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AHRQ and United Health Foundation Team to Distribute the Latest Clinical Prevention Recommendations to Clinicians Nationwide

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Press Release Date: October 26, 2006

The Department of Health " Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is partnering with United Health Foundation to distribute more than 400,000 copies of the 2006 Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, a new guide to evidence-based clinical preventive services recommendations, to clinicians nationwide.

"We need to become a society that thinks of staying healthy rather than simply being treated after we're sick. We need to create a culture of wellness in our society," said HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. "This guide will assist physicians in selecting the right preventive service for the right patient in real time."

Prevention is one of Secretary Leavitt's top 10 priorities, and the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services is just one part of a larger HHS prevention initiative designed to promote preventive health care to both patients and clinicians.

The guide contains 53 new or revised recommendations from the AHRQ-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care and conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for abroad range of preventive services. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

Recommendations focus on screenings for obesity, breast cancer, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and HIV; hormone therapy for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women; and diet and behavioral counseling. The recommendations are grouped by cancer; cardiovascular problems; infectious diseases; mental and substance abuse disorders; metabolic, nutritional, and endocrine disorders; musculoskeletal conditions; and obstetric and gynecological conditions.

"This partnership is an excellent example of how the government and the private sector can work together to accomplish a common goal. We thank the United Health Foundation for making it feasible to put these valuable new resources into the hands of primary care clinicians in the United States," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

United Health Foundation is working with medical and nursing societies, including the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Osteopathic Association to provide free copies of the guide to their members.

Reed Tuckson, M.D., United Health Foundation's senior vice president, said, "Physicians deserve support and convenient access to the most reliable scientific evidence relevant to their clinical practice We respect the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as reflected in the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and are pleased to provide this information free of charge to our nation's health professionals and those in training."

United Health Foundation's mission is to support the health and medical decisions made by physicians, health professionals, community leaders and individuals that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1246 or (301) 427-1865.


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