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.
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.
To share some holiday joy. Thanks to RN for the link, and SL for sharing.
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,
It has been a while since I’ve made my way to my wordpress account to share my thoughts with you. Thanks for your patience during my hiatus. Today, I finished cleaning off my desk and transferring the last of my outreach coordinator things to DN, and look forward to beginning in earnest my work on corporate initiatives for hepatitis B. Here’s a toast to new beginnings!
Hepatitis B Updates / Asian Liver Center / Jade Ribbon Campaign
There is quite a bit to share here; however, I’ll spread the exciting news over the course of future posts. There are two things that I believe will interest you. The first is President Obama’s recognition that hepatitis B is an important Asian and Pacific Islander issue that needs to be addressed. He did so during his celebration of Diwali in October. You can find the video of his speech here at the White House website or you can read a report on it here. This is extremely invigorating news that the president of the US recognizes this important health concern! Hopefully all hepatitis B awareness campaigns will be able to leverage this statement to further advance efforts.
San Mateo Hep B Free had its kick-off earlier this month and had a successful turnout with community and media partners. One of my past interns is now Project Coordinator for San Mateo Hep B Free, and I am extremely proud of her hard work to pull this event together. I am also looking forward to seeing increased hepatitis B education and awareness within the Filipino population in the San Mateo. Here is a picture of us at the event, and I’m wearing the Jade Ribbon dress my roommate ST made for me (and this time you can actually see the ribbon shape):
Upcoming: National Business Group on Health Conference debrief and hep B news in China.
I went to see the Leonid Meteor Shower with CT, WC, and AM on Monday at Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. Saw a beautiful shooting star whose tail burned like a thick brushstroke across the evening sky. Didn’t see as many as I had anticipated, but it was fun to get out under the stars again. I forgot to warn the others about how cold it gets at night, but I think it was a successful event nonetheless. Definitely missed having DH and SL there, though.
Have had more free time than I know what to do with lately, and so I do what I am naturally inclined to do when without work (ha, perhaps, with less work): read. I’ve been reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides which is extremely interesting and definitely a suggested read from me. I have also been exploring some science fiction short stories by Ted Chiang. (Thank you DH for your suggestion!) This guy is pretty brilliant and I thoroughly enjoy the points that he makes. If you have time, take a gander.
Have a good night,
Edit: Didn’t realize this wasn’t published publicly. Sorry about that!
Cleaned up the blog interface over the weekend; hope you find the blog easier on the eyes, especially with pictures embedded in the text. Also, I’ve included some blogs and people I follow who write pretty thought provoking things. I highly encourage you to check them out; they’re located on the bottom of the column to your right.
Have been fiddling with Yahoo meme, although it is very similar to Twitter. What I do like about it is that you can see all the comments that are attached to one post or idea. Speaking of social media, Michael Brito was very kind to meet with me last week to talk about social media strategy for the Asian Liver Center. He’s so incredibly kind and generous with his time and expertise. We discussed blogging and how to leverage blogs to connect to the public (you!) and give people a sense of what is going on with our projects on the ground. Such a fantastic guy!
I have been primarily been trying to catch up with email and crunch out a mini-grant that is due tomorrow. Some exciting news on the hepatitis B front is news coverage of our Jade Ribbon Youth Council 2008-2009 in the San Mateo County Times newspaper. Congratulations to them for their fantastic leadership in raising awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer.
Interesting article on NPR.com about healthcare and the detrimental effect of copays on incentives, especially in the case of chronic diseases. The author of the piece is a lawyer from a biotech company and provides a well-written argument on how co-pays tend to drive “perverse financial incentives.” Co-pays lead individuals with chronic illnesses – like chronic hepatitis B, as highlighted in the article – to look for cheaper treatment alternatives and delayed treatment only to end up with surgeries and interventions later on that cost both the patient and the insurance a great deal more. Thanks to SC for the article.
And to end the night, here’s a little comic I found funny (thanks to SL for sending!):
Updates on corporate hepatitis B intiative and healthcare. A whole slew of other interesting things to come in the next post. Apologies about being MIA: I spent a week at home in Texas working on my medical school applications and to see my family, and the return back to the office was pretty hectic with all the events that happened this week and the flood of To-Do’s piled on my desk.
Corporate Hepatitis B Initiatives
On Wednesday, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend Corporate Asian American Employee Network’s (CAAEN) 6th Annual Event at Chevron in San Ramon. CAAEN is an organization comprised of employee resource groups from many Fortune 500 companies in the Bay Area that focus on developing leadership advancement for Asian Americans. CAAEN kindly invited us to host a booth during the networking time period, and I had the opportunity to speak with ~60 people in an hour timeframe. The Asian Liver Center booth was definitely very busy, mostly due to our wheel and the Jade Ribbon Campaign plushy cows. People were very receptive to filling out the 6-question knowledge survey, and with the incredible help of our Cisco supporter MT, I was able to provide many Silicon Valley employees with hepatitis B education. Many took the information seriously, and I hope that they go and ask their doctors about hepatitis B testing. One very exciting prospect that came out of that night is the possibility of working with Safeway to promote the Jade Ribbon Campaign. This is still in its early stages, but hopefully this can pan out with the help of CAAEN.
After the networking session, I had the chance to attend the panel discussion with top Asian American leaders from Visa, Chevron, and AAA. It was great to hear their perspectives on what it means to be an Asian American leader, the pros, the challenges, and where they see Asian Americans in future leadership. Our economy, our world is becoming increasingly diverse, and we need to embrace that diversity and bring it to the table. I enjoyed talking to Lynn Chou after the panel discussion – she’s such an inspiration as a successful Asian American female leader. To advance your career, she advised, is to excel at what you do, but to also have those 3-4 projects that you take ownership of for each year that you can speak about to your superiors and others to demonstrate your leadership and ability.
Another good nugget is this: Be consistent. be confident, and be willing to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.
Evaluting “American Values” and their application to Healthcare & Reform
I hope that you all had the chance to listen to President Obama’s healthcare reform speech on Wednesday. He’s such an eloquent speaker. I was pretty happy to hear his stance on how health insurance shouldn’t be withheld from those who have existing health conditions and how health insurance should not be revoked when an individual begins to be too costly for an insurance company to cover. He’s right: it’s heartbreaking and it’s wrong. I haven’t had a chance to read about follow up commentary to the speech and what plans will be put forward, but if you have any suggestions, please do let me know!
And, here’s a very well written article by Pauline Chen from NYTimes about healthcare and “American Values.” There has been lot of talk about how certain parties or certain plans reflect “American values,” but what ARE American values? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.
More updates to come. Thank you for reading!
Read a great NPR transcript of Congressmen Judy Chu and Mike Honda on healthcare reform. Judy Chu mentions hepatitis B and it’s importance in heatlhcare reform for Asian and Pacific Islanders. Especially pertinent since under our current healthcare program, those with pre-existing conditions are often denied healthcare. My own mother suffers from this problem due to her chronic hep B infection, so it is great to hear a politicion speaking out about this issue.
Let me know what your thoughts are!
Wal-Mart in Fremont, CA donated $1,000 to the Jade Ribbon Campaign (specifically, LIVERight). Thanks to SW for applying for this community grant and thank you to Wal-Mart for their generous contribution to supporting liver cancer and hepatitis B awareness. When I went to accept the check, I had the opportunity to chat with a fantastic Filipina lady by the name of C. She was pretty remarkable in that she worked two jobs, seven days a week and survived the death of her youngest son to liver cancer. Hopefully we can work with her in some capacity on some Filipino hepatitis B outreach.
Jade Ribbon Campaign and the Fight against Hepatitis B
This week was the last week for our summer interns (how sad!), and we’ll be hiring the new team in late September. I’ve seen three teams of interns during my time at the Asian Liver Center, and I’m always sad when they leave. It’s been such a pleasure watching this team grow and learn new skills and gain confidence in their communication or team building techniques. And, in turn, they also teach me a few lessons about how to be a better leader, how to communicate in a more direct and positive manner, and how to manage projects so that they feel an investment, and I can make sure that projects move forward. Of course, I’m still learning, but I am indebted to the past three teams of interns for their great work and their inspriration.
Speaking of inspiration, I met with a trio from Saratoga High this week to discuss their ideas for a Jade Ribbon Campaign awareness club at their school. It is really heartening to hear their enthusiasm and drive to create a club that makes a difference in their community. The meeting was productive in that we identified potential projects they could undertake during the year and ideas for their weekly meetings so that the meetings are geared more toward education and not only volunteer opportunities. We’re beginning to get a lot more high school clubs with each subsequent YLC, and they are all excited about coordinating efforts nationwide as well – letter writing campaigns, and a coordinated Hepatitis B Awareness Week.
I’ve been working with SC to create some sticker and box designs for Sheng Kee Bakery to raise more awareness about the Jade Ribbon Campaign – so that has been very fun. I will post some of the designs up when they’re at a more finalized state. If you have any ideas, feel free to message me!
And in line with pastries, this is a picture of me at the Miss Asian America pageant with Sugar Bowl Bakery CEO and his wife (who are both so incredibly nice!) pinning them with the Jade Ribbon! Thank you again to Miss Asian America for their support of the Jade Ribbon Campaign. Furthermore, there’s the Jade Ribbon dress ST made! That was a pretty exciting night, although I was fairly exhausted since it was right after the last day of Youth Leadership Conference.
Multitasking – a Detriment to our Cognitive Abilities?
I was listening to NPR yesterday, and currently, a study by Professor Clifford Nass is all the rage because it indicates that individuals who engage in multimedia multitasking are often bad at it, AND, they pay a mental price for it. From the study, it appears that those who multitask at high rate have difficulty in differentiating between relevant and irrelevant information; hence, multitasking on a media level (e.g. chatting via IM while writing an email, watching the television, and reading a NYtimes article) can have a detrimental impact on our cognitive abilities. Makes me consider if I should be multitasking (of course, it’s so ingrained into how I operate, that I’m undergain how I can stop). Here’s the article from NPR, and a transcript of an interview with Professor Nass.
Next post: Tweetups.
Thanks for reading,