National Academy of Medicine

NASEM Publications Round-Up: February 2017

March 01, 2017

Browse all health-related publications released by the National Academies in February 2017 below. To receive updates from the NAM, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Reports document the evidence-based consensus of an authoring committee of experts. Proceedings chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other convening event. Perspectives are individually-authored expert commentaries and discussion papers from leading voices in health and health care. 


Integration of FDA and NIOSH Processes Used to Evaluate Respiratory Protective Devices for Health Care Workers 

February 1, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have responsibilities for evaluating and regulating respiratory protective devices (RPDs) for health care workers. To provide input to NIOSH and FDA and to discuss potential next steps to integrate the two agencies’ processes to certify and approve N95 respirators for use in health care settings, a workshop was held by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The workshop was focused on exploring the strengths and limitations of several current test methods for N95 respirators as well as identifying ongoing research and research needs. The workshop resulted from discussions between FDA and NIOSH and from discussions of the National Academies’ Standing Committee on Personal Protective Equipment for Workplace Safety and Health.

Optimizing the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Selection Process

February 3, 2017 | NASEM Report 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is a report that provides nutritional and dietary information with the intention of promoting health and preventing disease, and serves as the basis for all federal nutrition policies and nutrition assistance programs, as well as nutrition education programs. This guidance is updated and presented every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The complicated process of updating the report begins with an assessment of relevant scientific data by a federal advisory committee of nationally recognized experts, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. When the 2015-2020 edition of the DGA was released, some of the content received criticism from different stakeholders leading to questions about the advisory committee’s composition and membership selection processes.

In response to such concerns, Congress mandated that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine produce two reports evaluating the entire process used to develop the DGA.

Innovations in Investing in Young Children Globally 

February 8, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop-In Brief

With innovations ranging from prioritizing the needs of children in national agendas to unique partnerships that enable services to reach children in remote contexts as a backdrop, on October 20-21, 2016, the Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally, in partnership with the Jacobs Foundation, the Institute for Human Development at the Aga Khan University, and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, convened its ninth and final workshop in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to explore topics related to innovations in investing in young children globally. Over the course of the 2-day workshop, researchers, policy makers, program practitioners, industry partners, funders, and other experts came together to highlight innovative research, policy, business models, and implementation strategies occurring in West Africa and around the world that positively affect investments made in young children. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings in brief as a factual summation of the session discussions.

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Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

February 14, 2017 | NAS/NAM Report

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led many policymakers and stakeholders to express concern about whether appropriate systems are in place to govern these technologies and how and when the public should be engaged in these decisions.

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Real-World Evidence Generation and Evaluation of Therapeutics

February 15, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop

The traditional process for evaluating new therapeutics does not produce the evidence that patients, clinicians, and payers need for real-world decisions. The volume and complexity of information about individual patients is greatly increasing with use of electronic records and personal devices. Potential effects on medical product development in the context of this wealth of real-world data are numerous and varied, ranging from the ability to determine both large-scale and patient-specific effects of treatments to assessing how therapeutics affect patients’ lives through measurement of lifestyle changes. However, mechanisms to facilitate efficient use of real-world data to meet the decision-making needs of myriad stakeholders have not been established.

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Countering Violent Extremism Through Public Health Practice

February 17, 2017 | NASEM Proceedings of a Workshop

Countering violent extremism (CVE) consists of various prevention and intervention approaches to increase the resilience of communities and individuals to radicalization toward violent extremism, to provide nonviolent avenues for expressing grievances, and to educate communities about the threat of recruitment and radicalization to violence. To explore the application of health approaches in community-level strategies to countering violent extremism and radicalization, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop called Health Approaches in Community-Level Strategies to Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization. The workshop, held in Washington, DC, on September 7 and 8, 2016, convened speakers with expertise spanning the domains of health care, mental and behavioral health, public health, homeland security, law enforcement, education, civil rights, and countering violent extremism. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the session discussions.

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Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

February 28, 2017 | NASEM Report 

Concerns over possible adverse effects of wartime exposure to smoke from trash burning in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations in Southwest Asia have stimulated both research and Congressional action. Public Law 112-260, § 201 (enacted January 10, 2013) directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain a registry for service members who may have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes generated by open burn pits. VA asked the National Academies to take on the responsibility to fulfill a provision of this law that called for an independent scientific organization to prepare a report addressing issues related to the establishment and conduct of the registry and use of the information it collects. This report, prepared by the Committee on the Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, fulfills the congressional mandate and provides responses to other questions posed by VA.

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Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures 

February 28, 2017 | NASEM Report

Effectively educating children who are learning English as their second language is a national challenge with consequences both for individuals and for American society. Despite their potential, many young English learners are struggling to meet the requirements for academic success, a difficulty that jeopardizes their prospects for success in post-secondary education and in the workforce. A committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examined how evidence relevant to the development of English learners can inform policies and practices that can result in better educational outcomes for these young people. The committee’s report, Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English:  Promising Futures examines what research evidence reveals about learning English from early childhood through high school, identifies effective practices for educators to use, and recommends steps policy makers can take to support high-quality educational outcomes for children and youth who are learning English.

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