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Gov. Ricketts Announces New Directed Health Measure | Office of Governor Pete Ricketts – Governor Pete Ricketts

Posted: January 15, 2022 at 1:44 am


Media Contacts:

Alex Reuss, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967

Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Announces New Directed Health Measure

LINCOLN Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a new Directed Health Measure (DHM).

The DHM suspends Class C, D, and E inpatient and outpatient surgeries (pre-scheduled, non-emergency medical surgeries) at The Nebraska Medical Center (NMC) in Omaha after the hospital facility chose to begin operating under a crisis standard of care yesterday. The DHM takes effect today (Friday, January 14th) at 5:00 p.m. and is scheduled to remain in place through February 13, 2022.

Hospitals that decide to operate under a crisis standard of care should not be performing non-emergency surgeries, said Gov. Ricketts. Todays DHM makes sure the Nebraska Medical Center remains focused on prioritizing care for patients with the most urgent medical needs.

The newly issued DHM is available by clicking here.

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Gov. Ricketts Announces New Directed Health Measure | Office of Governor Pete Ricketts - Governor Pete Ricketts

Health care workers, already under strain, seeing record COVID infections – The Connecticut Mirror

Posted: at 1:44 am


Cloe Poisson :: CTMirror.org

Julyssa Colon, a nurse with Optimus Health Care, adjusts her PPE before administering a test for COVID-19 at a mobile test site set up by Optimus Health Care in the parking lot of the Russell Temple Church in Bridgeport, June 30, 2020.

Twenty-two months into the pandemic, health care workers are dealing with record hospitalizations, unsustainable work schedules and abuse from a public thats frustrated and exhausted.

On top of all that, theyre also contracting the virus at higher rates than ever before, federal safety standards surrounding COVID-related working conditions in hospitals have been peeled back, and changes in workers compensation policies are making it harder for many who cannot work.

We have had record numbers of staff members that have been out with COVID, said Yale New Haven Health CEO Marna Borgstrom.

As of Wednesday, 439 staff members were out across the Yale system, down from 700 on a single day last week. Tom Balcezak, chief clinical officer at YNHH, called the trends in worker infections even more frightening than hospital admissions.

Hartford HealthCare reported 1,500 workers out with COVID on Wednesday, down from 1,600 last week. As of Jan. 11, over 500 hospital staff were out at Nuvance Health, a network including Danbury Hospital in western Connecticut, though the number had decreased in recent days.

Trinity Health declined to provide the specific number of staff out with COVID.

Were dropping like flies, said Sherri Dayton, a registered nurse at the Plainfield Emergency Care Center, an emergency center affiliated with Backus Hospital and part of the Hartford HealthCare System.

Bill Garrity, who serves as the president of the University Health Professionals Local 337, a union representing over 2,800 health care professionals at UConn Health, said keeping workers safe can start in the hospitals themselves. He wants to see more transparency from management about infections in the workplace to help control worker outbreaks.

Id love to know numbers [of workers infected] and where theyre stationed, said Garrity.

Earlier in the pandemic, the state and federal government put in place crucial workers compensation policies and federal safety measures that have since either expired or been relaxed.

At the state level, in July 2020, Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order that presumed that workers who contracted COVID between March 10 and May 20, 2020 did so at work, making it easier for them to collect workers compensation. But that policy is no longer in effect.

Now, several health care professionals report that when they test positive for COVID, theyre often told they likely contracted it out in the community and therefore are not eligible for workers compensation.

In December 2020, after the temporary workers compensation policy had ended, Sherri Dayton tested positive for COVID. Earlier that week, her manager alerted her that she had been in contact with two patients who came into the hospital for a tick bite and a skin infection who were later found to have COVID, she said.

When Dayton reported her positive result and applied for workers compensation, she was told that she likely contracted the virus somewhere other than the hospital, and her request was denied.

Workers compensation covers a range of expenses resulting from workplace harm, including medical bills and a portion of lost wages. It also covers all future medical bills related to the injury or, in the case of COVID, the disease. At a time when the long-term effects of the virus are unknown, that safety net is critical, many say.

Down the road, you might end up with an asthma problem. People didnt know asbestos was going to cause long-term problems, explained John Brady, vice president of AFT CT, a union representing health care professionals.

Brady added that nearly all COVID-related workers compensation requests hes seen have been initially denied, and many health care workers dont have the resources to know they should appeal the decision.

In Daytons case, she was compensated for lost wages and medical bills, but Dayton appealed the workers compensation denial in case she has future medical expenses associated with her infection. She has not received an update on her case in over a year.

Recent changes to federal policies also threaten to leave medical professionals less protected.

On Dec. 23, the CDC cut the quarantine period for infected health care workers from 10 days after a negative test to seven days. The agency noted that this was to help increase staffing for the coming omicron surge. The announcement also specified that the isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.

In July 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency charged with ensuring workplace safety, issued a temporary standard that set specific COVID-related safety requirements for health care settings, including a requirement to develop a COVID hazard assessment and provide respirators for workers directly exposed to infectious cases.

At the end of 2021, that temporary standard lapsed. OSHA said it is committed to putting in place a permanent standard but has yet to do so. Even though the standard wasnt perfect, explained Brady, it provided specific guidelines that health care facilities had to follow in terms of COVID workplace safety.

These lapses in policies at both the state and federal level have left health care workers with less workplace protection during the peak of COVID infection rates. Health care worker infections also put a strain on staffing at a time when the states health care system is already bursting at the seams, officials said.

Its obviously affected hospitals and health care workers from a physical standpoint of being sick but also from a standpoint of our volumes are higher than they have been in the past, and were also dealing with people who are unable to work because theyre testing positive for COVID, said Dr. Seth Lotterman, an emergency room physician at Hartford Hospital.

Stretched thin, some hospitals are mandating overtime for certain health care professionals, often requiring them to stay for additional shifts with little notice. This can result in 12- to 16-hour work days.

On top of mandated overtime, Sherri Dayton reported that, in the emergency center, she and her colleagues have also been forced to treat an unsustainable number of patients at a time. Normally, she treats four patients at a time. Recently, she has been forced to treat six, seven, and, on a particularly difficult day, 11 patients at once.

We are exhausted. And we are shouting at the top of our lungs, Help us, said Dayton.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that workers compensation claims were automatically approved for essential workers infected with COVID between March 10 and May 20, 2020. The executive order instead established a presumption that they contracted the virus on the job.

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Health care workers, already under strain, seeing record COVID infections - The Connecticut Mirror

Johns Hopkins study names health systems that provide the most ‘unnecessary’ care – Modern Healthcare

Posted: at 1:44 am


St. Dominic's Health Services, the top over-utilizer named in the report, regularly scrutinizes patient care and quality measures against best-known clinical practices, said Scott Kashman, the president of the health systems' health services market operation. Although health system leaders haven't fully reviewed the Johns Hopkins findings, "we are committed to exploring this study and taking any necessary actions to ensure our patients, community and region receive the most exceptional, safe and effective care," he said.

USMD Health System, Community Medical Center and Care New England Health System didn't respond to requests for comment.

At the other end of the spectrum, the health systems that perform these unnecessary services the least are more likely to be academic medical centers, employ more primary care doctors, provide a disproportionate amount of uncompensated care or utilize integrated delivery models, the study shows.

"Primary care physicians have a role in coordinating care, and making sure that procedures aren't repeated if they've already been done, and that specialists aren't used if it's something that can be managed by primary care doctor," said Dr. Jodi Segal, the lead author and a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Large not-for-profit health systems such as Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health System, Houston Methodist in Texas, and Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System provided below-average amounts of unneeded care. according to the study.

Dignity Health of San Fransisco, and Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger and Seattle-based Group Health (owned by Kaiser Permanente of Oakland, California, since 2017) fell into the average category. All of those systems are not-for-profit.

