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Articles filed under Health

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  • Annual health survey keeps Indiana at 41st in U.S. Dec 23, 2014 9:38 AM
    An annual survey of U.S. health rankings puts Indiana at 41st in the nation for the third straight year. Although United Health Foundation’s new rankings keep Indiana at 41st in the nation, the state did make improvements in smoking and childhood poverty. Last week’s report indicates that while Indiana was strong with regards to immunizations, infectious diseases and binge drinking, it still has work to do in physical activity, obesity, air pollution and other categories. State health commissioner Jerome Adams tells The Times of Munster it will take a coalition of state and local officials and Hoosier themselves to make progress on some of Indiana’s greatest health challenges. He plans to meet with Gary officials to discuss how that city can work to overcome some of its health-related deficiencies.

     
  • Arlington Hts. family pays back kindness at Northwest Community Hospital Dec 23, 2014 6:08 PM
    An Arlington Heights family helped spread the holiday joy on Tuesday at Northwest Commuity Hospital as they passed out presents to sick children. The Brighams' son Dominick was treated there just a few months ago. “No child deserves to be sick. It’s not their fault,” Tim said.

     
  • Purdue gets $1.6M to create virtual patients Dec 22, 2014 5:35 AM
    Purdue University has received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help medical, nursing and pharmacy students learn how to counsel people to quit smoking using “virtual patients” and educational assessments. Purdue pharmacy Professor Karen Hudmon is leading the project that will develop teaching and learning tools. Hudmon says tobacco use is the primary known preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and results in enormous health care costs. She says it is well established that the most effective method to quit is a combination of counseling from a health care provider and the use of medication to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. But she says most health professional schools are not adequately preparing students for that role.

     
  • Emergency Nurses Association names director Dec 22, 2014 11:04 AM
    The Emergency Nurses Association has named Linda L. Morris, PhD, APN, CCNS, FCCM, as Director of ENA’s Institute of Emergency Nursing Education.

     
  • Express Scripts turns to AbbVie in huge hepatitis C deal Dec 22, 2014 8:53 AM
    The nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager is throwing its weight into a fight over the high cost of treating hepatitis C, saying it will cover a drug from AbbVie while pulling back on those from rival drugmakers. The treatments traditionally can cost more than $80,000 per patient. Express Scripts Holding Co. said Monday it will no longer cover Sovaldi and Harvoni from Gilead Sciences Inc. or Johnson & Johnson’s Olysio starting Jan. 1, except under limited circumstances. North Chicago-based AbbVie Inc.’s Viekira Pak, approved only Friday, will become the preferred treatment for patients who have genotype 1 hepatitis C, the most common form of the liver-destroying virus. The three drugs that will no longer be covered are part of a wave of effective but expensive treatments that hit the market in the past year. Patients and insurers have been hoping that growing competition will start to reduce the prices or give payers like Express Scripts some leverage to negotiate better rates. Sovaldi, which was approved late last year, costs $84,000 for a course of treatment. AbbVie has said the shortest approved course of therapy for Viekira, 12 weeks, will cost about $83,320 at wholesale prices. An Express Scripts spokesman said his company received a “significant discount” for its coverage of Viekira Pak, but he declined to offer details. Shares of Gilead sank more than 13 percent, or $14.62, to $93.83 before markets opened Monday, while AbbVie jumped nearly 5 percent, or $3.29, to $71.

     
  • 3 tips to help use remaining health account funds Dec 21, 2014 7:21 AM
    December is the final month for many people with employer-sponsored health coverage to spend the remaining balance in their health care flexible spending account. But these accounts come with a big catch: Often you have to use the balance before the plan year ends or you lose it.

     
  • 12 less-fattening holiday party food, drink choices Dec 21, 2014 7:12 AM
    The coming weeks will be packed with parties, treats and indulgent annual traditions. Instead of mindlessly diving in and ignoring the repercussions until Jan. 1, keep your head about you. Choose wisely, and you can have your jollies and still feel good in your jeans on New Year’s Day. Here are 12 simple holiday swaps that add up to more than a thousand calories saved, without a putting dent in your festive mojo. 1. Instead of a chocolate truffle (105 calories) ... Go for a candy cane (40 calories). Save: 65 calories Unwrap an iconic red-and-white peppermint stick instead of a chocolate bonbon and get a sweet holiday treat with fewer calories and none of the saturated fat. Plus, if you can resist crunching into it, a candy cane lasts longer. 2. Instead of a slice of Starbucks pumpkin bread (410 calories) ... Go for a Starbucks pumpkin-spice latte with skim milk (195 calories). Save: 215 calories When you stop for a shopping break, get a 12-ounce pumpkin-spice latte, which has the same seasonal taste and aroma as a hunk of pumpkin bread, with less than half the calories. On top of that, the drink gives you milk’s filling protein and essential nutrients. Just remember to skip the whip. 3. Instead of crackers with cheddar cheese (293 calories) ... Go for apple slices and soft goat cheese (170 calories). Save: 123 calories Soft cheeses such as chevre and feta naturally have about two-thirds the calories and fat as hard cheeses such as cheddar. If you spread some on fresh fruit slices instead of crackers, you save even more calories, and gain flavor and fiber. 4. Instead of potato chips with onion dip (260 calories in 1 ounce of chips, 2 tablespoons of dip) ... Go for vegetables and guacamole (48 calories in 1 cup of celery and 2 tablespoons of avocado). Save: 212 calories Dips are ideal party starters because they get everyone close together, sharing and bumping elbows. Instead of fried chips and a sour-cream-based dip, use vegetables to scoop up much more healthfully creamy guacamole. You save a couple hundred calories swapping out a mere ounce of chips and two tablespoons of dip. Most people easily eat twice that in the course of the night. 5. Instead of a cup of eggnog (344 calories) ... Go for a glass of champagne (154 calories). Save: 190 calories Not only is eggnog packed with calories, but one cup has a whopping 11 grams of saturated fat; that’s half a day’s worth! Why swallow that when you can celebrate with the same amount of bubbly for less than half the calories and no fat at all? 6. Instead of three mini sausages (96 calories) ... Go for three large shrimp (21 calories). Save: 75 calories When it comes to finger foods, you can’t go wrong with shrimp. It’s a tempting, tidy, two-bite nibble, packed with lean protein and minerals. So skip the greasy sausage and make a beeline to the seafood platter; it usually goes fast. 7. Instead of spiced apple cider with rum (189 calories) ... Go for a hot toddy with rum (127 calories). Save: 62 calories A warm, spiced cocktail is a comforting pleasure on a cold winter’s night. A tea-based toddy will do the trick with less of a calorie hit than cider, and it has heart-healthy flavonoids to boot. 8. Instead of a slice of fruitcake (440 calories) ... Go for a slice of panettone (284 calories). Save: 156 calories Panettone, the traditional Italian holiday cake, is sweet and studded with fruit, but it is also famously fluffy and light, so it is much easier on the waistline than the denser American cake. 9. Instead of a large handful of mixed nuts (410 calories) ... Go for a large handful of pistachios in the shell (160 calories) Save: 250 calories Of course nuts in their jackets are lower in calories than the same volume already shelled; there are fewer nuts in the handful. But, chances are, you will feel equally satisfied with that smaller portion because the shells slow you down, allowing your brain to register the food before you swallow the whole fistful. 10. Instead of a slice of apple pie (410 calories) ... Go for a slice of pumpkin pie (320 calories). Save: 90 calories Thanks mainly to its double pastry crust, apple pie packs a much bigger calorie wallop than the open-faced pumpkin pie. And, really, how many times a year is pumpkin pie on the menu? 11. Instead of hot cocoa with whole milk and whipped cream (320 calories) ... Go for hot cocoa with 1 percent low-fat milk and mini marshmallows (278 calories). Save: 42 calories A steaming cup of cocoa is a must after sledding or snowman-building. Make it with 1 percent milk for a more healthful treat that is still nice and creamy. Instead of whipped cream, top it with a few mini-marshmallows just for the fun of it. They have just 2 calories each. 12. Instead of two small sugar cookies (140 calories) ... Go for two small gingerbread men (60 calories). Save: 80 calories If sugar cookies are your thing, then go ahead and have a couple. Savor, don’t deprive yourself of, your true holiday favorites. But if it is a tossup, opt for the gingerbread men, which are a tad more healthful because the molasses they are sweetened with contains minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium — and you get to contemplate which body part to nibble first • Calorie counts are based on an analysis of data from ESHA Food Processor, a diet analysis and fitness software tool, using nutrition labels on product packaging and websites. Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author. She blogs and offers a biweekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com. She also writes weekly Nourish recipes in The Washington Post’s Food section.

