The Washington Post – FDA head Margaret Hamburg to resign in March; Ostroff to be acting chief
Margaret Hamburg, who as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration over the past six years has presided over new initiatives on food safety and tobacco regulation and has worked to fast-track new breakthrough drugs, plans to resign from her post in March, the agency said Thursday.
“As you can imagine, the decision was not easy,” Hamburg said in a statement. “While there is still work ahead (and there will always be), I know that I am leaving the agency well-positioned to fulfill its responsibilities to the American public with great success.”

Huffington Post – 6 dangerous anti-vaccination arguments analyzed, explained, and shut down
Science has provided ample evidence that childhood vaccines are safe and effective, and public health authorities maintain that vaccines are as important as seat belts in protecting our children. Even President Obama has urged parents to have their kids vaccinated.
So how can it be that many parents opt against having their children vaccinated–even in the face of the measles outbreak that has sickened more than 102 people in 14 states?
It’s complicated, of course. Trust in government–or the lack thereof–has been identified as a key factor. But many parents become anti-vaxxers as a result of plain-old misinformation.

Public Health Institute – PHI expands dialogue on community health workers with new releases
Community health workers (CHWs) have long been recognized as agents and advocates for improving health in local communities. In the era of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is increasing interest in integrating CHWs into team-based primary care as a key strategy to achieve Triple Aim goals of lower costs, better care and improved outcomes – and overall population health. However, despite its tremendous potential, the engagement of CHWs by health care institutions remains limited. PHI is working to change that.  
This week PHI releases a report, discussion paper and short video that make the case for how and why we should bring CHWs into the mainstream of health care delivery in California and beyond.

Sacramento Bee – Vaping puts public health gains at risk
Last week, the California Department of Public Health issued an advisory and report declaring e-cigarettes “a community health threat.”
The report cites new data on the public health riskspresented by e-cigarettes (the vapor alone contains at least 10 toxic chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects); rising e-cigarette use among teenagers, which surpassed traditional cigarette use in 2014; and increasing numbers of calls to California poison control centers related to e-cigarettes. These concerning trends are emerging in tandem with widespread misinformation about the dangers of e-cigarettes and a 1,200 percent jump in e-cigarette advertising between 2011 and 2013.