In this challenging economy, many people have curbed discretionary expenses like vacations, entertainment and shopping excursions. Unfortunately, many folks - even those with medical insurance - are also cutting back on healthcare services they can no longer afford, including preventive care, check-ups and medications for chronic conditions.

This short-term budgetary fix could have disastrous long-term effects, as easily treated or preventable conditions morph into much more serious - and expensive - illnesses.

While our government wrestles with solving the national healthcare crisis, here are a few suggestions for stretching your healthcare dollars and ensuring your family receives proper care:

Use your plan wisely. Most health insurers supply educational materials on preventive care such as quitting smoking, weight loss and chronic disease management (like diabetes and high cholesterol). Many even provide financial incentives for completing treatment programs, getting immunizations and using generic drugs, since these practices save money in the long run.

Check your carrier's website for details, or visit the HHS's "Prevention" site (www.hhs.gov/safety) for information and web links on such topics as fitness, nutrition, risky behavior modification and much more.

Free screenings. Many pharmacies, clinics and health organizations such the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org) and the American Academy of Dermatology (www.add.org) provide free screenings for illnesses such as kidney disease, skin cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Search "free screenings" at www.hhs.gov for nearby screenings.

Bargain with providers. Before going without needed care, speak to your doctor, dentist or hospital about your financial difficulties and see if they'll work with you to reduce fees or allow installment payments. They may also be able to suggest alternate treatments or connect you with programs that will help pay for your care.

For example, most pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs (PAPs) that provide uninsured and low-income people access to drugs they couldn't otherwise afford. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or clinic how to proceed, or visit Partnership for Prescription Assistance (www.pparx.org), which has enrollment information on over 475 public and private PAPs, including links to Medicaid programs.

Laid off? File for COBRA. Under the 2009 economic stimulus plan, the government will pay 65 percent of the cost of COBRA coverage for up to nine months for employees laid off between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. Granted, coverage is still expensive, but far less so than if you were uninsured and incurred a serious accident or illness.

Use public resources. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) helps fund over 7,000 community health centers serving millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans. Patients pay based on what they can afford for services such as routine checkups, maternity care, immunizations, prescription drugs, and dental, mental health and substance abuse care.

To learn more about this program and find the closest HHS-supported center, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov. In addition, many university teaching hospitals and dental schools operate clinics on a sliding payment scale.

Medicaid. Many uninsured people not yet eligible for Medicare can obtain medical coverage through state-administered Medicaid programs. To learn more, visit www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicaidGenInfo.

Don't let financial worries cause you to ignore your family's health needs. Resources are available; you just need to seek them out.




July 24, 2009 - The Alzheimer's Association, Greater Iowa Chapter will host a special screening and discussion of HBO's "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?" and "The Caregivers" in an attempt to encourage individuals to learn more about communication strategies and emotional responses to the disease.

The Alzheimer's Association program on August 4 at 11:30 a.m. begins with a special screenings of "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?" and "Caregivers", followed by a panel discussion. The event is being held at Senior Star at Elmore Place, 4502 Elmore Place in Davenport and is free and open to the public.  A brown bag lunch will be included.  The screenings will be repeated on August 6 at 5:30 pm.  Registration is requested; please call the Association at 563-324-1022.

The Alzheimer's Project is HBO's 4-part, multi-platform series that brings new understanding and hope for millions and reveals human faces behind the disease. The two films each explore a different facet of Alzheimer's:

· Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? Geared towards children and young teens coping with a grandparent's illness, this film presents vignettes that can help a child understand and deal with a relative's gradual decline into Alzheimer's. Maria Shriver, whose father was diagnosed with the disease, provides commentary and guidance through five insightful lessons.

· Caregivers A collection of five family portraits that illustrate caring for those in different stages of Alzheimer's disease. Each highlights the sacrifices, struggles, and successes made by those experiencing their loved ones' descent into dementia.

The purpose of the event is to encourage discussion about Alzheimer's within families.  Parents are encouraged to view "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am" with their children or may view the "Caregivers" at the same time and join their children for a group discussion following the screenings.

The Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org

Senior Star at Elmore Place Features a memory care with six different floor plans andunits ranging in size from 224 square feet to 343 square feet. Each room has a private half bath, while multiple shower and spa retreats are located through the building.  Senior Star at Elmore Place incorporates progressive and innovative approaches to memory care, including life skills stations, destination programming and Snoezelen rooms which promote soothing, sensory experiences. Senior Star at Elmore Place is owned by Senior Star Living, based in Tulsa, Okla. Senior Star Living is a private company founded in 1976 and entered the seniors housing business in 1989. Its portfolio currently includes nine retirement communities in six states. As a recognized leader in the seniors housing industry, the company provides independent, assisted living and memory care options.  Additional information is available on the Web site, www.seniorstar.com.



MADISON, Wis. - When diabetes educator Eva Marie Vivian sees overweight minority children, she sees a generational tragedy unfolding.

Type 2 diabetes was virtually unheard of in children a generation ago, but now as many as 3,700 young people were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in a single year ? a diagnosis much more common among Native American, Hispanic or African American children. At current rates, it is estimated that one in three children born in the year 2000 will eventually develop diabetes. And it's not just the diabetes -- cardiovascular disease, kidney and eye damage, and other complications can follow uncontrolled diabetes.

"A 12-year-old with Type 2 diabetes may develop coronary artery disease by age 35,'' said Vivian, associate clinical professor in the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. "We're talking about a generation of children that might not outlive their parents."

Vivian says that some heavily Hispanic zip codes in Los Angeles have rates of childhood obesity approaching 90 percent. And her recent research in Madison, Wis., shows that things aren't much better in the Midwest. She recently screened 86 children (63 percent African-American, 34 percent Latino, 3 percent white) in community settings such as churches and food pantries. She found that 54 percent were overweight or obese, conditions that can set them up for developing Type 2 diabetes, in which the body becomes resistant to insulin.

"While more than half of the children were overweight, it's interesting that only 10 percent of parents reported that they thought their children were overweight,' Vivian said. "It may be because many of the parents are overweight themselves."

So, is this merely a case of children inheriting bad genes? No.

"Genes may load the gun, but your environment and lifestyle pull the trigger,'' Vivian said.

As part of her screening, she queried parents about the factors causing children to gain weight. What she learned is startling:

  • · About 31 percent of the children consume fast food more than twice a week
  • · 86 percent watch more than two hours of television.
  • · Among the obese and overweight children, television watching was more than three hours a day.
  • · The parents themselves reported being too busy with work to prepare home-cooked meals.

Vivian's research is aimed at identifying factors that people can change to lose weight and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Her work is funded by the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), part of a national effort to get medical research more quickly from the laboratories into the community.

She has just received a second grant to create a community-based intervention program that will go into the neighborhood centers with programs for children and parents. While the children would be in exercise classes led by trained instructors from the UW School of Kinesiology and formerly overweight teenagers who have successfully changed their own lifestyles, parents would be learning about healthy shopping, cooking and family lifestyle changes.

"One problem is that some parents also eat unhealthy foods, and the children follow their parents,'' Vivian said. "The good news is that when you ask adults to change their lifestyle, they're more likely to be receptive if it involves helping their children."

Is Your Child At Risk For Diabetes?

1. Is your children African-American/black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American or Asian/Pacific Islander?

2. Does your child have a sister or brother with diabetes?

3. Does your child have a parent or grandparent with diabetes?

4. Has a health care provider told you your child is overweight or do you feel your child is overweight?

5. Does your child (between ages 10 and 19) get little or no exercise?

6. Does your child have a dark skin patch around the neck or in the armpits?

7. Has a doctor said your child has high blood pressure?

8. Has a doctor said your child has high cholesterol?

9. Has your daughter had irregular periods, excess facial hair or unusual weight gain?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, your child may be at risk for having or developing diabetes. You should talk to a health care provider.



DAVENPORT, Iowa - July 15, 2009 -- Cancer does not only impact the patient. Children, grandchildren, spouses and other loved ones can also be involved in the cancer fight.

Cancer can disrupt families and disrupt their financial situations, making vacations more difficult.

From Aug. 2-Aug. 8, Genesis Health System, Gilda's Club of the Quad Cities and the Scott County Family Y will provide an opportunity for children coping with cancer in their families to enjoy time together at YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln.

Camp Genesis will provide children ages 8-12 with an outstanding resident camp experience with special cancer education programs provided by Gilda's Club and Genesis to help kids better cope with the effects of cancer in their family. The usual $450 camp fee will be donated by Genesis. There will be no charge to campers or their families.

"This camp will provide a much-needed opportunity for kids to just be kids,'' said Sally Werner, Director, Genesis Cancer Care Institute. "This camp will be a relief to parents who may be facing illness and financial concerns because of the illness.  They will be able to share the joy and fun their children and grandchildren are having by enjoying an active, safe camp experience. Camp Genesis will provide a unique camp experience specifically designed for children who are dealing with cancer in their families.''

Camp Genesis will provide youth impacted by cancer in their family with a great Y camp experience - from campfires and canoeing to horseback riding and swimming - at Camp Abe Lincoln. Mixed in with the fun will be 30 minutes of support and education each day from the experts at Gilda's Club. The Gilda's Club staff will help campers cope with the new stresses on their families caused by cancer.

New this year will be a Parent Night for camper parents to let them see what their child or children have been doing. There will be a presentation on Parent Night about the services available at Genesis to serve the needs of cancer patients and their families.

The Genesis Cancer Care Institute in Davenport has transformed cancer care in the region with new cancer-fighting technology, renovated facilities and an expanded focus on treating the "whole'' cancer patient and families.

Gilda's Club has an office at the Genesis Cancer Care Institute and offers its special support services throughout the Quad Cities from the Gilda's "clubhouse" at 1234 E. River Drive in Davenport.

"It is especially difficult for children affected by cancer to talk to their family and friends, to express fears, to ask questions, and explore their feelings,'' said Claudia Robinson, CEO of Gilda's Club of the Quad Cities. "Because it is impossible for children to change things that are beyond their control, it is important to help them identify and express what they realistically do control. Camp Genesis will help children learn to overcome obstacles in a fun and enriching environment.''

"Camp Abe Lincoln is the perfect location for our children to forget about their worries and just have fun,'' said Frank Klipsch, President and CEO of Scott County Family Y. "Camp is where children can step outside of their shells and experience something new. YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln was recently voted Best Camp by River City Readers and offers year-round character development programming at its 250-acre site located just outside Buffalo, Iowa. Camp Abe Lincoln has been serving Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois for more than 85 years.

Anyone who knows a child affected by cancer in their family is encouraged to call Gilda's Club Quad Cities at (563) 326-7504 for more information and applications. Information can also be found at www.ScottCountyFamilyY.org or by calling YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln at (563) 381-3053.

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This Sunday, July 12, a group of Quad Citians will be collecting handprints for, and displaying the progress of, the "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project." This local grassroots project highlights the expanding health care crisis and how it affects American lives. Each year some 22,000 people in America between the ages of 25 and 65 die, due to a lack of health insurance. These victims of a broken system delayed seeking medical care because they could not afford the medications or treatment they needed.
The "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project" was started in 2005 as a way to engage our communi ty and elected officials in a discussion about comprehensive health care reform. Each participant places a painted handprint on our canvass to symbolize one American who has died because he or she didn't have coverage. To date, over 6,800 people have participated, including President Barack Obama, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Dick Durbin, and Dr. Howard Dean.
The project will be on display, and handprints will be collected, at the Augustana College Pepsico Center in Rock Island. The event will go from 1:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday, July 12. At 3:00 p.m. there will be a brief program about the handprint project and updated information on the health care proposals being discussed in Washington, DC this year. We will also discuss ways we can make our voices heard now in support of real health care reform.
What: "Lend a Hand for Health Care Project" event
When: 1:00 - 5:00 pm Sunday July 12th (with program at 3:00)
Where: The Augustana College Pepsico Center, 30th St. and 11th Ave. in Rock Island
Who: Progressive Action for the Common Good, Change That Works, Campaign for Better Health Care
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Davenport, Iowa July 6, 2009 - The Alzheimer's Association, Greater Iowa Chapter, is hosting a series of family education classes aimed at helping families to identify Alzheimer's and on developing effective strategies for coping with the disease.

