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Hilferty: Together we must address systemic racism in health care – The Philadelphia Tribune

Posted: November 23, 2020 at 6:54 am

This tumultuous year has once again laid bare the inequities that plague the African-American community. From the public cry for justice in the streets to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, the nation has had to confront the struggle and pain that minority communities face. Systemic racism is real and longstanding and health care is not immune.

Fortunately, I believe that leaders and citizens are motivated to bring about real and lasting change. Hearts and minds are shifting. And if we can transform health care, it can be an engine for equity. But we have a lot of work to do.

COVID-19 exposed a tale of two communities: Some have the means to survive and even thrive under difficult circumstances, while others struggle and fall further behind.

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COVID-19 hospitalization rates among African-American, Hispanic and Latino people have been about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Philadelphia, city data show that the death rate from COVID-19 among African Americans is 30% higher than for whites, due in part to the higher rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease among African Americans.

The pandemic has also heightened inequality, and those of us in health care know the impact that education, financial means and professional standing have on our overall health and wellness. There is no mistaking that barriers exist in the health care system.

Health care inequities long predate COVID-19, of course. Research has shown that African Americans receive lower quality care and have a shorter life expectancy than whites. They have higher death rates than whites when it comes to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, influenza, stroke, HIV/AIDS and homicides, according to the Census Bureau.

We have a responsibility to address this injustice and break down barriers. Together, we must ensure that a persons race does not determine their health outcomes.

We can start by increasing access to quality care, making health care not only accessible but affordable to all. At the same time, we need to ensure that diagnoses and treatment are equal for all races. And we need to monitor and measure outcomes.

Independence Blue Cross has committed to these goals and is proud to work with The Philadelphia Tribune in the effort.

We have joined forces with The Tribune to launch Our Community, Our Health, a public health awareness campaign to combat the disproportionate rates of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in the African-American community. The campaign will empower people to improve their health or the health of someone they love, offering access to health screenings, nutrition services and healthy lifestyle counseling.

In addition to Our Community, Our Health, Independence is addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health that impact minority communities, through efforts across the community including:

Keystone Connection to Wellness, a collaboration with Project HOME to address significant health disparities in life expectancy and infant mortality experienced by North Philadelphia residents.

Working closely with a coalition of regional health organizations that joined forces to transform Mercy Philadelphia into an innovative public health campus, designed to serve the facilitys neighbors, Independence will support community-based, nonprofit social services at the campus.

CommunityLink, development of a citywide network of community-based organizations built with Signify Health to break down barriers between clinical and social care and improve health outcomes for seniors.

MindPHL Together, a comprehensive public awareness campaign to reduce stigma and promote resources for mental health services launched in partnership with the City of Philadelphias Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services.

Beat COVID-19, a public awareness campaign to educate the community about COVID-19 topics.

Donation of 500,000 personal protection masks to physician practices and clinics that serve disadvantaged communities in the Philadelphia region.

Systemic racism is a scar on our nations history. But the mostly peaceful protests by people of all ages, races and ethnicities have encouraged me that we are finally ready to confront the issue. Sometimes difficult and painful conversations are taking place in homes and places of business, as individuals and institutions rethink their role in ensuring equity.

This is true in health care, too, where awareness and action can close the gaps in health and health care access between races and communities. Doing so will create a healthier, more just and prosperous society for everyone. More important, it is the right thing to do.

Daniel J. Hilferty is president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross.

Hilferty: Together we must address systemic racism in health care - The Philadelphia Tribune

In-Person Dining At Restaurants, Other Establishments To Be Prohibited Under Modified LA County Public Health Order – CBS Los Angeles

Posted: at 6:54 am

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) Dining out at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be restricted starting on Wednesday, November 25 under a modified public health order in Los Angeles County as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive-thru, and delivery services. Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols, public health officials said.

In-person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next three weeks, according to L.A. County health experts.

Its just gonna be the nail in the coffin for many, said Hunter Hall of the Santa Monica Merchants Association.

Some business owners say they are paying the price for others who have not been following the rules.

This outlier group of bad actors who are visibly flouting the rules makes it essentially politically easier for government bodies to say oh, look, restaurants are breaking the rules so we gotta shut them all down, the reality is thats just a minority.

There are also people speaking out against the order to ban in-person dining, saying that it wont be effective.

This surge has come from private gatherings at homes, its come from celebrations over the election, from Halloween, from sporting event celebrations, this is not from dining outside, said Caroline Styne of the Independent Restaurant Association. I think were gonna have to lay off the majority of our staff now.

RELATED: Heres A List Of Things You Still Can Do After the New California Curfew

The changes were announced as the current five-day average stood at 4,097 new coronavirus cases in LA County, and on the heels of a new 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily curfew for L.A. County and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide to help prevent the spread of cases during late-night gatherings.

Public Health confirmed on Sunday nine additional coronavirus cases and 2,718 new cases.

If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, another installation of the Safer at Home Order will be issued for three weeks, which will restrict leaving the home for non-essential activities.

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In-Person Dining At Restaurants, Other Establishments To Be Prohibited Under Modified LA County Public Health Order - CBS Los Angeles

Sanford Health CEO Refuses To Wear Face Masks After Having Covid-19 Coronavirus – Forbes

Posted: at 6:54 am

Kelby Krabbenhoft, the President and CEO of Sanford Health, which sponsors the Sanford International ... [+] golf tournament (pictured here) at Minnehaha Country Club on September 12, 2020 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has indicated that he will not be wearing a face mask because he already has had Covid-19. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Kelby Krabbenhoft is the President and CEO of Sanford Health, a large healthcare system based in South Dakota. He has also indicated that he will not be wearing a face mask.

Yes, you heard that correctly. According to Samara Said reporting for CNN, Krabbenhoft recently wrote in an email that he has already recovered from a Covid-19 coronavirus infection, believes that he is now immune to the virus, and now doesnt want to wear a face mask. "For me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it, Krabbenhoft indicated. I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture."

Bailey Hurley, a crime and safety reporter for Valley News Live tweeted out what was reportedly the content of the Krabbenhort email:

Thats not all. As Joe Sneve reported for theSioux Falls Argus Leader, Krabbenhoft said about the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, "At this point, we feel weve got this under control. Theres not a crisis."

Sneve also wrote that on Friday, Sanford Health executive vice president Micah Aberson issued the following statement in response to what Krabbenhoft had written: "Kelby Krabbenhofts email was based on his own experience with COVID-19 and his personal opinions about the virus. They do not reflect the views of our health system as a whole. Sanford Healths position is the same as it has always been consistently wearing masks, avoiding crowds and staying home if youre sick are critical to preventing the spread of the virus. It is important to follow CDC guidelines. We continue to be incredibly grateful to our frontline workers who are stepping up every day to take care of our patients."

