Health in Public Media: Highlight HEALTH Joins 170 Million Americans

Congress and the White House are clashing over the federal budget. Congress is considering serious cuts in funding for all public broadcasting. Since January, three bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut or eliminate the $430 million currently allocated for the Corporation For Public Broadcasting (CBP). Pending a vote in congress this week, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), considered by the public to be the second-best use of taxpayer dollars (outranked only by defense spending [1]), could cease to exist.

170 Million Americans

Clarian Health Becomes Indiana University Health

On Monday, Clarian Health — the second largest health organization in Indiana — officially changed its name to Indiana University Health [1]. The name better identifies the health system’s partnership with Indiana University and the IU School of Medicine, one of the nation’s largest medical schools.

IU Health

NIH to Establish Translational Medicine Center

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said last month that he is moving ahead with a plan to create a new center focused on translational medicine, presently called the National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS) [1]. The strategy comes at a time of mounting frustration from researchers that the abundance of new information about the molecular basis of many diseases hasn’t led to the development of new therapies.

Translational research

Avastin, the FDA and Breast Cancer Patient Survival

The impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be front and center later this week when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides whether to revoke marketing clearance of the cancer drug Avastin for breast malignancies.

On one side, you have critics of the FDA accusing them of rationing healthcare while on the other side, you have comparative effectiveness research showing that there’s no statistically meaningful difference in the survival of patients receiving Avastin plus chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone.

Avastin

Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs at Lowest Level Since Tobacco Settlement

According to a report recently released by a coalition of public health organizations, states in the U.S. have decreased funding for programs to reduce tobacco use to the lowest level since 1999, when they first received tobacco settlement funds [1].

The coalition includes organizations such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Since the November 1998 multi-state tobacco settlement, these organizations have issued annual reports assessing whether states are keeping their promise to use a significant portion of their settlement funds to address the enormous public health problems posed by tobacco use in the United States.

Map of state funding for tobacco prevention