Running Rebels Community Organization in collabo- ration with Pipeline 2 Promise, will host a Community Health & Wellness Fair (Blood Drive) with the Blood Center of Wisconsin on January 19th from 9:00am to 11:00am at Running Rebels East – 225 West Capitol Drive.
“Running Rebels Community Organization is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Victor Barnett, Founder and Executive Director of Running Rebels, “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, colleagues and neighbors an opportunity to help save lives.”
Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer blood donors. With some- one in the U.S. needing blood every two seconds, blood products must be constantly re- plenished, according to the Red Cross.
The Community Health & Wellness Fair is free and open to the public and will provide education on common chronic illnesses such as: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, balance disorders, COPD, depression, dementia, and breast cancer. Free blood pressure testing will be available. Two workshops that will be featured during the Community Health & Well- ness Fair are: QPR Suicide Prevention: Suicide Prevention Training (Adults Only) and Growing Minds Mindfulness Workshop (Ages 12-17).
There are so many resources available to help us improve our lifestyle and be healthy. The Community Health & Wellness Fair (Blood Drive) offers the opportunity to see so much in one place and at one location! If you are interested in improving your health and well-being, then the Community Health & Wellness Fair (Blood Drive) will be the place to be on January 19th, 2019.
For more information or to make an appointment to donate, please call 414-264-8222 or sign up online at bit.ly/running119.
Running Rebels EPIC Mission Statement: Running Rebels Community OrganizationEngages the community, youth, and families, Prevents involvement in gangs, drugs, vio- lence, and the juvenile justice system, Intervenes and guides youth to make positive choices, and Coaches youth through the transition to adulthood.
Journal of the American College of Surgeons study authors report that donor race-matching may aid in future organ allocation.
CHICAGO (January 10, 2019): Among African-American adults undergoing liver transplant to treat liver cancer, patients whose organ donor was also African American lived significantly longer than those with a racially unmatched donor, report authors of a new study using national data. The study is published online as an “article in press” on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print publication.
These research findings suggest a possible way to improve long-term survival in a patient population that typically fares worse than other racial groups with liver cancer, which is the second deadliest cancer worldwide.1 Compared with other races, African-American patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)—the most common form of liver cancer—tend to have the poorest long-term survival and have worse outcomes after liver transplant.2 A liver transplant is the preferred and curative treatment option for some patients with early-stage HCC, according to the study authors.
Although past studies have linked unmatched donor-recipient race to worse overall survival in recipients of kidney, lung, and heart transplants, the role of donor race in liver transplantation has not been well defined, said principal investigator T. Clark Gamblin, MD, MS, MBA, FACS, professor and chief of surgical oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
For this study, Dr. Gamblin and his colleagues used the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s (OPTN’s) national database. The researchers identified 15,141 adults with first-time HCC who received a transplant of a whole liver from a deceased donor between 1994 and 2015. Of those transplant recipients, 1,384 (9.1 percent) were African American, and their records were further analyzed for the donor’s race. A total of 325 patients (23.5 percent) received livers from African-American donors—labeled “matched”—and the other 1,059 patients (76.5 percent) were unmatched.
Five years after transplant, 64.2 percent of race-matched patients were still alive compared with 56.9 percent of unmatched patients, the researchers found. On average, race-matched patients lived 4.75 years longer after transplant than the unmatched patients, with a median overall survival of 135 months versus 78 months.
This effect of donor race continued even after the researchers statistically matched the two groups on multiple donor and recipient characteristics that are important to transplant success and patient survival. On these adjusted analyses, a race-matched transplant independently predicted improved overall survival, the investigators reported. Specifically, African-American transplant recipients had 34 percent greater odds of long-term survival when the donor’s race was the same. African Americans who received a liver from a white person—the most common race among donors—had a reported 53 percent increased risk of death.
The survival advantage with race-matching reportedly did not become apparent until after one year.
“Our data are intriguing,” said Dr. Gamblin. “But our results require validation through further investigation of the role of race in optimizing outcomes of liver transplant for treatment of HCC.”
“It is certainly premature to recommend a change in compatibility screening criteria based on our findings alone,” continued Dr. Gamblin, who noted that race is not currently a consideration during compatibility screening of donors for liver transplant. “Likewise, recipients should not turn down a liver based on the race of the donor because they may not get another one,” he added, referring to the nationwide organ shortage.
Less than one-fourth of the African-American liver transplant recipients in this study had race-matched donors, which corresponds to national statistics showing low organ donation rates by African Americans. Although 29.8 percent of all U.S. candidates waiting for an organ transplant are African American, only 13.5 percent of all organ donors in 2015 were African American.3
Asked if their study might encourage more African Americans to become organ donors, Dr. Gamblin replied, “It is my hope that everyone consider liver donation. There are not enough donors, and people on the waiting list are dying every day waiting for an organ.”
More than 13,500 people are on the liver transplant waiting list based on OPTN data as of December 18, 2018.4
Nearly 33,000 Americans were diagnosed with liver cancer and liver bile duct cancer in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.5 Risk factors for HCC include persistent infection with hepatitis B or C and cirrhosis of the liver. A liver transplant not only treats liver cancer but also allows the liver to function normally again.
Dr. Gamblin’s coauthors are Jack P. Silva, MD, formerly a research fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin and now a general surgery resident at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as Meghan N. Maurina; Susan Tsai, MD, MHS, FACS; Kathleen K. Christians, MD, FACS; Callisia N. Clarke, MD, FACS; Harveshp D. Mogal, MD, FACS; and Kia Saeian, MD, all from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“FACS” designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
This study was presented in August 2018 at the Sixth Annual Solid Organ Transplant Symposium in Milwaukee, Wis.
Citation: The Effect of Donor Race-Matching on Overall Survival for African American Patients Undergoing Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
1 Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer. 2015;136(5):E359-E386.
2 Artinyan A, Mailey B, Sanchez-Luege N, Khalili J, Sun CL, Bhatia S, et al. Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status influence the survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States. Cancer. 2010;116(5):1367-1377.
3 US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Organ donation and African Americans. 2016. Available at: https://www.minorityhealth.
4 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Data. Available at: https://optn.transplant.hrsa.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer, United States—2006–2015. United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) data brief, No. 5. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018.
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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.
Nationwide (via Blacknews.com)— “Hello, I’m Felicia Lee-Sexton. I’m a former dope dealer and dope fiend. That’s not to depress you or impress you, that’s just who I USED to be.” That’s how Felicia introduces herself to perspective clients walking into her women’s only gym. ‘When I start by telling my truth, I begin to tear down the wall. I’m transparent and I encourage them to start breaking down the wall that’s keeping them stuck in life.”
Felicia says she spends about an hour in her office talking to a new client. She doesn’t start with their exercise goals or if they want to work on losing weight, strength training or endurance. She asks them what they’re addicted to. “Most of them usually give me a blank stare and can’t answer or tell me they’re not addicted to anything. That’s when I tell them they’re lying to themselves and will always be stuck.”
Felicia knows a lot about being stuck. She’s a native of St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of 20, she met a man who treated her like a queen and it wasn’t long before she fell deeply and dangerously in love with one of the city’s biggest drug dealers. It wouldn’t be long before she was dealing for him, and using all the cocaine she wanted. Her life spiraled out of control and she had to escape to Houston to get away from other drug dealers to whom she owed money. Felicia’s gritty and raw life story is chronicled in her book, From Recovery to Discovery: My Journey Through Addiction.
After becoming clean more than 25 years ago, Felicia used exercise as a tool to get her body and mind together. “I knew if I wanted to stay clean I had to focus on something other than staying clean.” She says she discovered bodybuilding and focused on becoming the best. She’s won competitions all over the country. Felicia doesn’t hide or excuse her past. Instead, she uses it to encourage others. She opened her gym, The Women’s Health and Fitness Center, five years ago because she wanted to give women a safe place to let their guard down. “We pray before group classes and some private sessions. Some of my clients are weighed down by more than physical pounds. There’s heaviness in their lives that must first be lifted so they can truly be successful in toning their bodies and reducing the number on that scale. I encourage them to start letting that emotional weight go. Once they get that, breakthroughs are inevitable.”
Felicia says she could never imagine living the life she’s living now. “People are surprised when I say I don’t regret anything that’s happened in my life. Every bad decision led me to be the person I am now. I’m living my best life and I’m elevating other women to live their best lives. God ordered my steps and led me here. How could I regret that?”
In addition to her gym located in Stafford, Texas, Southwest of Houston, Felicia trains and motivates women all over the world through live video sessions. She’s also a sought after motivational speaker who passionately shares her journey with thousands.
Experts fail to address why heroin addicts of today are treated more humanely than crack addicts of the ‘80s and ‘90s
By Mikel Holt
The most relevant question about the national opioid epidemic was never posed and thus never answered by panelists during a breakfast program on the pandemic.
The panel discussion highlighted a program sponsored by BizTimes at the Italian Community Center Thursday titled: “The Opioid Crisis—Understanding Its Impact.” The event also included the media company’s annual “Health Care Heroes” Awards.
But the question many African Americans have pondered was never posed, even though the answer was obvious: why is there a current national emphasis on the opioid epidemic, when there was silence and antipathy when crack invaded the Black community two decades ago?
And while the crack epidemic resulted in hundreds of thousands of African Americans being imprisoned, the media and politicians view opioid users as victims, versus criminals.
Panelist Kenneth Harris, Jr., PhD, a former Milwaukee police officer, came closest to answering the pertinent question when he asked why the debate today seemingly ignores accountability and instead focuses on victimhood by the opioid users.
Implicit in his statement was the overemphasis on imprisonment for crack users during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, while today’s users of heroin are treated as individuals with a health problem.
Ken Hartenstein, a counselor and head of an assisted treatment center, quickly rejected that assertion, declaring addicts are held accountable, although incarceration does little to solve the problem.
Treatment, whether counseling or medical intervention provide the long-term solution. (Harris, an African American and professor at Concordia University, told this reporter after the discussion that the inherent unfairness and hypocrisy of the two “solutions” go to a larger societal issue.)
Beth Dejongh, PHARM.D., a pharmacy instructor at Concordia, said medically based treatment offers hope for addicts, although there is a stigma attached by some who say, “we are trading one drug for another.” She also said the epidemic is touching more and more lives, and that the family of addicted users are also impacted.
Last year, nationally there were over 72,000 deaths from heroin usage. Opioid related deaths in Wisconsin are higher than the national average, with an overwhelming majority of addicts being White males, 22-30.
Dejongh placed much of the blame for the increase on the increase of prescribed opioids, which far too often lead to heroin use. Greater monitoring and training of medical personnel is essential to stemming the epidemic, she said.
Asked how the epidemic has impacted law enforcement, Harris said it has placed a strain on services, often tying up both police units and emergency medical personnel. “And in many cases, we don’t know the outcome,” which could help to humanize the scenario, he said.
“You can tie up half a district on one overdose case because it is treated as a homicide,” he explained. He recalled responding to several overdoes by the same person on the same day. Imagine how an officer views that scenario and the person. Is he a victim of his own self-indulgence, or someone who should be treated differently?
And, because of the lack of communication between officers and the medical community, the officer never sees the other side. “Did that person survive? Let us know the outcome; it would give us motivation.”
Harris also suggested making naloxone (also known as “Narcan”), a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdoses, more readily available to the public.
Hartenstein suggested interception as a way to stem the tragedy. Family members and friends hold the key to that process. And then it is up to the addict to admit his or her sickness.
“Recovery is a personal journey.” The Health Care Heroes breakfast provided an opportunity to honor individuals and organizations who have impacted their communities and networks through health related services.
This year’s honorees were:
Advancement in Health Care: Parameswaran Hari,
Medical College of Wisconsin;
Behavior Health: C. Frederick Geitfuss II, Grand Avenue
Club; Robert Gouthro, Medical College of Wisconsin;
Robin Monson-Dupuis, Aurora Behavioral Health Care;
Community Service: Medical College of Wisconsin
Cancer Center Community Advisory Committee; Ascension
Wisconsin, Be of Good Heart program; David Nelson,
Executive Leadership: Coreen Dicus-Johnson, Network
Health; Patricia Metropulos, Kathy’s House;
Health Care Staff: Sheila Dodds, Children’s Hospitalof Wisconsin;
Nurse: Mariya Gozenpud, IndependenceFirst Inc.;
Julie Katrichis, Milwaukee Health Dept.; Brianne Ortega,
Waukesha County Public Health;
Physician: Frank Downey, Aurora St. Luke’s; Adrian
Nazir; Taha Medical Center; Ronald Schulgit, Ascension
Medical Group-Racine; and
Volunteer: Dawn Panfil, Hair & Body Solutions Salon and Spa
Lifetime Achievement: Richard Aster, Blood Center of Wisconsin
Upper Marlboro, MD (Blacknews.com)— Although they are an increasing segment of our populations, many do not understand the level of responsibility that caregivers carry. Caregivers are an often overlooked, yet vital segment of our population. According to data from AARP, 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child for at least 12 months. Nearly one in six working adults have responsibilities of providing care for a family member. On average African-American caregivers spend 30 hours each week performing caregiving duties. This causes significant impact on their lives.
Additionally, 69% of working caregivers caring for a family member or friend report having to rearrange their work schedule, decrease their hours, or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities. These situations can adversely impact the mental and physical health of the very caregivers who are providing support for others.
In From Carefree to Caregiver, Teraleen Campbell provides much needed support for caregivers. In the book, she chronicles her seven-year journey as a caregiver. During that time, she provided care for her mother.
