Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Branstad issues statement on Iowa’s move into the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Friday, 01 March 2013 10:50

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today issued the following statement upon learning Iowa had moved into the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. Iowa increased 0.7 points to 68.1 in overall well-being in 2012, moving from No. 16 to No. 9 in the state rankings.

“I am excited about the progress we have made in making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation,” said Gov. Branstad. “This ranking proves our efforts are working. We jumped seven spots in an effort we began less than two years ago. I want to commend all Iowans who are working on this important effort, and I want to encourage the people of this state to continue their great progress.”

The following information was released by Wellmark, Inc., earlier today:

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®

Gallup and Healthways conducted more than 353,000 surveys between January and December 2011. The WBI, which has been polling 1,000 Americans per day, 350 days a year, evaluates six key areas of well-being in an effort to better understand the overall state of well-being in the U.S. Approximately 1.5 million surveys have been collected since polling began in January 2008, making the WBI the largest database of behavioral economics and information concerning holistic well-being in existence. The WBI is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents ideal well-being.

The core questions that make up the WBI survey were scientifically designed by some of the world’s leading experts in economics, psychology and health to thoroughly measure how respondents are faring in all aspects of their lives: physically, emotionally, socially and professionally, as well as to take a daily pulse of how Americans rate the overall quality of their current life and outlook for the future.

The data resulting from the WBI can be used to identify where communities are doing well and where communities are struggling to target policies and invest in initiatives to optimize well-being, improving the lives of people in America and reducing health care costs.

About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. ( does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Healthways

Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities.  We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs.  Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves  approximately 40 million people on four continents.  Learn more at

About Blue Zones

Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The Company's work is rooted in the New York Times best-selling books The Blue Zones and Thrive—both published by National Geographic books.  In 2009, Blue Zones applied the tenets of the books to Albert Lea, Minn. and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs for city workers by 40 percent.  Blue Zones takes a systematic, environmental approach to well-being which focuses on optimizing policy, building design, social networks, and the built environment. The Blue Zones Project is based on this innovative approach.  For more information, visit

About Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is the nation’s first statewide comprehensive well-being improvement program. This business-led, government-endorsed effort is expected to help Iowans live longer, healthier and more productive lives, while also enabling the state to redirect billions of dollars currently spent on health care to efforts that will further grow the state’s economy. The Healthiest State Initiative is designed to help Iowa become the number one ranked state for well-being within five years as measured by the WBI.

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Dog Food Recalled Due To Toxin, Doctors Urge Caution PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by James P. Judge   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:23
MINNEAPOLIS – Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging people to stop using and return or discard certain bags of Hy-Vee dog food after the company issued a voluntary recall throughout the Midwest Friday.

According to a press release issued by Hy-Vee Inc., the company is recalling certain bags of Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition, and Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Bites, Bones & Squares, after random routine testing performed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture found higher-than-normal levels of alflatoxin in some samples of the food.

The food was produced at a Kansas City plant operated by Pro-Pet LLC., according to the release.

Alflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical contaminant found commonly in corn and other foods that has been linked to liver damage.

Altogether, the products were distributed to customers located in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin between Oct. 26, 2012 and jan. 11, 2013.

People who have the recalled product should return or discard it immediately.

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, fever and yellowish eyes. If you notice your dog experiencing any of these, contact your veterinarian immediately.

“If your pet has been receiving one of these products, and isn't acting right, take him or her to your family veterinarian as soon as possible,” said Dr. Jen Myers, medical director of BluePearl in Minnesota. “Or if it is after-hours, get them to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.”

The following products are subject to the recall:
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 34-lb.
UPC:    07545005647
Lot # ending with:      29812KC
“Best By” Date: 11/24/13
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 8-lb
UPC:    07545005667
Lot # ending with:      29812KC
“Best By” Date: 11/24/13
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 4.4-lb.
UPC:                            07545005665
Lot # ending with:      29812KC
“Best By” Date:         11/24/13
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 4.4-lb.
UPC:                            07545005665
Lot # ending with:      29912KC
“Best By” Date:           11/25/13
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) – 20-lb.
UPC:                    07545005680
Lot # ending with:      29312KC
“Best By” Date:         11/19/13
Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) – 4.4-lb.
UPC:                            07545005560
Lot # ending with:      29312KC
“Best By” Date:         11/19/13

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.

