Concussions: A Girls’ Health Problem

Julie-PotyrajFor many people, the connection between sports and concussions will come as no surprise. Within the past few months, concussions have had a continued presence in the media, mostly as they pertain to professional football. Intentionally or not, the NFL has been leading the charge on concussion awareness for the past several years. In 2014, documents were brought to federal court saying that a third of all retired NFL players were expected to develop a “long-term cognitive problem” at some point in their lives as a result of head injuries from football. Recently, a court finally affirmed the deal for the NFL to compensate all players who had suffered neurological damage as a result of these injuries. While this represents an important victory for former athletes, the battle to improve concussion prevention has only just begun.

Because of the popularity of professional football in the United States, the NFL often dominates the public discourse on concussions. But by framing the conversation about concussions around football, we are alienating one of the most vulnerable populations: girls. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Playing the Disruptive Woman Card

Glenna Crooks

Enough Said!

Enough Said!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Nominate yourself or someone you know to attend the United State of Women Summit

We believe that today, we will change tomorrow.

That’s why the White House Council on Women and Girls will host the Summit on the United State of Women in Washington, D.C. on June 14. We will celebrate the progress we have made together throughout the Obama administration to improve the lives of women and girls here and around the world, and showcase innovative solutions to the obstacles women and girls still face.

We want to make sure that on the day of the Summit, the room is filled with the thought leaders, activists, community leaders, and citizens who are committed to bringing about gender equality.

That’s why we want you to help us find the real-life heroes who are showing their commitment to gender equity through action. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

TBT: February Man of the Month: Dan Miller

April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM) an entire month of local, regional and national activities dedicated to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. In honor of NDLM for today’s TBT post we couldn’t think of a more appropriate post than the one highlighting the selflessness of our February Man of the Month.

dan feb man of monthOn 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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

What it means to meet Mikey

Ellie_Dehoney_HeadshotYou know those really good people, the ones who are determined to make the world a better place?  I’m not one of those.  I live in the Nation’s Capital – a beehive for the cause-oriented – so I know a really good person when I see one.  I have colleagues who tithed their babysitting money.  Who spent their college downtime standing up global nonprofits. Who mentor and tutor and build habitats for humanity.

I spent my babysitting money on ill-considered teenage clothing.  I spent my college downtime playing quarters.  And until recently, my adulthood has been, for all intents and purposes, volunteerism-free.  I had my reasons for studiously ignoring any need that wasn’t my own: too busy, too tired, too poor.  The usual.

Then I met Mikey. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

12 Percent of People Will Be Diagnosed With This Life-Threatening Heart Disease

SWHR_Logo_Final_webThe post below first appeared on HuffPost Healthy Living on April 20.

Jen Hyde, a 30-year-old poet and artist living in Brooklyn, has a congenital heart defect. By the age of 25, Hyde had two open-heart surgeries, including a heart valve replacement.

“I know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in America,” Hyde said. “I’m currently in great shape, but part of staying this way means building a strong relationship with my cardiologist so that the care I receive is preventative, not reactive.”

Hyde is not alone in suffering from heart health issues — in the U.S., cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of both women and men, responsible for 25 percent of deaths annually. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Update on “Getting Under Your Skin” (her) Voice Project

Patricia Lee Stotter

getting under skin

This is an update from my March 4 post available here.

I want to take a moment, before this performance, to thank all of the folks at LaGuardia’s Veterans Upward Bound program for their generosity, talent, and willingness to take a leap of faith with this creative project. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Digitizing Self-Healthcare with Google, Pfizer, Under Armour, Walgreens and WebMD

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

How can digital technologies enable self-healthcare in novel ways? This was the theme of a meeting sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and hosted by Google, with the title, “Advancing Consumer Health through New Technology and Next Generation OTC Healthcare” held on 12th April 2016 at Google offices in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Pharmaceutical brand drugs switching to over-the-counter packaged goods, the Cellscope Otoscope used by parents checking their young children’s earaches, connected shoes and earbuds for athletic enhancement, and omni-channel retail shopping….these are a few of the signals we see emerging to enable consumers’ to drive healthy behaviors, wellness and self-healthcare. Speakers from companies covering these market segments presented their views on health care consumers’ demand and use of digital tech for their own and their families’ health.

David Pogue, technology raconteur, moderated the session, kicking the discussion off with the scenario of a patient recently admitted to an ER with chest pain where clinicians took advantage of the patient’s Fitbit data. Based on that patient-generated data, the doctors were able to connect the data-dots in time to prevent the fellow from dying. Pogue ticked off many examples of tracking devices, covering sunlight exposure, posture, weight and BMI, heart-tracking t-shirts, smart shoes, earbuds, forks to slow down eating, and finally the SexFit Bondero for the gentlemen-folk. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Women and Pay in the UK

Long gone are the days of the suffragettes fighting for basic women’s rights and Emmeline Pankhurst would no doubt be delighted to see just how far women have come. But perhaps she would be a little disappointed to discover women still lag behind men when it comes to equal pay.

