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May 28, 2004 - It has come to this - a blog page... Blog is short for Web Log. Now that the Internet has become an almost indispensable part of our lives, many have started using it to keep an online journal of sorts. I started adding "Newsworthy Stuff" tidbits back near towards the end of 2000 on my What's New Page. I thought these tidbits would be more useful if they were compiled on one page. Therefore, all these tidbits will be compiled on this page after they've had their Net time on the most recent What's New Page, with the most recent entries at the beginning (so you don't have to scroll so much). Added links along the way will continue to be compiled on annual "What Was New" pages that you can access by clicking on year graphic. Thanks. Betty

Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2005 - 2023). Betty C. Jung's 2005 Public Health Blog.
Web document:

  • December 31 - Minimally Clinically Important Difference (MCID) Here is an emerging concept in looking at the quality of care. From what I am seeing on the Net, researchers have yet to agree on some common terminology. However, it is reminiscent of an older debate over what is important to glean from health services research studies - clinical or statistical significance. Are they, or should they be the same thing? Of course, they are not, but research showing statistical significance tend to get published.... A more pointed question is - if the number of deaths in a study does not reach statistical significance, does that mean it is not clinically significant? You can find the latest on MCID in a new section I have devoted to this topic on my Health Care Quality Standards Page .
  • December 31 - Statisticians' Delights A wonderful source of free statistical software can be found on the Biostadistica Web page. What I have done is added those links to FREE software programs that I thought were most useful on my Statistical Software Sites page. There are 35 new links to check out. I have added on to my Public Health Statistical & Mapping Software Sites page those links that pertain to Public Health and health services research (15 links). Have fun!!!
  • December 30 - Annual Statistics While I compile monthly statistics (ugh!) for this Web site, there are a few pages for which I only compile statistics on an annual basis (yippee!). The Public Health Alumni Chapter Stats are only done during July (afer the end of an academic year), and then there are those stats I compile at the end of the calendar year (sort of officially starting now...).

    I revamped the Awards Index Page with graphs in place of those not-so-useful tables (that were required by some site rater). I think you will find these graphs more useful. Above all, I actually had fun doing this. It will be easy for me to update in the future, too! The PHENOM Directory Visitor Demographic Stats have been updated, as well as the Web site Visitor Demographic Stats , which are now found on the Visitor Index Page rather that on the Web site Stats Page , which has enough tabulated stats already. Incredibly, there are people out there who are interested in all these numbers. I initially compiled these statistics because I am an epidemiologist at heart, but apparently they have developed a cult following of their own....

  • December 27 - King Kong is still king!! What a super season for moviegoers! If there ever was a film worth seeing on the big screen, this is the one! Indulge yourself for 3 hours. The best scene is the one in Central Park. Naomi Watts does manage to fill the shoes of Fay Wray. And, in looking at what genre King Kong belonged in, I found it listed under the unusual heading of "Animals gone bad" on one Web site. Is there such a genre? After some research, I have found that categorizing films is more of an art than a science, although film majors (and there is such an academic major) will disagree. So, if you are interested, I have found 13 links to how film genre is being defined and the various categories some have come up with, under a new section called "Genres - Definitions" on my Movies Page , one of the more popular pages on this site. Enjoy!
  • December 23 - Making it into a Peer-Reviewed Journal One of the most pleasurable things in my life is knowing I am doing something others find useful. So, it was so nice to discover that this Web site is part of a peer-reviewed article citing Internet statistical sources. Check out M.A. Mulee's "Web-based resources to assist the statistical analysis and presentation of data. Pharmaceutical Statistics. 2005; 4:129-139."
  • . Other Web site citations can be found on my Publications Page .

  • December 19 - IVRs ("interactive voice response")s Did you ever want to reach somebody at a company by phone? Do you get the feeling that some companies don't really want to talk to you even though they say customer service is their main consideration? Ever been put on hold for 45 minutes and having to listen to the same 30-second ditty 90 times? Ever get to the point when you do reach someone, and get put on hold and then get cut off? Ever tried to repeat a successful sequence of 45 menus with 3 choices each? Good luck to you. Well, thanks to Paul English, you can bypass all the idiocy with his IVR Cheat Sheet. You will find this on my Useful Sites for Day-to-Day Living, under "Getting Satisfaction."....
  • December 16 - Happy Holidays!!! I started the new year a little earlier because it's time for a new year. This has been the year of "Mother Nature." Let's face it, she's one pretty powerful lady. I don't quite remember such a year in which so many were forced to feel her fury, from tsunamis, to earthquakes to a record-setting number of hurricanes, a few of which devastated our southern coast, New Orleans in particular. Let's hope next year is a lot quieter on all fronts... Oh, the last quarter's newsworthy stuff can be found on the 2005 Blog Page , and the additions can be found on the What Was New Page .
  • November 24 - 25 - Food & Chronic Diseases Happy Thanksgiving! Not to be a total killjoy, one of my students asked me about the dangers of eating overcooked meat. So, of course, I decided to research the potential hazards associated with improper cooking. I have developed a new section on my Nutrition Resources Page that will provide you access to everything you ever wanted to know about food and cancer (what exactly is the connection, and is it true we are what we eat???), acrylamide, nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HAs), which are being implicated as carcinogens (cancer-causing).

    The most scariest, perhaps, are the Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), which are being implicated in the development of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure. I have found research on the Net about this dating back to 1996! These compounds are found in our food, but cooking certain foods at high temperatures produces these compounds that can increase inflammation in our bodies. Perhaps, we really do need to revisit how cooking affects food composition, and how this in turn affects our health!

  • November 16 - My Family Health Portrait What a super, super tool from the US Department of Health and Human Services!!! My Family Health Portrait is part of the U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative, and basically it is an easy online way to create a record of your health history. I did this in a half an hour, and now I have a geneological drawing and a chart of my health history that I can give to my doctor. It will save so much time during a medical visit. And, you get to save the information to your computer rather than have it in some database, if health information privacy is a concern of yours.

