Dr. Anil Jain, Co-Founder and Senior VP of Explorys

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Anil Jain, Co-Founder, Senior VP and Medical Director of Explorys, a cloud-based health data storage and data analytics platform recently acquired by IBM to help form the Watson Health Division. Dr. Jain discusses the platform he developed while at Cleveland Clinic, designed to drive quality and research through better use of information from electronic health records, and how Watson Health will use this system to scale up medical research and discovery.

Posted in CHC Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Apple

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Apple. Mr. Williams is in charge of the tech giant’s entire distribution chain and is overseeing Apple’s foray into health care with the development of the Apple Watch, Apple HealthKit and ResearchKit, which are aimed at simplifying health and medical research by leveraging participation from Apple’s 700 million users around the globe.

Posted in CHC Radio, General | Leave a comment

The Proverbial Pie in the Sky

As I settle into my new role as Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education at CHC, one of my first tasks is to further familiarize myself with the current landscape of the world of intimate partner violence, and more specifically, the relationship between IPV and primary care.   I began by familiarizing myself with the current state here at CHC, and then expanded outward, collecting and reviewing the scientific literature to determine the current national landscape.  I sifted through the alphabet soup of impressive acronyms and reviewed the recommendations of the American Medical Association  (AMA), American Nursing Association (ANA), American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists (ACOG), and I could easily see the Pie in the Sky on the horizon.   I then turned my attention to New Horizons, my new role, and how well-situated I am at Community Health Center, Inc. to provide Pie in the Sky care.

New Horizons is a domestic violence program at CHC, a Federally Qualified Health Center and Patient-Centered Medical Home.  We are uniquely situated to meet the recommendations of leading healthcare organizations in regards to screening for and intervening in cases of intimate partner violence.  As I look at the specific ingredients of the pie, I noticed we have each of them at our fingertips:

  1. An integrated care setting that provides medical, dental and behavioral services.
  2. The ability to routinely screen for IPV.
  3. A local domestic violence organization that can be accessed by primary care providers.
  4. Well trained DV advocates who can respond immediately when a primary care provider is with a patient who discloses IPV and requests help.
  5. Domestic violence advocates who have built strong relationships with medical, dental and behavioral health providers.
  6. The ability to provide ongoing training and support to primary care staff regarding appropriate screening and interventions for IPV.

Now the task at hand becomes getting the proportion of ingredients correct, mixing them properly, and serving the pie in a way that is please to providers, patrons and policymakers alike.  And so I forge ahead!

Kimberly Citron, Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education

Posted in Domestic Violence, General | Leave a comment

Pokémon Go: In, Near, and Around the Health Center

The new Pokémon GO game, based off of the popular card game, has launched and people can’t seem to get enough of it. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been inundated with posts from people playing the game and it instantly piqued my interest. I decided to download the game to see what all the hype was about. I didn’t do too much with the game until today, when the health benefits and potential risks of the game came up in conversations with coworkers. It was then when I decided to give the game a second chance and to see what it was all about.

I asked my coworker, who is familiar with the game, to take a lunch time walk where he could give me a quick run-down of the game. We both opened the app on our phones and headed for a walk down Main Street in Middletown on the quest to find some Pokémon. The game uses a GPS and knows where users are at any given time. Before we even left the building we were both able to catch a Pokémon and visit our first PokeStop. What I didn’t know was that PokeStops are real locations pinned to the area you are playing in. When a player visits the stop they can collect Pokeballs, which are used to actually capture the Pokémon or eggs, to hatch your own unique Pokémon, and more. To access the features of the PokeStop you must be within a certain distance. The same goes for gyms. I have yet to visit a gym though because I am not at a high enough level. Although from what I have heard the gym is where you would go to train and battle other Pokémon.

As we were walking down the street, I got an alert on my phone saying I was near a Pokémon. My coworker and I stopped dead in our tracks. Not necessarily the best idea. Had anyone been behind us we would have caused a potential pedestrian accident on the sidewalk. However, as we stood on the sidewalk trying to catch the Pokémon a young man walked by and asked if we were playing the game. We told him we were and he shared he was too. A conversation started up and the young man shared that he had walked well over 10 miles since the game came out. He wished he had more time to play but has a busy work schedule so he has a limited time frame for playing. After generously giving us a thorough tutorial of the game we went our separate ways and he left saying “I have to finish getting my exercise in!”

As our walk continued I found myself looking ahead on the map at what the next PokeStop was and how far away it was from me. Just today I found myself stopping at the PokeStops at NoRa Cupcake, the Middletown Fire Department, the fountain at Luce, Eli Cannons, Kid City, the Jehosaphat Starr House, the Water Goddess mural on the side of my office building, and finally, I found myself at the mural on the side of St.  Vincent De Paul. I even found one at CHC Middletown! Main Street and Middletown have so many more stops to offer, if I didn’t have to get back to the office I could have easily stayed outside playing for the rest of the day.

I hadn’t put much thought into the health benefits associated with playing the game, but after playing for a short period of time I realized Pokemon GO encourages users to get outside, walk around and explore their communities. The concept is truly amazing. Each time the game opens up, users are cautioned to stay alert at all times. I understand why. It is easy to get sucked into the game and abruptly stop walking or continue into a street without looking. If you’re playing at night, play with a friend and don’t travel into an area that may make you uncomfortable. I would also suggest if a child is playing, parental supervision is recommended.

