Health Benefits of Drinking Water

 

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Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of drinking plenty of water.

By Dr. Nina Radcliff

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You may know that water makes up about two-thirds of who we are – but did you know it influences 100 percent of the processes in our body?

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Yes, we are made of about 70 percent water!

But did you know that our muscles and kidneys are about 75 percent water?

Lungs about 83 percent.

Brain cells about 85 percent?

And even our bones are approximately 30 percent.

That probably explains why we feel better when we drink enough of it, everyday.

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Because of water’s abundant and varied functions in our body, it is a vital nutrient. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.

It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.

The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

In fact, to function properly, all the cells and organs of our body need water.

Every day, on an average, our body loses about 2 quarts of water through breathing, sweating, digestion – and it’s E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L that we rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain high water content (soups, tomatoes, oranges).

Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on our overall health.

However, despite how crucial water is, a significant number of people fail to consume recommended levels of fluids each day.

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To understand how water is helping us – here are some great reasons why we should be hydrating with clean, natural water right now:

Your Kidneys. Water is essential for the kidneys to function. Every day, the kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid. Of these, approximately 1-2 quarts are excreted in the form of urine, and 198 are recovered by the bloodstream. When dehydrated, our kidneys resort to desperate measures in order to conserve water—meaning, decreasing urine output. However, this can also result in the buildup of waste products, electrolyte imbalances, and, if severe, acute kidney failure. And, as we start seeing temperatures rise, so too the incidence of miserable kidney stones. When properly hydrated, we maintain good urine flow and this prevents the build-up of minerals within our kidneys that can form stones.

 

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Calories. Water is void of calories, the original and healthiest zero-calorie drink. As we know, our weight is dependent on the balance of calories consumed versus burned. And, when we take in more than we use as fuel, we gain weight. Too many drinks that we commonly reach for are laden with calories (and added sugar). The average can of soda contains approximately 140 calories; a glass of wine 140 calories; and 12-ounces of unsweetened apple juice 170 calories. And, if you think you are safe with a “diet” drink that gets its sweetness from artificial sweeteners and lacks calories, think again. Research shows that they are linked to weight gain. So, the next time we want to quench our thirst, consider reaching for a glass of no-calorie water.

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Combats Dehydration-Driven Sugar Cravings. H2O is essential to a number of our body’s chemical processes, including the ability to release and tap into energy stores. Glycogen is primarily found in the liver and is our main storage form of glucose. However, when we are dehydrated, our liver cannot release glycogen into the blood stream where it can be utilized as fuel. Consequently, our body sends signals to our brain that it needs to consume something sweet—STAT! So the next time you are craving for a cookie, pastry, or something with sugar, it may not be your sweet tooth you are trying to satisfy, but, instead, your thirst.

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Combat Headaches. Headaches are one of the first signs of dehydration and there are two possible theories for this. First, is that when we do not have enough water, our blood volume decreases, and in order to prevent inadequate blood and oxygen flow to our brain, the brain’s blood vessels compensate by dilating. This causes “crowding” and pain. The other theory is that dehydration results in electrolyte imbalance and stimulates the nerves in our brain to send pain signals.

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Keeps us looking young. Our skin cells can either maintain the form of a grape or a raisin, depending on our hydration. When we are properly hydrated, they are like a grape. And, when dehydrated, our cells are shriveled up and can make wrinkles we have appear more prominent. Drinking water can keep our fountain of youth from drying up.

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Healthy Digestion. When dehydrated, our body resorts to extreme measures to conserve water. This includes “pulling” or “absorbing” water from stool before it exits our digestive tract. The result is hardening and decreased transit time of “poop”—also known as constipation.

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Stroke and Survival After Stroke. In studies by leading centers including one out of Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that nearly half of patients who presented with a stroke due to a clot were dehydrated. And, too, they did worse in the long run.

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Concentration and Energy. Approximately 80 percent to 85 percent of our brain’s weight comes from water. So it is no surprise that when our water levels are low, our brain function is affected—chemical production that signals between brain cells and nerve transmission that is responsible for thinking, movement, and memory. And when you are feeling sluggish, like your energy has been zapped or tired – this, too, is a sign of dehydration and time to reach for some clean, natural water.

Too many are living in a mildly dehydrated state—impacting their health with various irritations like headaches, joint pain, low energy, digestive issues…the list goes on. I consider H20 one of the essential building blocks of good health. Clean, natural water is important for all of us, every day!

And do check the source of your water. One of the best waters you can drink is filtered water. And don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water as that generally means you have waited too long and are probably already dehydrated.

An age-old question is how much water is enough? The answer is not as simple as we often hear. The recommended amount of water that should be drunk everyday varies from person to person depending on factors such as level of activity, weight, diet and surrounding temperature.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an estimated adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups.

And while we have often heard the directive: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” (and it is close to the IOM’s recommendation for women), drinking “8 by 8” is an easy-to-remember amount that can help people on the right track in terms of water consumption.

Take time – and take note – to ensure you are getting enough. One guideline is to drink water in the morning, when you wake and too, 30 minutes before meals and about an hour or two after meals (aim not to drink excessive amounts after 7 p.m. as it may interfere with your sleep).

If you find in your day you have had very little water, I encourage you to set a timer or a smartphone reminder. The goal is to be properly hydrated, everyday – it can make a world of difference in your overall health.

Make a commitment today!!

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Today’s Fitness Tip from Mayo Clinic:

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The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water two to three hours before your workout, and and at least 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.  Continue to hydrate after your workout to replenish lost fluid.

Remember, balance is key:

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Happy Hydrated Mother’s Day weekend everyone!

 

Expert Newborn Screenings A Heartbeat Away!

jimmy-kimmel-baby-billy2-1This week, Jimmy Kimmel shared the emotional story of his beautiful newborn son’s heart surgery.  He and his wife Molly welcomed their second child, William “Billy” Kimmel.

At three days old, Billy had successful open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is now home with his family.  On his show, Jimmy opened up about his son’s birth and health complications. He also underscored the need for the accurate and timely screening of congenital heart disease (CHD).

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Essential to early CHD diagnosis is the detection of a murmur using a stethoscope during a newborn’s first physical exam.

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But routine neonatal examination without specialist consults fail to detect more than half of babies with heart disease.

Approximately 160 infants pass away from undetected Congenital Heart Defects each year in the United States.

William “Billy” Kimmel, who is absolutely adorable below is one of the lucky ones; looks like he’s already laughing at Dad’s jokes too.

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Billy thankfully had the condition detected early, but many children with CHD get discharged with undetected or misdiagnosed conditions.

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After the events of this week, expecting parents have every right to question if their child is being screened appropriately or if clinicians known to misinterpret heart sounds are interpreting their child’s heart sounds accurately.

Kimmel’s story is really a wake-up call that we need more nurses like the wonderful ones who treated his baby boy.

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Now, there’s a device that will make sure congenital heart screenings more effective for infants.

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And it’s not just infants. Over 1.3 million adults live with congenital heart disease in the U.S, which now surpasses the number of children with congenital heart disease.

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Three entrepreneurs are well on their way to making sure accurate screenings are a heartbeat away. Their innovation paves the way for a new era of cardiac screenings.

They want to do what Shazam did for music, only for heartbeats.

Their new device called Eko [pronounced like Echo, as in a heart echo] offers the potential to dramatically improve the efficacy of newborn screenings, especially for newborns far from a pediatric cardiology center.

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The San Francisco based digital medical device company, launched Eko, an FDA-cleared digital stethoscope that enables ANY clinician, regardless of their training level, to secure a virtual pediatric cardiology opinion on heart sounds recorded with their FDA-cleared digital stethoscope.

It was a pleasure interviewing one of the founders, Jason Bellet.

Bellet says, “The silver lining in Jimmy Kimmel’s story is that the congenital heart failure was detected early through a murmur using a stethoscope and could be treated, but very often these murmurs go undiagnosed and undetected and infants leave the hospital with potentially life threatening situations.” [:27]

“Eko Devices would enable nurses and clinicians to get Cardiologist’s second opinion to immediately decrease the number of missed cases.” [:12]

Bellet is the co-founder and a brilliant former student from the University of Berkley.  He graduated in 2014 and founded Eko Devices with two fellow students, Connor Landgraf and Tyler Crouch out of the Start-up accelerator at Berkley.

The three founders successfully pitched their idea and raised $5M to bring it to market quickly and bring it to as many clinicians as they can.  It received FDA approval in September of 2015.

QUESTION: WHAT IS EKO?

ANSWER:  It’s basically a Smart Stethoscope that can bring the sounds to a trained ear immediately.

The vision is to bring machine learning and physician support tools to every clinicians stethoscope to make their screening process as easy as Shazaming a song.

QUESTION:  HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR EKO?

ANSWER:  The idea stemmed from the fact that we realized the stethoscope is used as the primary screening tool for cardiac health, including for newborn babies.

But, it’s extremely outdated and ultimately leading to misdiagnosis and lack of cardiac conditions because you hear the heart sounds, but don’t understand what you’re hearing.

Cardiologists are the ones who can differentiate what is normal and what is not.

So, what we wanted to do was make it easy for clinicians to modernize their own stethoscopes to bring it into the modern era and send concerning or confusing heart sounds immediately to cardiologists in real time using this platform or capture it to send it to a specialist.

QUESTION:  There are other digital stethoscopes out there. Why is this one unique?

Bellet says, “Our digital stethoscope is the first to allow clinicians to stream sounds wirelessly from the stethoscope to a smartphone and to a cardiologist anywhere in the world.”  [:15]

QUESTION: Is it HIPPA compliant?

ANSWER:  It’s the ONLY digital stethoscope on the market that has built a HIPPA compliant software platform to stream heart sounds from any clinician to any specialist anywhere in the world.

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QUESTION: THAT’S GROUNDBREAKING. WHERE IS IT CURRENTLY BEING USED?

ANSWER:  Eko is now used at over 700 institutions across the country and has been adopted by pediatric cardiology programs.

QUESTION: WHO NEEDS EKO?

The technology is applicable in many aspects of patient care, but especially in newborns.

QUESTION:  WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL WITH EKO?

ANSWER: The ultimate goal is bringing it even one step further.  Our idea is have machine learning tied directly into the stethoscope itself, so one day clinicians can be as accurate as cardiologists in their initial interpretation of what they hear.

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Next, I spoke with renown adult congenital heart disease specialist Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C. who says identifying congenital heart disease in the community can be challenging at any age whether we are trying to identify a high risk newborn like Jimmy Kimmel’s or catching congenital heart disease in a school age student or adulthood.

Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.  is director of outpatient cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as well as a renown adult congenital heart disease specialist.  She innovates with the Healthcare Transformation Lab, serves as a scientific advisor for Eko Devises and runs a telemedicine practice.  She can be reached at mghachd@partners.org

Bhatt says,  “Because congenital heart disease is relatively rare it’s difficult for clinicians to identify it. The use of digital stethoscopes and other telemedicine technology which can connect the patient and caregiver in the community with experts at academic centers can improve initial diagnosis AND longterm followup.”

QUESTION:  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KIDS WITH CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE AGE?

ANSWER:   Two things. One, as kids with congenital heart disease age, we know there are complications that may arise. Technologies like digital stethoscopes and the use of algorithms can help monitor their progression and track changes in disease BEFORE they progress too far.

And two, lack of follow-up is a persistent problem with children with congenital heart disease become adults. One of the main drivers is the challenge of access to subspecialty care.

Additionally, distance from medical centers, along with the time it takes and sometimes the cost of being away from work and family drives young adults to ignore their own healthcare needs.

The advent of digital health in congenital heart disease care empowers the patient to engage in a partnership to their health without taking away from their ability to live a full and active life.

QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY HELPS OR HINDERS DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONS?

ANSWER: As the delivery of healthcare changes, caregivers are desperate to return to the ideal  doctor patient relationship, which is based on a human connection. As we build digital technology, and use machine learning to support our physicians at at time when there are so many diagnosis to be made, it allows us to concentrate on a shared patient and provider centered experience.

QUESTION:  HOW DOES AN ADULT KNOW WHEN TO GET THEIR HEART CHECKED?

ANSWER: If they had heart disease or heart surgery as a child, they should check in with their cardiologist to find out if they need any longterm care.

QUESTION: HOW DO THEY FIND A SPECIALIST?

There are advocacy websites, such http://www.ACHAheart.org which report self-identified Specialists in congenital heart disease or they can call a major center like Massachusetts General who can find a local center that can partner in their care.

QUESTION: HOW CAN THEY FIND OUT WHO USES THE EKO DEVICE?

ANSWER: If they want to find a specialist using the Eko Device people can contact Massachusetts General http://www.massgeneral.org\adultcongenitalheart for more information and ask about centers near them. They can also contact any hospital and ask for their telemedicine department and inquire if they use Eko.

QUESTION: HOW DO CLINICANS FIND EKO IF THEY’RE INTERESTED IN USING IT?

ANSWER:  Clinicians are able to access the device by going to the Eko Devices website at http://www.ekodevices.com and then if they’re interested in testing it they can purchase a unit directly from the website and send it back if they don’t like it. But that’s a rarity as the success rate has been high with over 5,000 clinicians across the country using it.

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This truly is a hot technology that will save kids like Jimmy’s, as well as those who aren’t at top hospitals in the country.

Billy will have another open-heart surgery within six months to repair the hole, and Our thoughts, well wishes and prayers are with him and his family.

“As a cardiologist, we sometimes worry about technology interfering with the doctor patient relationship. However, in these cases, it is technology that brings us to meet the patient where they live. Technology is finally bringing us home.” 

-Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.

If you haven’t seen Jimmy Kimmel’s story see it on Emmy-award-winning @GMA:

WATCH: @jimmykimmel shares emotional news about newborn son’s emergency heart surgery; son now at home recovering. http://abcn.ws/2pSPakE

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QUICK FACTS:

According to the CDC, 40,000 babies in the U.S. are born each year with congenital heart disease.

Recent studies estimate approximately 160 infants or 1 in 25,000 live births die per year from unrecognized CHD.

The reported sensitivity for detection of a pathologic heart murmur in newborns ranges from 80.5 to 94.9 percent among pediatric cardiologists, with specificity ranging from 25 to 92 percent.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine discovered internal medicine residents misdiagnose as many as 75% of murmurs with a stethoscope.

Routine neonatal examination fails to detect more than half of babies with heart disease; examination at 6 weeks misses one third.

A normal examination does not exclude heart disease.

Babies with murmurs at neonatal or 6 week examinations should be referred for early pediatric cardiological evaluation which will result either in a definitive diagnosis of congenital heart disease or in authoritative reassurance of normal cardiac anatomy and function.

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Take care of your heart everyone!

 

For more on Eko visit: http://www.ekodevices.com

UPDATES:

Good Morning America
ABC NEWS
May 9, 2017
Jimmy Kimmel returns to TV with update on his son’s health, defends his call for children’s health care coverage

One week after Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his son, Billy, had been born with a heart defect, the comedian returned to host his late night show with an emotional update on his son’s health and a defense of his foray into the country’s heated debate on health care.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” also thanked his fans for their “humbling outpouring of support” and said that he and his wire “very grateful” for the multitude of donations made to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where his son was treated.

“First I want to tell you because so many people have asked: Our son Billy is doing very well,” Kimmel said. “He’s eating. He is getting bigger. He is sleeping well. He can read now — which they say is unusual [for a child his age].”

Kimmel, 49, revealed last Monday that his son underwent surgery on his heart three days after he was born, and will require another procedure when he’s a little bigger in three to six months.

During his monologue, Kimmel asked all politicians to come together to ensure healthcare for all Americans, especially those who have pre-existing health conditions.

Though there were many who supported Kimmel’s point of view, he noted that there were many others who called him an “out of touch Hollywood elitist.” To those critics, the late night host offered a sarcastic apology.

“I’d like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” he joked. “It was insensitive – it was offensive – and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

To further the conversation, he interviewed Bill Cassidy, a Republican senator from Louisiana who last week tweeted that there should be a “Kimmel Test” for any healthcare bill passed.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test, he noted, would be in place to ensure that any healthcare plan would adequately cover pre-existing conditions “but in a fiscally conservative way that lowers cost.”

“I happen to like [it] a lot,” Kimmel said. “He is a doctor – a gastroenterologist. He is married to a retired doctor — his wife Laura, was a surgeon. And he co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, which provides free dental care and health care to the working uninsured. So obviously – this is someone who cares about people’s health.”

 

 

Simple Ways To Improve Indoor Air

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American Architect, Interior Designer, Writer and Educator, Frank Lloyd Wright loved creating designs in harmony with the environment. Here’s how you can bring the outdoors in AND improve the air quality in your home for better health.

by ALEXA ERICKSON – APRIL 22, 2017

With people spending more than 90 percent of their time indoors, it makes sense that air quality matters.

There are various factors in many people’s homes working against this, however. From furnishings and upholstery to synthetic building materials and cleaning products, toxic compounds are being emitted all around you.

There’s also the concern of pollen, bacteria, and molds that need to be considered. And all of this, combined with poorly-ventilated spaces, such as a windows that have been painted shut in your apartment, it’s incredibly important that you become aware of ways to combat all that junk being inhaled.

 

Enter houseplants.

 

Though you may only have them to better your green thumb, or decorate your home with a sense of nature — which are both great reasons — they’re also extremely beneficial for improving air quality. According to NASA, plants’ ability to purify air makes them “nature’s life support system.”

Plants clean the air in your home by absorbing some of the particles from the air while also taking in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Additionally, microbes in the potting soil of the plants also provide a cleaning effect.

Plants may even be more beneficial in the evening. Because they are void of sunlight to carry out photosynthesis during this time, their carbon dioxide output increases, therefore providing you with an abundance of oxygen. If you have anxiety, insomnia, or are just looking for a calming effect, the following five plants will aid you in a healthier home and better quality sleep.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great plant for someone new to the plant game, since it’s very easy to care for. This plant gives off plenty of oxygen at night, and, according to NASA, is capable of removing the pollutant formaldehyde.

Orchids

Orchids are stunning to look at, but they’re a whole lot more than just eye candy. Even when you can’t see them, they’re benefitting you by giving off lots of oxygen at night. Another plant that can withstand a bit of neglect, orchids are able to banish the pollutant found in paint called xylene from the environment.

For 3 More Visit:  http://www.collective-evolution.com

“5 PLANTS THAT GIVE OUT OXYGEN, EVEN DURING THE NIGHT”   

Happy Earth Day!  🙂

Today Is National Walking Day!

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THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL IS DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL WALKING DAY.

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MY FAVORITE NON-COMPETITIVE SPORT!  BUT ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, EIGHTY PERCENT OF AMERICANS DO NOT GET THE RECOMMENDED TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF MODERATE-INTENSITY AEROBIC EXERCISE EACH WEEK.

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ERICA STEPTEAU IS A HEALTH COACH AT CLEVELAND CLINIC. SHE SAYS THAT STARTING A WALKING ROUTINE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS GETTING YOUR BODY MORE ACTIVE.

CG: Erica Stepteau, MPH/Cleveland Clinic “Get up every five to ten minutes. Put a timer on your phone and see that those are ways that can actually help you get up more instead of just sitting all day.”[00:08]

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STEPTEAU SAYS WE TEND TO UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF WALKING.

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SHE SAYS IT DOESN’T TAKE A GYM MEMBERSHIP OR A PERSONAL TRAINER TO GET YOURSELF UP AND MOVING.

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WALKING IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FIT INTO YOUR DAY ALMOST ANYWHERE. AND IT NOT ONLY HELPS YOUR HEALTH, BUT CAN ALSO BOOST YOUR MOOD.

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STEPTEAU RECOMMENDS WALKING DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK, TAKING THE STAIRS, AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, GET YOUR PETS OUT AND MOVING WITH YOU.

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SHE ALSO SAID THAT SPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER CHANGING TO START WALKING OUTDOORS.

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IF BRISK WALKING IS YOUR GOAL, SHE SAYS YOU WANT TO WORK YOUR WAY UP TO THE POINT WHERE IT’S A LITTLE CHALLENGING TO TALK WHILE WALKING.

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AND LIKE ANY EXERCISE PLAN, STEPTEAU SAYS YOU’LL HAVE BETTER RESULTS IF YOU CAN FIND A BUDDY TO WALK WITH.

CG: Erica Stepteau/Cleveland Clinic “It can help you push you beyond your own limits because that person may be at a different level than you; higher or lower, depending; but it helps you either be the encouragement that that person needs to step it up, or it could be the encouragement for you to step it up for yourself.”[00:14]

IF GETTING YOURSELF MOVING IS A REAL CHALLENGE, STEPTEAU SAYS THAT IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT AND TO JUST START SLOW.

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SHE SAYS IF YOU’VE BEEN INACTIVE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE.

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[MEDIA SEE Pathfire#:10752 FOR VT]

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HAPPY NATIONAL WALKING DAY!  Stay healthy.  -Maria Dorfner

http://www.clevelandclinic.org

 

 

Longevity Ladies of Lehigh Valley

 

 

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Ruth, Elizabeth, Angie and Theresa reside in Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley is in Pennsylvania.  It consists of small picturesque towns with principal cities being Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton.

It’s 60 minutes north of Philadelphia, and 90 minutes west of New York City. The valley is between two mountains to north and south. Blue Mountain and South Mountain.

These beautiful four ladies have one more thing in common. They are all centenarians. They range in age from 100 to 105.  They also share a common love of family, health and honesty.

“I always say, ‘Never lie or be mean to anyone.'”
-Theresa J. Roth, age 105

Full link:

As seen in the March 2017 issue of Lehigh Valley Style. 

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Related Stories:

 

How A Tiny Pennsylvania Town Held the Secrets to Long Life

[1 / 17  by Jim Deegan for Lehigh Valley Live]
Kathie Marinucci and brother Sam Nittle display a portrait of their uncle, Carmen ‘”Armie” Ruggiero, who was enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. When Ruggiero died Dec. 20, 2015, at age 103, he was believed to have been the oldest person alive from Roseto and one of the only remaining to have participated in a landmark study of mortality rates from 1955 to 1961 that came to be known as “the Roseto Effect.”

In spite of the dark suits and solemn hymns at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, there was a celebratory tone to the funeral for Carmen Ruggiero.

Ruggiero was born in tiny Roseto on Jan. 21, 1912, the year the Titanic sank and the year in which leaders incorporated the predominantly Italian-American borough near the tip of the Lehigh Valley.

The man nicknamed “Armie” died Dec. 20, a month shy of his 104th birthday.

At the time, he was believed to be the oldest living Rosetan and one of the last alive to have participated in a landmark 1950s study that tied good health and long life to the close-knit Italian family structure defined by the town.

Carmen ‘Armie’ Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party
Carmen “Armie” Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party in January 2012 at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Monroe County. (Courtesy photo)

“Everybody firmly believed he had a long, good life and he went the way he wanted to go,” said his nephew Sam Nittle, of Wind Gap. “He lived life to the fullest and had no regrets about anything. He was the patriarch of the family.”

Ruggiero was one of 11 children and never married or had kids of his own.

He worked at clubs and taverns, tending bar at popular watering holes like the Buckhorn and Luigi’s Ranch-O outside Belvidere and running the bar service at Florida hotspots such as the Boca Raton Resort and Hollywood Beach Hotel.

His life and outlook came under special interest by Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, an Easton Hospital specialist in internal medicine. The doctor’s fascination with the so-called “Roseto Effect” blossomed after first treating Ruggiero about two years ago.

Ruggiero, he said, was a special patient.

“He was happy with very little,” said Krishnamurthy, program director of the internal medicine residency program at Easton.

“I believe that’s key. When you feel contented with what you have as opposed to always reaching for the sky and keeping up with your neighbor, it was a lesson learned.

“To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”

The Roseto Effect

Movies have been made and books written about the secrets of longevity. In 1964, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association hit upon an astonishing find in the hilly town in Northampton County.

A University of Oklahoma physician, Dr. Stewart Wolf, studied the effect of social structure on health from 1955 to 1961. He concluded that Roseto’s low rate of heart attacks and mortality compared to the rest of the region and the nation was attributable to the close-knit community and generations under one roof typical of Roseto at the time.

Roseto produced such results despite health risk factors that were all around: jugs of homemade red wine, foods cooked in lard, the smoking of cigars.

Fifty-five years later, Krishnamurthy encountered living proof that there must be something to the hypothesis and believes it might be applied to centenarians in general.
An article he wrote with a colleague, Dr. Raafia Memon, after spending time with Ruggiero notes that nearly 20 percent of the 55,000 100-year-olds in the U.S. in 2014 lived below the poverty line.

