#Feminist #health handbook — Our Bodies, OurSelves — struggles

This book was a revelation in the ’70s.  The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective has been a feminist health resource since then. Now, they are running out of cash. obos - Copy

More from The Globe

More from the OBO
S website:

Our landmark publication, “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” first published in 1971, has sold millions of copies and received numerous honors…. OBOS’s Global Initiative provides support for and works closely with women’s groups around the world that choose to adapt “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for their own countries and communities. These remarkable adaptions now exist in 30 languages — and counting. Working in collaboration with U.S. and global organizations, OBOS vigorously advocates for women’s health by challenging institutions and systems that devalue women and prevent them from having full control over their bodies and their health.

 It remains one of the few health groups that doesn’t accept funds from pharmaceutical companies. OBOS’s health information, both in book format and online, meets international standards for health research.



Can health researchers and providers help stop the epidemic of mass shootings?

Three times his week,  parents with kids in the Cambridge, Mass. public schools woke to a 6 am robocall informing them that “the Cambridge Police Department notified the Cambridge Public Schools of another anonymous email threat for Friday, December 4, 2015. This is another threat of gun violence and it is directed at “cambridge mass middle schools.” Once again we arsse taking the threat seriously, proceeding with the utmost caution, and informing the public.”

Much has been said about the limits on funding for research into guns and violence. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center has been generating data anyway.

But, gun violence has moved beyond street violence to what looks like  an epidemic of mass shootings. What role can public health and research play in preventing mass shootings?

Find more from the Harvard program here.

Their latest study concludes 100 children die each year from unintentional shooting. “In about 1/3 of the instances the child unintentionally shot himself, and in 1/3 the child was shot by another child (usually a brother or friend).  In half of the remaining case the child was accidentally shot by a parent (i.e., the dad).  These cases represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of accidental shootings as there are far more non-fatal shootings than deaths.”

That’s four Newtowns.


More here from Hopkins.

A call to action from a coalition of groups

Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms

Federal prosecutors investigate double-booked #surgeries identified in Globe Spotlight series #MGH #qualityofcare

Note that the Globe’s story on double book has instigated some scrutiny from outside the world of medicine and journalism. ss2 (2)

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed 10 years of internal records from Massachusetts General Hospital and have interviewed several physicians as part of an investigation into surgeons running two operating rooms at the same time, according to individuals with direct knowledge of the probe.

Some MGH staff members have raised concerns for years about double-booked operations in the renowned hospital’s orthopedics department, a dispute little known to the public until a Globe Spotlight Team report last month. Hospital officials say concurrent surgery is safe and improves efficiency, but critics say the practice is risky and that, too often, patients are not told their surgeon plans to manage a second, simultaneous case.

Also note that MGH feels the article treated the institution unfairly.

MGH 2010

MGH 2010

MGH set up a website for patients in response to the Spotlight report and sent out e-mails to employees defending double-booking.

“There is no quality and safety issue that the MGH has scrutinized more carefully in recent years than overlapping surgery,’’ Dr. Peter Slavin, the hospital president, and Dr. Thomas Lynch, head of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, wrote employees on Oct. 30. “We do not believe that the Globe article provided a fair and balanced description of surgical practices at MGH.’’

A hospital spokeswoman said MGH has had no cancellations or postponements of surgeries and only a handful of questions from patients.


Stat, the new (Boston Globe?) life science site, is up

ss1After trickling into The Boston Globe in recent weeks, the STAT website is up. Looks impressive and has some big names on the masthead. (Can we still call it a masthead?) Congratulations to all.

If you are confused about its relationship with the Globe, you’re not alone. STAT is a new animal, digital first with its own staff and budget. The Globe still covers life sciences, but the three fine health reporters there are not part of STAT. Their former editors have migrated to STAT. The team’s science writer migrated to The Washington Post months ago and has yet to be replaced. So, it was STAT that hosted the recent Morrissey Boulevard party for the National Association of Science Writers, not the science-writer-less Globe.

STAT casts itself as a national publication and some  stories run in the A section of the Globe — a nice break from the wire copy that replaced reporting from the long-gone national and foreign desks. They also have columns on Kendall Square — the pharma capital of universe — and  Longwood Avenue — the medical capital of the universe. So, it’s kind of local. Or offering a nod to local?

ss2 (2)

Here’s hoping that they don’t suck the life out of the life-science reporting in the Globe. Not for nostalgia reasons, but for those of us in Boston who need good, local health and science watchdogs. And the team at the Globe does great work.

While Hollywood is celebrating the “Spotlight” movie about the paper’s reporting on the cover-up of rampant pedophilia in the Catholic Church, the latest Spotlight series raises question about overbooking of surgery at Mass General. While the practice may not be unheard of, the story raises important questions about patient safety, informed consent and the hospital’s treatment of whistle blowers.

You think going up against the Catholic Church is scary? Try going up against Partners Healthcare.

AT #ACEP15, emergency docs get serious, have fun, collect swag and visit Boston

The exhibit halls at medical conferences offer the usual swag — pens, hand sanitizer, and bowl after bowl of bite-sized candy bars.  To avoid conflicts of interest, your correspondent usually grabs no more than a Hershey bar. Today: a report on some of the wares.

#APEC15 Emergency docs gather in Boston for annual meeting

Pro Publica: #College students, campus #health and #privacy

From the investigative team at Pro Publica. Boston Students take note.

Universities walk a fine line when providing that treatment or mental-health services to students. If campus officials don’t know what’s going on or disclose too little, they risk being blamed if a student harms himself, herself, or others. If they pry too deeply, they may be accused of invading privacy, thereby discouraging students from seeking treatment.

Even after mental-health treatment ends, privacy issues persist. Disputes have erupted over whether colleges can consult patient records to defend themselves, such as when they are accused of not properly investigating a sexual assault.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the schools are trying to strike the right balance,” said Paul Lannon, a Boston lawyer who advises colleges on legal issues. “They care for the students. They want the students to do well. They want the students to be healthy.”



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