If you are looking for a fun, active way to keep yourself busy this summer, this is the game for you.

I already can’t wait to get home and look for more Pokémon.

Click here for more safety tips!

Posted in General, Wellness | Leave a comment

Larry Smarr, Director California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology

larry_smarrThis week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Larry Smarr, Founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. A physicist and computer scientist, Dr. Smarr discusses his pioneering research in the “quantified self” movement, outlining efforts to quantify all of his genomic and biomedical information to discover new ways to predict and prevent human disease.

Posted in CHC Radio, General | Leave a comment

Raj Chetty, PhD, Professor of Public Economics at Stanford University

Raj_ChettyThis week, Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Raj Chetty, PhD, MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Public Economics at Stanford University, who’s much-lauded research focuses on the impact of zip code on health and economic outcomes. Dr Chetty is lead author on a recent study confirming the widening gap in life expectancy between the poor and the wealthy.

Posted in CHC Radio, General | Leave a comment

Dr. Robert Zarr, ParkRx Advisor, National Park Service

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Robert Zarr, pediatrician at Unity Health in Washington, DC and founder of the ParkRx movement, which seeks to help patients achieve optimal health by prescribing the use of local park spaces. Dr. Zarr discusses the science behind the movement and the development of a national data base for clinicians around the country to prescribe park time for improved mental health, physical well-being and reduced obesity rates among their patients.

Posted in CHC Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Supreme Victory

Domestic violence survivors, victims and advocates won a victory today when the Supreme Court, in a 6-2 opinion delivered by Justice Kagan, upheld a federal law banning perpetrators of domestic violence from owning firearms.  The court ruled that reckless acts of domestic violence, in addition to intentional acts, are considered misdemeanor crimes that warrant restriction of gun ownership.

The defendants in two cases brought to the Supreme Court were arguing that reckless acts of domestic violence should not be treated with the same gravity as intentional acts.  The Court disagreed.  Given what we know about the dangerous combination of gun ownership and domestic violence, this ruling is a victory for victims, advocates and stakeholders in the battle against domestic and intimate partner violence.  The inclusion of a question regarding firearms in the Lethality Assessment Program now utilized by many jurisdictions to predict risk of death for domestic violence victims is an important indicator of the increase in dangerousness when a weapon is present.

While one reporter stated that the case “was not one of the more important cases of the term,” those whose lives are impacted by DV and IPV would surely disagree.  This law will surely save lives as we move forward.  The evidence for this is simple and takes many forms:

  1. Between 1990-2005 firearms were used to kill more then two-thirds of domestic homicide victims
  2. A victim of domestic violence is five times more likely to be killed if her abuser owns a firearm
  3. Domestic assaults involving a firearm are twelve times more likely to result in death than assaults with other weapons or bodily force

Similar statistics are in abundance, and today the Court took a huge step in ensuring that these numbers decrease in the coming months and years.  This comes on the heels of a significant local victory, in which Governor Malloy signed a bill that will protect domestic violence victims by prohibiting ownership of a firearm by anyone who is the subject of a temporary restraining order.

These advances afford hope and new protections  to victims, survivors, and advocates. Yet as evidenced by the assertion of one reporter that this case was somehow less important than others before the Court, there is still much work to be done.  So with this victory – we forge ahead!

Kimberly Citron, Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education

Posted in Domestic Violence, General | Leave a comment

Dr. Robert Zarr, ParkRx Advisor, National Park Service

Robert_ZarrThis week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Robert Zarr, pediatrician at Unity Health in Washington, DC and founder of the ParkRx movement, which seeks to help patients achieve optimal health by prescribing the use local park spaces. Dr. Zarr discusses the science behind the movement and the development of a national data base for clinicians around the country to prescribe park time for improved mental health, physical well being and reduced obesity rates among their patients.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Goodness, Oh My!  Self-Care While Working with Trauma

In the wake of recent human atrocities, I find myself engaging in a practice that I used to implement routinely when I first began treating trauma victims.  I would look around and ask myself – Where is the goodness?  It doesn’t take long to notice, the goodness is all around you.

The goodness is in the sweet scent of spring when you open your door in the morning.  It is in the smile that greets you when walk through the door.  The goodness is in the small boy who gives his ice cream cone to his little sister when she drops hers on the floor.  It is in the neighbor who cooks a meal for a woman recently widowed, the anonymous cupcake left on your desk by a concerned colleague, and the vision of a traumatized child you treated years ago standing before you surrounded by a loving wife and happy, thriving children of his own.

I recently enjoyed a lunch with community leader Cynthia Clegg, and during our discussion of human trafficking she inquired as to how I cope with working with a traumatized population.  I told her about the Goodness.  When you work with a population that has been profoundly affected by trauma, noticing and attending to the goodness is essential for self-care.   It is easy to get lost in the work that we do, and to focus only on that which is the opposite of the goodness.  The ‘badness’ is prominent – it is on our radios, our televisions, spam and social media.  It is easy to find.  However, if we are devoted to recognizing the goodness, it is just as easily accessible to us.

As we teach others to practice Linehan’s mindfulness, it behooves us to practice it ourselves.  Being mindful of the goodness is a skill we must cultivate, as essential to our continuing education as the seminars we attend on evidence-based practice.  So as you walk through your days of treating those who lives have been touched by trauma, take note of the goodness that surrounds you, and share it with those who need it most.  It won’t be long before you find it and say to yourself – Goodness, Oh My!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment