Posts tagged with "Doctors"

Eyelinerz illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Importance of Eye Contact

THE ALL-IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF MAINTAINING EYE CONTACT DURING VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Did you know that we have oxytocin receptors in our eyes? When we make eye contact with someone (researchers say about 30 seconds of maintained connection should do it), the receptors tell the brain to produce the hormone, which travels through the body, hits the internal organs, and ends in the heart. Each time the eye contact is maintained, the reaction repeats. The result? Our breath and heart rate slow down, we feel calmer, we feel… happy. Even better, research shows that this effect is achieved when we make eye contact virtually as well as in person.

The Dangers of Losing Human Connection

Connecting with others doesn’t just make us happy, it can apparently also make us better people. In one study, researchers found that individuals who felt connected to others were more likely to want to volunteer in their community or do kindness for strangers. Researchers are now trying to determine how our wellbeing and connection to others is being impacted by spending so much time distanced from our social groups.

Some studies seem grim. One extensive study out of the UK analyzed over 80 research articles on loneliness indicates that as children experience increasing levels of loneliness due to being away from school and friends, they’re at increasing risk of depression and anxiety.

But the good news is that we are getting really creative (and effective) at keeping our human connection going despite the social distancing.

Connecting Creatively

For children navigating distance learning and time away from friends, doctors from the University of Michigan encouraged parents to see this time as an opportunity to teach children new skills that focus on kindness, resilience, and flexibility, while reminding parents that children are incredibly resilient as long as they are in a supportive and loving environment.

Kids can find social connections in lots of creative ways, from Zoom playdates to video game challenges with friends’ half-way around the world.

Technology also helps adults maintain — or form — meaningful connections. More than ever, meeting online is leading to meaningful, romantic relationships despite (or maybe because of?) couples waiting longer to meet in-person. Apparently, flirting via video chat is incredibly effective, despite the fact that you’re never quite really looking each other in the eye.

We are also connecting deeper with our coworkers, as Zoom happy hours have brought socializing into our homes, making for more relaxed conversations. There’s something about seeing your colleagues sipping seltzers from their kid’s playroom that really ups the camaraderie.

Connecting Effectively

Research has shown that the key to virtual connection is the same as it is in person — eye contact. Now we just need to get better at forming that connection during video calls.

The best way to do this is to look into the camera intermittently as you would someone’s eyes when meeting in person. I know, easier said than done! Our instinct is to look at the person’s face on the screen. But one solution to make maintaining eye contact with a camera more natural is having a tool like Eyelinez around your lens. The fun designs will grab your attention and remind you to keep looking into the lens.

What Are Eyelinez?

Maintaining proper eye contact with a camera is not a new challenge.  In fact, the challenge has existed ever since anyone had to stare into a cold dark camera as if they were engaging with a smiling human.  An “eyeline” is where the speaker is looking and Eyelinez is the solution to enable you to maintain a natural and engaging eyeline with the camera.

Chaos Ignites Agility Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chaos Ignites Agility

2020 exposed the collapse of standardization. We are rapidly moving away from an era defined by outdated standards that held people to conformity and limited their creativity—to today’s new era of personalization that honors one’s individual contributions and embraces fresh ideas and ideals,” said Glenn Llopis, president of GLLG, a leadership and business strategy consulting firm that authored a new report available today: CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY (download full report).

CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY captures the most intimate and disruptive insights from 46 executives across healthcare, corporate, and education. These leaders came together virtually for three days last October to share how they are working to restore individual dignity in how they serve patients, customers, employees, and students to thrive in a post-pandemic reality.

Themes emerged across the sectors, as doctors, professors, executives, deans, and presidents got real about how they have been adapting throughout the challenges and unpredictability of 2020. They collectively zeroed in on these major challenges and opportunities:

  • How to put patients, employees, and students at the center – to activate individual capacity.
  • How to lead through industry transformation when there’s so much uncertainty.
  • How to pursue and employ inclusion as a growth strategy going forward.

This riveting video tells the story.

Organizations represented in CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY include:

Healthcare:

  • CVS Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Anthem, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Woman’s Hospital, Lenovo Health, Keck Medicine of USC, City of Hope Cancer Medical Center, and American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Corporate:

  • Starbucks, Microsoft, Twitter, ViacomCBS, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Cost Plus World Market, Chico’s FAS, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, Farmers Insurance, H&R Block, Lyft, and Banfield Pet Hospital

Higher Education:

  • Clemson University, College of Business, Google, USC Marshall School of Business, Drake University, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Fairfield University, Lynchburg, College of Business, University of Washington, Bothell, University of South Florida, College of Business, California State University, Stanislaus, and Metropolitan Community College

Learn more at Age of Personalization.

Botox and Dermal Filler Benefits & How To Choose A Clinic In Vancouver

Have you have been thinking about freshening up your looks with dermal fillers or Botox, but you cannot decide whether it is the right thing to do, or which option you should choose? Here’s what you need to do, get properly informed about these procedures and take a look at the benefits that come with them, so you can make an educated choice. After all, you shouldn’t just rush into decisions like these before getting all your facts straight. Go here to learn about the difference between Botox and dermal fillers in the first place.

What Are These & How Do They Differ?

Botox and dermal fillers are minimally invasive cosmetic treatments that can help treat wrinkles, rejuvenate skin and make it look healthier. Minimally invasive means that these procedures don’t include surgeries. Instead, these are given through injections. Even though they share these similarities, it’s important for you to understand that they are also rather different in several regards.

The main difference between these two treatment procedures is that they are used for different types of wrinkles. As you might already know, Botox is a muscle relaxer made from certain bacteria. It is even used for treating certain neurological disorders that can cause muscle weakness. Additionally, it can be used for treating migraines and certain other medical conditions as well.

When used as a cosmetic treatment, Botox works perfectly for the so-called dynamic wrinkles. Those are the ones that appear naturally between your eyebrows and around the corners of your mouth and your eyes as you age. While the ageing process itself cannot be stopped, Botox can prevent the movement of those muscles and thus reduce the actual appearance of dynamic wrinkles.

It is not suitable for fine lines that are usually caused by collagen breakdown, that’s where dermal fillers come into play. Dermal fillers are used for smile lines primarily, but they can also serve as a means of plumping up your lips or cheeks. In addition to that, dermal fillers are also used for hand treatments or in the process of covering certain scars.

Whichever cosmetic treatment option you choose out of these two, here’s what you need to know. They are highly effective, but they require additional maintenance treatments. Meaning if you want to get permanent results, you’ll need to find the perfect dermal fillers or Botox clinic in Vancouver and stick with it for a while, because these procedures are definitely not a one-time thing. Keep in mind that the results you will get also depend on the type of treatment you choose and you should probably consult an expert to give you some more explanations about that.

What Are The Benefits?

Now that you know how these two procedures differ you are one step closer towards deciding if any are the right choice for you. Surely, you don’t want to go through any treatment processes before figuring out what you can gain from those. You are probably curious about the benefits of doing it. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of Botox and dermal fillers.

Quick Procedures

One of the biggest benefits of Botox and dermal fillers is the fact that you don’t need to interrupt your whole daily routine in order to go through the process. The procedure is very quick and simple and you don’t need to go through a recovery period afterwards. Simply put, you can get Botox or dermal fillers and instantly go about your day without worrying about any side effects.

Quick Results

In addition to getting a quick procedure, you’ll also get quick results, which is certainly rather important for most people. There’s no need for you to wait for hours or days in order to see whether the treatment worked or not. In fact, you’ll see that it had worked the moment you take a look in the mirror after the procedure is finished. This is certainly something to look forward to.

Subtle Effects

A common concern is that the results will be unnatural looking. If someone does a poor job on you, then they certainly will. If you find the perfect clinic in Vancouver and if a true professional does the job, the effects will be so subtle that nobody will notice anything except that your skin is glowing and beautiful.

