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WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

f4a24_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

f4a24_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

Public input sessions draw support for health care waiver plan – The Spokesman

Here’s my full story from spokesman.com:

By Betsy Z. Russell

Idaho’s latest plan to address the state’s health coverage gap will be addressed in two public sessions in Coeur d’Alene. An informational session on Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at which people can hear presentations about the plan and get questions answered, and a formal public comment hearing on Tuesday morning.

The proposal, dubbed the Idaho Health Care Plan, calls for the state to seek waivers from the federal government to allow a portion of those who now fall into the state’s health coverage gap – because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the state insurance exchange – to either get subsidies, or, for those who are the sickest due to certain specific conditions, such as stage 4 cancer or cystic fibrosis, Medicaid coverage.

Previous public sessions in Boise and Pocatello have drawn overflow crowds and strong support for the waiver plan. But many who’ve spoken also have called for expanding the waiver proposals to include serious mental illnesses along with other specified conditions. Though some earlier drafts of the proposal did include those, the current draft does not.

“This is the first time the public has had a chance to give us feedback about this,” said Health and Welfare spokesman Chris Smith. “This is us listening to the people of Idaho: What do they want? And then trying to take that and say, OK, what’s possible for us to do within the bounds that we have?”

“We’ve been really impressed with the turnout that we’ve had,” Smith said.

For the Idaho Health Care Plan to move forward, federal authorities would have to grant two waivers, one to the Department of Health and Welfare and one to the state Department of Insurance; and then the governor and Legislature would have to sign off on the program, including state law changes to authorize it.

Idaho lawmakers have declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving an estimated 78,000 people in the coverage gap. Under the Idaho Health Care Plan, about 38,000 low-income, working Idahoans who now fall into the gap could receive federal tax credits to help them afford private insurance. The plan envisions that moving the sickest Idahoans off the exchange to Medicaid would also lower costs for all those purchasing plans through the exchange.

Among those who have offered public comments thus far are Jim Baugh, executive director of Disability Rights Idaho, who called during the Boise hearing for expanding the serious-illness waiver to include serious mental illness. He also called the proposal “a positive step.”

Jim Giuffre, former president and CEO of Healthwise and a former district health director for the state, said the plan would benefit patients, businesses, the state budget, and counties, which, he said, are “spending a disproportionate amount of their money on what is called the indigent fund, and it’s a ridiculous way to fund health care in the state of Idaho and it doesn’t do a very good job of it.”

The indigent fund pays the catastrophic medical bills of those who can’t afford to pay, drawing on local property taxes. But it doesn’t provide any coverage pre-catastrophe. Moving to something like the Idaho Health Care plan instead, Guiffre said, is “the right thing to do.”

New Board Members for Public Health Council

Lebanon — The board of directors of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley elected three new members and re-elected its chair during its annual meeting last month.

Dan Fraser, Nicole LaBombard and Laura Cody McNaughton all joined the council board at the meeting. Fraser is from Norwich, where runs his family’s business, Dan Whit’s General Store, and serves on several local boards. LaBombard, of Lebanon, works as a community health partnership coordinator at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Community Health. Cody McNaughton is the district director for the Vermont Department of Health’s district office in White River Junction.

Julia Griffin, Hanover town manager, was elected to her second term as board chair, and departing board member Mardee Laumann, of Enfield, was recognized for her contributions to the council’s work.

Alice Ely, executive director of the council, presented highlights from the past year, including a pilot project on oral health screening in New Hampshire, which led to the expansion of the Ottauquechee Health Foundation’s Smiles Project to serve both sides of the Connecticut River. The council also conducted an evaluation of several summer meals programs for children and hosted five flu clinics in rural communities, providing more than 1,100 vaccines.

Joanne Conroy, CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, was the guest speaker and more than 50 community members attended the meeting. The next meeting of the Public Health Council is Jan. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Hypertherm, 71 Heater Road in Lebanon. All meetings are open to the public.

Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong’s public hospitals, health chief insists

Hong Kong’s health chief on Saturday said community health care services must be strengthened to reduce hospitalisation rates, after the city’s public hospitals reported their first financial deficit in eight years.

But Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee insisted that the current funding model for the Hospital Authority would be able to meet the growing needs of health care service providers as the city’s population aged in the coming decades.

Public health care spending has been on the rise in recent years, with expenditure this financial year standing at HK$62 billion, up HK$3.2 billion from 2016-17.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced in her maiden policy address in October that an extra HK$2 billion of annual funding would be set aside for the Hospital Authority, starting from next year, to meet rising demand.

 Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong's public hospitals, health chief insists

The adjustment proved to be timely for the body, which manages the city’s 41 public medical institutions. According to its annual report submitted to the city’s legislature on Friday, it recorded a deficit of HK$1.52 billion in the year ending March 31.

It was the first time the authority had been in the red since 2009-10, when it lost HK$28.2 million.

Expenditure last year totalled HK$62.3 billion, representing a 6.6 per cent increase.

Most of the spending went on staff payrolls, which shot up 6.9 per cent to HK$43.1 billion, with the five highest-paid executives costing HK$27.1 million alone.

Easing the overcrowding in Hong Kong’s public hospitals starts with an informed public

The top earner was the authority’s chief executive, Leung Pak-yin, who got a 4.3 per cent pay rise to net HK$6 million.

The deficit was covered by the body’s reserves, which now stand at HK$13 billion.

Responding to the authority’s financial woes, Chan admitted it was inevitable that public hospital spending would only go up in future.

“With an ageing population and chronic diseases, [health care] services need to keep growing,” she said on Saturday.

 Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong's public hospitals, health chief insists

Apart from the extra HK$2 billion in public funding Lam has pledged, her predecessor Leung Chun-ying also suggested increasing recurrent funding every three years to tackle “population growth” and “demographic changes”.

Chan said another solution would be to strengthen primary health care services at the district level so as to reduce the need for people to rush to hospitals and emergency wards.

“If we do not boost primary services in the community, that is, focus on the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care, the situation may become worse,” Chan said.

Hong Kong’s health priority should be elderly care in the community not more hospitals

According to the government’s Department of Health, primary care is the first point of contact for most patients along with health promotions, disease prevention strategies and rehabilitative services.

Secondary and tertiary care, meanwhile, includes specialist and hospital services.

Overcrowding at the city’s public hospitals has long been a problem.

During the peak flu season this summer, the occupancy rate at the city’s 17 hospitals with inpatient services reached 114 per cent on one night in July.

Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong’s public hospitals, health chief insists

Hong Kong’s health chief on Saturday said community health care services must be strengthened to reduce hospitalisation rates, after the city’s public hospitals reported their first financial deficit in eight years.

But Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee insisted that the current funding model for the Hospital Authority would be able to meet the growing needs of health care service providers as the city’s population aged in the coming decades.

Public health care spending has been on the rise in recent years, with expenditure this financial year standing at HK$62 billion, up HK$3.2 billion from 2016-17.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced in her maiden policy address in October that an extra HK$2 billion of annual funding would be set aside for the Hospital Authority, starting from next year, to meet rising demand.

 Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong's public hospitals, health chief insists

The adjustment proved to be timely for the body, which manages the city’s 41 public medical institutions. According to its annual report submitted to the city’s legislature on Friday, it recorded a deficit of HK$1.52 billion in the year ending March 31.

It was the first time the authority had been in the red since 2009-10, when it lost HK$28.2 million.

Expenditure last year totalled HK$62.3 billion, representing a 6.6 per cent increase.

Most of the spending went on staff payrolls, which shot up 6.9 per cent to HK$43.1 billion, with the five highest-paid executives costing HK$27.1 million alone.

Easing the overcrowding in Hong Kong’s public hospitals starts with an informed public

The top earner was the authority’s chief executive, Leung Pak-yin, who got a 4.3 per cent pay rise to net HK$6 million.

The deficit was covered by the body’s reserves, which now stand at HK$13 billion.

Responding to the authority’s financial woes, Chan admitted it was inevitable that public hospital spending would only go up in future.

“With an ageing population and chronic diseases, [health care] services need to keep growing,” she said on Saturday.

 Funding model able to cover needs of Hong Kong's public hospitals, health chief insists

Apart from the extra HK$2 billion in public funding Lam has pledged, her predecessor Leung Chun-ying also suggested increasing recurrent funding every three years to tackle “population growth” and “demographic changes”.

Chan said another solution would be to strengthen primary health care services at the district level so as to reduce the need for people to rush to hospitals and emergency wards.

“If we do not boost primary services in the community, that is, focus on the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care, the situation may become worse,” Chan said.

Hong Kong’s health priority should be elderly care in the community not more hospitals

According to the government’s Department of Health, primary care is the first point of contact for most patients along with health promotions, disease prevention strategies and rehabilitative services.

Secondary and tertiary care, meanwhile, includes specialist and hospital services.

Overcrowding at the city’s public hospitals has long been a problem.