    You are the focus of the health history, and using a series of easy-to-use screens, with drop-down menus, you enter your health history, and the health histories of your parents, grandparents, siblings and children. Gather all this information before you start (e.g., at what age did a parent develop heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other diseases,etc.).

    Once you are done, you can save the file to your computer. As long as you have Internet access, you can open your file and update it with the latest health information. This is truly the most useful tool I have seen to date that will make recordkeeping a breeze. And, you can print out the two charts any time to bring with you. It's also a good way to create a record for your children, so they will know their ancestors' health histories that may prove to be a good incentive for them to take care of themselves. You will find a link to this Web page on my Health Care Resources Page , under Health Information.

  • November 11 - Health Behavioral Data Now that the CDC are reporting state-specific analyses of BRFSS data with greater regularity, I have decided to organize the Health Behavior Data Section into sub-categories by type of behavior. Yes, now all the smoking links are together, physical activity links are together, etc. Hope you find this more accessible...
  • November 10 - 97.50% Xenu time again! The dead link hunt is on!!! With over 10,000 links, having 97.50% working links is pretty good (I think). Of course, it's cleaning out the 2.50% that's a major pain. Unfortunately, Web sites tend to come and go (where are you, Michaelangelo?) faster than the speed of light....
  • November 5 - Web Awards Page Now that the Web site has earned over 50 awards, I have decided to revamp the Webpage to make more it space efficient. Check out the Awards Page !
  • November 4 - State Report Cards This must be the time of the year when everyone is compiling data. Two new report card sources include HRSA's Geospatial Data Warehouse, a searchable data engine for state data. recently released its 50-State Analysis of Medicaid Benefit Coverage for Children without EPSDT. You can find links to these two sites and numerous other state report sites on the Evaluation Resource Page .
  • October 30 - Web site's new Navigation Bar I have just finished updating all the navigation bars on the Web site's 300+ pages. This took me weeks to do, between everything else. All pages will share the same bar to get around the core pages of the site. Have fun.
  • October 29 - Check out the Blog Index Page daily for something new every day! Learn the "Word of the Day"; read the "Article of the Day"; find out what happened in history on a particular day; see who was born on a particular day; read a memorable quote for the day; and play a daily game of Match Up! These nice perks are also available on the Home Page . All compliments of The Free Dictionary.
  • October 13 - Health Data There is one thing I have to say when it comes to data - thank God for the Internet! Because I work so much with data in all facets of my life, I always appreciate the work that others put into compiling data and making it accessible to others. I also love the Web technology that allows us to retrieve data in formats and data sets that any epidemiologist would fully appreciate. Latest Web offerings include the University of Minnesota's Summary of Selected Healthcare Industry Data Sets - a truly useful compilation of data sets currently available, what they include and how to get them. Some will cost you, but most are freely available from various government agencies. This came out in 2004, but I only found out about this now from a listserv. Of course, knowing what's available is half the battle.... The National Center for Health Statistics have just launched "Health Data for all Ages," an interactive Web site that lets you download tables of various types of health data.'s Data Resource Center provides a wealth of child and adolescent data. You can find links to these sites and numerous other health data sites on my Public Health Data Sites A - D . I have quite a few pages devoted to data sources. Have some fun exploring what's out there.
  • October 9 - State Report Cards Sometimes the only way we can tell how we're doing is to compare ourselves to others. Many times this serves as an incentive to improve the way things are being done. I have compiled a number of resources that provide state comparisons on a number of different factors, as well as comparisons to the US as a whole. I have just added another site that looks at the health of any state along a number of various parameters. Check out these report cards on my Evaluation Page .
  • September 30 - Collaborative skills for Public Health Practice Because of dwindling resources and the unfortunate realities of public health emergencies and disasters, a new (maybe not so new, more like rediscovered) strategy is being advanced - collaboration. Then again, Public Health practitioners have known all along that little can be accomplished without the help and support of others towards remedying and addressing issues affecting the Public's health. We all know what a little cooperation among individuals can accomplish in making the most of any situation, just think when organizations can cooperate in the same way!!! Check out the new section I have added to the Public Health Practice Page , called "Collaboration Skills." For starters, there are 17 links for you to explore.
  • September 29 - Chinese language diabetes and health information Getting an E-mail from someone asking for specific information can send me on a treasure hunt, which is what happened in this instance. I have also discovered that many people search for Asian diabetes information and get my Diabetes Page . After scouring some 100 pages, I have come up with 17 links to Chinese language diabetes information, and 2 links to general health information in the Chinese language, and have placed links to these 19 sites on my Chinese Culture Page . I thought it was time to do this, with a little push from an inquiring visitor.
  • September 16 - Public Health Preparedness Most Public Health practitioners can tell you that the public does not realize the importance of public health until a catastrophe strikes, as what's happening to New Orleans can attest to. Mobilization of necessary services to meet emergencies is a major challenge of disaster preparedness. JACHO has recently re-released its "Standing Together: An Emergency Planning Guide for America's Communities" - a super resource to help communities plan for disasters. There's a link to this document from my Public Health Practice Page.
  • September 16 - Public Health News, Etc. The latest edition, #61, has gone out to 478 subscribers from around the world. As a labor of love I am hoping that I am hitting all the relevant areas currently impacted by world events and the usual dedication of public health professionals around the world....

    Uh oh, the third quarter is about to end. This year is going by so fast, and the busiest time of the year is upon us (not to rush or anything). So, the July - September newsworthy items have been archived on the 2005 Blog Page , and all links I have added can be found on the What Was New Page. Do keep in mind that I do clean out dead links whenever I can so there may be links listed that are no longer on this Web site because they have died (and I am not interested in maintaining a cyber-cemetery), so I had to lay them to rest.... It is a continual nightmare and challenge to keep the Web site current. Presently, the number of live links is about 97%. So, if you click on 100 links on this Web site, maybe 3 won't work (I dare you to find those...). Though I don't have to worry about stockholders or making a profit, I am still interested in providing a freely available quality resource site for anyone interested in Public Health. Your suggestions are welcome - the more concrete the better. You can be as critical as you want to be, but then, be honest enough to come up with some suggestions to make things better...

