February Man of the Month: Dan Miller

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we are proud to announce our February Man of the Month…Dan Miller. There is no greater gift of love than saving a life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

dan feb man of month

On the topic of organ donation, Dan Miller had a consistent message: “Do the research.”

For Dan, a healthy, 20-year-old junior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., this meant seeking out the evidence needed to justify the life-changing decision of whether to donate a kidney to someone he’d never met.

Dan talked to his sister, Lauren Miller, who had successfully undergone the same procedure in December 2014 and had already overcome the judgement of skeptics, challenging her decision.

Dan read the statistics about how each year nearly 5,000 people die after being left on an 100,000-plus long waiting list for a kidney transplant. He visited specialists to determine if he had the physical, emotional and mental capacity to withstand the risks of living with one kidney. (more…)

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Sexism in Medical Education

heather newThe medical school professor stands affront  a group of first year students in a mid-size auditorium. “I need a go-to guy,” he says, “someone to direct my questions towards.” He scans the room. “I’ve never actually had a go-to girl, before,” he admits. Later in the lecture, he makes a joke at a male student’s expense. “I joke!” he laughs. “Usually I don’t pick on the girls of the class – they can be too emotional – its true! My wife tells me it’s true.”

During an exercise aimed at discussing issues of public health, the facilitator disagrees with a student who says that men and women should be treated equally as patients: “Men and women are inherently different,” he says, and later: “Women are less physically strong than men. If I were in battle, I wouldn’t want a woman fighting next to me. She just wouldn’t be able to carry me out.” (more…)

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Heart Disease Matters More for Women Than You Think

February is American Heart Month, a good opportunity to learn the facts about heart disease. The following post was originally published February 2 on HuffPost.

In 2015, approximately 370,000 Americans died from heart disease. That’s one in seven deaths. In the time it takes for you to read this article, two more people will die [1]. These statistics are alarming, so what can YOU do? We have an answer: Recognize American Heart Month this February by learning about the signs of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease. Find out whether that huffing and puffing you experience while walking up the stairs is a sign that you might be a little out of shape — or a sign of CAD.

One such story of CAD is that of Theresa Miller, a 49-year-old California native and mother of two. Miller’s story is a reflection of what thousands of Americans experience each year. She shares her heart disease story with us here:

Miller kept heart disease in the back of her mind for many years. As she approached her fiftieth birthday, she felt haunted by her family’s history of heart disease. (more…)

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News from across the pond

DW UK-01As we mentioned late last year every couple of weeks we will post a roundup of health news from across the pond. Enjoy!

According to estimates more than two-fifths of UK health spending is spent on people over 65. With the increase in the nation’s aging demographic this is likely to grow. The data shows that an 85-year-old man costs the NHS about seven times more on average than a man in his late 30s. For more on this read The Guardian’s coverage here.

To reduce the risk of miscarriage pregnant women in the UK will get a safer and more accurate test for Down’s syndrome on the NHS. (more…)

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Today is National Wear Red Day

National Wear Red Day® is a special day dedicated to bringing attention to this staggering fact that each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. Today we wear red to encourage women to raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives. For more information visit: http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.

In honor of National Wear Red Day® we are re-running the post below.

Terri Prof Headshot 0412Heart Disease – It Looks Different From a Woman’s Perspective

By Terri L. McCulloch

Lara D. knew that heart disease ran in her family. Her father had his first heart attack at 46.  His second, two years later, took his life when she was in high school. She learned intimately the impact that a heart attack has on a family. She saw her mother struggle to keep her children on track while trying to manage her own feelings of loss. Her college years were spent working full time and going to a community college in the evenings to get her degree and become a CPA. (more…)

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Latest Survey Findings from the Society for Participatory Medicine

A new national survey from the Society for Participatory Medicine found that patients overwhelmingly believe a partnership with their health care provider improves their overall health. The survey also found that people see benefits in monitoring and sharing their health information between visits. The results can be seen in the infographic below (also available for download here). (more…)

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The State of the UK’s Healthcare Life Sciences Sectors Report

Today the UK’s leading life science and healthcare company CEO’s, leading investors, banks and stakeholders released a groundbreaking report that illustrates the fundamental truths about investing in the UK. The State of the UK’s Healthcare Life Sciences Sectors Report, published by Biotech and Money details the state of the UK’s Healthcare & Life Sciences sector. Download the report here.

