YKHC consists of a regional hospital in Bethel, nine regional facilities and 47 village clinics. The corporation employs around 1,500 people and has an annual payroll of $70 million. Photo Courtesy of YKHC.There’s been a big decrease in the number of gonorrhea cases in Southwest Alaska over the past five years, according to the state Department of Health. It comes after local doctors tried a new strategy, called expedited partner therapy.Download AudioWhen he moved to Bethel to take a job as an OBGYN at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation in 2009, Dr. David Compton learned the region was having an outbreak of the sexually transmitted infection, gonorrhea.“I found out that not only did we have a very high baseline rate of sexually transmitted infections – gonorrhea and chlamydia – but we were seeing what we discovered to be was an epidemic of gonorrhea that the CDC was very concerned about and we were very concerned could develop into epidemics of other sexually transmitted diseases, like HIV,” said Compton.Until 2008, gonorrhea infection rates in Alaska were very low. But In 2009, they detected an uptick everywhere and called it an outbreak across the state.Dr. David Compton with Nurse Caroline Compton who is also his wife. Photo Courtesy of YKHC.If left untreated, in women, the bacterial infection can result in pelvic inflammatory disease and serious pregnancy complications. It can lead to infertility in both women and men. Young people, 15-29, are more likely to be infected by gonorrhea because of their sexual behaviors. Alaska Natives are disproportionately affected.The Centers for Disease Control and the state suggested something called expedited partner therapy – that’s where instead of tracking down partners of infected people and trying to get them to come in for treatment separately, the doctor prescribes or gives the medication to the patient to pass on to their partners.It took six to nine months, Compton says, to convince everybody involved that it was a good idea. They had to switch from the recommended medication, which is a shot to a pill, Compton says, in order to make it easier to deliver the medication, but it worked.“What we found when we tried this was that the partners were treated up to three days faster and therefore they had sex with fewer people with the infection and we were able to decrease the rate of the gonorrhea,” said Compton.By a lot: they reduced new infection by 48 percent in the Southwest region of the state over the past five years.Graphic by Ben Matheson/KYUK.They also reduced the duration of test to treatment time for the STI from nearly a week to just two or three days. Now expedited partner therapy has become routine at YKHC in Bethel. It’s also available at village clinics and at the public health office.That’s something Susan Jones, who works for the state HIV/STD program says was critical to getting the outbreak under control. Now it’s becoming more available throughout Alaska, she says.“It’s something that has extended across the state in various degrees. One of the things that have helped this along is that the physicians in the state changed their regulations that allowed them to do prescriptions for individuals exposed to STD’s. You don’t have to see the person but you can write a prescription if they’ve been exposed to gonorrhea,” said Jones.Jones says although the decrease in YK Delta Gonorrhea is hopeful, it’s recently come to light that some is being missed in the routine urine test, so it’s important to ask providers about additional testing, in some cases.And, although gonorrhea is down, overall in the region, Jones says the Southwest area, along with Northern Alaska, still have the highest rates of gonorrhea in the state and Alaska ranks number four in the nation for the STI.
October 9, 2018 1,012 Views Banks BCFP loans mortgage New York Fed 2018-10-09 Radhika Ojha How CFPB Impacts Mortgage Lending Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) was formed as part of the Dodd-Frank Act and began operations in July 2011 with the mandate to protect consumer finances and a broad authority over banks and nonbanks.How has the oversight of the bureau affected banks since it began seven years ago? A new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aimed to measure the effects on banks of BCFP’s supervision and enforcement activities to answer this question.Focusing on BCFP and mortgage lenders, the research revealed that “there is no evidence that being subject to CFPB supervision and enforcement has led to lower mortgage lending for affected banks,” the New York Fed said on its Liberty Street Economics blog on Tuesday.Written by Andreas Fuster, Matthew Plosser, and James Vickery, the blog gave an overview of the research done by the bank on the impact of BCFP’s oversight on lenders. Looking at commercial and savings banks with total assets between $1 billion and $25 billion as of June 30, 2011, the research sorted them into two groups: those that became subject to the bureau’s oversight when it started operating in mid-2011 and those that did not and plotted the mortgage lending volumes for these two groups using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.It found that while the volume of mortgage lending for both groups fluctuated substantially over time and reflected movements in long-term interest rates and other factors, there were no obvious differential trends with lending volumes moving very closely together for the two groups.The research also estimated the lending effects of BCFP oversight by using a model that accounted for the location of mortgaged property and other loan characteristics. It found that the estimated effect of BCFP’s oversight on mortgage origination volume was economically small and “generally not statistically different from zero.””We also find that banks subject to CFPB oversight are no more likely to reject mortgage applications than other banks,” the blog said. “We find that CFPB oversight reduces affected lenders’ share of mortgage originations by at most 1.6 percentage points, a small decline relative to the overall 38 percent market share of these lenders in our sample.”However, when the research looked at the composition of mortgage lending, it found that BCFP oversight had impacted these. “Most notably, we find a 6 percent drop in the market share of CFPB-supervised banks for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). These loans tend to be riskier since they are made to lower-income borrowers and generally involve a small down payment,” the research revealed. “There is also some evidence of a drop in lending to borrowers with higher credit risk. Offsetting these declines, CFPB-supervised banks substitute toward large loans in the “jumbo” segment of the mortgage market, where borrowers tend to have higher incomes.”Click here to read the full blog and research findings.