Dr. Evans Leads Charge Against Disparities in Healthcare

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 underserved 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.

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Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure

David L. Kirp
David L. Kirp

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.”

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Before You Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Do This

By SARAH HALLBERG and OSAMA HAMDY

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.

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President Obama backs new veterans’ health care system Tweet email

A congressional panel says the VA needs “fundamental, dramatic change” to improve health care for veterans.

(JUSTIN BERL/EPA)

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.
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Black Health Matters

By JENNA WORTHAM

The first bloom appeared in the crease of my right elbow, an itchy cluster that I ignored. It was well into summer, so I wrote it off as heat rash, or something similarly seasonal.

But then it started to spread. The topography of my body transformed into a foreign mess of hives and scaly patches.

I had just come back from to Puerto Rico, but my doctor ruled out Zika. Dermatologists were baffled. Allergy panels came back negative. Relief was fleeting: My skin would heal for a few days, only to burst back into a weeping rash.

I spent the first few weeks of summer on my couch, comatose under the influence of prescription-strength antihistamines. Not long after, an extended heavy menstrual cycle left me feeling so ill and lightheaded that I almost fainted at work, alarming my co-worker Sue so much that she escorted me to an emergency room.

Again, doctors found nothing they could pinpoint as the culprit. My acupuncturist was the first to suggest a potential trigger: Could my rash be stress-induced, he asked kindly, as he slid needles into my face and arms.

I thought back. It wasn’t completely outrageous: The first outbreak started in June, around the time that a man threatened to shoot up my local gay bar in Brooklyn, “Orlando style.” And it flared as outrage and grief over the killing of two black men,Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, by police officers began flooding my social media feeds, in a macabre loop that swooped from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram and back.

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How Does Stress Affect Your Immune System?

No one is immune from stress. According to Merriam-Webster, stress is defined as “a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc”. Despite its negative connotation in popular culture, this mental state can be both beneficial and harmful.

An example of ‘good stress’ would be the short, intense burst of tension or anxiety that is felt before events like a test or job interview. Good stress is beneficial because it can provide a temporary extra boost of energy or alertness, which increases performance. Good stress also manifests in the fight or flight response. This chemical reaction occurs when a threat to survival is perceived, and triggers a physiological reaction. An example of the fight or flight response is when we get startled by a loud noise. We have developed this response as a means of survival.

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The Anger of Cancer

By SUSAN GUBAR  (original article)

While dealing with lung cancer, my friend Nancy K. Miller seethed in her blog at pharmaceutical advertisements and hospital commercials that bombard us daily with pictures of joyous cancer patients supported by doting intimates. These jubilant characters have nothing to do with the frustrated people we know who periodically erupt in righteous indignation. I often must remind myself that anger needs to be understood as the flip side of the roiling fear that cancer instills in patients and also in caregivers.

Over the past few years, every member of my support group has bristled over well-intentioned but hurtful relatives.

Carrol enjoyed her Joan of Arc post-chemo look until her 82-year-old mother asked, “Why aren’t you wearing your wig to cover up?”

Carrol’s loyal husband, cross at her decision to retire, refused to discuss end-of-life planning. He wanted her to keep on fighting, whereas she wanted to cope with the recurrence that she expected and that did, to his great sorrow, soon end her life.

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New York City drug overdose deaths up 73% over last five years, with heroin claiming the most victims

Heroin was the deadliest overdose drug, involved in 59% of deaths in 2015.

Heroin was the deadliest overdose drug, involved in 59% of deaths in 2015.

The number of drug overdose deaths has soared by 73% in the city over the last five years, data released Tuesday by the Health Department show.There were 937 accidental fatal ODs in 2015 — up from 800 the year before, and from 541 in 2010.

The rate of people dying from drug overdoses jumped for the fifth-straight year, to 13.6 for every 100,000 residents — a 66% jump from 2010.

The heroin overdose rate soared even more — by 158% over the same period.

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Sex May Spread Zika Virus More Often Than Researchers Suspected

Photo

A couple in Rio de Janeiro last year. Intimate contact may account for more Zika infections than previously suspected, though recent findings have been disputed. CreditDado Galdieri/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

An outbreak of the Zika virus in the continental United States could begin any day now. But while there is plenty of discussion about mosquito bites, some researchers are beginning to worry more about the other known transmission route: sex.

Intimate contact may account for more Zika infections than previously suspected, these experts say.

The evidence is still emerging, and recent findings are hotly disputed. All experts agree that mosquitoes are the epidemic’s main driver.

But two reports now suggest that women in Latin America are much more likely to be infected than men, although both are presumed to be equally exposed to mosquitoes.

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Studies Find “Super Bacteria” at Rio’s Olympic Venues, Top Beaches

(Original Article)

The drug-resistant bacteria can reportedly cause pulmonary and bloodstream infections, and meningitis

June 13, 2016

By Brad Brooks

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5.

The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio’s most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals.

They also heighten concerns that Rio’s sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.

A study published in late 2014 had shown the presence of the super bacteria – classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an urgent public health threat – off one of the beaches in Guanabara Bay, where sailing and wind-surfing events will be held during the Games.

The first of the two new studies, reviewed in September by scientists at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Diego, showed the presence of the microbes at five of Rio’s showcase beaches, including the ocean-front Copacabana, where open-water and triathlon swimming will take place.

The other four were Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo and Flamengo.
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Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms Reversed in Mice

(Original Article)

A cancer drug given to mice eliminates brain-damaging proteins, leading to improved cognition within days, but will it work in humans?

A nearly 13-year-old skin cancer drug rapidly alleviates molecular signs of Alzheimer’s disease and improves brain function, according to the results of a new mouse study being hailed as extremely promising. Early-stage human clinical trials could begin within months.

In the study, published online February 9 by Science, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues used mice genetically engineered to exhibit some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Most notably, the mice produced amyloid beta peptides—toxic protein fragments that gum up neurons and lead to cell death—and showed signs of forgetfulness.
Amyloid beta (red areas) peptides clear from the brain of an Alzheimer’s mouse after three days of treatment with a cancer drug (right image). Source: AAAS/Science

The Case Western team, led by Gary Landreth, decided to try the drugbexarotene (Targretin), approved in 1999 for cutaneous T cell lymphomas. The team chose this drug because of its long experience working with proteins in the nucleus of brain cells that can induce biochemical processes that affect amyloid beta.

Landreth and his colleagues fed bexarotene to the demented mice, and with just a single dose it lowered the most toxic form of the amyloid beta peptide by 25 percent within six hours, an effect that lasted for up to three days. Mice that were cognitively impaired by the amyloid buildup resumed normal behaviors after 72 hours: They began to crinkle toilet paper placed nearby to make nests, a skill lost as amyloid increased in their brains.

“We have successfully reversed all of the known pathological features and behavioral deficits found in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease,” Landreth says. “Never before has anyone observed clearance of amyloid plaques with such speed in mouse models.”
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