Determinants Of Long-Term Retention Of Prostate Cancer Patients In Active Surveillance Management Programs

ORLANDO, FL (UroToday) – Active surveillance (AS), or watchful waiting, is an accepted management strategy for selected men with prostate cancer (PCa). These investigators examined clinical and demographic profiles of men participating in a large, contemporary, prospective cohort study who elected to pursue AS for initial management.

They identified 2,134 men diagnosed between 1986 and 2002 with pathologically confirmed incident PCa in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, an ongoing prospective study of 51,529 men. AS or watchful waiting was defined by deferral of PCa treatment for at least 12 months following diagnosis. Among AS cases, Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by PSA era were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for time to eventual treatment. We also calculated HRs for time to clinical metastasis or PCa death, comparing AS with immediate treatment, adjusting for clinical characteristics.

Of the 2134 PCa cases, 169 (7.9%) had AS as their initial management. Of the 169 AS cases, 89 (53%) remained untreated throughout follow-up (mean 7.1 years) and the remaining 47% received treatment an average of 3.1 years post-diagnosis. Significant predictors of eventual active treatment in multivariate models included younger age at diagnosis (60-69 vs. 70+ years), higher Gleason score (>6 vs.

Stroke Is No Longer Your Grandfather’s Disease: Twice As Likely To Strike Middle-Aged Women

After a five year study of the sexes, UCLA medical researchers found that middle aged women between 45 and 54 are 2.3 times more likely to have a stroke than men the same age. And another study found that three out of every five deaths from stroke were among women.

Researchers found that waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke risk among middle-aged women. Obesity in America is increasing and women are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of abominable obesity. Several other factors are known to significantly increase a woman’s risk for stroke: birth control pills, menopause, high blood pressure and migraine headaches.

For years, National Stroke Association has focused its stroke awareness efforts on women.

“Stroke uniquely impacts women, therefore it is crucial they learn about stroke warning signs and understand that stroke symptoms are a medical emergency. This research and its findings further support the need for women to become aware of their individual stroke risks and take charge of their health.”
Jim Baranski, National Stroke Association CEO

A National Stroke Association poll found that 1/3 of women could not recognize even one stroke symptom. This simple test helps women learn and detect stroke symptoms and Act F.A.S.T.:

F = FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S = SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
T = TIME If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest stroke center or hospital.

About National Stroke Association

Established in 1984, National Stroke Association is the only national organization that focuses 100 percent of its efforts on stroke. National Stroke Association achieves its mission to lower the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling community outreach programs, calling for continued improvement in the quality of stroke patient care, and educating both healthcare professionals and the general public about stroke.

By Lindsey Larson

National Stroke Associaton

HIV Kills Brain Cells, Prevents Stem Cell Division, Study Says

HIV kills brain cells and prevents stem cells from dividing and forming new cells, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Reuters reports. The damage to cells contributes to HIV-associated dementia, which can cause confusion, sleep disturbance and memory loss (Reuters, 8/15).

Researchers from the University of California-San Diego and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research identified the protein gp120, which is found on the outside of HIV. The researchers found that gp120 damages brain cells and then prevents the formation of new cells in mice (Dayton, Australian, 8/16). “It’s a double hit to the brain,” Marcus Kaul — an assistant professor of infectious diseases and immunology at UCSD and BIMR and a study researcher — said in a statement, adding, “The HIV protein both causes brain injury and prevents its repair” (Reuters, 8/15). According to the Australian, although highly active antiretroviral therapy causes HIV-associated dementia to be less severe, the condition’s prevalence has not declined with the advent of HAART. Bruce Brew — head of neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia — said that about 20% of people living with AIDS develop HIV-associated dementia (Australian, 8/16). The condition also is becoming more common as HIV-positive people live longer because of antiretrovirals.

According to study author Stuart Lipton, the “breakthrough” in the research is that scientists were able to determine that HIV prevents stem cell division. Lipton added that the study is the “first time that the virus has ever been shown to affect stem cells.” Kaul said the identification of gp120 could lead to treatments for HIV-associated dementia that involve “ramping up brain repair or protecting the repair mechanism” (Reuters, 8/15).

