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Tag Archive: public health


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As Many As 200 Sickened In Seattle Tower Norovirus Outbreak

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

12/08/2015 05:18 pm ET

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE (AP) — As many as 200 people have gotten sick in a norovirus outbreak at a downtown Seattle office building, health officials reported Monday.

Illness at the Russell Investments Center grew exponentially after a catered event in the building, but several cases were reported before the event last Tuesday, according to Public Health-Seattle & King County, which is still investigating the outbreak that began last week.

Between 175 and 200 cases have been reported to the health department either independently or through a survey of people who went to the catered event in the building.

“We anticipate that number is probably low,” said Dr. Meagan Kay, medical epidemiologist for communicable diseases with the Seattle and King County Public Health Department.

Two people spent one night in a hospital because of norovirus, and another eight people were treated in emergency rooms during the past week.

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Published: Tuesday 8 December 2015 at 3am PST

Homebound seniors who have home-delivered meals report significantly less loneliness than those who do not, according to a study published in Journals of Gerontology, Series B.
Senior man receives home delivered meal from female visitor
There was a significant reduction in self-reported feelings of loneliness among homebound seniors who had home-delivered meals, compared with those who did not.
Image credit: Michael Cohea/Brown University

The pressure to cut costs brings with it the possibility of overlooking the less tangible benefits when seeking alternative models in the provision of a public service.

Nutrition service providers are no exception, and the new study – conducted as a randomized, controlled trial – shows that home-delivered meals do more than nourish physical well-being; they also have a positive emotional effect in the lives of older people who are stuck at home.

It appears that the regular knock on the door, with the opportunity to exchange some friendly words with the person delivering the meal, goes a long way to reducing feelings of loneliness in older people in need.

Lead author Kali Thomas, assistant professor (research) of health services, policy and practice at Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, RI, says:

“This continues to build the body of evidence that home-delivered meals provide more than nutrition and food security.”

Prof. Thomas, a former volunteer for Meals on Wheels, believes the study is one of only a few that has rigorously examined the long-presumed psychological benefits of home-delivered meal service. It is certainly the first randomized, controlled trial to measure the effect on loneliness, she notes.

Many participants socially isolated

The trial participants were 626 older adults from eight American cities who were on waiting lists to receive Meals on Wheels. They were randomly assigned to three groups.

In one group, the participants received a daily fresh meal, in another they received a weekly delivery of frozen meals, and in the third group they remained on the waiting list – this was the control group.

The trial ran for 15 weeks. All participants were interviewed at the start and end of the period.

 

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The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is investigating a gastrointestinal illness outbreak associated with the Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill and Bar in Holland Township, Michigan, according to WWMT.com. The restaurant closed voluntarily on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 after a number of customers reported becoming ill.

Hibachi

More than 100 cases are associated with the restaurant. Public health officials are investigating, and waiting for lab results to pinpoint what is causing the illness and if a particular food is responsible. Symptoms reported included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever.

 

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Cruise virus outbreak one of worst in 20 years, CDC says

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Bayonne, NJ (John Makely / NBC News)</p><br />
<p>The Explorer of the Seas cruise ship returns to port after hundreds of passengers b...
John Makely / NBC News
The Explorer of the Seas outbreak was caused by norovirus, one of the worst outbreaks in 20 years, the CDC said.The Explorer of the Seas cruise ship returns to port after hundreds of passengers became ill.

Federal health officials confirmed on Friday that norovirus was the culprit that sickened nearly 700 people on a cruise ship this week, and said it was one of the biggest norovirus outbreaks in 20 years.

But the source of the outbreak on the Royal Caribbean ship Explorer of the Seas, which returned early to New Jersey on Wednesday, may never be known, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“CDC has been investigating the outbreak since last Sunday but no particular source has been identified and it’s quite possible a source won’t be identified,” the CDC said in a statement.

The report comes after passengers streamed off the Caribbean Princess Friday morning, the second cruise cut short this week amid reports of illness on board.

The ship, operated by Princess Cruises, returned to Houston a day early with a confirmed outbreak of norovirus. “The ship was forced to return to Houston one day early because we were informed that dense fog was expected to close the port for much of the weekend,” the company said in a statement.

“The ship did not return early because of the increased incidence of norovirus on board, despite some media reports.”

At least 178 people on board became ill during the cruise, according to the cruise line and the CDC. Sick patients were quarantined to their rooms, and other passengers said they no longer had access to buffet tongs as crew members handed out hand sanitizer.