So, in other words, the views of the CEO of the health system do reflect the views of the health system when it comes to an important healthcare-related matter? Does that mean the values of the leader and the organization are not aligned? Not exactly the kind of stuff they teach in Management 101.

Sanford Health tweeted out the following as well:

So Sanford Health is telling others to do what its CEO is not going to do. Is this a bit like the owner of a pizza shop saying that he or she is not really into dough, cheese, and tomato sauce?

Make no mask-take about it. The CEO of a large healthcare system that includes 46 medical centers, 210 clinic locations, 208 senior living communities, and 158 skilled nursing and rehab facilities, based on the Sanford Health website, apparently does not want to wear a face covering while the Covid-19 coronavirus is surging throughout the U.S. The ultimate head of the Health Plan that covers around 210,000 lives seems to be not following the guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health experts. Thats right, the leader of an organization that has 1,521 physicians, 1,112 advanced practice providers and 8,502 registered nurses doesnt appear to be taking the simple step of covering his nose and mouth. Is this the type of thing that you want to hear after working an overnight 12-hour shift in the Emergency Room?

Some folks on social media were not too happy with the Krabbenhoft email. For example:

So where did Krabbenhort get that I am immune for seven months and perhaps for years to come, similar to that of chicken pox, measles, etc.? Well, maybe he was referring to a study recently published in the scientific journal Immunity. The study tested serum samples from 5,882 volunteers from Pima County, Arizona, and found that neutralizing antibodies and those against the SARS-CoV2 spike protein seemed to persist in the serum for at least five to seven months. However, if Krabbenhort had read this publication and the rest of the available scientific literature carefully he would have realized that this is far from a definitive study. Never make a conclusion based on one such study, even if it says what you want to hear, like avocado toast is delicious. Instead, since natural immunity is a complex process, see what the scientific literature as a whole is saying. Doing so will show that as a whole there are still a lot of holes in our knowledge. It is still unclear how exactly immunity against the SARS-CoV2 works after natural infection or how long such immunity may last. There have been reported cases of people getting re-infected with the virus, although it has yet to be determined how common this may be.

This is why British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently under quarantine even though he already had a bout with Covid-19 in April that landed him in a hospital intensive care unity (ICU). This is why Johnson has continued to wear a face mask since he recovered from Covid-19.

Comparing the Covid-19 coronavirus to the chicken pox or measles is like comparing a zebra to a llama. Or One Direction to Los Angeles Lakers. They are just not the same things. If you were to show up to a basketball game with Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and a llama, you may not get the same result as showing up with JaVale McGee, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Danny Green, and Avery Bradley.

As for the we feel weve got this under control and theres not a crisis" statements, Krabbenhort may want to check the number of new cases occurring each day in South Dakota and the South Dakota government website. The COVID-19 in South Dakota web page says WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS in ALL CAPS. Thats not exactly the type of thing that you write when there isnt a crisis. If someone were to ask you how the cake baking is going and you were to respond, WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, that person might be a little suspicious about whats happening to the cake. The website makes the following statement as well: With the COVID-19 situation changing rapidly, it's hard to predict what tomorrow may bring. With the help of healthcare providers, schools, leaders, businesses and communities across the state we are taking proactive steps to reduce the spread of the virus. It is a bit difficult to reconcile weve got this under control and its hard to predict what tomorrow may bring.

Plus, who exactly did Krabbenhort mean by we? Is he on the front lines? Is he taking care of patients? His bio reveals no evidence of a scientific or medical background. It does list a bunch of health system executive positions including being named at age 38, the president and CEO of Sioux Valley Health System, which back in 1996 employed 6,339 people and operated 18 hospitals, 30 clinics and nine long-term care facilities. He was captain of the Concordia College basketball team, where he earned a bachelors degree in business and hospital administration. So presumably he will understand that many llamas arent great at basketball.

Here is Krabbenhoft wearing a sweater with a very large collar and describing the company that he runs:

Krabbenhort is leading a health care system that is supposed to ultimately do whats best for patients. Wearing a face mask is not that much of a sacrifice no matter how important you think looks may be. The health system itself has asked people in the community to wear face masks even though its CEO is apparently not doing so. On the face of things, how does that really look?

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Sanford Health CEO Refuses To Wear Face Masks After Having Covid-19 Coronavirus - Forbes

Here’s how to find joy this holiday season and what to do if you’re struggling – Pressconnects

Posted: at 6:54 am

Across New York, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on mental health. Families havegrappledwith fear and worry about contracting the illness, anxiety over financial woes and, in some cases, grief from the loss of a loved one.

And the stresses of thisholiday season may only increase the associated anxiety and create new hurdles for those already struggling.

That's why experts say it's important to find small, creative ways to feel joy and comfort this year and when you need it, don't be afraid to ask for help.

"Theres no doubt," said Ronald Regge, associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, "that this is a tough time of year for everybody."

Should schools go remote?: Thanksgiving gatherings a concern for schools after the tricky lessons of Halloween

With each passing month, pandemic-related fatigue and anxiety have jeopardized daily life.

"The impact has been, I think, unparalleled," said Dr. Peter Faustino, president of the Westchester County Psychological Association & NY Delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. "Were all experiencing this huge trauma and that its lasting as long as it has ... As weeks turned into months, people are struggling to manage and to deal with it."

The CDC has reported that symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States from April to June this year, compared to the same period in 2019.

New York State Office of Mental Health: The COVID-19 pandemic has left many New Yorkers feeling anxious and stressed. To find a mental health program in your area, as well as tips for mental wellness, visit omh.ny.gov.

Project Hope: Project Hope is New Yorks COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline. It's free, confidential and anonymous. For more information, visit nyprojecthope.org or call 1-844-863-9314.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906

Crisis Text Line: Text "Got5" to 741-741. Frontline worker? Text FRONTLINENY to 741-741 for specialized support

Overall, 40.9% of study respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder, trauma- and stressor-related disorder related to the pandemic and having started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19.

'Feels like the world is against you': Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID-19 pandemic

Pressures surrounding the holiday season can augment feelings of anxiety or stress.In a 2014 study, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that approximately 24% of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition a lot worse and 40% somewhat worse.

This year, the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19, travel restrictions and safety concerns present extracomplications.

"Families are going to be dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety, and theyre only going to get worse," said Harry Reis, professor of psychology at University of Rochester. "This is a time of the year where people traditionally take a break from work and connect with people they care about, break their routine, travel, do those things. Alarge number of Americans wont be able to do that this year."

On the edge of a difficult year, these New Yorkers have found their happiness, from walks, to food, and to family, no matter the distance. Rockland/Westchester Journal News

To help brighten an otherwise dark year, Reis says connection is key, even if you're growing tired of video chats.

