11 4 / 2014

IMG_1897 - Version 2What does Obamacare/ACA means to me in terms of my personal health care now that the 2014 roll-out is officially in place?

I have the same job-based health insurance through the same health insurance company that I’ve had for the past two decades. I’m sure that they have continued to raise my deductibles and co-pays this year as they have in most years, but, truthfully, I have ceased to pay much…

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03 4 / 2014

What Do You Think of Obamacare?

DSC01678Besides having a severe case of jet-lag and change-of-hemisphere-lag upon returning to Seattle from New Zealand, one of the more disorienting re-entry issues I’ve encountered this week has to do with our health care system.

While in New Zealand for three months, one of the top questions I was continually asked (right after ‘How do you like New Zealand?’ Answer: ‘I love everything about it except…

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25 3 / 2014

The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

In case you haven’t run across this journal before, I encourage you to check out The…

The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

In case you haven’t run across this journal before, I encourage you to check out The…

12 3 / 2014

Cultural Safety: A Wee Way To Go

DSC01879 - Version 2DSC01418This week I had the good fortune of meeting with Denise Wilson, RN, PhD, a Maori New Zealand nurse and Director of the Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at AUT School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies here in Auckland. She talked about her work with cultural safety in New Zealand.

Like many indigenous peoples across the world–including our own in North America–Maori cultural…

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08 3 / 2014

Green Beyond Death

This is a shout-out to the work of a former nursing student of mine, Hunter Marshall. He is now a hospice nurse, as well as an environmental and death with dignity advocate, community activist—and a  talented writer!

Green Beyond Death

This is a shout-out to the work of a former nursing student of mine, Hunter Marshall. He is now a hospice nurse, as well as an environmental and death with dignity advocate, community activist—and a  talented writer!

02 3 / 2014

Misogyny In Sheep’s Clothing (with a G-String)

DSC01009I preface this by saying: I know the Biblical quote that it’s easier to see the speck in another person’s eye than to see the plank in your own. In the U.S. we have a lot of work to do in terms of overcoming misogyny in all it’s ugly forms (including commercial sex trade/exploitation or perhaps even all the books by Philip Roth? ). We have a very large plank, especially in places like Nevada.

But…

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26 2 / 2014

Disaster Preparedness: Lions and Tigers and Zombies and Earthquakes, Oh My!

DSC01509There are many things to worry about in this world. For instance, right now in my hometown of Seattle, the Alaskan Way Viaductis sagging a bit due to the large-scale drilling going on in the downtown area. The Alaskan Way Viaduct is built on ‘reclaimed land’ from Puget Sound that would most likely turn to liquefaction in our next earthquake (similar to what happened in the Christchurch…

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24 2 / 2014

The Greening of Hospitals

1981Sustainable health care has the triple aim of maximizing benefits (and minimizing or mitigating costs) in environmental, economic, and social realms.

According to a 2012 Commonwealth Fund study “Can Sustainable Hospitals Bend the Health Care Cost Curve?” (S. Kaplan, et al.), U.S. health systems (especially hospitals) leave costly environmental footprints. In this report, the authors cite…

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22 2 / 2014

Go Green: Eat Kangaroo

1248780160462267515Kangaroo_Warning_Sign.svg.medThis week I attended University of Otago’s Public Health Summer School course, “Responding to Climate Change: Sustaining Health and Wellbeing” here in Wellington, New Zealand. It was a bit too much ‘death from PowerPoint’ and backside-numbing sitting, but did have its lighter–and more enlightening moments. Climate change, and environmental degradation in general, are the biggest global public…

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19 2 / 2014

Our Carbon Footprint

eco_green_carbon_print_iconThe irony is not lost on me that I am currently teaching an environmental and community health study abroad program in New Zealand while leaving a large carbon footprint. I am even participating in Doom Tourism by driving the students across the Southern Alps to view the Franz Joseph Glacier before global warming melts it away.

In order to depress (and enlighten) myself further, I calculated our…

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