The study is available online.

“Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company Receives A New Injectable Drug Approval For Treating Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease

China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (OTCBB: CAXG) (“China Aoxing”), a China-based pharmaceutical company specializing in research, development, manufacturing and distribution of narcotic and pain-management products, announced that its operating subsidiary in China, Hebei Aoxing Pharmaceutical Group Company, Ltd., received a new production license for Ligustrazine Phosphate Injection from the China State Food and Drug Administration (“SFDA”) for treatment of ischemic cerebrovascular disease, or ischemic stroke.

“Stroke is a silent killer ranked the third leading cause of death in the adult population. Ligustrazine Phosphate is an effective intravenous injection drug in hospitals to treat this public heath problem,” said Juan Yue Han, Chairman and the CEO of China Aoxing. “We are very excited to have another injection drug approved for our patients in hospital. This approval further underscores China Aoxing’s long-term commitment to developing high quality hospital care therapies. We are looking forward to launching this product in early 2009.”

About Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease

Ischemic cerebrovascular disease, or ischemic stroke, is a leading disease with insufficient blood flow to part of all of the brain. It is reported that 80% of stroke incidence is classified as ischemic stroke. Every 53 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Annually, approximately 750,000 Americans have an initial or recurrent ischemic stroke. Stroke incidence is even higher in others countries, particularly high in Asia and Eastern Europe. It is estimated that there are approximately 2 million newly diagnosed patients with ischemic stroke in China every year.

About Ligustrazine Phosphate Injection

Ligustrazine Phosphate Injection is used intravenously in hospital for treating ischemic cerebrovascular disease, such as insufficiency of blood-supply, cerebral thrombosis as well as cerebral embolism.

About China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company, Inc.

China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (OTCBB: CAXG) is a pharmaceutical company located in China specializing in research, development, manufacturing and distribution of a variety of narcotics and pain-management products. Headquartered in Shijiazhuang City, the pharmaceutical capital of China, outside of Beijing, the Company has China’s largest product pipeline and largest manufacturing facility (1.2 million sq. ft.) for highly regulated narcotic medicines, addressing a very under-served and fast growing market in China. Its facility is one of the few GMP facilities licensed for narcotics medicines. The Company has two drugs on the market and has received China SFDA licenses for research and clinical development of seven more medications, including Oxycodone, Tilidine, Buprenorphine and Pholcodine. The Company is working closely with the Chinese government and SFDA to assure the strictly regulated availability to medical professionals of its narcotic drugs and pain medicines throughout China.

Statements made in this press release are forward-looking and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. The economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other risk factors identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-KSB for the year ended June 30, 2008, may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements in this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events, or otherwise.

China State Food and Drug Administration

View drug information on Oxycodone and Aspirin.

Woman Gives Birth To Two Healthy Babies In Separate Pregnancies After Ovarian Transplant

For the first time, a woman has given birth to two children after her fertility was restored using transplants of ovarian tissue that had been removed and frozen during her cancer treatment and then restored once she was cured.

Following her ovarian transplant, Mrs Stinne Holm Bergholdt gave birth to a girl in February 2007 after receiving fertility treatment to help her become pregnant. But then, in 2008, she discovered she had conceived a second child naturally and gave birth to another girl in September 2008.

Her doctor, Professor Claus Yding Andersen, reports her case today (Thursday) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction [1]. “This is the first time in the world that a woman has had two children from separate pregnancies as a result of transplanting frozen/thawed ovarian tissue,” he said. “These results support cryopreservation of ovarian tissue as a valid method of fertility preservation and should encourage the development of this technique as a clinical procedure for girls and young women facing treatment that could damage their ovaries.”

So far, nine children have been born worldwide as a result of transplanting frozen/thawed ovarian tissue (including Mrs Bergholdt’s two). Three have been born in Denmark after treatment carried out by Prof Andersen, who is Professor of Human Reproductive Physiology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen (Denmark). “Mrs Bergholdt gave birth to the first and the third babies and another woman delivered the second baby. This is the highest number of children born from one ovarian cryopreservation programme worldwide. It is interesting to note that nearly all of the nine pregnancies have occurred in Europe and so Europe is in the absolute forefront with this technology,” he said.