The book is formatted as 31-day devotional book. Each daily passage provides an inspirational reading in addition to a prayer and space for journaling. This is Campbell’s way of encouraging self-care, which she found important while caring for her mother. “I realized the importance of taking some time for focus on me and what I was dealing with, in addition to processing what was happening in my life. I became mindful that if I wasn’t healthy, I couldn’t adequately care for my mother. “
Campbell, who is also a minister at Greater Mt Calvary Holy Church in Washington, DC, was also motivated by the fact that despite the growing need, there are very few books that support caregivers. She found even fewer that are designed to lift their spirits and provide emotional support. She shared, “One of the most difficult aspects of being a caregiver is having a front row seat where you watch a once strong loved one get to the point where you take care of them. When it’s your parent, it’s as if your roles have reversed.”
In chronicling her caregiving journey, Campbell provides insight on navigating through the healthcare system and shares the highs, lows, challenges, and triumphs of her time as a caregiver. She is transparent, yet encouraging.
The foreword was written by Dr. Mary Breaux Wright, 24th International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. During her time in the position, Elder Care was her signature service initiative. Dr. Wright also served as a caregiver for her mother. Published by Pen Legacy, From Carefree to Caregiver was released in November 2018. From Carefree to Caregiver is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Pen Legacy Bookstore, and www.teraleencampbell.com.
It may sound strange, but it’s more common to experience dehydration during the winter months. Dr. Thomas Ball reports that, during the winter, your chances of dehydration can actually be higher than they are during the summer. Throughout winter, dehydration can lead to headaches, mood swings, dry skin, and other unfavorable symptoms. Besides drinking more water, use these seven tips for staying hydrated:
1. Proper Layering
If you’re someone who exercises outside during the winter, your efforts to stay warm may actually be hurting you. Many people end up over-layering when heading outside in the cold. This increases their skin temperature, which in turn makes them sweat more. Proper layering will help you stay warm while reducing excess water loss that comes with sweating.
2. Use Moisturizer
Many people experience dry skin during the wintertime. Be sure to choose the right products for your specific skin type, as you can actually do more harm than good if you’re not using the right ingredients.
3. Avoid Problematic Drinks
Caffeine and alcohol can really dehydrate—regardless of the season. If you’re already not drinking enough water, you’ll want to limit your intake of soda, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning caffeine boost. If you’re persistent about drinking more water, and your body shows no signs of dehydration, you can still indulge in these other beverages.
4. Take a Bottle with You
Always keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day. Invest in multiple bottles; keep one on your desk, by your bed, in your gym bag, etc. If water is always in front of you, you’re likely to drink it more frequently.
5. Set Goals
It’s imperative to drink water throughout your whole day—not just during workouts. Currently, the Mayo Clinic recommends an average daily water intake of 92 ounces for women and 124 ounces for men. Set realistic goals and try to drink as much water as you can throughout the day.
6. Eat Your Water
Several fruits and veggies have a high water content that can help you reach your daily intake. Hearty soups and stews are also a great way to stay hydrated because they’re often full of water.
Many people tend to think that tips for staying hydrated are only needed during the summer—but you have to remember to stay hydrated during the winter too. It’s important to be aware of dehydration signs and to drink as much water (if not more) as you do during the summer. We hope these winter hydration tips help make the cold a little more bearable.
Los Angeles, CA — Charles Johnson IV, the husband of Kira Johnson, a Black mother who died of childbirth complications in a hospital, has since been advocating for pregnant Black women. In his latest efforts, he is pushing for Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act to save more Black mothers from dying due to pregnancy-related causes.
Charles announced on Thursday through Instagram that the final deadline for the Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is next week. He is also asking for people to let their senators and congressional representatives know that they are “respectfully demanding” them to support the act.
Charles lost his wife, Kira, in 2016 after she gave birth to their second son in a hospital where she was left bleeding for over 7 hours. He said he pleaded for a CT scan and other tests but the staff and doctors had them waiting for hours because they were apparently not their priority.
Charles and his two sons filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the Cedars-Sinai Hospital and the involved doctors for allegedly ignoring Kira’s medical needs and negligently inflicting emotional distress. According to the lawsuit, Kira died of “hemorrhagic shock due to acute hemoperitoneum” which they claim that could have been prevented if the doctors acted immediately and properly.
Since then, he and his mother, reality court TV show Judge Glenda Hatchett, has advocated for Black women who were three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Moreover, Charles has established 4Kira4Moms, a nonprofit committed to honor Kira’s life and to prevent other families from experiencing unnecessary birth-related deaths.
They recently participated in a congressional briefing on maternal mortality. They are calling on Congress to pass H.R. 1318 or the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that will support states in their efforts to save and sustain the health of mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the postpartum period.
The act also aims to eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes for pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths and identify solutions to improve health care quality and health outcomes for mothers, especially Black moms.
They are asking for more people to sign the petition to support the passing of the act in the Congress.