During the peak flu season this summer, the occupancy rate at the city’s 17 hospitals with inpatient services reached 114 per cent on one night in July.

USC researchers develop method to ensure human rights in public health services

When measuring the success of public health work — from immunizations to family planning services — experts rely on sets of standardized indicators. But these indicators often neglect the voices and human rights of people who use the services, according to USC researchers.

The USC Program on Global Health Human Rights and the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a new methodology, published by PLOS ONE, to determine the extent to which commonly used public health indicators capture human rights concerns.

“Health practitioners, researchers and policymakers are looking for ways to ensure their work is sensitive to inequalities and that they are truly serving the people the intend to reach, and this is one of those ways,” said Sofia Gruskin, director of the Program on Global Health and Human Rights, and lead author of the study.

Indicators are considered a vital component of any public health initiative — they provide guideposts to steer research and evaluate a program’s performance and impact in relation to its goals.

“This is the first effort to identify indicators, select the ones that reflect people’s experiences and provide a rigorous method of analysis to ensure that human rights are considered and people’s voices are heard when decisions are made regarding what services will be strengthened or prioritized,” said study co-author Laura Ferguson, assistant professor of preventive medicine.

Key test case

The researchers used contraceptive services and programs as a test case for creating the methodology. In November, they launched a tool based on their findings with the WHO. The document guides countries looking to strengthen human rights efforts in their contraceptive services and programming.

With support from WHO and an expert advisory group, the researchers created an analytic framework that helps sift through — and evaluate — indicators, from the quantitative (e.g. contraceptive prevalence rate) to the qualitative (e.g. contraceptive user satisfaction with services) to the political (e.g. whether the government ensures access to contraceptive information and services).

From the hundreds of commonly used indicators, they identified approximately 40 that could be used to monitor human rights concerns in public health work. They also pinpointed gaps where additional indictors are needed to capture certain human rights dimensions and ensure people’s voices will be heard in determining if services are effective.

Shubha Kumar, assistant professor of clinical preventive medicine, and Alexandra Nicholson, program administrator for the Program on Global Health and Human Rights, also contributed to the study.

###

Broadband Internet Is Not a Natural Monopoly – Shouldn’t Be Regulated Like a Public Utility

Babette Boliek

The second serious problem created the 2015 Order was the FCC’s creation of the Internet General Conduct Rule. By the FCC’s own edict, the FCC can (i) articulate new, unpermitted business practices, (ii) judge when these previously unarticulated violations of the rule have occurred and (iii) punish violators. The FCC is lawmaker, judge, and executioner – a tri-partite government buried deep in the bowels of the FCC.

Timothy Brennan

The previous FCC should never have gone down the 2015 OIO path. Simply, and with modesty, it should have proposed that, because of the general importance of the Internet as a communications medium, it would codify established industry practices regarding delivery of standard quality content, and leave the rest to the market – including paid prioritization to foster innovations requiring higher quality service.

Michelle Connolly

The current FCC intends to reverse an order imposed in 2015. I do not see how anyone can argue that the Internet, content, and services on the Internet, and freedom of speech were not flourishing before 2015.

Robert Crandall

Supporters of the FCC’s decision to repeal Title II (“public utility”) regulation of broadband carriers applaud the decision in large part because they believe that such regulation suppresses capital investment. Recent studies show a substantial slowdown in capital expenditures by broadband carriers since 2014 when the FCC began considering some form of public-utility regulation of broadband.

Richard Epstein

All network industries are difficult to organize and regulate. The Wheeler rules underestimated the complexity of the broadband market that the Pai order fully acknowledges, Professor Wu’s overwrought critique notwithstanding.

Justin (Gus) Hurwitz

The new Order, however, is better – factually better, legally better, and better reasoned – than the previous one. It is sufficient on its own terms to survive judicial review – and it is more sufficient than the previous Order to survive review on the terms the D.C. Circuit applied to that Order.

Daniel Lyons

I also applaud the Commission’s focus on transparency. For competition to work, consumers must make informed choices between providers, which means understanding what each provider offers. Through this order, the FCC can improve the quality of broadband markets by assuring consumers get the information they need to make an informed choice among providers.

James Prieger

Those who foresee dire consequences for the future of the American Internet from rolling back the 2015 Title II regulation ignore the great success and continued growth of the Internet over the past two decades – growth that occurred (until 2015) in the absence of net neutrality regulation. I look forward to the lighter-touch regulation of ISPs to, as the draft order states, “advance our critical work to promote broadband deployment in rural America and infrastructure investment throughout the nation, brighten the future of innovation both within networks and at their edge, and move closer to the goal of eliminating the digital divide.”

Christopher Walker

Last week Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to roll back the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. I leave it to experts in the telecommunications field to debate the legal and policy merits of the proposed order. As a scholar of administrative law, however, I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision to make public the draft text of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order in advance of the FCC’s consideration at its next public meeting.

Christopher Yoo

The Federal Communications Commission is poised to adopt the proposed order on Restoring Internet Freedom. The network neutrality debate has always struck me as having a backward-looking quality, calling for preservation of certain features that are claimed to have been critical to the Internet’s past success. As the FCC’s proposed order discusses at length, the record before the agency tells a different story. The existing rules have deterred investment and innovation and worsened the digital divide by making service in rural and low-income areas and service by small ISPs more costly.

Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

7380c_https_2F2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com2Fuploads2Fcard2Fimage2F4755122F5adce45e-8f78-4802-86af-a0b1d4f17139-800x450 Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.

After a public outcry, Google sent out another email to developers, saying it is now “pausing” this decision for another 30 days while it considers “responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services.” Google hasn’t made a decision one way or the other yet, but for now it is asking that developers who use the Accessibility APIs for non-accessibility purposes add “an accompanying disclosure to describe the app functionality that the Accessibility Service permission is enabling for your app.”

Google is also asking that developers send the company feedback, ending the email with: “If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn’t related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services.”

Many of Android’s most popular apps make use of the Android accessibility APIs’ unique set of features. The popular automation app Tasker uses the Accessibility API to monitor which apps are being launched so it can perform an action when you open a certain app. The password manager Lastpass used the APIs to fill in password fields. Battery-watchdog apps like Greenify use the API to shut down other apps when they use too much power. These are all powerful features, but it’s worth mentioning that the accessibility permissions require users to dig through the settings and manually enable them for each app.

Google has slowly been trying to build proper APIs for some of these accessibility hacks. A “Usage access” API can allow apps to see what other apps you’re opening and might work for something like Tasker. Android 8.0 Oreo has an autofill API that would work well for a password manager. Android’s fragmented ecosystem means adding APIs to new versions of Android isn’t really a solution, though. Only 0.3 percent of users have access to that Oreo autofill API.

Here’s hoping Google leaves the power user apps alone. The accessibility APIs have been open to anyone since their introduction in Android 2.0 eight years ago, and we’ve somehow managed to survive.

Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

7380c_https_2F2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com2Fuploads2Fcard2Fimage2F4755122F5adce45e-8f78-4802-86af-a0b1d4f17139-800x450 Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.

After a public outcry, Google sent out another email to developers, saying it is now “pausing” this decision for another 30 days while it considers “responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services.” Google hasn’t made a decision one way or the other yet, but for now it is asking that developers who use the Accessibility APIs for non-accessibility purposes add “an accompanying disclosure to describe the app functionality that the Accessibility Service permission is enabling for your app.”

Google is also asking that developers send the company feedback, ending the email with: “If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn’t related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services.”

Many of Android’s most popular apps make use of the Android accessibility APIs’ unique set of features. The popular automation app Tasker uses the Accessibility API to monitor which apps are being launched so it can perform an action when you open a certain app. The password manager Lastpass used the APIs to fill in password fields. Battery-watchdog apps like Greenify use the API to shut down other apps when they use too much power. These are all powerful features, but it’s worth mentioning that the accessibility permissions require users to dig through the settings and manually enable them for each app.

Google has slowly been trying to build proper APIs for some of these accessibility hacks. A “Usage access” API can allow apps to see what other apps you’re opening and might work for something like Tasker. Android 8.0 Oreo has an autofill API that would work well for a password manager. Android’s fragmented ecosystem means adding APIs to new versions of Android isn’t really a solution, though. Only 0.3 percent of users have access to that Oreo autofill API.

Here’s hoping Google leaves the power user apps alone. The accessibility APIs have been open to anyone since their introduction in Android 2.0 eight years ago, and we’ve somehow managed to survive.

Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

7380c_https_2F2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com2Fuploads2Fcard2Fimage2F4755122F5adce45e-8f78-4802-86af-a0b1d4f17139-800x450 Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.

After a public outcry, Google sent out another email to developers, saying it is now “pausing” this decision for another 30 days while it considers “responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services.” Google hasn’t made a decision one way or the other yet, but for now it is asking that developers who use the Accessibility APIs for non-accessibility purposes add “an accompanying disclosure to describe the app functionality that the Accessibility Service permission is enabling for your app.”

