Disease risk rises for health care workers exposed to radiation on the job

first_img Long hours, grim tasks: Doctors in training face high risk of depression By Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu April 12, 2016 Reprints Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu Related: You’ll want to know:The study highlighted a “graded relationship” in the prevalence of disease, explained Dr. Sripal Bangalore, an interventional cardiologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center who wasn’t involved in the research. There was a higher prevalence of disease in those workers who stood closest to the source of radiation: Physicians were more at risk than than nurses, who in turn were more at risk than techs.But keep in mind:The study was based on self-reported data, which has limitations. Studies that measure actual radiation exposure, rather than self-reports, would provide more precise data, said Dr. Sunil Rao, an associate professor of medicine at Duke who wasn’t involved in the study.advertisement Health care professionals who have been exposed to radiation over the long term face a higher risk of disease, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Circulation.Why it matters:Radiation has long been recognized as a cancer risk. This study suggests health care professionals who work in labs that use radiation for procedures such as coronary angiography and angioplasty face an elevated risk of a number of health problems beyond cancer.The nitty gritty:Researchers in Italy surveyed more than 700 health care workers, scientists, and engineers and collected information about their work, lifestyles, and health, including over 400 who worked in catheterization labs, which use radiation. After controlling for age, gender, and smoking, the researchers found that cath lab workers had higher rates of disease: They were 2.8 times more likely to have skin lesions, 6.3 times more likely to have cataracts, and 7.1 times more likely to have back, neck, and knee problems. Researchers also reported higher rates of thyroid disease, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This risk was especially pronounced in workers with longer duration of radiation exposure over their careers.advertisement Please enter a valid email address. Leave this field empty if you’re human: Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. Protective measures like leaded aprons, thyroid collars, leaded glasses, and overhead radiation shields can be used to reduce workers’ radiation exposure, but “unfortunately, in many catheterization laboratories, these measures do not exist or are not employed routinely,” said lead investigator Maria Grazia Andreassi of the Italian National Research Council.The bottom line:Education and awareness are key, said Andreassi. Health care workers should understand the risks they’re exposed to in catheterization labs and other settings, and take protective measures. Privacy Policy Toby Talbot/AP Quick TakeDisease risk rises for health care workers exposed to radiation on the job About the Author Reprints Columnist, Off the Charts Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu is a psychiatrist and a columnist for STAT. What they’re saying:“Unfortunately I don’t think this is going to engender any kind of cultural change,”  Rao said. “Procedural-related medicine tends to have this macho culture where people don’t necessarily pay attention to their own health.”Other experts noted that workers may not use protective gear because of time constraints. [email protected] @JenniferAdaeze Tags heart diseasemedical professionalsradiationlast_img read more

Physician trades battlefield medicine for training humanitarian doctors

first_img By Bob Tedeschi July 26, 2016 Reprints Please enter a valid email address. Related: Related: Dr. Michael VanRooyen, director of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, outside of his home. Kayana Szymczak for STAT WATCH: A helicopter medic grapples with trauma across vast distances Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. What it’s like to be one of the few doctors left in war-torn Syria Tags global healthhumanitarian aidtrauma care Two of our researchers at HHI, Patrick Vinck and Phuong Pham, developed a system called KoBoToolbox, which is essentially a way to send surveyors out with hand-held data collection devices. Once they survey the population, they can upload it, aggregate, instantly map it, and merge that data with other organizations. It’s been a very big contribution to the field.It’s well-known that battlefield medicine has grown much more dangerous for medical workers and all other humanitarian aid workers. Are you still tempted to go back into the field?I miss it a lot, actually. But I realize there’s an era for everything, and this is one where the field is better served by sort of creating the environment for others to do it. But some day when I’m not running a department and HHI, I’d really love to do it again. It’s a privilege to help in the field.How challenging is it to go from practicing that sort of medicine to working a Tuesday day shift in a Boston ER?The emergency department is so diverse and wildly interesting that boredom is never an issue. Humanitarian relief is mainly about populations and logistics and setting the stage to manage operations. In the emergency department it’s really about individual patients and a personal touch. So in many ways it’s a really wonderful counter-balance.Now that you’re in a leadership role in emergency medicine in Boston, what’s on the agenda?I’d like to build an oncology emergency department. We take care of trauma patients or heart attacks or strokes by bringing them right back and having a team descend on them, but patients with oncology emergencies have even higher mortality, and they may be deceptively ill.At the Brigham, we’re building a clinical and research program and models around better oncology management, so high-risk cancer patients will be taken care of immediately by a staff that’s trained in oncology emergencies. I hope we can do better by them. Don’t MissPhysician trades battlefield medicine for training humanitarian doctors STAT recently spoke with VanRooyen, 54, at his home in Wayland, Mass., about his new book, “The World’s Emergency Room,” which weaves anecdotes from his career into a broad prescription for the future of humanitarian medicine. He also discussed his new job leading the ER at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the curious connection between his latest hobby and a doctor colleague who learned to slaughter a goat in his free time.advertisement Privacy Policy Medical doctors in Syria have been attacked by nearly every faction in the country’s civil war, including the Islamic State and government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad (who happens to be a physician). Hospitals have been bombed repeatedly, either by accident or because they’re seen as shelters for warring factions.In Syria and in other conflict zones, humanitarian aid workers can no longer rely on the insignia of relief organizations to shield them from harm.Dr. Michael VanRooyen, an emergency physician who has worked in more than 30 war and disaster zones, and who now trains the next generation of humanitarian doctors at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, is not deterred by the increasingly perilous conditions under which so many of his trainees and colleagues operate.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: Tell me about your friend who slaughtered a goat.Carlos! Fascinating guy. I was working as a physician in a mission hospital called Tenwek in rural Kenya. One of the physicians was an Argentinian surgeon, and on his day off, he was slaughtering a goat out back. I’m like, “Carlos, don’t the cooks usually do that?” And he just says, “No, I’ve never done this before. My favorite thing is to do something for the first time.” He slaughtered a goat. He built his own guitar. I thought that was a great thing.VanRooyen tends to the beehive in the backyard of his home in Wayland, Mass. Kayana Szymczak for STATThus your new hobby?Yeah. Keeping bees is super fascinating. They’re complex and endlessly interesting, and in the end you have something delicious to show for it. There’s a lot to learn, and I don’t know if I’ll be doing it forever, but for now it doesn’t take too much time, it’s fun for the kids, and I get to give my neighbors honey.Some people might find it less than surprising that someone who thrived in the chaos of humanitarian medicine might feel comfortable in a swarm of bees.(Laughs.) Bees are a lot easier to manage. “From here, you think everything in Syria is terrible and anyone who lands close to Lebanon is putting themself in harm’s way,” he said. “But if you know the ground truth, you can still get in.” This transcript has been edited and condensed.VanRooyen removes a bullet from a soldier’s wrist in South Sudan, 2000. Michael VanRooyenWhen you do simulation-based training, you take pains to put hostile child soldiers in the paths of medical workers. Why child soldiers in particular?Child soldiers are a uniquely complicated problem. In the simulation, these children are both armed and often accompanied by adults, so trainees don’t know who’s exploited and who’s not, and they have to deal with these kids not as an adult but as a child. A child with a weapon. If anything can frustrate or unnerve someone, it’s this situation.It was a young soldier in Zaire who put the barrel of a machine gun in your mouth, right?Yes, in the middle of an interrogation. Many of the soldiers in Zaire were children or teens. Recruiting child soldiers is common across many African conflicts.Aside from bribery, how do you handle these situations?What they want — even more than money — is respect. And it sounds silly, but ultimately it’s about treating them nicely. I speak calmly and respectfully and give them something like gum or cigarettes and tell them I’m a doctor and offer to help if they need it. I ask their name, where they come from, and tell them mine. It personalizes it for them, which I think makes it a lot harder for them to abuse you.You write that humanitarian aid is moving to a more local model, instead of Western saviors swooping in to manage everything. But depending on the politics of the region, that could make it even harder to coordinate an effective response among aid organizations. Any antidotes for that?If you ask the average person what’s wrong with humanitarian aid, many will say organizations don’t collaborate and are wasteful. And they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, because in some cases you’ll have multiple organizations gathering data and trying to solve similar problems without sharing what they know. The need to rapidly deliver services supersedes the desire to collect data, but data collection is extremely important.last_img read more

