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M&S Christmas TV advert to accompany 15,000 acts of kindness and £5 donations

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis52 Howard Lake | 16 November 2016 | News Advertisement M&S Christmas TV advert to accompany 15,000 acts of kindness and £5 donations Tagged with: Advertising christmas corporate random acts of kindness TV  224 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis52 Marks and Spencer has aired its Christmas 2016 TV Advert campaign, with a focus on “Mrs Claus”. The campaign will include random acts of kindness and charity donations.The advert was broadcast on 11 November in the first advert break of Gogglebox. It was also published on YouTube, the M&S website and announced via email to the five million members of the retailer’s Sparks loyalty programme.Janet McTeer as Mrs Claus in M&S 2016 Christmas advertIn the advert Mrs Claus goes to extraordinary lengths – including piloting a helicopter and driving a snow-sled – to deliver a gift from someone who wants to give something special.The campaign involves Mrs Claus taking over M&S’ social media accounts, and the hashtag #lovemrsclaus, which generates its own emoji.A different way of delivering Christmas presentsRandom acts of kindnessThe campaign, like other Christmas TV adverts, includes a charity element, although not a specific charity partnership.An “army” of Mrs Claus will be giving random acts of kindness (RAKS) to 15,000 customers in the run-up to Christmas. For each act Marks & Spencer will donate £5 to the recipient’s charity of choice. These acts could range from a free coffee from the M&S Café to a free party makeover.Mrs Claus in her M&S furnished homeSanta and Mrs Claus embrace after their own giving of gifts.Other 2016 Christmas ads with charity partnershipsJohn Lewis and The Wildlife TrustsAldi and Barnardo’sSainsburys’ and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital  223 total views,  1 views today About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Pennsylvania prisoner fights toxic prisons

first_imgThis is the lightly edited text of a speech given for the Fight Toxic Prisons 2017 National Convergence Conference, held June 3 in Denton/Ft. Worth, Texas. Arroyo’s remarks were recorded for the occasion by Prison Radio.Hello there, environmentalists, ecologists, bioneers, blue-gold/rain forest protectors, movers/shakers, GMO opponents, Green Tech innovators, Indigenous leaders and social/environmental justice activists gathered here today. I want to thank you for your magnanimous invitation to join all of the “environmental regulators” at this unprecedented conference.The environment includes everything around an individual: the air one breathes, the water we drink and the place in which we live. As such, the environment serves as a protective factor and promotes one’s overall physical, mental and spiritual well-being. …This is why we are here to deliberately fight toxic prisons together in support of those inside the Nation of Prisoners. I believe it is important that the voices be heard of all who are directly or indirectly impacted by the building of this massive $444 million project, the plan proposed by the [Federal] Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to build their facility on a toxic coal mine site in Letcher County, Ky.I’d like to start off by quoting the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”Many states have already learned a painful lesson from their dealing with projects such as the one being proposed by the BOP. And this is because, in every one of those cases, the tragic consequences of allowing similar projects to operate in those other communities could not have been fully appreciated until it was too late to stop the devastation to both human lives and the environment.Indeed, too often, the problem is that the people in those communities are unaware that [prison] companies have a specific set of criteria for targeting their next victim community, that is, communities with high unemployment rates where people are in financial trouble. And once those factors are in play, they got what they need to get their foot in the door. Sadly, even when some might feel apprehensive about the potentially bad consequences of having these projects in their communities, those real concerns compete with the fear of an uncertain financial future for themselves and their families. This is when the seduction dance begins on the part of these giant corporations and the BOP.First, they come into the community offering a bright future for those who would support their BOP plans by promises of good paying jobs. Then, to do away with any real concerns about personal health and environmental toxic-site damage, they bring in their so-called experts in their expensive suits with an air of respectability, pretending to be pillars of society, when they are nothing more than hired guns who come into an unsuspecting community speaking the latest impressive sounding scientific jargon. With the skill of a master illusionist, they complete the deception started by company executives.The tragic success of this deceit is reflected in the readiness with which average tax-paying citizens unwittingly welcome these corporate environmental terrorists into their communities, only to regret it later when their tax-paying citizens’ lives are devastated by an unlivable environment and their bodies are ravished by terminal diseases.One of the strongest examples we have that this project is being proposed without any thought of the consequences to environmental justice, water quality, prisoners’ rights, endangered species and the lack of assessing alternatives to incarceration, can be found in the [Letcher site] environmental impact statement. That’s where the BOP states they have “determined there is no significant new information relevant to environmental concerns and appreciable changes to potential impact as a result of modifications to the Roxana site.” ( is very clear from that portion of the statement that the BOP has no idea as to what detrimental impact the building of this federal facility on top of a toxic mine site, costing taxpayers $444 million out of the federal budget, will have on both human life and on the environment, for that matter.In light of this revelation, we have to ask, can anyone see the insanity in this? In effect, the BOP doesn’t mind experimenting to gather data in which close to several thousand federal prisoners, federal corrections officers, civilian staff and the rest of the population of the Roxana-site community will be reduced to the status of guinea pigs. In effect — lab rats.In closing, there are two reasons for doing anything: a good reason, [and] then there is the real reason. Is there any economic feasibility to waste the taxpayers’ $444 million on a federal prison that will eventually promote sickness and cancer, causing diseases to both the federal prisoners and civilian staff members alike?Fight the BOP and prevent them from building on a toxic mine site in Roxana. Mutual allegiance is our support system. That is our contract. Protest! Fight, fight, fight!Bryant Arroyo © 2017  Letters can be sent to:Bryant Arroyo #CU-1126, SCI Frackville,1111 Altamont Blvd., Frackville, PA 17931FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Three journalists sentenced to five years, two others acquitted

