May 29, 2014
EVERY ONCE in a while you get a chance to meet two needs with one action. I won't say kill two birds with one stone. This isn't about throwing stones or killing anything - just the opposite. It's about changing public policy to enhance, maybe even to save, lives; and by doing so, possibly providing a political boost to a politician who could use one. First, the policy: Community health centers for poor folks in Philly and across Pennsylvania are hurting. They're losing money big time, according to a new study by George Washington University: $29 million in Pennsylvania this year, half or more of that in Philly.
May 17, 2014
A doctor and able advocate for health-care reform, Val Arkoosh is taking a welcome leap into politics, seeking the 13th District House seat representing parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Her experience with federal health policy and as a practitioner gives her expertise in an area where clear thinking is sorely needed. She also has considerable understanding of economic, environmental, and other issues, making VAL ARKOOSH the best of the Democrats vying to succeed Rep. Allyson Schwartz in Congress.
April 12, 2014 |
Pennsylvania stands to recoup about $120 million in contested tobacco-lawsuit settlement funds following a court ruling Thursday that favored the state. An October decision by an arbitration panel slashed about 54 percent of approximately $335 million earmarked for Pennsylvania annually under the landmark 1998 multibillion-dollar agreement by major tobacco companies to help fund smoking cessation, medical research, and other health programs in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
March 23, 2014 |
Has your pediatrician ever asked you mothers out there when you plan to have your next baby? Or asked your teenage daughter when she wants to have a child? It probably never happened, but don't be surprised if your doctors become more assertive. Those who care for children know that unintended pregnancies are a huge public health problem, and I predict more doctors will be empowering families to choose their reproductive futures. A few weeks ago, I saw a 3-year-old with trouble breathing.
March 15, 2014 |
A City Council committee approved bills Thursday that would add electronic cigarettes to Philadelphia's smoke-free law and ban sales to minors, joining dozens of states and localities that are trying to slow fast-growing sales of a largely unregulated product in the absence of federal action. The known dangers of tobacco and the unknown long-term safety of e-cigarettes have split the public health community. Most of the physicians and scientists who testified at City Hall supported a prohibition on sales to minors.
February 8, 2014 |
In one of the broadest efforts in the nation to bring sexual minorities into the medical mainstream, the University of Pennsylvania is unrolling an LGBT health initiative that spans the medical, dental, and nursing schools as well as the region's largest health system. With issues like gay marriage fast gaining in public acceptance, hospitals and universities have begun tackling LGBT health, but usually within a specific area. Drexel University, for example, started a certificate program two years ago in the School of Public Health.
January 27, 2014 |
Mehmet Oz's followers believe he is a trustworthy, serious-minded (and hot) physician. His equally fervent flock of critics say he is a fad-foisting, ratings-grubbing (and smart) TV celebrity. In the 10 years since Oprah dubbed him "America's Doctor," the 53-year-old Oz has shown he is comfortable in both roles. "I just absolutely like him," said Maria Southard, 57, a food-service supervisor in the Philadelphia public schools. "I believe what he says and repeat it at home and work.
December 30, 2013 |
Mike Mittelman, the new president of Salus University, believes strongly in the importance of a sound body for a sound mind. During his three decades in the Navy, he ran a dozen marathons and participated in several Olympic-distance triathlons. A graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, the institution that evolved into Salus, he is frustrated that so few people are familiar with Salus, what it offers, and the exciting work it is doing not only to improve vision but also to enhance health care in a wide variety of realms.
September 21, 2013 |
Larry Dennis started smoking at 16, usually Newports, and he didn't quit until March. "I stopped because I knew we couldn't smoke no more in here," Dennis, 57, said Thursday afternoon outside the Church Street towers in West Chester, where he lives in public housing. "I wanted to anyway. It was better for me. " The Housing Authority of Chester County is the first in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey to go smoke-free, although the Philadelphia Housing Authority hopes to test a policy at four pilot sites within a year.
September 15, 2013 |
Air pollution has been fingered for many health ills. For many reasons, kids are more susceptible than adults. And the wider Philadelphia region is a bad place to be susceptible, ranking among the nation's worst cities for particle pollution and ozone. Indoor air can be problematic, too, given the fumes of pesticides, new furniture, and, especially, cigarette smoke. These are some of the findings that will be discussed at a forum to educate parents about the hazards of air pollution, and what they can do. Sponsored by the Moms Clean Air Force, an advocacy group, it will be held Thursday at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.