A man passes the Caribbean Princess cruise ship being used as official accommodation for attendees of the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet...

Toby Melville / Reuters / REUTERS
A man passes the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, which reported an outbreak of norovirus on board.

CDC health officials met the Caribbean Princess at the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena, Texas. The vessel launched on a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean on Jan. 25 and had been scheduled to return on Saturday.

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Earth Watch Report

File:Symptoms of Meningitis.svg

Image Source  :  Wikimeda . Org

Main symptoms of Meningitis. References are found in main article: Wikipedia:Meningitis#Signs_and_symptoms). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams

Author Mikael Häggström

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Biological Hazard USA State of California, Santa Barbara [UCSB] Damage level
Details

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Biological Hazard in USA on Friday, 22 November, 2013 at 04:23 (04:23 AM) UTC.

 

Description
Santa Barbara County public health officials announced Thursday that a third case of meningococcal disease has been confirmed at UC Santa Barbara – thus meeting the definition of an outbreak. The health department announced earlier this week that two students were receiving treatment for the disease, a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infections and meningitis. The third case to develop in the span of one week was confirmed Thursday morning at a press conference held in downtown Santa Barbara where public health, UCSB and other local health providers updated the media. The first case is a male student who became ill on Nov. 11, and the second is also a male student who became ill on Nov. 13. The third and most recent case is a female student who became ill on Monday, according to the Public Health Department. Two of those students live on campus. UCSB officials say that the second student to be diagnosed has recovered and is attending classes again, while the third student has almost fully recovered. The Public Health Department is conducting blood tests on other potential cases and will provide updated case counts as they are confirmed, according to Dr. Charity Thoman, deputy health officer for public health. University and public health officials are investigating the cases and have taken preventive measures, including prescribing antibiotics, for more than 300 students considered “close contacts” with the ill students. How the students may have contracted the disease is unknown, but Thoman said “there was some contact between cases.” College-age people, especially first-year students living in residence halls, are at increased risk of meningococcal disease. Those considered close contacts include people exposed to the ill person’s respiratory and throat secretions through living in close quarters, kissing or other prolonged close contact. There is no vaccine for the type of strain found in the students, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved a vaccine in the country.
Biohazard name: Meningitis (bacterial)
Biohazard level: 3/4 Hight
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

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LA Times Local

Third meningitis case confirmed among students at UC Santa Barbara

Meningitis at UC Santa Barbara

A third student at UC Santa Barbara has been diagnosed with the disease that causes meningitis. Above, Storke Tower presides over the campus. (Susan Spano / For The Times)

 

 

A third UC Santa Barbara student has been diagnosed with the disease that causes meningitis, public health officials announced Thursday.

 

The first two confirmed cases of meningococcal disease were of male students, the first one of whom fell ill Nov. 11. The latest case is of a female student who was diagnosed Monday..

More than 300 students at UCSB who may have had close contact with the sick students have been given antibiotics, health officials said.The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is also conducting tests to see if there are other cases.

The university previously announced it was increasing its cleaning procedures in residence halls, the recreation center and sports facilities.

 

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U-T San Diego

3 UC Santa Barbara students sick from meningitis

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A bacterial meningitis outbreak has sickened three students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, health officials said Thursday.

Over 300 students who had close contact with the ill students were given antibiotics, said Charity Thoman, deputy health officer at the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The latest case involved a female student who was diagnosed with meningococcal disease earlier this week. Last week, two male students fell ill. None of the cases have been fatal.

“We’ve been on high alert,” said Mary Ferris, executive director of student health services.

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Measles jab The latest outbreak comes less than four months after Wales’ biggest measles outbreak

The number of cases of measles in an outbreak in Neath and Swansea has more than doubled in the last two weeks.

Public Health Wales (PHW) renewed its call for parents to urgently get their children vaccinated to stop the disease spreading.

PHW said it was “very frustrated” with cases reaching 36 since early October.

The latest outbreak comes less than four months after Wales’ biggest measles outbreak ended – centred on the same area with 1,200 suspected cases.

The outbreak has affected four schools in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABM) area.

We are very keen for this to be stopped before it can get any bigger ”

Dr Jorg Hoffmann Public Health Wales

“Parents and young people should not underestimate how serious measles can be and how quickly it can spread,” said Dr Jorg Hoffmann, consultant in communicable disease control for PHW.

