Page 1

Health Care

in the Jewish community

Supplement to Jewish News April 20, 2015

Health Care Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Dear Readers, “Without your health, nothing matters!” Can you remember hearing your elderly relatives say those words, or a version of them, and also recall smiling and shaking your head, because it didn’t apply to you? I can’t remember exactly when, but I began finding myself saying the same not so many years ago. Truth is, eventually, we all end up expressing the sentiment. While we can’t choose our parents (and thus our genes), in 2015 there are plenty of lifestyle decisions that we may choose to enhance our health, our longevity and our quality of life. For instance, did you know that it is not just what you eat, but when you eat, that impacts your glucose surges? Check out the article about a Tel Aviv University study on the advantages of eating a high-caloric

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breakfast instead of a high-caloric dinner, on page 20. These days, it can be confusing about whether or not to have direct sun exposure.

Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email news@ujft.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President www.jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2015 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email mcerase@ujft.org.

The list of benefits of Vitamin D, however, continues to grow. Here’s one of the latest: boosting Vitamin D levels can help manage asthma attacks. Learn more on page 22. QR code generated on http://qrcode.littleidiot.be


Exercise, of course, is always an important component of leading a healthy lifestyle. But did you know that your exercise impacts your spouse? It seems to be true.


In this section we offer other ideas for living and staying healthy, as well as a

Issue Date Issue

recap of the local Maimonides Society’s

May 4

activities. Drink your fruit juice, take that walk and check with your doc!


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August 17 Guide to Jewish Living July 31


16 | Jewish News | April 20, 2015 | Health Care | jewishnewsva.org

Terri Denison Editor

Health Care

Maimonides Society members support community programs while healing the world by Laine Mednick Rutherford


hey’re healers, researchers, artists and innovators. The variety of Jewish professionals who are members of the Maimonides Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is as broad as the diverse fields and specialties that prevail in healthcare today. Ranging from plastic surgeons to podiatrists, orthodontists to veterinary technicians, Maimonides members have at least two things in common: they work to heal others and they are committed to helping provide better lives for Jews in need—whether locally, nationally or globally. All Maimonides members have contributed at least $1,000 to the UJFT’s Annual Campaign, which in turn provides allocations to organizations, such as Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), that provide food and medicine, or education or cultural enrichment, to those in need, wherever they may be. This year has been a busy and enlightening one for the Maimonides Society. Under the leadership of co-chairs Dr. Julius Miller and Dr. Steven Warsof,

Harriett Dickman and Debra Aleck.

things kicked off in late July with a Summer Social at the home of Alan and Dolores Bartel. About 40 medical professionals and their guests gathered for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, conversation and the opportunity to hear from a medical student who attended Israel’s Bar Ilan University. In September, the Society co-hosted the first of three discussions in a new Bioethics lecture series, featuring Dr. Gerard Magill and Dr. Jonathan Crane who discussed bioethical issues from their respective religions—Catholic and Jewish. Partners with the Society in the series were Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University and Bon Secours Virginia Health System. Held on September 4, January 29 and March 19, topics included Religion and Ethics as they pertained to dying, the beginning of life and emerging debates in healthcare. Society members had special opportunities to attend other events throughout the year. On November 19, medical professionals joined with members of the Business & Legal Society of the UJFT to hear Virginia’s Lt. Governor Dr. Ralph

Alison Ohana, Neil Schulwolf, Ralph Northam, Julius and Jeanne Miller.

continued on page 18

Lisa Binder Barr and Edie Weiss.

Ofer Merin, Marcia Samuel, Linda Samuels and Seven Warsof.

jewishnewsva.org | Health Care | April 20, 2015 | Jewish News | 17

Health Care continued from page 17

Northam speak about combining his work as a pediatric neurosurgeon with state politics. About 75 people attended the event, many staying to greet their friend, or ask more questions about changing healthcare laws and to further inquire about Northam’ s goals during his term. Two other special invitations for Maimonides members were extended

during the winter months. About 50 people attended a private reception held for visiting U.S. State Department dignitary, Ira Forman, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Forman spoke about global anti-semitism at the reception and afterward to the community; the timely discussion coincided with the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo

Robert Lehman and Miles Leon.

Michael Salasky and Steven Warsof.

offices in Paris. Another reception was held on March 15 for Israel Defense Forces Reservist, Lt. Col. Ofer Merin, who was in Virginia Beach to speak at the Community Relations Council of the UJFT’s Israel Today Forum. Merin discussed his role as first responder—he’s the chief of the IDF Field Hospitals, and travels in that capacity to disaster areas around the world. He also spoke about his position as a cardiac surgeon, head of the trauma department, and Deputy Director General of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Society members said they were impressed with the work Merin does, and didn’t envy some of the choices he had to make in either of his very tough jobs. The year will wrap up in June with a social and wine tasting on June 7 at a private home. The party is designed to both thank current Society members for their participation, their interest and their financial support of the Annual

Campaign, as well as to welcome other medical professionals who would like to find out more about the Maimonides Society and become members themselves. The mission of the Maimonides Society is to form a fellowship of Jewish healthcare professionals dedicated to educational, social and philanthropic activ ities. Together, members focus on the betterment of Jewish lives in Tidewater, in Israel and around the world. Throughout the year, there are opportunities for socializing, networking and learning, as well as a chance to demonstrate the many unique contributions members make through the integration of their medical and Jewish concerns. To join the Maimonides Society, or to find out more about upcoming events, Like the Maimonides Society’s Facebook page, www. fb.com/UJFTMaimonides, visit JewishVA. org/Maimonides, or call 757-965-6136.


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Health Care

A Breakfast of Champions for Diabetics Tel Aviv University researcher says high-energy breakfast and modest dinner can control dangerous blood sugar spikes all day Tel Aviv—The modern epidemic of obesity has led to an alarming rise in the incidence of diabetes. More than 382 million people on the planet suffer from diabetes, predominantly type-2 diabetes. For these people, blood sugar surges—glucose spikes after meals—can be life threatening, leading to cardiovascular complications. A new Tel Aviv University study published in Diabetologia proposes a new way to suppress deadly glucose surges throughout the day—eating a high-caloric breakfast and a more modest dinner. According to TAU’s Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz and Dr. Julio Wainstein of the Wolfson Medical Center’s Diabetes Unit, Prof. Oren Froy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Bo Ahrén of Lund University in Sweden, the combined consumption of a high-energy breakfast and a low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type-2 diabetics. “We found that by eating more calories at breakfast, when the glucose response to food is lowest, and consuming fewer calories at dinner, glucose peaks after meals and glucose levels throughout the day were significantly reduced,” says Jakubowicz.

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All in the timing The new study was conducted on eight men and 10 women aged 30–70 with type2 diabetes. Patients were randomized and assigned either a “B diet” or “D diet” for one week. The B diet featured a 2946 kilojoule (kj) breakfast, 2523 kj lunch, and 858kj dinner, and the D diet featured a 858 kj breakfast, 2523 kj lunch, and 2946 kj dinner. Both diets contained the same total energy measured in kilojoules, a food energy measurement similar to a calorie, but were consumed at different times through the day, with the larger meal taking place during breakfast in the B diet. The larger meal includ-

ed two slices of bread, milk, tuna, a granola bar, scrambled egg, yoghurt and cereal; the smaller meal contained sliced turkey breast, mozzarella, salad and coffee. Patients consumed their diets at home for six days before the day of testing. On the seventh day, each group consumed their assigned meal plan at the clinic, and blood samples were collected just before breakfast and at regular intervals after the meal. Blood sampling was repeated at the same intervals after lunch and dinner. Post-meal glucose levels were measured in each participant, as well as levels of insulin, c-peptide (a component of insulin), and glucagon-like-peptide 1 hormone (GLP-1, also known as incretin: an indicator of glucose metabolism that stimulates insulin release). Two weeks later, patients switched to the alternate diet plan, and the tests were repeated. The results of the study showed that postmeal glucose elevations were 20% lower and levels of insulin, C-peptide, and GLP-1 were 20% higher in participants on the B diet compared with those on the D diet. What—and when—to eat Despite the fact that both diets contained the same calories, blood glucose levels rose 23 percent less after the lunch preceded by a large breakfast. “By demonstrating that a diet of high-energy breakfasts and more modest dinners is more effective in lowering overall daily post-meal glucose surges, we suggest that such a regimen is a powerful therapeutic approach for improving glycemic control and may potentially reduce cardiovascular complications in type- 2 diabetics,” says Jakubowicz. “It is not enough to tell the diabetic patient what he or she should or should not eat. It is more important to emphasize that a more advantageous meal schedule should be followed.”

