Monday, December 21, 2009

Black Health News: EMTs Stand By as Pregnant Woman Dies

A pregnant Brooklyn woman suffering a fatal seizure in a coffee shop in the shadow of FDNY Headquarters was ignored by two callous city medics who continued to buy their breakfast, eyewitnesses told The Post.

"The EMTs just said we had to call 911. They got their bagels and left," said a disgusted worker.

Frantic employees at the Au Bon Pain at 1 Metrotech Center approached the FDNY medics at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9, shortly after colleague Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25, began to complain of shortness of breath and intense stomach pains. Workers immediately dialed 911.

NO HELP: Witnesses say that as Eutisha Revee Rennix (above) lay dying at a Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 600 feet from FDNY headquarters, two EMTs on break refused to assist her, leaving son Jahleel, 3, motherless.


NO HELP: Witnesses say that as Eutisha Revee Rennix (above) lay dying at a Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 600 feet from FDNY headquarters, two EMTs on break refused to assist her, leaving son Jahleel, 3, motherless.

"People were calling out saying, 'She's turning blue! She's pregnant!' " said the witness.

But the EMTs appeared unfazed.

"I remember them saying they couldn't do anything because they were on their break," another worker said. "We started screaming and cursing at them."

Rennix fell in a heap and began foaming at the nose and mouth in the back room.

That sent a manager rushing to the front to again ask someone in the Metrotech coffee shop to help.

This time, two good Samaritans in blue FDNY sweaters ran to the back office. One called 911 from his cellphone while the other tried to help keep Rennix still.

Read more:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: Woman Imitates Healthcare Worker to Kill Another Woman’s Baby

Keisha Jones, 38, a mother of four, is married to Anthony, who has been involved with another woman for the past three years. Monique Hunter, 25, is the other woman and didn't have a clue that her lover was a married man. Hunter became pregnant with Anthony's baby, and the plot that ensues unravels like a Lifetime movie.

When Jones found out about Hunter's pregnancy, she devised a diabolical plan to get rid of the young woman's baby. She started by calling her husband's mistress, pretending to be a health care worker from Hunter's doctor's office. Jones explained to the young pregnant woman that she needed to take some medication that would prevent her from having a child with Down syndrome. The drug that Jones recommended was Cytotec, which can ripen a woman's cervix and induce labor.


Click to read.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black News: Towanna Freeman on Domestic Violence

One in every four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime, women 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk, and most cases of domestic abuse are never reported to the police. Victims of domestic abuse often feel as though no one will believe them, or they think they have nowhere to go for help. Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to control and dominate someone.  Domestic abuse comes in many forms; the most common includes criminal behavior such as physical assault, sexual abuse, and stalking, as well as noncriminal behavior including emotional and psychological abuse.  An abuser can be a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member.

The following are a few red flags that should be taken seriously:  jealousy, isolation, threats of violence, verbal abuse, controlling behavior, does not respect privacy, and disrespects others.  If someone you know demonstrates one or more of these characteristics on a consistent basis, he or she has the potential of being an abuser.  Often these red flags are not obvious at the start of any relationship, but if you see these characteristics get out of the relationship and seek help immediately. Here are some steps you can take to help a friend experiencing domestic abuse:

1. Tell your friend, “I see what is going on.”

2. Tell your friend, “Abuse is not their fault and it is not normal.”

3. Tell your friend, “You deserve a healthy non-violent relationship.”

4. Tell your friend, “The number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.”

5. Ask your friend, “How can I help support you?”

Everyone has the power to prevent domestic abuse not just those who are directly affected.  The proactive actions of a bystander in the prevention of domestic abuse send a powerful message to both the victim and the abuser. 

To report domestic abuse or learn about prevention and services call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Depression Hits the Black Community Hard



Dr George and Delores Jones, a correspondent for AOL speak about dealing with depression and change through inspiration and spirituality. 

Click here to listen!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dr. Elaina George: Does the Health Care Bill Help or Hurt Us?


Dr. Elaina George, MD

The health care reform bill (HR 3962) that just passed the House of Representatives is bad on so many levels it is difficult explain. As it stands, it will destroy both the doctor patient relationship and change the practice of medicine as we know it.

We have one of the finest health care systems in the world. It has been built on a foundation of choice. Doctors were free to choose the care that they deemed necessary to treat their patients, and patients were free to seek the medical care of their choice. Initially, the foundation was shaken by the rise of the managed care system with capitation. However, over the past 10 years, capitated plans which limit access to specialists have given way to the rise in power of insurance companies. They have used their anti-trust exemption to craft a system that has used monopoly to increase profits on the backs of both doctors and patients.

Click to read.

Black News: Swine Flu Vaccines Go to Executives First?

BusinessWeek has broken the story that large employers like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among the first on the list to receive the H1N1 vaccine.Clusterstock, the business blog, has added the nuance that not only has Goldman Sachs received the same number of vaccinations as Lennox Hill hospital in New York City -- the finance giant got its hands on the doses beforemany hospitals.
Goldman Sachs' PR reps want to make it clear to the public that the CDC distributes vaccines to many types of large employers, such as Time Warner and New York University. The idea is to get the vaccine to people at many points of potential infection, giving the H1N1 vaccine to those who come into contact regularly with high risk groups within large companies. Goldman Sachs has received 200 H1N1 vaccines, Citigroup 1,200.
This "guest list" treatment makes sense for some early recipients of the H1N1 vaccine. Hospital workers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System clearly need early protection -- and got some of the first doses along with Goldman.

