Health Insurance Companies Are Now Using Biometric Technology to Approve Or Deny You Coverage

The next time you apply for individual health insurance be prepared for a variety of preliminary evaluation testing procedures to see if the insurer will reject or accept you including: testing of blood, urine, presence of alcohol or smoking, and evaluating your genetic composition.

In the individual private healthcare market there is the concept of health insurance medical underwriting. It involves assessing and quantifying a prospective applicant who is applying for coverage as a potential liability or risk to the insurer by a professional underwriter. The process is similar to applying for a loan from a commercial bank. There are basically three types of risk the insurer will screen for.

(1) Physical Risk; The primary concern regarding the applicant. In this context the issue is in regards to the medical condition of the proposed insured or a propensity towards cancer determined by family history.

(2) Morale Risk; A potential insurer would forgo consideration of an application altogether if there is any explicit or implicit evidence of the applicant involved in hazardous avocations, sports, or occupations.

(3) Moral Risk; An insurer will definitely attempt to avoid the speculation of insuring an applicant who has an inclination to suicidal tendencies, criminal behavior, and certain lifestyle habits or tendencies.

For years insurers predicated on the reliance of multiple sub-systems derived from strategic cumulative integration of intelligent computers to draw their conclusions for the purpose of risk assessment. A new technology currently in experimental phases funded through Kaiser University has discovered a statistical methodology to ascertain and unify all three risk categories in unison during real time for the purpose of medical underwriting by utilizing genetically calculated risk scoring algorithms. It is a highly interoperable biometric screening application interconnected to a plurality of relational healthcare databases. The silicon apparatus utilizes an infrared thermal touch screen sensor as a biometrical identifier that verifies the integrity of an applicant’s personal genetic profile with razor sharp precision by credentialing his or her fingerprints against federal law enforcement databases, national automated verification systems, and a compilation of tabulated DNA repositories.

DNA?

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes containing their DNA blueprint. One member of each chromosomal pair comes from their mother, the other comes from their father. Every cell in a human body contains a copy of this DNA. The large majority of DNA does not differ from person to person, but 0.10 percent of a person’s entire genome would be unique to each individual. This represents 3 million base pairs of DNA. In clinical studies this percentile has proven to be meaningful enough to structurally composite predictive valuations of significant importance to an insurance company including approximating personal behavioral tendencies, psychological proficiency, and expectancy of mortality or morbidity. It has been so proficient in screening risk that a law was recently passed to protect employees and insured applicants from its discriminatory prejudice known as The Genetic Information Non Discriminatory Act. However, the act is convoluted by pretenses directly or indirectly imposed by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which places little restriction on the information that can be shared by HIPPA covered entities.

What Does My DNA Have To Do With My Health Insurance?

Over the last few decades insurance carriers began data warehousing many of the popular DNA databases such as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and CODIS with mixed usage proprietary commercial datasets such as Ingenix, Physician Computer Network, Intelliscript, Medical Information Bureau, and even Secure Flight Passenger Data compiled by The Transportation Security Administration. The so called purpose of this was for authentication and with the recent caveat of electronic health records identity theft, authenticity of an applicant was the alibi insurance companies needed to exploit and get away with this, at the same time create a more robust underwriting system. Just remember the next time you visit the general practitioner you signed a petition form authorizing all parties managing your care to share knowledge regarding your health which in unique circumstances grants special permissions to all parties above.

How This New System Works.

A fingerprint is made of a number of ridges and valleys on the surface of the finger. Ridges are the upper skin layer segments of the finger and valleys are the lower segments. The ridges form so-called minutia points: ridge endings (where a ridge end) and ridge bifurcations (where a ridge splits in two). Many types of minutiae exist, including dots (very small ridges), islands (ridges slightly longer than dots, occupying a middle space between two temporarily divergent ridges), ponds or lakes (empty spaces between two temporarily divergent ridges), spurs (a notch protruding from a ridge), bridges (small ridges joining two longer adjacent ridges), and crossovers (two ridges which cross each other).The uniqueness of a fingerprint can be determined by the pattern of ridges and furrows as well as the minutiae points. There are five basic fingerprint patterns: arch, tented arch, left loop, right loop and whorl. Loops make up 60% of all fingerprints, whorls account for 30%, and arches for 10%. Fingerprints are usually considered to be unique, with no two fingers having the exact same dermal ridge characteristics. The biometric device measures kinetic heat frequencies from an applicants touch disseminated throughout minutia points and automates a recognition key cipher query from ridges through a call interface dispatched by an encrypted terminal control program. Basically, the examiner will inquire based on the information presented to him and await an answer from the mainframe computer in remote proximity. I don’t know about you but somehow the thought of my data traveling around through a typical client/server type architecture does not make feel comfortable at all. Just imagine all the errors that can go wrong. The new system is ripe for exploits in at every social level in addition to invading all our rights of privacy as citizens, never mind qualifying for coverage.

There Is Something You Can Do.

If you do not want to insurance companies having access to your sensitive private health information among many other things such as your financial prowess, consumption, personality or lifestyle the first thing you might want to do is avoid applying with Kaiser Permanent or any of the fellow member insurance companies owned by National Electronic Information Corporation, it is bad enough we have to be ordained by The Medical Information Bureau just to even get health insurance in the first place.

The second thing you can do is visit our website to find more health insurance information or simply leave your information (for the purpose of protecting your privacy, you need not leave any other information you do not feel comfortable to share) We will be glad to provide competitive quote from Major Medical Insurance carriers who do not participate in this practice. Not all insurance carriers participate in this type of screening procedure but you probably will want to avoid the carriers that do as once you are in the system, you are in and that one place you do not want to be if you value your healthcare and how much you spend on it.