"Family and friends and people who care about us are the centerpiece of human life," he said."Were evolved to be social creatures and connection is incredibly important and when you take connection away from people, people suffer. We have to take advantage of it."

For the holidays, that might mean having a video chat with a loved one in a nursing home, committing to calling someone you love every day, or setting up a computer in the dining room so family and friends from afar can virtually join in the holiday meal.

More: Little Lights: In a difficult year, here's how some New Yorkers found moments of joy

Faustino also suggests reimagining treasured traditions to hold onto their meaning, even if they won't be the same this year. Families who treasure the opportunity to cook and share food but are unable to do so together this yearcould donate meals instead. Those who cherish shared storytelling with loved ones could make a point to get everyone on a Zoom callor write letters sharing things they're grateful for.

This season can be an opportunity to build relationships in your family, says Qi Wang, professor and department chair of human development at Cornell University. Flipping through photo albums of past vacations together or special times can help create a positive atmosphere, as can decorating a home together or playing games.

"In this situation, the point of view is very important, how we view the situation," she said. "Can we turn this into an opportunity, can we develop it into something good for personal growth and for our family relations and our children?"

Dont make it complicated. Set a very small goal and then as you achieve that, amp the goal up. Once youre on that healthy path, then it gets a lot easier.

It's also important to take care of yourself. If finding time to do that has been difficult, you're not alone. Experts say the first step is the hardest, especially if you're already feeling stressed or burned out.To avoid pitfalls, they suggest starting small. If you've set a goal to exercise more,committo taking a five-minute walk every day rather than five miles.

"Dont make it complicated, Regge says. "Set a very small goal and then as you achieve that, amp the goal up. Once youre on that healthy path, then it gets a lot easier."

Self care means something different for everyone. As well as exercise, some people might find comfort in creating a routine, practicing yoga, putting on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, picking up a new hobby or writing in a journal. Myra Sabir, an associate professor of human development at Binghamton University, has found relief and resilience through a form of narrative intervention she teaches in local workshops called Life Writing.

"Whatever brings you that tranquility and peace and helps calm you down and helps you find your center, scheduling that time into your day makes a huge difference," Regge said.

No matter what burdens this holiday season brings with it, Wang emphasizes the importance of seeking professional help when it's needed.

"I think Americans tend to assume happiness is the norm, and unhappy means something is wrong," she said. "Obviously keeping that mentality during the pandemic isnt realistic. Its not about us, its just the situation. We dont have control of the situation."

Especially now, experiencing periods of sadness or anxietyis normal. Events of stress and trauma affect every person differently,there is no hardship too small to be valid. Many organizations have extended telehealth therapy services in light of the coronavirus and several others have created support groups on social media for those struggling to cope.

"Every community has resources available. Dont be embarrassed to make that connection," Reis said. "Youre not alone, many people are having these difficulties and many professionals are standing ready to help."

Follow Katie Sullivan Borrelli on Twitter @ByKatieBorrelli.To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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Here's how to find joy this holiday season and what to do if you're struggling - Pressconnects

Aspen nonprofit partakes in global art initiative to prop community health via arts – Aspen Daily News

Posted: at 6:54 am

COVID-19 has revealed that a virus can affect not only our physical health but also our ability to cope with the psychological impact in its wake.

Loneliness is not the absence of people. Loneliness is the inability to express what matters to you most, and the arts in all of its forms was evolved to do exactly that, Christopher Bailey, World Health Organization Arts & Health Lead said in a press-release video.

The release explained its mission as a global one, pointing to an international collaboration.

The cultural community can be on the front lines of recovery efforts, creating solidarity and compassion, standing together against common existential threats, it reads.

Thats where Aspen-based Open Mind Project comes in, partnering as a presenter of The Future is Unwritten auction, which boasts the Healing Arts initiative as a cultural call-to-action to support the World Health Organization and a global COVID-19 response through the arts.

Open Mind Project founder and long-time Aspen valley resident Andrew Scott allowed, As an intercultural institution, the Open Mind Projects participation in this philanthropic effort aims to transform a moment of crisis into a paradigm shift for the health of humanity and the planet we depend on for life.

As part of The Future is Unwritten initiative, the local organization is engaging in the broader international art world that is the United Nations priority areas and WHOs auction house which aims to increase awareness around a global path to recovery and raise critical funds to mobilize artists and health professionals in support of communities most vulnerable, at-risk and with the weakest-health systems to act effectively in response to the pandemic.

But the international organizers are not naive to the potential undercurrents of local good intentions.

When speaking of at-risk populations, Bailey stated, If I am this person in a village in North Kivu and suddenly this person from an international organization in a coat and tie comes down who hasnt been around at all Im going to think you're crazy.

All proceeds from this initiative will benefit the WHO Foundation, which supports the urgently needed mental health response to the pandemic through the applied use of arts in health-giving and recovery, the press release continues. The Future is Unwritten sponsors its Artist Response Fund, supporting artist-led projects that directly facilitate community healing and health care messaging in the aftermath of the pandemic.

In addition to the auction series, there is a program of educational events covering urgent thematic areas from emergency response, to mental health, to the health effects of the environmental crisis, to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, each through the lens of the supportive power of the arts.

The virtual world that has emerged at least more poignantly since the pandemic has impacted fundraising models, as well. That is evident in this endeavor, as audiences from all over the world can participate in auctions and causes also anywhere in the world.

The Healing Arts Auction is in collaboration with Christies and will run over the course of a year, with works to be offered in a number of sales across a wide range of genres. The first work to come under the hammer will be Magnetism, by Ahmed Mater, appearing in the November Middle East Contemporary Art Sale in London. The central focus of the piece is a cuboid magnet that resembles the black-draped Kabah, the central element of the Meccan rites, considered by Muslims everywhere to be the most sacred place on earth. Around the cube are spiral patterns made of tens of thousands of particles of iron evoking the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that includes a series of rituals like walking counter-clockwise seven times around what is perceived as the House of God.

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Aspen nonprofit partakes in global art initiative to prop community health via arts - Aspen Daily News

Banner Health joins Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health and others to spread Mask Up message – Fort Morgan Times

Posted: at 6:54 am

Banner Health is pleased to join local health organizations Mayo Clinic and Dignity Health (CommonSpirit Health), as well as other top U.S. health systems, in a Mask Up promotion campaign designed to encourage everyone to wear a mask as protection for themselves and others against COVID-19.

Banner, Mayo and Dignity join 100 of the nations top health care systems, representing thousands of hospitals in communities across the U.S., in spreading an urgent plea for all Americans to mask up, because wearing a facemask is the best way to slow the surging COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 11.5 million Americans have tested positive for the virus including an additional one million in just the past week leading to nearly 250,000 deaths.

