Moore County Thanks DHHS, Other Agencies, for U.S. Open Support

Gov. Pat McCrory, DHHS and four other state departments received a resolution of gratitude from the Moore County Board of Commissioners for services provided in support of the 2014 U.S. Open Golf Championship and the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship held in Pinehurst June 12-22. The event attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators to the Moore County village.

DHHS’ public health and emergency medical services staff coordinated with local, state and federal partners over the months preceding the event to make sure proper safeguards were in place and that medical services were available to the large crowds that gathered for the golf tourney.

North Carolina has established a multifaceted infrastructure in order to protect and public health. DHHS’ Division of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Medical Services were on the ground in Pinehurst to closely monitor for injuries and illnesses and to assist in prevention and response efforts.

Also part of the thank-you were efforts by the Departments of Transportation, Public Safety, Commerce and Cultural Resources.

The July 15, 2014 recognition and thanks resolution, signed by Larry R. Caddell, chairman of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, expresses the board’s “profound gratitude to Governor Patrick McCrory and all those individuals in the state’s agencies who participated in the unimaginable preparations that resulted in what were magnificently flawless 2014 U.S. Open Championships in Moore County.”

DHHS’s Ann Staples brings personal experience to CDC anti-smoking video

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A video posted this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of its commemoration of 50 years of efforts to stem smoking and its health effects features a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services employee.

For Ann Staples, Director of Public Education & Communication, Tobacco Prevention & Control Branch, it’s personal.

“I did an interview with the CDC back in 2012 regarding the personal impact of tobacco in my life,” she said. “I had not heard anything about this since the video was shot, except when they asked me to share some photos of my mother.”

Today there are two CDC videos that include clips from that interview. Both are part of the 50th anniversary Surgeon General’s Report:

When Smoking Affects Your Family, It’s Personal

When Smoking Affects Your Family, It’s Personal – Ann Staples

Additional videos are also posted to the CDC site: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/tobacco/sgr50-video-podcast-series.html

State and Local Leaders, Rural Residents Partner to Create First Comprehensive Rural Health Action Plan

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) Task Force on Rural Health released this week the first comprehensive North Carolina Rural Health Action Plan that sets forth recommendations to reduce health disparities and increase economic stability across North Carolina’s rural communities.

The Action Plan, with six priority areas, identifies strategies at the state and local levels that range from behavioral health to childhood development to investments in high-speed broadband Internet – all of which focus on increasing the health and well-being of rural North Carolina. 

For the first time, the Task Force went to local areas across rural North Carolina to learn from the experts – those who call rural North Carolina home – to gather critical input used in developing the Action Plan.

 “This is what the rural communities told us was important to them, what they wanted,” said Chris Collins, Director of the Office of Rural Health and Community Care. “We will work to address the priorities identified by our rural citizens.”

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Community Health Centers to expand behavioral health services

Five community health centers in North Carolina have been approved for nearly $1.15 million in Affordable Care Act funding to establish or expand behavioral health services. They are among 221 CHCs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to receive the funds, announced last week. The expanded services are expected to benefit more than 450,000 people nationwide.

Health centers will use these new funds for efforts such as hiring new mental health professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employing integrated models of primary care.

North Carolina awardees:

  • Cabarrus Community Health Centers, Inc., $149,115
  • Gaston Family Health Services, Inc., $250,000
  • Lincoln Community Health Center, Inc., $250,000
  • New Hanover Community Health Center, Inc., $250,000
  • Piedmont Health Services, Inc., $250,000

DHHS Epidemiologist Joins Effort to Halt Spread of Ebola in West Africa

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Jennifer MacFarquhar, RN, MPH, CIC

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) career epidemiology field officer in the N.C. Division of Public Health is answering a call to be part of a team that CDC is assembling as it ramps up its efforts to curb the expanding West African Ebola outbreak.

Jennifer MacFarquhar received word Aug. 6 that her skills were needed in the effort. She will serve on one of several teams that the CDC is deploying to four African nations currently affected: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Her destination: Lagos, Nigeria’s capital.

In West Africa the number of people sickened by the Ebola virus exceeds 1,800, including more than 1.000 who have died from the disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Nigeria, the first death was recorded July 25 and already a second death was reported this week.

“We’re proud that Jennifer can step up to help respond to this global health emergency,” said State Epidemiologist Megan Davies. “Jennifer’s experience, expertise and dedication make her ideally suited to serve in the health crisis in West Africa. We wish her a safe journey and a safe return.”

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