Treatment For Eating Disorder – How to Do it in 3 Steps

Seeking help for an eating disorder can be embarrassing and scary. However, do not make that as an obstacle to seek help because getting treatment is important. If you are suffering from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating, treatment will be much easier if you have an experienced and caring health professional to guide you.

Step1 – Find a specialist

To successfully get treatment, you need to find a doctor or therapist who specializes in it. If your problem is anorexia, bulimia or binge eating, identifying a specialist in each problem will increase your recovery success. Work with a person you are comfortable with.

Step 2 – Admit you have problems

Any eating disorder is dangerous and in severe cases can be deadly. Most of the time it does not necessarily just mean you are underweight. Even with occasional fasting, binge eating or purging, it is a sign that your health may be in danger. You have to admit that you are having problem.

Step 3 – Your long-term treatment plan

Once the initial health evaluation is done and health problems identified, the next step is to work closely with your health provider on an individualized long-term recovery plan.

It may cover areas such as:

  • Family therapy
  • Education
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Health and nutrition counseling
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medical monitoring
     

Treatment for Eating Disorder – Will joining a support group help?

Various types of support group available are:

  1. Trained volunteers moderated
  2. Led by professional or doctor
  3. Led by trained therapist
  4. Eating disorder sufferers who had fully recovered

Annette Sym Recipes

Annette Sym’s story is truly an inspirational weight loss story. She lost her weight by adopting a healthy lifestyle – and by losing weight I don’t mean 10 or 20 pounds – She lost around 70 pounds. She replaced her unhealthy eating habits with exercise and low fat foods. She hates dieting and so did not want to miss out on eating her favorite foods to lose weight. Instead she came up with low fat recipes for almost everything – low fat versions for butter chicken, curries, burgers, cheese cakes and even for chocolate cakes. Annette has a sweet tooth and she loves cakes and she still eats them regularly them – thanks to her low fat recipes.

Her healthy eating was the secret behind her dress size – from size 24 to size 12. The amazing thing in this true story is the fact that she lost seventy pounds and managed to keep it off for nearly 2 decades. Had she opted for pills or diets or any other such fads there is no way she could have managed to keep it off for such a long time.

After losing her weight, Annette decided to put together all her recipes into a cookbook and sell the book – She self published her book as she could not find a publisher to back it. Her book is called ‘Symply Too Good To Be True’. All her recipes have the nutritional information as well (Calories, saturated fat, fat etc etc).

The book was an instant success – people loved the book, because all her recipes tasted good but had hardly any effect on their waist lines.  She recently published the American version of this cookbook and this too is a huge success.

I recently bought a copy of the book and now my cooking styles have changed dramatically – Same taste (actually better) but much less fat. Here is an example – I love Thai food – lot of coconut milk in Thai recipes – 40-odd grams of fat a cup – but with Annette Sym’s Recipe, it is only 4 grams.

10 Radiology Scholarships and Grants

There are obviously more than 10 radiology scholarships and grants that you can apply for, but the following top scholarships and grants are among the best opportunities for educational financing in this field. Everyone wants a way to help pay for school, and radiology students are no different. The cost of an education can deter people from even considering college in the first place. If you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to pay for your ultrasound training, these 10 radiology scholarships and grants could provide just the right opportunity for you:

1. American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) Scholarships

2. Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Scholarship – Alvin CC

3. Society for Vascular Ultrasound’s 2010 Anne Jones Scholarship

4. Society of Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) Scholarships

5. Sladek Critical Medical Career Scholarships

6. Trudy Dubinsky Memorial Scholarship

7. AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) Scholarships

8. AMVETS Department of MI Nursing and Allied Health Program Scholarships

9. SDMS Educational Foundation General Scholarship

10. SDMS Presidential Scholarship

Radiology scholarships and grants can help take some of the burden of paying for school off your shoulders, so you can focus on your education and begin working towards a bright professional future. This is why so many organizations have taken the initiative to offer this financial aid to deserving students. Applying for grants and scholarships may sound daunting, but if you don’t apply you’ll never know what kind of free money you might get to pay for school.

If you don’t qualify for these and other radiology scholarships and grants, there is still hope – don’t give up on your education yet. There are also student loans from the federal government that do not need to be paid back until after college, with low interest rates and flexible repayment plans. So get started today. Visit the financial aid office at the school of your choice for more information about the scholarships and grants that are available, and make sure to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to in order to qualify for loans from the government. 

Can Gripe Water Brings Harm to Your Babies?

Gripe water is a home remedy that has been used in Europe for ages. Mother’s find it handy as it is effective in treating colic, gastrointestinal discomfort, reflux or any other stomach ailment.

Although this type of remedies has shown its effectiveness in soothing digestive problems, it can still be harmful to the infants if it is not carefully used.

The possible side effect for gripe water includes dehydration, vomiting, allergies and worst, it can even cause brain defect! Improper use of ingredients added to it can produce disastrous side effect and mothers should always pay 101% extra precaution on the ingredients picked to avoid bringing long term harmful effect to your baby.

Risky gripe waters include those that are sold in the pharmacist. There are manufactured in the factory and you may not know what is the exact ingredient added to it. You just have to be extra fussy while purchasing to minimize the risk.

Harmless ingredient may include chamomile, aloe vera, ginger root extract and also fennel. It is advisable to seek for pharmacist advice and precautions while giving it to your baby to make sure it is safe.

To be safer, some mothers would rather prepare this kind of home remedies on their own. This can produce much less of a problem as you knew the kind of ingredients that were added into it.

However, before making any start, do not just blindly add whatever you think it is correct. You should seek for recipes from experienced mother who have tried preparing this kind of home remedies on their own or search for recipes from the internet. Whatever you do, you should always try first before giving it to your baby.

Indeed, home remedy has it pros and cons. There is risk on applying it to infants but at the same time it is beneficial to treat gastrointestinal problems such as colitis, a mysterious disease where doctors could not find the cause of it. Gripe water appears to be miracle when there is no absolute medicine for colitis.

At the end of the day, all you have to be concern is the ingredients added into gripe water. Do not just blindly add whatever you think it is beneficial. If it is purchased from pharmacy store, consult the pharmacist to reduce any possible harmful effect to your baby.

Secrets to Stop the Ear Ringing – 5 Drugs That Cause Tinnitus

Maybe you’ve seen your doctor about this problem. Perhaps he has examined your ears, told you there is nothing physically wrong with your ears, and maybe even referred you to an audiologist. But, you’ve gotten no relief from your tinnitus – so far.

But, did your doctor take a look at the medications that you take on a regular basis (prescription and non-prescription) to see if they could be the cause of that insane noise? If he didn’t, I’ve listed 5 drugs that cause tinnitus, medications that millions of people take that list ringing ears as a side effect.

  • Accutane (anti-acne). While sounding pretty harmless as a form of vitamin A designed to reduce the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, Accutane is actually a very powerful drug that can cause severe birth defects in unborn children. It’s only available as part of a program called iPledge, which requires female patients to take birth control and undergo regular pregnancy testing. Accutane is very effective in preventing acne, but it is one of the drugs that causes that awful ear ringing.
  • Celexa (anti-depression). A member of a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Celexa helps re-balance brain chemistry to treat depression. Millions of depression sufferers find relief while taking Celexa on a regular basis. But, one of the side effects of this powerful drug is a chance for ringing ears.
  • Ecotrin (reduce aches, pains & fever). This popular and safe pain and fever reducing medication has provided relief to millions complaining of muscle aches and the like. But, like aspirin, Ecotrin is a member of a group of drugs called salicylates (sa-LIS-il-ates) than are well known as drugs that cause tinnitus.
  • Lipitor (anti-cholesterol). Millions worldwide find that Lipitor lowers their “bad” cholesterol to a reasonable level, safely and effectively. Lipitor also can increase the “good” cholesterol, too. As a bonus, studies have shown that using lipitor reduces the risk of heart attack in certain patients. But, did your doctor tell you that one of the side effects can cause tinnitus? It can.
  • Pepto-Bismol (indigestion, etc.). For treating heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and suffering associated with eating too much, Pepto-Bismol works like a champ. But, like aspirin, Pepto-Bismol contains aspirin-like salicylates, a proven cause of ear ringing. Of course, Pepto-Bismol is to be used only occasionally – if you’re using Pepto-Bismol on a regular basis, you may have greater problems yet.

While this list is just a tiny fraction of drugs that cause ringing ears,you can plainly see that even the most widely-used and safest of drugs can have side effects beyond the realm of conventional thought. In no way am I suggesting that anyone discontinue the use of a doctor-prescribed medication or change dosages without FIRST consulting your doctor.

There may be some alternative medications that will provide effective treatment for the primary objective, without causing that irritating noise in your ears – tinnitus.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Natural Products

Nature has contributed a lot to the medical field with it stock of herbs to make natural products, whose main advantage is that they do not offer any harmful consequences. The most amazing thing to use natural products is that they are always beneficial.

While natural products have been verified as being highly advantageous, some people are still doubtful about the uses of natural male enhancers over consulted medication.

We should be knowledgeable about the fact that more than half of the constituents used in consulted medicines are taken from nature but their natural features are totally damaged through the process of customization. Some of the many advantages of natural male enhancers as compared to consulted medicines are described as follow.

Neither natural medicines do not need any recommendation like the prescribed drugs nor are they managed by FDA rules and directions. You can always order a natural medicine to be shipped from an internet store to your doorstep without having a checkup from a doctor.

Consulted medication have been assumed to cause many harmful effects like flushing, head pains, stomach pains and even eyesight problems. They have even been associated with heart damages, while on the other side; natural products are likely to proffer extra benefits as a cause of the components used in them. Investigation shows constructive results from patients.

An added benefit of preferring a natural product over a consulted drug is that it is less expensive that a person can easily buy 90 tablets in just $160 from inexpensive internet pharmacies.

The prices highly fluctuate according to the pharmacy from where the medicine has been purchased and even so many internet pharmacies have been suspected of selling useless as well as watered down drugs to patients. So comparatively, natural male enhancers are much less costly than consulted medication.

The advantages of taking natural products are visible to every other person but still the preference of every individual on natural medicines over consulted drugs is the decision of the patient. Selecting the correct natural medicine can definitely cause good outcome.

Essential Vitamins & Minerals For Increased Sex Drive

A low sex drive (libido) is something you don’t have to settle to live with as there are vitamins and minerals that can help you reinvigorate your sex life and take your libido to an all new high without resorting to synthetic drugs like Viagra and Cialis.

The reasons for your low libido should first of all be given due consideration because the intake of the vitamins and minerals we will be reviewing will be of no benefit if you have an unhealthy lifestyle. Low libido cannot be treated in isolation as there are many factors that contribute to its increase or decline and putting those factors into focus will be very important if you are to succeed in increasing your libido.

You would essentially have to do away with heavy drinking, smoking and the use of recreational drugs. If your libido problem stems from more psychological problems like stress, mental exhaustion or physical problem likes fatigue and ill-health, then you might likely need some professional help to resolve these and then get back on course to taking your sex drive to a new zenith. Therefore a few changes in your lifestyle can bring about a great change in libido and bring back the joy and excitement of sexual intimacy back into your relationship.

A point of note here is that even men with a healthy lifestyle still suffer from a degree of low libido and often this is due to the fact that most of the food we eat may lack the vital nutrients needed for a high libido and there might also be the problem of the nutrients not being readily absorbed into the blood stream. The use of dietary supplements that contain a good number of the vitamins and minerals reviewed below will provide most of the essential vitamins and minerals for increasing libido and result in an overall healthy reproductive life.

To dramatically bring back your lost libido or improve it, below are the vitamins and minerals we would be reviewing for achieving a higher libido and they are in no particular order.

Vitamins

There are 13 essential vitamins that our bodies need for proper growth, function and maintenance of healthy body tissues. The B-Vitamins and Vitamin C dissolved in water and are easily eliminated from the body. Adverse reactions even with high-dose supplements are rare. However the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) are not readily excreted from the body and have the potential to accumulate in the tissues and could cause adverse effects at high doses.

Vitamin A

Sex hormones regulate our sexual activities and desires, and without them our sex lives would be nonexistent. Vitamin A helps in the regulation of the synthesis of the sex hormone, progesterone. Vitamin A regulates sexual growth and development, and reproduction by turning on genes in response to sex hormone triggers. It also assist in the production of healthy sperm and improve virility.

B-Vitamins

The B-Vitamins are generally regarded as Vitamin B complex and are important in energy production, metabolism and synthesis of hormones. They also help in decreasing the production of prolactin, a hormone which stimulates testosterone uptake by the prostate and which basically reduces sex drive. They help the nerves function properly and thus crucial for reacting and responding to sexual stimulation and for the flow of blood to the genital.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is required for energy metabolism, enzyme reactions, and for the maintenance of skin and nerve health. It equally enhances sexual flush, and intensifies orgasms by increasing the flow of blood to the genitals.



Vitamin B6


It is necessary for protein and fat metabolism, hormonal function (estrogen and testosterone), and the production of red blood cells, niacin, and neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). Vitamin B6 helps in controlling elevated prolactin and thus functioning as a libido enhancer. Also it has been shown to help men with low sperm counts.

Vitamin B12

It is required for nerve function, synthesis of DNA and RNA, metabolism of energy, enzyme reactions, and production of red blood cells. They also aid in the stimulation of the brain and the nerves thus facilitating sexual arousal. It is an energy booster as it heightens sex drive, enhances penile erection by enlarging blood vessels and also stimulating secretion of histamine needed for orgasm.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It is required for the synthesis of collagen (structured component of blood vessels, tendons and bones) and norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) and is also known to increase positive response to stress. It participates in the synthesis of the critical hormones that are involved in sex and fertility namely – androgen, estrogen and progesterone. Vitamin C also increases semen volume but a lack of it can cause sperm to clump together. Studies indicate that ascorbic Vitamin C might improve the production of nitric oxide which aids in the increase of blood flow and makes blood vessels stronger resulting in stronger erections.

Vitamin E

It is an antioxidant which is often referred to as the “Sex Vitamin” and is definitely one of the best vitamins to increase your libido. It plays a key role in the production of sex hormones and also protects cell membranes against oxidative damage by free-radical. Vitamin E prevents blood clotting and aids in the dilation of blood vessels thus aiding the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the sex organs. Vitamin E is also an anti-aging antioxidant that promotes vitality and youthfulness by increasing fertility and regulating hormones.

Minerals

Minerals are elements that originate in the earth. They cannot be made by the human body so they are obtained through diet and/or supplements. Both plants and animal food provide minerals. The plants get the minerals from the soil; the animals from the plants they eat and humans indirectly get the minerals by eating both the plants and animal products.

Magnesium

Required for energy metabolism, muscle and nerve functions, formation of cell membranes, bones and teeth, body temperature regulator and synthesis of DNA and RNA; it also promotes calming and relaxation which generally aids in increasing sex drive. Magnesium is also essential in the production of sex hormones like androgen, estrogen and neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) that regulates libido.

Selenium

This antioxidant interestingly has nearly 50% of its total volume in the male body located in the testes and seminal vesicles; and this is lost mostly in the semen. It is very essential in sperm production and motility. It also plays an important role in the antioxidant activity of Vitamin E; keeping its volume optimal is essential for a man’s virility.

Zinc

Zinc is needed for raising the healthy production of sperm and testosterone. Healthy testosterone levels = healthy sex drive. The zinc content of the prostate gland and sperm is higher than in any other body part. Also two studies have shown that zinc combined with folate in supplements can help improve sperm count and the percentage of healthy sperm in men with impaired fertility. A high Zinc content can also help reduce the risk of prostate disease due to the fact that prostate tissues are highly dependent on zinc.

However, as already mentioned above, maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be a primary focus in order for the intake of these vitamins and minerals to be effective in increasing your libido. Also it is important that you contact your physician about your decision to take any of these vitamins and minerals to avoid possible side effects with other medication you might already be using.

