Category: Community - Original Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
It's no secret that minorities face unique challenges when it comes to health. A tendency to be "reactive" as opposed to "proactive" can prove deadly when it comes to tackling our biggest concerns related to wellness. Gift of Life MOTTEP aims to change that that fact.
The non-profit organization hosted its 4th annual Kountz, Callendar & Drew transplant symposium to discuss current disparities in organ donation. Physicians, professionals, medical students and members of the community came together to discuss what it will take to improve the number of minorities who participate in giving the"gift of life".
National MOTTEP Founder Clive Callendar, M.D., spoke about his experience as a pioneer in transplant surgery. Dr. Callendar expressed the importance of educating the community to get more people interested in organ donation. He also called attention to a growing trend in the medical field he expects will bring great innovation.
"The next horizon that we really need to address is stem cell transplantation."
Dr. Callendar compared the topic to the initial transplant research of the 1980's. He expressed that current developments continue to gain momentum across the globe. People are becoming increasingly interested in "stem cell" possibilities, and what that means for the future of the health care industry.
"In the next 5 to 10 years, stem cell research could be the area that dramatically lowers health care costs", said Dr. Callendar.
The sole surviving member of MOTTEP's founding trio, Dr. Callendar stated major concerns for our community also include management of Diabetes and Hypertension. He also called attention to "institutionalized racism" and how it contributes to inequalities related to minority health. Dr. Callendar expressed that certain factors continue to negatively impact wellness, and there is room for improvement. He proposed that solutions must be predicated on "the power of an educated and empowered community".
"Right now, we win the race from the cradle to the grave. That's a race we want to lose."
African Americans face overwhelming disparities, yet they are not alone. Other minority groups struggle with poor quality of health. A major culprit that keeps doctors from saving more lives is the low rate of organ donation, particularly among certain ethnicities. In fact, some cultures harbor beliefs and values that contribute to their denial of giving. Keynote speaker Isabel Yuriko Stenzel Byrnes spoke about disparities among Asian cultures. Born of mixed parentage- her mother is Japanese and her father is German- Byrnes addressed how traditional views toward spirituality, death and the human body in general influence donor rates among Asians.
An organ donor recipient, Byrnes talked about her and her twin sister's battle with Cystic Fibrosis. She told the stories of the individuals who died tragically, yet gave them the "gift of life". Over time, the siblings grew close to others fighting the disease. Through community activism, traveling the world and even writing a memoir, Byrnes continues to spread the word about an important cause she feels has yet to gain the national attention it deserves.
"The Asian American presence in the organ donation conversation is lacking."
Byrnes' spoke about an experience that is not unique to Japanese culture. It mimics a stigma witnessed among individuals of various ethnic groups. Dr. Anita Moncrease, Medical Director of Detroit Health and Wellness Promotions, discussed a widespread distrust of the health care industry that exists among African Americans. Historic events like the Tuskegee Experiment only exacerbate such concerns. Other issues that impact black households relate to overall apathy and a lack of awareness.
Following the keynote address was a physician-led panel that discussed laws related to organ donation. Panelists addressed the question of, what should be the default rule? They describes the tremendous burden placed on family members when individuals fail to make a decision with regard to donating their organs. Doctors shared stories illustrating the loopholes of current legislation. Dr. Miguel West, Clinical Chief of Transplant Services and Surgical program director at Harper Hospital, shared a heart-wrenching account of presumed consent "gone wrong". A hospital in Washington D.C. came under fire for taking organs from a Virginia resident who died shortly after being flown in for trauma he endured during a horrific car accident. State law mandated their decision, however it was vehemently opposed by the widow of the deceased. She alleged it went against her husband's wishes. In stark contrast, fellow panelist Harry Lucas gave a heartfelt testimony of his family's decision to donate the organs of his daughter April, who died after a brain aneurysm.
Both stories illustrate the tension surrounding such a controversial subject. Many individuals avoid making the decision only to leave their families in limbo. Attorney Lance Gable discussed the importance of having an "advanced directive" to take the burden off their shoulders.
The symposium covered several important subjects ranging from obesity to palliative care and Hospice. Gift of Life MOTTEP seeks to encourage awareness through promoting knowledge that helps community members achieve wellness, yet prepare for the worse. While many medical professionals were in attendance, the event served to benefit all.
Teresa Harris, a guest speaker who currently awaits a Kidney transplant, shared why she feels the symposium has something for everyone.
"I think it's a really good opportunity for patients and their families to be informed about what's going on with their health."
Spreading awareness through education is perhaps the most effective proactive measure the community as a whole can take to improve health conditions. By focusing what must be done to resolve certain challenges, members can do their best to ensure they do not reach a fatal degree.