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Your better half (by half?): Improving your fitness may improve your spouse’s. Tel Aviv University researcher finds the “power of the couple” has potential to get both partners moving Tel Aviv—With obesity on the rise in households across America, the demand for weight-loss treatments, personal trainers and lifestyle coaches is amping up. But when it comes to physical fitness, the best incentive to get in shape might be the very person sitting across from you at the dinner table. New research finds that exercising isn’t only good for you—it’s also good for your spouse. According to Dr. Silvia Koton of the Department of Nursing at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, lead investigator Dr. Laura Cobb, and their colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, if one spouse improves his or her exercise regimen, the other spouse is much more likely to follow suit. The study, presented last month at the American Heart Association’s EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions in Baltimore, suggests that a better approach to helping people boost their physical activity might be to coach married couples together instead of individually. “It was well known that spouses exhibit similar risky behaviors like smoking and drinking, but it wasn’t clear how an individual’s level of physical activity was influenced by changes in his or her spouse’s level of physical activity,” says Koton. “Our study tells us that spouses can have a positive impact on one another in terms of staying fit and healthy over time.” A healthy partnership For the purpose of the study, the researchers examined records from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which in 1987 began following a group of 15,792 middle-aged adults from communities in Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota and Mississippi. Koton and her colleagues analyzed data from two medical visits conducted roughly six years apart. At each visit, the researchers asked 3,261 spouse pairs about their physical activity levels. The Physical Activity Guidelines

for Americans, established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that adults should exercise at a moderate intensity for a minimum of 150 minutes per week or at a vigorous intensity for at least 75 minutes per week. During the first visit, 45% of husbands and 33% of wives met these recommendations. Six years later, they found that when a wife met recommended levels of exercise at the first visit, her husband was 70 percent more likely to meet those levels at subsequent visits than those whose wives were less physically active. Likewise, when a husband met recommended exercise levels, his wife was 40% more likely to meet the levels at follow-up visits.

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Health Care

Breathe easier: get your D Study finds asthmatics with Vitamin D deficiency are 25 percent more likely to experience acute attacks




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Tel Aviv—Asthma, which inflames and narrows the airways, has become more common in recent years. While there is no known cure, asthma can be managed with medication and by avoiding allergens and other triggers. A new study by a Tel Aviv University researcher points to a convenient, free way to manage acute asthmatic episodes— catching some rays outside. According to a paper recently published in the journal Allergy, measuring and, if need be, boosting Vitamin D levels could help manage asthma attacks. The research, conducted by Dr. Ronit Confino-Cohen of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Meir Medical Center and the Clalit Research Institute, and Dr. Becca Feldman of the Clalit Research Institute, drew on the records of millions of patients and used physician diagnoses, rather than self-reports, for evidence of asthma episodes. “Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and, as such, was believed to have an effect on asthma—an immunologically mediated disease,” says Confino-Cohen, an allergy and clinical immunology specialist. “But most of the existing data regarding Vitamin D and asthma came from the pediatric population and was inconsistent. Our present study is unique because the study population of young adults is very large and ‘uncontaminated’ by other diseases.” A broad study Confino-Cohen and her team of researchers analyzed the medical records of nearly four million members of Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest health care provider. The Vitamin D levels of 307,900 people were measured between 2008 and 2012. Researchers also took into account key predictors of asthma, such as obesity,

smoking and other chronic diseases. Of some 21,000 asthma patients in Israel studied, those with a Vitamin D deficiency were 25 percent more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past. The researchers found that Vitamin D-deficient asthmatics were at a higher risk of an asthma attack. “Uncontrolled asthma” was defined as being prescribed at least five rescue inhalers, one prescription of oral corticosteroids, or visiting the doctor for asthma at least four times in a single year. “Our results add more evidence to the link between Vitamin D and asthma, suggesting beneficial effects of Vitamin D on asthma exacerbations,” says Confino-Cohen. “We expect that further prospective studies will support our results.” Sunny side up? While most of the Vitamin D in people’s bodies comes from exposure to the sun, dermatologists recommend obtaining the ingredient from other sources—fish, eggs, cod liver oil, fortified milk or a dietary supplement—due to the dangers of overexposure to the sun. “We know a lot about this disease and many therapeutic options are available. So it’s quite frustrating that the prevalence of asthma is not decreasing and many patients suffer exacerbations and significant impairment in their quality of life,” Confino-Cohen says. “Increasing Vitamin D levels is something we can easily do to improve patients’ quality of life.” Based on the findings, the researchers recommend that people whose asthma cannot be controlled with existing treatments have their Vitamin D levels tested. For those with a Vitamin D deficiency, supplements may make sense.

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Health Care

Meet Omer Mei-Dan: Israeli BASE jumper, stuntman and orthopedic surgeon by Uriel Heilman

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3,000 worldwide who jump from the fixed platforms for which the sport is named: buildings, antennas, spans and earth. Skydiving is a cakewalk by comparison. Because BASE jumpers leap from much lower altitudes, they often have mere milliseconds to deploy their parachutes. And for leaps that involve hazards below, like craggy mountainsides or steel structures, the risks are exponentially greater. To guide and control their falls, jumpers often don wingsuits, which make them look like bats or flying squirrels. Perhaps not surprisingly, BASE jumpers are killed with alarming regularity. Even a tiny mistake or misfortune—a gust of wind, impeded visibility, an equipment mishap—can mean sudden and violent death. But that’s all part of the thrill. “I like being afraid, I like the fear, I enjoy it,” Mei-Dan told JTA in an interview in Boulder, where he lives with his wife and three children. “In BASE jumping, every small thing dictates life or death. It makes me feel vibrant. Extreme sports athletes have the ability to sustain, cope with and enjoy the amount of stress other people would define as bad experiences.” Mei-Dan, who was born in Israel and moved to this city in 2012, stands out among BASE jumpers because he has found a way to combine his passion for extreme sports with his other area of expertise: medicine. A highly sought-after orthopedic surgeon with a robust medical practice at the University of Colorado in Denver and Boulder, Mei-Dan studies extreme sports athletes, operates on them and helps other physicians understand how to guide their rehabilitation. While he was in medical school, MeiDan was a Red Bull-sponsored extreme

sports athlete. He did stunts for corporate sponsors like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Last winter, the doctor starred in a 10-episode show on Fox Sports called Cutting Edge, MD that focused on Mei-Dan’s treatment and rehabilitation regimens for injured professional athletes. Mei-Dan’s ow n extreme athletic activities are not limited to BASE jumping. He does backcountry skiing and ice climbing in the winter, whitewater kayaking in summer, and rock climbing and mountaineering all year long. Raised on Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz north of Haifa, Mei-Dan’s outdoorsy pursuits began on a surfboard in the Mediterranean at age 10 and quickly escalated. His father was a pediatrician and Mei-Dan was always interested in medicine, but his drive to become a physician was strengthened in the Israel Defense Forces, where he says he couldn’t abide standing on the sidelines while comrades were injured. A paratrooper, Mei-Dan also found he really liked jumping. While studying medicine at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, MeiDan spent about three months a year traveling abroad indulging his extreme hobbies. He picked up sponsors like Red Bull and Nissan, did stunts for National Geographic and Discovery, and launched his own production company, ExtremeGate, to document his adventures. His mostly Israeli production team includes his wife, Hagit, whose sport of choice is open-water swimming. In Israel, Mei-Dan has jumped off the Azrieli towers in Tel Aviv, went cliff diving near the Dead Sea and jumped from all manner of flying vehicles. His medical interests developed in tandem. Mei-Dan studied orthopedics, became a sports surgeon and developed

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Health Care a subspecialty in hip preservation. Hip injuries are common among extreme sports athletes. Extreme sports athletes differ from other sportsmen in their physiology, endocrinology and even psyches, and need to be treated differently, Mei-Dan says. For example, a doctor who knows when to clear an injured soccer player to resume playing may not know enough to do so for rock climbers or BASE jumpers. The doctor might not realize, say, that a dislocated shoulder injury could lead to a BASE jumper’s death if he loses the dexterity to pull his chute while in flight. Mei-Dan outlined different approaches to treatment in a medical textbook he published in 2013, Adventure and Extreme Sports Injuries: Epidemiology, Treatment, Rehabilitation and Prevention, and last June he organized an international conference on extreme sports medicine in Colorado. Mei-Dan says his research suggests that extreme sports athletes are not subject to the post-traumatic stress that might affect others who witness gruesome fatalities or undergo frequent near-death experiences like those facing BASE jumpers. “These types of people are wired completely differently,” he said. “BASE jumpers are immune to PTSD.” The Israeli doctor, who has the trim physique of a rock climber, hasn’t escaped all his feats unharmed. A two-inch scar on his clean-shaven scalp is the result of striking a cliff. He also has cracked his pelvis, dislocated his ankle, torn his elbow and cracked ribs. On average, Mei-Dan says he needs one or two reparative surgeries per year. He’s also seen many of his friends die right in front of him—something he shrugs off with the insouciance he says is necessary for extreme athletes. “Seeing fatalities, experiencing near-misses, injuring myself and having surgery—it’s all part of jumping,” Mei-Dan said. In his younger and more careless days, Mei-Dan often would give his jumps a twist to make things more exciting—and perilous. When he jumped from the Eiffel Tower, Mei-Dan and his jumping partner, Jeb Corliss, compounded the danger by jumping through the center of the monument rather than off it, falling through the

