Health, Medicine & Nutrition
New Year, New Session PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Cassie Furlong - Iowa Advocacy Team   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 09:44

ACS CAN General Email Header

The start of the next legislative session is fast upon us.  Monday, January 16, marks the beginning of the 85th General Assembly, and we are already working hard on our 2013 legislative priorities. Please take a look at the issues we will be advocating for this session.

Some important dates to keep in mind:

  • January 16 from 7:30am-9:00am: Iowa’s Legislative Breakfast in the Capitol Legislative Dining Room. Join fellow volunteers and staff for a light breakfast, in an informal setting, while meeting with legislators to discuss how we can decrease the cancer burden in Iowa.
  • February 26 from 7:30am to 3:00pm: ACS CAN Day at the Capitol, online registration is available now. Look for more information about Day at the Capitol in the coming weeks.

We are going to need your help to meet our collective goal of reducing Iowa’s cancer burden. Here’s how you can make sure our legislators know cancer issues matter:

  • Read our email updates to keep yourself informed
  • Respond to action alerts – it takes less than five minutes and has a huge impact
  • Sign on to letters to the editor for your local paper
  • Join us at local legislative forums to make the voices of cancer patients, survivors and their families heard

If you’re interested in getting involved in one of these ways, please contact Cassandra Furlong at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 515-727-0057.

We know that with your help we can make great strides this legislative session in the fight against cancer.


Your Iowa Government Relations Team

Coping with the Shortage of Primary Health Care Physicians PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 16:31
Tips for Choosing a Personal Physician &
What YOU Can Do About the Looming Crisis

There’s a crisis in primary health care. In some cities, almost 90 percent of primary care physicians are not accepting new patients because their practices are full. And it’s only going to get worse, warns noted physician and emeritus professor of medicine Dr. Paul Griner (, author of “The Power of Patient Stories: Learning Moments in Medicine.”

“In 2014, 32 million people currently without health insurance will become insured and there will be nowhere near enough primary-care physicians to meet their needs,” Griner says. “Less than 20 percent of new physicians are entering primary care, which includes the specialties of family medicine, general internal medicine and general pediatrics.”

Griner, an internist and longtime advocate of physician-patient relationship as the first and most vital diagnostic tool, says it’s important to find a doctor who will take the time to listen to you. But first, you need to decide what kind of primary care physician will best meet your needs. For instance, a family physician can care for both you and your children. A general internist is trained for the care of adults. A geriatrician has additional training in the care of older patients. A gynecologist may also have an interest in primary care.

Once you’ve made that decision, he offers these suggestions for qualities to look for:

Someone who is interested in knowing the whole patient -- not just the illness. As the great Sir William Osler, Regis Professor of Medicine at Oxford, once said, “The good physician knows the disease the patient has. The great physician knows the patient who has the disease.”

A patient-centered atmosphere in the office

Someone who is a good listener. Most diagnoses can be made or suspected by letting the patient tell his or her story

Someone who is willing to say, “I don’t know,” but does know where to go to get the answer, such as referring you to another doctor or using medical knowledge bases such as “Up To Date.”

Readiness to use the latest technology for communicating with patients, such as the I-phone, e-mail or Skype.

Someone who values team care and values the role of advanced practice nurses or physician’s assistants.

“Ask around,” Griner says. “Get recommendations from friends and colleagues; the experience of other patients is always helpful. Askyour county medical society for names of physicians who are accepting new patients, or ask the premier hospital in your area, then check their credentials and look for feedback about timeliness, friendliness, etc., on-line.”

If you want to do something about the primary care physician shortage, there are ways the public can help, Griner adds.

Advocate for more support for primary care through your state and U.S. representatives. “Support” can include more money for primary care training grants; better compensation for primary care physicians; and expansion of sites that qualify as physician shortage areas

Support the development of local “accountable care organizations” or networks by your local hospital, health system or group practice. The goal of these new organizations is to guarantee comprehensive, continuous care with the primary care physician as the manager of a team of health professionals.

