Pennsylvania NEWS

An estimated 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary. Incorrectly prescribed antibiotics contribute to the promotion of resistant bacteria. Each year, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

In an effort to increase the public's understanding of appropriate antibiotic use, the Pennsylvania Department of Health features an antibiotic awareness section on its website.

On Thursday, August 16, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Penn State College of Medicine will host a conference to bring immunization partners together to share information, discuss current issues and recommend strategies to improve immunization rates in Pennsylvania.

In April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began replacing Medicare cards in order to remove Social Security numbers. The new cards include unique Medicare numbers. This change will help protect Medicare consumers’ identities but will not impact benefits and coverage.

The Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Take-Back Program is focused on alleviating the health and safety concerns from the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs by helping residents properly dispose of unused prescription medications. 

The Governor's Opioid Command Center recently added three important datasets to Pennsylvania’s Opioid Data Dashboard, which was introduced in March.


The 2017-18 flu season in Pennsylvania was record-setting with more than 121,300 reported cases, resulting in 256 deaths.

In its ongoing efforts to curb the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, the Wolf Administration recently released updates to two of the ten prescribing guidelines set forth by the Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force.

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. This leads to dangerous and often tragic situations. To combat this public health and safety issue, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) created National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

March 27 is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with patients, healthcare providers and community organizations in Pennsylvania to raise awareness, share information about how to lower risk factors for getting diabetes, and help those who have diabetes learn to best manage their condition for a healthier life.

In response to one of the worst influenza seasons in recent years, the Wolf Administration will hold 65 free influenza vaccine clinics at locations across the state throughout the month of March.

At least ten Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose, with over 3,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2015 alone. In a multi-pronged approach to end this epidemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Health offers the interactive, online guide Treating and Preventing Opioid Addiction.

Healthcare providers throughout the Commonwealth are invited to learn about the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, or ILINet. This program, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments, collects influenza surveillance data from volunteer sentinel healthcare providers.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency over Pennsylvania's ongoing opioid overdose crisis.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) monitors influenza activity throughout the year but ramps up surveillance activities in the fall and winter.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA) has released its annual report, 2017 Pennsylvania State of the State.

The Wolf Administration has announced the winners of the statewide “Get Smart About Antibiotics” video and art competitions. The competition helps to spread proper antibiotic use awareness.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released updated State Snapshots. This interactive resource evaluates states based on more than 250 measures of health care quality and access.

November is National Diabetes Month and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with community partners and health care providers to improve health outcomes and quality of life among people with diabetes in its five-state network. The theme for this year includes a focus on the connection between kidney health and diabetes. 

In an effort to draw attention to the wide range of issues that impact rural health, Gov. Tom Wolf has declared Nov. 13-17, 2017, as Rural Health in Pennsylvania Week at the request of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association.

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