APHA offers plan for boosting pandemic preparedness

first_imgFeb 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The nation’s largest public health group, the American Public Health Association (APHA), yesterday released recommendations aimed at strengthening existing federal strategies for pandemic preparedness and encouraging local officials and businesses to play key roles.At the top of its list are more resources for an overburdened public health workforce, which will play a key role in responding to a pandemic flu outbreak. Other recommendations in the APHA’s 16-page report range from expanding surge capacity in hospitals and public health labs to providing emergency medical coverage for people who are uninsured.Preparing for an influenza pandemic isn’t just the job of the public health sector, said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, the APHA executive director, in a press release yesterday. “The general public must be equipped with the proper resources to prepare themselves in the event of a flu pandemic,” he said. “The better we prepare now, the better our chances will be for protecting the health of Americans during an emergency.”Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group, lauded the APHA’s report, particularly its call for Congress to enact measures, such as scholarship and loan incentives, to bolster the public health workforce. “This is an excellent report that covers some of the critical pandemic preparation issues and places them appropriately in larger context,” he told CIDRAP News.Though isolation of flu patients and quarantine of exposed people are likely to play a limited role in the early stages of a pandemic, policymakers need to shore up laws and policies on isolation and quarantine, including who has authority to issue quarantine orders, the APHA report says. “These decisions should be made on the basis of scientific risk and use the least restrictive alternative.”The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with state and local officials, should develop national standards for sheltering in place, and the public should be urged to prepare to shelter at home for at least 2 weeks, according to the report.HHS and the US Department of Education should take the lead in developing national criteria for school closings in a pandemic and should make school districts aware of them, the report says.The APHA questions a component of the HHS antiviral stockpiling plan that encourages states to purchase antiviral medication with a 25% federal subsidy. According to a USA Today report on the antiviral subsidy program, written after the Aug 1, 2006, signup deadline, at least 43 states indicated they wanted to participate, though some said their ability to buy the drugs was uncertain. “The level of protection Americans receive should not be determined by where they live and the current fiscal position of their states,” the report says.Funding for national stockpiles of medical and lab supplies is inadequate, the document says. Besides items such as ventilators, syringes, and gloves, the medical stockpile should include equipment and medications needed to treat people who have chronic illnesses such as HIV and diabetes.In addition, the Food and Drug Administration should consider relaxing its limit on the amount of medicine that can be dispensed per prescription so that people with serious health problems can store enough medication to get them through an isolation or quarantine order during a pandemic, the APHA contends.Echoing the concerns of other health advocacy groups, such as TFAH, the APHA calls on Congress and HHS to establish an emergency Medicaid designation to encourage uninsured people to seek treatment more quickly if they have influenza symptoms. Other measures the APHA says would help ensure patients’ access to medical care during a pandemic include improving medical surge capacity—not only for flu patients, but also for those with other medical conditions.The APHA report places a strong emphasis on pandemic-related business and occupational health concerns. It urges businesses to consider paid sick-leave policies that encourage employees to stay home when they or their family members are contagious during a pandemic.Also, the group recommends including several other business-related provisions in the national pandemic plan, such as:Setting guidelines about work-related influenza exposure for use in workers’ compensation casesProviding financial support for employers who face extremely high costs for worker protectionRequiring employers to develop pandemic preparedness plansMandating employee training in prevention and exposure controlRecommending that workers in high-risk occupations wear respirators rather than surgical masksLike other groups, such as the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the APHA critiques current federal emergency response plans for designating the Department of Homeland Security as the lead agency in a flu pandemic, leaving HHS responsible only for “very traditional public health and medical issues.””Responding to a pandemic flu is much different than responding to a terrorist attack or hurricane,” the report says. “Therefore, public health officials—the Department of Health and Human Services—should have the formal authority to take the lead in the federal response to pandemic flu.”See also:Feb 22 APHA press releaseAPHA report: “Prescription for Pandemic Flu”http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/APHA+Prescription+for+Pandemic+Flu.htmFeb 1 CIDRAP News story “HHS ties pandemic mitigation advice to severity”Jan 25 CIDRAP News story “IDSA urges requiring flu shots for healthcare workers”last_img read more

Offices Take-up takes off

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Mbappe adds Olympic appearance to 2020 wish list

first_imgKylian Mbappe, who dressed up after Paris Saint-Germain beat Amiens, has told Santa that he wants the Olympics too | AFP Source: AFP “Playing in the Olympics, I don’t control everything,” he told France Football magazine in an interview to be published on Tuesday. “Of course I want to go, but if my club, which is my employer, doesn’t want me to go, I won’t force a clash.“We’ll soon talk about it,” said the 21-year-old, who already has a World Cup winner’s medal.Mbappe had already dropped an Olympic hint when he responded to the French team’s qualification in June with a “TOKYO 2020” tweet accompanied by a flashing emoticon and a French flag.Olympic football at Tokyo, an under-23 tournament with each side allowed three overage players, runs from July 22 to August 8, which is also the scheduled date of the start of the French season. Mbappe is also due to play for France at the Euros which runs from June 12 to July 12.If the 21-year-old Parisian star were to be called up by Olympic coach Sylvian Ripoll, he would take his holiday at the start of the club season.The striker said he had discussed a possible appearance at the Games with France senior coach Didier Deschamps.“The coach was adamant that it would never be to the detriment of the Euro,” Mbappe said. “I reassured him by telling him that I also wanted to play in the Euro, and he said: ‘So it’s up to you to deal with the people it concerns’.“If I don’t manage to go in 2020, I’ll still have 2024 left, in Paris,” Mbappe said. “I’d really like to do the Olympics at least once in my career.”center_img Kylian Mbappe is putting himself forward for the French team at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics while adding that he would not want to fight his club Paris Saint-Germain over participation.last_img read more

