Let’s Hope Our New Medical School Teaches The Human Side Of Medicine | WFAE

In some ways, a four-year medical school is just another box that Charlotte gets to check. Fortune 500 companies, check. NBA and NFL teams, check. Shake Shack, check.

For years we’ve been the biggest metro area in America without a four-year medical school. Atrium Health and Wake Forest University announced last week that they’re going to remedy that by building a medical school in Charlotte sometime in the next few years.

I will warn you, from personal experience, that being a patient in a town with a medical school can be a little weird. Many years ago, I went to the Duke University Hospital to have my throat looked at. The way this was done was by threading a tube with a camera on it up my nose and then down into my throat. Just as the doctor got ready to do this, a group of med students walked by. “Hey,” he told them, “you want to see how this is done?” And that’s how I found myself leaning back my head as a dozen medical students peered up my nose.

(Just to be clear, the doctor asked me if it was OK. So I took one for the team in the name of science.)

But by and large, having a medical school in town is a huge plus. Where medical schools land, money tends to follow, both in research grants and economic development. We’ll also have a bunch of young, smart doctors-to-be in our midst.

I do have one request, though. When this new medical school arrives, I hope that all the students are reminded that as they become doctors, it’s also important that they remain human beings.

My father-in-law died a year and a half ago. My mom died a few months later after a long illness. My wife and I spent a lot of time sitting by hospital beds and burning time in ICU waiting rooms. We met a lot of doctors. Most of them were wonderful. A few of them looked more at their computers than their patients, and spoke to us clinically instead of humanely, as if our family members were case studies rather than people with blood and bone and beating hearts.

They were probably all good doctors. But we never came away from those encounters feeling better.

I don’t think most of us want false hope in those moments, or for our doctors to tell us less than the truth. I can’t imagine how hard it is to walk from room to room, talking to patients you might not be able to save. But kindness matters. Empathy matters. It means something to show you care.

When our medical school comes to town, I hope they teach those things, too.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column runs every Monday on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

Guiding Cross-Cultural Principles from Public Health

I work in public health. As opposed to being a nurse in an emergency room or intensive care unit where care is focused on an individual patient, as a public health nurse I look at whole populations and health projects that will ideally make entire communities healthier.

Before moving to Kurdistan, I had the privilege of working on a women’s health project in the foreign-born Muslim community in Massachusetts. It was a merging of worlds as I watched God uniquely use my background in my job. We were generously welcomed into the community during a time when people could rightly be suspicious and concerned. Women and men willingly met with us, answering often difficult questions about health care and prevention.

I could speak and write for hours about this project, but recently as I was thinking about why the work went so well, I realized that the principles behind it are relevant to cross-cultural work around the world.

I wanted to share the principles that we used as we developed and implemented the project with the hope of beginning a conversation about working in and with  communities around the world.

  • At every level, involve the community.  Attempts to reach a population group without first knowing the group are often inappropriately designed and poorly received.  This principle is especially important when working with populations that represent a variety of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, each with varying belief systems and barriers, among other situational, historical, social, and economic differences.  An effective outreach program will need to consider those characteristics unique to each group and tailor its design accordingly, incorporating participation from representatives of the population in all phases of the program.  A good question to ask a community is: “Is this a prioritized need of your group, or is it a perceived need by outsiders?”
  • In every encounter, use diverse community partners.  Outreach programs that attempt to reach diverse groups can face obstacles such as not having sufficient knowledge, experience, or access to reaching and serving the community. Another mistake outsiders make is meeting with only one group and applying broad strokes from that group to the rest of the community. A culturally competent approach to outreach must include innovative and creative community partnerships in order to educate and serve the community.  Effective partners can be organizations, individual community leaders, educational institutions, media outlets – virtually any accepted and trusted avenue through which people can be reached and served.
  • With every message, educate whole families.  Because three quarters of the world relies on and adheres to a family system of support, decision-making, and problem-solving, educating people as individuals in isolation from their families may deter long–term, health-seeking behaviors and result in wasted time.  Accurate messages must be targeted to whole families, as well as to the entire population group, to facilitate an environment in which diverse groups can seek health care without barriers or fears. Outreach messages and strategies cannot and should not ignore the context of people’s lives.
  • Plan with, not for, the community. While this may seem simple, it’s not. If you really analyze some of the work that any of us do, we may realize that we plan for communities all the time. “Let’s do this!” we excitedly say! “This will make a huge impact!” And then we are desperately disappointed when our projects fail. Planning with a community means doing their project, their way. That’s hard, especially when we come as experts in our respective fields. Planning with instead of for means listening and asking questions, clarifying and rephrasing, all toward getting a better sense of how the project is perceived by the group we are working alongside.
  • As a guiding perspective, look to the long–term.  It takes a lot of time to do cross-cultural projects well. Our project took twice as much time as we thought it would. Building relationships, drinking tea, testing programs, asking for advice, drinking tea, getting feedback, revising, taking a step back when you want to take five steps forward, drinking tea….did I mention drinking tea? Relationship-building is a huge part of effective public health projects. Outreach programs should incorporate a long–term perspective with a willingness to invest time and resources in developing a positive and mutually trusting relationship with those groups over time.

