Health Politics: Learning From History in Art from the Reagan/AIDS Era

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

7.27 1Today’s post first ran on Health Populi on July 24.

The high cost of specialty drugs, opaque information on risks of many existing prescription drugs, and lack of cures for diseases impacting millions of people are forces driving patients into activism, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the emergence of AIDS.

I was reminded this yesterday, not inside the Beltway at an FDA or Congressional hearing, or in an online social network of patient activists.

I was visiting the newly re-opened and re-built Whitney Museum, an architectural gem now re-energizing the Meatpacking District in Lower Manhattan.

It wasn’t the building design (which is getting rave reviews from architecture critics) that turned my mind toward a déjà vu on health politics, but in the Neil Bluhm Family Galleries on the 5th floor which features artworks created during the AIDS crisis beginning in the early 1980s. (more…)

Hospice Reflections

jane lincolnJane Lincoln and I are Facebook friends. We met (on Facebook) through a mutual friend and colleague when the two of them worked together at AARP. Jane’s career has involved helping and caring for those who need it most. Jane not only provides hands on care but through her powerful posts, is able to share the heart wrenching reality that people go through when they are most vulnerable, scared, lonely, and struggling. With her poignant pen, Jane allows us to peer in to a world where few dare to go. You cannot read her reflections and not be moved. Jane graciously allowed me to share two recent pieces that really moved me. You may be working on hospice policy, aging issues, or care management.  You may be dealing with a similar personal situation. Read this. So much depth and wisdom—the kind of learning that comes from the front line. For those of you looking at policy and business ROIs, not sure how you quantify this. Pretty sure you can’t begin to do justice to the caregivers all of us will eventually depend upon.   – Robin Strongin, Disruptive Women in Health Care Founder

July 18 at 3:29pm Facebook Post (permission to repost on Disruptive Women)

Yesterday, I met a new patient who’s starting home hospice care. He mentioned that he’d had polio as a child, and when he went into a hospital at age 4, it was so far away from his home that he’d forgotten what his parents looked like when they came and got him 2 years later.

Can you imagine? (more…)

DW to Watch Shout Out: Martha Lane Fox to lead NHS digital healthcare


The following was posted on

Lane Fox to take lead on new digital healthcare

Former digital champion to work out practicalities on promoting take-up with National Information Board

Martha Lane Fox has been appointed to lead the government’s work on promoting the take-up of new digital technologies in healthcare.

The appointment of the former government digital champion and co-founder of was announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Lane Fox’s main task will be to develop practical proposals for the National Information Board (NIB), the body responsible for the campaign. (more…)

We couldn’t agree more..investing in nurses does save lives

The following is an op-ed by Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH) that was published in today’s Ashtabula Star Beacon, an outlet in his home district. Joyce is the co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, along with Representative Lois Capps (D-CA), who founded the caucus in 2003 and is retiring at the end of the Congressional term. Both have been instrumental in educating their colleagues on the value of nurses and the health policy issues that impact the nursing profession.

The post is being published in conjunction with the American Nurses Association Lobby Day, when nurses will be meeting with members on Capitol Hill, advocating for issues important to nursing. Follow along by using the #hashtag #ANALobbyDay.


“Investing in Nurses Saves Lives”

DaveJoyce2By Congressman Dave Joyce

Every day, 10,000 people turn 65 years of age. While we all want to believe that we “age with grace,” reality reminds us that we need to focus on our health, the health of our friends, family members and loved ones. More than ever, patients need clinicians of all kinds to meet the demand that comes with an aging population.

As co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, I am acutely aware that we are going to need more than 1 million new nurses by the year 2022—less than 10 years—in order to meet increasing patient demand. While striving to build a more quality-focused health system that prioritizes wellness, disease prevention and coordinated care, we must recognize the value that nurses bring to these efforts.  As the husband of a full-time nurse, I certainly do.  (more…)

Direct Access Testing: Putting Consumers in the Driver’s Seat

Terri Prof Headshot 0412Angela Young knew something was wrong. She hadn’t felt well for months but didn’t know what was going on. Her doctor ran tests for immune problems and endocrine issues. They all came back normal. Finally, Angela went to an independent direct access testing (“DAT”) laboratory and had them run some additional tests, including a test for something she suspected, but her doctor didn’t want to test her for: Lyme disease. When the Lyme disease test came back positive, she was relieved, because finally she knew what was wrong, could seek treatment and begin to get healthy again.

Michael S. is a typical 55 year old American man. He knows he doesn’t eat that well, too many quick stops at the McDonald’s on the way home from work and too much time sitting on the couch. He really should start working out, but life kept getting in the way. He felt OK, not great, but there wasn’t any reason to get to a doctor. His wife kept pushing him to get to the doctor, so to save time he just went into a direct access testing laboratory for some basic tests to get his wife off his back. He was shocked to discover that his cholesterol levels were in the upper 200s. He knew it was really time to lose weight and get moving. (more…)

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