Vexing health problems can be solved, Gawande believes

first_imgTackling complex issues such as opioid addiction, gun violence, and uneven access to medical care seems daunting, but Atul Gawande said history shows that over time, the nation can solve its public health challenges.Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Harvard Institute of Politics, the surgeon, writer, and public health researcher cited the recent dramatic reductions in tobacco use and the overall increase in life expectancy over the past century as examples of how effective policies can aid solutions to vexing problems. Checklists are boring, but death is worse Related Asked how the nation might expand affordable health care coverage, Gawande said universal care was a key strategy. He said a recent study showed that health care expansion carried out at the state level in the past decade led to reductions in medical debt, improvements in health, and a drop in mortality.“There are a million ways to do universal health coverage — just do it. I’m actually pretty ecumenical about whatever version we go for. We just need to be committed to implementing,” he said.“It is fundamentally about values, and we’re still having a serious, many-decades-long debate about whether people deserve a right to health care.”Gawande said that on a visit to his native Ohio for a New Yorker story last fall, nearly all of the people he spoke with rejected the idea that people have a right to health care. Many are struggling with their own medical bills and resent having to support neighbors on Medicaid. But he said they do support Medicare, which points to a possible route to universal health care.“They said we know the government is running Medicare, but everybody pays in, it’s the same tax on everybody, and everybody benefits equally. And that, I think, is the bridge that has to be crossed,” he said.center_img “But the story is, every time it takes longer than people think,” Gawande said, noting that the various campaigns against smoking took decades. “You’re working and chipping away and learning how to define the problem accurately, how to mobilize people to pull in the same direction.”Citing the near doubling of the human life span since 1900, he said, “We’ve lifted the world, and that to me is evidence that it’s possible. It’s just there is not the simple quick fix.”A professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Gawande is a practicing surgeon and executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation. He is also a New Yorker staff writer and an author.Joined by freelance journalist Cristine Russell, Gawande covered a range of public health topics at the forum, where he was introduced by David T. Ellwood, the Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy and director of the Malcolm Wiener Center.,Gawande said many public health issues could be solved with strategies that have long been known but not fully implemented. He said, for example, that three things — licensing, an assault weapons ban, and gun buy-backs — could together put a dent in gun violence.Evidence-based solutions also exist to stem the opioid crisis, he said, including expanding the use of electronic prescriptions to ensure patients receive only the amount of drug that they need, and using medicine-assisted therapy. Replacing short-lasting opioids with long-lasting ones such as methadone “cuts the opioid death rate by 90 percent,” he said. “It works, and we have been reluctant and unwilling to make that a standard part of what we do.”The opioid epidemic and rising rates of heart disease are among the culprits in the recent decline in life expectancy, particularly among men with only a high school education, Gawande said. But he also cited broader societal issues, citing, for example, the fact that 70 percent of people do not have a four-year college degree and 60 percent never went beyond high school.“We don’t have a plan that says what is your future in a knowledge economy when you have only a high school education?” he said. “And you cannot say to 60 percent of the country: Well, the future is not you … there’s no place for you in that future.”Gawande said that unnecessary care, particularly for end-of-life patients, is a major cause of the nation’s high health care costs. As a solution, he said doctors need to talk to their patients early about their treatment goals, citing a study that found that cancer patients who had those conversations were less likely to die in a hospital, received less chemotherapy, and even lived longer. “[W]hat is your future in a knowledge economy when you have only a high school education? … [Y]ou cannot say to 60 percent of the country: ‘Well, the future is not you … there’s no place for you in that future.’” —Atul Gawande In conversation with Malcolm Gladwell, surgeon-writer Atul Gawande explains how simple systems can save lives last_img read more

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Notre Dame improves sustainability

