Quiet Determination in Action

A new approach to news

Posted in Uncategorized by missamyyu on December 8, 2009

Hi Readers!

Currently chillin’ at my favorite downtown university bookstore reading the new book by Stanford alum Brian Eule…

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In other news, ran across a neat tool by Google called “Living Stories” that is in partnership with New York Times and Washington Post.  It’s pretty exciting, and I really like the timeline that they provide you with all the articles that have been written on a particular topic!  One example of its uses is helping to navigate the health care reform and all the various issues that are being debated and discussed.  Go check it out!

Speaking of health care reform, I’m interested to see what the Democrats’ have come up to alter the idea of a public option. Overall, I can’t wait to see more specifics and less divisive battling between the two parties.

While I am a proponent of making sure that American citizens have access to health care to improve the livelihood of their health and those of their loved ones, I don’t know if a public option is necessarily the correct option.  I understand that one of the argued benefits of having a public option will be offering a competitive piece to the health insurance market, but will it really help drive costs down for individuals, small businesses, and employers? Will it make it more compelling for people to utilize the healthcare that they will have?  From personal experience, I know that there are individuals who don’t utilize their health care access because of either cultural beliefs, not wanting to “waste” money on something they can tough out, or because they just don’t quite understand what options they do have and how it is applicable to their health.

And where will we get doctors to care for all the people who will soon have insurance? I think we need to expand our healthcare support staff (PAs, NPs, etc.) to make sure that quality care is given to folks in the future.  And another thing that concerns me (and does not necessarily have to do with whether or not a public option is a good thing or not) since we’re speaking of health care reform is the spending that is done on unncessary tests and procedures because either a physician feels the pressure to cover her butt against law suit or the prospect of incestives OR a patient requests for tests to be done because they otherwise don’t feel that they are being thoroughly cared for.  I think a big part of health care reform that is missing from the public option, abortion, etc. debates is how we view health care and what we expect of it.  Tests and procedures aren’t always the best solutions, but they certainly are fast and provide concrete (if not necessarily necessary or better) results.  I think that there needs to be consideration on what health means, how we’ll acheive it, and what role health care and its providers play.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Amy

Why I Enjoy Teaching

Posted in Personal Actions by missamyyu on December 5, 2009

Because of memories like the one in this picture from my archery days with two of my students on the Stanford Archery range. (I’m the one in the middle, yes, I’m short…) Thanks to TP for posting the picture on facebook!

Two of my students and me from a Stanford JOAD day

I really enjoyed those times on the range, even when it was cold, windy, and raining, working with the students on improving their form and getting them excited about archery.  Their enthusiasm and keep-me-on-my-toes attitude were always something I looked forward to each week.

Amy

Slicing The Most Famous Brain in Neuroscience

Posted in Of Interest by missamyyu on December 4, 2009

On 12/2, UC San Diego’s The Brain Observatory began slicing the brain of the most famous and most studied neuroscience patient H.M. (Henry Molaison) who had lost his ability to form new memories after an brain operation in 1953 to relieve him of seizures.  You can watch it LIVE at their website. And if you’re curious to learn more about H.M. and his story, visit this nice brief in the NYtimes.

Shout out to all the neuroscience study buddies during college and big thank you to DH for being his enthusiastically-neuroscientific-fantastic self and updating me about it.  And of course, thank you, H.M., for your incredible contribution to the field of neuroscience and our understanding of memory.

Amy

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Hepatitis B Misinformation on TV drama

Posted in Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer by missamyyu on December 4, 2009

Received news about hep B misinformation that was on a popular Chinese TV drama, Woju or Dwelling Narrowness.  The article from Global Times, “Fuss over TV Drama’s Line,” details an account where one of the characters on the show INCORRECTLY reprimands her sister for not washing her hands, warning her that she’ll contract hepatitis B and subsequently won’t get a job.  The lack of correct education is frustrating – it is really unfortunate that this popular show’s line perpetuated the misconception about the transmission route for hepatitis B (which is ONLY blood transmission) with that of hepatitis A. However, I will give it that it touches upon the discrimination that is still in effect in China.

But here’s the kicker: The article continues to recount how the show is deleting the phrase before re-airing the episode (small victory!), but also mentions some of the public’s outcry that deleting that line was an overreaction, that the person who complained was being radical, and the deletion was not sensitive to the public’s feelings. I can’t express how incredibly frustrated this makes me. I support the deletion and believe it is not a radical or an overreaction, and in fact is a step in the right direction for human rights and fixing misconceptions. It’s clear that much more education needs to be done to lift misconceptions about hepatitis B’s transmission.

Amy

Economic Argument for Disease Prevention – JAMA Article

Posted in Of Interest by missamyyu on December 2, 2009

Hello,

Ran across an interesting commentary from JAMA entitled “A Closer Look at the Economic Argument for Disease Prevention” by Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH.  I am currently doing some research as I create an employer toolkit regarding hepatitis B, and I just got a chance to read through this delightful commentary that SC had referenced during one of our earlier working group meetings.  In a time when the details of health care reform are being debated, this is an interesting take on what some policy makers may be considering when looking at health policy.

What  really struck me was that Dr. Woolf is emphasizing that prevention won’t save money, but rather, it stretches the benefits that the money we invest in health obtain.  This places health care more as a commodity that is traded and helps me think of an alternative meaning for what it means for  a medical service to be cost-effective.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Amy

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Holiday Warmth

Posted in Of Interest by missamyyu on December 2, 2009

To share some holiday joy.  Thanks to RN for the link, and SL for sharing.

The Small Joys of Life

Happy Holidays! And yes, I do intend to make good on my work items that I had mentioned in my last post.  To add to my blog list of “to-do’s:” my pride in ALC intern initiatives and their enthusiasm (regarding SPP, JZ, JW, EY, and NT), my joy in having past interns return to the JRC cause (HZ, GU, KH), and how managing the ALC internship program has made my time as Outreach Coordinator particularly worthwhile.

All my best,

Amy