“These people have very little income but they have an attitude to life that is phenomenal,” Krishnamurthy said. “Mr. Ruggiero told me that’s how you live a happy life and a long life.

“The moment you start stressing about things, he said, is when the problems come. He believed that being happy with very little was the secret to longevity.

“Once people are older, they are very contented people,” Krishnamurthy said. “I can’t prove it based on the life story of one person, but I have seen it in people like him who don’t have a gloomy attitude and aren’t ticked off about small things. I do believe that there is something to it.”

Proud of his independence

Most of Ruggiero’s siblings lived into their 80s and 90s. He moved to Florida in the late 1960s then came back in the 1990s to help tend to two of his sisters, said niece Kathie Marinucci, of Roseto.

He maintained a fierce independence and lived the past few years at the Walden III assisted-living facility in Wind Gap.

Ruggiero drove until he was 100, could recall stories from his childhood in vivid detail and passed along traditions to his many nieces and nephews that they say would be lost forever were it not for his insistence.

With decades in the service industry, for example, he prided himself on his Caesar salad.

“It had to have the 13 ingredients,” said Marinucci, who lives in the house where she grew up. “You had to use the wooden bowl, which you never washed, and you had to smash the anchovies.”

Marinucci and Nittle are brother and sister whose late mother, Rose Nittle, was the youngest of Ruggiero’s family. While they looked after their uncle Armie, he lived essentially on his own up until the end.

One day last month, he called Nittle at home and summoned him to Walden III.

“I need you to come and see me,” he said.

To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”
Nittle said Ruggiero was uncharacteristically serious and business-minded that day. He pointed a crooked finger at his nephew and shook it at him.

“He said ‘This is my home now,'” a surprised Nittle recalled.

“He said ‘I had a home in Florida and don’t have it anymore. I had a home in Roseto and don’t have that anymore. This is my home. I go and come as I please.

“‘Don’t you ever put me in a home and don’t you ever let people see me if I can’t take care of myself.'”

Ruggiero also related something that Nittle says he can’t explain today. The family traditionally gathers at Nittle’s home on Christmas Eve and the nephew makes Manhattans.

“He said, ‘I don’t want you to feel bad about this, but I’m not coming over this year for Christmas,'” Nittle said.

A few hours after leaving, NIttle got a call from his sister. Ruggiero had taken a fall in the dining area and was going to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Doctors said he had fractured his neck in the spill.

Ruggiero died of bronchial pneumonia about 10 days later, his family said.

“The day this all happened, which was the beginning of the end, is the day he called me and told me all this,” Nittle said.

A different time

Roseto is different today than the town that gained recognition for its endurance. About 1,500 people live there, but the concentration of Italian-Americans has been diluted.

In 1989, Dr. Wolf restudied the Roseto Effect and found the mortality rates were in line with other communities such as Bangor and Nazareth. The difference was gone.

“The Rosetan values of cohesive family structure started fading away in the late 1960s,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto has been the place of worship for generations of the borough’s Italian-Americans. (Jim Deegan | For lehighvalleylive.com)

Even today, the mayor and most of borough council have last names, like the streets, that end in vowels. But it’s not the place it was, according to longtime residents.

“Back then everybody knew everyone else,” said Michael Romano, 62, the borough council president. “If you walked down the street and you were doing something wrong, the parents didn’t have a problem disciplining someone else’s child. It’s not that way today.”

You can still get tomato pie and cannoli at Roseto Bakery, formerly LeDonne’s, and there’s Italian fare and espresso machines for sale at Ruggiero’s Market on Dante Street. But the days when Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was packed and Catholic schools were open have faded like the Roseto Effect.

Romano said the Italian-American culture that emphasized education and college served to diminish the effect.

“There’s still a core of Italians with the church and the fire company, but the composition of Roseto has changed,” he said.

Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career
Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career

While the Roseto Effect may be long gone, its documentation remains useful, according to Easton Hospital’s Krishnamurthy.

He feels grateful to have been able to capture a fleeting phenomenon in Carmen Ruggiero and his stories of Roseto.

“All of my patients are equal because I care for their medical conditions,” he said, “but sometimes there are cases that speak to you much more.

“He had a profound effect on me,” he said of Ruggiero. “There was a different connection. He would make you so comfortable and you could talk to him for hours and not even realize it.”

With further study involving other centenarians, Krishnamurthy hopes to one day publish a medical paper that ties attitude and longevity together.

It’s something he says is worthy of emphasis.

“We’re going through tough times all across the world,” he said. “I see a lot of discontentment in the youth of today and I don’t know how to change that.”

An old man from Roseto who didn’t drive anymore still may have held the keys.

“There’s something about the centenarians who find joy in small things,” the doctor said. “They find a purpose in life. We need to find some level of happiness and contentment with what we are and who we are.

“For me, it is going to be a lifelong quest.”

                              ###

[Jim Deegan may be reached at jdeegan@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_deegan. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook]

 

 

 

Health Habits of 1o Top Entrepreneurs

The best entrepreneurs know that in order to crush business, your body needs to be bulletproof. These members of The Oracles have engineered their bodies to feel half their age and perform at the highest levels. Here are their secrets.

10 Top Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Health Regimen Secrets

Image credit: Geber86 | Getty Images

 

Grant Cardone
Image Credit: The Oracles

1. Juice up.

Get yourself a good juicing machine. There are more people drinking a sugary Big Gulp today than drinking 32 ounces of vegetable and fruits. Juicing daily is an investment in your greatest asset—your body. I want control over my vehicle (body) and that starts with my diet. Lean meats, salads and workouts help me stay energetic all day long. Grant Cardone, top sales expert who has built a $500 million real estate empire, NYT bestselling author of Be Obsessed or Be Average, and founder of 10X Growth Con 2017; follow Grant on Facebook or YouTube

Tai Lopez
Image Credit: The Oracles

2. Focus on the most important 80 percent.

My mom used to say: it’s not what you eat 20 percent of the time that kills you, it’s what you eat 80 percent of the time. Friends who aren’t entrepreneurs probably have more time than you do to go to the gym seven days a week. Focus on 80 percent of that, which is five days a week. If they never eat junk food because they’re trying to get steel abs, just try to eat 80 percent of the day’s meals correctly.