Google is also asking that developers send the company feedback, ending the email with: “If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn’t related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services.”

Many of Android’s most popular apps make use of the Android accessibility APIs’ unique set of features. The popular automation app Tasker uses the Accessibility API to monitor which apps are being launched so it can perform an action when you open a certain app. The password manager Lastpass used the APIs to fill in password fields. Battery-watchdog apps like Greenify use the API to shut down other apps when they use too much power. These are all powerful features, but it’s worth mentioning that the accessibility permissions require users to dig through the settings and manually enable them for each app.

Google has slowly been trying to build proper APIs for some of these accessibility hacks. A “Usage access” API can allow apps to see what other apps you’re opening and might work for something like Tasker. Android 8.0 Oreo has an autofill API that would work well for a password manager. Android’s fragmented ecosystem means adding APIs to new versions of Android isn’t really a solution, though. Only 0.3 percent of users have access to that Oreo autofill API.

Here’s hoping Google leaves the power user apps alone. The accessibility APIs have been open to anyone since their introduction in Android 2.0 eight years ago, and we’ve somehow managed to survive.

Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

7380c_https_2F2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com2Fuploads2Fcard2Fimage2F4755122F5adce45e-8f78-4802-86af-a0b1d4f17139-800x450 Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.

After a public outcry, Google sent out another email to developers, saying it is now “pausing” this decision for another 30 days while it considers “responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services.” Google hasn’t made a decision one way or the other yet, but for now it is asking that developers who use the Accessibility APIs for non-accessibility purposes add “an accompanying disclosure to describe the app functionality that the Accessibility Service permission is enabling for your app.”

Google is also asking that developers send the company feedback, ending the email with: “If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn’t related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services.”

Many of Android’s most popular apps make use of the Android accessibility APIs’ unique set of features. The popular automation app Tasker uses the Accessibility API to monitor which apps are being launched so it can perform an action when you open a certain app. The password manager Lastpass used the APIs to fill in password fields. Battery-watchdog apps like Greenify use the API to shut down other apps when they use too much power. These are all powerful features, but it’s worth mentioning that the accessibility permissions require users to dig through the settings and manually enable them for each app.

Google has slowly been trying to build proper APIs for some of these accessibility hacks. A “Usage access” API can allow apps to see what other apps you’re opening and might work for something like Tasker. Android 8.0 Oreo has an autofill API that would work well for a password manager. Android’s fragmented ecosystem means adding APIs to new versions of Android isn’t really a solution, though. Only 0.3 percent of users have access to that Oreo autofill API.

Here’s hoping Google leaves the power user apps alone. The accessibility APIs have been open to anyone since their introduction in Android 2.0 eight years ago, and we’ve somehow managed to survive.

Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

7380c_https_2F2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com2Fuploads2Fcard2Fimage2F4755122F5adce45e-8f78-4802-86af-a0b1d4f17139-800x450 Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful “accessibility” apps

A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.

After a public outcry, Google sent out another email to developers, saying it is now “pausing” this decision for another 30 days while it considers “responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services.” Google hasn’t made a decision one way or the other yet, but for now it is asking that developers who use the Accessibility APIs for non-accessibility purposes add “an accompanying disclosure to describe the app functionality that the Accessibility Service permission is enabling for your app.”

Google is also asking that developers send the company feedback, ending the email with: “If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn’t related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services.”

Many of Android’s most popular apps make use of the Android accessibility APIs’ unique set of features. The popular automation app Tasker uses the Accessibility API to monitor which apps are being launched so it can perform an action when you open a certain app. The password manager Lastpass used the APIs to fill in password fields. Battery-watchdog apps like Greenify use the API to shut down other apps when they use too much power. These are all powerful features, but it’s worth mentioning that the accessibility permissions require users to dig through the settings and manually enable them for each app.

Google has slowly been trying to build proper APIs for some of these accessibility hacks. A “Usage access” API can allow apps to see what other apps you’re opening and might work for something like Tasker. Android 8.0 Oreo has an autofill API that would work well for a password manager. Android’s fragmented ecosystem means adding APIs to new versions of Android isn’t really a solution, though. Only 0.3 percent of users have access to that Oreo autofill API.

Here’s hoping Google leaves the power user apps alone. The accessibility APIs have been open to anyone since their introduction in Android 2.0 eight years ago, and we’ve somehow managed to survive.

Russia wants to build a ‘parallel internet’ in 2018 | Public Radio …

Every time you visit a website, you’re using the Domain Name System, or DNS.

