Health, Medicine & Nutrition
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Marcy Mendenhall   
Monday, 03 October 2011 12:04


Initiatives at 11 Scott County child care centers and preschools, funded with more than $200,000 in funds from Scott County Kids, have created safer and environmentally educational spaces for hundreds of young children.

The awards, which ranged from $2,996 to $40,000 each, were contracted to child cares and preschools throughout the county last fall. Work is now complete.

“These funds provide these quality centers an opportunity to make their outdoor spaces safer, while inviting and encouraging children into learning more about the environment around them,” said Marcy Mendenhall, executive director of Scott County Kids.

One of Scott County Kids’ goals is to provide environments that enable children to be physically healthy, intellectually curious, emotionally sound and socially competent. This initiative’s goal was to increase the quality of outdoor play environments at state-licensed child care centers and preschools.

Through the application process, a child care nurse consultant (also funded by Scott County Kids) offered guidance to help centers determine the best courses of action that would provide a good experience for children and improve quality, Mendenhall said.

At Our Savior Lutheran Preschool in Bettendorf, the $26,723 project involved the installation of a climber tunnel and a sand and water table, as well as an expansion of the playground space. It also paid for learning tools such as musical instruments and arts and crafts items. Volunteers helped with additional funding and elbow grease.

Lisa Piotter, the director of the preschool, said the new equipment will help ensure that Our Savior will be able to maintain its high state ranking.

With the equipment and work provided with the funding, a few of the centers are exploring Nature Explore Classroom status from the Arbor Day Foundation, including Calvary Preschool in Walcott. The initiative recognizes schools and other organizations that make a commitment to providing outdoor classrooms and comprehensive programming to help children use the natural world as an integral part of learning.

Calvary partners with its church to provide an outdoor play space in a garden area, and have a commitment to showing that the preschool “cares and appreciates the beautiful setting we have been given.”

“Besides getting necessary fresh air and sunshine, the children will also benefit from exploring nature and watching seeds grow and mature,” Calvary said in its application, specifically mentioning “opportunities to dig for worms, roll in freshly mowed grass and smell flowers that just opened.”

For licensed centers interested in learning about the potential for funding in the fiscal year beginning July 1, contact Diane Martens at Scott County Kids at (563) 326-8221 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Funding awarded by Scott County Kids

Calvary Preschool, Walcott, $4,653 for mini-bricks, a storage bench, rain gauge, interlocking blocks superset, glockenspiel and aqua blocks

Children’s Garden Preschool, Davenport, $15,044 for a custom play structure, fall zone materials, fencing

Scott County Family Y – Bettendorf, $2,996 for supplemental learning tools, including musical instruments

Skip-A-Long, Davenport, $15,752 for outside play structures

Head Start at Fillmore, Davenport, $9,235 for safety requirements, including a fence, fall zone, removal of an unsafe play structure

Our Savior Lutheran Preschool, Bettendorf, $26,723 for outside play structures, including a climber tunnel, sand and water table, and supplemental learning tools, including musical instruments, arts and crafts items

St. Alphonsus Early Childhood Education Center, Davenport, $16,595 for outside play structures, including a playhouse and bridge

Head Start – North Scott, Eldridge, $18,026 for outdoor play structures, including a playhouse and safety requirements, including fall zone turf

Scott County Family Y – Palmer, Davenport, $40,000 for supplemental learning tools, including an art easel and musical instruments, and outside play structures including an activity center and playhouse

Positive Parenting at Trinity, Davenport, $40,000 for supplemental learning tools, including musical instruments and building bricks, and outside play structures, including a balance beam

Scott County Family Y – Downtown Learning Center, Davenport, $21,929 for outside play structures, including a playhouse and bridge, and supplemental learning tools, including musical instruments and an activity center


Senate Designates October as “National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 03 October 2011 08:11

Senate Designates October as “National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month” 


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today adopted a resolution designating the month of October 2011 as “National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month” to raise attention to the problem of prescription medicine abuse, especially by teen-agers.  Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa co-sponsored the resolution as co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee. 


“Prescription drugs are so common that a number of teen-agers use other people’s drugs, thinking they’re safe,” Grassley said.  “This can be dangerous and lead to serious injury.  Parents should educate themselves and their teen-agers about the potential for abuse before it’s too late.”


The text of the bipartisan resolution follows here.



Designating the month of October 2011 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'. (Introduced in Senate - IS)



1st Session

S. RES. 261

Designating the month of October 2011 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'.


September 13, 2011

Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. MANCHIN, and Mr. PORTMAN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Designating the month of October 2011 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'.

Whereas over-the-counter and prescription medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration have been determined to be safe and effective when used properly;

Whereas the abuse of such medicines can be extremely dangerous and produce serious side effects;

Whereas according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the nonmedical use of prescription drugs has risen, with 2.5 percent of the population engaging in nonmedical use of prescription drugs in 2008 and 2.8 percent of the population engaging in such use in 2009;

Whereas the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health illustrates that the abuse of prescription medications such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives is second only to marijuana, the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States;

Whereas the 2010 Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institutes of Health, indicates that approximately 5 percent of teenagers in the United States report having abused an over-the-counter cough medicine to get high, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs account for 8 of the 14 most frequently abused drugs by students in grade 12;

Whereas the 2010 Monitoring the Future survey also indicates that the intentional abuse of cough medicine among students in grades 8, 10, and 12 is at 3.2 percent, 5.1 percent, and 6.6 percent, respectively;

Whereas according to research from The Partnership at, more than one-third of teenagers mistakenly believe that taking prescription drugs, even if not prescribed by a doctor, is much safer than using street drugs;

Whereas the lack of understanding by teenagers and parents of the potential harm of such powerful medicines makes it more critical than ever to raise public awareness about the dangers of the abuse of such drugs;

Whereas when prescription drugs are abused, such drugs are most often obtained through friends and relatives;

Whereas parents should be aware that the Internet gives teenagers access to websites that promote the abuse of medicines;

Whereas the designation of `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month' promotes the message that over-the-counter and prescription medicines should be taken only as labeled or prescribed, and such medicines can have serious or life-threatening consequences when used to get high or in large doses;

Whereas the designation of `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month' will encourage parents to educate themselves about the problem of abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines, and talk to their teens about all types of substance abuse;

Whereas observance of `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month' should be encouraged at the national, State, and local levels to increase awareness of the abuse of medicines;

Whereas educational tools, training programs, and strategies have been developed by the national organization that represents 5,000 anti-drug coalitions nationwide and the association representing makers of over-the-counter medicines, in order to help local coalitions demonstrate the best ways to engage and educate parents and grandparents, teachers, law enforcement officials, doctors, other healthcare professionals, and retailers about the potential harms of cough medicine abuse;

Whereas a partnership of nonprofit associations specializing in raising media awareness about substance abuse and organizations that represent the leading makers of over-the-counter drugs have developed a nationwide prevention campaign that utilizes research-based educational advertisements, public relations and news media, and the Internet to inform parents about the negative teen behavior of intentional abuse of medicines, in order to empower parents to effectively communicate with their children about this dangerous trend and to take necessary steps to safeguard prescription and over-the-counter medicines in their homes; and

Whereas educating the public on the dangers of medicine abuse and promoting prevention of medicine abuse are critical components of what must be a multi-pronged effort to curb prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates the month of October 2011 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'; and

(2) urges communities to carry out appropriate programs and activities to educate parents and youth about the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse.

Iowa Ranks No. 40 Among Brain-Healthy States in the Nation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Andrea Martin   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 14:48

2011 America’s Brain Health Index Reveals States With Healthiest Brains in National Health Education Campaign to Empower People to Keep Minds Active

 COLUMBIA Md., September 22, 2011 — The 2011 America’s Brain Health Index, released today, reveals which areas of the country have progressed, held their own or lost ground in taking measures to improve their brain health over the last two years. The state-by-state ranking of brain health is part of a national health education campaign called Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential, a partnership between life’sDHA™ and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), designed to inspire Americans to develop and maintain healthy, beautiful minds by incorporating key lifestyle factors known as the four dimensions of brain health — diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being.

According to the 2011 America’s Brain Health Index, Iowa ranks No. 40 among the brain-healthiest states in the nation. Strengths include active community participants, low incidence of poor mental health days and active readers. However, Iowa has challenges that include low consumption of DHA-fortified foods and supplements, high prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and a low level of religious or spiritual activity.

The campaign today also introduced this year’s “Beautiful Minds,” 11 individuals from across the country who are fulfilling the four dimensions of brain health and achieving amazing things in the second half of their lives. A photo essay exhibit featuring their personal stories will travel the country through 2012 to inspire Americans to improve their own brain health.

Americans who want to join this growing brain-healthy community to find out how other states rank in the America’s Brain Health Index, meet this year’s Beautiful Minds, check the schedule of the traveling photo essay exhibit and learn about simple steps that anyone can take to improve brain health are invited to visit

“Keeping the brain healthy is easier than many people realize. Everyday actions such as adding good fats like DHA omega-3 to your diet and staying active physically, mentally and socially are all good ways to influence long-term brain health,” said Dr. Michael Roizen, leading medical expert, best-selling author and advisor to the Index.

America’s Brain Health Index: Inspiration to boost brain health

To develop America’s Brain Health Index, life’sDHA worked in partnership with Dr. Roizen and other key health experts including Dr. Majid Fotuhi M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Neurology Institute for Brain Health and Fitness, and an assistant professor of neurology, John Hopkins School of Medicine, to determine the key indicators of brain health and to build the America’s Brain Health Index with data aggregated from highly credible secondary resources.

Conducted in 2009 and 2011, the America’s Brain Health Index evaluated the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on 21 factors including diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. In addition to providing a ranking for each state, the Index also includes comparative data for over two years. For example, the 2011 Index shows that the top two brain-healthy geographies in the United States are Maryland (No.1) and District of Columbia (No. 2). Comparative data also shows that Maryland has overtaken District of Columbia for the No. 1 spot since 2009. Both geographies are home to two of the Beautiful Minds who are being recognized for their commitment to brain health.

“As the country experiences unprecedented increase in life expectancy to 78 years – an increase of 30 percent over the past century – the knowledge that we can influence brain health and cognition throughout life is more important than ever, said Dr. Fotuhi. “The largest aging population in history will experience the most longevity of any generation, which means taking action to improve our brain health should be a high priority on the health checklist for all of us.”

Here is a sampling of brainpower-boosting tips available on

  • Diet and nutrition — incorporating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and added sugar but rich in brain-enhancing foods such as good fats like DHA omega-3, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and algal DHA supplements.
  • Physical health — staying physically active for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week and making wise lifestyle decisions such as getting enough sleep and not smoking.
  • Mental health — continually challenging the brain through activities such as game playing, creative pursuits like gardening, dancing or painting, or learning a new language or skill.
  • Social well-being — nurturing human connections and engaging in social activities to give life purpose, such as volunteering.

Top 10 Brain-Healthy States

No. 1 Maryland

No. 2 District of Columbia

No. 3 Washington

No. 4 Colorado

No. 5 Vermont

No. 6 New Hampshire

No. 7 Oregon

No. 8 Utah

No. 9 Maine

No. 10 New Jersey

States That Could Use a Brain Boost

No. 50 Louisiana

No. 51 Mississippi

Other Key Index Findings:

  • In the 2011 Index, Delaware had the biggest gain (+13 points) since the 2009 report. The state had a strong performance across a range of factors, including many of those that have a bigger weight on the overall Index, such as consumption of fruits and vegetables, breast-feeding, religious/spiritual activities and playing games.
  • Arizona had the biggest decrease (-10) since the 2009 report. While Arizona slipped in all areas except physical health, its residents can nourish their minds by increasing DHA consumption and engaging in more religious or spiritual activities.
  • The two lowest-ranking states, Louisiana and Mississippi, had high incidences of diabetes or gestational diabetes.
  • Additionally, the top two ranked geographies in 2009 swapped positions in 2011. Maryland is now No.1 and District of Columbia is No. 2.

Methodology: Ranking America’s Brain Health

The 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia were each evaluated based on 21 brain health indicators in the areas of diet, physical health, mental health and social well-being. Indicators included factors that have been shown to be key to   brain health such as consumption of DHA omega-3 fats, breast-feeding rates, smoking rates, Alzheimer’s disease prevalence, time spent sleeping, time spent on religious/spiritual activities, and level of community involvement, among many others. For each brain health indicator, data for all 51 geographies was compared to the national average, which was set at 100. Data points that were better than the national average indexed higher than 100, and data points that were poorer than the national average indexed lower than 100. After weighting the relative importance of each indicator to brain health, an overall index score was calculated for each geography. Geographies were then ranked from first to 51st.

About life’sDHA™

life'sDHA™, a DSM Nutritional Products brand, is a sustainable and vegetarian source of algal DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 important for brain, heart and eye health throughout life. Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of algal DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. For a complete list of products containing life’sDHA, visit

About the National Center for Creative Aging

The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to promoting creative expression as vital to healthy aging through education, research, advocacy, and technical assistance in health and wellness, lifelong learning and community. Based in Washington, D.C., NCCA is a nonprofit organization with 3,000 members and is affiliated with The George Washington University.


Illini Receives National Recognition From The Joint Commission PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:21

SILVIS, Ill. -- Sept. 21, 2011 -- Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus has been named one of the nation's top-performing hospitals in key quality measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditation agency of health care organizations in the United States.

This is the first time The Joint Commission has listed hospitals that are top performers in its annual report on quality and safety. The 405 organizations in 45 states that were identified as top performers represent approximately 14 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals.

Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus was recognized for achieving excellence in performance in heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care in 2010.

Illini was the only hospital in the Quad Cities to receive recognition from The Joint Commission.

"Excellent care is something all patients expect and deserve. Recognition from The Joint Commission sends a strong message to our patients that Genesis Medical Center, Illini is performing at the top of the nation with outstanding patient outcomes," said Flo Spyrow, President, Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus. "We have made a commitment to quality patient care, patient safety and excellence in patient service and are pleased to be named to the list of top performers by The Joint Commission."A core team of providers at Illini, led by Spyrow, have met weekly over the past year to review patient outcomes, analyze process, collaborate with physicians, and GMC Illini Receives National Recognition For Patient Care ultimately, to continually improve the care delivered to Illini patients.

"The Joint Commission is an independent, highly objective agency of quality for health care organizations. Their recognition is significant to our organization and to our patients,'' Spyrow said. "This is a tribute to Illini staff and the hard work they do each and every day."
The top performers list is based on performance related to 22 accountability measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and children's asthma care. The recognition program is based on data reported about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to be the best treatments.

"Today, the public expects transparency in the reporting of performance at the hospitals where they receive care, and The Joint Commission is shining a light on the top-performing hospitals that have achieved excellence on a number of vital measures of quality of care,'' said Mark Chassin, M.D., President of The Joint Commission. "Hospitals that commit themselves to accreditation-related quality improvement efforts create better outcomes for patients and, ultimately, a healthier nation."

For information about quality of care and patient safety at Genesis Health System, go to

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long-term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care centers. Learn more about The Joint Commission at


Eagles to Present Third $5 Million Check for Diabetes Research Sept. 24 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Nancy Schlagheck   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 07:59

Donation is part of five-year, $25 million Eagles donation to University of Iowa

September 20, 2011

Iowa City, Iowa – The peel of an apple has long been inconsequential. A tasteless buffer between the hungry human and the deliciously healthy interior, few ever gave the waxy exterior a second thought. Thanks to The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, things are about to change.

A recent study done by researchers at the University of Iowa with funding from the Diabetes Research Center has found that ursolic acid, a substance found in apple peel, reduced fat, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglycerides in mice and may be useful in treating diabetes.

The research was made possible by a five-year, $25 million commitment made by The Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.). A $5 million check presentation will be made Saturday, Sept. 24, at Kinnick Stadium as part of the football game between the University of Iowa and Louisiana-Monroe (Noon EST, 11 a.m. CST). This will bring the F.O.E. donation total to $15 million.

Though the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, future home of the Diabetes Research Center, is currently little more than dirt and steel, the center is already making significant medical breakthroughs.

Endocrinologist Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph. D., led the study which found that ursolic acid helped insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and insulin, hormones that help to build muscle and prevent muscle atrophy. Unexpectedly, the study also found that the substance reduced body fat in mice and lowered blood sugar levels and cholesterol – a key to preventing type-II diabetes.

Following his work, Adams was named the Diabetes Research Center’s first Faculty Scholar, an honor which will award him $250,000 over the next five years to help further his research.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is also funding the future of diabetes research as four promising young doctors have received $50,000 research grants to develop studies related to diabetes. Recipients include Anne Kwitek, PhD; Andrew Norris, MD, PhD; Kamai Rahmouni, PhD; and Leonid Zingman, MD. Leading doctors and researchers in the field will join the staff of the Diabetes Research Center in the coming months as the Eagles and the University of Iowa begin to fill a roster with medical talent equipped to make even more significant strides.

These steps are further pieces in the puzzle that has been coming together since members of The Fraternal Order of Eagles voted to make the five-year, $25 million commitment in August of 2008 at the organization’s International Convention in Louisville, Ky. In the years since, the nearly 850,000 Eagles across the United States and Canada have worked tirelessly to meet each year’s goal and make their dream a reality.

Eagle dignitaries scheduled to attend the presentation include Grand Aerie Chairman of the Board Mike Lagervall, Sr., Past Grand Madam President and DRC co-director Jean Kerr, DRC co-director Tom McGrath and Grand Trustee Chuck Lang. University of Iowa President Sally Mason will also be on hand for the event.

To learn more about The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, visit

About the Fraternal Order of Eagles
The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope. Founded in 1898, the Eagles fund research in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer, and raise money for neglected and abused children and the aged, as well as work for social and civic change.

About the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center will be housed at the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building on the campus of The University of Iowa in Iowa City. The state-of-the-art center will host leaders in the field of diabetes research in an effort to find a cure for the disease. The F.O.E. has pledged to donate $25 million over a five-year period to help with research efforts.

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