November 2, 2016 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Kim Krisberg and I are currently in Denver at APHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition — the year’s largest gathering of public health professionals. In yesterday’s blog post, Kim recapped just a few of the scientific sessions and events from Sunday and Monday. Below are some highlights from Tuesday and you can read many more courtesy of the APHA Annual Meeting Blog.

How can we reduce gun violence? Less politics, more working together:  The gun violence epidemic in America got worse in 2016. As of October, more than 40 people every day have died in the U.S. by gunfire, according to the nonpartisan research group Gun Violence Archive. That’s three more deaths every day than in 2015 and seven more than in 2014.

At Tuesday’s Annual Meeting session, “Firearm-related injuries,” state and national public health experts tackled the problem’s many layers and shared evidence that solutions hinge on two overarching factors: data and compromise. “I don’t think we’re ever going to eliminate gun ownership in this country, so let’s start from there,” said moderator Linda Degutis, APHA past-president and director at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. “We need to truly open up discussions with responsible gun owners. Let’s think about what we can agree on — and that’s how we can get further.” Continue reading

Confronting human trafficking through a public health lens:  Whether it was a Boston-born transgender patient or a Ugandan working in domestic servitude, Hanni Stoklosa has seen a variety of patients who were victims of sex or labor trafficking come through her emergency room. Thankfully, Stoklosa, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and many others across the U.S. are working on creating public health responses to address their health needs, some which were outlined in a Tuesday Annual Meeting session on “We’re Making Progress: The Evolving Public Health Response to Human Trafficking in the U.S.” Continue reading

Public health works to increase data on imprisoned mothers:  Imprisonment is connected to a series of public health issues, spanning mental health, chronic disease and re-entry into the community. But being pregnant and imprisoned adds another layer of complexity that has spent little time under the public health microscope. That’s why presenters at Tuesday’s Annual Meeting session on “The Intersection of Maternal and Child Health and the Criminal Justice System” are trying to increase the focus on the health needs of prisoners who enter a correctional facility as a mother or will leave as one.

According to federal statistics, there are over 221,000 women in prison or jail, said Carolyn Sufrin, an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics. In addition, the ACLU estimates that 12,000 pregnant women are in custody annually, with 4 percent of state prisoners and 3 percent of federal prisoners pregnant at admission as of 2004, said presenter Jennifer Bronson, a statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This doesn’t include jail populations, she noted. Still, there is a dearth of health information about incarcerated pregnant women, Sufrin told attendees. And there’s little being done in terms of prenatal and postpartum care while they’re imprisoned, she added. Continue reading

Let’s get ethical: Expanding the role of ethics education:  APHA’s Ethics Section is reaching out to schools and programs of public health to better understand how ethics are taught in the classroom, and they need your help. “We don’t really have any consensus yet that is obvious about what it is we should be teaching in public health when it comes to ethics,” said Daniel Swartzman during yesterday’s Annual Meeting session on “Expanding the role of ethics in public health education.” Continue reading

Catch up on all the news from the APHA Annual Meeting here.


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