Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus Awarded An “A” For Patient Safety By Hospital Safety ScoreSM PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Friday, 08 June 2012 14:54
WASHINGTON, DC -- June 7, 2012 – Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus has been honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score SM by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

The Hospital Safety ScoreSM was calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. U.S. hospitals were assigned an A, B, C, D, or F for their safety.

"Usually 'A' grades recognize high achievers and we look at this as the recognition of high-achieving employees at Illini who, on a daily basis, are focused on patient safety and the best patient outcomes,'' said Flo Spyrow, President of Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus. "High achievement in patient safety requires a dedicated team of people from food and nutrition and environmental services, to all of the clinical staff and physicians.

"Every member of the team at Illini has an important role to play in providing the safest environment we can for patients.''

“It’s The Leapfrog Group’s goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the hospitals that earned an ‘A’ and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first.”

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport received a 'B' grade.

To see Genesis Health System hospital scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit, the Hospital Safety ScoreSM website, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim  Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco).

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group ( is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

About Genesis Health System
Genesis Health System, its affiliates and partners offer a full continuum of health care services for a 12-county region of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Genesis hospital affiliates include: Acute and tertiary hospital care at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport and DeWitt, Iowa and at the Illini Campus in Silvis, Illinois. Genesis also manages hospitals in Maquoketa, Iowa and Aledo, Ill. Genesis also offers home health and hospice services through Genesis VNA and Hospice; Genesis Workplace Services; Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House; senior living facilities offering rehabilitation and long-term care; Genesis Health Group, with more nearly 170 primary care physicians and specialists; the Genesis Quad Cities Family Practice Residency program. For more information, visit our Web site at


Braley to Join Shawn Johnson in Effort to Combat Childhood Obesity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 08 June 2012 12:37

DC event is Part of Coca-Cola and US Olympic Committee’s effort to promote physical activity among kids 


Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will join Olympic champion and West Des Moines native Shawn Johnson at an event in Washington, DC, this afternoon to increase awareness of and help combat childhood obesity by promoting active, healthy lifestyles.  Braley will introduce Johnson at an appearance at Washington’s King-Greenleaf Recreation Center, managed by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, as part of Coca-Cola’s and the US Olympic Committee’s “Get the Ball Rolling” program to promote physical activity and proper nutrition among kids.

Following a brief speaking program, an Olympic-themed fitness clinic for local youth will provide them an opportunity to learn about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

In December 2011, Braley and Johnson teamed up to introduce the Shawn Johnson Fitness for Life Act, legislation that seeks to improve physical education programs at schools by emphasizing the use of technology like heart monitors and computerized fitness programs in teaching.

More information on the bill can be found at the following link:

North America’s Lost Boys – What to Do? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:44
As Adolescent Male Achievement Declines,
Author Says, ‘Get Outside!’

There is bad news for boys in North America:they are being blown out of the water by girls in academic achievement, and psychologists say young men are becoming more socially awkward, making relationships with young women difficult.

Sidney Gale, a medical doctor and author of Unto the Breach (, an outdoor adventures book for boys, is concerned about the following statistics:

Boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out or flunk out of school. In Canada, five boys drop out for every three girls.

Boys are underperforming girls at every level, from elementary to grad school.

Boys are less likely than girls to get bachelor's of arts (44% vs. 56%) and graduate degrees, (45% vs. 55%).

In addition, young men in college are increasingly socially inexperienced, which means they’re less likely go to on dates or otherwise step out of their comfort zone,says Stanford University psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. In general, maleswere never as sophisticated as females in verbal and bodily communication, but it’s gotten worse.

Excessive hours of solitary video-game play and internet use likely account for atrophied social skills, Zimbardo says.

“We need to get boys out of their solitary bedrooms and into the sun,” Gale says. “It’s also a good idea to get them reading something other than tweets, texts and the like. They have intellect, and we should encourage them to use it.”

Gale offers ideas to help boys even the achievement and social gap:

• Camp: Summer is a perfect opportunity to consider varied activity for young boys. Gale, an avid seaman, says sailing camps encourage teamwork, physical activity and navigation skills.

• Read novels: Physical isolation has significant effects on one’s mental state and will stymie social skills. While reading is an activity pursued alone, reading novels can be very therapeutic, he says. They take readers beyond their daily lives, illustrate the workings of human relationships and increase language skills. They can also teach social- and problem-solving skills.

• Get social – both boys and parents: Children pick up on parental behaviors. If Mom and Dad do nothing but work and vegetate at home, chances are good that boys are just doing the same. Leave the house, together, when you can. Recreational activities are ideal; however, simply shopping together is an easy way to get boys out. “Talk to them on the way to the store,” Gale says. “It sounds simple, but we are so inundated with technology in every part of our daily lives that an in-person conversation should not be taken for granted.”

Like anything worthwhile, a boy’s development takes time and effort, he notes.

“The old idea of a boy was one who longed for adventure, like Tom Sawyer or the Hardy Boys,” he says. “As with any of today’s issues concerning children, parents need to be vigilant so they can lead their sons to a successful and socially active life.”

About Sidney Gale

Sidney Gale is the penname for Ian Blumer, a physician who has published a number of non-fiction books. He has been a specialty doctor in the Toronto area since 1985. “Unto the Breach” is his first work of fiction.

Dr. Louis Katz to join Executive Leadership Team of America’s Blood Centers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kirby Winn   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:55

Oversight of scientific, medical, and regulatory initiatives to follow September retirement of Dr. Celso Bianco

Davenport, Iowa – Dr. Louis Katz has been appointed as the next Executive Vice President for America’s Blood Centers (ABC). Dr. Katz currently serves as Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and has worked with the Davenport-based community blood center for more than 30 years. He will transition from his role at MVRBC to his new position with ABC following the September retirement of Dr. Celso Bianco, who has held the position since 2000.

The announcement was made to ABC’s member blood centers in the U.S. and Canada last Friday. “It is a great tribute to the America’s Blood Centers’ membership that we have attracted two of the finest physicians in all of blood banking – first Celso, now Lou – to work with and represent us,” said ABC’s Chief Executive Officer Jim MacPherson. “With the complexity of blood safety issues, Celso was absolutely the right person for his time with us. We are lucky that as community blood centers are integrating more with their hospitals that he will be succeeded by such a distinguished clinician as Lou Katz.”

In his new role, Dr. Katz will serve as ABC’s Chief Medical Officer. He will also lead ABC’s scientific, medical, technical, quality, and regulatory efforts and represent ABC and its member blood centers before governmental and regulatory agencies. Dr. Katz is no stranger to ABC, having served the organization in many leadership capacities, including president, chair of the Scientific, Medical, and Technical Committee, and as a spokesperson for several years.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Katz to cap his distinguished career by influencing policy in transfusion medicine at a national level,” said Dave Green, Chief Executive Officer at MVRBC. Due to the nature of his new position, Dr. Katz will be based at MVRBC’s headquarters in Davenport, although he will travel frequently to Washington D.C. and to blood centers throughout the country. “He will be very busy with his new responsibilities, but I’m glad to know Dr. Katz will be available to provide counsel to the MVRBC medical staff as we maintain continuity in our medical affairs programs,” said Green.

Dr. Paul McLoone, Chief Medical Officer for Trinity Regional Health System and Chair of MVRBC’s Board of Directors, said “it’s no surprise” ABC would recruit Dr. Katz for a national leadership role. “Through his past service to ABC, his research, and most importantly his stewardship and development of our own community blood center, Lou has demonstrated unparalleled expertise and judgment in the field of transfusion medicine. We have been fortunate to work alongside a nationally recognized leader for all these years.”

Dr. Katz’ accomplishments and experience include: serving as a member and chair of the Food and Drug Administration Blood Products Advisory Committee, a member the AABB Transfusion Transmitted Diseases Committee, the Health and Human Services National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s XMRV Scientific Research Working Group, serving as Medical Director to the Scott  County, Iowa Health Department and founding Community Health Care, Inc.’s Regional Virology Center, a comprehensive Ryan White-funded AIDS clinic in Davenport, Iowa.

