Top 10 - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


  1. Equal employment access for qualified disabled people
  2. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces ADA employment provisions
  3. Protections similar to those established by civil rights laws
  4. Removal of physical barriers in buildings
  5. Access to certain state/local government services
  6. Provides effective communication for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  7. Universal design changes to curb cuts, ramps; lifts on buses
  8. No discrimination on basis of disability in state and local government services
  9. No discrimination on basis of disability by public accommodation
  10. Defines work and tasks service animals may perform for people with disabilities

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Rural Health is focus of visit by U.S. health policy group


(Left to right) ORHP’s Heather Dimeris and Sahira Rafiullah are led on tour by Benson Area Medical Center CEO William Massengill

The United States Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) visited the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Rural Health and Community Care last week.

The Office of Rural Health Policy coordinates activities related to rural health care within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), ORHP has department-wide responsibility for analyzing the possible effects of policy on residents of rural communities.

While in North Carolina, ORHP Deputy Director Sahira Rafiullah and Associate Director and Senior Advisor Heather Dimeris visited a variety of collaborating agencies that have been instrumental in linking research, philanthropy, community, and government entities. They also attended a DHHS Initiated Care Steering Committee meeting which is attended by providers from across the state. 

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Heed these tips to prevent overheating this summer



New York Times July 7, 2014

During a heat wave over one week in early June, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 95 heat-related emergency department visits across the state.

Sometimes those heat-related emergencies can be fatal. According to data provided by the department, 43 people died in North Carolina due to exposure to excessive natural heat between 2009 and 2013.

Experts say these deaths can nearly always be averted by taking simple precautions.

Summer heat waves are becoming more frequent and increasingly intense. They put young and old, the physically active and the the sedentary at risk of a heat-related illness and death.

General tips

Prevention starts with preparation. While being properly hydrated is always important, it can be lifesaving in summer heat. The bigger you are, the more time you spend outdoors and the more intensely you exercise, the more you should drink.

• Don’t rely on thirst to tell you how much. A liter or two of water is needed to replace what is lost through sweat and respiration.

• Some salt may also be needed, especially for people exerting themselves. Normally salted food is adequate, but if you sweat heavily or exercise in the heat for prolonged periods, consider a sports drink diluted by half with water (most commercial sports drinks contain too much salt). Do not take salt tablets.

• Before engaging in vigorous activity in hot weather, give yourself a week or more to become acclimated. Start with moderate exercise for short periods, and then build up slowly over eight to 10 days to more strenuous or prolonged activity.

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Mosquito threat grows with advent of summer’s afternoon rains

Sunny days and warmer temperatures bring mosquitoes and ticks out. Add to that the occasional afternoon rain and the mosquito population seems to jump, creating open season on feet and ankles, bare legs and arms, necks and ears whenever the mosquito senses we are near.

Also a variety of tick species can be found throughout North Carolina in appropriate habitat such as tall grass and leaf litter. It’s always a good idea to check yourself and children for ticks, particularly after spending time outdoors. The federal Centers for Disease Control offers an excellent website detailing how to avoid ticks and how to keep them off you, your pets, and out of your yard:

As we enter the mid-point in summer, it is time to ramp up efforts to protect against mosquito and tick bites that, besides the annoying itch, can also deliver such vector-borne diseases as LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile virus infection, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. For more information on vector-borne diseases:

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Mental Health First Aid welcomes veterans


North Carolina welcomed its first graduates of Mental Health First Aid for Veterans training last week. The training, held in Goldsboro at Cherry Hospital, ran from Monday until Friday and was hosted by Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions.

Mental Health First Aid is an education program focused on teaching people to help individuals who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or who are in a crisis. This training introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in veterans, builds an understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help veterans experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. The training uses role-playing and simulations to:

  • demonstrate how to assess a mental health or substance use crisis;
  • select actions to take to provide initial help; and
  • connect veterans to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Mental Health First Aid is part of Governor Pat McCrory’s Crisis Solutions Initiative.

The Crisis Solutions Initiative focuses on identifying and implementing the best known strategies for crisis care in an attempt to address the numbers of avoidable visits and long stays in emergency departments for people who go there looking for help in a behavioral health crisis. With earlier intervention strategies that prevent crisis all together, individuals across the state will benefit from each community’s strengthened supports and will help people. People like our veterans.

North Carolina has more than 3,800 people trained as Mental Health First Aiders, through the efforts of about 169 certified instructors. That number continues to grow as training continues. 

For more information on the Crisis Solutions Initiative, please visit

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