Hospital Proposal Divides Ontario Region: Niagara’s Hospital Officials Face Wrath for New Healthcare Proposal

In the normally quiet Niagara Region, emotions are running high with proposed changes planned for Niagara Health System’s $370 million hospital system. Ironically called the “Hospital Improvement Plan” (or HIP for short), the very wheels of progress developed by the health authorities threaten to balkanize the very region of some 500,000 people it was set up to benefit.

In Ontario, health care services are planned by 14 Local Health Integration Networks (or LHINs) that are composed of health experts and ordinary citizens appointed by the province to consult and develop the most effective health care services for the population base they serve. Niagara Region is served by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN.

After the Niagara Health System (NHS), which is the centralized administration of several local hospitals across the region, reported a looming $17 million deficit, the LHIN asked it to come up with a plan to not only become more efficient in the delivery of its services, but to provide for “centres of excellence” which would allow Niagara residents to obtain most of their health care services within the region, as opposed to having to travel to Hamilton or Toronto for specialized services.

The proposed HIP was the result of internal consultation between executives of the NHS and its major stakeholders, including senior physicians, nurses and other health care teams. However, when the HIP was released to the public in early summer, sparks began to fly across the Region, particularly in the southern most parts of Niagara, where

Continue Reading

The Medicare Doughnut Hole: Medicare Part D beneficiaries find themselves with huge drug bills

Coverage Gap

The coverage gap or “Doughnut Hole” is something seniors were warned about in selecting their coverage plan, but many did not understand until they recently began to find themselves faced with a huge drug bill.

Insult Added to Injury

Although the plan has reportedly helped millions of seniors meet ends with much lower drug bills than they had without any drug coverage, suddenly finding themselves having to foot the entire bill is a shock. This is in addition to the insult of having to continue to pay $24 per month for the premium.

Coverage Gap Hits at $2250

Medicare’s Part D covers the bulk of drug costs until the patient and Medicare have paid out a combined total of $2250 per year. Once the beneficiary has met that amount, they have to pay the entire drug cost until they have paid out-of-pocket $3600. At that point Medicare steps back in and covers 95% of the drug costs for rest of the year.

January 1 Coverage Starts Again

On January 1, the slate is clean and the $2,250 coverage starts over again. The “doughnut hole” coverage gap resumes again when the $2250 is reached and the patient is responsible for $3600 again until any help is available once from Medicare, or January 1, whichever comes first. This vicious cycle was bitterly contested in Congress and defeated in passage of the bill. It is being highly criticized in 2014 election issues particularly by Democrats.

Continue Using Medicare Part D Drug

Continue Reading

Did MMR Vaccine Cause Autism: Is Thimerasol Really Responsible For Children Developing Autism

A group of London doctors have discredited a study that hinted at a possible connection between the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) and Autism published by Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield in 1998.

Dr Wakefield’s published study had triggered a wave of debate and research on the actual cause of the childhood disorder. His conclusions were drawn from the results of tests conducted on 12 children.

It stated that Thimerasol, the mercury-based component once used as a preservative in the vaccine, was a suspected link to autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study drew much criticism from doctors, medical scientists, and greater speculation from the public, especially, parents of children diagnosed with the mental disorder. Now conclusive results have trashed that theory.

Last year, a team of researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London compared the differences in the responses to the MMR jab to see if there were any abnormal responses that could have triggered autism. Tests were carried out on 240 children between age 10 and 12. Three groups-children with autism, those without and children with special educational needs, had their antibody levels increased and their blood samples analysed.

After numerous tests, Dr. David Brown said they found no evidence indicating that MMR caused autism.

The Centers for Disease Control had also disputed Wakefield’s study stating that there was no scientific evidence to support his conjecture and that the MMR vaccine was completely safe. It stressed that the vaccine was developed to protect children from many fatal

Continue Reading

Compare Hospitals Online Now: New Online Hospital Comparison Tool from Consumer Reports Unveiled

A new Consumer Reports tool allows users to compare hospitals online. Your Hospital Stay lets website members punch in a state and city then review information about the most expensive and the cheapest hospitals in the area. The tool for comparing hospitals uses information based on the 2016 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, a study conducted by John Wennberg, M.D., Elliott Fisher, M.D., and colleagues at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Health insurance often pays for only a portion of hospital-related costs. Learn more about the new tool that provides information about the most expensive and the cheapest hospitals to help save money on healthcare.

Using the Online Hospital Comparison Tool

The online hospital comparison tool provides information about average costs of hospitals by metro area, making it easy to find the most expensive and the cheapest hospital care online. The website also provides information about aggressive vs. conservative treatment available from regional hospitals. The Consumer Reports hospital comparison tool defines “aggressive” as having more days in the hospital and more visits from attending physicians. A side note on the website explains that aggressive care isn’t always better. The note states that in cases of life-threatening chronic conditions, more aggressive treatment in the hospital doesn’t always improve patient outcomes and can shorten life.

Most Expensive and Cheapest Hospitals in Portland, Oregon

Plugging in Portland, Oregon into the online tool to compare hospitals in the area netted some interesting results:

  • Legacy Good Samaritan
Continue Reading

Epilepsy Information, Stigma Poll and Lack Of Earning

On July 24th, 2015 I responded to a poll that asked if there was still a stigma related to epilepsy. I said YES!

Also, in reply to the poll I replied:
I have had epilepsy, catamenial epilepsy for almost 41 years. I’ve been intractable, I am photosensitive but am on medication to control it.
It took a long, long time to find the right pills.
I have been overdosed, misdiagnosed, thrown around like a “number on a doctor’s file”, and believe me, even doctor’s don’t know the meaning of the word “seizure”!

You never know until you experience one.
I used to experience up to 300 simple partials per day.

I have complex partial and simple, but they feel the same exact way.

I’ve used biofeedback therapy successfully, aromatherapy, especially jasmine, and a field called psychoneuroimmunology.

I studied the books of Joan Borysenko, who was my friend, writing about this.She gave me an author’s copy of her book “A Pocketful of Miracles”.

I have helped others with this disorder as the President, CEO and founder of The Epilepsy Connection. I made no money but I saved lives and helped others. The more I helped others the better I would feel. The healthier I would become.
I’m on a new drug now for 1 week called Keppra, that is working well.

I am in the middle of a disgusting divorce battle that unfortunately my ex-husband didn’t think enough of me to tell his company that he divorced me! I used to

Continue Reading

Two Heights: Two Worlds – Your Life Held in a Pill’s Worth


Who would guess that 3,006 milligrams of anything could control a person’s destiny? Simply, your anticonvulsant pills are your keys to life, rather than merely survival. This is why you need to know what the latest medical breakthroughs are regarding epilepsy research and how you can apply this knowledge to your seizure type(s).

When my pills work there is no threat of seizures, and I usually know in the morning what cards I’m dealt. My payoff is that my legs work, my work on The Epilepsy Connection is more efficient, and I’m bestowed total control of the outcome of my day, minute by minute. Working pills are my “genie in a bottle” that grants my main wish – health. I thrive when given a day with nothing to adapt to; I can focus intently on what I choose without aborting seizures to remain conscious. There is no need to strategize an urgent place to sit to prevent injury. Peace is not something I search for but rather it is a morning gift and revelation as well. There’s a huge red ribbon lushly wrapped around it. To say that this is refreshing is a massive understatement.

One day, when health stability and the inspiration to write a winning article coincided, I headed for an aesthetically beautiful place to write. I was there with my mother, just days before, on an unstable day guided by the wheels of a chair. Friends I met on my visit with her took “triple takes” in

Continue Reading

Baby Sitters & Caregivers Importance to You and Your Child

Baby Sitters & Caregivers Importance to You and Your Child


There are about 30,000 children in the USA with epilepsy with dedicated parents that cannot always be with them. The statistics on how many of those children are having uncontrolled seizures is not known, but I don’t see a proliferation of seizure-free children roaming the streets! How many parents that represents for all those children is unknown.

