The Intelligencer recently reported on a poll finding that many Americans do no>t know how to tell if their doctor will provide high-quality care. Unfortunately, the article does not provide many solutions to help its readers discover the information that they need when it comes to making an informed decision on selecting a health care provider. Obviously, choosing the right doctor is very important. Some studies estimate that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from preventable harm in our health care institutions. Unlike nursing homes, where safety data is relatively more accessible, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your doctor is the type of physician who is likely to provide high-quality care.
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Just weeks after the school year ended, I found myself back in the classroom a little sooner than I had expected. This year I decided that I was going to take advantage of my position on the Wheeling Park High School speech and debate team, and the time to prepare for the upcoming season was now. Last year, I did make the team, but my priorities were focused more on sports over speaking. With my other activities like cheerleading, track, and dance, filing economist articles and learning how to pronounce world leaders' names were not in my top interests whatsoever. Entering my junior year, I know that my performance on standardized tests, sporting events and community activism will play a big role in determining my college selection. I hate to admit that my mom was right when she said that colleges love club involvement, but I never realized the weight some colleges placed on being a member of a speech team- not to mention one that has won the state tournament for the last 35 years. Unfortunately, I was not a big team contributor to that 35 th state title; I wasn't even selected to compete at the state level. This year my goal is to not only compete at states, but to place in my signature event as well.
Summer is a great time for trying new things and starting new projects. Recently I decided that I wanted to turn my small front patio into a cozier place to spend some time. Ideally, I wanted to have lots of greenery and flowers to give the patio some privacy since I live on a busy street. Only one problem - I know absolutely nothing about gardening, except that I'm really good at letting healthy plants die. Regardless, I decided to try to make my brick porch in the city a little bit more like the green haven I imagined. Over the course of two weekends, I installed lattices on one side of the porch to help block some of the noise and views of the busy streets nearby. I cleaned up some old patio furniture with a fresh coat of paint and new cushions to make it more inviting.
The world-famous Johns Hopkins Hospital recently agreed to a settlement with eight thousand patients of a doctor named Nikita Levy. Levy had been using a concealed camera to videotape gynecological examinations of his patients for an unknown period of time while working at Johns Hopkins. More than a thousand such videos were discovered on his camera at the time it was seized by hospital authorities. The Johns Hopkins case is a good example of how, in the medical community, a few bad apples "spoil the bunch." The data consistently shows that a small number of physicians are responsible for a huge proportion of malpractice and misconduct allegations. For example, the Federal National Practitioner databank shows that just six percent of doctors are responsible for almost 60 percent of the malpractice payments made over a fifteen-year period - ten times their fair share. Moreover, an even smaller subset of doctors, just one percent, is responsible for 20 percent of all malpractice payments of a similarly statistically significant of time - 20 times what you'd expect if lawsuits were targeting doctors broadly. It's also true that 82 percent of doctors have never had a medical malpractice payment.
It is hard to believe that both the 2014 Jamboree in the Hills and the Italian Festival have come and gone. Although I did not attend either event this year, I did my usual "drive by" of the Jamboree site on Friday and Saturday. As tradition in the Ohio Valley continues, the 17th Annual Debbie Green 5K will take place tomorrow, August 2. Voted as one of the top 263 road races in the world, the downtown Wheeling route is quite a challenge for all ages. Each person competes in their own age group and since life is always moving forward, I am moving up to another age group. Moving up an age group may make me feel bad (but not old!), but knowing I am doing something that many people years younger than I would not attempt, makes me quite pleased with myself! I enjoy watching the faces of some people when I say I am going to walk a 5K! Some are shocked at this senior citizen doing something so ambitious, but all are supportive.
A few months ago, my family and I moved a little farther out into the country. We have a nice side yard and my kids love running around out there, but there is one big problem. I know that dealing with wildlife comes along with getting out of town. Even people in town have the occasional raccoon in the trash can, a flower eaten off the porch at night, or a jack-o-lantern gobbled down before Halloween. As crazy as it may sound, the deer in my neighborhood have taken things to an entirely different level; they are in my yard all the time. The fence does nothing to stop them, they're not scared of people and you have to get close enough to touch them before they will move. Now, I don't want to seem like I'm complaining too much because the deer are cute and they sure are quiet. My cousin in Alaska has to carry a rifle with him when he goes for a walk because of grizzly bears, so I could have it a lot worse. The only problem is the mess. I need at least a 30 minute of notice before the wiffle ball game starts so I can walk around the yard with a shovel, cleaning up after the extended-deer-family trespassing on the property. In the summer, my daughter likes to run around outside barefoot and it's like dodging landmines.
Those of you who have known me for more than a few years have undoubtedly been exposed to what my wife likes to call "one of my political rants." She swears that she can tell when I am making a political post to my Facebook page simply by watching how I hit the keys when I am typing. I suppose that is the result of my frustration with what the political process--one that I will be entering in a few months--has become. No one will dispute the fact that the process has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades. There was a time when courtesy, dignity and compromise ruled the day, but those days are long gone, having been replaced by hostility, partisan rhetoric and gridlock. Public confidence in our leaders is at an all-time low, and it seems as if the only thing coming out of Washington these days is more of the same regurgitated garbage telling us why everything we are unhappy about is the other guy's fault. To make matters even worse, while our political leaders sit in their offices trying to come up with newer and better ways to attack one another, "we the people" sit back and point the finger of blame back at them. "Corrupt politicians. The only thing they are concerned about is getting re-elected. They're all in somebody's pocket." It's a vicious cycle that some are convinced is unbreakable. While it is certainly more comfortable for us to place the blame for an increasingly dysfunctional system at the feet of someone else, I would like to make a suggestion that, while uncomfortable, I believe is a much more accurate conclusion. I believe we have no one to blame but ourselves.
The Ohio Valley was left dumbfounded last week by reports that Dr. Roland Chalifoux was using contaminated medical supplies (i.e. "dirty needles") on his patients in his pain management practice. Deeply concerned patients and family members, as well as the Board of Medicine, immediately demanded an investigation. This week on the show, Chris Regan and Jamie Bordas discuss the issues related to the allegations against Dr. Chalifoux, the damages that might be recoverable, and some of the institutional deficiencies that exist in our medical system that allow some doctors move from state to state when misconduct causes them to lose their license in one place.
Bordas & Bordas has announced a staff member's recent appointment to Wheeling's Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Board of Directors. Carrie Scanlon, Director of Communications and Philanthropy at the firm, will serve alongside a number of fellow Board members.
The weekend that Ohio Valley football enthusiasts look forward to all summer is finally here. Yes, the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Charity Football Classic and all its exciting festivities have arrived once again. While I love football just as much as the next guy, Sunday night's Ohio vs. West Virginia matchup (O-H!) isn't what I'm most looking forward to. No, my sights are keenly set on this evening's Queen of Queens competition as 25 young women vie for the 2014 crown and title. Why am I so interested, you ask? My little sister, Halli, is one of the 25. I may be biased, but Halli is without a doubt one of the best people I've ever known. She is more calm and level-headed than every other member of our family combined and we are all thankful for the lessons and advice she never seems to runs out of. Her faith in the Lord and all He has in store for her is unfaltering and unwavering and perhaps what I admire most about her. It's remarkable how much my family and I look up to someone so much smaller than us.