Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Families That Eat Together Stay Healthy Together, Says TOPS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kimberly Greene   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:10

MILWAUKEE, WI – With busy schedules full of work, sports, and other activities, it can be difficult to get the family together for a meal.  October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month, an opportunity for families to start new traditions, make time for one another, and eat healthy.  TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight loss support organization, provides ideas to make time for family meals and reap the rewards.

Enjoy the benefits

According to Martha Marino, M.A., RD, CD, and Sue Butkus, Ph.D., RD, of Washington State University and The Nutrition Education Network of Washington, there are many benefits of eating together.

• Family dinners promote healthy eating habits and are an ideal opportunity for parents to teach their children about nutrition and demonstrate healthy practices.  Kids who regularly eat with their families tend to consume more fruits and vegetables rather than junk food.  Parents can also broaden their children’s horizons and introduce new foods during family meals.

• Time together can open the lines of communication between parents and children and help form stronger, healthier relationships.  Family members have a chance to share details about their day, plan, learn about one another, and more.  Table talk also allows children to express ideas and learn new vocabulary from adults’ conversations.

• Studies show that eating together can contribute to higher academic performance and improved well-being.  The stability of family meals and conversation are essential for kids as they develop and learn.

• Food dollars can go further with large, homemade meals, rather than fast food or individual dishes.  Cooking one meal and preparing food in advance also saves time in the kitchen.

Put it on the calendar

The calendar fills up quickly, especially as kids get older.  It’s important to make family time a priority and set a schedule that will work for everyone.  If there is only one day that works for each person, make it a weekly habit and work up to two or three times each week, if you can.  Breakfast and lunch count as meals, so don’t limit family time to dinner.

Prepare meals ahead

To avoid falling into the common excuse that everyone’s schedule is too hectic, make meals ahead of time.  Weekends are a great opportunity to compile a shopping list, purchase groceries, and prepare weekday meals.  If you have extra time, cook double servings and put the extra food in the freezer, to be used as a backup for busy nights.

Get the children involved

It’s important to engage the kids and have them participate.  Give them the opportunity to provide input on what is served or assign tasks – setting the table, washing the produce, pouring beverages, and mixing ingredients.  Teenagers could even cook one of the meals.

Make it fun

Want to make meals more interesting?  There are many creative ideas that can keep family time exciting.

• Move it outdoors and have a picnic.

• Turn off the television, cell phones, and the computer and have a conversation.  Go around the table and talk about the highs and lows of everyone’s day and ask each other questions.

• Plan a theme for different meals – fiesta, dinner and a movie, fondue party, build your own burger or pizza, “favorites meal” (making each family member’s preferred dish), and more.

• Take turns planning the meals.  One night Mom or Dad can arrange dinner, and the kids can prepare breakfast another day.  This will get everyone involved with meal planning, and it will give family members an opportunity to be creative.

• Dress up the dinner table, making the occasion seem special.  Use candles, table clothes, fancy dishes, or props for a themed dinner.

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.


Governor Quinn Announces Next Step in Implementation of Statewide Electronic Health Records PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 13:30

State Selects Vendor to Develop Electronic Information Exchange

CHICAGO – October 8, 2011. Governor Quinn announced today the selection of InterSystems Corporation as the vendor assisting the state in the next stage of development of Illinois’ electronic health information system. After a competitive bidding process, the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology selected InterSystems to develop the technology infrastructure for the Illinois Health Information Exchange. The Exchange will connect physicians and hospitals electronically, enabling the secure exchange of patient health records statewide.

“Building our electronic health information exchange is a major step in transforming health care and helping patients,” Governor Quinn said. “Statewide access to electronic records means that vital patient information will be instantly available to doctors and hospitals when it is needed most, improving health care delivery and saving lives.”

The development of the Illinois Health Information Exchange is funded through a federal grant program established to allow states to assist health care providers and hospitals with the exchange of electronic health records. Illinois received $18.8 million over four years to develop this capacity, and the first phase of exchange services is expected to be available statewide in April 2012.

Like states across the nation, Illinois is actively participating in federally-funded programs to promote the widespread adoption and exchange of electronic health records.  Delays in sending paper records and the difficulty of storing, retrieving and transmitting paper documents are major contributors to inefficiency and unnecessary cost in health care. In addition to promoting better care, electronic health records also reduce the need for patients to fill out redundant forms and increase patient access to their own medical records.

“The secure exchange of patient information throughout the state is critical to improving health care and health outcomes in Illinois,” Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority Board Chair Cheryl Whitaker, MD said. “With the move away from paper records to the electronic exchange of structured data, physicians will get a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s health care history and needs, leading to better diagnoses and treatment.”

“Financial incentives offered through Medicare and Medicaid are driving Illinois health care providers and hospitals to adopt electronic health record systems in unprecedented numbers,” Laura Zaremba, Director of the Illinois Office of Health Information Technology said. “The Illinois Health Information Exchange will help them use those systems to increase care coordination and ensure that proper security measures are in place to protect patient privacy.”

The selection of InterSystems Corporation is the result of a competitive bidding process that sought industry leaders in health information technology. The selection criteria included expertise in health information management, patient privacy and security, and competitive pricing.

InterSystems Corporation is the vendor for several health information exchanges in the U.S., including the Rhode Island statewide health information exchange, the Healthcare Information Xchange of New York and the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange.  The company also provides the database and infrastructure for more than 100 health care software applications nationwide, and supplies database technology to U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Veterans’ Affairs hospitals.

