Friday, November 21, 2014

Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012

The Health Statistics Branch at CDPHE has released the Health Watch - Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012 report on youth suicide data.

This report describes the issue of adolescent suicide in Colorado by using the National Violent Death Reporting System surveillance data. The purpose of this report is to increase suicide awareness, as well as present unique aspects and factors of adolescent suicide. These data can be used at the state and local levels in Colorado to help inform intervention and prevention efforts that will reduce adolescent suicide.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Upcoming Injury and Violence Webinar: Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators?

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States.

This Healthy People 2020 webinar will focus on activities and interventions related to the prevention of injuries and death through adequate and appropriate child passenger safety. Through four presentations focusing on data, communication efforts, and effective implementation strategies, presenters will explore the importance of child passenger safety and the progress being made to address this issue.

Join the webinar on Thursday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. MDT (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET) to learn how one organization is working to address child passenger safety in its community and hear about resources available to help address this issue in your community.

Click HERE to register for the webinar.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spotlight on Weld County - Safe Sleep Campaign

Two years ago, Weld County experienced four sleep-related infant deaths in a matter of months. The county coroner, who identified this pattern and unusually high number, brought it to the attention of the Prevention Services Unit at the Weld County Department of Human Services. As the Unit further investigated the deaths, they learned that all four deaths were the result of an unsafe sleep environment in which the baby was sharing a bed with an adult.

Weld County Safe Sleep Press Conference - 2013
Left to Right: Caroline Gelatt, Kathi Brown, Melanie Cyphers
Given the similar risk factors that were identified in all four cases, the Prevention Services Unit was compelled to take action to prevent other sleep-related infant deaths from occurring in Weld County. The Unit recognized that the death of these children was a community problem and would require a community solution. Thus, they convened local stakeholders, including United Way, Nurse Family Partnership, Lutheran Family Services, University of Northern Colorado, North Colorado Medical Center and Fetal Infant Mortality Review members to create a public awareness campaign.

Weld County Commissioner Proclamation on Safe Sleep - 2014
Heidi (Weld County mother and her baby) and Mike Ward (Weld County Coroner)

The campaign was multi-faceted and reached a broad audience.  Some of the activities of the campaign included:

  • Press conference and press release that was picked up on TV, radio and social media
  • Crib display comparing a safe and unsafe infant sleep environment and public testimonial from two Weld County mothers 
  • Presentations to healthcare professionals and child care workers
  • Toolkits provided to healthcare professionals and child care workers that consisted of a safe sleep checklist, brochure, magnet, press release and online resources 
  • Campaign website with safe sleep educational materials
  • Social media posts and distribution of posters at grocery stores, doctor’s offices, laundromats, and the drivers license office

Weld County is an exemplary case of “taking data to action:”

  1. Analyzing infant death data to identify trends and patterns;
  2. Convening community stakeholders to brainstorm prevention strategies;
  3. Using demographic characteristics and risk and protective factors to define their target audience; and
  4. Leveraging local resources to implement a public health program.

Click this link for more information about Weld County’s Safe Sleep Campaign.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Keeping Confidential Information Secure


In this world of technology, it’s easy to forget that information sent over the web is not as secure as we might think. Since we all work with protected health information (PHI) on a daily basis, it’s important to keep this information secure. Here are some tips for preserving the integrity of confidential information:

1.    Always lock up confidential documents when not in use. Never leave confidential documents unattended. Do not leave confidential documents open on your desk or computer screen. Don’t leave documents sitting on the printer or FAX.

2.    Use email encryption software. Any email that contains names, dates of death, dates of birth, death certificate numbers, or other types of PHI needs to be encrypted. Meeting reminder emails with a list of names to be reviewed need to be encrypted. If you are unsure if your email is encrypted, don’t send it, call or FAX the recipient(s) instead! Google has an encryption add-on to email that you can purchase. WinZip is also great software to encrypt files that you can then email. (You may use your team’s CFPS funding to purchase these).

3.    Use desktop encryption software. Store electronic files on a secure drive. When you download death certificates from the death certificate FTP website, they go to your Downloads folder, which is not secure if your laptop or computer is not encrypted. Move them to a secure drive or delete them once you have printed them out.

4.    Feel free to share confidential information over the phone to your team members, this is okay!

5.    Use a secured FAX area to send and receive confidential documents. FAX machines should not be accessible to the public. Use a cover sheet.

6.    Have a procedure plan for mail, voice messaging and faxes for work days when you are not there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Smoking and SIDS

Parents can help protect their babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by taking the following actions:

  • Do not smoke when pregnant
  • Do not smoke in the home or around the baby