The family education series is presented in three parts: "An Alzheimer's Primer"- identifying Alzheimer's from regular aging and a guide to finding resources; "Loving Miss Lillie" - appropriate communication strategies for Alzheimer's caregivers; and "Legal and Financial Matters" - how to protect assets while providing the best care possible for your loved one.

"With an aging baby boomer population and the country facing unprecedented economic challenges, it is important that caregivers and potential caregivers be aware of the best methods for dealing with Alzheimer's," said Jerry Schroeder, program specialist with the Alzheimer's Association's Greater Iowa Chapter, "an estimated 210,000 Illinois residents will be living with the disease by 2010. We need to make every effort to address the needs of the community. This series will help us reach out to those most in need."

 

The series will be held:

Mercer County: Viola Presbyterian Church, Route 17, Viola, IL

Tuesday, July 16 from 5:30-7pm,"An Alzheimer's Primer"

Tuesday, July 23 from 5:30-7pm, "Loving Miss Lillie"

Tuesday, July 30 from 5:30-7pm,"Legal and Financial Matters"

Henry County: Geneseo Community Center, 541 E North Street, Geneseo, IL

Wednesday, August 19 from 5:30-7pm,"An Alzheimer's Primer"

Wednesday, August 26 from 5:30-7pm, "Loving Miss Lillie"

Wednesday, September 2 from 5:30-7pm,"Legal and Financial Matters"

Rock Island County:  In Touch Adult Day Care, 4011 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, IL

Thursday, August 20 from 5:30-7pm, "An Alzheimer's Primer"

Thursday, August 27 from 5:30-7pm, "Loving Miss Lillie"

Thursday, September 3 from 5:30-7pm, "Legal and Financial Matters"

Dinner is included although there is no cost to attend. Registration required; call the Alzheimer's Association office at 563-324-1022. The series is made possible by a grant funded by the Western Illinois Area on Aging.

 

The Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's.

# # #

An alternative health detox spa in Davenport featuring medicinal hydrotherapy, alkaline drinking water and orthomolecular medicine for the treatment of alcoholism is now receiving clients.  Michael Grady, Director of Atlantispa in Davenport, said that the spa is one of only a handful in the United States to feature both specialized hydrotherapy and orthomolecular medicine in one setting.

The spa features medicinal detoxification hydrotherapy involving full body immersion in water treated with far infrared heat, essential oil, trace ozone, ultrasonic bubbles, vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide.  Detoxification is further enhanced with alkaline drinking water with over 50 natural trace nutrients.  Orthomolecular medicine, or vitamin mega-dosing with niacin and vitamin C, works in a complementary way to help rebuild the body's defenses. "The program intention is to remove what's dangerous and install what's healthy. Studies show that our treatments are effective and with no harmful side effect," says Grady.

Clients can expect a higher than average rate of long-term sobriety through this unique program, in addition to helping with other health programs. The average treatment length is 18 to 36 visits, at an average cost of $50 per visit.

The treatment center, located at 235 West 35th Street in Davenport (above Nick Tarpein Martial Arts) is flexible to accommodate client schedules from early morning to late evening. For a free assessment, contact Atlantispa at 563-445-7331.

Free Medical Marijuana Documentary and Forum at Bettendorf Public Library this Saturday at 3 pm

The Marijuana Policy Project will be showing the award winning documentary, "Waiting to Inhale", this Saturday at the Bettendorf Public Library.  The film will be shown at 3:00 pm and will be followed by patient testimonies.  A legal expert and medical cannabis lobbyist will lead a forum where the general public can ask questions about the legislation, which will be debated by our state legislature next spring.

Bettendorf, Iowa, June 16
- On Saturday, June 20 at 3:00 p.m., a free screening of the award-winning medical marijuana documentary "Waiting to Inhale" will be held at the Bettendorf Public Library in the Quad Cities.  The screening will be followed by a discussion with patients and advocates involved in this year's efforts to make Iowa the 14th state to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest.

Ray Lakers, a Multiple Sclerosis patient, served time in jail for possession of less than one gram of marijuana.  Jeff Elton, a Diabetic Neuropathic Gastroparesis patient, claims marijuana to be the only medicine that stops his nausea.  Lisa Jackson will explain what it's like to live with Fibromyalgia and how medical marijuana saved her from overdosing on her old medications.  Also speaking will be Jacob Orr, a severe chronic pain patient who replaced highly addictive and dangerous opiates with medical marijuana.

The event is being led by Jimmy Morrison, a grassroots organizer for the largest medical marijuana lobbyist organization in the country.  Carl Olsen will explain the progress his lawsuit has made in finally addressing the medical marijuana legislation already passed in this state in 1979.  They hope to answer the many questions Iowans may have about the bill S.F. 293, which Senator Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) introduced to be debated in the spring of 2010.  There are currently 13 states who have legalized medical marijuana, the most recent being Michigan where a ballot initiative was passed with 63% of the vote.  None of these states have found an increase in teen drug use since passing legislation.

The federal government started the Investigational New Drug Program decades ago, which grows and provides medical marijuana for free to fifteen patients.  Although the program has been shut down and only four patients are still alive, George McMahon and Barbara Douglass, both Iowa residents, continue to receive legal medical marijuana every month.  George McMahon suffers from Nail-Patella Syndrome and Barbara Douglass has Multiple Sclerosis.

In 1988, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled marijuana to be "in its natural form, one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."  In 1999, the White House commissioned the Institute of Medicine to review all medical literature on marijuana.  This review found "Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting and can be mitigated by marijuana.  Although some medications are more effective than marijuana for these problems, they are not equally effective in all patients."  Since February of 2007, three studies have shown marijuana relieves neuropathic pain, commonly associated with AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, and other illnesses.

Marijuana is Schedule I in Iowa, which means it has no accepted medical value.  This schedule includes such drugs as LSD and pure heroine; however, marijuana is also Schedule II in Iowa, which means it has accepted medical value.  Schedule II includes such drugs as cocaine, morpheine, oxycodone, other opiates, and methamphetamine.  In 1979, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners, a bureacracy, was supposed to study and decide if there is accepted medical value in the United States.  They recently disobeyed a court order to address the issue.

The documentary to be shown, "Waiting to Inhale", was produced and directed by Jed Riffe and was partially funded by the Marijuana Policy Project's grants program.  The film examines the medical marijuana debate up close by taking you inside the lives of patients, doctors, and activists, while seeking to understand why opponents support the continued criminalization of our sick and dying.  "Waiting to Inhale" has already played to critical acclaim, having won the 2005 CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Gold Special Jury Remi Award at the 38th Annual WorldFest-Houston, and the 2005 Best Documentary Film/Video at the New Jersey International Film Festival.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT will air WorldFocus: Outbreak - A Special Report, a timely special on the Influenza A (H1N1) virus on Wednesday, May 6 at 9:00 p.m.   It has been the lead news story around the world for the past two weeks. Misinformation and rumors abound, Global experts will tell you what you need to know today to protect yourself from this virulent flu.  Panelists on the program include :

Dr. Stephen Morse, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health; Founding Director & Senior Res. Scientist, Center for Public Health Preparedness: Author Emerging Viruses.

Laurie Garret, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations

Simon Tay Fellow, Asia Society Chairman; Singapore Institute of International Relations

Christopher Sabatin, Senior Director of Policy, Council of the Americas

While the infection rate seems to be subsiding in Mexico for now, many other countries are preparing for potential outbreaks, either now or later in the year when the typical flu season begins again in the northern hemisphere.

The special will be hosted by Martin Savidge and Daljit Dhaliwal.

WQPT airs WorldFocus Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m.



Concerned about Health Care Reform?

Let your voice be heard.

Trinity at Terrace Park
Conference Room A/B
Thursday, April 23
7:30 -9:00 am
$15 per person - includes breakfast

Join us at Trinity at Terrace Park for a discussion on Health Care Reform. Dr. Alta Price and Karen Metcalf will present findings from a Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform which was held on March 28 at Augustana College. The Town Hall Meeting was open to the public and allowed citizens to discuss community health care needs and share ideas about the meaningful and measurable changes needed in order to meet those needs.

Input from the Town Hall Meeting will be forwarded on to the local congressional delegation. Make sure the business community is heard! This breakfast will be informative and will allow you to express your views.

Call the Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce at 355-4753 for reservations.

Thank you to our sponsor: Trinity Regional Health System.

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