Tag: Health care

Better Know a District: The CO House District 54 race, Soper vs. Slaven-Emond

Where is Colorado House District 54?

Colorado House District 54 is all the dark pink area in this map. It includes Clifton, Fruitvale, DeBeque, the towns of Mesa, Collbran, Fruita, Loma, Mack, Glade Park, Palisade, Whitewater, Gateway, the western side of Delta County and the central part of the town of Delta proper. It’s the “doughnut” around state House District 55.

Republican Matt Soper at the GOP rally in Delta on Saturday, May 16, 2020, where he told numerous lies to the crowd.

The race for Colorado House District 54 is between the incumbent, Matt Soper (R) and AliceMarie Slaven-Emond (D), both of Delta. You can read articles in this blog about Matt Soper at this link.

Matt Soper (R-incumbent)

Soper won the House Representative D-54 office in 2018 under contentious conditions. Published articles reveal that Soper lied to the Secretary of State about where he lived in 2018, listing the address of a rental house his mother owns as his own residence in order to meet the residency requirement to qualify to hold the House District 54 seat. In truth, an unrelated family had lived in the house for years, and after one of the occupants swore in a legal affidavit that Matt Soper did not live in the house with him and his family, Soper had his mother evict the family from the home as retribution for telling the truth publicly about how Soper did not live there.

In new documentary, “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision reveals she was paid to switch sides in the abortion debate


In a new documentary released Friday, May 22, Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe V. Wade, reveals that she was paid by anti-abortion factions to switch her position from supporting to opposing abortion rights for women.

Need an abortion in Grand Junction? Here is information.

If you are pregnant and looking for an abortion in Mesa County, you may find that information about abortion services is very hard to find here. Local obstetrical practices don’t mention abortion on their websites and may not even offer abortion services. The “Pregnancy Center” is one of many fake health clinics that lure women by promising free services, like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and “counseling,” but their real purpose is to shame and guilt women out of getting abortions. The closest provider of safe medical abortions is 90 miles away in Glenwood Springs.

But don’t despair.

Thanks to the internet, there are now options for women to access abortion services no matter where they are.

Grand Junction family doc starts Facebook page to answer questions about COVID-19

Dr. Elvi Whiteford

Dr. Elvi Whiteford of Appleton Clinics has started a Facebook page called “Medical Providers Keeping GJ Educated and Supported,” where people can go to get authoritative answers to questions about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to cope with the pandemic.

Dr. Whiteford is a family medicine doctor who was born and raised in Grand Junction. She got her M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2000 and has practiced here since 2008. She set up the Facebook page as an educational forum where people can get the most accurate, timely and factual medical updates on COVID-19. The page does not seek donations or take requests for care, but rather is just a place to get authoritative, science-based answers to questions and share the most up to date information possible.

Here is an example of the kind of questions Dr. Whiteford is getting, and the answers she is giving:

Rep. Tipton votes to cut Medicaid, CHIP

House Rep. Scott Tipton has voted against financial transparency in government, against protecting citizens’ access to health insurance, against working families and to protect wealthy Americans and keep their taxes low. He’s up for re-election this year.

On February 6, 2020 House Rep. Scott Tipton voted in favor of cutting funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), federal programs that cover poor children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled people with health insurance who could not otherwise afford it.

Tipton voted “no” on House Resolution 826 (HR-826), a measure brought by Democrats that condemned Trump’s cuts to the federal safety net programs that protect Americans who have fallen on hard times.

Taking away health insurance

More than one million children have lost Medicaid and CHIP health insurance coverage under President Trump, and over 750,000 adults have lost Medicaid coverage. Trump’s latest budget calls for even more cuts to Medicaid and the and Affordable Care Act, and it includes deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare, while extending tax cuts for wealthy people, despite his promise he would not touch Social Security or Medicare.

Proposition CC on the state-wide ballot aims to end the failed TABOR experiment

Gold colored counties are all the counties in Colorado that have de-Bruced.

Proposition CC on the November 5 ballot, if enacted, will let state and local governments keep all the revenue they generate through taxes and invest it to improve communities. It would effectively “de-Bruce” the whole state and end what amounts to a failed conservative social experiment.

What is “de-Brucing?”

De-Brucing means ending the effects of the TABOR Amendment, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that effectively created a permanent revenue shortage for the state. TABOR was essentially an experiment in tax limitation that took taxing power away from the legislature and put it exclusively in the hands of voters. Over the decades, it has damaged the state in many ways.

Community Hospital to stay secular, independent

Community Hospital in Grand Junction is a non-religious hospital where the only concern about medical care is what is best for their patients.

Community Hospital issued a press release today announcing it has ended discussions to merge with Centura Health, a religious hospital management company. Community Hospital’s board of trustees has decided to stay secular and independent for now.

Here is the hospital’s statement:

“After thoughtful consideration and thorough due diligence, Centura Health and Community Hospital have agreed to discontinue merger discussions. Although this was a difficult decision and one the Community Hospital Board of Trustees (BOT) did not take lightly, the board has made the decision to remain independent. The board wants to do what is best for the hospital and the community. The entire BOT and leadership team at Community Hospital were impressed with the Centura Health organization and the great work they are doing across the state and region. Likewise, Centura leadership respects the tremendous growth and physician partnerships that have been developed by the team at Community Hospital. Both parties remain open to discussing future partnership opportunities.”

Grand Junction may soon lose its only secular hospital

A previous blog discussed why Mesa County residents should be glad to have an alternative to a Catholic hospital in the valley and why it is so important to people’s health to have a secular hospital option available for medical care. But our valley’s one non-religious hospital option may disappear, and soon.

In October 2018, Community Hospital and Centura Health Network signed a letter of intent to merge. It provided each party with a 120 day-long window to evaluate the deal and decide whether or not to go ahead and finalize it.

Those 120 days are almost up, and a final decision on the merger must be made by February 10th.

FREE Progressive Family Picnic Sept. 1 features gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis

Be a proud if you support forward-looking, consumer-friendly and environment-friendly polices!

Attend a FREE political event to celebrate the increasing power of liberals and progressives on the western slope! Come to the Progressive Family Picnic on Saturday, September 1 at the Watson Island Amphitheater from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The event is 100% free, no admission, open to all. It celebrates workers and families, so pack a picnic, and bring your family! Come enjoy the grassy amphitheater behind the Botanical Gardens beside the Colorado River at the end of 7th Street in downtown Grand Junction. There will be free live music and even parking is free. The event is sponsored by Claudette Konola and Kennedy for Colorado.  Chris Kennedy, who is running for State Senate District 7 against Ray Scott, will be there and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jared Polis will be there to share his bold ideas for the future and meet western slopers in person.

Tell your friends you’ll meet them there! There’s room for 1,000 people!

Tipton Hates Infants

Tipton voted against letting babies get health insurance immediately upon birth, to allow the parents time to prove their baby’s citizenship.

Republican House Representative Scott Tipton, who represents Colorado’s western slope, voted “NO” on a measure to assure that newborn babies are covered with health insurance immediately after birth for up to one year to give parents time to verify their baby’s citizenship status.

Why We Should be Glad To Have an Alternative to a Catholic Hospital in Mesa County

While the above video is a humorous review of the dangers Americans face when using Catholic hospitals, the main points it makes are dead true. Catholic hospitals can endanger patients’ lives because of the many restrictions placed on their medical care by Catholic dogma.

Why Average People Shouldn’t Listen to the Grand Junction Area Chamber

chamberIt’s election time again, and soon the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce will issue it’s “2016 Voter Guide” in an attempt to try and influence how people in Mesa County vote on ballot measures and local elected offices.

If you’re an average, hard-working working citizen in Mesa County, there is only one thing you need to know about the chamber’s voter guide: ignore it.

Why?

Because the chamber doesn’t represent Mesa County’s working population. It exists solely to promote the financial interests of the few Mesa County businesses who pay its dues, and nothing more. What’s more, most businesses oppose measures aimed at helping workers and their families, so the chamber reflexively opposes any ballot measures that would benefit the thousands of workers and residents who spend money locally and really keep this area humming.

Local Woman, Dr. April Goggans, Opens First Solo Concierge Medical Practice in Grand Junction

Dr. April Goggans is the first solo-practitioner to open a concierge medical practice in the Grand Valley

Dr. April Goggans, the first solo medical practitioner to open a concierge practice in the Grand Valley

Doctors in Grand Junction who have gotten frustrated with the modern bureaucracies of health care are adopting an entirely new, less complicated and more satisfying business model that cuts out insurance companies completely and lets them spend generous amounts of time with patients.

It’s called “concierge medicine,” and in this business model, patients pay a single yearly fee to a doctor. In exchange, they get fast access directly to the doctor via phone, secure email, text, 24/7 video chat or in person. At office visits, which can be gotten on short notice, concierge doctors give their patients highly personalized care and spend as much time as necessary to answer every last question their patients may have about their condition. And if later on after the appointment you think of something you forgot to ask, just call, text, or email your doctor and get an answer right away.

The Best Home Health Caregiver in Grand Junction is Available to Help

CaregiverDo you have an elderly parent who needs help around the house cooking, cleaning, shopping and taking medications? Are you struggling to keep a disabled friend in his or her own home? Are you an older person yourself in need of help around the house so you can stay out of a nursing home or institution?

If so, you’re in luck, because the best freelance home health provider in Grand Junction is now available to help.

Sharon Schultz is the freelance home health care giver I hired to take care of my elderly mom full time in 2012. She came highly recommended to me by a friend who employed her for three years to take care of her own mom. I was so lucky Sharon was available just at the time when my Mom started needing extra help. Sharon was Mom’s caregiver and companion for three years, until she died last June 10. Sharon is truly the best caregiver you could ever find, and we were endlessly impressed with her.

Sharon is a skilled and patient memory care specialist who worked for many years in institutional settings locally, but who wanted to provide better care to her charges than she was able to do in an institution. The best way she could do that, she found, was to work on a freelance basis, so that is what she does.

Statement from the CMU BSN Nursing Class of 2015

Colorado Mesa University’s 2015 Bachelor of Science in Nursing class graduating students have issued the following statement about today’s resolution of the Gideon Bible giveaway controversy that has taken place over the last several weeks:

 

November 18, 2015

To whom it may concern;

We, the Colorado Mesa University BSN class of December 2015, have collectively reached a resolution regarding the recent events surrounding our pinning ceremony. We respectfully request that any interested parties cease any further action and involvement. We ask that you allow us to celebrate our accomplishments amongst family and friends without controversy. Thank you.

Sincerely, BSN Class of December 2015

Congratulations to all the graduates on your wonderful accomplishments. You will no doubt do great things in the world!

CMU to Force Christian Bibles on RN/BSN Grads; Nursing Students Fight it

A box of Bibles from Gideons International

A box of Bibles from Gideons International

Students about to graduate from Colorado Mesa University’s RN/BSN nursing program are fighting a school-sponsored plan to hand out Gideon Bibles to nursing graduates after they step down from the dais at their pinning ceremony. The December 11 pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of newly-graduated nurses into the nursing profession, and is the nursing students’ official, school-sponsored graduation ceremony.

Students Given No Choice

RN/BSN Nursing program administrators let students vote on many details of their own graduation ceremony, like the location and photographer, but made it clear to students that the Bible give-away was a non-negotiable part of the ceremony.

The Bibles are to be distributed by a local volunteer for Gideons International, a Christian evangelical organization that works to convert people to Christianity. According to their website, Gideons International is “dedicated to telling people about Jesus through sharing personally and by providing Bibles and New Testaments.” The Gideons are primarily known for putting Bibles in hotel and motel night stands, but they also distribute Bibles to elementary schools starting in the 5th grade, and to colleges, prisons, jails, hospitals and medical offices.

CMU nursing students who aren’t Christian and some who aren’t religious were appalled that they would be forced to either accept or reject a Christian Bible in front of the entire audience at their graduation ceremony. The students protested the Bible give-away to CMU president Tim Foster, but nursing program faculty attempted to ridicule the complaint and told students it is simply “what we do,” and they should just accept the Bible as a gift.

christianNurseThe disaffected students then contacted Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), a group that advocates for the separation of church and state. WCAF wrote a letter (pdf) to CMU President Foster and Diana Bailey, the head of CMU’s RN/BSN program, on the students’ behalf explaining that many students in CMU’s 2015 nursing class who aren’t Christians find the Bible give-away offensive and improper.  Under the law, WCAF said, the Gideons can give away Bibles, but only if they stand on city-owned sidewalk, well off school property, while they do it.

CMU Focuses Exclusively on Christianity

“It’s a blatant disregard of other peoples’ religion,” said one student, who wished to remain anonymous, to WCAF members. Another student wondered why just one religion would be represented at the ceremony. To be fair, the students said, CMU needs to distribute texts from other religions as well, like Books of Mormon, Korans and Talmuds.

The students have a point.

Public schools can’t do anything that gives the appearance of endorsing a single religion.

The Supreme Court, ruling (pdf) in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe (June 19, 2000), explained that,

“[S]chool sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents ‘that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’”

Publicly-funded institutions like CMU have to stay neutral in matters of religion, and cannot do anything a reasonable person might construe as an endorsement of a particular religion.

And that’s exactly how the nursing students see the Bible give-away: as an improper endorsement of one and only one religion: Christianity.

The nursing students have three main goals:

  1. They want to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution and the potential for compromising their future careers locally,
  2. They want their entire class to be able to vote on the Bible give-away, and if a majority of the class approves of it, the students want other religious texts, as well as information on atheism, to be included in the give-away.
  3. The want CMU to acknowledge that the Bible give-away violates the law, and they want to keep future nursing classes from having to grapple with this same issue over again in future years.
CMU President Tim Foster

CMU President Tim Foster

One thing that’s working in the nurses’ favor is Gideons’ own internal policy governing the distribution of Bibles in schools. Gideon International’s Form 115 policy on school scripture distribution (in Section 4-1, under “Reaching the Hearts of our Young People”) says,

“If any method of distribution [at a school] has the potential to create media publicity, the distribution must be cancelled or postponed.”

If CMU refuses to work with the nursing students to change or eliminate the Bible give-away, WCAF has vowed to contact the local media, protest at the pinning ceremony and, if necessary, contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for legal help fighting it.

If You Want to Die Peacefully at Home, You Need to Know This

First page of Colorado's 2015 MOST form

First page of Colorado’s 2015 MOST form

If you want to avoid extensive hospital treatment or heroic measures being used on you towards the end of your life, it’s much harder than you think. It’s far more difficult than you’d ever realized these days to die a peaceful, natural death in your own home, if that’s the way you want your life to end.

These days many people don’t relish the idea of having their death drawn out in a hospital, hooked up to life support machines. If you are one of those people, you can complete an advanced directive and a will, put all your assets in a trust, and even verbally tell your closest family members that you don’t want any more hospitalizations. But that’s not enough.

Chances are very high that unless you do ONE more thing, you’ll still end up in a hospital getting a host of unwanted procedures or mechanical life support at the end of your life.

If near the end of your life you do not want to go to the hospital under any circumstances, and you want to let a natural process take your life, your family members or caregivers risk charges of medical neglect or abuse if they abide by your wishes. This is the case even if you have put all the above due-diligence documents in place. It’s extremely hard for relatives who love you to watch you get weaker and sicker and not do anything to help you. Caregivers fear lawsuits for neglect not giving every last possible measure of care in what they perceive as a desperate time of need. Some paid caregivers may be a different religion that you, and believe it is impermissible for you to determine the time and place of your own death.

These and many other conflicts can abound at the end of your life.

To protect close relatives and caregivers looking after you from a legal onslaught and assure you get the kind of care you really want at the end of your life, there is one more thing you must do: fill out a M.O.S.T. form.

