Thursday, May 31, 2007

An Insurer Finally Does the Right Thing

We received this letter from a member of our community and are pleased with the outcome. However, this highlights the inefficiencies of our health care system and emphasizes the need for change. THP will continue its efforts to ensure treatments and services are extended to everyone in need of care.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Arms:

As you are all very much aware, Jack, Joan, Mary and I have waged a relentless, and at times all consuming, fight to protect Jack and his body from the ravages of Early-On Set Dystonia.

As has so often been the case in the past, the path to a better life for Jack was once again obstructed by yet another mindless institution, in this particular case, the Oxford Insurance Company. Oxford refused to approve the Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Jack that would return him to an almost complete range of movement, they also denied our appeal of that decision. Our wonderful and talented neurosurgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Dr. Ron Alterman and his team would not have had the opportunity to perform this U. S. Federal Drug Administration surgical procedure without Oxford's approval.

We worked with our many friends to establish contact with Emmy Award winning investigative reporter Howard Thompson of WPIX, CW 11, one of the regional New York Metropolitan Area television stations. Howard Thompson's "Help Me Howard" segment has been very effective in assisting many individuals, especially persons afflicted with Dystonia.

Needless to say, after Howard Thompson contacted Oxford, Jack's surgical procedures were approved, even though our appeal rights had, according to Oxford, already been exhausted. Oxford would have us all believe that even institutions can have an epiphany. In any case, the surgical procedures were performed on May 1 and May 8, 2007 by Dr. Alterman and his team.

Howard Thompson's entire reports stay available for viewing on the link to the Help Me Howard website, which will give you access to the two segments which have thus far been broadcast, the first on Friday, May 25, 2007, and the second on Monday, May 28, 2007.

Jack's courage and his grace in the face of all these obstacles is a constant source of pride to Joan, Mary and to me.

Now you can all have the opportunity to witness this part of the unfolding miracle that marks the beginning of Jack's long journey back to the rich and full life that he so justly deserves. As Winston Churchill said, "This is our finest hour."

John E. Fasciana

Dr. Alterman is a member of the THP Research & Medical Advisory Board.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reminder! Free Patient Education - Paving the Way for Progress: Clinical Trials in Blood Cancers - May 30 in NYC

The Healing Project understands the critical importance clinical trials play in the advancement of the treatment of chronic disease. We encourage all eligible patients to consider participating in the development of new methods of treating disease.

In that light, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society are offering a free patient education program to promote the participation in clinical trials:

Topics to be covered:

• How new drugs are discovered, researched, and approved for treatment
• Telling fact from fiction when it comes to clinical trials
• How to talk to your doctor about clinical trials as a possible treatment option
• Recent and ongoing advances in the treatment of blood cancers

Speaker: Ann D. Pirro PA-C, M.S. M.P.H

Date: May 30th, 2007
Time: 6PM-8PM
Location: The American Cancer Society
19 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019

Pre-Registration for this Free Program is required
Please contact Meg Harrison at 646-660-9027 or to register for the program

Complimentary refreshments will be served.

For questions and assistance for individuals with disabilities, please contact:
David Pulli at: (212) 237-3843

If the dates, times or locations are not convenient; please speak with your haematologist or oncologist about participating in clinical trails in your area. Again, these trials are crucial to advancing treatment options not only for you but also other patients suffering from blood diseases, make every effort to participate.

This education program is generously supported by the American Cancer Society and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Free Nationwide Skin Cancer Screenings Year Round and Nationwide

It is summer. The Healing Project wishes to remind our community that excessive sun exposure can cause skin cancer. While fair skinned people should be especially conscientious about skin cancer, people of all complexions and races should seek out a free screening in their area. The rates of skin cancer for every race and skin tone have increased alarmingly over the past few decades.

For information regarding free year round screening on the following link American Academy of Dermatology
Melanoma Monday
American Academy of Dermatology
930 East Woodfield Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(888) 462-DERM (3376)
(847) 330-0230
(847) 330-8907 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Aisha Hasan

American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology is the preeminent dermatologic association. With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to:

1) advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails;

2) advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and

3) supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing Celebrate the Release of the Voices Book Series

The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing came together on Tuesday May 15th at the Writers Center of Marymount Manhattan College to celebrate the publication of Voices of Alzheimer's and Voices of Lung Cancer.

