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icn-malta2011-1The first week of May, 2300 registered nurses from 123 countries attended the International Council of Nurses Conference in Malta. We left challenged and charged to act on the innovative ideas presented by this year’s 70 expert presenters. The topics covered were extensive including the massive increase of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), primary care, climate change, disaster nursing, and gender violence.  CHMP’s co-director, Diana Mason, delivered the keynote focusing on the conference theme, nurses driving access, quality and health, addressing social determinants of health. She provided insights into how mobile health creates access to health care and selected innovative models of care designed by nurses globally challenging us to think broadly on how we can impact change to increase access and quality care. Mason crafted a powerful visual presentation that provided the backdrop to her engaging, thought-provoking presentation which earned her a standing ovation.

On May 12th the world honored the achievements of nursing on International Nurses Day. In the United States, it stretches into a full week – with National Nurses Week.

William M. Silberg, is a strategic publishing and communications consultant with 30 years experience in health, medicine, health policy and science, in both the professional and consumer sectors.

A recent paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (disclosure: I’m AJPM’s Editor-at-Large) offers some sobering data relevant to any health professional trying to make sense of clinical guidelines and, more importantly, help patients and the public with that plaintive question – “so what should I do?” Further, it’s a powerful example of what happens when health, media and policy, um, “collide.”

The paper, by Linda B. Squiers, PhD, and colleagues at RTI International, looked at media coverage and sampled public understanding of the November 2009 release of new mammography guidelines by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention. The new guidelines, which update those the Task Force issued in 2002, recommended against routine mammography for women prior to age 50 and suggested that screening end at age 74. They also recommend changing the screening interval from one to two years and suggested that women aged 40 to 49 who are at high risk for breast cancer consult with their clinician about the optimal time to begin regular, biennial screening mammography.

The bottom line: many women told the RTI researchers in a web-based survey that they were confused by the new guidelines. Those confused most? Women aged 40-49 and those who’d never had a mammogram or had one more than two years ago.

Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA, Associate Professor, Director, Comunity Health/COMHE Program at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. 

tclogoThe 2011 Seventh International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society was held at Universidad del País Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea Bilbao, Spain from 25-27 March 2011. The conference and its associated journal were created to provide a transdisciplinary forum that examines the relationship between technology, knowledge and its societal context. This is a forum that brings together a diverse range of researchers, teachers and practitioners. It serves as a meeting point for technologists and those who may work in non-technological areas, but are nevertheless concerned with the social impact and import of technology.  In addition to its plenary sessions, the conference also includes virtual presentations to expand its reach and to include presenters who may not be able to attend in person.