Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Health care leadership award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jill Kozeny   
Monday, 15 October 2012 14:45


Des Moines, Iowa  (October 11, 2012) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) and Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) today presented Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) the Health Care Champion Award for his outstanding contributions to health care public policy.

“This award recognizes Senator Grassley for his leadership in helping to strengthen rural hospitals,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA’s president and CEO. “He is very cognizant of the key role that rural hospitals play in providing and maintain access to health care in rural America.”

During his tenure as chairman, ranking member, and a current member of the Committee on Finance, Senator Grassley has always made sure that rural hospitals had the resources necessary to provide patients with the right care in the right setting.  He helped to create, expand and improve programs for the most isolated rural hospitals whose size and patient fluctuations make it hard for them to remain financially viable, and is currently working to continue the important Medicare Dependent Hospital program.  Senator Grassley also led the effort to ban physicians from referring Medicare patients to specialty hospitals where those physicians have an ownership interest.

The award was presented at the Iowa Hospital Association’s annual meeting.

“Iowa’s hospitals appreciate the years of leadership and advocacy provided by Senator Grassley,” said Kirk Norris, president and CEO of IHA.  “He understands the complex relationship between the federal government and health care providers, particularly those in rural areas, and he is a knowledgeable and fair arbiter when it comes to health care policy questions.”

Senator Grassley is a member of the following committees: Judiciary, Finance, Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Budget and Taxation.


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site at

About the IHA

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences.  All 118 community hospitals in Iowa, with more than 70,000 employees and a $6.2 billion impact on the state’s economy, are IHA members.

State Mental Institutions – A Crazy Place for the Truly Sick PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 07:19
Former Chief of Staff Shares 5 Reasons Why They Fall Short

Psychiatric hospitals have served as effective settings for some of the greatest films in history; it’s where Norman Bates went at the end of “Psycho,” and it’s where Jack Nicholson’s character rallied the patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

But how much of that fiction is based on fact?

“That depends on what kind of facility we’re talking about,” says Mike Bartos, a psychiatrist with experience at a state institution for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, and author of the new novel “BASH” (Bay Area State Hospital),

“Some places are private institutions that more closely resemble a country club when compared to state-run facilities. The differences can be startling; however, these are places that are typically rich with characters, drama, and a fair share of staff burnout.”

The intended use of state facilities is to control and contain, if not cure, mental illness. Bartos reviews the reasons why mental institutions often fall short of that goal:

• Bureaucracy: The state hospitals, being government institutions, are rife with bureaucratic confusion, Bartos says. These hospitals are inextricably linked to the legal system, which invites all sorts of problems if the goal is to meaningfully treat patients. “The reality is, when offenders straddle the line between criminal intent and questionable sanity, they can end up in a state hospital, which is part prison and part hospital. This is a difficult place to find healing.

• Drugs: Many of his patients at the state hospital had committed crimes while in a drug-induced haze. “Really, we often have patients there who don’t have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder – they are criminals who may or may not have a problem with drug addiction.” In other words, many hospital patients are not so different from prison inmates; the biggest difference is they can be tempered with psychotropic drugs and therapy.

• Violence: While not as bad as prison, state mental hospitals are often violent because of the criminal element. The majority of patients at state forensic hospitals committed crimes before their admission. This large percentage of convicts drastically increases violence in hospitals and results in staff requests for heightened security, which can be slow in implementation, and frequently considered inadequate by the people who work there.

• Staff burnout: With limited state budgets and a high demand for professional support, state workers at hospitals work long, difficult and often dangerous hours. The result is less effective treatment.

• A challenging population: A community of people with serious mental disorders or drug habits, and misplaced criminals – or combinations thereof – is quite a melting pot. Unfortunately, bad ideas and habits are shared, and instead of improving the mental conditions of patients, they tend to get worse.

“Through my years of experience as a professional and as a human being, I know the very best medicine for mental health is love – whether it’s TLC from loved ones or truly compassionate care from doctors and staff,” Bartos says. “Unfortunately, that is too small a part of the state hospital equation.

About Mike Bartos

Mike Bartos is currently in private psychiatric practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife, Jody.  He has several decades of experience in the mental health field, including a stint as chief of staff at a state hospital for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, where he focused on forensic psychiatry. Bartos is a former radio show host and newspaper columnist. While practicing in Charleston, S.C., he served as a city councilman for the nearby community of Isle of Palms.

How to Prepare Your Teen for 21st-Century Challenges PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 14:29
Psychologist Offers 6 Character-Building Techniques

Parents today contend not only with yesterday’s worries -- drug abuse, bullying, teenage sex and delinquency – but new challenges. The digital age has introduced adult predators and other online hazards, and body-altering decorating such as tattoos and piercing's are popular temptations, says James G. Wellborn, a clinical psychologist with 18 years of experience working with parents and teens.

“The teenage years are unlike any other in a person’s life – it’s a unique in-between period from childhood to adulthood, and it’s helpful to remember that problems during this time are actually normal,” says Wellborn, author of the new book “Raising Teens in the 21st Century: A Practical Guide to Effective Parenting,” ( “But teens still require guidance, encouragement and good ideas to see them through to adulthood.”

A universally admired trait, spanning all cultures, religion and philosophy, is compassion. A truly compassionate teen will inevitably have a host of other positive qualities, Wellborn says, including patience, understanding, sensitivity, tolerance, intuition and more. He says parents can encourage compassion in the following ways:

• Model it: Compassion is largely learned, so be aware of how you act around your children. How did you respond to the request for money from that panhandler on the street?  What comment did you make behind his back, in the presence of your kid? What did you say about that idiot driver who just cut you off in traffic? Your teens are watching and listening.

• Notice it: Point out examples of compassion that occur around you. It comes in many forms. Relevant to our daily lives are the people who quietly, and without recognition, help others in need, including volunteers of all types. Make a game of identifying instances of compassionate deeds you’ve witnessed.

• Teach it: Compassion has to be taught, so be prepared to provide direct instruction on how your teen needs to think and act in order to develop that quality. One important component empathy. If your teens can’t see things from another’s perspective, it is difficult for them to appreciate what that person is going through. Help them learn to walk a mile in their shoes.

• Anticipate it: Character can be fostered by projecting moral strength into their future. In this way, you will be subtly shaping the adult they are working to become. Say things like: “By the time you’re an adult, you will be such a person of strong character. That’ll be really cool.”

• Guilt it: A personal value system serves as a means of accountability to oneself (and your family and community). This begins with the value system parents promote in their kids. If they fulfill the promise of personal values it is a source of justifiable pride. Violating personal values should result in guilt for not doing what’s right and shame for letting other people down. Parents need to help their kids along with this.

• Repeat it: Once is not enough when it comes to character. Find every opportunity to work it into the conversation. Using all of the strategies mentioned above, you will be able to work character issues into every possible situation in a remarkably diverse number of ways. You need to have mentioned character so often – at least once every couple of days – and in so many different forms that they are sick of hearing about it by the time they graduate from high school.

About James G. Wellborn, Ph.D.

Jim Wellborn is a clinical psychologist who specializes in individual, family and group psychotherapy, with children and adolescents. He graduated from Louisiana State University in Shreveport with a bachelor’s in psychology, and earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. He completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in developmental psychopathology at Vanderbilt University, and has been a consultant to school districts developing system-wide programs to address motivation and academic engagement in at-risk youth. Wellborn has served as a clinical director for outpatient psychotherapy services in two local agencies.

American Brain Tumor Association’s Team Breakthrough Crosses the Finish Line PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kate Butler   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 14:20

Runners raise record-breaking $135,000 to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors

Chicago, IL, October 9, 2012 – Team Breakthrough, the American Brain Tumor Association’s endurance program, had 72 runners cross the finish line of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 7, 2012. In total, ABTA runners raised more than $135,000 in conjunction with Sunday’s event – a record for the ABTA in its seven years of participating in the race.

The top three Team Breakthrough fundraisers at the Chicago Marathon were Scott Badskey of Tower Lakes, IL, Oren Sagher of Ann Arbor, MI and Gelsey Steinbrecher of New York City.

“We’re so thankful to all of these amazing athletes for not only challenging themselves by competing in this world-class marathon, but for truly going the extra mile by raising funds in support of this important cause,” says ABTA President and CEO Elizabeth M. Wilson. “All of this year’s participants have been touched in some way by a brain tumor diagnosis. And each one of them is an inspiration as well as an example of what true champions are able to achieve.”

Team Breakthrough is the national endurance program for the American Brain Tumor Association, and includes half marathons, full marathons and triathlons across the country. For more information, call the ABTA’s Event Line at 800-886-1281 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) was the first national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to funding brain tumor research. For nearly 40 years, the ABTA has provided critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, and is the only national organization providing comprehensive resources that support the complex needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers. For more information, visit

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Victims of Agent Orange Dioxin Poisoning PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by John J. Bury, US Navy, retired, Vietnam War veteran, Media, Pa.   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 14:09

Victims of Agent Orange (AO) who are infected, Vietnam veterans, children of Vietnam veterans; then there are spouses and mothers or fathers who are victims by association.   By banding together and pressing forward to be heard is the only way we victims can win.

We know how to help others, we have been there/are there.  Our bodies are proof, our minds are not in denial, our lives are not equal to those without AO.  We are strong and build our own Quality of Life, the hard way.  Only we know what it is like to struggle with AO.  Each day we live, is a gift.

Yes, we suffer as do our loving family's who care about we who struggle with AO.  Let us not forget, we have friends who care.  Our consolation is knowing they love us and care about us.  Our worse pain is the burden upon our loved ones.  It is the most difficult of all pain to endure.

We know the frustrations of not being able to do the things as we have in the past.  We know the frustrations our family have in having to take up the slack, for us at one time we were able to do for our selves.  I know only to well how this feels to me and how it must feel for my family.

For these reasons we victims of Agent Orange Dioxin poisoning, our Congress and Senate must understand our needs.  There are Bills in legislation that can make our lives less frustrating.  Those Bills are House Bill HR-3612 and Senate Bill S.1629.  Please urge your members of Congress and Senate to pass the Bills.


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