News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Riva Budowsky   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:15

Los Angeles, Calif., February 20, 2013 – Fitness Ridge Worldwide, the parent entity of The Biggest Loser Resort, today announced that it will open its next destination resort this spring outside Chicago.  The Biggest Loser Resort – Chicago will open in May 2013 in Itasca, Ill. within the AAA Four Diamond rated Eaglewood Resort and Spa.  Offering the same award-winning, results-oriented program that guests have come to expect and enjoy at the company’s other locations, The Biggest Loser Resort-Chicago will be the first to feature “Four Diamond” accommodations, a championship golf course, and a breathtaking 75- foot indoor pool. This  location addresses the repeated requests of  guests from the Midwest and Canada to locate a resort closer to home.

The Biggest Loser Resorts cater to adults of all fitness levels (and teens 14 and older) and focuses on exercise, healthy nutrition and education. The Resorts’ inspiration stems from what contestants on NBC’s hit weight loss series “The Biggest Loser” experience during their time on the show.  Spas of America recently recognized The Biggest Loser Resort in their Top 100 Spas of 2012 listing: Utah was #1 and Malibu was #4. The Resorts have also received numerous readers’ choice awards from SpaFinder, and were recently named one of the top fitness vacation destinations by

“Expanding into Chicago is a very exciting step for us, and this resort will allow us to continue our expansion into  corporate wellness,” said Larry Bond, CEO, Fitness Ridge Worldwide, LLC. “Workforce health care costs are spiralling out of control, and onne way to stem these costs is to prevent the chronic and complex diseases linked to being overweight and obese. Companies will now be able to combine traditional corporate training and retreats with a wellness solution that can work within the parameters of their business meeting.”

The Biggest Loser Resort – Chicago is located just minutes from O’Hare International Airport airport, and sits on 106 acres offering three beautiful lakes and a championship golf course.  The Biggest Loser Resorts offer a minimum one-week wellness and weight loss program that combines morning hikes and an array of daily fitness classes, including kickboxing, yoga, spinning, biking, water aerobics, and others – all under the close supervision of certified personal trainers. In addition to expert fitness professionals, The Biggest Loser Resorts also feature onsite health practitioners, dietitians, nutrition experts, and executive chefs who prepare calorie-conscious, nutritionally balanced yet delicious spa cuisine meals.  The Resorts offer award-winning, on-site spas with a robust menu of massage options, aesthetics, acupuncture and other rejuvenating therapeutic treatments.

The Biggest Loser Resort-Chicago, is scheduled to open in May 2013. Advance reservations are currently being taken at (877-825-8878).  For more information about The Biggest Loser Resorts, please visit

About The Biggest Loser Resort

Since 2009, The Biggest Loser Resort has provided programs that encourage and empower people to lose weight and achieve balance in their lives through a strategic combination of fitness, nutrition, education, relaxation and extraordinary camaraderie.  Compassionate, world-class trainers and nutritional staff have helped many resort guests build endurance, know their bodies’ unique cues and triggers and transform their relationships with food in a safe, supportive environment.  The Biggest Loser is a registered trademark and copyright of NBC Studios, Inc. & Reveille LLC. Licensed by NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group 2013. All rights reserved.


Kids Touched by Cancer Win Ouchies Contest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Lindsay Doyle   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:11

Kids Help Make a Bandage Cure More Than a Boo-Boo

--Winning Entries in the Bandage Art Contest Featured in New Line of Bandages …

With 100% of Profits Donated to Help Fight Pediatric Cancer --

New York, February 2013-- Hundreds of children throughout the country have shared their messages of hope and inspiration for kids battling cancer – through a unique opportunity to create their very own line of Ouchies bandages.  After reviewing the hundreds of entries, and after thousands of people cast their votes for their favorite design via Facebook, the winners of the “Ouchies for Others” Pediatric Cancer Bandage Art Contest have been selected  – with five winning entries about to see their designs featured on a new line of Ouchies Bandages to be available this Summer.

