Monthly Archives: June 2014
On Thursday, June 26, The Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Lovell Federal Health Care Center announced a new program that will allow Navy medical personnel to receive training in the trauma and burn unit of Chicago’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.
According to the Washington Times, the Cook County Trauma Experience will place Navy personnel alongside trauma surgeons and nurses as they work to treat patients.
Captain Jose Acosta, commanding officer of the federal center, said he believes the hands-on training in the trauma unit will help the Navy personnel learn how to handle similar high-pressure situations to the ones they will experience during real battles, the Washington Times reported.
Burns and trauma are among the most common reasons for visits to the emergency room. Others include back pain, which affects some 31 million Americans at any given time.
Military doctors, nurses and corpsmen will all participate in the Cook County Trauma Experience, according to theWashington Times.
The burn and trauma unit at Stroger Hospital serves all of Cook County and is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States, according to its website.
This Saturday, June 28, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition are holding a wellness event called ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving! Chicago. The goal of the event is to promote physical activity and good nutrition for Hispanic families, with a focus on wellness at all ages and all sizes.
¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving! Chicago is free and open to the public, and will take place at the McKinley Park Field House at 2210 West Pershing Road in Chicago, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This is the event’s eighth year, brought to Chicago by ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving!, a national organization that brings family physical activity and healthy lifestyle events to communities around the United States.
At ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving!, Chicago residents can also receive free health screenings and information on blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney disease and diabetes. According to the Center for Disease Control, the rate of diagnosed Hispanic adults with diabetes in Illinois is 6.2 percent — on average twice as prevalent as diabetes is for white adults.
Participants of ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving! can also receive enrollment details for Medicare and Medicaid and vision and dental exams; the latter is important for family members of all ages, but especially aging Americans, as at least 38 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth. In addition to that, the National Institutes of Health reports that Hispanics are more likely to have untreated dental caries (tooth decay), so regular dental exams are important for prevention purposes.
In addition to health and wellness activities, there will be fun and games, as well. Mexican folkloric dance performances, fitness walks, raffles, exercise demonstrations, tennis clinics sponsored by the U.S. Tennis Association, and a youth soccer tournament sponsored by 5 de Mayo and Univision will also provide family fun at ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving!
Over the past eight years, says Esther Sciammarella, Executive Director of Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition, “Thousands of Chicagoans have received free health screenings, joined an exercise group or sports team, or learned about health services available to them.”
Alderman and Chairman of the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection George A. Cardenas, who is a co-organizer for the event, says that “By promoting exercise and healthy eating in a fun and entertaining way, ¡Vive tu Vida! Get up! Get Moving! is working to change the lives of Latinos in Chicago and around the country.”
Sponsors for the event include Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), Newman’s Own Foundation, and the Healthy Americas Foundation. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company will bring a diabetes education pavilion entitled Llaves para una mejor salud (Keys to a Healthier You) which will include music and dance demonstrations and good nutrition stations, and it will also give Chicagoans the opportunity to speak with a certified diabetes educator.
Finally, all participants of ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving! Chicago will be eligible to register for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health’s Buena Salud Club, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles through year-round reliable and confidential health information and referrals.
This Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill that will add adult dental care and podiatric care to Medicaid coverage, among other changes. These services were eliminated in 2012 as part of state budget cuts; however, advocates say that paying for preventatives services ultimately saves money by reducing the number of patients who end up in emergency rooms. “This legislation is a critical step forward as we continue to reform our Medicaid system,” said Quinn.
Adding the coverage will, however, add cost to the budget in the short run, and the bill was made possible because Illinois will be receiving $2.4 billion from the federal government, $2 billion of which will be coming from hospital assessment distributions.
Another $400 million is expected as part of federal money for hospitals serving new Medicaid recipients that have been added to the system thanks to the Affordable Care Act, though this is still pending federal approval. Out of the three million state residents currently on Medicaid, about 350,000 became eligible thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
“This is $2.4 billion dollars worth of money that will come into our healthcare system that the governor has found a way to do without raising any kind of Illinois taxes,” assured State Rep. Greg Harris, who was co-sponsoring the bill. The bill will also give more money to both Illinois’s network of safety net hospitals, as well as nursing homes.
“We want to make sure that we can prevent bad things whenever possible so people are not having to pay enormous amounts of money to deal with life threatening diseases and chronic ailments that we could have dealt with earlier,” Quinn said, saying that the ultimate goal is to have an integrated system with a focus on wellness. When dental problems are left untreated for long lengths of time, they can quickly snowball into dangerous and costly problems. Approximately 74% of people, for example, have at least one type of periodontal disease which, if left untreated, can cause sores and even tooth loss.
According to Chicago Defender, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine physicians are looking for local Chicago-area citizens interested in participating in a clinical trial study for a new potential type-2 diabetes treatment, known as EndoBarrier.
EndoBarrier is a small, flexible tube-shaped liner that serves as a barrier between food and the intestinal wall. EndoBarrier’s design allows it to alter the release of hormones, which changes the way the body responds to food. The EndoBarrier would, ideally, help improve the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
The tube is inserted non-surgically, using an endoscope, through the mouth. If it proves to be a successful treatment option, it would help to bring more manageable and affordable diabetes treatments to those who suffer from it.
In Illinois alone, 1.4 million people live with diabetes and, according to the CDC, over 1.1 million of these people live in the Chicago-area. Currently, researchers at Northwestern are searching only for Chicago-area residents who are obese, have type 2 diabetes, and who would be interested in being part of the device’s trial run.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong metabolic disorder, and comprises about 90% of diabetes cases. It’s characterized by insulin resistance, which causes high blood sugar. It is currently managed through medications, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery. Interestingly, preliminary research from the University of Cambridge suggests that eating chocolate could potentially help people reduce their risk of diabetes by about 31% because it improves insulin sensitivity.
Chicago skyline from Grant Park
Chicago skyline from street level, downtown.
Chicago Skyline at night