Category Archives: krnjoidta

FSA finds support for folic acid

first_imgFolic acid looks more likely to be compulsorily added to bread after Food Standards Agency (FSA) research found that 50% of the population backed the move.The FSA will decide in the next week whether to recommend that the Department of Health introduces folic acid as a mandatory additive; the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy have already reported that this would reduce the number of babies born with spina bifida.Federation of Bakers’ director Gordon Polson said the decision to fortify bread should be a medical one but added there would be a number of considerations if the move got the go-ahead. “The most practical way of adding folic acid would be at the flour mill rather than at a manufacturing plant – it wouldn’t be something we’d want to do,” he said. “It wouldn’t be practical.”last_img read more

Senior named Global Health Fellow

first_imgHarvard College senior Mary Davies ’13 has been named a Global Health Fellow with Medical Missionaries. Davies, a social science and global health policy concentrator, will defer attending medical school for one year to work at St. Joseph’s Clinic in Thomassique, Haiti. At the clinic, Davies and the other fellows will assist staff, oversee community health programs such as a school lunch program and a water purification program, and help visiting teams of doctors, nurses, and dentists.Davies has held leadership positions in several community development projects in Cambridge. She has also tutored middle-school students, served as a peer counselor through the Cambridge After School Program, and volunteered as an HIV/AIDS educator in Tanzania, where she studied gender issues in Tanzania and in South Africa. She intends to pursue a joint M.D.-M.P.H. program following her fellowship.last_img read more

