HearthyStart March 2013 Edition
Black Women Remain At Highest Risk For Heart Disease P8 HealthyStart Wisconsonâ€™s Largest BlacK Newspaper March 2013 Healthy Start is the publication of the Milwaukee Community Journal dedicated to Health and Wellness Free P2 Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day National Kidney Disease Awareness Month P7 Africans Americans accounted for 32 percent of new cases of Kidney failure... Too many drug types are compromising heart health: doctors P2 P4 HealthyStart 2013 March 2013 Do you have what it takes to be one of our “Weight Loss Five?” W e are looking for successful weightloss stories to introduce in the MCJ Mission Makeover series...as we show self-empowerment as a healthy lifestyles success program. If you have candidates that might be interested in participating please share our communityjournal.net web site. They can also enter the contest by calling our offices (414-2655300) or email us at: email@example.com. We have a phenomenal program planned for our five winners at the MCJ Gala Brunch on Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at the Italian Conference Center. The top winners, determined by “Before and After” photos, as well as validated weight-loss photos and journals; will be treated to expert consultants who will help them shop for their best look (coupons do- nated by the Boston Store will augment a $500 apparel budget) and get hairmakeovers donated by local beauticians and make-up consults on the day of the event. They will strut their stuff during the Brunch. And our doctors will teach and demonstrate how to change habits that sabotage weight loss.They are healers who now heal through teaching what, how, and when to eat healthy foods to reduce our maladies like hypertension, diabetes, nephrosis, heart-failure, asthma and cancer. Please poll your groups. See if there are candidates from your organization. You become a cooperating partner and receive promotion support advertising. And you might just have one of the winners. So they win, the community wins and we all do better as we know better! Let's build a healthier community together. We’re counting on you. Join us. National Nutrition Month 2013 Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day I t’s March already! Happy New Year. National Nutrition Month® is here! This month especially dedicated to nutrition. A great opportunity for dietitians to educate their co-workers, friends/family and the public with current nutrition topics. This year’s the theme is: Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. Build a Personalized Eating Plan! Build a Personalized Eating Plan! The idea is reflective to the “Choose my Plate®” theme. It is a easy concept and great way to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle with minimal changes. I encourage you to check it out! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Milwaukee Community Journal Page 2 3612 North Martin Luther King Drive Milwaukee WI. 53212 We all have unique lifestyles, traditions and health concerns. Not to mention tastes! So if you’re ready to eat right, don’t settle for a one-sizefits-all fad diet. March is National Nutrition Month®, and this year’s “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” theme highlights that building a personalized eating plan is key to improved health. Set yourself up for success by working with a registered dietitian to build an eating plan tailored just for you. Patricia O'Flynn Pattillo Publisher HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Mikel Holt, Edition Co-ordinator and Marketing Sales www.communityjournal.net Administration Telephone (414)-265-5300 Advertising Telephone 414-265-5300 Advertising Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Telephone (414) 265-6647 Editorial Email: email@example.com Bright Boateng Designer / Production Here is a quick guide to eating right from the food and nutrition experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Personalize your eating style: The easiest way to get the nutrients your body needs is to eat healthy foods you enjoy. Finding good-for-you foods that please your palette makes eating healthfully special and exciting. Eat for your lifestyle: Athletic, vegetarian/vegan, corporate and family lifestyles all have special nutritional needs, but eating right can be easy and tasty if you pay attention to those foods that best help get you through the day. Incorporate cultural and ethnic traditions: Foods from around the globe often incorporate an abundance of unique, flavorful and nourishing ingredients. Keep traditions alive and bring the world to your family’s table. Keep health concerns in mind: A healthful eating plan can help prevent and treat a variety of health concerns. With modification and moderation, you can enjoy your favorite foods while meeting your nutritional needs and health goals. Make MyPlate your plate: Fill half of your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables; keep protein portions lean and about three ounces; make at least half of your grain choices whole grains; and be sure to include low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk and yogurt. Visit www.EatRight.org/NNM for a variety of helpful tips, games and education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition. During January I taught the “Choose My Plate®” method to the Cardiac Rehab outpatient group. It was definitely a great fun-filled topic and event. Contact me if you would like details regarding how to use “Choose My Plate®”. In 2012 I completed the ‘Menu Planning’ continuing education certification program through the ADA to enhance menu planning skills. I encourage you to ask any questions regarding menu planning! Don’t forget to check our my WIX site for additional services that I provide! Thanks for reading! --By Sarah Lawson, RD Nationa Nutrition Month Health Tip: 7 O 'Simple 7' heart health tips nly one in 1,000 people is truly "heart healthy," according to doctors examining healthy living guidelines. Life's Simple Seven are: els; 4Keeping blood pressure down; 4Regulating blood sugar levels; 4And eating healthily. Jean-Pierre Despres, scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk, an academic health organization, said the number of people who met all seven criteria was minuscule. "If you look at those Simple Seven, and you measure what percentage of different populations around the developed world meet those criteria, it's only 0.1 per cent. In terms of having an optimal risk of cardiovascular disease, only one in 1,000 people is healthy," Despres said. "If you only use the traditional risk factors, like cholesterol and blood pressure, you would probably end up with 15 per cent." E ating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and nuts could slash your risk of developing heart disease by 30 percent, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Spanish researchers followed 7,400 55- to 80-year-old men and women who were at risk for heart disease. The subjects were assigned to either a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil; a Mediterranean diet supplemented with walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds; or a diet heavy on items like pasta and dairy. The results: After 7 years, people on the Mediterranean diets were 30 percent less likely to develop any cardiovascular problems compared to the other group. The American Heart Association has issued a list of seven steps to follow to minimize the chances of suffering cardiovascular disease. Those who meet all the criteria significantly cut their risk of having a heart attack, experts say. 4 Not smoking; 4 Being physically active; 4Not being overweight; 4Maintaining healthy cholesterol lev- The Diet That Slashes Your Heart Disease Risk Additionally, people who ate extra olive oil were 33 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, while those who loaded up on nuts had a 46 percent lower risk of stroke. The American Heart Association has issued a list of seven steps to follow to minimize the chances of suffering cardiovascular disease. Photograph by: Stuart Davis , Vancouver Sun But when exercise, or the lack of it, and diet were taken into consideration, the number who were