first_img May 11, 2017 Three journalists sentenced to five years, two others acquitted RSF calls for release of six journalists sentenced to life imprisonment EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses to go further RSF_en News News The court was retrying the so-called “Rabaa operations room” case, in which there were almost 50 defendants.The journalists who received the five-year jail terms are Samhi Mostafa and Abdullah Fakharany of the opposition website Rassd and Amgad TV presenter Mohamed Adly. They were sentenced to life imprisonment (the equivalent to 25 years) at the original trial in April 2015, as were the three journalists who have now been acquitted. There has been no official explanation as to why some have been acquitted and others sentenced this time. “We condemn the presence of journalists in this political mass trial and we call on the justice system to quash the conviction of the three who were sentenced and to release all journalists who are unjustly detained in Egypt,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. The acquitted journalists included Hani Salah Al-Deen, the former news editor of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated TV channel Misr 25 (which the authorities closed in July 2013), and Mossab Al Barbary, the head of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channel Ahrar 25. They were all charged with disseminating false news, inciting violence and chaos, and being part of an “operations room” aimed at orchestrating attacks against the government during demonstrations in Cairo’s Rabaa Adawiya Square in August 2013 in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Those convicted are allowed to appeal. The defendants included other journalists and media professionals but RSF was not able to establish that they were arrested in connection with their media work. Ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, Egypt is one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists. Follow the news on Egyptcenter_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for the release of all journalists who are unjustly detained in Egypt after a court sentenced three journalists to five years in prison on 8 May and acquitted two others. Egypt/Journalists Protesting – KHALED DESOUKI / AFP EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Organisation September 30, 2015 Find out morelast_img read more

MacGill Summer School opens with call for debate on national unity

first_img Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Facebook By News Highland – July 19, 2010 Previous articleGAA – Derry’s Championship Comes To An EndNext articleVisitor facilities and access to be improved at Sliabh Liag News Highland Twitter Google+ LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Pinterest Google+ Pinterest Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week The 30th annual MacGill Summer School was officially opened in Glenties last night by former Taoiseach Dr Garret Fitzgerald, followed by the 10th annual John Hume Lecture, which was delivered by the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.The theme of this year’s school is Reforming the Republic – Issues of Politics, Economics and Accountability.Participants in sessions today include Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin, with several other ministers and senior politicians due in Glenties over the rest of the week.Director Joe Mulholland says the school will be asking serious questions about the state of politics and the economy, but will also be seeking solutions and looking to the future.In his lecture last night, Martin McGuinness said the theme of “Reforming the Republic” cannot be realised by tinkering with the border, and there should be a national debate on Irish unity.He said there should be an end to the duplication of bodies to promote sport, arts, tourism and investment on both sides of the border, and called for the people of Northern Ireland to be allowed to vote in presidential elections in the republic…………[podcast][/podcast]center_img Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH WhatsApp Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson WhatsApp Facebook MacGill Summer School opens with call for debate on national unity Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Newsx Advertslast_img read more

