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Report: Flu vaccine proposal for RI preschools gets backlash from ACLU

BY Antoinette Alexander

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A proposed state health department regulation that would require children up to ages 5 years and older to get an annual flu immunization and would keep those with medical exemptions out of school or day care during flu outbreaks has received opposition from the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Associated Press.

The group has called the regulation a “serious intrusion” on families and the ability for them to make their own health care decisions, the AP reported.

‘While we understand the frustration of public health officials who have been unable to convince parents to willingly vaccinate their children against influenza, state intervention in the medical decisions of families must be limited and rare,’’ ACLU policy associate Hillary Davis was quoted as saying at a hearing this month.

According to the report, the health department has also proposed mandating the human papillomavirus vaccine series beginning with students entering 11th grade.

 

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2014 Scattergood Design Challenge seeks ways to integrate mental health care into retail clinics

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Recognizing the vital role that retail-based health clinics play in today’s healthcare system, the Scattergood Foundation is exploring the most effective way to integrate mental health care into retail clinics through its 2014 Design Challenge.

“By integrating mental health care with existing physical health care in a retail clinic, we are addressing the health and wellness of the whole person, mind and body. A study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded chronic conditions, such as hypertension and asthma, are more likely to occur with a mental health condition and that the average number of impaired days per month for chronic diseases increases with a mental health condition,” the Foundation stated.

The Scattergood Foundation awards targeted grants to address critical behavioral health needs in innovative ways.

The winning solution will be considered for implementation at QCare, the first retail clinic in North Philadelphia. QCare is operated by Family Practice and Counseling Network.

Submissions are accepted until March 2 and all interventions submitted must have the potential to be implemented by May 14.
 

 

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Report: Target says breach at vendor led to data theft

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reportedly said a data breach at an unidentified vendor led to hackers obtaining phony credentials that allowed them to gain access to Target’s systems and steal the information for 40 million credit and debit cards, as well as the personal data of about 70 million consumers. According to the Associated Press, Target did not offer any specific details on who the vendor was or how hackers obtained the credentials.

A Target spokesperson did say the retailer has taken steps to help make data breaches more difficult in the future, such as restricting or updating outside access to some of its platforms.

 

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