Click to read.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Your Black News: Congress Soon to Vote on HealthCare Reform Bill

This show is an interview between Dr. Elaina George and Dr Emelita Breyer.  Dr. Breyer is from the Breyer Foundation, an independent organization dedicated to finding solutions to health care reform that does not add to the deficit, or raise money on the backs of the people through taxation.

She has a thorough understanding of the sanctity of the doctor patient relationship. And has real solutions that will protect the things that make the US healthcare system the best in the world.

Click here to listen!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ever Want to Know What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine?


by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

There has been a lot of confusion about what ingredients are in the H1N1 Vaccine. In order to distill the information to make it easier for you to make an informed choice, here is a brief synopsis of the information provided by the manufacturers in their package inserts.

There are 4 manufactures who have been approved to sell H1N1 vaccine in the US. They are: Novartis, CSL, Sanofi/Pasteur and MedImmune

1. Novartis makes an injectable vaccine for ages 4 and above

Ingredients: Thimerosal (Mercury) both in the single dose and the multi dose vials

Antibiotics - polymyxin and neomycin (can be neurotoxic)

Manufactured with phenol (the chemical used on skin in cosmetic face peals to remove wrinkles)

Note: They recommend that children ages 4-9 get 2 injections one month apart. This would increase the risk from a reaction to the mercury (e.g, neurological damage such as Gullain-Barre or possibly Autism)


Click to read more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dr. George Has it out with Michael Baisden and the HHS Secretary

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Dr. Elaina  George and Michael Baisden break down the hype and misinformation about the Swine flu.  Dr. George has a great deal to say about whether or not we should be signing up to get the shots.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Black Health News: Swine Flu Declared National Emergency

Hundreds of residents line up for free H1N1 vaccinations Friday at an Encino, California, clinic.

President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.

"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.

"Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."

The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday.

Calling the emergency declaration "an important tool in our kit going forward," one administration official called Obama's action

Click to read.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dr. Deborah Stroman Gives Health Tips

Deborah Stroman

by Dr. Deborah Stroman, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Do you need a simple rule to begin a smart nutrition routine? Try to make a change in your diet by “avoiding the whites” – those additives that supposedly will make your food taste just right or have the right consistency. To live well and be healthy, we need to make changes that may feel uncomfortable at first and possibly illogical to friends and family.

Salt, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, accounts for nearly 150,000 premature deaths every year primarily due to complications from high blood pressure. We do need ~ 6g of salt per day to live. Sadly, the average intake of salt is between 9g and 10g a day! Salt is a commonly occurring mineral, the technical name of which is sodium chloride. It is the sodium part of salt that is important. Sodium helps to maintain the concentration of body fluids at correct levels. It also plays a central role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the nerves, and helps cells process nutrients.

Click to read.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dr. Elaina George – Medicine on Call: Natural Swine Flu Remedies

In this episode of Medicine on Call, Dr. Elaina George speaks with Dr Maiysha Clairborne of Mind, Body, Spirit, Wellness.  we spoke about natural approaches to prevent and treat swine flu. Overall natural remedies to reduce stress and promote overall wellness.


Click here to listen!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The High Cost of Insurance: Americans Struggle

"The high cost of each premium and the high deductible a person or family must pay per year is my biggest complaint against health insurers."

"For example, I pay around $300 a month for my wife and me for basic coverage, and pay a deductible of $750 each every year, not to mention a co-pay of $15 to $20 at the window."

"My yearly income is around $32,000 a year. Very little is left for goodies. Meanwhile, a doctor takes in $80 to $120 a visit that lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Imagine how much he makes a day, a week, a month, a year. Plenty of goodies here."


Click to read.

Black Health News: Swine Flu Kills 76 US Children

Vanessa Chan, 6, of Boston, receives an intranasal H1N1 vaccine ...

Health officials said Friday that 76 U.S. children have died of swine flu, including 19 new reports in the past week — more evidence the new virus is unusually dangerous for the young.

The regular flu kills between 46 and 88 children a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That suggests deaths from the new H1N1 virus could dramatically outpace children's deaths from seasonal flu, if swine flu continues to spread as it has.

CDC officials say 10 more states, a total of 37, now have widespread swine flu. A week ago, reports suggested that cases might be leveling off and even falling in some areas of the country, but that did not turn out to be an enduring national trend.

"We are seeing more illness, more hospitalizations, and more deaths," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said at a press conference Friday.

The new virus, first identified in April, is a global epidemic. The CDCdoesn't have an exact count of all swine flu deaths and hospitalizations, but existing reports suggest more than 600 have died and more than 9,000 have been hospitalized. Health officials believe millions of Americans have caught the virus.

The virus is hitting young people harder. Experts believe older people are suffering from it less, perhaps because they have a bit of immunity from exposure over the years to somewhat similar viruses.


Click to read.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr. Elaina George is Adamant about the Swine Flu Vaccine

by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World 

I have had several patients ask me whether or not they should get the swine flu (H1N1) vaccine. My response has been the same. I will not be getting the vaccine because I don’t think it is safe.

I am an MD who was trained to practice medicine the old fashioned way. My education was based on understanding and treating disease. As a surgeon, I was taught that in some cases surgical correction is the most efficient and expedient way to fix a problem or cure a disease. In short, I have a healthy respect for the standard medical care that is practiced in this country.

However, over the past 10 years since I have been in practice, I have seen a disturbing trend that has become increasingly more common. Although we have the most advanced medical system in the world, the best trained physicians, and access to new and ever evolving medications, we as a nation and particularly the minority population are getting sicker at a younger age, and our quality of life is suffering. There are more people suffering from depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities than at any time in our history. Unfortunately, we have learned to manage diseases by taking a pill everyday instead of doing what it takes to prevent the illness in the first place. It is past time to look to good nutrition and prevention as a means of preventing and curing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and some cancers which have risen to epidemic levels.

When I made the personal decision to ask questions about the Swine flu vaccine, the answers that I discovered contradicted the mantra that has been championed by the media, government officials, and the vaccine manufacturers. What we are being told simply does not make any sense. The most important question that I have learned to ask (from the politics of healthcare to every other facet of our society that affects us as individuals) is - who stands to gain?

I will not be getting the swine flu vaccine because:

  1. The vaccine makers have been given immunity from being sued for any bad outcome

After the deaths and injuries associated with the Swine flu vaccination campaign in 1976, the vaccine manufacturers lost billions of dollars in civil suits. That cannot happen this time around. Congress has since passed two bills that shield vaccine makers from civil suits. The first in 1986 protects vaccine makers from civil suits filed by people who have been injured by a vaccine due to ‘unavoidable side effects’. In 2006 another iteration of the shield law (The Epidemic Preparedness Act) was passed as part of the Patriot Act and extends the shield to include protection if the drug maker has ‘no willful knowledge’ that a vaccine may cause injury. In short, a maker of the Swine flu vaccine simply has to say they didn’t know the vaccine was going to cause harm then they cannot be sued. This won’t be hard to do since they have not fully tested the vaccine.

  1. There are many ingredients in vaccines called adjuvants that are put in to stimulate the immune response

Click to read.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dr. Wilmer Leon: Time to Change the Healthcare Debate


Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Howard University 

According to 2008 US Census Bureau data, approximately 47 million, or 15.8 percent of the US population, were without health insurance during 2006 - a 4.9 percent increase. In 2005, census figures showed that 44.8 million people, or about 15.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance coverage. According to a report released by the Institute on Medicine, the average cost of family health care coverage more than doubled from 1999 to 2008, from $1,543 to $3,354.

    Based upon these realities, presidential candidate Obama made health care reform a central theme of his campaign. He promised to achieve universal health care in his first term and to cut the average family's health care health care costs by $2,500. In the on-going health care reform debate, it is very important to remember that as a result of this and other campaign promises, President Obama won the 2008 presidential election with 53 percent of the popular vote to Senator McCain's 46 percent and 68 percent of the Electoral College vote to McCain's 36 percent.

    According to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken in June, 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. According to a June poll conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 83 percent of respondents favored and only 14 percent opposed "creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase." These numbers indicate that health care reform is very important to the American people.

Click to read.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Your Health News: High Vaccine Costs Lead Physicians to Stop Offering Immunizations


Parents who bring their kids to Dr. G. Andrew McIntosh for the chicken pox vaccine are out of luck.

The family physician, who has a solo practice in Uniontown, Ohio, doesn't offer that shot because he can't afford it. Most insurers won't sufficiently cover the cost.

"It doesn't do me any good. I am losing money on [them]," he said. The chicken pox vaccine runs about $115, but insurers only cover between $68 to $83 of that.

McIntosh has also cut back on a handful of other critical childhood vaccines for the same reason -- including the measles, mumps and rubella, known as the MMR vaccine.

It costs him about $58 to buy an MMR shot, he said, while insurers pay about about $40.


click to read.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

What You Should Know about the Swine Flu Shot

Dr. Elaina George, MD, Your Black World Medical Contributor

With the H1N1 swine flu virus vaccine becoming available this month, there is a big push to vaccinate as many people as possible. However, whether

or not you decide to take the vaccine, there are important questions you should ask your doctor or other health practitioner to make sure it is the right choice for you and your family.

1. Does the Vaccine contain additives such as mercury or squaline?

Additives called adjuvants like mercury (thiamerisol) are added to inhibit bacterial contamination. However, some studies have

implicated mercury as a cause of autism and squaline as a cause of neurological damage respectively.

2. How can I avoid getting a vaccine that contains mercury?

Ask to receive your vaccine from a single dose vial. Unlike the multiple dose vials which contain thiamerisol, the single dose

vials do not contain that additive.

Click to read.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dr. Elaina George on the Dangers of Prescription Medication

by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

According to a recent CNN report 7% of college students admit to using Adderall without a prescription. It is an amphetamine-like stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorders (ADD) and attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug, come to known as ‘vitamin A’, is taken by students to improve their grades. It is believed to help them study more efficiently by increasing the ability to stay awake and concentrate longer. It is more potent than caffeine or the old standbys No-Doze and Mountain Dew.

When prescribed by a physician for an individual with ADD or ADHD, Adderall is an effective and safe drug. Unfortunately, like many other prescription drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Oxycontin, which have become easy to get on the Internet and on the black market, its ubiquitous use has taken away the fear factor. There is little regard for the potential side effects such as heart problems, stroke, tremors, and addiction.

In fact both prescription drugs and over the counter drugs have been reduced to quick fixes that are used to ‘make a problem go away’. There is a pervasive feeling that if it is a prescription drug or if it is sold over the counter, then it must be safe. This has been encouraged by the aggressive direct to patient marketing by the pharmaceutical industry.

Click to read.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Kills the Public Option

From USA Today

Liberal Democrats failed Tuesday to inject a government-run insurance option into sweeping health care legislation taking shape in the Senate Finance Committee, despite widespread accusations that private insurers routinely deny coverage in pursuit of higher profits.

The 15-8 rejection marked a victory for Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the committee chairman, who is hoping to push his middle-of-the-road measure through the panel by week's end. It also kept alive the possibility that at least one Republican may yet swing behind the bill, a key goal of both Baucus and the White House.

"My job is to put together a bill that gets to 60 votes" in the full Senate, the Montana Democratsaid shortly before he joined a majority on the committee in opposing the provision. "No one shows me how to get to 60 votes with a public option," the term used to describe a new government role in health care. It takes 60 votes to overcome delaying actions thatRepublicans may attempt on the Senate floor.


Click to read.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Black Health News: Company Now Selling “Sippin Syrup” in Stores


You see it all over television, celebrities endorsing "syrup," which is a combination of cough syrup with codeine and soda, two ingredients that can make for a lethal recipe.

Stores in Southeast Texas are now carrying the products that bear the names "drank" and "syrup", but with a different twist.

Drank and Sippin Syrup are two examples of a new anti-energy drink that is supposed to provide "extreme relaxation." There is nothing harmful in these products, in fact one of the main ingredients is Melatonin, a natural substance that helps you sleep.

18-year-old Jackie Robinson says he just started drinking this anti-energy drink because of the slogan, "sippin syrup."

"I ain't gonna lie it really do," said Robinson Wednesday afternoon as he sipped his drink outside a Beaumont convenient store. "It probably attracts a lot of people from the name too."


Click to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dr Elaina George: 5 Ways to Stay Healthy

by Dr Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

Instead of waiting for the outcome of the healthcare debate to decide your fate, use some simple common sense strategies to take back the power to control your own health.

  1. Start exercising

An increase in activity of as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week can make a difference in your risk of heart disease,

diabetes and obesity. You don’t have to get fancy with a gym membership. Try taking the stairs at work instead of the

elevator, or park further from the entrance when you go to the market or mall.

2. Eat Smaller portions

You may not want to give up your junk food or fried food, but try to limit your portions. Instead of buying a six pack

of soda, buy a two liter bottle. You can better control the portions along with your intake of calories.

Click to read.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obama Talks Healthcare at the CBC Convention

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wave as ...

From Yahoo News

President BarackObama on Saturday resumed his push to overhaul the health care system, telling a Congressional Black Caucus conference that there comes a time when "the cup of endurance runs over."

"We have been waiting for health reform since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. We've been waiting since the days of Harry Truman," he said in remarks at the caucus foundation's annual dinner. "We've been waiting since Johnson and Nixon and Clinton."

"We cannot wait any longer," Obama said.

Obama spent the past week largely focused on global and economic issues in meetings with world leaders in New York and Pittsburgh.

At the G-20 economic summit that wrapped up Friday in Pennsylvania, Obama told a story about an unnamed foreign leader who privately told the president he didn't understand the at-times contentious debate over changing the health care system.

"He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you. That doesn't make sense to me,'" Obama said, quoting the world leader he declined to identify.


Click here to read.

Your Black World

Friday, September 25, 2009

Your Black Health News: First Swine Flu Vaccines Set to Arrive Oct 5

USA Today, Your Black World

U.S. health officials say the first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the U.S. vaccine shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics and other providers designated by each state.

States are expected to begin ordering their share of the nation's H1N1 flu vaccine on Wednesday, said Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. That day, the CDC brings its secure ordering site online.

Distribution will start with 6 million to 7 million doses of the nasal spray vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. Forty million doses of injectable vaccine are due to arrive soon after, with another 10 million to 20 million doses due weekly.


Click to read.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dr. Elaina George: Why are there Not Enough Doctors?


by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

Reports estimate that 50-60% of doctors will be sued during the course of their career. However, only 10-20% of those cases actually go to trial. Of those that go to trial, doctors are found innocent of malpractice 80% of the time. This demonstrates the fact that although the perception exists that there may be a lot of bad doctors practicing bad medicine this is actually not the case.

Unfortunately, this perception has led to an explosion in the costs of practicing medicine. Over the last 5-10 years medical malpractice premiums have gone through the roof from primary care to neurosurgery. In Florida, for example, malpractice premiums for OB-GYNs have risen to as high as 250,000 per year. This staggering statistic highlights the unintended consequence of limiting access to medical care for women who live in those states. Florida is not alone, it is happening all over the country. Physicians have either moved out of state, retired early, or they have restricted the type of medicine they practice because they cannot afford the cost of doing business.

Click to read.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Health News: Insane Killer On the Loose: Questions about Mental Health


A legally insane killer was on the loose in the state of Washington on Saturday, two days after he escaped during a field trip to a county fair, authorities said.

Authorities are combing Washington state for Phillip Paul, who is described as a criminally insane killer.

Phillip Paul was able to elude a massive manhunt in Spokane County, Washington, after escaping on Thursday, a spokesman for the sheriff's department said.

Though Paul had been confined in a mental institution because of a murder confession, he was allowed to be part of a trip to a county fair Thursday.

Paul, 47, escaped from the fair around noon, which launched the massive manhunt and brought criticism from many, including state government officials. Sheriff's officials told CNN affiliate KREM-TV that Paul also escaped briefly in 1991 and assaulted a law enforcement officer.

A review has been launched on the incident along with the policy that allows patients to take trips, said Susan Dreyfus, secretary of the state's Department of Social and Health Services.

Dreyfus said she was concerned about Paul's escape and another recent brief escape by a patient at a different local mental facility.

"These incidents, separate and coincidental, have raised serious questions about the security readiness of our two state psychiatric hospitals," Dreyfus said.

Click to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Your Black News: Obama Says Race Not an Issue in Healthcare Debate

President Barack Obama said Friday that angry criticisms about his health care agenda are driven by an intense debate over the proper role of government — and not by racism.

"Are there people out there who don't like me because of race? I'm sure there are," Obama told CNN. "That's not the overriding issue here."

The nation's first black president spoke about the issue of race during a battery of interviews on Friday. In a media blitz aimed at pounding home his health care message, he taped interviews with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Univision to be shown during the networks' Sunday morning talk shows.

Some excerpts aired during Friday night broadcasts.

Time and again, Obama was asked about whether the tenor of thehealth care debate turned nasty because of undercurrents in racism.Former President Jimmy Carter raised the point prominently this week when he said the vitriol was racially motivated.

Click to read.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Using a Tooth to Restore Vision?


from the Black Doctors Blog

Doctors in Miami announced Wednesday that they had performed a vision-restoring surgery that used the 60-year-old patient's tooth.

The surgery, the first in the USA, was performed Labor Day weekend at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Afterward, patient Sharron Thornton was able to see for the first time in nine years. "Sharron was able to see 20/60 this morning. She was seeing only shadows a couple of weeks ago," says ophthalmologist and surgeon Victor Perez.

Thornton was blinded in 2000 by a reaction to a drug she was taking, which damaged her cornea. Perez likened Thornton's cornea to a dirty car windshield. He says her eye surface was too dry for a corneal implant, a standard treatment.

Click to read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Should You Divorce just to pay Medical Bills? This Couple Did


from The Huffington Post

For Mary McCurnin and husband Ron Bednar, money trouble has followed health trouble. In 2003, the couple declared bankruptcy after their insurance covered only 10 percent of treatment costs for her breast cancer and his intestinal bleeding. In 2004, McCurnin's breast cancer returned, and Bednar underwent open heart surgery.

Now, after repeatedly refinancing their house to pay medical bills and living expenses, they're broke. To improve their chances of growing old together, they've filed for divorce.

"It occurred to me that I could get my first husband's Social Security," said McCurnin. Her first husband, to whom she'd been married 20 years, died in 1989. When she turns 60 in November, McCurnin said she will be eligible for $1,200 in monthly survivor's benefits from the previous marriage. As the Social Security Administration told her, she can't have the survivor benefit if she's married to someone else.

Read more at:

Your Black Doctors: Elaina George Appears with Michael Baisden


Although many Americans have seen and heard the insane debate over healthcare, almost no one understands what's going on. This is doubly true for the African American community, who is affected greatly by this debate and its outcomes. Most black bloggers aren't talking about it and black doctors are too busy to inform the community.
Michael Baisden got with Dr. Elaina George, a prominent black physician in the Atlanta area, to break down the public option, healthcare and all related issues in the interview below.During the interview, Dr. George and Baisden answer some important questions:

Click to read.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Black Health News: President’s Speech Doesn’t Boost Him in the Polls


President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress last week didn't provide much of a boost to his job approval rating, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows. The nationwide survey pegs his approval at 54%, precisely where it was in two USA TODAY polls in August.

(A separate, daily poll by Gallup showed Obama's approval dipping as low as 50% last month.)

USA TODAY's Susan Page reports that 43% disapprove of the job he's doing, a tick up from the August polls and a new high in the 14 surveys we've taken since the inauguration in January.

That's not to say Rep. Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who heckled the president during his speech, fares well. Two-thirds of those polled, 68%, say they oppose what the congressman did, and about one in four (23%) say they're "outraged" by it. (That group included 41% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans.)


Click to read.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Your Black Healthcare News: People Hold a “Tea Party” to Protest Obama


from USA Today

Tens of thousands of fiscal conservatives packed streets in the nation's capital Saturday to protest what they consider the federal government's out-of-control spending.

Demonstrators filled Freedom Plaza and Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington. They waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress," "I'm Not Your ATM" and "Obamacare makes me sick."

Some men were dressed in colonial costumes with tri-colored hats.

The protesters were marching to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they're calling a "March on Washington."

The Washington march took place on the same day President Obama was headed to Minneapolis to rally support for his heath care reform plan. The plan, which also was the topic of his weekly raido and Internet message, has come under fire from fiscal conservatives who consider it too costly.


Click to read.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Health News: Male or Female?

Shock claims: Caster Semenya celebrates her 800m victory in Berlin last month amid an international row over whether she is a man or a woman

The world of athletics is reeling today after a claim that South African champion runner Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite with no womb or ovaries.

A Sydney newspaper claims it has a world exclusive in revealing the very private information about the sex of the 18-year-old runner.

Quoting a source closely involved with the IAAF, the Sydney Daily Telegraph said Semenya had internal testes - male sexual organs which produce testosterone and which in turn produces muscle bulk, body hair and a deep voice.

What Was Good and Bad about Obama’s Speech? Dr. Elaina George Speaks

by Dr. Elaina George,

The suspense is over. For weeks we have been holding our collective breath to see if there would be real insurance reform. Now we know. President Obama’s speech this evening incorporated a lot of different ideas, but what was most striking was his statement that the public option was just one of the avenues that could be travelled to achieve an expansion of insurance coverage. Besides the demotion of the public option as an important tool to reign in the all powerful insurance companies, I noticed that there was no mention of universal health care. Wasn’t that the point of this whole exercise?

To be fair there are some good things. Under the President’s proposal there will be:

§ Coverage for pre-existing conditions

§ A cap on out-of-pocket expenses

§ People can no longer be dropped from insurance companies when they get sick

§ No further cap on what insurance companies will pay out

It is a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Click to read.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dr. George Advice: Avoiding the Swine Flu


by Dr Elaina George, Your Black World

The government has predicted that there will be a large proportion of the US population that will be infected with the H1N1 virus also known as the swine flu virus. However, according to the CDC each year over 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die each year from seasonal flu complications.

Flu-like symptoms include:

■ fever (usually high)

■ headache

■ extreme tiredness

■ dry cough

■ runny or stuffy nose

■ muscle aches

■ sore throat

■ vomiting

■ sometimes diarrhea

These are the things you need to know to stay healthy in order to avoid both swine flu and common strains that cause flu

1. Stay Home

If you have a fever and/or are feeling ill you should stay home or keep your child home to avoid spreading the virus to others.

2. Get plenty of rest

When you fail to get enough sleep your immune system is less able to fight off viral and bacterial infections. If you have a fever or are feeling fatigue, take a break from the gym

Click to Read.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Your Black Health: Parasites in Your Food

The parasitic life is all about finding niches in the ecosystem and exploiting them for all they're worth. And after billions of years mucking their way through blood vessels and intestines, you better believe they've gotten rather good at it. Untold billions are clamoring for a chance to get inside you -- and it just so happens that the best way to do that is to stow away in your next meal.

In this article, we're going to take a look at a few menu items with a high probability for parasites. By no means does this mean you're guaranteed a belly full of worms with each one! It's essential to stress that proper food storage, fresh ingredients and sanitary food preparation conditions vastly decrease the chances for food contamination.


Click to read.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dr. George: How Do Insurance Companies Try to Hurt You?

by Dr. Elaina George

There is a major misconception about the reasons for the rise in the cost of healthcare. Procedures and the practice of defensive medicine have been described as the main reasons for the exponential rise. However, the reality could not be farther from what is portrayed on TV series like Nip/Tuck. The medical insurance industry has fueled the campaign of misinformation to enhance their divide and conquer strategy. As long as people spend their energy on blaming doctors, they have less energy to pay attention to rising deductibles, premiums and co-insurance. In short, the insurance companies benefit by keeping doctors and patients at odds. In reality when a doctor charges for a procedure or performs a surgery what is paid is no where near the amount that was charged. In short, the increase in patient premiums, deductibles etc… have gone to pay administrative costs and CEO salaries.

These are 6 things you need to know so you can understand the barriers your doctor has to navigate to take good care of you:

  1. Insurance companies change what they will pay for

Through the pre-certification process, insurance companies will change what services they will reimburse. This list can change yearly. It is driven by insurance company costs and not by medical necessity as determined by the doctor and the patient.

Click to read more.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Medicine on Call – The Latest –8/30/09



The latest episode of “Medicine on Call” is here.  Check out Dr. Elaina George, as she breaks down the healthcare news you need.

Click to listen

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Medicine on Call – Dr. Elaina George Gives Advice


Dr Elaina George gives you the medical advice that other doctors won’t give.  Today she discusses alternative methods to treat chronic pain. The audio is below. 


Click here to listen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Julianne Malveaux: Why Black Folks Should Fight for Healthcare Reform

By Julianne Malveaux

Congress seems to be putting the final touches on health care reform legislation, arranging to provide health care, especially, for the uninsured. Anyone who has made the summer rounds of civil rights conventions understand that African American policy makers care about this issue. Still there seems to be no passion in advocacy for heath care reform.

Our presence in this debate is much needed - we have a dog in this fight. African

Americans are more likely than others to be uninsured, so the many ways our new legislation will make insurance available is important. And even when we are insured, the way that health problems hit us are most different. According to the Centers for Disease Control, African Americans and Hispanics "bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, and disability." African Americans, in particular, are more likely to be killed or to die of HIV than others are.

Click to read.

A Doctor’s Take on the Michael Jackson Death


The following is a statement made by Dr. Elaina George, an Otolaryngologist out of Atlanta and advocate for physicians.

‘Michael Jackson did not have a chance’ was my first thought when I read the report that just came out about what caused his untimely and tragic death. I was unprepared for the absolute disregard for the first tenant of the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath – First do no harm.

There was no way that harm would not have come to Mr. Jackson. It was beyond negligent to give him a mixture of three different kinds of sedatives, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant in addition to Propofol, a general anesthetic that is only used in an operating room setting (because it can stop someone’s breathing). Each of these drugs by themselves can be lethal, but together it is a recipe that will almost definitely kill someone. I can think of no medical scenario that would justify mixing these kinds of drugs. Hopefully, Mr. Jackson’s death will teach us that prescription drugs, though helpful are no substitute for doctors doing everything in their power to protect the health of their patients, including just saying no when it is appropriate.

Anna Nicole and Heath Ledger are two celebrities that died from drug interactions. The death of Michael Jackson and his relationship with Dr. Murray is the most recent example that highlights the danger of the ‘doctor on retainer’. This relationship is based on a contract that makes the doctor an employee, in essence changing a relationship that should be equal, to one where the patient can dictate the course of treatment. This shift in power can potentially blur the lines that must be maintained for a healthy doctor/patient relationship. It then can place a physician in a position where he/she may be prescribing medication in a way that is not clinically appropriate because the patient demands it. This needs to be examined and changed.

As a society we need to take a look at the culture of prescription medication as the cure all. There is a perception that we can treat anything by taking a pill. This concept has been fostered by the pharmaceutical industry and their constant advertising. There are pills to make you happy, perform better sexually, help your memory, make you feel younger etc… In reality all of these medications have one thing in common; they simply manage the symptoms instead of healing the problem. Perhaps the best thing that can come out of the tragedy of Michael Jackson’s death is the examination of our culture of disease. Maybe it will change the paradigm to prevention and to healing disease instead of managing it with an endless list of prescription medications.

Monday, August 24, 2009

MJ’s Doctor Had Serious Financial Woes

Dr. Conrad Robert Murray, Michael JacksonAP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Pool Photographer

Hmmm...maybe that's why Dr. Conrad Murray is being so cooperative with the Los Angeles Police Department. And the Las Vegas Police Department. And the Clark County Sheriff's Department. And the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It seems it's not the good doctor's first time at the rodeo.

A check of Michael Jackson's physician's legal past has revealed everything from domestic violence charges (of which he was acquitted) to financial woes (which at one point included a bankruptcy filing) to his latest headache (you know, other than that whole target-of-a-manslaughter-investigation thing), the possibility that his Las Vegas home could soon be foreclosed upon.

Let's hope the feds treaded lightly during yesterday's search. Depreciation can be a real bitch.

Documents filed July 23 with the Clark County Recorder reveal that Murray could face foreclosure on his gated country club estate as soon as November. Though the timing on the filing may seem a bit like kicking Murray when he's down, Jackson's doctor reportedly fell more than $100,000 into debt on the home, with his last payment, of $15,000, being made in January of this year. (Which may be why Murray was so keen to stay in Jackson's good graces and keep the $150,000-a-month salary that came with it.)

As for Murray's less current troubles, here's a rundown of his legal lowlights:

Click to read.

Did Michael Jackson’s Doctor Give Him a Deadly Injection?

Singer Michael Jackson had lethal levels of the drug propofol in his blood when he died, according to court documents.

A search warrant filed in court showed toxicology reports found propofol in Michael Jackson's body.

A search warrant filed in court showed toxicology reports found propofol in Michael Jackson's body.

Los Angeles' coroner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran reached that preliminary conclusion after reviewing toxicology results carried out on Jackson's blood, according to an affidavit.

The drug Diprivan, known by its generic name propofol, is administered intravenously in operating rooms as a general anesthetic, the manufacturer AstraZeneca told CNN.

A source close to the investigation told CNN that Dr. Conrad Murray is believed to have administered the drug to Jackson within 24 hours of his death on June 25.

Investigators have searched Murray's home and clinics for evidence related to the anesthetic propofol, according to documents filed in court.

