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American Psychological Association;
Since September 11, 2001, American military service personnel and their families have endured challenges and stressful conditions that are unprecedented in recent history, including unrelenting operational demands and recurring deployments in combat zones. In response to concerns raised by members of the military community, the American Psychological Association (APA) President, Dr. Gerald Koocher, established the Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members in July of 2006. This Task Force was charged with: identifying the psychological risks and mental health-related service needs of military members and their families during and after deployment(s); developing a strategic plan for working with the military and other organizations to meet those needs; and constructing a list of current APA resources available for military members and families, as well as additional resources that APA might develop or facilitate in order to meet the needs of this population. At present, 700,000 children in America have at least one parent deployed. Having a primary caretaker deployed to a war zone for an indeterminate period is among the more stressful events a child can experience. Adults in the midst of their own distress are often anxious and uncertain about how to respond to their children's emotional needs. The strain of separation can weigh heavily on both the deployed parent and the caretakers left behind. Further, reintegration of an absent parent back into the family often leads to complicated emotions for everyone involved. This Task Force was established to examine such potential risks to the psychological well-being of service members and their families, acknowledging the changing context and impact of the deployment cycle, and to make preliminary recommendations for change and further review at the provider, practice, program, and policy levels. To meet the Task Force charge, we will first provide an overview of what is currently known about the impact of military deployments on service members and their families (spouses, children and significant others). In addition, we will discuss a number of programs that have been developed to meet the mental health needs of service members and their families, and we will describe the significant barriers to receiving mental health care within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Finally, we will offer several general recommendations for improving the psychological care offered to service members and their Military Deployment Services TF Report 5 families, and we will outline some specific proposals for how existing APA programs and resources can be employed or modified to support military communities.
This report contains the most current teenage pregnancy, birth and abortion statistics available, with national estimates through 2006, and state-level estimates through 2005. The report includes tables showing annual national rates and numbers of teenage pregnancies, births and abortions through 2006; state-level rates of pregnancy, birth and abortion in 2005; and state-level numbers of teenage pregnancies, births, abortions and miscarriages, as well as population counts. The report concludes with a discussion of the methodology and sources used to obtain the estimates. Some Key Findings: In 2006, 750,000 women younger than 20 became pregnant. The pregnancy rate was 71.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15 -- 19, and pregnancies occurred among about 7% of women in this age-group. The teenage birthrate in 2006 was 41.9 births per 1,000 women. This was 32% lower than the peak rate of 61.8, reached in 1991, but 4% higher than in 2005.Among black teens, the pregnancy rate declined by 45% (from 223.8 per 1,000 in 1990 to 122.7 in 2005), before increasing to 126.3 in 2006. Among Hispanic teens, the pregnancy rate decreased by 26% (from 169.7 per 1,000 in 1992 to 124.9 in 2005), before rising to 126.6 in 2006. Among non-Hispanic white teens, the pregnancy rate declined 50% (from 86.6 per 1,000 in 1990 to 43.3 per 1,000 in 2005), before increasing to 44.0 in 2006.
American Human Development Project;
Residents of 29 countries live longer lives, on average, than Americans -- while spending up to eight times less on their health. A new report by American Human Development Project ranks the 50 states and Washington, D.C. against 80 countries in the world on life expectancy at birth, infant death rates, and annual per person spending on health care. The results powerfully demonstrate how better care and reining in costs are not incompatible.
American Human Development Project;
Our national conversation about race tends to take place in black and white, yet the greatest disparities in human well-being to be found in the U.S. are between Asian Americans in New Jersey and Native Americans in South Dakota. An entire century of human progress separates the worst-off from the best-off groups within the U.S., according to the latest update of the American Human Development (HD) Index.
What's new in this report?
American HD Index scores for racial and ethnic group in each state, using the most recent government data to create a composite measure of progress on health, education, and income indicators. Previous reports have presented scores for racial and ethnic groups for the entire country and within specific states. This is the first time that American HD Index scores have been computed for racial and ethnic groups in each state. Rankings by state, for each major racial and ethnic group, on the American HD Index. The index reveals that the starkest disparities in well-being fall not between blacks and whites, but between Native Americans and Asian Americans. Asian Americans as a group top the rankings, with Asian Americans in New Jersey coming in at number one. If current trends continue, it will take Native Americans in South Dakota an entire century to catch up with where New Jersey Asian Americans are now in terms of life expectancy, educational enrollment and attainment, and median earnings. Analysis of what's driving the differences in human development outcomes for different groups. Disaggregated data on life expectancy, educational enrollment, educational degree attainment, and median personal earnings, all from the latest official government releases. Although the numbers tell a sobering tale, this data can be the start of a conversation about where in the country different groups of Americans are thriving -- and where others are falling behind -- and why. A holistic approach using official statistics paints a picture of today and helps us monitor change for a better tomorrow; as such, the American HD Index can serve as a tool for action.