The study determined that the more physician groups a health system owns, the more unnecessary care is provided, a finding that could help hospital leaders explore how to expand services while maintaining quality.

"As hospitals restructure themselves into larger and larger systems, senior leadership of hospitals will have to own this problem, said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, a healthcare think tank that has studied overuse.

Johns Hopkins researchers plan to continue their studies by examining health systems with average or below-average use of the procedures, particularly those with characteristics more similar to the biggest over-users. Those hospitals' practices could offer insights to their peers with higher usage of unneeded services, the study says. Further research also is necessary to determine what factors contribute to overuse, such as what medical specialists deliver the services, what kinds of patients receive them and what are the rationales behind these practices.

The Johns Hopkins researchers didn't include children's hospitals, behavioral health centers, rehabilitation hospitals or psychiatric hospitals in their analysis.

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Johns Hopkins study names health systems that provide the most 'unnecessary' care - Modern Healthcare

The Many Faces of Health Care: Medical Staff Services ensure only the best health care providers join Southeast Georgia Health System’s Medical Staff…

Posted: at 1:44 am


CONTRIBUTED REPORT

Medical Staff Services ensure only the best health care providers join Southeast Georgia Health Systems Medical Staff

Have you ever wondered how doctors, nurses and other health care professionals land at a particular hospital? Maybe you remember your own job-hunting process the applications, interviews, background checks, training. Considering that many health care providers deal with life and death, what does their hiring process involve?

To say its laborious is an understatement. Many aspects of education, training and licenses can determine if a person is qualified to deliver patient care. Medical Staff Services professionals ensure that physicians and allied health members are trained or certified to provide the level of care patients need. There is a lengthy process of verification and eligibility that must be completed before a provider is granted working privileges within our organization. Its our job to process their applications, much like employment applications, says Kristal Thrower, CPCS.

Thrower works as a certified provider credentialing specialist in Southeast Georgia Health Systems Medical Staff Services department. There are currently 424 credentialed medical providers on the Brunswick Campus and 267 on the Camden Campus. We are the gatekeepers of patient safety, Thrower says.

Overseeing this hive of activity is Director Amanda Hunt, CPCS, CPMSM. She understands that her team performs an essential service, even if the public isnt aware of their work. Medical Staff Services is sometimes an unknown department, but what they do every day has a huge impact on the organization and patient safety. Our team ensures that the physicians and allied health professionals continuously provide excellent care to our patients and community.

The Impact on Patient Care

The last thing you want to worry about before having surgery, delivering a baby, or entering the emergency room is whether your caregivers are capable. Patients and their families rely on the due diligence of people like Thrower and her co-workers Shannon Smith, Brandi Brauda, Melanie Todd, Sabrina McPipkin and Vickie Hall to credential the best and brightest. As a Medical Staff Services Coordinator, McPipkin evaluates and reviews all Health System medical professionals. Our department combines initial credentialing, ongoing evaluations, peer review and a reappointment process to ensure the best standard of care is provided to the community, McPipkin says, adding, The quality of work that comes out of our department is extremely important to the Health System and the community. Knowing providers have current certifications and training and continually evaluating their performance provides comfort and security for patients and their families.

The job doesnt end when a person is credentialed. Advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors and others who work with patients must take continuing education classes to maintain their license or certification before they can be reappointed for their job. Reappointments are completed every two years on a rotating basis for both allied health and physicians, explains Thrower, who reviews and processes all reappointed individuals.

Going the Extra Mile

How you behave when no one is watching reveals your character. Working behind the scenes, the Medical Staff Services team may not see the impact of their work, but they know it counts. They leave no stone unturned when evaluating providers. Unlike employment applications, credentialing applications require a separate level of due diligence and can be very time consuming. There are multiple levels of verification and follow up required. Often, providers have years of education, training and practice history that must be verified, Thrower says. There are times the team expedites this process when a patient needs a specific type of care, even when it means working long hours. We truly have an amazing team; they are dedicated to what they do and always go above and beyond, Hunt says.

It takes a cool head and a dogged pursuit of details to sort everything out. And thats in a regular year. The pandemic produced staffing shortages that increased pressure across all Health System departments, including Medical Staff Services. Our department has seen the stress our medical staff have been under. A greater appreciation for the true meaning of teamwork across our Health System has been the light at the end of the tunnel. Our office is just one of the departments that makes the entire system work cohesively, Thrower says.

So many people have lost so much over the last year and many are still suffering loss and grief. I think its important for us to keep moving forward and support one another with kindness, McPipkin adds. Simple gestures, such as a smile or hello, go a long way and possibly brighten up someones day.

As an 11-year veteran of her department, Kristal Thrower trusts her co-workers to find the right people for the job. I can honestly say we currently have the best team. I am proud that we all work to ensure that our community is in good hands. McPipkin agrees with her colleague stating, I am very lucky to belong to a group of people who work well independently, but yet still work wonderfully together as a team. Everyone is supportive and doesnt hesitate to help out when needed.

This weeks article was provided by Southeast Georgia Health System.

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The Many Faces of Health Care: Medical Staff Services ensure only the best health care providers join Southeast Georgia Health System's Medical Staff...

Universal health care or just filling a gap in current coverage? – ABC10.com KXTV

Posted: at 1:44 am


Lawmakers and policy makers react to Newsom's budget proposal to cover all undocumented Californians under Medi-Cal.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom ran on a universal health care in California promise. Now, he says hes delivering on the that promise with his latest budget proposal. However, the proposal looks to fill the gap for undocumented Californians between 26 and 50, but as it stands right now, they're the only group that doesnt qualify for Medi-Cal.

Assembly member Vince Fong reacted to Newsoms budget proposal to expand Medi-Cal to all 2.2 million undocumented Californians.

Gov. Newsom is trying to be all things to all people and hes on this roadshow promoting universal access in a way that I think destabilizes the Medi-Cal system. Its unsustainable, and I dont know if its going to provide quality health care. The governor is trying to split hairs in saying that, okay, Im going to try and expand access. But is he providing more quality care to Californians? That is an open question. A lot of details still need to be provided, in terms of what can be accomplished in what the governors trying to accomplish in whether he can pay for it and whether its sustainable over a longer period of time, said Fong.

Yet Assembly member Dr. Joaquin Arambula, who has championed his own bill to expand health care to the undocumented, said the governors proposal is a big win.

That will mean an expansion of hundreds of thousands of Californians who make this state great, who will now be able to access preventative care that is so necessary for us, Arambula said.

He says hes seen the need firsthand because of his experience as an emergency room doctor. He said undocumented people, "would come and see me in the emergency room, oftentimes too late or late in their disease process and know there was so much more we could do in advance to help to prevent."

He said California can do better.

The better way to do it is what we have always talked about, which is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If were able to provide health care coverage and preventative medicine in advance, we can be more cost effective in delivering care for all who call this state home, said Arambula.

Jose Torres is a policy and legislative advocate with Health Access California.

Our philosophy is again, like, everyone benefits when everyone is covered. And we want to make sure that coverage is great quality and affordable and accessible for people, said Torres

He too reacted to Newsoms budget proposal.

Its a huge win. Its a huge win and we recognize there is still work to make sure that we get this through the finish line. But for the undocumented community, this is an enormous victory, Torres said.

Torres admitted he was undocumented for half of his life.

For me, these are people like my tias and my tios that have lived here so much, contributed economically, socially, and personally. They pay taxes in various forms, that even though theyve been participating in our society, they dont have access to these benefits, said Torres.

He knows many cite cost when opposing health care expansion. But he says there is significant costs to the current system that leaves the undocumented out.

If they get sick, if anything happens, they have to go into the hospital, they have to go into the emergency room, specifically. And going to the emergency room and just getting stabilized for whatever they have going on is not preventative or primary care. And it ends up being more expensive then having those regular check-ups, having that access to preventative medicine, said Torres.

