Lindsey Myers, ASTHO’s Vice President for Social and Behavioral Health, discusses a new blog article she authored with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marcus Plescia about men and gun violence; Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for...
Lindsey Myers, ASTHO’s Vice President for Social and Behavioral Health, discusses a new blog article she authored with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marcus Plescia about men and gun violence; Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, details the latest information about a rash of hepatitis cases among children; and public health officials in Maine want young people in their state to know how much they matter.
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Thursday June 30th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
At ASTHO, we've been doing a lot of thinking about the comprehensive public health approach to preventing firearm-related deaths and injuries, just like with other public health issues. What this means is really monitoring firearm injury data, using it to identify populations most at risk, identifying risk and protective factors, implementing evidence-informed strategies, and then really scaling what we know works.
As Lindsey Myers shares a byline with chief medical officer Dr. Marcus Plescia on a new blog article written for Men's Health Week earlier this month.
It discusses the need for partnerships at the state and local levels with partners such as law enforcement, faith-based communities, workplaces schools, and the firearm community so that people can come together, identify common agendas, middle ground, and ultimately change social norms.
Myers says the numbers are concerning.
We see that 65% of firearm owners are men and men represent 85% of firearm-related deaths and 87% of non-fatal firearm injuries.
She adds the new bipartisan Safer Communities Act will help jurisdictions address the rise in gun violence.
This law enhances background checks—particularly for juveniles and firearm purchasers under age 21—assist states that are interested in implementing red flag laws that allow authorities to temporarily remove weapons from people who are deemed a danger to themselves or others and prohibits domestic abusers in dating relationships from purchasing firearms.
It also includes a number of very important mental health initiatives, so it provides funding and a lot of different ways to expand mental health resources and boost school safety initiatives as well.
ASTHO has been awarded a grant from Kaiser Permanente via the East Bay Community Foundation to plan a national summit and develop materials on evidence-based health approaches to gun violence and suicide prevention. Read more about the grant and check out the blog article using the links in the show notes.
Kentucky public health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack is sharing with people in his state the latest information about a rash of hepatitis cases among children.
Yeah, so I think people have taken it in stride and thankfully the public health community has received more data over a longer period of time. It mercifully appears that there actually may not be an increase in the frequency of this condition when compared to longer historical trends.
Kentucky reports a handful of possible cases, but Stack says it's the public health response that has so far kept the problem in check.
In this instance, the public health community was able to quickly observe an abnormal spike in a serious disease affecting children, to rapidly mobilize clinicians and public health experts to gather information, and now is mercifully and efficiently moving to better understand the situation, inform the public and keep our children safe.
Finally today, public health officials in Maine want young people in their state to know how much they matter. They've launched a campaign that aims to improve connectedness in hope of reducing rates of overdose and suicide.
Kini Tinkham leads the Maine Resilience Building Network. She says the project will produce a roadmap that anyone can use to address community concerns.
You know, if two neighbors say, "I'm really concerned about this alarming rate of youth mattering in my neighborhood, my community. I'm concerned about youth suicide in my community. You know, I want to be part of the solution." And this guide is a tool that they can pick up and start the work.
So, it's not public health-focused. It's written really clear language for community members. Certainly, we expect the engagement of coalitions and organizations, but in rural Maine, we may not have a coalition or a public health group that can do this work. So it's really—we built this for the community to do the work,
Learn more about the Maine initiative in a new episode of the Public Health Review podcast, available now everywhere use stream audio. There's also a link to the episode in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You are listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.