APHA hosts a climate and health webinar this week – register now; new federal standards for vending machines in schools expected to be released soon; plus, debate heats up about release of findings on bird flu research today Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

APHA Climate and Health Webinar – APHA and CDC are pleased to continue the webinar series Climate Change: Mastering the Public Health Role. This year, we offer 2 webinars where public health leaders will present on accomplishments, challenges and promising opportunities around climate change and public health policy and practice.  Join us for the first webinar: “A Look at Climate Change Policy and Practice in the Public Health Sector” on February 24th, from 1:30-2:30pm EST.  Speakers include APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin and Director of NCEH/ATSDR Dr. Chris Portier.  Participants must register to participate in this webinar. 

KXLY-TV (ABC) – Health District Facing $6M In Funding Cuts
The Washington House is proposing a budget that will cut $73 Million from public health including $6 Million from the Spokane Regional Health District. The Spokane Regional Health District keeps local families safe by providing programs and services that range from immunizations to food safety inspections to tracking communicable diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS. But many programs are now in jeopardy if the state legislature approves $6 Million in cuts to the district’s budget.

Washington Post – For now, bird flu papers won’t be published
Two studies showing how scientists mutated the H5N1 bird flu virus into a form that could cause a deadly human pandemic will be published only after experts fully assess the risks, the World Health Organization said Friday. Speaking after a high-level meeting of flu experts and U.S. security officials in Geneva, a WHO official said a deal had been reached in principle to keep details of the controversial work secret until deeper risk analyses could be carried out.

The Pump Handle – When I grow up, I wanna be a public health worker
Amanda DeSimpelare was always interested in science, but she was wary of what a career in the field would be like. She pictured herself being tucked away in a laboratory all day. It wasn’t too appealing. Then, in the summer of 2010, she discovered public health. “When I pictured science before, I pictured it happening in a lab somewhere,” said the 18-year-old college freshman. “But I’d rather be out talking with people and working directly with the public. Then I came to camp and realized that you can connect science and data collection while working directly with people.”

New York Times – New Guidelines Planned on School Vending Machines
The government’s attempt to reduce childhood obesity is moving from the school cafeteria to the vending machines. The Obama administration is working on setting nutritional standards for foods that children can buy outside the cafeteria. With students eating 19 percent to 50 percent of their daily food at school, the administration says it wants to ensure that what they eat contributes to good health and smaller waistlines. The proposed rules are expected within the next few weeks.