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Universal health care or just filling a gap in current coverage? - ABC10.com KXTV

Health officials to unveil Delaware’s ‘forever chemical’ limit in coming weeks – Delaware First Media

Posted: at 1:44 am


Delaware Public Media's Tom Byrne and contributor Jon Hurdle discuss progress to establish state health limits on PFAS chemicals.

Plans for Delawares first enforceable health limit for toxic forever chemicals in drinking water are likely to be unveiled in late January or early February, the Division of Public Health said.

The agency will propose a maximum contaminant limit (MCL) for a range of the PFAS chemicals that have been found in water wells across the state, sometimes at levels that exceed a federal government guideline, and are higher than health limits set by other states.

The division has been working on a proposed MCL since the General Assembly last year unanimously passed a bill requiring the state to set health limits for at least two of the chemicals in drinking water amid rising concern that they are a threat to public health.

The bill gave officials nine months from the time Gov. John Carney signed the bill in October last year to recommend a health level, but a DPH official said his team is well ahead of that schedule.

Delaware Dept.of Health and Social Services

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We expect to have a rough draft completed end of January, beginning of February, Jamie Mack, environmental health director at the agency, told Delaware Public Media. We will make it public as part of the stakeholder engagement process.

Mack said DPH will likely recommend one level that covers an as-yet unspecified number of the chemicals rather than proposing individual limits, as set by some other states. Its more likely that we will do one MCL as a combination of all the compounds, he said.

After discussions with stakeholders including water utilities and environmental groups, the proposal will go for public comment, and after any amendments is likely to be implemented by the end of 2022, Mack said.

The regulatory process will be aided by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, which is doing a statewide sampling survey that will be used by DPH for proposing the health limit.

The new limit will be designed to protect the public from a family of manmade chemicals that are linked to some cancers, thyroid problems, elevated cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and other serious illnesses. Despite the health concerns, the chemicals are not yet regulated by the federal government which has issued only a non-enforceable Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion for two of the most commonly found PFAS chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

Still, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year published a Road Map for PFAS management that stepped up its efforts to clean up the chemicals and eventually set an enforceable national standard for PFOA and PFOS. And states are being given billions of dollars through the new Infrastructure Law to clean up PFAS.

If a federal standard turns out to be stricter than that adopted by Delaware, the state would adopt the EPA level but if Delawares standard is more protective, it could choose to keep that in place, said Mack of DPH.

State Rep. Debra Heffernan

In the absence of federal regulation so far, some states including New Jersey have set their own limits at much lower levels than the federal guideline.

But without its own MCL until now, Delaware has followed the federal standard which many advocates for stricter regulation say is too high to fully protect public health. The chemicals have been used in consumer products including nonstick cookware since the 1940s, and even though they were phased out by major U.S. manufacturers starting in the mid-2000s, they are still used in products including some food packaging.

PFAS are known as forever chemicals because they dont break down in the environment, and so can be found in water and soil long after their use or manufacture has ended. Scientists say the chemicals can be found in the blood of virtually every American.

State Rep. Debra Heffernan, (D-Brandywine Hundred), prime sponsor of Delawares new PFAS law, said she doesnt know what the states new limit will be, and has not advocated for a specific level. But shes confident that the proposed standard will be lower than the federal level.

I do know it will most likely be lower than the (EPA) Health Advisory Level, she said. Im sure they will come out with a level that will be protective for Delawareans water.

Heffernan praised state officials for producing their recommendation ahead of schedule. Im very pleased at the leadership and the way they have taken it and run with it, she said. When the law was passed, they did not wait until it was signed. They started working on it right away.

The latest evidence of the chemicals widespread presence in the environment came in a survey published in December by the U.S. Geological Survey, showing that 16 out of 30 public water wells sampled in Delaware in 2018 contained at least one type of PFAS chemical. As many as eight of the chemicals were found in a single sample.

Two of the wells exceeded the federal guidance level and some others topped the much stricter health limits set by New Jersey, which has become a national leader in regulating the chemicals.

At least six of the Delaware wells which were tested for 18 kinds of PFAS chemicals -- exceeded the level set by New Jersey for PFOA while four topped that states health limit for PFOS, according to the USGS data.

Dr. Jerry Kauffman, director of the University of Delawares Water Resources Center, has urged state officials to protect public health by adopting the New Jersey standards for PFOA and PFOS.

But he warned that some of the levels shown by the latest USGS data dont necessarily indicate that a water source is a health risk either because those wells have been closed or treated for PFAS since the samples were taken, or because the samples were only slightly above what New Jersey has judged to be a health risk.

Sophia Schmidt

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Delaware Public Media

A PFOA level of 23 parts per trillion (ppt), as indicated for one of the USGS samples, is not far above New Jerseys health limit of 14 parts per trillion, and so should not be taken as a threat to public health, Kauffman said, but a level of 57 ppt could be more of a concern.

These levels are very, very low, he said. Five years ago, there wasnt even a laboratory in Delaware that had the technology to do this ultra-sensitive testing.

Late last year, New Jerseys new PFOA limit was publicly criticized when Middlesex Water, a utility, discovered one of its water sources slightly exceeded the level, and so was required by state law to notify its customers. Still, the company continued to supply about 60,000 of its customers with water from the contaminated source, and refused to supply filters or bottled water, saying that the exceedance was not a public health emergency, and that the regulation was extraordinarily stringent.

But after a lawsuit from several customers, the company shut down the contaminated wells and switched its supply to sources that met the state standard.

Dr. Jerry Kauffman, director of the University of Delawares Water Resources Center

In Delaware, a home-grown health limit would offer more certainty to the public and utilities, Kauffman said. If we had a MCL, it would then require the water purveyors to inform the public in the consumer confidence report, and if the substance is detected above the MCL, the public must be notified in their water bill, he said.

Kauffman said that setting one MCL that covers a number of PFAS chemicals is a valid approach that has been taken by some other states including Massachusetts and Vermont.

He urged DPH to propose a protective level when it issues its recommendation in coming weeks.

You want to set a very conservative MCL, he said. Lets slow down and require the water purveyors to do it now rather than later when its too late.

Link:
Health officials to unveil Delaware's 'forever chemical' limit in coming weeks - Delaware First Media

Joe Rogan is a menace to public health, 270 doctors and experts tell Spotify – New York Post

Posted: at 1:44 am


Shock jock Joe Rogan is hitting all the wrong notes on Spotify.

A group of 270 experts have penned an open letter addressed to the Swedish audio streaming service condemning the top-rated show, The Joe Rogan Experience.

The doctors, researchers and health-care professionals who co-signed the statement have expressed concern that the podcasts outspoken 54-year-old host is making millions on the dissemination of bogus medical advice to the health detriment of his listeners.

The letter also asked the streaming music service to establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.

Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy, they wrote.

The experts wrote that Rogan has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign was launched in part by infectious disease epidemiologist and research fellow at Boston Childrens Hospital Jessica Malaty Rivera, according to Rolling Stone. She has more than 38,000 followers on Instagram, where concerned fans have asked for her help debunking some of Rogans claims.

The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the top-rated podcasts globally, especially since joining up with Spotify in 2020 in an estimated $100 million deal. The show draws about 11 million listeners per episode.

Mass-misinformation events of this scale have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications, they wrote in their letter.

When I saw they were falling victim to this, I spoke to some colleagues and we said something has to be done at this point.

Rivera was prompted to act after tuning-in to an episode featuring virologist Dr. Robert Malone, who was recently banned from Twitter for promoting vaccine misinformation. She found that even colleagues and friends she considered quite wise and discerning had fallen prey to the quack doctor. When I saw they were falling victim to this, I spoke to some colleagues and we said something has to be done at this point, Rivera said.