first_imgNotre Dame received a B+ on the College Sustainability Report Card 2011, improving from its overall grade of B in 2010. Sarah Levy, communications fellow at the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI), said that while Notre Dame improved in the categories of Climate & Energy and Food & Recycling, it received low grades in Endowment Transparency and Shareholder Engagement. The Report Card is an initiative of SEI, a nonprofit organization supporting research to advance sustainability at college campuses across the United States and Canada. Levy said the Report Card is designed to identify colleges and universities that are leaders in sustainability. “The aim is to provide accessible information for schools to learn from each other’s experiences and establish more effective sustainability practices,” she said. Universities are graded across nine categories: Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Transportation, Student Involvement, Endowment Transparency, Investment Priorities and Shareholder Engagement. Data collection for the Report Card 2011 took place from April to September 2010. “SEI gets its information about each school from publicly available sources, from three surveys sent to school administrators and one survey sent to students,” Levy said. Since research on the first edition four years ago, Levy said the Report Card surveys show more activity on 52 green indicators, including sustainability committees, green building policy and trayless dining. Notre Dame’s grade improved in two categories from last year: Climate Change & Energy and Food & Recycling. “In terms of Climate Change & Energy, Notre Dame has continued to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and building energy consumption has decreased with the use of new efficiency measures such as cogeneration, energy management systems and lighting upgrades,” Levy said. “New sources of renewable energy … contributed to Notre Dame’s higher grade in this area.” Notre Dame’s changes in food budget and its electronics recycling program also contributed to a higher grade, she said. “In the Food & Recycling category, Notre Dame is spending about the same percentage of its food budget on local items as last year, but some of the vegetables are now sourced from an on campus garden and fair trade coffee is now available on campus,” Levy said. “Notre Dame’s electronics recycling program and the discounts and prizes provided to students who use reusable mugs and bags also raised the grade.” Heather Tonk, director of Sustainability at Notre Dame, said the University has stepped up its sustainability efforts since it was first evaluated in 2007. “Just looking at our scores — in 2007 we had a D, and we have steadily improved since then. This shows the commitment of the administration as well as the students, faculty and staff,” she said. Tonk said Notre Dame has always scored high in the category of Student Involvement — scoring an “A” every year since the first evaluation. She said over the last few years the Office of Sustainability has focused on energy measures, because those are what drive Notre Dame’s carbon emissions. Tonk said the University is in the midst of investing $10 million in energy conservation measures. “The Office of Sustainability is continually looking for ways to raise awareness,” she said. Levy said schools are generally weakest in the categories of Endowment Transparency and Shareholder Engagement. These were also Notre Dame’s weakest categories. “Access to endowment information is needed within a college community to foster constructive dialogue about opportunities for clean energy investment, as well as shareholder voting priorities,” she said. The weakest category overall, she said, was Shareholder Engagement, which had an average grade of “D” across the universities surveyed. “Endowment investment decisions are an expression of universities’ financial values and priorities,” Levy said. “Schools that own stocks in corporations have shareholder rights and responsibilities, including the right to engage in constructive dialogue with corporate executives.” Levy emphasized the responsibility universities have to look beyond green initiatives on their own campuses — universities should also promote such measures in the corporations they support. “These corporations have huge impacts on the environmental and social issues with their own products and policies,” she said. “As institutions of higher learning, universities have a responsibility to not only their own campus, but to the greater community, and even the world.”last_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Visit Norm Lewis in His Phantom Dressing Room & More!

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. 1984 to Linger in London Longer 1984 is to extend its run at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre by five weeks. Based on George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel and adapted and co-directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, the show will now run through August 23. The critically-acclaimed production had been set to shutter on July 19. Visit Norm Lewis Transforming Into The Phantom…in His Dressing Room This is the Broadway Community living up to its moniker. Broadway Inspirational Voices, a gospel ensemble comprised of on and off-Broadway actors that helps young people in need, is gearing up for their second holiday charity album Great Joy II: Around the World. They are kicking off their fundraising with a Kickstarter campaign, which will run May 15 through June 15, where you can donate and win all sorts of special gifts, from the chance to watch Norm Lewis get his Phantom make-up done to having a Skype meeting with If/Then’s award-winning composer Tom Kitt. More info at BroadwayInspirationalVoices.org. Paul Rudd and Cynthia Nixon Will Team Up for Alan Alda’s Dear Albert Stage and screen stars Paul Rudd (Grace, Clueless) and Cynthia Nixon (Wit, Sex and the City) will open the Seventh Annual World Science Festival on May 28 with a performance of Alan Alda’s Dear Albert. The play examines the life and times of Albert Einstein through his personal writings. Directed by Mark Brokaw, the evening will take place at the New York University Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. View Commentslast_img read more

