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fernandez-health-limboTeresa Ramirez learned to live with the pain of ovarian cysts after she was diagnosed a year ago. As an undocumented immigrant, she doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, which would cover an operation, and she can’t afford private insurance. “I’m waiting for immigration reform so I can go to Mexico to have an operation,” said Ramirez, who is 45.

Undocumented immigrants like Ramirez make up one in seven medically uninsured people in the United States. And they are excluded from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will take effect in 2014, expanding Medicaid and offering tax credits to help people buy insurance.

Ms.-Ann-Karen-WellerOn April 3, 2013, Ann-Karen Weller, RN, BSN, MBA-HSM, Director of the Office of Community Health and Planning, and Paul Levelt André, P.E., CEHP, M.ASCE, Drinking Water Program Manager, with the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, each received the 2013 Florida International University’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work Path Awards.

how to healPALO ALTO, Calif. -- How does a doctor specializing in saving lives turn into one of the nation's leading experts -- and medical educators -- on end-of-life care?

Dr. Vyjeyanthi "V.J." Periyakoil says her 25-year journey from medical school in her native India to directing Stanford University's palliative-care fellowship program taught her that the art of healing lies in listening to her patients. What she heard wasn't always in the medical textbooks.

What they told her led Periyakoil to becoming a leading voice in the movement to reconceptualize end-of-life care from limited hospice treatment in the last six months of life to comprehensive treatment for profoundly ill people.

"Much of my work had been on the importance of dignity in health care," Periyakoil recalls.

By Lori Jordahl, MBA-HA.

STD/HIV Prevention and Control Consultant, Florida Department of Health, Miami Dade

STD Awareness Month is an annual observance to call attention to the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and to promote prevention and testing across the country. New CDC estimates show that there are nearly 20 million new infections in the United States each year. Half of all new STD infections are among youth.