Mrs Bergholdt, from Odense, Denmark, who is also one of the authors of the paper, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma when she was 27 in 2004. Before she began chemotherapy, part of her right ovary was removed and frozen (her left ovary had been removed some years before because of a dermoid cyst, a type of benign ovarian tumour). Her cancer treatment was successful but, as expected, the drugs caused a menopause. In December 2005 six thin strips of ovarian tissue were transplanted back on to what remained of her right ovary. Her ovary began to function normally again and, after mild ovarian stimulation, she became pregnant and gave birth to her first daughter, Aviaja, in February 2007.

She breast-fed Aviaja until October 2007 and in January 2008 she returned to Prof Andersen’s fertility clinic for additional IVF treatment so that she could conceive again. However, a pregnancy test revealed she was already pregnant naturally, and in September she gave birth to a healthy girl, Lucca.

Prof Andersen said: “This showed that the original transplanted ovarian strips had continued to work for more than four years and that Mrs Bergholdt still has the capacity to conceive and give birth to healthy children. It is an amazing fact that these ovarian strips have been working for so long and it provides information on how powerful this technique can be. She continues to have natural menstrual cycles and, at present, is using pregnancy-preventing measures to avoid becoming pregnant again.

“She has seven more ovarian strips in the liquid nitrogen tank and may return, if she wishes so, to have more tissue transplanted in order to maintain her ovarian function once the current strips stop working. So, in total, by having around one third of an ovary removed she has the possibility of maintaining her ovarian function for many years. As long as the tissue remains properly stored in liquid nitrogen, it could remain functional for as long as 40 years. However, we do not know this for certain at present.”

Mrs Bergholdt, who is now 32, said: “When I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was of course very happy and excited but also very afraid and sceptical since I found it very hard to believe that my body was really working again. My cancer had been diagnosed very late because the doctors didn’t take my complaints seriously at that time and kept on telling me that nothing was wrong, so I also wondered if it was really true that I was completely recovered from it. But eventually I started to believe that the pregnancy was really happening and began to enjoy every aspect of it.

“The second time it was quite a surprise to find out I was pregnant since we hadn’t been working on it we thought we needed assistance like the first time. We had an appointment at the fertility outpatient clinic to talk about the possibility of a second baby, but it turned out that I was already pregnant naturally. It was a very nice surprise to find out that my body was now functioning normally and that we were having a baby without having to go through the fertility treatment. It was indeed a miracle!”

Mrs Bergholdt said she and her husband had not decided yet whether they wanted more children. “The girls are still so small and need a lot of attention, but maybe in a couple of years we might think about it again.”

Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)

Kidney Disease Patients Benefit From Surgery To Prevent Stroke

Physicians should be comfortable referring some patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) for effective stroke prevention surgery, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings indicate that CKD patients gain a significant benefit from the procedures without an increased risk of dying from surgical complications.

For people who develop blockages in their arteries, physicians recommend surgery to clear the blood vessels and lower the risk of stroke. However, physicians are often hesitant to refer patients with CKD to undergo this type of surgery called carotid endarterectomy because CKD patients have a high risk of complications and death after undergoing invasive surgeries.

Amit Garg MD, PhD, and Anna Mathew, MD (Lawson Health Research Institute and The University of Western Ontario, Canada), and their colleagues wondered about the role of surgery in preventing strokes in CKD patients. They analyzed data from the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET), and found that carotid endarterectomy dramatically reduces a CKD patient’s risk of future strokes. Dr. Garg, Dr. Mathew, and colleagues examined the benefits and risks of carotid endarterectomy in CKD patients by analyzing the NASCET kidney function data (gathered during the course of the trial but unpublished). They examined information from 524 CKD patients and compared it with information from 966 individuals with normal kidney function.

The analysis revealed that when patients with mild to moderate CKD underwent carotid endarterectomy, their risk of stroke was greatly reduced while their risk of death was not increased. The risk of experiencing a stroke over a two-year period was reduced by 82%.

“We hope the results of our important study inform physicians about the appropriateness of carotid endarterectomy surgery for their patients with kidney disease,” said Dr. Garg.

The authors report no financial disclosures. Study co-authors include Henry Barnett, MD (The University of Western Ontario, Canada), Michael Eliasziw, PhD (University of Calgary, Canada), PJ Devereaux MD, PhD (McMaster University, Canada), and Jose Merino, MD (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), for the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) Collaborators.

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the world’s largest professional society devoted to the study of kidney disease. Comprised of 11,000 physicians and scientists, ASN continues to promote expert patient care, to advance medical research, and to educate the renal community. ASN also informs policymakers about issues of importance to kidney doctors and their patients. ASN funds research, and through its world-renowned meetings and first-class publications, disseminates information and educational tools that empower physicians.

Source: American Society of Nephrology

People Shouldn’t Have To Jump Through Hoops To Complain About Care, Says Help The Aged, UK

Reacting to a National Audit Office report, Feeding Back? Learning from complaints handling in Health and Social Care, which shows the complaints system for health and social care services is in need of improvement, Lizzie McLennan, Senior Social Care Policy Officer for Help the Aged, says:

“Today’s report shows that worryingly, complaining about health and social care services can be a difficult and complex experience. As the largest users of health and social care services, older people are going to be particularly affected.

“People who make complaints about either health or social care services are likely to already be in a vulnerable position. When older people are poorly or need care, the last thing they need is to feel like they can’t complain, have nowhere to turn, or have to jump through hoops to have their issues heard. Sometimes making a complaint can be as frustrating and upsetting as the original problem.

“In addition to this, older people who pay for their own care in private care homes don’t have access to the complaints system for social care. This inequity in the system must be addressed – around 115,000 older people are affected in this way(1).

“If care for sick people isn’t satisfactory, it’s essential that complaints are acted upon straight away – that way lessons can be learned and mistakes aren’t repeated. The complaints system for our health and social care services must be transparent, open and well promoted – and reducing the complexity of both systems is an absolute must. Ideally we would like to see one complaints system for both health and social care.”


Of residents in care homes operated by private or voluntary organisations (373,000), 31% pay all their own care costs (115,000); 59% have fees wholly or partially funded by local authorities (221,000), and 10% by the NHS (37,000). (23% of nursing home residents are funded by the NHS, who do not fund residential care residents.) Source: Care of Elderly People UK Market Survey 2007 – Twentieth Edition, Laing and Buisson, 2007

Help the Aged produces an information sheet, aimed at people who are having problems with their care home, local council, or the NHS. How to Make a Complaint, is available from helptheaged or 020 7239 1845

Help the Aged is the charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people in the UK and overseas from poverty, isolation, neglect and ageism. It campaigns to raise public awareness of the issues affecting older people and to bring about policy change. The Charity delivers a range of services: information and advice, home support and community living, including international development work. These are supported by its paid-for services and fundraising activities – which aim to increase funding in the future to respond to the growing unmet needs of disadvantaged older people. Help the Aged also funds vital research into the health issues and experiences of older people to improve the quality of later life.

Help the Aged urgently needs donations and support to help it in the increasingly challenging fight to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.

Help the Aged

Older patients with acute coronary syndromes not getting recommended treatment, USA

A review of more than 56,000 cases of acute coronary syndromes reveals that older patients are less likely to receive treatment recommended by guidelines, even though they benefit as much or more than younger patients when the recommended treatment is provided, according to a new study in the Oct. 18, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Our study is unique in that it describes early use of therapies, defined as those within the first 24 hours, and is targeted at guideline-recommended care. In fact, although improvements have been realized in adherence to discharge therapies, we found early use of therapies was where some of the largest differences between young and old patients remained. In addition, we demonstrated an inverse relationship between the number of evidence-based therapies applied and in-hospital death in young and old subgroups alike. Although any observational analysis may suffer from residual confounding, we demonstrate that older patients, as a group, benefit equally from guideline-recommended care,” said Karen P. Alexander, M.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

This analysis used data collected as part of an effort to document the real-world treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes, including unstable angina and heart attacks. Information on 56,963 patients treated at 443 hospitals across the U.S. was collected for the CRUSADE National Quality Improvement Initiative from January 2001 to June 2003. CRUSADE is an initiative that is designed to increase the practice of evidence-based medicine for patients diagnosed with non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS).