A silent epidemic

first_img ‘Worry about 4 weeks from now,’ epidemiologist warns Feeling more anxious and stressed? You’re not alone Related Chan School’s Koenen discusses rising mental health concerns in the coronavirus era Harvard’s Lipsitch urges public to ramp up social distancing, increase coronavirus tests center_img HMS:  Can anything even be done to prevent delirium if someone’s on a ventilator?Inouye:  There’s a lot you can do. Getting people up and walking reduces the risk of delirium, and there are protocols for walking people even when they’e on a ventilator. Some ICUs are doing that because studies show that walking raises oxygen saturation and gets patients off ventilators faster, which frees up the machines for other patients. It takes three staff members to help with the walking, but it can be done.In the ICU, you can lower delirium risk by preserving the sleep/wake cycle, such as by making the room dark and quiet at night and providing earplugs and eye masks. You can play soothing music. You can cycle medications (when medications are available). For those who are sedated, you can lighten the sedation periodically. You can have orientation boards up in the room to help patients remember where they are. You can help them communicate through writing or pointing. Some ICUs have developed therapeutic activities like fun games to keep the mind active. It’s not ideal when someone can’t be in the room regularly because of isolation precautions, but there still is a lot that can be done.And for COVID-19 patients who are not in the ICU, the regular delirium prevention checklist still applies. Other considerations include facilitating remote visits with family members, minimizing drugs associated with confusion, avoiding physical restraints, providing vision and hearing aids as needed and attending to nutrition and hydration.HMS:  What resources are available?Inouye:  Our Hospital Elder Life Program, or HELP, has created a website about COVID-19 and delirium. It includes a patient toolkit, delirium screening and management guidance, tools for advance care planning during the pandemic, help with social isolation and more. Within a week, people had translated the toolkit materials into Spanish and Portuguese.It’s also been wonderful to see new ways hospitals have devised to connect patients with family members and the outside world in secure ways. People are so creative in times of crisis. Everybody is reaching out and helping one another. HMS:  What information is emerging about how many COVID-19 patients experience delirium?Inouye:  The two best pieces of evidence I’ve found are a JAMA Neurology paper from April 10 on the neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 in China and an NEJM paper from April 15 on neurologic features in severe COVID-19. The JAMA study reported mental status change in 30 percent of patients, and the NEJM study found an even higher rate, with mental status change in 65 percent of patients and agitation in 69 percent. Both of those probably represent delirium. And that’s in all ages, not only older adults.HMS:  Is it too early to tell to what extent delirium may arise from the coronavirus itself versus the hospital environment?Inouye:  It’s not clear yet, but it’s likely a combination.There’s some evidence of direct invasion of the brain by the coronavirus. The loss of smell is probably from a direct invasion of the olfactory nerve, and that connects directly to the frontal lobes. The NEJM article showed some light-up of the meningeal space, which could be another sign of viral encroachment into the brain. In addition, there appears to be some vascular involvement, where the coronavirus increases people’s risk of stroke. That could be another etiology for delirium. And as you may have seen in the news, the virus can instigate a cytokine storm — a severe amount of inflammation — and a lot of those patients do very poorly.On top of those, you have all the sedatives and other drugs that can contribute to delirium.Then, as a result of delirium, people become immobilized and deconditioned, which in turn causes a cascade of consequences like pressure ulcers, falls, urinary tract infections, increased risk of dementia … That’s my fear: that it’s not just delirium, it’s all these really bad long-term outcomes.HMS:  Can the worst outcomes be avoided?Inouye:  I’m hoping we can change it. We need to get on a better path with the management of delirium. We need to minimize the use of these sedating medications when possible. We need to advocate for caregivers to be allowed back at the bedside. Some facilities are letting family members into rooms where patients have both COVID-19 and dementia to reduce risk of delirium, but there are still no-visitor policies in a lot of places. We need to be aware of the damage of social isolation in older adults as well. As human beings, we need connection. It’s so important for our survival.HMS:  What else gives you hope?Inouye:  If there is a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that people are seeing how important delirium is. There may never have been this much delirium all at one time. I think it’ll raise awareness. And when we can let our breath out and have time to educate everyone again, at least we will have strategies and resources and training in place for the future.This interview was edited for length and clarity.To hear more about delirium and Inouye’s life and career, listen to our podcast, recorded several months before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic emerged. This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Only a few decades ago, medical professionals believed they couldn’t do anything to stop a subset of elderly patients in the hospital from sliding into delirium — an acute state of confusion that can arise from illness or surgery and that raises risk of serious health complications and death.Then Sharon Inouye proved that delirium is preventable. She created the world’s most widely used checklist to identify delirium and developed a program that hundreds of hospitals have used to reduce cases of the condition by an estimated 40 percent. Inouye is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and director of the Aging Brain Center in the Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife.Now, after years of progress, Inouye worries that hard-won best practices for reducing delirium risk are getting lost in the turmoil of COVID-19 care.Early data from peer-reviewed studies suggest that one-third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients of all ages, and two-thirds of those with severe disease, show signs of delirium, said Inouye. For a variety of reasons, some potentially avoidable, delirium management is falling behind, she said. Indeed, the pandemic has led to conditions almost perfectly designed to cause delirium, she said.That’s concerning to Inouye and colleagues because, as the American Delirium Society explains, patients who experience delirium in the hospital remain hospitalized longer than their peers, have more complications and are more likely to die during their hospital stay or in the following year, need long-term care or develop cognitive impairment, including dementia.Inouye spoke with Harvard Medicine News about why cases of delirium have risen during the coronavirus pandemic and what clinicians and caregivers can do about it.Q&ASharon InouyeHMS:  What worries you most about elderly populations’ increased susceptibility to the new coronavirus?Inouye:  I have so many worries. If I had to narrow it to my two major concerns, one is what social isolation is doing to all older people, even those who don’t have COVID-19. Older adults who are sheltering at home are not getting exercise, they’re not socializing, a lot are falling into depression, they’re getting weak and frail, and as a consequence there are more falls, more fractures, all kinds of things, such that they need to be hospitalized for non-COVID-19 reasons.The other issue is that we’re seeing an epidemic of delirium in COVID-19 patients globally, and it’s getting very mismanaged. A lot of that may be unavoidable — when you’re trying to keep someone alive, you may not follow the best practices for delirium prevention, so we can understand that — but I do think from talking to colleagues that some of it is avoidable.HMS: What may be avoidable and what may not?Inouye:  Reports from around the world indicate a pattern of overuse of chemical restraints such as antipsychotics and other sedating drugs. I think health care providers are feeling very anxious and pressured, so when a patient starts to get agitated, providers get scared for the patient’s safety and their own safety and feel they have to sedate the patient. But sedating them is not always needed and leads to many complications.I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes. Let’s say your patient has cognitive impairment so it’s hard to explain things to them, they have hearing impairment, they’re fearful, and you’re coming in there all gowned up like a person from outer space and your voice is muffled behind two masks and a face shield and you have to stay six feet away. They can’t see or hear you, they can’t read your lips. They’re confused and frightened. They can’t have a family member there to translate for them or calm them down. It’s like a setup to be a nightmare for an older adult. So your reaction is to reach for the drugs so you can quickly get the IV in, get a COVID-19 swab or a chest X-ray.I understand why it’s happening, and yet I really believe that if you could just take the extra minute to come close, hold their hand, look in their eyes … Some doctors are taping pictures of themselves to their gowns so patients can see them. Talk to patients and say, “Listen, I know how scary this is. We need to make sure you don’t have this infection, or if you do, that you get the right treatment. So here’s what I’m going to do right now.”It doesn’t take much extra time. But it’s still time, and doctors and nurses are just not able to do that right now because the volume is so high and the patients are so sick and health care workers are frightened. It’s a perfect storm of not-good things.And then, if patients do have to be sedated, a lot of the short-acting medications we would normally use have run out, so doctors are having to use drips of benzodiazepines, which under normal circumstances you would never give to older patients, or they’re using general anesthesia because there aren’t any other options. It’s not how anyone would want to practice. “We need to be aware of the damage of social isolation in older adults as well. As human beings, we need connection. It’s so important for our survival.”last_img read more

