Not Alone

Now that the summer is in full swing, one of the classic phases of parenting begins for those whose children are entering senior year of high school: the college application discussion and visits.  This summer may be slightly different, however, due to a report released earlier this year by the White House that addressed head-on the issue of college sexual assault

March Madness

As you read this, I imagine many of you will spend the remainder of today looking at the infamous NCAA March Madness brackets, filling in the teams that you hope will win each game and hoping that you win the $1 billion prize from Warren Buffet.  Some teams have been affected by injuries and may not be as capable as you remember them from earlier in the season.  One of these teams is the Kansas Jayhawks, whose 7-foot center, Joel Embiid, recently suffered a spinal stress fracture and will miss the first week of the NCAA tournament.  Read the KUSports.com article here.

Mama Said Knock You Out

Not since Mike Tyson was destroying opponents in the ring in the 1980s has a left hook ignited discussion like what has occurred this week with Ray Rice, the suspended Baltimore Ravens football player.  Domestic violence is the topic, even if the video of Mr. Rice punching his fiancée, Janay (Palmer) Rice, who is now his wife, in an Atlantic City elevator happened back in February.  Like many domestic assault cases, Ms. Palmer declined to testify against her significant other, and charges were dropped.  See the article in The New York Times.

Now Hear This...

Phyllis Frelich, the Tony Award-winning actress in 1980 for her lead role in “Children of a Lesser God,” died earlier this week at the age of 70.  As New England and America remembers the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and embraces the awareness of disability issues that have been so significant this past year, the passing of Ms. Frelich can refocus awareness of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the limitations that can be exceeded if willpower and acceptance are in large supply.  Read The Washington Post story here.

Keep Them Safe

On May 29, 2014, President Obama hosted a Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit at the White House to address the growing risk of concussion in youth sports.  More than 200 invited guests attended, and the overall recommendation and emphasis were on the need for future research on head injuries and safety for the nation’s young athletes.  The president highlighted the millions of dollars in research commitments from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Department of Defense, National Football League and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Join Us in Supporting Anti-Smoking Efforts!

In 2007, NH passed the Indoor Smoking Act that went into effect, banning smoking in schools, child daycare facilities, hospitals, grocery stores, elevators and public conveyances (except when rented for private purposes), restaurants, bars, and private clubs when open to the public. Between 1991 and 2008 a total of 32 states passed similar smoking bans all of which were hotly debated but ultimately passed for a variety of reasons including the impact of second hand smoke on the personal liberties of nonsmokers. NHMS strongly supported the Indoor Smoking Act and we were proud to be part of the advocacy effort to pass the bill. You may be thinking, why is this newsworthy today?

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

I heard an interesting report on the radio last week dealing with alcohol use in the baby boomer generation.  While underage drinking is often a focus of discussion for public health officials, law enforcement officials and healthcare providers, it appears that alcohol use in the middle age population is more common than previously believed.  See the New Hampshire Public Radio report here.

It Will Be a Lifesaver for Many

There have been convoluted discussions regarding the utility in providing educational awareness in how to reduce the risk in risky behavior. Needle exchange programs struggled to get off the ground for years.  Proponents supported disease prevention while increasing access to unused syringes without punitive legal ramifications.  Counterpoints have viewed such options as means to increase illicit substance abuse of those already exposed and to entice others in contemplation.  Data and the tincture of time have borne out the need for ongoing support with a multifaceted approach, incorporating strategies and stop gaps, not to derail well warranted public health initiatives.  “To effectively reduce the transmission of HIV and other blood-borne infections, programs must consider a comprehensive approach to working with IDUs. (IV Drug Users). Such an approach incorporates a range of pragmatic strategies that address both drug use and sexual risk behaviors.

It Is In Your Backyard

It was 2 a.m., 22 years ago, when I answered the phone.  My friend’s brother, barely audible, asked if I wanted to buy his parents’ silverware or maybe a saltwater fish tank setup.  He would be over in less than an hour, and we could settle on the price then.  Another close friend was distraught, having just been informed that her daughter, a freshman in college 3,000 miles away, had been found unresponsive on the floor and taken to the emergency department.

Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times …

My term as president of the New Hampshire Medical Society concludes at the end of this week, and the year has certainly been interesting.  While health care and the practice environment continue to change rapidly, the NHMS has been there at the table representing you, working to improve care and the public’s health without altering the sacred patient-physician relationship.  I feel incredibly privileged to have served you and the society.

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