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @MissBritneySp
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 15:00
Category: Community Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
For the best in an incredible Sunday brunch experience, an endless array of mouthwatering choices await diners at any one of the locations listed here. Whether you want a fancy beef, ham or turkey carving station, a delicious offering of various shellfish like crab legs, oysters and shrimp or the perennial favorites like waffles and made to order omelets, they are all available at either one of these upscale restaurants in a posh atmosphere. The only thing better would be breakfast in bed.
Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café
400 Monroe St.
Step into a dining and entertainment experience like no other. Created in the historic Greektown district of downtown Detroit, the restaurant captures the fine dining and festive atmosphere of the New Orleans French Quarter replete with a Sunday jazz brunch.
Cuisine: Creole, Cajun American
5 Best Brunch Restaurants in Detroit
unionstreetdetroit.com (313) 831-3965 -
4145 Woodward Ave
Great Southern-style old-time cooking! Their chicken and waffles are superb!Great desserts! Devil’s Food cake, Apple Pie Alamode & Sweet Potato Pie is Amazing!!
(313) 393-4930 -
575 Bellevue St
Atlas Global Bistro
Atlas, with its “global” cuisine, brings a deliciously unique flair to the city of Detroit. Situated in the historic Addison Building in the Brush Park District, Atlas offers diners the complete upscale dining experience – exquisite food, expertly prepared and presented in a classic and urban setting
The Majestic Café
Under the direction of its new chef, the Majestic Café boasts an entirely new menu rooted in American comfort foods with a modern spin featuring local ingredients and fresh produce.
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 March 2013 19:43
Category: Community Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
Against a backdrop of picketers, Gov. Rick Snyder stood alone on the stage -- save for a single chair -- at the Michigan Chronicle’s Pancakes and Politics breakfast at the Detroit Athletic Club on Thursday morning to address a receptive crowd of city and state officials, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and educators. Snyder spoke frankly about a wide range of hotbed issues, with Detroit’s Emergency Manager and the Right To Work mandate being at the forefront. Real Times Media CEO and Michigan Chronicle publisher, Hiram Jackson noted that Thursday, March 28 marked the implementation of Michigan’s Right To Work law, and that he could not have foreseen that action when he began planning the event almost a year ago. “This can be a time of chaos and confusion, but I think of it as a time of clarity,” said Jackson.
Michigan is the 24th state to enact a Right to Work law.
The Pancakes and Politics forum is recognized as one of Detroit's premier platforms for providing opportunities for government, public and private sectors to dialogue and candidly discuss challenges and solutions for the City of Detroit and its residents.
Moderated by CBS Channel 62’s Carol Cain, Michigan’s 48th governor opened with candor and frankness. “Typically we just hear about the negatives,” remarked Snyder. “We shouldn’t avoid the negatives, we need to do better … but at the same time we should talk about the good things going on. The question is, 'Are our common goals the same?' ”
When asked about his stance on unions and RTW, Gov. Snyder replied, “I prefer [the term] Freedom to Work. I respect the unions. But, time has evolved and the issue is has their role evolved enough for what we have today. It’s not an issue about being anti-union, it’s about being pro worker.”
Gov. Snyder told Pancake and Politics participants that his office is already receiving positive feedback from companies around the nation who were previously opposed to moving operations to Michigan, but are now considering a presence in the state since the law’s enactment. “It would be a dumb business move for them to tell you that … but Michigan is more competitive [now].”
“The [RTW] issue was on the table, it was divisive and it was not going to go away, so I had to make a decision. That’s what happened. It’s done and it’s over with,” said Snyder
Snyder also informed the crowd of more than 300 that his administration was reversing labor trends by bringing jobs back to Michigan from Mexico.
“I am for a positive, forward-looking, inclusive Michigan, instead of looking backward at the good old days and not looking forward to a bright future,” he concluded before the Politics and Pancakes open question discussion.
When Michigan Chronicle senior editor Bankole Thompson asked the governor to address Detroit’s Emergency Financial management, Snyder responded that several factors had to be considered.
“I am a supportive partner here. First there is the financial stability of the city … and do we have short term cash management working appropriately … and do we have the long term management in hand.
It is [to establish] the platform for longer terms of success, and to move forward post-EM," said Snyder, remarking that significant improvement in city services, financial stability and a framework for long term management were the benchmarks of emergency managr success.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 09:20
Category: Community Written by Jackie Berg
Mark Hall, vice president of sales, Health Alliance Plan
HAP and Priority Health provide employers the
opportunity to offer health benefits and control costs
Relief is in sight for Michigan employers with 10 – 250 employees, who now have access to a defined contribution health insurance plan that is simple, seamless and solvent.
