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From the Health Officer: What happened after Y2K?
The average life expectancy in the United States at the turn of the 20th century (1900) was 50 years.  By the turn of the 21st century, Y2K, life expectancy had reached 80 years.  Of course, we can point to amazing medical advancements in the 20th century that must account for that increase, right?  Antibiotics, new drugs for just about everything imaginable, diagnostic testing like MRIs and CT scans, robotic surgery—the list of advancements goes on and on.  The reality is that good public health accounts for about 80% of that 30-year lifespan increase.  Vaccinations, more abundant and safer foods, safer water, motor vehicle safety, recognition of tobacco as a health hazard, and more are among public health improvements in the 20th century.  Lately the news is that life expectancy is declining in the United States, now for the second year in a row.  That puts the United States behind many other well-developed nations.  Coincidentally, or maybe not, in the almost two decades of my public health career—beginning just after Y2K—cuts in public health spending have been the norm.  Investment in public health has been on a constant decline for at least two decades.  Investment at the federal and state level has a direct Impact on local public health because that is the source of 70% of our funding.

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The Capital Area Health Alliance (CAHA) is a regional hub for organizations with interest in health and health care. Since its inception, CAHA has convened community conversations to understand and address healthcare system trends, regional needs and opportunities for improvement. The Alliance provides an inclusive platform on which competing organizations and multiple sectors can collaborate. Through its committees, which bring together the expertise and resources of multiple organizations in these sectors, CAHA connects providers engaged in the work of health care with organizations working at the community level to support innovative approaches to improve the health of the entire community and to bring resources and educational opportunities to employers, businesses and area residents.

             
 
             
           

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Michigan residents urged to take steps to lower their risk of liver cancer during Liver Cancer Awareness Month
Between 2004 and 2015, liver cancer incidence increased 46 percent in Michigan. As part of Liver Cancer Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) urges Michigan residents to learn about the leading causes of liver cancer and the steps they can take to reduce their risk.

Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are leading causes of liver cancer, making up 65 percent of factors contributing to liver cancer incidence in the United States.

“Liver cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in Michigan,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Early detection can help lower liver cancer risk. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible risk factors and hepatitis testing.”

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