4-H Editorial.

first_img The 4-H Pledge I pledgeMy head to clearer thinking,My heart to greater loyalty,My hands to larger service, andMy health to better living,for my club, my community, my country and my world. The choices we make help shape our character. My participation in scouting, music, athletics and academic events has addressed specific areas of development. But my involvement with Georgia 4-H has helped in a myriad of ways to shape me into a contributing and compassionate citizen.Asked why she had encouraged me to be so active, my mom said it was to help me grow into a well-rounded person. She knew intuitively what a 1999 Cornell University study verified: 4-H has a positive impact on kids. It gives them assets that make them less likely to get into drugs and other risky behaviors and more likely to be healthy and successful in school.It wasn’t clear to me at first what 4-H was all about. But my fifth-grade teacher made it attractive, and I was hooked. I was having fun and learning to feel good about myself.center_img Looking back, I can see that the emphasis on developing the “head, heart, hands and health” has helped me build life skills and obtain many of the assets I need to succeed.My HeadIn developing my head, 4-H improved my managing and thinking skills. In competitive events, I’ve set goals for myself and learned to manage my time and resources to achieve them.Of course, the goal is to be the best you can be. Sometimes I’m rewarded by earning a win. At other times, I learn how to be better next time.I first competed in communication as a Cloverleaf. I’ve continued in this project, learning more about the topic and refining my speaking and presentation skills each year.My HeartMy parents say 4-H has helped improve my heart, specifically in building my social skills. Painfully shy in middle school, I signed up to attend Junior 4-H Conference and found I was the only one from my school planning to go. I could have dropped out, but I opted to go, and it was a turning point in my life.I was forced to become acquainted with students from other schools in my county and made friends from other counties, too. That weekend showed me I shouldn’t shy away from events because my friends weren’t there. Since then I’ve made many friends from across the state through 4-H.My HandsWorking and giving involves my hands. Our 4-H leader offers us opportunities for community volunteering each year. Community service projects have always been part of my Girl Scout experience, too.The basis of these projects was giving, either specific items or our time and effort. We had projects to help less fortunate people through the local homeless shelter and emergency food bank.I’ve learned to work together with my peers. We always feel good about ourselves after a job well done.My HealthLearning through the successes and failures of competition, my understanding of my strengths and weaknesses heightened my self-concept. Through social interaction with other 4-H’ers, I gained self-confidence. Through teamwork and community service, I enhanced my feelings of self-worth.These experiences together have helped me build a positive self-esteem, making my health and healthy living better.My family, friends and teachers all say 4-H has been a positive influence for me. I know this to be true.I know how to organize materials for a project now, and I’m comfortable giving oral presentations. This is a great help in my schoolwork.I’ve gained social confidence and am comfortable in many situations. This should help me make wise choices when confronted by peer pressure to participate in risky behavior.While I strive to be the best I can be, 4-H is the vehicle to help “make the best better” every day.last_img read more