Long-Term Effects

One more thing that you are probably worried about is will the effects wear off after a couple of days. They certainly won’t. Botox and dermal fillers provide you with long-term results. Although you’ll have to repeat the process in order to maintain those results, you will usually get to enjoy the positive effects for around six months before needing to visit your clinic in Vancouver again.

Read more about these benefits here: https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/5-benefits-of-botox-and-fillers/

How To Find The Right Clinic In Vancouver

As mentioned above, you will need to find the perfect clinic in Vancouver if you want to get the best possible results. Yet, this might be a bit easier to say than to do, especially if you are deciding to go through the process for the first time. There are definitely a lot of places offering these services and it’s your responsibility to find the most amazing one instead of settling for the first one you come across. Here’s how you can do that.

For starters, if you know some people that already use Botox and dermal fillers on a regular basis, then you should talk to them and let them give you their insight on how it all works. Of course, you should ask them about the clinic that they are using, because the results definitely depend on the professional you choose. Make sure to remember their recommendations and then do some deeper research on the clinics that they have suggested.

While doing the research, you should first check out the websites of those clinics in order to check exactly which types of services they are offering. Then, take a look at the actual professionals working there and check how qualified and skilled they are. This way, you’ll get to eliminate some candidates that you don’t find worthy enough, which will help you narrow down your list of potential clinics in Vancouver.

Before making your final decision, there is one more thing that you will need to do. Check how reputable certain Vancouver clinics are, so that you can know exactly whether you can expect them to do a great job or not. You can do this by reading online reviews or even getting in touch with some of their clients if you find a way to do that. In any case, make sure to choose highly reputable professionals, since you want what’s best for your skin.

Breast Cancer Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are many ways to support the cause this month. This annual campaign is held to both spread awareness and raise money for the cause. 

The website for the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides many resources to help with this cause. Although things are challenging for everyone this year, this important organization has been fighting for women since 1993 and continues to thrive thanks to its supporters. 

New this year on the foundation’s website anyone is able to designate a donation to one of four specific causes. Donations are being accepted to screening, education, support and the general fund. 

The screening fund allows the National Mammography and Patient Navigation programs to provide free cancer screenings and mammograms to those in need; this helps remove barriers in the cancer care system. By donating to education, more women will be given resources and education to detect breast cancer early and lower their risk. To help women that have been diagnosed, donating to the support services will help them gain resources and support they need to heal. This money goes to funding HOPE Kits, Metastatic Retreats and Support Groups.

If you are unsure which program you would like to donate to, giving to the general fund allows the National Breast Cancer Foundation to designate your donation to the area they believe needs it most. You can even donate in honor or memory of someone in your life that has been impacted by breast cancer. 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation is sharing stories of hope through October. They are sharing stories of hope of survivors and those impacted by breast cancer. Stories and photos can be submitted here. This is a great way to spread hope and positive messages to those struggling with breast cancer and their loved ones. 

Available for download from the foundation is the Breast Problems That Aren’t Breast Cancer ebook. This free resource will help women recognize common problems versus breast problems that need to be looked at by a professional. 

Breast cancer screenings are important for women to get regularly so they can detect problems from the start. The United States Preventive Services recommends women ages 50 to 74 get screened every two years, while women 40 to 49 should talk to their doctor about getting screened sooner if they are at higher risk. Self-examinations are recommended for all women to check that there is no concern. 

The American Cancer Society has been hosting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for over twenty years. This walk helps fundraise for research and support for breast cancer patients. Even though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events, the walk will still be taking place virtually. Donations are still being accepted and people everywhere will be coming together virtually to support the cause. 

Ways to volunteer with the National Breast Cancer Foundation are being moved virtually as well. This is a great way to give back in October instead of donating. People everywhere are helping to pack HOPE Kits for women in treatment and write encouragement cards to put in the kits. There are many ways to help in the month of October to spread awareness about breast cancer and give hope to those in need.

The non-profit organization, Susan G. Komen for the cure, also supports women with breast cancer and their families. On their website, women can find information, resources and assistance to help them with their journey. Founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinker, is the largest breast cancer organization in America.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Healthcare Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Authenticx x Healthcare Companies

Healthcare companies are at the center of so many debates right now, and their involvement in the pandemic is one of the biggest.

