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Dr. Howard K. Koh
Dr. Howard K. Koh is the Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Entries by Dr. Howard K. Koh

The Tobacco Fight Is Far From Over

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 5:58 PM

"The USA remains one of the world's largest and most profitable cigarette markets," proclaimed a recent press release from Imperial Tobacco, one of the world's biggest tobacco companies.

Unfortunately, this statement is correct. Each year, about 14 billion packs of cigarettes are consumed in this country. This translates into about...

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Join World Hepatitis Day at the White House -- July 30: A Call to Action for Public Health Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 1:51 PM

Every year, on July 28, we commemorate World Hepatitis Day and elevate the public health response to a disease that impacts more than 400 million people globally. It has been an honor to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health (ASH) at the US Department of Health and Human Services for...

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The Power of Prevention

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 12:19 PM

As a doctor and a public official committed to improving the health of Americans, I am concerned that men often have poorer health outcomes than women. As men, we can do a better job taking care of ourselves. Unfortunately, we are living sicker lives and dying younger than American women....

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Clearing the air around human health and air pollution

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 3:01 PM

Many years after completing medical school, I am still haunted by the first memories of caring for emergency department patients with full-blown asthma attacks. In particular, the terror and panic of young children gasping for breath leaves a lasting impression on every doctor and clinician. For all of us, if...

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Combating the Silent Epidemic of Hepatitis B in the AAPI Community

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Ed. note: A version of this blog was originally posted on the White House Blog.

As part of CDC and Hep B United's Know Hepatitis B campaign, this infographic provides information in a visual and easy-to-understand format.

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Don't Fry Day: A Reminder to Protect Your Skin

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 1:38 PM

For many of us, May is the month when we can finally put out our patio furniture, go biking or hiking, and dust off the beach gear -- summer is coming, and we are all too happy to get outside and enjoy the long-awaited sunshine. But for all of us,...

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Healthier Women and Families: New Guidelines Provide a Quality Roadmap

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:16 PM

We've long known that access to family planning services leads to healthier birth outcomes for women, infants and families. In the era of health reform, we are now pleased to share the release of new guidelines which address the quality of family planning services delivery.

The U.S. Department of Health...

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Organ Donation: Bringing the Conversation Home

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 10:31 AM

Lately, the news is full of information about high tech developments in organ donation and transplantation. For example, there has been talk about advances that could make 3-D printing of organs possible, and others that can help organs last longer during transport. Everyone has high hopes that such progress in...

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Updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan Released

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 4:18 PM

Today we are pleased to release an updated version of the nation's first comprehensive cross-governmental action plan to combat chronic viral hepatitis, initially launched in 2011. The Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (2014-2016) builds upon the substantial progress accomplished over the past...

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Helping Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders #GetCovered During AAPI Enrollment Week of Action

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Ed. note: A version of this blog was originally posted on the White House Blog.

For the past eight years, Maly Xiong, a Hmong-American entrepreneur and single mom, was uninsured because she could not afford health insurance. Every night she prayed that her children wouldn't get...

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Putting Flu Vaccination on the Map

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 3:23 PM

"Don't hesitate. Vaccinate!" In September, at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Influenza Press Conference at the National Press Club, I had the pleasure of announcing this season's annual influenza (flu) vaccination campaign for everyone 6 months of age and older. At this event, I was also pleased to launch...

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Supporting People With Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Health Priority

(5) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 4:29 PM

As physicians, we have both had the privilege and the responsibility of caring for individuals with multiple -- two or more -- chronic conditions. In fact, as our population ages, every provider will care for rising numbers of patients who fall into this category. Data released this year show that...

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U.S. Colleges and Universities Deserve an 'A' for Going Tobacco-Free

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 3:56 PM

Co-authored by
Cynthia Hallett, MPH
Executive Director
American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation

The Great American Smokeout (GASO), sponsored by the American Cancer Society, encourages smokers to quit for a day and plan to quit smoking for good. This year, celebrating GASO also involves...

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Improving Your Health Care Experience: A New Model

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 5:47 PM

October is Health Literacy Month, a time to highlight the importance of health literacy for all. At this critical time in our nation's public health history, everyone -- regardless of their level of medical sophistication -- should be able to easily understand the health care options they face, the health...

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Affordable Care Act: Creating Health Access for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 12:08 PM

Every one of us knows someone -- a friend, a relative, or maybe a patient -- who couldn't receive the care they needed because they lacked insurance. Thankfully, this will start to change on October 1, 2013, when people can sign up for coverage through the Health Insurance...

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CDC Reports Progress on Childhood Obesity Among Our Youngest Citizens

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 3:20 PM

As we prepare to observe National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have some encouraging news to report. For the first time in decades, we are starting to see a decline in obesity rates among our youngest citizens. As part of its Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, the Centers for Disease Control...

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Better Data Will Lead to Better Care for Those With Multiple Chronic Conditions

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 2:34 PM

Everyone knows someone with multiple chronic conditions. It could be an elderly parent, a favorite aunt, a neighbor, or even a close friend.

In fact, more than a quarter of all Americans ― and two out of three seniors ― have multiple chronic conditions, and treatment for these individuals...

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Prevention Delivers for Teens in the US

(6) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 11:37 AM

This May, as we observe National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, there is encouraging news to report in our nation's ongoing effort to prevent teen pregnancies. The latest figures released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the decline in teen births seen over...

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A Steadfast Commitment to End the Tobacco Epidemic

(114) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 2:43 PM

For far too long, tobacco use has remained the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. That's why the President has prioritized protecting Americans from tobacco's deadly health consequences. From the early months of his first term, President Obama has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to ending...

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Joining the Ranks of Former Smokers

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 2:33 PM

Did you know that former smokers now outnumber current smokers in the United States? Most
Americans may be surprised to hear this, because they know how hard it is to quit. But your chances of succeeding have never been better. This may be the perfect time to join the...

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