  • September 5 - August Web Statistics I always find this to be one of the tedious tasks of webmastering, but a definite necessity. This month it took 7+ hours to compile all the stats, which are now available on the Site Maps , the Poll Stats Page and the Web site Stats Page that also now includes all the entities visiting.

  • September 2 - Hurricane Katrina Mother Nature has not been kind to us around the world this year. While the impact of the 12/26 Thailand tsunami still resides in our recent memories, we now must deal with all this devastation along our very own gulf coast.
  • August 26 - My favorite animal in the whole world... (Thanks to Ginger's Free Gifs)
  • August 25 - Six Years Old is how old this Web site is today! Painless birth, but labor-intensive nurturing.... Thanks to all the thousands of visitors over the years who have made this milestone possible....
  • August 18 - Visitor Demographics People have told me that they were floored by who visits the PHENOM Directory . So, I decided to share with you who visits this Web site. Keep in mind that these stats are from 2002 on when I started using Extreme Tracking for this Web site. Check Visitor Demographics and be amazed that we are truly living in a global community on the Net...
  • August 14 - Public Health E-News #60 goes out a day early to 473 subscribers who can chill out with latest goings on in Public Health in what must be the worse summer on record. I hope this is a foretaste of global warming....
  • August 11 - PHENOM

    The 2005 - 2006 PHENOM Directory is now available!!! The program is now in its 13th year, and there are 40 public health professionals who have volunteered to serve as online mentors. They can be contacted by E-mail or phone, and you can ask them anything that has to do with a public health career! Also, if you want to bounce off any ideas from a fellow professional, contact any of the mentors listed for feedback. And, check out where Visitors are coming from....

  • August 6 -

    Finally finished the statistics for July, and happy to report that this Web site has reached a milestone - 1 million hits. Not bad for a personal Web site. By August 25th, this Web site will be 6 years old, which is an eternity for a Web site in cyberspace. Thanks to all my visitors who come by to visit, making it worth my while to keep this Web site going....

  • August 3 - Public Health Research and Writing It wasn't until I started teaching an undergraduate writing course (Introduction to Public Health) that I began to realize that public health professionals do a lot of writing! For that class I have developed a lot of resource pages to help students streamline their research activities (maybe I shouldn't do that so they will learn to search for information themselves) because I know that nobody has time anymore to really conduct good research.

    But as a teacher, I feel compelled to at least offer some seasoned guidance to future professionals who may find that written expression is an expected skill of those who consider themselves to be college educated. So, I have developed what I hope will be useful tools, like the Public Health Program Evaluation Grid and a Web site Evaluation Grid to help them critique what they are researching, and a resource page on what to include in a Public Health research paper. Many times we don't think of the kind of writing we do as research, but it really is because we have to make sure that the information we disseminate is as accurate and current as possible. Of course, I really want my students to learn to base their writing on credible theoretical frameworks, so I have created the Public Health Research and Writing Page, which I hope you can use, too.

  • July 30 - 11,378; 97.56% Though I should do this more frequently, I don't always have access to a fast connection to run my favorite utility - Xenu. What a super program. Over 2 hours, it continually churns away, checking for dead links on my Web site. So, I can tell you, at this very hot minute, there are 11,378 links on my Web site, of which 97.56% are okay. Not bad. My goal is to keep it above 95%. Of course, the most disheartening part about doing this is finding out there about 200+ links that need to deleted, after I just finished deleting, well, 199 dead links from my last report. Oh well.
  • July 27 - Free software stuff It is way too hot to do anything, but maintenance is key anytime. Over the years I have gathered links to free software, plugins, etc. onto one page, but decided to revamp it by organizing it, using categories, which will make it easier to find stuff. Of course, some free software have gotten so popular that they have started charging, while others still offer their software (bare minimum version) for private use. Even at the bare minimum, many are still a bargain. I am glad to see that there are companies out there that are willing to help in stemming the proliferation of viruses by offering free anti-virus programs! Almost like what Public Health does. Check out my Free Software and Plugins Page .

  • July 25 - Tool Kits for Public Health Practice Communitychange.Org has come out with a set of organizational development tools that cover such essential skills as fundraising, evaluation, management, etc. You will find links to these tools on my Evaluation Resources Page, Grants Resources Page, , Public Health Page Page. came out with two-part tool kit for communications and advocacy. There are links to these documents on my Public Health Practice Page.

    ConnectforKids.Org has a super page devoted to resources to address issues affecting kids today, from growth and development to mental health. You will find links to be page on my Health Education Page, Kids Health Page, Maternal Child Health Page, Public Health Practice Page.

  • July 18 - Evaluation Tools Updated As I get ready for the Fall semester (it's only July, but before the end of next month, class would have started...), I have decided to share with my Web site visitors updated evaluation grids that my students will be using for their assignments. They will learn how to retrieve information about Public Health programs entirely from the Internet. They will learn that not everything on the Internet is good, and developing these critiquing skills is essential as the Internet has virtually become the source for about anything you care to find out about. Much of what's on the Internet, unfortunately, is junk. I am hoping that these grids will be useful in your daily work.

    The Public Health Program Evaluation Grid is the result of my research into what makes for a good Public Health program. Granted that this can be a very subjective exercise (as most evaluation activities can become), I have done my best to develop objective criteria based on what numerous evaluating agencies use, and incorporate them into a grid that is easy and simple to use. At the same time, I have provided several ways the user can rate and rank the items to reach some level of precision so comparisons can be made of various programs addressing the same problem. Basically, I think a good program will have all these elements.

    The Web site Evaluation Grid is also the result of my ongoing interest in Web site quality. I have tried to distill from what many Web site evaluators look for on a credible Web site. Basically, I think a good Web site will have all these elements.

  • July 15 - Public Health E-News... The 59th Edition has gone out. I am making an effort to be comprehensive yet concise.
  • July 8 - Public Health Mentors... I have finally gotten around to updating the PHENOM Program description. Like most Web pages that grow over the years, some do need to be revisited - so I did! In September, this online mentoring program will be entering its 13th year. There has been much history to the program, which I have spent some time documenting, which I hope will be enjoyable reading. Check out the newly revised PHENOM Program Description Page , and the just updated PHENOM Program Statistics Page . You will be amazed where visitors are coming from! And, if you are interested in becoming an online mentor, now is the time to join!
  • July 1 - Recruiting for online mentors... Yes, it's that time of the year again to recruit professionals interested in volunteering to become an online mentor for a term of one year. Great for resume building....

    Become an online Public Health Mentor!! Deadline 7/31/05

    Check here for description on how to join
  • June 25 - Medical Information You Can Use... You are so in luck... two great resources for health information from the federal government that you can use, and they're for free!! From AHRQ there is the latest edition of the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2005 in PDF format, and an online topic index for easy searching. You can consider this the bible for primary health care. Here are recommendations for the screening of the most basic health problems that ail us. You will find they are all evidence-based and weighted by the evidence's strength. Links to these resources can be found on my Health Information Resources for Professionals.
  • Also, on that page and on the Consumer Health Information Page , Health Care Resources Page , Useful Information for Everyday Living Page (and among a few others - check updated pages section) are links to CDC's Traveler's Health: Yellow Book - Health Information for International Travel, 2005-2006. If you do a lot a traveling, you should familiarize yourself with what you need to do to stay healthy anywhere in the world. There are plenty of nasty diseases you can be exposed to, and as they say, being forewarned is being forearmed....

  • June 17 - Will the English language survive? One of the major perks of teaching (if you can call it that), is reading the creative endeavors of college students today. I am not sure if writing has deteriorated as a result of computer usage or what, but it's been declining since I was in high school when my English teachers swore civilization will not make it beyond their generation. Especially when word processing programs today have spell check and grammar check capabilities, papers still get submitted with minimal proofreading. Rather than laugh at these myself, I have set aside an entire page for all the rocks (gems in development) thrown my way. Check out Did I Write That? Student Bloopers Page. I am sure this page will continue to grow (unfortunately)....
  • June 10 - Early summer... Since I had a little time now, I decided to clean out this page and move the stuff to their permanent residences. The "newsworthy stuff," up to now, can be found on my 2005 Blog Page , and all the links I have added, since January 1, can be found on my What's Was New 2005 Page . By the way, the knee has been taken care of, and it's great what can be done with arthoscopic surgery.... Word to the wise - when you get out of your car, swivel your whole body 45 degrees, and then get out of the car, landing on both feet.
  • June 9 - Will the Canadian Health Care System ever be the same? A newsflash from the Institute for Health Freedom reports "Supreme Court strikes down Quebec law banning private health care." (The Canadian Press - THE GAZETTE) ( It's really too soon to tell exactly what this ruling truly means. What is most ironic, to me, is while our Canadian neighbors need a court ruling to be able to buy private health insurance, Americans have been able to do so all along, and yet there are millions who cannot afford to, or simply cannot buy health insurance! And, while on the topic of health insurance, what is really needed are better definitions for exactly what is meant when we're talking about the cost of health services. For example, the cost of health insurance should NOT be counted as health service costs. What is being paid for health services (what we pay out of pocket, and what health insurance really pays) would be a more enlightened way of looking at why we are paying what we are paying, and for what. Is the person paying the most for health insurance the healthiest? Take a second and think about this....
  • June 7 - Why Things Bite Back. Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences Finally done with reading the book, I am now also done writing a review of the book. An excellent must-read book. Check out the review on either the Great Books Annotated Bibliography , or the Public Health Annotated Bibliography Page. I cannot rave enough about Tenner's book....
  • May 31 - Grocery Store Wars A creative Star Wars take off that's healthy as well. A link to this cute short can be found on my Kids Fun Sites Page
  • May 20 - A Nation at Risk: Obesity in the United States - A Statistical Sourcebook. Not to be facetious, obesity is an ever-growing problem. Perhaps, the most effective way to show the effects of obesity for those who are visually-inclined, is Spurlock's "Supersize Me" film, that shows what fast food can do your health in only one month. For the rest of us, check out the latest statistics from Robert Woods Johnson/American Heart/American Stroke sourcebook. You can get to this super resource on my Nutrition Page.
  • May 13 - Looking at Outcomes . (Can't you tell I'm on a roll here???)The Ambulatory care Quality Alliance (AQA) recently released a "starter set" of 26 clinical performance measures for ambulatory care settings. The measures make good common sense. I think this is a major advancement in looking at health outcomes in a sane manner. Now if only everyone can agree on these measures, we will be able to look at trends over time (oh, oh is the epidemiologist in me baring itself?). You can find a link to this page and links dealing with quality data issues on my Health Care Quality Data Issues Page .
  • May 13 - An infrastructure for looking at Medical Errors . AHRQ recently developed a compendium of all the research that's been done about medical errors on its " Advances in Patient Safety: From Research to Implementation" Page. I think this is a real useful page in providing at least a framework for the various issues and areas of interest from medication safety to measurements and taxonomies. You can find a link to this page, and other resources dealing with medical errors on my Health Care Quality Issues Page
  • May 13 - The new hotspot: Clinical Trails Who would have thought that clinical trials have come under fire in the new world of medical errors? Apparently, there is enough going on to warrant new organizations to deal with the ethical issues around being a "guinea pig." Maybe it's because of the explosive growth of biotechnology and genomic research. Well, I suppose if we're old enough to remember what Josef Mengele did during the Nazi regime, then this makes perfect sense. Only thing is, why did it take so long??? Check out the organizations and information about how clinical trials are being viewed, under the "Clinical Trials" section on my Health Care Quality Issues Page
  • May 12 - Dr. Keiser's Memorial Service was an extraordinary tribute to a truly great professor (probably the best professor I ever had). The SCSU Department of Public Health did a super job, and all the faculty came out, as well a alumni, students and university staff. It was great having her two sisters there, and their presence provided comfort to many of us. Of course, the fact that I totally lost it for a few minutes in giving the closing remarks (I am thinking how I am ever going to live this one down), but managed to regain my composure, should give you an idea of how meaningful it is to have such an opportunity to bring closure to the loss of someone who was a significant part of all who came together to share the loss.
  • May 11 - Save your knee, go pivot-free is my new after-the-fact a-ha moment. Or, shed some tears for meniscal tears... more about this later... I have to go and put my knee brace on.
  • April 24 - 856 E-mails Behind... and that's only just one of my E-mail accounts. I am actually thousands and thousands of E-mails behind (rather than billions...), and I've been good about deleting the spam and all the daily E-mails rquesting I link to their sites right away.... I think I have reached this critical mass because during the past 6 months all of the E-mail vendors suddenly became generous with virtual space (which is literally limitless, as long as you have electricity). I suspect they were trying to compete with Google's new Gmail that may go for a gigabyte of storage....

