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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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April, 2011
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Exciting News about APNA's Journal
APNA is pleased to report that our journal, JAPNA, was accepted for inclusion in MEDLINE. MEDLINE, run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is the most prestigious bibliographic database of medical journal literature. The database only indexes articles from top journals and contains more than 16 million journal article citations. This is a singular accomplishment for JAPNA, indicating that the journal is perceived as having the highest-quality original content. Inclusion in MEDLINE means that the content of the journal will be more easily accessed and better disseminated to clinicians and researchers/academics. This acceptance is a true testament to the quality of the content and to the dedication of Editor Karen Stein and the journal's Editorial Board. Congratulations!

Nursing Scholarship Program and Application Webcasts
The Nursing Scholarship Program is a selective program of the U.S. Government that helps alleviate the critical shortage of registered nurses currently experienced by certain types of health care facilities by helping needy students complete their registered nurse training. In exchange for the scholarship, upon graduation, the newly minted nurses work at these types of facilities for at least 2 years. To learn more, participate in one of the Nursing Scholarship Program and Application Webcasts: Wednesday, May 4, 9:00 am & 1:00 pm ET. Each one-hour webcast will address: scholarship purpose, benefits, eligibility, service obligation, program requirements, how to apply, and much more! Click here the day and time of the webcast to join. To learn more about the scholarship click here.

APNA Janssen Student Scholarship Announced!
Nursing students across the United States who show an interest in psychiatric mental health nursing are invited to apply for the 2011 APNA Janssen Student Scholarship Program. The APNA Janssen Student Scholarship Program includes registration, travel and lodging expenses to attend the APNA 25th Annual Conference, October 19-22, 2011, in Anaheim, CA. In addition, winners will receive one year complimentary membership in the APNA. Scholarship recipients and their schools receive national recognition via the APNA website, conference program materials, and through the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA). The application deadline is May 16, 2011. Click here for details.

Call for Nominations Closes May 2nd!
If you're interested in nominating yourself or someone else for any of the positions noted below, please send your contact information to Nicholas Croce, Jr., APNA Executive Director, at ncroce@apna.org by Monday, May 2nd. This is an exciting time at APNA with an exceptional Board and dynamic staff working to provide a forum for our participation and networking. Now is the time for you to consider taking a leadership position with your professional organization. A position on the APNA Board of Directors or Nominating Committee is enormously rewarding both intellectually and professionally. All of psychiatric mental health nursing can benefit from your contributions and leadership. This year, you can nominate yourself or another member for the positions listed below (click on each of the positions for a description).

Issues & Events

New criteria and guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease have been published - for the first time in 27 years - by three expert workgroups spearheaded by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The workgroups published four articles including ready-to-use clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's. A research agenda was proposed for preclinical Alzheimer's. The use of biomarkers in Alzheimer's dementia and MCI due to Alzheimer's was also proposed as a research agenda only, and is not intended for application in clinical settings at this time. Full Story

The two largest studies of Alzheimer's disease have led to the discovery of no fewer than five genes that provide intriguing new clues to why the disease strikes and how it progresses, reported the New York Times on the Web. Researchers say the studies, which analyzed the genes of more than 50,000 people in the U.S. and Europe, leave little doubt that the five genes make the disease more likely in the elderly and have something important to reveal about the disease's process. They may also lead to ways to delay its onset or slow its progress. Full Story

More than 20% of U.S. teenagers experience a mental disorder with severe distress or impairment, but only 36% of them receive mental health services, according to a study of more than 10,000 young people by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Most common were anxiety disorders, for which 31.9% of the adolescents met diagnostic criteria. About 14.3% met DSM-IV criteria for mood disorders, 8.7% for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and 11.4% for substance use disorders, reported Psychiatric News. Full Story

The Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative is excited to share its video: Discover Mental Health: The Forgotten Piece in Elder Care. This 9.5 minute video captures the thoughts of key geropsychiatric nursing leaders. It is meant to serve as inspiration for nursing students as they incorporate mental health care of older adults in their nursing careers. It conveys that while not every student will become a geropsychiatric nurse, almost all nurses at some point in their careers will care for older adults with mental health issues. Therefore, they will need the requisite knowledge, skills and compassion to improve the quality of life for this most challenging, rewarding and neglected population. You can view the video on the American Academy of Nursing's website by clicking here.

In an effort to streamline the application and reporting procedures for two block grant programs, Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, SAMHSA has developed a uniform application and reporting process to promote consistent planning, application, assurance and reporting dates across both block grants. Full Story

Seventy percent of emergency department administrators report that they hold mentally ill patients for 24 hours or longer, according to a 2010 survey by the Schumacher Group. Ten percent said they had boarded some patients for a week or more. Most administrators said delays compromise patient care in the ER, increasing waiting times for all patients and overcrowding, reported Kaiser Health News. Full Story

A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll shows most Americans believe the quality of U.S. health care is average at best. More than half of American adults surveyed (55%) barely give the quality of American health care a passing grade - a C or D on a standard report card scale. More than one in 10 (11%) give the quality of care an F. In addition, nearly half (47%) of Americans give the quality of hospital care in the country a rating of C, D or F. Full Story


The Alzheimer's Association applauds the introduction of the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (S. 738/H.R. 1386), which seeks to improve detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and provide access to information and support for newly diagnosed individuals and their families. Full Story

The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote a letter in support of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2011. This legislation renews the commitment to critically important youth and college suicide prevention programs administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as strengthens those programs, ensuring they are best designed to meet the needs of those they are intended to serve. Full Story (PDF file)


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. The rule proposes to increase payment rates under the IRF Prospective Payment System (PPS) by a projected 1.8% - an estimated $120 million nationwide. The projected update reflects a rebased and revised market basket specific to IRFs, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and long-term care hospitals (the RPL market basket) - currently estimated at 2.8% for FY 2012 - less a 1.3 percentage point reduction mandated by the Affordable Care Act, plus 0.3 percentage points due to a proposed adjustment to the outlier threshold. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published its strategic initiatives paper - an overview of SAMHSA's goals, priorities and action steps for accomplishing its mission of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Full Story

The final report from the second Pillars of Peer Support meeting is now available by clicking here. (PDF file) The Pillars of Peer Support initiative is designed to develop and foster the use of Medicaid funding to support Peer Support Services in state mental health systems of care.

In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the HHS Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Strategic Framework. Since then, HHS has taken several actions within the Department to accelerate implementation of the Strategic Framework's goals, objectives, and strategies. HHS also is completing an inventory of its activities, programs, and grants involving multiple chronic conditions (MCC) as a guide for furthering the Framework's implementation, and anticipates making the inventory publicly available this year. Click here to read examples of key efforts from two HHS agencies - the Administration on Aging, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - whose activities continue to improve the quality of life and overall health status of the population of individuals with MCC.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the Partnership for Patients, a new national partnership that will help save 60,000 lives by stopping millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care over the next three years. The Partnership for Patients also has the potential to save up to $35 billion in health care costs, including up to $10 billion for Medicare. Over the next ten years, the Partnership for Patients could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings. Already, more than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups, and employers have pledged their commitment to the new initiative. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released Strategic Priorities 2011 - 2015: Responding to the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century, the final version of a strategic priorities document outlining the goals that will guide the agency and its 12,000 employees through 2015. Full Story

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