National Nurses Week: In Praise of the Human Connection

May 13, 2021 Adiantku 0

In my life, as in the lives of others, there have been those fearful, even existential moments. Heading into surgery. Rushing my sons to the ER (on more occasions than I care to count). When my parents were ill and ailing. These are the moments when nothing else in the world matters, except love and competent care.

During every one of these frightful moments, it has been nurses who made the difference. They do more, of course, than treat our wounds and help heal our bodies. They support us and comfort us, ensuring that our shared humanity is what drives the practice of medicine. In short, it is nurses who put the care in healthcare.

Amidst all the social isolation and fear of the unknown, the human connection that nurses have provided us—even at the risk of their own lives—is more than laudable. It’s heroic.

After a year pervasively marked … Read the rest

Celebrating MinuteClinic as it Transforms the Health of People and Communities

May 12, 2021 Adiantku 0


To say we’re witnessing a revolution in healthcare today is an understatement. Between telehealth, 5G expansions and business intelligence analytics—the pace of pandemic-led change has been rapid and will not be slowing anytime soon.


Longtime Cisco customer CVS Health was on a digital transformation path long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, and this week I am thrilled that MinuteClinic, the medical clinic inside select CVS Pharmacy locations will be honored for some of this work at the prestigious ANCC National Awards ceremony, a celebration for nurses advancing the quality of patient care. MinuteClinic was named the winner of the 2020 ANCC Pathway Award® for changing the game for patients and clinicians by activating a new Webex-powered virtual collaboration tool for its providers.

Based on Cisco Webex, this allows clinicians, providers and patients to engage in real-time, high-quality video consultations in a HIPAA-compliant manner. … Read the rest

Sleep well — and reduce your risk of dementia and death

May 9, 2021 Adiantku 0

In a recent blog post I discussed how beneficial sleep is for memory function. But sleep isn’t just good for your memory; it can actually reduce your risk of dementia — and death. Although it has been known for some time that individuals with dementia frequently have poor, fragmented sleep, two new studies suggest that if you don’t get enough sleep, you are at increased risk for dementia.

Sleep six to eight hours each night

In the first study, researchers at Harvard Medical School studied more than 2,800 individuals ages 65 and older participating in the National Health and Aging Trends Study to examine the relationship between their self-report of sleep characteristics in 2013 or 2014, and their development of dementia and/or death five years later. Researchers found that individuals who slept fewer than five hours per night were twice as likely to develop dementia, and twice as … Read the rest

Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?

May 8, 2021 Adiantku 0

As many people know, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex condition affecting the intestine, which is the part of the digestive tract that helps digest food and remove water, salt, and waste.

But you might not know this: in recent years in the US, IBD is being diagnosed more often among people who are Black, Hispanic/Latinx, East and Southeast Asian, or from other minority groups than it was in past decades.

Is this a true rise in cases? Is IBD underrecognized in minority populations? While we don’t have all the answers yet, exploring health disparities in IBD and explaining its symptoms may encourage more people to get the health care they need.

What is IBD?

IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition in the intestine that may steadily progress, or repeatedly flare up (relapse) and calm down (remit).

The two main types of IBD are ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s … Read the rest

Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do

May 7, 2021 Adiantku 0

If you’ve learned that your newborn or young child has sickle cell disease, you — and other family members and friends — may have many questions.

These days, most cases of sickle cell disease in the US are diagnosed through newborn screening. It’s important to make the diagnosis early, so that babies can be started on penicillin (or another antibiotic) to prevent infection. Getting connected early to a pediatrician for primary care — and to specialists in blood disorders who can work closely with the child as they grow, and with their families — can help prevent complications of the disease.

The basics

Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. In sickle cell disease, the hemoglobin can change the rounded shape of red blood cells into a C-shape that is crooked, like the tool called a sickle. When that happens, the cells get sticky and … Read the rest

What’s Next? Perspectives on Healthcare in the UK

May 6, 2021 Adiantku 0

The last year was an uphill battle for our healthcare partners, and it was an honor to support them in meeting every challenge as it came. We accomplished a lot together and I’m proud of the role Cisco and technology played in helping both patients and providers. I believe it’s important to leverage the momentum of upgrades and technology adoption to shore-up healthcare delivery across the UK for the long-term. However, after a year like 2020, while it’s exciting to start looking forward to the future of healthcare in the UK, I would be remiss to not to start by looking back.

The Early Days of COVID-19

While all of us were not quite sure what was happening in early March 2020, our healthcare teams were just a few days ahead, trying to brace for what the unknown would bring. When lockdowns rolled-in we helped 350+ trusts and Primary Care … Read the rest

COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do — and don’t — know

May 6, 2021 Adiantku 0

Vaccines have been heralded as a key measure to slow the COVID-19 pandemic and one day bring it to an end. Every day, millions of American adults are receiving one of the authorized vaccines proven highly effective at preventing severe illness that might otherwise lead to hospitalizations and deaths. In the US, most people over 65 have now been fully vaccinated, protecting the most vulnerable in our population.

As an infectious disease specialist, my responses to the questions below are based on what we know so far about infection and vaccines in children and teens. We’ll need to continue filling in gaps as research is done and our understanding evolves.

What do we know about how COVID-19 affects children and teens?

Most COVID-19 infections in children are mild or cause no obvious symptoms. However, a small percentage of infected children

Read the rest

Happy trails: Take a hike, now

May 5, 2021 Adiantku 0

While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over by any means, more people are getting vaccinated, and restrictions are gradually lifting. After too much time spent inactive and indoors, what better way to move your body and enjoy nature than by taking a hike? In many ways, hiking is the ideal antidote to a global pandemic, as it can heal both body and soul.

Enjoy the benefits of a hike

  • Like power walking, hiking offers a moderate-intensity cardio workout, provided your route includes some hills or inclines. Trekking on uneven surfaces engages your core muscles and improves your balance.
  • Hiking also is a mood booster. Research shows that spending time in green spaces, like nature trails and wooded areas, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It doesn’t matter if you hike alone or with others.
  • The CDC still suggests people maintain social distancing during outdoor activities, including hiking, since it’s not
Read the rest

COVID-19 vaccines and the LGBTQ+ community

May 3, 2021 Adiantku 0

I have a confession: in late 2020, when the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA, I was hesitant to get one myself. Despite working in public health and believing strongly in vaccines to keep our community healthy, I was anxious about putting something in my body that seemed so new. I thought: “What if the vaccine is dangerous?” “What about long-term side effects?”

I am part of the LGBTQ+ community. Our history may help explain why I hesitated.

Are LGBTQ+ people more hesitant to get the vaccine?

In March a New York Times article reported that LGBTQ+ people are more hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A research study from the Human Rights Campaign reported mixed findings: while LGBTQ+ people overall are more likely to get vaccinated, certain subgroups, such as LGBTQ+ people of color and bisexual women, are less likely to get vaccinated.

LGBTQ+ people have good … Read the rest

Dental appliances for sleep apnea: Do they work?

May 1, 2021 Adiantku 0

Keeping your partner — or yourself — up at night with loud snoring? This might be more than a nuisance. About 25% of men and nearly 10% of women have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious sleep disorder characterized by explosive snores, grunts, and gasps. Tissue at the back of the throat temporarily obstructs the airway, leading to breathing pauses (apneas) throughout the night. Not only does OSA leave people tired and groggy, but it also puts them at risk for a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease.

The most effective and best-studied treatment is positive airway pressure (PAP), a small bedside machine that blows air through a mask to prevent your airway from collapsing. But people with mild or moderate OSA sometimes find PAP challenging to use, and often wonder about alternatives. Dental devices (also known as oral appliances) are an option … Read the rest