We couldn’t agree more..investing in nurses does save lives

The following is an op-ed by Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH) that was published in today’s Ashtabula Star Beacon, an outlet in his home district. Joyce is the co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, along with Representative Lois Capps (D-CA), who founded the caucus in 2003 and is retiring at the end of the Congressional term. Both have been instrumental in educating their colleagues on the value of nurses and the health policy issues that impact the nursing profession.

The post is being published in conjunction with the American Nurses Association Lobby Day, when nurses will be meeting with members on Capitol Hill, advocating for issues important to nursing. Follow along by using the #hashtag #ANALobbyDay.


“Investing in Nurses Saves Lives”

DaveJoyce2By Congressman Dave Joyce

Every day, 10,000 people turn 65 years of age. While we all want to believe that we “age with grace,” reality reminds us that we need to focus on our health, the health of our friends, family members and loved ones. More than ever, patients need clinicians of all kinds to meet the demand that comes with an aging population.

As co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, I am acutely aware that we are going to need more than 1 million new nurses by the year 2022—less than 10 years—in order to meet increasing patient demand. While striving to build a more quality-focused health system that prioritizes wellness, disease prevention and coordinated care, we must recognize the value that nurses bring to these efforts.  As the husband of a full-time nurse, I certainly do.  (more…)

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Direct Access Testing: Putting Consumers in the Driver’s Seat

Terri Prof Headshot 0412Angela Young knew something was wrong. She hadn’t felt well for months but didn’t know what was going on. Her doctor ran tests for immune problems and endocrine issues. They all came back normal. Finally, Angela went to an independent direct access testing (“DAT”) laboratory and had them run some additional tests, including a test for something she suspected, but her doctor didn’t want to test her for: Lyme disease. When the Lyme disease test came back positive, she was relieved, because finally she knew what was wrong, could seek treatment and begin to get healthy again.

Michael S. is a typical 55 year old American man. He knows he doesn’t eat that well, too many quick stops at the McDonald’s on the way home from work and too much time sitting on the couch. He really should start working out, but life kept getting in the way. He felt OK, not great, but there wasn’t any reason to get to a doctor. His wife kept pushing him to get to the doctor, so to save time he just went into a direct access testing laboratory for some basic tests to get his wife off his back. He was shocked to discover that his cholesterol levels were in the upper 200s. He knew it was really time to lose weight and get moving. (more…)

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TBT: Health Disparities in the LGBT Community and the Importance of Data

In light of Caitlyn Jenner’s 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award acceptance speech at the ESPYs last night we are running the post below for TBT. It first ran on Disruptive Women in June 2014. 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals are becoming increasingly visible in our society. Unfortunately, they are subjected to discrimination and stigma similar to other marginalized groups such as racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. The current political and social context and unique health care needs, impact the health of LGBT individuals, resulting in health disparities (poorer health outcomes compared with their heterosexual and/or non-transgender peers). In order to identify and eliminate these disparities, health care providers must 1) be willing and able to competently gather information about whether their patient identifies as LGBT, 2) understand the risk factors associated with such identities, and 3) use that information to improve their patient’s health. Collection of sexual orientation and gender identity in public health surveys and at the clinical level in electronic health records is the first step to eliminating health disparities in the LGBT community.

LGBT is an umbrella term used to describe an entire group, yet it is important to understand that each subgroup (lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals) has unique health needs and issues. (more…)

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  • July 6th, 2015 Pope Francis’ Visit and Philadelphia Healthcare
    By Glenna Crooks
  • July Man of the Month: Farzad Mostashari, MD

    Casey Quinlan

    July 4 is Independence Day in the United States. Every year, we celebrate an unruly bunch of guys – the ones we now call the Founding Fathers – who, fed up with draconian rule from far away, decided to plant a new American flag and say “we’re running this show from here on out!”

    farzad_mostashariThere are plenty of analogies that can be drawn between the patients’ rights movement, healthcare reform, and our Founding Fathers. One of the champions of “data liberación” – the battle cry of healthcare open data efforts – Dr. Farzad Mostashari has consistently called for people, the ones commonly called “patients” by the healthcare system, to have equal rights within the system purportedly designed to help them maintain or achieve health.

    From the stage of Health Datapalooza 2015, Farzad threw down a gauntlet to the entire healthcare industry, encouraging every American to declare #dataindependenceday this July 4 by accessing their medical records online.

    “We believe that right now is the moment when patient demand for their records will be the ‘unknotter’ of the problem that we have — of the lack of access for patients to take their data and do what they want with it.” ~ Farzad Mostashari, MD (more…)

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    Let Freedom Ring

    Regina Holliday

    The following post ran on May 3 on Regina Holliday’s Medical Advocacy Blog.

    This winter was hard for me. Winter always is.  In my mind, I walk through yesteryears and live through the months I lost my husband Fred.

    I had a bad cough in January and February just like I had in 2009.  My cough was pertussis this time, not a chest cold.  This time it was my ribs that broke from explosive coughs, instead from metastasis as Fred’s had.

    This winter I felt I had to finish my memoir, so while coughed I wrote.  I tied together the story that I have been working on for five years.  This past week it became available on Amazon and it is called The Writing on the Wall.   I had wondered why I felt so frantic about quickly finishing my book on the importance of patient data access, but I have learned not to question such feelings.  I just act on them.

    Then I went to HIMSS15 in Chicago.  Then I heard CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) was considering cutting a key measure that affected patients in Meaningful Use Stage 2.  Facilities and Providers complained that they were not able to ensure 5% of patients would view, download or transmit their data in the Meaningful Use Stage 2 reporting window.  Anyway, they assured CMS, patients did not want access anyway.  So CMS proposed gutting the legislation, removing the 5% requirement and replacing it with literally “1” patient. (more…)

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    “I will not stop until we have the right to see our own information” – Part 2

    The post below original ran May 21 on Ted Eytan’s blog.Ted was one of our very first Men of the Month. See his March 2009 Man of the Month post here.

    This is the scene in which I encountered @ReginaHolliday yesterday

    Regina Holliday Paint In 55551

    That’s her with others, in front of the imposing low-rise brutalistic structure of the Hubert H Humphrey Building which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (@HHSgov). (more…)

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    Data Independence Day Series

    my dataOur posts this week will all focus on health data and individuals right to access it in honor of “Data Independence Day”. Data Independence Day initiated by Former National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari (you will hear more from him later this week) is a movement that will come to a head on July 4 when the Get My Health Data effort launches. The movement is focused on consumers demanding electronic access to their health information. It began when patient advocates responded to the recently loosened rules governing the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program. In April, CMS announced it was changing the provision that requires eligible providers to prove that five percent of EHR users have viewed, downloaded, or transmitted information contained in their patient portal. The change, eligible providers now only need to prove that “equal to or greater than 1” patient has interacted with their record. You can see why patient advocates were outraged. (more…)

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    Institute for Music and Neurologic Function’s 2015 Summer Institute

    Each One Counts Foundation Sponsors Institute for Music and Neurologic Function’s 2015 Summer Institute

    Workshop to Explore Therapeutic Applications of Music in Pediatric Pain Management

    Bronx, New York – The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a member of CenterLight Health System, will offer a two-day workshop to enhance and increase the therapeutic applications of music in pediatric pain management. Presented July 13 -14, the symposium is made possible by a generous, $10,000 grant by Each One Counts Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing complementary pain management therapies for children.

    “We are grateful to Each One Counts for providing us with the opportunity to share this crucially  important work,” said Dr. Concetta Tomaino, Executive Director of The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. “It’s a privilege to help advance the foundation’s mission of providing care, relief and comfort to children in need.” (more…)

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    Saving AHRQ: Hope on the Horizon

    Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

    You likely felt the ground shake a bit this week when the House Appropriations Committee released its FY16 funding language.

