Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Diabetes On-The-Go PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 13:20
Diabetics Can Maintain an Active Lifestyle

A whole industry has grown up around freeing diabetics to lead less restricted lives. Tubeless insulin pumps, a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system, and diabetic-friendly frozen foods are among the innovations helping people with the metabolic disorder to live lives on the go.

With the number of diabetics growing worldwide – 246 million at last count, according to the World Health Organization – businesses are motivated. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a growing population that’s starving for a better quality of life, says Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” author of two cookbooks for people with the metabolic disorder.

“It wasn’t long ago that Type 1 diabetics had to be sure they packed ample sterile syringes and insulin, whether they were going to work for the day or on a road trip,” he says. “Monitoring blood sugar levels, which is crucial to keeping vital organs healthy, was painful, primitive and hit-or-miss.

“And food? That’s been the hardest. A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of bland eating.”

Among the “firsts” Lewis says diabetics can look forward to:

• The first tubeless insulin pump. Thirty years ago, people with insulin-dependent diabetes had to give themselves shots around the clock to control their blood sugar levels. In some cases, diabetics were hospitalized to ensure they got the insulin necessary to prevent ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to coma and death. In 1983, the insulin pump was introduced. It attaches to the body and provides continuous insulin injections. But while it was a major breakthrough, it can be bulky and awkward, with a dangling catheter. The most recent innovation is a streamlined version called the OmniPod. It has no tubes, it’s smaller and it attaches anywhere on the body with adhesive. It also has a built-in glucose-monitoring system.

• The first needleless glucometer. The Symphony tCGM System uses ultrasound to monitor blood-sugar levels, which will free people from the painful pricks needed to get a small blood sample for testing multiple times a day. The device, which attaches with adhesive to the body, continuously tracks glucose levels day and night and can send the readings to your smart phone. Under development for more than a decade, Symphony is undergoing the studies necessary to win regulatory approval.

• The first diabetic-friendly frozen meals. Meals-in-a-Bun ( are low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, low in trans fat, high in lean protein and low in sodium, Lewis says. “And the best thing is, they are delicious.”  The five varieties – two vegan and three vegetarian – include selections like Thai Satay, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu in whole-wheat flax bun. “This is particularly exciting because, while there have been advances in equipment that makes life easier for diabetics, there haven’t been for convenient, packaged foods.”

Diabetics who do not watch what they eat may wind up suffering kidney damage, stomach problems, heart disease, pneumonia, gum disease, blindness, stroke, nerve damage, complications during pregnancy, loss of limb and other health problems, according to the CDC.

But many Americans are trending toward healthier diets, eating less meat, gluten, salt and sugar, Lewis says. Tasty foods developed for diabetics will be excellent choices for them, too.

“What’s good for diabetics is good for everyone,” he says. “And you don’t have to give up one teaspoon of flavor.

“There’s a reason why I am called ‘The Happy Diabetic’; I have discovered the joy of nutrition-rich food.”

About Lifestyle Chefs

Lifestyle Chefs is a Santa Clara, Calif., company specializing in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. Lifestyle Chefs’ products are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly, perfect for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. Chef  Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998. He specializes in flavorful recipes that won’t spike a diabetic’s blood sugar.

Surviving Survivor Guilt PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:41
From Natural Disasters to Layoffs, Today’s World is Full of Tortured Survivors, Physician Says

There wasn’t a name for the syndrome before the 1960s, when psychologists started recognizing a condition among patients who all happened to be Holocaust survivors. It came to be known as “survivor guilt.”

The affliction also affects those who have endured war, natural disasters, the suicide of a loved one, epidemics and even employment layoffs. Eli Nussbaum, recently named among the top pediatric pulmonologists, is keenly aware of the circumstances surrounding this subset of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I am a consequence of the Holocaust – both of my parents lost their families during those years,” says Nussbaum, author of The Promise (, a novel that begins in Poland on the eve of World War II and follows three generations through the aftermath.

He is among the group known as the “Second Generation” – children born to survivors anxiously trying to rebuild the families they’d lost. Nussbaum was born in Poland to a man who’d lost his first wife and four children, and a woman who lost her first husband and child, during the Nazi’s genocidal regime.

“Because of my family background, I am intimately aware of life’s fragility and how a devastating experience can affect a person emotionally,” he says. “As a Second Generation, I too was shaped by my parents’ trauma. While being raised by survivors made some of us more resilient and better able to adapt and cope, it made others distrustful of outsiders and always on the defense.”

