Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause.
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Allen said. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis.”
To help individuals contribute to the effort, Allen has created crowd-sourcing website — TackleEbola.com.
The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving, Allen said
Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola.
Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need.
The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.
Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older, totaling about 18 million people, require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals.
A new study in Milbank Quarterly reveals a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other “informal caregivers.”
While 51 percent of older Americans in the study reported no difficulty with routine tasks, “29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or getting around in the previous month,” said co-author Vicki A. Freedman, Ph.D., a research professor with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
“Another 20 percent reported that they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own,” she said.
Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities such as bathing, meals or taking medications.
Substantial numbers of older adults living outside of nursing homes experience adverse consequences from unmet care needs.
There is a growing need for improved community-based services and support for older Americans and their caregivers.
IN THE battle against Ebola, mobile phones could be invaluable—not just in themselves, as devices that can be used to send people public-health information or let them call helplines, but also because of the data they generate.
In the U.S., one in five children struggles with a learning and/or attention issue. That’s 15 million kids ages 3–20, and many of their issues go undiagnosed.
The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources.
As a result, these children often face both academic and social challenges.
However, with the right strategies and support, they can succeed in the classroom—and outside of it, too.
This campaign stems from the idea that parents can sense when their children are struggling but may not know why. Or what to do.
By demonstrating the realities that children with learning and attention issues face daily, the campaign aims to increase the number of parents who are actively helping and seeking help for their kids.
Parents are encouraged to visit Understood.org, a comprehensive free online resource that empowers parents through personalized support, daily access to experts and specially designed tools to help the millions of children with learning and attention issues go from simply coping to truly thriving.
All interested clinicians are invited to participate in the initiative.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced an initiative that will fund successful applicants who work directly with medical providers to rethink and redesign their practices, moving from systems driven by quantity of care to ones focused on patients’ health outcomes, and coordinated health care systems.
These applicants could include group practices, health care systems, medical provider associations and others.
This effort will help clinicians develop strategies to share, adapt and further improve the quality of care they provide, while holding down costs.
Strategies could include:
Giving doctors better access to patient information, such as information on prescription drug use to help patients take their medications properly;
Expanding the number of ways patients are able communicate with the team of clinicians taking care of them;
Banned Supplements Still on the Market – “Many dietary supplements recalled by the FDA for containing banned ingredients find their way back on the shelves, still adulterated, researchers found. “
Camel Cigarette Maker Bans Smoking In Offices – “Camel cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc has banned smoking from its offices and buildings. The company has informed its employees that the use of traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes will no longer be allowed at desks or offices, conference rooms, hallways and elevators. The ban enters into force next year, once the company builds smoking areas for those still wanting to light up indoors.”
Hospital patients rarely wash their hands, may spread disease | Reuters – “Although healthcare workers are urged to wash their hands often and hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere in hospitals, patients are less scrupulous and may be contributing to the spread of hospital-acquired infections, say Canadian researchers. After tracking hundreds of patients in a transplant ward for nearly a year, the study team found that hand washing followed less than a third of bathroom visits, and washing or hand-sanitizer use happened only rarely after patients entered or left a room.”
Gay community under attack in Liberia over Ebola outbreak | Reuters – “Ponpon, an LGBT campaigner in the Liberian capital, says gays have been harassed, physically attacked and a few have had their cars smashed by people blaming them for the hemorrhagic fever, after religious leaders in Liberia said Ebola was a punishment from God for homosexuality.”
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is directing all health insurers in Washington state to identify any policyholders who had mental health services denied because of a blanket or categorical exclusion since Jan. 1, 2006 and notify them of their right to have their claim re-evaluated.
The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that Washington’s Mental Health Parity Act prevents insurers from using blanket exclusions for mental health services that may be medically necessary.
“The court ruled decisively on behalf of Washington consumers, and I intend to see that insurers doing business in our state follow through on this decision,” Kreidler said. “I expect the insurers to do a thorough review of all policyholders who may have current and past claims that may be impacted by this decision and to start the process immediately.” Continue reading →
While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than one in six hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die each year from them—more than from car crashes and gun shots combined.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die from them each year.
from themA Kaiser Health News analysis found 695 hospitals with higher than expected rates for at least one of the six types of infections tracked by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 13 states and the District of Columbia, a quarter or more of hospitals that the government evaluated were rated worse than national benchmarks the CDC set in at least one infection category, the KHN analysis found.
The missteps Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital made this month in handling an Ebola patient echo mistakes hospitals across the nation have made in dealing with homegrown infections. Continue reading →
U.S. to funnel travelers from Ebola-hit region through five airports | Reuters – “Restrictions on passengers whose trips originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea were announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and due to go into effect on Wednesday. The precautions stop well short of the travel ban sought by some U.S. lawmakers to prevent more Ebola cases in the United States. “
Two years ago this month, the University of Washington founded its Palliative Care Center of Excellence to provide greater support to people with serious illnesses. The start of that center coincided with an increase in the use of palliative care around the country.