26 overdoses in just hours: Inside a community on the front lines of the opioid epidemic

first_img HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Officer Sean Brinegar arrived at the house first — “People are coming here and dying,” the 911 caller had said — and found a man and a woman panicking. Two people were dead inside, they told him.Brinegar, 25, has been on the force in this Appalachian city for less than three years, but as heroin use has surged, he has seen more than his fair share of overdoses. So last Monday, he grabbed a double pack of naloxone from his gear bag and headed inside.A man was on the dining room floor, his thin body bluish-purple and skin abscesses betraying a history of drug use. He was dead, Brinegar thought, so the officer turned his attention to the woman on a bed. He could see her chest rising but didn’t get a response when he dug his knuckle into her sternum.advertisement Dope Sick: A harrowing story of best friends, addiction — and a stealth killer Special Report26 overdoses in just hours: Inside a community on the front lines of the opioid epidemic Related: From about 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., 26 people overdosed in Huntington, half of them in and around the Marcum Terrace apartment complex. The barrage occupied all the ambulances in the city and more than a shift’s worth of police officers.By the end of it, though, all 26 people were alive. Authorities attributed that success to the cooperation among local agencies and the sad reality that they are well-practiced at responding to overdoses. Many officials did not seem surprised by the concentrated spike.“It was kind of like any other day, just more of it,” said Dr. Clay Young, an emergency medicine doctor at Cabell Huntington Hospital.But tragic news was coming. Around 8 p.m., paramedics responded to a report of cardiac arrest. The man later died at the hospital, and only then were officials told he had overdosed. On Wednesday, authorities found a person dead of an overdose elsewhere in Cabell County and think the death could have happened Monday. They are investigating whether those overdoses are tied to the others, potentially making them Nos. 27 and 28.It’s possible that the rash of overdoses was caused by a particularly powerful batch of heroin or that a dearth of the drug in the days beforehand weakened people’s tolerance.But police suspect the heroin here was mixed with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is many times more potent than heroin. A wave of fatal overdoses signaled fentanyl’s arrival in Huntington in early 2015, and now some stashes aren’t heroin laced with fentanyl, but “fentanyl laced with heroin,” said Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli.Another possibility is carfentanil, another synthetic opioid, this one used to sedate elephants. Police didn’t recover drugs from any of the overdoses, but toxicology tests from the deaths could provide answers.A home in the area where 13 people overdosed last Monday. A battle-scarred cityIn some ways, what happened in Huntington was as unremarkable as the spurts in overdoses that have occurred in other cities. This year, fentanyl or carfentanil killed a dozen people in Sacramento, nine people in Florida, and 23 people in about a month in Akron, Ohio. The list of cities goes on: New Haven, Conn.; Columbus, Ohio; Barre, Vt.But what happened in Huntington stands out in other ways. It underlines the potential of a mysterious substance to unleash wide-scale trauma and overwhelm a city’s emergency response. And it suggests that a community that is doing all the right things to combat a worsening scourge can still get knocked back by it. General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. Tags fentanylheroinopioids About the Author Reprints “It’s a revolving door. We’re not solving the problem past reviving them,” he said. “We gave 26 people another chance on life, and hopefully one of those 26 will seek help.”In the part of town where half the overdoses happened, some homes are well-kept, with gardens, bird feeders, and American flags billowing. “Home Sweet Home,” read an engraved piece of wood above one front door; in another front yard, a wooden sculpture presented a bear holding a fish with “WELCOME” written across its body.But many structures are decrepit and have their windows blacked out with cardboard and sheets. At one boarded-up house, the metal slats that once made up an overhang for the front porch split apart and warped as they collapsed, like gnarled teeth. On the plywood that covered a window frame was a message spelled out in green dots: GIRL SCOUTS RULE.In and around the public housing complex, which is made up of squat two-story brick buildings sloping up a hill, people either said they did not know what had happened Monday, or that “lowlifes” in another part of the complex sparked the problem. Even as paramedics were responding to the overdoses, police started raiding residences as part of their investigation, including apartments at the complex, the chief said.Just up the hill, a man named Bill was sitting on a recliner on his front porch with his cat. He said he saw the police out in the area Monday, but doesn’t pay much attention to overdoses anymore. They are so frequent.Bill, who is retired, asked to be identified only by his first name because he said he has a son in law enforcement. He has lived in that house for five decades and started locking his door only in recent years. His neighbors’ house had been broken into, and he had seen people using drugs in cars across the street from his house. He called the police sometimes, he said, but the users were always gone by the time the police arrived.“I hate to say this, but you know, I’d let them die,” Bill said. “If they knew that no one was going to revive them, maybe they wouldn’t overdose.”Even here, where addiction had touched so many lives, it’s not an uncommon sentiment. Addiction is still viewed by some as a bad personal choice made by bad people.“Some folks in the community just didn’t care” that 26 of their fellow residents almost died, said Matt Boggs, the executive director of Recovery Point.Recovery Point is a long-term recovery program that teaches “clients” to live a life without drugs or alcohol. Boggs himself is a graduate of the program, funded by the state and donations and grants.The clients live in bunk rooms at the facility for an average of more than seven months before graduating. The program says that about two-thirds of graduates stay sober in the first year after graduation, and about 85 percent of those people are sober after two years.Local officials praise Recovery Point, but like many other recovery programs, it is limited in what it can do. It has 100 beds for men at its location in Huntington, and is expanding at other sites in the state, but Boggs said there’s a waiting list of a couple hundred people.Mike Thomas, 30, graduated from the main part of the program a month ago and is working as a peer mentor there as he transitions out of the facility. Thomas has been clean since Oct. 15, 2015, but has dreams about getting high or catches himself thinking he could spare $100 from his bank account for drugs.Thomas hopes to find a full-time job helping addicts. His own recovery will be a lifelong process, one that can be torn apart by a single bad decision, he said. He will always be in recovery, never recovered.“I’m not cured,” he said.Mike Thomas, 30, is a recent graduate of the Recovery Point program and is now working as a peer mentor there. A killer that doesn’t discriminateAs heroin has bled into communities across the country, it has spread beyond the regular drug hotbeds in cities. On a 2004 map of drug use in Huntington — back then, mostly crack cocaine — a few blocks of the city glow red. Almost the entire city glows in yellows and reds on the 2014 map.In 2015, there were more than 700 drug overdose calls in Huntington, ranging from kids in their early teens to seniors in their late 70s. In 2014, it was 272 calls; in 2012, 146. One bright spot: fatal overdoses, which stood at 58 in 2015, have ticked down so far this year. Please enter a valid email address. [email protected] Privacy Policy Photos by Andrew Spear for STAT ‘Truly terrifying’: Chinese suppliers flood US and Canada with deadly fentanyl Related: By Andrew Joseph Aug. 22, 2016 Reprints I told my doctors my drug history. Yet they gave me opioids without counseling Related: “I used to be able to say, ‘We need to focus here,’” said Scott Lemley, a criminal intelligence analyst at the police department. “I can’t do that anymore.”Heroin hasn’t just dismantled geographic barriers. It has infiltrated every demographic.