The Rubin Museum of Art focuses on “the ideas, culture and art of the Himalayan Asia.” It is a fascinating museum with a permanent collection that moves visitors to think about health and spirituality, community, and ways of living and being. It also has rotating exhibits, such as an exciting one that will begin on March 15th on Tibetan Medicine–Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine. The museum has planned lots of events and activities both within the museum and in the broader community. Here is one example that I just learned about through an email from the Museum:
The Rubin Museum is hosting a special course, Nutritional Health and Happiness, taking place on Wednesdays, April 9-30 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. In the Tibetan tradition foods, herbs, and spices have powerful effects on physical and mental well-being. This four-part course explores the nutritional wisdom of the Himalayan region and teaches how to incorporate such knowledge into your own life. The Rubin Museum’s Tashi Chodron, together with Tibetan physician Dr. Dawa Ridak, Café Serai chef Ali Loukzada, and chef and cookbook author Sandra Garson, will lead hands-on demonstrations, lively discussions, and focused visits to the exhibition Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine. The course will conclude with a celebratory sampling of delicious dishes created by chefs Loukzada, Garson, and Chodron.
The School of Nursing at Hunter College has been working with the Museum to bring faculty and students to the exhibit. One of my Hunter nurse colleagues, Denise Murphy, is a docent at the Museum and has been trained in Visual Thinking Strategies to develop learners’ observational and critical thinking skills. The Museum’s staff are quite eager and helpful in arranging group visits.
I can’t wait to go.
Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing
The continued rancor about Obamacare among some interest groups could provide an opportunity to improve a landmark law through subsequent lawmaking that refines elements that aren’t working as well as expected. Even people who are diehard supporters of Obamacare recognize that it doesn’t cover all people in the U.S. and that it falls short on things like negotiated pricing of pharmaceuticals. But analyzing the successes and shortcomings of existing laws requires unbiased data and whole truths.
When Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, she spoke about a woman from her state of Washington who reported that her insurance premium increased by $700 a month under Obamacare. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes today that this is misleading, at best. He links to a report by The Spokesman-Review, a local paper in the state of Washington, that interviewed Ms. Rodgers and discovered that she did not use the state health insurance exchange, even though it would have provided her with less expensive coverage. “I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” she is quoted as saying. In addition, her prior plan was a catastrophic coverage plan with a low premium and $10,000 deductible. Her current insurance coverage is more comprehensive and must include free well women care–one of the important elements of the Affordable Care Act.
The Republicans have finally put forth an alternative to Obamacare. The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (or Patient CARE) Act would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a plan that would increase access to affordable, high quality care “by empowering individuals and their families to make their own health care decisions, rather than empowering the government to make those decisions for them.” In reality, it reduces the ACA’s restrictions on insurance companies being able to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions, allows states to opt out of requiring insurers to cover dependents up to 26 years of age, eliminates the individual mandate for insurance coverage (something that economists and others have argued is essential to reduce the overall cost of insurance by having the pool of ‘covered lives’ include healthy people who are low-end users of health care), changes Medicaid into a capped state allotment and have block grant programs for special populations (such as pregnant women and low income families), and other elements.
Are any of these ideas worth considering? Many are incompatible with the ACA, but the proposal may include some measures worth exploring. Unfortunately, when there is no space for honest, factual conversations about refining the law, the alternative to Obamacare can easily be viewed as a ruse to continue to oppose the most significant single piece of legislation in decades. The opposition would have more credibility if they insisted on using data and anecdotes that are true and undistorted.
Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing
Jeannette Crenshaw with co-author Elizabeth Winslow
This week on Healthstyles, I'm rebroadcasting an important interview that I did with Dr. Jeannette Crenshaw, RN, DNP, two years ago about what the evidence suggests is appropriate for pre-operative fasting--what should you not eat or drink and for how long before surgery. Unfortunately, little attention is paid to this topic. Most people are told to fast for much longer periods of time than is necessary, and this can lead to dehydration and other adverse effects. Tune in tonight on WBAI (www.wbai.org; 99.5 FM), or click here to listen anytime: Crenshaw
Diana J. Mason,PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing
Tonight’s Healthstyles program is a rebroadcast of an important interview with CHMP National Advisory Council member, Rosemary Gibson, about her book, Medicare Meltdown.
Medicare is an entitlement program for older adults and people who are significantly disabled. But, over the years, it has also become an entitlement program for hospitals, device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and other entities that have become dependent upon the largess of Medicare–to the detriment of the people the program is to serve and the nation, as Medicare spending continues to rise. This is the premise of the new book, Medicare Meltdown: How Wall Street and Washington Are Ruining Medicare and How to Fix It, by authors Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh. Tonight on Healthstyles on WBAI (99.5 FM; http://www.wbai.org) producer and moderator Diana Mason, RN, interviews Gibson about this other aspect of Medicare ‘entitlements’, its impact on the health of beneficiaries and the cost of the program, and what can be done to reverse this course. To listen to the program, click here:
Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy and Hunter College, City University of New York.
Few people think of Medicare as a key policy for reducing discrimination in the United States. Preceded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Medicare’s passage in 1965 was key to the desegregation of hospitals, including in the South. Barbara Berney, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health at Hunter College and the CUNY School of Public Health discusses the connections between these two landmark laws with Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, producer and moderator of Healthstyles on WBAI-FM NYC (www.wbai.org; 99.5FM). The program airs tonight on WBAI at 11:00 PM, or you can listen to it here: