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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Good Things Come to Those Who Weight…

Displaying image.jpegSummer is almost over, the kids are already or getting ready to go back to school, the sun sets sooner than it did three months ago and the crisp air of fall is settling in. For many, this is enough to go back to your regularly scheduled programs of snuggling on the couch, watching your favorite fall premiere shows (come on Walking Dead!), getting out of the summer routine of enjoying outdoor activities and  trying to maintain the New Year’s resolutions that you set in January to get beach and summer ready. But I do not want to GET summer ready. I want to STAY summer ready. (more…)

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Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Testing Changed Their Lives

Terri Prof Headshot 0412Susan was tired; tired of feeling foggy, bloated and unable to lose weight.  Her thyroid levels were out of whack and she felt awful.  Having just recently passed her 50th birthday, she assumed that this was what it meant to be a woman of a “certain age”:  A little heavier and slower than she would have liked, not quite as sharp, and generally, just feeling old.

It wasn’t until she watched other people coming into a lab that she co-owns and heard them talk about food intolerances did she consider that food might be causing her problems, not her age.  Changes to their diets, made after food intolerance testing, seemed to have worked miracles for her customers. (more…)

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August 2014 Man of the Month: Michael G. Dermer

md An innovator, author, entrepreneur and health leader,  our August Man of the Month, Michael  G. Dermer, is a true disruptor in the health care industry. Michael G. Dermer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Incentive Officer of Welltok. Prior to his current role, Michael was the founder and CEO of IncentOne, the first company that in 2003 identified incentives in health care as a critical solution to driving cost savings and engagement.  Since then, he has been guiding health plans, partners and employers in how to use incentives to deliver cost reductions. Today, he shares with us his perspective on what consumers think about rewards in health insurance plans.



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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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The Day I Made Peace with an Errant Organ

c Here’s my theory: few health crises in life are as traumatic as surviving a cardiac event. I developed this theory while I was busy having my own heart attack in the spring of 2008.

For starters, heart attack symptoms often come out of the blue (in fact, almost two-thirds of women who die of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Having a heart attack can feel so unimaginably terrifying that almost all of us try desperately to dismiss or deny cardiac symptoms. And according to a 2013 report published in Global Heart, the journal of the World Heart Federation, women are twice as likely to die within one year even if they do survive a heart attack compared to our male counterparts.

So if – and each of these is still, sadly, a great big fat IF for too many women – we survive the actual cardiac event, and if we are near a hospital that’s able to provide an experienced team of cardiologists/cardiovascular surgeons/cardiac nurses, and if we are correctly diagnosed, and if we receive timely and appropriate treatment, and if the resulting damage to our oxygen-deprived heart muscle is not too severe, we get to finally go home, safe and sound.

And that’s where the real trauma starts.   (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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Unintended Consequences: Sensors & the Rise of Ransomware

It's MeAs I was surfing the news on my wifi-enabled airline flight this morning, I saw an article describing how hackers have now figured out ways to hijack mobile phones by getting control of Find My iPhone accounts and holding hostage those account owners who want control of their phones back. For all of us who have set up this feature to remotely identify where we left our iPhones, we may now realize the unintended consequences of remote tracking: tech hijackers can steal password data, remotely lock iPhones and iPads and then send messages to users saying their iPhones and iPads will be unlocked — after they send $100 to a PayPal account. (more…)

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My Heart Breaks for Your Child

Autistic HoyaTrigger warning: Brief homophobic/heterosexist quote, and extensive quotes and descriptions of ableist and eugenicist rhetoric.


“I don’t want a handicapped child.”

I read that line in a mother’s story of her disabled child’s birth and first few weeks, and it gave me that awful, wrenching feeling–you know, the one where your insides kind of shrivel up and your breath catches somewhere in the back of your throat, hinging on tears or gasps or other sounds of enervated shock. (more…)

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Has Patient-Centered Health Care Run Amok?

Trudy-Lieberman -- biggerBeginning with the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) landmark Quality Chasm report in the late 1990s, the health policy establishment, the medical profession and the American public began to hear a new and disconcerting message: American health care was not patient-centered.

The IOM prescribed a number of recommendations to redesign health care delivery, one calling for patients as the source of control over their care. “Patients should be given the necessary information and the opportunity to exercise the degree of control they choose over health care decisions that affect them,” the IOM recommended, noting that patients should have access to their medical (more…)

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Rewind, Play, and Pause: My Weight Loss Journey

Photo: I put in some work this here evening.  2 mile jog followed by 15 minutes of a cardio circuit with resistance bands focusing on back and triceps. No breaks in between sets. And a 10 minute cool down walk. Even my arms were sweating tonight! She is gets it in!! #workingout #healthy #healthyliving #fitness #strong #strengthtraining #jog #walk #beats #nike #fuelband #teamhealthy #itsalifestyle #teamgetlean #fattofit #biggirlscanruntoo #100lbclubRewind: July 2, 2011

I had the pleasure of being the Maid of Honor at my sister’s wedding. It was a beautiful day all around. Well, aside from the fact that my knees hurt and my back (the lower region of the back) was on fire the whole night from standing and walking around. But, despite the pain, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t cute in my custom dress and professional makeup! After the wedding, I checked some of the pictures that my cousins posted on Facebook. I was speechless! There was no way that the chick in that picture with the quadruple chin and back fat was me! It was simply no way that she, a high school and collegiate athlete looked like that. It was that day that reality hit. I was not just a big girl anymore, I WAS FAT!! (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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In Observance of Jessie Gruman

jessie-gruman picOn July 14th, 2014 we lost a truly outstanding woman to her battle with a long time illness. Jessie Gruman was the president and founder of the Center for Advancing Health. A true patient advocate, she promoted not only patient engagement but the use of evidence-based medicine to support the adoption of healthy behavior.  In addition to her professional career, Gruman defined herself as a musician, avid reader of poetry and interested in foreign policy, the media and global health. She was a true disruptive (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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Who Will Take Care of You at Home if You’re Seriously Ill?

It turns out that the hilarious British spoof on the horrors of the Man-Cold might be truer than we ever imagined. The joke reality here is that when a husband gets sick, his wife is naturally expected to become his doting caregiver, but when a wife gets sick, she may feel distinctly on her own.

A study presented last month at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America actually reported that the risk of divorce among married couples rises when the wife – but not the husband — becomes seriously ill. (more…)

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