Category: vfafapbn

Worry over drug-resistant TB

first_imgOn the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the national health care law, medical researchers from around the globe gathered at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT for the annual New England Tuberculosis Symposium. The focus of the all-day event was a disturbing global health trend: the emergence of a form of incurable tuberculosis that is drug-resistant.The highlight of Thursday’s symposium was an eight-member panel, moderated by Barry Bloom, that focused on the reasons for the emergence of drug-resistant TB, especially in poorer nations such as India, and what can be done to remedy this growing crisis. Bloom is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and the Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.Khisimuzi Mdluli from TB Alliance, a global nonprofit working against the disease, spoke repeatedly about the need to develop new drugs to combat tuberculosis. Since the 1960s, two drugs — isoniazid and rifampicin — have been the standard TB treatment. “We need more choices,” said Mdluli, “so if people don’t respond to the first [treatment] regimen, what can we do next? We don’t have good answers.”According to the World Health Organization, millions of people (8.8 million in 2010) contract tuberculosis each year, and about a million die from it. Mdluli called for more mobilization around fighting TB, urging a coordinated public awareness campaign similar to the one waged around HIV.The disease, he says, is mistakenly viewed as a problem of poverty. “TB doesn’t discriminate; anyone can get it,” he said. When asked by Bloom what is needed to foster the development of new drugs, Mdluli replied: “money, money, money.”Rob Warren of Stellenbosch University (from left) and Bob Horsburgh of Boston University listen as Scott Podolsky makes a point. Podolsky is assistant professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School.Epidemiologist Bob Horsburgh of Boston University seconded Mdudli’s assertion that TB attacks the poor and rich alike. “We need to convince the upper classes that they are at risk too, because they really are,” he said. “It’s not uncommon [in places like India] for a lower-class household worker to spread TB to the whole [upper-class] household.”One of the main problems in detecting, and thus treating, tuberculosis, the panelists agreed, is the public stigma attached to having the disease. Sarah Fortune, the Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health, detailed how crucial early detection can be in treating TB, explaining that educating people about better treatment options can help remove any stigma and thus help early detection efforts.Zarir Udwadia, a doctor and TB specialist at Hinduja National Hospital in Mumbai, India, described the rising stress that drug-resistant tuberculosis is placing on India’s already-overstretched health care system. “In India,” said Udwadia, “the public health system is lousy; people don’t want to go there,” so they go to private health providers, who are largely unregulated.He called for a public-private partnership in India, where “TB might be diagnosed in the private sector, and then patients could get treatment in the public sector.”The panel also included Jeremy Greene, Harvard assistant professor in the history of science and instructor at Harvard Medical School (HMS); Scott Podolsky, assistant professor of global health and social medicine at HMS and director of the Center for the History of Medicine; and Rob Warren of Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.The panelists agreed that more resources needed to be placed on treating drug-resistant TB. Horsburgh summed up the issue: “We’ve had the tools to cure TB for 40 years now. Why have we failed? We lacked the political will to do it. We need to do what AIDS activists have done to raise awareness” for a cure.The symposium was a step in that direction. Early in the session, Bloom told the panel that he’d recently been asked by India’s prime minister to serve as an adviser in that nation’s search for a new health minister. Bloom garnered laughter from the panel and the audience when he described the discussion as “a job interview” for each of them.last_img read more

Exclusive Videos! Get a Front-Row Seat to the Bombshell Concert

first_img View Comments Star Files Megan Hiltycenter_img Unless you were one of the lucky few to score a ticket to the Bombshell concert on June 8, you were probably sitting home on the couch weeping and cursing your bad luck. Dry your eyes—Broadway.com has two exclusive videos and an awesome montage of the big night at the Minskoff Theatre, featuring clips from “They Just Keep Moving the Line,” “The 20th Century Fox Mambo,” “Big Finish,” “I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl,” “Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking,” “On Lexington and 52nd Street,” “Cut, Print…Moving On,” “(Let’s Start) Tomorrow Tonight,” “The Right Regrets,” “Hang the Moon” and “Let Me Be Your Star.” You’re welcome!last_img

Georgia weather outlook

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThe rest of Georgia’s spring will likely see variable temperatures and extended dry or wet periods, says the state’s climatologist. The summer will be typical, with most rainfall coming from afternoon or evening thunderstorms and possible tropical storms.Georgia’s weather is now associated with a neutral El Niño – Southern Oscillation, said David Stooksbury, state climatologist and engineering professor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.A neutral ENSO is one not marked by an El Niño, when surface water of the Pacific Ocean along the equator is warmer than normal, or a La Niña, when the water is cooler, he said. El Niños bring Georgia cool, wet winters and springs. La Niña winters and springs are typically warm and dry.During the drought between 1998 and 2002, a La Niña pattern kept winter rain from adequately recharging the state’s groundwater, reservoirs and soils, he said.A neutral ENSO winter has “variable” weather. It could be warm and dry one week and cold and wet the next. The winter of 2003-04 was a neutral one, too.It rained between October and February in Georgia, but not much. “I was a little concerned that if that cycle continued,” Stooksbury said, “there could be water issues this summer.”But March, historically one of Georgia’s wettest months, brought most of the state’s 12 to 17 inches of rain since the first of the year, according to the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network.Moisture conditions are generally good across the state. “The recent rain has done a good job recharging the soil moisture,” Stooksbury said. “Farm ponds are filled, and the reservoirs are in good shape.”The recent soggy weather has kept some farmers out of their fields and prevented some from planting corn and tobacco in the southern region.The variability of the neutral ENSO will even out as summer approaches, he said. Georgia will have a typical, humid summer with temperatures in the mid-80s and 90s and spikes around 100. The heat should generate hit-or-miss afternoon thunderstorms.Localized droughts can happen quickly during Georgia’s hot summers. Two to three weeks without rainfall in an area can be enough to hurt farm crops and have an economic impact, Stooksbury said.This year should have an above-average tropical weather season in the Atlantic Ocean. But fewer storms than in 2004 will likely make landfall, according to information released by the Department of Atomospheric Science at Colorado State University.For detailed information on the spring and early-summer climate outlook, go to the Southeast Climate Consortium’s Web page at secc.coaps.fsu.edu.Climate impact information and Georgia farm and forestry decision tools can be found at www.agclimate.org.last_img read more

Teams gauge heat

first_imgAt Valdosta High School, about 20 miles above the Georgia-Florida line, heat indexes regularly climb above 110 degrees during the summer. With football camp under way, coaches and trainers use player-sized refrigerated tubs and coolers loaded with sports drinks to keep their players cool.”They’re there in the heat of the day,” said Kevin Weldon, VHSsports information director. “And it’s getting hot. We took twoto the hospital yesterday.”That’s where the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index canhelp. The index is usually used as a guide to help prevent heatstroke while at work or during physical exercise, sayswww.georgiaweather.net.The Web site was developed by GerritHoogenboom, a professor in the University of Georgia Departmentof Biological and Agricultural Engineering.”It gives us a measure of the environment to assist us indetermining practice guidelines and parameters for athletes,”said UGA exercise science professor Mike Ferrara.Medical issueFerrara and fellow athletic trainers monitor the numbers closelyfor sports such as football and soccer. The WBGT index is mostlya medical staff issue, he said.”Our athletic training staff will work with coaches,” he said.”Everyone is concerned about the players’ safety.””We collect data,” Hoogenboom said of his part in the WBGT index. “We ask how we can make this useful to people on the streets. … I’m especially interested in practical applications and use.”High school football coaches aren’t the only ones interested inkeeping their people healthy. Hoogenboom’s department was “evencontacted by the Army,” he said. “One of the bases in Atlantawanted to link to our Web site. They’re extremely concerned about the soldiers.”The index was used during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney,Australia.Getting the word out about the system is something Hoogenboomhopes to do. “We were asked by (UGA head athletic trainer) RonCourson to implement this on our Web page,” he said. “They’retrying to promote the use of this.”Using the WBGTThe index, at www.georgiaweather.net,takes a little digging to find. Here’s how.On the home page is a map of Georgia with more than 60 citiespinpointed with red dots. Clicking on a certain town opens a newpage. Clicking on current conditions for Valdosta about 3 p.m.Thursday revealed that the temperature was 95.7 degrees. The WBGT Index, a few lines below, was at 93 degrees. Clicking the WBGT Index link reveals that at 90 degrees or above, “physicaltraining and strenuous exercise should be discontinued for allpersons.”With football season approaching, this isn’t likely to happen.What does happen is “if the WBGT index is above a certain level,we’ll increase the number of breaks and take longer breaks,”Ferrara said.In Valdosta, “any time a player feels he is too hot, the trainerexamines them,” Weldon said. “We keep Powerade with the playersat all times.”Macon’s Stratford Academy, which claimed the Georgia IndependentSchool Association AAA state football crown last year, takessummer temperatures seriously, too.”We’re practicing in mornings,” head football coach Mark Farribasaid. “We don’t go out after 11:30 a.m. We tell the players theycan get water anytime they need it. We talk to them constantly,making sure they’re drinking the right stuff,” which, forStratford, is Gatorade.”I don’t remember the last time it’s been this hot out there,”Farriba said. “I come off the field and I’ve got sweat drippingoff clothes.”And Farriba’s not even running wind sprints.last_img read more

