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Beyond the Data

Beyond the Data brings you “take home” messages for you to use in your practice, in your classroom and in your home.

January 2015

Beyond the Data — Understanding the Causes of Major Birth Defects: Steps to Prevention

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Allen Mitchell discuss some of the public health advances in preventing birth defects. Birth defects are common, occurring in 1 in 33 pregnancies and affecting 120,000 babies born each year. While the vast majority of their causes remain unknown, there is much that public health workers and individuals can do to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Public health workers must continue to:

  • Identify genetic and environmental causes of birth defects,
  • Monitor medications that may increase or decrease risk to pregnant women and
  • Implement simple interventions that may help to reduce risk.

Individuals must:

  • Manage pre-pregnancy obesity,
  • Control blood sugar and diabetes and
  • Avoid smoking.

February 2015

Beyond the Data — Global Polio Eradication: Reaching Every Last Child

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Elias Durry discuss the challenges in eradicating polio worldwide. Reaching every last child and making the world polio free is possible, but everyone has to do their part.

  • Public health agencies must continue to strengthen surveillance systems and immunization programs,
  • Governments must support the efforts of vaccinators by ensuring safe environments to work and
  • Community leaders must partner with vaccinators to educate their communities.

March 2015

Beyond the Data – Addressing Preparedness Challenges for Children in Public Health Emergencies

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Georgina Peacock discuss ways in which we can better provide for the needs of children during public health disasters. We have made great strides over the years but there is always more work to do.

Public health systems must:

  • Ensure medications and equipment for children are readily available
  • Continue to provide recommendations to help everyone prepare for disasters

Families need to:

  • Have extra medication and supplies on hand in case of evacuation
  • Identify alternative power options for medical equipment in the event there is a power outage

Health professionals can

  • Participate in disaster drills to identify ways in which they can provide assistance
  • Use available resources to educate families on planning for emergencies


April 2015

Beyond the Data – Prevention and Control of Skin Cancer

Dr. John Iskander and Admiral Boris Lushniak discuss the dangers of skin cancer and the actions that individuals, clinicians, policy makers and public health professionals can take to help people protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors.

Individuals should:

  • Avoid natural and artificial tanning
  • Seek shade, especially during peak sun
  • Put on sunscreen and protective clothing

Clinicians should:

  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer
  • Be knowledgeable about proper diagnosis             

Policy makers should:

  • Introduce shade policies in outdoor recreation areas
  • Consider restrictions on the use of artificial tanning facilities

Public Health must:

  • Improve surveillance efforts
  • Identify prevention strategies that work
  • Strengthen communication about the risks


May 2015

Beyond the Data — Dengue and Chikungunya in Our Backyard: Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Marc Fischer discuss the diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitos and some practical ways individuals can protect themselves.

Individuals should limit exposure to mosquitos by

  • Using repellants when outdoors
  • Emptying standing water sources around their homes
  • Wearing long pants and long-sleeves and
  • Ensuring that window and door screens are intact

Providers should

  • Take advantage of CDC’s clinical case management training
  • Be aware of signs and symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases

June 2015

Beyond the Data Working to Eliminate Measles Around the Globe

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Peter Strebel discuss the ongoing challenges to eliminating measles worldwide. Measles is highly infectious, but it can be prevented with financial and political commitment by all countries around the globe.

Individuals should know that:

  • One case of measles anywhere poses risks everywhere,
  • On-time, routine vaccination is safe and effective and
  • Widespread vaccination coverage is key to elimination.

July 2015

Beyond the Data Update — Climate Change and Health – From Science to Practice

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. George Luber revisit their discussion on climate change and its impact on human health to discuss some of the important new scientific findings that have taken place.

Since the session first aired in December of 2014:

  • 2014 has been confirmed as the hottest year on record,
  • Extreme climate events are occurring more frequently and
  • Communities are facing heightened health risks due to drought.

August 2015

Beyond the Data Update — Adolescence: Preparing for Lifelong Health and Wellness

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Stephanie Zaza discuss the importance of making adolescent health a priority. Adolescents are in a very unique developmental stage and there are many levels of intervention that can help nurture that development.

Parents should focus on:

  • Strengthening protective factors and encouraging healthy habits,
  • Reducing injury, substance abuse and sexual risk behaviors and
  • Allowing adolescents to be more responsible for their own health.

Schools can:

  • Continue to provide health education and physical education and
  • Strengthen connectedness with students.

Clinicians must:

  • Ensure that their facilities are youth friendly,
  • Continue to offer anticipatory guidance and
  • Help to teach young people how to seek health information and care.

September 2015

Beyond the Data — Preventing Suicide: A Comprehensive Public Health Approach

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Alex Crosby discuss some of the trends in suicide and explore some of the ways public health can impact prevention. Suicide is preventable and there are strategies that have been shown to be effective:

Clinicians must:

  • Seek and utilize available resources and information and
  • Better identify patients who may be at risk for suicidal behavior

Businesses, institutions and community organizations can:

  • Strengthen protective factors by encouraging social connection,
  • Train individuals to recognize and refer individuals at risk and
  • Adopt strategies from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

Public Health should:

  • Continue to improve surveillance efforts and
  • Conduct more rigorous evaluation on programs and their outcomes

September 29 2015

Beyond the Data — Shifts in Global Health Security: Lessons from Ebola

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Jordan Tappero highlight some of the key lessons for global health security that were identified in the wake of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Find out what we have learned, what we can do now, and what we must do in the future to be better prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks.

October 2015

Beyond the Data — E-cigarettes: An Emerging Public Health Challenge

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Brian King discuss e-cigarettes and the risks they may cause to people’s health. Tune in to find out what we know about these products and the potential long-term health effects of their use among youth and across the broader population.

November 2015

Beyond the Data — Public Health Strategies to Prevent Preterm Birth

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. David Lakey discuss the many costs of preterm birth, and how we can make prevention a priority in the United States. Tune in to find out how some states, like Texas, are educating the public and taking steps to reduce the rates of preterm birth and infant mortality.

December 2015

Beyond the Data — Public Health Strategies to Prevent Preterm Birth

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Stephan Monroe discuss laboratory science and how the culture of laboratory safety has evolved over time. Tune in to hear how leaders at CDC and across the country are working to improve safety for workers in all segments of public health.

  • Page last reviewed: January 22, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 22, 2015
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