Support community initiatives to recruit primary care physicians through incentives such as loan relief.

About Paul Griner, M.D.

Hematologist/internist Paul Griner has had a 59-year career in medicine. He is a professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and was a consultant at the Massachusetts General Hospital, senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and consultant to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Mass. He has written or co-written 130 journal articles, book chapters, and books on clinical medicine, medical education, and health policy. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was president of a number of national medical organizations, including the American College of Physicians.

New Stem Cell Biobank Partnership to Accelerate Drug Discovery PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Eric Branstad   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:40

Coralville, IA.  January 8, 2013.  Cellular Engineering Technologies Inc. (CET), a stem cell biotech company, and the non-profit John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) announce a partnership to develop a private stem cell biobank.  CET, a biomanufacturer of human stem cells, is collaborating with the JP2MRI to create over 5,000 patient and disease-specific stem cell lines and other human cell lines to advance drug discovery, offer personalized medicine, and biomanufacturing.  These cell lines are derived from adult sources and do not include embryonic stem cells.

A stem cell biobank will help overcome the greatest obstacle to offering personalized medicine and will accelerate the search for effective treatments.  It will do so by enabling drug testing on patient specific stem cells, in contrast to the currently used models involving animal testing and clinical trials that are vastly more expensive and time consuming.  The biobank stem cell lines will serve as models to better predict the outcome of drug therapy in patients and dramatically advance research to bring new treatments to market sooner and at less cost.  The need to create a stem cell biobank of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, and other critical human cell lines is underscored by some sobering statistics.  The annual rate of FDA-approved drugs has declined while the research and development cost has significantly increased.  The cost of bringing a drug to market is currently more than one billion dollars and takes over ten years.  A new heart drug has a 20 percent chance of succeeding in a clinical trial and a new cancer drug has only an 8 percent chance of succeeding.

CET manufactures a variety of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, cancer cells, and specialized tissue culture media to grow and differentiate stem cells.  CET has also introduced its contract manufacturing service to develop IPS cell lines for scientists.  IPS cells are unique stem cells that are created by genetically reprogramming a patient’s own cell into very primitive pluripotent stem cells that can differentiate into more than 200 specialized cells.  Dr. Alan Moy, CEO and Co-Founder of CET said, “The collaboration with the JP2MRI will allow CET to provide scientists with the tools to accelerate drug discovery and advance personalized medicine.

The CET and JP2MRI partnership will eliminate the barriers that typically impact government and academic biobanks because stem cell donations will come directly from patients recruited from private practice doctors and private hospitals.  Jay Kamath, CEO of the JP2MRI, commented, “The Institute has launched its Give Cures program that has created a network of doctors in several private clinics and hospitals around the country to recruit patients to procure tissue to create the stem cell lines.  The program is currently recruiting patients with genetic diseases, cancer, and disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease so that industry, government, and academia can be more productive in their drug discovery efforts.”

Doctors and patients are invited to visit the JP2MRI website ( and sign-up on the Clinical Provider Registry or Patient Registry.  Everyone is invited to share the Give Cures flyer ( so more people will know how they can advance the adult stem cell research mission of JP2MRI.


About Cellular Engineering Technologies, Inc.  CET is a stem cell biotech company co-founded by Dr. Alan Moy and whose mission is to fundamentally transform patient therapy by making drug discovery and the biomanufacturing process quicker, less expensive, more personalized, innovative, and regenerative through the use of human cells.  CET’s manufacturing facility is located in Coralville, IA.

About the John Paul II Medical Research Institute.  The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) is a non-profit research institute whose mission is to advance ethical medical research and education with human somatic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.  The Institute's goal is to reduce the barriers of translating basic research into clinical research.  This is accomplished by coordinating research activities between the Institute, academia, and industry to find treatment solutions for patients that could benefit from adult stem cell therapy.  The Institute is located in Iowa City, IA.

