Health Progress Current Issue

January-February 2017   |   Volume 98, Number 1

Disease Threats to Public Health

January-February 2017 Health ProgressWhen Populations Become the Patient

By: Fr. Michael Rozier, SJ, MPH

The 25th chapter of Matthew distills some of the concrete actions that Christian faith demands of its followers. But more important than any particular action is the call to cultivate our instinct to see Christ in the other and to respond to his or her needs as if they were the needs of Christ himself.

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

Ebola Taught Value of Preparation VigilanceEbola Taught Value of Preparation, Vigilance

By: John Morrissey
The next fast-spreading infectious threat to community health is out there somewhere. Maybe it is deplaning from a long international flight with a host, ready to cut loose in an ill-monitored microbial haven where it can grow stronger, resist an antibiotic defense, then fan out in meandering, unpredictable attack.

A Moral Imperative to Eradicate Measles RubellaA Moral Imperative to Eradicate Measles, Rubella

By: Erin Archer Kelser, RN, CIC
On Sept. 27, 2016, the Pan American Health Organization — the World Health Organization's Americas branch — announced that measles had been eliminated in the region. It was exciting news! PAHO is the first WHO region to accomplish the task, a triumphant sequel to its 2015 announcement that, thanks to widespread vaccination, rubella (along with congenital rubella syndrome) had been eliminated in the Americas.

Is Using Contraceptives Always Sinful?

By: Fr. Gerald D. Coleman, PSS, PhD

During a Feb. 18, 2016 press conference on a flight from Juarez, Mexico, to Rome, a reporter questioned Pope Francis about the Zika virus. "Holy Father, for several weeks there's been a lot of concern … regarding the Zika virus," the reporter said. "The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoid pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the church take into consideration the concept of 'the lesser of two evils?'"

If Not Us Who - Curbing the Diabetes Epidemic Requires a Person-Centered ApproachIf Not Us, Who? Curbing the Diabetes Epidemic Requires a Person-Centered Approach

By: Patricia A. Maryland, DrPH
I know from personal experience how challenging it can be to navigate the health care system. My mother was diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, and as the oldest daughter in a large family, it was up to me to coordinate her care that included frequent hospital stays. I often was frustrated with the fragmented system we found ourselves in, particularly as her condition continued to worsen. The experience convinced me that something had to be done.

Suicide Prevention: A Public Health Challenge

By: Gary U. Behrman, PhD, MSW, MDiv, LCSW
"It is critical that we recognize the connections that mental health conditions and substance use disorders have to suicide, as well as how other external factors can play a role. Suicide can touch any of us — regardless of age, gender, or race — and leave a lasting mark on communities."
— President Barack Obama

What Is Your Name - Looking for Humanity In the Heroin Epidemic'What Is Your Name?' Looking for Humanity in the Heroin Epidemic

By: Laura McKinnis, APNP
I am working in the front hallway of our emergency department, and I hear an overhead page from triage for help in the waiting room — there is an unresponsive patient. We run out there and find a triage nurse, a tech and a security officer struggling to load a 20-something, white male into a wheelchair. His eyes are rolled back in his head, his mouth gapes, he makes occasional, grunting respirations. He is moments from death. This is a heroin overdose.

Global Public Health Threats - The Role of VaccinationsGlobal Public Health Threats: The Role of Vaccinations

By: Kristin Vondrak, DNP, ARNP-BC, NE, CPHQ and Sarah Bishop, MSN, APRN, CCNS, CIC
Globalization has connected people culturally, economically and socially in a highly mobile, interdependent world. The result: Infectious diseases spread geographically much faster than at any time in history. The World Health Organization has identified more than 1,100 epidemics worldwide in a five-year span. The International Air Transport Association estimates 3.7 billion passengers will travel in 2016, a rate expected to double over the next 20 years. The constantly increasing number of international travelers plus the continual presence of infectious diseases means an outbreak or epidemic anywhere could become an imminent threat across the world.

Imagining the End of AIDS from Control to EliminationImagining the End of AIDS, from Control to Elimination

By: Neeraj Mistry, MD, MPH
Since the presentation of the first case in 1985, HIV/AIDS has wreaked havoc in countries around the world. The estimated death toll is 36 million people, and counting. The disease and its impacts have highlighted the complex nature of HIV/AIDS as a public health issue and the required infrastructure for its response. More gravely, HIV/AIDS has illuminated the deep-rooted social injustices and prejudices that allowed the epidemic to grow in the first place.

Sense of Community Can Help Reduce Suicide RiskSense of Community Can Help Reduce Suicide Risk

By: Angela D. Hall
In Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls on us to pay attention to our social fabric, the community and social structures that sustain us. To combat social anonymity, antisocial behavior and violence, the Holy Father invites us to "weave bonds of belonging and togetherness … into an experience of community," calling on us to promote ways to "increase our sense of belonging, of rootedness, of 'feeling at home' within a city which includes us and brings us together."



Book Review - A Culture of Engagement: Law, Religion, and Morality

By: Fr. Thomas Nairn, OFM, PhD


Prayer Service - In Solidarity with Those Who Suffer

By: Mary Kay McVey Christian, MA