The drug works as a depressant on the central nervous system.

"It works on your brain," said Dr. Zeev Kain, the chair of the anesthesiology department at the University of California --Irvine. "It basically puts the entire brain to sleep."



Click to read.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Black News: Are Doctors to Blame for the High Cost of Healthcare?

Dr. Elaina George, a prominent family practice physician in Atlanta, has a bone to pick with President Obama. During various healthcare town hall meetings and press conferences, the president has villified doctors as the cause of the high cost of healthcare. But Dr. George doesn't agree.

As one of the few black doctors in America who is taking the time to speak out in the current healthcare debate, Dr. George says that the culprits in the high cost of healthcare are The American Medical Association, hospitals, big pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies. Here is how she breaks it down.

1) Our country has gotten away from preventing illness and is instead engaged in the high cost of managing disease. Dr. George explains in the interview below that rather than actually curing illnesses or preventing them, we simply try to manage them. Her argument, as with many others in the healthcare profession, is that this attitude is driven by the fact that pharmaceutical and insurance companies only maximize profits when people stay sick. Symptoms tend to be treated instead of the underlying cause of the illness, making problems worse in the long-term.

2) According to some physicians, the public option on healthcare may not be as great as it sounds. When it comes to the public option (which is being heavily debated right now), Dr. George argues that while the option may provide health coverage for many Americans who don't have it, it may not cause insurance companies to pay their fair share of the cost of healthcare reform. "The argument that the public option will drive down costs is disingenuous," says Dr. George. "How can a program designed to cover about 10 million people (as per the Congressional Budget Office) really exert any pressure on the health insurance industry when a company like Blue Cross and Blue Shield has over 30 million members and United Healthcare is even larger?"

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where is the Healthcare Debate Right Now?


by Dr. Elaina George

The debate on healthcare reform is in full swing, but no one is paying attention to the long term effects.

I am for universal healthcare in theory. As a physician, I believe that it is a fundamental right. Unfortunately, the way the debate and pending legislation has been crafted, the outcome will result in unintended consequences.

As a physician in solo practice, I am in a unique position to see the outcome if we continue on the path that Congress is proposing in HR 3200.

  1. A single payer system that pays the same rate as Medicare or as the bill stipulates (5% above Medicare) will lead to LESS choice. People are overlooking the fact that most private physicians are currently NOT accepting new Medicare patients because they can’t afford to do so and stay open. There will be no reason for this to change if the reimbursement scale is adopted.

Unintended consequence: The network of private physicians would be smaller and more patients will be placed in a system of fewer physicians, less choice and longer waiting times to be seen. This would have the opposite effect – what is the point of universal healthcare if you don’t have quality physicians to provide it?

2. The proposed healthcare bill sets up a bureaucracy run by a National health insurance commissioner and sets up an insurance “self regulatory agency” – made up of national insurers, national agencies, and insurance producers. There are no physicians or patient advocates.

Click to read.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Healthcare Reform 101

Health care reform for dummies

Walter Gaines Jr., left, who supports health care reform, confronts a man who opposes health care reform in Alhambra, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Dr Tyeese Gaines


With the bombardment of speeches, commentaries and rowdy town forums, many Americans are struggling to decipher the current state of health care reform. Understanding the ins and outs of over 1,600 pages of proposed law is daunting. Unfortunately, there is no politician or any crystal ball that can predict either plan's success at this stage.

To date, two bills have been proposed - the 1,017-page House bill (H.R. 3200) and the 615-page Senate Health Committee bill. A third bipartisan bill is said to be in the works from the Senate Finance Committee. Until September, when Congress reconvenes, we will continue to wait and debate on the limited information we do have.

Here is a summary of those bills, commonly-raised concerns and the debate as it now stands.

1) Problem: The Uninsured
Millions are uninsured and falling ill without insurance can be financially catastrophic. Many of these are working people, or recently unemployed, who can't afford to buy insurance plans. Others are self-employed or small business owners who also can't afford insurance. Some are between the ages of 55 (retirement age) and 65 (Medicare-eligible age), and thus have no coverage. In 2008, the Kaiser Commission reported that 41 million were uninsured, while another 35.8 million people had no insurance during part of the year.

Proposed Solution: "Health care for all." Both bills have outlined strategies to include all Americans in some form of a health insurance plan - whether Medicaid, Medicare, the private or the public/community option.

2) Problem: Pre-existing conditions
People with any history of medical problems ("pre-existing conditions") can be denied coverage by certain insurance plans because their condition makes them too high-risk.

Proposed Solution: Ban the pre-existing condition clause for all health insurance companies, including those in the private option. The hope is that as more young and healthy Americans have insurance and pay their premiums, that money will offset the costs of taking care of the sicker Americans.

3) Problem: The under insured
Some people with health insurance have plans that don't cover all basic health care needs (the "under-insured").

Proposed Solution: All health insurance plans will cover hospitalizations, outpatient hospital and clinic care, physician fees, equipment, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, maternity care, child care, preventive care, mental health, and marriage and family therapy. The addition of coverage for mental health and counseling is an added benefit not often covered currently.


Click to read.