Friday, November 09, 2012

And the Beat Goes On and ON Part 2

On the Road...Again

In case you didn't know and most likely you forgot. Although I produce COP 24/7, I have many other pursuits that often beckon for my attention. After all, I can't ask you to be about the business of the community, if I'm not actively engaged in taking care of business my self. In previous post I've mentioned that "hectic schedule" that often gets in the way of lot's of stuff.  Well it's come calling again this week as I make my way to the national convening of AIDS United in Nashville, Tennessee. For those of you whom think that when you see me navigating the now "Bill and Hillary National" Airport usually in the early AM, I'm on pleasure junket you couldn't be more wrong as if you just asked me to explain it to you. What this work demands is for those of us in the fight to keep making the necessary connections we need locally. Its a very simple concept to consider. Its imperative that we reach out among others involved in prevention work for models and insights that may we may be short on the home front. I've always believe that we have to go where others are making it happen and bring that energy plus plans that can be adapted to Arkansas. It is no secret that we have a severe shortage on committed individuals and passionate folks who can embrace the tidal wave of information that is needed to understand in reference to HIV and AIDS.  Believe it or not, there's much work to do despite the fact that we are three decades into the epidemic known as HIV and AIDS. Yet, we've had great break through and much is on the horizon, however, the "nuts and bolts" of energizing a working group to tackle what lies ahead is paramount into 2013. I implore you to ask your self, "what can I do as an individual to make a difference in the endgame of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas?" While you are pondering that thought, I'm jetting off to another opportunity to meet and greet those "out of the box thinkers" whom will share their wit, wisdom and above all their passion for ending HIV and AIDS. Check us out on Facebook for pictures, updates and whatever as we find it on the road! If you are not locked and loaded to this forum, why aren't you following us today!

COP 24/7 Special
The United States of Chronic Illness
Been hearing all the talk about the fiscal cliff madness? Wait there's more. With the afterglow of the current elections somewhat settling in and every pundit trying to figure out "what happened," looming just over the horizon is the Affordable Health Care Act that has left the station and is on its way down track 2014. However as we see the light of that oncoming legislation, there is a new documentary in the vein of Michael Moore's "SICKO" which slaps it viewers with a dose of medical reality about the U.S. health care system. Directed and Produced by Mathew Heineman, "Escape Fire" is another stark wake up call about health outcomes in the United States and what appears to be the "chronic illness" model to keeping both the healthy and unhealthy in the medical turnstile. In a synopsis from the website ( the filmmakers state that American health care costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs––almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of health care costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society. Ouch!!  Recently I noticed that on my own patient chart that my PCP( Personal Care Physician)  had noted that I was "overweight" as an official notation to the record. Talk about a bitch slap to the face.
It’s not surprising that health care tops many Americans' concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation's Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a health care system.
ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. This film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform health care at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation. If you haven't navigated the system lately, I can personally attest that it can be quite challenging from co-pays to rising premiums that keeps one on his toes. I've even heard some folks quip that "if you not interested in dying then don't go to the hospital!" Yikes!! Yet despite the bleakness of it all, there are definitely some bright spots can be illuminated and certainly those that can be celebrated. But, what this films takes on is the fact that many of us with and without insurance fill the pipelines of the health care system sometimes by choice, unregulated behavior or through chronic illness. I believe that this film warrants some conversation and hope that you will check out the trailer below. Please feel free to share your thoughts, observations and nightmares with this forum.

So Many Issues, So Little Time for Lame Duck Session
On Tuesday, November 13 the House and Senate will convene for the “lame duck” session of the 112th Congress, which will run through the end of December. The list of legislative priorities far outweighs the six-week time frame that Members of Congress have to address those issues. The time frame offers less than 20 possible legislative days working 4 day weeks each week, except Thanksgiving and Christmas week.
To read Government Affairs Director Donna Crews' entire piece about the important issues in this lame duck session, visit:
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