Health care professionals share strategies for patient-centered care at VAHHS annual meeting

first_imgNearly 200 health care professionals from around the state gathered in Manchester to share their communities’ approaches to providing Vermonters with high-quality, patient-centered health care. ‘With all the state and federal policy changes underway, health care providers remain focused on why we are so deeply engaged in this work ‘ to create lasting improvements in patient care and community health,’ says Bea Grause, President and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS). The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to learn about colleagues’ experiences with new approaches to clinical care, finance and governance issues.  The meeting’s centerpiece was a ‘town hall’ session in which participants shared ideas and strategies health care providers are employing to ensure Vermonters receive high-quality health care.  The session also focused on giving patients and families a voice in their care.  ‘Patients want authentic engagement in care choices,’ says Ben Chu, Board Chair of the American Hospital Association.  ‘It’s exciting to learn about the efforts underway in Vermont that will engage patients in a way that educates them about their options and respects their needs and values.’ The VAHHS Annual Meeting took place during a time of rapid and significant changes.  Hospitals and other providers around the state are developing OneCare Vermont, a provider network established to eliminate unnecessary care, use resources wisely and engage patients in their health and wellness.  In October, many individuals and small businesses will begin purchasing health insurance through Vermont Health Connect, the state’s new online health insurance marketplace.  The state is also beginning work on a federally-funded State Innovation Model (SIM) project to test new health care delivery and payment models.  ‘Vermont continues to lead on health care reform,’ says Raymond Hurd, Regional Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  ‘We are excited that Vermont is using an innovation model as another way to improve quality of care and patient experience while lowering the cost of health care for its citizens.’ The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is working to create a financially sustainable, high quality, health care system accessible and affordable for all Vermonters.  For more information about our work, visit is external).last_img read more

Gophers take first two matches

first_imgThe fifth set remained close scoring for the entirety, but it was Minnesota who came out on top with a 15-12 win, to capture the match 3-2 . It was the first time this season Minnesota has been pushed to five sets.Samedy again led the team with 26 kills. Samantha Seliger-Swenson led the team in assists with 59, fetching a double double with 13 digs. Minnesota as a team hit .244 and had 9 total blocks.The Gophers finish up the Boise Tournament Saturday when they face Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference at 11:00am CT. Gophers take first two matchesMinnesota defeated Boise State in five sets over the weekend. Henry HughesSeptember 16, 2017Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrint  The Gophers volleyball team again flexed their muscles Friday, beating Oregon State and Boise State in the first day of the Boise Tournament.Playing against Oregon State (8-2) in the first matchup Friday morning, Minnesota bounced back from losing the first set 25-19, to take the next three 25-18, 25-21, 25-7 and earn the win.Freshman opposite Stephanie Samedy had 16 kills, which led the Gophers along with her .405 hitting percentage. As a team, Minnesota hit .277 and finished with 11 total blocks.The Gophers played the host-team Boise State in the evening matchup Friday night. After winning the first two sets 25-22, and 25-19, respectively, the Broncos (6-4) controlled the third and fourth sets winning 21-25 and 23-25, respectively. last_img read more

Straight men’s physiological stress response to seeing two men kissing is the same as seeing maggots

first_img“Participants watched a series of slideshows: male couples kissing, male couples holding hands, mixed-sex couples kissing, mixed-sex couples holding hands, boring images (e.g., paper clips) and disgusting images (maggots),” Blair explained. “In between slide shows, we asked participants questions about their responses to the photos (not yet published) and we also collected saliva samples in order to assess salivary alpha-amylase in response to each slide show (the current paper).”Measuring levels of salivary alpha-amylase, a digestive enzyme that is associated with stress and is especially responsive to disgust, allowed the researchers to examine the men’s physiological reaction to the photos. The study was based on results from 120 heterosexual men (aged 18 to 45).“In comparing the salivary alpha-amylase responses of participants to the various slideshows, we found that participants had higher salivary alpha-amylase responses to the images of two men kissing and the disgusting images. In both cases, these responses were significantly different than the responses they had to the neutral stimuli.”However, Blair warned it was difficult to interpret the finding at this stage.“It is difficult to specifically state what this means. It could mean that participants found the images of male same-sex couples kissing to be equally disgusting as the disgusting images. It could mean that they had an anxiety response to the male couples kissing and a disgust response to the disgusting images, but that physiologically, we could not tell the difference between these two emotions.”Previous research has found a strong link between sexual prejudice and the emotion of disgust. For instance, a 2008 study found that individuals who are more easily disgusted are also more likely to make unfavorable moral judgments about gay people.But it was clear that the physiological reactions in the present study could not be explained by the participants’ sexual prejudices alone.“What is most important to note is that the responses did not differ as a function of self-reported levels of prejudice or self-reported levels of aggression towards gay men,” Blair explained. “In other words, it was not our highly prejudiced individuals who were experiencing a heightened physiological response to the images of same-sex couples kissing, it was everyone in the sample, even those with very low levels of prejudice.”The finding provides more evidence that the so-called “gay panic” defense — the assertion that a person’s sexual orientation can “trigger” a crime against them — is bunk. The defense was used by the two men who beat, tortured and murdered gay student Matthew Shepard in 1998.“Whatever is happening physiologically when someone witnesses same-sex PDA, it is not something so strong, or so uncontrollable as to explain the patterns of violent LGBTQ-hate crimes that have been repeatedly reported in the media,” Blair told PsyPost. “Clearly, the large majority of individuals who witness same-sex PDAs do not respond with violence, indicating that whatever small physiological response we are noticing here is not evidence for an uncontrollable or overwhelming fit of panic, as suggested by the ‘gay panic’ defense.”“Why do people low in prejudice still show an increased physiological response? We can’t say definitively, however, it could be that society has socialized the notion of same-sex sexuality and affection as being ‘disgusting’ or immoral so strongly, for so long, that merely witnessing it causes a slight physiological stress response. It would be interesting for future research to examine whether this physiological effect is more likely to be found in cultures that still evidence high levels of prejudice compared to those who have made more progress towards normalizing same-sex affection and sexuality.”The study is the first of its kind, and the researchers hope that future research will strengthen their findings. There are also some questions that additional research could help answer.“This is a very preliminary investigation of the physiology of sexual prejudice,” Blair said. “The work needs to be replicated with a larger sample and with more indicators of physiological reactivity as well as additional indicators to help decipher what the physiological responses mean. For example, it is difficult to determine whether an elevated salivary alpha-amylase level indicates stress, fear, or anger.”“One thing that we will be looking at in our own data to help solve this mystery is emotion-coding of the facial expressions participants made while watching each of the slide shows. This may help us to understand what emotions were prominent, especially among those self-reporting higher levels of sexual prejudice. We also need to replicate with different participants (men and women, in different locations) looking at different targets (e.g., female same-sex couples, gender-diverse couples, interracial couples, etc.). Each iteration of the study is quite expensive though, due to the collection of physiological data, so it will take some time and additional funding before we can run each of the iterations that we would like to run.”“This research was largely funded through a crowdfunding campaign on (, and later by the American Institute of Bisexuality. More information on how we fund some of our LGBTQ-related research can be found here:”The study, “What do two men kissing and a bucket of maggots have in common? Heterosexual men’s indistinguishable salivary α-amylase responses to photos of two men kissing and disgusting images“, was also co-authored by Breanna Maureen and Rhea Ashley Hoskin. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterest Emailcenter_img In heterosexual men, pictures of rotting flesh, maggots and spoiled food induce the same physiological stress response as pictures of two men kissing each other. That is the surprising finding that was recently published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Psychology & Sexuality.“We originally were interested in understanding the health effects of same-sex vs. mixed-sex public displays of affection for the couples in the relationship,” explained the study’s corresponding author, Karen L. Blair of St. Francis Xavier University.“However, one of the factors likely to influence how individuals experience PDAs is the reaction that other people have to witnessing PDAs. Consequently, we decided to begin the research by examining whether or not heterosexuals have negative responses to witnessing same-sex PDAs; in particular, we began by examining heterosexual male responses to male same-sex public displays of affection.” LinkedIn Sharelast_img read more