According to the Level Pay Field Report from Randstad, fewer women have asked for a pay rise than men in the last three years, and they are less likely to ask for a pay rise than men.

A survey of 2,000 working adults across a wide range of sectors, found around a fifth of women had asked for an increase in earnings in the last five years compared to a third of men.

On average women had had two pay rises in three years while men had secured three, and nearly half of all women asked thought men had a better chance of securing a pay increase. Another 28% of respondents felt men got more respect when promoted. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

TBT: Take Your Own Advice! U.S. Should Pay More Attention to STD Prevention Programs Abroad

Julie-PotyrajApril is STD Awareness Month. Although the post below originally just ran a little more than a month ago, it is too good not to run in support of STD awareness and for TBT.

Most sexually transmitted diseases are preventable. That’s one reason it’s so upsetting that one in four sexually active girls in the United States has one. Out of the 19 million new STD cases annually in the U.S., almost half are among people ages 15 to 24. And those statistics only represent the number of reported cases; many more infections go undocumented. Despite the clear need for STD prevention strategies among young people, current efforts are scattered and inconsistent across the U.S. While 23 states require sex education, only 13 states require that the information be “medically accurate.” Even when sex education is taught in schools, many states require an emphasis on abstinence. But are these abstinence-only programs really helping to reduce STDs in younger generations? Simply put, no. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Put Me In Coach: Wearables in Professional Sports

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post first ran on Venture Valkyrie on April 10.

Old School Song by John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival: Put me in coach, I’m ready to play…

New School Response by Warriors Coach Steve Kerr: Well, you’re biometric readings tell me you need a rest….

So if you’re me, and lots of other people I know, this is the best time of the year – a virtual harmonic convergence of orgiastic sports joy.  I can watch back-to-back baseball and basketball and, since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I get to root for some pretty great home teams: Go Giants! Go Warriors! If you need me, just look for the remote control as it is glued to my hand as I switch between games. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Health Care Reform

This article was originally published by Georgetown University’s family nurse practitioner programs.

The Affordable Care Act created new health care delivery and payment models that emphasize teamwork, care coordination, value, and prevention: models in which nurses can contribute a great deal of knowledge and skill. Indeed, the nursing profession is making a wide-reaching impact by providing quality, patient-centered, accessible, and affordable care.

- Institute of Medicine 1

An estimated 27 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage during the past five years thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).2 But that, coupled with an aging population and an expansion of preventive care benefits, is putting significant strain on the country’s primary care provider workforce. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

4 Encouraging Advances in Ovarian Cancer Research

JudyIt’s estimated that in 2016, more than 22,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While the prevalence of this disease is relatively low, most diagnoses are made in the later stages, when women face a lower chance of survival.

Early detection has become a primary focus in ovarian cancer research. And the progress in research and testing means there are more long-term survivors than ever before.

Knowledge of the disease’s symptoms and the importance of care by a gynecologic oncologist can have a positive impact. As new advances are made, it’s more important than ever for women to be educated about their overall health (and specifically about new methods for detecting, preventing, and treating ovarian cancer).

Though a major research breakthrough may be elusive at the moment, women still have reasons to be hopeful. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

April Man of the Month: Vice Adm. C. Forrest Faison III

VADM Faison - photo - as of 31 DEC 2015Throughout the nation’s health care continuum, policymakers and clinicians are searching for ways to eliminate health disparities, improve cost-efficiencies, and achieve better patient outcomes. An organization making important strides in this area is the U.S. military, and a particular leader who warrants our attention is Disruptive Women in Health Care’s Man of the Month, Vice Adm. C. Forrest Faison III, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

A pediatrician by training, Faison is experienced in providing high-quality, patient-centered care to large, geographically dispersed populations. As commander, Navy Medicine West and Naval Medical Center San Diego, he was responsible for a staff of 16,000 delivering medical care to 850,000 beneficiaries from the California cost to the Indian Ocean.

In 2006, he was the commanding officer of the U.S. Expeditionary Medical Facility in Kuwait, responsible for all Department of Defense health care delivery in Kuwait, Qatar and southern Iraq. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Health Policy Grief

Glenna Crooks

Not enough people will notice, but last week marked the passing of an era.

The National Health Policy Forum, an important behind-the-scenes, never in-your-face, non-partisan educator of those who craft the nation’s health policies in Washington shuttered its doors.

Financial support from those who understood the value of educating policymakers dried up. There was no way to keep going.

j j miller

Judy Miller Jones, National Health Policy Forum Founder & Director

I was not there in the earliest years in the 1970s when it began, but was a real fan in the 1980s Reagan years when the health policy community was still small enough to fit into Judy Miller Jones’ living room, eating pizza and talking policy into the wee hours.

Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, out of the glare of the public eye, trying to solve the nation’s problems. Yes, we did that. We really did that. Unless you were there, you would not know the impact and how it helped your life then…and today. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter