6 Reality Checks: The Bootless Have No Bootstraps

“…it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.” –ML King Jr I don’t know why I’m surprised with comments that… Continue reading

The Power of Patient Blogs: A Window Into the Lived Experience

“Patient blogs reveal the true extent of the impact of cancer on finances, work practices, family life…they offer a window into the lived experience of the patient.” ~Marie Ennis-O’Connor When you are 34… Continue reading

A Few Health Funnies For 2013

1)2)3) HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!

$375 Billion Worth of Value: Family Caregivers

“There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalyn Carter First… Continue reading

Bed Rest versus Family Survival

Language matters.  So when we talk about changing a discussion of “Women’s Health” to “Women and Health,” we aren’t being tedious.  We are being profound.* “Women and Health” is a phrase that recognizes the roles of… Continue reading

E-Patient Advocacy for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Annette McKinnon

Annette McKinnon is happy with the care she gets as a Canadian citizen. “Our healthcare system covers everyone. We all pay through taxes but all are in the group.  Doctors visits, physicals, imaging,… Continue reading

Marijuana and Brain Development

How does one take the leap from this clip to marijuana use?  Crush’s description of Marlin’s journey through the “jellies” seems to be  the view of many  toward marijuana.  Laughing off “smoking a… Continue reading

The Change We Need: Avoiding Harm in Hospitals

I first posted this on OccupyHealthcare September 10,2012. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently published a substantial report on the healthcare system in the US.  According to the report, in the US 1/3 of patients are… Continue reading

“It’s the Neighborhood, St***d”

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein A study just published in the September 20 issue of Science gives a whole new meaning to… Continue reading

How An Adult With Low Literacy Experiences the Healthcare System according to Peter Morrison

The term “health literacy” has been around for at least 15 years but headway in understanding it and implementing tools to address it is relatively recent.  Low health literacy occurs in those who… Continue reading

How-to Health Communication: Crisis Public Relations and the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation

Crisis communication has to be a part of any organization’s make-up.  Why? The same reason the words “I’m sorry” are part of human vocabulary:  humans make mistakes.  Being able to effectively deal with… Continue reading

Making a World of Difference: Climate Change and Public Health

“It is an overwhelmingly popular misconception that climate change isn’t occurring or is a natural phenomenon.  While some change is due to a natural progression, we can see that increases in temperatures are… Continue reading

Responding to Komen’s New Awareness

MBNCBuzz just posted this advertisement by the Komen Foundation.  It is the first time that the Komen Foundation has acknowledged metastatic breast cancer, Stage IV, in a marketing campaign. The irony that Susan Komen died… Continue reading

Parents Take Notice: Seclusion Rooms

This is beyond disturbing. Does anyone from the school(s) explain the length of time rationale? I mean, don’t get me wrong…the padded room is ridiculous enough, but more alarming is the length of… Continue reading

Patient Safety: Costs in Healthcare

For many years my mother worked part-time in a hospital in North Carolina in quality.  In researching cost and quality issues, she found that a significant amount of money and time was spent… Continue reading

To your health: Music!

I’ve been singing something a lot lately.  It’s silly really but it makes me feel better, keeps me going, even gives me courage… why does this little ditty work? Or why do I… Continue reading

Amazing Gratitude

I feel lucky when I find amazing quotations…. “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and… Continue reading

Cancer Language: Erasing Reality

culture:  the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations  Merriam-Websters. The first  Sunday in… Continue reading

Motivated to Act: SCAD

The words, “We don’t know” pushed Katherine K. Leon to initiate research at the Mayo Clinic.  Why is this unusual?  Katherine is not a physician or a researcher.  She is a patient. But… Continue reading

Tomorrow Isn’t Promised

“Sadly people always believe they will have time later; trauma taught my family tomorrow isn’t promised.”  Alisa Hughley 2012 At 16, Carey Hughley excitedly showed his little sister, Alisa, 12, his brand new driver’s license.  He… Continue reading

