Optum Ireland announces Healthcare Scholars and support for Ulster’s new School of Medicine

Optum Ireland has announced its annual Optum Healthcare Scholars and a commitment to funding two dedicated scholarships for the new graduate entry School of Medicine at Ulster University.

Optum Healthcare Scholars benefit from annual financial assistance, as well as other support they may require, to complete their undergraduate studies. The program, established in 2018, is designed to support students in County Donegal from less advantaged backgrounds who may face additional challenges.

The newly appointed Healthcare Scholars are:

Moya McCloskey (Crana College)
Caitlín Gillespie (St Columba’s Stranorlar)
Saoirse Bonner (Rosses Community School)
Artur Kryszkowski (St Eunan’s College)
Siobhán Griffin (St Columba’s Stranorlar)

The scholars join the existing cohort of Healthcare Scholars from County Donegal. All scholars selected for the program are studying healthcare and innovative technology programs in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University and National University of Ireland, Galway.

CEO of Optum Ireland, Padraig Monaghan said:

“Optum has a presence in the North West for more than 20 years. Our scholarship program is designed to meet the needs and realities of this cross-border region and support the local healthcare system. We are delighted that our contribution comes at a time when there is an acute focus on the healthcare service and an increased level of application to third level healthcare courses in Ireland”.

The establishment of a new, graduate entry School of Medicine in Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry city is a significant development for the North West City region. Optum has announced that the scholarship program will support two graduate medical students when the School of Medicine opens in 2021.

The Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras, has welcomed the funding announcement for prospective students:

‘Ulster University is a proud partner of Optum Ireland and their commitment to fund postgraduate scholarships comes at a critical time for the School of Medicine and is most welcome. Our new medical provision will provide much-needed doctors for the North West’

Sophie Carlin, a third year Personalised Medicine student at Ulster University, received an Optum Healthcare Scholarship in 2018. She is now being supported by Optum during her placement year.

Sophie was selected by Dr. Kyle Matchett, Lecturer in Molecular Immunobiology, to be a member of his research team focusing on an aggressive childhood leukaemia. The research aims to better understand how childhood leukaemia develops including the role of the key altered gene and to create more effective, kinder treatments.

Sophie hopes to become a Doctor in Cancer Research and help people who have been affected by cancer,

“Optum Ireland has made us a part of their family and I will be forever grateful to them for giving me this scholarship and allowing me to pursue my dreams.”

Source Article

Read more

Protests in Brazil support president in anti-vaccine stance

SAO PAULO (AP) — Small groups of protesters gathered in Brazil’s two biggest cities Sunday to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a coronavirus vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro.

People assembled in downtown Sao Paulo calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria, who has said state residents will be required to take a vaccine, likely the one being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac and the local Butantan Institute.

“Doria will fall!” the protestors chanted. “Out with Doria!”


The CoronaVac, as it is being called, has been a prime target for skepticism from Bolsonaro and others, with the president saying Brazilians will not be guinea pigs to the Chinese. The issue has become a talking point in mayoral and city council campaigns for elections later this month, and as most health professions support vaccination, social media campaigns have raised questions about possible perils of vaccines.

Demonstrators supporting Bolsonaro on the question also protested on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

A PoderData poll said this week the percentage of Brazilians who say they would take a coronavirus vaccine dropped to 63% in October from 85% four months earlier. The percentage rejecting the idea of taking a vaccine rose to 22% from 8% in July.

The Getulio Vargas Foundation think tank said an analysis of 2 million Twitter postings found that 24% of profiles identified as pro-Bolsonaro and they accounted for 56% of mentions against the vaccine. On the other side, 47% of profiles identified as pro-vaccine and represented 32% of the postings.

In October, Doria said vaccination would be mandatory in his state, and Bolsonaro’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, announced that the country had agreed to purchase CoronaVac doses produced locally.

The president quickly responded that he would not allow the import of vaccines from China. Though the health regulator later gave permission for Butantan to import 6 million doses, on Thursday the president said on his weekly live program that he would not buy the vaccine and that the governor should “find someone else to buy your vaccine.”