Lawn watering

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia has had plenty of rain in the past month. But there’s no guarantee it will be plentiful all summer. And just two weeks without rain can be enough to hurt most grasses.Your lawn doesn’t have to suffer, said Kerry Harrison, an irrigation specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. But you don’t want to just turn on the sprinklers anytime you feel the lawn needs a drink. This could waste water and damage lawns. It could get you in trouble, too.The guidelinesGeorgia has no mandatory watering restrictions statewide now, he said. But there are some guidelines.If your street address is an odd number, you’re asked to water on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. If it is an even number, you’re asked to do it on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. “There’s no outside watering on Friday,” he said.New automated irrigation systems, Harrison said, must be equipped with rainfall sensors to stop them when it rains. Watering guidelines are enforced by local authorities.But homeowners can easily supply their lawns with needed water and still follow the guidelines, he said.Know the systemIt doesn’t matter if you use a permanent system or a sprinkler attached to a hose. The first thing you need to know is how much water you’re applying and how fast.”Not knowing your water application rate is like driving a car with no speedometer,” he said.Different systems apply water at different rates. Hose-sprinkler systems vary the most. Space three rain gauges within the watering area of your system. Look at your watch. After an hour has passed, check your gauges to see how much water your system puts out in that time.Good timingMost lawns grow best when they get 1 inch of water a week, either from rain, irrigation or combination of the two. And they prefer long soakings. In dry weather, water only once or twice a week to get that 1 inch of water.Light, frequent watering can cause turf grasses to develop shallow roots. This can lead to many problems, including disease and insect damage and discoloring from poor fertility.The grass at the very end of a sprinkler’s trajectory may not get as much water as the grass closer to the sprinkler. Permanent systems should be set for overlap in sprinkler patterns to adjust for this. Remember this when you move your hose-sprinkler system. You want your lawn to be uniformly wet.Water at the right times, too: early morning or late at night, Harrison said. If you don’t, you could just waste time and water.”We have research and evidence to show that you can lose as much as half the water if it’s applied during peak daylight hours,” he said.High temperatures and high winds can evaporate water or blow it off-target, too, he said.Watering during the day, too, increases the time grass is wet. This can cause disease. Watering at night won’t hurt grass that’s already wet from dew. The turf gets the water it wants and is drier during the day.Georgia should have a typical, humid summer with temperatures in the mid-80s and 90s and spikes around 100, said state climatologist David Stooksbury, a professor of engineering with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The heat should generate hit-or-miss afternoon thunderstorms.An above-average tropical weather season is forecast for the Atlantic Ocean. But fewer storms than in 2004 will likely make landfall.last_img read more

Daily Dirt: Sue Lance Armstrong, Meet Ben King, and Stop Rand Paul

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for July 24, the day Lance Armstrong won his record-setting seventh Tour de France in 2005, becoming the reigning king of cycling, until that one thing happened (read more below):Stop Rand PaulThe League of American Bicyclists and the Virginia Bicycling Federation are sending out the call to action, that action being to stop Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Sen. Paul has introduced an amendment to last year’s transportation bill that would essentially gut any funding for alternative transportation like bike lanes, public transit, greenways and the like. The bill had already combined three alternative transportation programs (Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails) into one program and cut funding by 30 percent. Sen. Paul wants to take that already diminished funding and put it into bridge repair. The VBF notes that the small amount of money would not make a dent in the backlog of bridges that need repairing, but would be a huge boost to local communities in terms of transportation safety and infrastructure. They also point out that this legislation could have an immediate and lasting impact on rediness and legacy projects associated with the 2015 World Cycling Championships in Richmond.Act now by contacting your senators and asking them to vote no on Amendment 1742.Meet Ben KingBen King will visit the Boys & Girls Club in Charlottesville, Va. on Thursday July 25 (that’s tomorrow if you don’t have a calendar handy) as part of the Boys & Girls Club Cycling Challenge. King is a pro cyclist with team RadioShack Leopard Trek and is also from the greater Charlottesville area (North Garden). He will share his experiences racing internationally as well as how he went from a kid with a bike to a pro and what shaped his career. The event is free and open to the public, although they request that you RSVP here. The Cycling Challenge is Sept. 15: “Funds raised from registrations and donations directly support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, which serve over 1,800 youth annually.  About a dozen of these young club members are training throughout the summer to ride on the Challenge Team. This ride is often their first step into the sport of cycling and the important life lessons that come with it. For them, the finish line is just the beginning.”Believe Lance Armstrong?Rounding out this trio of cycling bulletins comes the latest in the Lance Armstrong performance enhancing drug scandal. So Lance is getting sued for $120 million, but that’s not the interesting part of the story. The suit is being brought against him by admitted doper, former Tour winner and former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, but that is not the interesting part of the story. The lawsuit has been joined by the U.S. Postal Service who claim Armstrong defrauded them out of millions of dollars when they sponsored him and his team during all those Tour victories, but even that isn’t the interesting part of the story. The interesting part of the story is his defense, which goes (in part) like this: The U.S. should have known he was doping because of all the accusations he was doping. Huh? Armstrong’s lawyers argue that “The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.” So there you have it folks. We’ll just have to see if it stands up in court.last_img read more

