Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Lessons from the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009

Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with UC Berkeley students to explore the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 and what lessons that pandemic might have for our current situation. Lesson number one: good communication is essential.

According to Sebelius, Epidemiology has a couple of core principles – one of which is providing clear, concise, accurate communication on a regular basis. One of the dramatic differences between the 2009 outbreak and what happened in 2020 was that the communication was inconsistent, often inaccurate, and contradictory.

During a fast-moving, global health crisis, you have to make decisions based on the information you have, says Sebelius. Taking no action is not an option. You’re going to probably makes some mistakes along the way, but then you correct them and move on. Napolitano adds that during the H1N1 pandemic, it was important to hold press events regularly and repeat basic public health messages like washing your hands and practicing social distancing because, if you get the communication part wrong, your crisis management will lack credibility. Indeed, it’s essential to communicate with the public not only what is known, but what is not known, as well.

Hear more about the importance of good communication and other lessons learned during the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009. Watch The United States Pandemic Response: Lessons from the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 .

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Improving Your Emotional Well-Being

The outbreak of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 cause feelings of stress, anxiety, grief, and worry. Learning to cope with these feelings in a healthy way will help you become more resilient.

The Emotional Well-Being series from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF features mental health and emotional wellness experts showing how you can reduce personal stress now, as well as develop coping skills for other disasters.

The sessions are moderated by Vice Chair for Adult Psychology Elissa Epel and include wide-ranging topics with experts sharing insights on reducing stress and trauma, coping with grief, managing pandemic fatigue, addressing interpersonal and systemic racism, parenting and educating young people as they transition back to in-person learning and jobs, mitigating the climate crisis, and the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

After the past 18 months, improving our stress management skills is something we can all use.

Watch Improving Your Emotional Well-Being.

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Centering Pregnancy

Prenatal appointments tend to focus on the physical aspects of pregnancy – how much the baby is growing, checking heart rates, blood pressure and more. Though you develop a close relationship with your OBGYN, often the only contact you have with other mothers-to-be is a quick smile or hello in the waiting room.

Centering pregnancy seeks to change that by combining individual medical appointments with group-based prenatal education held on the same day. This gives women the chance to ask questions and share information with other expectant parents throughout their pregnancy and beyond.

In this interview, Dr. Julia Cormano talks to certified nurse midwife Vanessa Wright about the centering pregnancy program at UC San Diego. During a centering pregnancy, expectant mothers with similar due dates meet regularly to go through the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy together. Learn how the appointments work, who is on the care team, and how the group creates a safe space while assuring individual medical needs are met.

Watch What is Centering Pregnancy?

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Creative Expression For Mind-Body Health

Our daily lives often move at breakneck speed. Between long work days and busy home lives there is very little time for rest and relaxation, let alone a moment to actually focus on our mental health. Stressors can be found all around us. From the daily grind, to current events in the news, and even the continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people take to their smartphones, using technology and social media as a distraction, as an escape from the reality around them. While it may be comforting, adding screen time to an already busy life may only exacerbate any mental health issues. However, there is a way to get out of the “rut” and find a way back to peace and harmony.

Throughout history, the arts, music, and humanities have served as a medium for healing. Creative expression can foster self-discovery of inner resources, cultivate resilience during life challenges, and transcend socio-cultural barriers through a shared language. This interdisciplinary series aims to explore the role of creative expression in addressing multiple dimensions of mind-body health across the lifespan. Leading UCSF clinicians, researchers, and expressive art therapists from geriatrics, neuroscience, oncology, otolaryngology, pediatrics, physical therapy, and psychiatry present the science behind creative expression, discuss case examples, and lead experiential demonstrations.

Browse more programs in Creative Expression For Mind-Body Health.

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Informed Decision-making: Prostate Cancer

About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. The availability of several treatment options for prostate cancer creates a situation where patients may need to come to a shared decision with their healthcare team regarding their care. Effective shared decision-making requires that the patient and his doctor be informed in order to make the best choices. This series helps patients to think about their care, discuss their case with their own doctors and others, and join in the process of making the best decisions.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), but it can often be treated successfully. If you have prostate cancer or are close to someone who does, knowing what to expect can help you cope. Find out all about prostate cancer, including risk factors, symptoms, how it is found, and how it is treated from leading experts at UCSF.

The California Prostate Cancer Coalition and the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center of UCSF held the 2nd Patient Conference on Prostate Cancer, virtually, in May 2021.

Browse more programs in Prostate Cancer Patient Conference.

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