Bradley Martyn, one of the top fitness guys in the world, told me that the best diet is the one you’ll actually stick to. If a diet says only eat salmon all day, but you hate salmon, even if it gets you in great shape, you’re not going to stick to it. Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on Facebook or Snapchat

Mark Sisson
Image Credit: The Oracles

3. Compress your eating window.

I eat in a compressed eating window between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily to remain in a fasted state for 18 hours virtually every day. My Primal Big Ass salad at midday is my go-to dietary centerpiece. It has an assortment of veggies, nuts and meat, and of course Primal Kitchen salad dressing. I eat whatever I want and I never eat anything I don’t like.

I only make supplement products that I need and use myself—that’s the driving principle of my business. Hence, I take the specialized products in my product line: a comprehensive multivitamin/mineral/antioxidant formula, an omega-3 supplement, a probiotic, a high-protein, low-carb meal replacement powder, a phosphatidylserine supplement when I’m under heavy stress, and Vitamin D in the wintertime. Being “strict” is highly overrated; I allow for tremendous flexibility in my daily routine. Mark Sisson, founder of Primal Blueprint, bestselling author of The New Primal Blueprint, and publisher ofMarksDailyApple.com, the world’s most visited blog on paleo, primal, and ancestral health

Com Mirza
Image Credit: The Oracles

4. Attack your health from all angles.

I start everyday with morning cardio, then a green shake, four to six high-protein meals, and weight training four to five times a week. I also try intermittent fasting once or twice a week for around 16 hours a day. I regularly take BCAAs (branched-chain amino acid supplements), a multivitamin, and fish oil. I believe what we become is more important than what we have. An incredible mind only gets stronger when it’s synced with a healthy body full of stamina and endurance to crush life. Com Mirza, CEO of Mirza Holdings and “The $500 Million Man”; failed in eight companies back-to-back and today runs a nine-figure empire with over 600 employees

James Swanwick
Image Credit: The Oracles

5. Fuel your productivity. Prioritize sleep.

I usually skip breakfast, so I can fulfill my 16-hour fast to help me burn fat and stay energized. I’ll have the occasional black coffee—high-altitude Arabica beans are better than instant coffee. Lunch and dinner typically comprise of lean meats like chicken with vegetables or salads. I’ll snack good fats like raw almonds and avocados to balance my blood sugar and maintain concentration. In the evening, I wear Swannies blue-light blocking glasses. That way, I can work or socialize in the evening and still get a great night’s sleep. (Artificial blue light from electronics or bright light disrupts your sleep.) This rejuvenates my brain so I can wake up with focus and clarity, which enables me to work efficiently in the morning. James Swanwick, entrepreneur, author, and CEO of Swanwick Sleep and the 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge

Josh Black
Image Credit: The Oracles

6. Discipline your diet, discipline your life.

The biggest shift in my life occurred when I stopped looking at food as filler and started thinking about food as fuel. You have to put nutritional value before convenience. Stop filling your shopping trolley with stuff that is packaged or processed. Instead, reach for leafy greens packed with dense nutritional value. You can get all the vitamins and nutrients you need naturally without having to reach for a supplement. If you can find discipline in your diet, you will be amazed at the discipline you can unlock in the rest of your life. Josh Black, entrepreneur, author of Personal Best, and CEO of GroupM Content in Asia; GroupM is a media investment group with more than $100 billion in billings

Nick Zyrowski
Image Credit: The Oracles

7. Engineer energy and focus.

I have the lives of my patients in my hands every day. I need to be focused. Every morning starts with a full glass of water to hydrate myself, and then it is coffee time. In my organic coffee, I blend MCT oil, collagen peptides and an almond milk creamer. My breakfast usually includes coconut yogurt parfaits, chicken sausages and smoothies. Every morning, I take a multivitamin with minerals, fish oil, probiotic, CoQ10 Ubiquinol, and vitamin D. My supplement regiment takes into consideration that I am a competitive athlete with a challenging workout regimen.

I eat a light breakfast and lunch, then I crush dinner. Eating large meals activates the parasympathetic part of your nervous system, which makes you tired. Eating light during the day with a larger meal in the evening allows me to be energized during the day and tired at night. I stick to my diet 90 percent, because it’s impossible (or impractical) to be perfect. Dr. Nick Zyrowski, founder of NuVision Excel

Ian Clark
Image Credit: The Oracles

8. Eat light and drink phytoplankton.

Upon waking, I drink a liter of micronized water with two droppers of Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton to flush the body with nutrients. Then, I use 30 sprays of EASE Magnesium on my abdomen and lower back after I shower. I repeat it all again 12 hours later. No stimulants (coffee, chocolate, caffeine teas) ever. These are fake energy, and you’ll have far more short- and long-term energy without them. Ian Clark, founder and CEO of Activation Products

Jay Georgi
Image Credit: The Oracles

9. Everything in moderation.

I don’t have fatty foods often. I stay away from gluten. I make sure I have small meals throughout the day. If I decide to eat chips (my favorite), I grab a handful and put them in a bowl. I never put the whole bag in. Everything in moderation. —Jay Georgi, founder of Nadvia and operations / management / profits-retention coach

Brian Swan
Image Credit: The Oracles

10. Get outside first thing.

At first light, I surf or exercise on the beach. Exercising in nature starts my day in the most positive way. On the way back home, I pick flowers for my wife. That ritual of making yourself and your partner happy creates an unstoppable day. Brian Swan, co-founder of Unstoppable Family

Want to suggest a future topic? Get in touch here: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

me    Maria Dorfner is the founding CEO of NewsMD Communications, which promotes the best products and services in Health to national media.  NewsMD falls under the umbrella of Healthy Within Network HWN, which creates original health content.  This is her blog.

Maria began her career as an intern at NBC in NYC in ’83, while she was an undergraduate English and Political Science Honors student at Pace University, where she also won the Miss Pace University title.

Hired full time upon graduating, Maria helped launch CNBC five years later and worked in Media for ten years producing before specializing in Health.  She created and produced original programs such as Healthy Living, Healthcare Consumers, Lifestyles and Longevity, Healthcare Practitioners and more.  The nationally syndicated award winning programs aired for three years.  She also produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery interviewing a Who’s Who In Medicine/Health.

Maria’s “Heart Smart” series on CNBC was recognized as outstanding by the American Heart Association.

