We’re past the halfway mark for 2021 and the healthcare holidays just keep coming! July is relatively calm in terms health awareness movements. While there are very few daily or weekly awareness movements in July, there are several major month-long awareness movements worth focusing on. Take a look at our breakdown of July’s healthcare movements and get connected.
Cord Blood Awareness Month
Cord blood is the term used to describe blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby. This blood holds valuable newborn stem cells that can be used for future medical procedures.
Cord blood banking can be done publicly or privately. If done publicly, people who donate sign away their rights to their specific donation. If done privately, while not free, people maintain rights to their specific donations for future use.
The first cord blood bank was only established in 1993, so the process is still relatively new. If you want to learn more about the process, check out the information from New England Cord Blood Bank here.
International Group B Strep Throat Awareness Month
Group B Strep International is an information group that works to spread awareness and support for several prenatal and early/late-onset infections and diseases including International Prenatal Infection Awareness Month and Prenatal-Onset GBS Recognition Awareness Month. July focuses on Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Awareness specifically and has been doing so for 21 years now.
GBS is a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns and is known to be fast-acting and transient, so knowing the infection symptoms in babies is incredibly important. If you are interested in learning more about GBS, check out Group B Strep International’s free information here.
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) has been making a push for awareness of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Arthritis, which effects more than 50 million adults, is often left unacknowledged in children. JIA is known by other names and forms depending on where on and how much of the body it affects.
“A child’s immune system is not fully formed until about age 18; so an “autoimmune” form of arthritis is especially aggressive in children,” according to the ANRF. The symptoms that mark JIA can mimic more common sicknesses children face like the flu or an allergic reaction, so it is important to know what to look for to keep from delaying a diagnosis.
If you would like to get involved and learn more about Juvenile Arthritis, Check out the ANRF free information packets here!
National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month
July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month (NCCAPM). The conditions focused on by participating awareness organizations include congenital anomalies and those that develop or are caused by external forces later in life. As these conditions can be life-threatening, raising awareness of cause, symptoms of development, and possible treatments is incredibly important.
If you are interested in learning how to become involved, either as an individual or an organization, check out the NCCAPM’s website here.
Sarcoma Awareness Month
Sarcoma, also known as the “forgotten cancer”, is lacking in public support or funding. Rare in adults but prevalent in children (accounting for about 20% of all childhood cancers), sarcoma has a multitude of different subtypes because it can arise from a variety of tissue structures.
While groups like the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) work year-round to bring awareness and understanding to sarcoma as a disease and the race to cure it, July serves as a time to bring true focus to these efforts. If you are interested in learning more about sarcoma and how to support the race to the cure, check out the SFA’s informative website here.
Healthy Vision Month
Healthy Vision Month looks to increase awareness of vision health and the professional field of Optometry. Groups like the National Eye Institute (NEI) use July to spread resources for ensuring healthy vision. These recourses include healthy food guides, diagrams to increase understanding of how the eye works, and information guides for finding a proper eye doctor and paying for eye exams, glasses, and operations.
This year, the NEI has put a focus on equity in eye care, calling the awareness month’s theme ‘Eye on Health Equity‘. Besides the normal information that the website displays for promoting the field, like grants and training information, the NEI is promoting Healthy Vision Month Ambassadors, who are “eye health professionals [who spoke] about the important of diversity and representation in the eye health field”.
If you are interested in hearing more about eye health or the insight provided by the eye health ambassadors, check out the NEI’s page here.
UV Safety Month
UV Safety is always important, especially as summer comes around. The sun’s radiation, both the UV-A and UV-B rays, can do serious and permanent damage to your skin and eyes. This damage can accumulate and cause severe issues in the future, such as suppression of the immune system and skin cancer.
Multiple health groups, such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all share extensive research and information for having a safe and healthy summer while avoiding taking risks with UV rays. Check them out and ensure that your summer is celebrated safely.
While this month isn’t stocked full with holidays, the awareness months here still deserve their highlights and focus. If you are interested in pursuing or assisting with any of these causes, follow the links above and then let us know!
If you are interested in assisting from a professional perspective and are looking for a job that can help you do that, check out our job board! If you are looking for something specific, send in your resume and we can connect you directly to a recruiter who can help!