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Broadway Grosses: It’s Only a Play Hits $1 Million Mark

first_img FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.61%) 2. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (99.71%) 3. Aladdin (99.65%) 4. It’s Only a Play (98.98%)* 5. The Lion King (98.50%) Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending September 7: The star-studded It’s Only a Play skyrocketed in its first full week of performances, becoming the fourth play to begin in 2014 (the other three being A Raisin in the Sun, All the Way and Of Mice and Men) and first new show of the fall season to hit seven figures. The Book of Mormon was the only production to exceed capacity this past week and secured the runner up spot in the top five grossing shows. The Tony-winning tuner was joined by perennial faves The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin and Kinky Boots. The previously mentioned Terrence McNally comedy, starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Rupert Grint and more, crept closely behind at $1.16 million. UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Cabaret (77.30%) 4. If/Then (75.15%) 3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (69.79%) 2. Once (65.06%) 1. Cinderella (46.39%) *Number based on eight preview performances UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. You Can’t Take It With You ($490,887) 4. Cinderella ($458,836) 3. Once ($420,739) 2. This Is Our Youth ($367,207)* 1. Rock of Ages ($315,675)center_img FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Lion King ($1,677,604) 2. The Book of Mormon ($1,532,948) 3. Wicked ($1,340,668) 4. Aladdin ($1,299,483) 5. Kinky Boots ($1,172,025) Source: The Broadway League View Commentslast_img read more

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Watch Lady Gaga in Sound of Music Oscar Tribute

first_imgMove over, Carrie, it’s Gaga’s turn! At the 2015 Oscars, Lady Gaga paid tribute to The Sound of Music in honor of the film’s fiftieth anniversary, surprising us all with plenty of head voice, raised keys and a full-out medley. Take a look at her stunning performance below of several of the show’s iconic tunes, including “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Edelweiss.” Following the performance, the legendary Julie Andrews (who, in case you’ve never seen a movie before, starred in the 1965 film) joined Gaga on stage to congratulate her and talk about the iconic movie musical. If you haven’t been doing so for years already, start dreamcasting now! View Commentslast_img read more

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See Meryl Streep Rock Out in Ricki & the Flash, Co-Starring Audra McDonald

first_img Star Files View Comments Meryl. Audra. Ben Platt. Kevin Kline. Mamie Gummer. Are you excited for Ricki and the Flash yet?! The film, directed by Jonathan Demme, follows Ricki Rendazzo (Streep), who returns home after getting a small taste of fame as a rock star. Her ex-husband (Kline) has a new wife (McDonald), and her daughter (real-life daughter Gummer) is dealing with a tumultuous breakup of her own. Through tense dinner, naughty salon talk and rocking out, Ricki fights for one more chance to have it all. Take a look at the trailer below; the film is set to premiere on August 7.center_img Ben Plattlast_img read more

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Forget Long Weekends: During the Pandemic It’s All About Short Weeks

first_img“We were always functionally more about weekends, long weekends and longer stays for major holidays,” Ms. Grimes said. “And now it’s just totally changed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday night — people want to get away.”Red Cottage’s public availability calendar shows the “What day is it?” pandemic-era joke in action: There are reservations from Sunday to Friday, from Friday to Tuesday and even a Monday check-in or two. In response, Ms. Grimes said, the company has adapted.“We basically have had to tear down and rebuild our housekeeping department,” said Ms. Grimes. “There was a business model that ran under certain assumptions — checkout dates, gaps between bookings. Combine that with the fact that people are living in these houses — three meals a day, more wear and tear — and there has been a huge shift.”- Advertisement – Short-week stays are also on the rise at hotels. Club Med Sandpiper Bay, an all-inclusive resort between Miami and Orlando, has seen a 9 percent year-over-year increase in four- and five-night reservations from June to October. Four-to-six-night stays are up 55 percent over last year at The Foundry Hotel, a boutique hotel in Asheville, N.C. At The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, the average stay this month is 5.2 nights — double last October’s figure.New hotel packages spur — or reward — guests who submit to an extra night or two. The fifth night is free for every four nights booked at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort; the offer also includes a $50 food-and-drink credit per stay. At the Hotel del Coronado, near San Diego, families who stay six nights or more get discounted room rates and a $350 resort credit per stay. The WFP: Work From Paradise package at Conrad Punta de Mita, in Western Mexico, includes a $75-per-night resort credit for rooms booked for least four nights. – Advertisement –center_img Reservations at TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a rental management company with more than 6,000 homes across the United States, are increasing by about one day per month, over last year. The median length of stay for October is five nights (up from four last year); November is six nights, up from five; December is seven, up from six.Jennifer Grimes, the founder of Red Cottage Inc., which manages independently owned rental homes throughout the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, has seen such a year-over-year difference in booking patterns that she’s changed the company’s rate structure. Barring normal seasonal or holiday fluctuations, weekends and weekdays now cost the same.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Ivana Kolar: We must first know if we want to work all year round, detect where possible, and then create the preconditions for that