Fellow signee Katrine Wallace, epidemiologist at University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, told Rolling Stone that Rogan was a menace to public health, particularly for espousing anti-vaccine rhetoric.

Having things like this on the Joe Rogan podcast gives a platform to these people and makes it a false balance. This is what really bothers me, she said. These are fringe ideas not backed in science, and having it on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to this issue. And there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works, and it is safe.

Their letter included a fact-check record of all the dubious claims made during Rogan and Malones recent interview, such as the doctors claim that President Biden is suppressing research on ivermectin, which has not been recommended by the Food and Drug Administrationas a treatment for COVID-19.

Letter co-author Ben Rein, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, told Rolling Stone, People who dont have the scientific or medical background to recognize the things hes saying are not true and are unable to distinguish fact from fiction are going to believe what [Malone is] saying, and this is the biggest podcast in the world. And thats terrifying.

Rogans big move to Spotify was met with considerable backlash, even by staff at the digital music company who wished not to be associated with the controversial podcaster over similar concerns as those expressed in the recent open letter.

In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a September meeting,Vice reported at the time. And some of them want Rogan removed because of things hes said in the past.

The outcry became so loud that Spotify would quietly un-publish several highly contentious episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience from their platform, such as those featuring interviews with formerBreitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos,Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook school massacre denier Alex Jonesandcomedian Chris DElia, who was accused of grooming underage girls andsoliciting pornographic images.

They also took aim at scientifically tenuous content, including Rogans talks with Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, the self-proclaimed father of biohacking, who touts pseudo-science in the pursuit of longevity, such aspenile zappingto treat erectile dysfunction or the bizarre trend ofbutthole sunning.

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Joe Rogan is a menace to public health, 270 doctors and experts tell Spotify - New York Post

The Health Information Technology Special Issue: Continuing the Progress Toward Digital Transformation – AJMC.com Managed Markets Network

Posted: at 1:44 am


A letter from the guest editor highlights the significant work that remains for provider organizations to integrate digital advancement as a key strategy in addressing some of the most pressing challenges that are transforming the health care landscape.

Am J Manag Care. 2022;28(1):9-10

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When The American Journal of Managed Care published its first Health Information Technology special issue in 2012, the health care industry was on the precipice of widespread digitization. The subsequent decade brought dramatic increases in electronic health record (EHR) adoption and attestation to the use of defined documentation practices and functionalities that are key to realizing the value of technology-enabled health care. Focused policy-driven efforts, combined with market forces, have resulted in great progress. And yet, despite the many challenges encountered and described by researchers and practitioners along the way, weve come to realize that digitization was the easy part. True digital transformationthe reimagining of health care to seamlessly leverage technology in pursuit of safer, more accessible, higher-value careremains aspirational. Significant work remains for provider organizations to integrate digital advancement as a key strategy in addressing some of the most pressing challenges that are transforming the health care landscape. These include prioritizing performance under value-based contracting, committing to a new understanding of whole-person patient care, and finding an organizationally sustainable approach to virtual patient engagement.

Performance Under Value-Based Contracting

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other value-based payment redesigns rely on data infrastructure that supports more effective care coordination and advanced analytics to address unsustainable cost and quality concerns. Apathy et al demonstrate in their work that hospitals do indeed broaden their health information exchange efforts after joining an ACO, but response lags and is a smaller effect in markets where ACO penetration is low. This finding underscores the interdependent nature of organizational investments in data sharing and points to the necessity of continued policy efforts to more directly incentivize, support, and regulate interoperability in the context of value-based payment arrangements. Survey work by Perloff et al describes a different but related ACO challenge emerging from continued data silos. Their work demonstrates, on average, a high number of different EHR developer products in concurrent use within a given ACO and the distinct challenges with integrating, managing, and analyzing these data to generate performance data. These issues, if not addressed, impede the advanced performance tracking necessary for organizational learning and improvement.

Committing to a New Understanding of Whole-Person Patient Care

The information that providers use to make patient care decisions, and that informs more structural investment in population health, is evolving rapidly. Organizations need the capacity to identify and act upon patients social needs and risk factors, such as food or housing insecurity, that critically shape their well-being and interactions with the health care system. Given the challenges of collecting these data, Vest et al convened an expert panel to identify and assess the quality of routinely collected structured data that could be used to impute and characterize social risk. The authors highlight data elements that may be most useful in the current data environment, and they also outline plans for the continued development of methods and approaches that mitigate the current limitations and bias with which these data are often recorded. Walker et al also focus on addressing social risk, analyzing a regional effort to promote health system patient referrals to community-based services for food insecurity. Findings illustrate the challenges of implementing the data sharing that is necessary to support cross-sector partnership. The authors offer key insights into how we might address the technical capability and resource limitations, as well as characteristics of the regulatory environment, that impede these critical efforts.

As we consider advancements in data-driven health care decision-making, use of predictive analytics is also top of mind for health systems. The exponential acceleration in the volume and types of data available for advanced analytics, and sophisticated methods for doing so, far outpaces our knowledge of how to integrate predictive insights into provider decision-making. Nong et al use user-centered design to determine what information providers need to assess these tools and integrate them into care decisions. Given mounting concerns about care delivery biases that are reflected and amplified in the design and use of these tools, the authors highlight key ways that equity considerations should be incorporated into model development and into the communication of predictive tool results to end-user clinicians.

Finding an Organizationally Sustainable Approach to Virtual Patient Engagement

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic disrupted and accelerated health system planning around virtual care offerings. Data suggest that telehealth services have plateaued at levels that are down substantially from spring 2020 but still much higher than prepandemic volumes. As a result, provider organizations continue to grapple with how to implement and sustain more strategically hybrid models of care delivery. This includes, first, offering telehealth visits. Friedman et al suggest in their work that telehealth shows significant promise for reaching patients with mental health and chronic condition management needs, including in older and more racially diverse neighborhoods. Work presented by Tan-McGrory et al offers strategic recommendations for advancing virtual care services with equity in mind, including improving technology access, addressing immigrant patient concerns around privacy, and enhancing integration of interpreter services.

Organizational efforts also must consider how best to incorporate and support use of online communication tools to increase patient engagement and access to providers. Work by Fareed et al suggests that patients who use patient portals have higher satisfaction scores. However, Escribe et al offer insight into the organizational challenges of managing the communication that flows into a practice via these online access points. The authors use a novel detection approach to categorize the types of tasks that providers manage through their email inbox and find high variation of clinical but also administrative requests. These methods may have future application for helping provider organizations develop clear expectations and team-based workflows for how virtual communication should be used to best support the full spectrum of patient needs.

Conclusions

Digital advancement is not the end goal but instead a strategic approach to organizational learning, care process optimization, and data-driven outcomes improvement. The areas of research focus in this special issue, and specific insights offered by authors analyses, help us chart a path forward to integrating and realizing value from our continued commitment to digitally enabled health care.

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The Health Information Technology Special Issue: Continuing the Progress Toward Digital Transformation - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network

Heres how many Avera and Sanford Health employees are currently out sick with COVID – Argus Leader

Posted: at 1:44 am


COVID-19 is rampant yet again, and hospital staff are not fully immune to its spread.

Avera Health and Sanford Health have recently reported to the Argus Leader their percentages of staff out sick due to COVID-19, stating that only a few hundred of staff at each major health network, company-wide, are out sick.

These numbers arriveat the time of the highest community transmission in South Dakota, where both are the two largest health networks operating in the tri-state area, and where both systems' hospitals are seeing their capacity tested, yet again.

At Avera, an estimated 2% of its 20,000-person staff is out sick due to COVID-19.

At this time, over 400 employees are out with COVID-19 across our entire health system, Avera Health shared in a statement to the Argus Leader. Our workforce is currently in compliance with our COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

At Sanford Health, an estimated 1.5% of its nearly 30,000-person staff is out sick due to COVID-19 as of Jan. 13.

More: Omicron variant straining hospital capacity, COVID testing capabilities in Sioux Falls

Sanford Health currently has approximately 450 employees out sick due to COVID-19 across our entire footprint, which includes health care facilities across the Midwest. We encourage the public to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine and receive your booster to help protect yourselves and others, Erica DeBoer, the chief nursing officer at Sanford Health shared in a statement to Argus Leader. "Its also important to stay at home if you are sick to avoid potentially spreading the virus to others. These measures, along with masking and good hand hygiene, will help relieve the pressure on the health care system as we continue to fight COVID-19."

In November of 2021, Sanford Health reported to the Argus Leader that some 3,000, or around 10% of its staff, had been granted an exception to having to take the COVID-19 vaccine full series.

All employees at Sanford Health are compliant with our vaccine mandate, meaning they have completed their vaccination series or have been granted a religious or medical exemption,Jeremy Cauwels, the chief physician at Sanford Health said in a statement to Argus Leader.

Both healthcare networks also reiterated that staff remain masked when they work in areas of high community spread as well as in settings where COVID-19 is clearly prevalent in patients throughout hospital, in-home and other settings.

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Heres how many Avera and Sanford Health employees are currently out sick with COVID - Argus Leader

SSM Health will not use race and gender to determine who gets COVID treatment after receiving letter from WILL – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: at 1:44 am


SSM Health will no longer use race or ethnicity as a factor in determining if a patient is to receive monoclonal antibodies to treat patients COVID-19.

The healthcare agency made the announcement after receiving a letter on Friday from theWisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty alleging racial discrimination in the company's policies to determine who receives monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 infections.

"While early versions of risk calculators across the nation appropriately included race and gender criteria based on initial outcomes, SSM Health has continued to evaluate and update our protocols weekly to reflect the most up-to-date clinical evidence available," the company said in a statement.

"As a result, race and gender criteria are no longer utilized. The internal memo cited by WILL inadvertently referenced an expired calculator."

Dan Lennington, WILL attorney, questioned the timing of the change in policy.

Were encouraged that SSM Health has dropped the racial classifications from their risk-scoring calculator," Lennington said in a statement. "But if they updated this calculator before today, we have yet to see any communication to Wisconsin physicians on the matter. We still profoundly disagree with SSM's position that race is an 'appropriate' consideration when treating patients for COVID."

Officials with SSM say the change was made before the letter from WILL.

SSM Health stated early in the pandemic the health agency had to use "numerous tools and protocols in real-time, based upon the best available information and evidence to treat this emerging disease."

"As a standard medical practice, risk-scoring calculators were created as one of several tools clinicians use to ensure they are providing high-quality, evidence-based care," the company stated. "Our knowledge of this virus has grown as has our ability to refine the tools and protocols used to care for COVID patients. In addition, the virus has mutated over time into different variants requiring some variations in treatment."

In the letter from WILL to SSM Health, the law firm asked for the calculator to be immediately suspended.

"Because your risk calculator discriminates against patients based on race, it is illegal," the letter stated. "We are asking that you immediately suspend use of this calculator and develop a new tool that evaluates patients based on their individual health history and symptoms, rather than their race."

SSM Health is a Catholic not-for-profit, healthcare company thatoperates eight facilities in Wisconsin and is in four other states.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

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SSM Health will not use race and gender to determine who gets COVID treatment after receiving letter from WILL - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Hundreds of Cone Health employees are out sick with COVID-19 – WGHP FOX8 Greensboro

Posted: at 1:44 am


(WGHP) Cone Healths chief operating officer said Thursday 400 employees are out sick with COVID, including 100 nurses.

The number of people calling out is approximately 6% of the total employees with the system.

We are definitely a tighter team than we were before this, said Zoe Suggs, assistant director of nursing at Wesley Long Hospitals Intensive Care Unit.

She explained the mental and emotional strain the latest surge is putting on teams as more nurses contract the virus.

It can be a little bit scary, because staff know maybe a little bit more about what the illness looks like than the public so I think it is a little scary when they are told that they are positive, Suggs said.

She said a positive diagnosis can be difficult for nurses who have a team counting on them.

My husband actually had COVID pneumonia in the very beginning, prior to vaccines being introduced and I did have to call out for almost a week and a half, I knew that my team needed me so it kind of was hard for me to be at home, Suggs explained.

A pause in come elective surgeries is freeing up some staff to help elsewhere in the hospital. Travel nurses continue to fill in gaps too.

We have deployed some non-clinical employees, so nurses who moved to education departments and things like that, theyre coming back to the bedside to help us staff which has been phenomenal, Suggs shared.

In the ICU theres a comfort room for staff with dim lights, words of affirmation, even a punching bag for stress.

Cone Health CEO Dr. Mary Jo Cagle reported a record 303 COVID positive patients across the system Thursday. That number dropped to 253 reported Friday.

It is becoming more difficult every day to find well and healthy staff to care for all those, Dr. Cagle said.

Despite schedule shuffles and a surge in demand, Suggs says one thing has not changed.

The people inside this building we all are here because we want to be here, we want to take care of our patients and our community, she said.

Cone has a network that checks on COVID positive staff members at least every other day, and helps meet any needs they might have.

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Hundreds of Cone Health employees are out sick with COVID-19 - WGHP FOX8 Greensboro

San Diego-based organizations receive funding to help reduce health disparities – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: at 1:44 am


Seventeen San Diego-based organizations recently received funding from the healthcare and insurance company UnitedHealthcare as part of an effort to reduce disparities and improve equity in health care access.

One of the beneficiaries was Family Health Centers of San Diego. It used the funds to help establish a program to offer at-home medical services to low-income patients.

The Tiger Team program, which began in September, serves Family Health Centers patients who are failing to meet certain key clinical metrics, either because of uncontrolled conditions or missing tests, due to pandemic-related barriers, such as fear of going to a hospital or clinic and lack of transportation and childcare, representatives said.

The target population includes low-income patients with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, or people over age 50 with chronic conditions, and older adults who could be at risk from COVID-19.

What we are aiming to do is meet people where they are and provide them the critical services that they would need, said Raquel Herriott, public relations specialist with Family Health Centers.

The Tiger Team program, established in response of the pandemic, seeks to ensure that patients receive the services they require in a timely manner.

Health personnel arrive at patients homes to perform checkups, such as diabetic foot or eye exams, or collect samples for lab work. Certain vaccinations are also offered.

Two electric vehicles are used as part of the Tiger Team program from Family Health Centers of San Diego.

(Alexandra Mendoza - U-T)

The program uses two electric vehicles, in yellow with tiger stripes, equipped to provide basic primary care and vaccinations, among other services.

From September through December, the program served about 200 FHC patients.

In total, UnitedHealthcare made an investment of $1.5 million distributed among local organizations, including nonprofits, community and faith organizations, health centers, and educational institutions.

These groups are: Interfaith Community Services, Champions for Health, Chicano Federation, San Diego County Promotores Coalition, San Diego Youth Services, Neighborhood Healthcare, South Bay Community Services, HealthCorps, SAY San Diego, La Maestra Community Health Centers, Cajon Valley Union School District, Oceanside Unified School District, San Diego Rescue Mission, TrueCare, San Ysidro Health and Father Joes Villages.

We really looked at organizations whose mission intersected with ours, and who wanted to establish programs that improve health equity and access in underserved areas, said Monique Knight, director of marketing and community outreach for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan.

She considered that the pandemic shed an even brighter light on health equity and the challenges that many people face.

One example is getting to the doctors office, she said. If transportation is an issue, it affects access to healthcare, and Family Health Centers Tiger Team program provides one solution to that particular challenge.

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San Diego-based organizations receive funding to help reduce health disparities - The San Diego Union-Tribune

People calling 911 in mental health crisis have new support with Tempe partnership – 12news.com KPNX

Posted: at 1:44 am


If someone calls 911 in Tempe and they are in a mental health crisis, a new partnership will allow you to speak to specialized professionals.

TEMPE, Ariz. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, the topic of mental health and the importance of dealing with any issues concerning our own well being has been pushed to the front of our minds.

The priority to find ways to deal with mental health has made it to the top of many organizations and businesses, including the City of Tempe.

Officials from the city announced a new partnership designed to help Tempe residents dealing with mental health crises. Thanks to this new initiative, people who call 911 and need emergency help during a mental health crises will talk to specialized professionals.

This new partnership will change how Tempe currently handles 911 calls.

According to a release from the city, if a non-violent, suicidal caller calls 911, he or she will be able to talk to a mental health professional immediately. Tempe-based contractor Solari Crisis & Human Services will provide the professionals to help those in need of immediate assistance.

Tempe officials said the specialists will be embedded alongside Tempe 911 dispatchers and if someone is in need of in-person help, then a CARE 7 crisis response team will be sent to the person's location.

This response will be done instead of dispatching a Tempe police officer to the person in crisis. If an emergency call reveals a person in crisis is armed or violent, Tempe police still will respond.

Solari operates crisis hotlines in Central and Northern Arizona. According to the release, the organization receives nearly 22,000 calls each month. The new system for the call responses is expected to begin on Jan. 31.

The Tempe City Council approved the contract with Solari during a council meeting on Jan. 13.

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People calling 911 in mental health crisis have new support with Tempe partnership - 12news.com KPNX

Mental Health Improves With Access to Gender-Affirming Hormones – HealthDay News

Posted: at 1:44 am


FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For transgender adults, access to gender-affirming hormones (GAH) during adolescence and adulthood is associated with improved mental health, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in PLOS ONE.

Jack L. Turban, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined associations between access to GAH during adolescence and adulthood and mental health outcomes in a secondary analysis of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which included data for 27,715 transgender adults in the United States.

Overall, 77.9 percent of participants reported ever desiring GAH. Of these, 41.0 percent never accessed GAH, while 0.6, 1.7, and 56.8 percent accessed GAH in early adolescence (age 14 to 15 years), late adolescence (age 16 to 17 years), or adulthood (age 18 years or older). The researchers found that accessing GAH during early adolescence, late adolescence, and adulthood was associated with lower odds of past-year suicidal ideation compared with desiring but never accessing GAH (adjusted odds ratios, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.8, respectively). In post-hoc analyses, the odds of past-year suicidal ideation were reduced with access to GAH during adolescence (ages 14 to 17 years) compared with access during adulthood (adjusted odds ratio, 0.7).

"This study is particularly relevant now because many state legislatures are introducing bills that would outlaw this kind of care for transgender youth," Turban said in a statement. "We are adding to the evidence base that shows why gender-affirming care is beneficial from a mental health perspective."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the publishing industry; one author received expert witness payments from the ACLU.

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Mental Health Improves With Access to Gender-Affirming Hormones - HealthDay News

California is poised to kill rooftop solar, damaging climate and health | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 1:44 am


The California Public Utilities Commission is poised to kill off much of the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) industry in California, which will result in the use of more polluting natural gas and biomass electricity as well as dirty electricity imported from out of state. The use of the new dirty electricity will raise air pollution death rates in California above the 12,000 per year who perish in the state already. Most of these additional deaths will be in poor communities in the Los Angeles basin and Central Valley, where pollution levels are already the highest in the state.

Roof PV should be encouraged to reduce natural gas and overhead wires

The effort to end rooftop solar is through an esoteric rule called Net Metering 3.0. This rule, pushed by the utilities, supported by only a few groups and opposed by the vast majority of environmental groups appears to be a back-door effort to get middle- and working-class homeowners to pay the damage costs of explosions, blowouts and fire damage caused by the utilities themselves. These incidents include, among others,

Instead of implementing policies that would address the root causes of these disasters and the resulting high costs of energy, namely natural gas and the overhead transmission system causing fires, utilities are proposing to do the opposite, namely to tax the solution.

Utilities should instead promote rooftop PV to reduce the need for long-distance transmission and to eliminate natural gas from new and existing buildings. Almost all building owners pay for both natural gas and electricity, and this helps to drive up overall energy costs. There is no need for two sources of energy in a building. There is nothing that natural gas can do that electricity cannot do better and cheaper.

For starters, the natural gas hookup fee alone for new homes ranges from around $3,000 to $10,000. Natural gas pipes are another $2,000 to $15,000. These costs are completely eliminated with an all-electric home. Utilities should encourage new and existing home- and building-owners to go all electric. This involves using electric heat pumps instead of natural gas air or water heaters or clothes dryers and using electric induction cooktops instead of natural gas cooktops. Heat pumps use one-fourth the energy as natural gas heaters, so encouraging building owners to use only heat pumps saves consumers enormous costs over the lifetime of the appliances. Utilities should also encourage home weatherization and the use of LED lights and energy-efficient appliances.

The justification for the rule is misplaced

The primary justification for the proposed rule is that, as more homeowners put solar PV on their roofs, fewer will pay grid charges, so the cost of maintaining the grid will be spread over fewer kilowatt-hours of energy passing through the grid, raising bills to non-PV owners. However, if instead of taxing solar, utilities encouraged replacing natural gas with electricity, the cost of air pollution deaths and illness due to natural gas would decrease and demand for electricity among non-PV owners would increase, not decrease.

In fact, the assumption that the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity will stay constant over time in California is faulty, so the basis for taxing solar is faulty. As California transitions to clean, renewable energy as it must under policies including SB100 (Californias 100 percent renewable electricity law) as well as gubernatorial executive orders B-55-18 (carbon neutrality) and N-79-20 (zero vehicle emissions by 2035), it will electrify transportation, heating and industrial processes, creating new demands for electricity, allowing the grid cost to be spread over more kilowatt-hours of electricity.

In fact, a recent study I co-authored for California found that such electrification will double electricity needs in the state and reduce energy costs substantially while creating jobs. As such, even with a huge growth in rooftop PV, the cost of maintaining the grid will be spread over more, rather than fewer, kilowatt-hours than today.

The rule itself is inequitable

Finally, the structure of the proposed tax discourages rooftop PV and is perverse. PG&E, for example, will charge homeowners a flat $8 per month per kilowatt of installed solar PV. For a 10-kilowatt system, that amounts to $960 per year. That cost is on top of the cost to build the PV system, which ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 before even considering batteries. The $960 per year eats into the ability to pay for the system, discouraging homeowners from investing.

The perversity is that the bigger the homeowners system, the less the homeowner uses the grid yet, the larger the tax. For example, if a homeowner has a very large enough system (lots of kilowatts) with batteries, the homeowner pays a heavy tax but may hardly ever use the grid, so the utility is taking money but is not providing any service in return.

In sum, California needs to decide if it really cares about peoples health, climate and low-cost energy. If it does, this rule should be abandoned.

Mark Z. Jacobson is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. His work forms the scientific basis for the U.S. Green New Deal and Californias SB100.

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California is poised to kill rooftop solar, damaging climate and health | TheHill - The Hill

UND health researcher receives $4.5 million grant for COVID research – INFORUM

Posted: at 1:44 am


GRAND FORKS A University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) researcher has received a multi-million-dollar grant for a research project that seeks to push the boundaries of COVID-19 research.

According to an SMHS news release, Abraam Yakoub, a professor in the department of biomedical sciences, received a $4.5 million grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health. The grant was awarded through the NIH Directors Transformative Award, a program that supports researchers doing cutting-edge work with the potential to set new medical standards. Yakoub joins the ranks of more than 40 researchers awarded funds this year, at locations including the Mayo Clinic and MIT and Harvard University.

I think what we're doing here is extremely cutting edge, extremely innovative, very transformative and paradigm shifting, Yakoub said. We hope people in North Dakota can get more excited and more interested in both research and supporting research.

Yakoubs project aims to examine the illness via what is called a system-based approach, rather than thinking of the virus as specific to the lungs. Yakoub will lead a team of people looking at how the coronavirus impacts other organs in the body.

In particular, the research team will study if the immune response to the virus might become so exaggerated in some individuals that it ends up hurting them, instead of helping them. Yakoub said his experiments could lead to discovering the black box of COVID-19.

Why is the virus killing millions of people? Yakoub asked. Is it just a lung infection or something beyond? We told the NIH we have an idea why this might be happening, and they liked the idea. This award is a testimony to our exceptionally innovative, trailblazing research program. It means we really are thinking outside the box in order to crack a scientific mystery.

According to the news release, Francis Collins, former director of the NIH, praised this years crop of Transformative Award winners, calling their ideas exceptionally novel and creative. Many of the other researchers are also studying COVID-19.

These visionary investigators come from a wide breadth of career stages and show that groundbreaking science can happen at any career level given the right opportunity, Collins said.

Yakoub will also be bringing more research dollars to the SMHS in the form of a second NIH grant for $3.5 million, and will take a similarly creative approach to studying treatments of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. The former, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the No. 3 killer of North Dakotans, after heart disease and cancer.

The latter research program will consist of directing the evolution of a protein, to the point where it has therapeutic uses for neurodegenerative disorders. It is a branch of his research where the aim is to take one disease or virus, and use it in a cure for another.

Yakoub said his work has the potential to reveal the inner workings in illnesses that impact people around the world. He is hoping his projects shine a light on the need to support research in the state.

What we're doing, it's not for me it's for us, he said.

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UND health researcher receives $4.5 million grant for COVID research - INFORUM

calculator.com

Posted: December 30, 2021 at 2:07 am


Fractions

/To enter a fraction of the form 3/4. Click a number and then click fraction bar, then click another number.

You can use fraction space button to create a number of the form 5 3/4. Enter a number, then click fraction space, click another number and then click on the fraction bar button, lastly enter another number.

DEC FRADecimal format button and Fraction format button work as pair. When you choose the one the other is switched off.Decimal format button is used for all decimal work. Also to change a fraction of the form 3/4 to the decimal 0.75, or a fraction of the form 7/4 or a mixed number of the form 1 3/4 to the decimal 1.75. Click on the decimal format button, enter a fraction or mixed number, then click equals. If the fraction or mixed number is only part of the calculation then omit clicking equals and continue with the calculation per usual. i.e. 3/4 DEC x 6 =.Fraction format button is used to work with all fractions. Also to change a decimal of the form 0.5 to the fraction 1/2, or change a decimal of the form 1.75 to a mixed number of the form 1 3/4 or to the fraction 7/4, or a fraction of the form 7/4 to the mixed number 1 3/4. Click the fraction format button, enter a decimal, click equals and then click on a fraction form and then click equals. If the fraction of decimal is part of a calculation, omit clicking equals and continue with the calculation.

a b/c a+b/cProper fraction button and Improper fraction button work as pair. When you choose the one the other is switched off.Proper fraction button is used to change a number of the form of 9/5 to the form of 1 4/5. A proper fraction is a fraction where the numerator (top number) is less than the denominator (bottom number).Improper fraction button is used to change a number of the form of 1 4/5 to the form of 9/5. An improper fraction is a fraction where the numerator (top number is greater than or equal to the denominator (bottom number).

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About 300 COVID-19 test kits passed out early Wednesday in Massillon – Massillon Independent

Posted: at 2:07 am


MASSILLON It didn't take long for city Health Department workers todivvyouthundreds COVID-19 test kitsWednesday morning.

Altogether, 294 COVID-19 self-testing kits flew out of shipping boxes via health workers into the waiting hands of motorists during a giveaway at the agency's parking lot, 111 Tremont Ave.SW.

More: Ohio sets COVID-19 hospitalization record; Mike DeWine mobilizes more Ohio Guard members

More: Ohio reports 20,320 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, another daily case record

"We ran out after about 35 minutes," said Bethany Perkowski, Massillon's environmental health director, moments after the event concluded. "Hopefully, we'll have another giveaway next week."

Test kits have been flying off store shelves across Stark County amid a record COVID case surge.

Perkowski and Audrey Sylvester, director of nursing for the Health Department, turned away dozens of additional motorists for at least 20 minutesafter running out of COVID tests around 9:20 a.m.

The omicron variant has helped to cause a surge in COVID-19 cases locally and nationwide, resulting in a higher demand for testing of the virus, according to Sylvester, adding that the Christmas and New Year's holidays havealso generated more interest in test kits.

More: Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for nursing homes is on hold. But how's it playing out in Ohio?

"We get what the state sends us," Sylvester said. "We typically ask for 500 (kits per shipment) and usually get around 250."

On Wednesday, Ohio health officialsreportedthere were 20,320 new COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

The Massillon Health Department has hosted five test kit, drive-thru events over the past few months fromits parking lot, Perkowski said.

She encouraged folks to check the Health Department's Facebook page frequently for an announcement on the next COVID-19 test kit giveaway.

In addition, residentscan also receive aNixle alert via text message about the next event. To receive the alerts, text MASSILLON to 888777.

The Massillon Health Department continues to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments for city residents.

Call the agency at 330-830-1710 to make an appointment or to inquire about walk-in vaccinations.

Reach Steven atsteven.grazier@indeonline.com.

On Twitter:@sgrazierINDE

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About 300 COVID-19 test kits passed out early Wednesday in Massillon - Massillon Independent

Omicron in Texas is sidelining even healthcare workers – The Texas Tribune

Posted: at 2:07 am


Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

The omicron variant has led to a surge in positive cases across Texas, and some hospital regions are seeing numbers of COVID-19 patients that rival last winter.

The variant, which is now known to be more transmissible than delta and the original virus strain, has also led to the states highest rate of positive cases with more than 1 in 5 COVID-19 tests reading positive.

In Texas, the positive case rate surpassed 10% by mid-December, which put the state in a "red zone," a rating for which federal officials encourage more restrictions to limit the virus' spread. More than a week later, the rate has more than doubled, reaching its highest point yet with a 22.3% positivity rate.

The high positivity rates havent yet translated into more deaths or dramatic numbers of hospitalizations in Texas, but some states that saw a surge in COVID-19 cases in November and early December are near or have surpassed record hospitalizations from the virus.

Michigan, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire reached their highest hospitalization rates in December, according to CNN, however, the number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Texas hospitals is still far below the surges seen during the winter of 2020 and this past fall.

On Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that the Austin area will be returning to Stage 4, which recommends that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people avoid nonessential activities, including indoor dining and shopping.

Experts that The Texas Tribune spoke with are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients in hospitals and anticipate they will rise. But this more infectious variant is having a major impact on hospital staffing, said Dr. James McDeavitt, the executive vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine.

The difference with this surge is because this is so infectious and everyone is getting sick, everyone is calling out sick, McDeavitt said. Its not as much about the number of people in the hospitals its more about the number of health care workers who they themselves are getting sick and need to be isolated.

And with many hospitals recording persistent nursing shortages, even if there are available ICU beds, they might not have anyone to staff their departments.

Statewide, roughly 1 in 14 hospital patients are being treated for COVID, but the number is a lot higher in hospitals serving the El Paso area and the Texas Panhandle, where at least 1 in 6 hospital beds are occupied by a COVID-19 patient.

The higher rate of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Amarillo area is attributed to lower vaccination rates, a lingering delta surge and resistance to social distancing measures, according to Dr. Rodney Young, the regional chair of family and community medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.

