Monthly Archives: May 2013

May is Heptatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

What Is Hepatitis?

The liver is an important organ in the body because it helps digest food, store energy and remove poisons. Hepatitis is a disease that makes the liver swell; typically caused by a virus. There are many different types of Hepatitis, but the most commonly known are Hepatitis A, B, and C. Common symptoms include a fever, fatigue and jaundice; but there are many more. If Hepatitis goes untreated it can turn into Liver failure or even liver cancer. The problem is that more than 4 million Americans suffer from Hepatitis B or C infections and don’t know it. Each year, approximately 15,000 Americans die from liver cancer or chronic liver disease associated with viral hepatitis. This is why it is important to know the facts and get tested.

How can Hepatitis Spread?

Hepatitis can spread in different ways depending on the type of Hepatitis. However, common ways to contract Hepatitis include sharing needles, having sex with an infected partner, birth or direct contact with infected blood.

What Can You Do?

  • Know the facts
  • Get Tested
  • Request the Vaccine
  • Join the conversation on Twitter

(hashtags #HepAware for Hepatitis Awareness Month, #HTD for Hepatitis Testing Day, #HepRisk for the Hepatitis Risk Assessment, and #KMH for the Know More Hepatitis Campaign)

Are You At Risk?

Take the following Hepatitis Risk Assessment provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This assessment will take approximately 5 minutes.

Check Out Campaigns Around The Nation:


Arthritis Awareness Month – May 2013

Arthritis Awareness Month – May 2013

Arthritis is one of the most common sources of disability in the United States, and it currently afflicts approximately 50 million adults and nearly 300,000 children. Created to challenge the many stereotypes surrounding this joint disorder, “Faces of Arthritis” is making an effort to educate and inform the general population about arthritis’s many implications.

Arthritis Faces Mantle Group

Faces of Arthritis:

A particular stereotype about arthritis – that it only touches older adults – has been defaced with a surprising statistic: arthritis can touch any persons of any age (including children), and people under the age of 65 years appear to be the most affected. Moreover, arthritis is not a component of what is considered to be normal aging.

The treatments for arthritis can both minimize its progression and help to relieve pain. With supplemental treatment measures, such as physical activity, concurrent problems associated with arthritis can also be alleviated, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Walking seems to be the most preferred type of physical activity by people with arthritis, and it has been demonstrated to improve arthritic symptoms and overall quality of life.

Offer your support to people suffering from arthritis by participating in an Arthritis Walk! There is a Walk scheduled in Grand Forks, ND on Saturday, October 12th, 2013, which will also feature a Zombie 5k Fun Run, Kids’ Monster Dash ½ Mile Fun Run, and many prizes and awards. Your contributions will go towards the Arthritis Foundation. For more information about Arthritis Walks or to find one near you, visit

Also the Arthritis Foundation Joints in Motion Go Far Charity Team 2013 Fargo Marathon, 10K or 5K walk or run had a team participate this year May 16-18, 2013. Contact Kelly Brekke at 701-388-1988 or for more information on future events or visit

For more information concerning arthritis or to connect with others, visit the following:



The Community Health Major at MSUM

Community Health

What is a Community Health Professional?

Community health professionals work with mass media, plan and conduct workshops, develop educational programs and act as a health information resource. The majority of all community health professionals work in healthcare and social assistance agencies, and many work in government organizations. Community health majors may also be employed by colleges, public and private schools, nonprofit organizations, private businesses, or in medical care settings.

A Community Health Professional should be able to promote:

  • Collaborative Efforts – developing community-based programs
  • Health Promotion – developing low literate, culturally appropriate materials, curricula and awareness campaigns
  • Evaluation and Research – designing data collection tools to measure program processes and outcomes using quantitative and qualitative methods and reporting for multiple audiences
  • Training and Staff Development – designing and conducting training for diverse audiences including clinicians, professional staff, community groups, parents and youth
  • Resources for Health Professionals – developing monographs, white papers, literature reviews, research articles and developing continuing education for the web

Program Coursework:

Community health programs draw from various disciplines, including sociology, biology, nutrition, political science and economics. Course topics might include:

  • Current health issues
  • Health care organizations
  • Health statistics
  • Health disparities
  • Ethics in health care
  • Health care policy

MSUM new logo

B.S. Degree in Community Health (120 Credits)

Department: School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership


Students must complete the following course work:

COMH 200 Introduction to Health Promotion and Public Health (2)

COMH 315 Health Agencies and Services (3)

COMH 326 Epidemiology (3)

COMH 401 Health Aspects of Aging (3)

COMH 415 Design and Evaluation of Community Health Programs (3)

COMH 418 Global Health Issues (3)

COMH 469 Internship (8)

Related Requirements

SW 499 Grant Writing Workshop must be taken for 3 credits.