Cut the salt, be good to your heart! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Alexson Calahan   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:47

Change your salty ways in only 21 days

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launches Sodium Swap Challenge on Jan. 7th

(DES MOINES, IOWA) – Sodium – the everyday meal offender that might make your face feel puffy and your jeans look, and feel, tighter.  Did you know that by reducing your sodium intake during a three week period you can change your sodium palate and start enjoying foods with less sodium?  On Jan. 7, step up to the plate, re-charge your taste buds and give your heart-health a boost with the new Sodium Swap Challenge from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  Changing your salty ways may be difficult, especially since you have acquired a taste for salt, but don’t worry – making the swap or taking the challenge doesn’t have to be hard.  With the help of the Salty Six (common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium that can increase your risk of heart disease), you’ll be able to identify, and keep track of, top food culprits.

"To get started with the association's challenge, we ask that consumers get familiar with the food labels and nutrition facts for  the foods they eat  and track their sodium consumption over the first two days to get an  idea of how much they are eating, which I'm sure will be surprising to  many people." Says Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Iowa, Phillip Horwitz, MD "Then, over the course of the next three weeks, consumers will use the Salty Six as their guide to help lower their sodium intake."

Here’s an outline of how you can kick-off your own Sodium Swap Challenge:

-         Week 1 – Start by tackling your consumption of breads and rolls as well as cold cuts and cured meats.  For example, one piece of bread can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium while a serving of turkey cold cuts could contain as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium.  When your recommended daily intake is kept to 1,500 milligrams or less, it’s amazing how fast it all adds up.  Check your labels on these items, look for lower sodium items and track your sodium consumption each day and log how much you’ve shaved out of your diet. Portion control does make a difference.  Foods eaten several times a day add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high.

-         Week 2 – Keep that momentum going!  This week’s foods include pizza and poultry.  If you’re going to eat pizza, try to aim for one with less cheese and meats or lower sodium versions of these items or try something different and add veggies instead.  When cooking for your family this week use fresh, skinless poultry that is not enhanced with sodium solution rather than fried or processed.  Keep your eyes on the 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day and, again, log your results.

-         Week 3 – As you round out your challenge and embark on the last week of your challenge, your focus includes soups and sandwiches.  The two together typically make a tasty lunch or dinner duo, but one cup of chicken noodle or tomato soup may have up to 940 milligrams – it varies by brand --and, after you add all of your meats, cheeses and condiments to your sandwich, you can easily surpass  1,500 milligrams in one day.  This week, when choosing a soup, check the label and try lower sodium varieties of your favorites and make your sandwiches with lower sodium meats and cheeses and try to eliminate piling on your condiments.  Be sure to track your sodium and try to keep your daily consumption to less than 1,500 milligrams.

By the end of the challenge you should start to notice a change in the way your food tastes and how you feel after you eat. You might even start to lean towards lower sodium options and will be aware of how much sodium you are consuming in a day – keeping that sight on the goal of only having no more than 1,500 milligrams in a day and controlling the portion sizes of your meals.

As you start jotting down your grocery list, or planning your next meal out, be sure to keep the Salty Six in mind and look for the Heart-Check mark on products in your local grocery story and menu items in restaurants.  Products that are certified by the Heart-Check Food Certification Program meet nutritional criteria for heart-healthy foods and can help keep you on track during your challenge.  (

Making an effort to reduce the sodium in your diet will help you feel better and will help you live a heart-healthier life.  Take time to educate yourself and lean more from others.  Explore links to tasty recipes, get shopping tips, access tools and resources and share your personal Sodium Swap successes on our Facebook page: and click on the Sodium Swap tab.  For further sodium tips, resources and encouragement during your own Sodium Swap Challenge visit


About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Sodium Reduction Efforts

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is committed to improving cardiovascular health of the whole population as part of its 2020 impact goal.   Successful sodium reduction is just one of the contributing factors to this goal and requires action and partnership at all levels—individuals, healthcare providers, professional organizations, public health agencies, governments, and industry.  The association urges a renewed and intensive focus on this critically important public health issue. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is actively working toward a population-wide reduction in sodium intake.  For more information on the association’s sodium reduction efforts, visit

Fighting Fat with Fat: Update on Atkins Diet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 07 January 2013 12:54
Colleague of Celebrity Dietician Shares FAQ
on Low-Carb Diets

When Dr. John Salerno – a protégé of “Atkins Diet” creator Dr. Robert Atkins – testified before the U.S.D.A. about plans for its most recent Food Pyramid revision, he spoke his mind: The food industry is corrupt and has supported recommendations that do not support the population’s health.