“In a school setting, one child with measles sitting in a classroom for just one hour will lead to at least 70 per cent of other pupils who are not vaccinated catching measles.

“To prevent this outbreak from spreading even further, it’s crucial that unvaccinated children and young people receive two doses of MMR urgently and that those with symptoms do not attend school.”

PHW is working closely with ABM to bring the outbreak under control and where a sufficient number of children are unvaccinated in a school where there has been measles cases, school vaccination sessions will be arranged.

The Swansea area epidemic lasted eight months with suspected cases first reported in November 2012.

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Measles outbreak hits Queensland

 
November 8, 2013

brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter

Measles vaccine.Measles vaccine. Photo: John Woudstra

Thirty-five people have now contracted measles in Queensland in one of the worst outbreaks of the disease in Queensland’s recent history.

This year 30 of the 35 measles cases have emerged since August, with eight cases now confirmed at Woodford Correctional Centre.

Last year only four Queenslanders contracted measles.

Queensland's chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young.Queensland’s chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young. Photo: Michelle Smith

Questions are being asked if the measles outbreak is linked to overcrowding in Queensland prisons.

The Department of Justice and Attorney General on Wednesday evening confirmed there were now 6432 prisoners in Queensland jails on November 6.

It is the first time in Queensland history prisoner numbers have been more than 6000.

The extra 832 prisoners include hundreds “doubling up” in cells at several prisons in the Ipswich area.

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Measles cases in Wales triple in two weeks after experts warn that TWO MILLION children across the UK are at risk

  • Cases at four Welsh schools rise from 13 to 36 in two weeks
  • Around 30,000 children in the country have not been given MMR jab
  • Nearly 300,000 children from England have not been properly vaccinated
  • Around two million across the UK have no protection against disease
  • Uptake of vaccine dropped after discredited report by Andrew Wakefield which linked injection to autism

By Chris Pleasance

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Measles cases in a region hit by an epidemic less than four months ago have tripled in the last fortnight.

There are now 36 cases of measles in south Wales, up from 13 just two weeks ago, as children from four schools have reported symptoms.

Doctors are urging parents to properly vaccinate their children after fears of a second epidemic in Swansea have spread.

Cases of measles at four schools in south Wales have tripled in two weeks after doctors warned that two million children across the UK have not had an MMR jab

Cases of measles at four schools in south Wales have tripled in two weeks after doctors warned that two million children across the UK have not had an MMR jab

Despite an uptake of MMR vaccinations during the outbreak which killed one and infected 1,200 last November, health chiefs warned that 30,000 children aged 10-18 are still unprotected.

In April Dr Helen Bedford, of University College London’s Institute of Child Health, warned that two million children across the UK are still unvaccinated, while figures showed 81 per cent of children in London had no protection from the disease.

Figured from Public Health England revealed that there are 300,000 children without an MMR jab that are being targetted by a new catchup campaign.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said it was ‘very frustrated’ that a significant number of young people had been given the first dose of an MMR vaccine, but had failed to follow it up with a booster shot within one month.

Parents are being urged to make sure their children have been given two MMR jabs to fully protect against the viral disease

Parents are being urged to make sure their children have been given two MMR jabs to fully protect against the viral disease

It continued to stress that two doses of the vaccination was the only way to protect against the outbreak.

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UK Measles Epidemic Claims Life Of 25-Year-Old Man

04/19/13 05:19 PM ET EDT AP

LONDON — U.K. authorities say a 25-year-old man is suspected to have died from measles as an epidemic continues to sweep across south Wales.

The outbreak has led to more than 800 infections and renewed discussions over the failure of some parents to vaccinate their children against the potentially fatal virus.

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Doctors warn of measles fatalities in south Wales as man, 25, found dead

 

Friday 19 Apr 2013 11:01 pm
Queues have been forming for measles vaccinations as the measles epidemic grows (Picture: Reuters)

A leading local doctor in south Wales has warned the current measles outbreak could result in multiple deaths as speculation grows that a first victim has already been claimed.

Dr Marion Lyons, the director of health protection with Public Health Wales (PHW), has issued the stark warning after a 25-year-old man was found dead in a flat in Swansea while suffering from measles.

In a development that could point to the potentially fatal nature of the disease, which has broken out in south Wales, the man – named locally as Gareth Williams – was discovered on Thursday at a flat in Port Tennant Road, Swansea.

