by Leah Guthrie
Simon A. Levin, a Professor of Biology at Princeton University, opened up the World Science Fair (WSF) salon on Predicting the Collapse of Complex Systems by relating a story of how ecologists predicted the 2008 financial collapse. He starts at a meeting hosted by the New York Federal Reserve on systemic or undiversifiable risk that involves the collapse of an entire market, as opposed to a specific industry (1). Levin was one of three ecologists in attendance, and they all were all struck by the evident parallels between ecological and financial systems. Their collective thoughts were published in February of 2008 in a Nature paper entitled Ecology for Bankers (Nature 451, 893-895).
by Kirsten Hartil
Cindy Baker, Personal Appearance, 2008-2012. Part of the image used in the flyer promoting Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, Health. It depicts Cindy Baker in a custom-built professional mascot costume. Her Personal Appearance engages the notion of ‘fat geography addressing the lived reality of taboo bodies in spaces make for the ‘socio-normative’ body.
Phrases such as: “the obesity epidemic” and “the war on obesity” have become part of the daily lexicon of biomedical and public health researchers engaged in obesity research. The consequences of framing the discussion this way was the topic of Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, Health, a panel discussion held at the New School on Monday June 16, 2014.
The four-member panel consisting of professors of clinical psychology, public health, art history, and history was moderated by Dr. Fabio Parasecoli, associate professor and coordinator of the Food Studies Program, the New School for Public Engagement.
by Kirsten Hartil
This post is a modified version of a paper submitted for the Multiculture and Diversity Issues course of Einstein’s MPH Program.
Rates of perinatal and maternal mortality are higher in the U.S. than 16 other high-income countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Denmark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the U.S. every year 25,000 infants die before their first birthday. These rates are lower than most low- and middle-income countries. Sierra Leone, for example had an infant mortality rate of 117 deaths per 1,000 in 2012. Still, according to Save the Children’s 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report, 50 percent more newborns die within their first 24 hours in the U.S. compared to all other industrialized countries combined.
Congenital malformations, pre-term birth or low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and maternal complications and injuries (e.g., suffocation) are the major causes of infant mortality in the U.S., accounting for 57% of all infant deaths in the United States in 2010.
by Ramon A. Robertson
With an estimate of 240 million calls per year, 9-1-1 operators are shockingly busy — collectively, that’s a numbing 8 incoming calls per second in perpetuity across the nation. 2 While Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have expanded to meet the public demand, they have shriveled (by force) in their agency and potency to deliver patient-centered care to the community. Unfortunately, it is the money trail that leads us toward the single greatest accounting contributor of their diminished efficacy: their compensation is strictly linked to a fee-for-service model, that directly rewards transportation and often overlooks (or sidelines) infield medical care. 1 To be clear: EMS is only paid if they ultimately transport patients to the hospital; the lights-and-sirens response, the onsite acute medical care, and any other instructive/supporting measures, do not alone command reimbursement. 1 From a business perspective, this sets up an unhealthy nidus for the management of patients with sub-transportative needs, and encourages over-aggressive and/or needless advanced care maneuvers and/or routing. 1 Not only does this payment model uncannily usurp the medical role of EMS workers (by relegating them to mere transportation functions), but it also adds to the already intolerable weight of non-emergent cases currently cluttering hospital emergency departments.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged community paramedicine, emergency medical care, emergency medicine, emergency response services, EMS, EMT, healthcare policy, healthcare reimbursement, New York Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association, NYMIHA, paramedics
by Pablo Rougerie
There is a paradox in New York City. While the city is home to world-class research institutions in biological research, places like Columbia, Mount Sinai or Rockefeller, the presence of a vibrant bioscience and technology industry is comparatively lacking. Compared with regional hubs like San Diego, Boston/Cambridge or the San Francisco Bay area, biotech employment figures of the past decade are meager in NY. How can an area like New York, with unparalleled access to cutting-edge biological research and a surplus of well-educated scientists, be relegated to such a low profile in the biotech world? Much of the answer is defined by two main obstacles: lack of space and lack of money. Fortunately, the end of 2013 saw important announcements and developments that have the potential to change the situation.
by Kirsten Hartil
The increasing prevalence of obesity has major health and economic implications. Childhood obesity is of particular concern because obese children are more likely to become obese adults and they have increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Identifying obesogens, environmental contaminants that contribute to obesity, and elucidating their mechanism are areas of clinical, basic and public health research.
by Hannah Keppler
The recent passage, judicial review and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has intensified the nationwide debate regarding the role that large health care companies play in delivering health services to people. Most people understand that private health care providers are businesses that seek to profit from the services they provide, but at a certain point, a conflict of interest is generated between a company’s desire to maximize their profits and their mandate to pay for their customers’ medical care. How much money can a health care company garner for their services before it becomes “profiteering”? Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged ACA, affordable care act, Avandia, drug companies, drug costs, health care, health care companies, medicare, pharmaceutical companies, prescription drugs, profiteering, Vioxx
by Jiyoung Kim
Throughout most of my early education, I believed that science and literature were two mutually exclusive fields. If a student was gifted in one field, it was usually at the expensive of the other. In high school, I found that as I stepped through the door marked “science,” the door to the humanities and any literary field slammed shut. By then I had accepted this strict dichotomy as truth; the moment one specializes in a certain field of study, all the other fields back out of reach. However, my college experience challenged that perspective through its core curriculum that required courses in both humanities and sciences. Some of my peers complained, suggesting science majors be exempt from taking humanities courses, but I fully embraced all of those requirements, and more. Words are how people communicate, and so to exclude literature from any field is impossible. With medicine, this is so much more the case. Doctors must use words to explain the course of treatment to their patients and to communicate with their colleagues through case presentations and write ups. They must be able to express their deepest sympathies, to share in a patient’s private confessions, and to comfort those who are sick and their grieving families. And they must use language to teach future generations. Thus, over the past few years, I happily unlearned this idea that engineers cannot write, and that writers cannot understand science. Not only had I seen so much evidence to the contrary, but also the idea that literature is not mutually exclusive with science and is useful to the scientific profession, justified my gravitation towards writing with purpose. Writing would actually be useful to my career, and isn’t just a frivolous pastime that would never amount to much.