    Anyway, it was no longer vital that I clean out my E-mailboxes, and so the messages started piling up. At the same time, my zip disks became inoperable so I couldn't back up my E-mails, and then I started teaching a writing class, and well, you get the idea. I just spent 2 hours today trying to clean out my E-mails. I decided to start with my MedlinePlus E-mails from June 2004 (yes, that's right - 10 months ago). It took me about an hour per E-mail. That's because this is one of my sources for health links. Of course, it requires that I review each link to make sure each is relevant and works. I may add up to 15 links from each of these E-mails. Talk about time-consuming!! One nice thing about doing it this way (and, I always look for the brighter side), I don't have to add those that have died (and there were quite a few) since June 2004!!! So, it will be awhile before I can catch up. Be assured that the truly timely public health links I come across get added right away (like Marburg virus news, etc.), and I do answer my E-mails (my students can tell you that). Everything else will have to be queued, as I am expecting a mass of research paper rewrites in the coming weeks....

  • April 23 - What's Your Legacy? I have just finished updating the In Memoriam: Dr. A. Kay Keiser Page with information provided by Michelle Mann. At least this information is more accurate than what was reported in the newspaper obituary. I based the biography on a somewhat dated resume, and a brief faculty bio that was part of some department document, both written by Dr. Keiser. It really made me sad to read through these pages. Though they were in her own words, in her own writing, it reflects very little of the person that I knew. So, how do you capture that - those memories you have of a person? Do such memories remain forever elusive and are only meaningful when shared with others who knew her as well? I suppose that is the challenge of any biographer who tries to capture the essence of someone who had lived and walked the earth.

    I discussed this dilemma with a good friend and we have come to the realization that no one really knows anyone better than a person would know him/herself. For example, how well does your spouse or partner know you? Your parents, your children, your relatives, your friends, your colleagues, and your pets? I have come to the conclusion that all these people (and animals) probably know only a fraction of who you really are (and teenagers will tell you nobody really knows them at all). And, to have a complete picture of who a person really is, I suppose you would have to talk to everyone that person ever knew, and even then we are never really sure if we got everyone, not to mention all those who have passed on before you would have had the chance to interview them, and the pets that can't really say much of anything but knew what made you feel good.

    So, what am I getting at? Start writing your obituary NOW. Just think of it as an ongoing travelogue of your life's adventures, a diary that won't ever be done until you are no longer here to add anymore entries, or what academics would call, "Work in progress." How will you be remembered? What were your greatest passions in life? What have you learned from living? What a rich legacy you have when you finally put it down in words!!! Believe me, all those who love you will thank you when you have taken the time to leave something about who you really were. And, when they realize how little they knew you, they will treasure whatever memories they do have of you, and perhaps, appreciate their lives and those around them a little more.

  • April 16 - The Music of Led Zeppelin, Oakdale, Wallingford, CT How's this for a double header? Not exactly the real thing, but this will be about as close as it'll ever get to the glory days of the still great band, Led Zeppelin. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra, with Brent Havens as conductor, and Randy Jackson, guest vocalist, all did a great job in keeping the flame alive for young and old alike. Jackson does have an amazing voice, and it was bone chilling how well he got Plant down. He also is the frontman for Zebra (maybe I'll check that group out), and has been doing these kinds of concerts for a number of years. I was amazed to see so many 20-somethings actually singing along, knowing all the lyrics (Of course, I am sure the 20-somethings yesterday were just as amazed that I knew any of Everclear's lyrics...). Plant/Page/Jones/Bonham would be pleased. Of course, NOTHING beats the fact that I was AT NYC's Madison Square Garden Led Zeppelin concert in 1973, which became the movie, "The Song Remains the Same." And, don't bother counting the years with your fingers and toes, you won't have enough....
  • April 15 - Everclear, Toad's Place, New Haven, CT So what if it's only 1 AM April 16th? Despite not starting on time (they started 11:04 PM instead of 8:30 PM), Art and his bandmates did an astounding job renewing their ties to their obviously energetic fan base in Connecticut. (Art Alexakis [the leader], a bit older than your usual rocker these days, has the best voice around. His lyrics are heartfelt and reflect the maturity and insight only someone who has lived life can talk about with sincerity and conviction.)

    Opening up with my favorite, "Everything to Everyone," they covered almost all their best (including Volvo Driving Soccer Mom, Father of Mine, Santa Monica), peppered with songs from their upcoming CD (I can't wait), and ended with a rousing rendition of Tommy Tutone's 867-5309. It would have been perfect if they had done "Rock Star" and "AM Radio." And, the best perk - I didn't have to show 2 forms of ID to get in....

  • April 15 - Influenza A (H2N2) is an asian flu strain that has resurfaced and set for destruction. Once again, truth is stranger than sci fi. This kind of scenario has always been fertile fodder for the more creative sci fi writers of our time. Not too long ago, when I was in graduate school (late '80s, early '90s), we were learning about the accomplishments of Public Health, and what a great time it was - we have conquered infectious diseases, except for AIDS, which was becoming manageable with the advent of new drug therapies.

    Now, in retrospect, and I am talking about only a 10-year period, we really haven't conquered infectious diseases at all. In fact, it has re-emerged with a vengeance. This has only been magnified by the concurrent growing problems of drug resistance (i.e., vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, AIDS/TB cases), bioterrorism (i.e., anthrax), new diseases (i.e., SARS), and new realities, like we are really part of a global community (i.e., West Nile, Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever). Of course, antibiotics, meant for bacterial and not viral infections, have been mis- and overused so much that our bodies can no longer fight against diseases caused by organisms not susceptible to available therapies. So, it's not like Public Health has not been vigilant, only now we need to be more vigilant than ever.

    Finally, with problems of this past season's flu vaccine shortages and the growing threat of a possible pandemic of the avian flu (I am not being an alarmist, if you want to see something along "those" lines, watch Elia Kazan's classic, "Panic in the Streets," or "Outbreak," in which Dustin Hoffman freaks out big time), we must face the fact that influenza probably needs more attention than it is currently getting, and in a more focused fashion. I'll do my part and keep my visitors informed. Information about the H2N2, and other infectious diseases can be found on my Infectious Diseases Resources Page (which unfortunately keeps growing...). I should mention that the CDC has done a great job in keeping the public informed about the latest developments and news pertaining to a broad area of Public Health issues in a timely fashion. And, I should add that the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus pages are the best around in providing links and resources to a variety of credible resources on the Net for any particular Health or Public Health topic it tackles.

  • April 14 - Medical Errors are fast becoming the latest health care quality issue to receive continuous press. AHRQ's new Patient Safety Network (PSNET) is "a national "one-stop" portal of resources for improving patient safety and preventing medical errors." You will find a link to this Web portal on my Health Care Quality Issues Page , under the Medical Errors section. And, I should add -- while we're on the topic of errors -- if you have the time, you should read Edward Tenner's "Why Things Bite Back." I am currently enjoying (whenever I have a few moments) this excellent look at the "revenge effects" of everything around us. It's what I would call a "tango with technology," in which one step forward takes us two steps back, with a couple of sidesteps in between, and we wonder why we can't get off the dance floor. I can't wait to write a review of this book for my Annotated Bibliography Page !
  • April 11 - Dr. A. Kay Keiser. It is with sadness that I share with you the passing of my graduate advisor, Dr. A. Kay Keiser. Though it's been over a decade (gasp!) since I graduated with my M.P.H., I was really fortunate to have been able to keep in touch with someone who has influenced me greatly over the years. You can thank her for the passion I now have for all things Public Health! She really believed that I could walk on water, except that my fear of drowning got the better of me.... I have created a Web page in her memory, do visit. If you knew her, why not share your memories of her with others? It would lessen the loss for the many who knew her. In Memoriam: A. Kay Keiser, Sc.D., M.P.H.
  • April 6 - E-list Update... YahooGroups! is the service I use to manage my two mailing lists. Recently, they have updated their pages and, to my surprise, these lists have more subscribers than I had ever imagined. So, for the record, the Public Health E-News now has 445 (rather than 371) subscribers, and the Public Health Jobs E-list has 830 (rather than 646) subscribers! Cheers!
  • April 1 - No fooling around, all the statistics are done (except for a couple of more stats that I will add soon). Working straight through, on a fast computer, it took me 4 hours and 25 minutes to record and analyze all the hits on all 282 pages, and post them on all the site maps. This did not include the Web site Poll Statistics, which took like a half an hour, for a total of 5 hours! So, in all, this is the tedious side of Web site management, but what a sense of accomplishment!!! Before the major pruning I did last year, it took anywhere from 7 to 9 hours....
  • March 28 - Ever wonder about the quality of health plans? Now NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) makes it real easy for you to check out plans, by state and type of plan by looking at the dimensions of: Access & Service, Qualified Providers, Staying Healthy, Getting Better, Living with Illness and Accreditation status. You can find a link to this Web page on my Health Care Resources Page, under the Health Services Information section.
  • March 26 - In trying to simplify the critiquing of public health programs for my students, I have gone on to develop a Public Health Program Evaluation Template that may have broader application for anyone who is looking for a simple way to compare public health programs. After reviewing an 8-inch stack of printouts, I have come up with a simple matrix with what I consider to be the core elements any public health program should include. The template is also available in PDF format. Check it out and let me know what you think...
  • March 21 - Yes, I started the second quarter a little early because it takes time to archive the stuff I've added since January 1st and recorded on this page, and it was a lot. You can find the continuing saga of newsworthy stuff on my 2005 Blog Page , and all the new pages and links on the 2005 What Was New Page. You can always access these pages from the Blog Index Page .
  • March 20 - PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH METHODS - I have created a topical navigation bar to connect the Web pages covering the various aspects of these methods that may not be obvious to anyone but me. Hope you find this helpful. You will be able to get around these pages by using this bar. Have fun...
  • March 20 - PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH METHODS - I have created a topical navigation bar to connect the Web pages covering the various aspects of these methods that may not be obvious to anyone but me. Hope you find this helpful. You will be able to get around these pages by using this bar. Have fun...