The Boundaries of Chaplain Confidentiality

“A woman was in a room of her sick child when she was visited by a civilian hospital chaplain. She told the chaplain a number of things about herself and her family, including the fact that she was pregnant. The following day she was taken aback when a nurse approached her and inquired about her pregnancy. It turned out that much of what she had discussed with the chaplain was written down in her child’s medical chart… ” 1

Historically, members of the clergy have had a moral obligation to maintain the confidentiality of their congregants. In recent years, however, people have brought an increased number of lawsuits against pastors for invasion of privacy arising out of the disclosure of confidential information. The result of these suits has brought recognition that the obligation to maintain confidentiality is not only a moral obligation, but also often a legal one.2

If civilians expect their conversations with clergy to be confidential, this presumption is even greater within the military community where practices like mandatory drug testing and gate vehicle searches contribute to a greater sensitivity to privacy issues. While religious denominations have their own regulations that guide their clergy in regard to information shared under various circumstances, various Instructions, Regulations and the Manuel for Courts-Martial (MCM) contain statutes that protect the confidentiality of communications with military chaplains.

Protecting our privileged position

The legal protection offered by civilian legal systems and the military system differs considerably. Although military members as citizens of the United States are both subject to and benefit from federal and state laws, they are also subject to the UCMJ and other specific military regulations. In certain instances involving communications, military laws and regulations take precedence over civilian laws.

According to Military Rules of Evidence MRE 503(b) (2), in order for a communication to be considered privileged, three criteria must be met:

1. It must be made “either as a formal act of religion or a matter of conscience.”

2. The communication must be made to a chaplain in his or her role as chaplain or to his/her assistant in an official capacity.

3. It is the intent of the communicator that the information be confidential.

It is clear that it is the intent of the person making the communication and not that of the chaplain that is important. It is also clear that the applicability of the privilege, that is, whether or not the communication is to be considered confidential, is determined by the intention of the party and not the place where the communication takes place. (e.g. chaplain’s office, hospital room, aboard ship, or in the field.)

Despite clear policies and regulations upholding confidentiality on the part of military chaplains, in a recent 2013 poll of naval personnel, 63 percent of 5.049 respondents did not believe their communications with chaplains were confidential, and 65 percent of 2,895 respondents erroneously believed that Navy chaplains are required to report certain matters to the command.3

Historical perspective

Before looking specifically at the practice of military chaplains making entries into patients’ medical records, it would be helpful to look at how this practice has evolved in recent history.

Hospital chaplaincy as a distinct profession in the United States over the past 20-30 years has assumed a more proactive stance toward patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare facilities. Unlike in the past where patients generally received pastoral visits from clergy representing specific faith groups, today a professional cadre of certified hospital chaplains has evolved who are members of the healthcare team complete with access to patients’ medical records both to gather information and to make notations of their own.

While worthy strides have been made to integrate chaplains more fully into the healthcare system, some medical ethicists consider charting, i.e. making notations in patients’ medical records accessible to others by this specialized chaplaincy as “disquieting” and suggest there exists a need to reassess professional commitments “to respect and protect the bio-psycho-social integrity of patients.”4 The evolution of hospital chaplaincy as a profession distinct from congregational based ministry has also raised concern among some members of the clergy who view practices like charting as a threat to confidentiality that has been a cornerstone of their ministry.

Chaplains, medical records and confidentiality

Although BUMEDINST 1730.2A attempts to balance the hospital’s need for clinical information and the patient’s need for confidential care, paragraph 12b of the Instruction reads: “Patients should be advised that certain information communicated to the chaplain may be shared with other members of the treatment team or in a clinical supervisory session unless the patient specifically requests that such information remain in confidence with the chaplain.”

If military patients presume that what they discuss with hospital chaplains “may be shared” with others unless they “specifically request that such information remain in confidence,” might these same service members be misled to believe that this also applies to what they share with chaplains outside of medical facilities? Might these same service men and women be led to question that what they discuss with their unit chaplains may be shared with their command unless they “specifically request that such information remain in confidence”?

Rather than telling patients their communications with chaplains may be shared with others unless they “specifically” request that such information remain confidential, I submit it would be more in keeping with SECNAVINST 1730.9 (“Confidential Communications to Chaplains”) to revise BUMED Instruction to read, “Information shared with chaplains is presumed confidential unless the patient specifically requests the chaplain share certain information with other members of the medical team.”

The fact that many patients may be suffering from excessive physical or emotional pain may impact not only their ability to make informed decisions regarding disclosure, but also affect their capacity “to distinguish confidential communications from general pastoral care interventions” as noted in the current BUMED Instruction.

Hospital spiritual assessments

A number of military hospital chaplains today are attempting to make spiritual assessments of a patient’s cultural, religious, spiritual beliefs or practices, the results of which are often recorded in the patient’s medical record. Such a practice can be problematic in the military where the privacy of personnel and their family members are protected as in the case of SECNAVINST 1730.9, paragraph 4 (h):

Records or notes compiled by a chaplain in his/her counseling duties are considered ‘work product’ and confidential. As such, chaplains must safeguard any such records, in whatever medium or format, containing confidential communication. When no longer needed, these work products will be destroyed.

Unlike “notes” a chaplain may take in his/her office that are later destroyed, the “notes” a hospital chaplain may chart in the process of undertaking a spiritual assessment remain a part of the patient’s medical record even after the patient is discharged. Chaplains who are compelled by supervisors or hospital administrators to justify their role or “competency” by charting spiritual assessments may potentially weaken the trust that needs to exist between clergy and the people to whom they minister. Those who also use the system of charting for professional validation, credentialing, or in order to justify employment, potentially redefine the pastoral visit from selfless to self-serving. Furthermore, it has yet to be established if medical healthcare teams significantly benefit from such a highly subjective intake which is primarily helpful to the patient.

One also might note that spiritual care by the chaplain is not so much an “intervention” (as noted in BUMEDINST 1730.2A, paragraph 13a), or something to “fix” but more of a relational mode of being. The spiritual life is a relational life involving how the patient relates to others and how she or he understands their current circumstances in the context of a personal belief system. Because hospital chaplains rarely have long term relationships with patients who either are discharged or die, these assessments and interventions may not prove to be the truest reflection of the individual in question.

The role a chaplain plays in the healthcare community cannot be underestimated. While metrics are increasingly utilized within medical institutions as a method for assessing the value and necessity of professional positions and the number of billets, there are a host of intangible benefits a chaplain brings to patient visitation that can never be measured by practices like charting alone.

Service members and their families deserve the highest assurance that their conversations will be honored and guarded. Military chaplains must vigilantly insure their charting practices do not “cross the line” lest they surrender this sacred role that has been entrusted to them for over two centuries of U.S. naval history.

Lieutenant Commander Gomulka was a staff chaplain at Naval Medical Center San Diego. She retired in August of 2014 after the article appeared in the December 2013 edition of Proceedings published by the Naval Institute Press.

1. Jami Briton, “Hospital Chaplains Not Required to Keep Information Private,” KCRG-TV9 News Report (April 15, 2010).

2. David O. Middlebrook, “Pastoral Confidentiality: An Ethical and Legal Responsibility,” Enrichment Journal (Spring 2010).

3. Lifelink Newsletter, Vol., 2, Issue 6, OPNAV N171, June 2013.

4. Roberta Springer Loewy and Erich H. Loewy, “Healthcare and the Hospital Chaplain,” Medscape General Medicine (March 14, 2007).

Why Torricelumn Could Be An Important Anti Aging Skin Care Ingredient

Torricelumn is the key anti-aging ingredient present in only a small number of skincare products; made from natural substances, which were originally used to treat war wounds back in the 50s. Torricelumn works by helping support the skins natural renewal cycle; locking essential moistures in and making skin appear brighter and youthful.

You can now find a full line of body and face skincare products including: Hand creams, cleansers, toners and moisturisers all full packed with rich antioxidants, nutrients and minerals bond together to penetrate deep into the skin. All the products offer a variety of benefits, each containing Torricelumn and other mineral blends to help your skin achieve its radiance.

One of the most effective torricelumn products is the luxurious Essence of Torricelumn Serum. This is an intensive skin care product which helps reduce wrinkles, dryness and uneven skin tones whilst you sleep! This serum not only contains Torricelumn but a blend of nutrients and Vitamin C: a powerful ingredient to fight anti-aging by strengthening collagen to firm the skin. This product is extremely sought after by celebrities because of the excellent results it provides, so please consider this product before you go under the knife. In order to achieve the best possible results you will need to apply the serum each morning and night before moisturising. Applying 1 or 2 pumps on to face and neck before moisturising. This product is available from various online stores and some sites even offer a 14-day money-back guarantee for this particular product.

Other alternative options to Torricelumn are Biocolassis day and night moisturiser. These luxurious creams come in pretty packaging and are great for gifts. They have been specially formulated to restore skin and reduce the appearance of future lines and wrinkles. It is full packed with a range of precious minerals; vitamins, antidoxidants and botanicals that will make the skin appear younger and smoother instantly. These creams are lightweight and will not leave the skin greasy. Apply every morning and night to face and neck to see results.

Alcohol Addiction – A Social Evil

There is a group of who start using alcohol to drive away the sorrows and pains of life, whereas others turn to it because they know not any other way. Most alcohol addicts give the reason that alcohol gives them a power to face the challenges and difficulties of life. The practical theory behind this feeling is that alcohol can generate illusions and hallucinations in the minds of people and they are taken to another world where they forget the real world worries, and tensions. Sinking in this dream world, they start loving alcohol to an extent that they can’t even imagine being without alcohol.

The effects of alcohol addiction are long lasting. The harmful effects are never limited to the individual; rather the circle of society is forced to suffer the consequences. Alcohol addiction sends out a red signal by producing physical ailments and mental disturbances in the individual. Even then it is not the individual but the associated ones that realizes the danger and think of how to help the diseased stop drinking alcohol.

Harmful results of alcohol addiction start with physical damage to kidney, liver, heart and almost all internal organs. It starts carving the walls of intestine. Loss of appetite, vomiting, dizziness, nausea etc. are some among the numerous difficulties felt by the addict. He slowly starts losing memory and faint often due to lack of sleep. The physical appearance and facial appearance become too ugly.

Worst of all ill effects is the interference in his social and personal life. He fails to execute his duties and responsibilities. Instead of being a support, he becomes a burden to his family. Peace of the family is disturbed and they become the centre of criticism for the entire society. The place of his work is another area affected badly. You start to have serious backlogs at work and co-workers are humiliated. Everyone dependent on him will be forced to take the pains of suffering and obviously live through the aftermath.

Social peace is disturbed. When alcohol addiction haunts a person, he will start engaging in criminal activity. Slowly he changes into an anti-social element and none will dare to get acquainted with him. He is isolated and this adds up the fury. His evil behaviour shoots up and a criminal is born.

Several methods are available that will teach people how to stop drinking alcohol. De-addiction centres play a major role in bringing them back to life. Medicines that make them feel the taste of alcohol will inculcate a feeling of hesitance towards the drug. But the major problem in dealing with alcohol through medicine is that, their going be a drug dependency or the forceful withdrawal could lead to many related problems. These efforts of not carried out in a professional manner can cause more harm than good. This later addiction is a critical factor to be dealt with.

Hypnosis is the best method to slowly change the attitude of the individual towards liquor. The hypnosis therapy slowly operates on the minds of the addicts through relaxation devoid of medicines, thereby showing him the path of recovery. The thoughts are deviated to productive areas through hypnotherapy techniques and he is slowly brought back to normal life.

caffeine and panic attacks – are the related?

Have you ever wondered if caffeine and panic attacks are related? In this article I hope to share with you the answer to this question in the attempt to minimize your anxious feelings or panic disorder.

If you are like many people, you will enjoy a good coffee in the morning to wake you up and relax you. Most people would not give this a second thought; however there are some people who need to understand the effects that caffeine can have on the body and the mind.

Caffeine can cause both insomnia and anxiety, and both of these conditions are leading causes of panic attacks. In saying this there is a need to reduce the consumption of caffeine especially if you are used to consuming coffee or other caffeinated drinks on a daily basis.

It is worthy to note however that everybody is different and certainly does not mean that if you do consume caffeine that you will increase the chance of a panic attack, but there is a chance that it could do that and it is something you need to be aware of.

So why does it increase the chance I hear you ask? Many substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and caffeine all interrupt and destabilize the brain process that keeps us feeling happy and normal. The chemical adenosine is one way the brain helps us, as this is the chemical responsible for calming us down in stressful situations.

It has been found that substances such as those mentioned above interrupts the creation and secretion of this chemical, which in turn allows for stress to build up and form into anxiety.

Another reason is that caffeine increases the body’s heart rate. An increase in a person’s heart rate from these substances can also increase the chance of having a panic attack.

To be honest, it’s not entirely surprising that caffeine is a culprit in our anxious feelings. It is counter intuitive to not consume caffeine on a daily basis, especially considering that it is found in a lot of different types of food. There is a firm belief that drinking coffee will actually decrease stress, when in fact it actually does just the opposite.

So now you have learned the truth about caffeine and panic attacks, and that it does in fact increase over all anxious feelings. Now its time to deal with the problem itself. Learn how to stop an anxiety attack using natural methods and be free from anxiety for good. Remember no matter how deep the problem may lie there is always hope provided you have the desire and determination to succeed.

Fashion Icon Ralph Lauren Fights Cancer Globally

I have always loved what Ralph Lauren stands for. His clothing and iconic style have been a big part of my life for over three decades. As everyone knows fashion designer Ralph Lauren has become the epitome of classic fashion. His innovativeness along with countless other traits have made him the founder, designer and chairman of a $900 million company. He sells a lifestyle image of sophistication, class and taste. Behind the scenes he’s a crusader, with his Pink Pony line of clothing and home items which supports breast cancer awareness. Essentially Pink Pony’s 10 anniversary line of clothing and cashmere throws, are limited editions and customizable. The Pink Pony Fund, which has raised over $40 million to fight cancer in 13 different countries.

For over 40 years, Ralph Lauren has cultivated the iconography of America into a global lifestyle empire. His line of clothing has seen reflections of the New England coast, Native American culture, or Hollywood glamour. Ralph Lauren embodies an expression of timeless style that is recognized and coveted around the world. He’s somewhat of a contradiction of terms: a multibillionaire who dropped out of school. He’s also relentless. He is as generous as he is successful. Just for today I want to focus on his charitable efforts and the side of him that will hopefully inspire us all to do great things.

I have often wondered what motivated him to set up his philanthropic foundation: how does he pick the causes to donate to? One turning point was when he lost his longtime friend Nina Hyde, the fashion editor of the Washington Post, to breast cancer. He established the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research [the largest breast cancer centre in the world] in 1989. The Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Lombardi Cancer Centre is located at the Georgetown University Medical Centre. Dr. Marc Lippman is the director of the centre and states “Our multi-disciplinary programme includes prevention, environmental factors, genetics, and novel therapies in an effort to find answers for women fighting breast cancer.” Medical researchers from all over the world have come together to focus on every aspect of the breast cancer problem due to the vision and tireless philanthropic efforts of Ralph Lauren.

He continues to be a driving force in raising breast cancer awareness both on a national and international basis. For Ralph Lauren it’s all about education and awareness. The Pink Pony line was created as a global year round effort to raise funds for Breast Cancer, and thankfully, has expanded to include all types of cancers. Its mission is now to help address the needs of the medically underserved bringing quality cancer care, access to cancer care, and early detection for those who need it most. Ten percent of the proceeds from Pink Pony products benefit the Pink Pony Fund.

In 2003, in cooperation with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center [the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center], he established the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care & Prevention in East Harlem, New York. One of the center’s most innovative services is called patient navigators: a concept pioneered by Dr. Freeman, the center’s medical director. He’s the national authority on the relationships among race, poverty, and cancer. Patient navigators assist patients and family members to ensure that they are not lost in the complexities of the healthcare system.

It’s amazing how giving Ralph Lauren is. The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, was established by a generous gift from the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. This generous gift has offered the medically underserved, predominantly minority population of Harlem access to the highest-quality cancer screening and treatment services.

In his remarks, Ralph Lauren acknowledged the “efforts, the care, and the love of everyone who worked so hard to see that the center came into being. This is not the end, but the beginning of a long fight for all of us.”

Today I express my gratitude to your efforts. Keep fighting the good fight, Ralph Lauren. You have made the world a better place.

College Financial Aid – FAFSA – Lying on This Application Is a No No

Many people want to lie on their financial aid application for college. Many parents and students think that no one will find out if they do so. This is about as far from the truth as you could possibly get. Yes, some people can get away with lying and cheating. There is a chance however, a very good chance, that you will get caught.

Colleges have the right to audit you and your family whenever they feel the need to do so. Just like the IRS can offer you because they think you are not paying enough money in taxes, the college can audit you as well. They all to you for the opposite reason though, which is to see if you’re getting too much assistance for your college tuition.

Colleges and universities called this process verification, not an audit like the IRS. Many students are required each and every year to submit, and detail, all of their family’s financial information.

It is estimated that a minimum of one third of the students applying for financial aid will have to go through the verification process. This does not have anything to do with your race, age, or gender. It really does boil down to who is lucky and who is not. They will require that you bring in all of your paperwork that you have used for information to fill out your FAFSA. This information will be used to compare with the original numbers you have submitted. If they are off, your EFC, expected family contribution, will be changed. This will affect your ability to borrow money for college.

Colleges have no choice but to verify this information. The government requires that a randomly verify about one third of the students applying for financial aid. You can be 18 years old and applying for your first year of college, or you could be a 32-year-old veteran going back to college, and it does not matter.

Red flags on your financial aid application will also raise questions. If you report that you have $250,000 in the bank, and you make $30,000 a year and income, this is a red flag. Many colleges and universities will want to audit your financial aid application themselves, not having anything to do with the government.

The best way to do this is to be honest 100% of the time. You should submit the same numbers on your FAFSA as you do your income tax returns that are filed every year for the IRS. You will be able to sleep much easier at night knowing you have been completely honest, even if that means you do not qualify for some financial aid.

Foodservice and Restaurant Merchandising 101

Visual food merchandising is one of the hottest trends in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry today, which is the fine art of presenting your products in a way that gets your customers to buy, as well as bringing your products to life with eye-catching displays of freshness, color, quality and abundance.

A great food merchandising program paired with cross-merchandising strategies will help to increase your restaurant or foodservice operations’ sales significantly, as well as boost customer satisfaction and return business.

The benefits of eye-catching food merchandising displays and cross- merchandising techniques are immediate. Sales will increase between 15 percent to 300 percent if you have done a proper job with your merchandising program Your staff’s morale will also be raised from the improved surroundings and satisfied customers.

Running a foodservice operation takes much more than just displaying the usual information like the “daily special”. As an operator, you must consider what will lure your customers into your operation in the first place. Here are some basic merchandising rules and tips to follow:

1. Make it look appetizing

You should build your food displays so that customers can see them from all angles of your facility. Use nothing but the freshest ingredients and colorful food items to catch their attention. Display your food items using uniquely shaped plates and dishes with different textures. Use terra cotta and other environmentally conscious colors, and incorporate natural wood and bamboo to create a more modern, clean and sleek image.

For example, the addition of a simple, thick, wooden board placed inside a standard glass display unit for sandwiches emphasizes to customers that the sandwiches have just been freshly made. Without the board, the sandwiches look start and naked, and allows customers to wonder how long they have been sitting there, since a glass and steel display unit tends to evoke a sense of coldness and emptiness. The cutting board helps to add warmth and life to the display unit.

2. Place products on a slant and use color

Food is always displayed better when placed on a slant and not lying flat. Show your customers your products! Tilted European-style wooden racks are a great merchandising tool to display breads, pies, pastries, and other products, creating an inviting display to tempt your customers to buy.

Color is one of the most important factors when dealing with food displays. Many food products tend to come from the brown and beige palettes, so is necessary to brighten up your operation with greens, reds, oranges and yellows, to also create a fresh and healthy look. Consider looking at what items you might already have on hand in your kitchen, pantry and stockrooms that might add mouthwatering color and substance to your display.

3. Use cross-merchandising techniques to use higher sales

For cafeterias and market-style operations, cross-merchandising is an excellent opportunity to upsell by placing the right foods together. Soups, sandwiches and potato chips should be placed in the same area, while coffee and tea should be served right next to desserts. Side orders and salads could be split. For example, small containers of salad could be packaged and placed on ice next to the grill, as well as stationed next to the sandwiches. Also try different varieties of cream cheese next to bagels, or fresh fruit and whipped cream next to cake and ice cream. Coffee and tea is a great partner to bakery items. Sales of beautifully packaged coffee will soar when placed next to bakery items.

4. Use the cash-wrap area

The cash-wrap area is prime real estate for merchandising. Proper merchandising of additional retail products at the cash-wrap area will help you increase average checks. Use your cash-wrap area for last minute sales of coffee, soda, desserts, candies and chocolate bars, and create an irresistible display of goods that customers cannot refuse.

5. Proper signage points the way to increased revenues

Proper signage can help you tell customers what you need to tell them when you are unable to offer them personal attention. It is very important to be clean, concise and to the point when designing the signage for your operation. Make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase food items by providing proper signage that inform your customers about your products so they will buy them. Signage can be displayed in all shapes and sizes, and should be used accordingly. Use branded mini cards to label and price your products, and write short descriptions of the item detailing the ingredients you used or your cooking method. If you insist on handwriting your signs, be sure to make them legible and graphically appealing.