January Man of the Month: Dr. Donald McEachron

don-mceachron_SmallWe are thrilled to name Dr. Donald McEachron this month’s Man of the Month. Currently, he is a Teaching Professor and serves as the Coordinator for Academic Assessment and Quality Improvement for the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University. We will all benefit from the work Dr. McEachron is doing. Below is a brief look into his work. We have no doubt you will understand why we named him Man of the Month after learning more.

Dr. McEachron’s background in evolutionary biology, neuroscience and chronobiology led him to connect with architect and lighting expert Dr. Eugenia Victoria Ellis. Together they have been investigating the impact of built environments on human health, well-being and productivity. They along with collaborators, such as Dr. Elizabeth Gonzalez and electrical engineering Master’s student Greg Yeutter, are developing methods of enhancing artificial lighting systems to provide a closer match to the solar day cycle. In order to fully understand why this is important you need some background on biological rhythms. (more…)

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Go Sit On A Sofa

Amber Coleman-MortleyIt had gotten to the point where I would find myself standing in the kitchen staring at nothing; or I would get angry for no reason; and then sometimes, a random thought would cross my mind reminding me of all of my perceived failures over the past four and a half years.  I needed some help but my own personal pride prevented me from seeking such attention.

With the kids’ needs, the responsibilities for work as well as the demands for school and other external commitments; I’d lost my very tight and very regimented method of survival to a more chaotic out of control (but thinking I’m in control) method of getting things done.  It felt like every bit of me was being pulled apart at the seams and I was barreling quickly toward a very detrimental end.  Moms are sometimes these exotic robots that handle all schedules, delays, updates and changes in a smooth and orderly fashion.  For me, a point of personal pride was my ability to schedule everything in without anyone missing out on the things that they wanted to do.  But things began to fall by the wayside. (more…)

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Upcoming Screening: No Evidence of Disease

On Wednesday, February 4th No Evidence of Disease will be screened in cities nationwide.  This will be a one hour version of the film and will be followed by a discussion/Q&A led by a GYN Oncologist. Visit  www.nedthemovie.com/regal for a complete list of all screenings, as well as to view the trailer. The website  also will post when advance tickets go on sale online through Fandango and Regal.com. (more…)

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If It’s Not Your Heart or Your Age, It Could Be Your Thyroid

Terri Prof Headshot 0412If your heart starts pounding and skipping beats what is your first thought? For Mary M., 49, it was, “Oh No! Is this a heart attack? Is it heart arrhythmia? I know my mother has an irregular heartbeat and my grandmother died from a stroke.  Is it my turn?” So, off she went to the doctor. Her pounding heart had been waking her up at night and she was ready for the diagnosis and sat pretty calmly through the EKG test. Her mother took heart medication, exercised and watched her diet so she knew how to handle it. When the doctor returned to the room and told her “Your heart looks fine and your heart rate is normal,” she was confused. The call that came from her doctor a few days later threw her into a panic.

“Your T3 and T4 thyroid levels are VERY high and your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormones) is .0009, which is extremely low. You need to see an endocrinologist. The last person I sent for this had to have her thyroid removed.” (more…)

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Transformative 2015: NHS to pursue digital health

ClaireHarding_MG_9600Claire Harding one of our DW UK bloggers considers what the new year will bring for digital mental health services. This post originally ran on Big White Wall’s blog.

It’s something of a cliché at New Year to announce that ‘this year is going to be game-changing for our sector’, regardless of whether that sector is painting, panda breeding or parachuting. But at risk of special pleading, it really does seem that 2015 is going to be exceptional for digital mental health in the UK.

The end of 2014 saw two major policy announcements from the NHS: the Five Year Forward View from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, and Personalised Health and Care 2020 from the National Information Board. Taken together, the two documents set out a radically different NHS: more responsive, more personal, and more focussed on prevention rather than cure. The authors recognise that many citizens want to interact with the NHS online, but most cannot – and that this is particularly true in mental health. The 2020 Framework commits the NHS to developing a kite-marking system for mental health apps by the end of 2015, so people can easily see which of the hundreds of apps and websites available they are able to trust. (more…)

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Music as Medicine

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post is written by Lisa Suennen one of our 2015 Women to Watch. It originally ran on her blog Venture Valkyrie.

It happens every time. I hear “Bad to the Bone” on the radio and suddenly all is right with the world. I love music and I have learned that if I choose the correct genre and tempo  I can improve a depressed state or calm a hyper one. I have song lists on my iPod called Cranky and Stressed, F the World, and Happiness, all designed around my various moods. Music can have a profound affect on my state of mind. I think this is true for most people, actually.

The therapeutic value of music has long been known to the medical world. Famed neuropsychologist Oliver Sacks used music to engage his patients (this was dramatized in the movie The Music Never Stops, where a brain-damaged patient is able to recall memories otherwise lost when he hears the favorite music of his youth). (more…)

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Happy Holidays from Disruptive Women!

happy holidays

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Congress Passes ABLE Act: Major Victory for Persons with Disabilities and Their Families

Congratulations to one of our 2015 Disruptive Women to Watch Madeleine Will for all her work on this legislation and on behalf of persons with disabilities. 

(Washington, D.C. – Dec. 17, 2014) – Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. First introduced in 2006, and subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.