Population Action International;
U.S. international family planning assistance is one of the great success stories in the history of U.S. development assistance. In 2007, 56.5 million women in the developing world were using modern contraception as a direct result of U.S. support. Many millions more have benefited indirectly from service improvements resulting from the guidance and technical expertise of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Unfortunately a large and growing need for family planning remains in many developing nations. While the world population continues to grow by 79 million people annually, 215 million women in developing countries seek to postpone childbearing, space births, or stop having children, but are not using a modern method of contraception. The United States can lead international efforts to meet the unmet need for family planning by appropriating $1 billion annually. The $1 billion figure is the U.S. fair share of developed country contributions necessary to address unmet need in the developing world and would also fulfill our historic commitments to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
Immigration Policy Center;
Despite the important role that immigrants play in the U.S. economy, they disproportionately lack health insurance and receive fewer health services than native-born Americans. Some policymakers have called for limits on immigrants' access to health insurance, particularly Medicaid, which are even more stringent than those already in place. However, policies that restrict immigrants' access to some health care services lead to the inefficient and costly use of other services (such as emergency room care) and negatively impact public health.
U.S. advocates for water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) have reason to be proud. The U.S. government contributed over $800 million to WASH related efforts in 2009. More than half of these funds were allocated by USAID, tripling the agency's WASH expenditures from $160 million in 2003 to $482 million in 2009.
At the same time, new funding challenges have emerged. The current financial and political climate casts doubt on the potential to increase or even maintain existing government appropriations. Much of the current funding is directed to regions of political priority rather than to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where the need is most severe. The ultimate use of funds depends on the unpredictable interactions among multiple decision makers in USAID, the Department of State, Congress, and the Administration. Non-financial challenges are equally troubling, including the lack of a strong evidence base about the effectiveness and sustainability of WASH programs and services to support advocacy efforts and to improve practice in the field. Many past WASH interventions have fallen far short their promise. Recent studies suggest that as many as one-third of the wells drilled in sub-Saharan Africa are now inoperable.
Given these challenges, FSG's research suggests that it is important for U.S. WASH advocates to broaden their goals beyond an exclusive focus on Congressional appropriations. FSG recommends a new framing of the opportunities for U.S. WASH advocacy by focusing on five interdependent goals:
Increase the sustainability and effectiveness of WASH programs and servicesFocus U.S. Government and multilateral aid on populations in need (sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia)Maintain current U.S. Government funding for WASHAdvocate for greater funding from non-U.S. Government donors (i.e., corporations, foundations, multilaterals, and general public), and highlight sanitation as a sub-strategyImprove data quality, demand, access, and dissemination across the WASH field Pursuit of these advocacy goals will focus the field on promoting more effective utilization of WASH funds by influencing practice toward more sustainable and effective practices, and redirecting existing funding toward the regions of greatest need. In addition, this advocacy can focus attention on the importance of better data and shared measurement systems to strengthen the case for support and to encourage greater sustainability and effectiveness in the field. Advocacy can also highlight the linkages between WASH and other social issues.
While continued advocacy will be needed to maintain U.S. government funding, other non-government actors could provide additional funding and support. Multilateral organizations, for example, contributed nearly $10 billion in financing to WASH related projects in 2009, a $2.5 billion increase over 2008. The importance of WASH to issues including global health, economic development, the environment, and gender issues suggests that U.S. foundations might be persuaded to increase the proportion of their WASH funding, which in 2008 represented just 1.2% of their international giving. Similarly, despite the importance of WASH issues to a sustainable business environment, only a handful of corporations have been active supporters to date. Finally, the recent momentum of NGOs such as charity: water and water.org suggests that the general public can also be a source of funds.
Pursuing these goals will require an expanded set of advocacy resources. Targeted advocacy toward USAID, the State Department, and the Administration, as well as to foundations and corporations, will require high profile leadership and personal relationships that enable direct access to the key decision makers. A robust evidence base and the ability to communicate data persuasively depend on much more consistent access to research, analysis, and communications expertise. Finally, an expanded team of highly experienced advocates is needed to lead and coordinate the efforts of multiple organizations and to ensure that Congress and the agencies maintain funding in this difficult economic climate.
Center for Strategic and International Studies;
This report examines the key health challenges associated with lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation; identifies the principal United States agencies working on water and health internationally; reviews the limitations of the current U.S. approach; and offers recommendations to advance U.S. engagement on water and sanitation access issues in the context of global health programming and policymaking. This report focuses primarily on the links among water, sanitation, and the health sector and identifies opportunities for greater U.S. engagement on water and sanitation through global health programming and policymaking.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;
Reviews the data used to measure U.S. healthcare costs and examines long- and short-term trends, whether costs are too high, how they compare to those of other developed nations, and what factors are driving the growth. Includes policy implications.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;
Summarizes findings from a June 2006 survey on Americans' views on government support for legal immigrant children and foster children, issues of community violence, and long-term care services, costs, and long-term care insurance.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation;
Traces the development of national public education campaigns, from those aimed at raising general awareness, to treatment and prevention. Looks at the role played by entertainment media, including more recent initiatives focusing on the global pandemic.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation;
Examines how the media covered health and health policy issues: the extent to which health was part of the news agenda and the 2008 primary campaign coverage, the topics most reported on, and variations among print, television, radio, and online media.