At Harvard, heroes and villians, sugar and supplements

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-9-04-30-pmGary Taubes’ sugar takedown continued in the NYTimes SundayReview, including reference to the late Fred Stare, founder of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. In the 1970s Stare was  reportedly paid to exonerate sugar in journal supplement, “Sugar in the Diet of Man,

STATNews refers to the case of another Harvard doctor, this one who found himself on the wrong side of a supplement maker. 

The jury trial had momentous implications for the future of research into the safety of weight-loss and muscle-building pills; for the freedom of academics to speak out about matters of public health; and for our ability to learn what’s in the supplements on our kitchen counters.

 

Is response time the best way to judge ambulance services?

Tom Kimball, described as a Boston-area paramedic who will be  attending medical school this fall posed that question in a Boston Globe opinion piece this weekend. ambulances

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts still judge the performance of their ambulance services using metrics like response times, which can miss the point. An additional two minutes waiting for an ambulance will rarely make a difference for a trauma patient facing emergency surgery that may take hours.

Patient outcome is a more valuable measure of whether a medical service is doing right by people. In many areas of health care these days, it is the gold standard, a key factor in determining how much insurance companies pay service providers. Changing the terms of ambulance companies’ contracts to make good patient outcomes the goal could greatly improve the quality of medical care across the state — and save lives.

Tufts talk: #Upstreamist docs look beyond clinic #SDOH

Richi Manchanda came back to Tufts earlier this month to talk about his “upstreamist ” approach to health care — address causes of  patient ills  before they start drowning in health problems. Usually, that involves a look into home or work issues — the so-called social determinants of health.

It was a homecoming of sorts. Manchanda is a triple Jumbo — BS, MPH and MD at Tufts. HLM reports.

The health care system needs to do a better job identifying and addressing the social, environmental and economic conditions that play into the health of patient communities.

That was the message Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH, delivered to a group of medical students at Tufts Medical Center in Boston this month. Manchanda is a nationally known advocate of healthcare that looks beyond the clinic and into the lives of the people it serves.