“It doesn’t discriminate. Prominent businessmen, their child. Police officers, their child. Doctors, their child,” Merry said. “The businessman and police officer do not have their child anymore.”The businessman is Teddy Johnson. His son, Adam, died in 2007 when he was 22, one of a dozen people who died in a five-month period because of an influx of black-tar heroin. The drug hadn’t made its full resurgence into the region yet, but now, Johnson sees the drug that killed his son everywhere.Teddy Johnson lost his son, Adam, in 2007 to a heroin overdose. He has several tattoos dedicated to Adam’s memory. He runs a plumbing, heating, and kitchen fixture and remodeling business. From his storefront, he has witnessed deals across the street.Adam, who was a student at Marshall, was a musician and artist who hosted radio shows. He was the life of any party, his dad said.Johnson was describing Adam as he sat at the marble countertop of a model kitchen in his business last week. With the photos of his kids on the counter, it felt like a family’s home. Johnson explained how he still kept Adam’s bed made, how he kept his son’s room the same, and then he began to cry.“The biggest star in the sky we say is Adam’s star,” he said. “When we’re in the car — and it can’t be this way — but it always seems to be in front of us, guiding us.”Adam’s grave is at the top of a hill near the memorial to the 75 people — Marshall football players, staff, and fans — who died in a 1970 plane crash. It’s a beautiful spot that Johnson visits a few times each week, bringing flowers and cutting the grass around his son’s grave himself. Recently a note was left there from a couple Johnson knows who just lost their son to an overdose; they were asking Adam to look out for their son in heaven.But even here, at what should be a respite, Johnson can’t escape what took his son. He said he has seen deals happen in the cemetery, and he recently found a burnt spoon not more than 20 feet from his son’s grave.Johnson keeps fresh flowers on his son’s grave and cuts the grass around the grave himself. “I’ve just seen too much of it,” he said.If Huntington doesn’t have a handle on heroin, at least the initiatives are helping officials understand the scale of the problem. More than 1,700 people have come through the syringe exchange since it opened, where they receive a medical assessment and learn about recovery options. The exchange is open one day a week, and in less than a year, it has distributed 150,000 clean syringes and received 125,000 used syringes.But to grow and sustain its programs, Huntington needs money, officials say. The community has received federal grants, and state officials know they have a problem. But economic losses and the collapse of the coal industry that fueled the drug epidemic have also depleted state coffers.“We have programs ready to launch, and we have no resources to launch them with,” said Dr. Michael Kilkenny, the physician director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. “We’re launching them without resources, because our people are dying, and we can’t tolerate that.”In some ways, Huntington is fortunate. It has a university with medical and pharmacy schools enlisted to help, and a mayor’s office and police department collaborating with public health officials. But what does that herald then for other communities?“If I feel anxious about what happens in Huntington and in Cabell County, I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in one of these other at-risk counties in the United States, where they don’t have all those resources, they don’t have people thinking about it,” said Dr. Kevin Yingling, the dean of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy.Yingling, Kilkenny, and others were gathered on Friday afternoon to talk about the situation in Huntington, including the rash of overdoses. But by then, there was already a different incident to discuss.A car had crashed into a tree earlier that afternoon in Huntington. A man in the driver seat and a woman in the passenger seat had both overdosed and needed naloxone to be revived. A preschool-age girl was in the back seat. The city of Huntington, W.Va., has about 50,000 residents. Up to 1 in 10 use opioids improperly, officials fear. Leave this field empty if you’re human: “From a policy perspective, we’re throwing everything we know at the problem,” said Dr. James Becker, the vice dean for governmental affairs and health care policy at the medical school at Marshall University here. “And yet the problem is one of those that takes a long time to change, and probably isn’t going to change for quite a while.”Surrounded by rolling hills packed with lush trees, Huntington is one of the many fronts in the fight against an opioid epidemic that is killing almost 30,000 Americans a year. But this city, state, and region are among the most battle-scarred.West Virginia has the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses of any state and the highest rate of babies born dependent on opioids among the 28 states that report data. But even compared with other communities in West Virginia, Huntington sees above-average rates of heroin use, overdose deaths, and drug-dependent newborns. Local officials estimate up to 10 percent of residents use opioids improperly.The heroin problem emerged about five years ago when authorities around the country cracked down on “pill mills” that sent pain medications into communities; officials here specifically point to a 2011 Florida law that arrested the flow of pills into the Huntington area.As the pills became harder to obtain and harder to abuse, people turned to heroin. It has devoured many communities in Appalachia and beyond.In Huntington, law enforcement initially took the lead, with police arresting hundreds of people. They seized thousands of grams of heroin. But it wasn’t making a dent. So in November 2014, local leaders established an office of drug control policy.“As far as numbers of arrests and seizures, we were ahead of the game, but our problem was getting worse,” said Jim Johnson, director of the office and a former Huntington police officer. “It became very obvious that if we did not work on the demand side just as hard as the supply side, we were never going to see any success.”The office brought together law enforcement, health officials, community and faith leaders, and experts from Marshall to try to tackle the problem together.Changes in state law have opened naloxone dissemination to the public and protected people who report overdoses. But the city and its partners have gone further, rolling out programs through the municipal court system to encourage people to seek treatment. One program is designed to help women who work as prostitutes to feed their addiction. Huntington has eight of the state’s 28 medically assisted detox beds, and they’re always full.Also, in 2014, a center called Lily’s Place opened in Huntington to wean babies from drugs. Last year, the local health department launched this conservative state’s first syringe exchange. The county, health officials know, is at risk for outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C because of shared needles, so they are trying to get ahead of crises seen in other communities afflicted by addiction.“Huntington just happens to have taken ownership of the problem, and very courageously started some programs … that have been models for the rest of the state,” said Kenneth Burner, the West Virginia coordinator for the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program.‘A revolving door’While paramedics in the area have carried naloxone for years, it was this spring that Huntington police officers were equipped with it. Just a few officers have administered it, but Monday was Brinegar’s third time reviving overdose victims with naloxone.Paramedics, who first try reviving victims by pumping air with a bag through a mask, had to administer another 10 doses of naloxone Monday. Three doses went to one person, said Gordon Merry, the director of Cabell County Emergency Services. During the response, ambulances from stations outside Huntington were called into the city to assist the eight or so response teams already deployed.Merry was clearly proud of the response, but also frustrated. He was tired, he said, of people whom emergency crews revived going back to drugs. Because of the power of their disease, saving their lives didn’t get at the root of their addiction. Brinegar gave the woman a dose of injected naloxone, the antidote that can jumpstart the breathing of someone who has overdosed on opioids, and returned to the man. The man sat up in response to Brinegar’s knuckle in his sternum — he was alive after all — but started to pass out again. Brinegar gave him the second dose of naloxone.Maybe on an average day, when this Ohio River city of about 50,000 people sees two or three overdoses, that would have been it. But on this day, the calls kept coming.Two more heroin overdoses at that house, three people found in surrounding yards. Three overdoses at the nearby public housing complex, another two up the hill from the complex.advertisement Andrew Joseph Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. @DrewQJoseph last_img read more