The current trends are daunting and frightening. If the nation stays on its current course, hospital leaders are increasingly concerned that more health care facilities will be overwhelmed as shortages of healthy caregivers make it difficult to handle a rapidly increasing number of patients. Unfortunately, this is already happening in parts of the U.S.

Banner Health owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals in six states and all are experiencing exponential growth of COVID-19. The increase of COVID-19 patients coupled with seasonal illnesses and the likelihood of large gatherings over the holidays represents a perfect storm that will lead to increased spread and deaths.

The next several months will be critical. Though there has been positive news about vaccine development, it is still unclear when those vaccines will be ready for widespread use. In the meantime, everyone must remain vigilant, take precautions and follow public health orders.

The country has reached a tipping point. The power to do what is right is now in the hands of everyone everywhere.

This week, a public service message ran in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. Additionally, hospitals and health systems across the country, like Banner, Dignity and Mayo, have united to share these messages regionally.

Our message is:

As the top nationally ranked hospitals, we know its tough that we all need to do our part and keep wearing masks. But, heres what we also know: The science has not changed. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. So, please join us as we all embrace this simple ask: Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives.

In an effort to reach a broader audience, the public service effort will also include messages on digital platforms, social media, online information, links to vital health resources and more. Combining resources demonstrates that these health organizations are working together, will accomplish this today and will get through this together.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to recent studies that have shown facemasks successfully limit spread of the COVID-19 virus. Wearing facemasks protect in key ways: by protecting the wearer against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulates and by preventing exposure of those around the wearer.

In addition to masking, the CDC suggests that everyone minimize the number of non-household contacts, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet, and limit the amount of time around others, especially while indoors and in poorly ventilated areas. For further information about masking guidelines how to choose a mask, how to properly wear a mask visit the CDC website.

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Banner Health joins Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health and others to spread Mask Up message - Fort Morgan Times

Cybersecurity in Health care: Assess Threats & Reduce Your Risk — Free OPEN MINDS Webinar, Sponsored By Netsmart – The Wellsboro Gazette

Posted: at 6:54 am

GETTYSBURG, Pa., Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Health care organizations are often at risk of cyberattacks due to a lack of dedicated IT and reliance on traditional reactive approaches.

To learn how to protect your data, register now to join Randy Pargman, Binary Defense Senior Director of Threat Hunting and Counterintelligence; Sharon Hicks, MBA, MSW,OPEN MINDSSenior Associate; and Mike Murray, Netsmart Director of Plexus Technologies, as they map the risk landscape and provide guidance for safeguarding your organization.

The webinar,Cybersecurity in Health care: Assess Threats & Reduce Your Risk, will be presented on Wednesday, December 9th at 1:00 pm ET. Attendees can expect to learn about cyber threats in health care, the impacts of a data breach, and best practices for securing data.

Registration for this executive web briefing is free of charge, courtesy of Netsmart, and brought to you byOPEN MINDS. If you are unable to attend, please still register. At the end of the event, all registrants will receive a recorded copy of the executive web briefing and presentation slides. Register at:https://www.openminds.com/event/cybersecurity-in-healthcare-assess-threats-reduce-your-risk/.

About Netsmart

Netsmart designs, builds and delivers electronic health records (EHRs), solutions and services that are powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use. Our platform provides accurate, up-to-date information that is easily accessible to care team members in behavioral health, care at home, senior living and social services. We make the complex simple and personalize, so our clients can concentrate on what they do best: provide services and treatment that support whole-person care.

By leveraging the powerful Netsmart network, care providers can seamlessly and securely integrate information across communities, collaborate on the most effective treatments and improve outcomes for those in their care. Our streamlined systems and personalized workflows put relevant information at the fingertips of users when and where they need it.

For 50 years, Netsmart has been committed to providing a common platform to integrate care. SIMPLE. PERSONAL. POWERFUL.

Our more than 2,300 associates work hand-in-hand with our 600,000+ users in more than 35,000 organizations across the U.S. to develop and deploy technology that automates and coordinates everything from clinical to financial to administrative.

Learn more about how Netsmart is changing the face of healthcare today. Visitwww.ntst.com,call 1-800-472-5509, follow us on ourCareThreads Blog,LinkedInandTwitter, like us onFacebookor visit us onYouTube.


OPEN MINDSis an award-winning information source, executive education provider, and business solutions firm specializing in the domains of health and human services serving consumers with chronic conditions and complex support needs. For thirty years, we've been pioneers for change helping organizations implement the transformational business practices they need to succeed in an evolving market with new reimbursement, competition, policies and regulations.

OPEN MINDSis powered by a national team of experienced executives and subject matter experts with specific expertise and experience in nine key market areas mental health, addictions, chronic conditions, autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities, long-term care, children's services, social services, juvenile justice, and corrections health care. Our mission is to improve the quality of care for consumers with complex support needs by improving the effectiveness of those serving them provider organizations, payer and insurance organizations, government agencies, pharmaceutical organizations, and technology firms. Learn more atwww.openminds.com.

Media Contact:Katherine Bennettkbennett@openminds.com

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Cybersecurity in Health care: Assess Threats & Reduce Your Risk -- Free OPEN MINDS Webinar, Sponsored By Netsmart - The Wellsboro Gazette

Board of Health meeting Monday to consider additional COVID-19 regulations – WATE 6 On Your Side

Posted: at 6:54 am

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) Knox Countys Board of Health is set to meet Monday, November 23, for a special called meeting.

BOARD OF HEALTH: Knox Countys health board is set to meet tomorrow evening for a special called meeting.

Today, were getting a look at the agenda, updated with links to the documents the board plans to discuss.

Heres a copy: pic.twitter.com/Lvw8cMtgCy

There are three items on the agenda slated for board members to review and discuss. Thats a COVID-19 Risk Reduction Guidelines Resolution, a COVID-19 Social Gathering Limitation Regulation, and a COVID-19 Restaurant Occupancy Limitation and Early Closure Regulation.

Aside from some exceptions, the Social Gathering Limitation Regulation proposes prohibiting all social gatherings of more than 8 people age 12 and older at any given time within Knox County. This does not include gatherings with people exclusively living in the same home.

The regulation does not apply to nursing homes, places of worship, or public and private schools.

If approved, it would go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on November 25, and remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on December 10.

Per the regulation, restaurants and bars would need to limit capacity to 25% occupancy and keep at least 6 feet between people not from the same household.

Plus, restaurants and bars would close for on-site consumption and activities from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next day.

They may remain open after 9:00 pm only to offer drive through, pickup, carry-out, or delivery service for food or drink, the regulation reads.

If approved, it would take effect at 12:01 a.m. on November 25, and remain in effect until 12:01 on December 10.

PREVIOUS STORY: Knox County Board of Health will meet Monday to discuss possible regulations

Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary (R) also posted a thread on Twitter about tomorrows meeting.

The Health Board will be voting tomorrow to cap all restaurants at 25% capacity and require them to close by 9 pm. This will crush the restaurant industry, having a tremendous economic impact on our county and put hundreds of people out of work.

Rep. Zachary recently filed a bill that looks to limit local health boards authority.

RELATED STORY: Rep. Zachary files bill to limit local health boards authority

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Board of Health meeting Monday to consider additional COVID-19 regulations - WATE 6 On Your Side

Russia’s health system under strain as the virus surges back – pressherald.com

Posted: at 6:54 am

MOSCOW When Yekaterina Kobzeva, a nurse at a preschool in Russias Ural Mountains, began having trouble breathing, she called an ambulance. It was four days before she managed to find a free hospital bed.

The ambulance first took her to get a scan which showed damage from pneumonia to 50 percent of her lungs, an indication she had coronavirus. The paramedics then drove her around the city of Perm and its surroundings for hours as seven hospitals, one by one, turned her down, saying they didnt have any beds available. At dawn, she went home.

The journey took her through circles of hell, Kobzeva, 60, recalled in an interview with The Associated Press by phone from a hospital, where doctors confirmed she had the virus. She was only admitted there days after her first attempt and after her story made local headlines.

Russias health care system, vast yet underfunded, has been under significant strains in recent weeks, as the pandemic surges again and daily infections and virus death regularly break records.

Across the country, 81 percent of hospital beds that have been set aside for coronavirus patients were full as of Wednesday. Three times last week, the Russian government reported a record number of daily deaths, and the number of daily new infections per 100,000 people has more than doubled since Oct. 1, from 6 to over 15. Overall, Russia has recorded over 2 million cases and over 35,000 deaths, but experts say all numbers worldwide understate the true toll of the pandemic.

Reports in Russian media have painted a bleak picture in recent weeks. Hospital corridors are filled with patients on gurneys and even the floor. Bodies in black plastic bags were seen piling up on the floors of a morgue. Long lines of ambulances wait at hospitals while pharmacies put up signs listing the drugs they no longer have in stock.

Russian authorities have acknowledged problems in the health system. President Vladimir Putin even urged regional officials not to paper over the situation, saying that feigning the impression that everything is perfectly normal is absolutely unacceptable.

Yet Russian authorities continue to insist theres no need for a nationwide lockdown or widespread closures of businesses, instead urging people to observe the measures ordered by regional governments.

But in most regions, those measures dont go beyond mask mandates, limiting the hours of bars and restaurants, ordering the elderly to self-isolate, forbidding mass public events and requiring employers to have some staff work from home. Health experts say the moves are clearly not enough.

Paramedic Dmitry Seryogin says Kobzevas experience is not unusual. In the southwestern Oryol region where he works, patients can wait for up to 12 hours for an ambulance and then might spend five more in it, looking for a hospital bed. Those who happen to arrive when others are being discharged get lucky, he told the AP, but the rest are sent home.

While the Perm region, where Kobzeva sought treatment, was among the top 20 of more than 80 Russian regions in terms of daily new infections last week, Oryol ranked somewhere in the middle. Still, 95 percent of hospital beds slated for coronavirus patients there were full last week, reflecting the pressure on a system crippled by widely criticized reforms that sought to cut state spending.

Were witnessing simply a collapse of the health care system in the region, Seryogin said. It is absolutely not coping.

A partial six-week coronavirus lockdown in March only added to long-brewing public frustrations over Russias already weakened economy. Soon after that, Putin delegated the powers to impose virus-related restrictions to regional governors. Critics saw the move as an effort to inoculate himself from any more fallout over the pandemic.

During the fall resurgence of the virus, the Kremlin has consistently pointed fingers at regional governors.

Colleagues, you have received broad powers for implementing anti-pandemic measures. And nobody has relieved you of personal responsibility for the adopted measures I really do hope that they were adopted on time, Putin reminded the governors last week.

But just like the Kremlin, governments in the vast majority of Russian regions have been loath to shut businesses or impose lockdowns. The only exception has been the Siberian republic of Buryatia, where last week the regions governor ordered cafes, restaurants, bars, malls, cinemas, beauty parlors and saunas to shut down for two weeks.

Regional governors find themselves in an impossible position, explained political analyst Abbas Gallyamov. They face public frustration if they dont impose tough restrictions and the outbreak continues to rage, and they face it if they do because they dont have the funds to ease the pain of closures.

All the finances have been long centralized, and the regions dont have spare money, Gallyamov said. So de jure, a governors hands are untied, but de facto theyre still tied because they dont have the money to impose a lockdown and compensate people for their financial losses.

In addition, Putin has so thoroughly centralized power that regional governors are not used to acting independently, noted Judy Twigg, a professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in global health.

In the meantime, many Russian regions are buckling under the growing tide of patients.

In Buryatia, the Siberian republic that has imposed the countrys strictest measures, Dr. Tatyana Symbelova told the AP that as the number of patients rose, her hospital kept adding beds in the corridor, in the outpatient ward next door but the situation, still, grew worse and worse.

Symbelova, the chief doctor at Republican Infectious Disease Hospital in Ulan-Ude, and her colleagues are now taking patients whose condition was severe or of moderate severity and turning down those with milder cases. A new coronavirus ward with 180 beds opened last week in the city, and she hopes that and the shutdown will help.

But in the meantime, she is worried.

Such risks were taking! Telling patients (with milder cases) they can go and treat themselves at home, when they may come in three days later with their lips blue, Symbelova said. Were very seriously choking.

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Health officials send COVID-19 alert to cellphones in 20 counties as new testing site opens in Jefferson County – The Denver Post

Posted: at 6:54 am

State officials sent a cellphone warning about COVID-19 to people in 20 counties across Colorado Sunday, urging residents to use caution because of the severe risk of the virus.

The emergency alert was pushed to cellphones in the 20 counties that have gone to the Red Level warning status on the states scale for coronavirus risk level, said Micki Trost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The alert, which referred readers to the states coronavirus information website, caused the website to overload and crash for some users Sunday morning, an issue the states joint information center said it was working to fix before any additional alerts are sent out.

Health officials have struggled to keep up with the soaring demand for testing and contact tracing as the virus has swelled in a third wave this fall. In Denver, two testing sites, Paco Sanchez Park and Denver Human Services East on Steele Street, had filled to capacity by 10 a.m. Sunday and were no longer accepting new patients.

