Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Grassley Requests Audio, Video Coverage of Landmark Health Care Case in Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:35
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked Chief Justice John Roberts to provide audio and video coverage of the landmark Supreme Court proceedings of the federal health care reform law.  Grassley is the author of legislation that would allow cameras in federal courts.  The bipartisan legislation has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Cameras in federal courtrooms are at the very heart of an open and transparent government.  Broadcasting the health care reform law proceedings would not only contribute to the public’s understanding of America’s judicial system, but provide an excellent educational opportunity on a case that has the potential to have a far reaching impact on every American,” Grassley said.  “This law is massive in size and scope.  Its effect is reverberating throughout America’s economy.  The constitutional questions are landmark.  The public has a right to hear and see the legal arguments.”

Grassley first introduced the Cameras in the Courtroom legislation in 1999.  Since then, the Chief Justice has immediately released audio of oral arguments of compelling cases.  The first release came when, at the request of Grassley and others, then Chief Justice William Rehnquist allowed for the release of audio immediately following oral arguments in the Florida election matter in 2000.  Since then, Chief Justice John Roberts has released audio recordings the same day of the oral arguments for more than 20 cases, including Grutter v. Bollinger, D.C. v. Heller, the Guantanamo Cases and the Citizens United Case.

Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter.  A copy of the signed letter can be found here.



November 15, 2011

The Chief Justice

The Supreme Court of the United States

Washington, DC 20543

Dear Chief Justice Roberts:

I am writing to request that the Supreme Court exercise its discretion to permit television coverage of Supreme Court proceedings when the Court hears arguments in the case of the federal health care reform law.  It is my understanding oral arguments will take place in March of next year.

The decision in this case has the potential to reach every American.  The law is massive in size and scope.  The effect of the law, and the Court’s decision, will reverberate throughout the American economy.

The constitutional questions presented in the case are momentous. The public has a right to witness the legal arguments likely to be presented in the case: (1) the constitutionality of the individual mandate; (2) the severability of the individual mandate and whether or not the remainder of the law is valid without the mandate; and (3) the authority of Congress to impose mandatory Medicaid coverage thresholds on states.  Given the nature of the topic, everyone in the country would benefit from following the proceedings in this landmark case.

Modern technology makes televising the proceedings before the Court simple and unobtrusive.  A minimal number of cameras in the courtroom, which could be placed to be barely noticeable to all participants, would provide live coverage of what may be one of the most historic and important arguments of our time.  Letting the world watch would bolster public confidence in our judicial system and in the decisions of the Court.

Providing live audio and video coverage of the oral arguments will be of great benefit to the Court and to the public.  Letting the world watch these historic and important proceedings will bolster confidence in our judicial system and the decisions of the Court.


Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator


Tips on How You and Your Kids Can Be Healthy This Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Stephanie Walsh, M.D.   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:58

Author: Stephanie Walsh, M.D., Medical Director, Child Wellness, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The Thanksgiving holiday season is a wonderful time of the year filled with family, friends and of course, food. While the spirit of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all that we have, the holiday has become increasingly focused on food and eating. There’s no harm in enjoying a meal with your family on Thanksgiving, but it’s important to remember that the purpose of the holiday is not simply to over-eat.

Childhood obesity continues to be a threatening epidemic in Georgia. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is continuing to see cases of obesity at all three of its hospitals. The consequences of obesity on children include health issues that are typically seen only in adults, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, joint problems and high cholesterol. Strong4Life aims to help families take small steps that add up to big changes to help prevent or reverse the consequences of obesity.

Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can make this Thanksgiving a healthier one for the whole family. Strong4Life helps families bring together four essential building blocks every kid needs to be healthy – Eat Right, Be Active, Get Support and Have Fun. You don’t have to take a break from trying to be healthy just because it’s the holidays; instead, try incorporating one or two of the tips below into your family’s holiday routine:

Eat Right

  • Try to incorporate more whole fruits and vegetables into your Thanksgiving meal; you’ll save on the calories that are often added to fruits and vegetables to make heavy casseroles.
  • Serve water with sliced lemon or lime with your Thanksgiving meal instead of sugary beverages like lemonade, alcohol and sweet tea. You’ll get more flavor with less sugar and calories.

Be Active

  • Leading up to Thanksgiving, encourage your family to spend one less hour in front of the television and one more hour of physical activity per day to help offset the extra calories consumed on Thanksgiving Day.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, consider leaving the T.V. and computers off all day so your family will have more opportunities to be active.

Get Support

  • Sometimes, overindulging at the holidays can lead to eating unhealthy all of the time. Try to recognize when your family's holiday eating has become an unhealthy habit and work together as a family to make better choices.
  • If you are concerned about childhood obesity, talk to your healthcare provider about more steps your family can take to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Have Fun

  • Play a game of touch football, Frisbee or kickball after the Thanksgiving meal to help everyone feel energized rather than lethargic.
  • Promote "play time" and encourage activities that are fun and physical such as hop-scotch, jumping rope, tag or hide-and-go-seek.

Remember that parents serve as role models for their children, so make sure your actions are ones that you would want your children to follow. By making a few simple changes, your whole family can enjoy a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kevin Kruse   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:52

The Iowa Podiatric Medical Society membership elected one new director and re-elected two directors at the 2011 Annual Business Meeting that was recently held in Des Moines. Mica Murdoch, D.P.M., Des Moines was elected as a new director and Mindi Feilmeier, D.P.M., Spirit Lake and Greg McCarthy, D.P.M., Sioux City were both re-elected to a three-year term on the board.

Paul Dayton, D.P.M., Fort Dodge, was elected President of the IPMS Board of Directors. Mark Lucas, D.P.M., Bettendorf was elected as Vice-President, and Greg McCarthy, D.P.M., Sioux City, was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the IPMS Board of Directors.

Current Board Members include: Gregg Corrigan, D.P.M., Davenport; Christopher Considine, D.P.M., Waterloo; James Mahoney, D.P.M., Des Moines; Gene Nassif, D.P.M., Marion, Past-President; Philip Morreale, D.P.M., Waterloo; Michael Ward, D.P.M., Dubuque; and Tim Yoho, D.P.M., Des Moines.

The Iowa Podiatric Medical Society (IPMS) is the professional organization representing over 135 medical and surgical specialists of the foot and ankle, located throughout the state of Iowa. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) are physicians and surgeons who provide comprehensive services ranging from routine foot care to sophisticated foot surgery. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine are also involved in examining and treating patients diagnosed with diabetes, and those at risk for the disease, to assist them in avoiding possible complications, such as foot ulcers and amputations.


Give Thanks for Good Health PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kimberly Greene   
Monday, 14 November 2011 14:37
MILWAUKEE, WI – Thanksgiving is filled with good food, company, and gratitude.  For many people, it’s also the source of weight gain and anxiety.  This season, don’t let the holidays derail your healthy habits.  TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers tips to eat right, stay active, and reduce stress.

Eat without Regret

• Watch portion sizes. You don’t need to fill your plate with everything that’s offered.  Sample your favorite foods and use a smaller plate to “trick” yourself into thinking you have consumed more.

• Slow down. Take time to enjoy your food and stop eating before you feel full.

• Change the focus to family at the table. Food and drinks are a large part of the holidays, but they don’t have to be the focus.  Instead, go around the table and have everyone say why they are thankful, share favorite holiday memories, and reconnect.

• Don’t forget about breakfast. Approaching the Thanksgiving meal on an empty stomach can be a recipe for disaster.  A nutritious breakfast helps control appetite, so you aren’t as inclined to overindulge during dinner.  Breakfast can also keep energy levels up.

• Send off leftovers. Don’t fill your refrigerator with leftovers; send extra food home with guests.  This will help avoid temptation to dip back into high-calorie treats.

Stay Active

• Take a hike or go for a walk. Make time to get moving on Thanksgiving Day.  Take a walk or hike in the morning or head outside after dinner.  Many communities offer “Turkey Trots,” a 5K walk/run, which can be an invigorating way to kick off the day.

• Plan an activity. The day doesn’t need to revolve around the Thanksgiving meal.  Go for a family bike ride, play football, or have a relay race for the kids.

Say Goodbye to Holiday Stress

• Take time for yourself. During the holidays, there can be a lot of togetherness.  It’s important to spend a few minutes alone periodically to give yourself time to recharge.  Take a nap, listen to music, or simply sneak off to a quiet room in the house to clear your mind.

• Be thankful. Feeling stressed or tired?  Find yourself complaining?  Take time to think about or write down the things you’re thankful for, big or small.  Being grateful can decrease stress, boost the immune system, and improve sleep patterns.

• Share the load. There’s no reason only one person should plan, cook, and entertain.  If guests offer to prepare a dish, let them bring it to your Thanksgiving celebration.  Also, have the kids help with household chores.  This will decrease your workload and make the holiday more pleasant.

• Help those less fortunate. Forget about your troubles for the day and spend time volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food pantry.  Spread cheer by giving back, taking the focus off of your own stress and helping others in need.

• Breathe! It may seem simple, but people tend to forget to breathe when they’re stressed.  Take deep breaths to increase your oxygen intake.  Find a comfortable place to rest and consciously slow the rate of your breathing.  You’ll be amazed how good you will feel.

• Keep it simple. Make a few fancy dishes and keep the others easy.  It’s okay to scale back the meal and festivities, so you enjoy the holiday rather than spend all of your time preparing.

To successfully employ these tips, make sure to plan ahead and practice an attitude of gratitude.  The holidays are a time to focus on the people in your life, so make an effort to take the emphasis off of sweet treats and creating the perfect meal and be thankful for friends, family, and good health.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization.  Founded more than 63 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind.  TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information.  TOPS has about 170,000 members - male and female, age seven and older - in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge.  Membership is affordable at just $26 per year, plus nominal chapter fees.  To find a local chapter, view or call (800) 932-8677.


doctor disciplinary database access PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 14 November 2011 14:26
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has been working to restore public access to data on malpractice payouts, hospital discipline and regulatory sanctions against doctors and other health professionals and to hold accountable the federal government official who shut down access to this information.  Today, the responsible agency reopened the public part of the database but imposed restrictions.  Grassley made the following comment on the new version.

“HRSA is overreaching and interpreting the law in a way that restricts the use of the information much more than the law specifies.  Nowhere in the law does it say a reporter can’t use the data in the public use file to combine that with other sources and potentially identify doctors who have been disciplined in their practice of medicine.  This agency needs to remember that half of all health care dollars in the United States comes from taxpayers, so the interpretation of the law ought to be for public benefit.  It’s also hard to see how HRSA has the resources to require the return of supposedly misused data or how that would even work.  It seems the agency’s time would be better used in making sure the database is up to date and as useful as possible.  I’m seeking opinions from legal experts on HRSA’s interpretation of the law.  And I continue to expect a briefing from HRSA on this situation, including participation from the person who pulled the public data file after a single physician complained that a reporter identified him through shoe leather reporting, not the public data file.  One complaint shouldn’t dictate public access to federally collected data for 300 million people.”

Details of Grassley’s prior inquiries are available here and here.

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