first_imgAlthough before and after the season, health tourism and tourism of continental destinations are promoted more than ever before, I always want a little more presence of the above in the promotional activities of Croatia. It would be great to invite guests who come to Croatia in millions during the summer, know our tourism, to return once again and visit other parts at another time of year. Međunarodna konferencija o cjelogodišnjem turizmu „Može li hrvatski turizam 365“ održati će se u utorak, 24. rujna u Sheraton Zagreb Hotelu,a ovogodišnja tema konferencije je „Kreativa i nove tehnologije“.  Izrazito smo uspješni u onome što nudimo, no smatram da to ne može biti dovoljno u odnosu na potencijale koje Hrvatska posjeduje. Duboko vjerujem kako moramo težiti daljnjem razvoju i podizanju kvalitete poslovanja i usluga čitavih destinacija, kreirati nove proizvode koji ne uključuju samo tipično morski odmor i sadržaje te da moramo time značajnije širiti sezonu na obali i ozbiljnije se prihvatiti razvoja turističke ponude u kontinentalnom dijelu zemlje. Održivost, zdravlje, autentičnost i kvaliteta bili bi moji izazovi za daljnji razvoj. Motiva za proizvode 365 imamo u izobilju – zdravstveni turizam, kulturni, sportski, ruralni, urbani; društvena baština nam je izrazito bogata i razlozi za posjet Hrvatskoj su brojni, pored sunca i mora. Kontinent je značajno nerazvijen, a veliki je potencijal za 365. I svakako, tu je  mogućnost povezivanja obalnih destinacija sa zaleđem i  kontinentalnom ponudom, u Hrvatskoj nam je sve nadohvat ruke.  I expect great discussions and conclusions and motives and ideas for new projects. We always try to bring new speakers who have rich experience and are excellent in their activities and jobs and present positive practices from which we can learn.   On the one hand, we have a recognizable tourist brand, the whole infrastructure, but out of season, when the motive for arrival is not sun and sea, we have to change the concept through content and some other motive for arrival, if we talk about strengthening before and after. So, the promotion and the whole concept for strengthening and developing tourism 365 need to be radically changed? This year’s subtitle of the conference is Creative and New Technologies, as I believe that this is where we need to be more active and that we need a new dose of creativity in creating an offer for modern tourists and motivation and reminder of the importance of including new technologies in business. We will have the opportunity to listen to representatives of companies that are leaders in global tourism such as Thomas Cook, ITB Berlin and Horwath HTL and their thoughts on trends and suggestions for domestic regional tourism; then the experts who participated and lead successful creative projects and products such as Bilbao in Spain, Sarajevo Film Festival, Vulacano Resort in Austria, Jasna Chaleta in Slovenia, and we will have the opportunity to experience new technologies in tourism. With Ivana Kolar, who is behind the organization of the conference, I talked about topics related to the development of continental tourism and the potential for development before and after the season. The conference contributed to the fact that year-round tourism is an unavoidable part of most tourism discussions and plans, and I want to believe that we organized or encouraged someone to organize new projects and changes in business through organized lectures and presentations by experts from the region and Europe.  I must emphasize that the conference is a bit of an enthusiastic project, given that due to its many years of experience in continental tourism and the excellent results that this business achieves, I believe it is possible to push the boundaries of domestic tourism, but it requires a decision of each of us. It is Slovenia that has defined 4 tourist regions, and we are still suffocating in hundreds of tourist boards, without so much synergy and branding of regions. Is the solution in regional branding? Like say Slavonia, Istria Dalmatia… We must first know if we want to work all year round, or for a longer period than before, then detect where this is possible on the coast, and then create the preconditions for it. It is similar in the continental regions, it is necessary to detect the motives of tourism development in individual destinations and create preconditions for their realization. Unfortunately we do not have enough time to present the whole vision. I do not think that this is the task of (only) state institutions, but of all participants in the tourism process in the field, everyone has to do their part. We lack the determination to change something, community within the destination is necessary, because no one can significantly extend their business alone, we often lack entrepreneurship and courage to innovate and to “be different”. Croatia has extremely high results compared to a relatively short period of business at full capacity. Sometimes it’s not out of place to step out of the comfort zone of a safe job (during the summer) and try even harder. We have excellent examples from our neighbors Austria and Slovenia that are developing quality, especially through tourism 365 and the development of continental tourism. What can we learn from them?  The first conference on year-round tourism already has two editions behind it, and now the most important is the third edition to be held next week.  Austria and Slovenia are actively developing year-round tourism and creating an offer based on their potential – nature, culture, health tourism and actively developing the inevitable business excellence. In all these segments we can learn a lot from them, exactly what we lack for tourism 365 – how to successfully valorize the huge “non-summer” potential for development. We can also learn from them about togetherness and joint development of destinations (how to be a partner, not a competition). Continental tourism has great potential for tourism 365 days a year, but unfortunately everything is developing too slowly. What are the reasons for the slow development and what are the solutions in your opinion? What is your advice on the right direction of development?  I certainly believe that it is necessary to brand destinations as widely as possible, because tourists today are not stationary and do not experience our administrative divisions. Due to the great effort to advertise “one’s village”, this is often the reason why the target effect of each promotion is missing, because it is simply “lost” in the lack of information about small destinations. It is also a prerequisite for the creation and development of the right destinations and DMOs that should guide development.      Ivana Kolar: The market lacks determination and thoughtful development of entire destinations in the direction of extending the season This year is the third edition of the conference, now that you look back three years, what has changed for the better or for the worse in the context of tourism 365?  I deeply believe that by developing destinations and communities, creating new products that do not depend only on the sun and the sea, creating authentic stories and smart and creative recycling of local specifics into new quality and experiences tailored to modern tourists, we can certainly extend the season on the coast and start developing destinations with the greatest tourist potentials in the continental part of Croatia.  We can learn from Austria and Slovenia how to be partners, not a competition for the joint development of destinations Ivana Kolar, Julius Rose This year at the conference we will have the opportunity to listen to people who were brave enough to take risks and try to be great and succeeded – Bilbao with its Guggenheim Museum in Spain, Vulcano resort in Austria which creatively connected livestock, prosciutto, tourism and promotion of the entire region, the Sarajevo Film Festival in BiH which is almost unbelievable and Jasna Chalet, the new St.Moritz one step away from us, in Slovenia. I believe it will be very interesting and useful. What are the news this year as part of the new edition of the conference “Can Croatian Tourism 365” and what do you expect? Changes are visible on the ground, simply because the market is evolving, competition is evolving, the demand for new forms of tourism and new experiences is growing and, for us, less common periods of the year. A lot is invested in the quality of business and new products, but these developments happen individually, individually and with too little dynamics. The market lacks the determination and thoughtful development of entire destinations in the direction of extending the season. It is clear that this is not a simple process and that not all destinations are suitable for it, however, a general decision is missing whether we need it or not, or whether we want year-round tourism or not.  Year-round tourism is one of the most important challenges for the further development of Croatian tourism, but also tourism in the region, at all levels, from strategic to operational, especially in terms of sustainability. There is a great potential for the development of year-round tourism in Croatia, both on the coast and in the continental part.  All information about the conference Can Croatian Tourism 365? – Creativity and new technologies you can look at www.turizam365.com.last_img read more

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Bicycles – after bicycles, you can also rent electric bicycles in Rijeka

first_imgThe bicycle is an electric bicycle manufactured by Apache MATTA TOUR, the size of a 28-inch wheel, the size of an 18-inch frame with a motor in the center. It has nine speeds, a large capacity battery and GPS tracking. What is a Ricycle? All information on how to rent electric bicycles and conditions of use are available on the website ricikleta.rijeka.hr A total of 28 bicycles have been installed, equipped with an information system that allows their rental via a mobile application, enables charging of the electric battery on the terminal stand and includes GPS tracking. RiCikleta is a new system of public electric bicycles, which was presented a few days ago in Rijeka. This is a new project of the City of Rijeka which sets up terminals with electric bicycles available for rent at four locations in the city, on Jadranski trg, in front of the Youth Hall in Trsat, on the pedestrian bridge over Rječina (on the Sušak bridge) and on the garage roof at Kantrida Pools . center_img Rental of RiCikleta is done by scanning the QR code, ie paying the rent via QRPay code via a smartphone and the GO2BIKE application, which can be done by any adult. The price of renting a bike is 10 kuna per hour, while the maximum time of uninterrupted use is 3 hours. Before the expiration of the three-hour period, the user is obliged to return the bicycle to one of the four existing stations of the Ricikleta system. The bicycle can be used within the administrative boundaries of the City of Rijeka. This project seeks to encourage urban mobility of citizens and enable the development of alternative forms of movement around the city that are beneficial to the health of the individual and the environment. Source and photo: City of Rijeka, ricikleta.rijeka.hrlast_img read more

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Soho and Covent Garden offices: Multinationals move in

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