    Biostatistics/Statistics Evaluation Health Education
    Information Quality Research Web site Quality
  • March 18 - Yes! Finally - a site index - a table of contents. Now you can access all the pages of this Web site from ONE Web page. You are probably wondering why I waited so long... I was hoping that there could be a way to generate such a listing automatically. Unfortunately, it is possible, but the listings don't come out the way I would like them to be. So, I had to create the list myself, and believe me it took hours.... Now that I have, it will be easier to keep this current. Check it out and let me know if this is more helpful for getting around the 281 pages... The Site Maps are still available, and those are good if you are looking for pages pertaining to a related topic. So, if you just want to see everything on the Web site, then use the . While in the indexing mood, I also created an Awards Index Page , and revamped the Awards Page at the same time. Finally, if you are looking for an all-consuming hobby - become a Webmaster... you will NEVER be bored.
  • March 14 - Public Health E-News #55 goes out a little early. Check out what 371 subscribers got this month! Preparing the newsletter is truly a labor of love (as everything is else on this Web site), which takes anywhere from 10 - 15 hours a month of compiling and editing (for those who are curious). Never at a lost for relevant news, the major challenge is providing a balanced perspective of what is going on in as concise a format as possible. If you are not yet a subscriber, do subscribe (on the Home Page and on any number of pages that the subscription box is available) and don't miss another issue of this free newsletter. In the future I am hoping to provide some insight to who the subscribers are (in aggregate, of course).
  • March 9 - Social Security. With all the talk about social security reform, you should check on what to expect when the time comes... The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has developed an "Accurate Benefits Calculator" that will show what you would get under the current system and whatever other system is being debated on. You can find a link to this page on my Senior Health Page .
  • March 6 - All the stats on the Web Stats Page , Site Map Pages and the Pollstats Page have been updated for the month of February. Thanks so much for visiting....
  • March 4 - Program Evaluation. Call it "cross-fertilization," or "learning with your students" or what-have-you....
  • In trying to explain the complexity of the "art and science" of Evaluation I have decided to create a page devoted to this fascinating discipline. Years ago, evaluation resided within the purview of "evaluators," usually doctorally-trained professionals hired either to be on staff or consultants for companies or agancies interested in good business practices. This has somewhat evolved into data-driven, evidence-based, best practices management initiatives and company philosophies. I am sure this was accelerated by the whole TQM (Total Quality Management) craze from about 15 years ago (Deming and Japan),the release of the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), and of course, the economic downturn in recent years.
  • So, evaluation is no longer the elitist enclave of numbers crunchers, but a fact of life by which we all must be future-oriented, looking to what we would like to achieve in concrete measurable ways and be a practicing evaluator in our work. Program planners now must become grounded in their creative solutions to ever-existing problems, and everyone and entity must now be accountable for what they are doing. The bottom line is still the same, because the question remains, "What am I getting for my money?" Or, performance appraisals are no longer for individuals only.
  • What I have done is consolidated all my evaluation links from the Health Education Resources Page (because good Health Education Practice always includes evaluation), Information Quality (most of where my evaluation links resided, check here for evaluating Web sites), and my Research Resources Page (because the systematic approach of research lends itself well to implementing evaluation), then added several more dozen links to come up with the Evaluation Resources on the Net Page .
  • The latest in this area is how government, as a service provider, is trying hard to provide good services, just like health care providers have been doing for many years - only now everyone has gotten smarter about documenting what they are doing. Not only will you find links to the basics of evaluation, but you will also find links to what the US government is doing with GPRA, and what nonprofits and other foreign governments are doing around evaluation and even logic models, which are the latest conceptual approach to developing evaluation plans. And, perhaps for the epidemiological soul in me, I have devoted a section to sources that provide state-by-state comparisons in the provision of services, etc. There are now approximately 120 links, and I will adding to this page. Hope you find the page useful, as I am sure my students will....

