A Recap of This Week’s Top News – November 17, 2023

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, November 11, to Friday, November 17. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • Academic achievement for students in America faltered during the pandemic and has largely not recovered since. Recent data suggests this may be due to student attendance. The data shows that students are missing more school now than before the pandemic and is dramatically worse in high-poverty schools.
  • According to research published in the Psychological Medicine journal, children below age 9 who spend 12 hours per week reading for pleasure tend to do better on cognitive tests and have better mental health when they are adolescents than those who have not developed this habit. Benefits include better memory, speech development, and academic achievement and fewer signs of stress or depression and behavioral problems.

Health News:

  • A new analysis of studies conducted over the last 50 years shows that common pesticides used in homes, gardens, lawns, and sprayed on food are contributing to a large decline in sperm count among men worldwide. Men who were most exposed to the pesticides, such as those who work in agriculture, had significantly less sperm concentration than men who less exposure.
  • A new study finds that people who commit daily “micro-acts” of joy experience a 25% increase in emotional well-being throughout the course of a week. Examples include making a gratitude list, doing a nice gesture for a friend, celebrating another person’s joy, and visiting a sick neighbor.

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A Recap of This Week’s Top News – November 10, 2023

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, November 4, to Friday, November 10. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • Chronic absenteeism continues to plague students across the country following the COVID-19 pandemic. A new story in The 74 Million delves into the factors that are perpetuating the issue at hand, including worsening mental health, remote learning, and absenteeism in teachers.
  • New data published this week by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that the number of students participating in summer academic programs or after school remedial or enrichment activities has declined in the last school year.
  • A recent report by the Brookings Institution is claiming that the Supreme Court’s recent decision to ban race-based admissions in the United States will “not affect admissions at most colleges and universities,” according to an article by Inside Higher Ed. The article’s claim comes from the fact that the decision only affects universities that used affirmative action prior to the decision—which mostly applies to highly selective universities.

Health News:

  • With the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaching, health officials are recommending that those who haven’t received their flu and/or COVID-19 shots get them before joining their family for celebrations. According to an article by CBS News, the CDC is expecting the winter season to bring more cases of the flu, COVID, and RSV—all of which could be combatted by increased vaccination rates. Similarly, a Kaiser Family Foundation article notes that experts are recommending that infants under 6 months old or with underlying medical conditions receive the new RSV shot to protect them.
  • Black children are historically underdiagnosed for ADHD, signifying a “deepening inequity for Black children, and especially Black males,” said a CBS News story on the topic. Children who don’t receive treatment of ADHD through therapy and/or medication are at risk of facing more difficulty later in life, including drug addiction and self-harm, said the story. In order to address the problem, experts cite culturally sensitive screening as a necessary part of the diagnosis.
  • Two recent studies found that regular marijuana use may have a link to heart attacks. The data reflected a 34 percent increase of daily users developing some sort of heart failure, said an article by The Hill.

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How to Build Partnerships That Amplify Your Impact

Following is an excerpt from Cecily N. Dumas’ article appearing in the October 2023 O’Dwyer’s Magazine Healthcare Issue. Read the full article for more examples and ideas to help you cultivate and maintain strong partnerships.

Every day, we’re bombarded with information: whether we’re online or offline, when we’re at work or off the clock, while we’re using our discerning minds or enjoying mindless entertainment. We need to quickly decide what we believe is true, relevant to us, and worth acting on. So, how do we decide?

When faced with a barrage of messaging, the information source becomes a cue we use to determine whether to believe and give weight to what we are being told. This is just one reason that engaging trusted voices and organizations is critical to the success of health communications programs.

As health communicators, we have to figure out what will reinforce the credibility of our programs and motivate audiences to adopt our calls to action. Robust, meaningful partnerships are an essential strategy to this end. And if done effectively, partnerships can also help us enhance our programs, expand reach and engagement among audiences, maximize resources, and improve program sustainability. Below are four approaches to help ensure that everyone—including you and your partners—get the most out of your partnerships.

  1. Understand your audiences and engage the partners that are most credible to them

Our unique experiences—our culture, community, social circles, and countless other factors—impact what we view as credible, relatable sources of information. Use formative research to identify whom your audiences trust and look to for information. Then place those trusted sources and the organizations that serve them among your priority partners. By engaging trusted partners to disseminate your messages and align their name with your program, you can increase the likelihood that your audiences will pay attention to and act on your messages. 