ENGL 387 Technical Report Writing (4)

HLTH 110 Personal Health and Wellness (3)

HLTH 125 First Aid and CPR (2)

HLTH 305 Introduction to Nutrition (3)

HLTH 330 Disease Prevention (2)

HLTH 412 Education for Sexuality and HIV/AIDS (3)

HSAD 420 Health Policy and Payment (3)

MATH 234 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3)

MC 220 Desktop Publishing (3)

PHIL 311 Morals and Medicine (3)

SOC 350 Methods and Statistics for Social Research (4)

SOC 375 Sociology of Health and Medicine (3)

SW 499 Social Work Workshops (1-3)

Career Opportunities:

Medical Facilities

Hospitals and other health care providers employ community health educators to provide patients with knowledge and skills in areas such as health promotion, healthy living, disease prevention and management. You may also be involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs related to health promotion.

Private Companies

Businesses and corporations employ graduates with community health degrees to help promote employees’ health and wellness. You may work with employers to develop, implement and analyze health programs focusing on issues such as stress management, nutrition and job safety.

Government Agencies

Government agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deal with a variety of health issues at the local, state and national levels. As a graduate of a community health degree program, you could implement or develop programs for an organization specializing in the areas of heart disease, cancer or AIDS, to name a few.

You also might find a job with your state’s public health department, though a master’s degree may be required for these positions. Professionals in this sector may organize media releases or keep health care professionals abreast of the department’s policy decisions.

Non-Profit Organizations

Community health educators also work for non-profit organizations such as a YMCA, March of Dimes or community health center. You may educate the public about available resources, such as free health screenings, nutritional supplement programs, counseling, etc. You also might create print materials about disease prevention methods. In some cases, this information may be addressed to specific groups of people, such as women or children.

Examples of career opportunities:

Job Outlook:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an 18% increase in jobs was projected for health educators through the 2008-2018 decade ( This is in large part due to public and private agencies’ efforts to avoid paying for expensive health care treatments that could be prevented by changes in diet or behavior. The median yearly salary of a health educator was $45,830 as of May 2010.

Certification & Continuing Education:

The National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc., awards the Certified Health Education Specialist credential to entry-level health educators who hold a bachelor’s degree and pass a certification exam. Continuing education is required to maintain certification. While certification is not always a requirement, some state public health departments require it, and many employers prefer to hire certified applicants. Other professional organizations, such as the Society for Public Health Education and the American Association for Health Education, provide continuing education opportunities.

Additional Educational Opportunities for MSUM students:

This Information was compiled from a variety of websites for the benefit of MSUM Community Health Graduates and prospective and current students. Links to the websites can be found here for further inquiry.

National EMS Week – 2013

National EMS Week

National EMS week


May 20, 2013 signifies the beginning of National EMS Week, a time dedicated to honoring emergency medical service responders across the United States. This year’s mission is “EMS: One Mission, One Team,” and serves to unite the many forces that make up the healthcare system under the “front line” that is EMS. The assistance that EMS responders provide for local citizens is astounding: from responding to disasters like tornadoes, wildfires, bombings, and pandemic illnesses to evacuating homes, schools, and hospitals, they remain a constant and reliable means of aid and support within the national community. Not only do EMS responders give their lives while protecting this nation, they also work around the clock to provide such invaluable care.



            Show your support for local EMS providers by getting together with others to advocate for safety and honor the efforts of those that provide it. Also during this week, go to for facts about EMSC, Emergency Medical Services for Children. These include topics about bicycle safety, school bus safety, family-centered care, and much more to keep you and your family safe year-round.

For additional information, visit,, or contact





Living Healthy Tips: Follow up on NWHW 2013

Living Healthy Tips:

Follow up on National Women’s Health Week

Join the WOMAN Challenge

The WOMAN Challenge (Women and Girls Out Moving Across the Nation) begins every year on Mother’s Day. Thousands of women across the country embark on an eight-week physical activity challenge for better health.


