January 27, 2021

health

The Department of Transportation has taken steps to ensure the rapid deployment of the soon-to-be-available coronavirus vaccines across the country.

Pfizer and Moderna have both submitted requests for emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines and while the FDA hasn’t approved the vaccines yet, the U.K. became the first to approve the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech Wednesday.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Department of Transportation is preparing to ensure swift transport of a vaccine. In a press release on Tuesday, the department said “all of its necessary regulatory measures have been taken for the safe, rapid transportation of the coronavirus … vaccine by land and air,” adding that the department is prepared for the “immediate mass shipment” of the vaccine” following the “unprecedented pace of vaccine development through Operation warp Speed.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in the release that DOT has laid the groundwork for the shipment of the vaccines and “is proud to support this historic endeavor.”

DOT and Operation Warp Speed officials have been coordinating over the past several weeks with private companies that will ship the vaccines from manufacturing facilities to distribution centers and immunization sites, establishing all appropriate safety requirements for potential hazards, including dry ice and lithium batteries.

The department has been working since October to “support the safe and expedited transportation and distribution of approved COVID-19 vaccines,” according to the release. DOT formed the FAA COVID-19 Vaccine Air Transport Team and has been working to “ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials.”

A COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is expected to be approved in the U.S. in the coming weeks and be shipping to states beginning in mid-December.

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a close up of a sign: File Photo of the City of Tyler logo


© Provided by Tyler-Longview KLTV
File Photo of the City of Tyler logo

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) and the Tyler Parks and Rec Department have partnered to secure funds to purchase ten bicycle fix-it stations. The fix-it stations were purchased thanks to grant funds from the Texas Physical Activity and Nutrition Program. The stations are to be placed at Tyler parks near trails and will include all tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, such as inflating a flat tire and adjusting brakes.

“During this crucial time of the pandemic, we are seeing so many more families outdoors enjoying our parks and riding bicycles,” says Leanne Robinette, Senior Manager for Parks. “We hope these stations are helpful to cyclists to maintain their bicycles and encourages others to try cycling.”

The bicycle fix-it stations will be installed at the following Tyler Parks in the next few months:

  • Rose Rudman Trail and South Tyler Trails
  • Legacy Trail
  • Faulkner Nature Trails
  • Lindsey Mountain Bike Trails
  • Glass Recreation Center
  • Bergfeld Park

For more information, please contact Tyler Parks and Rec at (903) 531-1370 or email [email protected].

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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Boulder on Tuesday expressed continued support for policies that further the city’s equity and climate action goals.

The Boulder City Council unanimously approved amendments to its 2021 policy statement, which highlights the city’s lobbying priorities. The council held a public hearing on the revisions in October. That hearing was continued, but no additional public comment was taken Tuesday in the second iteration.

According to the council packet, Boulder’s priorities on the Colorado level for the upcoming year include:

  • Accelerating the adoption of collaborative and equitable policies that ensure emissions will meet the targets identified in the state’s forthcoming Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap for 2025 and 2030.
  • Advancing the mobility needs of Denver’s northwest region, specifically the projects identified through the Northwest Area Mobility Study, while keeping climate action at the forefront.
  • Repealing three House bills, which together restrict local governments from proactively engaging with undocumented immigrants to meet community needs.

Federally, the city is prioritizing pandemic fiscal support, reformation of the federal pesticide law, support for Colo. 119 improvements as well as support for the city’s federally funded labs and the University of Colorado Boulder.

In its 2021 policy statement, Boulder outlines dozens of priorities with climate, human rights, public health and transportation initiatives leading the way.

There were a few changes from last month’s public hearing, including an initiative that would push Colorado to support counties that want to move to ranked-choice voting. That is important, considering Boulder voters overwhelming supported the Our Mayor, Our Choice ballot measure, which allows voters to select the next mayor through ranked-choice voting.

Chief Policy Advisor Carl Castillo said lobbying makes a difference, and the list of priorities indicates what’s important to Boulder.

“The short of it is regional, state and federal policy matters impact the city, and we have the ability to shape them,” Castillo said. “The adoption of policy statement provides direction for all city officials to speak and to advocate on the policy issues and to do so in a way that is uniformed and coordinated.”