What is a MOST form?

M.O.S.T. stands for Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment.  Most people have never heard of this form, but it in recent years it has become the key to self-determination at the end of your life.

The MOST form is relatively new. Colorado implemented its MOST form only about five years ago, and recently revised it. Every U.S. state now has its own version of a MOST form. In some states they are called a Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment or a POLST form.

The MOST form is a very specific medico-legal instrument that summarizes and documents your personal preferences for a number of common life-sustaining treatments, including things like CPR, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation. You can choose the extent to which you want these treatments to be used to save or prolong your life, under what circumstances and for how long. The form is usually printed on bright green paper, for quick location and recognition in medical files.

MOST forms assure you the ability to exert more control over your medical care

Individuals may use the MOST form to refuse treatments selectively, request full treatment under certain circumstances, or specify certain treatments they do not want. Any section of the form that is not completed implies full treatment is desired. Filling out a MOST form assures that not only will you get the specific care you want at the end of your life, but it will protect those who are responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf from legal charges of abuse or neglect if they abide by your wishes. Such charges can be brought by relatives who don’t agree with the kind of death you want for yourself, or by law enforcement.

The MOST form is used in conjunction with other legal instruments, like advanced directives and living wills. You must complete the MOST form while you still have your mental capacity. You and your doctor both sign the completed form. Everyone who could even be tangentially involved in your care towards the end of your life should get a copy of your completed MOST form. Make sure to give a copy to whomever has your medical power of attorney, too. Give copies to all of your children, even ones who live elsewhere and visit rarely, and even the crazy ones. Give them to your close friends, too.

The MOST form must be honored in any setting, including at home.

This relatively new form is the key to being able to have the kind of death you want, especially if your choice involves refusing invasive, life-sustaining treatments.

You can view Colorado’s MOST form here (pdf).

For more information on the MOST form, to see one, download a free copy or get answers to frequently asked questions about the form, go to the Colorado Advanced Directives Consortium, or talk to your doctor or your attorney.

Man Paralyzed by Spinal Cord Injury Walks Again After Groundbreaking Surgery

A British man paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack two years ago has regained the ability to walk after an experimental treatment in which doctors transplanted cells from one of his olfactory bulbs into his spinal cord.

Olfactory sheathing cells (OEC) and enable the sense of smell. Since olfactory cells, which part of the nervous system, are constantly being damaged and replaced, the olfactory system is the only nervous system in the body that constantly regenerates itself throughout life. Doctors harnessed this regenerative ability to help the man regain his ability to walk.

Surgeons performed two separate operations. First, they removed one of the patient’s two olfactory bulbs and used it to grow more olfactory ensheathing cells in a culture. After two weeks, they transplanted some of the new OECs into the man’s spinal cord. They then made about 100 micro-injections of OECs just above and below the damaged area of his spine. In a second surgery, doctors took four small strips of nerve tissue from the man’s ankle and placed them across the gap in his spinal cord. The graft provided a bridge across the gap in the spinal cord for the OEC regrowth to follow.

Prior to the operation, the patient had undergone intensive physiotherapy for two years but made no progress towards getting his leg function back. But three months after the experimental surgery, he noticed more muscle growth in this left thigh. Six months after the operation, he took several steps on his own between parallel bars, with help from a physical therapist and supported by leg braces. He has also gotten back some of his bladder and bowel sensations and sexual function.

Using the man’s own cells eliminated the possibility his body would reject the transplanted cells. MRIs done on the patient’s spine indicate the gap in his spinal cord has closed since the treatment.

The landmark research that led to the successful operation was supported by the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF) and the UK Stem Cell Foundation. None of the researchers or institutions involved in the pioneering research want to profit from it, and NSIF says it would acquire any patents that might come out of the research so they can make the surgery technique freely available to all who need it.

Until this groundbreaking surgery yielded these results, spinal cord regeneration was thought to be impossible.

Source: Paralysed man walks again after cell transplant, BBC.com Health News, October 20, 2013