Wednesday, July 30, 2008

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

All children should be vaccinated against childhood diseases. If you are unable or someone you know is unable to afford vaccinations, free and reduced cost vaccinations are available throughout the United States. The Healing Project acknowledges that many people are concerned about the possible adverse-effects of immunization, particularly in children. While ingesting any substance has its risks, the benefits of vaccinations greatly out way the risks. Finally, we are also aware that members of the community are concerned that vaccinations may result in Autism. Careful scientific studies not only in the United States but also throughout the world have not demonstrated any causal relationship between vaccination and Autism. Please see a qualified health provider and see your children are vaccinated before they return to school.

For more information:

National Immunization Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-05
Atlanta, GA 30333
(800) 232-2522
(800) CDC-INFO (232-4636) English/Spanish
(888) 232-6348 TTY
(888) CDC-FAXX (232-3299) Free fax-back

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

August 1st is National Minority Donor Awareness Day

The Healing Project encourages all members of our community to particpate in organ and tissue donation programs. It is a gift of life.

August 1 is National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Day, and the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program (National MOTTEP®) was established to encourage the minority communities to actively particpate in these programs to save lives.

Why is it so important to have more minority organ donors?

• More than 83,000 persons are currently on the national transplant waiting list.

• 16 people die each day waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

• More than 50% of people waiting for transplants are racial/ethnic minorities including: 23,558 African Americans; 13,059 Hispanics/Latinos; and 5,158 Asians/Pacific Islanders.

• Patients in need of a transplant are more likely to find a genetically compatible match within their own racial/ethnic group.

• Minority donors account for only about 25% of the available donor pool.

National MOTTEP® is the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program. It is the first program of its kind in the country designed to:

Educate minority communities on facts about organ and tissue transplantation
Empower minority communities to develop transplant education programs which allow them to become involved in addressing the shortage of donors
Increase minority participation in organ/tissue transplant endeavors including signing organ donor cards
Encourage and increase family discussions related to organ and tissue donation
Increase the number of minorities who donate organs and tissues

The mission of the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, (MOTTEP®) is to decrease the number and rate of ethnic minority Americans needing organ and tissue transplants. MOTTEP® will achieve its mission by implementing a national information and education campaign that emphasizes both prevention and intervention strategies that result in:

healthier life styles and behavioral patterns
increased number of minority donors and transplant recipients
increased number of family discussions regarding organ and tissue transplants
increased number of minority donor pledges

Why is there a National MOTTEP®?
National MOTTEP® was originally established to increase the number of minority organ and tissue transplant donors. The mission of National MOTTEP® was later revised to incorporate a preventive focus by addressing the diseases and behaviors which lead to the need for transplantation such as diabetes, hypertension, alcohol and substance abuse, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

National Minority Donor Awareness Day
National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program

Ambulatory Care Center
2041 Georgia Avenue NW, Suite 3100
Washington, DC 20060
(800) 393-2839
(202) 865-4888
(202) 865-4880 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Norman Brooks

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July is UV Safety Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Eye M.D.s around the country encourage everyone to protect their eyes from UV-related damage.

The same UV-A and UV-B rays that can damage your skin can harm your eyes as well. When you protect yourself from the sun, don't just think sunscreen – think sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.

Excessive, prolonged UV exposure may be linked to the development of eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Extensive or intense exposure to UV rays can cause "sunburn" on the surface of your eye. Similar to a skin sunburn, eye surface burns usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life so protect your eyes.

To protect your eyes, wear a brimmed hat and the right kind of sunglasses when you are going to be exposed to UV light.

Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.

If you spend time on the water or in the snow, consider purchasing goggles or sunglasses that wrap around your temples because they block the sun’s rays from entering on the sides, offering better protection.

Remember sunglasses don't have to be expensive to offer the right kind of UV protection. Even inexpensive glasses can protect your eyes if they offer 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection.

Don't forget the kids. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. when the sun's ultraviolet rays are the strongest.

It's important to protect your eyes when UV light is most intense.
Generally, UV light is at the greatest level at midday (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.), but you need to protect your eyes whenever you're outside for a prolonged period, even when it's gray and overcast.

Reflected sunlight off water, snow and pavement can be the most dangerous type of UV light because it is intensified.

Your eyes can be harmed by UV light sources other than the sun, such as welding lamps or tanning lights. So remember to wear eye protection when using these sources of invisible, high energy UV rays.

UV Safety Month
American Academy of Ophtalmology

P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
(415) 447-0213
(415) 561-8533 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Georgia Alward

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July is Hemochromatosis Awareness Month

Hemochromatosis (HHC) is an inherited condition of abnormal iron metabolism; it is not a blood disease. Individuals with hemochromatosis absorb too much iron from the diet. Iron cannot be excreted therefore the metal can reach toxic levels in tissues of major organs such as the liver, heart, pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, and synovium (joints). These overburdened organs cease to function properly and eventually become diseased. Therefore, undiagnosed and untreated HHC increases the risk for diseases and conditions such as diabetes mellitus, irregular heart beat or heart attack, arthritis (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis), cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer, depression, impotence, infertility, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, and some cancers. Mismanaged iron in the brain is seen in those patients with neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's, early onset Parkinson's, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease.

People At Risk:
Northern Western European descent
Northern Western European males
Females who no longer menstruate.
Blood relatives of people diagnosed with Hemochromatosis
People who have a family history of a premature death by heart attack
People who have a family history of liver disease
People who have a family history of diabetes mellitus (type II)
Bronze colored skin
Arthritis especially in the first two knuckles of the hands (iron fist)

Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms are non-specific. Chronic fatigue and joint pain are among the first and most common symptoms reported by patients with hemochromatosis.

Later symptoms and findings can include:
Abdominal Pain
Irregular Heart Rhythm
Loss of Period Loss of Interest In Sex
Hair Loss
Skin Color Changes

Hemochromatosis is Often Misdiagnosed:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with HHC are misdiagnosed 67% of the time and usually see an average of three doctors before obtaining a successful diagnosis. This remains a critical health concern, because hemochromatosis is common and early detection with treatment can save lives and improve quality of life. Also, if a person with hemochromatosis is diagnosed prior to serum ferritin greater than 1,000ng/mL, the chance of cirrhosis is less than 1%! Genetic testing also called molecular analysis or DNA analysis, is available through any health care provider or can be ordered online from companies such as DNA Direct. Before getting genetically tested it is important to be fully informed of the potential for discrimination such as employment or insurance denial or cancellation. Genetic testing used in the right way can be helpful and even prevent unnecessary suffering or death.

Hemochromatosis Awareness Month
Iron Disorders Institute

2722 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Suite A
Greenville, SC 29615
(888) 565-4766
(864) 292-1175
Materials available
Contact: Patient Information Services