 

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Swansea measles epidemic: Man who died had measles

The man who died lived at this flat in Swansea

A man who died in Swansea had been suffering from measles at the time, says Public Health Wales.

The 25-year-old, named locally as Gareth Williams, was found dead at a flat on Thursday.

Public Health Wales (PHW), which is tackling an epidemic of more than 800 cases, said tests confirmed only that the man had measles at the time of his death.

A post mortem examination has yet to take place to confirm cause of death.

“Public Health Wales laboratory tests have today confirmed a diagnosis of measles in a 25-year-old male from Swansea who died on Thursday 18 April,” said Dr Marion Lyons, PHW’s director of health protection.

Whatever the cause of death in this case, we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales”

Dr Marion Lyons Public Health Wales

Further investigations are being undertaken by the Swansea coroner to establish the cause of death.

If confirmed, it would be the first death in the measles epidemic.

“My sympathies are with the family at such a tragic time,” said Dr Lyons.

“Whatever the cause of death in this case we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales”.

Mr Williams’ body was discovered in a flat at Port Tennant Road, Swansea at about 08:15 BST on Thursday.

Earlier, police called the death “sudden and unexplained”.

Analysis

Between one in 1,000 and one in 3,000 people infected with measles will die.

Globally it is one of the leading causes of death in children.

Like many childhood diseases, it is worse when adults are infected as the risks of complications are higher.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine give near total protection against the disease.

But confidence in the vaccine dived after, now discredited, claims of a link with autism by Andrew Wakefield a decade ago.

Experts believe the MMR scare has left more than a million school children vulnerable to the infection.

Many people now have no recollection of measles epidemics in the UK.

Health officials say the man who died in Swansea had been infected with measles although more tests are needed to confirm a cause of death.

But it still acts as a warning of how rampant and deadly the disease can be.

‘Disappointing’

There have been 808 cases of measles confirmed so far in the Swansea epidemic, which also includes the neighbouring Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas, and further into mid and west Wales.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Health Impact Daily News

Vaccine state bills JAMA Study: Kids With Fewer Vaccines Have Fewer Doctor and Emergency Room Visits

Health Impact News Editor

JAMA Pediatrics published a new study today looking at vaccination rates. The results of that study are making headlines throughout the “mainstream” media outlets, but none of them have headlines like ours. Yet, ours is probably the most factual headline representing the true facts of what this study found.

The title of the study is: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Undervaccination in 8 Managed Care Organizations Across the United States – You can read the abstract here. Rather than rely upon the press releases of the study which for the most part were bemoaning the fact that children were not following the national vaccine schedule and therefore representing a threat to the existence of the human race, I decided to spend the $30.00 and download the article to read for myself.

First of all, let’s look at the objective to the study as stated in the abstract:

To examine patterns and trends of undervaccination in children aged 2 to 24 months and to compare health care utilization rates between undervaccinated and age-appropriately vaccinated children.

So why study “patterns and trends of undervaccination” in children? The introduction to the study gives us a clue:

Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the past 100 years. However, an increasing number of parents have expressed concerns about immunizations, and survey data1-5 have shown that more than 10% of parents report delaying or refusing certain vaccinations for their children. These concerned parents often request alternative vaccination schedules that either increase the time between vaccinations or reduce the number of vaccinations in a single well-child visit. Despite their concerns, however, the safety of alternative vaccination schedules is not known.

Hmm… Any chance of bias in this study? Is “Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the past 100 years” a scientific statement that can be proven by facts and figures? Is there a chance that this study was conducted because the medical institutions represented by the authors of this study do not like the fact that parents are not bringing in their children to be vaccinated enough according to the government vaccine schedule?

The authors also included this disclaimer which may give us a further clue:

Disclaimer: Although the CDC played a role in the design and conduct of the study, collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data, as well as preparation, review, and approval of the manuscript, the findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.

And then here are the “author affiliations”:

 

Read Full Article Here

TheCoop30301

Published on Dec 7, 2012

BREAKING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN VACCINATE YOUR KIDS WITHOUT CONSENT!
http://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/new-york-appeals-court-federal-governme…

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

 

  Community : Health  – Nutrition – Breast Feeding – Poisons in Our Foods  – Food Safety  –  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) –  Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health

 

If breastfeeding is healthier for babies, why are hospitals pushing corporate infant formula? How a growing number of states and cities are banning marketing in the maternity ward.

 

YES Magazine

Mother breastfeeding by Amy Bundy-555.jpg

Photo by Amy Bundy.

From TIME magazine’s provocative photo of a mother breastfeeding her toddler to the recent controversy surrounding an American University professor who breastfed her baby while teaching a class, how we feed babies often attracts its fair share of media attention.

But while news coverage often focuses on what are perceived as personal choices related to infant feeding, an important piece of the puzzle is often missing from their analysis: the intrusion of massive corporations into the relationships between patients and health-care providers, and the subordination of public-health considerations to profit margins.

Fortunately, advocates and activists are joining forces and putting a spotlight on this missing piece of the puzzle. And momentum is building as hospitals across the country—including all of those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island—are telling the infant-formula industry to take their marketing pitches elsewhere.

Science or sales pitch?

With the many benefits of breastfeeding touted by the Surgeon General and other public-health officials, why would hospitals send a new mom home with a bag full of formula?

Consider this: Across the country, up to 72 percent of health-care facilities with maternity units distribute so-called infant formula to new mothers in industry-supplied “discharge bags,” complete with formula samples, coupons for formula, and marketing materials.

With the many benefits of breastfeeding touted by the Surgeon General and other public-health officials, why would hospitals send a new mom home with a bag full of formula? Because the infant-formula industry, which is worth $3.5 billion in the United States alone, knows there couldn’t be a better marketing tool than hospital freebies that are seemingly endorsed by health-care providers.

Studies show that women who receive infant formula samples in maternity wards are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner and less likely to breastfeed exclusively. Though all major health care organizations recommend that infants be breastfed exclusively through six months, only 16.3 percent of moms nationwide achieve this goal. Experts agree that one of the obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding is ubiquitous infant formula marketing.

Prop37-555.gif
Soccer Moms Face Off Against Monsanto
An initiative on the ballot in California to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms seems likely to succeed.

Certainly, families should make their own decisions about how to feed their babies, taking into account a variety of life circumstances and personal preferences that might make them elect to use infant formula instead of breastfeeding. But as far as practicing evidence-based medicine goes, it makes sense for health care providers to recommend the option that is best for their patients’ health. That recommendation is seriously undermined by infant-formula marketing in health care facilities, highlighting the conflict between the ideal goals of hospitals (health) and goals of formula manufacturers (profit). As one humorous comic put it, discharge bags seem to send the message, “Breast is best, but you probably can’t do it.”

This issue strikes a chord that goes beyond this particular product. We look to our health care providers for scientifically based medical advice, not for a sales pitch. So many aspects of our lives are commercialized, from schools plastered with advertisements, to bridges, highways, and roads named for the corporations that make the highest offer. Still, at the very least, shouldn’t our relationships with our health care providers be spared from the encroachment of values that turn every human interaction into one of buying and selling? Shouldn’t we be able to trust that our doctors, nurses or midwives are offering us advice that is best for us, not best for the bottom lines of deep-pocketed corporations?

The struggle for a marketing-free maternity ward

Last fall, Rhode Island became the first state in which all maternity hospitals voluntarily eliminated industry-sponsored discharge bags.

Fortunately, we are starting to see change on this issue, thanks to many years of work by committed public-health advocates and activists. Recently, Public Citizen, the organization I work for, launched a campaign calling on health-care facilities to stop allowing the distribution of infant-formula samples to new moms. More than 15,000 people have signed Public Citizen’s petition calling on the three major manufacturers of infant formula—Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé—to stop using health-care facilities to market their products. Some states are leading the charge to get infant formula marketing out of hospitals.

Last fall, Rhode Island became the first state in which all maternity hospitals voluntarily eliminated industry-sponsored discharge bags. This summer, Massachusetts followed suit, with all 49 of its hospitals ending formula marketing on their premises. Massachusetts advocates overcame significant obstacles: In 2005, then-governor Mitt Romney forced the state’s department of health to overturn regulations that would have banned formula discharge bags from hospitals. Most recently, 28 of New York City’s hospitals voluntarily agreed to stop distributing infant-formula marketing materials to new moms.

The movement to ensure that health care facilities promote health, not corporate profits, is gaining speed. It’s time for hospitals across the country to say “no more” to corporate interests encroaching on patients’ access to quality health care.


Elizabeth Ben-Ishai adapted this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. She is a Senior Researcher and Campaign Coordinator at Public Citizen.

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