Around the nation: Seattle approves sugary drink tax

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • New Jersey: A clinic focused on meeting the care needs of the LGBT community opened at the Robert Wood Johnson Somerset Family Practice Center in January. The PROUD (Promoting, Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity) Family Health clinic—thought to be the first of its kind in the state, according to Hospitals & Health Networks—provides specialized primary care services, such as hormone therapy and monitoring, HIV care, and referrals for specialty services. In addition, the clinic provides support for family members, health education, counseling, and several support groups (O'Connor, Hospitals & Health Networks, 6/6).

  • Washington: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) on Tuesday signed into ordinance a measure that will levy a tax on sugary drinks. Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in January 2018, distributors will pay a 1.75-cent-per-ounce tax on canned and bottled sodas, juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored waters, sweetened teas, and ready-to-drink coffees sold in the city. Other localities that have taxed sugary drinks include Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Cook County, Illinois—which includes Chicago (Bosch, KING, 6/6; James, Reuters, 6/5).

  • Washington D.C.: The Kennedy Center last weekend hosted events in a series that teaches people about the ways scientists are exploring how the brain processes music and how doctors are applying those findings. At the events, musicians were joined on stage by scientists who discussed the mechanisms behind the music, such as how music can widen the arcuate fasciculus—a neural pathway that consists of fiber bundles in the brain. The weekend's list of musicians included Ben Folds and jazz virtuoso Esperanza Spalding, while the list of scientists included NIH Director Francis Collins and former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy (Facher, STAT News, 6/6).

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