Lakers see D’Angelo Russell emerging as a leader

first_imgWith that extra experience, however, Russell said he has “more of a business-like approach in everything I do. “I’m keeping guys going and getting them to pick it up when they need it, including myself,” Russell said. “I’m not going to have it every day. But with our guys, I try to pick them up and let them know we’re all in this together.” The Lakers liked how Russell spent most of his offseason at the team’s practice facility, bolstering both his strength and post presence. Walton praised Russell for huddling teammates together and providing positive reinforcement during Wednesday’s evening scrimmage. Various teammates noted improvement in Russell’s 3-point shot during summer league play and training camp practices. Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram also credited Russell for giving him advice on how to train properly for his upcoming season. “He’s out here with something to prove this year,” Lakers third-year guard Jordan Clarkson said. “I think he’s changing his mindset a little bit in terms of that. He’s doing a good job.”That Russell has emerged as a leader does not surprise the Lakers. They selected him No. 2 in the 2015 NBA Draft because of his court vision and outside shot. Lakers forward Metta World Peace recalled Russell often telling him last season, “I’m going to be that guy.” “He wants that challenge,” World Peace said. “He’s not shying away from that role. The organization is building around a core. You need somebody to come in and want to take that role.” There marked numerous obstacles, though, that prevented Russell from taking that role his rookie season.Russell lost his starting spot 20 games into the 2015-16 campaign because Scott disliked his inconsistent play, attitude and work ethic. After initially struggling to share ball-handling duties with Bryant, Russell fielded criticism for looking to score more instead of passing. Once he had his starting job back, Russell averaged 15.1 points, made 38.3 percent of his 3-point shots and had 3.3 assists per game. But Russell then lost trust in the locker room after the release of a video that showed Nick Young admitting to infidelities.“He had moments of brilliance,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Then he had moments that clearly showed he’s a 19-year old player playing in the NBA.”Yet, Kupchak predicted that Russell will “have a really good year.” Young publicly made amends with Russell. He will not have to worry about losing his starting position again. Walton will provide more positive reinforcement to Russell than Scott. The Lakers also feel encouraged with Russell’s growth.Yet, plenty of work still awaits. Walton conceded Russell had “some questionable moments” in Wednesday’s scrimmage before chalking defensive miscues as “normal stuff.” Russell has sought advice from veteran point guards Marcelo Huertas and Jose Calderon on how to run pick-and-roll properly. And the Lakers will try to balance between coaching and empowering him to run the offense as he sees fit. “I always felt I had the leadership qualities as far as being a leader or leading a team. But at the end of the day, I’m a young guy,” Russell said. “I don’t really know what it takes to be successful as I want to be. Then you have veteran guys that do. It’s about listening to those guys, learning from your mistakes and learning from the coaching staff. There’s a lot I can really gain.”Compared to that dreary night in March however, Russell has already gained a lot. Unlike that game against Memphis, Russell has both young and veteran teammates alike eager to listen and eager to follow.“He’s ready to get that extra step,” Huertas said. “He’s ready for this new challenge.” SANTA BARBARA >> The dejected look wore on D’Angelo Russell’s face. He stomached frustration from yet another loss. And even with Kobe Bryant out of the lineup, Russell neither felt empowered nor respected to lead the Lakers. “I don’t really have the credibility or experience,” Russell said. “So what I say goes through one ear and out the other.”Russell uttered those words nearly six months ago after a regular-season game against Memphis with a soft tone and a deflated expression. Eight months later, the Lakers’ second-year guard has captured an audience that appears ready to listen.A season after former Lakers coach Byron Scott often questioned Russell’s maturity, work habits and familiarity with the playbook, Lakers coach Luke Walton has seen Russell cast an entirely different impression through three days of training camp and endless summer workouts. “He’s been great. He’s been professional. He’s been vocal,” Walton said Thursday. “He’s doing everything we’re asking.”A season after several of his veteran teammates pleaded patience for Russell’s want to start and run the offense as he sees fit, those same players are both noticing and appreciating Russell’s looming presence. “He’s more talkative and he understands the game more now,” Lakers reserve guard Lou Williams said. “Last year, he was more quiet because he was still trying to learn. Now that he’s had a season under his belt, he understands where he wants the basketball and how to run the offense.”Russell spent most of his rookie season contending he could emerge as a leader if granted more opportunities. Nonetheless, Russell shifted the narrative about his redemption as swiftly as one of his no-look passes. “I don’t necessarily have the credibility. But to an extent, I do,” Russell said. “I know what it takes a little bit. But not really. I haven’t really done anything. I have a year under my belt so I have more experience.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more