  • February 27 - 6 hours and 42 minutes to clean out an additional 572 dead links from 113 different Web pages. I have finally learned how to use Xenu to the max so it can scan ALL the links on the Web site. Xenu stats showed that 93.11% of a total of 11,018 links was okay. That's not bad at all, but I will strive to stay above 95%. I think I've done enough cleaning for awhile.
  • February 21 - 7 hours and 37 minutes... that's how long it took to remove 348 dead links from 51 different Web pages. Yep, this is the maintenance department reporting.... I should do this more frequently, but no matter how frequently I do this, it's almost like a neverending battle against a chameleon Internet. When I used to clean dead links, I actually tried to find a real live page. Now, I just delete the link. And, to think when I added these links, they were live....
  • February 21 - I have finalized my movie ratings for the Oscars . I can now say that I have seen all the movies in the running for the major nominations, plus the animated ones (can't miss those!). I will highlight the winners after 2/27.
  • February 18 - What's going on with Public Health Practice? Check out two recently published non-profit reports. Grantmakers in Health's February 2004 report, "Healthy Behaviors: Addressing Chronic Disease at its Roots" (link to this report can be found on my Public Health Documents Page) takes a serious look at the impact our health behaviors have on chronic disease. You will be convinced (or at least persuaded) to take a long hard look at what we are doing to ourselves.... The report highlights good programs and provides guidance on what is needed to stem the chronic disease epidemic (can I say that?). The second report is put out by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, "Reorganizing State Health Agencies To Meet Changing Needs, State Restructuring Efforts In 2003." The link to this report can be found on my Public Health Practice Page . You will actually learn about the new definitions of "tradtional public health agency, super public health agency, super health agency and umbrella agency." Incredibly, 2003 seems to be the year 22 state health departments decided it was time for a change. I am sure that one of the reasons why is the dwindling budgets states must work with while still trying to provide adequate services to their citizens.
  • February 17 - Who would have ever guessed that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Learning Network's Preventive Services Educational Resource Web Guide Page is the place to go for health education materials? Well, it is, and they are adding new materials all the time. You will find information about preventive services in general, specific disease screening, etc. - a nice mix of information for the general public and health professionals. There's a link to this super site on my Public Health Continuing Education Page .
  • February 15 - Public Health E-News #54 has gone out to 370 subscribers. I am so pleased to see so many people interested in what's going on in Public Health, and there is plenty going on these days....
  • February 13 - 6 hours 20 minutes - that was how much time I needed to spend to upgrade my tracking codes. After months of discrepant statistics, the service I am currently using has decided to "rebuild" the whole system. This basically means everything will start from scratch. It was a major, tedious pain to update the bit of code on EVERY page. I am sure I will have to do this again, but let's hope it won't be for a l-o-n-g time....
  • February 11 - Here's a true find, if there ever was one - Kaiser Family Foundation has an excellent series of tutorials for a number of health policy subjects. Get yourself up-to-date on what's going on with Medicare, women's health, the uninsured, among other topics. You will find links to the main page and individual tutorials on my Public Health Continuing Education Page , Graphing Data Page and Research Resources Page . And, if you are uncomfortable with taking standardized tests (who isn't, and they are as definite as death and taxes), get some practice at Test Prep on my Educational and Health Sites for Kids Page . It's never too late to learn something new....
  • February 4 - Okay, it took me 5 hours and 20 minutes to update all my stats: Polls and Web site . I think it took a bit longer than in recent months because it's a new year and I had to redo the tables. Though I really hate spending so much time on this, I always like the end results - having a record of what happened the previous month. Prior to my drastic pruning exercise last year, this monthly task took me around 8 hours to complete. Most of the stats are automatically generated (cool), but to populate my Site Map listings, I must retrieve each month's stats for each page (ugh), and store it in a database (fun) and then calculate the cumulative totals (okay). Amazingly, people are interested in seeing these Stats , and they have made it into a few blogs no less....
  • February 4 - Today is American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Day (2nd year) to raise awareness of heart disease and women. Though it may be a surprise (and then again, maybe not), it is the major killer of women. Do keep in mind that there is currently some controversy brewing over which is the more deadly disease - heart disease or cancer. While heart disease has reigned as #1 for a number of years, cancer appears to be taking over as the #1 killer. Regardless of which is first and second, we should keep in mind that our very own health behaviors are the culprit. I believe that for those who smoke - just quitting will vastly improve their health and those around them. As for the rest of us, eating better and exercising more can only improve our health... (and that's my health tip for the day).
  • January 29 - Now that the Oscar noms have been announced, I am busily trying to catch as many as I can. Best Picture noms are always worth seeing, but it would make life easier if several good pictures get nominated for many categories. I think the tightest race may be the Best Supporting Actress category. Except for Natalie Portman, I have seen the other 4 and they are all great. As for filmgoers, there are probably two broad types - those who want to know the ending and those who don't. Knowing the ending NEVER spoils it for me. And, for those of you who feel the same way, check out and - both will tell you the whole story. Actually, I have found to have well written extensive reviews that are worth reading. Check them out on my Movies Page , where I am also posting my own ratings for recommended pictures....
  • January 20 - Though we are living in the 21st century, it still boggles my mind that violence against women should even exist. Such atrocities, as seen in the film, Hotel Rwanda, should curdle our blood. I am happy to see that the US Department of Justice now has a Web site devoted to raising awareness about violence against women, and has issued "A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations" and "Toolkit To End Violence Against Women" (National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women). I think these are great steps in the right direction. You can find links to this Web site and resources on my Health Professional Resources Page , Public Health Documents Page and Women's Health Social Issues Page .
  • January 15 - For sure Nature has it out for all of us. I don't ever recall such devastating natural disasters as what we are seeing during these past 3 weeks, tsunamis in southeastern Asia, horrendous mudslides in California, and surprising weather in Nevada, bitter cold in the Midwest, etc.,etc. Unfortunately, it is during these times that everyone begins to appreciate what Public Health is all about. I am glad to see that the CDC is once again at the forefront in providing the public with useful information on the Net. I have added links to their tsunami information pages and whatever else they are putting out. You can find all this on my Public Health Sites - Emergency Disaster Preparedness Section , with a subsection for tsunami information.
  • January 14 - Trying to get all my school-related Web pages done before the start of the spring semester. I had to develop a new page anyway, so why not? Savor it for a few hours, tonight Public Health E-News #53 goes out....
  • January 9 - Entertainment Weekly's Top 25 Must-see Movies for 2004 got me thinking of many movies I saw that were pretty good. So, I have decided to post my ratings of the 2004 first-run movies I saw in 2004 (and early 2005), on my Favorite Movies Page . Have fun, as for my ratings - to each his/her own...
  • January 1 - Amazingly, I have managed to get the December stats done, which means I can really "close the books" on 2004 (not that I'm rushing anything here, although I have funny feeling I am going to be plenty busy in the coming months). So, here are the updates:
    • Brief Introduction to Epidemiology has been updated, with a new look no less. I am going to just update the stats on this page like once a year because it took me over 3 hours to tediously troll the tracking stats and then manually count up all the links to the lectures. Way too much work..., even though it is nice, when I'm done, to see the lectures growing in popularity.
    • Pollstats Archives Page now includes all the poll statistics from 2004.
    • The Poll Statistics and the Web site Statistics Pages will continue to have the 2004 stats, but will be slowly replaced, month by month, with 2005 stats as I compile them. This will provide you with some comparison data (if you are truly interested in this, as I know quite a few are).
    • FAQ Page has been updated with some scary numbers. Incredibly, I spent 742.75 hours working on the Web site in 2004. This averages out to about 2 hours a day. In total, ever since I have kept track, I have spent a total of 3,375 hours working on the Web site since August, 1999, or something like 675 hours a year, or 1.8 hours a day. Of course, I don't spend 2 hours every day working on the Web site, it's more like 5 - 6 hour marathon sessions when I get inspired and on a roll. For example, when I decided to revamp the Favorite Movies Page , I spent 8 hours straight working on the page. Then again, I was "unemployed" at the time, so I really could indulge...
    • Blog Index links have been updated to reflect the above. P.S. I think I've done enough for the first day of 2005....


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Published on the Web: March 21, 2005 Renamed December 24, 2009; Blog links added 12/31/11
Updated: 11/20/2022 R259
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