hollow centers of the viewing platforms before deploying their chutes some 200 feet above the ground. Mei-Dan easily could have been killed: missing the hole and smashing into a platform, deploying his chute too early and getting it snagged on the steel latticework, or deploying his chute too late and crashing into the ground at breakneck speed. “The margin of error was about onetenth of a second,” Mei-Dan recalled, noting that a jumper that tried soon afterward to replicate the stunt died in his attempt. Mei-Dan came to Boulder three years ago, lured by a great job, proximity to the mountains and a culture that reveres the outdoors. When fresh snow fell in Colorado in late February after a long dry spell, MeiDan woke early that Monday morning to ski the backcountry some two hours from his home before zipping back to the city to see patients in the afternoon. “I love the life here. I feel it’s exactly what I want and what I need,” he said. “I can walk five minutes to the flatirons”— the 1,500-foot rock formations just outside Boulder—“and climb them with my children. It’s a lifestyle.” The Mei-Dans are also involved in the local Jewish community. His kids go to the JCC Ranch Camp in Colorado in the summer, his wife is involved in the Jewish federation and the family is connected to other Israeli expats in the Denver area. Though he has lived on five continents in the past 10 years, Mei-Dan said he didn’t imagine a long-term future outside of Israel until about three years ago, when he got the job offer in Colorado and realized that in Boulder he could both maintain his extracurricular pursuits and do the kind of clinical work he finds interesting. “Instead of looking into these activities that I like to do so much as just hobbies and just do them once in a while, I can actually live this life and enjoy them in a place that also offers me the university and the clinical practice,” he said. “Here you can snowboard, ice climb, mountain bike and rock climb in the same day, basically, and kayak and skydive and BASE jump and do whatever you want to do. This is how I want to live my life. I didn’t have to compromise.”

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Pelvic Medicine Introducing the Mid-Atlantic Center for Female Pelvic Medicine Dr. Jon Crockford, Board-Certified in the subspecialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) is dedicating his practice exclusively to Female Pelvic Medicine. This subspecialty manages urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and other related female pelvic disorders. Dr. Crockford has been practicing medicine for over 30 years and is among the areas first BoardCertified physicians in Female Pelvic Medicine. The Mid-Atlantic Center for Female Pelvic Medicine allows the region’s women to seek treatment in a center dedicated to meeting the unique needs of women suffering from female pelvic disorders. Treatment therapies include up to date conservative treatment, on-site physical therapy, neuromodulation (Interstim and PTNS), minimally invasive surgery.

Appointments & consultations may be scheduled at 757-965-6522.

Mid-Atlantic Center for

After a brutally cold winter for much of the country, it’s time to embrace the changing season and cleanse and rejuvenate our bodies with lighter foods, juices and smoothies, says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, MS. What’s considered healthy and unhealthy seems to change on a regular basis, which is why it’s helpful to recognize further studies that confirm previous findings. Most recently, a study by Georgia State University microbiologist Benoit Chassaing further confirms the destructive properties of an inflammatory diet. Researchers found that common additives in processed foods including ice cream, margarine, packaged bread and many more may promote the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and

Crohn’s disease as well as a group of obesity-related conditions. “It’s not only intestinal problems; low-grade inflammation caused by food additives has been shown to contribute to weight gain and blood sugar control problems, as well as a host of other chronic disease,” says Calbom, author of The Juice Lady’s Anti-Inflammation Diet (www.juiceladycherie.com), which offers healthy meal options, smoothies and robust juice recipes to help readers live an anti-inflammation lifestyle. “No matter the kind of diet you may lean toward—vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, no-carb, Mediterranean, Neanderthal or any other kind of diet—any and all anti-inflammation efforts are well worth it,” she says.







Female Pelvic Medicine 880 Kempsville Road, Suite 2900 • Norfolk, VA 23502

757 - 965 -6522 • www.FemalePelvicMed.com 26 | Jewish News | April 20, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org

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757-321-2338 • 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach 23462

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Health care april 20, 2015  

Health care april 20, 2015

Health care april 20, 2015  

Health care april 20, 2015

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