Maria received an Advanced Writing Scholarship from Columbia University and NBC News, an Outstanding Achievement Award from March of Dimes, Medical Reporting Scholarship from American Medical Association, Media Recognition Award from American Heart Association, Outstanding Leadership Abilities Award and Commitment to the Advancement of Women in Media Award from Pace University.   While in NJ, she helped a bill pass to recognize a National Lymphedema Awareness Day after her mail carrier, Nancy Piwowar rang her bell to discuss the lack of health stories about it.  Piwowar was recognized with a Lymphedema Patient Award. 

                   “My stories are from the patient’s perspective. There are too many conflicts of interest in health journalism. Who is telling you something and why is AS important as what they tell you. I want family and friends to get the whole story. I love using my skills to help.” Maria Dorfner

Working behind the scenes and on camera with over three decades of experience, Maria’s stories have aired on GMA, Today, CBS This Morning, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and other talk shows, national publications, social media, local stations and more.  Her NewsMD clients have included Weight Watchers, Phizer, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, First For Women, Heico, Volvo and more.

“You got us the gold.” Unilever

She has authored 3 books and mentors journalism students.  She’s been a health enthusiast her entire life and is an avid hiker, swimmer, certified scuba diver and certified aerobic swim instructor. She volunteers on several health related boards helping them raise awareness.

“When We Tell Stories…People Listen.”  Maria Dorfner, founder, NewsMD

She can be reached at 484.747.32oo

Startup Reduces Needles for Blood Draws

velano1

 

FDA approved to improve patient and practitioner experience in healthcare settings.

Full Story:  http://fortune.com/2016/05/20/startup-blood-draws/

velano

 

Or visit:  http://velanovascular.com/in-the-news/velano-vascular-needleless-blood-draw-technology-relieves-anxiety-for-patients-practitioners-and-hospitals/

 

Humor Helps Cancer Patients Heal

LexiTimmons

When 28-year-old Oncology Nurse, Lexi Timmons works with cancer patients, which she’s done for two years, she notices what helps most is humor to brighten their spirits.

She also observes they receive a lot of greeting cards from well-meaning loved ones, but most are downright depressing instead of what they need most during this time, which is cheer.  She realizes it’s not their fault  because the majority of Greeting cards for illness in major retailers are typically glum offering sympathy, along with a Get Well Soon salutation.  She could see her patients get sad as they open and read them.

That’s how Lexi got the idea to create a line of Greeting cards that make cancer patients smile, laugh and feel good.  She calls them LUMPY CARDS.   Everyone knows stress has a negative impact on your mind and body. When people have cancer, they need their immune systems to stay strong and humor helps diffuse stress.  When someone is laughing they’re not thinking of being sick, even if it’s only for a little while.  It’s a step in the right direction.  Laughter is always positive, which is why we love Lexi’s idea and spirit. Sometimes, her patients inspire the cards.

cancercards

Lexi says, “I love to crack jokes and so do my patients. I realized that when people are going through the roughest of times, it actually brings out the best comedian in them.  It helps them cope and it also releases feel good endorphins in them, which are healing.”

Another inspiration was unexpected.  In 2012, cancer hit home when her Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

LexiTimmonsandMom1.jpg
Lexi Timmons with a cancer patient she didn’t expect – her own Mom

“My Mom is at her best when she is laughing and not thinking about her cancer. I knew this would help her too.”

LUMPY CARDS sure did make her Mom smile.

LexiTimmonsandMom2
Now, Lexi’s Mom inspires some of the Greeting cards. Together, they share great laughs and beautiful smiles.

Laughter really is the best medicine

 Her Mom Sherry says, “I just love Lexi’s cards! She has a knack for finding just the right line to make people feel better. When I was going through cancer treatment, and I would read one of her cards, they would make me laugh or feel loved. Her cards captured what I needed to hear at each stage of my treatment, and were neither too sympathetic or mushy. So many of the cards out there make you feel like your life is over now that you have cancer or you’re dying.”

Lexi writes the humorous cards herself, but would love to partner with some professional comedians, who would like to volunteer for a good cause and get credit on them.

There are a range of cards uniquely tailored for men, women, friends, family and spouses dealing with cancer and they’re reasonably priced at $3.99 a card.

Healthy Within Network and NewsMD give these cards two healthy thumbs up. 

waxman

And so does the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, who has this to say:

“Now THIS is interesting!  A company that makes unique and provocative greeting cards for cancer patients. Lumpy Cards certainly doesn’t tiptoe around the topic of cancer.  The animal selection is particularly cute.”

 

 Way to go, Lexi.  An absolutely beautiful person inside and out, like her Mom.

LexiTimmonsandMom3.jpg
Lexi with her biggest fan, Mom

 

 

Here’s a link to Lexi on-camera talking about her inspiration for Lumpy Cards:

 

lumpycardslogo

  You can contact Lexi for an interview (Contact Us page on link) or order cards here:  http://www.lumpycards.com

Maria Dorfner is an  award-winning health journalist, and the the founding CEO of Healthy Within Network and NewsMD Communications.  This is her blog. She has been working in Media since 1983 and began specializing in Health in 1993, creating and sharing original and trusted health content for healthcare consumers. Her award-winning health series and segments have been seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, DISCOVERY HEALTH and more.

“Today, the floodgates are open to anyone reporting on health. Consumers are now well aware that physicians may have ties to pharmaceutical companies, health devices or hospitals, so they question everything. They are also now aware that food and beverage companies promoting products may not have their best interests in mind. When your Mom, Dad, sister, brother or loved one has a health issue, you want to know you’re getting trusted unbiased information. We maintain the experts need to be questioned to ensure not only transparency, but that profits aren’t placed before people.  Additionally, we focus on prevention and maintaining good health.  Virgil said it best when he said, “Health is your greatest wealth. Invest wisely.” ~Maria Dorfner

Digital Strategy & Value-Based Care

TerenceMartin1

Digital Strategy and the Shift to Value-Based Care
by Guest Author, Terence Maytin

The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly transitioning from fee-for-service to value- based care as part of massive and ongoing industry-wide transformation. Digital strategy is evolving to meet new challenges, help drive disruptive innovation, and better engage a large, growing audience of connected health consumers.