New Mexico Governor To Announce Amended Emergency Public Health Order Relative To Progress Against COVID-19

first_imgGov. Michelle Lujan GrishamSTATE News:SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will host a remote news conference Thursday afternoon during which she and New Mexico health officials will discuss amendments to the state’s emergency public health order impacting food and drink establishments and houses of worship, among other changes, reflecting the state’s relative recent progress against COVID-19.“I know New Mexicans are ecstatic about our recent progress against COVID-19,” Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But, given what we know about this virus, we must sound a note of caution: Our progress is only as good as our willingness to stay the course. This virus is still looking for opportunities to spread. We’ve got to adhere to COVID-safe practices in our day-to-day lives to minimize and eliminate those opportunities. I am so grateful to the New Mexicans who have made sacrifices and changed their behaviors to help get us to this point. Now we must – we absolutely must – sustain it. Tomorrow we’ll talk more about how far we’ve come and what we’ve still got to do, but I’m happy to announce these changes today and hope that New Mexicans feel that our hard work has begun to pay off.”The state’s operative emergency public health order expires Friday, Aug. 28. Effective Saturday, Aug. 29, the following changes, among others, will be implemented:Houses of worship may operate at 40 percent of maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, an increase from 25 percent, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Houses of worship may, as before, conduct services outdoors or provide services through audiovisual means.Food and drink establishments may provide indoor dining service at 25 percent of maximum occupancy (including restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops or other similar establishments), in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Food and drink establishments may continue to provide outdoor dining options, carryout and delivery services, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Tables – inside or outside – must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table.The governor and state health officials are scheduled to discuss these and other amendments to the public health order, as well as preparations for fall semester public schooling, at 3 p.m. Thursday on Facebook (and in Spanish on YouTube). (The time of the press conference is subject to change.)  The state’s modeling outlook has improved in recent weeks as daily COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have dropped from earlier in the summer; in addition, New Mexico’s testing capacity and health care resources have remained steady. The forthcoming new emergency public health order will be effective through at least mid-September.last_img read more

Unbroken by the banks

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Savills shares climb another 3.6%

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Quinn Sentenced In Hit And Run

first_imgA resident of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton was sentenced to eight to 24 years in prison last week after he admitted to striking and killing a pedestrian and then driving away from the scene.Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said Chace Quinn, aka Chase Quinn, 20, was a member of the Bloods street gang.Quinn was driving a 2013 Jeep Wrangler eastbound on County Road 39 in Southampton on April 5. Authorities maintain he was intoxicated. At approximately 2:30 AM the Southampton Town Police Department received reports of a man lying in the roadway on County Road 39. Investigators determined Quinn had struck the victim and left the scene without reporting the crash.“This individual is a dangerous gang member and a career criminal,” Sini said. “He showed no regard for human life when he callously left the victim to die on the side of the road, and continued throughout this case to show a blatant disregard for the law and for the consequences of his actions. Today’s sentence ensures that he will no longer be a threat to our community’s safety.”Quinn, facing several charges, pleaded guilty on May 8 four felonies — aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an incident resulting in death, intimidating a witness, and driving while intoxicated — before Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho. The victim was identified as Joseph Lynn McAlla, 63, of Clifford, PA. McAlla had just completed a delivery of stone to Southampton Masonry and was crossing the roadway when he was struck and killed. The impact of the crash left debris spanning approximately 300 feet along the roadway. Police located the victim’s leg, which had been severed in the crash, approximately 70 feet away from his Sharelast_img read more

Firms face court action risk over money laundering reports

first_imgLaw firms could find themselves being sued for reporting suspected money laundering following a Court of Appeal decision last week. Law firms, banks and other businesses handling client money are obliged to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) where they suspect a client of money laundering. Last week the Court of Appeal ruled that client Jayesh Shah had the right to test in court HSBC Private Bank’s claim that, complying with obligations under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 2002, it had grounds to submit a SAR alerting SOCA to its suspicions of money laundering. Shah has claimed that delays arising from the bank’s report to SOCA led directly to $300m (£192m) being seized from his Zimbabwe bank account by the Zimbabwe authorities. HSBC, which has the same obligations under POCA as law firms, will now be required to prove in court that its suspicions were held in good faith, while Shah’s lawyers will be allowed to examine witnesses and to sue for damages. Delivering the judgment, Lord Justice Longmore said: ‘The normal procedures of court are not to be sidestepped merely because parliament has enacted stringent measures to inhibit the notorious evil of money laundering.’ Sarosh Zaiwalla, senior partner of London firm Zaiwalla & Co, who acted for Shah, said that before this ‘landmark judgment’, banks and law firms ‘could act on a hunch about a client’s transactions without disclosing the necessary information’. A client could now insist on a ‘full trial with proper disclosure’ to test whether the report of suspected money launderinghad a ‘factual basis’ and was made in ‘good faith’. Sue Mawdsley, a partner at Liverpool law firm Legal Risk, said solicitors should be ‘uneasy’ about the Court of Appeal’s ­ruling. ‘How do you definitively prove reasonable grounds for your suspicions when they may be based not on solid proof, but on years of experience? And then there is the issue of privilege, of what can and cannot be divulged in proving grounds or defending a claim.’ Omar Qureshi, a partner in the dispute resolution group at City firm CMS Cameron McKenna, said: ‘It is no longer sufficient to assert you have a suspicion, you must demonstrate it. Law firms are advised to look at their anti-money laundering processes and training to avoid the potential for loss.’last_img read more


first_imgChina: Hong Kong MTR Corp has arranged an HK$3bn revolving loan facility with a 12-bank syndicate to fund capital investment and refinance debts over the next four years.France: On September 9 RFF launched another 250m euros issue of 10-year bonds retiring in April 2009, paying 5·6%. Great Britain: Angel Train Contracts is to raise £480m to finance the purchase of 53 tilting trains for Virgin West Coast, by means of a bond issue secured against future leasing payments from the operator. The proceeds will be used to refinance a bridging facility from ATC’s parent The Royal Bank of Scotland, also lead arranger for the issue.Freightliner has signed a £23m contract with Forward Trust Rail Ltd to lease 15 Class 66 locos for eight years. To be delivered by General Motors in summer next year, they will haul infrastructure materials for Railtrack (RG 9.99 p558).New Zealand: Tranz Rail’s unsecured debt of NZ$140m has been put under review pending a possible downgrading by credit rating agency Moody’s. The latter cited aggressive capital spending and declining performance in a difficult market as causes for concern.last_img read more

World rail freight news round-up

first_imgA €10m project to expand rail capacity at the CSP Iberian Bilbao Terminal at the Port of Bilbao has been completed. The railway facilities have been expanded from 13 950 to 41 800 m2, and the four tracks extended by 100 m to permit the operation of 550 m trains. The maximum daily capacity is 3 000 TEU. US short line company United Rail has engaged Chicago-based investment bank Peakstone to raise capital for its plans to acquire seven railways over the next year. ‘We have identified several railroads that we have determined to be undervalued in the market’, said CEO Michael Barron. ‘Our plan is aggressive and ambitious, and we have a proven model.’ Pakistan Railways has created a ninth division, tasked with developing a rail connection between the port of Gwadar and the existing network at Jacobabad and Quetta. Contship Italia’s subsidiary Oceanogate has become the fifth Italian operator to order a CZ Loko Class 741.7 EffiShunter 1000 locomotive, which it will deploy at the RHM container terminal at Melzo east of Milano. Canada Development Investment Corp has reached an agreement to sell a 90% stake in Ridley Terminals Inc to Riverstone Holdings and AMCI Group for C$350m. Ridley Terminals transfers bulk commodities including coal, coke and liquefied petroleum gas from rail to ship at Ridley Island near Prince Rupert in British Columbia. The remaining 10% stake will be transferred to a limited partnership owned by the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation. Eric Chavez has been appointed as General Manager of the Brownwood-based Texas Rock Crusher Railway, reporting to Jason Gill, Vice-President of Operations at TXR’s parent TNW Corp. He succeeds Andy Scheriger, who becomes Director of Sales & Business Development for TNW in Dallas. The government of Canada is to provide C$102m for five projects to increase efficiency at the Port of Vancouver, including a new rail-served bulk export marine terminal within the Fraser Surrey Port Lands.last_img read more