As the founder and CEO/President of Community Wellness Centers of America LLC (CWCOA) and Equinox Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Dr. Robert Evans is working towards organizing and delivering required healthcare services in under-served communities that otherwise would be neglected.
As a medical physician and long time community activist, Dr. Evans understands the resources and programs required to address chronic illnesses through preventive programs, which are often absent from minority communities.
Dr. Evans has developed his companies with a primary mission to deliver state-of-the-art health programs and services, improve healthcare outcomes in under–served communities, and collaborate with hospital systems, physicians, and ancillary healthcare services. All of these steps will help to create a coordinated healthcare delivery system to provide equality in healthcare for residents through increased emphasis on prevention.
American health-care spending, measured in trillions of dollars, boggles the mind. Last year, we spent $3.2 trillion on health care — a number so large that it can be difficult to grasp its scale.A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals what patients and their insurers are spending that money on, breaking it down by 155 diseases, patient age and category — such as pharmaceuticals or hospitalizations. Among its findings:
Chronic — and often preventable — diseases are a huge driver of personal health spending. The three most expensive diseases in 2013: diabetes ($101 billion), the most common form of heart disease ($88 billion) and back and neck pain ($88 billion).
Yearly spending increases aren’t uniform: Over a nearly two-decade period, diabetes and low back and neck pain grew at more than 6 percent per year — much faster than overall spending. Meanwhile, heart disease spending grew at 0.2 percent.
Medical spending increases with age — with the exception of newborns. About 38 percent of personal health spending in 2013 was for people over age 65. Annual spending for girls between 1 and 4 years old averaged $2,000 per person; older women 70 to 74 years old averaged $16,000.
The analysis provides some insight into what’s driving one particularly large statistic: Within a decade, close to a fifth of the American economy will consist of health care.
“It’s important we have a complete landscape when thinking about ways to make the health care system more efficient,” said Joseph Dieleman, an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington who led the work. Continue reading →
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Infants born with microcephaly and their family members in Pernambuco state in Brazil. (Felipe Dana/AP)
RIO DE JANEIRO — Nearly nine months after Zika was declared a global health emergency, the virus has infected at least 650,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean, including tens of thousands of expectant mothers.
But to the great bewilderment of scientists, the epidemic has not produced the wave of fetal deformities so widely feared when the images of misshapen infants first emerged from Brazil.
Instead, Zika has left a puzzling and distinctly uneven pattern of damage across the Americas. According to the latest U.N. figures, of the 2,175 babies born in the past year with undersize heads or other congenital neurological damage linked to Zika, more than 75 percent have been clustered in a single region: northeastern Brazil.
The pattern is so confounding that health officials and scientists have turned their attention back to northeastern Brazil to understand why Zika’s toll has been so much heavier there. They suspect that other, underlying causes may be to blame, such as the presence of another mosquito-borne virus like chikungunya or dengue. Or that environmental, genetic or immunological factors combined with Zika to put mothers in the area at greater risk.
“We don’t believe that Zika is the only cause,” Fatima Marinho, director of the noncommunicable disease department at Brazil’s Ministry of Health, said in an interview.
Brazilian officials were bracing for a flood of fetal deformities as Zika spread this year to other regions of the country, Marinho said. However, “we are not seeing a big increase.”
Researchers and health officials remain cautious about the lower-than-expected numbers. The latest studies have found more evidence than ever that the virus can inflict severe damage on the developing infant brain, some of which may not be evident until later in childhood.
But researchers so far have learned a lot more about Zika’s potential to do harm than its likelihood of doing so.
Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are closely watching Puerto Rico, which has reported more than 26,800 cases of Zika. More than 7,000 pregnant women could be infected by the end of the year, according to the CDC.
But although the outbreak has spread this year to more than 50 nations and territories across the Western Hemisphere, U.N. data shows just 142 cases of congenital birth defects linked to Zika so far outside Brazil. Continue reading →
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Red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe… These are very rich in plant substances called carotenoids. “Research has found that women who have high- er levels of carotenoids are at lower risk for breast cancer,” says Vandana Sheth, registered dietitian nutritionist, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dark green leafy vegetables… Kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard deliver carotenoids that in lab studies inhibited the growth of cer- tain types of breast cancer cells, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
Blueberries… These are packed with antioxidants, Sheth says.
Walnuts… In animal studies, mice that were fed walnuts cut their breast cancer in half, according to the dietitian.
Salmon… Consuming this fatty fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acid, may reduce wom- en’s risk of breast cancer, according to a report from AICR.
High-fiber foods… Black beans, barley, lentils, raspber- ries, skin-on pears and broccoli are good choices. Aim for 30 to 45 grams a day for cancer prevention, says Sheth, Los Angeles area.
Apples… The peel delivers dietary fiber and the flesh contains plant chemicals that act as protective antioxidants.
Garlic and onions… These members of the allium family slowed the development of breast can- cer in animal studies.
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Back in July, a 38-year-old Utah man was diagnosed with the Zika virus, even though he hadn’t traveled to a Zika-affected region or had sexual contact with someone who did.
Experts were puzzled.
They knew that Zika virus was transmitted in only one of four ways: from the bite of an infected mosquito, from sexual contact with an infected person, from contact with infected blood, or from pregnant mother to fetus in the womb. They also knew that Salt Lake City, Utah is not a hospitable environment for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus easily.
Election Day is Nov. 8. But the vast majority of the 50 states do not allow voters to register that day. Here’s a rundown of the deadlines to register by state.
The “mail” dates refer to the day by which an application must be postmarked. States that offer registration on Election Day often have special requirements. On a desktop computer, you may search for your state’s name with keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl F on a PC or Command F on a Mac.
Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) | American clergyman and civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Dear Coach Swinney,
I’m a professor at Clemson. We’ve never met, but we work with many of the same students.
I listened to your comments on the issue of athlete protests on the field, and I wanted to share some of my impressions.
I winced when I heard a reporter ask you, a white man who makes somewhere in the area of $5 million a year from the physical labor and bodily risk of unpaid black athletes, if he would “discipline” them for making a political statement. Given that you and I both work on the former plantation of John C. Calhoun, the historical significance of the question is staggering and troubling.
To your credit, you said that you would not discipline a player for not standing during the national anthem, an act of defiance most recently started by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
You did acknowledge Kaepernick’s right to protest, and you encouraged other players to exercise those rights if they want to. I was glad to hear all of those things. For a moment, I felt even prouder than I already am to be a professor at Clemson. Continue reading →
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(CNN)There has been a disturbing increase in suicide rates among elementary school-age black children in recent years in the United States, and yet researchers aren’t quite sure why.
When compared with early adolescents, younger children who die by suicide are more likely to be black boys who hang or suffocate to death, suggests a new paper published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
Why are U.S. suicide rates on the rise?05:36
“I think the biggest finding is that — even though suicide is extremely rare in children — children sometimes can and sometimes will think about suicide and make suicide attempts,” said Jeff Bridge, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who was a co-author of the paper.
“So that’s why it’s important for parents, pediatricians and teachers to be able to identify the warning sides of suicide in children and take appropriate steps when warning signs are present,” he said.
Children vs. early adolescents
The paper included surveillance data on suicide deaths in 17 states from 2003 to 2012. The data were collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System.
The researchers obtained the data in the system on children 5 to 14 years old whose cause of death was suicide; this resulted in 693 suicides that researchers then examined and analyzed.
As suicide deaths among children are rare, the researchers noted that the suicide rate among 5- to 11-year-olds is only 0.17 per every 100,000 persons. Among 12- to 17-year-olds, the rate is 5.18 per 100,000.
Although it’s been a long time, I vividly recall my reaction when I learned that I had been admitted to Amherst College: The admissions office must have made a terrible mistake.
I had graduated from a Long Island high school where most students didn’t go to college, so I was convinced that at Amherst I would be overmatched by my better-educated, more sophisticated classmates and sliced to ribbons by my brilliant professors. To my surprise, I fared well academically, but I never entirely got over the feeling of being an impostor. Only decades later, at a class reunion, did I discover that many of my peers had felt exactly the same way.
Regardless of their credentials, many freshmen doubt that they have the necessary brainpower or social adeptness to succeed in college. This fear of failing hits poor, minority and first-generation college students especially hard. If they flunk an exam, or a professor doesn’t call on them, their fears about whether they belong may well be confirmed. The cycle of doubt becomes self-reinforcing, and students are more likely to drop out.
The good news is that this dismal script can be rewritten. Several recent research projects show that, with the right nudge, students can acquire ways of thinking that helps them thrive.
In a large-scale experiment at an unnamed school I’ll call Flagship State, incoming freshmen read upperclassmen’s accounts of how they navigated the shoals of university life. The accounts explained that, while the upperclassmen initially felt snubbed by their classmates and intimidated by their professors, their lives started turning around when they reached out to their instructors and began to make friends.
“Part of me thought I had been accepted due to a stroke of luck, and that I would not measure up to the other students,” wrote one upperclassman. “Early on, I bombed a test. It was the worst grade I’d ever received, and I felt terrible and isolated. But then I found out that no one did well on that test. The professor was trying to set a high standard.”
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new weight-loss procedure in which a thin tube, implanted in the stomach, ejects food from the body before all the calories can be absorbed.
Some have called it “medically sanctioned bulimia,” and it is the latest in a desperate search for new ways to stem the rising tides of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Roughly one-third of adult Americans are now obese; two-thirds are overweight; and diabetes afflicts some 29 million. Another 86 million Americans have a condition called pre-diabetes. None of the proposed solutions have made a dent in these epidemics.
Recently, 45 international medical and scientific societies, including the American Diabetes Association, called for bariatric surgery to become a standard option for diabetes treatment. The procedure, until now seen as a last resort, involves stapling, binding or removing part of the stomach to help people shed weight. It costs $11,500 to $26,000, which many insurance plans won’t pay and which doesn’t include the costs of office visits for maintenance or postoperative complications. And up to 17 percent of patients will have complications, which can include nutrient deficiencies, infections and intestinal blockages.
It is nonsensical that we’re expected to prescribe these techniques to our patients while the medical guidelines don’t include another better, safer and far cheaper method: a diet low in carbohydrates.
President Obama says he supports a congressional panel’s recommendation to create a veterans’ health care system that coordinates government and private care.The recommendation is one of 18 issued in July by a panel that Congress formed following a scandal over long wait times for veterans who sought care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Continue reading →
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