On Friday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao told the magazine Veja that “of course” the country will buy the Butantan-Sinovac vaccine. Bolsonaro immediately responded that he is the one with the power and he won’t spend on any vaccine that is not approved by the Brazilian health regulator.

Brazil has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, and about 160,000 people have died from COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus. While the spread of the virus has begun slowing, public health experts warn people not to let their guard down.

Health professionals are also speaking out in an effort to shore up support for vaccines.

“Vaccination en masse with high coverage would be the only mechanism we have to control the epidemic, at least in the medium-term,” Jesem Orellana, an epidemiology researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a scientific research institution, said in a

Read more

GoodLife Fitness defends email asking for re-opening support

A chain of gyms in Ontario is facing a flood of feedback after asking its members to “stand up for fitness” by contacting their MPPs about the current strict limitations to indoor fitness as a result of COVID-19.

GoodLife Fitness sent an email to about 200,000 of its employees and members in the province, encouraging them to contact their local MPPs to push to reopen gyms. 

“Between mandated shutdowns, capacity restrictions, and ongoing questions about the safety of fitness facilities, our industry is facing the most difficult time in its history,” the email reads.

The email, which was sent on Monday, included links to a downloadable template for the letter, as well as a website that helps identify your local MPP.

Some people took to social media to criticize — and defend — the email campaign.

Currently gyms located in hotspots across Ontario, like Toronto and Peel, are not allowed to operate under Stage 2 restrictions. As of October 10, fitness centres like indoor gyms and yoga studios were ordered to close for 28 days. 

Jason Sheridan, senior vice-president of operations with GoodLife Fitness, says the idea of the email blast originally came as an initiative from the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. He says that the email was sent out after hearing from staff and members who wanted to know what they could do to make a difference.

“They wanted to know how to advocate on the behalf of the work they do, or the need that people have to have that space to exercise,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “When the Fitness Industry Council of Canada suggested it, we thought this was a great place to go. We want to provide this service of physical and mental health for people who want to get back to the gym.”

When GoodLife Fitness reopened locations in July, lineups of patrons eager to get back in the gym could be seen stretching down the street. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Two-thirds of GoodLife club members had returned to the gym prior to the

Read more

Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: White House seeks to clarify press release claiming pandemic over | Fauci: COVID vaccine likely not available until next year Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine likely not available until next year Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was ‘getting the country back from the doctors’ MORE, expressed support for a national mask mandate in an interview late Wednesday with CNBC.

Fauci explained that the U.S. rate of new coronavirus infections is trending in the wrong direction, adding that mask mandates are likely the only option to slow the spread.

“You know, yes,” he said when asked if a national mandate is needed. “If we don’t get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it’s not done nationally.”

“This is going to get worse because we’re going more into a colder season, as we get through the fall and into the winter with the holiday season going, we’ve got to do something different. We can’t just let this happen,” Fauci continued.

Fauci also said, however, that he did not think the Trump White House would issue a national mask mandate.

“You’re using the word ‘mandating masks’ – yes if that works, let’s do it. I don’t think it’s going to happen nationally,” he said. “It may not come from the White House to do it and if it doesn’t, then I think that the mayors and the governors should do it.”

President Trump has resisted the idea of national mandates and criticized Fauci personally in recent weeks, telling supporters that his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: ‘I love you back’ Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign’s use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE, would follow the doctor’s advice.

“He wants to listen to Dr. Fauci,” Trump said at a rally this month. “He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression.”

Biden responded to the story on Twitter with a simple tweet: “…yes.”

Read more

Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate for the first time amid record-setting coronavirus infections

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said for the first time Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. In interviews with CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci expressed regret that masks haven’t been adopted more widely and suggested that doing so would be key to avoiding another round of shutdowns.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.


© Graeme Jennings/AP
Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.

