Health, Medicine & Nutrition
3 Things We Can Learn From Dying Hospice Patients PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:48

Does our society hold too narrow a view of what defines strength?

The things many would point to as indicators – youth, wealth, a fully capable body – fall short, says Charles Gourgey, a veteran hospice music therapist and author of Judeochristianity: The Meaning and Discovery of Faith (, a book that explores the unifying faith elements of Judaism and Christianity.

“Youth is ephemeral, abundant wealth is for just a few, and we all experience some kind of disability, usually at several points in our lives,” he says. “A car accident, the loss of a job or a home, grief over a loved one’s dying: such things can happen to anyone and easily destroy our happiness.”

Gourgey says some of the greatest strength he’s ever seen was demonstrated by certain of his patients facing imminent death.

“Some people have complete love and grace when facing death – it’s how they’ve lived their lives, and at the end of their lives, it’s what supports them,” he says. “Those who, at the end, are peaceful, grateful and confident share some common characteristics.”
They are:

• Their love is non-self-interested. When we have awareness of and deepest respect and reverence for the individuality of others, we overcome the high walls of ego and experience a tremendous sense of freedom, says Gourgey. He says he continues to be inspired by patients who cared more for the well-being of others, including their fellow hospice patients, than themselves while facing their own mortality. Non-self-interested love – loving others for themselves without expecting or needing anything in return – is the greatest form of love, he says.

• They had an unwavering faith that transcended religious dogma. Faith is the knowledge that there is more to life than the apparent randomness of the material world; a sense that we are known to a greater reality and will return to that reality. No matter what their religion, the patients who were most at peace with their life’s journey were those who had faith in something higher than themselves. The problem with many concepts of faith, Gourgey continues, is that people attach specific doctrines to it, which means some people will always be excluded. A unifying faith – that all people are connected and love is the force that binds us – allows for trust, compassion and caring.

• They were motivated by an innate sense of what is good. They didn’t get mad at themselves; they didn’t beat themselves up for mistakes they might have made in the past. That’s because they were always guided by their sense of what is good, and they made their choices with that in mind. That did not prevent them from making some bad choices or mistakes over the course of their lives, Gourgey says. But when they erred, they addressed the problem with the same loving compassion they extended to others. “Their compassion overcame even any self-hate they may have experienced.”

Many patients left lasting impressions on Gourgey, and taught him valuable life lessons. He remembers one in particular.

“She was in hospice, a retired nurse who had developed a rare, incurable disease,” he recalls. “She would go around every day, checking to see what she could do for the other patients. She fetched blankets for a 104-year-old lady who always complained of cold feet. She sat with and listened to patients who needed company and someone to talk to. She had an attentive awareness about her, like she was fully in touch with her soul.”

Gourgey was with the woman when she died.

“She was radiant, she just glowed. She kept repeating how grateful she was for her life,” he says. “It was as if the life of love she’d lived was there to transport and support her at the end.”

About Charles “Carlos” Gourgey

Charles “Carlos” Gourgey, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC, is a board-certified and New York state-licensed music therapist. He has more than 20 years of experience working in hospices and nursing homes, and for 10 years was music therapist for Cabrini Hospice in New York City. He has published articles on psychology and religion in various journals.

Girls' Night Out: Movie And A Mammogram PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:39
DeWitt, Iowa -- Sept. 17, 2012 -- Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt and the Kenneth H. McKay Center for Breast Health are offering a great deal that could protect the breast health of women who attend.

Genesis will host a free screening of "The Help" and a wine tasting on Monday, Oct. 22 at the DeWitt Opera House. The event begins at 6 p.m. with the screening at 7 p.m.

The event is being held during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to remind women to make an appointment for their mammogram. Enjoy the free event and encourage your friends to attend and to schedule their appointment.

Here is why a regular schedule of mammograms is so important:

• About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

• An estimated 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

• A woman's risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

For more information about breast health at Genesis Health System, go to


Branstad, Reynolds announce video contest in conjunction with Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Office of Governor Terry Branstad   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:30

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at their weekly news conference today that they are inviting all Iowa middle schools and high schools to submit a video about what their school is doing to prevent bullying and what more might be done, prior to the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit, which will be held Nov. 27 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.

They noted that each video should reflect the theme of “Preventing Bullying in Your School and Beyond.” The audience for the video will include students, teachers, school administrators, parents and community leaders.

School, parents and businesses are encouraged to print out this flyer to help spread the word:

Branstad says students should use this as an opportunity to tell your school’s story about how bullying is being stopped, what more might be done, and how to better engage the community as a whole in bullying prevention efforts.

Videos that meet all contest guidelines will be posted to Governor Branstad’s YouTube channel, with the public invited to choose their favorite between Nov. 12 and Nov. 21. Guidelines may be found at:

The top vote-getter will receive a $500 prize to be used for bullying prevention efforts at their school, along with a visit by the governor and lieutenant governor for an all-school assembly. The video contest winner will be announced at the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit.

# # #

Branstad, Reynolds reveal further details and speakers for the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Office of Governor Terry Branstad   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:29

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at their weekly news conference today revealed further details of the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit this fall, including the line-up of speakers and a web site at which to register.