Those principles served us well in the project I described at the beginning. As I have moved on to work in Kurdistan, I have needed to look back at them. I want things to move quickly. I want to work for change. I want. I want. I want. And then I take a step back and I think about the meaningful conversations that I get to have every single day. I think about the laughter and conversations I’ve shared as I’ve sat in the homes of Kurdish friends and colleagues. I think of the things I’m learning, the humility that is inherently a part of being an outsider in a new culture and being like a small child in everything from learning the language to learning how to shop. I think about the ways God has uniquely prepared me for such a time as this.

I stop and I think about the privilege of working cross-culturally, the privilege of learning from people who don’t think as I think or live as I live. I don’t want to squander the privilege by being culturally arrogant and thinking my way is better. Instead I want to breathe, slow down, learn, and drink tea. 

What about you? Have you used these principles in your work? How have you worked alongside communities instead of in front of them? I’d love to hear through the comments. 

Note on the photo – we had the opportunity to do an amazing photo shoot for this project. This is one of the photos that the focus groups then chose to go into a community curriculum. It is of me with one of the project participants.

 *Author’s note: Some of the material from this piece was adapted from Communicating Across Boundaries Cultural Competency Curriculum developed by NAWHO and adapted by Marilyn Gardner and Cathy Romeo. 

Ontario budget’s public health changes blindside officials

Public health officials were blindsided by news in Thursday’s budget that health units will be slashed from 35 to 10 across Ontario.

“It came out of the blue, we had no previous warning,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

Roumeliotis, who takes over as president of the council of medical officers of health in June, said the general reaction among medical officers of health is shock.

The province also announced it would cut $200 million from the $1-billion public health sector.

“That number is large,” said Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches. “It is likely greater than a 10-per-cent cut and that is where we want to be cautious that our capacity to protect the health of the public and to promote health is still there. We provide services that keep people well and prevent illness and those are needed.”

Etches said she and other public health officials “did not have an inkling” of the province’s plan to slash the number of health units.

The changes come at a time when Ottawa and many health units are coping with a worsening overdose crisis as well as a resurgence of measles and other vaccine preventable diseases.

A spokesperson for the Ford government said Friday the move “will better co-ordinate access to health promotion and disease prevention programs at the local level, ensuring that Ontario’s families stay safe and healthy.”

Etches and others say they are interested in finding ways to reduce costs by collaborating and modernizing. “I think we need to look at opportunities to focus on what we can do to find efficiencies and to help with the financial picture without cutting into the core services that keep people well.”

There are few details about how the changes will unfold. Some fear the result will be cuts to front-line and office staff and programs.

“We were shocked by this,” Roumeliotis said. “Our fear is that we will lose the ability to implement local services.”

Health units, including Ottawa Public Health, work on immunization, harm reduction, baby checkups, preventing food-borne and water-borne illnesses and emergency preparedness, among other things. Ottawa Public Health operates a supervised consumption site in Lowertown, now being funded by the City of Ottawa after the province discontinued its funding.