For anyone profoundly affected by loss, he says, it’s worth the effort to work at transitioning from guilt to appreciation of the gift that is their life. He offers these tips:

• Seek treatment early: The sooner counseling is provided, the more preventable or manageable guilt may be. Early methods may recognize a survivor’s feelings and eventually offer alternative perspectives. The hope is to get the survivor to see the loss of colleagues, friends or family as the result of misfortune that has nothing to do with personal culpability.  

• Watch for delayed reactions – even years later: No two individuals are identical, and some survivors do not show symptoms until long after a traumatic event. If you or a loved one has experienced a life-altering change or loss and later develop problems such as clinical depression or a prevalent sense of self-blame, be aware they may be rooted in past trauma and share that information with a counselor. Other problems that could be signs of survivor guilt: nightmares, unpredictable emotional response and anxiety.

• Don’t turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with uncomfortable feelings: Many people suffering post-traumatic stress-related disorders try to self-medicate or somehow will themselves into a better mental state. Drug addiction is often the result, which is why those who suspect a problem should seek professional help. One-on-one therapy, as well as group talk and possibly doctor-prescribed medications are frequently used to help survivors move past guilt.

“Whether people are dealing with the loss of life from combat, or an accident, or suicide, they may not consider themselves ‘victims.’ So they don’t seek help,” Nussbaum says. “They may also feel that no one has been through the same experience.

“That’s why it is important to be surrounded by loved ones who can offer love, support and perhaps the perspective to seek professional help.”

Because their families were gone, many Holocaust survivors did not have that option, which Nussbaum says made the writing of his novel that much more imperative.

“Only they can know just what it was like – but suffering is a universal experience to which we can all relate,” he says. “Life can get better, and the story of my parents, and the fortune in my life, is proof of that.”

About Eliezer Nussbaum, M.D.

Eliezer Nussbaum, M.D., was born in Katowice, Poland. He is a professor of Clinical Pediatrics Step VII at the University of California and Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and Medical Director of Pediatric Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis Center at Memorial Miller Children's Hospital of Long Beach. He has authored two novels, three non-fiction books and more than 150 scientific publications, and was named among the top U.S. doctors by US News and World Report in 2011-12.

Sin Begets ‘Walk in Bethel;’ Love Redeems It PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:31

If ever there was a contemporary writer with the credentials to write about a family drama in the Mississippi Delta, it’s Rose Mary Stiffin, author of “Walk in Bethel” (

Her book is a return to the Southern Gothic tradition – one she understands, having been raised in Indianola, Miss., where she picked cotton as a child. Set in this sweltering part of the country, the story begins in the early 1890s and follows three families, two of which descended from slaves, through nearly a century. Stiffin writes in the vernacular, describing the darkest passages of the human heart and its well-lit corridors of freedom, forgiveness and love of family.

The story is set into motion when Nashville Thompson, a preacher’s wife, on her way home from a sickbed visit, is set upon and nearly raped by two white brothers. The man who fends off the rapists then leads her on a terror-filled trek home as the two seek to avoid the enraged brothers. In the chaos that ensues, a sin is committed that will shape the generations to come.

Add to the plot – and the next generation -- a man harboring a violent secret who marries into the Thompson family and the stage is set for decades of struggle and triumph, sorrow and devastation.

“ ‘Walk in Bethel’ is a beautifully written, multicultural saga,” writes reviewer Deborah C. Pollack. “There is a generous sprinkling of spice, as well as intrigue, warmth, and unflinching realism. … It would make a perfect book club candidate as well as a fine film.”

Dr. Debra Perkins writes that the novel’s roots are evident from the outset.

“The book sizzles with sexual tension as the veneer of civilization is worn thin,’’ she writes. “There is murder, rape, lynching and depravity of the ‘natural superior.’ These characters surprise – and live.”

About Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD

Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Rose Mary Stiffin’s life is an example of Americana and the American Dream. She went from picking cotton as a child to earning several degrees, including a bachelor’s in chemistry from Mississippi Valley State University, a master’s in organic chemistry from Mississippi State University, and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. She is the chair of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences at Florida Memorial University.

Loebsack Announces More Than $374,000 for Community Coalitions to Prevent Youth Substance Abuse PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:28

Grants awarded to organizations in Clinton, Van Buren, and Henry Counties

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has awarded Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants totaling $374,998 to the Van Buren County Safe Coalition, the Henry Healthy County Communities, and the Clinton Substance Abuse Council (also known as the Gateway ImpACT Coalition).

“I have been a strong supporter and advocate for the Drug Free Communities Support Program.  This funding will allow these valuable programs to continue their work to better protect the health and safety of our children,” said Congressman Loebsack.  “The Drug Free Communities Support Program uses a successful community level approach to prevent youth alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use.  I have met Iowa students involved with these programs and applaud each of these community coalitions for the great work they do.”

