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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit    March 16, 2015


The measles outbreak is twice as big as you thought
The number of U.S. measles cases has continued climbing toward 200, with 173 cases noted in the CDC's most recent report March 6 — but that's only half the story. If you add in the cases multiplying north of the border, the outbreak nearly doubles in size. Canada is also facing a major outbreak of the viral illness with more than 100 cases in the Lanaudière region of Quebec, all tracing back to two families who visited Disneyland in December, according to the CBC, Canada's state broadcast news station.
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Please note the dates for the 27th Annual Southwestern Regional Nurse Practitioner Clinical Symposium were incorrectly relayed in the March 9th edition of AzNA Today. The correct dates (displayed below) are July 25-26, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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This Week at AzNA
No bugs saw their lives flash before their eyes, but Robin Schaeffer did travel to Florida for the Great Ideas Conference and then on to the Executive Enterprise Conference where she met with executive directors for State Nursing Associations across the country. Read about this and more at the AzNA Blog, This Week at AzNA.
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Mark your calendars for upcoming AzNA events.

Date Event Location
May 1
Promise of Nursing The Arizona Biltmore
July 25-2627th Annual Southwestern Regional Nurse Practitioner Clinical Symposium – SAVE THE DATE! Registration Opens in April 2015 Flagstaff, Arizona
Sept. 23-25
AzNA Biennial Convention — The Changing Landscape of Healthcare: Trends in Nursing Leadership, Practice & Education – DATE CHANGE! MARK YOUR CALENDAR! San Marcos Resort, Chandler, Arizona


Budget Passed
Arizona’s 9.1 $billion budget for FY 2016 has passed the legislature and was sent to the Governor on March 9. Since it is his budget, he is expected to sign it. There were 13 bills in all. Reading one of these bills is a good lesson in how complicated a nine $billion budget is. To see the details of the bills look HERE. This Senate Appropriations agenda lists the name and number for each of the 13 budget bills. Find the number of the bill you want to read, scroll up and enter it in the top right corner of the agenda page where it says "Bill Number Search." On the page that pops up, choose "bill versions" and then "Senate Engrossed." You will be amazed.
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Legislature expected to finish in April
Anything can happen in the closing days of a legislative session. Bills that AzNA is actively supporting are moving forward. Members of the AzNA Public Policy Committee continue to monitor their assigned bills and report to Chair Denise Link and Lobbyist Rory Hays. But this is the time for sudden changes in direction and content of bills. If YOU become aware of a bill that affects healthcare, please do not hesitate to notify AzNA at Attention: Public Policy Issue. All eyes must stay focused on the legislature until "sine die."
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Phoenix Children's Hospital Receives Grant to Produce Apps for Families of Sick Children
Nurses talk about evidence-based practice all the time, but rarely apply the research in patient education to practice. “We hand people pieces of paper, ask if they have any questions, and document that we’ve taught them,” says Fran London, RN. But paper doesn’t teach. People do. Passive education has little effect on self-care behaviors and health outcomes. Individualized conversations and relationships do.

As we move from paper to digital, most patient education apps continue to promote passive education, by simply providing health information. Until now.

AzNA Member Fran London is thrilled to announce the fruit of a grant Phoenix Children’s received from Cox Communications. This grant allows Phoenix Children’s to produce 21 apps over three years, in English and Spanish, for families of sick children. They are unique because their goal is to encourage families to talk to their healthcare teams. These apps provide cues for topics of conversation and normalize the use of evidence-based teach back to evaluate understanding, so families can feel more comfortable and confident in caring for the child. They are free for smart phones and tablets. You don’t have to have a patient at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to find them useful.

Information on the first app, Our Journey with Asthma, can be found here.

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Blood Shortage
Though the latest round of freezing temperatures, icy roads and mounting snow haven’t impacted us locally, there is one thing that it has affected across the country — the blood supply.

March storms forced the cancellation of more than 200 American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in nearly 7,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. This shortfall follows more than 26,400 uncollected blood and platelet donations in February due to severe weather across 27 states.

Though the severe winter weather impacted blood donation opportunities and donors’ ability to give, hospital patients still rely on transfusions of blood and platelets. Please help the Red Cross relay the urgent need for donors to help restock our shelves, now that the severe weather has passed, by sharing the information in the news release, which also includes upcoming donation opportunities.

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Nurses House to hold Fourth Annual 'Dolphins for Nurses Campaign' to help nurses in need
Nurses House, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its fourth annual “Dolphins for Nurses Campaign” to raise funds for nurses in need throughout the United States. The initiative, sponsored by The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future, invites nursing groups and staff at hospitals nationwide to offer blue and gold paper dolphins in exchange for $1 or $5 donations between April 12 and May 12. The Dolphins for Nurses Campaign will culminate during National Nurses Week 2015, May 6-12. All proceeds will be allocated towards the Nurses House Service Program to benefit nurses facing serious health issues and other dire circumstances.

To donate online or start your own online team page for this campaign visit

Cick here for the Dolphins for Nurses Flyer.

Nurses House, Inc. is the only national 501(c)3 organization offering financial assistance to Registered Nurses in need. The organization’s main goal is to provide short-term aid to nurses who are unable to support themselves financially as a result of illness, injury, disability, or catastrophic event. Any registered nurse in the U.S. who is facing hardship and whose monthly income is insufficient to meet the cost of basic living expenses is encouraged to apply for assistance. The application is available on the Nurses House website or by calling (518) 456-7858 x25.