Their work on immunization and harm reduction has taken on a new urgency in recent months as vaccine preventable diseases such as measles make a comeback and Ontario copes with a worsening overdose crisis. In Ottawa, where two people have been diagnosed with measles in recent weeks, public health staff are dealing with both.

This is not the first time the government has looked at reducing the number of health units in the province. The previous Liberal government appointed a task force to look at cutting health units from 35 to 14. The plan was scrapped after broad opposition. Among concerns at the time were that municipalities would lose representation on local health boards and health units would lose their local flavour.

Municipalities are responsible for 25 per cent of health unit funding and have representation on their boards. Ottawa Councillor Keith Egli chairs Ottawa’s board of health.

While some health units are independent institutions, Ottawa’s is entwined with the City of Ottawa. Health unit staff are employees of the city. Ottawa Public Health employs 506 people, of which 210 are nurses.

Untangling those financial, staffing and governance connections will be complex.

Not everyone opposes consolidation, though.

Dr. Rob Cushman, former medical officer of health in Ottawa, says there have long been problems with smaller health units that are unable to recruit staff and have limited resources.

“I think theoretically this looks positive,” he said, “but the devil is in the details.” Cushman added that the budget cuts were worrisome, especially given the ongoing opioid crisis.

At the annual meeting of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario on Thursday night, public health nurses were concerned about their future, NDP health critic France Gélinas said. Among information about the changes in budget documents was a line saying that the health units would be “more closely aligned with priorities of this government.”

Gélinas said some public health nurses felt as if they were being punished because they pushed for supervised consumption sites and against more access to alcohol. “I could see why they would feel that way,” she said.

Wendy Muckle, executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health, says her organization and others rely heavily on Ottawa Public Health for support. Among other things, Ottawa Public Health organizes and gets rid of biohazardous waste associated with supervised consumption sites and harm reduction.

“That is what you want a public health unit to do,” Muckle said.


Editorial: Ontario, alcohol and public health

The Ontario government seems to think the way to our hearts is through our vices – specifically through our collective thirst for booze. Yet, in its bid to make it easier for Ontarians to liquor up, the government may also be diluting the warning function communities rely on to remind them of the dangers of alcohol.

Thursday’s budget pledges to let bars, restaurants and even golf courses serve drinks starting at 9 a.m., every day of the week. It will also let cities set the rules about where alcohol can be consumed in public, for example in parks. The budget will change the regulations so you can hold a tailgate party near a major sports event, and will loosen rules around “happy hour” promotions. And yes, wine and beer are coming to corner stores.

Easing access to alcohol, of course, continues a long tradition of Ontario governments slowly loosening their puritanical, prohibitionist apron strings.

Not unrelated, the PC government also plans to change the rules around online gambling so people aren’t funnelling those valuable gambling dollars into the “grey market.” Under Doug Ford, it seems, a good time can be had by all.

Easing access to alcohol, of course, continues a long tradition of Ontario governments slowly loosening their puritanical, prohibitionist apron strings: from the 1960s, when choice was strictly limited and you had to hand a clerk a written order slip to buy spirits from a secure backroom; to the Bill Davis government finally lowering the drinking age from 21; to the slow expansion of legal drinking hours in Ontario bars.

But unfortunately, a key support system for those who may abuse alcohol (or for that matter, gambling) is weakened in this budget: Ontario’s network of public health units. The budget announces plans to combine 35 provincial health authorities into 10; no one knows yet how that will affect the valuable service rendered by Ottawa Public Health. It’s our local agency, for instance, that has warned us about the measles, about fentanyl, and has run campaigns to encourage vaccination. It has helped ease the shortage of supervised injection sites, as a public safety function. Its preventive function is essential.

Whenever governments have liberalized access to potent substances – cannabis comes to mind – public health officials have been at the forefront of helping disseminate safety information so citizens can make good choices. Watering down these units, at a time when a renewed education push about alcohol (or gambling) might just be wise policy, seems a contradiction.

The Tories insist they want to allow more consumer choice, and we support that. But a smart society also makes informed choices.

Public Health matters; let’s not dilute it.


Texas House Public Health committee holds emotional hearing on medical marijuana bills

The Texas House Public Health committee convened Thursday to consider a slate of bills for expanded medical marijuana use. Testimony in support of the bills frequently became emotional.

Of the 10 proposals scheduled to be heard by the committee, three bills received testimony before the hearing ended in recess. The first was House Bill 122 by state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin. HB 122 would set up a legal defense for physicians who discuss marijuana with their patients as a treatment option and those who possess marijuana at the recommendation of their doctor.

Testifying in favor of her bill, Hinojosa said its primary goal is not to legalize medical marijuana use.  

“This bill does not legalize marijuana,” Hinojosa said at the hearing. “But it would provide individuals with an opportunity to explain to a judge their situation and give the judge the ability to accept or reject their affirmative defense.”

Following Hinojosa’s remarks, Piper Lindine, a witness from Sugar Land, Texas, spoke in favor of HB 122 on behalf of her son.

“I’m here today because I have an 11-year-old son who began having seizures at age three-and-a-half,” Lindine said. “We have been medicating him with high-THC cannabis for five years now, and I desperately need this bill to pass because I’m at risk for losing my kids, for going to jail, and it’s just not right.”

THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana, and THC levels are regulated in cannabis distributed for medical use.  

The next testimony the committee heard was on HB 1405 by state Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, which would place hospice patients under the protections of the Compassionate Use Act, a recently-passed law allowing patients with intractable epilepsy to be treated with low-THC cannabis oil. Intractable epilepsy is a condition where non-cannabis treatments have not controlled a patient’s seizures. 

“What this bill does is, for those class of patients that have been deemed (hospice eligible), they would be eligible for the use of the cannabis in the exact same formula and dosage that is already legal in Texas,” Thierry said at the hearing.

Thierry said allowing terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis is an expansion of the Compassionate Use Act’s original goal.

“This, in my soul, is the true definition of compassionate use,” Thierry said. 

The final bill heard before the committee’s recess was HB 3703 by state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth. If passed, the bill would serve as an extension of the Compassionate Use Act, setting up a medical cannabis research program to be monitored by the Health and Human Services Commission. The bill would also expand current medical cannabis use to all epilepsy patients, not just those with intractable epilepsy.

Julia Patterson, a witness with intractable epilepsy, testified in favor of HB 3703. She said using medical cannabis oil with high levels of CBD — the pain-relieving element of cannabis — allowed her to finally get her driver’s license after her condition previously prevented her from doing so.

“Before CBD oil, I had 200 seizures per day,” Patterson said. “After CBD oil, I’m one year seizure-free, and I was able to, this December, get my driver’s license. This is unbelievable to me.”

During Thursday’s testimony, no witnesses or lawmakers testified against any of the bills.


Politics categories

A Global Public Health Epidemic Going Completely Untreated: Intimate Partner Violence

