December 15th: News Round-Up

Two stories stuck out today regarding the spike in drug-affected babies in NICUs and the impact of disasters on school absence. 

Kalter: Spike in drug-affected infants forces NICUs to get creative, Boston Herald

Summary of above linked article:

UMASS Memorial Medical Center has seen a spike in infants in their NICU with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). While this article is focused on Worcester, this issue is relevant for healthcare providers across the State. At the beginning of 2017, a statewide Interagency Task Force on Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome was established to assess "existing services and programs in the Commonwealth for mothers and newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome, identify service gaps, and formulate a cross-system action plan for collecting data, developing outcome goals, and address service and support gaps in the Commonwealth" (Executive Office of Health and Human Services, 2016). To view the Task Force reports and meeting minutes, visit: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/task-force-on-newborns-with-nas/. In addition, there are two Powerpoint slides which discuss the State's plan for addressing NAS and Health Policy Commission Investments in NAS.  

References:

Executive Office of Health and Human Services. (2016, November 01). Interagency Task Force on Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/task-force-on-newborns-with-nas/


Natural Disasters And The Implications Of Missing So Much School, NPR

Summary of above linked article:

When it comes to natural disasters, the emphasis is often placed on the recovery of a community; however, full recovery is not achieved by simply rebuilding destroyed structures.  As we have seen with the latest hurricane season, students may end up missing substantial amounts of school over time and across wide swaths of an impacted area, "Across nine states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, at least 9 million students missed some amount of school this fall due to a natural disaster, according to an NPR Ed analysis. The analysis compiled missed days from individual public school districts affected by natural disasters as well as estimates given by state education departments" (Samsel & Nadworny, 2017). The impacts of natural disasters on education can be severe and long lasting depending on the length of time students are unable to attend school. Reading this article the question arises, how does education factor into Public Health, disaster preparedness, and emergency management discussions? Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming weeks. 

References:

Samsel, H., & Nadworny, E. (2017, December 15). Natural Disasters And The Implications Of Missing So Much School. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/12/15/564058043/natural-disasters-and-the-implications-of-missing-so-much-school