The winners of the “Ouchies for Others” Pediatric Cancer Bandage Art Contest are:

  • ·       Amber Moosvi, Age 17, Des Plaines, Illinois

o    Name of artwork: “Broken Bear”

o   Story behind artwork: The picture that I made represents two things. The Teddy Bear with a bandage and the feel better soon balloon represents that I’m not completely better but soon I will be because my broken bear has a bandage.  The stars represent all of the people who support me in my battle with Brain Cancer. I couldn’t fit everyone because I have so many people supporting me and I appreciate them so much.

  • ·       Sammy Smith, Age 13, Sandusky, Ohio

o   Name of artwork: “You’re Almost There”

o   Story behind the artwork: Just remember that every time you get a poke or surgery that you are one step closer!  That’s what keeps me going!

  • ·       Tenia Richardson, Age 9, Michigan

o   Name of Artwork: “Love is Cure”

o   Story behind the artwork: I believe with enough love you can cure anything to make a brighter day.

  • ·       Laura Vargas, Age 10, San Antonio, Texas

o   Name of Artwork: “You Can Be Pain Free”

o   Story behind the artwork:  I wanted to do this because I had cancer myself so I wanted other kids not to let themselves down and show them that you can have fun during cancer treatment and never give your hopes up and look cool with my bandage.

  • ·       Erin Lisk, Age 12, Howell, New Jersey

o   Name of Artwork:  “Never Give Up”

o   Story behind the artwork:  My Mom had cancer and even though it was painful, she never gave up.  Now she is happy and healthy.

Through the “Ouchies for Others” program, Ouchies gives 100% of profits from the sale of this unique line of bandages to varied not-for-profit organizations.  All profits from the sale of these new bandages will be going to benefit the important work being done by three national pediatric cancer organizations: The Childhood Leukemia Foundation, Cookies for Kids' Cancer and the American Childhood Cancer Organization.

More than 400 children submitted their designs for the “Ouchies for Others” contest, which gave them the opportunity to tell their own story about the fight against pediatric cancer or anything else uplifting - with the chance to have their designs featured in the new “Ouchies for Others” bandages and tin.  Some offered words of encouragement and a message to “Stay Strong.”  Others drew intricate, colorful designs geared to make others smile.  A few know exactly what it's like for a child to have cancer because they have battled the disease themselves -- and many others know someone who has been impacted by childhood cancer and wanted to do whatever they can to help.  Each entry told its own special story – and deciding on a winner wasn’t easy.

“We wanted to give children the opportunity to help other kids in need, whether its an encouraging word, uplifting picture or story,” says Ian Madover, CEO of Ouchies, who developed the “Ouchies for Others” program as a way to raise awareness, and funds, for not-for-profit organizations serving the needs of children.  “Kids with cancer get pricked many times a day and we thought it only makes sense to put the two together.”

All contest entries can be viewed online at  The five winning entries were selected based on a panel of judges voting from a pool of 10 finalists that had received the most “likes” on Ouchies’ Facebook page.

"We are thrilled that so many children entered our contest, and were truly touched by the beautiful designs and stories they created and shared with us,” says Jennifer Saporta, Director of Sales & Marketing at Ouchies. “The ‘Ouchies for Others’ program has given us the unique opportunity to work with amazing organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children with cancer. We are beyond honored to be able to partner with them and help to increase their tremendous efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer.”