“Public At Large Has Been Callous, Negligent & Irresponsible”: Himachal Pradesh High Court Issues Directions For Govt. To Tackle COVID19

first_imgNews Updates”Public At Large Has Been Callous, Negligent & Irresponsible”: Himachal Pradesh High Court Issues Directions For Govt. To Tackle COVID19 Sparsh Upadhyay4 Dec 2020 5:26 AMShare This – xNoticing the steep surge in COVID-19 cases, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday (03rd December) issued ssveral directions for the State Government to tackle COVID cases in the State.While observing that it is not the Government which is solely responsible for the rise in COVID Cases, the Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua also…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginNoticing the steep surge in COVID-19 cases, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday (03rd December) issued ssveral directions for the State Government to tackle COVID cases in the State.While observing that it is not the Government which is solely responsible for the rise in COVID Cases, the Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua also observed,”The public at large has also exhibited behaviour which is nothing short of being callous, negligent and irresponsible.” Subsequently, on Thursday (03rd December), after due deliberations, the Court issued the following directions for the time being to tackle the steep surge in COVID-19 cases:- [NOTE: The list is not exhaustive. For complete list of directions issued by the HC, please refer to the Order attached with this story.] * The State shall ensure that senior doctors in all the notified COVID hospitals visit the ward on regular basis in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government. * The State is directed to ramp up the testing by adopting the approved measures by associating private Labs or their technicians, or both. * It shall be mandatory for the sample collecting authority to obtain contact number, e-mail id, if any, apart from other details like age, address etc. at the time of taking samples, so that the result of the test can be communicated on e-mail, whatsapp etc. Such report be supplied in a time bound manner and in no event beyond 48 hours, bearing in mind the necessary protocols. * Wide publicity be given in the news, print and social media regarding testing that are to be conducted in walk-in kiosk in all the towns like Shimla, Mandi, Dharamshala, Kullu, Solan, Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur etc. for the collection of samples during the pre-fixed time every day. * A dedicated helpline in all the COVID Hospitals be notified so that the family members, near and dear ones of the COVID patients can get in touch with such patients to know about his/her wellbeing etc. * Such patients, who are willing to afford, be permitted to have trained nursing attendant at their own costs as this would be a long way to reduce the burden on the hospital staff. * It be ensured that wrapping up of the dead body(ies) of those COVID patients, who unfortunately succumb to the disease, under no circumstances is/are carried out/done in the Ward and the body is removed immediately from the Ward. [NOTE: It may be noted that a letter petition has been sent to the Supreme Court, seeking its indulgence to issue directions/ guidelines for a “uniform protocol” to deal with dead bodies in hospitals and mortuaries throughout the country. The representation has been made by former Union Law Minister, Dr. Ashwani Kumar, in the backdrop of ‘heart wrenching’ incident in a UP hospital reported across media, showing a dog nibbling away at the remains of a dead girl dumped on a stretcher in a corridor inside a hospital.] * It be ensured that the toilets are kept in clean and hygenic condition round a clock and a dedicated helpline be provided to the patients, in case, they have any complaint regarding not only the toilets but other facilities. * The State may also consider making COVID test mandatory for the people entering the State from the outside. * The rules regarding the wearing of mask, social distancing and quarantine be strictly enforced by associating not only the local police but also by engaging the employees of the Municipal Corporation, Home Department and local volunteers. It be ensured that no person or family is ostracised by the Society only because the family is COVID positive. [NOTE: the High Court of Orissa, in August 2020 disposed of a PIL filed by Advocate Ananga Kumar Otta against disclosure of personal details/ identities of Covid patients. The bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice S. Pujahari held that the State has to uphold the right to privacy of the patients by preserving their identities. The High Court had cautioned the authorities to ensure that in case they reveal the identity of a Covid patient/ suspect, the same is done in accordance with the law, i.e., it satisfies the ‘Triple test’ as laid down by the Supreme Court in the right to privacy judgment (KS Puttaswamy & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.) Also, the Supreme Court on Thursday (03rd December) reserved judgment in the plea which has challenged the decision of various states Governments to affix posters outside the homes of COVID19 patients who are in isolation. On December 1, top court had observed that the practice of conspicuously affixing posters outside the residence of COVID19 positive patients creates stigma and often leads to a situation where patients may be treated as so called “untouchables”.] * No social or public gathering shall be permitted henceforth without the prior approval of the Magistrate with intimation to the local police station who shall then be duty bound to ensure that such gathering does not exceed the prescribed limit. In addition thereto, it shall also be the duty and responsibility of the office bearers of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and local urban bodies, as the case may be, to ensure that the protocols and procedures including wearing of mask, social distancing, home isolation, public gathering etc. are strictly adhered to. * The general public be educated about COVID19 by hoardings, messages through Radio, T.V., booklets etc. by convincing them that it is a collective fight by the society and no one should violate the regulations, procedures and protocols. * The people should also be educated about the infection of the Corona, its prevention and treatment. xxii. Similar exercise shall be taken by all the Secretaries, State Legal Services Authority at their own level and through the PLV’s etc. * The Director General of Police is directed to depute extra police personnel(s) from the battalion and other places so as to ensure that no one unnecessarily leaves or enter the containment zones. * All those involved in COVID duties irrespective of their rank and files, are restrained from going on strike/dharna and, in case, any one of them have any difficulty, then they are at liberty to approach this Court individually or through the learned Amicus Curiae for redressal thereof, but under no circumstances they would resort to arm twisting by resorting to strike or dharna. * In case, any one of them resort(s) to such mis-adventure, then in addition to any other action, which respondentsState may take including blacklisting the firm(s), terminating the services of such employees, he/they shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished for contempt under the Contempt of Courts Act, for deliberately disobeying the directions of the Court. * Adequate provisions be made for diet, rest etc. for those who have been deputed in connection with COVID-19 duties and if found necessary, assistance of NGOs, Charitable Institutions may be taken. The matter has been posted for further hearing on Thursday (10.12.2020).Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Next Storylast_img read more

Stolen SUV recovered but search for 13-year-old abducted girl continues: Police

first_imgLumberton Police(LUMBERTON, N.C.) — The stolen SUV in which a 13-year-old was kidnapped has been recovered — but the desperate search for the girl continues.Eighth-grader Hania Noleia Aguilar was kidnapped just before 7 a.m. Monday outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, North Carolina, according to Lumberton Police.Hania had grabbed her aunt’s keys that morning so she could go turn on the car before school when a witness saw a man — dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face — approach the girl and force her into the car, police said.The suspect then stole the car and drove away with Hania, police said.Authorities on Wednesday release surveillance footage of the car snapped moments after the kidnapping.The stolen SUV was then found just before 8 a.m. Thursday in Lumberton, police said.As the search for Hania continues, the police department asks anyone who lives or owns a business on or around Quincey Road and has a video surveillance camera system to call the tip line at 910-272-5871.When Hania was abducted, her relative ran to a neighbor for help, and at 6:54 a.m., they dialed 911, the FBI said.“We were going to school,” the caller said frantically, when a “man came and took the girl and the truck.”The caller spoke in Spanish and the dispatcher incorporated a translator into the conversation, the FBI said.There is no indication Hania was targeted, officials said.Hania is described as a Hispanic girl who is 5 feet tall and weighs about 126 pounds, the FBI said. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans.The FBI is offering a reward up to $15,000. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Polarization of radio waves transmitted through Antarctic ice shelves

first_imgThe polarization behaviour of radar waves transmitted through two Antarctic ice shelves has been investigated using a step frequency radar with a centre frequency of 300 MHz and a bandwidth of 150 MHz. One site was on Brunt Ice Shelf at a site near Halley station, and 17 sites were oil George VI Ice Shelf near the southern ice front. Birefringence in the ice dominated the behaviour oil Brunt Ice Shelf, where the anisotropy in the effective permittivity was found to be about 0.14%. On George VI Ice Shelf, a highly anisotropic reflecting surface was the controlling feature, suggesting a fluted ice-shelf base formed by oceanographic currents.last_img

Mouthing off

first_img“We didn’t have any privileges. I remember living on baked beans, eggs and bread if it wasn’t out of date” Food waste shocker! Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole on growing up, but betraying a slavish adherence to use-by dates”A complaint has been made to the police and we will be taking a look at CCTV footage of the incident before we can comment further” Who ate all the pies? The football fans who broke into the catering booth and cleared the shelves at Burnley FC during last week’s fixture with Manchester United. A police spokesman said an investigation was under way, but without apportioning blame, we thought Man U fans only ate prawn sandwiches…?”Just Made (never from a factory). A fresh Pret sandwich doesn’t need a ’use by’ date. We make our food in every Pret kitchen using amazing ingredients. The best, natural stuff you’d want to use at home” Pret A Manger’s on-pack claim for its chicken sandwiches is hauled up by The Daily Mail for using frozen chicken imported 6,000 miles from Brazil and then processed”The chocolate HobNob and custard cream of late night telly” More controversial biscuit-related copy, as late-night political TV presenter Andrew Neil introduces co-hosts Diane Abbott and Michael Portillo with this ill-advised epithet”We gained healthy eating status in 2006 and, as such, we ask you NOT to send in sweets or cakes to celebrate your child’s birthday with their class. This will ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils” Diane John, headteacher of Wood End Primary School in Harpenden, Herts, in a PC letter to parentslast_img read more

Professors get personal about their own career paths

first_imgGap years. Pizza-only diets. Moments of panic.When some Harvard faculty stepped out from behind their lecterns to dine with undergraduates earlier this month, they shared stories about how they navigated early career choices. The professors told tales of professional discovery that were filled with detours and indirect routes — and challenges that made these intellectual role models all the more relatable.“I came close to going to Quantico and joining the FBI,” said David Elmer, a professor in the Classics Department, recalling a period of uncertainty.Elmer who teaches Greek literature, joined Alex Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, and Stephen Osadetz from the English Department on a recent Wednesday evening to headline the latest student-faculty dinner. Hosted by the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Office of Career Services, the dinners are the part of an effort (along with the Arts Café in Barker) to build community in the division. They’ve become popular affairs, drawing more than 550 students to dine with nearly 80 professors since launching three years ago.Robin Mount, director of the Office of Career, Research, and International Opportunities, was on hand to answer a question from junior Cherline Bazile (center). Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“You are a startup. You have to pivot and iterate,” said Robin Mount, director of the Office of Career, Research, and International Opportunities, suggesting to students that they think of their skills through an entrepreneurial lens in order to forge their individual paths.With the breaking of bread comes an informality that allows for honest recounts and lively storytelling. Over the course of many dinners, faculty shared tales of dead-end jobs, undistinguished undergraduate records, and life decisions made for love. At Wednesday’s vegetarian dinner of spinach lasagna and salad, the faculty spoke of indirect paths to success and the struggle to balance personal happiness with financial pressures and external forces. Rehding, who grew up in Hamburg, Germany, had always played piano and trombone, but never aspired to be a professional musician.“You sit in an orchestra pit and count rests,” said Rehding, who teaches the “The Art of Listening,” which is part of the Framework series of classes.The son of a dentist, Rehding recalled that his family thought he might pursue a medical career, and as a conscientious objector to state-mandated military service he instead performed community service as a nurse’s assistant working with seniors.Music professor Alex Rehding said his family thought he might pursue a medical career. “I realized the medical profession was not for me because I couldn’t shut off from the personal suffering,” he said. Rehding offered advice to Jake Tilton ’19 (center) and Jacob Link ’19. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“I realized the medical profession was not for me because I couldn’t shut off from the personal suffering,” he said.He ended up in England, where he thought he’d study Russian, but found his passion for music at the University of Cambridge. Post-Ph.D., he zigzagged between the United States and Europe, ultimately landing at Harvard in 2003.Elmer began at Harvard as a student, but that didn’t keep him free of self-doubt. As a young boy enthralled by the “Indiana Jones” films, he thought he would be an archaeologist. “I was fascinated by secrets of the past,” he remembered.At the Catholic high school he attended in Cleveland, Elmer took Greek and Latin.“I found a love for decoding ancient texts. All the bad stuff — it’s all been lost and forgotten. Every [classic] text we have is really worth reading,” he said.In his freshman year at Harvard, Elmer took his first Latin class, and it was a transformational experience.“The kind of intellectual adventure was completely different. My sights had changed,” he said.He did find himself doubting his direction at times. Recalling taking the GRE, Elmer said he panicked and walked out halfway through the test. That led to a year in Croatia, where he explored the intersecting study of folk music and nationalism. He returned to Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for his Ph.D., never joining the FBI.“What I do as a scholar is detective work of a kind,” he said.Sophomore Sarah Angell said her own follow-your-passion-versus-build-your-resume experience made the professors’ conversations very compelling. Angell spent last summer studying in Avignon, France, while friends worked more traditional business internships.“Because you go to Harvard, you have the opportunity to follow different leads,” she said. “There is huge pressure with what do with your summer.”Sophia Iosue, a sophomore concentrating in comparative literature and government, agreed, saying she was comforted by hearing their life stories.“This was good to give me perspective,” she said. “In light of applications for my summer plans, which is very stressful, it’s good to know professors had such different paths and experienced failures that I feel are imminent.“last_img read more

Opioid crisis shadows rural America

first_imgThe opioid crisis competes with the economy as the most pressing issue in rural America, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Experts met at the Chan School on Friday to assess the poll’s implications and propose solutions in a panel discussion moderated by NPR correspondent Joe Neel.Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis, described the results as both surprising and disturbing.“If you’re in the polling world, you rarely ever hear people say that the biggest problem in their community is a health problem,” he said.But the U.S. opioid crisis is now so widespread that one of every four respondents knew someone who was affected. The data on drug use shows clear overlap with economic problems.“Fifty-five percent of people said that the economy where they lived was fair or poor,” Blendon said. “So these are people looking across the street and not seeing a very hopeful point of view.”Yet there is some optimism, as half of those interviewed said that they believe many problems could be addressed within five years. What citizens are hoping for, Blendon said, are long-term solutions — improved health care, strong public schools, and solid work opportunities.“They want something that really sticks,” he said.Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said that he wasn’t surprised by the findings, as his state loses 14 people a day to drug addiction. “It is a huge problem and in my judgment, it has not been sufficiently recognized as such.”While citing the need for robust treatment programs, Strickland emphasized that the crisis is tied to other issues.“Housing issues, transportation issues, food insecurity problems — all of these are characteristic to rural areas and I think related to the opioid problem.”David Terrell, executive director of the Indiana Communities Institute, agreed.“The opioid crisis is really a symptom of a lot of other deep-seated issues, including the economy,” he said, adding that jobs alone will not solve the problem.“Business attraction in and of itself is not the panacea for communities,” Terrell said. “People want to live in viable communities that have strong physical infrastructure, strong and robust schools.”Katrina Badger, program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, went a step further, pointing to studies that illustrate how the social stability of a community affects its health and economic strength.“We know from research that social connectedness — between families and neighbors, looking out for each other in times of need — really leads to longer lives and better health and well-being.”One positive development, the panel noted, is strong public support for drug treatment, rather than imprisonment — a marked change from attitudes during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.“Minority communities believe that the first epidemic, which impacted them more greatly, got a different response from the president on down,” Blendon said. “But [we learned that] filling prisons didn’t solve the problem.”To make inroads against the opioid crisis, the country needs to implement a comprehensive plan of training, treatment, and education, the panelists agreed. Strickland recalled once picking up a hitchhiker while driving to teach a class; the man turned out to be on his way to treatment for addiction.“He told me he had just gotten out of prison,” Strickland said. “He told me he was alienated from his daughter. He said to me, ‘I wish I had a car because it would be easier to get a job.’ I think about that fellow a lot. I think he illustrates part of the problems that people in rural areas face.”last_img read more