Rampaging goats and $10 million mansions: your guide to the weird world of Obamacare rhetoric

first_img Newsletters Sign up for D.C. Diagnosis An insider’s guide to the politics and policies of health care. [email protected] In his criticism of Obamacare, one lawmaker referred to it as a goat destroying his house. Chris Zuppa/St. Petersburg Times/AP National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. @caseymross Casey Ross Privacy Policy By Casey Ross Jan. 19, 2017 Reprints About the Author Reprintscenter_img Please enter a valid email address. HealthRampaging goats and $10 million mansions: your guide to the weird world of Obamacare rhetoric Leave this field empty if you’re human: The Obamacare repeal effort is just getting underway and already the political wordplay is dizzying. On the GOP side, the rhetoric has gone from “repeal and replace” to “insurance for everybody” to “repair and rebuild.” Meanwhile, Democrats continually warn that the Republicans are trying to “rip apart our health care system.”To help you keep pace with the debate, we’ve assembled this handy glossary of buzzwords and talking points. Enjoy.From the Republicans:Repair and rebuildThis is the GOP’s attempt to describe its legislative strategy for Obamacare, and an evolution of the phrase “repeal and replace.” As Politico reported Thursday, it is the mantra of Oregon Representative Greg Walden, who is leading the offensive against Obamacare in the House. It is meant to soften the GOP’s tone and suggest the replacement effort will be carefully staged and surgical. It also opens the door to delay tactics if things don’t quickly shape up in the GOP’s favor.  advertisement Universal accessThis is the GOP term that emerged in mid-December to describe lawmakers’ ultimate destination for insurance coverage. Republicans are essentially promising to elevate the use of catastrophic coverage and other products to provide access to varying levels of coverage and different price points. But whether these plans will be affordable remains to be seen.Obamacare only affects 7 percent of the marketGOP lawmakers use this talking point to downplay the consequences of repealing the health law. Most people get insurance through their employers, Medicare, or Medicaid, they point out. Individual coverage only represents a small fraction of the market. However, that 7 percent accounts for more than 15 million people, and many provisions of the Affordable Care Act apply to employer-sponsored plans as well. We must eject the rampaging goatIn describing the negative impact of Obamacare, Representative Drew Ferguson, a Republican from Georgia, went where no one expected: a goat metaphor. Ferguson said the goat (Obamacare) “has been messin’ in and destroying my house” for six years. His conclusion? Well, he wants the goat out so he can clean up and renovate. The metaphor carries no special relevance, other than displaying the lengths to which lawmakers will go to make their point. From the Democrats:‘Make America Sick Again’A play on Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, this phrase emerged in early January as Democrats held rallies to generate support for Obamacare. Judging by the nation’s $3.2 trillion tab for health care costs in 2015, a number expected to jump as high as $3.6 trillion this year, it seems clear a lot of us are pretty sick already. But you get the point.You break it, you own itThis one dates back to just days after Trump’s victory; it’s an enduring mantra for Democrats. It is meant to back Republicans into a political corner, and make clear the GOP will take the blame for any bad fallout from tinkering with Obamacare.TrumpcareThis portmanteau, an obvious take on Obamacare, was suggested by President Obama himself. It turns the tables on what has often been a pejorative way of describing the Affordable Care Act. It also suggests that, for good or for bad, Donald Trump will own whatever replacement plan emerges.They want to rip apart our health care systemDemocrats use this talking point as a rhetorical sword against GOP repeal plans. It is meant to stoke fear that Republicans will dismantle Obamacare without a clear plan to replace it, leaving millions in the lurch.I can’t buy a $10 million houseBernie Sanders deployed this metaphor to make the point that promising universal access to health care doesn’t mean everyone will, in fact, get health care. Or as he put it: “I have access to buying a $10 million home. I don’t have the money to do that.” Its intent is to portray the GOP as out of step with the insurance needs of average citizens.#savemyhealthcare This is the Democrats’ favorite health-related Twitter hashtag, featuring testimonials of those who say the law has benefited them. There’s also #The27Percent, representing a group of Americans under 65 with preexisting conditions who are worried about losing coverage in a repeal.Eliminating health care coverage for 32 million peopleIt is the Democratic statistic of the week and comes from a Congressional Budget Office report requested by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. The CBO indeed estimated that the number of uninsured would rise to 32 million by 2026 if the ACA is repealed. Republicans say that’s meaningless because it doesn’t take into account a GOP replacement plan. We won’t pull the rug outThis is the GOP’s favorite metaphor. Congressman Tom Price, Trump’s pick to lead HHS, trotted it out this week at a courtesy hearing to offer assurance that Republicans will preserve access to health care. It’s a rhetorical bulwark against efforts by Democrats to portray the Republican plans as callous and catastrophic. Insurance for everybodyThat’s how President-elect Donald Trump described his plan to replace Obamacare to the Washington Post. Other Republicans have deliberately avoided making such a sweeping promise, and Trump himself has already walked it back. It stands as an example of how quickly rhetoric gets floated, seized upon, and then just as quickly jettisoned.advertisement Tags Congresspoliticspublic healthlast_img read more

Doubly devastated: Poor women more likely to lose their jobs during cancer treatment