“To follow my good friend Dr. Bianco into this position is an honor, but also humbling. I wish him all the best in a retirement that we all know will be as engaged as ever in the important work we do,” said Dr. Katz. “I intend to focus my efforts on service to the membership of America’s Blood Centers specifically, and the blood community in general, while advocating for rational policy development and implementation. All thanks for this opportunity are due to my colleagues at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, who are so good at what they do, that I have been free to spend a lot of time thinking about issues external to the blood center for more than 25 years.”

About America’s Blood Centers
Founded in 1962, America’s Blood Centers is North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood programs. Recognized by the U.S. Congress for its critical work in patient care and disaster preparedness and response, the federation operates more than 600 blood donor centers providing half of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian blood supply.

These blood centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America. America’s Blood Centers’ U.S. members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Canadian members are regulated by Health Canada. For more information, see

About Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
MVRBC is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to 85 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, including all of the hospitals in the Quad Cities region. The Blood Center is based in Davenport, Iowa, where MVRBC’s testing, processing and primary distribution center produces transfusable blood components from more than 200,000 whole blood and platelet apheresis donations each year. The Blood Center’s service region extends from southwestern Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Albia, Iowa, an area with a population of more than 4-million residents.

The not-for-profit community blood center has regional administrative offices in central Illinois (Springfield, Ill., operating as Central Illinois Community Blood Center), eastern Illinois (Urbana, Ill., operating as Community Blood Services of Illinois); southeastern Iowa (Ottumwa, IA) and the St. Louis region (Maryland Heights, MO). From these locations, MVRBC collects blood at 17 fixed site donor centers and at more than 4,000 mobile blood drives held each year. Since its founding in 1974, MVRBC has collected more than 2.5-million units of blood from volunteer donors and has served millions of patients in the Midwest and beyond through national resource sharing programs. For more information, see


Healthy Foods: The Affordable Choice PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by USDA Communications   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:31

By USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon

Fresh fruits and vegetables? Key elements of a healthy diet, for sure. But many people of modest means, including those
served by USDA’s nutrition assistance programs, wonder if they can afford to buy healthy foods like the wonderful fresh produce that can be found in summer abundance at America’s farmers’ markets.

As USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, I find that perception a source of concern because we
work hard to encourage all Americans to make healthy food choices – particularly those participating in USDA’s nutrition
assistance programs, from kids in school to the more than 46 million people participating in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Well, I’m pleased to say that a recent study by USDA’s Economic Research Service, “Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price,” found that healthy food choices, like fresh fruits and vegetables, may be more affordable than people think.

They found that while it is easy to buy “cheap” calories by using less-healthy foods, there are many healthy food choices that
cost no more per portion than less nutritious foods. Measured by the cost per portion, or per pound, grains, vegetables, fruit, and
dairy foods are actually less expensive than most protein foods and foods high in saturated fat, added sugars, and/or sodium.

This is great news for all those trying to get by with a limited food budget – like people receiving SNAP benefits. You don’t have to compromise on good nutrition just because money is tight. And just in time for summer.

If you haven’t been to one of the nearly 7,200 farmers’ markets across the country, I encourage you to do so. Farmers’ markets offer shoppers a wonderful place to find the fresh fruits and vegetables and other local produce so important to a healthy diet – particularly now when farmers’ markets are practically bursting with a bounty of summer produce.

USDA strongly supports farmers’ markets. And the Food and Nutrition Service, which I oversee, has farmers’ market programs for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, for seniors, and for WIC mothers to help provide healthy food for them and their children.

We also encourage farmers markets to accept SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which makes it easier for SNAP participants to make purchases.

Farmers markets are the ultimate win-win situation. They’re a win for customers because they can easily buy the freshest produce available. They’re a win for producers because they are a convenient local market for their products.  They also provide a chance for customers and producers to meet face to face and build better understanding of community agriculture and what customers want.

So visit a local farmers’ market today – you’re in for a treat.  And remember, fresh fruits and vegetables are not only the healthy choice – they’re the affordable choice, too.


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