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Health - Bensalem Township

Wolf Signs Executive Order to Protect LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians from Conversion Therapy

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Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2022-2 to protect Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy on Tuesday.

“Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat,” said Gov. Wolf. “This discriminatory practice is widely rejected by medical and scientific professionals and has been proven to lead to worse mental health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ youth subjected to it. This is about keeping our children safe from bullying and extreme practices that harm them.”

The Executive Order directs commonwealth agencies to discourage conversion therapy in the commonwealth. It directs commonwealth agencies to take steps to actively promote evidence-based best practices for LGBTQIA+ individuals that is actually supported by the scientific and medical communities. It directs agencies to make updates to policies and procedures to better support LGBTQIA+ employees and the Pennsylvanians we serve. It also directs the Department of Human Services, the Insurance Department and Department of State and other appropriate agencies to explore and implement all options to ensure state funds, programs, contracts, and other resources are not used for the purposes of providing, authorizing, endorsing, reimbursing for, or referring for conversion therapy, to the extent permitted by law.

survey on LGBTQIA+ Youth Mental Health by The Trevor Project shows that LGBTQIA+ youth are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes. The survey results show that 45% of LGBTQIA+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. 73% of LGBTQIA+ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety. 58% reported symptoms of depression. Additionally, 36% of LGBTQIA+ youth reported they have been physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to a peer-reviewed study from The Trevor Project, 13% of LGBTQIA+ youth nationwide reported being subjected to conversion therapy, and 83% of those subjected to it were under age 18.

The study showed that LGBTQIA+ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide in the past year. Researchers found that when they accounted for the harms caused by conversion therapy – including negative mental health outcomes and substance use – conversion therapy costs our nation $9.23 billion each year.

2019 study from the UCLA Williams Institute estimated that 73,000 LGBTQIA+ youth will be subjected to conversion therapy before they turn 18 – including 16,000 youth who will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional.

“Conversion therapy is causing horrific consequences for the mental health and well-being of a generation of young LGBTQIA+ individuals,” said Gov. Wolf. “But there is something very simple that we can all do to help. We can stand up and tell LGBTQIA+ youth that we hear them and we accept them exactly as they are. ​

“The Trevor Project’s Youth Mental Health Survey showed that rates of negative mental health outcomes among LGBTQIA+ youth are much lower in communities, schools and families that are accepting and supportive of LGBTQIA+ people. That’s why I signed this executive order to protect Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy and the damage it does to our communities. Because all of our youth deserve to grow up in a commonwealth that accepts and respects them.

Credit: Matthew Markey

“I want LGBTQIA+ youth and individuals across Pennsylvania to know that I stand with you. I see you, I respect you and I support you. My administration will continue to support policies to keep children safe from bullying and harmful practices.”

“We have worked tirelessly over the last year to collaboratively get this executive order drafted, through discussions with advocates, parents, and many stakeholders. With this action, the practice of conversion therapy has its days numbered in Pennsylvania​,” said Rafael Alvarez Febo, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. “Young people should never be punished for being who they are and that’s what socalled conversion therapy does, while causing sometimes irreparable trauma to individuals.”

“Taxpayers’ dollars must never again be spent on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy’ — which has been consistently associated with increased suicide risk and an estimated $9.23 billion economic burden in the U.S.,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), senior campaign manager for Advocacy and Government Affairs of The Trevor Project. “Thank you Governor Tom Wolf for your leadership and for taking bold action to affirm and protect young LGBTQ people across the commonwealth. We urge the state legislature to pass comprehensive state-wide protections and for governors across the nation to follow the Keystone State’s lead in ending this abusive practice.”

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Health - Bensalem Township

Funding for Bensalem Water Main Replacement Secured

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Bensalem Township will be allotted funding from a $77.5 million loan through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for a water main replacement project, announced Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks).

PENNVEST funding specifically serves projects in Pennsylvania that focus on sewer, storm water and drinking water projects.

The loan will be distributed to 16 municipalities across southeastern Pennsylvania for water main replacement projects.

“I am happy to say Bensalem is included in this vital project in the southeast,” said Tomlinson. “Making sure our water mains are updated means our drinking water is safe and quality service is provided to the consumers.”

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Health - Bensalem Township

Takata Air Bags Still Under Recall

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The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that tens of millions of vehicles with Takata air bags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these air bags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths.

NHTSA urges vehicle owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this very serious threat to safety.

Models flagged as being at an extreme risk are certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura models containing so-called “alpha” airbags, and the 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks. Also included are the 1999 BMW 323i and 328i, said in a Consumer Report dated July 10, 2024.

Do Not Drive warnings have been issued for these vehicles by NHTSA.

NHTSA said, a separate group of defective Takata air bags was recalled in late 2019. Unlike the air bag inflators in the larger Takata recalls, this recall involves non-azide driver inflators.

Consumer Reports said, a total of 67 million airbags have been recalled. As of April, 2024, NHTSA reports that 88 percent have been repaired/replaced, still leaving many millions of at-risk airbags on the road.

 

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

Santarsiero, BCHIP to Host Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area Keynote Events

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State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP) will host two keynote events, in partnership with the Blue Zones organization, to introduce Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area to the community.

On July 22nd, Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area Keynote will take place at 5pm at the Wharf in Bristol Borough.  The keynote will be delivered by Margaret Brown from Blue Zones and will focus on the Lower Bucks area.

On July 23rd, Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area Keynote will take place at 5pm at the Linksz Pavillion at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.  The keynote will be delivered by Dan Buettner, Jr. from Blue Zones and will focus on the Central Bucks area.

Both events will include audience Q&A and will feature a panel of experts from the Blue Zones organization.

WHEN: Monday, July 22, 2024; 5PM

LOCATION: The Wharf, 100 Basin Street, Bristol

WHO:  State Senator Steve Santarsiero

Margaret Brown, Vice President of Business Development, Blue Zones

Kimberly Everett, Executive Director, BCHIP

 

WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 2024; 5PM

LOCATION: Bucks County Comm. College, Linksz Pavillion, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown

WHO:  State Senator Steve Santarsiero

Dan Buettner, Jr., Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer, Blue Zones

Kimberly Everett, Executive Director, BCHIP

Blue Zones is based on 20 years of research and scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health and happiness, from the longest-living communities in the world. During the Ignite phase of the partnership, Blue Zones will assess the current state of our Bucks area community’s well-being through engagement and education with local leaders and community members, culminating in recommendations for a full-scale transformation of our area to a Blue Zone.

Blue Zones Ignite Bucks Area includes: Bristol Township, Bristol Borough, Falls Township, Tullytown Borough, Morrisville Borough, Lower Makefield Township, Yardley Borough, Newtown Township, Newtown Borough, Upper Makefield Township, Solebury Township, New Hope Borough, Buckingham Township, Doylestown Township, Doylestown Borough, Plumstead Township, New Britain Township, New Britain Borough and Chalfont Borough.

Public RSVPs are requested online at https://www.senatorstevesantarsiero.com/bluezonesignitebucksareakeynote/.

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