Also on Sunday, Jefferson County opened a new large-scale testing site at the county fairgrounds at 15200 W. Sixth Frontage Road in Golden on Sunday. Testing there is free. Those seeking testing can make an appointment in advance or just show up; no insurance or identification is required.

The fairgrounds testing site is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The county will also on Monday begin offering testing from a mobile van, which will make several stops through Jefferson Countys mountain communities. A full schedule can be found at jeffco.us/testing.

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Health officials send COVID-19 alert to cellphones in 20 counties as new testing site opens in Jefferson County - The Denver Post

In south-central Kentucky, health workers and officials try to overcome coronavirus fatigue and politicization of the pandemic – Richmond Register

Posted: at 6:54 am

Health officials are working "to convince a skeptical public in south-central Kentucky of the risk of catching the deadly virus racing through the region, taking lives and putting an ever-growing number of people in the hospital," Deborah Yetter of the LouisvilleCourier Journalreportsafter a trip to Glasgow, Tompkinsville and Bowling Green.

Brandon Dickey, chief nursing officer atT.J. Samson Community Hospitalin Glasgow, "sees people daily ignoring precautions meant to slow the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus," Yetter reports.Dickey "believes the virus has sneaked up on rural communities including Barren County, where some people view it as a big-city problem."

"My perception is that people are tired of hearing about it," Dickey said. "It's been heavily politicized and people have mixed feelings about it. I wish people could come see the seriousness of it first-hand, because it is real."

"People still continue to think its a hoax or it's not going to happen to them," said Courtney Calloway, a Bowling Green nurse who contracted the virus in May while working on the covid-19 unit atMed Center Health. She told Yetter that shestill suffers fatigue and joint pain, six months later, andshe and her colleagues are "not really feeling the community is doing their part in a lot of ways."

Business people in Glasgow told Yetter that most people wear masks in the town of 14,000, "but those opposed to restrictions, including mask-wearing, are vocal about it, said Eddie Bruner ... who requires masks in his shop. . . . Outside Glasgow's downtown, some openly disregard the order by the governor to wear a facial covering in public. At one convenience store a reporter visited, neither several customers nor the worker at the cash register wore a mask; at another, a sign advised customers to wear a mask, but few, except two employees at the counter, did so."

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In south-central Kentucky, health workers and officials try to overcome coronavirus fatigue and politicization of the pandemic - Richmond Register

‘We’re not at all out of the woods:’ Local health officials concerned about Thanksgiving – WSET

Posted: at 6:54 am

'We're not at all out of the woods:' Local health officials concerned about Thanksgiving  WSET

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'We're not at all out of the woods:' Local health officials concerned about Thanksgiving - WSET

Penn State Health changing its guidelines for patient visitation – PennLive

Posted: at 6:54 am

Penn State Health on Sunday that it has revised its patient visitation guidelines in response to an increase in patients with COVID-19 across the health system.

The new guidelines take effect on Monday at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health St. Joseph, Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center and Penn State Health Medical Group locations.

Under the revised policy, adult inpatients may have one family/support person with them during their entire stay, and pediatric patients may have two, according to a press release. The designated family/support persons will be the only ones allowed into Penn State Health facilities throughout a patients stay.

Adult patients of emergency departments and outpatient clinics will not be permitted any family/support persons, the release said.

Exceptions to the policy for inpatients and adult patients of emergency departments and outpatient clinics will be made for end-of-life patients and adult patients who have disabilities, communication barriers or behavioral concerns, according to the release.

Penn State Health says it will continue to screen all family/support persons who wish to enter any facility; no one with COVID-19 symptoms will be permitted to enter. Everyone entering the facilities will also be required to wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines, the release said.

Penn State Health says it is offering free virtual screenings for COVID-19 through its telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand.

Anyone with concerns that they may have COVID-19 may use the service to talk directly with a provider who can evaluate their symptoms and make care recommendations, the release said.

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Beloved mother, health worker clinging to life days after Park Hill shooting – SILive.com

Posted: at 6:54 am

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Family, friends and neighbors of an innocent bystander shot in a drive-by shooting in the Park Hill section of Clifton remain on edge Sunday, as police say the 52-year-old woman clings to life in the hospital.

Sue Doe, a health worker and youth teacher at a West Brighton church, was struck with a single bullet to the head while standing with her 21-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter in the lobby of the building at 225 Park Hill Ave, according to NYPD brass.

Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said a white SUV circled the location several times before the rear, drivers side passenger discharged numerous rounds.

It is an area that is plagued by some gang activity, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said of Park Hill Avenue.

Sue Doe, 52, was shot in the head on Monday and is fighting for her life. (Staten Island Advance)

Park Hill residents living in the vicinity of the 225 building meanwhile say theyre fed up with what some allege to be drug activity and socializing at all hours of the night.

Everyone knew this was going to happen, and we [may lose] a life, said one man who lives in the Park Hill Apartments. He explained that residents have become aware of new faces in the area and late night activity, including double parked cars and what they suspect to be drug activity.

Tenants are complaining they cant have guests coming in because theyre scared, he said.

Doe works two jobs to provide for her children and mother, and is an active member of the New Life Church of Staten Island in West Brighton, friends of the victim told the Advance/SILive.com

Telee Brown, a community board member on the North Shore who worships at the New Life Church of Staten Island in West Brighton, said he had just seen Doe as she celebrated her nephews birthday recently at the church.

She was in good spirits,' Brown said. Always laughing. She is a very positive person.

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How to Stay Healthy at Home | UKNow – UKNow

Posted: at 6:54 am

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running.UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a Great College to Work for" threeyears in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the states top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the UniversityforKentucky.

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The 5 Biggest Healthcare Trends In 2021 Everyone Should Be Ready For Today – Forbes

Posted: at 6:54 am

The course of technology-driven change has been diverted this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While the biggest drivers of change are still artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and other fourth industrial revolution fields, their impact was felt in different ways than we may have anticipated at the start of the year.

The 5 Biggest Healthcare Trends In 2021 Everyone Should Be Ready For Today

Nowhere is this more true than in healthcare. The focus of advanced research across medicine, vaccines, social care, and environmental health has shifted to tackling the ongoing crisis. And every key trend, from biotechnology and smart medicine to virtual and augmented reality, smart cities, digital twinning, and robotics, have had their part to play.

Here are my top five predictions for how this will continue to play out throughout 2021. As new vaccines and treatments provide a glimmer of hope that normality of some sort may resume, breakthroughs enabled by the accelerated pace of innovation weve seen this year will better equip us to face new challenges.

Healthcare a consideration in every aspect of life

In 2020, every company has had to become a tech company as data and computing have become essential to everything we do. In 2021, every company will learn to become a healthcare company, too, as safeguarding employees and customers becomes a core requirement of doing business.

This will include enhanced biosecurity measures from sanitization stations to on-premises screening technology and quarantine measures at locations where staff are required on-site and can't work from home. Tech-driven innovation around this will bring us improved safety measures and early-warning systems to reduce the likelihood of contagious illnesses being passed around.

For some companies, it will still be safer for staff to remain remote going into 2021 and possibly throughout the year. Here, there will be other challenges, such as a need to support the mental health of workers as they juggle home and work responsibilities. Without daily face-to-face contact, it will be more difficult for managers to assess whether their teams are overworked or taking the right precautions to safeguard their health. Once again, technology will play its part in mitigating these dangers, from health apps that monitor our activity and remind us to take breaks and exercise, meditation and mindfulness apps, and remote therapeutic services.

Virtual care and remote medicine

If it's possible to receive the same level of care at home as you would from a visit to a doctor's surgery or outpatient clinic, then surely it makes sense to do so? Particularly for minor and routine appointments, the number of virtual visits have skyrocketed during the pandemic and is predicted by Forrester analysts to hit one billion by the end of 2020. Its also thought that during 2021 one third of virtual care appointments will be related to mental health issues.

As well as reducing the risk of spreading contagion, remote medicine allows medical professionals to squeeze more patient consultations into their busy schedules. This is a particularly vital consideration in highly populated countries such as China and India, where doctors are in short supply.

Another facet of this trend will be the ongoing development of robotic and autonomous healthcare assistants capable of working in hospitals or right in people's homes. These will reduce the likelihood of infection (a big problem in hospitals even before Covid). These also have mental health implications - companion robots are being introduced into care homes in the UK; they were found to be successful at reducing symptoms of loneliness and social isolation.

Genomics and gene editing lead to further breakthroughs

Gene editing enables us to influence specific traits that are inherited by new living cells, when new proteins are created by the division of existing cells. These traits, known as phenotypes, govern the cells longevity, its ability to survive against injury or illness, and many other factors. By manipulating these phenotypes through techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9, scientists have already made many advances in treatments of killer diseases, including Duchenne muscular Dystrophy, heart disease, and cancer.

Due to breakthroughs in this field, we're likely to see accelerated development of forms of treatment known as "precision medicine," where drugs can be customized to match the genetic profile of individual patients, making them more effective, as well as less likely to cause unwanted side-effects.

The technology has also been used to create a lab on a chip," designed for fast detection of coronavirus infection. A handheld device capable of detecting if people are infected, without having to rely on inaccurate indicators such as coughing or a temperature, could be hugely beneficial in returning a level of normality to our lives.

And looking beyond medical use cases, methods demonstrated by on UK startup, Tropic Biosciences, have been used to create caffeine-free coffee beans, reducing the cost and resources spent decaffeinating regular beans. They have also created disease-resistant bananas, which could transform an industry that currently spends a quarter of its production costs fighting disease.

Data and AI drives shift to fairer healthcare insurance and coverage

The growth in the amount of data collected on our health, from our interaction with health services as well as our own devices and online activities, means providers have an increasingly accurate picture of where and when intervention may be needed.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that there is a willingness to share our personal data when the benefits to our health are clearly communicated. This has been proven by track-and-trace systems that have reliably kept infection levels in check in some regions (though less so in others).

This will be particularly important from a financial point of view. The coronavirus pandemic has been costly for the healthcare industry, with revenues falling by 50% in the US due to patients avoiding hospitals and surgeries. This will lead to an increased reliance on AI-driven prediction tools to forecast where resources can be used most efficiently. Insurance providers will also step up their use of advanced predictive technology to better understand risk and more accurately set premiums.

AI, IoT, and Smart Cities improve our ability to detect and respond to future outbreaks

"Smart cities" is a term used to describe the concept of building digital connectivity and automated data-driven decisioning into the fabric of urban life, including planning public transport networks, refuse collection, energy distribution, and environmental health initiatives. AI and IoT are fundamental to many initiatives in this space.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the focus of smart city innovation has switched towards planning and managing the way growing numbers of people will live in ever-closer proximity to each other. This is a particular challenge in developing countries where urban populations continue to grow the UN predicts 68% of the worlds population will live in urban areas by 2050.

Just as every company will have a focus on healthcare going into 2021 (see my first prediction in this post), so to will every city planner and municipal authority. A keyword is resilience, with increasing resources dedicated to developing technology to help avoid the catastrophic impact on lives and economies of pandemics and outbreaks. Environmental health is a major focus, too, with tech-driven initiatives aimed at reducing air pollution and building resilience to climate-driven change such as temperature and sea-level rises, likely to take center-stage as we move into the 20s.

If you would like to learn more about technology trends, then have a look at my new books: Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies That Are Driving The 4th Industrial Revolution and The Intelligence Revolution: Transforming Your Business With AI.

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The 5 Biggest Healthcare Trends In 2021 Everyone Should Be Ready For Today - Forbes

Center for Family Health column: The secret to having a healthy baby is multi-faceted – MLive.com

Posted: at 6:54 am

By Dr. Monica Hill

JACKSON, MI First, having a healthy baby starts with overall health prior to getting pregnant. If pregnancy is planned, healthy lifestyle choices should be made prior to getting pregnant.

Once you are pregnant, start your prenatal care with an obstetrician as soon possible at least by 10 weeks along. At first you will have monthly appointments, increasing to biweekly and then weekly appointments as your pregnancy progresses.

Prenatal care is meant to help you have a happy healthy baby.

Why start prenatal care early? You need to begin taking prenatal vitamins. In fact, you can start taking them when you are trying to get pregnant. They are that important.

In addition, some medications you may be taking for a health condition may not be safe during pregnancy. An early ultrasound also can establish a more accurate due date. Your doctor can look at your risk factors (diabetes in a prior pregnancy or cervix issues, for example) and plan accordingly.

You also will go through an early set of labs for infectious screenings for STDs and HIV. Those can potentially have an adverse effect on the fetus and your labor. Your doctor will manage your pregnancy and delivery armed with this information to insure the health of mother and child.

Second, take care of yourself. Eat lots of fruits and green leafy vegetables every day. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Have eight ounces of low-mercury fish twice a week and six ounces of white Albacore tuna once a week. Avoid high-mercury fish, including walleye, king mackerel and swordfish.

Have three meals and three snacks a day. Overall, you can consume 300 to 500 more calories a day than before you were pregnant. But, you are not eating for two; do not double your portions.

Heat up deli meats. Avoid hot dogs, unpasteurized dairy products, blue cheese, feta cheese and rare meats of any kind.

Third, watch your weight. Your doctor can give you a target weight gain, based on your body mass inde

Fourth, avoid activities that can harm your baby. No smoking or vaping. No alcohol. No energy drinks. No. marijuana. No illegal drugs. Limit yourself to one 8-ounce cup of coffee a day.