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Think of it as the internet’s directory. Each website has an easily readable host and domain name (PRI.org, for example) that the DNS converts into a unique, numerical Internet Protocol address so you can load the page you’re looking for.

The DNS is used around the world, but Russia wants to build an alternative in 2018.

They say it’s a matter of national security, but having an independent internet could also increase Russia’s censorship, surveillance and cyberwarfare capabilities.

Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that with an independent DNS, Russia could remove access to certain websites, lead people to spoofed websites and even mount attacks on the global DNS system without risk to itself.

But it’s an enormous project. “Every computer and phone and internet-connected device in the world has to be configured to talk to particular DNS servers,” Stoltz says.

To have a truly independent internet, he says, the Russian government would have to “reconfigure every internet-connected device within Russia to talk to that system.”

Russia wants to build a ‘parallel internet’ in 2018 | Public Radio …

Every time you visit a website, you’re using the Domain Name System, or DNS.

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Think of it as the internet’s directory. Each website has an easily readable host and domain name (PRI.org, for example) that the DNS converts into a unique, numerical Internet Protocol address so you can load the page you’re looking for.

The DNS is used around the world, but Russia wants to build an alternative in 2018.

They say it’s a matter of national security, but having an independent internet could also increase Russia’s censorship, surveillance and cyberwarfare capabilities.

Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that with an independent DNS, Russia could remove access to certain websites, lead people to spoofed websites and even mount attacks on the global DNS system without risk to itself.

But it’s an enormous project. “Every computer and phone and internet-connected device in the world has to be configured to talk to particular DNS servers,” Stoltz says.

To have a truly independent internet, he says, the Russian government would have to “reconfigure every internet-connected device within Russia to talk to that system.”

Trump slurs his words in a public speech, sparking health concerns

Donald Trump closed a speech Wednesday (Dec. 6) on moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem with a familiar phrase, “and God bless the United States.”

In the last 30 seconds of the speech, however, his pronunciation of some words seemed to slur. The last phrase was clearly mangled, as if he had a mouthful of marbles, or was maybe wearing a retainer:

“Wait—what was that?,” the internet asked immediately. Thousands of people on social media suddenly became armchair physicians, diagnosing the president with everything from a serious medical condition to a drinking problem.

Trump was the oldest US president-elect in history when he won the election last year, and his junk food-heavy diet would be unhealthy for someone one-third his age. But he doesn’t drink, and his change in pronunciation from the beginning of his speech, which was only a few minutes long, seemed more akin to someone with an orthodontic device, like dentures, than any serious condition.

The White House would not provide Quartz with an on-the-record answer about what had caused the president’s pronunciation to veer off course towards the end of the speech. Spokesman Raj Shah told the Los Angeles Times it was a case of “dry mouth.”

Could it possibly be something else, Quartz asked Shah? There’s nothing to be ashamed of about having dentures at Trump’s age, for example, and if that were the case, it would likely reassure people who had concerns that it might be something more serious.

“Report whatever you would like to report,” Shah responded. “This isn’t news.”

While the US president has traditionally had an annual physical while in office, and made the results public, there’s no law compelling Trump to do so. Trump released some details about his health ahead of last year’s election in response to pressure after his personal physician had declared he would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Caroline to host public health summit

DENTON — The Caroline County Commissioners will host their annual summit on the state of public health and health care access in the county at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. The session will be held at the Health and Public Services Building, 403 South 7th Street, Denton.

“We started these summit meetings five years ago as a way to bring all our partners together to talk about the state of health in Caroline County in a comprehensive way,” Commission President Dan Franklin said. “The meeting is an important accountability tool for all of us to show progress on the factors that impact the health of our residents.”

The meeting will start with a review of the health “report card” developed by Health Officer Scott LeRoy, which provides a snapshot of Caroline’s health rankings, where progress is being made, and what areas of concern still exist. The public will then hear from Shore Regional Health, Choptank Community Health, the Caroline Health Department, and Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council about the progress they are making on public health issues like addressing cancer screening rates, improving diabetes outcomes, increasing access to health care and responding to the opioid crisis.

All members of the public are encouraged to attend the summit to learn more, ask questions, and be part of the conversation about how Caroline County can work together to improve the health of the community. Questions about the public information session may be addressed to the commissioners office at 410-479-0660 or info@carolinemd.org.

Hipster internet favorite Reddit may have to lose its edge to go public

Questions about the social news aggregation site Reddit going public have been swirling for years — but the move seems more definite than ever, after CEO Steve Huffman saidit could happen by 2020. Now the questions is: What does the company need to do to get IPO-ready?

