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eNewsBreif: Hot Topics in Diversity
May 1, 2009
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Hello ASHHRA & IFD Members,

Important Information Regarding the 2009 H1N1 Virus (Swine Influenza)

ASHHRA recommends reading the information on the CDC Web site and getting actively engaged in discussions with your staff in preparation for any hospitalizations that may occur in your facility.

The most useful Web sites are: for information and advisories. The official counts of U.S. experience are updated each day at 11:00 am Eastern, and; for mapping the outbreak worldwide.

Confirmed cases have appeared in 10 states. It is likely that we will see a rapid increase in the count of confirmed cases. CDC has distributed rapid test kits to state and local health departments. While confirmation testing took CDC 48 hours, state and local health departments will now be able to confirm patients in just four hours. As the testing time is compressed, there will be an uptick in cases.

Antiviral medications and personal protective equipment is being distributed to the states from the Strategic National Stockpile. Once the materials arrive in the state, the state agency (usually the Health Department) is responsible for the use and distribution. All states have pre-developed plans for distribution and members should look to state officials rather than Federal personnel.

ASHHRA is making the Disaster Planning Guide available to members for $99 (regularly $259). If you need a copy, e-mail Ferdinand Libunao at to request a copy or place your order through the ASHHRA Online Bookstore at

Best regards,

Cathy Sewell
Executive Director

Scientists Dig for Lessons from Past Pandemics
from CNN
If there's a blessing in the current swine flu epidemic, it's how benign the illness seems to be outside the central disease cluster in Mexico. But history offers a dark warning to anyone ready to write off the 2009 H1N1 virus. More

Senate Confirms Kansas Governor as Health Secretary
from The New York Times
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services, allowing President Obama to fill the last vacancy in his cabinet with a seasoned politician who will take charge of the fight against swine flu. More

Shortage of Doctors an Obstacle to Obama Goals
from The New York Times
Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president. More

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Mental Health Problems More Common in Kids Who Feel Racial Discrimination
from Science Daily
A new multicenter study involving UCLA and the RAND Corp. has found that perceived racial or ethnic discrimination is not an uncommon experience among fifth-grade students and that it may have a negative effect on their mental health. More

White Man's Burden? Discrimination Suits Flourish
from The Associated Press
The issue of reverse discrimination first reached the nation's highest court in the 1970s, when a student with good grades named Allan Bakke accused a University of California medical school of twice denying him admission because he was white. Strict racial quotas were unconstitutional, the court said — affirmative action was not. But that ruling far from decided what many considered the big-picture issue: does protecting minorities discriminate against the majority? More

In Recession, Age Discrimination is More Prominent than Racism
from U.S. News & World Report
The good news for boomers, or workers 45 and older, is that if you were employed before the recession, you're less likely than younger workers to be fired. The bad news is: Workers ages 45 and over form a disproportionate share of the hard-luck recession category, the long-term unemployed—those who have been out of work for six months or longer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More

When a Staffer Switches Genders
from CNN Money
Tony Ferraiolo will never forget his first day back at work after surgery. The 46-year-old supervisor's knees trembled as he entered the windowless headquarters of Madison Co., a switch and sensor manufacturer in Branford, Conn. Under the curious gaze of his colleagues, Ferraiolo crossed the plant floor and settled into his office. A few minutes later, Madison owner and President Steve Schickler walked in and sat down. "So you're a 'he' now, right?" Schickler asked. Ferraiolo nodded. "Good enough," Schickler said briskly. "I'll let the managers know." More

Will Recession Imperil LGBT Workplace Diversity?
from Washington Blade
Our diversity is our strength. That catchphrase ruled the last decade as workplace diversity training programs for racial and sexual minorities soared to ubiquity at corporate headquarters across the country. The premise is simple: Employees with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and sensitivities are better able to represent the needs of an increasingly diverse marketplace. The argument is that diversity is more than just the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense. More

Gender Factor: Putting Women Power to Work
from The Nation Business
Women today are described as the main driving force behind decades of growth. With technology and education within reach, women have infiltrated the gender barrier over the decades, and are now able to ascend the corporate ladder and start their own business ventures - previously male-only domains. More


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