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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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.

Subscribe to our newsletter

And Now, Zika

Glenna Crooks

I joked once that when – as quoted in Genesis – God said “Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on the earth and subdue it” that command may have been directed at Noah and his family, but the viruses heard it, too.

Since then, they’ve done well these many millennia. Some would say, better than we have. They’ve adapted to the climates of the globe, circumnavigated it as hitchhikers when we traveled or shipped our goods, and survived nearly all our attempts at eradication.

My quip may have been funny in that moment, but the truth is this: viruses cause devastation that is no laughing matter. Zika is the latest reminder. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month – Do You Have The Facts?

Phyllis Greenberger

Today’s post first ran on Mogul.

The scary news: Cervical cancer is one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer. The hopeful news: It’s also one of the most easily preventable.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a chance to bring attention to cervical cancer and spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy.

Cervical cancer is a disease in which normal cells on the surface of the cervix change, grow, and form a tumor [1]. According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 12,000 reported new cases of cervical cancer in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths. Worldwide, though, cervical cancer kills nearly 300,000 women, and 85 percent of those cases occur in developing countries. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Dying to Get an Education

Meryl Bloomrosen

Public policy and public health efforts are underway to help assure that people can be healthy where they live, work, and play.  As part of providing education, schools are supposed to protect the health and safety of students.   Various government and non-government organizations (NGOs) offer resources, toolkits and evidence-based resources to help school districts, schools, and school personnel deal with health emergencies, such as life threatening conditions like asthma.  Guidelines indicate that schools should have:  a policy or rule that allows students to carry and use their own asthma medicines; written emergency plan(s) for teachers and staff to follow to take care of a student who has an asthma attack; and standing orders and quick-relief medicines for students’ use.[1] [2]

In the last few days, I read with admiration about middle and high school students setting aside any personal trepidation and potential disciplinary action to help fellow classmates who were having asthma attacks. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Doctors: It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It

Val Jones, MD

Today’s post originally ran on Better Health on December 28, 2015.

Most physicians will be thrust into the role of patient or caregiver at some point during their careers. Unfortunately, it’s not until this occurs that many become fully aware of the finer points of excellent care and communication. Take for example, the simple act of reporting test results to a patient. We do this every day, but may not realize that how we frame the information is as important as the data themselves.

I came to realize this on a recent hospital visit when I was in the role of healthcare proxy for a loved one with heart disease. Not only did various physicians present information with different degrees of optimism, but individual doctors presented things differently on different days…depending on (I guess) how tired/hurried they were. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

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…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Consumers Take Better Preventive Care of Pets Than Themselves, CIGNA Finds

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

People Care Deeply About the Wellbeing of Their Pets Not So Much WellbeingThe post below first ran January 18 on Health Populi.

Nine in 10 pet owners know when their dog or cat is due for their shots. Eight in 10 women know the frequency with which they get manicures and pedicures. 80% of men know the mileage between old changes.

But only 50% of family health care decision makers know their blood pressure, and only 20% know their biometric numbers like cholesterol and BMI.

Americans are great at doing preventive care for their pets and automobiles; but not so much for their own bodies and health, finds the report CIGNA Preventive Care Research, a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers between 25 and 75 years of age who have health insurance and are the health care decision makers for their families. The survey was conducted in September 2015. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Fighting the injustice of health disparities: Honoring the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Dr. John M. Eisenberg

Robin Strongin

The past several years I have run this post and because it continues to have a very important and relevant  message I am sharing it again.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.John EisenbergWe, as a nation, have made progress and I believe Dr. King would be proud. But our work is far from complete – particularly where health care is concerned. Another doctor, Dr. John M. Eisenberg, a physician of tremendous stature whose life was also tragically cut short (not by an assassin’s bullet but by brain cancer) was equally passionate about the dignity of life and justice for all Americans. Dr. Eisenberg, who among other things, served as the Director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (as AHRQ was known back in the day), cared deeply about access to and the integrity of health care for all Americans – regardless of skin color.

Fifteen years ago, on January 14, 2000, Dr. Eisenberg gave what is, in my opinion, a brilliant speech to the employees of the Department of Health and Human Services. As with the past years I want to share his words with all of you today — as a reminder of how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Food, Health and Public Policy

Meryl Bloomrosen

I am someone who has worked for many years “inside the Beltway” (aka Washington DC), who admittedly wears the “policy wonk” hat, and was a (long distance) caregiver for elderly parents in the last years of their lives, one of whom faced eating related complications and consequences.   Because of these experiences I advocate on behalf of people who live with chronic diseases.  I appreciate more than ever how important it is to comprehensively explore issues related to public health topics such as obesity, food insecurity, food labeling, food literacy, and food shopping.  Indeed, the intersection of social factors, community, education, environment, behavior and health are prominent components of current health policy discussions and activities. [1] [2] [3]

The prominent health policy publication, Health Affairs recently devoted its November 2015 issue to Food and Health.  However, most noticeably and disappointingly absent in the discussions about food and heath were the perspectives, values and needs of people living with the challenges of chronic, life threatening and incurable food related diseases, such as food allergies[4].  Food allergies present significant health burdens for patients and their families and caregivers. Public policies related to food and health must consider diverse patient perspectives and values based on their unique circumstances and life goals. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter