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Importance of National Health Center Week


Image is from North Carolina Community Health Center Association

More Healthy Communities

One of the most important things for proper health in a given community is education. People must know which activities are healthy, and which can be potentially harmful. According to the National Health Center Week (NHCW) 2017 website, more than 25 million in the United States are served by health centers. The site goes on to point out that throughout the fifty states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and outlying U.S. territories, there are some 9,000 sites of delivery. That is quite a few options.

Now there are a little over 19,000 incorporated places in the United States, which means almost every other town or city has some kind of health center–statistically. Though many Americans aren’t aware of the available services which can be attained at a health center, it should be no surprise that a large number of U.S. citizens rely on health center services to survive.

Crunching Numbers

You may not have thought about this, but what an economic indicator! An ill community won’t be able to labor at the same quality as a healthy one. Furthermore, if the illness besetting a given community has a communicable quality, passerby could spread infection. Think about catching a cold and being knocked out for a week. You would work, but can’t. If you averaged $100 a day, you’re out at least $500. The business is out at least three times that; because if you’re making $100 a day, be assured whomever you’ve allied with in an employment capacity is making thrice that.

If a local health center can cut illness down ten percent, it’s likely that a 30% or higher economic stimulation feeds the community hosting the health center. When you consider that health centers in the U.S. provide for all individuals, regardless of economic or insurance affiliation, the picture becomes even more clear.

Communal Economic Energy

Another thing to consider is longevity of service. If you go onto the NHCW website, you’ll find health centers in the United States have been serving the country some fifty years. That’s half a century, and worth a whole lot of accolade.

For those attending NHCW events, there are quite a few very interesting features worth considering, too. Technology expands at a predictable, regular pace. This means medical solutions available to all through a health center are often paraded past the public during NHCW events. There are some truly innovative services designed to provide for the community, and worth exploring. Also, each health center presents itself to the community in its own, unique way.

The healthier a community, the more productive that community is. Greater production leads to greater economic growth, which leads to better jobs. Better jobs mean more economic growth for a given community. A good health center acts almost like an economic mitochondrial fulcrum–if you want to wax medical. The mitochondria is basically the energy center of a given cellular structure. A fulcrum is the “support” around which a given lever “pivots”.

Explore Local Options

Health generally acts in this capacity: the economy can positively pivot when good health silhouettes a community. But not everyone can afford top-tier health solutions. Especially when you consider low-income families and single mothers, health center solutions are integral to proper community functionality.

As NHCW approaches, it makes sense to take a moment for appreciation and reflection. For the last fifty years, these areas of medical care have helped keep America’s economic engine functioning. Additionally, there are many services you may not have realized were available. Be sure and look into your community’s NHCW events. You may just learn something that changes your life.


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Men’s Health Week


The International Men’s Health Week is an annual event that is held around the world. The Men’s Health Network led six leading men’s health organizations from around the world during a meet in Vienna, Austria in 2002 and they resolved to work as a unit in increasing awareness of men’s health issues. In addition, the group resolved to encourage intra and inter-national institutions in developing health policies and services that meet the needs of men, boys and their families.

During the Men’s Health Week, to be held from June 12 to 18 2017, communities across the world are expected to come together and create engaging and fun events, activities and promotions aimed at increasing the awareness of the needs of boys and men. The events are focused on maintaining and improving the health of the male members of the society, while having meaningful conversations related to body and mind health.

The Beginning

Men’s Health Week is a creation by Congress in 1994 as a response to increasing awareness of preventable health issues, while encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among male members of the community. The bill, sponsored by former Congressman Bill Richardson and former Senator Bob Dole, is a means of bringing in a significant shift from treatment to prevention in disease control. The week involves increasing public awareness and spreading information on disease prevention through nationwide screenings and events.

How to Participate

One way to participate in the event in your workplace is by encouraging both male and female employees to support the day by:

  • Choosing a day in the week to celebrate a the men’s health week
  • Set an amount of money you would like to raise, so that you have something to go for
  • Choose blue as the color-code for the day; from blue accessories, head to toe blue work attire or just give staff members an excuse to go casual, whatever works for your employees
  • Let your group members choose whether they would like to wear blue or whatever amount of money they would like to donate
  • You can also sell blue prostate cancer pins as support of fighting against prostate cancer

Show your customers and others what you have accomplished by posting photos of your event to your social media channels. In addition, to doing the above you could also consider some of the following suggestions:

  • Plan a health fair that can be held in the workplace, hospitals, churches or community centers
  • Plan a mini health fair by asking a local health educator, doctor or nurse to give a short lecture related to men’s health
  • Plan a fundraiser for MHN’s prostate cancer outreach efforts
  • Create awareness for men’s health through bringing together your neighbors or coworkers through walking, tennis, bowling, bicycling or even hiking.

How to Participate at Home

Whether it is your spouse, boyfriend, dad, brother or friend, show that you care about their health by wearing blue. If the last Friday of the Men’s Health Week will not work for you, then pick a date and have fun wearing blue all day. Use the Wear Blue day to escalate awareness on money for education related to regular checkups, testicular cancer education, skin cancer, lung cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and more.

Remember, men are living sicker and dying younger. Wearing blue was created to raise awareness on the importance of men’s health and to encourage men to actively seek living longer, healthier lives. The response to this event has been overwhelming and thousands of people are actively participating in awareness activities in the U.S. and all over the world.



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Men’s Health Month


Image is from Healthcare South

Wear the Blue!

The Friday before Father’s Day is approaching and on that day people dressed in blue will seek to bring awareness to Men’s Health. Do you have men in your life you care about? Support the cause and show your true colors when you don the blue. Even with all the medical advances that have emerged men are still struggling with chronic sicknesses and passing away earlier than women. Men’s Health Month seeks to provide tested health solutions to the men in everyone’s life!

Join in June

Supported by a congressional health program, Men’s Health Month is an outreach movement that strives to touch the lives of men and any loved ones affected by trying health issues. Early detection, screenings, and other proactive solutions are all a part of what makes June the one month out of the year that educates and brings awareness to the many men’s health issues that plague men worldwide.

Here are a few of the ways Men’s Health Month is making a difference today:

  • It draws attention to the diseases that are harming men everywhere. Many of these diseases might be preventable if caught and treated early on.
  • The spotlight is given to men’s health issues and encourages those in government positions to address the various problems afflicting men of all ages through policy making and championing awareness.
  • Media and individuals use the month of June to show their own concerns and support for Men’s Health by participating in special interest pieces or by encouraging the younger and older generation to participate in medical screenings, physicals, and monthly check-ups.
  • Participation in the “Plan to Wear Blue” that is embraced during Men’s Health Month encourages people from all walks of life to wear blue in united support of Men’s Health. It also encourages those interested to request allowing a day to wear blue at their job sites or to begin various “Wear Blue” events or fundraisers to raise money for men’s health.

What to Know

For men the need to stay informed and up to date on the state of their personal health is imperative. So what are some of the largest health issues men deal with now? Check out this list and see if you are, have or know someone who has faced or still deal with some of these terribly common health issues that affect men’s quality of life:

  • Cardiovascular disease- Hypertension commonly afflicts young men and close to 3 million men suffer from a stroke every year. Those incidents emphasize why periodic heart monitoring checkups are a must for men.
  • Respiratory disease-While most cases of lung cancer can be contributed to smoking, occupational hazards like asbestos are also known to cause lung cancer in men.
  • Various Cancers- Colon, throat, mouth, liver, and esophagus cancers are a higher risk for men who drink alcohol. They are hospitalized more than women for severe cases of alcohol use. It triggers higher death rates for males than females.
  • Depression- While women are more likely to attempt suicide more men are likely to die by suicide. Men, by comparison, are less likely to acknowledge they are struggling with depression and many will not seek help for it.
  • Diabetes- This disease lowers testosterone levels, increases depression and anxiety when left untreated. It can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, and vision problems.

Do you know someone who is struggling with tiresome and debilitating health issues? Are you? You are not alone. There is hope! Men’s Health Month is about giving men the ammunition they need to fight back against diseases that are destroying their quality of life.


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Difference Between Rash and Eczema


Image is from

Eczema,is a reaction to an external or internal allergen stimulus. There are listed, according to the Eczema Association at least eight various kinds of eczema, and each type of eczema warrants a different healing option.

Understanding Eczema

Eczema considered chronic and long-term forms red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin that can range from mild to more severe.

The itching that develops can cause eczema can get so severe that the areas start to bleed. Intense skin scratching, in turn, places you at risk for secondary skin infections.

Eczema develops anywhere on the body, such as the face, arms, neck, legs, and chest. Symptoms vary from person to person. Eczema is migratory and frequently does not attack the same part of your body.

Eczema at its worse looks bad to other people to the point that people think you have a condition that they can catch. Eczema is not a contagious disease, but puts you in a heartbreaking dilemma.

Eczema is found to be hereditary or stems from an allergic reaction to some substance, and your doctor determines which type of eczema is bothering you, what triggers your eczema, and what healing methods are best to eliminate your eczema problem.

Eczema is a common problem in today’s society with many people like you trying to conquer its effects.There are no medical options that eliminate eczema in its entirety, so the goal is to manage this disease and keep it at bay.

Once a baby is said to have eczema, the chances are that this condition follows them as they grow and remains with them into the adult years. You do not have to have eczema as a child to develop it in your adult years.

If you experience any or maybe all of the following symptoms, you may be dealing eczema. Your doctor must determine which type and what health care options to use.

  • Patches of red skin
  • Skin that is dry and sensitive to touch
  • Notices dark patches of skin
  • Skin areas take on a rough, scaly look
  • You rusting on the top outer layer of skin
  • Have areas of swelling

Eczema is hard to deal with because when you think you have eliminated this condition it flare-ups once again.


You can develop a rash from an unlimited number of sources such as the environment, medication, cleaning supplies, stress, heat, cold, fevers, pet hair, food sources, and more.

Sometimes you may develop a rash without any indication of why or how the rash developed. In all instances, you just have to wait for it to disappear. No one can catch a rash from you.

A rash, not considered a chronic condition is short-term. General signs and symptoms include changes to the skin in color, appearance, or texture.

A rash can develop any place on the body at any time. A rash stems from your skin coming in contact with an external allergen or when you ingest something causing an allergic reaction, such as a drug or food you know you have an allergy. You have a rash if you notice,

  • Changes in skin color
  • Warmth to the area
  • Bumpy areas or hives
  • Chapped skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Blistered skin

Types of rashes are extensive and varied. You may know what caused your rash, such as, you are allergic to fish and you eat fish, or you have a fever of over 101 degrees, or you were in the sun too long. Certain conditions cause rashes such as the chickenpox and measles.

There are over-the-counter preparations to eliminate itchy skin such as antihistamine pills like Benadryl and itch-relieving creams.


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Treatment for Eczema


Image is from Wonder Wardrobes

Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation. When diagnosed with eczema, it is important to keep your symptoms under control. Knowing what triggers your outbreaks are vital so that you can prevent them. Some common triggers are stress, allergens, irritants, and dry skin.

What You Can Do

Most cases of eczema are manageable with a proper skin care routine. The following practices will help you control your eczema symptoms:

  • Establish a Daily Skin Care Routine – This is sometimes in conjunction with prescription therapy. Try not to miss any treatments so that your eczema doesn’t flare.
  • Be Aware of your Stressors – Avoid as many stressful situations that you can, and learn stress management techniques to help you with the ones you can’t. You can learn these techniques from a doctor or psychologist.
  • Try Not to Scratch or Rub your Skin – Be aware of what materials or substances that irritate your skin and avoid them. Avoid itchy fabrics, like wool, and dress in soft, breathable clothing.