The evening began with a cocktail reception for the authors, friends, family and supporters of The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing.

The evening's speakers were led off by Debra LaChance.

Debra is a Breast Cancer survivor. She is the founder and Chairwoman of The Healing Project.

Debra's opening remarks were followed by the impassioned appeal of Marvelle Colby, DPA to increase research efforts to identify a cure for Lung Cancer.

Dr. Colby is Professor Emeritus of Management at Marymount Manhattan College and a contributing author to Voices of Lung Cancer. Marvelle continues battling cancer. Nonetheless, she elected to join us and take a stand for all those afflicted with Lung Cancer.

Additional speakers included famed stage, screen and television actress Kate Mulgrew; and nationally exhibited painter and co-founder of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Danny Simmons. Both these distinguished artists contributed to Voices of Alzheimer's and spoke on the effects of Alzheimer's on their lives and on our community.

The Healing Project wishes to thank all the authors, attendees and LaChance Publishing for creating such a special evening. We would also like to thank Marymount Manhattan College for graciously hosting the event.

Upcoming releases include Voices of Multiple Sclerosis and Voices of Breast Cancer. 100% of the profits will be donated to the Healing Project.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Voices of Alzheimer's: About Some of the Authors

While the Voices Series is a national and international effort, we like our community to be introduced to some of authors at a personal level.

Sandy McPherson Carrubba and Lois Vidaver are featured in a recent article in the Tonawanda News: TOWN OF TONAWANDA: Two residents publish their experience with Alzheimer's.

The profound generosity of our authors in sharing their stories is well communicated in this article. It highlights how partipation in The Healing Project cuts across all elements of our society and not only benefits the reader but also the author.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Healing Project is Pleased to Annouce the Release of Voices Book Series

The Healing Project has teamed up with LaChance Publishing to create the Voices Of book series. Each book in the series targets a specific illness and is comprised of stories and essays written by patients, caregivers, medical professionals, celebrities and friends. Authors share their experiences with the disease, provide information on care and treatment and offer a look at what the future holds in fighting these illnesses.

The Voices Of series reflects a belief in the healing power of stories. The books offer wisdom, comfort and support through the process of honest story-telling. The challenges faced by those forced to cope with debilitating illnesses are immense. The Healing Project believes in the importance of easing this process by delivering a little bit of perspective, insight and even humor to those embarking on their journey and those already on their way.

Profits from the sale of the books will be donated to The Healing Project by LaChance Publishing.

Known as “The Long Goodbye”, this collection of essays represents over 40 stories by people from all walks of life who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease, whether as its victim, spouse, caregiver, friend or family member. These unique stories serve as a companion to those who are just beginning their journey with this disease, those currently struggling to cope and those who must deal with its final stages and beyond. The contributors write with candor, clarity and often humor about their experiences with Alzheimer’s, provide insights and strategies for living with the Alzheimer’s patient, and, surprisingly, about the positive effect the experience can have on those affected. One unique essay allows readers the rare opportunity to obtain a first hand account of a patient recently diagnosed with this condition and the mental preparation one goes through at the early stages of the disease. With essays provided by prominent experts in the field of Alzheimer’s research and treatment, and forwards written by acclaimed actress, Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) and best-selling author, David Shenk (The Forgetting), Voices of Alzheimer’s illustrates the strength of human spirit in the face of heart-wrenching adversity.

