Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Art from the Heart: Four Local Students Explore Healing with Horses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 08:39

While the start of the school year finds many reminiscing about lazy summer days of play and relaxation, four young local artists spent a week of their vacation exploring the unique healing powers of horses.  As part of the Murals course at Rivermont Collegiate Summer Camp 2012, four students created a truly impressive 5’ x 7’ mural on canvas drop cloth to be displayed in the arena/pole barn at Juan Diez Rancheros in Davenport.

Before beginning, students spoke with Juan Diez Rancheros about their mission and explored the purpose of their mural.  Juan Diez Rancheros is a non-profit program offering free horse therapy for children who have been abused or emotionally traumatized, with the use of rescued horses.  The program is unlike any other horse therapy offered in the Quad Cities, with testimonials describing children who have become more conversational, trusting, expressive, and patient after interacting with the horses.

Rivermont Mural Presentation at Juan Diez Rancheros.JPG

Rivermont students Dwira Nandini (5th grade), Asha Alla (5th grade), Adam Chamberlain (6th grade), and Maryam Rasheed (6th grade) chose to paint a young girl interacting with a horse with the Centennial Bridge in the background.  This was an ambitious project – work was completed in only about two days!  Dwira, Asha, Adam, and Maryam chose the bridge to represent the Quad Cities and symbolize “bridging the gap” - connecting the child’s heart with the horse’s heart.  They chose to paint silhouettes so that any child could picture themself as the subject of the mural.  The group brainstormed for the ideal words to encircle the image, with each student ultimately selecting one of the four – caring, hope, friendship, and healing.  Maryam explained the soft, cool colors were chosen to express a mood of friendship and bonding.  Her favorite aspects of the project included painting the figures – the girl and the horse having “a moment” – and learning how horses can connect to children and help them overcome trauma.

Students delivered the mural to Juan Diez Rancheros on Friday, August 3rd and it has been described as an “incredible display of inspiration.”  Tremendous thanks go out to the leaders of the Murals course, Dominic Velando and Laura Klavitter, without which this project could not have been completed.

For more information on Juan Diez Rancheros, visit

For more information on Rivermont Collegiate, visit

Senator Tom Harkin to Hold Strengthening the Middle Class Conference Call PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 08:37

Harkin to Discuss Romney’s Impact on Middle Class Iowans

DES MOINES – Tomorrow, Senator Tom Harkin will hold a conference call to discuss concerns about the impact Mitt Romney’s economic and tax policies would have on the security of Iowa’s middle class families.

The contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney could not be starker.  Romney’s opposition to the Wind Production Tax Credit and his plan to cut $5 trillion in taxes for the wealthiest would lead to economic uncertainty, job losses and increased taxes on 490,000 Iowa families.

President Obama believes the only way to create an economy built to last is to build it from the middle out, not the top down. He is fighting for middle class security by supporting manufacturing, protecting the wind PTC and preventing a tax hike on middle class families by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.

Tuesday, August 7

1:00 PM CDT

WHAT: Senator Tom Harkin will hold a conference call on the difference between Mitt Romney’s economic policies, and President Obama’s commitment to middle class security.

The Ignorance of Booing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:40
‘These Kids Sometimes Suffer Lifelong Damage,’
Says Ex-Wife of College Football Coach

Every college football fan has asked, “What was the coach thinking?” at some point or other. That’s OK,  says Kathy (Currey) Kronick, author of Mrs. Coach: Life in Major College Football (, sometimes I wish they would bottle their “BOOs.”

As college teams and their fans prepare for the kickoff of another contentious season, Kronick offers insights from her unique perspective as a longtime “Mrs. Coach.”

“I have been in stadiums where I’ve thought to myself, ‘This must be what it was like in ancient Rome,’ ” says Kronick, whose book recounts her years married to Coach Dave Currey. “Some fans get so caught up in the heat of the moment that they forget these players are just kids who may be dealing with injuries or personal problems.”

There are many factors that feed into a coach’s decision regarding players, plays and clock management, she says. Last-minute decisions may be influenced by events and observations that go back to Pop Warner, or even earlier.

“A football coach’s work is never done,” she says. “When they’re not on the field, in the weight room or at meetings, a head coach’s mind is still on football. It was frustrating for me to know all that was behind a decision when fans started booing.”

She says fans should remember the following realities in college football:

• Student athletes: It’s very difficult to earn a slot on a major college team’s roster from high school, and only 2.4 percent of these young players ever make it to the next level. “These are kids just out of high school who have devoted their lives to the game. Most will not become millionaires, or even go pro, so I wish fans would give them a break,” Kronick says. “They are also full-time students, too, with all the added pressures of academia.”

• Injuries: Some of the most egregious booing comes from fans who think a player isn’t tough enough when injured. “The charge is ‘lack of heart’ when an important player is out of a game due to a ‘borderline’ injury, which cannot be diagnosed by a doctor or seen in an x-ray,” she says. “Many of these student-athletes incur injuries that may affect them if they try to go pro. Even if they don’t continue in football, they may carry the limp of the game for the rest of their lives. No athlete should ever be forced to play with an injury.”