Reddit, which declined to comment to NBC News, is clearly prized by some major investors. It scooped up $200 million earlier this year, reaching a valuation of $1.8 billion, and is beloved by users: Analytics service Alexa rated it as the eighth-most popular site in the world. Plus, it’s shown it can stand the test of time, at least by internet standards, having been around since 2005. But the bare bones site has always been a bit of an outlier, and it’s been a hotbed for controversies (like the 2014 celebrity photo hack, six months after which Reddit enforced its photo sharing guidelines).


7bea6_p_30stk_redditama_140606.nbcnews-ux-1080-600 Hipster internet favorite Reddit may have to lose its edge to go public


The ‘front page of the internet’

The site’s user-driven, niche feel is exactly what makes Reddit so appealing to so many people. It’s been slow to roll out a mobile strategy and still fosters an old-school, text-based vibe you may have recognized from 2005, which makes it feel almost like the secret basement of the world wide web.

“The culture of the site, even as they have scaled their user base, remains offbeat, quirky, and anti-establishment,” said Daniel Gulati, a partner at Comcast Ventures. “It’s almost entirely user controlled, including on the user acquisition front. Anyone can start a subreddit and build their own community. To date there has been very little company-driven moderation of content (in contrast to what’s happening over at Facebook now).”

Community first, money later

Reddit has a couple of key methods of monetization including Reddit Gold, a subscription service to allow users special access. It also has sponsored posts. But Brad Hines, a startup adviser, investor, and personal finance writer, opines that Reddit hasn’t wanted to risk losing its “cool factor,” and as such has remained “focused on continuing to stoke brand loyalty, and roll out methods of revenue slowly.”

“Reddit’s monetization is still well below where it would be needed to achieve a spectacular IPO,” which is what would be expected of one of the most popular sites in the world, Richard Beale of Mindshare North America told NBC News. “As this improves with their new ad products and redesign, you can expect the conversations around an IPO to become more serious.”

A crucial pain point around monetization, as Greg Portell, lead partner in the consumer and retail practice of A.T. Kearney, sees it, is in the community aspect. That may seem ridiculous in considering that Reddit is all about community, but it’s really more like a collection of very disparate communities. This presents a challenge for advertisers.

“How can Reddit create stickiness among their users, when everyone has a different view?” asks Portell. “You and I may overlap on 20 percent of our content, but 80 percent is going in different directions. It’s just not a very developed revenue model. Honestly, I just don’t think they have tried to monetize their audience to the greatest extent.”

Safe for free thinkers — but what about shareholders?

“Reddit can count big numbers in users — but that doesn’t mean it’s conducive to brand advertisers, which is generally a key monetization metric,” Chris Cunningham, CRO at Unacast and founder of C2 Ventures, told NBC News. “In addition, advertisers like safe and predictable content and Reddit is not that, which puts its ad business at risk.”

Would Reddit have to part with its user loyalty in order to please its shareholders? If so, that would pretty much defeat the whole venture of going public.

“If Reddit goes public, will its growth stop?” said David Mawhinney, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. “It’s a worthy debate, but it’s not fair to frame it as an either/or situation. As long as Reddit has a quality product, it will keep growing. And that [$200 million in] funding probably wouldn’t have come in if they weren’t expected to keep growing.”

There’s also the idea that seasoned investors are often looking to diversify their portfolio with younger companies. Reddit stock could be the perfect opportunity.

“After a while, investors tire of investing in Apple or Netflix or Amazon because they fear their best growth days are behind,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. “They’re asking, ‘What will the next growth story be?’ That’s where a company like Reddit could come into play. And plenty of [shareholders] want to get into the ground level of a good story.”

But still, Reddit will have to make some concessions — or at least, more modifications.

“Implementing greater brand safety controls for users and brands alike whilst accelerating their shift to mobile-first would be two key initiatives for Reddit pre-IPO to mitigate the risk of undesirable headlines and subsequently shareholder shakes,” said Beale.


7bea6_p_30stk_redditama_140606.nbcnews-ux-1080-600 Hipster internet favorite Reddit may have to lose its edge to go public


Reddit’s goldmine of data

Reddit may not have the strongest monetization game (yet), nor the slickest, cleanest platform, and it may be all over the place with its users in a way that seems to counter the cohesiveness that advertisers desire when targeting consumers. But Reddit also has a very precious ball in its court: data. So much data.