The summit will be held on Nov. 27, at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. Registration opens today on the website:



The agenda for the Governor Bullying Prevention Summit is as follows:


8:30 a.m.- 10 a.m. Registration

10 a.m.- 10:05 a.m. Welcome – The Honorable Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor of Iowa

10:05-10:15 a.m. Opening Remarks — The Honorable Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa

10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.     “It Takes a Community” Paul Gausman, Superintendent of the Sioux City School District

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Breakout Sessions


Breakout Session One

“24/7 Bullying in the Digital Age”

Marsali Hancock, CEO and president of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, will speak and moderate a panel discussion, followed by questions from the audience



  • Ben Barry, Guidance Counselor at Carlisle Middle School
  • Elizabeth Englander, Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University
  • Matt Shankles, Student at Linn-Mar High School, Marion
  • · Jenny Pfeifer, College student from Simpson College, Indianola 

Breakout Session Two

“Schools in the Legal Twilight Zone”

Tom Wheeler, Member of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Indianapolis, IN, and Past Chair of the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys, will speak and moderate a panel discussion, followed by questions from the audience



  • Drew Bracken, Attorney at Ahlers & Cooney PC, Des Moines
  • Judy Bradshaw, Des Moines Chief of Police
  • Matt Carver, Legal Services Director for School Administrators of Iowa
  • Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center, Arlington, VA
  • Beth Townsend, Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission


12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Box lunch available

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Teaching Social Competency” Rosalind Wiseman, Parenting and Bullying Expert whose book became the basis for the movie “Mean Girls”

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions


Breakout Session One

“Sick from Bullying”

Diana Schroeder, Director of Bullying Prevention Initiatives for the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Windber Research Institute in Windber, PA, will speak and moderate a panel discussion, followed by questions from the audience



  • Cheryll Jones, Health Services Coordinator and Director of Policy and Advocacy for Child Health Specialty Clinics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Dr. Jennifer Groos, pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital, Des Moines, and vice president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Laura Jackson, Executive Vice President, Health Care Strategy and Policy, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Des Moines
  • Sharon Guthrie, Executive Director of the Iowa School Nurse Organization
  • Michael Peters, Great Prairie Area Education Agency school social worker, Ottuwma


Breakout Session Two

“The Culture of Mean”

Barbara Coloroso, author of “The Bullied, the Bully and the Bystander,” will speak and moderate a panel discussion, followed by questions from the audience



  • Ella Daft, Student at Newton Senior High School
  • Lori Eastwood, Counselor with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Decorah Office
  • Dave Kramer, Executive Director of the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association
  • Michelle Lane, Parent Advocate for Youngsters with Disabilities, Waterloo
  • Mike Schlesinger, Publisher of the Marshalltown Times-Republican


2:45 to 3:45 p.m. “Leadership Makes the Difference”

Conference-wide discussion moderated by Iowa Public Television’s Dean Borg, followed by questions from the audience



  • Penny Bisignano, Consultant for Bullying Prevention and Intervention, Iowa Department of Education
  • Arthur Tate, Superintendent of the Davenport School District
  • Joel Pedersen, Superintendent of the Cardinal School District, Eldon
  • Emily Domayer, Student at Morningside College, Sioux City
  • Timothy Minard, Senior Vice President, U.S. Distribution, the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools, Des Moines
  • Nishan Singh, Student at Iowa State University, Ames


3:45 to 4 p.m. Final remarks by Jason Glass, Iowa Department of Education Director


# # #

Governor Quinn Names Healthcare Veteran To Lead Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:11

HIE Leading State Efforts to Improve Healthcare Outcomes

CHICAGO – September 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn announced the appointment of an accomplished healthcare industry administrator to serve as the first executive director of the Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority (HIE). Raul Recarey, will lead the state’s efforts to establish a secure, accurate exchange of electronic health information.

“When health care professionals have access to a patient’s comprehensive medical information, they can provide the best care possible,” Governor Quinn said. “Raul Recarey has years of experience in the public and private health care industry, and I look forward to him building on our work to create a statewide health information exchange.”

Recarey comes to Illinois from Missouri, where he was president of Missouri’s Health Information Exchange, after having served as the chief operating officer and acting executive director of the West Virginia Health Information Network. Prior to that, Recarey was vice president of Health Programs at Wells Fargo Insurance Services. He also founded MedicorpCare, a consulting organization to help large, self-insured employer groups address rising healthcare costs; and he served as administrator for Miami General Hospital and has held executive positions with Best American Providers Inc., Managed Care of America PPO, Inc. and Medicorp, Inc. Recarey’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

“The healthcare field is in the midst of an exciting transition to electronic health records, and I look forward to working with the state’s vibrant healthcare community to implement a Health Information Exchange that delivers on the promise of health information technology to provide improved care at lower cost, while assuring the privacy and security of personal health information,” said Recarey.

The Illinois HIE Authority was created by statute in 2010 to operate a statewide electronic health information exchange. This system allows health care providers to exchange electronic health information in a secure environment to improve patient safety and treatment. More than 900 providers already share information securely through the Illinois HIE network, which is building the capacity to serve all providers statewide.

In addition, the HIE is developing additional services to provide authorized access to comprehensive medical records, prevent duplicate tests and procedures, and assure the accuracy of prescription drugs and other medical orders. The HIE Authority provides a long-term governance structure for Illinois’ efforts to promote the widespread adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records for the improvement of health care quality and outcomes.

For more information about the state’s health information exchange efforts and how health information technology can lead to safer, better, and more efficient care is available at


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