Connecting Farmers and Consumers

first_imgGeorgia farmers and agricultural producers eager to sell abundant supplies of fresh produce and other products are being connected with consumers and other buyers who need their products through a new partnership between University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program.Because of disruptions to the industry triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, many agricultural producers in Georgia — particularly smaller growers and producers — are experiencing difficulties getting their products out to those who can use them.Through its Georgia Grown Ag-products Industry Promotion and E-commerce Promotion programs, Georgia Grown — a state membership program designed to help agribusinesses thrive by bringing producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers together — will waive all membership fees for the service until July to help producers affected by the crisis. “The first step is facilitating connections between consumers and growers. There are many people who are looking for fresh produce and cannot find it and we have producers who have produce and cannot sell it,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for Extension at UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Types of agricultural products that qualify for the program include everything from vegetables, fruits and other produce to seafood, meats, dairy, poultry products and any other agriculture-related products, such as honey and prepared foods.“We are getting a lot of interest from many types of buyers, including consumer, wholesale, food banks and some restaurants,” said Matthew Kulinski, deputy marketing director for Georgia Grown. “This is a good way for producers who normally sell to restaurants to have a new outlet for their produce.”Georgia farmers who are keeping regular hours, providing curbside pickup, home delivery or e-commerce sales during the COVID-19 crisis can join the programs by visiting the Georgia Grown Ag-Products Industry Promotion or Georgia Grown E-Commerce Promotion pages and filling out forms that will add their information to a statewide database of producers that will be shared with consumers and buyers.  UGA Extension will support the program through its network of county agents and specialists throughout the state.“This is a grassroots effort that starts with all of our Extension agents, specialists and coordinators who have the relationships with these growers, producers and farmers,” said Johnson. “We are working on several different ways to get this information out to producers and consumers, including our Extension website emergency resources page and through traditional and social media. Together we can make this into something that will not only help agriculture in Georgia, but the people who need access to fresh food as well.”For consumers who are interested in picking their own produce, Georgia Grown also provides a pick your own list of all producers who offer that option on their farms.View the list of farms and markets by county at extension.uga.edu/ag-products-connection.last_img read more

U.S. Wind Exec Sees Industry Booming With or Without Tax Credits

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享GreenTech Media:U.S. wind installations could top 10 gigawatts a year, even after the federal Production Tax Credit runs out in 2020, a top asset holder said. “I think that 2020 is probably going to be a gargantuan year for the industry, with folks trying to get their projects done before the end of the 100 percent PTC,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy. “But I think it will continue to be strong, [with] 10+ gigawatts hopefully installed per year.”The estimate was “seat-of-the-pants,” Goodwin noted, and could go higher or lower depending on government policy. “I think it’s a good mid-range, maybe even low,” he said. Apex has some experience with large amounts of wind development. It was America’s biggest wind installer in 2015, beating NextEra Energy Resources to the top slot by bringing more than a gigawatt of capacity on-line.The installation estimate is significantly higher than that in MAKE Consulting’s Q3 2017  Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update. This predicts 59 gigawatts of new capacity between 2017 and 2026, or less than 6.6 gigawatts a year.  Like Goodwin, MAKE sees a strong outlook for wind towards the end of the PTC. “2019 and 2020 increasingly appear to be ‘boom years’ that will strain the wind industry’s capacities ahead of policy expiration,” said the update.Post-PTC, though, “expectations remain grim and unchanged amid weakness in demand for power, large-scale pre-2022 subsidized renewables build and other market factors,” MAKE said. Apex, which is probably among the top two U.S. wind installers in terms of project pipeline, doesn’t share that view. “We think that with the improvements in the technology, the economics will remain strong in 2021 and during the phase-out of the PTC,” Goodwin said.More: US Will Soon Surpass 10 Gigawatts of Wind a Year, Apex Chief Predicts U.S. Wind Exec Sees Industry Booming With or Without Tax Creditslast_img read more