“Today marks a new day in our country’s understanding and support of people with disabilities and their families,” Michael Morris, National Disability Institute (NDI) Executive Director, said. “A major victory for the disability community, ABLE, for the very first time in our country’s policy on disability, recognizes that there are added costs to living with a disability.” He continued. “For far too long, federally imposed asset limits to remain eligible for critical public benefits have served as a roadblock toward greater financial independence for the millions of individuals living with a disability.”  (more…)

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It’s Holiday Party Time: Are You and Your Guests Safe?

Terri Prof Headshot 0412This month many of us will enjoy festive holiday parties.  Maybe you will be the one hosting the party.   You’ve probably got an image in your head about what the party looks like, who is there and what you will serve.  Perhaps champagne toasts or eggnog will be involved.  Maybe you know that some of your guests will even share a couple of joints. Have you thought about how people will get home safely after your party?  In addition to all of the holiday events in December, there will also be nearly 30 deaths due to alcohol or drug related car crashes every day.

While you may not be the one driving home from your party impaired by alcohol or drugs, your gathering could become one of the statistics and, unintentionally, part of the problem.  News and coverage about alcohol related or drug related accidents focus, rightly, on the victims whose lives are irrevocably changed and the loss their family members suffer.  But how would you feel if you were in any way responsible for a death or severe injury?  What if you were the one driving the car home from someone else’s party?  Would you be able to forgive yourself?  I don’t think I would.  Unfortunately, the victims probably wouldn’t be able to forgive you either. (more…)

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Addiction and the Different Types of the Treatment Programs

ECalhounHeadshot 2October may have officially been named Substance Abuse Prevention month, but addiction treatment is an ongoing battle that lasts throughout the entire year. Recognizing the signs of addiction and knowing where and when to get help are vital tools that everyone should keep in their arsenal. Unfortunately, few people recognize the signs of addiction or know where to get help, which in turn can prolong the amount of time an addict may go without addressing such a serious problem.

So how does one define addiction? Addiction is the inability to resist something that makes an individual feel positively or helps an individual forget stressors and depression. People can be addicted to a multitude of things; some of it is alcohol or drug related, some addictions are action based (such as gambling or controlling body image), and others have addictions to food. Addiction is a very personal problem, and no two individuals have the same story. (more…)

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Disruptive Women Panel Talks Technology & Innovation at mHealth Summit

Tim_HeadshotFor members of a panel during the Disruptive Women session on Tuesday at the mHealth Summit at the National Harbor, innovative ideas had strikingly different origins.

For one panelist, Ramin Bastani of Healthvana, it was a slap from a woman, in response to a question about her sexual health status, which spurred him to change the way patients receive – and exchange – information regarding STDs and HIV. For Jen Hyatt of Big White Wall, it was a note from her mom after jamming to 70s music with friends that helped inspire 20-plus years’ worth of startups and social purpose organizations, the latest which allows mental health patients to access an online ecosystem of behavioral health resources.093_Gaylord

The program, called “Technology Gets Intimate,” was moderated by Nancy Green of Verizon Healthcare and afforded each panelist an opportunity to talk about their disruptive solutions – and the catalysts to achieving them – that put the patient at the center of their health care decisions through digital and mobile. (more…)

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December Man of the Month: John Beilenson

SCP_John_1_WEB_crop_2John Beilenson, President, Strategic Communications & Planning (SCP), is Disruptive Women in Health Care’s December Man of the Month.  John founded SCP (see: www.aboutscp.com), now outside of Philadelphia, in 1987. He has led this socially responsible consultancy since then, working with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, foundations and public institutions to use communications to create social good.

We are featuring John for his “disruptive” efforts aimed at transforming how our healthcare system and the larger society deals with the challenges and opportunities associated with our country’s aging population.

John, how did you become interested in communications in a general sense?

I guess it is in my blood.  I am the grandson of the founders of Peter Pauper Press, an award-winning printing and publishing company in Westchester County, New York, and I remember going to the press as a boy in the 60s, smelling the ink, learning to set type by hand. (more…)

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Drumroll please…today is the day

Today at the mHealth Summit is our Technology Gets Intimate panel. It will be followed by our Women to Watch Reception. For those of you who can’t join us check the blog later this week for a recap.

Missed the blog’s Founder Robin Strongin announcing the event, watch it NOW!





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Healthcare’s Renewable Resource: Authentic Patient Experience


Cancer is my medical degree. Navigating my way through three distinct cancer diagnoses across three unique stages of life and managing three different treatment paths is my specialty. In the course of enduring Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 17, melanoma at 38 and, in 2012, breast cancer at 46, I’ve amassed firsthand expertise in the critical areas of patient-provider communications, care coordination, patient safety, insurance reconciliation, disease prevention, and personalized treatment planning.

From the time of my first cancer diagnosis over 30 years ago to today, cancer has influenced my life and risk of future disease. To put my experience in perspective, the collective time I spent in the throes of surgery, recovery and treatment of my two most significant diagnoses – Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer –totals twelve months. So, I have spent only 1/30th of my cancer experience fully immersed in the healthcare system. (more…)

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Kaiser Family Foundation Understanding Health Insurance & Open Enrollment Resources

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released the resources below to help people understand insurance and the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. We found them helpful and hope you do too.

 Understanding Health Insurance: Consumer Resources

  • Understanding Health Insurance: Consumer Resources (Updated Web Page)
  • Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator (Interactive)
  • Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have It Covered (Video)
  • Health Reform Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Health Insurance Quiz (Quiz)
  • Health Coverage, HIV & You (Web Portal) (more…)

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