An Apple a Day: What the iPhone Can Teach Us About Health Care

Robin Strongin

What took Apple so long to get in to health care? Here’s my suggestion from 5 years ago:

The day before my daughter Elise’s 15th birthday, the new iPhone went on sale.  My birthday was 4 days later.  So Elise figured out we should buy each other an iPhone to mark our big days.  She planned (and saved) for months.  She spent weeks talking to friends, researching apps on line, planning for such accessories as protective covers, and educating herself on how to maximize her minutes.

When the big day came, we made our way to the Apple store and stood shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of others waiting on a very long line.  Two and a half hours later we were invited, actually escorted, in to the store by an extremely friendly, knowledgeable young man who stayed with us during the entire purchase transaction.

He answered tons of questions (mine, not Elise’s…she already knew everything), politely reviewed various functions with me (Elise was extremely patient during this process), and made great suggestions about which plan was best for us. (more…)


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The Last Best Cure: How Simple Tools Can Improve Health and Well-being

Janice Lynch Schuster

My research scientist grandmother used to respond to my complaints of being “stressed out” by asking, “What’s stress? Just a force that holds up a bridge.”

On that one count, I’m afraid she was wrong. Contemporary research points increasingly to the significant negative effects of stress on our physical health, and its role in fueling chronic health problems and autoimmune disorders. Increasingly, science points to the healing powers of our own minds in countering the physical damage stress can cause and improving our health and well-being. (more…)

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Why I Fight for Change in Domestic Violence Legislation

In 2009 I became the victim of a violent crime, domestic assault with a weapon. The local newspaper’s front page story included the following phrases: “Felony Assault,” “Domestic Assault with a Weapon,” “False Imprisonment,” “beaten,” “hit about the head and body,” “beaten with hands, knees and feet,” “urinated on,” “beaten with a wrought iron cross,” “refused to let leave or use the telephone,” “numerous injuries,” “numerous bite marks about her body,” “lost consciousness,” “escaped.” Lucky to be alive should have been included.  (more…)

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The Hospital Discharge Race: is Sooner Always Better?

They say that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there. I do remember this about 1966, however:  I spent my birthday that year in a hospital bed, where I’d been a patient for a full month recuperating from a ruptured appendix and a nasty case of peritonitis.  Back then during the dawn of civilization, it was common for patients to spend far longer in hospital than we ever would now. For example:

  • For North American maternity patients during the same era, the average length of stay in hospital for uncomplicated vaginal deliveries was about seven (more…)


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Back to School… Co-Parenting Style

Amber Coleman-MortleyIt’s back to school season!  Malls and stores have had their sales; schools have requested their info; doctors’ offices are quickly fulfilling vaccination and proof of appointment forms.  But most importantly, parents are eager to send their little ones off to be enriched amongst a class of their peers.  It’s a beautiful time.  It got me thinking- how can divorced and separated families be just as successful as families who are together this school year?

There are several challenges that kids from divorced and separated homes face.  Beyond emotional challenges, there are the self-confident, psychological, economic and logistical challenges, which can be (more…)

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Consumer Choice Clashes With the Affordable Care Act

Trudy-Lieberman -- biggerIncreasing consumer choices in health care may have just gotten far less likely.

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services proposed that most of the federal health exchange policyholders, including the 83 percent who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums, be automatically re-enrolled next year in the same policy offered by the same company.

That’s right, no shopping around. No consumers looking for a cheaper plan or one with a lower deductible or less (more…)

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Iowa Accountability Program’s Judicial Training Institute Aims at Improving the Handling of Domestic Violence Cases

iapDomestic violence is an epidemic that impacts an estimated 6,000 Iowans each year. While many view domestic violence as a private issue, Kimberly Baxter, Director of the Iowa Accountability Program, identifies how domestic violence is truly a community concern: “Domestic violence affects everyone from service providers to families and the community at large. We need to address domestic violence as a community. Brutality behind closed doors is not only real, but also taboo. It is not something we want to discuss, but if we cannot discuss it, how can we address it? How can we mitigate it?” For nearly ten years the Iowa Accountability Program (IAP) has worked to assist victims of domestic violence and the communities in Iowa that support them. This year, the IAP aims to strengthen its impact through its new Judicial Training Institute. (more…)

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Just Announced: 15 Disruptive Women to Watch in 2015

DW-Women-to-Watch-2015-Logo_short

Disruptive Women in Health Care, an award-winning digital platform spotlighting women whose achievements and provocative ideas are advancing health care progress, today announced its annual “Disruptive Women to Watch” list for 2015, a roster that includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, television personality and activist Maria Shriver and Baroness Martha Lane Fox, tech entrepreneur and Member, House of Lords, in addition to a dozen other remarkable women.