Boulder spends $40,000 for federal lobbyists from Smith Dawson & Andrews and $55,000 for state lobbyists from Headwaters Strategies Inc., but Castillo said many other people play a role.

Several community members in open comment pushed for Boulder to support single-payer universal health care or Improved Medicare for All.

Jason Hubbard, a physical therapist, questioned how government officials can stand by and watch people die due to insufficient health care coverage.

“As a leader on the world stage, our callousness toward our neighbors across the country in this regard is staggering,” Hubbard said.

However, Councilmember Aaron Brockett said the city does prioritize providing greater health care at a lower cost, which would allow Boulder to support such a bill.

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A mature female sea lion is being nursed back to health two weeks after she was discovered waddling through a row of shiny sedans at a car dealership in suburban Marin County, according to the Marine Mammal Center.

The 220-pound sea lion was discovered Nov. 2 flapping around the parking lot at Corte Madera Mini of Marin. It is likely she was over-zealously chasing a fish supper in Corte Madera Marsh State Marine Park before clambering onto land, looking both ways and crossing San Clemente Drive, where she ended up checking out a selection of Minis that, while stylish, are hardly sea lion-sized.

The dealership is to the south of the Acura car lot and to the north of the La-Z-Boy Home Furnishing and Decor store. Either would have been good choices, too.

Due to the safety risks posed by the busy roadway, the animal — named Mini — was quickly rescued and transported to the Center’s Sausalito hospital for rehabilitation. She was not asked for her license and registration.

“Mini has made great early progress during her rehabilitation and we’re encouraged by her energetic demeanor and active eating skills,” said Dr. Cara Field, medical director at the Marine Mammal Center. “Once this animal’s rear flipper heals and bloodwork shows no signs of ill health, our team will return this sea lion back to her ocean home.”

Center veterinary experts checked her for signs of injury, abnormal neurological behavior and other potential ailments. While she suffered from some joint arthritis in its right rear flipper, she was found to be in good form. The team is also taking extra precautions to further limit the amount of interaction and stimulation around her due to some early signs of the animal’s high interest in people — not to mention automobiles.

“Each of these animals presents an opportunity to learn more about the threats they face in the wild and continue to improve rehabilitation efforts for this sentinel species,” Field said.

J.K. Dineen is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @sfjkdineen

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BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Cascades East Transit is launching on Veterans Day a new Veterans Healthcare Transportation Service in Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties, as well as the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, to help Central Oregon veterans reach health care-related destinations.

“This service will fill an important gap in transportation services for veterans, especially those living in rural areas of the region, by providing access to doctor’s appointments, VA clinics, pharmacies and other important medical and healthcare services and facilities,” CET said in Wednesday’s announcement, which continues below:.

The VHTS is funded through a partnership between the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Public Transit Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation. The funds were awarded to Jefferson County and were distributed throughout the region for veterans in Central Oregon to access transportation services at no cost for their health care needs.

This funding allows CET to expand services to offer veterans an ADA-accessible, curb-to-curb service similar to Dial-A-Ride.

Theresa Conley, ODOT’s Region 4 regional transit coordinator, said, “This program will help provide Central Oregon veterans with a reliable way to get to vital services, such as health care, all around the region. It’s a great example of regional partners coming together to improve the quality of life for those who have served, and we’re proud to be able to help.”

CET Interim Transportation Director Andrea Breault said, “We are excited to make this program successful and support veterans across our region who need access to health care services.”

CET is working collaboratively with veteran service offices in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, as well as the American Legion in Warm Springs, to coordinate outreach efforts with veteran clients.

Jeff Rasmussen, the Jefferson County administrator, noted, “The dedication and support of community and regional partners in developing this program provides a valuable resource to our veterans and their families. This service will have a significant and positive impact on the ability of our veteran’s to access healthcare services throughout the area.”