The Voices of Alzheimer's may be purchased at Amazon

Voices of Lung Cancer

Written by those touched by the disease, this unique collection of essays brings together the very personal stories of the patients, their friends, families and caregivers to show that those diagnosed with lung cancer are not its only victims. Through these honest, emotional and sometimes starkly told stories written by ordinary people, professional writers, celebrities and health care professionals, the reader will share the deeply personal experiences of learning of the diagnosis, the journey through treatment and the challenges of living every day with the disease. The reader will be inspired by the indomitable spirit of those who choose life in the face of the overwhelming odds of surviving the disease and the challenges faced by those who were misdiagnosed and “blamed” for their condition due to nicotine addiction. Along the way, Voices of Lung Cancer offers insight into effective ways families and professionals care for both themselves and the patient, gain a deeper understanding of their relationships with their patients, family members and friends, and learn how to come to terms with the end of life. Together with these invaluable stories, Voices of Lung Cancer features essays by national recognized medical experts about the science of lung cancer; its current treatment; choosing the right doctors; and what the future holds for the next generation of lung cancer patients. With forwards written by the executive directors of CancerCare, Joan’s Legacy and the Lung Cancer Alliance and the heartfelt story of friends lost by S. Epatha Merkerson, star of the acclaimed television drama Law and Order.

The Voices of Lung Cancer may be purchased at Amazon

Thursday, May 10, 2007

National Women's Check-up Day May 14th

The Healing Project wants you to take some time out and remind the women of our community to make sure to take care of themselves. If you are a male member of our community; remind your mom, wife, sisters and daughters to make an appointment for a regular check-up.

My Check-Up Day Pledge
As a participant in National Women's Check-Up Day, I will:

1) use the interactive check-up wizard to get an idea of the types of screenings I may need;
2) contact my doctor or nurse to discuss these and other tests or screenings I may need to get now;
3) schedule an appointment for at least one of these preventive screenings to occur within the next 90 days; and

I will celebrate a healthier me and a healthierUS.

Act on the Pledge

1) Download the Checklist for Your Next Check-Up.
2) Contact your health provider or locate a federally qualified community health center.
3) Print out your National Women's Check-Up Day Pledge Certificate to display in your home.
4) Become a pledge driver by sending an e-card to important women in your life inviting them to take the pledge.
5) Track your community's progress.

Monday, May 7, 2007

National High Blood Pressure Education Month 2007

About National High Blood Pressure Education Month 2007
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. National High Blood Pressure Education Month marks the "kickoff" of high blood pressure prevention and control activities for the year. "Adherence to Treatment" is the theme of the 2007 Campaign.

The NHLBI launched the first "Month" campaign in May 1974. About 100 national organizations cooperated in the campaign and over 200 organizations coordinated activities in their communities during the month. The Month campaign continues as one of the strong links between the NHLBI and the members of the network. The Month kits developed by the NHLBI have proven helpful in educational and media efforts.

National Screening

Thursday, May 3, 2007

High Blood Pressure Sunday - May 6th

Although this day is focused on African-Americans, hypertension gone undetected and untreated negatively effects every race.

Worship-Site Health Education Program (WSHEP)

WSHEP was established to promote public awareness of the harmful effects of hypertension and educate the public on ways to prevent the complications of hypertension and other related cardiovascular risk factors. Working with faith leaders and communities across the country, ISHIB members present the message of the importance of good health and establishing healthy lifestyles during worship services. On-site blood pressure screening and health education materials are provided to participants.

How You Can Get Involved
Worship Sites - You can help the members of your church control this serious disease by participating in the 2007 ISHIB Worship Site Health Education Program (WSHEP) held on May 6, 2007.

Healthcare Professional - You can help by participating and recommending your worship site to participate in the 2007 ISHIB Worship Site Health Education Program (WSHEP) held on May 6, 2007.

High Blood Pressure Sunday
International Society on Hypertension in Blacks
100 Auburn Avenue SE, Suite 401
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 880-0343
(404) 880-0347 Fax
Materials available
Contact: William "Hal" Chambless

The International Society on Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB) is a unique, not-for-profit, professional, medical, membership society, whose mission is to improve the health and life expectancy of ethnic minority populations around the world.

ISHIB delivers to an international community of individuals, agencies, and organizations representing multiple health disciplines within the medical arena, targeting not only African Americans but other under-served populations as well.

ISHIB is devoted to reaching the professional health care and lay communities through its mission, scientific excellence, programs, health information and publications.