“Hidden sugar, preservatives and highly processed white starch are what are really causing our health epidemic in the United States,” says Salerno, author of “The Silver Cloud Diet,” ( “Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are killing this country, and it’s not because people are eating too much organic natural fats.”

Since the initial popularity of the Atkins food plan some years ago, however, there have been critics of the low-carbohydrate diet. The science was and is sound, says Dr. Salerno, who worked closely with Atkins on research. The problem was that the diet itself was not sustainable.

“The basic principles needed revision both to make the diet sustainable and to take into account the foods available today,” he says.

How does a low-carb diet work? Salerno answers the most frequently asked questions:

• How is a low-carb diet today different from the Dr. Atkins plan? Thirty years ago, the food supply was less degraded. Now, low-carb dieters have to be more proactive about selecting chemical-free foods that are not highly processed. There are many more farming techniques today that introduce unnatural elements into our meats and vegetables, and there are many, many more highly processed foods on store shelves. We need to be vigilant about preservatives and additives; hormone-infused meat can wreak havoc on a body.

• What’s the first step? The Fat Fast Detox quickly puts one’s body into fat-burning mode. Adhering to the carb-free diet for two weeks will have participants losing five to 15 pounds and two inches from the waistline. Breakfast, for example, could include two large organic eggs and a side of bacon, sausage or ham, which can be washed down with coffee or tea with cream and sweetener.

• What about eating out? Sustaining a low-carb diet is pretty simple when eating at restaurants. Take the burger out of the bread and skip the French fries. You’re good to go with grilled fish, roast chicken, pot roast, pork tenderloin, shrimp, scallops and pates.

• How can you eat on the run? A small amount of planning goes a long way. Boil eggs and keep them on hand for long car trips and office snacking. Add to that list jerky salmon, nuts and string cheese. These foods are dense with nutrients.

• Where can you find “clean” foods? Buy as “close to the ground” as possible, meaning choose organic produce, eggs and dairy. Inquire at farmer’s markets where they grow crops. Find a local provider for meats and fish if possible.

• Can you eat cake on a low-carb diet? As your health and vitality improves with lost weight and increased activity, you can introduce more carbohydrates into your diet.

• Are low-carb meals safe for family members who do not need to lose weight? What’s good for you – a broad and varied diet of unprocessed foods – is good for your family!

• When is the diet over? Eating foods that are healthy, unprocessed and natural is something you should never stop doing. However, if you feel you’re starting to gain excess weight, go on a detox regimen by cutting out carbs completely for one week.

• So, fat is good for you? Natural fat is the most nutrient-dense food there is. It’s lubricates your joints and helps your brain function at its best. It also keeps your hair shiny and helps prevent wrinkles. When you cut out processed carbs from your diet, you don’t need to worry about natural fat, which is an appetite suppressant.

About Dr. John Salerno

A board-certified family physician, Dr. John Salerno has been pioneering complementary medicine for more than 20 years. Best known for his Silver Cloud Diet nutrition program, anti-aging supplements, and natural therapies, Dr. Salerno has crafted original treatment plans to restore human health. His publications and professional studies have made him a popular expert on the physiology and assessment of many complex medical conditions. Dr. Salerno was a protégé and colleague of prestigious Dr. Robert Atkins and has worked with Hollywood actress/author Suzanne Somers (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy pioneer); actor Steven Cannell; and president of the International Congress of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Hiroyuki Abe M.D.

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