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Public Health

As Ohio's largest and oldest statewide physician organization, the OSMA is actively involved in several public health issues, making a difference for you and your patients.

8 Years of OSMA Advocacy Finally Pay Off with New Tanning Law

New tanning bed restrictions for minors were signed into law in late 2014 due to advocacy efforts from the Ohio Dermatological Association and the OSMA. Both groups lobbied on this issue over the course of eight years as legislators contemplated imposing restrictions on minors’ use of UV tanning beds. 

The new law, which became effective in March 2015, requires parental consent and parental presence for the duration of all tanning sessions for minors under age 16, and it requires recurring parental consent and requires a parent to be present for the duration of the first tanning session for minors between ages 16 and 18. The law will also require tanning facility operators and employees to obtain written consent from all individuals over age 18 who use sun lamp tanning services.  

The Ohio Board of Cosmetology issued new guidelines and a tanning consent form to ensure tanning facilities comply with the law.  

State, OSMA Tackle Infant Mortality

Ohio’s infant mortality rate ranks 47th worst in the country. Furthermore, the infant mortality rate for African-American babies is more than twice the rate for white babies in our state.  

The OSMA is working with policymakers and other stakeholders to tackle this devastating problem. Last year, we co-sponsored the 2014 Ohio Infant Mortality Summit with the Ohio Department of Health. We also supported a number of new laws that aim to improve our infant mortality rate. One of the laws created the Commission on Infant Mortality – a 15-member commission which is tasked with preparing a written report, which will include findings and recommendations made by the committee no later than Sept. 19, 2015. The Commission will study state services that work to address infant mortality as well as track and analyze the infant mortality rate by county in order to recommend initiatives. Another new law requires the establishment of infant safe sleep procedures and policies at hospitals.  
 

Ohio Patient Safety Institute (OPSI)

The OSMA, along with the Ohio Osteopathic Association (OOA) and the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), founded the Ohio Patient Safety Institute (OPSI), an organization dedicated to improving patient safety in Ohio.The Institute is a subsidiary of the Ohio Health Council. Through this collaboration and common effort, OPSI has the ability to work with over 180 hospitals and 9,000 physicians in Ohio to improve patient safety for all Ohioans.

Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio (IANO)

The OSMA is proud to be a founding member of the Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio (IANO). IANO is a network of public health advocates, medical associations, education groups, community organizations and others committed to a healthy Ohio. IANO provides resources on the value of vaccines to educate legislators, policy influencers, opinion leaders and the public on the critical role immunizations play in maintaining healthy communities, schools, workplaces and institutions in Ohio.
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