Brain diseases problem cause chronic severe headache migraine. Asia female adult look tired and stressed out depressed, having mental problem trouble, medical concept Getty
When thinking about traumatic brain injuries (TBI), most people immediately conjure images of NFL players, car accidents or nasty falls. But there is a global public health epidemic   going completely unrecognized – and untreated: intimate partner violence (IPV). In fact, IPV is the most common form of violence against women  in the world, with nearly 1 in 3 women  age 15 or older experiencing physical or sexual IPV. And it occurs in all settings, amongst all socioeconomic, religious and cultural groups.
Shockingly, up to 90% of injuries  sustained in IPV are to the head, face, and neck. And research has shown that 75% of women with a history of IPV sustained at least one partner-related TBI  and nearly 50% sustained repetitive TBIs. Thus, it is sadly not surprising that the women who experience IPV report symptoms consistent with those who have sustained TBIs , such as problems with, “concentration, memory, headaches, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep.”
According to  Eve Valera, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Valera Lab at the  Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging , if one were to extrapolate from her data, “The number of women sustaining IPV-related TBIs dwarf the combined number of military and NFL TBIs or concussions reported. Using annual estimates of severe physical violence (totaling 3,200,000 women), about 1,600,000 women are estimated to sustain repetitive IPV-related TBIs in comparison to the total annual numbers of TBIs reported for the military and NFL (18,000 and 281, respectively).” While she suggests that we need to learn more about all of these cohorts, she points out that there are only two IPV/TBI imaging studies  published, compared to the growing body of literature on TBI in athletes and military populations. And she should know, because both of those studies are hers.
Complications Abound
But what makes this epidemic so difficult to understand, is much greater than just a lack of research on brain injuries. The truth is, there are a number of confounding factors at play including a general lack of research on women , and thus extreme underrepresentation of sex and gender differences that exist in brain injury. Add in that women who suffer from IPV are often unable to join research studies either due to fear of their partner, societal stigma associated with domestic violence, or simply a lack of resources in their daily lives.
While IPV affects all socioeconomic strata, according to the Prevention Institute there is a multifaceted set of risk factors  including, poverty, social marginalization, weak social support networks, gender and cultural norms that promote harming others that frequently accompany IPV – making resources and access to care and research extremely limited. Additionally, because domestic violence happens behind closed doors, many individuals are unwilling to get involved in what happens in other people’s homes.
“If brain injury is the “invisible illness” of our time, then within this invisible injury, women have been the invisible patients,” says Katherine Snedaker, Founder and Executive Director of PINK Concussions . “Over the last five years, we have been able to raise awareness of brain injuries in female athletes and women veterans, but the far greater number of repetitive brain injuries are still hidden and endured by the invisible women who suffer intimate partner violence in every social economic group of society.”
And the data support Snedaker’s statement. Halina (Lin) Haag, of Dr. Angela Colantonio’s Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab at the University of Toronto , asserts that, “E ven if some estimates were overstated, and as few as half (50%) of women who are exposed to IPV suffer TBIs, that would still be one in every eight women – the same statistic as breast cancer. Yet we have very little existing knowledge and research exploring this intersection.”
Hope On The Horizon
Although very little research has been done on the repetitive damage of IPV and TBI, the number of research faculty around the world is growing. And like Lin Haag and Dr. Valera, their voices are gaining volume and their body of work is growing. There is also a growing awareness amongst the general population that invisible injuries – whether sustained on the battlefield or the sport field – are real and dangerous. And they can be life changing due to the cognitive, emotional and physical challenges associated with a TBI.   The next step is making this same realization for women survivors of IPV-related TBI.
Improvements in combating stigma and shame associated with IPV are also making small strides in communities of every religion, race and socioeconomic strata, as mental health efforts grow in number. This also includes training community workers, shelter employees and medical staff to recognize the signs of TBI earlier – and be looking for it in women who present with complaints about cognitive troubles or behavior associated with trauma. Attempting to do just that, Lin Haag, Dr. Colantonio and their team, are just completing a web-based toolkit educating frontline workers about TBI in women exposed to IPV. And, as Dr. Valera hopes, that the education of police forces and judges will make a significant difference in the lives of women and their children. “As first responders and judicial personnel learn to ask about and recognize IPV-related TBI, women’s behaviors may be interpreted in the context of a TBI that occurred behind closed doors rather than simply ‘strange’ or ‘uncooperative’. This interpretation will ultimately help women receive appropriate care and legal decisions.”
All the women in this article are open to being contacted by those with questions about IPV, TBI or how to get involved in their research. If you’re a survivor of intimate partner violence, there is a 24/7 hotline and online resource where you can get help  here .

In London, the air is a public health emergency

Living in a city polluted with dirty air is among many facts of life that Londoners pay for, not just with money but with our health, writes Elle Hunt. 

There is a company that sells aerosols of “100% pure Australian air”, “farmed” from pristine locations including Tasmania and the Blue Mountains, for AU $246.24 for a 12-pack. At “upwards of 255 breaths”, that works out to less than $1 per breath.

I came across it because it had been singled out for criticism by a consumer advocacy group for “literally selling thin air” to mostly residents of China and India, panicked about their toxic atmospheres.

The product was useless and exploitative, the consumer advocates said, giving people in polluted cities only the illusion of peace of mind.

All of which is to say, if you happen to find yourself on the Island Bay foreshore or being whipped by the sea breeze on the Fullers ferry to Waiheke island, could you be so good as to fill up a screw-top jar and send it my way?