Awareness Months

In Action:  Beyond Awareness I broached the subject of Awareness Months.  Because there is some confusion, I am going to discuss the Transtheoretical Model to clarify. Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente developed the Transtheoretical Model.  It is… Continue reading

Blogging for Mental Health: Reframe the Discussion

Today I am responding to the call for bloggers… Join us on Wednesday, May 16, and publish a post on your blog about mental health’s importance, how we can diminish stigma, or the… Continue reading

Action: Beyond Awareness

In the 80′s and 90′s I watched public broadcasting shows and tired of the environmental documentaries. Why? Because the documentaries left me depressed.  All the terrible changes were and still are occurring.  Man wasn’t sharing the world… Continue reading

Light A Lamp

When I was younger, I would look at a mother playing with her baby and a warm feeling would come over me. I would just dwell in the experience of joy. Now I… Continue reading

Pull Over & Pay Taxes

A couple of days ago, I heard the waaah-waaah-waaah   of an Emergency vehicle. I pulled over. I then watched as other cars passed me, ignoring the Emergency, ignoring the people who were trying… Continue reading

Beginnings and Endings

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.  I’ve felt that many times.  My hope for all of us is that “the miles we… Continue reading

Let’s get the message right!

Life in the Deep South is definitely different from life in say, Boston.  For one thing, most towns in the South don’t have sidewalks.  Mass transit just does not exist…it’s the car or… Continue reading

Begin With the End In Mind: Let Evaluation Lead

Nothing says success better than provable results! So it is easy to see why the folks at Health Literacy Wisconsin are smiling from ear to ear. This past fall they put together a… Continue reading

Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness

Suicide has increased (largely due to the prolonged poor economic conditions) [Medical News Today] 90%+ of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. [National Institute of Mental Health] One out of five people… Continue reading

Bullying and TV

Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is… Continue reading

Passion and Advocacy for Good: IpodTouch for Tele-Trauma

When it comes to innovation and passionate advocacy, Dr. Rafael J. Grossmann Zamora is a head above the rest.  As a specialist in Trauma and a Trauma Surgeon, he is on the front… Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Disease

When you think about yourself…you think of your personal characteristics, how you look, how you feel.   And you think about the people you have known, your family, your friendships, locations,  where you have… Continue reading

Does it have to be this way?

My dear dear uncle is at this very minute suffering from bed sores. Bed sores or pressure sores are horrible.  The skin completely disintegrates…losing layers of skin, exposing tissue under the skin. They… Continue reading

Angels In Our Midst 2

Pinktober–never heard this word before starting to use twitter in October 2011.  Now I’ll never think of October in the same way again.  All because of the dynamism of one woman, Rachel Cheetham… Continue reading

Angels in Our Midst

“The joy of life after cancer” is the tagline for Toddler Planet, a blog written by a beautiful woman.  Strong, brave, talented, brilliant, loving, funny:  these are words used to portray her.  Blessed… Continue reading

Memorial Day Weekend 2003

At four in the morning, she got a phone call from her sister-in-law, “Your husband is in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit here.  You better come right away.”  She hurriedly gathered her 2 year… Continue reading

Resilient?

Just a random thought… Have you heard people say Children are resilient…they bounce back…don’t worry about them…? I have and I just want to say to those people If children are so resilient,… Continue reading

Save A Life

This time of year reminds me of the time I taught an introductory course in persuasion at a nearby university.  I don’t know why, but a significant number of seniors filled out the… Continue reading

Wanderings in Puerto Rico #EOL

A  breeze keeps him cool in the tropical sun as he plays.  Impishly he smiles at his sister, then makes a rush at her.   He almost catches her, the little lizard wriggling in… Continue reading

The Power of Play, Part 2

Children will put in over 10,000 hours of video gaming before the age of 21.  How do the video game producers keep people playing?  Can health communicators harness the power of gaming by… Continue reading