Hempstead Theft Try Ends in Shooting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A gunman shot and wounded a driver in Hempstead who thwarted the assailant’s attempt to steal the victim’s keys by putting his vehicle in gear on Monday evening, Nassau County police said.The 24-year-old victim was in a Honda stopped at the corner of Nassau Parkway and Allen Street when the shooter tried to steal the keys from the vehicle and then shot the victim in the right leg when he was unsuccessful at 7:27 p.m., police said.The suspect ran away northbound on Nassau Parkway. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a non life threatening injury.Third Squad detectives request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymouslast_img read more

CUSO efficacy

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendell Fountain Dr. Wendell V. Fountain has been President/Principal Consultant of Fountain & Associates Business & Management Consultants since 1984. Wendell is a credit union strategist, speaker, and author. He has … Web: www.wendellfountain.com Details When a credit union creates a credit union service organization (CUSO), that financial institution has more fully set about to fulfill the purpose of a member-owned financial services option. Most of us recall how credit unions came into existence. We know the history of the banking system in such countries as Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, and Europe as a whole during the mid-1800s. It had become very difficult for owners of taverns, shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, and others to obtain needed loans. From that dilemma came the creation and establishment of credit unions. It was a grass roots common bond in which the people determined that they needed to find a way to provide for their own financing. As Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”CUSOs can and do help small businesses and, in so doing, also assist in the growth and profitability of the parent company–the members’ credit union. Understandably, many purists experience cognitive dissonance about the not-for-profit and for-profit philosophical positions, but the addition of a CUSO brings it all full-circle, that is, credit unions can more fully participate in serving people regarding their financial needs. Simple guidelines are listed below for the establishment and development of a CUSO.Conduct internal and external research to determine the need for a CUSO.Before any serious consideration is given to developing and implementing such a venture, the board and management need to be assured that it will ultimately provide products and services in which the credit union is prohibited. Yet, it will contribute to the bottom line of the credit union within a 3-5 year period–sooner is preferable. Focus groups can be conducted along with conducting external research within the competitive environment to determine the viability of a CUSO.Determine which products/services the CUSO will provide versus the CU.It is important that the products and services provided by the credit union and the CUSO be clearly identified and distinguished. Duplication must be avoided because efficiencies will be compromised. Membership confusion must not occur in the marketplace. If this is improperly handled, both organizations will work at cross-purposes, which run contrary to the establishment of a new venture.The CU board should adequately fund the CUSO (at least $1 million plus initially).One of the leading causes of business failure is undercapitalization. It is not unusual for a credit union to expend $2-3 million on a new branch facility; yet, when it comes to funding a CUSO there is often reticence with regard to investing a million dollars on a new, intrapreneurial venture. A successful CUSO can add millions to the bottom line of a credit union.The CU board should create a CUSO board comprised of inside and outside directors.Along with all the other responsibilities of a credit union board is the charge to fashion the credit union service organization board. This board can be comprised of a combination of credit union board members, management personnel, and outside directors. In most cases credit union board members are unpaid volunteers working with a nonprofit organization (credit union). The main reason outside directors is important is because of the for-profit nature of the business. Outside directors should provide specific skills and knowledge which will enhance the performance of the CUSO. It is rather typical for the total membership of the board to be about seven members. Of those seven, it is recommended that at least three be outside directors. The total number will depend upon the specific needs and expectations for optimum CUSO performance.Compensate outside directors based on meetings attended.Since, in most cases, volunteer credit union directors cannot be compensated for their work, this is not the case in the for-profit world, and that is where from which most of the outside directors will come. The objective is to attract high quality directors who will bring what is needed to the table. Initially, based upon meetings attended, a nominal amount $500-1,000 is suggested. Though this is a minimal sum in the for-profit world, it is reasonable. The average bank director receives more than $200,000 per year plus perks.Hire a fulltime CEO–avoid using a part-time CEO.The temptation is to use one of the credit union executives to initially head up the CUSO, while performing the duties of their current position, but that should be avoided. It is an unfair expectation to assume that a credit union employee can do two jobs for the price of one. Running a business part-time will result in part-time performance, and that should not be the objective of a credit union service organization.Give CEO autonomy to hire necessary staff.Any CEO worth his/her salt should be allowed to select the team. After all, if the credit union is willing to trust this person with a new business, it is only reasonable that the CEO should be in charge of the hiring and knows who to bring aboard and what skills are needed. If the person is able to surround themselves with those in whom he/she has confidence, the likelihood of success increases.CEO should attend all CU board meetings and report CUSO activities.CU Board members and executive management need to be fully informed regarding CUSO activities. After all, the CU board shall have made a significant investment of the members’ money, and the CU board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that an appropriate return is occurring. Besides, this is a team effort, and the CUSO CEO needs to make sure that they are not working in a duplicative manner.CUSO CEO should participate in CU management team meetings.Once again, this is a team effort, and all parties should stay informed about the strategic direction of each entity.CEO should participate in all CU strategic planning sessions.All one has to do is ask the question, “How can the credit union and CUSO integrate strategic initiatives unless information is shared?”Expect CUSO to become profitable within 3-5 years.This is a normal range of time for the profitability of any new business. In the case of a CUSO, an intrapreneurial venture,this timeline can usually be improved because of the resources available to it through the credit union/parent company.CUSO board should, in writing, clearly state CEO expectations.The board should reach mutually agreed upon goals with the CEO. The board should provide specific guidance on what is expected on a daily basis.Board should meet at least on a quarterly basis or more often if needed.Initially, the board should meet on an as needed basis, but after the business has matured, usually a quarterly meeting is all that is necessary.CUSO CEO should be a voting member of the board.This can be controversial, because most credit union CEOs are not voting members of their boards, but in the case of a CEO, who is expected to provide strategic direction for the business, this is strongly suggested.CUSO board should assess the CEO’s performance at least twice per year.To ensure that the strategic direction is being followed, the board should have an informal meeting after six-months and a formal assessment at the end of the year. The formal assessment should result in providing incentives, if warranted, and salary decisions as well as “stretch goals” for the coming year.Hopefully, the above guidelines will prove beneficial to boards of directors and managements who already have or are considering the creation of a credit union service organization (CUSO).last_img read more

True miracles: See how CMN Hospitals heal children and families

first_img 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Every year, millions of children enter Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals seeking treatment for serious illnesses and injuries. Read on to discover just how vitally important these resources are to communities, and how the world-class care they provide brings healing and peace of mind to families in need.Vanessa’s StoryIt was the first day of school 2013 when 11-year-old Vanessa Desrosiers’ life took an unexpected turn. Struck by a car in her Los Angeles neighborhood while walking to school, Vanessa suffered multiple injuries so severe, she was immediately airlifted to a local trauma center for evaluation and treatment.While Vanessa’s medical team quickly identified her broken femur and foot injuries, and swiftly moved her into surgery to put her leg in traction, it soon became clear to her parents that Vanessa needed more care than the busy trauma unit could provide.“The staff treated her well, but with every gunshot and stab wound victim – unfortunately common injuries in Los Angeles – we just kept getting bumped from the schedule and were soon nothing more than a number,” said Veronica Desrosiers, Vanessa’s mother and vice president, enterprise risk management, for CO-OP Financial Services. continue reading »last_img read more

Lourdes Hospital welcomes its first baby of 2020

first_imgThe Shearers tell 12 News that they had a name picked out for both a girl and a boy, but are saving the boy name in case Rosie has a little brother some day. Brian and Alysa Shearer were on their way to dinner New Year’s Eve when instead of a nice meal, they got something even better. “I wanted to know right away but she convinced me and it was worth it” he said. “It was awesome, it was surprising we had the baby and then we were told,” she said. “Everybody had little party hats on it was really awesome,” she said. As for having the first baby born at Lourdes Hospital this year, Alysa said it was a thrill. “We got the snow squall warnings on our phones and our friends knew we were having a baby so they were all concerned that we were driving through it,” said Brian Shearer. “Luckily it was a safe drive and we had plenty of time,” he said. Something that Brian says took a little convincing, but was worth it in the end. center_img Then the couple received what they had been waiting for, daughter Rosie Shearer arriving at 3:17 a.m. New Year’s Day. They did not know if she was a boy girl until that very minute. “There’s not a lot of big secrets in the world but that was important to us and special to us,” Alysa said. “I wanted Brian to be able to tell me what we were having I thought that was just such an awesome moment for us,” she said. “We were just going to go to dinner with some friends but it was easy enough to cancel,” said Alysa Shearer. Weather in the region made the journey a little tougher than they bargained for. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Lourdes Hospital welcomed its first baby of 2020 early Wednesday morning.last_img read more