Category Archives: Health

Major Senior, Health Advocates Endorse Governor Wolf’s Unified Department of Health and Human Services

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that a broad coalition of advocates for seniors, recovery, people with disabilities, and other health and human services populations is speaking out in support of the unification of the departments of Health, Human Services, Aging, and Drug and Alcohol Programs into one Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Having the support of this broad coalition of senior and human services advocates strengthens my administration’s efforts to break down silos, increase government efficiency, and listen across party lines and ideologies to develop a practical solution of integrating these vital human services agencies into one unified Department of Health and Human Services,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud these organizations for sharing their ideas as we move through this process and for their support as we make the new department a reality for the people of Pennsylvania.”

These groups include: Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association (RCPA), The Arc of Pennsylvania, The Alliance of PA Councils, PA Health Access Network (PHAN), Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), Pennsylvania Homecare Association, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania,  Equality Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association – Greater PA Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association – Delaware Valley Chapter, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR).

Governor Wolf has worked closely with the four departments and myriad advocates to identify and break down silos and reimagine how the state delivers such critical services. A website — https://www.governor.pa.gov/health-and-human-services/ was launched … Continue reading this news release in its entirety; click here.

“‘How Long Have I Got, Doc?’ Why Many Cancer Patients Don’t Have Answers” – California Healthline

cancer-decisions-4Bruce Mead-e, 63, who has advanced lung cancer, stands in the garden at his home in Georgetown, Del. Over four years, he has undergone two major surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. (Eileen Blass for Kaiser Health News)

by Liz Szabo

“In the past four years, Bruce Mead-e has undergone two major surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy to treat his lung cancer.

“Yet in all that time, doctors never told him or his husband whether the cancer was curable — or likely to take Mead-e’s life.

“‘We haven’t asked about cure or how much time I have,’ said Mead-e, 63, of Georgetown, Del., in a May interview. ‘We haven’t asked, and he hasn’t offered. I guess we have our heads in the sand.’

“At a time when expensive new cancer treatments are proliferating rapidly, patients such as Mead-e have more therapy choices than ever before. Yet patients like him are largely kept in the dark because their doctors either can’t or won’t communicate clearly. Many patients compound the problem by avoiding news they don’t want to hear.”

Read this article in its entirety at California Healthline.

“Got Cancer Questions? This Little-Known Hotline Is Here To Help” – NPR

by Courtney Columbus

cancer centerJill Wiseman answers questions for the Contact Center based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. – Robert Hood/Fred Hutch News Service

“If you were worried you had cancer, who would you call for information? Chances are a federally-funded cancer helpline isn’t the first place that pops into your mind.

“But for 40 years, a helpline funded primarily by the National Cancer Institute has been answering people’s questions about cancer.

“It’s a source of information for people who have been called back for a follow-up after routine screenings and are worried they might have cancer. And it can also help cancer patients get information about participating in clinical trials and help them figure out questions to ask their doctors.”

Continue reading this article, click here.

National Cancer Institure Contact Center—Cancer Information Service

 

“Ask these 7 questions about any new medication” – National Institute on Aging

Before starting on a new medication, be sure to ask your doctors these questions:

  • How many times a day should I take it? At what time(s)? If the bottle says take “4 times a day,” does that mean 4 times in 24 hours or 4 times during the daytime?
  • Should I take the medicine with food or not? Is there anything I should not eat or drink when taking this medicine?
  • Will this medicine cause problems if I am taking other medicines?
  • What does “as needed” mean?
  • When should I stop taking the medicine?
  • If I forget to take my medicine, what should I do?
  • What side effects can I expect? What should I do if I have a problem?

Learn more about medication safety.

And you can learn more by coming to this special FREE event on June 14!

0614 your medications

“The painful truth about teeth | You can work full time but not have the money to fix your teeth – visible reminders of the divide between rich and poor” – The Washington Post

teeth divideAn event center floor becomes a makeshift dental surgery area during the Mission of Mercy clinic in Salisbury on March 10. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

“SALISBURY, Md. — Two hours before sunrise, Dee Matello joined the line outside the Wicomico Civic Center, where hundreds of people in hoodies, heavy coats and wool blankets braced against a bitter wind.

“Inside, reclining dental chairs were arrayed in neat rows across the arena’s vast floor. Days later, the venue would host Disney on Ice. On this Friday morning, dentists arriving from five states were getting ready to fix the teeth of the first 1,000 people in line.

“Matello was No. 503. The small-business owner who supports President Trump had a cracked molar, no dental insurance and a nagging soreness that had forced her to chew on the right side of her mouth for years.

“‘It’s always bothering me,’ she said.”

Click here to continue reading this Washington Post article.

“Effective Communication for Effective Care | Talking With Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook”

talkinw with your older patientClick on the graphic to download the handbook. 

“Good communication is an important part of the healing process. Effective doctor-patient communication has research-proven benefits: Patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and have better outcomes, they express greater satisfaction with their treatment, and they are less likely to file malpractice suits.

“Studies show that good communication is a teachable skill. Medical students who receive communication training improve dramatically in talking with, assessing, and building relationships with patients. Time management skills also improve.

“Interpersonal communication skills are considered so important that they are a core competency identified by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties.”

Continue reading this article at the National Institure on Aging Website, click here.

 

“Fresh Food By Prescription: This Health Care Firm Is Trimming Costs — And Waistlines” – NPR

by Allison Aubrey

trimming waistlinesRegistered dietitian Anna Ziegler counsels Tom Shicowich, who has a Type 2 diabetes. Since enrolling in the Fresh Food Pharmacy program, Shicowich has lost about 45 pounds. His A1C level has dropped significantly. – Allison Aubrey/NPR

“The advice to eat a healthy diet is not new. Back around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the Greek doctor, had this missive: Let food be thy medicine.

“But as a society, we’ve got a long way to go. About one out of every two deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. is linked to a poor diet. That’s about 1,000 deaths a day.

“There are lots of places to lay the blame. Calories are cheap, and indulgent foods full of salt, sugar and fat are usually within our reach 24/7.

“So, how best to turn this around? Consider Tom Shicowich’s story. It begins with a toe. His left pinky toe.”

Continue reading this NPR article, click here.

HHS Unification – a website explaining the particulars.

Earlier today, the Governor’s Office launched its website for all stakeholders to learn more about Governor Wolf’s initiative to create a unified Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  On this site, you can review the draft legislation, dive deep into the HHS draft organizational charts, and hear from the prime sponsors in the House and Senate. The website also includes a way for all stakeholders to provide feedback.

HHS Unification Website

“7 Foot Problems That Can Be Serious” – Grandparents.com

These seemingly harmless conditions can signal real health issues.

by Jessica Dysart

foot problems“If you want to know the state of your health, try looking down. ‘There’s no question it’s extremely important that people pay attention to their feet,’ says Terry Philbin, D.O., spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and a foot and ankle specialist at the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center in Westerville, Ohio. The condition of your feet can give you clues to a host of medical issues, such as diabetes, arthritis, and even heart disease. Read on to find out what to look for and what it may mean.”

Continue reading this article at Grandparents.com and find out what the seven foot problems are, click here.

 

 

Disability Helper | explore a helpful Website

Here’s a website that can be quite helpful for persons with a disability or caretakers of a someone with a disability.

disability helper

“DisabilityHelpers.net is a place for those with friends or family members who are disabled to get together and share ideas, suggestions and learnings about the challenges and joys of life. Having someone in your life with different abilities offers a unique perspective on things that may seem mundane to others, and we hope that through this collaborative effort we are able to help others see the beauty in the everyday in a new way.

“Many social barriers have already been removed from those with disability, but there is much work yet to be done to allow everyone to be as independent as possible to live, learn and love within their community. Our goal is to provide information for caretakers of those with a disability about healthy living, school, safety, transitions, finding support and independent living.”

And here (thank you, Linda J. for sharing) are some really useful links you may find useful: