NYC Hot Hub for Health IT Jobs

New York initiative aims to create hub for health IT jobs

April 26, 2012 | Bernie Monegain, Editor

NEW YORK – The New York eHealth Collaborative, the New York City Investment Fund and the New York State Department of Health have launched a $4.2 million program to foster health IT innovation and create 1,500 new jobs in the state.

Called the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), the program’s goal is to make New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.

In upcoming months, the program will choose 12 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers.

Each company will be awarded up to $300,000 along with mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York. The focus areas of innovation will support the development of products that help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program, an initiative intended to make the state’s treatment of Medicaid patients more coordinated and efficient, officials say.

“Health information technology is helping us transform our healthcare system to provide high-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care for the 21st century,” said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, MD. “The Digital Health Accelerator program will further advance New York’s national leadership in health IT as it will attract leading-edge companies at the forefront of developing the technology necessary for robust electronic health recordsand digital care coordination systems.”

“When the government and the private sector work hand-in-hand to encourage business growth in our state we see results,” added Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF). “This Accelerator will help New York keep and attract businesses that grow our state’s economy and create jobs in our communities. Our initial investment will go a long way towards attracting additional investment into New York.”

“The economy and healthcare are the two most important issues facing the state, and the New York Digital Health Accelerator will allow us to tackle them both at once,” said David Whitlinger, executive director of NYeC. “This initiative represents the best kind of marriage between the public and private sectors. We are leveraging New York’s investment in our statewide health information exchange network and empowering it with the free market.”

The NYDHA’s unique feature is that it offers participants the opportunity to engage directly with a broad network of providers in New York State, officials say, including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centersm and primary care providers. Tech companies accepted into the program will receive direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. In addition, companies will have priority access to the technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York State, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

More information, including an application for the program, is available atdigitalhealthaccelerator.com. An informational session for companies interested in participating will be held on May 10, 2012 in New York City. Applications for the NYDHA program are due June 1, 2012.

The program aims to create 1,500 jobs over five years. In addition, it is expected that the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program. The NYDHA is designed to stimulate a new marketplace, creating the next generation of healthcare tools while positioning New York as the capitol of the health IT entrepreneurial sector, officials said.

The investment capital will be provided by a syndicate of investors, including Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics and UnitedHealth Group. The Empire State Development Corporation, Health Research Inc. and NYeC will provide additional funds and/or services to operate the NYDHA.

18 leading healthcare providers have agreed to participate in the program:

  • Albany Medical Center
  • Catholic Health System
  • Community Healthcare Network
  • Continuum Health Partners
  • Ellis Medicine
  • FEGS Health and Human Services System
  • Finger Lakes Community Health
  • Hometown Health Centers
  • Hudson Valley Initiative
  • Institute for Family Health
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • North Shore LIJ Health System
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties
  • Winthrop University Hospital

Investors, providers weigh in:

“Aetna is strongly committed to advancing healthcare information technology that will connect the healthcare system to help improve quality and outcomes,” said Lonny Reisman, MD, Aetna’s chief medical officer and a member of board of the NYeC. “The convergence of health IT and healthcare expertise will be extremely critical and powerful in making healthcare more effective, convenient and affordable for everyone. Aetna has been actively involved in NYeC since its inception, and we are pleased to support this important initiative.”

“Albany Medical Center welcomes this important initiative that will help develop innovative approaches to improving patient outcomes at lower costs while helping to attract healthcare entrepreneurs to New York State,” said James J. Barba, president and CEO. “Albany Med has long recognized that the type of collaboration this project is building between healthcare providers, government and the private sector will be the key to reforming our healthcare system.”

“Entrepreneurs require access to potential customers as much as they require access to capital,” said Todd Pietri, co-founder and general partner of Milestone Venture Partners. “The New York Digital Health Accelerator is the first accelerator program we have seen which provides direct access to key decision makers at potential customers.”

“New York City is the place for the creation of next generation digital health companies,” said Philippe Chambon, managing director of New Leaf Venture Partners. “The combination of the digital alley talent, the deep healthcare infrastructure of the state and the availability of venture funding is truly unique.”

“New York is leading the way in healthcare innovation by bringing together hospitals, medical providers, payers, and investors with its rapidly growing Silicon Alley,” said Adele C. Oliva, partner at Quaker Partners. “Quaker believes that this integrated approach will catalyze entrepreneurship and deliver the revolutionary technology the healthcare system requires to improve care and reduce costs.”

“We are looking forward to becoming a part of the New York Digital Health Accelerator,” said Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, managing director at Safeguard Scientifics. “New York is forging an unprecedented path by pulling together investors, hospitals, and other healthcare advisers to collaborate and offer healthcare IT start-ups access to capital, mentorship and expert insights to help them effectively grow their business.”

“Innovation is a key driver in helping make the health system work better for everyone,” said Tom Vanderheyden, vice president, emerging businesses group at UnitedHealth Group. “We believe the New York Digital Health Accelerator model will help bring practical solutions to market in a significantly shorter timeframe.”

“New health information technologies will help people get better care,” said Joseph Twardy, president and CEO, Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties. “Here in the capital region, the Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties, Ellis Medicine and Hometown Health Center are already working with other healthcare and social service organizations and physicians to ensure that we provide each person with the right care at the right time-and having the right information will help us do that.”

Hot Program for Women Living with Cancer: It’s Free!

Here’s a hot health organization helping women with cancer look good, feel better.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects.  The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room.

Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook.

She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.

With such a profound result, the Personal Care Products Council recognized the opportunity for its industry to help more women maintain their confidence and self-esteem.

Kavanaugh presented the idea to the Personal Care Products Council membership – the nation’s cosmetic industry leaders – who immediately offered funding and cosmetics.

The American Cancer Society enthusiastically joined the effort, providing a vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program.

Finally, the Professional Beauty Association | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA) signed on as the third collaborator, encouraging its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services.

The program – dubbed Look Good…Feel Better – launched with two groups workshops at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

Today, Look Good…Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies.

 

Teen and Spanish programs, self-help mailer kits, online support, and a 24-hour hotline are also offered – as well as numerous independent licensed international Look Good…Feel Better affiliate programs across the globe.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

How can I find out where Look Good…Feel Better workshops are located near me?

Click the following link and enter your zip code to find a program near you.  Or call 1-800-385-LOOK (5665).

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs

Are Look Good…Feel Better services really free? How can you do that?

Yes, Look Good…Feel Better is a free public service program. It’s made possible by our generous Personal Care Products Council member- company donors who raise more than $2 million and donate more than one million individual cosmetic products, with a value of more than $10 million. The American Cancer Society administers the program nationally, including our toll-free number (1-800-395-LOOK [5665]) and volunteer trainings. And the Professional Beauty Association│National Cosmetology Association helps us recruit caring, qualified cosmetology volunteers. (Find out moreabout our sponsors.)

What will I learn by going to a group program that I can’t learn at home?

Group programs are step-by-step makeover learning sessions led by trained cosmetology professionals. Any questions you may have – such as how to fill in or draw in your eyebrows or how to camouflage particular types of pigmentation – will be answered firsthand. You’ll receive a free makeup kit with brand-name cosmetics to use during the session and to take home, helping minimize shopping time and expense. You will have the opportunity to experiment with various wigs, hats, and turbans in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. And, perhaps most valuable of all, you will receive the support of other women coping with cancer treatment – those about to go through it, those experiencing it, and those who’ve been there. Put all these factors together and you’ve got a pretty powerful reason to sign up for a group program. Time after time, women who considered staying home tell us how glad they are to have made the effort to come. They say that the impact on their looks and outlooks is immeasurable. And those who care about them say so, too.

Where are group programs available?

Look Good…Feel Better group programs are offered nationwide in hospitals and community centers. Call us at 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) or contact your local American Cancer Society office to help locate a program near you. For those living outside the United States, please refer to our International Look Good…Feel Better programs to connect with us.

Does Look Good…Feel Better distribute wigs?

The Look Good…Feel Better program does not distribute wigs to participants. We do offer information about proper wig selection, fitting and care for alternative head coverings such as turbans, scarves, hats, etc. Some local American Cancer Society offices have wigs banks and may be able to offer assistance to women who need, but may not be able to afford, a wig. In addition, some insurance companies cover the cost of a wig when prescribed by a doctor as a “cranial prosthesis.”

Does Look Good…Feel Better accept hair donations? If not, who does?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept hair donations for wigs. We know of four organizations that accept hair donations and make wigs for those who need them. They are:

locksoflove.org
wigsforkids.org
pantene.com
pinkbarrette.org (This organization also accepts donations of gray hair. The others do not.)

Hopefully, one of these organizations will be able to use your hair donation.

May I donate gently-used wigs to Look Good…Feel Better?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept donations of gently used wigs.

How can I get Look Good…Feel Better brochures to distribute at my office/salon, etc?

The American Cancer Society supplies all printed materials at the local level. For physician’s offices, clinics, salons, or other community locations, we suggest the Look Good…Feel Better general informational brochure. To request free Look Good…Feel Better brochures, please contact your localAmerican Cancer Society, or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665).

Does Look Good…Feel Better have a program for men undergoing cancer treatment?

We offer Look Good…Feel Better teen programs, as well as the comprehensive 2bMe Web site. Though we do not offer group programs for men over 18, we have explored how the side effects of cancer treatment affect men, resulting in an informational brochure. Email us or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) to order it.

Organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute offer numerous resources, publications and support programs for men, women, teens and children.

Do you recommend any particular cosmetic or skin care brands to use during cancer treatment?

We do not recommend products by brand, but we do believe that mild products are best. Before adopting any skin care regimen, be sure to have your physician’s OK. (See special requirements for radiation and chemotherapy.)

How can an individual support Look Good…Feel Better?

There are several ways you can support Look Good…Feel Better. You can donate online by visiting the donation page; or you can send a monetary donation to: Personal Care Products Council Foundation, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. You can also purchase the Look Good…Feel Better scarf by Oscar de la Renta (please contact us to learn more); or you canvolunteer in your community.

Losing your hair during treatment for cancer can be one of the most difficult side effects – many women lose all or some of their hair, while others don’t lose any.

Ask your doctor what to anticipate and find out if there is anything you can do to help retain your hair. Then, speak with a hairstylist you trust to find out what to do if your hair thins, and what you can expect when it grows back.

Whether your hair thins or you lose all of it, please know that you can anticipate it growing back once your treatment is over. In the meantime, the Look Good…Feel Better community is here to offer courage, strength, support and peace of mind.

Click on a topic below to get started

Tibi Creates Silk Scarves to Benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Tibi Head Scarves to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care Research

Tibi created silk head wraps to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care and Research. 100% of the proceeds are donated and the scarves are a non-refundable charitable purchase. The scarves cost $75 each. They can be found here.

Photo: Tibi

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs 

Links

http://www.georgetown.edu/content/1242662797532.html

Sugary Soda Ups Risky Fat Deposits

Sugary soda ups risky fat deposits

Published January 12, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Drinking a liter of regular cola every day increases the amount of fat in the liver and in the muscles and surrounding the organs in the belly, according to a new Danish study.

That kind of fat buildup has been linked in other studies to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

“This study suggests that the adverse effects of sugary beverages go beyond just weight gain or fat gain. It’s the gaining of the wrong fat in the wrong places,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in this study.

The researchers, led by Dr. Bj�rn Richelsen at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark asked people to drink either a liter of water, milk, diet cola or regular cola each day for six months.

The 47 people who participated in the study were all overweight or obese.

Richelsen said his team chose to study this group because they anticipated overweight or obese people would be more sensitive to dietary changes than people of normal weight.

At the end of the study the regular cola drinkers ended up with 25 percent more fat surrounding their organs, and just about doubled the amount of fat in the liver and muscle.

Such increases “are in most studies associated with an enhanced risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes…cardiovascular diseases, and non-alcoholic liver diseases,” Richelsen told Reuters Health by email.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of health factors that is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The type of fat Richelsen’s group studied — called ectopic fat — is thought to be more dangerous to people’s metabolic health than “subcutaneous” fat, the kind that collects under the skin.

“It is well-established that ectopic fat is ‘unhealthy’ and induces dysfunction of the organs involved,” Richelsen said.

Hu said the results from Richelsen’s experiment complement those that have surveyed people about their soda drinking habits.

“This study provides another piece of evidence to support the recommendations for the reduction of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption,” Hu told Reuters Health.

DO SODA TAXES WORK?

The American Heart Association recommends drinking no more than about three cans of soda a week, while young men far exceed that, with about two cans a day on average (see Reuters Health report of August 31, 2011).

Some cities and states in the United States have batted around the idea of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to curb people’s consumption.

Denmark has instituted a tax on sugary items, but Richelsen said it’s not clear how it has impacted consumers.

One study at a hospital cafeteria found that raising the price of soda by 35 cents reduced sales by 26 percent (see Reuters Health report of June 18, 2010).

The current study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, did not find that the cola drinkers gained more weight than the other groups.

Richelsen said it’s possible that the people reduced the amount of calories they ate or drank to compensate for the extra calories in the pop.

The researchers point out in their study that the sugar in soda from Denmark is different from most sodas in the United States.

In Europe, the sweetener is sucrose, as opposed to the high fructose corn syrup used in the U.S.

“It is quite convincing from the scientific literature that it is the fructose part of the sugar molecule…that is the primary culprit in inducing fat synthesis in the liver,” Richelsen said.

Given that there is extra fructose in high fructose corn syrup, Richelsen said, soda from the U.S. could lead to more pronounced problems with fat gain.

SOURCEhttp://bit.ly/x5kwKU American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online December 28, 2011.