Fifth, exercise 45 minutes three to four times a week. Aerobic walking, swimming and riding a stationary bike are recommended. It will promote a healthy weight; make labor easier; and decrease constipation, the risk of gestational diabetes and help control hypertension. Slow down your exercise routine once your balance starts to become precarious. Safety is always first.

Sixth, actively participate in your care. During your prenatal care you will be offered genetic screening tests for fetal abnormalities, such as Downs syndrome. The Free-Cell DNA test also reveals the sex of the baby. These are optional.

At 36 weeks, you should have an important test for group beta strep and STIs. If present in the mom, it can make babies seriously ill without intervention.

As your pregnancy progresses, you also will have another ultrasound and another set of labs all designed to closely monitor your health and the development of the fetus.

Lastly, listen to your doctor. Ask questions.

Prepare for your babys arrival. Learn about breastfeeding (It decreases your newborns risk of allergies and diabetes and helps moms lose their baby weight.) Arrange for a crib or bassinette for your baby to sleep safely face up. Install an infant car seat in your vehicle. Think about post-partum contraception and childcare. Plan how to introduce the baby to siblings and pets.

Most importantly, enjoy your healthy baby.

Dr. Monica Hill is an obstetrician/gynecologist and lead physician in womens health at the Center for Family Health, 505 N. Jackson St.

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Independent Watchdog Agrees to Evaluate Federal Health Care Costs Associated With Firearm Injuries, After Request By Sen. Warren -…

Posted: at 6:54 am

The following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warrens office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat.


WASHINGTON DC United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Oversight and Reform Committee member, released last week the following statement regardingthe Government Accountability Offices (GAO) announcement that it would examine the medical costs associated with gun violence in the United States, following their request.

We have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to put an end to the gun violence epidemic that is tearing our communities apart. The GAOs agreement to examine health care costs associated with gun violence is a good step towards confronting and addressing this crisis,said the lawmakers.

The gun violence epidemic represents a significant public health problem.

Each year,more than30,000 people in the United States are killed by guns, and nearly 70,000 others suffer gun-related injuries.

Guns are also the leading method ofattempted suicidein the United States, resulting in death approximately 85 percent of the time.

Rates of gun violence in America are alsosignificantlyhigher than in comparable nations, with a gun suicide rate that is almost ten times higherthan that of other high-income countries, and a gun homicide rate that is approximately 25 times higher.

Despite the escalating rates of gun violence, there are few comprehensive studies of the health care costs associated with gun-related injuries.

Studiesof the immediate medical costs of gun violence have found that gun-related injuries cost $2.8 billion in emergency department and inpatient hospital costs each year and that the largest share of these costs-nearly 35 percent-is borne by taxpayers via Medicaid.

However, existing studies do not capture thelonger-term medical costsof gun injuries-such as readmissions, rehabilitation, long-term care, physical therapy, behavioral health services, personal care, and disability-that fall on American taxpayers.

Onestudynoted: Although firearm-related injuries are a major public health concern with significant financial consequences, research in this area has been limited as a result of a lack of funding.

At the lawmakers request, GAO has agreed to analyze existing health care data to estimate the prevalence and costs associated with initial hospital visits for firearm injuries.GAO will also conduct a literature review and convene an expert panel virtually to assess the costs of longer-term health care services associated with firearm injuries, as well as the state of existing research on the costs of these services-including limitations and gaps in existing research.

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Community partners host health outreach event | News | herald-dispatch.com – Huntington Herald Dispatch

Posted: at 6:53 am

HUNTINGTON The pandemic has negatively impacted health and wellness interventions like harm reduction, but it hasnt stopped Cabell County officials.

Huntingtons Quick Response Team partnered up with the Cabell Count Emergency Medical Services, First Steps, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Marshall Health, Great Rivers Regional System for Addiction Care and the local faith community to have a health and wellness outreach event Saturday afternoon at Transformation Community Church on Madison Avenue in Huntington.

HIV testing, naloxone training and flu shots were provided at no cost.

The primary focuses were those experiencing homelessness and those with substance use disorder, but all were welcome.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is working overtime to test and contact trace for COVID-19, but is still offering harm reduction and other health services at the health department.

Kathleen Napier, director of nursing at the health department, told the Board of Health Wednesday evening the harm reduction program was still getting more than 10 new clients a month on average.

Reporter Taylor Stuck can be reached at tstuck@hdmediallc.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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Dept. of Health to pause reporting of negative COVID-19 results due to… – Auburn Examiner

Posted: at 6:53 am

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is asking the states laboratories that conduct the largest volume of tests to temporarily stop sending individual negative COVID-19 test results, and instead send us the aggregate number of negative test results per day. During this time, our dashboards will report positive cases each day, but not the total number of daily tests or percent positive.

Our disease reporting system can receive and process approximately 33,000 total results per day. We are currently receiving 30-50 thousand records per day, leading to a backlog. As of Saturday, there are 53,000 backlogged results which accumulated over the pasttwo to threedays. They are a mix of negative and positive COVID-19 tests, and test results for other notifiable conditions such as tuberculosis. Testing volumes are expected to increase further in the coming weeks because both disease and demand for testing are increasing, and more testing sites and types of testing are coming online across our state. We have been working to expand the systems capacity to receive additional results in anticipation of a surge, but recent disease growth and the associated testing volumes have outpaced our efforts. Without this pause, we will fall further behind.

We need to take this temporary step to ensure state and local public health officials receive positive results for all reportable conditions in a timely enough manner to carry out effective case investigations and contact tracing and to have real time visibility of the incidence and trajectory of COVID-19 cases (positive results) as well as other reportable disease cases.

The backlog of results means that the number of new COVID-19 cases reported the last two days is an undercount and likely does not reflect disease trends. Our temporary action will ensure we receive positive COVID-19 results and the DOH dashboard of the epidemiologic curve and the Governors Risk Assessment dashboard of the rate per 100,000 newly diagnosed cases reflect disease trends.

It is important to note that in addition to case and testing data, we have, and regularly look at, data from many different data sources to help us understand the scope, breadth, and direction of the pandemic. These include test positivity data submitted directly to the federal government by laboratories, data on emergency department visits for COVID-19 symptoms, and data on new hospitalizations for COVID-19 and total COVID-19 bed occupancy reported daily by hospitals. These data sources continue to show exponential growth of COVID-19 spread and COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

It is also important to note that persons testing for COVID-19 receive their results from their health care provider or testing sites. Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least 10 days since the onset of their symptoms and at least 24 hours after fever has resolved without using fever-reducing medicationand that other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving, before they resume contact with others.

The above is a press release from the Washington State Department of Health. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents

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