Eat Healthy:

  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Drink water (9 cups a day for women – aka: about 2 liters)
  • Choose to consume 5 small meals each day
  • Chew your food and eat slowly to feel full
  • Learn about healthy fats and carbohydrates
  • Educate yourself about “diet” or “fat free” food and beverages



The amount of exercise you need depends on the type of lifestyle you want to maintain. For beginners, most experts recommend at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week. These 20 minutes can be a combination of four 5-minute sessions of exercise, two 10-minute sessions or 20 continuous minutes. Just doing something is better than no exercise at all.


Follow the Healthy Living Pyramid:

Make a Check-up Check List:

  1. Review your family health history.
  2. Find out if you are due for any general screenings or vaccinations.
  3. Write down a list of issues and questions to take with you.
  4. Consider your future.

(For full information on Check Up Check Lists, see: )


Daily Healthy Living in Five Minutes or Less:

Take a Break!

Taking five-minute breaks–whether you sit at a desk, do heavy construction work, or anything in between–can have several benefits. Short breaks can help increase your concentration, alertness, and work speed. They can help lower stress and your risk for on-the-job accidents, soreness, musculoskeletal disorders, and eyestrain. Short breaks are also linked to having a smaller waistline, lower body mass index (BMI), and lower triglyceride levels.


National Women’s Health Week – May 12 to May 18, 2013

National Women’s Health Week

May 12 – 18, 2013

(National Women’s Check-Up Day : May 13, 2013)

What is National Women’s Health Week?

National Women’s Health Week is a week long health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health and its importance. It also empowers women to make their health a priority.


Five steps to improve physical and mental health and lower risks of certain diseases:

  1. Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  2. Get active.
  3. Eat healthy.
  4. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  5. Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet, and texting while driving.


First Lady Michelle Obama’s Article in Women’s Health Magazine on NWHW:

Why is it important for women to participate in this effort?

Regular checkups provide a number of benefits to women:

  • Screening tests, such as mammograms and Pap tests, can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Some women need certain screening tests earlier or more often than other women do. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, women can now receive these types of preventive screenings without copays.
  • Routine care can help women lower their risks of many health conditions, including heart disease.

How to get involved:


Highlighting Florence Nightingale – National Nurses Week 2013

Florence Nightingale

National Nurses Week 2013



Florence Nightingale is an important figure in the world of nursing and healthcare. Born in May of 1820 in Florence, Italy, Florence belonged to a prosperous British family. From a young age, she believed her purpose was to become a nurse, administering aid to the poor and the ill. Her parents were unsupportive of her career decision and were disgruntled by her refusal to settle down and marry a man of social affluence. Florence was nonplussed, however, and enrolled at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserwerth, Germany where she received her degree in nursing.

During her time spent at Scutari, the hospital based in Constantinople during the time of the Crimean War in 1853, Florence worked to improve on the unsanitary and inhumane living conditions of the wounded soldiers there. She also tended to their wounds and illnesses during every moment, thus earning herself the nickname “the Lady with the Lamp.” Once the war was over, Florence returned home to the praise of the public, earning awards and monetary prizes from the Queen and the British government. Throughout the rest of her life, she campaigned for the improvement of health standards and hospital designs, as well as for the reform of professional training for nurses. Florence remains a notary figure today whom many people still consider to be an important role model.

Although she is known best for her role in helping to establish modern nursing, Florence Nightingale is also a pioneer in the world of statistics – specifically, graphs. Florence stressed the importance of “actionable data,” which is comprised of the following elements:

  • Data should be easily accessible to all of its users
  • Data should be easily comprehensible
  • Data should be timely
  • Data should be used to bridge gaps between people and departments

Florence believed that in following these guidelines, exceptional healthcare would be provided for all patients. Her efforts and dedication to quality care continue to influence nursing today.  She applied her beliefs in many ways starting when she realized that many of the deaths during the Crimean War were related to poor hygiene.  She then retrieved data and numbers of these preventable deaths.  She developed the polar-area diagram with the statistics that she had gathered.  Her statistical data was later analyzed by William Farr and together they demonstrated that three times as many soldiers died at home from poor hygiene than at war.

Florence Nightingale survives in our history as an inspired nurse and a compassionate statistician.  She changed the world of nursing and will always be remembered as an important figure in healthcare and nursing.