first_imgThat sequence of events is all too common. Between 20 and 30 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will lose their jobs, according to a study published Monday in Health Affairs, endangering their financial security as well as their insurance coverage. But the risk is heavily biased: Poor women are four times more likely to be jobless by the end of treatment than their better-off peers.And one of the most significant factors is the difference in workplace accommodations customarily offered to employees working well-paid, salaried jobs versus employees paid lower wages.advertisement Tags cancer Privacy Policy About the Author Reprints HealthDoubly devastated: Poor women more likely to lose their jobs during cancer treatment Please enter a valid email address. Newsletters Sign up for Cancer Briefing A weekly look at the latest in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. Crowdsourcing effort takes aim at deadliest breast cancers Related: The research team led by Dr. Victoria Blinder, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, followed 267 women through breast cancer treatment in New York City. They found that workers who described their employers as accommodating were twice as likely to keep their jobs — and lower-income women were half as likely to have accommodating employers. “I always use the example of a nanny,” Blinder said. “If that person says, ‘I can’t work for the next six months,’ it’s going to be very difficult for the employer to not replace that person.” @sheridan_kate Related:center_img General Assignment Reporter Kate covers biotech startups and the venture capital firms that back them. By Kate Sheridan Feb. 6, 2017 Reprints Employees with cancer do have protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means employers can’t discriminate against employees who disclose their diagnosis, and must guarantee reasonable accommodations — like a bit of flexibility for medical appointments — unless those accommodations would be too burdensome.But the ADA only applies to workplaces with more than 15 people. ADA exemptions “disproportionally affect lower-income workers,” Blinder said; 40 percent of people who work for exempt employers are in the bottom quarter of the income distribution.Based on what she’s learned, Blinder has consulted for a consortium including Anthem, Pfizer, and the nonprofits Cancer and Careers and the US Business Leadership Network to create a toolkit for employers of people with cancer. Among other things, it provides information for employers about their obligations, suggestions on how to talk about an employee’s diagnosis, and a planning template companies can use to lay out expectations in writing.Still, Kalasunas said, having designated help to navigate workplace benefits and legal rights would have helped, but it might not have kept her in her job.Today Kalasunas volunteers on the board of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a Philadelphia-based charity focused on breast cancer survivors, but she hasn’t returned to the workforce. She considers herself lucky that her now-husband’s job extends health benefits to her and pays a salary off of which they can live. “My life is — I don’t want to say my life is too short, I don’t like to say stuff like that — but life is too short for everyone,” she said. “You’re not going to engrave my headstone, ‘Here lies the most loyal employee I’ve ever had.’” Cemetery walks and playwriting: How I found healing after breast cancer APStock Kalasunas, 37, found the routine of work comforting amid two rounds of radiation and over a year and a half of chemotherapy treatments. When she was first diagnosed, her supervisor spoke to her about what kind of flexibility she needed, and assigned her to longer-term projects so her work wouldn’t suffer if she woke up feeling too ill to work one day.“In the beginning, it was like — OK, it is really important for me to be able to control work.” she said. “It became wildly important to be able to control something. Because everything else around me, it felt like there was nothing I could do about it.”But in the years that followed she cycled through three supervisors, and her last boss took a different approach, asking her to stick to a more regular schedule. Ayanna started to feel as though her diagnosis — not her work — was the reason the company kept her on. “When someone says to you, ‘I can’t fire you,’ that lets you know that you’re only really there because they don’t have a choice but to put up with you,” she said. At the same time, her mother had recently died and Kalasunas was going through another round of radiation. “I had just been through what felt like a war zone,” she said. She decided to leave her job in 2016.Working is not just important financially; it is also central to many people’s psychological health, Blinder said. “For a lot of people across income levels, there’s just a sense of engagement in society that comes along with working. There’s a sense of psychological well-being,” she said.Laura Martin, 59, had a very different experience with her employer than Kalasunas did. Martin’s bosses at her employee benefits consulting company helped her switch her health insurance from an HMO to a no-referral plan, and a coworker who was a former nurse helped her administer injections she needed to take. She was allowed to be flexible with her schedule — critical as she went through five months of chemotherapy and a seven-week radiation regimen. “I mean, if I got tired at 1 p.m., I’d just go home,” she said.“They were very understanding. I know that might not be true for all employers.”Martin is still working at the same company and has been cancer-free for six years.Ayanna Kalasunas at a fundraising event for Living Beyond Breast Cancer in 2015. Courtesy Ayanna KalasunasMaking an accommodating workplaceAlthough the study did look at racial disparities — and researchers took pains to ensure its sample would be able to pick up any racially based differences — class-based differences were stronger predictors of a woman’s likelihood of returning to work. (That doesn’t mean they didn’t find any difference; Chinese women were significantly less likely to still have a job four months after treatment.)The paper’s diversity makes it particularly interesting, said Michael Feuerstein, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship and a professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. “It’s one of the first studies that I know of that looked at work and cancer survivors after treatment and really focused on diversity,” he said. Leave this field empty if you’re human: [email protected] Kate Sheridan In early 2013, Ayanna Kalasunas felt on top of the world. She’d just gotten engaged and was working in e-commerce operations at a Philadelphia-based retailer. “I was honestly at this pinnacle moment of my life,” she said. “I was like, ‘You did it. Way to go, Ayanna.’”The next month, she got diagnosed with breast cancer: stage 4, metastatic, just like her mother was battling.As she reeled from that news, many fears crossed her mind. But one that didn’t even occur to her was that after about three years she’d be unemployed and without her employer-provided health insurance.advertisementlast_img read more

Why the United States is no longer turning up its nose at Caribbean medical schools

first_img “This is a very great doctor. Normally, I don’t feel important.” Bajwa, a former middle school science teacher, then spent 10 minutes drawing a careful diagram — complete with neurons, intestinal walls, and red blood cells, or células rojas — to explain to a rapt Garcia exactly why certain foods raised his blood sugar. He then examined Garcia — noting he had a harmless but interesting muscle wall abnormality — and checked his medical records. Was there a colonoscopy report on file? Retinal photos?As the visit was ending, Bajwa asked Garcia about stress. Garcia said his wife had recently had surgery for glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most malignant of brain tumors. “Wow,” Bajwa said quietly as he quickly scanned the medical summary Garcia handed him. “Wow.” He sat down again on his low stool.“Lo siento mucho, señor,” Bajwa said, clearly moved.Then he gave Garcia a hug.“This is a very great doctor,” Garcia said later, through a translator. “Normally, I don’t feel important.”Bajwa, an American citizen raised in Michigan and North Carolina, is the grandson of Pakistani Nobel physics laureate Abdus Salam and holds two advanced degrees, one in neuroanatomy and one in public health. But he couldn’t get into an American medical school. So he attended Ross University in Dominica.Bajwa joined the family medicine program after graduating from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. “It was the only school that gave me an opportunity,” he said.‘Second-chance’ schools under fireThere are some 70 medical schools throughout the Caribbean, most of them established in recent decades and run by for-profit businesses that cater to Americans.These so-called “second chance” schools accept students with poorer grades and lower MCAT scores, or sometimes no MCAT score at all. Compared to American medical schools, their tuition and dropout rates are higher and their class sizes large: Ross enrolls more than 900 students per year.Graduates can practice medicine in the United States after passing their American medical licensing exams and completing a residency. But the schools have come under fire for generating a stream of students who don’t end up as physicians, but do end up with crushing medical school debt because they flunk out or don’t win residency spots after graduating.Heartbreaking stories abound: One graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine took a poor-paying job drawing blood to help pay off $400,000 in medical school loans. Another graduate of AUC entered nursing school after failing to get a residency.“Are Caribbean medical schools promising something they cannot fulfill?” asked Dr. Glenn Tung, an associate dean at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School who has studied the schools. “What I’m concerned about is the cost to the students who don’t make it and the cost to the American taxpayer when loans aren’t repaid.”The Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, Calif. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, also concerned, has repeatedly introduced bipartisan legislation to strip the schools of Title IV federal funding for student loans. Three Caribbean medical schools — Ross, AUC and St. George’s — took in $450 million federal funding via student loans in 2012, Durbin said.“These for-profit Caribbean medical schools need to be accountable to their students and to U.S. taxpayers,” he said in a statement.Dean Chumley and Dr. Joseph Flaherty, the dean of Ross, take strong exception to such criticism.They allow that many for-profit medical schools — which have proliferated in the past few decades because they are proven money makers — aren’t doing a good job training and developing students. But they argue that AUC and Ross, two of the oldest Caribbean schools — both owned by for-profit educational juggernaut DeVry Inc. — are creating successful doctors.They say they are also giving a shot to students with humble backgrounds, often minorities, who can’t get near American medical schools that focus so heavily on test scores and grades.“Obviously brains help, but judgement, empathy, intuition, that’s all part of it,” Flaherty said. “Our students are gung-ho. They want to practice medicine. That’s their dream.”Just 54 percent of American medical graduates who trained overseas are matched with a residency program for further training in their first year of eligibility. That’s an abysmal record, compared to the 94 percent of graduates of US schools who get residencies. But Ross and AUC say they have a match rates higher than 86 percent. And they say a vast majority of students pass their step 1 licensing exams on the first try. @ushamcfarling [email protected] Here, the Riverside University Health System Medical Center rises from a stretch of largely undeveloped land once slated for luxury housing developments. The health system acts as the county’s public safety net for an ethnically diverse, mostly low-income population — including patients like retired carpenter José Luis Garcia.Bajwa checks over a log documenting his patient’s blood sugar levels after meals. On a recent clinic visit, Garcia, 69, came in to follow up on a urinary tract infection and his high blood sugar. He saw Dr. Moazzum Bajwa, 30, a second-year resident and graduate of Ross.In a crisp white coat and bow tie, Bajwa entered the examining room and pulled up a low stool. Sitting eye to eye with Garcia, he spoke in a steady stream of fluent Spanish. The visit lasted nearly an hour.In an attempt to keep his patient off insulin, Bajwa had asked Garcia to improve his diet and track blood sugar levels after meals. “Números fantásticos!,” Bajwa exclaimed, looking at the folded sheet of carefully written numbers Garcia had brought to show him. “Obviously brains help, but judgement, empathy, intuition, that’s all part of it… Our students are gung-ho.” Medical school hasn’t changed much in a century. Here are 5 ways to fix that Dr. Moazzum Bajwa meets with patient José Luis Garcia at the Riverside University Health System Medical Center. Photography by Dania Maxwell for STAT By Usha Lee McFarling Feb. 17, 2017 Reprints Dr. Joseph Flaherty, dean of a Caribbean medical school Related: José Luis Garcia, patient The deans of two of the Caribbean’s medical schools — Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica and American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten — are on an aggressive campaign to improve their image. They’ve published a series of editorials and letters with titles like “Why malign overseas medical students?” and hired public relations giant Edelman to make the case that their humble, hard-working, and compassionate students may be precisely the kinds of physicians America needs most. “Our students have persevered. They haven’t had all the opportunities in life and they still want to help people,” said Dr. Heidi Chumley, dean of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. “Absolutely we want to get our story out.”That story is unfolding on the ground in places like Moreno Valley, a city of about 200,000 in California’s Inland Empire, a former agricultural region just east of Los Angeles that grew explosively in the ’80s but has since fallen on harder times.advertisement Usha Lee McFarling National Science Correspondent Usha covers the toll of Covid-19 as well as people and trends behind biomedical advances in the western U.S. HospitalsWhy the United States is no longer turning up its nose at Caribbean medical schools Related: (Critics say the schools manipulate the statistics by dismissing weak students shortly before they are allowed to take the exams. Chumley said the schools do weed out poor students early on to prevent their accumulating debt, but in no way encourage poor students to stay for five semesters and then prevent them from taking the exam. “I think that’s ethically wrong,” she said.)Controversy erupts over deals with hospitalsThe schools are also controversial because of their practice of buying their way into hospitals to train students. In 2012, Ross inked a contract — beating out rival St. George’s University School of Medicine of Grenada —  to pay $35 million over a decade to the cash strapped Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield in exchange for the lion’s share of the hospital’s roughly 100 rotation spots for third-year medical students.Some critics fear such deals will squeeze American-trained students out of rotations; disputes have flared in New York, where St. George paid $100 million for rotation spots, and in Texas, where lawmakers attempted to entirely ban Caribbean students from training in the state.But Flaherty, Ross’s dean, says the such deals are a win-win. A struggling hospital gets funds. His school, which has no teaching hospital, gets a place to train students. And he gets to show skeptical doctors how good his students really are.“The doctors get to know our students and say, ‘These guys are good,’” he said. “Our students get there early. They stay late and do extra work. They value any opportunity.”And they seize those opportunities where they can find them.While their numbers are up, it’s still harder for international medical grads — known as “IMGs” — to get residency positions. They’ve heard all the jokes about studying anatomy on the beach with Mai Tais in hand. But when it comes to residency positions, they are deadly serious. For there is no practicing medicine without one.“You have to apply very widely. There’s always a stigma that IMGs don’t get as good an education.”  said Rina Seerke-Teper, 31, a second-year resident who has wanted to be a doctor since she was six, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and worked in stem cell research before attending AUC.Dr. Rina Seerke-Teper, a resident at Riverside University Health System. Many Caribbean graduates don’t even apply to residency programs that are filled only with American trained students. Instead, they look for “IMG friendly” programs like the family practice residency here, run in a busy clinic housed within the county hospital. The program is highly competitive — receiving about 800 applications for 12 positions each year — and of the three dozen current residents, 29 studied in a medical school outside the US.Competition for the coveted slots is likely to grow even more as California, which just got one new medical schools and is slated to soon add another, starts spitting out more locally trained grads.A desperate need for more doctorsMore doctors are desperately needed: California will need an estimated 8,000 additional primary care doctors by 2030. The United States as a whole is projected to need some 30,000 additional primary care physicians in coming decades.Dr. Michelle Quiogue works in one of the areas hit hardest by the shortage — rural Kern County. A graduate of a prestigious medical school — at Brown University — Quiogue says she’s worked alongside many foreign-trained doctors and “would never know what college they graduated from.”In her mind, the problem is not a lack of medical students but a lack of residency programs to train them. The governor has proposed cutting $100 million for primary care residency training, and her organization, the California Academy of Family Physicians, is scrambling to get it replaced. It was supposed to be a quick visit, but he ended up spending a half hour with her once he discovered bureaucratic hurdles had left her waiting seven months for the wheelchair she needs for her job and college. (Bajwa credits his clinic staff and nurses for working through lunch and juggling his schedule so he can offer longer visits.) Ocampo also hasn’t been able to get the physical therapy she needs for her ankle.“It burns me up that these things are falling through the cracks,” said Bajwa, after taking a few minutes to compliment Ocampo’s “impressive new shoes” and ask if she was growing out her hair.Though sick, Ocampo beamed. “Honestly, he’s great,” she said. “He calls me to check on me. I have, like, 30 doctors and none of them have ever done that.”Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the population for Moreno Valley and the status of a proposed funding cut for residency training. New medical schools aim to fix America’s broken health care system Those who do win residency spots say it seems to matter less and less where they went to school as they climb up the medical training ladder. And it seems to matter not at all in clinics where patients are grateful for any medical care they receive.“I have never heard a patient ask where a physician is trained,” said Carly Barruga, a third year medical student at nearby Loma Linda University who said she is getting excellent training in her rotation here from Caribbean-trained doctors like Dr. Tavinder Singh.Singh, 30, is chief resident here and also a graduate of Ross. While he traces his interest in medicine to the open heart surgery his grandmother had when he was a boy, Singh didn’t apply to American medical schools because his MCATs weren’t as strong as they should have been. He didn’t want to wait a year to retake them.“I had the goal in mind I was going to be a doctor,” said Singh, a California native. “Nothing was going to stop me.” He’s loved his residency, especially the chance to work in needy communities where medical zebras — unlikely and rare diagnoses — can be common. “You see chronic disease that have never been treated,” he said. “You see rare diseases like Zika.”Dr. Tarvinder Singh speaks with nurses between seeing patients. While Singh was once the one begging for a chance, the tables have turned. In a state hungry for family practice physicians, he’s now fielding numerous job offers.‘Honestly, he’s great’Bajwa’s future is bright as well.For now, though, he’s just happy to be practicing medicine, thrilled to be delivering babies and focusing on preventative care. He loves helping patients like Wendy Ocampo, a 19-year-old with limb girdle muscular dystrophy. During an appointment this month, Ocampo came in to see Bajwa with respiratory symptoms. About the Author Reprints MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — It’s easy to dismiss the for-profit medical schools that dot many a Caribbean island as scams, set up to woo unqualified students who rack up huge debts, drop out in staggering numbers, and — if they make it to graduation — end up with an all but worthless degree. That’s been the rap against them for years.But the schools are determined to change that image. Many are quietly churning out doctors who are eager to work in poor, rural, and underserved communities. Their graduates embrace primary care and family practice, in part because they’re often shut out of training slots for more lucrative specialties.And they just might help solve an urgent physician shortage in California and beyond.advertisement Tags educationpatientsphysicianslast_img read more