The Drug Free Communities Support Program works to increase citizen participation in order to reduce youth substance use by creating a local coalition of community leaders, parents, adolescents, teachers, business leaders, law enforcement and the media.  These grants will provide the necessary funds to continue the work of the drug free community coalitions and keep young people informed and safe.

Details of the funding are below:

  • Van Buren County Safe Coalition, Keosauqua, $125,000
  • Henry Healthy County Communities, Mt. Pleasant, $125,000
  • Clinton Substance Abuse Council, Clinton, $124,998


Governor Quinn Launches Illinois Heart Rescue to Save Lives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 11:50

$2.5 million grant helps Illinois become seventh HeartRescue state

CHICAGO – August 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and the University of Illinois Hospital Health Sciences System today launched Illinois Heart Rescue, a statewide all-volunteer effort to more than double survival from sudden cardiac arrests. The Medtronic Foundation provided a $2.5 million grant to the University of Illinois Hospital to coordinate Illinois Heart Rescue. Governor Quinn recently signed a new law to increase CPR training.

"Learning CPR is something simple we can all do to help save lives, whether you're on the field, in the classroom or at home," Governor Quinn said. “Illinois Heart Rescue will educate the public about heart health and help give those experiencing cardiac arrest a greater chance of survival."

Illinois Heart Rescue's community initiative will aim to improve bystander CPR in Illinois through free instruction. The effort is designed to more than double survival from sudden cardiac arrests by strengthening three key links in the chain of survival: bystander CPR, pre-hospital resuscitation by EMS, and post-arrest care through hospital interventions. In the first moments, a knowledgeable bystander who can begin CPR can save a life. At today’s event, bystander-performed, chest-compression-only CPR was demonstrated.

The program’s all-volunteer leadership team represents an unusually broad collaboration among physicians, health professionals, community organizations, hospitals, EMS systems, fire departments and governmental agencies across the state.

Evidenced-based best practices for pre-hospital care will be taught to 911 dispatchers, EMTs, firefighters, and paramedics in simulator training at the Chicago Fire Academy Simulation Center and later at simulation centers in Peoria and Evanston. The Illinois Heart Rescue team will use social media, multi-lingual and culturally-sensitive messaging, athletic events and community health fairs to reach the diverse population of Illinois.

Leaders in the initiative include the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago EMS System, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service (CCARES) and the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. Other grant partners include the American Heart Association, the Chicago Cubs, the American Red Cross, the Chicago Department of Public Health and many community organizations that include local health clinic systems and neighborhood groups.

Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5114 earlier this summer, which allows middle school students to learn CPR and AED skills in the classroom. In 2011, he also signed legislation providing legal protection to good Samaritans who performed CPS in an emergency, which will encourage citizens to use this critical skill to save a life.


"In sudden cardiac arrest, a few seconds of time can make a lifetime of difference," said Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, professor and chair of emergency medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital, who will lead the project. "The unprecedented collaboration from so many Illinois institutions along with the opportunity Medtronic Foundation has provided us will allow us to help the people of Illinois and serve as a model for other states."

"Currently, one of the missing links in the 'chain of survival' is data," said Dr. Joseph Weber, Chicago EMS director, emergency-medicine physician at Stroger Cook County Hospital and assistant professor at Rush Medical College.  "This grant will allow us to quantify cardiac-arrest survival across the state. We can then use this data to direct quality improvement initiatives and track progress on our ultimate goal of improving cardiac arrest survival in Illinois.”

"We will bring the science of cardiac-arrest resuscitation to the streets through simulation training," said Dr. Eric Beck, EMS Medical Director for Chicago and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "Simple things like high quality, uninterrupted chest compressions and limiting patient movement during cardiac arrest have been shown to dramatically improve survival."

"If you see someone collapse, the message is simple: Call 911. Start doing chest compressions, 100 beats per minute and two inches deep. Call for someone to bring an AED and use it. These actions alone can save someone's life," said Dr. Amer Aldeen, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University, co-director of CCARES and Illinois Heart Rescue community liaison. "We plan to spread the message of bystander CPR and AEDs throughout Illinois, especially in our relatively underserved urban and rural areas."

"We are especially pleased to partner with Illinois Heart Rescue in this important initiative to eliminate disparities in sudden cardiac arrest and to improve cardiac arrest outcomes in our state, particularly in Chicago and underserved rural areas of the state," said Dr. Derek J. Robinson, executive director, Illinois Hospital Association's Quality Care Institute.  Almost 30 hospitals throughout Illinois will collaborate initially to collect outcome data and champion state-of-the-art care for patients post-resuscitation.


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