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Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month:

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As patients, we tend not to think much about generic medications, except to appreciate that they’re a lot cheaper than brand name drugs.

That’s why this list of top 10 lifesaving generic medications by Dr. Ed Pullen of Puyallup, Wa. was such an interesting read, particularly in this recession. Pullen offers some historical context:

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Everyone could benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Who wants gunk clogging up their arteries, right? And even if your cholesterol is already low, you may gain some wonderful side benefit.

That is the overwhelming message driven home by a combination of marketing campaigns and overly enthusiastic health reporting.

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Have you ever gone in for an oil change and left with the suspicion that the mechanics didn’t do anything beyond opening your hood?

Anemona Hartocollis at The New York Times has exposed this same type of behavior in a much more critical venue: a local hospital. She wrote:

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A new drug comes on the market that promises to improve people’s eyesight. “Clarivue! Make your cloudy days sunny again!”

Your editor says, “This Clarivue is like Viagra for eyeballs. It’s going to be flying off the shelves. Write up something for the Web in the next hour.”

Your next move should be to find out the NNT: the number needed to treat. It will help you answer the most important question: How many people would need to take Clarivue in order for one person to actually see better?

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The annual Association of Health Care Journalists conference has become indispensable in a way conferences never are.

Far from just an excuse to see old friends and drink too much, the AHCJ conference is always so packed with great speakers and workshops that writers find themselves wishing for a baby monitor they could set up in one session while they attend a different session down the hall.

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The 'Public Health Awareness' segment will be a recurring feature here on the Pulse + Signal blog where we highlight relevant public health focused observances (e.g. cancer awareness, heart disease awareness, etc). The purpose of this feature is to continue to spread the word around specific health awareness dates to spur increased understanding and prevention.

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In order to serve its increasingly multi-lingual population, New York State requires interpretation services in all hospitals. But when caring for immigrants, the language barrier is just one of a myriad of issues health providers grapple with. Even though there is no statewide mandate for cultural sensitivity, many doctors say it's become a necessary instrument in providing medical care for the city's immigrant population.

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SACRAMENTO — ViewFinder: A Crisis in Caring: California's School Nursing Shortage focuses on the critical shortage of school nurses in Northern California. This documentary airs on KVIE channel 6, Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m. The program offers insight on how this issue impacts students, teachers, parents, and communities. California lawmakers, health professionals, educators, school nurses, and students with chronic illnesses weigh in on the problem.
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Watts

In "LaVonna's World," people in South Los Angeles are able to buy healthy, fresh food at reasonable prices in grocery stores near their homes. They're able to see a specialist when they need to and get the health insurance they need. They don't suffer disproportionately from diseases like diabetes and asthma.

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