For more information, please visit



Public access to data on disciplined doctors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:53

Grassley Questions Agency on Decision to Shut Down Public File on Disciplined Doctors

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today asked the head of a federal agency to explain a decision to shut down public access to data on malpractice payouts, hospital discipline and regulatory sanctions against doctors and other health professionals.  The public data file did not include doctors’ names, only data that would allow journalists and analysts to track trends in disciplinary actions.  The Health Research and Services Administration shut down the public file after a newspaper reporter used the publicly available information to track down the identity of a doctor who had a long record of malpractice cases against him but was never disciplined by the state.

“Shutting down public access to the data bank undermines the critical mission of identifying inefficiencies within our health care system – particularly at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries,” Grassley wrote in his letter to the agency.  “More transparency serves the public interest. Generally speaking, except in cases of national security, the public’s business ought to be public.  Providers receive billions of dollars in state and federal tax dollars to serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Accountability requires tracking how the money is spent.”

The text of Grassley’s letter is available here.   More information on how journalists have used the public database to inform the public is available here.


Oct 13th. 2011: Meet Ms. Iowa American Coed: MONICA LACOVITCH who will speak on Depression and Suicide Awareness. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Narveen Aryaputri   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:41
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Independent Scholars Evenings

Ms. Iowa American Coed:

Monica Lacovitch

will talk on

Depression and Suicide Awareness.

October 13th, 2011

At 7.00 p.m.

The Moline Commercial Club

1530 Fifth Avenue. Moline. Illinois.

Monica moved to Davenport from Lexington, Kentucky late September 2009 looking to start over and find a new job after the suggestion from an old college friend who lived in the area.

She currently promotes the platforms of Depression and Suicide Awareness and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in which she is the Quad Cities Honorary walk chair for this year’s walk.

She personally has dealt with Depression and mental illness after losing her dad to Leukemia in December of 2004. Monica is now a full time legal secretary for Katz, Huntoon, & Fieweger, P.C. in Moline .

In her free time she works on pursuing the dream of becoming a commercial/print model and recently test ‘shooted’ with a scout/photographer from FORD Models NYC. Monica hopes something will become of this marvelous opportunity she was given. You can read more about Monica on her blog

Monica Lacovitch Ms. Iowa American Coed Will be competing for the national title of Ms. American Coed the week of Thanksgiving November 21-26th. National Miss American Coed Pageants encourage and reinforce the confidence and natural beauty that is within each girl. For more information on this pageant go to

light refreshments, wine and beverages are served.

The event is free and open to the public.

Doors open at 6.30

Independent Scholars' Evenings are sponsored by The Institute for Cultural and Healing Traditions, Ltd. a 501(c)3 at state and federal level since 1996.

Spice Up Life with Good Health, Says TOPS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kimberly Greene   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:28
MILWAUKEE, WI – Spices and herbs can give a boost of flavor to any meal, but they also have health benefits.  With increasing interest in “functional food,” herbs and spices have been receiving greater attention for their potential to decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer, fight heart disease, and more.  TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, along with the International Food Information Council (IFIC), explains how different spices can benefit people who are on their own wellness journey.


Basil can give a fresh flavor to any pizza or pesto, but this spice is more than just a seasoning.  Basil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent swelling and alleviate pain caused by arthritis.  It also contains the flavonoids orientin and vicenin that can shield a person’s cells from radiation and other damage.  Have a cut or scrape?  Basil has strong antibacterial capabilities and can help prevent infections.


Cinnamon has a subtle heat that is perfect for baked treats and warm beverages.  Significant attention is being directed toward its potential in diabetes management.  Research suggests that cinnamon may lower blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve lipid profiles.  Also, the sweet aroma of cinnamon has been shown to boost brain function.


Parsley adds flavor and color to meals and is a source of vitamins A, C, and K.  It also has antioxidants and can aid heart and optimal health.


Found in tea, ice cream, toothpaste, and more, mint is a versatile flavor.  Containing vitamins A and C, mint has antioxidants and can help decrease the risk of cancer.  It can soothe an upset stomach, relieve heartburn, loosen congestion, and help calm.  Let’s not forget that mint can also keep a person’s breath fresh!


Cilantro is delicious in salsa, guacamole, and salads and has numerous health benefits.  It contains anti-inflammatory properties, is a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese, and can control blood sugar and cholesterol.  Research shows that it also can help battle salmonella bacteria.


Garlic has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral capabilities.  It also can lower cholesterol and the risk of cancer and contains vitamins B6 and C, which fight heart disease.

Red and Chili Pepper

An increase in body temperature or heart rate upon ingestion of a pepper is believed to increase metabolism.  Red peppers contain capsaicin, which accelerates energy expenditure and increases lipid oxidation.  Studies also suggest that consuming capsaicin decreases fat intake.  Chili peppers can fight inflammation and help relieve pain.


Ginger provides gastrointestinal and nausea relief.  Recent studies also suggest that ginger may play a role in preventing inflammation, which could be useful in alleviating pain caused by arthritis.  Ginger plays a potential role in cancer prevention with its antioxidant properties.  Its immunity boosting capabilities is another advantage.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric, a popular spice contained in curry powder, contains curcumin.  Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow pigment and may reduce the risk of cancer, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.  It also has antioxidant properties.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 63 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success.  Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view or call (800) 932-8677.


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