New Member Leah Vriesman (but not a craft talk!)
Five Things You Should Know and Do About Health Care Today
at WVRC on 19 July 2007
CLAWSON BLEAK started us off with the Pledge. LENNY was up next, and he choose Home On The Range, which went well, as always. LEE DUNAYER provided the Invocation, “On this day, Oh Lord, help us” and the list was both long and telling. LEE, good work we all need these reminders (even though some discontent allowed as how we should have been allowed to sit down…)
LENNY brought Sunny, plus their granddaughter, Jordana. There was some repartee about Jordana’s being the bright one of the family, and then LENNY announced that tomorrow will be Sunny’s EIGHTY FIFTH birthday! BOB WESSLING accompanied Judy, and ANN SAMSON was with J.R. Dvuball, who is the Regional Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. We had a Visiting Rotarian, Svetlana Chernobrovina, who belongs to the Rotary Club of Barnaul, (the Capital of Siberia). Flags were exchanged, and this may be the first Rotary Club from Russia whose flag we now have. She will be studying English at UCLA for the next six months, so we all hope to see more of her. Svetlana was accompanied by her friend, Dmitri.
While on the subject of names, here are those who have registered so far for delivery of the Windmill by snail mail: AL BELLANCA, TERRY R. WHITE, ERNIE WOLFE, HARLAN LEWIS, LENNY FRIEDMAN, ED GAULD, MARGIE DOWNIE, GEORGE COX, CLAWSON BLEAK, TONY MARONE, TOM LENEHEN, SLOSS VIAU, JOHN SINGLETON, LEO TSENG, SALLY BRANT and WARREN DODSON. Next week the 26th - is the deadline for notifying me, with everyone NOT on the list getting it by email only. (Of course, you can call anytime, or email me, OK?)
JUDY WESSLING and PP STEVE SCHERER spoke glowingly of the upcoming Auxiliary Fun Party on August 4th. You’ll be transported to a Villa in Tuscany for an Al Fresco Evening. Two delightful young musicians will offer light music and several operatic highlights. You’ll share all this with good food, good wine and good friends at the Villa Scherer - just call MARGIE DOWNIE and she’ll put it on your Rotary tab! Be There, and MAKE THAT CALL!
RALPH BEASOM made his annual presentation of the Scrapbook covering the year of PP MIKE GINTZ. This covers it all and it represents a huge amount of effort by RALPH in drawing together all the photos, printed excerpts, and many diverse pieces that go into an entire Rotary year. He especially thanked AL BELLANCA for his photography. And while we are on this subject, any of you with digital cameras can help him in the future by providing coverage of events away from the Faculty Center just forward them by email. Please keep this in mind henceforth, if you will. But back to today - RALPH, this is an exceptional presentation, and we are all in your debt for providing it.
I came forward to remind everyone of the Election dates for 2008:
- February 5th is the Presidential Primary
- June 3rd is the State Primary, and
- November 4th is the Presidential and General Election.
Helpers are needed at each of these. The number to call for serving as a Poll Worker for LA County is (562) 462-2518, Ask for Tiara, and you’ll be assigned close to home.
The District Literacy Breakfast is set for August 10th at Lawry’s. It starts at 0800, and MARK BLOCK will be going. Call him if you can join him and it’s FREE!
District 5280 has set a very high Literacy Goal for 2007-08. They are asking each club to provide ONE THOUSAND books for the International Convention this next June. These will be part of a Mountain of Books, which will be presented to Rotary International at the Convention itself. Specifically, they are asking for books for K through 3rd grade books, that is, up to Age Nine. So, we have two groups who can help here those of you who still have some of those age-related books, and those of us who are a bit over the hill for the 9 year-olds. But it’s a wonderful goal another Rotary project which can give us great pride and WE CAN DO THIS!
Just think about what this can mean to eager youngsters who don’t yet have these books! It probably averages out to about ten books per WVRC member. C’mon, you SPILL more than that I challenge you to provide a better VALUE for your dollars.
And on the subject of the Convention, our Big Day will be Monday, June 16th.
That is Home Hospitality Evening, and we will gather Visiting Rotarians at the Faculty Center by bus for a special Cocktail Welcome. We’ll then break up for dinners at various members’ homes, returning to the Faculty Center afterward, and busing back to their downtown hotels. ED GAULD is in charge, so please plan on hosting some of our visitors that evening. This is a real opportunity to meet visiting Rotarians, so please plan on opening your home on the 16th of June.
The BRADFORDS have organized a wonderful trip to Branson, Missouri, departing October 12th and it’s almost full right now. Call immediately to see if they can still include you it’s a sure winner!
Retiring President SEEMA PATEL and incoming President KATIA VAISBERG provided a lovely review of what Rotaract has been doing this past year. Their first project was named Ugly Blanket! This was a hands-on activity in which they sewed clothes between two sheets, and then gave the packets to homeless people. Next, they participated, along with WVRC, in the WAPI project, assembling 750 Water Purification Instruments. They bussed down to Tijuana to help build a house with Manhattan Beach Rotary. They participated in the Special Olympics held at UCLA. Project Chicken Soup was with a Jewish Women’s Agency, in which they helped to cook lots of food, and then deliver it to those, countywide, who are HIV positive or have AIDS. They joined District 5280 in raising funds for the Wheelchair Project, contributing enough money to supply almost 100 wheelchairs to children in Costa Rica. (Can’t help but editorialize here) Many of these kids were literally crawling around, and with their new wheels, they can begin a much more normal life. This is truly meeting a need. Their final group activity was visiting an orphanage in Mexico - for them, and for most of us, I suspect it was the first time they had seen what an orphanage looks like. They thanked ANN SAMSON and PP MIKE GINTZ for all their help and continuing support, and as a token of their appreciation, have donated $150 to a Rotary Shoe Project in Thailand. I have to conclude that these college kids are making a difference here. How many of us can say the same? Wow!
KEVIN BADKOUBEHI came forward to introduce our Speaker, LEAH VRIESMAN.
LEAH is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Program in Health Policy Management of the Department of Health Services. She teaches Health Care Marketing, Health System Organization and Financing, plus Integrated Field Seminars. She is also an Assistant Professor at University of Colorado, Denver, teaching Pharmaceutical Marketing Management. She is President of Excel Research LLC, a healthcare management and consulting firm. Dr. Vriesman received her PhD in Health Services Research from UCLA, with prior MHA and MBA degrees from the University of Minnesota.
With such a broad topic, Leah was aided by an excellent power point presentation. Facts on health care security within the next ten years, 1 of every 4 persons in the U.S. will be over age 60. By 2016, payroll taxes will not cover Social Security payments, and both Medicare and SS will become bankrupt between 2019 and 2026. Of course, people over 55 are disproportionate users of health care. What to do? Insure yourself, and separate your family when you apply age is the rating factor. Consider state-guaranteed health insurance, and remember long-term insurance costs less if you buy in when you are younger. Nursing home care averages $3,000 per month.
How safe is your medical treatment? 100,000 lives are lost annually from medical error that’s 275 PER DAY. Only 61% of doctors wash their hands before examining, IF they know someone is watching. If they think no one is watching, numbers go down to 44%.
Medicare beneficiaries comprise 15% of the population, but cause 42% of health care costs. Averages by age: 90% of those over 65 use at least one medication per week. 75% over 65 take about four prescriptions daily. On average, 75-year olds take eight prescription meds daily. Thus the average drug expense for Medicare beneficiaries was four times larger than for the non-Medicare population. ($1,774 vs. $413). Note that preventable adverse drug events among the elderly start at 5% if taking up to 5 meds,10% is you take 10 meds, almost 30% with 15 drugs, and over 50% with 16 to 20 drugs.
What to do? Fist, create a Personal Health Record. Sources include MyMediList.org or myPHR.com or iHealthRecord.org or MyMedicare.gov. Include Five Wishes: 1. Which person decides if you cannot? 2. Kind of treatment you want or don’t want. 3. How comfortable you want to be. 4. How you want people to treat you. And 5. What you want your loved ones to know. AgingwithDignity.org, costs $5.00
What sickness epidemic is most likely? A severe bird flu pandemic would currently result in 30% of U.S. pop (that’s 100 MILLION) getting ill. Current estimates of the fatality rate are 59% - you do the math! What to do? Switch to alcohol gels (not soap and water), tale-commute whenever possible, and prepare as for an earthquake. The second killer could be diabetes and Latinos are twice as likely as whites to come down with it. We probably already know that major causes are obesity (diet choices) and smoking. Take care of blood pressure and cholesterol.
Moving to a related, but widely different question Nanotechnology. What is it? It’s something so small that we can hardly imagine it. The dictionary says, “one thousand millionth (of whatever). When it is the prefix to Technology, use this: In the time it takes to pronounce the word Nanotechnology, your hair just grew ten units and the units (whatever the hell they are called) are so small as to be invisible but it would take a whole bunch of them to form a single cell! So we are dealing with a concept here that is tough to get your mind around (and of course, in my case, I haven’t even got any hair to measure it with!) An example, using cancer treatment. An iron oxide (unit) covered with a nutrient, which causes light, is inserted into the tissue. A large magnet makes the iron vibrate, raises the heat, and kills the tumor. (Please don’t press me on this, OK? I’m only partially quoting Dr. Vriesman). But the point of this “different question” is that Nanotechnology is revolutionary. Try to begin to understand the ethics it has the potential to eliminate other ethical issues. A related question Do we have a duty to help other countries with this technology?
Leah’s very wide-ranging talk (lesson would be a more accurate word) concluded with what we are doing about these questions in California. We have the most uninsured, with 7 million or 19% of our population not covered. Governor Schwartnegger (Use S henceforth) favors an individual mandate the Democrats have no opinion.
Gov. S proposes a 2% tax on MDs and hospital fees, with a 4% payroll tax. The Democrats suggest a 7.5% payroll tax. Gov S wants issue to be guaranteed, while Democrats favor two tiers the healthy to be guaranteed, those at high risk into a pool. I guess the way to look at this last paragraph is to assume that our politicians are getting paid, and thus they must come up with ideas. Let’s stay tuned!