LGBT Health Resources Removed from HHS Website
A webpage devoted to lesbian and bisexual health, links to LGBT topics and other references were removed between September and October 2017 from WomensHealth.gov, a website maintained by HHS' Office on Women's Health. The removals were tracked in a pair of reports by the Sunlight Foundation's Web Integrity Project and shared with POLITICO.
HHS said the pages and links, some of which were first posted in 2012, were taken down as part of a routine update. However, the Sunlight Foundation determined that existing health topic pages do not appear to have been updated with new material and the now-missing lesbian and bisexual health content was not integrated elsewhere. "Bisexual and lesbian health" was also removed from the website's listing as well as a lesbian and bisexual health fact sheet. Sunlight Foundation researchers told POLITICO the fact sheet was quietly moved to a different location in the website's archives and "placed on an island." No links currently direct to it. The office's Twitter account, @womenshealth, which has nearly one million followers, also has not mentioned LGBT health issues since a post on Nov. 11, 2016.
Michigan Orders Closure of 210 Marijuana Shops
Michigan regulators said March 29 that they ordered the closure of 210 medical marijuana businesses over a two-week period, largely because their owners failed to apply for a state license by a mid-February deadline or did not receive authorization from their municipalities. Most of the shops — 158 — were in Detroit. Authorities also hand-delivered orders to eight businesses in Lansing, seven in Flint, five in Gaylord, three each in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek, and smaller numbers elsewhere. Shops that did not close immediately could be denied a license down the line if they apply, be referred to local, state or federal law enforcement, or face other penalties or sanctions. The cease-and-desist orders come as the state continues the process of more tightly regulating the medical marijuana industry under a 2016 law that aimed in part to address confusion surrounding the legality of dispensary shops that opened after voters in 2008 authorized marijuana for medical use. The new law includes a three percent tax on provisioning centers. Roughly 277,000 patients are registered with the state to grow their own marijuana or obtain it from 43,000 registered caregivers who can supply a limited number of people.
Southeast Michigan Will Benefit from $3.4 Million in Health Care Grants
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund will give about $10 million in funds to 57 organizations across the state that are focused on child nutrition and public health challenges, according to a Crain's Detroit Business report. The monies are directed to organizations that align with the agency's Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyles and Community Health Impact programs. Eighteen groups focused on nutrition received between $100,000 and $500,000 to help address Michigan's high rates of childhood obesity, which more than tripled in the past three decades. The endowment fund's nutrition program has seen a $5 million increase in funding compared to last year, now reaching $6.5 million, the report said. Eastern Market Corp. was awarded $400,000 to beef up their food access and nutrition education programs. The remaining grants issued up to $100,000 to 39 initiatives that zero in on community health issues. Southeastern Michigan Health Association received $100,000 for its overdose prevention project, the release said. A full list of recipients is available at crainsdetroit.com.
ACLU Sues Ohio Dept. of Health Over Trans Birth Certificate Policy
The ACLU and ACLU Ohio in conjunction with Lambda Legal have filed a federal lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health over what they call a discriminatory birth certificate policy that only applies to transgender individuals. The plaintiffs, Stacie Ray and Basil Argento, say they have been denied the ability to change the gender marker on their birth certificate from what they were biologically born as to how they identify themselves today. According to the ACLU, Ohio is one of only three states that still do not allow transgender individuals to make this change.
Going to Concerts Is Good for Your Health (Study)
The bright lights, screaming crowds and pulsating beats that come with attending a concert can actually help people live longer, a new study reports. According to research conducted by UK music venue O2 and Patrick Fagan, a Goldsmith University lecturer and expert in behavioral science, 20 minutes at a gig "can lead to a 21 percent increase in [a] feeling of well-being," reports the study. Comparatively, yoga increases well-being by 10 percent, and dog-walking by 7 percent. "Additional scholarly research directly links high levels of well-being with a lifespan increase of nine years pointing to a direct link between gig-going and longevity," states the report, noting that attending a concert once every two weeks could potentially expand a music lover's life expectancy by nine years. The test subjects for the study participated in psychometric and heart-rate tests while performing multiple activities. While watching live music, feelings of self-worth and being close to others both improved by 25 percent. Mental stimulation was the most affected with an improvement by 75 percent.
Health App Stores Medical Records On iPhones
When Apple released iOS 11.3, along with a slew of other fun additions, the updates included a new feature: Health Records. For patients within certain health systems – like the University of Chicago Medicine, Truman Medical Centers, and OhioHealth in the Midwest – medical records can be viewed on the iPhone. Apple announced the new feature months ago, but now members of the community will know how Health Records will work. Reports show it's located within the Health app for easy access and keeps the information readily available for the patient to view and hand over to doctors – which is easier than carrying around an entire medical file. All data contained will be encrypted and protected with the user's iPhone passcode. Patients from only 39 health institutions across the U.S. can view their records after updating to iOS 11.3, but that list is expected to grow.