A Single Air Force for Cooperation

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo December 01, 2017 “Natural disasters have become a new threat to the region,” General Javier Ramírez Guillén, commander of the Peruvian Air Force (FAP, per its Spanish acronym), said during his presentation at the South American Air Chiefs Conference. “We must unite to be ready to face natural disasters effectively,” he added. The conference was held at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson, Arizona, October 31st –November 3rd, 2017, to analyze the role of regional air forces in response to natural disasters.In an interview with Diálogo, Gen. Ramírez said that alliances for international and interagency cooperation in the areas of readiness, training, and coordination are key to bolster the air forcesrescue and disaster response capabilities, regional integration, and FAP’s own challenges for 2018.Diálogo: Why is FAP’s participation in the South American Air Chiefs Conference 2017 important?General Javier Ramírez Guillén, FAP commander: The conference is a space where we can harmonize our standards and get to know the lessons learned from the various activities that occur or from natural disasters in the region. Each of us has had the opportunity to participate and state what the reality is for our own air force. Out of this set of exhibitions we can learn lessons and improve our use of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA) to mitigate natural disasters.Diálogo: Why is it important that the air forces be better prepared to respond to natural disasters?Gen. Ramírez: There are different threats in this globalized world. It’s no longer just about defending the sovereignty and integrity of each nation—it’s also about new threats we’re seeing, risks, such as earthquakes, floods, and forest fires, among others. That has caused our reality to shift and it has made us step up and improve the capacity of each of our air forces to mitigate this situation.Diálogo: Do you mean that natural disasters are a security threat?Gen. Ramírez: Yes, of course. There are always many deaths and many people impacted by each of these events. Without neglecting its main mission, the air force, which is very quick and flexible, shifts all of its efforts to respond to such disasters.Diálogo: For Peru, 2017 has been a critical year in terms of natural disasters. What has FAP’s response been to assist victims?Gen. Ramírez: FAP has been very active. Unfortunately, for Peru and our citizens in the north, a lot of people suffered from flooding, isolation, and lost their homes. We took the initiative and within one hour of these tragedies, more or less, we were there in the affected areas, bringing in supplies and transferring people out. We transferred more than 38,000 people over this period. We transported more than 15,000 tons of cargo. We made a huge effort to help, and we did so gladly, because our Armed Forces, and FAP in particular, are greatly committed to service.Diálogo: What is your assessment on regional cooperation among the air forces?Gen. Ramírez: Very well, especially in recent years. From 2010 to now, I saw a greater strength of unity among the air forces through SICOFAA. There’s more integration, there are more committees, and participants are more involved. I’m happy to say that through the Cooperation exercise, which simulates a natural disaster and the deployment of air forces bringing humanitarian aid to those affected, we became more integrated. Natural disasters are cyclical. There will always be earthquakes, floods, etc. I I sincerely believe in SICOFAA since I first got to know about it more than 38 years ago, and I can see that SICOFAA will empower us more and more.Diálogo: You speak of SICOFAA as being a vital tool for international cooperation. What has Peru’s experience in this organization been like?Gen. Ramírez: SICOFAA was the result of an initial need from Peru, which is why in 1964 FAP proposed the establishment of a voluntary organization for mutual professional relationships and presented for consideration a document entitled “Foundations and Procedures for a System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces.” The document was accepted at the Conference of American Air Chiefs in 1965, becoming the first founding document for SICOFAA. Over the years, through committees and Cooperation exercises, as they’re called, we’ve improved much more within SICOFAA. We’re more integrated and we come together face-to-face and share opinions of more than 18 air forces. This strengthens us even more, not only in terms of the comradeship that exists among our air forces, but also in their operational capacity.Diálogo: Could you delve intoFAP’s relationship with the citizens?Gen. Ramírez: It’s a very socially committed relationship. FAP, as its name suggests, belongs to all Peruvians and is geared to meet the greatest demands of the state and the citizens. If a single citizen is impacted in Huascarán [a mountainous region in the department of Ancash, in western Peru], we’ll be there. If any city gets cut off for any reason, the Air Force will be there. If there’s a single person in need in any part of the jungle region, the Air Force has to be there, because we encompass all of Peru.Diálogo: What are the most pressing security problems that the country faces?Gen. Ramírez: We have domestic threats such as narcotrafficking, illegal logging, and illegal mining, and we work together with Peru’s other armed forces and with the National Police to counter those threats.Diálogo: How does FAP work with the other branches of the military in your country?Gen. Ramírez: We work together through the Armed Forces Joint Command under the Ministry of Defense, which is the executive branch of our government, and that’s where we have our three main service branches; the Army, Navy, and Air Force. As military institutions, we do independent and joint operations.Diálogo: General Ramirez, you took office in December 2016. What is your experience leading FAP?Gen. Ramírez: I’m excited and happy. Every day, I’m very pleased to lead this institution where I have such wonderful people. We have an excellent president [Pedro Pablo Kuczynski] and an excellent minister of defense [Jorge Nieto], both of whom support us, not only in the Air Force but also across all state institutions. Along those lines, we are in constant coordination and I foresee that in 2018, but also in future years, we will strengthen and increase our capacities to benefit the great demands of the state.Diálogo: What is your main challenge for 2018?Gen. Ramírez: It’s for my personnel to increase capacities and training, because we can purchase assets, but training and capacity building take years. It’s important to motivate personnel, because if they’re motivated, that drives them to want more from their Air Force and their country.Diálogo: What is your message to partner nations?Gen. Ramírez: Let’s keep getting to know each other, working together, and integrating within SICOFAA, which I believe is the proper path and the right tool to meet these huge demands and mitigate the common threats we face in the region.last_img read more

Humpback Whale Spotted in Long Island Sound

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A humpback whale sighting in the Long Island Sound near Port Washington over the Labor Day weekend prompted experts to remind boaters to give the whale its space.Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation biologists are monitoring the whale’s movements and urging the boating public to stay at least 150 feet away from the creature.“They are federally protected, and interacting with them in any way falls under harassment,” said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the group, which noted that such sightings are not unusual.The whale appears to have first made news when it was spotted Aug. 30 in the Sound off Milford, Conn., more than 50 miles northeast of Port Washington, where boaters reported a similar sighting on Labor Day, Sept. 7.“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mark Tutino, who spotted the whale breaching last week, told News 12 Connecticut.Humpback whales, among the largest mammal species, have a life span of 45-to-50 years, eating only krill, plankton and small fish. They have been protected worldwide since 1966 because of the decrease in their population. It is believed that there are only 30,000-40,000 humpback whales left, which is only 30 percent of their original population.The humpback sighting isn’t the only whale reported in the Sound lately. A trio of Beluga whales was spotted in the waterway in May.Marine biologists have been unable to perform a health assessment of the humpback whale because it is swimming freely, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have been notified.Riverhead Foundation officials ask anyone who spots the whale to call them at 631-369-9829. Videos or photos may be sent to [email protected]last_img read more