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TBT: Addiction and the Different Types of the Treatment Programs

ECalhounHeadshot 2Given all the recent news on drug use and addiction we thought this post that talks about addiction and the different types of treatment programs would be a good refresher.

October 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. (more…)

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TBT: Getting Diagnosed with Cervical Cancer

In honor of it being Cervical Cancer Awareness Month today’s TBT post is one we ran as part of a series back in 2014.

January is Cervical Cancer Month. According to the CDC, in 2010 11,818 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,939 women died from the disease. And while these statistics are disheartening, once the leading cause of death in women, cervical cancer has rapidly declined over the past 40 years.  The decline in cases can be attributed to preventative medicine: more women are getting regular Pap tests, which can find cervical precancer before it turns into cancer.

Throughout the month, we will high light stories from patients, survivors, and advocates. Today, Tamika Felder shares her story…

I started my cervical cancer journey April 12, 2001. I went in for a routine Pap—after not having had one for a few years for some pretty typical reasons: lack of insurance and body image issues.

I got the shock of my life: a diagnosis of cervical cancer. This was devastating, to say the least. Cervical cancer came in and changed everything. Here I was, 25 years old, working in Washington, DC, as a successful television producer and having the time of my life. (more…)

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Disruptive Women and the White House Collaborate to Improve Men’s Health

mens 1During an afternoon’s worth of inspiring stories crystalizing the need to get men more engaged in their health, one speaker perhaps shared the day’s most powerful moment, speaking from a podium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, among an audience of esteemed guests, advocates and stakeholders.

John Kevin Hines recalled a day in San Francisco when he felt that he could no longer go on. Seeking just some simple positive interactions with other members of his community – an offer of encouragement or support – he instead got silence. Soon after, he found himself at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, where, amidst his feelings of hopelessness, he hurled himself off the side. He said, upon his descent towards the water, he immediately regretted the decision; he had made a mistake.

He wanted to live. (more…)

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Happy New Year

Here's to a Disruptive

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Best of 2015: Why Don’t We Take Tanning As Seriously As Tobacco?

sherry pagoto at work2Back in May being to celebrate Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event we co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are ran a series on skin cancer.  Today’s best of 2015 posts is from that series.

In 2009, upon review of the science on tanning beds and cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer assigned tanning beds a class 1 carcinogen, joining tobacco and asbestos in the highest classification of harm. In spite of this development, skin cancer rates have steadily climbed over the last 3 decades. Rising prevalence is seen especially in young women, with an 8-fold increase since 1970. Melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer is now the most common cancer in young adults aged 25-29. Skin cancer is hitting young women especially hard because they are the heaviest users of tanning beds. Recent statistics reveal that 19% of teens and over half of university students have used tanning beds. (more…)

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Happy Holidays!


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Best of 2015: The Exposing the Silence Project

Photo credit: Lindsay Askins, www.spotofserendipity.com

Photo credit: Lindsay Askins, www.spotofserendipity.com

Today’s best of 2015 posts comes from our Maternal Health Series spearheaded by our fabulous summer intern Allison Kaye. The full series can be seen here.

“Well, at least you have a healthy baby!” is one of the most common phrases a mother who went through a traumatic birth experiences hears. While the friend or family member may mean well and simply be trying to show optimism, he or she is often isolating the deep pain the mother may be going through. As part of my research on maternal health, I came across the photography and advocacy project Exposing the Silence: Documenting Birth Trauma and the Strength of Women across America. The project brings to light a little noticed group of women– women who experienced past sexual abuse that can be triggered during a traumatic birth; others forced into unwanted procedures; or women who felt ignored or demeaned by their care providers during birth. (more…)

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My Letter to Santa

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post originally appeared on author Lisa Suennen’s blog Venture Valkyrie.

Dear Santa,

imagesI’m writing to you with my Christmas wish list. I realize that I am a little over the typical age limit for this activity, but I am pretty short so maybe I can still pass for a kid? I also know that, as a venture capitalist, I may automatically default to the “naughty list.” But I am an eternal optimist and I’m hoping that the social value inherent in investing in healthcare instead of video games and drones can help me put a few points on the Santa board.

Here’s to hoping that my wishes will be fulfilled, For what it’s worth, I will be listening for Rudolph et al on Christmas Eve, cookies at the ready. I make really good cookies. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. Great companies with rational valuations –I know it’s hoping for a lot, particularly the latter part, but hey, it never hurts to ask. (more…)

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