For more information on Ouchies for Others and the Bandage Art Contest, visit For more information on the partner organizations, or to make a donation, visit The Childhood Leukemia Foundation (, Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer (, and The American Childhood Cancer Organization (

Your Child’s Dental Timeline PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 14:58
BETTENDORF, IA – Every parent welcomes the appearance of baby’s first tooth. But, with the appearance of that tooth – and the teeth that will soon follow – comes responsibility. Parents will need to take the child to the dentist, and also teach the child how to brush and floss. Often, parents are not sure when they need to take care of these important dental concerns.
“All healthcare needs should follow a regular schedule, and that includes dental care for children,” said Melinda Hochgesang, D.M.D., of Byrum Family Dentistry. “It is important to establish dental care practices early, so your child can enjoy a healthy smile that will last a lifetime.” Byrum Family Dentistry, the dental practice of Robert L. Byrum, D.D.S., P.C., and Melinda Hochgesang, D.M.D., is located at 3878 Middle Road, Bettendorf, IA.
To help parents to stay on-track with their child’s dental care, Dr. Hochgesang offers the following timeline. “Many of the developments on the chart take place within an average time range,” she said. “No two children follow the same schedule. For example, a neighbor’s child may get her first tooth after four months, but your child’s first tooth may not appear until six months have passed. Both children fall within the range noted in the schedule, so there’s no cause for concern.”
0 - 12 Months
  • The first tooth usually appears when your baby is 4 to 8 months old. Your child has 20 primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) at birth and they will appear gradually.
  • Use a damp washcloth to clean your baby’s gums after feedings.
  • Once the first tooth appears, gently brush with a soft toothbrush, using water and no toothpaste.
  • Avoid giving your baby a bottle at bedtime. This can promote tooth decay.
  • As new teeth arrive, your baby’s gums may be sore. You can rub your baby’s gums for relief. Also, you can use chilled teething rings or pain-relief gels.
  • Ideally, your child should first see a dentist between six and twelve months of age.
1 - 3 Years
  • More primary teeth will appear.
  • You should begin taking your child to the dentist for regular check-ups.
  • You should help your child to brush.
  • Your child should drink water from a sippy cup.
3 - 7 Years
  • All the primary teeth should be in place. Your child will begin losing baby teeth as permanent teeth emerge, usually starting with the molars.
  • Discourage thumb-sucking. It may lead to bite problems and crooked teeth.
  • At this time, a dentist may place sealants on the child’s teeth.
  • By preschool, you can teach your child to floss.
  • You should still supervise and assist with teeth-brushing. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used, along with products containing fluoride.
  • Continue to visit the dentist every six months for regular check-ups.
8 - 13 Years
  • By this time, your child will have lost most or all baby teeth.
  • Child should be brushing and flossing without assistance.
  • Limit soft drinks and sugary/starchy foods.
  • Continue visiting the dentist every six months for regular check-ups.
  • If necessary, your dentist may recommend a visit to an orthodontist for a consultation.
13 - Early Twenties
  • Remind your child to brush twice daily and floss.
  • Discourage smoking and other tobacco products, as well as oral piercings.
  • Discourage excessive soft drinks and sugary/starchy foods.
  • If dental alignment is necessary, your child should be given braces.
  • Late teens and early twenties: Your child’s wisdom teeth should be evaluated for proper placement and whether the jaw can accommodate them. In some cases, removal may be necessary.
  • Continue visiting the dentist every six months for regular check-ups.
Your Child's First Dental Visit
“New parents often ask what will happen at their child’s first dental visit,” Dr. Hochgesang said. “The dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums for tooth decay and other problems. The dentist may take X-rays to see if the teeth are developing properly, and to check for hidden decay. If necessary, your child’s teeth will be professionally cleaned, or a follow-up appointment for cleaning will be scheduled. Also, you will also learn preventive home care skills to help protect your child’s teeth.”
Dr. Hochgesang noted the importance of setting a good example for your children. “Your child looks to you for guidance,” she said. “I strongly encourage all parents to be dental role models for their children.  Your child should see that you are diligent about brushing and flossing, and that you visit your dentist regularly.”
For more information on Byrum Family Dentistry, call (563) 332-7734 or visit
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