135 early released prisoners have reoffended during pandemic in Indonesia: Police

first_imgNational Police spokesperson Ahmad Ramadhan has said that 135 prisoners, who were released early in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, are back to committing crimes.”A total of 135 convicts were rearrested by the police after receiving parole from the Law and Human Rights Ministry due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ahmad said in a statement on Monday as reported by said most of the offenses committed by the prisoners were theft, robbery and vehicle theft.”The prisoners’ crimes also included murder, rape, gambling, child sexual abuse, assault and drug abuse,” he said.The 135 recidivism cases were reported in 23 regions, with Central Java and North Sumatra recording the most cases, each having reported a total of 17 cases. Riau province reported 12 cases and West Java reported 11.Read also: COVID-19: Over 100 early released prisoners have reoffended, police sayAhmad said the motive behind most of the crimes was economic hardship.”Some cases were also linked to grudges, especially for assaults and murders,” he said.The Law and Human Rights Ministry has released more than 37,014 convicts and 2,259 child detainees under the COVID-19 assimilation and integration program, with the government planning to release a total of 50,000 prisoners.Official data show that Indonesia has a total of 270,386 inmates and that it has exceeded more than twice the official capacity of its detention facilities. With overcrowded cells and unsanitary environments, prisons are considered in great danger of COVID-19 outbreaks.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said the assimilation program for prisoners and juvenile inmates is part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 behind bars. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Department of Human Services Kicks Off Supporting Families Initiative by Awarding Regional Grants

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Department of Human Services Kicks Off Supporting Families Initiative by Awarding Regional Grants Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Human Services,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today kicks off its Supporting Families Initiative by awarding $5,000 grants to 19 regional collaboratives committed to encouraging families of individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism to have high expectations of full and purposeful lives.“The goal of the grants is for communities to acknowledge the opportunity for everyone, including individuals with a disability and their families, to live well-rounded lives that include: meaningful jobs in the community, friendships, health and safety, and social and spiritual opportunities,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We invited counties to submit proposals about how they would create partnerships and collaborations to better support local families throughout their lifespans. People living in each area know their region’s strengths, diversity, and needs best.”The collaboratives will partner with a variety of local stakeholders and resources: faith communities, businesses, schools, child care facilities, civic organizations, social media, and other families acting as mentors. Regional collaboratives can be individual counties or a number of counties whose communities naturally blend together.Family is the primary source of support for most people throughout every stage of life. Nationally, 75 percent of people with intellectual disabilities live in their communities without any formal disability services. Of the 25 percent who are receiving services, most live with their families.“As DHS provides services and supports to more individuals to live, work, and thrive in their own communities, we want to recognize and support the strengths of families so those family members with intellectual disabilities or autism can live the everyday lives they envision for themselves,” DHS Secretary Ted Dallas said. “As part of this initiative, families will begin to use various tools to help them create their vision for their family members and realize the importance of experiences and opportunities at every life stage.”Three specific strategies that emphasize collaboration between communities and the systems that provide services to individuals with disabilities include: making it easier for families to find information about the disability and resources at every life stage, providing connections for peer support and networking with other families, and identifying appropriate services and supports.The collaboratives are being encouraged to discover opportunities both within and outside the formal disability service systems that can support the concept of everyday lives for all citizens in the community.In February 2016, Pennsylvania was accepted into the National Community of Practice: Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan, which provides leadership, training and technical assistance to develop a statewide strategic plan to support families of individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism. Pennsylvania is one of 18 states taking part in this Community of Practice, where states can learn from one another using the same principles and framework, but unique approaches to supporting families.In addition to the grants, DHS will offer the regional collaboratives an ongoing schedule of technical support and learning opportunities.“People with disabilities want to have a good life, to live and work in the community, like everyone else, and we are creating opportunities and initiatives to help do that,” Dallas said.The 19 collaboratives include:Central Region:Blair CountyCentre, Clinton, Lycoming, and Northumberland countiesCumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry countiesFranklin and Fulton countiesNortheast Region:Bradford, Sullivan, and Tioga countiesCarbon, Monroe, and Pike countiesLackawanna and Susquehanna countiesLehigh CountyNorthampton CountySchuylkill CountyWayne CountySoutheast Region:Bucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyWestern Region:Allegheny CountyArmstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, and Lawrence countiesCameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, and Warren countiesMercer and Venango counties January 04, 2017last_img read more