Friday, November 14, 2014

Obamacare - Cost Impacts and Reaction in the Marketplace!

Winthrop-University Hospital's MiniMed Adult Education Series

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Obamacare

Cost Impacts and the Reaction in the Marketplace: Panelists Aimee DiBartolomeo-Cody and Brian Malone, BS, MS, RPh cover the basics of the law and the impacts it will have on individuals, employers and healthcare providers. Aimee DiBartolomeo-Cody
President, Premiere Benefit Plans, Inc. Brian Malone, BS, MS, RPh is the Director of Pharmaceutical Services at Winthrop-University Hospital.

Discussion points:
- Administrative Requirements
- Cost Impacts
- How is the Marketplace Reacting - Employers, Doctors and General Public

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Before you pull the trigger: The Facts on Abortion!

If you're pregnant and contemplating abortion, PLEASE consider these facts:
Fact #1: Every abortion kills an innocent human being.
Fact #2: Every human being is a person.
Fact #3: Beginning at conception, every pregnancy involves two or more bodies.
Fact #4: It is just, reasonable, and necessary for society to outlaw certain choices.
Fact #5: The right to not be killed supersedes the right to not be pregnant.
Fact #6: Poverty, rape, disability, or “unwantedness” do not morally justify abortion.
Fact #7: The differences between embryos and adults are differences of degree not of kind.
Fact #8: Less than 1% of all abortions are performed to save the life of the mother.
Fact #9: To be only "personally pro-life" is to not be pro-life at all.
Fact #10: If there is uncertainty about when human life begins, the benefit of the doubt should go to preserving life.

Fact #11: Abortion is more dangerous than childbirth.
Fact #12: Prior to abortion's legalization, 90% of abortions were done by doctors, not by "coat hangers in back alleys."
Fact #13: The 8 week+ unborn baby feels real physical pain during an abortion.
Fact #14: Abortion is condemnable for the same reasons that slavery and genocide are.
Fact #15: Abortion is not a “women's only” issue.
Fact #16: Every legal surgical abortion stops a beating heart and terminates measurable brain waves. Fact #17: The right to not be killed supersedes the right to privacy.
Fact #18: Abortion disproportionally targets minority babies.
Fact #19: Abortion has become a form of gendercide, shrinking the global female population at an alarming rate.
Fact #20: Laws concerning abortion have significantly influenced whether women choose to have abortions.
(Facts courtesy of
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Animation of Situation map of Ebola virus outbreaks 1976-2014!

Look at the interactive map below of Ebola virus outbreaks 1976-2014:

The map is created in OpenWebGIS and based on the data of the World Health Organization, Wikipedia and world massmedia.

The map contains the data until October 14. The information on the map is presented as a vector layer and you can export the data to other GIS formats - gml, geojson, csv, kml.

From the map, you can get the information about the countries where it has been officially confirmed that there were cases of illness, about years of the outbreaks, the number of cases and deaths from Ebola virus, also a brief description of the possible causes of each outbreak and its development.

To get information about virus outbreak, select Layer’s name ‘Ebola_Virus1976_2014’ in the combobox “Editable Layer”. Then click on the country you are interested in.

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How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak!

Nigeria's success in stamping out the deadly haemorrhagic fever Ebola is being hailed as a model for countries struggling to contain the deadly virus The World Health Organisation declared Legal Notice. As the deadly virus rages in West Africa, Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free. The CDC is sending researchers to Africa's most populous country to study how The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Follow Elizabeth Hagedorn: Ebola Outbreak: Spanish Priest Gets Experimental Drug ZMapp; Nigeria Confirms Another Case. Nigeria will be officially declared Ebola-free in less than a week after containing the disease that has killed more than 4000 people. Eight of the 20 people. Nigeria becomes case study in how to beat Ebola While the Ebola virus continues to take a heavy toll in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Nigeria is receiving praise As the deadly virus rages in West Africa, Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free. The CDC is sending researchers to Africa's most populous country to study how they were able to contain the disease.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Human Body: Inward Parts!

Some things occur by random chance and others through a series of precisely timed sequence of events. The design and creation of the human body is arguably the most amazing reality in all of the universe. Even the most intricately designed structure which man could conceive pales in comparison to what our Creator brought forth from the dust of the earth. The dust! The attention to detail and outward beauty bestowed by it's designer is mind boggling. Yet it also consists of an inner complexity beyond our finite understanding. For centuries physicians and scientists alike, prod, poke, dissect and thoroughly examine the body to further their limited understanding in their often fruitful attempts to get inside the mind of the Creator. This is hardly an insignificant task. Around every corner of new discoveries in medicine, a previously unknown highway of treatment brings forth relief to countless individuals who long to be healed of their particular ailment.

It is true that life is quite fragile and delicate. Scripture reminds us "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb." (Psalm 139:13) If you ever find yourself doubting this truth, consider examining the evidence. One of the most vital organs integrated within a vast complexity of others systems which keep our bodies functioning minute by minute, are the kidneys. The kidneys actually serve several purposes, the main one being the removal of wastes introduced into our system whenever, and whatever, we eat or drink. Take note of this complex "job description" the kidneys perform when working properly:

"The actual removal of wastes occurs in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. In the nephron, a glomerulus—which is a tiny blood vessel, or capillary—intertwines with a tiny urine-collecting tube called a tubule. The glomerulus acts as a filtering unit, or sieve, and keeps normal proteins and cells in the bloodstream, allowing extra fluid and wastes to pass through. A complicated chemical exchange takes place, as waste materials and water leave the blood and enter the urinary system." Source:

When the kidneys do not function as designed, blood is not filtered properly. Soon this effects the various systems within the entire body and diagnosis and treatment must then be sought. Life truly is a delicate balance of interacting systems. They include the Integumentary, Nervous, Skeletal, Endocrine, Muscular, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Reproductive, Digestive, and finally Urinary. Think about it, these systems all work together as one cohesive, synchronized unit for the benefit of the whole being. Peacefully coexisting, performing their functions in unison with the others.

Allow me to conclude my remarks on a personal note. Many have sought to remove the role of a Creator and exchanged the truth about God for a lie, worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Who could not bless Him for such an awesome creation. We were made in His image. We are not simply a random collection of molecules arranged in precise order by millions of years of trial and error evolutionary methods. Even if the process of evolution could get just one of these systems to function properly through chance and an extreme amount of dumb luck, there is no way that it could get all eleven systems to development and work together collectively. That strains credulity beyond its limits.

This just scratches the surface. We haven't even touched on the reality and uniqueness of soul and spirit. For man in not simply flesh and bone. We have been given a spiritual nature that is separate and distinct from the body in which it dwells. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

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Living with illness: The phases of the inevitable!

When illness strikes an otherwise healthy person, life veers sharply towards the exit ramp of the
unexpected and unanticipated. As of late, I have experienced various emotional phases which I was unprepared for and quite unaccustomed to. I have since come to learn that this is quite normal when a person's life circumstances change to a state of New Normal. This certainly can be caused by many life altering circumstances including job changes, relationship changes and "address" changes to name just a few.

The initial jolt from your previous state of normal usually starts with frustration and anger. Things are not going the way they were. You had everything planned out perfectly and now something beyond your control has left you helpless to stop it which has most likely manifested itself through frustration followed by anger. Depending on your personality this anger is either internalized or vented, perhaps unintentionally in the direction of the ones you love most.

Next comes despair and grief. Woe is me! Bad things aren't supposed to happen to good people. But then you think to yourself, am a really a good person? Is this New Normal punishment for something I've previously done in my life or due to someone I've hurt. Um, no it's not. Illness is simply a part of life. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” We should not be ignorant of the fact that life most often will not always unfold the way we had hoped or planned. Likewise, we can be confident in the fact that Jesus can totally relate to suffering, knows our present sufferings and gives us grace for the moment....and there are many moments to come. Knowing this helps me contend with bodily fatigue and a gnawing residue of hopelessness.

The mind has a powerful influence over success or failure in dealing with your state of New Normal. The Apostle Paul writing in Galatians said: "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Controlling you thoughts in a balanced fashion while also keeping in frequent contact with your physician and family members will go a long way in contributing to a healthy mind. Most importantly, do not underestimate the power of prayer and a daily walk with The Lord. Not just simply when you need Him during this specific life transition but for the rest of your days. I have come to find that complete healing of the body, soul and spirit can only be found in The Lord Jesus Christ.

 .....the journey continues....  

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ebols Virus Prevention Tips!

  • Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
  • Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
  • Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person's body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
  • Follow infection-control procedures. If you're a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
  • Don't handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.

Ebola killing robot developed in Texas

Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The 18 Most Dangerous Pathogens!

In the CDC's report Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013, the following 18 superbugs are identified as "urgent, serious and concerning threats" to humankind. (CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the US, 2013):
  1. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): A family of Gram-negative bacteria that are prominent in your gut growing increasingly resistant to nearly all types of antibiotics. 
  2. Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae: The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to the last type of antibiotics left to treat it, having already become resistant to less potent antibiotics. Strains of the disease that are resistant to the class of antibiotic drugs called cephalosporins have appeared in several countries. 
  3. Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter: Appeared in the US after Iraq and Afghanistan war vets returned home. Tough enough to survive even on dry surfaces like dust particles, making it easy to pass from host to host, especially in hospital environments.
  4. Drug-resistant Campylobacter: Campylobacter is the fourth leading cause of foodborne illness in the US. Campylobacter bacteria are unique in that they secrete an exotoxin that is similar to cholera toxin.  
  5. Fluconazole-resistant Candida (a fungus).   
  6. Extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs): ESBLs are enzymes produced by certain types of bacteria, which renders the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics used to treat them. ESBL-producing E. coli, for example, are resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins, and are becoming more frequent in urinary tract infections.  
  7. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE): Increasingly common in hospital settings. 
  8. Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Linked to serious bloodstream infections and surgical wounds, and  can lead to pneumonia and other complications; some are resistant to nearly every family of antibiotic. 
  9. Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella and Salmonella Typhi. 
  10. Drug-resistant Shigella: An infectious disease, typically with diarrhea, caused by Shigella bacteria.  
  11. Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff): Can live in the gut without causing symptoms, but attacks when your immune system is weakened; C. Diff is on the rise—infections increased by 400 percent between 2000 and 2007—and is becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant  (This is the infection that fecal transplants are typically used for. It has a greater than 90 percent cure rate for this infection.).  
  12. Methicillin-resistant and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA and VRSA): Gram-positive bacteria infecting about 80,000 people each year, and can lead to sepsis and death. Increasing in communities, although decreasing in hospitals over the past decade; recent evidence points to factory-scale hog CAFOs as a primary source; MRSA is also a significant risk for your pets.
  13. Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae: A leading cause of pneumonia, bacteremia, sinusitis, and acute otitis media.  
  14. Drug-resistant tuberculosis: Extensively resistant TB (XDR TB) has a 40 percent mortality rate and is on the rise worldwide; tuberculosis is one of the most infectious diseases because it's so easily spread through the air when infected people cough or sneeze. 
  15. Erythromycin-resistant Group A and Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus.

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