HEALTH

Partnership for Prevention appoints new chief medical officer

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Partnership for Prevention on Tuesday named Jason Spangler the organization’s chief medical officer.

Spangler will work closely with Partnership’s Health Professionals Roundtable on Preventive Services, a group representing 1.5 million members from the leading primary care professional organizations. HPR collaborates on issues of common interest and concern in the delivery of clinical preventive services and also develops policy statements that advance preventive care recommendations.

Additionally, through Partnership’s advisory group the Aspirin Task Force, Spangler will be responsible for managing the organization’s efforts to increase the appropriate use of aspirin for the primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. He will represent Partnership before governmental bodies, regulatory bodies and accrediting agencies, and will serve as an alternate delegate to the American Medical Association through the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Spangler also will be responsible for providing medical and public health expertise on Partnership’s program activities and policy development; carrying out the organization’s strategic plan, including its policy agenda; assuring Partnership’s adherence to medical and scientific principles; and contributing to the development of staff in the areas of preventive medicine and population health.

Spangler joined the partnership in 2007 as managing senior fellow and senior program officer. Prior to his tenure with Partnership, Spangler was with Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals in its Public Health and Policy Group. He performed as public health lead on all clear health communication and health literacy initiatives and activities. He also managed relationships with health policy organizations and maintained and supported the group’s public health partnerships.

Spangler completed clinical training in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He also completed preventive medicine training at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he served as Chief Resident. Spangler presently is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He is the recipient of the American College of Preventive Medicine Resident Award, the GlaxoSmithKline Preventive Medicine Residency Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Services and Department of Medicine Thomas O’Toole Awards from the University of Pittsburgh.

Spangler received his Doctor of Medicine degree at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, his Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Smoking prevalence among teens may rise, study finds

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The very substantial decrease in teen smoking that began in the mid-1990s has come to a halt among younger teens in the United States, and some evidence of a possible increase in their smoking was observed this year, announced researchers that were part of the "Monitoring the Future" study on Tuesday.

While the increase is not yet large enough to reach statistical significance, an increasing proportion of both eighth and 10th grade students this year said they smoked in the past 30 days or smoked daily in that period.

The "Monitoring the Future" study, which has been tracking teen smoking in the United States for the past 36 years, reported that past 30-day smoking among eighth graders increased from 6.5% in 2009 to 7.1% in 2010; among 10th graders it rose from 13.1% to 13.6%.

All three grades now have rates of smoking that are far below their peak rates in 1996 or 1997. For example, 30-day prevalence is down by two-thirds (66%) among eighth graders, by more than half (55%) among 10th graders and by nearly half (48%) among 12th graders.

"These are extremely important changes that will carry very substantial consequences for the health and longevity of this generation of young Americans," stated Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of the study. "But there are still significant proportions of teens putting themselves at risk for a host of serious diseases and a premature death because they are taking up cigarette smoking."

Smoking in the prior 30 days was reported by 7%, 14% and 19% of eighth, 10th and 12th graders, respectively. Rates of daily smoking during the past 30 days were 3%, 7% and 11% in the three grades, respectively. Based on the experience of previous 12th-grade classes, quite a number of the lighter smokers will become daily smokers after they leave high school.

Smoking behavior among younger teens is particularly important because it is predictive of their smoking behavior as they become older teens and young adults. "Smoking is a habit that tends to stay with people for a long time, leading to ongoing differences between different graduating classes of students that persist into adulthood," Johnston said. "Scientists call it a cohort effect, and it occurs largely because cigarette smoking is so addictive."

The estimates originated from the study’s national surveys of some 46,000 students in nearly 400 secondary schools each year. The study is directed by a team of research professors at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, and since its inception has been funded through a series of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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OCuSOFT relaunches Tears Again advanced Liposome Spray

BY Michael Johnsen

RICHMOND, Texas — OCuSOFT, Inc., a leading maker of remedies for the treatment of ocular surface disease, has relaunched Tears Again advanced Liposome Spray, a unique eyelid spray for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction sufferers. Used in conjunction with OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Eyelid Cleanser, the new eyelid spray is ideal to promote good eyelid hygiene and healthy eyes and to help provide relief from eyelid irritation throughout the day, according to the company.

Tears Again advanced Liposome Spray is a cool, refreshing spray that is applied directly to the eyelids, with the eyes closed. Formulated with liposomes for enhanced absorption, Tears Again advanced Liposome Spray lubricates and protects the eyes against moisture loss. Liposomes are microscopic molecules that have been used for years in cosmetic and drug delivery. According to a report published in the journal Contact Lens Spectrum, liposomes sprayed on a clean, closed eyelid migrate from eyelashes and the edges of the eyelid onto the tear film. Studies have found that this is a comfortable and effective method for increasing lipid layer thickness and tear film stability.

In addition to relieving symptoms of dry eye, Tears Again advanced Liposome Spray, which is fortified with vital nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, also helps relieve computer vision syndrome and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

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