Racism and other ‘Isms’- Shaping Systemic Change Through An Equity Lens

From Michigan Department of Civil Rights: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Hosted by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights on June 15th, the 2022 Michigan Civil Rights Summit is a call to action in our current national climate. The event will provide an opportunity for activists, policymakers, funders, academics and public servants to discuss, strategize and collaborate on critical civil rights issues. 

During the day, participants will tackle topics like equity in education, housing, economics, health outcomes, voting rights, and democracy. The approach for each discussion is an examination of how structural “isms” (racism, ageism, sexism, classism, ableism, etc.) impact historically and culturally marginalized communities. Attendees will also consider how systemic advantage shapes discrimination and the role an equity lens plays in helping to dismantle institutional and structural inequity.

The summit will end with a discussion on strategies to operationalize equity in efforts to promote strategic systems change. Attendance will be possible virtually or in-person at the Lansing Center in Lansing, MI.

This event is also available on the Whova Mobile App: Download Link.
You can interact with others on your phone in the app more conveniently wherever you go.

Take Action Now to Help Fix the Family Glitch!

From ARC national: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Biden Administration has proposed new rules that would fix the “family glitch,” which has left millions of families—including the families of many people with disabilities—ineligible for financial help through the health care marketplace.
See how you can help!

What Is the Family Glitch?

Right now, people who do not have access to affordable health insurance through their jobs can get financial help to buy coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
But current rules only consider the cost of the insurance for the employee and don’t take into account the cost of insurance for spouses, partners, dependents, or other family members.

This means that families who need insurance but can’t afford the cost for the entire family on the employee’s plan aren’t guaranteed an affordable option.

Because of the “family glitch,” five million people, including adults and children with disabilities, don’t have access to affordable health coverage.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

by Torrey Kim: For Complete Post, Click Here…

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe type of epilepsy that causes seizures that typically begin between the ages of 2 and 5.
  • Among children with epilepsy, 3 percent to 4 percent have LGS.
  • LGS tends to be resistant to most antiseizure medications.
  • Treatments for LGS include medications such as Depakene (valproic acid), Epidiolex (cannabidiol), and Onfi (clobazam), as well surgeries and dietary changes.

Clinical Report Updates Recommendations for Care of Children With Down Syndrome: American Academy of Pediatrics

From American Academy of Pediatrics: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The American Academy of Pediatrics updates its recommendations for pediatricians and families affected by a diagnosis of Down syndrome within a clinical report, “Health Supervision for Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome,” published in the May 2022 Pediatrics. Typically, a diagnosis of Down syndrome is confirmed by chromosome analysis or suspected by prenatal screening. The report (published online April 18) observes that Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal cause of intellectual disability, and that improvement in care and quality of life has increased the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome to average age 60. The report, written by the AAP Council on Genetics, covers questions concerning prenatal intervention and breaks down the care and treatment of children with Down syndrome by age. These children may have many co-occurring medical conditions and cognitive impairment, and while the level of social-emotional functioning may vary, these skills may be improved with early intervention and therapy through early adulthood. The authors emphasize that continuing research is critical for directing the care for optimal outcomes of people with Down syndrome.

U.S. drug overdose deaths reached all-time high in 2021, CDC says

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Fentanyl continues to drive the majority of overdose deaths in the country.

More than 107,600 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, the highest annual death toll on record, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Overdose deaths increased 15 percent in 2021, up from an estimated 93,655 fatalities the year prior, according to a report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which collects data on a range of health topics, including drug use.

While the total number of deaths reached record highs, the increase appeared to slow compared to the change seen from 2019 to 2020, when overdose deaths rose 30 percent, according to the report.

It’s still too early to say whether that slowdown will hold, said Farida Ahmad, a scientist at the health statistics center. The agency’s latest report is considered provisional, meaning the data is incomplete and subject to change.

Setting Standards for Delivering High-Quality Care to Veterans with Invisible Wounds

by Carrie M. Farmer, Sierra Smucker, Natalie Ernecoff, Hamad Al-Ibrahim: For Complete Post, Click Here…

he Veteran Wellness Alliance, an initiative of the George W. Bush Institute, is a coalition of seven veteran peer network organizations and nine clinical provider organizations that aims to improve access to high- quality care for post-9/11 veterans with invisible wounds. The alliance collaborated with RAND researchers to develop a shared definition of high-quality care and identify corresponding standards of care for treating invisible wounds.

There are four components of the shared definition of high-quality care for veterans with PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, and TBI:

  1. Veteran-centered care: High-quality care accounts for veterans’ unique needs, values, and preferences. Providers are culturally competent and assess veterans’ experiences, engage them in shared decisionmaking, and involve family members and caregivers in their treatment.
  2. Accessible care: High-quality care is both accessible and timely.
  3. Evidence-based care: High-quality care is based on the best available research and adheres to clinical practice guidelines. Providers perform a comprehensive assessment to guide treatment; conduct screenings; and take an interdisciplinary, team-based approach to care.
  4. Outcome monitoring: High-quality care promotes the use of validated measurement tools to assess and monitor clinical outcomes and veterans’ well-being, guide treatment decisions, and facilitate coordination.

Characteristics of Standards of Care for Invisible Wounds

For standards of care to be useful, they must be feasible to apply and must address important aspects of care.

Feasibility

From an initial list of 103 potential high-quality care measures and standards, 33 were feasible to collect—that is, the necessary data were available, and collecting these data resulted in a minimal burden on programs and providers.

Importance

Standards of care were considered important if clinicians and administrators rated them as addressing a very important element of high-quality care. Ambiguous standards and those that applied to only a subpopulation of veterans were considered of low importance. Of the 33 standards of care that were considered feasible, 17 were rated as highly important.

Incorporating feedback from clinical providers, administrators, and policymakers, the researchers consolidated and edited standards for clarity, parsimony, and specificity and recommended a set of ten standards of care (shown below) that address each of the pillars of high-quality care and all four conditions.

Veteran-Centered Care

  • Veterans report being told about treatment options.
  • Program/clinic staff who interact with veterans have completed training in military cultural competence.

Accessible Care

  • Care is available at no or minimal cost to veterans: Program accepts insurance, has resources to support veterans without insurance, or is free.
  • Veterans who request a new outpatient appointment are seen within 30 days.

Examples of Evidence-Based Treatments

  • Evidence-based psychotherapies for depression include acceptance and commitment therapy, behavioral therapy/behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and problem-solving therapy.
  • Evidence-based trauma-focused psychotherapies for PTSD include prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, CBT for PTSD, brief eclectic psychotherapy, narrative exposure therapy, and written exposure therapy.
  • Psychosocial interventions for substance use disorder include behavioral couples therapy, CBT, the community reinforcement approach, motivational enhancement therapy, and 12-step facilitation. Psychosocial interventions are recommended for alcohol, cannabis, and stimulant use disorders. The evidence is unclear on the benefit of psychosocial interventions for opioid use disorder.

We May Have Discovered the Missing Link Between Mental Trauma and Chronic Pain

By Miriam Fauzia: For Complete Post, Click Here…

There may be unique neural signatures that make people with PTSD more prone to chronic pain.

Nearly 50 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, according to a 2018 report released by the CDC. For some, there’s a clear reason for their pain, whether it be ongoing diseases like arthritis or disorders like fibromyalgia. But for others, there are no physical roots—their chronic pain is caused by trauma.

For years, scientists and clinicians have noticed that chronic pain and psychological trauma tend to go hand-in-hand. It’s never been clear why—pain is a subjective experience that differs from one person to another, making it hard to identify exact mechanisms in the brain. But now, scientists may have an answer.

In a new study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Pain Research, researchers in California have discovered three different types of brain patterns that may explain why some people are more prone or less prone to chronic pain that’s associated with trauma. These findings, based on new MRI studies of military veterans, push back against one-size-fits-all approaches to treatment, and instead pave the way for more tailored treatments specific to individual patients.

Suicide Attempt and Risk of Substance Use Disorders Among Female Youths

By Nathalie Auger, MD; Nicholas Chadi; Aimina Ayoub: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Key Points

Question  Do female youths who attempt suicide have an increased risk of substance use disorders later in life?

Findings  In this cohort study of 122 234 females aged 8 to 19 years followed up for 31 years, suicide attempts before 20 years of age were associated with greater risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life compared with no suicide attempt. Female youths with repeated suicide attempts or who attempted suicide by hanging or suffocation were at greatest risk of subsequent substance use disorders.

Meaning  The findings suggest that female youths who attempt suicide may require better monitoring for substance use disorders after the initial suicide attempt.

NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy for Mental Health Receives FDA Clearance for Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

From Neuronetics: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-This is part of the non-invasive brain stimulation industry…

Neuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIM), a commercial stage medical technology company focused on designing, developing, and marketing products that improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from neurohealth disorders, announced clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its transcranial magnetic stimulation system as an adjunct for treating adult patients suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

“This is evidence of our commitment and strategic initiative to accelerate new clinical indications for NeuroStar,” stated Cory Anderson, VP of R&D and Clinical. “This new indication means that NeuroStar can help even more people suffering from mental health disorders that can be debilitating in their daily lives.”

NeuroStar pioneered the TMS category as the first system FDA cleared for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). NeuroStar is now leveraging the system’s versatile coil design, which allows providers to treat both MDD and OCD without the need for additional hardware upgrades or purchases. NeuroStar’s proprietary cloud-based software, TrakStar, can remotely activate the new treatment protocol for providers once they are trained. Practice Development Managers and Clinical Training Managers will be available to deliver training to NeuroStar practices in the third quarter. This new indication will significantly add to NeuroStar’s extensive Outcomes Registry, which is the largest outcomes registry in the world for depression.

AT LIBERTY PODCAST: Pain Relief Is a Civil Right

From Kendall Ciesemier: For Complete Post, Click Here…

playtranscript

For years now, pain has been the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 50 million Americans annually. This isn’t the kind of pain you endure when you trip onto the pavement, scab, bruise and heal. It’s the persistent gnawing, aching, throbbing that happens over a long period of time. This is chronic pain.

One of the most powerful and effective forms of treatment for pain is the safe use of opioids. Opioids in combination with other therapies have allowed those hindered by pain to live full and vibrant lives, but the stigma around opioid use was exacerbated in 2016 due to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, that both seriously discouraged doctors from prescribing these drugs and also over attributed the prescription of them as the cause of addiction and overdose.

While opioids are not a one-size fits all pain reliever, the rollback on prescriptions has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities, people of color, women, and incarcerated folks. Kate Nicholson, founder of the National Pain Advocacy Center, believes now is the time to course-correct. Pain relief, in her view, is a civil right.