Health, Medicine & Nutrition
How to Spot a Victim of Domestic Violence PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 15:02
Health-Care Pro Discusses the Many Warning Signs

In the United States, women are assaulted or beaten once every nine seconds; worldwide, one in three women have been battered, raped or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to women’s advocacy organizations.

“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:

TheHotline.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223)

HelpGuide.org, provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges

VineLink.com, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released,  transferred, or escapes

DAHMW.org, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

Perhaps the best thing friends and family can do for a woman enduring domestic abuse is to be there for her – not only as a sympathetic ear, but also as a source of common sense that encourages her to take protective measures, O’Dochartaigh says. Before that, however, loved ones need to recognize that help is needed.

O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

• Clothing – Take notice of a change in clothing style or unusual fashion choices that would allow marks or bruises to be easily hidden. For instance, someone who wears long sleeves even in the dog days of summer may be trying to hide signs of abuse.

• Constant phone calls – Many abusers are very controlling and suspicious, so they will call their victims multiple times each day to “check in.” This is a subtle way of manipulating their victims, to make them fearful of uttering a stray word that might alert someone that something is wrong. Many abusers are also jealous, and suspect their partner is cheating on them, and the constant calls are a way of making sure they aren’t with anyone they aren’t supposed to be around.

• Unaccountable injuries – Sometimes, obvious injuries such as arm bruises or black eyes are a way to show outward domination over the victim. Other times, abusers harm areas of the body that won’t be seen by family, friends and coworkers.

• Frequent absences – Often missing work or school and other last-minute plan changes may be a woman hiding abuse, especially if she is otherwise reliable.

• Excessive guilt & culpability – Taking the blame for things that go wrong, even though she was clearly not the person responsible – or she is overly-emotional for her involvement – is a red flag.

• Fear of conflict – Being brow-beaten or physically beaten takes a heavy psychological toll, and anxiety bleeds into other relationships.

• Chronic uncertainty – Abusers often dominate every phase of a victim’s life, including what she thinks she likes, so making basic decisions can prove challenging.

About Linda O’Dochartaigh

Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence.  She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.

 
New Executive Order Increases Government Data Available to the Public CHICAGO – September 18, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new executive order to further increase transparency and accountability in government by establishing a new state Ope PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:59

 
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 (www.judeochristianity.org), 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 www.genesishealth.com/cbh.

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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: https://governor.iowa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Bullying-Summit-Video-Contest-Flyer.pdf

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: https://preventbullying.iowa.gov/.

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.

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