Treatments and Medications

There are many different options available to treat your eczema. These include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies
  • Medications available by prescription.
  • Phototherapy
  • Alternative therapies

The Most Common Treatments

  • OTC Products – These are medications and products that you can buy without a prescription. They include mineral oil, tar-based products, petroleum jelly, and gentle cleansers that do not contain soap. These treatments moisturize, treat symptoms of itching, and gently cleanse your skin to avoid infection.
  • Prescription Medications – Your doctor can prescribe systemic oral drugs, topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), and topical corticosteroids.
  • Bathing – This is one of the most effective ways to treat your dry skin. Soaking in a warm bath is very therapeutic. You can add one of the following items to your bath water to treat your specific symptoms: baking soda, oatmeal, salt, vinegar, or bleach. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and moisturize immediately afterward.
  • Moisturizing – If your skin gets too dry, your symptoms can flare. Washing without moisturizing afterward, harsh soaps, cold temperatures, low humidity, and even wind can dry out your skin.
  • Phototherapy – A special machine is used that emits ultraviolet B (UVB) light onto your skin. This increases bacteria-fighting systems in the skin, increases vitamin D production, and reduces inflammation and itching.
  • Alternative Therapies – Stress reduction techniques, supplements, acupuncture, plant-based topicals like coconut oils, biofeedback, and meditation have all been shown to reduce your symptoms.

Remember, symptoms of eczema are different for everyone and not everyone will respond to the same type of treatments. It is best to familiarize yourself with all available options and discuss them with your doctor, so you can customize a plan that works best for you.


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What is Eczema?


Images is from TruKid

Have you ever noticed itchy red patches of skin on your child’s hands or face, or maybe noticed the same irritation on your elbows, neck, hands or knees? If so, the skin irritation you are seeing could be the result of eczema.

Eczema is a category of medical conditions that cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. Symptoms of eczema can include, dryness, itchy skin, redness or rash, scaly or thickened areas of skin.

Types of Eczema

There are many types of eczema and knowing the type of eczema is necessary to determine the best course of treatment. There are seven common types of eczema including,

Contact Dermatitis

This type of eczema occurs when you come into contact with an allergens or irritants, such as solvents, detergents, paints, bleach, smoke, or fumes. Most often it is found on the hand or other body part that touches the irritant and can causes redness, burning, and itching.

Hand Eczema

As the name suggests, this condition is usually found on the hand and is caused by a combination of genetics and exposures to irritants. It is one of the most common types of eczema and it can cause pain, dryness, blisters, cracking, and redness on the hand.

Atopic Dermatitis

This type of eczema is a chronic condition that develops typically in children starting as young as six months old. With this type you may often experience flare ups as well as periods with no symptoms. While the exact cause is unknown, atopic eczema comes about when your immune system goes into overdrive.


Neurodermatitis is characterized by itching, discoloration, and thick areas of skin that are often the result of rubbing and scratching the affected area too much. If you suffer from this form of eczema you may notice these scaly patches of skin on your neck shoulders, feet, wrists, and scalp.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Exposure to nickel, chromium salts, or cobalt can cause dyshidrotic eczema. You can also have this brought about by stress or allergies. This type of eczema is characterized by small and itchy blisters on the edges and soles of the feet and tips of the fingers.

Nummular Eczema

You can suffer from this type at any age and it usually occurs from either dry skin in the winter, insect bites, or skin inflammation. Like the other types, you may notice dry skin and itching, but this type is most identifiable by its round spots or open sores.

Stasis Dermatitis

This type of skin condition occurs due to changes in the pressure of the blood flow in your veins. Too much pressure in your veins can cause the blood to leak out into the skin causing scaling, swelling, redness, pain, itching, and in severe cases can lead to infection.

If you have symptoms of eczema, determining the type you have is important for you to receive the best possible treatment. Treatments can range from ointments, to simply avoiding irritants, and even chronic conditions can be well controlled if properly treated. If you have skin irritation, or other symptoms of eczema, contact your doctor today to determine your best course of treatment.

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Symptoms of Stomach Flu


Image is from NaturalON

Stomach flu also goes by the name gastroenteritis. Usually, the flu goes away on its own after a short time. You may confuse stomach flu as being caused by the influenza virus. However, that is not the case. The strain of flu responsible for the condition is found around the regions of stomach and intestines, unlike influenza which involves the respiratory tract, head, and lungs. The agents that cause it are bacteria, viruses, and parasites including Cryptosporidium among others. These organisms enter the regions they infect through the mouth.

Stomach flu symptoms will manifest themselves after you have had physical contacts with an infected person. Among the physical contacts that will also get you infected are; handshakes, sharing food with someone having the virus and maybe drinking from a cup that has been used by a patient. Once you have been in contact with an infected person, the virus will transport itself to the regions where it will cause the condition. In the stomach and intestines, the virus will cause an inflammation at different spots and thus will lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

This virus manifests itself through a myriad of symptoms. Before the symptoms start to appear and reveal themselves, the virus shall have taken several days in your body. The number of days the symptoms will take will largely depend on the type of infection. While others can stretch up to ten days, others take a shorter time, probably a day or two. Usually, the symptoms will go away even without the assistance of a doctor.

The symptoms of stomach flu and how the virus will manifest itself will differ among individuals. Moreover, the severity of the symptoms will largely depend on how resistant your body is to the virus. If your body is less resilient, you will get more severe symptoms unlike when you have excellent resistance to the infection.

Below are some of the symptoms that will show in a patient infected by flu virus:

  • Fever that keeps escalating daily
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting spells
  • Muscle pains
  • Burning pains in the stomach
  • Blackouts

Stomach flu cannot be considered as a critical condition since it can disappear by itself. Though at other times, the condition may escalate and the patient may appear very ill to the point that it could be life threatening. At this point, you must seek the attention of a physician. You need to take great care when you start noticing the symptoms especially dehydration and its developments. This is because it is the most dangerous symptom of stomach flu. If you vomit and diarrhea continuously, you will lose water and electrolytes from the body and which eventually lead to dehydration.

Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration;

  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased thirst
  • Skin loses its elasticity
  • Fever shoots to above 101 degrees F
  • Mucous membranes in the mouth become dry
  • Bloody vomit
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constant vomiting

While it can be a less severe condition, stomach flu comes with symptoms that are life-threatening. You can, however, handle the symptoms by taking more fluids aside from seeking medication. Above all, ensure that you avoid as much as you can, the areas that may get you contacting the condition. This will help you stay safe and not worried about the discomfort that the state subjects you to.

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Federal and State Anti-Kickback Law (AKS) (Part 2)

As discussed in my first blog post of this series (link here), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) provides criminal penalties, classified as a felony, punishable of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.00 for any individual or entity that knowingly and willingly solicits, offers, pays, or receives remuneration in order to induce any business that is reimbursable under the federal healthcare programs. 

When the AKS was enacted in 1972 there were no exceptions or “safe harbors” for individuals or entities that were entering into certain business transactions that many influencers in the healthcare industry felt should be immune from the law.  However, it became evident less than 15 years after the statute was passed, that judicial interpretation would lead to some not-so-fair outcomes for those covered individuals and entities.  So between 1991 and 1999, the OIG promulgated several permissible acts (“safe harbors”) under the AKS that help take the sting out of the otherwise overly-broad legislation and allow for business transactions that do not have strong potential for corruption and abuse.  As a matter of fact, each year the OIG solicits recommendations from those effected by the AKS, for additional safe harbors or modifications those currently in existence. 

Currently there are 25 safe harbors to the AKS, which can be generally listed as follows:

  1. Investment interests
  2. Price reduction offered to health plans
  3. Space rental
  4. Practitioner recruitment
  5. Equipment rental
  6. Obstetrical malpractice insurance subsidies
  7. Personal services and management contracts
  8. Investment in group practices
  9. Sale of practice
  10. Cooperative hospital service organizations
  11. Referral services
  12. Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  13. Warranties
  14. Referral arrangements for specialty services
  15. Discounts
  16. Price reductions offered to eligible managed care organizations
  17. Employees
  18. Price reductions offered by contractors with substantial financial risk to managed care organizations
  19. Group Purchasing Organizations
  20. Ambulance replenishing
  21. Waiver of beneficiary coinsurance and deductible amounts
  22. Health centers
  23. Increased coverage, reduced cost-sharing amounts, or reduced premium amounts offered by health plans
  24. Electronic prescribing items and services
  25. Electronic health records items and services

Each one of these safe harbors, however, have very specific rules and many have been further interpreted in fraud alerts and Advisory Opinions by the OIG.  Therefore, each one deserves individual attention and dissection to insure total comprehension and adherence.  Some of the safe harbors are more complicated than others so in the following posts, I will address each to the extent necessary to explain them in simple, straightforward language. 

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