Thursday, June 18, 2015

Voices Carry Admist Hate and Heatrache

Gunfire and Bloodshed in the Land

It's happened again and again we are all aghast at yet another shooting in which nine parishioners were murdered last night while attending Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

They were killed in cold blood by Dylann Roof, a white man who sat among them during their worship for more than an hour, then opened fire, declaring "You're raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go." 

COP 24/7 echo's sentiments of all those outraged and distress that another murderous tragedy has unfolded in an American city. This senseless violence has again demonstrated that we must deal with the issues of mental health, access to guns and those whom embrace hate rhetoric with sights on acting on it. President Obama pointedly emphasized he was frustrated and most likely aggravated that despite Sandy Hook and far back as Columbine, there is no political will to drill down on the issue of guns in America. When will it be enough, just what will it take or how many more corpses need to be counted?

Although this incident has currently shaken our senses, gun violence continues to rack up victims across the country in cities such as Chicago and New Orleans. Of all this, what also needs to be seriously asked, "is what family dynamics or societal elements created this individual." As we are outraged and filled with empathy and sympathy for the families involved, we can't deny that there could be more "Dylann's" among us, simply incubating as home grown terrorist while seeking to unleash the next blood bath moment that again will capture our attention. Our prayers go out to all those in Charleston and maybe this act, this time, will move my fellow citizens to demand that their congressional leadership to just not react, but act on some solutions to this ongoing carnage.

Why is telemedicine good for Arkansas?

The landscape of health care is a changing and its moving fast in many directions as entities and health care providers discover ways to "close the coverage gap."  Quietly and somewhat obscure is the fact that Arkansas has been on the cutting edge of building out its telemedicine network and
opportunities and now that network could include those living with HIV and AIDS.

Added to this mix is also overtones to scale up conversations with emerging public benefit organization, LinQ for Life, Incorporated concerning how UAMS's growing network of telemedicine which now consist of Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System, or ANGELS, in which women can get medical and health advice about their pregnancies 24 hours a day, including information for HIV positive pregnant women. Currently their are initial talks about how could the UAMS telemedicine network possibly be augmented to address PLWHA in rural sectors of the state.

"As apart of my educational pursuits, I wanted to engage in talks with the Telemedicine division as to what their level of involvement currently is as to using this platform to address those needing
HIV health care in the rural where perhaps no services are available." said Lee Brown, Linq for Life, founder and CEO.

UAMS also offers the Arkansas SAVES telemedicine program that has proven to be successful in helping patients throughout the state avoid suffering from long-term disabilities due to stroke. Brown continued, "after researching these programs, I realized a dialogue needed to be open to educate my colleagues on the challenges and barriers of those living in the rural encounter to either linking or retention in care due to logistics. Plus how this same system could be utilized to maximize a quality of care in areas that have limited facilities or providers who could offer competent HIV care."

Arkansas is a rural state. 39% of its population is considered rural. That means  1,156,946 (or 1.15 million) people in the state live in a rural setting. This makes it tougher for people to get to some specialized health services. Telemedicine bridges that distance gap – making it easier for people to get some specialized services without having to leave their home community. This saves money, time and can result in quicker access to care. Brown concludes, " we are in the discussion infancy stage but I believe that I may have at least got their attention on how both LinQ for Life and UAMS could champion this issue."

Watch COP 24/7 for more information on upcoming activities during National HIV Awareness Week, June 21-27! Need FREE testing and counseling call 501-404-2367


No comments: