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.
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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.
This past February, Ray Rice beat his fiancée until she was unconscious in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. The video of that incident, which is widely available on the internet, is shocking and disgusting. Despite the horrific and unacceptable nature of Mr. Rice's deliberate and intentional acts, the NFL suspended him for just two games; a mere slap on the wrist. For a league that is so image obsessed, this decision is baffling. There is never any excuse for violence against women. Ray Rice holds himself out as an NFL tough guy, an image the NFL itself is happy to promote. Now here that tough guy is, doing one of the most cowardly things I can imagine. What message is the NFL sending to its fans when it basically condones such activity?
This spring, I was fortunate enough to be hired as the Communications and Philanthropy summer intern at Bordas & Bordas. Each week is a new adventure, and I can honestly say that I have been so busy with a variety of different tasks that it seems impossible to become bored. My first few weeks here were a bit overwhelming, especially after meeting the large, but very friendly staff. I learned so many different names that I almost felt the need to make flash cards to study so I would know who everyone was. Since I didn't really get the chance to chat and get to know many of my co-workers, I think it would be appropriate if I let everyone know a little about my past. I am a Shadyside High School 2011 Alum, and will be heading into my senior year at West Liberty University in August. I am a public relations major and marketing minor, which has opened up many doors of opportunity for me. Although I have worked hard to get where I am thus far, I have to give some credit to the little jobs that have taught me to have a strong work ethic from the beginning.
We still do not have all of the details surrounding what happened to the Malaysian Airline's flight that was shot down over the Ukraine border last week. It seems clear enough, however, that the plane was brought down by a military-grade surface-to-air missile and that the plane, carrying hundreds of innocent civilians, was hit while cruising at over 30,000 feet. I served in the United States Army as a Field Artillery Officer and it was part of my job to direct fire, including rocket and missile fire if need be. Regardless of the circumstances, I had an obligation to do what I could to verify the identity of any target I meant to destroy. Assuming what happened over Ukraine last week wasn't a deliberate act of terrorism, and at the very least, whichever entity fired the missile failed to verify that they were shooting at a legitimate combat aircraft instead of a civilian airliner. Due to the previous statement, fault for this catastrophe lies exclusively at the feet of whomever fired the missile and any command and control system that authorized the shot.