Veterans who are interested in utilizing this transportation service should contact CET’s Call Center (541-385-8680) in advance of requested rides to ensure CET has all relevant eligibility information. CET’s Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am – 4pm to schedule VHTS rides. For more information about VHTS and to access Veteran Service Office contact information, please visit https://cascadeseasttransit.com/about/vet-rides/.

CET will continue to implement health and public safety guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority for VHTS trips to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Information about CET’s health and safety protocols for all transit services can be found at www.cascadeseasttransit.com.

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) was designated a Council of Governments in 1972 under ORS 190. Cascades East Transit, operated by COIC, provides fixed-route and Dial-A-Ride services in Bend, Community Connector regional services, general public Dial-A-Ride services in Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Sisters, and Madras, flex-route service in Warm Springs and recreational routes like Ride the River, Lava Butte, and the Mt. Bachelor shuttle.

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Dublin, Oct. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global Bicycle Tires Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts, 2020 To 2028” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The report offers strategic insights into the global bicycle tires market along with the market size and estimates for the duration 2018 to 2028. The said research study covers in-depth analysis of multiple market segments based on product type, application, and cross-sectional study across different geographies and sub-geographies.

The study covers the comparative analysis of different segments for the years 2019 & 2028. The report also provides a prolific view on market dynamics such as market drivers, restraints, and opportunities. In addition, the report covers a section providing production and pricing trends in some of the major markets.

On account of lower costs and ease of installation, the tubed bicycle tires have experienced higher adoption over the years. However, rising demand for more durability and usability has led to the increasing adoption of tubeless and airless (solid) tires across the world. Based on applications, the overall bicycle tires market has been segmented into on-road and all-terrain applications.

The on-road bicycle tires segment comprises various sleek and precision tires that enable higher acceleration and manoeuvrability over blacktop roads and tracks. The all-terrain tires segment comprises various wider tires with deeper threads that offer enhanced grip and durability over the uneven and rough surface making them highly popular for adventure sports and off-road applications.

The bicycle tires market has been majorly driven by increasing users of bicycles in recent years. Various factors such as environmental concerns, health, and fitness, among others have compelled pedestrians to make use of bicycles for their regular commute. Thereby, the market has witnessed an increasing demand for new bicycles for various applications such as regular on-road use, off-road biking, and sports.

As a result, the bicycle tire market has been witnessing an increased demand for various types of on-road and off-road tires. Moreover, with ongoing product innovation in the tubeless and airless tires segments, the market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.

In order to help strategic decision-makers, the report also includes competitive profiling of the leading providers of bicycle tires, market positioning, and key developments.

In 2019, the overall bicycle tires market is led by the tubed tires segment. The segment contributed to nearly 70% of the total market revenue in 2019. A tubed tire is the oldest design of bicycle tires and hence enjoys a prolonged presence in the market. Over the years, tubed tires have been adopted by numerous leading bicycle manufacturers on account of their ease of installation and low cost to the assembler. Thereby, the segment is projected to remain dominant in the market throughout the forecast period.

On the other hand, the tubeless tires segment is estimated to portray the highest growth rate in the following years. These tires offer puncture resistance and are more durable as compared to tubed

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CONTEXT:

Access to transportation to transverse the large distances between residences and health services in rural settings is a necessity. However, little research has examined directly access to transportation in analyses of rural health care utilization.

PURPOSE:

This analysis addresses the association of transportation and health care utilization in a rural region.

METHODS:

Using survey data from a sample of 1,059 households located in 12 western North Carolina counties, this analysis tests the relationship of different transportation measures to health care utilization while adjusting for the effects of personal characteristics, health characteristics, and distance.

FINDINGS:

Those who had a driver’s license had 2.29 times more health care visits for chronic care and 1.92 times more visits for regular checkup care than those who did not. Respondents who had family or friends who could provide transportation had 1.58 times more visits for chronic care than those who did not. While not significant in the multivariate analysis, the small number who used public transportation had 4 more chronic care visits per year than those who did not. Age and lower health status were also associated with increased health care visits. The transportation variables that were significantly associated with health care visits suggest that the underlying conceptual frameworks, the Health Behavior Model and Hagerstrand’s time geography, are useful for understanding transportation behavior.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further research must address the transportation behavior related to health care and the factors that influence this behavior. This information will inform policy alternatives to address geographic barriers to health care in rural communities.

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Ahmed et al. [1] N = 413 adults
Urban (Dayton, Ohio), low SES 71 % female, 48 % Black, 42 % Appalachian Door to door survey on barriers to health care access “Difficulty finding transportation” (1) “Hard” or “very hard” time finding transportation (31 %) Arcury et al. [37] N = 1,059 adults
Rural (North Carolina), mixed SES, 662 female, 948 Whites, 112 Blacks Retrospective, comparing transportation barriers and health care utilization “Distance to care for… regular visit… for less serious emergency… for serious emergency” (3)
Has a driver’s license, any household member has a driver’s license, number of vehicles owned in household, days per week spent driving, relative or friend who regularly provides transportation for a family member, knowledge of organizations that provided transportation to health care and use of such transportation (7) Health care utilization associated with having a driver’s license (OR 2.29 more visits) and having a friend or relative who provides transportation (OR 1.58 more visits) Blazer et al. [14] N = 4,162 adults, age 65 +
Rural/Urban North Carolina), mixed SES, 62 % female, 68 % Non-Black (majority White) Retrospective cross-sectional survey (1986/87) analyzed for urban/rural variation of health service use, satisfaction, barriers to care Do you put off or neglect going to the doctor because of “distance or transportation”? (1) No difference between urban and rural residents in health service use; 7.7 % delayed care due to distance or transportation Borders et al. [54] N = 2,097 adults, age 65 +
Rural (West Texas), mixed SES 71 % female, 1949 Non-Hispanic, 148 Hispanic Telephone survey on barriers to health care access “Always/usually get transportation to doctor’s office” (1) Non- Hispanics (96 %) vs. Hispanics (90 %) could usually get transportation to clinic Branch et al. [36] N = 776 adults, age 65 +
Massachusetts, 95 % Medicare, 17 % Medicaid, 61 % privately insured, 64 % female Race not reported Retrospective survey interviews on barriers to health care access “You did not have a way to travel to the doctor” (1) Not having a way to get to the doctor (3 %); travel difficulties associated with lower income, being female, living alone, having less education Call et al. [56]b N = 1,853 Minnesota Health Care Plan adult and parent enrollees
Minnesota, 65 % female adult enrollees, 47 % female parent enrollees, 1,314 Whites, 539 American Indians Mailed survey on barriers to health care access “Difficulties with transportation” (1) American Indians (39 %) vs. Whites (18 %) have difficulties with transportation Canupp et al. [49] N = 163 adults, mean age 26 with spinal cord injuries
Birmingham, Alabama, 25 % had income greater than 25,000 dollars, 14 % female, 63 % white Face to face survey on barriers to follow- up appointments Obstacles for follow-up included distance to travel and availability of transportation (2) Non-compliance with appointments associated with distance to travel (P = 0.004) and availability of transportation (P = 0.033) Crain et al. [15]b N = 1,376 caretakers of
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Three female pedestrians crossing a street.

Transportation decisions that take place upstream affect our lives downstream. We all use various ways to get to work or school, to access healthy foods and to do countless other things every day. Yet poor transportation decisions can harm health and are not always fair across all communities.

For example, communities near a highway or major roadway are often low-income and communities of color. Living near a highway or major roadway increases a person’s exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Traffic-related air pollution is linked to respiratory conditions like wheezing and decreased lung functioning and also cardiovascular disease. Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution is linked to childhood asthma.

APHA speaks out for transportation policy that improves, rather than hinders, public health. We believe in working with the transportation sector to create equitable and healthy transportation policies. 

Check out our two latest Transportation and Health Stories from the Field showing how transportation and health agencies collaborate together to support active living for everyone:

  • Planning with a Public Health Focus- Connecting the Dots in the East Central Region of Wisconsin (PDF) — Learn how the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission works with public health departments and nonprofit partners to identify shared values to support active living and integrate public health into transportation plans. 
  • Minnesota Health and Transportation- Partners for Change (PDF) — Learn how Minnesota Department of Transportation and Department of Health have partnered together over the years to advance health equity through such initiatives as health impact assessments and Minnesota Walks, one of the first statewide pedestrian planning frameworks in the country that recognizes health and walking as transportation planning priorities. 

Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities: How Metro Areas are Building More and Better Bicycling and Walking Projects

Over the last two years, Transportation for America, in conjunction with the APHA, worked with metropolitan planning organizations across the country to collect and document stories about how they are planning, funding, and building more and better walking and bicycling projects. Check out the guidebook Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities: How Metro Areas are Building More and Better Bicycling and Walking Projects.

Working with Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Ever wondered what a Metropolitan Planning Organization was and how to work with one? Check out our latest guide (PDF) outlining the core responsibilities of an MPO and how to partner with them to advance healthy communities. 

If you are interested in learning more about past work highlighting MPO efforts, check out this set of case studies and policy paper authored by Transportation for America, with support from APHA.

Transportation and Health Tool Case Studies

APHA recently released five case studies that provide valuable insight into opportunities to advance health on both state and regional levels. The case studies feature organizations using the Transportation and Health Tool indicators to:

Want to learn more about the Transportation and Health Tool? Read an article in the Journal of Transport & Health about the Transportation and Health Tool. You can also listen to the Incorporating Health

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Bike-mounted police officers

Over the last several years, NIOSH researchers have investigated the potential health effects of prolonged bicycling in police bicycle patrol units, including the possibility that some bicycle saddles exert excessive pressure on the urogenital area of cyclists, restricting blood flow to the genitals, resulting in adverse effects on sexual function.

NIOSH worked with several police departments with bicycle patrols to conduct reproductive health research. In these studies NIOSH did more than assess a problem; it also tested a solution and published recommendations. Several bicycle saddle manufacturers have developed saddles without protruding noses. NIOSH has investigated whether these saddles, which remove the pressure from the urogenital area, will alleviate any potential health problems.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Recommendations

Workplace Solutions: No-nose Saddles for Preventing Genital Numbness and Sexual Dysfunction from Occupational Bicycling
(April 2009, Pub. No. 2009-131)

Watch these videos

See the No-nose Saddle Concept Explained:
Year: 2009
Running Time: 00:2:17 min
This video explains the concept of the no-nose saddle and why it is effective.

Watch Saddle Pressure Demo Video
Year: 2006
Filesize: 2.60MB; running time: 00:1:33 min
This video demonstrates the pressure from traditional and no-nose saddles.

Download transcriptpdf icon

NIOSH Scientific Papers on Bike Saddles

Women’s Bike Seats: Does handlebar level damage the pelvic floor in female cyclists?
A study of competitive female cycles using traditional bicycle saddles comparing those with their handlebars above or level with the saddle with women whose handle bars were lower than the saddle. The study reports that that lower handlebars increase pressure to the genitals and is associated with a decrease in genital sensation.

Women’s Bike Seats: A Pressing Matter for Competitive Female Cyclists
A study comparing competitive female using traditional saddle and those with a cut-out area. Bicycle saddles with the cut are supposed relieve pressure to the genital area improving saddle comfort. This study indicates that bicycle saddles with a cut-out area actually increased genital pressure in female cyclists compared to traditional bicycle saddles.

Cutting off the nose to save the penis
A study evaluating the effects on male bicycle police officers using no-nose (noseless) bicycle saddles for 6 months. The study data indicate that no-nose saddles eliminate a large portion of pressure to the groin compared to traditional saddles. Erectile function and feeling in the penis improved after using no-nose saddles for 6 months.

Genital sensation and sexual function in women bicyclists and runners: Are your feet safer than your seat?
A comparison study assessing the health effects of bike saddles on female bicycle police officers was planned. However, as there are relatively few female biking officers in any given police department, women in bicycle clubs were selected as a substitute population due to their similar hours of riding per week. The study data indicate that there is an association between bicycling and decreased genital sensation in competitive women bicyclists.

Effects of Bicycle Saddle Designs on the Pressure to the Perineum of the Bicyclist
A study conducted with cooperation from the International Police Mountain Bike Association measured perineal

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