Here are some significant developments:

  • With five days to go before Election Day on Nov. 3, President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have crystallized opposing messages on a pandemic that has affected most aspects of American life, including voting.
  • Germany and France announced month-long lockdowns on Wednesday, saying that the resurgence of infections had spiraled out of control.
  • Health officials say the White House called off an investigation into its coronavirus outbreak, while failing to notify people who may have been exposed.
  • The United States has seen a steady increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations for almost the entire month of October, with record-high numbers of cases reported in the past week, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 80,000 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, pushing the total number of infections past 8.8 million. At least 227,000 fatalities have been linked to the virus since February.
  • A federal government briefing document obtained by The Washington Post suggests that a traveler could theoretically drive all the way from the Canadian border to northern Mississippi without ever leaving a “hot-spot” county.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

1:31 AM: Fauci expresses support for national mandate for the first time, says he hasn’t spoken to Trump in ‘quite a while’

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, appeared to call for a nationwide mask mandate for the first time on Wednesday in a series of interviews with the CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has historically been reluctant to advocate for such a sweeping policy, telling reporters last month that a national mandate “probably would not work.” But in a Friday interview with CNN, he suggested that the federal government should “maybe” consider instituting one.

Questioned about his apparent hesitation on Wednesday by CNBC’s Shepard Smith, Fauci said that he had hoped “we could pull together as a country” and recognize the importance of mask-wearing without the government getting involved. “We haven’t,” Smith interrupted, before going on to ask Fauci if it was time for a national mandate.

“You know, yes,” Fauci replied. “If we don’t

Read more

Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate amid record-setting coronavirus infections

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. In interviews with CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci expressed regret that masks haven’t been adopted more widely, and suggested that doing so would be the key to avoiding another round of national lockdowns.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.


© Graeme Jennings/AP
Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Germany and France announced month-long lockdowns on Wednesday, saying that the resurgence of infections had spiraled out of control.
  • Health officials say that the White House called off an investigation into its coronavirus outbreak, while failing to notify people who may have been exposed.
  • The United States has seen a steady increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations for almost the entire month of October, with record-high numbers of cases reported in the past week, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 80,000 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, pushing the total number of infections past 8.8 million. At least 227,000 fatalities have been linked to the virus since February.
  • A federal government briefing document obtained by The Washington Post suggests that a traveler could theoretically drive all the way from the Canadian border to northern Mississippi without ever leaving a “hotspot” county.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

1:01 AM: We’re all making choices in the pandemic. Many of us are lying about them.

On a recent Saturday that Rebecca Wolfe said she spent at home, she was strolling along the beach with a man she met on Hinge — but as far as she’s concerned, her mother doesn’t need to know that. Given that health experts emphasize maintaining our distance from each other during the pandemic, Wolfe plans to keep the outing to herself.

Everyone has different levels of risk tolerance, and opinions vary widely about what kinds of activities are acceptable right now: Is outdoor seating at a restaurant okay? What if we wear masks except when we’re eating? How about if we’re the only family there?

We all make our own choices. Many of us are just lying about them.

Read the full story

By: Marisa Iati

12:29 AM: A spice boom has left manufacturers scrambling, and packaging materials can’t keep up

The most sought-after at times have been as costly as precious metals. Their allures set world exploration in motion, fueled sailing expeditions around the Cape of Good Hope, precipitated the establishment of colonies. And now, more than 4,000 years after the initial fervor, we are living through a new spice boom.

The pandemic

Read more

NowPow Expands Community Care Networks in Washington to Support Students and Other People with Behavioral Health Needs

NowPow, the personalized community referral platform powering care across the nation, is expanding its digital footprint in the state of Washington. NowPow is launching a new, first-of-its-kind partnership with Educational Service District (ESD) 105, a state agency serving 25 public school districts and over 20 private and tribal schools. The company is also furthering its work with Ideal Option, one of the nation’s largest outpatient medication-assisted treatment providers for substance use disorder.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201028005157/en/

Washington State Skyline – Powering Communities With Knowledge (Graphic: Business Wire)

This means hundreds of thousands of Washington residents can now be connected with personalized services that are highly matched to both their health and social needs, as well as age, gender, eligibility, location, languages spoken, and insurance coverage. ESD 105 and Ideal Option will also work closely with community-based and government organizations to “close the referral loop,” utilizing NowPow to track engagement throughout the process so that providers and community-based partners are able to monitor the outcome of referrals and follow-up as needed.

“Often the biggest obstacle to resource access is a knowledge gap. People don’t know what’s available to them or how to find it. Our mission at NowPow is to support community health and wellness by powering those connections,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “Thanks to these unique cross-sector partnerships, NowPow is now able to connect vulnerable populations, like students and people with behavioral health needs, to community-based organizations throughout Washington.”

NowPow’s partnership with ESD 105 has the potential to connect more than 66,000 K-12 students and their families to behavioral health resources in the community. Even before the pandemic, 93 percent of school districts in the state had insufficient systems to address behavioral health needs, which have now been compounded by the crisis. After the initial launch, ESD 105 also plans to utilize NowPow’s referral network to address things like food and housing insecurity.

“During these unprecedented times, it is critical that our students have access to behavioral health services to facilitate learning and support overall wellbeing,” said Kevin Chase, Superintendent, ESD 105. “Our partnership with NowPow will help our students and their families address social risk factors and overcome systemic barriers to these critical resources.”

“Knowing the available resources is a challenge. NowPow makes this an easier and more personalized process,” added Chris De Villeneuve, Division Director, Behavioral Health and Integrated Care, Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington.

Ideal Option has seen the value of the NowPow platform at work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Ideal Option and its sister company, Ideal Balance, have leveraged NowPow’s platform to administer comprehensive screening to more than 420 patients with opioid use disorder in the Greater Columbia region and match them to more than 3,600 critical community resources like housing and job assistance. On the heels of this success, Ideal Option brought the NowPow referral network to patients in five more counties in the North Puget Sound region.

“NowPow has been a lifeline

Read more

Britain’s Health Workers Face 2nd Virus Wave, but This Time With Less Support

People have also begun complaining about long wait times.

“There is some disbelief that you’ve had six months to prepare for this and why haven’t you been training more nurses,” said Dr. Tamás Szakmany, an intensive care doctor in Newport, Wales. But, he said, “it’s not just like you’ve got a car factory and you suddenly need more transmissions, so you train the factory workers to build more transmissions. It’s just not that simple.”

Among doctors and nurses, a sense of battle fatigue has set in. Extra weekend shifts that were intended to be temporary have lasted through the summer, especially in northern cities where coronavirus wards remained busy even as a national lockdown was lifted in the summer. Health workers are calling in sick, many of them with anxiety and depression.

Rapid testing remains scarce for doctors and nurses. And health workers on coronavirus wards are supplied only with basic surgical masks, not the heavier-duty N-95 masks reserved for intensive care units.

“The first time around, it’s almost like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of medical challenge,” said Paul Whitaker, a respiratory doctor in Bradford, in northern England, where the number of coronavirus patients has returned to its early May peak.

“The hospital provided packed lunches for us all,” Dr. Whitaker added. “People were sending good luck messages. But the prospect of going into another six months, which is almost certainly what it’s going to be, is relatively frightening. How are you going to maintain the morale, the focus and the energy of all these people?”

In the ex-mining and manufacturing towns in England’s north that have been hit hardest by the latest surge of infections, doctors are especially harried. Nearly 40 percent of critically ill patients are now classified as the country’s most deprived, compared to a quarter of such patients in the spring and early summer.

Source Article

Read more

Young people struggling with eating disorders find support on TikTok

TikTok creators are offering meal support for people in need. (Photo: Getty Images)
TikTok creators are offering meal support for people in need. (Photo: Getty Images)

A recent trend on TikTok is providing young people suffering with or recovering from an eating disorder with meal support by featuring creators eating food and offering users a safe space to virtually join them.

“I thought that it would be nice for you guys to have a video of me just sitting there eating so that if you ever are having a hard time eating you can come back to this video, sit there with me and enjoy your meal with me,” Clara Guillem says in a voiceover of a video of her eating a sandwich. “So, yeah. I love you guys. Use this whenever you want. I love you.” The sound has been used in 3,357 videos on the platform.

The 24-year-old who is currently living in Nashville, Tenn., tells Yahoo Life that she developed anorexia at the age of 14, sharing that social media platforms that perpetuated toxic content about body image encouraged her eating disorder. Now, as a full-time content creator focused on body confidence, eating disorder recovery and general mental health, she’s looking to change the way that young people interact with these platforms as well as with the people on them.

