Why Spinning Is Hot & How To Do It Well



spin13These Spin tips will keep you sweating, smiling and secure knowing you’re doing it right.


First, here’s a little history on how Spinning was first created. Back in the ’90’s medical anchor, Ileana Bravo and I interviewed the founder of something people in Miami were talking about called “Spinning.”  We produced a health segment for NBC Miami and interviewed the Founder of it.  His name was Johnny G.


The TODAY SHOW picked up the Miami story and spinning spun off nationwide. Johnny G. wanted other people to be able to reach their champion within from anywhere the same way he desired to after being sidelined in a car accident.


The founder, Johnny G’s full name is Johnny Goldberg. He was a champion endurance bicycle racer. His passion to create a different type of indoor bike was ignited after he was hit by a car while training on his bike outdoors at night.


Following that accident, Johnny G. spent ten years developing the right type of indoor cycle that would feel like his real road bike.


The Spinner® bike officially launched in NYC in 1993 and was offered at Crunch Gyms.



Here’s what the bike looks like.






Spinning is still hotter than ever because of all of the above and more.





Now you know why it’s so popular with men and women. Here’s how to do it right.


Proper set-up and form helps you avoid injury and maximize all those health perks.


Everyone can benefit from a few expert tips. Numero Uno:  Warm up.

Best Warm Up Moves Before Spinning

by Brian Willett

Warm-up moves can help you burn more calories, reduce risk of injury, and improve your performance on the bike. Of course, certain warm-up moves will be more effective than others, so choosing well is important.

Quadriceps Moves

Your quadriceps — the large group of four muscles on the front of your thighs — drives the motion of spinning workouts, providing power to move the pedals. You can get your quadriceps ready for spinning with body-weight squats, light pedaling and the standing quadriceps stretch. To perform that stretch, stand with one hand leaning on a wall for support, and the other hand holding your foot to your buttocks so you are standing on one leg. Be sure to flex your knee completely when performing the standing quadriceps stretch to ensure you are fully stretching the muscle.

Hamstrings Moves

Your hamstrings are located on the back of your upper leg, and like the quadriceps, they are involved in every pedal stroke when spinning. An easy way to get your hamstrings ready for spinning is to bend over and touch your toes. You can also sit down and perform a sit-and-reach motion. According to a study from the February 2005 edition of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” performing static stretches rather than dynamic moves is preferable for improving flexibility.

Back Moves

Your back muscles have to work hard to maintain proper posterior chain alignment and prevent you from slouching over when you ride. Thus, it’s important that you warm up your back muscles to prepare them for that work. You can stretch your back muscles in several ways, such as by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest, or doing the cat-cow stretch.

Shoulder Moves

Although your shoulders don’t push the pedals, they do help support your upper body while you ride and assist in steering. Moves such as jumping jacks, arm circles, and extending your arms behind your back as far as you can will help you get your shoulders loose and ready for your spinning class.

Calf Moves

The muscles of your calves are small, but they can produce a lot of power when cycling. Both squats and jumping jacks can help warm up your calves, but you may also wish to perform calf stretches while leaning against a wall. To do so, put both hands on a wall and lean into the wall, with one leg bent at the knee and one extended fully back.



Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with Spin Instructor Pro, Julie Insogna to get more tips:


Thank you, Julie Insogna!



What to Wear in Spin Class

spin3When you first start spin, you might want to wear padded cycle shorts as the saddle takes some getting used to.


Most spin classes have bikes with pedals that accommodate people in sneakers in addition to one or two types of cycle clips that attach to cycling shoes.


When we first started spin, we wore sneakers for a couple months before making the commitment to buy the shoes. In hindsight, we would have purchased those “spin shoes” much sooner, as you have so much more leverage and less wiggling when you’re clipped into the spin pedals. It also puts much less stress on your shins and toes!

How to Set Up Your Bike

Spin class bikes are not beach cruisers. You don’t want your knees crumpled; you don’t even want them at a 90-degree angle.


You want your knees to be slightly extended but not so much that you can’t put full pressure on the down stroke of your pedal.




Most spin enthusiasts also bring their bike handles up higher than they would a road or mountain bike to accommodate running out of the saddle (we’ll get to this in a minute).


And, make sure that you’re not reaching dramatically to those handlebars when you’re seated on the bike.



Everything is adjustable and this is where it’s most important that your spin instructor get you dialed in.


Spin is All About Tension and Tempo

Your spin instructor expects you to keep tempo with the song so that everyone in the class is on the correct “leg” for certain activities.


Tension knobs on the bike will take you from no tension to “drag” (where you begin to feel tension or “the road” as they call it) and subsequent turns up from there make the ride increasingly “steep.”


While no beginner in spin class is expected to keep high tempo AND tension like the advanced riders are accustomed to, you want to work your way into higher tension as it burns more fat and enhances your cardio workout.

Initially, though, just focus on the tempo, right, left, right left, right left, march!


About Jogging, Sprinting and Running Out of the Saddle in Spin Class



Spin usually requires seated climbs and runs as well as “running out of the saddle” where you’re actually jogging or sprinting while standing above the saddle of the bike.


For beginners, the runs out of the saddle can be too demanding.



Most spin enthusiasts have been doing this a long time, BUT they started right where you are starting. When you try to run out of the saddle at the same amount of time or distance these “regulars” are accustomed to, you can hurt yourself.


Swallow your pride and stay in the saddle, keeping tempo and increasing your tension slightly until you feel you can take on a jog initially for a few given seconds. Build up from there!

When you begin to run out of the saddle, do NOT lean your body weight (or your elbows!) on your handlebars.


This puts too much torque on your knees and can damage them. Rest your hands lightly on the handlebars and focus on sitting back, above the saddle, so the strong leg muscles of your quads and hamstrings are doing the work.


Your spin class instructor will take you on intermittent (and imaginary, of course) hills, downhills and road runs.


At times, he or she will ask you to do intervals where you sit in the saddle for a number of counts, then run above the saddle for the same number of counts – and sometimes, these counts can be just 2 or 4!

Remember the rules during intervals (or “jumps”) – if you’re not ready, sit your butt down and just keep pedaling.


If you are ready, try a few, making sure you don’t lean on the handlebars.


About “Hill Climbing” in Spin Class

Sitting on the saddle and pedaling in spin class does not necessarily mean you’re resting or “recovering.”

In fact, riding “in the saddle” with solid tension will burn more calories than sprinting.


A good spin instructor will methodically increase tension as you ride in the saddle, effectively making you feel like you’re pedaling up an increasingly steep hill.


In these situations, you want to protect your knees once again by sitting as far back on the saddle as you can.


By doing so, you’re  taking the pressure of the climb off your knees and re-depositing it where it belongs – in the strong muscles of your rear end. (And last time we checked, most people didn’t need to do much toning of their knee caps.)

Beware These Spin Instructor Indiscretions …

If your spin class instructor suddenly changes counts or actions, consider that a red flag – your instructor should give you full and fair warning in advance as to what’s coming up at least a few counts down the road.

As an example, we have a great (certified) spin instructor who’s been teaching for years. As one song ends and the other begins, he might say, “This is an interval run in the saddle and out of the saddle with 30 seconds up, and 30 seconds’ recovery in between.”

Then, as the song plays, he will be adding comments such as, “Next round is just 20 seconds up, same recovery.”  It’s enough to keep you informed and keep you hanging on knowing that the NEXT song will be a completely different action!

Some spin instructors will also make the error of doing extreme activities for too long. (Personally, we think this is an ego thing where they’re more concerned with looking better than the rest of the class riders than actually guiding the riders and watching the riders for signs of fatigue.)

As an example, we’ve been in classes with spin instructors who sprint (at least double-time to the beat of the song) out of the saddle for the entirety of the song. If it’s a short song around 2 minutes, and if the spin instructor offers optional breaks to sit down during the course of the song, that’s OK.

If, however, they insist on everyone in the class sprinting for a long duration, even the most advanced riders will have difficulty maintaining proper form.

In other cases, you might see a spin instructor insist on short intervals with 2 beats in the saddle and 2 beats above the saddle for several minutes at a time. An extended session of “jumps” can cause any rider to break good form, thus putting the knees at risk.

Again, if it begins to feel too much for you or a particular session of activity (jumps or sprints or hill climbing) is forcing you out of maintaining correct posture and form, SIT DOWN!


Then, as you try different classes with different instructors, you will begin to see which instructors are actually the best teachers. Even as they push you and do advanced work, they are still watching their riders to ensure safety and fun.

This brings another point to mind: Only take spin classes where the instructor is situated to watch the riders during the class. He or she will either be riding with the group and facing a mirror, or the spin instructor can position the bike to face the riders. It’s important that the gym provide this aspect in the spin class.

Music Can Be Key

Every spin instructor has a different style and collection of music. If you don’t like the style or can’t stand the music, move on. Because spin is built on the tempo of the songs, when you like what you’re hearing, you’re better able to keep the pace.

When you’re in a spin class with an instructor you enjoy and music that’s more to your liking, you’ll find the hour zips by. (Honest!)

Stick With It!

When you’re a beginner, try not to quit and leave the spin class (though no one will call you names if you do). Just sit down in the saddle, take the tension down, and continue to peddle through the end of the class if you can.

You’ll be prouder of yourself for enduring, and you can push yourself in the next class to stay up and in the class activity another few moments. Give yourself permission to build into this activity and you’ll find that you enjoy it more each time.

Recommended Links:  



Johnny G. himself has an instruction video and  Spinning Instructor Certification info at:


Thanks Johnny G. for keeping us sweating and smiling.


You can find a variety of Spin Shoes & Shorts on Amazon at:


Now you know why…



And why you should too!

One thing I forgot to mention is you may loathe your first spinning class. It will be hard. You will ache. You may walk out of a class early. You might exclaim, “Never again!” But, as with anything worthwhile, as we’ve heard from Spinning Pro, Julie Insogna, Co-Owner of Prime Cycle in Hoboken, NJ — if you commit to it, the rewards are worth it.


Your physical and mental endurance will keep getting stronger.


“Unleash the champion within.” ~Johnny G


Be sure to tune into Good Morning America next Wednesday when my the artist of my favorite Spinning tune will be performing LIVE!


blog contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


Is It Okay To Drink From A Garden Hose?


gardenhose9Drinking out of the garden hose is something many of us did as kids to beat the heat.


However, according to Dan Allan, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, drinking from the hose carries some significant risks, and is something parents should try and steer their children away from.


“”We’’ve learned some things more recently that would certainly talk about the risks,”” says Dr. Allan. “”Probably the biggest risk is some of the chemicals that are in the water itself.””


Such chemicals include BPA (Bisphenol A) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which have both been banned from children’s products.


Dr. Allan says these types of chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone problems and developmental problems in children.


“”If there’’s lead – that can lead to a host of neurological problems – so there are a lot of things to be concerned about,”” says Dr. Allan.


While skipping sips from the garden hose all together is the best way to prevent problems, there are some measures parents can take if they just can’t keep kids away.


Dr. Allan says some hoses are made without harmful chemicals, and are marked as such.


He says the hose fixture matters as well. Brass fixtures, for example, release lead which will contribute to health risks.


If drinking out of the garden hose is unavoidable, the best thing to do is to let the water run for a few minutes before taking a drink.


Doing so will flush out water near the top of the hose that could be contaminated with lead, mold or bacteria.


Dr. Allan also says to make sure the hose is stored properly.


“If the hose sits in the sun or is stored in the sun, it will release a lot more chemicals,”” adds Dr. Allan. “

“If you’re going to use a hose for drinking, certainly it should be safe, but store it out of the sun because the sun’s heat will release the chemicals.””



You can find a variety of chemical free garden hoses on Amazon:



blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


I Love Watermelon. Why You Should Too.


Ah, watermelon.  So refreshing on hot summer days.  Love it.


So, it’s great to know it’s jam-packed with health benefits, including reducing muscle soreness the day after a workout.  Fellow fitness enthusiasts rejoice.


According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the amino acids citrulline and arginine in watermelon, help improve circulation. That’s not all.


A prior study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reports watermelon’s citrulline may also help improve your athletic performance.


Study showed improved performance in high-intensity exercises like cycling & sprinting.



It also contains amino acids, which you need to make protein function optimally.


Watermelons are almost 100 percent water, and everyone knows I love H2O.


Other nutrients worth noting are Vitamins C, B6, A, lycopene (the redder the watermelon, the more lycopene!), antioxidants, and potassium. Zero fat.



Lycopene is tied to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation.  Source: Nat’l Cancer Institute. 


Good electrolytes help prevent heat stroke. Great choice when temps rise.


Watermelon also contains choline. That helps lower chronic inflammation.


A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found watermelon lowers blood pressure in obese adults and helps reduce hypertension.  Stress can cause inflammation flareups in your body. Anti-inflammatory foods help reduce that.


Just like exercise. Walking outdoors in nature (pollution also causes inflammation), preferably laughing with loved ones or friends is great for your health and well-being.


When you lower stress, you lower inflammation and pain in your body.


And there’s another benefit for your looks.


According to Cleveland Clinic Vitamin A and C in watermelon are great for your hair and skin. It keeps it moisturized from the inside and promotes new collagen and elastin cells. Just one cup contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake.


It increases blood flow, which is heart healthy. And fiber in it keeps you regular.


And if that’s not enough, a study published in Menopause found postmenopausal women benefit from improved blood flow and reduce their accumulation of excess fat from the arginine and citrulline in watermelon.


Women in the study who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract.


Make sure the watermelon is ripe and red, which means higher concentrations of phenolic antioxidant, beta-carotene and lycopene.

Tomatoes, another favorite, are also high in lycopene.

One cup of cooked tomato contains almost 25 mg. One fresh tomato contains 3.7 mg. Again, lycopene reduces inflammation in your body and builds your immune system.



These dessert options at get togethers keep family and friends healthy.

Healthy choices make you feel your best. Select a variety of fruits & veggies.


Disclosure:  I haven’t been paid to sell you watermelon.  I really do love it. Just to be fair, here are OTHER amazing hydrating foods.

Adults need one & 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit each day, so mix it up!


Don’t forget too much watermelon will leave you feeling bloated.
So, stick with the recommended amount.


Again,  that’s 2 cups of diced watermelon OR
a small 1-inch thick wedge of sliced melon.


If you have Diabetes Medline.com did a terrific article called “Can I Eat Watermelon If I Have Diabetes?”  The following is an excerpt from it, but I highly recommend reading the full article at:


Although eating watermelon has its benefits, you should consider balancing your diet with fruits that have a lower GI. Be sure to pick up fresh fruit wherever possible, as it doesn’t have any added sugars.

If you want to buy canned or frozen fruit, remember to opt for canned fruits soaking in fruit juice over syrup. Be sure to read the label carefully and look for hidden sugars.

Dried fruit and fruit juice should be consumed less often than fresh fruit. This is due to calorie density, sugar concentration, and smaller recommended portion sizes.

What are other diabetes-friendly fruits?

Diabetes-friendly fruits with a low GI include:

  • plums: 2 whole plums have a GI of 24 and a GL of 4
  • grapefruit: 1 average size has a GI of 25 and a GL of 7
  • peaches: 1 large peach has a GI of 28 and a GL of 5
  • apricots: 5 whole apricots have a GI of 34 and a GL of 6
  • pears: 1 small pear has a GI of 37 and a GL of 2

And one more bonus. Kids love watermelon too.


Stay healthy!




New Study: Diet Soda During Pregnancy Could Mean Overweight Child Later


Many pregnant women worry about what’s safe and not safe to drink while expecting.


A recent study says women with gestational diabetes who drink diet soda during their pregnancy could be putting their children at risk for weight gain.


Salena Zanotti, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but said previous studies have shown that drinking diet soda in moderation during pregnancy is generally safe, but this most recent study is the FIRST to look at the potential impact long-term.


Researchers looked at data from more than 900 pregnant women with gestational diabetes between 1996 and 2002.


About nine percent of the women surveyed drank at least one diet soda per day.

“”What they found, when they looked up to seven years – which is a long time so far for these studies – that their infants, especially the boys, had a higher risk of being overweight and being obese,” says Dr. Zanotti.

Researchers say the women who consumed diet soda were 60 percent more likely to have babies with a high birth weight compared with women who did not drink any diet soda during pregnancy.


Likewise, the children born to the women who drank water instead of sweetened beverages were 17 percent less likely to be overweight by age seven.


Dr. Zanotti adds,  “What remains to be determined is whether the diet soda alone was the problem, or whether the women who drank diet soda also ate diets high in fat and sugar.”

She says sometimes pregnant women will eat sugary and high fat foods and think it’’s okay if they’’re drinking diet soda, when really it’’s only okay to drink it if they’’re eating a well-balanced, low fat, higher protein diet.


“If you wanted to have an occasional soda, you could have one a day, if that’s what you want to have,” says Dr. Zanotti. “


For some people they’’ve given up a lot of things that they really like and this is their one vice and I think that’s fine, if they’’re doing everything else correctly.”


Dr. Zanotti says, “Water should be a woman’s beverage of choice during pregnancy.”


She says too much sugar is a problem whether it’’s real sugar or a sweet substitute.


“Excessive sugar intake leads to excessive pregnancy weight gain, which means a higher risk of having bigger baby and a higher risk of having to deliver the baby via a cesarean section.”




SOURCE: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyx095/3861466/Maternal-consumption-of-artificially-sweetened


Bottom line:  Stick to water.


Also, if you’re unaware an updated American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation urges parents to avoid giving fruit juice to children under one year of age.

Children’s health is so important and it begins at pregnancy.

MEDIA:  For Soundbites and B-roll:

Other Ways to Access CCNS Video: 


Cleveland Clinic Newsroom
Video download password: CLEclinic1921
Username: dailyvosots
Password: dailyvosotsftp
Username: CCNews
Password: CCNews1

Pathfire: If you’re using the web browser, click on the ‘Provider Directory’ and look for the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ tab. Use the ‘Video News Feed Locator’ if you’re getting Pathfire via satellite.


*Also, now available using app.extremereach.com – select the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ destination to view the files. If you need assistance, contact videonetwork@extremereach.com



Stay healthy!

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Real Deal: No More Needles for Blood Draws

v12Velano Vascular is on a mission to bring compassion to healthcare and make painful blood draws more pleasant for patients.  So far, they’re succeeding. They’ve received their 3rd FDA-clearance to help children and adults who cringe at the sight of needles.

Needlephobia affects 24% of adults and 63% of children.


The Boy Who Cried Wolf may come to mind when we talk about no more needles for blood draws because of ill-fated Theranos.  They’re the overly-hyped biotech start-up currently under federal investigation by the S.E.C. and U.S. Attorney’s office. Patients initially thrilled about no more needles got hoodwinked by fake news.

Meet the Real Deal.


Velano Vascular creates a single-use, disposable device called PIVO.


It attaches to a peripheral IV line, in hospital inpatients, allowing for lab quality blood samples to be drawn back through the IV –without requiring venipuncture (needle sticks or drawing blood from central lines) .


Many of the questions Therano’s CEO never answered, avoided or even got asked by reporters is welcomed by Velano Vascular’s CEO, Eric Stone, who I interviewed.



ERIC STONE, CEO, VELANO VASCULAR:  PIVO derives from “peripheral intravenous catheter,” or PIV, which is a medical term for the standard IV most hospital patients are hooked up to in order to receive intravenous fluids..


STONE: PIVO is a single-use, disposable device that attaches temporarily to an IV line, allowing for needle-free blood draws from this existing line.


STONE: It enables blood draws to be taken by clinicians from the same intravenous (IV) catheter most hospital patients already have inserted in their arms, instead of poking them again each time they need their blood drawn and instead of accessing larger catheters (Central Venous Catheters) which raise different challenges associated with each time they are accessed.



STONE:  The device works for any patient with an IV catheter. Of course, children tend to more commonly have an acute fear of needles, so it can make pediatric care less invasive and painful.

There are also an estimated 30% of our hospital inpatients that are classified as DVA (Difficult Venous Access) because of aging, obesity, disease and more.

PIVO helps practitioners capture critical labs from these growing populations of patients who otherwise may take significant time and expense.

STONE: Also, those in hospitals or other inpatient settings, where the average length of stay is almost 5 days in the U.S. require daily or more frequent blood draws. Many of these patients have problematic veins or skin, which requires a lot of poking and prodding to draw blood. PIVO tackles these issues head on.

According to the CDC, an estimated 35M inpatient stays occur in the U.S. alone each year.  So, PIVO is set to  help many millions of Americans, not to mention those inpatients around the world.


STONE:  For patients who have their blood drawn for a check-up once a year in an outpatient setting, blood draws are not that disruptive.  For a “frequent flyer” in the hospital, or a DVA (difficult venous access) patient –noted as such upon admission or who has become DVA after 10 or 20 days in the hospital feeling like a pin cushion –removing the needle from the procedure can have a lifelong impact.

Enabling practitioners to avoid accessing central lines (large, surgically-placed catheters) for blood draws aims to reduce the risks of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection.

Further, removing the needle from blood draws helps avoid risk of injury and infection for our phlebotomists, nurses and physicians. Hospital leadership is recognizing that an important alternative to a prevalent practice is now available.


STONE:  PIVO requires a Peripheral IV catheter in order to access the vein. The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line PIVO cannot access the vein.

The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line, PIVO cannot access a patient’s blood.  As such, this procedure is most appropriate for the hospital inpatient setting.

I do envision PIVO will adopted in other care settings, where patients possess an IV line and require frequent blood draws, but the annual physical unfortunately is not one of these.


STONE:  IV’s are essentially plastic  tubes which overtime become soft, like a noodle. While a noodle is fine for injecting fluids and medications into a patient, its soft walls collapse under the negative pressure of suction when you try to take fluids out.

There are other reasons why IV’s are less-than-optimal for drawing blood back, but these are quite complex in nature and we’re only just now uncovering some of the novel reasons through our research with leading clinical collaborators.

PIVO simply inserts a small, stiffer tube inside the existing IV tube for the purpose of drawing blood.

It works by propping open and unkinking the IV tube temporarily while enabling lab quality blood be collected.



STONE:   Velano’s co-founder and physician, Pitamber Devgon had an elderly patient with bruises up and down her arms from repeated needle sticks.  That patient asked him why he was continually sticking her with needles when she already had an IV catheter in her vein. He didn’t know, but began exploring if it was possible to draw lab quality samples out of the IV line using a separate device.

Stone, a Wharton MBA shares, “Most of my career has been in healthcare, plus I am a needle phobic following my childhood diagnosis with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. So, when I was looking for a company start and a product to bring to market and my former graduate school classmates introduced us, I was instantly engaged following years as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and patient advocate.  From that connection,  Velano was born. “

Velano first won FDA approval for PIVO in 2015, and has also obtained multiple U.S. and international patents for it, with additional applications outstanding in the U.S. & abroad.


STONE: “Five years from now,” asserts Stone, “I believe, without a doubt that PIVO will be the standard of care for inpatient blood draws and vascular access.”

Thanks for a great interview and innovation for healthcare consumers! -Maria Dorfner



MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO, Velano Vascular.





A year ago, Forbes contributor Robert Reiss called Eric Stone “The Steve Jobs of Drawing Blood” and tested PIVO himself.  Reprint of article below courtesy of Reiss.

The Steve Jobs Of Drawing Blood

by Robert Reiss , FORBES CONTRIBUTOR (specializing in writing about CEOs)

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was recently at a board meeting at Griffin Hospital and our CEO was telling us about a new product that could transform perhaps the most ubiquitous healthcare practice – drawing blood.

The concept from a company called Velano Vascular repurposes the IV most hospital patients already have in their arms so blood can be drawn without having their veins repeatedly stuck by needles.

It aims to eliminate the associated negatives of traditional blood drawing: the pain and anxiety, injuries, excessive time and cost.

It seemed like such a revolutionary solution to a broad issue – sort of like in 1892 when Keds invented sneakers – and I was curious to understand if this was truly an historic moment where the age old process of drawing blood could once and for all be revolutionized.

It reminded me of one of my first CEO interviews back in 2007 with Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline when he described the driving force behind one of his over 700 patents, “The key to successful innovation is having a better solution for something that’s used everywhere and every day.”

So I decided to experience this innovation firsthand and a few weeks later I intentionally became a patient and experienced this new needleless way to draw numerous samples of blood.

I was amazed, the nurses were able to draw blood easily, and to do so as many times as they wanted without ever having to stick a needle in me again.

I was next introduced to the founder of Velano Vascular, Eric Stone, who I now admiringly call the Steve Jobs of drawing blood, and below are a few insights from our conversation:

Robert Reiss: How much blood is currently being drawn and what are the problems with the current system?

Eric Stone: Blood draws are not fun – and they are overlooked and underappreciated…except by patients. They are likely the most common invasive medical procedure, with an estimated half a billion in U.S. hospitals alone conducted every year, and two to three times this number across all hospitals worldwide annually.

Recognizing that the U.S. represents nearly 40 million inpatient admissions annually, with an average length of stay of five days, and a conservative estimate of two blood draws per patient per day, we are easily conducting hundreds of millions of inpatient draws each year quite readily.

This does not even take into account other non-hospital settings where patients require regular blood draws, such as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and more – all locations where patients may have a peripheral IV (PIV) catheter indwelling (a requirement for our innovation to be relevant).

