Most women in the developed world are familiar with the “pap smear,” a procedure that has become an important part of routine gynecologic care. In this post we will be talking all about the pap smear: what it is, why it’s needed, and how often you should be getting it.

What is it?

The pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Named after the Greek physician, Dr. Papanicolaou who invented the test in the 1940s, it is now widely used as an effective cancer prevention tool. The test involves collecting cells from the cervix (opening of the uterus) and evaluating them…


Written by Namuun Clifford, MSN, FNP and Mary McQuilkin, MPH, MSN, AGNP

Most people go to the doctor’s office when they are already sick, but visiting your primary care provider (PCP) when you are well can be instrumental in preventing illness and optimizing your health. The goal of preventive health care addressed by the “wellness exam” is to enhance your wellbeing through health promotion (e.g. by encouraging regular exercise) and to protect you from illness (e.g. with vaccinations).

Why is preventative care important?

Chronic diseases are responsible for the deaths of 7 out of 10 Americans. Chronic diseases are also the leading cause of disability…


Image credit: UNICEF

Air pollution is the greatest environmental risk factor for premature death and disability worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe polluted air, resulting in 7 million deaths in 2016 due to outdoor and household air pollution.

Although air pollution affects everyone, the burden of disease and death is not equal and disproportionately affects the low to middle income countries. 94% of the total 7 million deaths due to air pollution occurred in Asia and Africa.

Namuun Clifford

Nurse practitioner & public health advocate.

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