January 28, 2016 By: Teresa Osborne, Secretary of Aging SHARE Email Facebook Twitter BLOG: Helping Older Pennsylvanians During Winter’s Worst Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf PSA, Seniors, The Blog, Weather Safety Though its impact is still being felt in communities and neighborhoods across Pennsylvania, one of the worst winter storms in the history of the commonwealth did not disturb the commitment of scores of social and health care workers who care for older Pennsylvanians.From hospitals and nursing homes, to personal care homes and group homes, direct care workers, cooks, dietary aides, nurses, and support staff from various other facility departments worked around the clock to make certain that residents who rely on them for care and shelter were tended to before, during, and after the storm.Administrators from facilities most directly impacted by the storm have shared countless stories hailing these often unsung heroes who left the solace of their own homes to ensure that their facility’s patients or residents would be safe, cared for and comfortable.One such story involved an 18-year-old high school senior, Elsie McCarthy, who walked two miles so that she could be at her job at a Harrisburg-based assisted living community, ensuring that breakfast, lunch, and dinner was prepared, served, and cleared without interruption. Because of the dedication of workers like Ms. McCarthy, those who reside in such facilities don’t have to worry about having enough food or shoveling snow.I would also like to praise our local area agencies on aging, who ensured that extra meals were delivered and extra wellness checks were made. In one local community, the area agency on aging director calmed the fears of an out-of-town son by ensuring that his elderly mother’s pilot light was functioning and the vent pipe on her roof was clear of snow.This winter, the PA Department of Aging is reminding Pennsylvanians that while these dedicated workers have kept care facilities running, the majority of older adults who live on their own must practice caution and safety on their own accord when winter storms wreak havoc.While age alone does not make a person vulnerable or compromised in their capacity to respond to and recover from such storms, there is a correlation between advancing age and the likelihood of having special needs, such as being house-bound or socially isolated, having impaired mobility, or being reliant upon nursing, home health care or food from aging service providers or volunteer agencies. These needs increase frailty and thus heighten the need for an elderly citizen’s community to be good neighbors.There have been numerous incredible examples of neighbors stepping up to support each other. When severe weather strikes, being a good neighbor can help save a life.Here are some tips for checking on your elderly neighbors during winter weather:Take a few minutes to shovel out their driveway and sidewalks and clear the front of all the doors, so that even if the elderly occupant does not need to get out, if need be, medical personnel, home health workers, or volunteers can get in. If they have a car, offer to clean off the snow, start it up, and let it run for a few minutes.Engage in a conversation with your elderly neighbors. Ask them if their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work and if they have an adequate supply of oil, batteries, water, food, and medications. If you are headed to the market, call and ask if you can pick anything up for them.Knock on the door of those you may not have seen out and about during and after the storm. Sometimes a quick check-in can make a big difference — for safety or for those who may be lonely.As we witnessed throughout the commonwealth during and after this weekend’s blizzard, facility and home based health and direct care workers, area agency on aging staff, and community neighbors did a tremendous job to care for Pennsylvania’s seniors, despite the extreme forces of Mother Nature. I thank them for their vigilance and commitment as together we strive to enable, empower, serve, and protect older Pennsylvanians.
USC received a $200,000 grant from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health to begin planning a new Global Environmental and Occupational Health hub in Ethiopia.Along with Addis Ababa University’s School of Public Health, the Department of Preventative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and the USC Institute of Global Health will spend the next two years working closely with their Ethiopian collaborators to plan a center that will investigate health problems stemming from environmental issues.The National Institute of Health is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and gives out many research grants, whereas the Fogarty International Center specializes in partnering the U.S. and foreign countries to conduct research on global health.Jonathan Samet, director of the USC Institute for Global Health, is a co-principal investigator for the project along with Professor Kiros Berhane, who is originally from Ethiopia. Samet said the team had “been looking to develop collaboration in Ethiopia,” partly because of Berhane’s roots.The two have been applying for grants for about a year and a half now for funding to establish the first GEOHealth hub.The next year will be spent making trips to Ethiopia to collaborators there, holding a workshop for stakeholders and identify what the high-priority projects are.“By the middle of year one we will put together a grand proposal to establishing the full GEOHealth hub,” Berhane said.In the second year of grant funding, the other three countries that are involved in the project — Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda — will be invited to help plan the hub.“I think what’s unique about this is that[it is] … an initiative funded by the National Institute of Health that we hope will lead on to the development of a larger center,” Samet said.Since the GEOHealth hub is still in early stages there are little opportunities for student involvement at the present moment, but organizers said this will soon change. Once up and running, the hub will provide opportunities for students in a variety of fields such as medicine and the sciences.Berhane also emphasized that the hub will be very “interdisciplinary,” as it involves “experts from climate change, from the healths, from exposure assessment and from some engineering aspects,” and therefore it might appeal to a variety of students, not just ones at Keck.Julie Paul, an undergraduate student majoring in Spanish, said she believes the health hub will benefit both students at USC and those in Ethiopia.“As someone who wants to eventually go to medical school, I think this project would be a cool thing to be involved in in a few years, and also is great for the people in Ethiopia who it will benefit,” Paul said.
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Image Courtesy: Reuters/Twitter(@BLACKCAPS)Advertisement Team India has succumbed to another defeat in the final match of the Test series against New Zealand, as the hosts clinch a 2-0 victory. Another failure of the batting order, and Virat Kohli and his squad have suffered an embarrassing defeat in the 3rd day of the game today, winding up their lengthy tour of the Kiwis to a shameful conclusion. Bundling out the visitors by 124, New Zealand chased down the target with 7 wickets at hand today in Christchurch.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Reuters/Twitter(@BLACKCAPS)With Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant on strike, India resumed their score of 97 for 6 from tomorrow, but couldn’t battle it out against an overwhelming Kiwi bowling squad. Both Vihari (9) and Pant (4) saw early dismissals, and tail enders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had the same fate. However, Ravindra Jadeja, who set the Hagnely Oval on a frenzy after that superhuman catch yesterday, made an effort of 16, with one boundary and one over boundary, keeping his strike till the end.The Black Caps pacer duo Tim Southee and Trent Boult continued their hunt, as they picked up a total of 7 wickets. Boult dismissed Pant to make it his fourth wicket of the match, and Southee completed a triple strike, picking Vihari and Shami today.Advertisement With a target set of 132, the New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Tom Blundell started the chase with brilliant double fifties. Latham scored 52, including ten fours, and Blundell landed a 55, consisting of eight boundaries and a single six.The opening duo’s stunning efforts already sealed New Zealand’s victory, as even low scores from the middle order batsmen had the hosts winning the match. Skipper Kane Williamson, who’s bad form continues in the series, scored only five, equal to Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, who both kept their strike till the end of the chase.Advertisement Umesh Yadav, who is in the squad as a replacement for Ishant Sharma, picked Latham’s wicket. Bumrah secured two wickets, dismissing Blundell and Williamson.In the post match interview, a gloomy Kohli lamented for the team not being up to the mark.“We accept it upfront and if we have to win away from home, we have to do that. No excuses, just learning moving forward. In Tests, we weren’t able to play the cricket we wanted to,” the 31 year old told reporters.While praising the bowlers who had an appreciable performance across the two Tests, Kohli stated that the batsmen didn’t do justice to their bowling counterparts.“Disappointing, have to go back to the drawing board and correct things going forward,” the Men in Blue captain concluded.Also read-Here’s how Ravindra Jadeja reacted to his gravity defying catch against New ZealandDoes Ravi Shastri need to be replaced for team India to do better in overseas conditions? Advertisement