For a procedure that informs nearly 70% of all clinical decisions, it is remarkable that the last major innovation was the abandonment of bloodletting centuries ago.

Whether you’re the parent of a sick child or the son or daughter of an elderly parent, repeat hospitalizations and frequent blood draws hit home for just about everyone. It’s scary, it hurts, and it’s critical that we begin to pay attention and stop taking the steely reserve of our patients for granted.

Herein lies the rub. People scared of needles (trypanophobia) avoid necessary tests and treatment, needles injure healthcare workers more than 2 million times a year in accidents that can lead to serious infection, and the list of dysfunction goes on.

The way we draw blood today has real emotional, clinical and financial consequences. We can, and we must, do better. We can start by paying attention.

Reiss: What specifically is different about the Velano Vascular product?

Stone: Velano’s FDA-approved PIVO™ is a disposable, needle free device that connects to a patient’s existing IV catheter, enabling blood draws during their entire hospital stay without requiring subsequent needle sticks.

It turns out that IVs are great at putting fluids into the body but unreliable at pulling them out – that’s why patients receive so many needle sticks while in the hospital.

PIVO turns the routine IV into a reliable conduit for drawing high quality blood samples. This is an elegant solution to a centuries-old problem.

Now, patients no longer need to feel like a “pin cushions” or experience abrupt awakenings between 2:00 am and 6:00 am for the nighttime needle stick – when 40% of blood draws occur.

The company was founded based on a simple idea back in 2012, and subsequently PIVO has been used in clinical pilots and trials at a number of leading U.S. hospitals since receiving regulatory clearance in early 2015.

It has won a number of awards, including the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Vascular Access in 2016 and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation competition at Children’s National Health in Washington, DC.

Reiss: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your methodology on quality outcomes?

Stone: Velano is most often measured by the clinical quality of blood samples drawn and its impact on both practitioner and patient experience.

In thousands of patients, the quality of our blood samples has been definitive and easy to measure, both through clinical studies and “real world,” commercial use.

Blood drawn from PIVO has similarly low hemolysis rates (blood cell shearing or tearing that can relegate a patient to a re-draw and delays in essential care) to needle draws.

Clinical study efforts and pilots with some of the country’s leading healthcare institutions such as University Hospitals Cleveland, Intermountain Healthcare, The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reflect clinically appropriate laboratory results – confirming that blood drawn with our compassionate technology can become a standard of care for clinical decision-making.

Practitioner and patient experience is harder to quantify, but our surveys and testimonials to-date are resoundingly positive. In fact, patients who receive PIVO draws are requesting PIVO when transferred to floors in the hospital that are not participating in our pilots or upon readmission to the hospital. They are actually asking for the product – it is remarkable.

The onus is on Velano to continue improving our quality measurements to undeniably prove this innovation is truly a win-win-win, as we seek to elevate the quality of care and outcomes for patients, practitioners and hospitals alike.

Reiss: What is the financial model for a user and what is the economic impact nationally?

Stone: The cost of a blood draw is not just the $1 or less spent for a needle. Instead, it is the many billions of dollars a year spent on wasted materials, rejected blood samples, patient and practitioner risks, delayed results, labor costs, central line escalations, and more resulting from this less-than-desirable and madly inefficient procedure.

Some of the financial downsides of traditional blood draw standards are somewhat obscure, however we’ve helped our hospital partners understand the current impact by simply asking sincere questions, seeking to learn, and paying a modicum of attention to the topic.

Think about the blood draw on an elderly or obese or diabetic patient that can take as long as an hour of a nurse’s time and 2-3 needles to find a vein and collect an adequate sample.

Consider that even one single case of an employee blood borne pathogen transmission from a needle stick can cost millions of dollars in exposure for a hospital.

For PIVO, we understand that in an environment of increasing health industry price transparency and pressures, when our entire healthcare system is experiencing economic upheaval, and cost neutrality is required for rolling out true innovation in hospitals.


Reiss: Why did you start Velano Vascular and what’s your vision?

Stone: The reason why is very simple – because I am first and foremost a patient, and I am a parent.   25 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, launching me on a lifelong journey as a healthcare entrepreneur, patient advocate, and National Trustee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Since a young age, I’ve been motivated by IMPACT.

I started Velano in partnership with an intellectually curious physician inventor intrigued by a seemingly simple question posed by his patient – “why are you repeatedly sticking me with needles [when I already have an IV line in my arm]?”

This simple, yet elegant idea resonated strongly with me, for I am needle-phobic myself, and I have been that “tough stick” patient during my hospital stays. Today, this brilliant idea has become reality.

My vision for Velano is to touch every human being on the planet; for we will all spend time in a hospital at some point in life, and we will certainly need our blood drawn when we do.




MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO of Velano Vascular


Maria Dorfner founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health


NewsMD Communications was founded in 1998 to educate healthcare consumers by connecting medical + media to inspire and empower millions to want to live healthy.

In 1993, Maria created Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles & Longevity and Healthcare Practitioners. The shows aired on CNBC, which she helped launch in 1989.  She is the founder of Cleveland Clinic News Service, helped launch MedPage Today (sold to CNN) and wrote & produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery Health.  Her awards include Freddie for Excellence in Medical Reporting, Outstanding Leadership Abilities, Media Recognition, Who’s Who, Medical Reporting Scholarship. She produced for Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Report, talk shows & reality programming.

She began as an intern at NBC todaylogo SHOW in NYC in 1983.

This is her blog.

Have an innovative solution healthcare consumers|media should know about?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com  

Response only if it’s a story of interest. Thank you.

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How Much Sunshine Is Healthy For You?


We’ve all heard sunshine is good for your health.

How Much Sunshine Is Healthy?

Turns out, it’s 15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen 3 times a week.


How Much Sunshine Is Not Healthy?

More than 15 minutes of sun without sunscreen and you’ll end up with premature aging.

Dr. Melissa Piliang (pronounced Pill-ee-ang) of Cleveland Clinic says areas that should be covered at ALL times include:


CG: Dr. Melissa Piliang /Cleveland Clinic
Face, chest, back of hands are places too – that you can get a lot of sun just running and out of stores, to and from your car, to your mailbox; those kinds of situations.” [:10] 

What Does 15 Minutes of Healthy Sunlight Do?

It activates Vitamin D in your body. After activation, it functions as a hormone. The active form of Vitamin D is called D3 or cholecalciferol.


