April 14, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Doctors' role is key Dr. Peter Ubel's commentary about the complexity of health-insurance plans made the important point that caregivers are unprepared to help patients make cost-conscious decisions about their care ("Choices, plans overwhelming for patients," Friday). Yet many employers that adopt consumer-driven coverage pay little attention to the evidence that employees with high-deductible plans tend to cut back on beneficial as well as wasteful care. That jeopardizes patients' health and could undermine employers' savings when poorly managed health results in high-cost care or disability leaves.
April 11, 2016 |
For Erin Moore, keeping her son's cystic fibrosis in check requires careful monitoring to prevent the thick, sticky mucous his body produces from further damaging his lungs and digestive system. Moore keeps tabs on 6-year-old Drew's weight, appetite, exercise, and stools every day to see whether they stray from his healthy baseline. When he develops a cough, she tracks that, too. It's been nearly a year since Drew has been hospitalized; as a baby he was admitted up to four times a year.
April 7, 2016 |
In the Girard College auditorium, Kamren Washington-Richards, 16, told a group of hundreds he was 8 when his hair began falling out. He wrung his hands and fidgeted as he got emotional while sharing his story at Monday's BEyond Expectations, a series for young men of color that promotes mental-health awareness. Washington-Richards, a student at Boys Latin of Philadelphia, was soon diagnosed with alopecia universalis, a condition that leads to hair loss. "I felt like a walking joke," he said in an interview.
April 1, 2016 |
This week, mental health dominated trending topics. Two celebrities spoke out about their issues, and a pioneer died. On Tuesday, R&B singer Kehlani posted a photo to Instagram of herself in a hospital bed with an IV in her arm. She admitted she tried to commit suicide, writing, "today I wanted to leave this earth . . . But God saved me for a reason, and for that, I must be grateful. " Also on Tuesday, actor Wentworth Miller, best known for his role as Michael on Fox's Prison Break , spoke out after a publication tweeted a meme poking fun at his past weight gain.
March 28, 2016 |
Brenda D. Gavin, 67, of Philadelphia, a nationally known venture capitalist and a business leader in Philadelphia, died Thursday, March 17, of a stroke at Pennsylvania Hospital. In life, Dr. Gavin nurtured many new life-science companies and mentored numerous colleagues; in death, she became a gift-of-life donor for four patients in need of transplant organs. One of the earliest women to become schooled and active in health-sciences venture capital investing, Dr. Gavin knew how to connect the right scientists and physicians to start successful new companies, her family said.
March 26, 2016 |
Paul Farmer, a renowned pioneer of global health care, brought his message about the importance of caring for the world's poor to the University of Pennsylvania this week. Farmer said academic medical centers like Penn can make a huge difference by bringing their model of combining research, training, and hands-on care to places where people lack even basic medical supplies. A Harvard Medical School professor, Farmer has used that approach successfully at the organization he helped found, Partners in Health.
March 26, 2016 |
At a coffee shop, Brian Mottolo will allow other customers to go ahead of him. He'll wait in the back, practicing his order in his head. When it's all clear, he'll approach the counter and say, "Medium dark roast. Cream and sugar. " When Mottolo, 52, shared that story during a meeting at Magee Rehab recently, his audience lauded him. "You've been practicing!" speech language pathologist Sarah Lantz said. "That's good. That's real good. " Mottolo has aphasia, the loss of the ability to use language because of damage to the brain.
March 24, 2016 |
Here in the U.S., a product developer is politely shooed out the door by a major video game company after proposing a game that helps people recover from a stroke or deal with their cerebral palsy, said health games innovator Pam Kato. In Britain, by contrast, "Serious Games" is a category now being pursued by hospitals and universities, funded with national health grants, earning positive publicity and wide software distribution. "When I saw that Coventry University even had a building named Serious Health Institute, I knew I was home," said the U.S.-born Kato, who now directs that institute.
March 22, 2016 |
The Health Care Innovation Accelerator Pitch Day staged by Penn Medicine was different from most start-up showcases. There seemed to be more at stake. You could almost hear the angst in the Jordan center auditorium last week as presenters addressed treatment issues, some verging on life and death, that harm patients and push America's health-care costs sky-high. So what ails the system? And what are the fixes? Pre-Op+ project presenter and anesthesiologist Marc Royo aims to change the down-to-the-wire nature of pre-screenings for patients with scheduled operations.
March 20, 2016 |
Do you remember your child's first teacher? Your first teacher? The most influential teacher in your life? I'm sure most of us can. Mayor Kenney's proposal to tax sugary beverages and use much of the proceeds for prekindergarten has been making headlines lately. But this is a topic with implications well beyond education and politics. Early childhood education is a key contributor to lifelong health and a potent means to fight the health disparities that plague our city. In the first few years of a child's life, in every second there are 700 new brain cell connections being formed.