The University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence gets very busy this time of year, if only because of the annual proclamation by the governor of Valley Fever Awareness Week, but activities often extend beyond—such as this year in two cases.
In part, the extension this year is due to a Valley Fever awareness youth poster art contest sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services that began Oct. 1 (see more below on that), as well as an informational campaign by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote Fungal Disease Awareness Week, Oct. 1-5.
Dr. John Galgiani being interviewed on new Valley fever clinical practice by KGUN9's Natalie Tarangioli (click image to see the broadcast).
You also may have seen a social media frenzy coming from the above agencies, other stakeholders from Texas to Northern California or perhaps the Valley fever center itself over the past few weeks—particularly via Facebook.
New 'Clinical Practice' Toolbox
The big announcement arrived earlier this week with unveiling of a “Banner Valley Fever Clinical Practice Toolbox” on the center’s website in conjunction with Banner Health.
The toolbox includes a video from a webinar earlier this fall as well as a tutorial, PowerPoint presentations, informational brochures, posters and other documents (in English and Spanish).
The goal is to assist clinicians and their patients on better recognizing, diagnosing and treating this fungal respiratory disease.
You can view a video associated with an Arizona Republic article on the new public protocols below:
Youth Poster Art Contest
But a youth poster art contest launched by the Arizona Department of Health Services in partnership with the center and Tucson’s Pueblo High School on Oct. 1 has had its deadline for entries extended from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14 recently to encourage more entries.
For rules, FAQs and additional information, see: azhealth.gov/valleyfevercontest
Annual Farness Lecture
Lastly, the 23rd Annual Farness Lecture, hosted in cooperation with the UA Department of Medicine at the department’s Medicine Grand Rounds is being held not during VF Awareness Week, but on Wed., Nov. 28, noon-1 p.m., in Room 5403, a large theater-style classroom on the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s fifth floor.
The invited speaker is David Archer, PhD, principal scientist for cryptography and multiparty computation at Galois Inc., Portland, Ore., and a principal investigator on several DARPA, IARPA and DHS research programs. His focus is largely on related security issues and “blockchain” technology related to how BitCoin trading functions, said John Galgiani, MD, Valley fever center director, a professor in the UA Division of Infectious Diseases and director of the Banner – University Medicine Valley Fever Program.
Beyond a brief explanation of how large scale amounts of electronic medical record data could be mined in a secure way to keep patient identifiers anonymous and enhance health care research, his humored reply on what Dr. Archer would be speaking about was: “Like me, you’ll have to show up to find out more.”
Dr. Archer’s talk is titled: "Keep it Secret, Keep It Safe: Cryptographic Tools for EMR Security." Add the event to your personal schedule (via iCal, MSOutlook, Google or Yahoo! calendar) at this link.
About the Lecture Series
The lecture is named in honor of the late Orrin J. Farness, MD, a physician in Tucson who is credited with identifying the first culturally proven Arizona patient with coccidioidomycosis, recorded in a paper published in 1938. Dr. Farness also conducted skin test surveys in Pima County, demonstrating that most persons had delayed type dermal hypersensitivity to coccidioidin, an antigen derived from a fungus used to detect skin sensitivity.
A lecture in his honor was endowed by his widow and, from 1975 through 1991, it was administered by the Tucson Medical Center and the UA Respiratory Sciences Center—now the UA Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center. When the UA Valley fever center was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1996, the Farness Lecture Series was resumed. The Valley Fever Center for Excellence works to spread public awareness and education about Valley fever, promote high-quality care for the disease and pursue research to improve treatment therapies and to develop a vaccine. Learn more at VFCE.arizona.edu
“New UA/Banner Health Valley Fever Clinical Guidelines to Help Avoid Delays in Diagnosis” | Posted Nov. 14, 2018
“New UA/Banner Health Valley Fever Clinical Guidance Designed to Avert Diagnoses Delays” | Posted Oct. 8, 2018
“UA Valley Fever Center, ADHS, Tucson’s Pueblo High Host Youth Awareness Poster Contest” | Posted Oct. 5, 2018
“Healthy Dose Blog Takes Aim at Valley Fever for Fungal Disease Awareness Week” | Posted Oct. 4, 2018