Already complex and fragmented, the healthcare sector will look very different over the coming years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred rapid innovation and disruptive change across the entire ecosystem in the quest for better quality care across the entire population at lower per capita cost. Payers are accelerating rollout of value- based payment models with providers, and the shift to pay for performance arrangements with Pharma companies is increasing as well.

Moving an entire industry from volume-oriented reimbursement requires aggressive, innovative approaches to move from traditional siloed care to collaborative models, with system-wide provider coordination, patient engagement and proactive interventions. Technology will continue to act as a critical change agent, enabling large- scale improvements in process efficiency, automation, connectivity, collaboration, interoperability and advanced analytics.

With the convergence of healthcare and digital technology, industry stakeholders are reassessing their digital strategies to help tackle new business opportunities and challenges. Just a few years ago, digital health efforts largely focused either on acquisition marketing, community aggregation, or customer service portals designed to redirect volume from higher cost channels. However amid the current environment, digital offers much greater and far-reaching impact potential than ever before.

Digital investments are ramping up to support the shift from volume to value, particularly in the areas of care coordination, patient engagement, post-discharge monitoring, measurement, and behavior change. Since 2014, venture capital has provided $10B in new funding for clinical tools, analytics, consumer engagement, mHealth, telemedicine, wearables, and business services. In 2016, firms have raised a record $1.8B.

Two important trends drive home the relevance and importance of having a comprehensive, well articulated digital strategy: the rise of consumerism and nearly ubiquitous web/mobile adoption. Across all age groups, large audiences not only already consume digital services but also expect high quality, omni-channel experiences. In order to deliver on this promise, companies must design optimized, journey-based experiences that balance customer needs, preferences, and behaviors against desired business objectives and outcomes. Companies must embrace the concept of “putting the customer first” throughout the organization and across functions (e.g. strategy, product development, marketing, operations and technology). This also must be accompanied by an insights-driven, decision-making approach.

Essentially, digital strategy will be most effective if viewed as an organizational imperative. Armed with a holistic vision and comprehensive strategy, stakeholders will be better able to leverage and capitalize on digital’s full disruptive potential to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare today.

Healthcare Industry Transformation

The transformation of healthcare is multidimensional and complicated. Disruptive innovation, technology and consumer trends are upending traditional business models. The competitive landscape is getting ever more crowded with new entrants while at the same time, insurer and provider consolidation is accelerating.

Consumers are motivated with more skin in the game and greater information access than ever before. Payment models are shifting from volume to value, and payers, providers, pharma, and medtech will need to collaborate and coordinate to a much larger degree within a more integrated care delivery system. These factors along with intense focus on quality improvement and evidence-based outcomes have big implications for the entire care delivery continuum…

Click here to read full article

TerenceMartin  Guest Author, Terence Maytin is VP/Director | Head of Digital Strategy and Delivery | Digital Health Business Analytics and Technology  and  Strategic Advisor for First Growth VC.

Stay healthy!

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD and Healthy  Within Network. This is her blog.
She can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com
Be sure to click red FOLLOW on upper right of this blog to be notified of new posts.
On Twitter:  Maria_Dorfner

 

 

 

 

Healthy Spring Reminder

 

HEALTH1

 

Add good nutrition and percentages for reducing your chances of illness skyrockets.

 

healthy

 

That one thought can help you when faced with unhealthy vs. healthy food choices.  There is no need to obsess because no one wants to live like that.  It’s all about healthy habits you maintain over a lifetime. Focus your tracking, measuring, comparing and weighing on how much you’re helping others, getting fresh air, getting sunshine, listening, caring, reading books, exploring, hiking, building, creating, sharing, praising, giving, inspiring, educating, laughing, walking, motivating, thinking, imagining, dreaming, dancing, singing, humming if you can’t sing, noticing nature more and the beauty surrounding you, turning off TV and electronics, spending time with positive, uplifting people with healthy habits who make you laugh, lifting someone up just because you can and not because you’re expecting something in return.

There are also people who have a healthy, calming presence.  These are people you can be around and feel good even if you’re walking in silence.

No one has a perfect family, friendships or relationships.  What they have is what they themselves bring to the equation.  Allow your ship to be strong and calm, so that you can weather any storm without needing to yell,”Man (or woman) overboard!” or “Abandon ship!”  I tend to see the good in everyone, but I’ve learned there are dark people with bad vibes.  The best you can do is avoid them and delete them from your social media networks. If you can’t avoid them entirely, limit exposure as you would any toxin.

Being healthy allows you to navigate your ship better. It doesn’t get rid of any storms.

If you’re currently poor in a job that you hate think of yourself as an actor in a movie playing a role. Imagine you’re the owner or CEO of the establishment. How would you behave differently?  How would you carry yourself?  Would you smile more when customers entered? Would you want your place to look better and know what works and what doesn’t?  Try it.  You will not only smile more, but one day when you do run a place you’ll be an incredible leader because you took pride in doing the little things well and you know how to treat customers. Listen to them. Learn to be a good communicator by being a good listener and observer. Respond. Don’t react.

Ashton Kutcher talks about this extensively in an excellent Commencement Speech he gave. Google it if you haven’t heard it as it will change the way you think of ALL jobs from sweeping a floor to being the Chairwoman.  I was thrilled when my Dad took me to the restaurant when I was a little kid. I begged him to let me work behind the counter even though I could barely reach it. Then, I begged him to let me make ices for customers. Customers were amused and SO nice saying, “Well, hello there young lady. I’ll have one Italian ice.”  I stood on a chair and made the biggest ice in the world. I remember my Dad saying, “I’ll go out of business if you keep doing that.” I asked questions and got my first lesson in business. My Dad also told me to smile and say thank you, so I learned to treat customers well too.

Remember, everyone of every size has fears, doubts, anxieties and feelings of sadness. Notice singers of all shapes and sizes have a sad song.  It’s part of life.

The best thing you can be is kind, compassionate, sincere, smart and imperfectly real.

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Be sure to follow this blog for new posts. There is a follow button on the upper right hand corner. Thank you!   My first book, “Healthy Within: A Story of Loss of Gain” is still available on-line on Barnes & Noble. They always have a coupon code you can use at checkout to get 30% or more off.  Thanks!

Follow me on Twitter: @Maria_Dorfner

Stay healthy!  ~Maria Dorfner

p.s.  Red Robbins are singing outside my window, so Spring-like weather should be here soon.