Archives for November, 2011

by Dick Clapp, DSc, MPH My friend Dr. Paul Epstein succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Sunday, Nov. 13, three days short of his 68th birthday. Here are some thoughts about him that I wanted to share with TPH readers. First, he was a compassionate physician who worked in low income communities early in his career.…

A few thought-provoking pieces I’ve read this week demonstrate the extent to which the US is failing to invest in our next generation. John Schmid of the Journal Sentinel points out that 44 other countries have lower infant mortality rates than the US (by UNICEF ranking), and we’re tied for 45th place with Montenegro and…

My sister is not Death’s Grim Reaper

She’s a hospice nurse. When I tell people her occupation, I typically receive a response like this: “She must be a very special person. I could never work in a place where people go to die.” Hospice is a “place,” and equating hospice to death, are just two of the misperceptions that hospice care providers…

Billion dollar company and a broom handle implicated in death of two workers

[Updated 11/14/11 below] Barrick Goldstrike is the largest gold producer in the world, with a stock market value of $51.0 Billion. With that kind of wealth, one has to ask why workers at the company’s Meikle mine near Elko, Nevada were compelled to use a broom handle to keep a reset button depressed, so tons…

Thailand is experiencing its worst flooding since 1942, and millions of people are affected. The death toll has reached 533, due mostly to drowning but also to electrocutions. CNN reports that more than 113,000 people have arrived at 1,700 government shelters set up across the country, and Bangkok officials have warned residents of interruptions to…

Occupational Health News Roundup

A rock burst at a coal mine in China’s Henan province has killed a total of 10 miners. The explosion happened just after a minor 2.9-magnitude earthquake occurred nearby, and 45 workers were rescued after 36 hours underground – although two of those workers later died of their injuries. Last month, a gas explosion at…

Preserving autonomy for seniors with home-delivered meals: 40+ years for the Older Americans Act

An overwhelming majority of seniors want to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Residing with a family member or friends may not be an option, and assisted living facilities may take too big a chunk out of a senior’s fixed income. Older Americans, and I’d argue most of us, feel more independent…

Lessons from Contagion

By Mark Pendergrast As I watched the blockbuster bio-thriller Contagion, I was struck by how realistic it was in many ways. That isn’t surprising, since many epidemiologists, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, served as advisors. The film was based on a simple premise. What if a new,…

SciDev.Net’s TV Padma reports that tuberculosis experts are looking to India to develop affordable TB-testing kits. An estimated four million cases of the disease go undetected, and two million TB patients die every year. India has increased its efforts at finding and treating cases of the disease, but diagnostics still present a challenge, Padma explains:…

Bicycling has been in the news a lot this week. E&E News reports that China is trying to get people back onto bicycles in an attempt to address traffic problems. The city of Zhongshan has launched a bike-sharing system with 4,000 bikes; Hangzhou and Shanghai have systems with 50,000 and 19,000 bikes, respectively. Reporter Coco…