County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter, March 2018

Public Health Newsletter, March 2018
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 6 - Issue 3 - March 2018
In this Issue: Pain | Lyme | Gun | Rankings | Older | Message from the Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Healthy Pain Management

Marin County has seen significant reductions in opioid prescribing due to evidence-based concerns about addiction and to opioids' lack of efficacy for many pain conditions.  Providers and patients alike are seeking healthier alternatives.  This will be the focus of the "Healthy Pain Management" Forum, hosted by RxSafe Marin and Marin HHS, April 12, from 11-1, at the Marin County Office of Education.  Pain experts from Marin General Hospital and Kaiser will describe emerging non-opioid pain modalities and local resources.   Clinicians can post this flyer for colleagues and patients.

Ticks and Lyme Disease Prevalence

Marin County clinicians regularly field questions and concerns regarding Lyme disease.  The following figures may help inform these conversations.  During 2013-2017, the regional Napa-Solano-Yolo-Marin Public Health Lab tested 2,950 ticks, 47 (1.7%) of which carried Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme disease.  One human case acquired in Marin was confirmed in 2016 and none were confirmed in 2017.  Marin County Public Health accepts ticks from clinicians and members of the public for testing.  Instructions for packaging and drop-off of ticks as well as tips for preventing bites can be found here.

Marin Physicians and Gun Violence

Marin physicians in the San Francisco Marin Medical Society featured prominently in recent demonstrations against gun violence.  Framed as a public health crisis, society members joined other physicians to call for major reforms in gun control policies, including removing barriers to studying gun violence.  The voice of these Marin physicians echoes that of major physician organizations, including the American Medical Association and the California Medical Association.  Clinicians who want to join the movement against gun violence can connect to colleagues in the San Francisco Marin Medical Society.

County Health Rankings

Marin has been ranked the healthiest county in the state again by the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings for the eighth time in nine years.  The rankings select multiple indicators of health and well-being, including life expectancy, to compare counties across the state.   This year's results are consistent with prior years', with high overall performance and notable exceptions in excessive substance use and  health disparities between affluent and low-income communities.

Year of the Older Adult

Marin County's Aging Action Initiative's Spring Convening is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, from 9am to 4pm.  Topics will include reframing aging, falls, and aging equity.  This is a free event, for public sector agencies, non-profit organizations and health sector providers.  You can register for this event here.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotMarin County was again ranked the healthiest county in the state in the annual County Health Rankings.  What lessons can we offer other jurisdictions seeking to improve community health?  Our ranking is partly attributable to known associations between wealth and health.  By addressing health disparities in Marin County, ensuring universal access to health care, and advancing social policies that address inequities, we can better serve as an even stronger model of health for the nation.
Warm Regards,
Matt Willis
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Copyright (c) 2018
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
mwillis@marincounty.org
(415) 473-4163
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