     
  • How to avoid packing on holiday pounds Dec 21, 2014 7:00 AM
    It’s that time of year again when everywhere we turn we’re offered creamy eggnog, savory charcuterie and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth apple pie with whipped cream. Sounds amazing to some, but to others the onslaught of holiday cocktail parties, extended family visits and office holiday buffets creates anxieties about weight gain that far override any seasonal merriment.

     
  • Flu worries prompt more Indiana hospitals limits Dec 20, 2014 1:01 AM
    More Indiana hospitals are being advised to put temporary visitor restrictions in place to try to protect patients and staff from the flu virus.

     
  • Gift Guide: 5 fitness trackers offer wide range Dec 20, 2014 7:00 AM
    There are several fitness trackers to choose from, varying in what they measure and how easy they are to use. Here are five, ranked from budget to sophisticated, to give you a sense of the range available. By no means are these the only good offerings out there.

     
  • FDA approves AbbVie combo hepatitis C treatment Dec 19, 2014 5:47 PM
    It’s among several new pill-only hepatitis C treatments that are big improvements over earlier treatments that are less effective, require injections and cause flu-like side effects. About 3.2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, which generally doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until the liver is damaged.

     
  • Edward Hospital’s nurses awarded top ‘magnet’ status Dec 19, 2014 4:19 PM
    The 1,200 nurses at Edward Hospital in Naperville got some big news Friday. Their hospital received magnet status for the third time from the American Nurses Credentialing Center — a major honor in the nursing world, said Patti Ludwig-Beymer, vice president and chief nursing officer. “To be magnet once is exciting, twice is quite an honor and three times — it’s beyond our wildest dreams,” Ludwig-Beymer said.

     
  • Laptop with 2,800 Northwestern Memorial patients’ records stolen Dec 19, 2014 10:46 PM
    Northwestern Memorial Healthcare issued a notice Friday about a possible security breach after a laptop with patients’ records was stolen.

     
  • Napster co-founder to invest on allergy research Dec 18, 2014 6:11 AM
    Napster co-founder Sean Parker says he missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless of times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

     
  • Walgreens can sell liquor in Naperville, but not downtown Dec 17, 2014 11:52 AM
    Nine Walgreens and one CVS in Naperville now can apply for a new type of liquor license the city council created Tuesday. But the Walgreens on Main Street in downtown Naperville is not one of them. "I’m not assuming Walgreens would behave in any bad way at all,” council member Judith Brodhead said. “I’m more worried about the people who are consuming the alcohol and their behavior and this particular behavior of pregaming.”

     
  • Officials: Nearly 600 Oak Park students out sick Dec 16, 2014 9:23 AM
    Officials say nearly 600 students in Oak Park Elementary School District 97 have missed school because of illness. The district said about 10 percent of its students and staff members were absent Monday. It says it will be monitoring the situation closely and taking extra measures in cold and flu prevention, including extensively cleaning surfaces in school buildings.

     
  • NCH earns Top Performer recognition from The Joint Commission Dec 16, 2014 3:05 PM
    Northwest Community Healthcare was recently recognized as a “2013 Top Performer” on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

     
  • Advocate Good Shepherd honored with award for stroke care Dec 16, 2014 3:11 PM
    Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines - Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

     
  • Insurers extend payment deadline for ‘Obamacare’ Dec 16, 2014 8:12 AM
    Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama’s health care law, the insurance industry says it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January. America’s Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, says the voluntary steps include a commitment to promptly refund any overpayments by consumers who switched plans and may have gotten double-billed by mistake.

     
  • Danica Patrick to promote local hospital campaign Dec 16, 2014 8:24 AM
    Professional race car driver Danica Patrick will be the face, the voice and the role model behind the "Healthy Driven" campaign, a new Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare marketing effort that encourages people to set goals and become healthier. “She’s symbolic of this whole campaign,” Edward-Elmhurst CEO Pam Davis said about Patrick. “She works out. She eats healthy. She’s tough and intense but very approachable.”

     
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