Unlocking the Individual’s Ability to Care for Themselves*

“The “biggest value [of connected health]* is in unlocking [the] individual’s ability to care for themselves!”  So says Joseph Kvedar, MD, Founder and Director The Center for Connected Health, a Division of Partners Health  in… Continue reading

Motivated by Love

Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book  was our “go-to” book when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  We were able to understand the pathology reports because of it.  I know that we (my… Continue reading

Dance Like No One’s Watching

Do you live each moment unflinchingly?  Do you taste life the way you do the last bite of your favorite food or savor  its essence as you would the fragrance of summer’s final… Continue reading

Anyone can have poor health literacy

This video from ACP Foundation demonstrates that people of all educational levels can have poor health literacy.

Hunger and Health Literacy

Do you believe that a child is personally responsible for going hungry over a weekend?  The thinking person would say, of course not.  Did you know that when a child goes hungry over… Continue reading

Patient-Centered Medicine Part 2

The etymology of the word “Patient” is described on  Webster’s site  as: derived from the Latin word patiens, the present participle of the deponent verb pati, meaning “one who endures” or “one who suffers”. Patient is also… Continue reading

Women, Care-giving and Health Literacy

Health literacy is essential to care-giving in the 21st century. The term health literacy is confusing because we can be highly educated yet still have poor health literacy.  So what is health literacy?  It’s about understanding… Continue reading

A National Emergency: Horrible Death for Older Man With Autism

Update: There has been a horrible event in California: This is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH. Isn’t everyone supposed to be cared for? Basic Police Work Ignored The US Centers for Disease… Continue reading

The Power of Play

Why do gamers spend hours amassing points for rewards that don’t really exist?   Because games are fun.    What does this have to do with health communications?  Health communicators are trying to… Continue reading

Low health literacy may lead to poorer health

I started a group on LinkedIn called Health Communication, Social Marketing and Social Scientists.  Recently there has been a long discussion over health literacy. When discussion among health communicators over health literacy becomes… Continue reading

From Bewitchment to Genetics: Cystic Fibrosis and Emily’s Entourage

“If it tastes salty when someone is kissed on the brow, then this person is hexed” (bewitched).” “The child will soon die whose brow tastes salty when kissed.” Cystic Fibrosis and Emily’s Entourage… Continue reading

Why Parents MUST NOT Stop!

Parents of Children with Special Needs I am constantly amazed at the bravery of some parents who are activists for their children in schools in the US. There are so many exhausted parents… Continue reading

Schools on Wheels: Helping Homeless Children in Massachusetts

A few years ago I spoke with a group of mothers who were concerned about their children’s school.  The neighborhood they lived in is called “transitional” and the school had an 85% turnover… Continue reading

The cardiac miracle cure? Vitamin C, lysine and Dr. W. Gifford-Jones

Originally posted on The Ethical Nag:
It all started with a simple question from one of my blog readers at Heart Sisters.  Another heart attack survivor asked me if I’d heard about the…

Legacy of Love: Jayme’s Fund For Social Justice

In early 2013 I had the opportunity to work with a small non-profit in New Hampshire.  Working with the artwork of a young girl who died tragically, I got to know her mother,… Continue reading

Beginnings and Endings

Originally posted on Health Communications and Health Advocacy:
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.  I’ve felt that many times.  My hope for…

Facepalm

Originally posted on The Sarcastic Boob:
You all know my feelings about Susan G. Komen (see my commentary here, here, and here).  And it has always been puzzling to me that a woman…

Lumley’s Lucky Day

In second grade my son Daniel had an assignment, to write and illustrate a story. He was worried about it so we went to the North Carolina Zoo for inspiration. Daniel wanted to… Continue reading

Patient Advocate–Pat Mastors

Empowered Through Loss Creating A Patient Advocate Pat Mastors’, patient advocate, “medical awakening” came with the tragic loss of her father. “My father, an otherwise healthy 76-year-old, fell down stairs at home and… Continue reading