• Coach knows best: It’s the coach’s job to obsess over every detail that will help the team win. They do that 24/7, 11 months of the year. (They’re off the month of  July, when they attempt to make up for all the family time they’ve missed, but even then, they’re still thinking about the team, Kronick says.) “Their lives revolve around winning – and not making mistakes. A bad call is only so labeled if a play doesn’t work,” she says. “Couch-surfing coaches and Monday-morning quarterbacks should be aware of that before criticizing.”

Coaches always say that if fans buy tickets, they have the right to boo, Kronick says.

“But coaches’ wives say, ‘Please don’t boo around us.’ ”

About Kathy (Currey) Kronick

Kathy (Currey) Kronick was married to Dave Currey from 1974 to 1989. He was an assistant coach at Stanford University when they met and married, and later moved on to Long Beach State (Calif.), the University of Cincinnati and UCLA. They divorced in 1996. Kronick, who has a bachelor’s in education of the deaf and a master’s in counseling, is the mother of two children and is happily remarried.

Maria Bribriesco Announces Next Health & Wellness Series Topic PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sandra Travino   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:29
Local Podiatrist Dr. Mark Lucas on Running Down Common Foot Problems
JULY 26, 2012 BETTENDORF, IA – Maria Bribriesco, candidate for Iowa House of Representatives (District 94) and Bettendorf resident, has announced the third in a five-part
Health & Wellness series “"Taming Your 'Achy Breaky' Foot - The Foot Doc is In" with podiatrist Dr. Mark Lucas, D.P.M.. This presentation will be at the Bettendorf Public Library
August 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM.  Dr. Lucas will deliver a short presentation followed by a Q&A. This event is free to the public. “We don't often think of our feet until they're hurting.”
Maria said recently. “When you have aching feet, it can have a negative effect on other areas of your body. This presentation will point out ways to prevent foot problems before they start.”
Dr. Mark Lucas, a graduate of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, is a board-certified physician and a member of the American Council of Certified Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons.
Mark is currently a practing physician with Genesis Health Systems, a member of the Cornbelt Running Club, and the recipient of the 2010 Road Runners Club of America Excellence in
Journalism Award.
About Maria Bribriesco
Maria Bribriesco, a long-time resident of Bettendorf and graduate from the University of Iowa College of Law, is candidate from the Iowa House of Representatives, District 94. After 27 years
working for the U.S. Army at the Rock Island Arsenal, Maria retired as a Supervisory Attorney-Adviser in July 2011.  Maria is married to local attorney William J. Bribriesco and is the proud
mother of attorneys Anthony and Andrew Bribriesco and Dr. Alejandro Bribriesco.

In Iowa's Interest: Powering Healthier Communities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:48
By Senator Tom Harkin

Beginning August 5th, communities across the country and in Iowa will celebrate National Health Center Week.  This week is meant to raise awareness of the crucial role that Community Health Centers – or CHCs – play in providing health care to millions of Americans.  These clinics serve everyone, regardless of ability to pay, and have become a lifeline to Iowans who may have lost a job or are suffering in this economic downturn.

This year’s theme is: “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Powering Healthier Communities,” which is intended to showcase the multitude of ways these health centers are strengthening communities.

And helping local communities is exactly what these centers do.  CHCs serve some of the nation’s most vulnerable – individuals who even if insured would nonetheless remain isolated from traditional forms of medical care because of where they live, who they are, the language they speak, and their higher levels of complex health care needs.

Last year alone, more than 170,000 Iowans chose CHCs for their healthcare, accessing medical, dental, and behavioral health services.  Today, Iowa’s health centers provide care to nearly 123,000 Iowans living in poverty, which is more than one-third of the state’s total population living in poverty.

Similarly, individuals and families in Iowa who do not have health insurance have also continued to grow, with many of them seeking care at CHCs.  In 2010, Iowa’s health centers served more than 66,000 uninsured patients, which is one-quarter of the state’s total uninsured population.  Taken together, uninsured, Medicaid, and Medicare patients make up more than three-quarters of CHC patients in Iowa.

As chair of the Senate’s health committee and the Appropriations subcommittee that funds health care initiatives, I have made the expansion of the Community Health Center network a major priority.  I have worked to secure a $300 million increase in funding for CHCs this year and also to ensure provisions are included in the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, aimed at strengthening CHCs.  These efforts will increase the nurse practitioner, hygienist, and health care workforce and has already funded 286 new sites.  In Iowa alone, the construction and renovation funding I worked to include in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act have brought nearly $30 million of investment to communities across Iowa since 2009.

We are already seeing the benefits of federal CHC policy in Iowa.

In June, the Sioux Community Health Center received a designation as a federal health center, which means the Center will begin to receive an annual operating grant of $595,833 from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This week, a clinic will expand on the east side of Des Moines, having been constructed with a $2.6 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Council Bluffs recently opened a new facility with $5 million from the Affordable Care Act, and my office continues to work with the town of Clinton to find a good site to construct a clinic there with $9 million, also from the Affordable Care Act.

Across our state, community health centers are improving care, even as they strive to serve more people.  With help from the Recovery Act, they are transitioning to electronic health records that will better coordinate care, even while they work with the State of Iowa to welcome IowaCares patients into their clinics.

I am very proud of Iowa’s health centers and I encourage all Iowans to find out what our health centers are doing in your area.  To find the nearest center, please visit:  For more information about National Health Center Week, visit  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of my offices in Iowa or Washington, D.C. or visit my website at

A PDF version of the article is available by clicking here

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