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Advocating for public health

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Those in our community who closely follow Colorado’s illustrious history are probably familiar with the prominence of tuberculosis dating back to the 1800s and extending to the early 20th century. Colorado’s clean air, dry climate, high altitude and picturesque views made our state inviting to many TB-stricken individuals. Continue Reading Advocating for public health

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Keeping a pulse on communications

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As legislators and consumers push for transparency in the health care industry, the need for savvy health care communications departments is as clear as a glass-bottom boat.
“There is a movement among hospitals to be more transparent and to provide information about quality,” said Rita Burns, vice president of communications and marketing for Memorial Health Systems. ““We have a responsibility to the community, and our No. 1 priority is safety.”
That priority precedes another — reputation. Continue Reading Keeping a pulse on communications

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When no one wants to hear about it

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In December, the federal government announced the launch of a $1 million public service campaign focused on reducing the stigma of mental illness. It’s a boon to industry public relations professionals.
According to the news release, national mental health associations say millions of Americans do not seek treatment for mental illnesses like depression or bipolar disease because they are embarrassed or afraid. Continue Reading When no one wants to hear about it

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David Corder opened Perfect Fit Wellness Center in January 2005 with a five-year business plan focused on expansion. As he approaches year No. 3, Corder is ahead of schedule with an ahead-of-its-time concept.
Corder has expanded his 1,800-square-foot center on the outskirts of Falcon to 7,500 square feet, amid a design that ensures members’ health needs are covered — from head to toe. Continue Reading Wellness center on the plains ahead of the rest

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The state of emergency — hospital EDs

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Overcrowded EDs and long wait times are common predictors of people leaving before they are treated. The IOM reported that about 1.9 million patients left the ED in 2003 before they were seen. About 1.2 million patients awaiting further treatment left against medical advice. Continue Reading The state of emergency — hospital EDs

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The hidden epidemic

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Colorado Springs gastroenterologist Dr. Scot Lewey said celiac disease — gluten sensitivity — affects one in 100 people worldwide. Yet, the disease is commonly missed or misdiagnosed.
More than 250 symptoms are associated with celiac disease, Lewey said. He defined celiac disease as “gluten intolerance determined through diagnostic criteria and a known response rate in relation to a gluten-free diet.” Continue Reading The hidden epidemic

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John DiCola: yesterday and today

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Rising health care costs are being driven by a range of factors, including the need to keep pace with new technologies, demand for modern and up-to-date facilities, the limited supply of health care professionals, disparities in health care coverage and access and an increasingly informed consumer’s interest. Continue Reading John DiCola: yesterday and today

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For a community of people

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Seamen who could not find adequate health care in port cities where they landed were the impetus for creating a public health system in the United States. Over the centuries, the public health system evolved and expanded, but responding to the needs of a community of people remains the core of its existence.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site, in 1798, Congress established a network of hospitals in various American port cities to provide health care to the men who traveled the seas for trade and security purposes. The first federally controlled health system was called the Marine Hospital Service. In 1902, it was renamed the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service. Continue Reading For a community of people

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Colorado has one of the highest low-birth-weight rates in the nation. The medium treatment costs for low-birth-weight babies range between $32,000 and $50,000. The average cost for a healthy baby delivery at Colorado Springs two hospitals is about $6,000.
Linda Short, a public health nurse and the community perinatal case manager for the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, said the March of Dimes information on low-birth weights also included statistics on long-term costs. Health care education and child care expenses for the 3.5 to 4 million children born with low birth weight totals between $5.5 billion and $6 billion from birth to age 15. Continue Reading Health department promotes healthy weight for moms-to-be

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Does Big America need big government?

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Obesity in the United States is at epidemic proportions. Health organizations across the country are asking government and businesses to step up to the plate to reduce the portions on Americans’ plates.
According to an August report from Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit organization focused on disease prevention, figures from the Centers for Disease Control show that almost two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity rates tripled from 1980 to 2004. Continue Reading Does Big America need big government?

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