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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tracking California Hospital Infections and other Health GIS News

Government Technology has an interview with Jonathan Rosenberg, chief of the Healthcare Associated Infections Program at the California Department of Public Health. 

Among his team's creations: interactive map that charts California hospitals and assigns them symbols based on how their infection rates compare with state and national averages. They hope this will help people make better healthcare choices.

- GovTech

Dr. Russell Kirby, a professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health, met with members of UNC Charlotte’s geography and public health departments to a discussion on the benefits the two disciplines can create when combined. His goal? A 12-credit GIS/public health certificate at USF for students next year.

- Charlotte Observer via @theaag

Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes known as the "winter blues," stems from lack of access to sunlight. How does geogrphy play into it - not the way you might think.

Columbia research shows that in North America, the incidence of SAD rises from the southern to the middle states, but levels off and stays bad from about 38 degrees North latitude (near such cities as San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.) up through the northernmost states and Canada, according to Terman.

But the problem becomes "more severe" at the western edges of the northern states and provinces.

Up in Sweden an electric utility found a clever way to advertise and address the problem.

The standard treatment for SAD is 30 minutes of 10,000-lux, diffused, white fluorescent light, used early in the morning. About half the patients are helped quickly -- and when treatment is tailored to a person's individual wake-sleep cycle, remission can climb to 80 percent, according to Terman.

This year, a utility company in the northern Swedish town of Umea installed ultraviolet lights at 30 bus stops to combat the effects of SAD.

I actually have this disorder; I have a wakeup light. It slowly grows brighter and brighter to wake me up in the morning. It seems to help quite a lot.
by Adena Schutzberg on 12/26 at 06:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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