  1. Engage partners early and often

Bring partners to the table as early as possible in your program planning. This goes a long way to cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship, as the partner feels—and rightly so—that their own interests are being considered. It also can be a huge boon to your planning, because it helps you uncover areas for collaboration, address gaps, and reduce redundancies with what your partners are already doing. Then, once you have partners at the table, keep them there with regular contact. Give them opportunities to share with you and other program partners their team’s impact and present their best practices. Partners who see themselves and their goals reflected in your program are more likely to give their own time to further your impact.

  1. Apply the Golden Rule to your partnerships

The strongest and most enduring partnerships are mutually beneficial. Don’t enter any partner conversations with only asks. Be prepared to share what your partners will gain by collaborating with you. Take care to consider what the organization may find valuable and tailor your offerings accordingly. 

  1. Tailor your outreach and asks to the individual partner

Not all partners are created equal. And thank goodness! Do your homework and customize your collaboration ideas based on the capacity and goals of the partner. If you activate your partners in the ways that best fit their own capabilities and interests, they’ll see that you recognize the unique value they bring to the program and feel galvanized to continue supporting you.

These four approaches are just the beginning when it comes to building robust, lasting, and mutually beneficial partnerships. Though it takes time and care, partnership development brings great value to our health communications efforts. We’re stronger together, and together with partners, we can amplify our impact and achieve wonderful things.

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A Recap of This Week’s Top News – October 13, 2023

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, October 2, to Friday, October 13. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • A new report released by ACT found that nationwide ACT scores are averaging at 19.5, a 32-year low. The results reflect that students graduating high school may not be as prepared for postsecondary education as they believe.
  • Schools run by the U.S. Department of Defense are outperforming America’s other public schools in both reading and math, according to a recent New York Times article on the topic. These schools, which account for about 66,000 students across the country, showed a steady increase in achievement―even during the pandemic. “If the Department of Defense schools were a state, we would all be traveling there to figure out what’s going on,” said Harvard professor Martin West, who was quoted in the article.
  • Georgia students applying for the fall 2024 college admissions cycle will get to experience direct admissions, a new policy that will automatically admit high school students with certain qualifications to some universities. The policy includes 22 institutions within the Technical College System of Georgia and many of the 26 University System of Georgia schools. Students who receive confirmation of a reserved spot would still need to apply for the universities, said K-12 Dive.
  • A recent report highlighted a rising concern that the pandemic is aggravating rates of chronic absenteeism. In fact, “66 percent of schools experienced students repeatedly missing from their classes,” said a Washington Post article.

Health News:

  • As the fall weather comes in, health officials advise that it’s time for the public to get their yearly flu and COVID-19 shots. While some worry about side effects from the shot, experts say that the chills, headache, and fatigue that may come after the vaccines are a sign that they’re working, according to a New York Times article.
  • While some claim to have evaded COVID-19 entirely, some people have had the virus at least five times, says a recent NBC article. For some repeat offenders, the virus was often less severe the subsequent times they experienced it, although continually “mentally and emotionally exhausting each time.”
  • The overdose reversal medication Narcan no longer needs a prescription, but some worry that the price, availability, and lack of awareness may prevent the decision from having as much impact as it could. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation article on the topic described it as a small step with much more work still needed.

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A Recap of This Week’s Top News – October 6, 2023

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, September 30, to Friday, October 6. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • President Biden announced that his administration approved $9 billion more in student loan forgiveness, affecting 125,000 borrowers benefiting from three existing federal relief programs.
  • As of 2022, every U.S. state has passed at least one law or policy aimed at promoting K-12 computer science education. However, research suggests that not all new computer science classes are taught by teachers who are certified in that subject. As of 2019-20, computer science was the “least popular certification subject for new teachers,” said an Education Week article on the topic.

Health News:

  • Two new reports concluded that women pay a “pink tax” for their healthcare, spending more out of pocket than men do. Specifically for women with breast cancer, the extra costs are so significant that it can affect their health outcomes.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a guidance document that proposes a new policy aimed at significantly reducing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S. The policy proposes that health providers offer gay and bisexual men, as well as transgendered women, access to a common antibiotic after having unprotected sex to lower their risk for certain STIs.
  • As consumers are ordering free home COVID-19 tests from the government, some may find that their tests arrive already expired. However, the federal government has extended the expiration dates on many home tests, stating that they will still work.

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