The patients were split into four age groups (younger than 65, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 or older). Rates of rapid use of drugs that reduce or prevent blood clots decreased with age. Elderly patients were also less likely to undergo diagnostic catheterization procedures, angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery. Most medications prescribed at hospital discharge were similar across all age groups; however, elderly patients were less likely to receive clopidogrel (an anti-platelet drug meant to reduce the risk of blood clots) or cholesterol-lowering drugs. The differences were apparent even after adjusting the treatment data to take into account known contraindications to treatment and other diseases that might have influenced treatment decisions.

The researchers also noted that although death rates and complications rose with advancing age, elderly patients who received more recommended therapies were less likely to die than those who did not.

Dr. Alexander said that progress is being made toward providing recommended treatment to patients of all ages, but this study shows there is more work to be done.

“Awareness of gaps is the first step in narrowing them. Further work on lipid lowering in the very elderly, and early identification of acute coronary syndrome symptoms in the aged, are areas which will benefit from continued work,” she said.

Dr. Alexander noted that hospitals volunteer to participate in CRUSADE and they receive web-based educational sessions about the treatment of acute coronary syndromes. The study focused on the specific treatments recommended by ACC/AHA guidelines, so it did not collect data on aspects of care or details of other illnesses patients may have had. However, she said that enrollment was specific to patients with an acute coronary syndrome, and that the large number of hospitals and patients should provide a fairly representative view of current clinical practice.

H. Vernon Anderson, M.D., F.A.C.C., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, who wrote an editorial in the journal with Richard G. Bach, M.D., F.A.C.C. from the Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, said this report is part of an extremely important effort to understand how clinicians are actually treating heart patients.

“There’s a reluctance to be ‘aggressive’ in older people, that somehow they are more fragile, that they have greater problems with medications, that you have to be somehow more gentle about doing things. And I think here are data that suggest that just isn’t true; that in fact, while the elderly do have increased risks, on the other hand the potential benefits of treatment are greater, too. That’s a strong argument that we should be treating the elderly very much more like we are treating the non-elderly. That in fact they are going to get a net benefit out of the treatment,” Dr. Anderson said.

Disclosure Box
Sources quoted in this news release do not report any potential conflicts of interest regarding this topic.

Amy Murphy
American College of Cardiology

Use Of Low Dose Aspirin To Protect Against Cardiovascular Disease Should Be Abandoned

The latest issue of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) reports that the use of low-dose aspirin to protect against heart attacks and strokes in individuals yet to develop obvious cardiovascular disease, should be abandoned.

Low-dose aspirin is widely used to prevent further episodes of cardiovascular disease in people who have already had problems such as a heart attack or stroke. This approach is known as secondary prevention. It is well established and of confirmed benefit.

Following an analysis of the available evidence, it is the use of aspirin in primary prevention with which DTB takes issue. This is for individuals without symptoms, who have not yet had, for example, a heart attack or stroke, but who may be at risk.

Across the European Union alone, cardiovascular disease accounted for two million deaths in 2000. “Worldwide, many people take aspirin every day in the belief that doing so helps prevent [cardiovascular disease],” says DTB.

DTB points to various guidelines issued between 2005 and 2008 that recommend aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in various groups of patients. Examples include people aged 50 and older with type 2 diabetes and those with high blood pressure.

However DTB indicates that current evidence does not support the routine use of low-dose aspirin in such groups. This is because of the potential risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeds that accompany its use and the slight impact it has on curbing death rates.

DTB recommends that doctors review all patients currently taking low-dose aspirin for primary prevention, either as prescribed or over-the-counter treatment. It adds that the decision about whether to maintain or discontinue treatment should be made only after fully informing patients of the available evidence.

DTB adds: “Furthermore, in our view, current evidence makes it hard to recommend starting aspirin for primary prevention.”

DTB concludes: “… current evidence for primary prevention suggests the benefits and harms of aspirin in this setting may be more finely balanced than previously thought, even in individuals estimated to be at high risk of experiencing cardiovascular events, including those with diabetes or elevated blood pressure.”

“We believe, therefore, that low dose aspirin prophylaxis should not be routinely used for primary prevention.”

“Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease? “
DTB vol 47; No 11, November 2009.

Stephanie Brunner (B.A.)

Obama Administration Calls On Nation To Begin Planning And Preparing For Fall Flu Season & The New H1N1 Virus

The Obama Administration sent a strong message to the nation today that it is time to start planning and preparing for the fall flu season and the ongoing H1N1 flu outbreak and that the federal government is prepared to commit resources, training, and new tools to help state and local governments and America’s families get ready.

White House Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined with delegations from 54 states, tribes and territories today at the H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to kick-off the government’s nation-wide fall flu preparedness efforts.

“The President and the administration are actively engaged in mitigating the effects of the H1N1 flu virus and developing a national response framework and action plan that builds on the efforts and lessons learned from this spring’s initial onset to prepare for the possibility of a more serious fall outbreak of the virus,” said White House Homeland Security Advisor Brennan in his address to summit participants.

“Over the course of coming weeks and months, we will move aggressively to prepare the nation for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of the H1N1 virus,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius. “We ask the American people to become actively engaged with their own preparation and prevention. It’s a responsibility we all share.”

“The federal government is working together with its federal, state, local and tribal partners to develop a nation-wide plan to combat the H1N1 flu that incorporates the lessons we learned this spring,” said Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano. “The H1N1 Summit will allow us to continue this aggressive preparation for all possible H1N1 virus outbreak scenarios to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep our country safe and healthy.”

“Effectively dealing with a potential H1N1 outbreak requires all of us — parents, educators, health providers, and local, state and federal governments — working together on our emergency management plan,” said Education Secretary Duncan. “Today’s Flu Summit is an important step in that direction. Our primary goals at the Department of Education are the health and well being of students, faculty and staff, and ensuring that, in the event of any school closures, the learning process will continue. ”

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley moderated a Governors panel with participation via videolink from Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont, Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Governor Mark Parkinson of Kansas, Governor John Baldacci of Maine and Governor Jodi Rell of Connecticut.

“When responding to a national pandemic or a national recession, the basic principles of smart government remain the same — to increase efficiency, openness, and transparency in everything we do. Today’s summit illustrates our collective commitment to that goal,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “The experience in the spring taught us that while earlier pandemic flu planning efforts were effective, there are also areas for improvement. Effective response requires accurate and timely information that is as close to real time as possible. We share the commitment of the Obama Administration to constantly monitor, evaluate and improve these processes as we continue to lead the world in emergency preparedness.”

Throughout the one-day summit, Administration officials laid out specific ways that states and local governments could start their planning and preparation efforts and announced new programs and resources to help state and local governments, the medical community and every day America prepare for H1N1 and the fall flu season.

First, HHS will make available preparedness grants worth a total of $350 million. These grants were funded by Congress in the latest supplemental appropriations bill and they will give state and local public health offices and health care systems valuable resources to step up their preparedness efforts.

Second, the federal government will centralize communications about H1N1 and seasonal flu on the federal government’s new Web site flu. This one-stop comprehensive site brings together flu-related information from across HHS and other federal agencies. The expanded site builds on the pandemic planning information long presented on pandemicflu, and incorporates information about the novel H1N1 flu as well as the seasonal flu.

Finally, HHS is launching a new PSA campaign contest to encourage more Americans to get involved in the nation’s flu preparedness efforts by making a 15-second or 30-second PSA. Officials at the summit stressed the idea of “shared responsibility” when it comes to combating the flu and the goal of the new HHS PSA campaign contest is to tap into the nation’s creativity to help educate Americans about how to plan for and prevent the spread of H1NI influenza. HHS will evaluate submissions and will present the best PSAs back to the public so everyone can vote on their favorite submission. The winning PSA will receive $2,500 in cash and will appear on national television. Contest details as well more information about the larger effort to plan and prepare for the flu season are available at flu.