About 90 to 93% of our hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, Young said. That number is closer to 98% for critical care, and around 60% for those on ventilators.

The increasing number of cases in the community have also impacted the states elder care and Texas criminal justice facilities, where infected staff and visitors can transmit the virus into areas where people often live more closely.

The number of active COVID-19 cases at assisted living facilities in the state has more than doubled over the past two weeks, but the 124 active cases registered on Monday are a fraction of the more than 900 measured this time last year.

Were at the beginning stages of this wave, were really still watching it, said Carmen Tilton, vice president of public policy with the Texas Assisted Living Association. Im not seeing in the data a wildfire of cases in assisted living facilities in Texas.

Tilton, whose organization advocates on behalf of assisted living facilities across the state, noted that the best defenses against the virus are adhering to mask policies, screening and testing that can identify cases early on and limiting contact between positive staff, resident or visitors.

We are going to see outbreaks because when you have high levels of community spread in the surrounding community, youre going to have a positive case, Tilton said. You cant hermetically seal these buildings.

Positive cases are again on the rise in the states prisons, according to Karen Hall, the deputy chief of staff for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

We have seen an increase just as we do when we see an increase when the community cases rise, Hall said. Not as drastic, not as drastic as with the original outbreak or with the delta (variant).

Hall noted that the largest number of cases over the weekend came from prisons in Anderson and Fort Bend counties, which both have seen an increase in cases over the past two weeks.

Vaccination rates for about one-third of the states correctional facilities are above 70% for both prisoners and staff. And for another half of the facilities, vaccination rates are above 50%.

The weekend also led to an increase in positive cases among youth and staff members at the states juvenile correctional facilities, with 37 children in Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities having tested positive for COVID-19. That's more youth cases than the agency registered over the past nine months and the largest single-day positive rate since the summer of 2020.

I think we know that anytime were moving into the holidays, anytime that we have new variants out there, theres a higher risk of infection and spread, said Brian Sweany, the TJJD spokesperson.

The agency also recorded 23 positive cases among staff that weekend, including 10 at the McLennan County campus where all but one of the youth cases originated. The agency speculates that these are omicron cases, due to how quickly the virus is spreading but how mild the cases are.

At the agencys request, the Texas Department of Emergency Management is sending members of the Texas National Guard to four of the agencys secure facilities this week to help with staffing, Sweany said. On Wednesday, the number of active cases among agency staff had jumped to 35, he said. National guard members have been sent to Texas hospitals and other facilities throughout the pandemic to prop up staffing amid surges. At the juvenile facilities, the guard members will be assisting with tasks like meal preparation, transportation and logistics and will not be in direct contact with the residents, Sweany said.

Those guard members will be in place at least through Jan. 9, he said

The sharp increase in positive cases has been at a level most communities had not yet seen in the pandemic, including in the Houston area, where they went from several hundred two weeks ago, to more than 5,000 average daily cases, according to Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and CEO of Harris Health System.

So far, that crazy increase in the number of cases has not equated to a crazy increase in hospitalizations, Porsa said. They are going up but they are not going up proportionally to the number of cases.

Karen Brooks Harper contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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Omicron in Texas is sidelining even healthcare workers - The Texas Tribune

Pandemic’s impact on mental health of parents – KPBS

Posted: at 2:07 am


Speaker 1: (00:00)

The us surgeon general issued a public health advisory earlier this month on children's mental health and how COVID 19 pandemic hardships have played a role in the emerging crisis. The advisory is a call to shift parenting and underscores the increased rate of depression and anxiety being diagnosed in children. We've seen schools go back and forth between virtual and in-person learning child mask requirements, extracurricular activities canceled and much more during this pandemic. So how has all of this change in routine affected parents while trying to juggle work and keep their home life afloat and children healthy. Joining me to tell about how all these changes and pandemic stressors have impacted the mental health of parents as parenting expert. Dr. Jenny yip, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the ke school of medicine at USC. She is also the founder of renewed freedom center. Dr. Yip.

Speaker 2: (00:58)

Welcome. Thanks so much for having me Jade. So

Speaker 1: (01:01)

What, what are you seeing in your clinic? I mean, have more parents reported mental and physical health declines since the start of this pandemic?

Speaker 2: (01:09)

Absolutely. Both parents and children alike. We have been inundated with more patients than what we can handle and I'm sure this is true for all mental health professionals in a entire country, or even perhaps the world, but yes, anxiety, depression, suicide though. Ideation are all skyrocketing for both parents and children alike.

Speaker 1: (01:33)

So has the approach to addressing those issues changed during this pandemic?

Speaker 2: (01:38)

Well, the treatment hasn't changed, the treatment is still this same. I think what has changed is helping parents navigate the stressors from the pandemic and helping them to regain some level of sanity with all of the uncertainties that exist in the world. So what

Speaker 1: (01:57)

Are some of the negative impacts the pandemic has had on parents over the past two years?

Speaker 2: (02:03)

Oh my well , I am a parent myself, so I certainly know what that is like and not knowing how to handle the, the stressors on school's closing or your children being ill and infected or not having the social opportunities that they would have at school. And then most importantly, it's juggling your children being at home, trying to get them on, you know, zoom classes, which doesn't help very much. And isn't a very effective, it is a huge challenge and most parents they're still working and they're working from home. So imagine trying to do this a again, after having been through this for the last, uh, 20 months, it's definitely a struggle.

Speaker 1: (02:50)

How have pandemic stressors had a different impact on parents with younger children versus parents with teens and young adults? For example,

Speaker 2: (02:59)

There's definitely different stressors for families with younger children versus those with teenagers or older children, for families with younger children, you know, the stressors surrounds more of juggling, juggling multiple tasks and trying to keep your screaming children in front of a computer for eight hours a day, while you're trying to run errands, get household tasks done, uh, perhaps even continue working from home. And that juggle adds a huge stressor because it limits your available time to attend to the things that you need to get done. Now that's, uh, different than parents with older children where some of the complaints that we've been getting at the renewed freedom center from these families is that they cannot get their kids to practice safety protocols

Speaker 1: (03:49)

Such as wearing masks or limiting social engagements or keeping, you know, a distance, um, not being indoors so much. Um, so it's a constant battle and the stressors are different, but the more important thing is being able to find creative ways to tackle these problems. So maybe for the older children, it's, you know, asking your, your kids to find three friends that they trust. And these are the three friends that, that they maintain the social engagements with. And then for the younger families, um, it might be sharing some of these tasks with other families who are in a similar situation. So perhaps one family, you know, gets all the kids together for zoom class, uh, one day and we switch and what are resources you can give to help parents feeling overwhelmed during these times?

Speaker 2: (04:45)

The most important thing is self care. I know this is a huge topic in the last 20 months though, when you are experiencing this high level of stress for such a prolonged period of time, it is so easy to burn and out. So taking the little things that matter whether it is, you know, taking a bath or even giving yourself five minutes to just breathe, just finding those little things that you can do to get a breather. And then if you really feel like you are breaking apart, you feel like, know you're at your ins of what you have available. You don't have any more bandwidth available, then perhaps it's time to find additional help. Now additional help could be family members. It could be friends, um, but it could also be professional help. So, you know, finding a therapist and making sure that the therapist that you find is, is someone who has dealt with anxiety or depression. So some resources I direct parents to is the anxiety and depression association of America. I also direct parents to the international OCD foundation because during the pandemic, the rates of obsessive compulsive disorder has just magnified and has become a lot more, uh, excessive. So those are the two resources that I always direct parents to.

Speaker 1: (06:13)

I've been speaking with Dr. G yip and assisted and clinical professor of psychiatry at the ke school of medicine at USC. Also founder of renewed freedom center. She is a parenting expert doctor. Yip. Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2: (06:29)

Thanks for having me.

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