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 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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ER Visits: Is Traumatic Brain Injury on the Rise?

Is it all in your head? Some new research suggests that more and more people are visiting the ER for traumatic brain injuries. A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed the national trends in ER visits and noted a link in increased number of traumatic brain injuries. The researchers analyzed data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) database. This is a database that tracks emergency visits, and the reason for those visits.

What Researchers Found (more…)

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Gender Split in Economic Opportunities Will Lead to Poorer Health Outcomes

Cyndy NayerThe Wall Street Journal published this comparison of gender views of American economic issues, showing women have much less confidence in success. Folks were asked “which view of America is closer to your own?”  The answer to “anyone can succeed,” shows only 37% of women agree, and when compared to men’s responses at 57%, women are showing the overwhelming pressures of lower economic status.

In fact, the answer to the second question is even more disturbing. Sixty-one percent of women say the widening income gap undermines opportunity.  So, in both cases, women feel more economic pressure, more reason to worry about long-term economic security.

 

(more…)

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“Give me your tired, your poor…”

Laura JacobsonThe rapid influx of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the last few months has spurred a national conversation regarding the United States’ role in offering refuge to these children, the majority of whom are fleeing widespread gang violence and delinquency in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. A key talking point for some in the debate has become the supposed threat to public health that these children pose. (more…)

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Lava Mae

The United Nations states that access to sanitation is a basic human right.  Yet, in the United States the homeless are often forced to go without access to showers. San Francisco is a prime example of this deficit where there are only 16-20 showers to service an estimated 4,500 homeless person population. Today, DW interviews Donnice Sandoval, creator of Lava Mae, a sustainable mobile shower for the homeless in San Francisco. She shows us that sometimes it truly is the simple things that are the most disruptive. 

How were you inspired to create Lava Mae?

Homelessness is an issue I’ve cared about for a long time. I live in a neighborhood that was once predominately middle class African American families. The dramatic gentrification that has overtaken the city has changed that. We’ve watched too many of our neighbors move from their homes to their cars and then the street. I wracked my brain for what we could do but could never figure out how to end or stem the tide of rising homelessness. Then one day I passed a young woman on the street who was homeless and crying, feeling that she’d never be clean. (more…)

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Delete Blood Cancer: What You May Not Know About Bone Marrow Donation

Terri Prof Headshot 0412We all know about blood drives and the importance of blood and platelet donations to save lives. And millions of people are registered organ donors (usually when they get their driver’s license). But did you know that there is another renewable, life-saving resource you could give?  It’s your blood stem cells/bone marrow. Only 11 million Americans are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program to help save lives if their blood stem cells match a person fighting any one of 70 blood cancers and diseases. (more…)

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Tech Will Transform the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The doctor-patient relationship lies at the heart of much Western thinking about health. But only a few centuries ago, most people in the UK never saw a doctor.

During the 19th century, the greatest strides in health and life expectancy came from improvements in nutrition, sewerage and water supply rather than the medics. But by the 20th century, doctors were much better informed about how to treat and prevent a number of illnesses. (more…)

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The Incredible Work Of American Nurses

” Anyone that spends time in a hospital, realizes how incredibly important nurses are, how hard they work, and how under appreciated they are.”- Katie Couric

Check out this clip from the Katie Show where Couric interviews documentary film maker Carolyn Jones about her recent film “The American Nurse”.  Within the film, Jones lets us get a first hand glance into the  healing power of a nurse’s touch.   In an exciting twist, Disruptive Woman Diana Mason was also on the show! There she discussed the need for nurses’ voices to be heard, especially in the boardroom, and  tips to ensure you receive the best care. (more…)

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Patient Engagement: Here to Stay

jessie-gruman picA few years after my treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma finally limped to its end in the mid-1970s, I looked back and was amazed at my casual approach to that devastating, life-changing diagnosis: At times I had been completely absorbed by it, every moment governed by the demands of the treatment and illness. At other times, well, the contingencies of life intervened, and I went dancing. Or to class. Or on vacation, with little regard for the risks, the medications and all my doctors’ directives.

How could this be? Why would I take such a chance with my own health, my own (more…)

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The Power of Patients and Systems Evolving Together

Amy CaronWhen I’m asked why I left a sought after career in the fashion industry to get a master’s in public health I have an easy reply, I was a health care ‘consumer’ and I was mad. I was reminded about my experience recently when I read new guidance on immunosuppressant therapy in lupus patients that are in remission. Years ago when I found my perfect balance of diet, rest, exercise, and alternative care I had a long period of remission that prompted me to ask my rheumatologist if we could taper the azathioprine. The response was, “Look, take (more…)

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Why is the Most Effective form of Birth Control—the IUD—Also the One No One is Using?

Alexandra SifferlinEarlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled  that employers with religious objections have the right to opt-out of providing contraception coverage to their employees and we couldn’t have asked for a more timely and important piece.  Alexandra Sifferlin, a writer at TIME ,brings us this compelling look at the IUD, one of the most effective forms of birth control.  Learn more about how public health groups are working to get women more aware and interested in the contraceptive.

Up against bad PR and a lack of awareness, reproductive health groups are leading the charge to make the IUD a first line of defense against unplanned pregnancy. It won’t be easy.

Most women have been there: sitting in their gynecologist’s office, having yet another unsatisfying conversation about yet another unsatisfying form of birth control, wanting to try something new. (more…)

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June 2014 Man of the Month: Ron Goines

In recognition of both National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month  and National HIV Testing Day, DW could not think of a better man to nominate for our June Man of the Month. Ron Goines is the Director at AIDS Foundation Houston and has committed himself to the fight against HIV/AIDS. He also currently sits on the Houston Steering Committee for The Human Rights Campaign and chairs its Houston Corporate Relations sub-committee. Ron’s various roles in service have allowed him to be a resource in the community. His advocacy has expanded to serve every segment of not just the LGBT community but the wider community as well. (more…)

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A Different View – with a Broken Ankle

Meryl Bloomrosen

It felt as though I was having some type of “out of body” experience…falling down the metro escalator and realizing that I could not move. My predicament caught the attention of several Good Samaritans who sensed that something was wrong as I simultaneously screamed in agony and cried out for “HELP.”I am grateful for the willingness of fellow commuters to help me slide off the bottom of the escalator and out of the way of others. I am thankful that no one was right in front of me as I tumbled. I am enlightened by the emergency medical response process and appreciative of the emergency medical technicians (EMTS) who come to my aid, eventually taking me away by ambulance to a nearby hospital emergency department (ED). I was triaged in the ED and diagnosed with (more…)

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“Have You Ever Served?” The VA and the Private Sector

Diana Mason

I’m a veteran. I served in the US Army Nurse Corps for 3 years after I graduated from nursing school, the last 2 years of which were paid for by the Army. From 1970 to 1973, I served as a lieutenant, then a captain, at Walson Army Hospital at Fort Dix, NJ, while colleagues of mine were serving in Vietnam. Now we’re all eligible for health benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), although those who served in Vietnam have access to a higher level of benefits and priority for enrollment in the VA health system than I do. I have never used the VA health system as a patient, but by most reports, veterans in the system receive very good care. (more…)

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