    Right there in Section 266 on page 94, the language proposed the termination of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ):


    With all of the attention lately about the desires in Congress to invest in research to advance the discovery of treatments for diseases – with hearings, news articles, and patients making trips to DC to be in the headlines across the country – this news came as quite a blow to many in the health research arena.

    There is hope on the horizon. (more…)

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    Disruptive Woman Sharon Terry’s Thoughts on Precision Medicine

    Sharon TerrySharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, shares why she is personally invested in the Precision Medicine Initiative. Watch this video for her thoughts.

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    Women’s Heart Health: What We Don’t Know

    Phyllis Greenberger

    The post below original ran here on HUFFPOST Healthy Living on June 9.

    Women’s Heart Month has come and gone but heart attacks have not. While it is a positive sign that cardiovascular disease in women is finally being recognized — there are successful campaigns educating women about the prevalence of heart disease and its varying symptoms – fewer than one in five healthcare providers – including cardiologists — recognizes women’s hearts as differing from men’s. Many outstanding questions remain about diagnosing and treating women with heart disease.

    Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease each year. While women tend to have heart attacks later in life, there are women who experience them in their twenties and thirties. These women are often healthy, in good physical shape, and have no symptoms. Despite this large number of women affected by cardiovascular disease, women and minorities are underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials. Only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trials report sex-specific results, making it ever more difficult for researchers and clinicians to know how a particular drug or device will affect women. [1] (more…)

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    The Society For Women’s Health Research Announces “Beyond The Bruises” Campaign Highlighting The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Chronic Disease

    bruisesThe press release below was issued May 27 by the Society for Women’s Health Research and can be seen here.

    The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR ®), a national non-profit and thought leader in research on sex differences in health and disease, today announced “Beyond the Bruises,” an online campaign uniting survivors, advocates, organizations, and celebrities in bringing awareness to the effects of domestic violence on chronic disease.  The campaign features a short film that shares the stories of domestic violence survivors who struggle with chronic disease as a result of their abuse, as well as the website BeyondtheBruises.org, a resource center that houses information on the often unrecognized effects of domestic violence on chronic illness.

    A 2013 study conducted by MORE Magazine and the Verizon Foundation found that 81 percent of domestic violence victims experience chronic health problems, proving that domestic abuse is not only a criminal issue, but a public health issue as well. “Domestic violence is a huge problem affecting men, women, and children every single day,” said Kristina Paruginog, one of the subjects in the film. “Do not be ashamed, do not be embarrassed, and most importantly, seek help.” (more…)

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    All women are health workers

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    How women define health Center for Talent Innovation

    The following post originally ran on Health Populi on May 26. See the original post here.

    The spiritual and emotional top the physical in women’s definition of “health,” based on a multi-country survey conducted in Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

    The Power of the Purse, a research project sponsored by the Center for Talent Innovation, underscores women’s primary role as Chief Medical Officers in their families and social networks. The research was sponsored by health industry leaders including Aetna, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardinal Health, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, MetLife, Pfizer, PwC, Strategy&, Teva, and WPP. (more…)

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    Missed our Indoor Tanning Event, Don’t Fret…We’ve got a Recap

    Tim_HeadshotOur Skin Cancer Awareness Month series comes to a close today. Below is a recap of Wednesday’s event co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses.

    It was a late night call to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi that made dealing with melanoma a personal experience. Tanzi, a dermatologist who previously had many difficult face-to-face conversations with patients to discuss a skin cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment options, had decided to test a sample of her own skin after discovering noticeable symptoms. She had no risk factors, limited sun exposure, and at 37 years of age, she hadn’t been in a tanning bed since she was college-aged.

    But when she listened to her voicemail, she knew that her colleague’s urgency signaled that the news was bad; she just needed to know how badly her skin cancer had progressed.

    Tanzi, who has now survived multiple bouts of melanoma, shared this courageous story and joined other fierce cancer prevention advocates to talk about the reality of skin cancer and the dangers of tanning. The Capitol Hill event, “The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College,” was co-hosted by Disruptive Women in Health Care and Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, a program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. (more…)

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