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Posts from the ‘Diana Mason’ Category

What’s Your “Healthy Nurse” Score?

This post is by Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Hunter College Rudin Professor of Nursing, President of the American Academy of Nursing, and one of the founders of CHMP. Diana tweets @djmasonrn.

Photo credit: JE Theriot, Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo credit: JE Theriot, Flickr Creative Commons.

How healthy are you, and how healthy is your workplace? I recently took a survey to find out about my health status, and was disappointed in the score I got. It immediately motivated me to make a stronger commitment to living a healthier life (e.g., less food, more walking), and got me thinking about my work health.

Nurses are notorious for living life on the edge: high rates of smoking, obesity, lack of exercise (except for walking miles on hospital units) too-often match our rates of reported emotional distress from unhealthy work environments.  The survey I took was actually geared around this very premise; American Nurses Association(ANA) has collaborated with Pfizer on the Healthy Nurse initiative that seeks to raise nurses’ awareness of their level of health and factors that could be addressed to become models of health.

The survey is also designed to pursue resources that can help nurses to change their health lifestyle behaviors, along with the health of their workplaces, to do a better job of developing policies and practices that can promote the overall health of nurses. In some cases, this initiative may require public policies, such as those that prohibit smoking or hospitals refraining from offering concessions to fast food chains that have unhealthy food choices.

The initiative is actually a global one. The survey I took on nurses’ personal and workplace health was developed by Pfizer ,and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as part of a global program focused on nurses’ health. The international survey – Know Your Wellness; Grow Your Wellness – can be found at

Pfizer and ICN hope to present preliminary results at the ICN Conference in Korea in June, and on the ICN website. Results will also shape the Grow Your Wellness “Healthy Nurse” campaign, including policy recommendations for addressing health in the nursing workplace and strategies for strengthening personal health.

It only takes five minutes to complete the survey — consider it an International Nurses Day gift toward a healthier future for you, and your fellow nurses around the world.

What’s your score?

Healthstyles: Integrative Health Care, and Medicare and the Civil Rights Act

gahmj.2015.4.issue-2.coverGlobal Advances in Health and Medicine is a relatively new publication that focuses on improving health and wellbeing worldwide. Its focus on integrative health care (the blending of mainstream, complementary and alternative approaches to health care) includes original research, case studies, commentaries, and narratives by lay people with views on health and health care. Tonight, Healthstyles producer and Moderator Diana Mason, PhD, RN, interviews the journal’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN. about the journal, integrative health care, and the concept of wellbeing. You can listen to the interview here:


segregated hospitalsOn the second half of Healthstyles, our attention turns to the 50th anniversary of Medicare. 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. You can listen to this encore Healthstyles interview here:

So tune in today, April  30, 2015, to Healthstyles on WBAI-FM NYC (; 99.5FM).

Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.

Healthstyles: Poverty, Incarceration, and Health

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Children of parents who are incarcerated or have other experience with the criminal justice system are at high risk for following in their footsteps. They are also at risk for physical and mental health problems, some of which are associated with toxic stress in childhood. Instead of a “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality of some of the public, there is a growing consensus among some advocates for reforming the criminal justice system that alternatives to prison can provide better support for the parents and their children and lead to healthier lives for both. On Thursday, April 23, Healthstyles producer and moderator Diana Mason talks with one such advocate. Lorie Goshin, RN, PhD, is a nurse researcher and assistant professor of nursing at Hunter College who has been studying alternatives to incarceration and drug treatment programs, and their impact on mothers and their children. She talks about her research, the alternatives to incarceration and related issues. You can listen to the interview here:

The second half of Healthstyles launches a series of programs on the impact of poverty on health. The series is being developed by Richard Dorritie, RN, BSN, a graduate student in public health nursing at Hunter College. He shares his own story that got him interested in this topic and the relevance of a public discussion of how poverty affects health and costs society so much in human and financial terms. He also invites listeners to complete a brief online survey about their own experiences with being poor and how it affected their wellbeing. You can take the survey by clicking here:

Richard is also blogging for HealthCetera on this topic. His first blog focused on an overview of why the series is important. To listen to Diana Mason’s interview of Richard Dorritie, click here:

So tune in to Healthstyles, on WBAI-FM, 99.5 FMn in New York City or at, on Thursday, April 23rd at 1:00.

Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.



Marijuana Policy

I recently wrote about the Institute of Medicine’s report on Dying in America for the JAMA News Forum. A colleague who read the post pointed me to a PSA that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) subsequently published on having the conversation with family and friends about our end-of-life wishes. At the time, the my computer was not cooperating, so I remembered yesterday that I still needed to view it. I went to the website and found the video. Here is the link: It’s Time to Have the ConversationIt’s quite good and should be shared widely.

But it was the video that automatically popped up after the PSA ended that I found especially intriguing. It was a half-hour IOM video on marijuana policy in the U.S. that provides historical and contemporary views. It’s a fascinating account of how we got to criminalizing marijuana–to the tune of billions of dollars in enforcement costs and untold human costs, particularly for those who were sent to prison for smoking a joint. In one image, the video shows the huge death toll from smoking tobacco and using alcohol, compared with zero deaths from marijuana. The “zero deaths” led me to want more detail on how the deaths for each were calculated, since I imagine that marijuana could be a factor in, for example, a deadly car accident when the driver is a first-time marijuana user. (Years ago, I read a study about the impact of marijuana on driving. It concluded that the danger was in first-time users and that experienced users actually were more cautious in their driving.) However, the video is important because of its straightforward, evidence based presentation and because it’s by the IOM.

The video should be used as a teaching tool for students of policymaking and those who want to understand how the U.S. developed a war on a drug that is probably safer than many of the medications that one can obtain with a prescription (and some that are available over the counter–too many aspirins or tylenol can kill you).

I applaud the IOM for moving beyond what the evidence says on topics and trying to improve how the major messages are disseminated and acted upon. That said, I’m waiting for a member of Congress to discover this video and call for defunding the IOM. Evidence doesn’t seem to matter much in the halls of Congress. Maybe they should smoke a joint.

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing

Heatlhstyles: Security Breaches in Health Information and the Consumer Voices on Advisory Panels

PrivacyMany of us trust that our insurance companies or hospital or health care providers keep our information confidential. But that trust has repeatedly been broken. In February, ProPublica published a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Ornstein about this situation, noting that since October 2009, health care providers and organizations (including third parties that do business with them) had reported more than 1,140 large breaches of data security, affecting close to 41 million people. On April 2nd, Healthstyles begins with producer and moderator Diana Mason interviewing Ornstein about the confidentiality of our health care information. Ornstein will be continuing his investigation of breaches of health care information and their impact on the organizations and on people’s lives. Those who would like to share their stories of experiences with breaches of their health care information with Ornstein can go to the Patient Privacy page of ProPublica.  (Disclosure: Charles Ornstein is a member of the National Advisory Council for the Center for HealthMedia& Policy at Hunter College that sponsors Healthstyles.) You can listen to the interview by clicking here:

A number of advisory panels, including some for the Food and Drug Administration and the Cochrane Collaboration that conducts systematic reviews of the evidence on various health care practices, include what are called consumer representatives. Most times, these are representatives of consumer advocacy organizations who are vastly outnumbered by health professionals and industry representatives on the panels. In fact, the consumer representatives may find that they are the lone dissenting voice on a recommendation put forth by a panel. Nonetheless, they are an important and essential voice that can serve as the conscience of a panel, demanding accountability for whose interests are being advanced in a particular discussion or recommendation. On the second part of Healthstyles, Diana Mason interviews  Maryann Napoli, deputy director of the Center for Medical Consumers, about her experiences as a consumer representative on federal and other advisory panels. You can listen to this interview here:

So tune in on Thursday, April 2nd, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York City (streaming online at

Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.


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