really healthy was far smaller. "Exercise and nutrition are the two hardest indicators of cardiovascular health to meet," he said. Far fewer people got the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise than claimed to do so, Despres added. Although 60 per cent tell interviewers that they reach that target, when properly assessed only a third do. Despres also said cutting out hidden salt and sugar was difficult, meaning few eat healthily. He claimed that the health benefit of meeting all seven steps was "amazing." While other studies have looked at the Mediterranean diet’s effect on people who already have heart disease, this is the first major clinical trial to measure the diet’s preventative effect against heart disease. The researchers aren’t certain why the link exists, but say it’s possible that the diet’s nutrient-rich foods help your body protect itself "Those who meet these criteria just don't have heart attacks before 65," he said. Two-thirds of adults in Britain are either overweight or obese, making the U.K. the fattest nation in western Europe. But Despres said Britons should "forget about weight" as an end in itself and instead concentrate on quitting smoking and getting active. A report last fall indicates that almost a third of Canadians aged five to 17 are overweight or obese, according to Statistics Canada. "Being physically active is extremely beneficial for your heart health," Despres said. (continued from page 11) against unsafe blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation—all markers of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Green Tea Benefits Now Include Lowered Risk of Stroke, Study that there is another healthy behavior specific to coffee or tea drinkers that also confers lower stroke risk, but we don’t know about it,” Sacco told Huff/Post50. A recent study conducted by Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center found that people who drink coffee and green tea daily have a lower risk of stroke than people who rarely consume these beverages. Previous research in this area has been largely limited or inconsistent, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. It is unclear why exactly coffee and green tea lower one’s risk of stroke. “It is not clear if the main benefit derived from coffee and green tea is caffeine specifically … or another active ingredient in coffee or tea," Sacco said. While coffee and green tea had a significant impact on one’s risk of stroke, the study found no connection between risk of heart attack and consumption of these beverages. This contrasts with other studies, which suggest that moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of heart attack. Previous studies have shown the benefits of green tea in connection to heart attack risk. The study followed 83,269 Japanese adults aged 45 to 74 over the course of 13 years. Study participants who drank at least one cup of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than participants who rarely drank the beverage. Participants who drank two to three cups of green tea a day had a 14 percent lower risk of stroke, and participants who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke. Although the study found that participants who regularly consumed coffee and tea generally had healthier lifestyles than participants who did not, the results still stand, according to Dr. Ralph Sacco, the former president of the American Heart Association. Sacco emphasized that while consuming green tea and coffee has many benefits, people should not rely on these beverages as their only protection against the risk of stroke. “People who drank more coffee and tea were more athletic and healthier, but researchers adjusted for that and still found that coffee and green tea lowered their risk of stroke. It is possible “I think just drinking coffee or green tea is not enough for the average American to reduce the risk of stroke. It could be helpful, but people should also … not smoke, be physically active and keep a good diet,” Sacco said. --huffingtonpost.com. By Rebecca Klein Page 3 by Maria Masters our morning cups of coffee and green tea may do more than just give you an extra kick of energy -– they may also lower your risk of stroke. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Y If you want to go Mediterranean, here’s one way to supercharge the benefits of the diet: Use fresh olive oil. A European study found that olive oil’s antioxidants can raise levels of artery-cleaning HDL cholesterol. And the fresher the oil, the more potent its antioxidants. Spanish researchers advise to seek out new-crop olive oil and use it within a year. Choose a dark glass bottle and store it way from the stove, since light and heat can degrade quality. Nation News Too many drug types are compromising heart health: doctors A bout 80 million Americans suffer from heart disease, the nation's No. 1 killer, and most are on multiple drugs. Some cardiologists think prescribing has gotten out of hand. The criticism was voiced by a number of leading heart doctors who attended the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology, held on March 9-11 in San Francisco. They said eliminating certain drugs could potentially improve care without compromising treatment. Evidence is growing that some medications are not effective. Patients who need multiple daily doses of a given drug often fail to take them, said Dr. Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and a past president of the ACC. "There is also the question about whether the benefits are additive." HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Page 4 Among the medications cardiologists are giving a second look: AbbVie's Niaspan, or prescription niacin, which aims to raise good cholesterol; so-called fenofibrate such as topselling branded drug TriCor (also from AbbVie), which lowers blood fats called triglycerides; and beta-blockers, most of which are inexpensive, older generics. cardiologist with Northwestern Medicine in suburban Chicago. AbbVie's cardiovascular products "help patients with abnormal cholesterol levels reach their cholesterol treatment goals," the company said in an emailed statement. "Physicians need to consider the results of clinical trials, available treatment guidelines, and each patient's cardiovascular and benefit/risk profile to determine the best possible treatment regimen." "That's a minimum of five medications, and each one has a proven mortality benefit. It's practically malpractice if you don't prescribe those," Eimer said. "But we have no data on when it's advantageous to take (patients) off." Other drug companies including Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer declined to comment. Many patients are on many more drugs, according to research by Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University Reuters/Reuters - Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University professor of cardiology and professor of cardiology and public health, is pictured in public health. Using Medicare an undated handout photo. REUTERS/Courtesy of Hardata, he found that heart failure lan Krumholz/Handout patients, those whose hearts nificantly more bleeding and a higher numare too weak to pump blood sufficiently, were ber of infections than researchers had exprescribed an average of 12 drugs; some were pected. A Merck spokesman said there "was on 30. nothing to add." BLOCK THAT BLOCKER? "We are eager to add medicines and reluctant to take them away," said Krumholz, who heads the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation and is a frequent critic of how drugs are sold and used. "So people accrue medications over time." Yet the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology guidelines recommend heart attack survivors take beta-blockers for at least three years. Those recommendations, several doctors noted, are based on data collected two decades ago. "We don't know if they are providing benefit for one year or three years," Bangalore said. 'EAGER TO ADD, RELUCTANT TO TAKE AWAY' Many drugs are prescribed widely, even though evidence they actually work is weak, he said. A person who has had a heart attack typically leaves the hospital on a beta-blocker to slow the heart, an ACE inhibitor to reduce blood pressure, clopidogrel and aspirin to thin the blood and prevent clots, and a statin to reduce cholesterol, said Dr. Micah Eimer, a Unexpected serious side effects arose in a huge study of a Merck & Co long-acting niacin drug aimed at raising good HDL cholesterol, according to data released at the conference on Saturday. The study enrolled more than 25,000 people. Patients had sig- When it was announced that the drug, Tredaptive, had failed to prevent heart attacks, strokes and death in heart patients also taking drugs to lower bad LDL cholesterol, Merck said it would not seek U.S. approval and would stop selling it in the dozens of other countries where it was already available. Fenofibrate, including AbbVie's TriCor, has also failed to show benefit in two separate studies, Krumholz said. The $2 billion-a-year drug is used to lower low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the unhealthy cholesterol, and triglycerides and to raise high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the healthy cholesterol. Beta-blockers are absolutely necessary for some patients, said Dr. Sripal Bangalore, a cardiologist at New York University, but are probably prescribed too widely and for too long a period of time. Examining three distinct patient groups from a data registry of 44,000 patients, he said the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death after 3.5 years. Today, blocked arteries are cleared right away with angioplasty, and the patient is typically put on a statin to keep harmful cholesterol from building up in the artery walls. For those whose hearts are not badly damaged, beta-blockers do not help. Health care law offers benefits for Wisconsin residents Wisconsinites who have health insurance now have more security thanks to new insurance market reforms and consumer protections put into place by the law. Preventive services such as mammograms and flu shots are newly available for free to 1.5 million people with private insurance plans. That includes the first drop in hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries on record, which means when people with Medicare go home from the hospital, they are more likely to stay healthy and less likely to have to return for additional care. by Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. More than 63,550 Wisconsin Medicare beneficiaries with the highest prescription drug costs have saved an average of $731 on their medications. And Wisconsinites are now protected from some of the worst insurance industry abuses, such as lifetime coverage caps that could cut off benefits when people need them most. Just as important, this progress has contributed to the slowest sustained growth in health spending in 50 years. National health care spending now has grown at historic lows for three consecutive years and Medicare and Medicaid spending is growing even slower. In 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary rose by less than half of 1%, while Medicaid spending actually dropped by nearly 2%. The health care law is demonstrating the right way to deal with rising costs. Instead of simply shifting the burden onto The Affordable Care Act marked its third anniversary on Saturday,March 2013. seniors and the needy, it's bringing down costs across the system by improving care coordination and cutting waste. And it's holding insurance companies accountable by limiting how much of your premium they can spend on marketing and overhead. This protection already has produced $10.4 million in rebates for New Drugs Might Give Heart Patients an Edge By E.J. Mundell HealthDay Reporter SUNDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) — In the search for better medicines to safely help heart patients, clinical trials testing three new drugs appear to offer some promise. Two of the drugs, cangrelor and inclacumab, might improve outcomes for patients undergoing cardiac interventions such as angioplasty or stenting, while a third drug, Inspra, seems to lower heart patients’ odds for death and heart failure following a heart attack. All three trials were funded by the respective drugs’ makers, and all three were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in San Francisco. In the first trial, researchers compared an as-yet approved blood thinner called cangrelor against the current standard medication, Plavix (clopidogrel), for patients who have recently had a stent implanted in an artery to help improve blood flow. According to the ACC, more than 600,000 coronary artery stent procedures are conducted in the United States each year, but doctors have long sought safer alternatives to Plavix to help prevent clots. Plavix comes with one big drawback for patients rushed to the hospital with suspected heart attack: It is taken in pill form, and its anti-clotting effects (with accompanying bleeding risk) may not wear off for up to a week. That means that pre-treating a new patient with Plavix can trigger long delays in needed heart surgery, as the patient waits for the bleeding risk to subside. Cangrelor may help get around that issue. Even though it is delivered intravenously and begins acting quickly, its anti-clotting effects also fade quickly — within an hour — should any bleeding complications occur, the study authors said. So, doctors might feel free to give heart patients cangrelor upon admittance to the hospital and then send them immediately for angioplasty — a minimally invasive procedure to reopen clogged vessels — or stenting, if needed. In the trial, which was funded by cangrelor’s maker, New Jersey-based The Medicines Company, researchers compared short-term outcomes for 11,000 patients who underwent stent placement at one of 153 centers around the world. Some of the patients got cangrelor, while others got Plavix. The study was also published online Sunday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The research team reported that cangrelor reduced by 22 percent the odds of a patient dying, having a heart attack or having a clot develop in the stented vessel within two days of the procedure, compared to patients who took Plavix. Safety profiles were similar: Severe bleeding at 48 hours after the stenting procedure occurred in 0.16 percent of those on cangrelor and 0.11 percent of those given Plavix. Commenting at a press conference on Sunday, Dr. Cindy Grines, a cardiologist at Detroit Medical Center, said that if cangrelor receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval it could have a “huge impact” for heart patients. The new study “shows that we do not necessarily have to pre-treat these patients, but once they get to the lab we can give them a very rapidly acting medication with rapid-onset action and rapid offset,” she said. There’s one caveat, however: cost. Lead researcher Dr. Deepak Bhatta, chief of cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told reporters that cangrelor’s price has not yet been set, but it likely will carry a much higher price tag than Plavix. But, he believes the cost of the drug would be offset by savings gained as patients avoid lengthy pre-surgery hospital stays, waiting for the effects of Plavix to wear off. residents of Wisconsin. For many Wisconsinites, better coverage choices are on the way, too. Starting Oct. 1, a new health insurance marketplace will open for enrollment in Wisconsin. The marketplace will give individuals, (continued on page 9) Four more states get federal nod for health exchanges Either states create their own exchanges, or the federal government will create one for them. WASHINGTON — Michigan, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Iowa are the final four states to receive conditional federal approval to run state partnership health insurance exchanges under the 2010 health care law, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. own exchanges will have those created by the federal government for them, Cohen said, adding that officials from those states said they will work with HHS to to ensure that insurers follow state and federal laws. A partnership exchange allows the states to take more time before operating the exchanges fully on their own. As in previous announcements, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius re-emphasized one key message: "We will be ready in seven months when consumers will be able to use the new marketplace to easily purchase quality, affordable health insurance plans." The announcement means 24 states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans to operate or partially operate health exchanges. The exchanges will be ready Oct. 1 and neither congressional budgets nor the mandatory spending cuts that went into effect last week will change that, said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. "We will be opening all exchanges in all states," Cohen said. States that have not created their Those states' insurance commissioners will operate as they have in the past. A health exchange is a website that allows consumers to purchase health insurance by comparing prices and benefits, just as they would through an employer's insurance plan. Both the federal government and the states have come up with benefits the plans must offer, such as pediatric vision care or mental health care. The government plans to have the exchanges in place by October for enrollment so coverage can begin in January. That's when the law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, requires most Americans to purchase insurance or face a fine. --Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY Page 5 The law also has begun to curb rising health costs across the system by cracking down on waste and fraud and creating powerful incentives for hospitals to spend their resources more wisely. These reforms already have led to significant improvements in health outcomes. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 S aturday March 23, 2013 marked the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. For Wisconsinites, that means a health care system that is stronger than it was three years ago and a future that looks even brighter. Wisconsin health officials warn of N ightmare bacteria" resistant to the strongest antibiotics are on the rise in the United States and have infected patients in at least 17 Wisconsin hospitals and long-term rehabilitation facilities, state and federal officials said Tuesday, March 6. 'nightmare bacteria' the infection is unknown. Wisconsin is among the first six states to require facilities to report infections associated with the superbug, though the surveillance is still new and many hospitals and long-term acute care facilities may not be aware of it, said Gwen Borlaug, coordinator of the state The bacteria kill up to half of all infected patients. "It's not often that our scientists come to me to say that we have a very serious problem, and we need to sound an alarm," said Tom Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But that's exactly what we're doing today." Within the past decade, the bacteria, called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, have become more drug-resistant, and their prevalence has increased more than fourfold, Frieden told reporters during a telebriefing. Perhaps most worrisome: They can transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria, including E. coli -- the most common cause of urinary tract infections. CRE bacteria enter the bloodstream primarily through central lines -- tubes placed in a large vein in a patient's neck, chest or arm -- as well as through catheters and ventilators. Nearly 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities around the country have encountered the superbug. The CDC tracked one type of CRE from a single health care facility to health care facilities in at least 42 states, including Wisconsin. In some medical facilities, the bacteria already pose a routine challenge, the CDC reported Tuesday. "It seems to travel relatively easily," said Nasia Safdar, an infectious disease specialist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and an associate professor at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. One risk is patients who move from institution to institution, such as from a nursing home to a hospital to a rehabilitation hospital. In Wisconsin, 15 hospitals and two long-term acute care facilities have reported the bacteria, with 25 people infected, since Dec. 1, 2011, when the state began surveillance for CRE. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Page 6 Five picked up the bacteria in a setting other than a hospital, according to the state Division of Public Health. How many people died from program that monitors health care associated infections. The state voluntarily decided to require reporting after the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene became aware that CRE was in Wisconsin, and lab officials wanted to begin doing genetic testing on the bacteria, Borlaug said. "We wanted to know where they were to strategically place prevention measures," she said. "We're at a pretty low prevalence now, and we want to keep it that way." Frieden of the CDC said doctors, nurses, hospital leaders and the public health community must work together to implement a "detect and protect" strategy to stop these infections from spreading. He referred to CRE as "nightmare bacteria." Milwaukee is one of four cities around the country piloting a regional collaboration for CRE surveillance and prevention through a contract with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The city was chosen for the surveillance pilot because it already has a strong network that links public health officials with all types of health care facilities. The Milwaukee Health Department is developing a tool kit to educate health care providers and patients and to improve detection of CRE. month. Urinary tract infections from catheters also have fallen, though not as sharply. "Many of my colleagues are unfamiliar with CRE," said Paul Biedrzycki, director of disease control and environmental health for the Milwaukee Health Department. "This is an emerging infection." In September, a workshop on the superbug will be held for hospitals, nursing homes, long-term acute care providers, emergency medical service personnel and others. The two types of bacteria that worried hospitals and other facilities have been methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus and C. difficile, commonly known as MRSA and C. diff. "We're working to strengthen surveillance around CRE," said Geoffrey Swain, chief medical officer and medical director for the Milwaukee Health Department. At the same time, the improvements were not seen at all hospitals. Now they must add CRE to the list. "We haven't seen this infection yet, but we are gearing up for it," said David Shapiro, chief medical officer of Columbia St. Mary's Health System. Health systems and hospitals typically take a series of steps when a patient has an antibiotic-resistant infection. These include isolating the patient, requiring anyone entering his or her room to be fully gowned and not using the patient's equipment on other patients. The hospitals in Wisconsin that have had CRE infections are not publicly disclosed. Wisconsin is not among the few states that require hospitals to disclose to the public information on infection rates for specific types of bacteria, such as MRSA. That has frustrated consumer advocates. The risk of CRE infection is highest among patients receiving complex or long-term care in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities and nursing homes. Many hospitals have taken steps to reduce their infection rates in recent years, spurred partly by Medicare now requiring them to publicly disclose their infection rates and partly by Medicare no longer paying hospitals for additional care to treat hospital-acquired infections. The steps range from stressing the importance of staff washing their hands, to requiring doctors to be fully gowned while inserting a central line, to removing catheters as soon as possible. The number of centralline infections has fallen sharply as a result, according to a CDC report released earlier this "If you are going into the hospital, you sure as heck would want to know that," said Lisa McGiffert, director of the Safe Patient Project at Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports. --By Karen Herzog and Guy Boulton Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The status of Wisconsin health Statistics have been released that show where the state of Wisconsin ranks in regards to health in comparison to the other states. The GallupHealthways wellbeing index is a very interesting resource for looking at the health trends that are a part of our lives. The report ranks Wisconsin at 20th in the nation in overall health score. Hawaii, Colorado and Minnesota are ranked as the top three. Illinois is ranked at 28th. It is interesting to look at the break down of health scores within the state of Wisconsin. The areas near the twin cities of Minnesota score better, and the far southeast corner of the state near Chicago scores worse. Some of the statistics follow expectations. For instance, healthy lifestyle habits are more common in the spring and summer and decline in the fall and winter. The statistics also show very close correlation between the years 2011 and 2012 indicating no radical shifts in health trends, especially when compared to the health statistics for 2009. Overall health statistics can give a picture of the overall health trends of the population. These statistics of course mean little to the individual. The statistics do have one very important point for the individual. The statisticians used many indicators in the evaluation. It is a reminder to everyone that health is not just a matter of physical health. As the reports point out, health is also a matter of emotional health and how that relates to work, lifestyle and overall outlook on life. Statistics can show trends in the health of Wisconsinites --D.Bock National Kidney Disease Awareness Month African-Americans are 3.5 times more likely to have kidney disease than whites. African-Americans are no stranger to kidney disease. We are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease than our white counterparts. lar (heart or blood vessel) disease. People with heart disease According to the National Kidney Foundation, African-Americans make up 29 percent of all patients treated for kidney failure in the U.S., but only about 14 percent of the overall U.S. population. We also develop kidney failure at an earlier age. The mean age for AfricanAmericans at the start of treatment for kidney failure is 56 years, compared with 66 in white Americans. In terms of renal failure, AfricanAmericans suffer from end stage renal disease (ESRD) disproportionately — 998 per million Americans, compared to 271 in whites. 4 Family history of kidney failure: Your risk of developing this disease increases if you have family members who suffer Our two kidneys are incredibly important to our overall health. Their main job is to remove waste from our body through our urine, but they also help balance the body's fluids, releases hormones to regulate our blood pressure, produce vitamin D and control the production of red blood cells. are at higher risk for kidney disease and people with kidney disease are at higher risk for heart disease. from kidney issues. Given that we suffer from high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, it's not surprising kidney disease is a serious issue in our community. Past research has found that genetics may also play a factor in why African-Americans disproportionately suffer from kidney disease. So what increases your risk of developing kidney disease? --National Kidney Foundation The National Kidney Disease Education Program cites the following: 4 Diabetes: 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure because of their diabetes. Both types of diabetes — 1 and 2 — can damage your kidneys over the years. 4 High blood pressure: This health ailment is the second leading cause of kidney disease. Like diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your kidneys. That's why it's important if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure to measure your blood pressure every day so you know what your levels are. OBSERVING ON MARCH 14 Page 7 4 Heart disease: There is a connection between kidney disease and cardiovascu- HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 When someone has chronic kidney disease it means kidneys are damaged and cannot do their job properly. Over time, if the disease worsens, wastes can build up in your blood and make you sick. For some, dialysis — a procedure for people with ESRD — does the kidneys' work for you and helps manage one's condition. In other cases, a kidney transplant is best. High Risk Of Heart Failure For African-American Breast Cancer Survivors S tudy is first to report frequency of heart failure among breast cancer patients this damage and merit investigation. “Given the risk of chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity with both antracycline and trastuzumab, pretreatment with cardioprotective agents such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers and beta blockers, in addition to monitoring cardiac function, need to be considered prior to initiation of chemotherapy,” Dr. Valina-Toth said. African-American women who survive breast cancer are more likely to develop heart failure than other women who have beaten the disease, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 62nd Annual Scientific Session. All told, these women have a 1.4-fold greater risk for heart failure compared to their white counterparts, though the likelihood of dying after developing heart failure is roughly the same. This trend remained even after taking other potential contributing factors into account, including age, high blood pressure, diabetes and use of chemotherapy agents or cardioprotective medications. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University at MetroHealth in Cleveland said these findings could have important implications for the nearly 27,000 new cases of breast cancer each year among African-American women who may be at risk for subsequent heart failure. “In general, African-American women are more susceptible to heart problems as they are disproportionately affected by high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high oxidative stress and even vitamin D deficiency,” said Anna Valina-Toth, MD, PhD, a second-year internal medicine resident at Case Western Reserve University at MetroHealth and the study’s lead investigator. “Our findings suggest that these women may require closer monitoring to detect the risk of heart failure earlier.” This is the first study to establish how often heart failure occurs in a large, representative U.S. sample of breast cancer survivors, according to researchers. Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the body. About half of people who have heart failure die within five years of diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One reason for the heightened risk of heart failure among breast cancer patients is the use of anthracycline and trastuzumab, two of the most effective chemotherapy treatments available. These agents can damage the heart depending on the amount a patient receives over the course of treatment. Dr. Valina-Toth said certain medications called cardioprotective drugs might help prevent Researchers identified 26,347 women with breast cancer between 1973 and 2007 using the U.S. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries that are matched to Medicare data with recorded heart failure diagnoses. Of these, 16 percent were later diagnosed with heart failure, with African-Americans having the highest heart failure occurrence of 21 percent compared to 16 percent of whites, 13 percent of Hispanics, 12 percent of Asians, and 11 percent of others including Native Americans. Most of the women, 82 percent, were age 65 or older. Authors say this is an important line of inquiry given that one out of eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Future lines of inquiry should evaluate whether non-invasive cardiac imaging and pretreatment with cardioprotective drugs prior to initiation of antracyclines and trastuzumab-based chemotherapy would significantly reduce the risk of heart failure in breast cancer patients, especially in AfricanAmericans who are predisposed to developing heart failure. South African Health Minister Says 28 Percent Of Schoolgirls HIV Positive, Blames 'Sugar Daddies' B ecause of "sugar daddies," at least 28 percent of schoolgirls in South Africa are HIV positive while only 4 percent of boys meet the same fate, according to a report by South African news outlet Sowetan. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Page 8 Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi indicated the percentage of HIV positive children is so heavily skewed towards girls The BBC reported that more than 5 million people, about 10 percent of South Africa's whole population, is living with HIV. Almost half the sum of all those who died in South Africa last year had AIDS, the BBC reported. Motsoaledi said that the number of schoolgirls infected with HIV is a statistic that "destroyed my soul," the Sowetan reported. (Photo : Reuters) Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in 2012. Motsoaledi said 28 percent of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive. because older men, not young boys, are sleeping with them. "It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls. It is old men. We must take a stand against sugar daddies because they are destroying our children," Motsoaledi said, according to Sowetan. The same report also indicated Motsoaledi said that across South Africa 94,000 school-aged girls became pregnant in 2011 and nearly 77,000 girls had abortions at public facilities. Motsoaledi said some pregnant girls between the ages of 10 and 14 have tested HIV positive. Motsoaledi has been praised for his efforts to curb disease in South Africa. Since he began his role as health minister in 2009 the number of people receiving anti-retrov i r a l medication has more than doubled from 678,500 to 1.5 million, the BBC reported, citing official statistics. By James A. Foley natureworldnews In 2011 Motsoaledi told the BBC that his department plans to provide Aids drugs to everyone who needs them by 2014. Not everyone who is HIV-positive needs the drugs. As part of the HIV prevention plan, South African health facilities provide free circumcisions, which health officials say reduces the risk of transmission by 60 percent. The Gert Sibande district in Mpumalanga has the highest population infected with HIV. Motsoaledi said every man in the Gert Sibande district should be circumcised. Skin & Beauty Why some people get zits and others don't T eenagers rejoice, zit bacteria aren't all bad. New research finds the microbes that cause the most common form of acne come in two flavors: the "bad" variety that causes pimples and the "good" type that may keep the skin glowing. The findings, detailed in the Feb. 28 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, may explain why despite the fact that everyone's skin is crawling with zit bugs only one in five people develops acne in whom were pimply and the others clearskinned. P. acnes lurks deep in skin pores, sometimes irritating the body's immune system to cause inflammation and the resulting red bumps we call pimples. From the nose samples, the researchers sequenced the genomes of 66 strains of P. acnes. They were interested in the genes unique to each variety that might distinguish clear skin from pimply. "Two unique strains of P. acnes appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne, but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people," said Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist and director of the Center for Immunotherapeutics Research at LA BioMed at Harbor– UCLA Medical Center. Next came the surprise: a third strain that commonly showed up in volunteers with healthy skin but only rarely in those with pimples. "We suspect that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to recognize attackers and destroy them before they infect the bacterial cell," Li said in a statement. their lifetime. Zapping zits "We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start," said lead researcher Huiying Li of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Li added the findings would allow dermatologists to personalize acne treatment based on "each patient's unique cocktail of skin bacteria." Though acne affects 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives, scientists have made little progress in new treatments, according to Li and colleagues. The current antibiotics out there don't work on the most severe cases of acne, while other types of treatment have adverse side effects. [Body Bugs: 5 Surprising Facts About Your Microbiome] Nose bacteria In the study, Li and colleagues used porecleansing strips to collect acne bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, from the noses of about 100 volunteers, half of The researchers think that increasing the body's good strain of P. acnes, possibly in the form of a cream, may stop zits in their tracks. "This P. acnes strain may protect the skin, much like yogurt's live bacteria help defend the gut from harmful bugs," Li said. "Our next step will be to investigate whether a probiotic cream can block bad bacteria from invading the skin and prevent pimples before they start." Other zit-zapping research has suggested benign viruses called bacteriophages that feed on bacteria and not human cells may do the trick. Scientists reported last year in the journal mBio they had found common, bacteriophages living on your skin could effectively kill P. acnes. --By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managin Your daily cup of coffee may be aging your skin Maybe you take all the right steps — all 17 of them , even — to care for your skin. But simple, seemingly innocuous habits like a daily cup of coffee may be undermining your best efforts, explained New York City dermatologist Dr. Deborah Wattenberg this morning on TODAY. Here's what to avoid to keep your skin looking young and healthy. your skin oily (and) causes acne, which makes your skin look less attractive," Wattenbergy says. 4. Be nicer to acne-prone skin. This is counterintuitive, but Wattenberg says 1. Seriously, stop smoking. "Smoking is probably the worst thing you can possibly do for your body, including your skin," Wattenberg explains — yet 20 percent of Americans are still lighting up. Here's just one reason to consider kicking the habit: Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes destroy the skin's elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. Smoking also takes a toll on the skin's blood vessels, restricting oxygen flow and subsequently causing your skin to appear dull and sallow. Habitual smoking can also lead to those pucker lines around the mouth, Wattenberg says. 2. Wine, candy and coffee are aging your skin. Turns out, all of your favorite vices — alcohol, junk food and caffeine — are wrecking your skin, too. "Alcohol and caffeine ... act like a diuretic and prevent you from holding on to water, so your skin looks sort of prune-like. It can get dry and get washed out," Wattenberg says. "Junk food contains a lot of preservatives and that will do the same thing." when your skin breaks out, make sure you don't scrub your face too aggressively. "The worst thing you can do when you have acne is to try to scrub away your acne," Wattenberg says. "People try to do that all the time, and come in with irritated faces as a result of scrubbing or overwashing." Acne, she explains, isn't caused by dirt or uncleanliness — it's hormones that are more likely making you break out. So instead of rubbing your face raw, wash gently, using products that are going to target the acne like salycilic acid. "And you don't want to pick and squeeze — it causes scarring, pigmentation and makes it worse because you can drive the bacteria deeper into the skin and create infections," Wattenberg says. Yikes. So if you're drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol, remember to stay hydrated. We need about six to eight glasses of water per day, anyway, but if you're drinking a lot of lattes to get through the day, you'll need to drink even more water to keep your skin looking pretty. 3. Your lack of sleep is written all over your face. 5. You're not wearing enough sunscreen. Actually, if you're drinking caffeine to stay alert throughout the day, we need to talk about that, too. You may think you're getting away with six hours of sleep a night, but your skin tells the real story. Especially in parts of the country where the weather is turning snowier and icier, remember to reapply your sunscreen — the sun reflects off the snow and ice, and you can get burned easily. "Sunscreen is the key to youthful skin," she says. ---By Melissa Dahl, Today.com "When you don't sleep, stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol, (which) makes Yes, we know it's winter. But you still need to apply sunscreen — several times a day, Wattenberg insists. "Once a day is probably one of the worst things you can do for your skin, because the sun is still really strong, and people spend a lot of time outdoors," she explains. now. Many do anyway to attract workers. Why would they drop it precisely as penalties for not offering coverage kick in? One reason is that even companies that provide health benefits can face fines under the law if their plans cost workers too much or don’t provide sufficient coverage. Employers in that situation might drop out rather than buy more expensive policies that meet the law’s standards. A Deloitte study last year suggested 10 percent of employers would stop offering group health plans. A widely criticized McKinsey report from 2011 put the number as high as one-third. The Congressional Budget Office’s latest projections suggest 8 million fewer people will be covered by employer plans five years from now under the ACA than without it. Many of them will get policies through health insurance exchanges instead. (On balance, CBO projects that the law will expand coverage to 27 million of the 58 million people who don’t have health insurance today.) Companies that drop coverage and let workers fend for themselves risk alienating staff. Small businesses in particular, eHealth’s Hurley says, often feel a moral obligation to provide health care. That equation might shift, though, if the ACA’s reforms help individuals find affordable policies on their own. (That’s a big if.) Employers could turn what they pay for health premiums now into cash compensation instead—a predictable cost they would be able to control. (Companies that pair high-deductible health plans with contributions to workers’ health savings accounts have already taken a step in this direction.) Don’t expect too many businesses to make that move in 2014. But if the ones that do aren’t seen as sending workers into the wilderness, more will surely follow. --By Tozz, Bloomberg Businessweek in New York. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 (continued on page 9) Page 9 Why Your Employer May Drop Your Health-Care Plan Children & Youth Health World Allergy Week 2013 Will Focus on the Rising Global Health Problem of Food Allergy: T Heaviest Burden is on Children he World Allergy Organization (WAO) will host its annual World Allergy Week from 8-14 April, 2013, together with its 93 national Member Societies, to address the topic of “Food Allergy – A Rising Global Health Problem,” and its growing burden on children. Globally, 220-250 million people may suffer from food allergy , and the occurrence of HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Page 10 food allergies continues to rise in both developed and developing countries, especially in children. This year WAO plans to highlight the need for greater awareness and understanding of food allergy as well as the exchange of ideas and collaboration in order to address a variety of safety and quality-of-life issues related to the care of patients with food sensitivity. Activities will include international teleconferences with experts presenting information about global food allergy concerns and answering questions immediately afterward. According to Professor Ruby Pawankar, President of the World Allergy Organization, “There are problems that need to be addressed in many countries throughout the world such as the lack of awareness of food allergies, lack of standardized national anaphylaxis action plans for food allergy, limited or no access to adrenaline autoinjectors, and the lack of food labeling laws. Moreover, some countries have standardized action plans but no ready access to autoinjectors; others have autoinjectors but no standardized action plans. These circumstances can be improved with the distribution of information and resources for physicians, patients, parents, schools, health ministries, and throughout communities and by a call to action to policy makers.” “As in previous years, many of the national Member Societies of WAO will organize local events and programs around food allergy issues that specifically affect their communities,” said Professor Motohiro Ebisawa, WAO Board of Director and Chair of the Communications Council. WAO is providing information about food allergy online at http://www.worldallergyweek.org and will track activities of its Member Societies. “Everyone with an interest in food allergy can participate by contacting their national allergy societies and food allergy advocacy groups,” said Professor Ebisawa. A list of organizations is also available on the website. ______ About the World Allergy Organization The World Allergy Organization (WAO) is an international alliance of 93 regional and national allergy, asthma and immunology societies. Through collaboration with its Member Societies WAO provides a wide range of educational and outreach programs, symposia and lectureships to allergists and clinical immunologists around the world and conducts initiatives related to clinical practice, service provision, and physical training in order to better understand and address the challenges facing allergy and immunology professionals worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.worldallergy.org. Tips for raising children with a positive body image Many of us struggle with body image issues, most of which start at a very early age. Approximately 30 percent of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are on a diet at any given time, according to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. And, body image disturbances can begin as early as the preschool years, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Children subconsciously mimic what they see and hear from the adults around them, so parents and other adult role models play an important role in promoting a positive body image. The most important first step in fostering a positive body image in children is to lead by example. Children quickly pick up on any anxiety you have about your body, and through mimicking the adults in their lives they may internalize negative feelings about their own bodies. Instead of criticizing the fat on your legs, focus instead on expressing how lucky you are to have strong legs to carry you around all day. Don’t talk about things you want to change about your body. Instead, brag about what positive features you are grateful to have. Next, incorporate fitness into your whole family’s routine. Play active games outside, or go for a run as a family and focus on enjoying each other and how good it feels to be active. Children take their cues from adults and will probably decide how they feel about exercise based on how their parents talk and behave. If you talk about how much you dread exercising or it being a punishment for eating a (continued from page 11) A Marriage Rates Contribute to Wealth Gap for African-American Women frican-American women are entering what should be their retirement years with much lower levels of wealth than white women, making them more reliant on Medicare and other government programs. "The marriage rates dropped off precipitously for African-American women in the 1950s and 1960s,” says Addo. The study found that when these women reached their 50s, 37 percent of African-American women were married compared with 72 percent of white women. Addo calculated that this disparity accounted for about eight to 10 percent of the wealth gap between races. A new study by Dr. Fenaba Addo, a Health and Society Scholar in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, shows that a quarter of AfricanAmerican women had no assets or a negative net worth when they reached ages 51 to 61. Lower marriage rates and a history of martial disruption explain some of the difference, the study says. "Marriage is not a cure-all, because white women benefit financially from marriage more than African-American women," Addo says. Housing value added another disparity: the homes owned by white women had a mean value of $130,000, compared with a value of $46,000 for homes owned by African-American women. "It’s not a happy message, but policy makers should be aware that this large generation of black women is approaching retirement with many lacking the assets to support themselves or their families," says Addo, whose study is being published in the April issue of The Journal of Marriage and Family. African-American women ages 51 to 61 had accumulated a median net worth of $33,349, compared with $182,897 for white women the same age. When home value was excluded, those numbers fell to $5,366 for African-American women and $61,761 for white women. And because the last survey was before the Great Recession, Addo says the accumulated wealth for all women is likely lower due to the collapse of housing prices, adding, "A lot of this wealth was wiped away by the recession." Along with co-author Dr. Daniel Lichter of Cornell University, Addo looked at the wealth of 7,026 women at ages 51 to 61 who responded to the national Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Three age cohorts 'Simple 7' heart health tips (continued from page 3) Among obese people with the same waistline, he added, those who were physically active had half the chance of suffering from heart disease. A U.S. study has found sticking to the seven steps can halve the chance of getting cancer. including early Baby Boomers, war babies born during World War II and an older group born during the 1930s were surveyed during 2004, 1998 and 1992 versions of the survey. These women, says Addo, "were on the front line of America’s family revolution over the past half century." When the 20th century began, African-American women were more likely to be married than their white counterparts. By the 1950s, the lines crossed. "These women are going to have to work well into old age," says Addo, "and they will be especially reliant on programs such as Social Security and Medicare, because they have few other assets." Addo’s research as a Health and Society Scholar is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A link to her paper is available here. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health --HealthCanal.com Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago studied the health of more than 13,000 people for 25 years. Those who adhered to six or seven of the criteria had a 51 per cent lower chance of getting cancer than those who met none. --By Stephen Adams The Daily Telegraph slice of pizza the night before, chances are your children won’t be too excited about it, either. Focus on exercising to be fit, not to be thin. Start young and make it fun. Try toddler yoga or simply kicking a ball around outside; these are great ways to foster a love of exercise in a young child. This should be obvious, but isn’t: Don’t let your child watch you get on the scale. Many of us have picked up the bad habit of letting the numbers on the scale dictate how we feel about our bodies. As children grow, the number on the scale will grow as well. You don’t want them to be disappointed or feel bad about themselves because the number they see isn’t what they wanted it to be. Instead of focusing on weight as a number, talk to your child about feeling good, having plenty of energy and why it’s important to be healthy. Food shouldn’t be used as a reward or punishment. Instead of talking about eating less (or eating foods you don’t prefer) because you’re on a diet, discuss making better food choices because they are healthier. Allow children to be part of the decision-making process and let them help you prepare healthy meals as often as possible. When cooking with different foods, point out the health benefits of the foods you’re eating. Remove as much processed food from the house as possible so that children are forced to make healthy choices. Any conversation about junk food should revolve around explaining why it isn’t healthy instead of saying that it will make us fat. The more a child feels deprived, the greater the chances that he or she will want to rebel and eat what’s not “allowed.” If a child complains to you about his or her body, stop and listen. Have a conversation about why they feel this way, and talk them through it. If they have unrealistic ideals about what they should look like, discuss the ideals they are holding themselves to and why they might be unrealistic. Remind them that the body is an instrument, not an ornament, and it’s beautiful no matter what size it is. Jacqueline Banks is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and their little ones healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living. HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 (continued from page 10) Page 11 Tips for raising children with a positive body image Health Disparities, Increasing Minorities in Health Professions Focus of 2013 Symposium on U.S. Healthcare Former Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Louis W. Sullivan to Give Keynote HealthyStartt (MCJ) March, 2013 Page 12 WASHINGTON - The 2013 Symposium on U.S. Healthcare at Howard University has announced Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as its keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 10. Health professionals from across the nation will assemble at Howard for the one-day event, held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Armour Blackburn Center, 2397 6th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. Attendees and speakers from health professions will focus on minority health disparities, building the capacity to combat issues through education, research and community leadership, and establishing a pipeline for minorities in STEM careers. Health disparities among minority U.S. populations and ethnic groups are apparent in the adult deaths, infant mortality rates and other oft-cited health measures. By promoting minority preparation for leadership roles and improving access to a more diverse group of health professionals, health outcomes can be improved in vulnerable communities. The event is free and open to the public, although registration is required. To register, visit here. Dr. Sullivan will focus the conversation on such issues with an address titled, "Preparing Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)." Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, distinguished Howard University alumnus and president of the University of Detroit-Mercy, will address the issue of "Bringing Black Males into the Healthcare Pipeline." Dr. Jeanne Sinkford, associate executive director and director of the American Dental Education Association's Center for Equity and Diversity, Dr. Marc Nivet of the Association of American Medical Colleges and Dr. Christina Stasiuk of Cigna Health Services will highlight the role of minority women in healthcare professions. Reginald Van Lee, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, will focus on the effectiveness of the use of mega-community approaches to healthcare issues. "By providing more Americans with access to quality care, the Affordable Care Act was a major step toward equalizing healthcare across communities," said Jannette L. Dates, Ph.D., dean emerita of the Howard University School of Communications and chair of the Symposium Planning Committee. "Key to our mission of eliminating health disparities is increasing the number of minority health professionals that understand their communities' needs." With funds donated by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and support of the University's Time Warner Endowment, the Howard University Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communication and Technology (IDMCT) seeks to increase opportunities for the University to facilitate national and international research and discussions of complex national and international issues. About Howard University Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar,19 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information about Howard University, call 202-238-2330 or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.