“This year’s selections truly reflect the profound changes taking place in and around health care,” said Disruptive Women founder Robin Strongin. (more…)

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Celebrating Massachusetts’ Health Reform

Amy CaronRecently Massachusetts announced that the state will not join the federal HealthCare.gov website and will remain a state-based marketplace. Having built and implemented what became the national model in 2006, this is great news. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act aka Romney Care changed the national dialogue on solving the issues of health care access, costs, and outcomes and transformed the lives of thousands of Massachusetts’ residents, myself included. (more…)

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An Icon of Labor: Rosie the Riveter

Glenna Crooks

It’s Labor Day here in the US. What better day to interview that most famous icon of workers.

Rosie, you burst onto the scene on Memorial Day in 1943 and have since become one of the most famous of all workers. 

Yes, that’s right. Norman Rockwell portrayed me as a manufacturing worker, but it was the song – and a short film that today you’d call a music video – that made me a household name. It was a catchy little tune and the films showed women at work in jobs traditionally held by men. The captions said that were more efficient. That was probably the propaganda of the day, but I think it was true. I am pleased to (more…)

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Disruptive Health Education Resources

Weekly RoundupTo round up our series on health and education, we present to you some disruptive health education resources. Whether you are a student, parent, or teacher, ensuring the health of our next generation should be a priority observed by all.

According to an article  in The Atlantic, students are not getting enough sleep. As noted in a new policy study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The empirical evidence [of] the negative repercussions of chronic sleep loss on health, safety and performance in (more…)

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An Interview with Edie Burman

edEdie Burman has been a Language Arts teacher for grades 5-8 at Grace Day School in New York for the past 41 years. This is a small, private Episcopal day school on the south shore of Long Island. Its mission is to educate children in a traditional manner. Teaching the basics while also providing religious instruction, the arts, music, technology and physical education is the goal.  Before teaching at this school, Edie taught art at a junior high school in Brooklyn, New York after getting her degree in Art Education from Brooklyn College. (more…)

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An Interview with Amanda Sager

asAmanda Sager graduated from Bridgewater College in 2009 where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis on Early Childhood Development. After college, she became the Site Director for the After School program at Cub Run Elementary in Rockingham County, Virginia. After a year at Cub Run, Amanda then moved to Mountain View Elementary in Rockingham County to open the Before and After School program as the Site Director there.  She was at Mountain View for three years before accepting the position as Behavioral Specialist at Spotswood Elementary School in Harrisonburg City. After two years at Spotswood she moved to Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg City to work with students with autism. Amanda started at Second Home same time as she started at Thomas Harrison. (more…)

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An Interview with Gigi Bate

gaGigi Bate has been working as a Public Health Nurse in the public school system in Virginia for seven years and since 2011 has been a Senior Public Health Nurse. She serves her school system as nurse to the Teenage Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program, along with coordinating health education among other school nurses in the county, developing programs to be delivered by school health nurses in the classroom and parent and school staff meetings for the public. Gigi received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine and Studio Arts from Allegheny College in 1977, her Certificate as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from The George Washington University in 1979, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University in 2005. (more…)

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Disruptive Women in Health Care 2014 Summer Mini-Series: Back to School–At the Intersection of Health and Education

elbWhen thinking of what I wanted to do with my future, the one thing I was always sure of was that I didn’t want a job where I’d be chained to a desk all day. Enter: teaching. After working as a camp counselor for many years and being fortunate enough to observe and help in a variety of different elementary school classrooms throughout the past couple of years, I’ll be starting my junior year at James Madison University in the Department of Education—and I couldn’t be more thrilled about my experiences to come. (more…)

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