Having to answer customer questions while COVID-19 impacts the nation in a manner unprecedented in our lifetime can be a challenge, but Authenticx is offering advice to companies attempting to provide answers.

Authenticx CEO Amy Brown said the upcoming flu season will bring about more questions, and we can use the past several months to prepare.

“Americans are tuned into what healthcare experts are saying like never before. We’re urging healthcare providers to seize this opportunity to listen to the concerns of the public and use their resources to provide clear guidelines and straightforward advice so healthcare consumers can make the best decisions to protect themselves and others,” Brown said.

Based on 45,000 data points pulled from customer conversations, Authenticx was able to determine three main concerns regarding coverage. The three concerns are as follows:

1. Contraction Risk: Patients have divided themselves into different demographics trying to determine the possibility of contracting COVID-19, and the flu will only make it more difficult to determine. Customers called their healthcare providers to ask questions like:

  1. Should I get my flu shot this year or does that lower my immune system?
  2. Is there anything I should know about flu shots relative to my specific treatment plan?
  3. Should I quarantine if I think I have the flu?
  4. How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19? What should I do about that?

2. Flexible Payment Options: Unstable employment and loss of insurance have been devastating results of COVID-19, but customers are still trying to remain safe. Customers reportedly asked how to proceed forward with healthcare given limited financial flexibility. Those concerns are not likely to curtail in the very near future.

3. Supply Chain & Access to Medications: With COVID-19 taking priority in national health, many patients expressed concern about getting medication they required prior to the pandemic. Issues with the mail system could also cause consumers to panic if their medication sees shipping delays or problems. Between flu shots and COVID vaccines, drug manufacturers are being kept busy. Some worry they’re too busy to handle normal mandatory medication.

Brown said healthcare companies can implement a listening system for customers with these questions by doing the following:

1. Listen at Scale: It will be nearly impossible to give full attention to each and every customer. The goal should be to prioritize the most important questions and select customer interactions to monitor. Determine a specific sample size suited to the customer base and use that sample to select questions and customers to address specifically.

2. Be Strategic: Listening can provide insight when choosing a strategy for engaging with customers. The customers will tell companies what they are hoping for in terms of service, and that information can be used to change for the better. Once a strategy is solidified, deploy resources to give the customers what they hope to receive from the company.

3. Move Fast: Begin moving on customer questions right away. As news regarding healthcare develops, so do the needs of the customers. Concerns not handled right away could get lost in the shuffle in an ever-developing news cycle, and customers want their problems solved in real time.

To see a full step-by-step guide on how to properly serve healthcare customers right now, you can click right here.

3 Great Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy After Retiring

When you retire, your whole life changes. Or, at least that’s how it feels. For most of us, our careers are a huge part of our entire identity, and you will probably feel a lot different once you hang it up.

That can be good and bad. For some, it is fully and undeniably a great feeling on day one. A dream come true. For others, the transition is difficult. And that can lead to some negative effects — both mentally and physically.

The best way to make sure you can adapt quickly and avoid any severe downside is by staying active and staying healthy. The more you can do to remain physically, mentally, and emotionally fit, the better it all will go.
The following represent three great ways to maintain your physical and mental health after retiring.

1. Pick Up Something New

By the time you hit retirement age, you are probably pretty set in your ways. The last thing that might seem like a good idea is even more change. But it really can help. It doesn’t have to be something major. Replacing the hours you normally spend at work with something else, however, will do you a lot of good. Join a new club, pick up a new hobby, or get involved in your community in a new way. It can really help you adjust — you won’t be just losing something but adding something as well.

2. Embrace the Water

One of the difficult parts about getting older is that it’s harder to exercise and stay in shape. Even people who have always been fit and love to run or play sports have trouble maintaining their routines because it can be so hard on the joints. The solution? Jump in the pool! There’s a reason that even pro athletes rehab in the water. You can continue using you body and strengthening your muscles — plus your lungs and heart — without risking injury.

3. Get Top Coverage

Of course, no matter how fit you stay, there will always be some health concerns. That’s just inevitable as people age. So you need to make sure you have the best possible healthcare coverage. For most seniors, this means going with some type of Medicare Advantage plan. This allows you to expand upon the coverage of the traditional program at a very affordable rate. There are many different types, but it’s hard to go wrong with a Medicare Advantage PPO plan that includes benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. Make sure you have access to all the medical care you need.

Staying Mentally and Physically Fit

After you retire, there will be an adjustment period. But you can minimize the negative parts of this transition by implementing the right strategies. The goal for everything should be staying healthy — and improving your health. 

After all, you don’t have to grind away at a 9-to-5 anymore. You might even be able to strengthen your body and sharpen your mind with more free time and more energy to devote to yourself.

Start by replacing your work hours with some new hobbies. Stay fit with low-impact activities like swimming. And make sure you have the best healthcare coverage possible. This alone will help so much. You can embrace retirement head on and start loving your life more and more every day.

Doctor, Coronavirus, Health, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine,

Klaus Jakelski on Doctors and the Unimaginable

By Klaus Jakelski

Frank Lambert’s soul had hemorrhaged dry long before he volunteered for his present deployment. He just didn’t know it yet.

The battle-hardened surgeon had seen action in Rwanda, Burundi and Chechnya. Some of the bad memories he had suppressed. Others came to him only in nightmares, which he could never quite remember. His service had been one known for faultless, hard work in the operating room and afterwards, hard drinking to keep the demons out. Most recently he had substantially turned himself around — made himself better — at least that’s what he thought.

But life in the civilized world of Boston operating rooms had not been enough for him. He soon needed to feel the rush of adrenalin which propped up his self-identity.

Volunteering with an NGO that operated a forward relief station under NATO protection, he found himself in the middle of the Yugoslavian Civil war of the 90’s. He thought it was a simple mis-understood conflict in Europe — the civilized world after all — what could be horrible about that?

But as the conflict raged around Sarajevo, Frank and his nurse ally, Gwen Pakin, felt isolated from the main conflict. Until the inevitable arrived. The girls and young women who had been raped. Naturally, the two elected to do the procedures to free the girls from the captivity of unwanted pregnancy.

With each of his five daily cases, Frank became mesmerized by the splashing of the red evacuation bottle. Torn between gladness for the life he had restored and sadness for the life he had taken. Each one eating away at another part of his soul.

A cousin of mine, a battlefield trained ex US Navy anesthetist, recently volunteered to work in the ICU at Columbia Presbyterian hospital in Queens NY. Nothing in her training had prepared her for the month she spent there, looking after COVID-19 patients. Loosing an average of six patients per day is not a normal experience in anybody’s books. She told me she managed to suppress the bad parts of her experience.

Which is exactly what Frank had done all his working life. Especially in combat areas where each reparation of a torn human body whether it was by suturing, exploring a bodily cavity, amputation or some other surgical alchemy, was exactly the sort of thing that would result in a non-surgeon being recommended for a long stay in a psychiatric prison. But Frank, entrusted by regulatory authorities and accustomed to the controlled carnage of surgery as he was, had learned how to cope. At first suppressing the memories in a dark corner of his soul. And when the burden became too great, unlike my cousin, he began to self-medicate. At first with a little, but as the painful psychological provocation became too great, with more and more alcohol.

Such is the plight of many first responders, whether civilian, or in the military. If not alcohol, then another substance.

Even though nurse Pakin recognized that Frank was better than on his last deployment, she quickly saw through him, because she had issues herself. A life rocked by personal loss and service in conflict zones, no matter how altruistic, had left her with emotional scars too.

So Frank wasn’t quite able to compartmentalize his new reality. He wasn’t able to separate the liberation of a woman from her rape, from taking the life of her unborn. He knew just as well that the simple procedure would never return the woman’s soul to its rightful place after the tortuous transgression.

Frank found his trigger in the swirling red evacuation bottle on the wall of his makeshift operating room. The bottle that drew him in at the end of every case, one at a time, and separated him one more degree from his freedom, as he developed a new found affinity for a different bottle of liquor.

This type of scenario plays itself out repeatedly in our every day society. There’s no need to go to a war-torn area to meet an antagonist like the dark genocidal Kamenko Hradich, who has all the surface veneers of a gentle family man, until he reaches his breaking point. We know this all too well.

The people who deal with this type of suffering are right here. These first responders are all around us. Many of them as yet unaware of their trouble. We only need to recognize them.

As for the issue of war rape – It is so easy for us to sit in our comfortable space when bad things happen elsewhere.

Two hundred or so girls are kidnapped in Africa to the service of some African war lord. We see it on the evening news. We turn it off and say to each other, well I’m glad that is over there, as we roll over onto our pillows and go to sleep.

And still we don’t make the connection. The one that #Me Too is making. The one that is circulating in the most genteel corridors of our society, as well as our schools. The notion that a certain treatment of women is alright, as long as it never gets called out.

Really?

The systematic rape of thousands of women occurred in a civilized area of Europe, alongside the most monstrous genocide since the holocaust. What does it take for that sort of thing to boil over in another advanced society?

My guess is, as Frank followed his adrenalin rush from case to case, he didn’t have a chance.

Rice University on COVID-19

Rice U. experts available to discuss COVID-19’s wide-ranging impact

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows and impacts the lives of people across the globe, Rice University experts are available to discuss various topics related to the disease.

Joyce Beebefellow in public finance at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, can discuss paid leave programs.

“COVID-19 highlights the importance of paid (sick) leave programs to workers,” she said. “The issue is not whether we should have a paid leave program; it is how to design a program that provides nationwide coverage to all American workers instead of waiting until the next pandemic.”

Robert Bruce, dean of Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, is an expert in online and distance learning, community education and engagement and innovative models for personal and professional development programs.

“The field of continuing and professional studies is uniquely positioned to help the public during a crisis that requires social distancing,” he said. “Our core mission is to empower people to continue to learn and advance, regardless of location or age or learning style.”

Utpal Dholakia, a professor of marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is available to discuss consumer behavior and panic-buying during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone is panic-buying, not just all over the country, but basically all over the world,” Dholakia said. “That makes the sense of urgency even more. Are all these suppliers going to be able to keep up with the demand?”

John Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Tax Policy at the Baker Institute and an adjunct assistant professor in Rice’s Department of Economics, can discuss the economic impact on Houston and Texas, particularly unemployment.

Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, professor in sociology and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program, studies the intersection of science and religion. She can discuss how these two entities can work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and recently authored an editorial about this topic for Time magazine. It is available online HERE.

Christopher Fagundes, an associate professor in the department of psychological sciences, is available to discuss the link between mental and immune health.

“In my field, we have conducted a lot of work to look at what predicts who gets colds and different forms of respiratory illnesses, and who is more susceptible to getting sick,” Fagundes said. “We’ve found that stressloneliness and lack of sleep are three factors that can seriously compromise aspects of the immune system that make people more susceptible to viruses if exposed. Also, stress, loneliness and disrupted sleep promote other aspects of the immune system responsible for the production of proinflammatory cytokines to overrespond. Elevated proinflammatory cytokine production can generate sustained upper respiratory infection symptoms.”

And while this research has centered on different cold and upper respiratory viruses, he said “there is no doubt” that these effects would be the same for COVID-19.

Mark Finley is a fellow in energy and global oil at the Baker Institute.

“The U.S. and global oil market is simultaneously grappling with the biggest decline in demand ever seen (due to COVID-19) and a price war between two of the world’s largest producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Bill Fulton, director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, an urban planner, an expert on local government and the former mayor of Ventura, California, can speak to both the short-term and long-term changes in city life and the way government works.

What will the effect be on transportation and transit? Retail and office space? Will people walk and bike more? How will they interact in public spaces in the future? How will government function and hold public meetings during the crisis, and will this fundamentally alter the way government interacts with the public in the long run? How will local governments deal with the inevitable revenue loss — and, in the long run, with the fact that they will probably have less sales tax?

Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, director for the Center of Health and Biosciences at the Baker Institute and a professor of economics, can discuss insurance coverage as families experience lost income and jobs during the crisis.

“Policymakers should temporarily expand subsidies for middle class workers who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace,” Ho said. “Families experiencing lost income due to the pandemic shouldn’t have to worry about losing access to health care in the midst of a pandemic.”

“Hospitals in states that did not expand Medicaid coverage to able-bodied adults under the Affordable Care Act are bearing tougher financial burdens, which may damage their ability to respond to the current health crisis,” she said.

Mark Jones, a professor of political science and fellow at the Baker Institute, is available to discuss how the spread of COVID-19 is impacting elections, including runoffs in Texas.

“COVID-19 has already resulted in the postponement of local elections originally scheduled for May 2, with the elections now to be held in November with current officeholders’ tenure extended until their successors are confirmed in November,” Jones said. “It is increasingly likely that COVID-19 will affect the Democratic and Republican primary runoff elections scheduled for May 26, with a growing possibility that the elections will be conducted entirely via mail ballots or at the minimum will involve the adoption of no-excuse absentee voting whereby any Texan, not just those 65 or older, hospitalized or out of the county, will be able to obtain an absentee ballot and vote by mail.

“The emergency adoption of no-excuse absentee voting would change the composition of the May primary runoff electorate by expanding turnout among many voters who otherwise would have been unlikely to participate, as well as increase pressure on the Texas Legislature to reform the state’s electoral legislation to allow for no-excuse absentee voting when it reconvenes in January of 2021 for the next regular session.”

Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychological sciences and principal investigator of Rice’s WorKing Resilience Lab, is an expert on the topic of resilience to adversity. Her research focuses on understanding the role individuals, groups and organizations play in fostering adaptive sustainability following adversity. She can discuss how individuals can remain resilient and motivated in difficult circumstances.

“Though we are still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can begin to enact adaptive practices that foster resilience such as remaining flexible to changing circumstances, practicing acceptance of the present realities, seeking social support in creative ways while practicing social distancing, and finding and engaging with experiences and thoughts that elicit positive emotions during trying times,” King said.

Tom Kolditz, founding director of Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders, is a social psychologist and former brigadier general who has done extensive research on how best to lead people under perceived serious threat. His work is widely taught at military service and police academies globally, and he did extensive work with the banking industry during the 2008 financial crisis. His expertise is in articulating what people need from leaders in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times and what leaders must do to gain and maintain people’s trust. His book, “In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It,” teaches people to lead in crisis, when people are anxious or afraid.

“Leadership when people are under threat hinges far less on managerial principles, and far more on trust,” Kolditz said. “Whether in a company or their own family, people who lead in the same way now as they did two months ago will experience a significant decline in their influence.”

Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute, is an expert on energy geopolitics and Middle East economies and societies. He can comment on the effect on OPEC and its production decisions, relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and how low oil prices will affect policy inside producer countries.

Ken Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute, senior director of institute’s Center for Energy Studies and an adjunct professor and lecturer in Rice’s Department of Economics, can discuss COVID-19’s impact on oil prices and the oil industry.

Kirsten Ostherr, the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English and director of Rice’s Medical Futures Lab, can discuss the representation of outbreaks, contagion and disease in public discourse and the media. She is also an expert on digital health privacy. She is the founding director of the Medical Humanities program at Rice, and her first book, “Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health,” is one of several titles made available for open-access download through June 1 by its publisher, Duke University Press.

Peter Rodriguez, dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business and a professor of strategic management, can discuss the economic impact of COVID-19 in Houston, the state of Texas and around the world.

Eduardo Salas, professor and chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences, is available to discuss collaboration, teamwork, team training and team dynamics as it relates to COVID-19.

“We often hear that ‘we are in this together’ and, indeed, we are,” Salas said. “Effective collaboration and teamwork can save lives. And there is a science of teamwork that can provide guidance on how to manage and promote effective collaboration.”

Kyle Shelton, deputy director of the Kinder Institute, can discuss how the economic impact of COVID-19 closures and job losses can amplify housing issues, and why governments at every level are opting for actions such as halting evictions and foreclosures and removing late fees. He can also speak to some of the challenges confronted by public transportation, why active transportation like biking and walking are so important now, and how long-term investments in these systems make cities and regions more adaptive and resilient.

Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science and a fellow in urban politics at the Baker Institute, is an expert in emergency preparedness, especially related to hurricanes and flooding. He can also discuss why and when people comply with government directives regarding how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, and the political consequences of natural disasters.

“Since God is not on the ballot, who do voters hold accountable before and in the aftermath of natural disasters?” he said.

Laurence Stuart, an adjunct professor in management at Rice Business, can discuss unemployment in Texas, how people qualify for it and what that means for employers and employees.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Derrick Wan, 360 MAGAZINE, stem cells

NEW STEM CELL STUDY

 A new study released today in STEM CELLS outlines how fat grafting – which previous studies have shown can reduce and even reverse fibrosis (scar tissue) buildup – also improves the range of motion of the affected limb. The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, was conducted on mice.

The tumor-destroying capabilities of radiation therapy can be a life saver for a person suffering from cancer. But it’s a therapy that has several unwanted side effects, too, including causing substantial damage not just to cancerous cells, but any healthy tissue in its path. Over time, fibrosis builds up in the treated area which, in the case of an arm, shoulder, or leg, for example, can lead to painful contractures that significantly limit extensibility and negatively impact the person’s quality of life.

The Stanford team irradiated the right hind legs of subject mice, which resulted in chronic fibrosis and limb contracture. Four weeks later, the irradiated limbs of one group of the mice were injected with fat enriched with stromal vascular cells (SVCs). These potent cells already naturally exist in fat, but supplementation of fat with additional SVCs enhances its regenerative capabilities. A second group was injected with fat only, a third group with saline and a fourth group received no injections, for comparison. The animals’ ability to extend their limb was then measured at baseline and every two weeks for a 12-week period. At the end of the 12 weeks, the hind limb skin underwent histological analysis and biomechanical strength testing.

“Each animal showed significant reduction in its limb extension ability due to the radiation, but this was progressively rescued by fat grafting,” reported corresponding author Derrick C. Wan, M.D., FACS. Fat grafting also reduced skin stiffness and reversed the radiation-induced histological changes in the skin.

“The greatest benefits were found in mice injected with fat enriched with SVCs,” Dr. Wan added. “SVCs are easily obtained through liposuction and can be coaxed into different tissue types, where they can support neovascularization, replace cells and repair injured issue.

“Our study showed the ability of fat to improve mobility as well as vascularity and appearance,” he continued. “We think this holds enormous clinical potential — especially given that adipose tissue is abundant and can be easily collected from the patients themselves — and underscores an attractive approach to address challenging soft tissue fibrosis in patients following radiation therapy.”

Furthermore, said co-author and world-renowned breast reconstructive expert Arash Momeni, M.D., FACS, “Our observations are potentially translatable to a variety of challenging clinical scenarios. Being able to reverse radiation-induced effects holds promise to substantially improve clinical outcomes in implant-based as well as autologous breast reconstruction. The study findings are indeed encouraging as they could offer patients novel treatment modalities for debility clinical conditions.

“Excessive scarring is a challenging problem that is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, such as burn injuries, tendon lacerations, etc. The potential to improve outcomes based on treatment modalities derived from our research is indeed exciting,” Dr. Momeni added.

“Skin and soft tissue scarring and fibrosis are well-established problems after radiation. The current study, showing that human fat grafting can normalize the collagen networks and improve tissue elasticity in immune deficient mice, provides molecular evidence for how fat grafting functions,” said Dr. Jan Nolta, Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS. “The studies indicate that, with the appropriate regulatory approvals, autologous fat grafting could potentially also help human patients recover from radiation-induced tissue fibrosis.”

Full article HERE.