Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Chickens Positive for West Nile Virus in Scott County PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Lenore Alonso   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:11
The Scott County Health Department has been notified by the Medical Entomology Laboratory at Iowa State University that chickens from Scott County’s sentinel flock have tested positive for West Nile Virus.  This was not unexpected, despite this summer’s hot, dry conditions, and low mosquito population.  Detection of virus exposure in the chickens indicates that there is West Nile Virus transmission activity in the area.  Late summer and early fall are the times when the majority of human cases of West Nile Virus typically are reported.  The risk of contracting West Nile Virus remains high until the first frost when mosquito activity declines.The Scott County Health Department is urging individuals to take steps to reduce the mosquito population and protect themselves when outside.  Some things to do to reduce the mosquito population are:Change the water in birdbaths, pet bowls, and wading pools at least twice a week.Turn over plastic wading pools and buckets.Properly dispose of old tires.  Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, and other water-holding containers.  Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain the water from the pool cover.Some ways to prevent mosquito bites: Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants.Repair tears in window and door screens.Limit the time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most likely to bite.Do not wear perfume or fragrances when outdoors.Apply insect repellents to exposed skin.  Those containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus have been found to be effective. (Carefully read and follow all directions on the label before use).  Do not use DEET on infants under two years of age, pregnant women, or children's bedding or clothing.The Scott County Health Department, along with the State Hygienic Laboratory and Iowa State University, has participated in mosquito surveillance with the Iowa Department of Public Health for more than 30 years.For more information, visit the Health Department’s website at www.scottcountyiowa.com/health.

 
Expert Shares Tips to Prepare for Surgery PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:55
How the ‘Herbal Martha Stewart’ Got Ready
for Her Hip Replacement

While they’re the place we go for healing, all hospitals have the potential to be a hotbed  for contagious infections.

But there are precautionary measures patients can take, both to reduce the need for a hospital stay and to condition the body to ward off infection and minimize pain when surgery is necessary, says Letha Hadady, a nationally-recognized herbal expert and author of Naturally Pain Free, just published by Sourcebooks (www.AsianHealthSecrets.com). Letha has been documenting in real time her recent hip replacement, preparation and recovery, in a video blog on her global website.

“We are fast approaching a time when antibiotics will be outdated because infectious bacteria – Superbugs – have become resistant,” she says. “We have to protect ourselves with the gifts of nature that germs cannot adapt to – foods, minerals, herbal remedies and other natural products that build our defenses.”

There are 600,000 knee-replacement and 300,000 hip-replacement surgeries performed each year in the United States, a number that has doubled in the past 10 years and continues to grow, Hadady says. As a health expert cited by NBC News, AP Radio, Newsday, the Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle and Barbara Walters, she says she is concerned about the risks, pain and fear as many people face both major and minor surgeries.

“These surgeries are only going to become more frequent as the baby boomer generation ages. People 50 and older with osteoarthritis are most likely to need hip- and knee-placements,” she says. “But plenty of younger people are affected, too. Runners, dancers, tennis players, soldiers – even high school students who suffer sports injuries. It could be you on the operating table!”

Hadady offers these tips to naturally condition the body before surgery:

• Herbal strength: A few weeks in advance of her operation, Hadady ramped up her intake of herbal supplements. A key herb was Yunnan Paiyao, a traditional  medicine used in Chinese hospitals and by their soldiers to prevent excessive bleeding. Other herbs can be taken to help build up resistance to bacteria.

• A calm and focused mind: Stress increases inflammation and is a burden on internal organs. A calm, centered mind -- attained through techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and mineral baths – can help the body weather the trauma of surgery, she says.

• Knowledge is power: While researching “Naturally Pain Free,” Letha tried alternative treatments for arthritis ranging from traditional Asian remedies to cutting-edge stem cell injections. Before her operation, Hadady asked questions and researched her hospital, doctors, the procedure, and insurance coverage. This allowed her to better prepare for the operation and gave her peace of mind.

• Follow hospital recommendations: In addition to alternative therapies, it’s important to heed the advice of one’s doctors, before and after a procedure, she says. With her supplements, Hadady restricted her vitamin C intake, which thins blood, and she received an antibiotic ointment to ward off MRSA -- an antibiotic-resistant superbug that can cause life-threatening infections.

• Diet and exercise: “This may seem obvious, but it’s a message we cannot emphasis enough for overall health,” she says. One reason why replacement procedures are so prominent is due to the “sitting lifestyle” so many now have. Muscle atrophy from too much sitting can be a cause for joint-replacement, she says. “Sitting is the new smoking!”

About Letha Hadady

Letha Hadady has been called the “Martha Stewart of herbs” for her expertise in traditional Asian and alternative health. The author of five books, including her latest “Naturally Pain Free,” Letha has appeared widely on TV--including CNN, Today, The View — talk radio, and the internet. Letha is an adjunct faculty member for New York Open Center, and The Renfield Center for Nursing Education, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. She has led stress-management workshops and acted as a natural product consultant for Sony Entertainment Inc., Dreyfus, Ogilvy & Mather, and Consumer Eyes, Inc. in New York.

