Response to the Cry of a Baby: Physiological responses and self-reported behavior by Molly Kraemer and Megan Weiler
  • An Investigation of the Bio-chemical Constituents and Potential Allelopathic and Insecticidal Efficacy of Wormwood in Aquaponics by Isaac Heiser
  • Whitewashing Screenplays by Regan Meyer and Nathan Arel and William Austin and Duncan Monroe
  • Geographical Location and the Development of LGBT Youth.
  • STEAM Ahead: Arts Integration for Tomorrow’s World Changers by Julianne Feir

The SAC will be held in the CMU starting at 9:40am today and goes until roughly 3.

Complete list of all the presenters along with times and places: Schedule