Royal Oak-based iSelect Custom Benefit Store announced that Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Priority Health will both begin to offer up to 10 iSelect custom health products to private exchange customers this month.
HAP estimates that it will welcome 5,000 – 10,000 new members with the introduction iSelect this year alone, according to Mark Hall, HAP vice president of sales, who is confident that small businesses and their employees will give the product high marks for its ease in implementation and simplicity.
“ISelect gives employers access — through their independent insurance agents —to multiple carriers and a menu of benefit options not available previously in the small and midsized employer market,” commented Denise Christy , iSelect founder and CEO.
With iSelect, employers will be able to control benefit costs and choose amongst carriers while employees can select and customize their benefits, according to Christy.
The program offers a win-win to business customers, which must provide health benefits to employees or pay a penalty as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully enacted in 2014.
Employers will make a single defined monthly payment, which simplifies the financial and budgeting aspects of offering a health plan.
Containing health annual health insurance costs is a priority for many business owners, who are paying 12 percent increases on group policies annually, according to Christy.
“Until now, there haven’t been many ways they could cut costs aside from increasing payroll deductibles or dropping benefits,” she states.
Defined contribution plans allow employers to set a budget for health care costs. Employees, allocated a pre-determined amount to spend on benefits in the exchange, will pay for their contributions through payroll deductions.
“We’ve been bombarded with positive comments about iSelect,” states Hall. “Agents love its customer-friendly technology platform, which helps employees choose and navigate benefit options that best fit their own unique needs.”
Business owners concerned about rate increases associated with carriers experiencing higher claim levels than anticipated, won’t have to worry that their employees will have to bear unanticipated cost increases, according to Hall who noted that the risk in the iSelect model is not different than what HAP offers with its defined benefit plans now.
“Future increases will be in line with the current market, but employers will be able to better buget for health care expenses going forward using this tools and allowing employees to make individual plan selections” stated Hall.
Powered by Liazon, iSelect’s custom benefits store’s exclusive private exchange partner, the benefits store makes it easy for enrollees to select and track their benefits costs and utilization.
As important, HAP customers will have the added benefit of HAP’s award-winning customer service support with iSelect.
“Independent iSelect agents and customers will have the power of HAP specialists behind them, who stand ready to provide customers with personal concierge-level support for up to a two-year period following their iSelect election.
Complying with ACA will not be entirely seamless for many primary care providers, who can expect to see a initial flood of new patients, many of whom may have been previously uninsured or unable to afford preventative care.
They will need to be prepared to face challenges associated with patient collections required in the iSelect model.
ISelect customers will have access to consumer-friendly tools and easy-to-understand wellness materials, according to its partners.
Providing scheduled preventative care and early interventions are critical components of health care reform aimed at creating healthier communities. Good Rx for us all.
Editor’s Note: Jackie Berg is the CMO of the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper and Publisher of LivingWELL Magazine.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 08:48
Category: Community - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The Shirt Box has announced its partnership with metro Detroit non-profit Heart 2 Hart Detroit to launch the “Soles for the City” campaign. Beginning April 1, the campaign will serve as a collection for new and gently used shoes and boots throughout the metro Detroit area to benefit Detroit’s homeless population.
Individuals are encouraged to donate new and gently used shoes and boots to The Shirt Box during business hours, Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday, 9:30 – 7 p.m. Shoes will then be collected by Heart 2 Hart Detroit and distributed to individuals in need. The Shirt Box is located at 32500 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills.
According to the National Survey of Programs and Services for Homeless Families, Michigan had an estimated 1,825 homeless families on a single night in 2011 and Detroit had the third highest number of both homeless individuals (11,913) and persons in families (6,149) in the country in 2008.
“Footwear is often overlooked,” said Heart 2 Hart Detroit founder Larry Oleinick. “There continues to be an ever-growing need for new and gently-used shoes and boots among the homeless population that we serve.”
Heart 2 Hart Detroit was established to address the needs of homeless individuals living in the Detroit Metropolitan area. Deliveries of clothing, shoes, packed lunches and toiletries are made three times a week to Hart Plaza and the surrounding area and shelters.
Heart 2 Hart Detroit volunteers pride themselves on providing more than tangible items to the individuals they meet. The organization places an emphasis on building relationships with the people they serve by starting conversations and offering words of encouragement, with a goal of establishing a sense of consistency within a community that has little to rely on.
“The seasons are changing and as we begin to clean out our closet and tuck away our winter gear it is important that we remember how much another person could benefit from the shoes that we may no longer have any use for,” said Ron Elkus, co-owner of The Shirt Box.
For more information about the Soles for the City shoe drive, contact The Shirt Box at (248) 851-6770.
For more information about Heart 2 Hart Detroit please visit www.h2hd.org or call (248) 884-4434.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 15:37
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