Vitamin D is vital for mental health, age-related cognitive decline, mood, cardiovascular health and strong bones.  D3 supports calcium absorption and your immune system.

You get vitamin D3 from foods such as mushrooms, orange juice fortified with calcium/D,  milk, fortified soy products, fish or supplements.


What If You Can’t Avoid Sun More Than 15 Min.?

If you need to be exposed to the sun more than 15 minutes Dr. Piliang says to use sunscreen liberally.  Everyone should make sun protection a part of their everyday routine, even while running errands –not just when you go to the beach or pool.


CG:  Dr. Melissa Piliang /Cleveland Clinic
“For people who are worried about sun exposure on their head, a hat is helpful. And actually a hat is very helpful for everyone because it protects the face, the head, and the top of the ears.” [:15]

If you see new moles or ones that change shape make sure to get them checked.

Again, people with exposed scalps should always use sunscreen there or wear a hat.

See a dermatologist if you have any concerns.

You can now safely say, “Good Morning, Sunshine!” 15 min. 3x’s a week.




MEDIA:  See Cleveland Clinic News Service (CCNS), July 26, 2017 Pathfire #10839 for Sound Bites/VO/B-Roll
Don’t forget to protect your EYES too!

Most of us think to pack the sunscreen when heading outdoors into the sun, but we might not always remember to grab a pair of shades.


According to Reecha Kampani, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Cleveland Clinic, putting on sunglasses is more than a fashion statement.


She says protecting eyes from ultraviolet rays is just as important as using sunscreen to protect the skin.

“”UV protection is good for all kinds of structures of the eye, like the eyelids, the cornea, conjunctiva, the lenses and retina tissue itself,”” says Dr. Kampani. “”You can get damage and changes of the eye with exposure to UV light, so protection is very important.””

Dr. Kampani says it is actually possible to get a sunburn on the eyelids and while rare, if exposed to too much UV light, the cornea, which is the clear tissue over the eye, can get a thermal burn, which can be very painful.


“Long-term exposure to UV light can lead to the formation of cataracts or macular degeneration.”

Dr. Kampani recommends wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat even on moderately sunny or overcast days, to make sure eyes are protected.



Wrap-around sunglasses are best if heading out in the sun all day, as they can keep light from coming in through the top and the sides of the glasses.


The good news is that people don’t have to spend a fortune to keep their eyes protected.


Dr. Kampani says buying discounted sunglasses is fine, but it’s a good idea to replace inexpensive glasses yearly.


“”If you’’re buying lenses that are at more discounted places, that’s fine,” said Dr. Kampani. “A lot of times they still do have full protection, but you have to keep in mind that it could be something that’s more temporary, like a spray-on coating, that won’t last as long.””

Dr. Kampani says it’’s also a good idea to keep in mind that artificial UV light, like the kind that is found in tanning beds, is just as bad for the eyes as it is for the skin.

Remember, when you’re outdoors or out in the field as we say in TV wear sunglasses OR a hat to protect your peeps!


Stay healthy!








Access CCNS Video: 

Cleveland Clinic Newsroom
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Username: CCNews
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Pathfire: If you’re using the web browser, click on the ‘Provider Directory’ and look for the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ tab. Use the ‘Video News Feed Locator’ if you’re getting Pathfire via satellite.

*Also, now available using app.extremereach.com – select the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ destination to view the files. If you need assistance, contact videonetwork@extremereach.com

Tips To Combat Back Pain

  • backpain4

    Many Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives.


    • It’s not just the physical aching that makes back pain agonizing. It’s everything that comes with it. Like not being up for or avoiding everyday activities.


      The good news is, 95% of back pain is temporary and not serious.


      Here are practical tips for back pain care and prevention:


    • Lifting with your back. Bending over to lift and overusing the back muscles are common causes of back injury. Whether raising a barbell or shoveling snow, focus on lifting with your legs to reduce strain on your back.


      Poor posture. When you slouch, your muscles struggle to keep you balanced, which can cause back pain. Be mindful of your posture, especially at a desk.


      Too much bed rest. While getting enough sleep is a good thing, there is such thing as too much bed rest. Make sure you’re up and active during the day.



    • Use a back support product. When you’re dealing with back pain, a hot/cold wrap can be an effective form of treatment. If it’s a new injury or your back is inflamed, use it cold. If you’re feeling stiff, you’ll want heat. And if you’ve battled back problems in the past, a back brace will provide lumbar support, which may help you avoid recurring injury.


      Start an exercise routine. It can’t be stressed enough: exercise helps avoid back pain. If you currently don’t work out, find some sort of fitness routine. If you have back pain, try yoga or water aerobics to ease the pressure on your joints, while getting the benefits of exercise.


      Switch your sleeping position. If you currently have back pain, talk to your doctor about the best sleep position. Sleeping on your stomach can be especially hard on your back.


      Adjust your workstation. Simple ergonomic changes can mitigate the hazards of sitting at a desk. Assess your workspace and determine changes you can make, from trying a standing desk to putting your monitor on a stand to help your posture.


      Change your mindset. We know chronic pain has a psychological component that can exacerbate pain. A positive shift in frame of mind could make a difference in the amount of pain felt or how quickly an injury heals.


    Don’t Forget Basics:

    • Eat healthy foods. Eating a balanced diet that includes the right amount and variety of vitamins and nutrients can help reduce back problems by nourishing the bones, muscles, and other spinal structures. Calcium is particularly good for bone strength.


      Reduce stress. Everyone feels stress sometimes. It’s important to find outlets that help you decompress and incorporate them into your life regularly. Exercise, yoga, and meditation are reliable routines. Laughter goes a long way, as well.


      Get sleep. Sleep is proven to be vital to our overall health. But being well rested also helps you have better posture and pay more attention to the way you lift and move things.


      Get up, move, and stretch. Whenever you’ve been sitting for 20-30 minutes, you should get up and walk around so you’re not getting locked into one position. If you’re feeling stiff, do some light stretching.


    When Should You See A Doctor For Back Pain?


    According to Mayo Clinic Staff, most back pain gets better within a few weeks without treatment. If you’re very uncomfortable, you can rest in bed for a day or two, but longer than that does more harm than good. Over-the-counter pain medications often help reduce back pain, as does the application of cold or heat to the painful area.


    Schedule an office visit if:

    Call your doctor if your back pain hasn’t improved after a week of home treatment or if your back pain:


    • Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
    • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below your knee
    • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
    • Occurs with unintended weight loss
    • Occurs with swelling or redness on your back



    Seek emergency medical care if:

    Call 911 or emergency medical help or have someone drive you to the emergency room if your back pain:

    • Occurs after a high-impact car crash, bad fall or sports injury
    • Causes new bowel or bladder control problems
    • Occurs with a fever

    For more information visit:


    Other Sources:

Breakthrough: First Biologic Treatment for Eczema

E1An estimated 300,000 people suffer from Atopic Dermatitis, the most common form of Eczema.


They are most in need of new treatment options.


Eczema is a chronic inflammatory disease with symptoms often appearing as a rash on the skin.


It’s characterized by rashes often covering much of the body.  


It can include intense, persistent itching and skin dryness, cracking, redness, crusting, and oozing.


Itch is one of the most burdensome symptoms for patients and can be debilitating.


Now, the FDA has just approved the first targeted biologic therapy for adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.


It’s called Dupixent and it will be available later this week to U.S. patients suffering from this chronic and debilitating form of eczema.


The Dupixent® (dupilumab) Injection is the first and only biologic medicine approved for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) whose disease is not adequately controlled with topical prescription therapies, or when those therapies are not advisable.


“People with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis cope with intense, sometimes unbearable symptoms that can impact them for most of their lives,” says Julie Block, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Eczema Association. 

“To date, there have been few options available to treat people with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who have uncontrolled disease.  That’s why today’s approval of Dupixent is so important for our community. Now we have a treatment that is expected to help address patients suffering from this devastating disease.”


Dupixent is a human monoclonal antibody that is designed to specifically inhibit overactive signaling of two key proteins, IL-4 and IL-13, which are believed to be major drivers of the persistent underlying inflammation in AD.


It comes in a pre-filled syringe and can be self-administered as a subcutaneous injection every other week after an initial loading dose.


And it can be used with or without topical corticosteroids.


Adult patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) that is not well controlled with prescription therapies used on the skin (topical), or who cannot use topical therapies.  It is not known if Dupixent is safe and effective in children.



“Dupixent is the result of years of tireless research by our scientists into the underlying causes of allergic and atopic diseases.  In atopic dermatitis, Dupixent was shown to help clear the skin and manage the intense itch caused by the disease,” says George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Scientist, President, and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron.

“Today’s approval would not be possible without the dedication of the clinical investigators and the participation of the patients who took part in the global LIBERTY AD clinical program.”


Dupixent was evaluated by the FDA with Priority Review, which is reserved for medicines that represent potentially significant improvements in safety or efficacy in treating serious conditions.


“We strive to transform scientific innovation into therapeutic solutions that make a meaningful difference to people’s lives,”says Olivier Brandicourt, M.D., CEO, Sanofi.

“The approval of Dupixent offers new hope for adults with moderate-to-severe AD in the United States, and we look forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring this important new medicine to patients globally.”


This follows the FDA’s 2014 Breakthrough Therapy designation for Dupixent for inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe AD.

Breakthrough Therapy designation was created by the FDA to expedite the development and review of drugs developed for serious or life-threatening conditions.

Dupixent represents the first time this designation was granted for a dermatological disease, other than in dermatologic cancers.

Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, and Regeneron will market Dupixent in the United States.


Dupixent is expected to be available to patients and providers in the U.S. later this week.


The Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) of Dupixent in the United States is $37,000 annually.

Actual costs to patients, payers and health systems are anticipated to be lower as WAC pricing does not reflect discounts, rebates or patient assistance programs.

Analysts say the drug could become a blockbuster therapy that could one day bring in more than $3 billion in annual sales.


It should not be used in patients allergic to dupilumab or any of the ingredients in Dupixent.


The most common adverse events that were noted to be greater than or equal to one percent with Dupixent treatment included injection site reactions, eye and eye lid inflammation including redness, swelling, and itching, and cold sores in the mouth or on the lips.

In December 2016, the European Medicines Agency accepted for review Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s marketing authorization application (MAA) for Dupixent for adults with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe AD.


Dupixent can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Stop using Dupixent and go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you get any of the following symptoms: fever, general ill feeling, swollen lymph nodes, hives, itching, joint pain, or skin rash.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worsening eye problems, including eye pain or changes in vision.



People should tell their healthcare provider if they have any side effect that bothers them or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Dupixent.  Doctors can provide medical advice about side effects.  They should also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


  • Use Dupixent exactly as prescribed.
  • If your healthcare provider decides that you or a caregiver can give Dupixent injections, you or your caregiver should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject Dupixent.
  • Do not try to inject Dupixent until you have been shown the right way by your healthcare provider.
  • Please click here for the full Prescribing Information.
  • Patient information is available here.


Dupilumab Program Overview

Dupilumab is currently being evaluated in a comprehensive development program for Atopic Dermatitis (AD) that includes studies in children with severe AD (6 months to 11 years of age) and adolescents with moderate-to-severe AD (12 to 17 years of age).

In October 2016, the FDA granted dupilumab Breakthrough Therapy designation for both populations.  These potential uses are investigational and the safety and efficacy have not been evaluated nor confirmed by any regulatory authority.

Dupilumab is also being studied in other inflammatory diseases that are believed to be driven by IL-4 and IL-13 cytokines, including persistent uncontrolled asthma (Phase 3, results expected later this year), nasal polyposis (Phase 3) and eosinophilic esophagitis (Phase 2).

These potential uses are investigational and the safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.


For more information on dupilumab clinical trials please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Do not use if you are allergic to dupilumab or to any of the ingredients in Dupixent®.


People should tell their healthcare provider about their medical conditions BEFORE using Dupixent, including if they:

  • have eye problems
  • have a parasitic (helminth) infection
  • have asthma
  • are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. You should not receive a “live vaccine” if you are treated with Dupixent.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Dupixent will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known whether Dupixent passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

If you have asthma and are taking asthma medicines, do not change or stop your asthma medicine without talking to your healthcare provider.


Sanofi and Regeneron recognize Dupixent can only help those uncontrolled moderate-to-severe AD patients prescribed the medicine if they can both access the medicine and use it properly.

Therefore, the companies have launched Dupixent MyWay, a comprehensive and specialized program that provides support and services to patients throughout every step of the treatment process.




Dupixent MyWay will help eligible patients who are uninsured, lack coverage, or need assistance with their out-of-pocket costs.


Additionally, Dupixent MyWay offers personalized support from registered nurses and other specialists who are available 24/7 to speak with patients and help them navigate the complex insurance process.


For more information, please call 1-844-Dupixent (1-844-387-4936) or visit www.Dupixent.com


e30About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Consumer Healthcare. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York(NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families.

About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading science-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. Regeneron commercializes medicines for eye diseases, high LDL-cholesterol, atopic dermatitis and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.


i Mount Sinai. Patient Care Atopic Dermatitis 2016. http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/atopic-dermatitis#risk. Accessed October 31, 2016.

ii Zuberbier T, Orlow SJ, Paller AS, et al. Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 118:226-232.

iii Data on file.

iv Friends of Cancer Research. Breakthrough Therapies 2017. https://www.focr.org/breakthrough-therapies. Accessed February 22, 2017.


2017 News Releases






Stay healthy!

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com




Reading To Your Baby Early Has Benefits


Many parents spend countless hours reading bed-time stories to their babies. Does it help?


Sure does, according to new research. Reading books to infants can boost vocabulary and reading skills for years to come.


Kimberly Giuliano, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’’s did not take part in the study, but encourages parents to start reading to their babies “as soon as possible.”


“Dr. Giuliano says, “It’s never too early to start. If you want to read to your newborn – that’’s great. “They get in your arms, they’’re comforted, they hear your voice and it’’s a wonderful bonding experience for parents and babies alike.””


Researchers monitored 250 pairs of mothers and babies for four years and found book-reading quality during infancy was a good predictor of early-reading skills.


They also found a combination of book-reading quality and quantity during toddler years was a good predictor of literacy skills, such as name-writing, by age four.



Dr. Giuliano says once babies begin opening their eyes more and become more reactive to the world around them, they’’re more than ready for books.


She says even if they’’re only a few months old, they can still learn.


“”Young babies, especially those under the age of one, love books that have a little bit more of a sensory feedback to them,” says Dr. Giuliano. “

She adds, “They learn by developing all different types of senses, so if they can hear, see, and touch, it really helps them to understand the concepts that are being presented to them in the book.” It’s important for kids of all ages to spend time relaxing and reading every day.”



“”The more we engage our brains actively in reading, the better children do academically, the longer their attention spans are, and the more success they’’re likely to have in school,”” says Dr. Giuliano.


‘Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes’ was originally presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academies Society Meeting on May 8, 2017.




MEDIA:  See Cleveland Clinic Pathfire for b-roll and soundbites


Healthiest Time To Start Work


Research shows 10 a.m. is the healthiest time for dayside workers to start work.

Woman making heart-shape with hands outdoors

This gives people time for health maintenance, which prevents illness.


Time to meditate, stretch, exercise, have breakfast, read a bit, shower and go.


Instead, society has the masses rushing in sleep-deprived to clock in at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m.


Instead of promoting health –the typical American schedule,  activates cortisol levels.


As mentioned, cortisol is bad, and it’s highest when you rise.



Cortisol continues to rise as you rush to get to work on time fearing you’ll be late, fearing you didn’t have time to eat right or exercise, fearing all the bad news you hear or read from mass media on your way into work. It’s no wonder road rage is highest then.



Cortisol causes inflammation in your body and keeps you in this chronic state of fear.


It’s a breeding ground for cancer. Good news is you CAN reverse cortisol release in your body.  Anyone who boasts about “being up all night” is a walking time bomb for illness .


If you stay up all night –you should not be boasting about it. You need to get to sleep to reduce levels of cortisol.


The bad news is cortisol is addicting, which is why people in the rat race are perpetually on the go-go-go.


But where are they going is the question, as cortisol has been called the death hormone.



If you can’t count on your employer to care about your health, then you HAVE to take it upon yourself to schedule decompressing.



Take breaks. Walk around office. Go to a park during lunch. Eat nutritious foods.



One hour before bed, turn off all electronics, pour a hot bath with Epson salt, put on soothing music, close eyes, breathe deeply, think of nothing but all you are grateful for.


Then, set your alarm to sleep for at least 9 hours.




This may be easier said than done when you have kids needing your attention.


But kids need healthy parents, so try to think of a way to make time for your own mental, physical and spiritual health, so everyone else is safe in your presence.  Don’t do it when the kids are in water. You need to keep an eye on them then.


Remember, if you haven’t slept, you’re the equivalent of a drunk while driving. So, if one of your responsibilities is getting kids to practice or play dates, you need your sleep.ccf1

If your kids turn in at 8 p.m. then make 9 to 10 p.m. your decompressing time. Watching TV or scrolling through social media doesn’t count. You need to turn it all off. Again, take a warm shower, bubble bath, listen to music, go outside for a walk and breathe deeply.


This will prime you to sleep like a baby.



Of course, many people who commute don’t get home until 9 p.m. so they need to scarf down food and crash and that’s after sorting through mail, cleaning, and the list goes on.


It can be a struggle to get to bed in time to get enough sleep to do it all again next day.


Again, this process all activates cortisol levels in people. So any company that says they care about a healthy workforce and subscribes to this formula are clueless about health.


Some companies think having a gym at work equates to good health. Most are empty.


When you’re trying to do it all, nothing gets your full attention. It simply piles up.


It leads to staying up late and not getting enough sleep to be productive and healthy the next day.  It’s a continual cortisol fest with no life balance.


The solution for corporate America may be to start in times at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. for commuters — giving people enough time to rise and shine early, meditate, have a nutritious breakfast, get some exercise, spend time with family. Happy employees are loyal employees that have the energy to go the extra mile.

Co-workers laughing together
Co-workers laughing together


People’s productivity will rise as a result, unlike their cortisol levels.


Too many success articles focus on making money or achieving titles, status, fame or material possessions. It’s none of that.  It’s HEALTH.  Before.  During. After.


When you are healthy in mind, body and spirit you make good life decisions and have balance, which means if things beyond your control change –you will be OK.


Money, title, status, fame and material possessions can change in the blink of an eye. Don’t be defined by that. Be defined by who you are as a person.  Spend time with those that matter, help as many people as you can, and don’t take yourself to seriously.

Disneyland. Healthy Families. Sis is missing.


Success includes character traits, such as kindness, honesty & thoughtfulness. And those traits are most likely to exhibit themselves when you are healthy and combat cortisol.


Colleagues, family members, friends and your company benefits when you’re healthy.


Making lots of money is wonderful, but  if you don’t make health a priority, by the time you reach your professional or financial goals, you will not be able to enjoy it.


Time to make health a priority before you run out of time.




Consultations, National PR and Media Training Available For a Fee

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com