 
Department of Public Safety: a National Model for Healthcare PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by G. Keith Smith, M.D., http://www.aapsonline.org/   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:35

As ObamaCare becomes ever more unpopular, the single payer idea keeps coming up. So let’s consider what a single-payer system would look like. There are so many places to look it’s a little confusing. Here’s a partial list.

Canada tends to come up first, and I think about it a lot. That’s because lots of Canadians come to our facility in Oklahoma for their care. Do I really need to say anything else? These are people who have been told to wait for years before they can see a specialist because there are budget “caps.” When the money is gone, the doctor’s office is closed. Surgeons are allowed only so much time in the operating room in a month. When they have used up their time, they can do no more surgery. Rather than have the market determine the allocation of resources, a Canadian bureaucrat creates a budget and that’s that. Presto! The “right” to healthcare is defined. It might not feel too much like a right, however, to those who have to travel to the U.S. for timely surgery, or for those who die waiting in line for care.

Then there’s Britain. The Brits harbor such nationalistic pride in their healthcare system that they celebrated it in the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. It is based on the same faulty economic premise as the Canadian system. The Brits not only euthanize their sick citizens to free up scarce hospital beds (do you wonder how this shortage of beds came about?), but they are proud of this and have even given this highway to the cemetery a fancy name: the Liverpool Care Pathway.British patients that become extremely ill have a better chance of survival at home, surrounded by family and friends, as no one stands a chance once on the LCP. Recovery from severe illness can occur without the help of modern medicine, but recovery of the very sick isn’t likely when the hospital staff is actively murdering them.

But there is no need to go outside of the U.S. to see the wonders of socialism in medicine. The VA hospitals and the Indian hospitals provide examples of efficiency brought to us in medicine from government bureaucrats.

Our local paper’s lead article recently informed us that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) was closing the office administering driver’s tests for the day to train their employees. Zeke Campfield of The Oklahoman writes that the “operator of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant will teach examiners how to be patient and courteous.”

What would happen to an employee at Chick-fil-A that was not patient with and courteous to customers? What would patrons of Chick-fil-A do if they were not treated in a timely manner and with respect? What would happen to Chick-fil-A if this treatment of customers were widespread?

Campfield’s article also talks about a mother getting in line outside the DPS testing center at 4:15 A.M., only to be turned away at the end of the day because there were simply not enough examiners to get to her son. Three mornings in a row. The spokesman for the DPS muttered something about budget cuts, so I’m guessing we’ll see government’s usual response, that of throwing even more money at failure.

Try to imagine the DPS in charge of your medical care. Rude and inefficient staff. No competitive fears. Hospitals working together to institutionalize mediocrity so no one stands out as better, eliminating troublesome comparisons. Long waiting lines. Always blaming the lack of funding or budget caps.

The efficiencies and quality of the private sector cannot be superimposed on government agencies for one simple reason: without competitors, government doesn’t have to care. Ever. Our state government wants to introduce private sector ideas into a failed government organization. Ironic, isn’t it, that health care bureaucrats are increasingly embracing the business plan of the DPS, even as the DPS is looking for private-sector answers? At least the DPS hasn’t started euthanizing applicants waiting in line to free up examination spots.

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Shutdown, Unplug and Reboot Recruitment event flyer.pdf Shutdown, Unplug and Reboot Recruitment event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kat Riley   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:19

 
Grassley, Issa, Gowdy Continue Review of Minnesota’s Use of Federal Tax Dollars for State-only Health Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:42

WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continued their examination of Minnesota’s inappropriate and possibly illegal misuse of federal tax dollars to cross-subsidize its state-only health programs.

The issue has been under the close inspection of Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and House Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

A state legislative audit report found that Minnesota was underpaying managed care companies in the state for state-only health programs and overpaying insurance companies for Medicaid.  Since federal taxpayers pay half of Minnesota’s Medicaid expenditures, federal taxpayers were inappropriately cross-subsidizing managed care companies in Minnesota for state-only health plans.

In March 2011, UCare, the smallest of Minnesota’s four managed care companies operating in the state, returned $30 million to the state.  UCare’s CEO attributed this contribution to excess 2010 operating margins, which largely resulted from Medicaid overpayments.

It appears that the Minnesota Department of Human Services attempted to disguise this repayment as a “donation” in order to keep all of it in state coffers, as opposed to returning the appropriate amount to the federal taxpayer. Minnesota finally agreed to return the federal share to the U.S. Treasury the day before a April 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing.

However, because of conflicting statements at the hearing from Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and other contradictory information, questions remain about whether or not the state agency was attempting to defraud the federal taxpayer.

“The State’s agreement with UCare to count UCare’s $30 million repayment toward the 2011 profit cap raises serious questions regarding your insistence that half of UCare’s $30 million “donation” was not subject to federal recoupment,” write Grassley, Issa, and Gowdy.

The letter directs Commissioner Jesson to clarify contradictory testimony, given under oath, before the House Oversight Committee; clarify the timeline and decision-making process on the remission to the U.S. Treasury; and to produce documents inappropriately withheld from earlier requests.

The text of the letter is available here. The House Oversight Committee held a hearing in April, and issued a staff report.

 

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