Tag Archives: environmental health

Rural Health Workshop spotlights both successes and persistent challenges

Lisse Regehr, Thrive Allen County President and CEO and luncheon speaker, explains how to cultivate community health during the 2023 Rural Health Workshop in Kansas City. Photo by Erica Tricarico/AHCJ

Building unity and establishing trust within communities is crucial to improving health care access and addressing inequities in rural America. That was a recurring theme at AHCJ’s 2023 Rural Health Workshop in Kansas City.

“When we go into these [rural] communities, they will not always tell us what we want to hear … but they will be very honest about their pain points,” said the event’s luncheon speaker, Lisse Regehr, president and CEO of Thrive Allen County, which won the prestigious Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2017.

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Tip sheet: Reporting on the health sector’s big impact
on greenhouse gas emissions

university of california san diego health system

Succulents grow on the grounds of the University of California-San Diego health system, where water-hogging grass once lived. Photo by Joanne Kenen

Even before the extreme weather of this summer, health care systems had become increasingly aware that climate change endangers human health.  And that the burden disproportionately falls on the elderly, the sick, the poor and communities of color.

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Tip sheet: Covering the ongoing problem
of lead contamination

screenshot of CDC graphic

Screenshot of CDC graphic captured Aug. 7, 2023. Public domain

There are about half a million children in the U.S. with high levels of lead in their blood, according to the CDC. Those at highest risk include children in low-income households and those who live in homes built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978. 

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The federal government aims to crack down on PFAS
in drinking water. What happens next?

USGS map of tap water contaminated by PFAS

This map shows the number of PFAS detected in drinking water at select sites from 2016 to 2021. It does not show the only U.S. locations with PFAS. Graphic by USGS

At least 45% of the nation’s tap water is contaminated with one or more “forever chemicals,” according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as “PFAS,” are commonly found in cleaning products, nonstick cookware, water-resistant fabrics and more. 

The finding creates a challenge for water agencies across the country as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency moves to regulate the amount of PFAS allowed in drinking water by the end of the year.

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Reporting beyond the medical studies
on PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

epa water sampling

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists collecting water samples. Public domain photo by Eric Vance

The “forever chemicals” known as PFAS have been getting more attention in the past few years as multiple studies have been published about their connection to certain diseases and cancers. Media outlets have written and reported about those studies upon release, but there has been little exploration beyond the initial publications.

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