“My anorexia continued until I was about 20 years old,” Guillem says. “I remember the exact moment I decided to turn my account into a safe space for those with eating disorders. I had made a video asking people to stop posting toxic ‘what I eat in a days’ [videos] showing off their low-calorie meals on a kid’s app. Then, I got a comment from a 13-year-old girl saying she was struggling. I responded to the comment and all of a sudden I received hundreds of comments from kids that age saying they were unhappy with their bodies and engaging in harmful eating disorder habits. I knew then, that as an adult who had been through it all, and who they seemed to trust, it was my place to share my story and inspire others to get help.”

Guillem began to post videos where she shared her own experience with anorexia and her journey to recovery. She also would show herself eating food items that she previously deemed “fear foods” — what National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) Communications Manager Chelsea Kronengold explains to Yahoo Life as different foods that might “trigger” someone with an eating disorder.

“That food can be associated with trauma for somebody, so that might be a fear food,” Kronengold says. “Generally speaking, fear foods are usually higher in calories, foods that the media perpetuates as ‘bad’ foods, even though at NEDA we don’t believe that there’s good or bad foods.”

Guillem is spreading that same message with content created specifically to share evidence of herself enjoying a variety of foods without guilt. During a TikTok live one day, she even realized the need to provide followers with more opportunities to feel encouraged to eat

Read more

COVID patient who was almost taken off life support just left hospital

  • A 26-year-old North Carolina coronavirus survivor returned home Tuesday after her heart repeatedly stopped beating for 30 minutes.
  • She had suffered complications including strokes, which have struck other young coronavirus patients for reasons doctors don’t fully understand. 
  • Doctors also don’t know why some critically ill young patients who were previously healthy die while others bounce back.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Tionna Hairston’s heart repeatedly stopped beating for 30 minutes, her doctors worried yet again that she wouldn’t make it. 

The 26-year-old in North Carolina was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May, and subsequently suffered a stroke that led to bleeding in her brain and blood clots in her heart that caused the cardiac arrest, the Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver reported. 

The conditions left her unable to fully use her arms and legs, and she was put on a ventilator for more than two months. She also suffered kidney and liver failure. 

Doctors “thought that we should take her off of life support because she had no hope for life,” Hairston’s mom, Stacey Peatross said, according to Rasheeda Kabba, who covered the story for multiple local outlets. “They thought she would be a vegetable. She wouldn’t have any quality of life at all.” 

They were wrong. After family, friends, and strangers prayed for her, Hairston began improving. She entered rehab for more than a month, where she relearned basic activities of daily living, like eating and getting dressed. 

On Tuesday, she walked out of the hospital to continue rehab at home. She had been in medical care for 137 days. “My faith in God and the fact that I wanted to walk again” allowed her to survive, Hairston said. 

 

While she’s not fully recovered — she walks with a walker and has some memory loss — her doctors praised her recovery and the lessons it can teach others. 

First, people should know “20-somethings can get very sick from COVID and COVID complications,” Dr. James McLean, director of the Novant rehabilitation hospital in Winston-Salem, told Craver. “It’s not just older folks.” 

The other lesson is that Hairston “demonstrated that human spirit, that little flame inside that keeps us going, shows us that people can overcome things that we could never imagine.”

Other young COVID-19 patients have suffered strokes and neurological issues  

Doctors have been concerned to see strokes in young people with no prior history of strokes and, in some cases, mild or even asymptomatic COVID. 

In May, five young New Yorkers with COVID-19 were admitted to the hospital with life-threatening “large-vessel” strokes, or those caused by a blood clot that travels from the body into an artery in the brain, Business Insider’s Aylin Woodward previously reported. 

Doctors don’t yet understand exactly how COVID-19 influences stroke risk, but it may have to do with blood clots, which have appeared in other parts of coronavirus patients’ bodies, like the lungs and legs. 

COVID-19 has also been linked to a range of other neurological issues,

Read more
  • Partner links