2013 To 2014: Rekindle Another’s Spirit

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who… Continue reading

Infographic

When Patients Share Internet Health Information With Their Physicians This is an infographic that I created to describe a short “survey” that I conducted for a week in October, 2013 while working for… Continue reading

Halloween and Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Lesley Pratt Bannatyne, explains that Halloween has changed. Prior to the 1970s, costumes for this children’s holiday featured astronauts, doctors, firefighters and nurses, allowing children to dress as heroes or people they aspired… Continue reading

Autumn

Originally posted on Health Communications and Health Advocacy:
by Kathleen Hoffman

Being Invisible Girls

What would you do if you were seated on a crowded subway and saw a little girl falling asleep standing up? “I think: someone needs to hold that little girl because she’s sleepy. … Continue reading

Asking the Hardest Questions

Originally posted on stage iv:
This week I was honored to guest post for Scope, the blog published by Stanford Medicine. The original post appears here. Since becoming ill, I’ve learned that I…

Sea-to-Sea: METAvivor and Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness

“…the biggest problem in the breast cancer business, and make no mistake, it is big business, is the fact that we’ve done nothing to change the death rate. NOTHING.” ~AnneMarie Ciccarella  No Change… Continue reading

The Frog List

“I can use all the prayers I can get!” In August 2011, Jessica Rice had a little cough—‘nothing to worry about’–and a low grade fever that kept her out of work a couple… Continue reading

Anyone Can Get Lung Cancer

“My beloved mother was diagnosed with Stage IIIb non-small cell lung cancer in early June, 2012,” says Deana Hendrickson. “I knew virtually nothing about it…was heartbroken, and frankly angry, to learn that over… Continue reading

Always talk. Always share. Always engage.

“Always talk. Always share. Always engage,” says Anton J. Gunn, Director of External Affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mr.… Continue reading

Moms: You Are Not Alone

Lauren Hale (@unxpctdblessing)a two time postpartum mood disorder survivor who describes herself as having “turned peer supporter and  advocate for families struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorders [PMDs].”   She  also hosts #ppdchat  on Twitter for… Continue reading

Three Activists on Awareness Months

February is National Heart Health Month, April is National Autism Awareness Month and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  How do those who are affected feel about these awareness campaigns?   Health… Continue reading

Reach For Your Best!

As a 4th grader in Jackson Mississippi, Ivor stood outside a hospital room and listened to her father scream, “Let me go…let me go…” as three men held him down for a spinal… Continue reading

No One is Alone in Anything

Hearing a diagnosis of “cancer” from your physician can be terrifying and isolating. Yet, Nancy Stordahl knows “no one is alone in anything.” And she’s been making sure of it by being there… Continue reading

It’s Okay To Laugh, Cry and Feel Uncertain

In 1990, Robert Harris and his wife and best friend, Cindy, had been married 10 years and had two boys, ages 2 and 5.  One day, Cindy complained of pain in her knee. … Continue reading

Trying to Change the World for the Better: Meet Medivizor

“Medivizor’s vision is to improve the lives of people with serious medical conditions and those who care for them and to effectively apply software and the social web in the field of health for… Continue reading

Bringing Back the Story: Wellbound Storytellers and Health Empowerment

The Navajo Sugar Monster Long ago the Holy People predicted that a monster would take over the Navajos. Our mothers and fathers would change…No longer were man and woman together. One after another… Continue reading

“There Is No Health Without Mental Health”

“There is no health without mental health. I’d like crisis care to be linked into your regular healthcare, so your provider can follow-up long-term.” “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. The… Continue reading

Reporters: Give ‘Em A Break

The people of Boston, like the marathoners, are resilient and resourceful. We cannot be broken by a cowardly act of terror. We will come back from this. Senator Elizabeth Warren Patriot’s Day is… Continue reading

Wow! What An Incredible Climate Change Infographic

This is an infographic created by Allison Lee. It comes from the website Learn Stuff.  Check out her huge list of sources at the bottom of the infographic.  WOW!

Physicians Need Social Media

When patients hear the term “The Empowered Doctor” they may ask “I thought physicians were empowered. Staff, systems ,procedures are controlled by them. What am I missing ?”**  “Doctors in their prime are… Continue reading

“A Needed Response”

Public health is about keeping people safe…be it through immunizations, assuring clean water or preventing gun violence.  Here is another safety issue we need to address: A story about a friend… There was… Continue reading

From Outrage To Action: Dian (CJ) Corneliussen-James and METAvivor

“I started METAvivor out of outrage.” Dian (CJ) Corneliussen-James Co-Founder of METAvivor Research and Support, Inc Born from the outrage of four women, METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. is a non-profit with a… Continue reading

Brain Awareness: What are Strokes and TIAs?

 “Of 100 people who have a stroke: 10 recover completely, 25 have minor impairment, 40 will have moderate impairment, 10 will require long term care and 15 will die.” David Turkel-Parrella, MD Dr.… Continue reading

Pharmacists As Partners

You know those little dosage cups that are on all the children’s over the counter medications…One study from 2010 found that only 30% of those using these cups with printed markings gave accurate… Continue reading

Paying for care: What happens to 21 year old family members with severe autism after graduating from high school? Part 2

It costs over $75,000 per year to serve one adult with autism and expenses can go as high as $200,000 per year per person.  If that isn’t scary, just read on. Locating residential… Continue reading

PTSD and Cancer Diagnosis

Reading blogs by those who have been diagnosed with cancer is illuminating.  At least for some breast cancer patient blogs, their experience has been confirmed by recently reported research. A telephone survey of… Continue reading

Permalink

Originally posted on Advocates 4 Breast Cancer (A4BC) :
Yesterday I put an article in my Breast Cancer Newspaper about a federal committee of leading breast cancer experts that released a report about reducing…

A “Talking Dog” Keeps Seniors Safe and Happy: Introducing GeriJoy

Ever talked to your dog and wished she would talk back?  Well, now there are some seniors who are talking to their dogs and getting an answer.  It’s all because of the hard… Continue reading

What Inspires You to Get Healthy? Hea!thrageous Is Listening

Did you know that nearly 40% of the doctors that are in practice right now are 55 years old or older?  About a third of the present nursing workforce is 50 years or… Continue reading

Do Nurses Eat Their Young? What’s Wrong With Communication in Health Care?

The Workplace Bullying Institute defines Workplace Bullying as repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms: Verbal… Continue reading

Another Caregiver Conundrum…

A 2011 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine brings to light another problem with caregiving.  The people that are hired to care for elders or disabled may not be health literate.… Continue reading

What ever happened to old school medicine? It’s still around…

“Nothing connects doctor & patient faster than a simple moment of pure listening. Not just waiting for your turn to talk, but real listening.” Tweet by Dr. Steven Eisenberg, January 5, 2013 I… Continue reading

I won’t give up…

My child is a wizard…and a dragon rider…and a super hero.  He can play all these games with such agility that it boggles my mind.  So today when s/he asked me to join… Continue reading

Random Notes After Tragedy

1)  I haven’t brought myself to write about the horrible event in Connecticut.  We’ve kept our young one ignorant of what happened. 2)  I received this from a friend and felt I should… Continue reading

Permalink

Originally posted on Donna Peach:
 killing innocents / senseless no matter the age / or the time of year ♦ ♦     ♦     ♦     ♦     ♦   5…

Guardian Angels and Mental Health

Late January I’m reminded of the time I taught an introductory course in persuasion at a nearby university.  I don’t know why, but a significant number of seniors filled out the roster.  Challenging… Continue reading