A two-year-old Georgia program has served more than 1,600 women at high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
The Genomics Consortium is a partnership between the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) and the state Department of Public Health.
The project is funded by the CDC to raise awareness about cancer genomics, provide breast cancer screenings and educate health professionals in hopes of reaching high-risk, underserved and low-income populations.
October is breast cancer awareness month.
Almost 85 percent of the women screened are from ethnic minorities, said Nancy Paris, president and CEO of Georgia CORE, in a statement. The program will spark increased surveillance data on the prevalence of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in Georgia “and may lead to similar pilot programs in the state,” Paris said.
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Georgia’s commissioner of Public Health, added in a statement. “The partnership is so effective that we are exceeding program targets.”
Academic partners, including Georgia State, Emory and Morehouse have provided clinical and scientific expertise in the development of the genomics program.
Friday was payday for the CDC’s employees. Or, rather, half a payday.
Employees of the Atlanta-based public health agency received roughly half their pay last week due to the federal shutdown. Workers were paid for the one week prior to the shutdown, but the second week of the pay period was affected by the shutdown.
Dr. Tom Frieden
About 9,000 of the 13,000 CDC employees have been furloughed and are not being paid. (The U.S. House has voted to give such federal employees back pay once the shutdown ends, but the details remain to be ironed out.) Even those CDC employees who have been working since the shutdown started are not getting paid; they are receiving IOUs.
The financial impact hit Friday, with the reduced paychecks. CDC Director Tom Frieden sent an emotional message to employees. He referred to the partial pay but also emphasized the importance of the CDC employees’ work and the frustration that they share. Here is the text of the Frieden email:
As I walk through empty offices, cubicles, and labs at CDC, tears come to my eyes. Each empty space represents a person not allowed to fulfill the mission to which he or she is passionately committed, a family or individual struggling to get by without a full paycheck, and many people who may suffer because we are not able to do our public health work. full story
The government shutdown has damaged the CDC’s ability to detect and prevent disease, the agency’s director said Monday.
Dr. Tom Frieden
Roughly 9,000 of the 13,000 employees of the Atlanta-based public health agency have been furloughed by the shutdown, which is actually a reduction in federal operations due to a budget impasse in Washington. It is going into its second week and overall has pushed hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job.
“Our ability to find, stop and prevent health threats has been cut by two-thirds,’’ Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, told Georgia Health News on Monday.
“The biggest concern is what we don’t know,’’ Frieden said. Many staff members who do early detection of disease are not working, he said. “It’s very difficult to keep operations at full tilt,’’ he said.
The financial impact of the CDC furloughs on Georgia may be substantial. The CDC employs about 8,500 people in the state and has an annual payroll of nearly $1 billion in Georgia. full story
A protein may be able to help treat autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, Georgia Regents University researchers report.
The protein, known as “STING,” can turn down an immune response or actually block its attack on the body, says Dr. Andrew Mellor, immunologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.
“STING is part of the answer here,” he says. Diseases such as arthritis and type 1 diabetes are caused by an immune system being overactive, he notes. “That’s where we want to turn it off or switch it down.’’
Mellor was co-author of a recent study on the topic in The Journal of Immunology.
In this GHN video interview, courtesy of Georgia Regents University, Mellor talks about his findings about new ways to manipulate the immune response and better target – or even avoid – these diseases.
January will mark the 50th anniversary of a seminal moment in public health.
Dr. David Satcher
That’s when the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking was released, focusing public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use.
Dr. David Satcher, who served as surgeon general from 1998 to 2002, spoke Thursday about the big change in attitudes toward tobacco over the past half-century. In 1964, he said, roughly 45 percent of Americans were smokers. Now that percentage is 20 percent.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,’’ Satcher said. “Public health is a long-distance run.’’
Satcher and five other former surgeons general gathered Thursday at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta to discuss the job of being the nation’s doctor and their views on current health issues.