A pack of 12 cans sells for just $246.24

In London, I reminisce about my favourite antipodean airs like they are fine wines gathering dust in the cellar of my memory alongside cases of Matua Road. New Zealand’s air is “generally good”. Here, it is a “public health emergency”.

This week mayor Sadiq Khan launched the ultra-low emission zone in central London, imposing a £12.50 ($24.23) daily charge for all but the cleanest cars and vans. It is expected to reduce road transport emissions by around 45%. Even that may not go far enough.

A study by King’s College London and Imperial College London found that each day on average four Londoners, including one child under 14, were hospitalised for breathing difficulties owing to air pollution. Even Khan himself has developed adult-onset asthma in recent years. people, among them 400,000 children, are living in areas of the city with illegal and toxic levels of pollution.

It is even worse on the Underground, according to a report earlier this year, with the concentration of particulate pollution in tube stations found to be up to 30 times higher than beside busy roads. Thirty times higher. The conclusion that it is “likely there is some health risk” but to continue taking the Tube in the meantime doesn’t do much to put the mind at ease.

It may reflect a sense of resignation: what are you going to do? Not take the Tube? It is among many facts of life that Londoners pay for, not just exorbitantly with money but with our health as well.

Sign for the new Ultra Low Emission Zone, also known as ULEZ, in London (Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

It is self-evident when you wash your face at the end of the day and see that it is not just makeup you are removing. London is a dirty city. But it is disturbing what you get used to, and how quickly. I now only notice the poor air quality in London when I go somewhere else.

On a long weekend in Dartmoor at the end of last year, I sucked in great lungfuls of air as though I could get my fill for the rest of winter. The air there felt sustaining, rather than something you took in as little as you dared, a cost-benefit analysis you made unconsciously every few seconds.

Already in London, the air is contributing to the deaths of thousands of people every year. Children are growing up underdeveloped, and while it is nowhere near the worst in the world, people have already started leaving as a result. The toxic atmosphere is one of many ways in which the city seems fundamentally resistant to human inhabitation. For now, we weigh up the pros and cons and find it still worthwhile to stay.

But it is a cause for concern when one of the reasons you look forward to a trip away is, quite literally, breathing the air. And bottling it to bring back with you.

The ABSOLUTE FAILURE Of US Public Health… – BolenReport

Our Public Health “Watchdogs” Have Betrayed America…
It is Time to Criminally Prosecute Them..
Opinion By “Deplorable” Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
The BolenReport is known for exploring cutting-edge subjects in relation to health care.  The writing and research for this one article disturbed me far more than any other subject I have ever written about.  I had  to keep walking away from it.  Why? You are about to find out.  This all happened right in front of us.  Tim Bolen
Let’s begin With A Few Questions…
(1)  Whose job is it to generally protect the Public Health in the US?   Easy answer – “We the People,” through a series of legislative acts, gave that job to what we now sneeringly call “US Public Health,” a conglomeration of Federal, State, and County agencies we funded, and empowered, to do the job.
(2)  Do they do the job we gave them? Absolutely not…  US Public Health has completely failed America.  They have turned into something completely Anti-American.
Look, just below, at my alternate choice for the “Featured Image” for this article.  It says it all…
US Public Health does not look, at all, at major health problems facing America.  In their own minds, I think, they feel too important, too special, to privileged, to ask the right questions…
To US Public Health, what is important is that pretty new carry-on suitcase they can take to the next conference.
Let’s look at a specific instance…
Everybody on Planet Earth has heard about the Rockland County, New York State Chief Executive Ed Day who, on the advice of his Public Health Department, issued an order prohibiting un-vaccinated children from visiting public places, so as to “ prevent the spread of measles. ”  Every liberal media source on Planet Earth covered that story with glee.
Yes, a New York Judge, with common sense, overrode this order. But, let’s take a hard look at the institutions like “US Public Health,” and specifically, “Rockland County Public Health,” that originated this “measles outbreak” nonsense.
We’ll start with some inconvenient facts – stuff you will NEVER hear on CNN…
According to childstats.gov there are 73.9 million (73,900,000) children under the age of 18 in the USA in 2019.
Do you get my point? 73,900,000 children in the US right now, and this Public Health leader Ed Day, in Rockland County, New York State is worried about an outbreak of 151 measles cases? (laugh out loud)…
In perspective – Measles lasts about five days.  It is NOT deadly, you make cookies with your Mom, your big brother calls you “Spot” for several months, and it leaves immunity with you for a lifetime.
Want to see the really BAD part?  Let’s flip this argument over and see the other side.  You are in for a shock.
The population of Rockland County is, according to Wikipedia, 328,868 people , 28% of them are under the age of 18 ( 92,083 children ).  So, the so-called measles epidemic of 151 children hit 1 in 2,178 children.   No one died, but a lot of cookies were made.  Compare THAT to 1 in 6 children having life-threatening asthma, or 1 in 48 having autism.   A “measles epidemic” is a joke.
Keep reading…
(a)  “ American children have never been sicker. Over half (54%) are suffering from one or more chronic illnesses, with the late 1980s and early 1990s viewed as the gateway period that launched the decline. 
(b)  Many chronic illnesses have doubled since that time. The “4-A” disorders—autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma and allergies—have experienced meteoric growth, affecting children’s quality of life and contributing to premature mortality. The spike in autism prevalence has been particularly dramatic, with prevalence as high as 3% (one in 34 children) in some regions. Pediatric autoimmune conditions also are on the rise.”
Pay attention here people…
On a national level that means that 54% of 73.9 million children – 39,906,000 American children , have a chronic disease that will last their lifetime.  And, it all began when the big increase in childhood vaccines started.
39,906,000 American children PERMANENTLY DAMAGED…  Am I getting through to you?
But in Rockland County New York State it means that 54% of the 92,083 children, 49,725 of them will have, right now, “ one or more chronic illnesses (that will last a lifetime);  as in the “4-A” disorders—autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma and allergies.”
49,725 children with a lifetime chronic disease, and this Rockland County Public Health leader, Ed Day, doesn’t notice anything amiss?   No, of course he doesn’t.  He is a Public Health official.   He, as well as his ENTIRE Public Health Department, have bags over their heads.
They are trained to not notice the bodies.  They don’t smell the vomit.  They are on their way to a meeting in a nice hotel.  They will drive their new Audis to the airport.  Each of them hopes they will be picked to go to the Paris Conference where they can wear their new silk panties…
I have just outlined the reality of US Public Health…
It gets worse…
“The proportion of public school children using special education services is skyrocketing, with estimates ranging from 13% to 25% of school populations.
Health authorities are incapable of explaining the reason for these dramatic shifts. Mounting evidence indicates that environmental toxins are the principal culprits.
Children are exposed to many neuro- and immunotoxins that interact synergistically to damage their health. These toxins include heavy metals; pesticides and herbicides such as glyphosate; fluoride; bisphenol A; air pollutants; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances; phthalates; flame retardants; acetaminophen; food additives; and aspartame.
Tellingly, children’s health began worsening at precisely the same time that the U.S. started expanding the types and total number of vaccines required for school attendance.
Studies have linked vaccines and toxic vaccine ingredients to a wide range of adverse health outcomes, including neurodevelopmental disorders, allergies, seizures and many others. Time trend analyses show strong correlations between autism and total number of vaccines by 18 months as well as exposure to aluminum vaccine adjuvants.”
In California, Educators are begging the California legislature for relief.  The costs for “ Special Education” break EVERY School District’s budget.
Every State in the US is having this problem.   In Minnesota, the Star-Tribune says:
“Soaring special education costs are squeezing the budgets of Minnesota schools — and quickly becoming school districts’ top priority for the new legislative session.
While public schools are required to provide special education services, federal and state governments cover only a portion of the cost. That means Minnesota districts must dig in their budgets, pull out money they would otherwise spend paying teachers or remodeling aging buildings, and collectively fill in a gap that this year is expected to balloon to $724 million.
For many districts, that exercise has become increasingly painful, resulting in teacher layoffs, program cuts and swelling class sizes. School administrators are quick to note that they cannot — and would not — deny special education students their right to an education that meets their needs, no matter the cost. But they say the mandate’s growing financial burden is threatening their ability to provide the same for all students.
“Districts are taking ever-increasing amounts of money out of their general education funds to pay for special education costs,” said Brad Lundell, executive director of Schools for Equity in Education, a group that represents nearly 60 districts across the state. “And that, I think, is reaching a crisis level in the state.” Minnesota Fifth Grade Special Education
“Many school administrators and advocates say the problem begins with the federal government, which has never followed through on its decades-old pledge to cover 40 percent of special education costs. Currently, the federal government pays for about 8 percent of Minnesota’s $2.2 billion annual special education expenses.
The share of the cost picked up by the state has ticked up in the last decade, rising to about 63 percent this year. But it’s not enough: more Minnesota students are requiring special education services, including a growing number with particularly complex medical, mental health or behavioral needs. The cost to serve them is rising at a faster rate than the overall costs of education, and the federal government isn’t responding in kind.
Meanwhile, a shift in the way the state distributes special education money to schools has left some districts with a bigger funding gap than they’d had in the past.”
The US Military is saying that within ten years the US will NOT be able to field an Army…
This is not a RANDOM FACT.  Read this below, from The Heritage Foundation:
“The military depends on a constant flow of volunteers every year. According to 2017 Pentagon data, 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the United States military. Put another way: Over 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot join the armed forces—even if they wanted to. This is an alarming situation that threatens the country’s fundamental national security. If only 29 percent of the nation’s young adults are qualified to serve, and if this trend continues, it is inevitable that the U.S. military will suffer from a lack of manpower. A manpower shortage in the United States Armed Forces directly compromises national security.”
Am I painting this picture for you?
None of this has EVER happened before, anywhere on Planet Earth…
And, it is ONLY happening in America…
As Bobby Kennedy Jr says so eloquently:
“Health authorities are incapable of explaining the reason for these dramatic shifts. Mounting evidence indicates that environmental toxins are the principal culprits.”
But, as we know, answering these questions, and providing possible solutions is US Public Health’s job, right?  What is US Public Health’s official position?
“It’s not our fault that 54% of America’s children are chronically ill…
There is no vaccine for that…”
Wake up people. We have work to do…
Stay tuned…

Forgotten Medicine: Squatting and Floor Sitting

  In November of 2007, I interned at the Guangzhou Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in Guangzhou, China. When traveling in China, I observed that Chinese people, young and old, rested in a flat-footed squat. While our upscale hotel boasted western toilets, squat toilets prevailed in every public place that I visited, including the hospital, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Back home in the land of criss-cross-apple-sauce, I rarely, if ever, saw anyone squatting. To my knowledge, no one was using a squat toilet. I lived in Japan and Korea during elementary school, so I was not a stranger to squatting to use the bathroom. During my China internship, however, I discovered a strange phenomenon: squatting to pee took more coordination than I remembered. Truthfully, it felt a little awkward to sit in a deep flat-footed squat of any kind. An epic adventure in a local shop’s restroom, involving me and a tiny squat toilet, which was located partly beneath a sink and nearly flush with a wall, left me plagued with a question…how on earth do they do it? Shortly after returning to Wisconsin, I became pregnant with my first child. I planned a homebirth with a certified professional midwife. While reading about natural childbirth, I discovered that in traditional cultures, women often squat to give birth. Squatting widens the pelvic outlet and takes advantage of gravitational force.¹ It was on. I began doing squatting exercises regularly, determined to squat my baby out. Ultimately, I gave birth in a supine position, leaning back against the side of the birth tub. Though I squatted throughout my labor, I had little squatting stamina while applying the extreme downward pressure that I found necessary for giving birth. My recovery from childbirth was difficult. Every part of my pelvis hurt: SI joints, pubic symphysis, hip joints, ischial tuberosities. I delivered my daughter naturally, but my postpartum pelvic pain left me strongly considering taking pain medications. Soon afterwards, I experienced a mild cystocele. The symptoms resolved over several months with the use of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. At 30 years of age, however, I was a wreck about it. Intuitively I knew that something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t just me. Given that childbirth is imperative to the survival of our species, common sense dictates that healthy young women should be able to vaginally deliver babies without … Continue reading