Since Nurses House started providing financial aid to nurses in the 1960’s, the organization has helped thousands of nurses from all fifty states regain health and productivity. In the past three years alone, Nurses House has given grants totaling over $350,000 to nurses in need. Nurses House funds help cover such basic expenses as food, shelter, health insurance premiums and medications.

Deborah Elliott, RN, MBA, the organization’s Executive Director adds “The funds from the Dolphins for Nurses Campaign are greatly appreciated by our nurse colleagues who are struggling to make ends meet when faced with a life-changing event in their lives. This is a kindhearted way for healthcare providers, fellow nurses and the public to support nurses who often put other’s needs before their own.”

If you or your group is interested in participating, simply contact Stephanie Dague, Director of Development, at or (518) 456-7858 x27 for an informational packet.

For more information about the work of Nurses House, please visit their website at

Please be sure to refer any nurses in need in Arizona to Nurses House. Our application can be found right on our website Currently grants range from $1,000-$3,000 per applicant and Nurses House is generally able to assist all nurses who meet our basic eligibility criteria.

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Third Annual Interprofessional Rural Health Professions Program
Registration for the Third Annual Interprofessional Rural Health Professions Program event is now open! A preliminary schedule for this event can be found on the Arizona AHEC website conference page. We look forward to seeing you and your students/trainees at this interprofessional event. Please also extend this invitation and information to colleagues, health professions students/trainees, alumni, faculty and other members of your community so that they may also register and submit poster topics. Online streaming of the keynote lecture will also be available during the event and a link will be provided through our website.
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Scientists open door for asthma cure
University of Southern California via Medical Xpress
Scientists led by molecular immunologists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have identified a way to target a recently discovered cell type that causes asthma, paving the way to cure the chronic respiratory disease that affects 25 million Americans. With no known cure for the 7 million children who suffer from this disease in the United States, as well as millions of adults, the goal of asthma treatment is to control the symptoms.
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Hundreds of hospitals struggle to improve patient satisfaction
Kaiser Health News
Lillie Robinson came to Rowan Medical Center for surgery on her left foot. She expected to be in and out in a day, returning weeks later for her surgeon to operate on the other foot. But that's not how things turned out. "When I got here I found out he was doing both," she said. "We didn't realize that until they started medicating me for the procedure." Robinson signed a consent form and the operation went fine, but she was told she would be in the hospital far longer than she had expected. Disappointing patients such as Robinson is a persistent problem for Rowan, a hospital with some the lowest levels of patient satisfaction in the country.
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Is the Obama administration playing hardball on healthcare?
Government Executive
Since 2012, more than 20 states have rejected Obamacare funds to expand Medicaid because of Republican opposition, and the administration has had little recourse beyond rhetoric and a willingness to accommodate alternative programs more palatable to conservatives to change their minds. The states have held all the cards, until now. The feds find themselves with some leverage, intentionally or not, and state lawmakers in one of the biggest holdouts — Florida — are feeling the pressure.
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Untreated dental decay is falling among children
The New York Times
Cavities in preschoolers appear to be declining and fewer young children have untreated dental decay, federal health authorities reported on Thursday. It is the first drop in dental decay for this age group since 2007, when a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited an alarming rise in decayed baby teeth.
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FDA approval of first biosimilar drug may mean cheaper options for patients
HealthDay News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the nation's first "biosimilar" drug, a move that could lead to more affordable medications for Americans who take cutting-edge biologic drugs. This first drug, Zarxio, is considered by the FDA to be a strong stand-in for a cancer drug called Neupogen, which was originally approved in 1991.
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Preventing group B streptococcal infections in newborns
Despite advances in intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP), group B streptococcal infection continues to be a predominant cause of early-onset disease in neonates. About 2 percent of neonates exposed to group B Streptococcus develop clinical manifestations including sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Screening in late pregnancy reduces the incidence of early-onset sepsis by more than 80 percent. Clinicians must be able to identify the risk factors and clinical manifestations of group B streptococcal infection and to understand management and prevention guidelines.
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Hot flashes at younger age may signal greater cardiovascular risk
Medical Xpress
Women who experience hot flashes earlier in life appear to have poorer endothelial function — the earliest sign of cardiovascular disease — than women who have hot flashes later in life or not at all, according to two new studies scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego. The research suggests early onset hot flashes may serve as a red flag to help identify women at greater cardiovascular risk who could benefit from more aggressive risk reduction early in midlife.
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Study: Skin biopsies may reveal neurodegenerative diseases
By Denise A. Valenti
We have all heard the expression that beauty is only skin deep. But recent research is indicating that you may not need go any further than skin deep to determine quality of health. Aspects related to diet, diseases impacting cognitive function and diseases of movement have been identified in the skin. Now, in addition to indicating the presence of good health, the skin may also reveal the risk for Alzheimer's disease and indications of Parkinson's disease.
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Fluorescent probe may hold key to early detection of osteoarthritis
By Dorothy L. Tengler
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the U.S. Approximately 27 million adults have reported being diagnosed with OA by their physicians. However, a big challenge in properly assessing OA is that radiographic X-rays do not indicate the level of pain or allow physicians to directly see the amount of cartilage loss. A major hurdle in OA research has been the lack of effective detection and monitoring methods, but there is optimism on the horizon.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study: 1 in 5 sore throats tied to potentially dangerous bacteria (HealthDay News)
Telehealth is changing the landscape of diabetes management (By Karen R. Thomas)

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