Former Texas nurse accused of killing dozens of kids in ’80s

first_imgHealthFormer Texas nurse accused of killing dozens of kids in ’80s “She’s been suspected in dozens of infant deaths and she’s only been held accountable in one,” he said.LaHood said the new murder charge is based on fresh evidence that came to light and a review of old evidence. He also said the deaths of some of the other children are being re-examined and that additional charges could be coming.Jones has been consistently denied parole over the years. However, she was due to be released next March after serving one-third of her sentence under a mandatory release law that was in effect when she was convicted.Jones was “emotional” when she was served an arrest warrant Thursday, LaHood said.“We have every reason to believe that she fully expected to get out next year,” he said.Because of the new charge, Jones will be transferred to the Bexar County jail and held on a $1 million bond while the case is prosecuted.— David Warren During Jones’ time working in hospitals and clinics in San Antonio and elsewhere in Texas, children died of unexplained seizures and other complications. DALLAS — A Texas nurse who is in prison for the 1982 killing of a toddler has been charged with murder in the 1981 death of an infant, and authorities said Friday that they think she may have killed up to 60 young children around that time.Genene Jones, 66, has been serving concurrent sentences at a prison in Gatesville for two 1984 convictions: a 99-year prison sentence for murder in the death of 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan, who was given a fatal injection of a muscle relaxant, and a 60-year term for injury to a child for giving 4-week-old Rolando Santos a large injection of the blood-thinner Heparin, which he survived.On Thursday, the Bexar County district attorney’s office announced that a grand jury had returned a murder indictment against Jones in the 1981 death of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer, who investigators say died of a fatal overdose of an anti-seizure drug, Dilantin.advertisement About the Author Reprints Genene Jones (second from right) is escorted into Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown, Texas, in 1984. Jones, a former nurse, has been serving a 99-year prison sentence since that year for the fatal overdose of an infant in her care. Tags legalpatients Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Associated Press Please enter a valid email address. Leave this field empty if you’re human: At a news conference Friday in San Antonio, District Attorney Nico LaHood said investigators believe Jones may have killed some or all of those children because they died under unusual circumstances during or shortly after her shifts.advertisement By Associated Press May 26, 2017 Reprints Privacy Policylast_img read more

BIO in 30 Seconds

first_img What is it? STAT staff About the Author Reprints GET STARTED Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. We are on the ground in San Diego! Follow us on Twitter for more updates: @damiangarde, @rebeccadrobbins, @megkesh, and of course, @statnewsA bit of fear shadows the big bashThe folks at BIO set the table for the conference with a breathless 4-minute video touting the incredible science and brilliant minds represented here. Amid the tributes, we were surprised to hear a discordant note from BIO CEO Jim Greenwood. He usually refrains from wading into political controversy. Yet here he was, preemptively scolding the Republicans who control the White House and the Hill for casting a pall over the industry: “We’re worried about what Congress and the president could do in terms of bad policy.”_________________ Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.center_img What’s included? BIO in 30 Seconds By STAT staff June 19, 2017 Reprints Biotech Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED [email protected]last_img read more

Armed with science (and snark), a gynecologist takes on Trump, Goop, and all manner of bizarre health trends

first_img Armed with science (and snark), a gynecologist takes on Trump, Goop, and all manner of bizarre health trends Heavyweights Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. [email protected] 

Dr. Jen Gunter often tweets while walking her partially blind cat, Luna. By Meghana Keshavan Aug. 4, 2017 Reprints @megkesh Log In | Learn More Meghana Keshavan Biotech Correspondent Meghana covers biotech and contributes to The Readout newsletter.center_img Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED She tweets while she’s walking Luna, her nearly blind cat. (Yes, walking her. On a leash.) And while she’s at home, waiting for the sourdough to rise. She blogs while she’s directing her two teenage sons to fold the laundry.In posts that careen between empathy, outrage, and snark, Dr. Jennifer Gunter presses a provocative crusade to protect women’s health, preserve reproductive freedoms — and, while she’s at it, dismantle all the dubious, dangerous medical advice she comes across in the wilds of the internet. (No, she recently explained to her male readers, you should not forgo condoms in favor of taping your penis shut during sex.) What is it? What’s included? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints GET STARTED Tags Congressinsurancepediatricsphysicianspolicyprofilessexual healthwomen’s healthlast_img read more

White House tamps down expectations of additional opioid funding this year

first_img @levfacher White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday told reporters she was unsure when Congress would fund new initiatives specific to addressing the opioid crisis. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED What’s included? Log In | Learn More GET STARTED WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday told reporters she was unsure when Congress would fund new initiatives specific to addressing the opioid crisis.Sanders declined to guarantee that additional spending would be included in either a stopgap spending bill Congress is expected to approve in the coming week or a longer-term budget agreement many expect lawmakers to reach in January. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. White House tamps down expectations of additional opioid funding this year By Lev Facher Dec. 14, 2017 Reprintscenter_img What is it? Washington Correspondent Lev Facher covers the politics of health and life sciences. Politics Lev Facher About the Author Reprints [email protected] Tags OpiodspolicyWhite House STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.last_img read more