Women are often divorced and left with their child because their callous husband couldn’t understand or tolerate the inconsistencies of epilepsy. If a mother raises a child alone, which is a monumental undertaking, combined with a chronic disorder is a rough road. This parent is equated to a balance scale collapsing from carrying too much weight. Divorces or parental emotional breakdowns don’t have to be the reality if a parent builds a “safety net”. The name of that “net” is a Baby sitter or Caretaker. Baby sitter is a name for babies to 10 years old and a Caregiver from 11 and beyond.

It just isn’t feasible to bring your child everywhere! Aside from the fact that a parent cannot be with their child all the time, there’s the need for giving the parent “time off”. Depending on how frequent and severe the seizures, a child’s epilepsy and all its implications can be draining. “Time off” for parents is critical. Strength is necessary to be the best for your child. Being emotionally drained makes a parent incapable of giving the degree of attention

Continue Reading

The Benefits Of Massagers For Health

A complete and professional massage can play a vital role in healing a large number of health problems, such as back pains and inflammations. However, as you cannot go to a massage specialist all the time, you can think about buying a massager that would make the exact same thing.

Having a massage in the intimacy of your home with the comfort and efficiency of a professional are the main reasons for which some people buy electric massage chairs and renounce their weekly session with a massage specialist.

Studies show three principal benefits in using such massagers:

Muscular massage improves the nervous and lymphatic circulation, increasing the blood flow and facilitating the absorption of nutrients by your body. Massage eliminates toxins from the treated areas and revives the external tissues. Massage therapy reduces tensions and improves flexibility, allowing your body and mind to fully relax.

These benefits work both physically and psychically to reduce the common symptoms of back pains. By studying the human body and the feedback from users, it was possible to develop many types of massage for health chairs, suited for different clients and having numerous benefits.


Rules to follow when buying a massager for health:

Most of the chairs can automatically take the shape of the body, while others have to be adjusted manually or with a remote. This is a necessity as it guarantees your whole body will benefit of the effects. In case the chair is incorrectly calibrated, it will not offer …

Continue Reading

Women’s Healthcare Under Attack

Women’s healthcare is under attack.
Raise up your voices and protest.
Let the politicians know
You’re not hiding behind a pretty dress.
Speak out loudly.
The cause is just.
Don’t let your rights be abused.
Tell the right wing politicians.
You have paid your hard earned dues.
Do not accept legislation
That puts your health at risk.
Healthcare is a right,
And not some unwarranted gift.
Birth control, contraceptives,
Breast screening and much more.
These are rights for you to protect.
They must not be ignored.

Continue Reading

Brilliant Home Health Care

Home Health Care is a brilliant facet of modern medicine. After 22 days in the hospital with a life threatening illness, I was sent home with scheduled visits for home health care. I was still on IV antibiotics via a PIC line and had a 10cm open wound on the side of my neck. HHC came in that first day and taught my husband how to administer the antibiotics and when, and scheduled further dressing changes. At this point I had a wound vac dressing, but that was soon discarded as the area was problematic for that therapy. I was consistently impressed with the professionalism of the nurses that visited me. They were obviously educated and specifically trained to home care and most of them were personable and respectful to me and my husband. I especially liked the ones who told me what they were doing every step of the way, and who listened to my concerns and questions and answered them particularly. It is so necessary to quiet fears and present listening is the best way to do that, from a patients point of view.

I had a great rise in peace of mind being able to leave the hospital and go home; it felt like such a victory. It also facilitated my husband being able to return to work and those caring for my home and pets to return to their lives. If home health care had not been available, these milestones in my recovery would have been

Continue Reading