“What Reddit can do to really differentiate themselves is figure out what unique elements of people’s behavior they identify from their datasets that other competitors can’t,” said Portell. “That’s really the cornerstone to getting them out of selling eyeballs. Digital advertising is very simple and there’s no scarcity of it, but if Reddit can say to brands ‘We can show you this type of person in this phase of the purchasing funnel and make them more likely to convert,’ then that becomes something differentiating. Facebook and Google are pretty close to doing this, so Reddit needs to come up with something unique.”

Something’s gotta happen

It’s true that Reddit could still bail on an IPO, especially if there’s a bad turn in the stock market. It could even sell to a bigger company, though that seems unlikely. Or perhaps it could simply decide against dealing with all the invasive pressures of going public.

“You could generate income until the cows come home as a private company and not be bothered by the regularity and exposure that comes with being public,” said Professor David Brophy, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity. “That’s the biggest argument for staying private.”

It’s not a bad argument. Alas, it’s not so simple. Though currently private, Reddit has a lot of investors counting on it — and watching the company like hawks. Some kind of liquidity move may be necessary in the near future.

“All these people have put something in and at some point Reddit has to return on that investment,” said Portell. “The most certain way to get that ROI is with an IPO.”

However, Reddit doesn’t want to end up like Zynga, the video game developer that went prancing to its IPO only to get candy-crushed.

“Zynga was a shooting star, went public, then its growth rate stopped because it didn’t have the next hit game,” said Mawhinney. “It’s not that the company will die, but it can be crippling in that they can’t ever get their mojo back. People are asking whether Snapchat can rebound. Even Twitter struggled, though to a lesser degree. Reddit has teams both internally and externally asking, ‘How do we avoid that?’”

Sounds like we’ve got a few years to find out — and in the meantime, we’re sure to see plenty of innovations come Reddit’s way. Hopefully, its devout users, aka redditors, won’t take offense — or if they do, they won’t stay away for long.

“When Facebook introduced its News Feed everyone hated it, so without a doubt whatever [Reddit does], a segment of users will be upset,” said Gulati. “News Feed was [detested at first], but now no user can imagine Facebook without it, and it added great utility to the experience.”

Public health policy for Appleton considered | Fox Cities Notebook

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Reporter Duke Behnke will answer your questions about local government. Call Duke at 920-993-7176 or email him at dbehnke@gannett.com.
Duke Behnke/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

APPLETON – A proposed ordinance that aims to improve the health of the community will be up for consideration in Appleton City Hall in the coming weeks. 

The ordinance, called “Health in All Policies,” would ensure that city staff and departments measure what work they’ve done that would impact community health, and what work they could do to improve it further. The “Health in All Policies” approach has also been endorsed by the World Health Organization, among other health groups. 

RELATED: Appleton schools, city staff share health clinic

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Should Appleton aldermen approve the proposed ordinance, it would be the first community in the state to create such an ordinance, said Kurt Eggebrecht, the city’s health director. 

The policy would also highlight how socioeconomic issues, like income level, education level and employment, contribute to a person’s overall health. 

Beyond personal decision-making about diet or exercise, a person’s opportunity to live a healthy life might not be equal to others, Eggebrecht explained. Whether someone is in good health or not can be determined by what neighborhood they live in, how stable their housing or employment situation is, or whether they have access to healthy food, among other factors. Those factors contribute to inequality and lead to further disparities in someone’s health. 

The ordinance would also require city staff to publish a report every three years “on the status of health and health equity in the city of Appleton and progress of (health in all policies) implementation.”

City staff will also get assistance on this work from academics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and partners of the “Green Tier” sustainability program.

Those measures from city staff would then be used for future decision-making, and how community health fits into other goals of the city, like building a new Erb Park pool or a new Appleton Public Library, or working to create healthier grocery store options in the downtown area, Eggebrecht added. 

“We believe this sends a welcoming message to the community, our partners to work with us on solutions (to improve community health),” said Eggebrecht. Employers would also be attracted to a community focused on improving the health of all residents, leading to healthier and stronger employees, and lower health care costs. 

The East Central Regional Planning Commission, ThedaCare and United Way Fox Cities have registered their support for the proposed ordinance. 

“(Approving the policy) will break down more barriers and identify opportunities to help stem the tide of chronic disease, lessen healthy inequality and inequity, impact environmental conditions and encourage optimal health for Appleton citizens,” wrote Paula Morgen, ThedaCare’s director of community health, to city aldermen. 

The proposed ordinance was recommended for denial by the Municipal Services Committee in late November, citing concerns from aldermen over whether it should be an ordinance in city code or an internal policy, and whether the ordinance would be too overreaching. 

However, it still needs a vote from the Board of Health before it can get to the full Common Council.