Pretty Lights (Live) Adds Lineup To Chicago’s Northerly Island Episodic Festival

first_imgOver the weekend, Pretty Lights anonymously sent 50 lucky #PLFamily members a FedEx package with a wooden USB drive filled with 20+ unreleased live “flips” and soft announcement materials for Pretty Lights (Live)‘s return to Red Rocks Amphitheater and Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago, IL. Details for Northerly Island’s episodic festival have today been shared by promoters Silver Wrapper, who are also presenting the inaugural Island of Light festival in Puerto Rico.EXCLUSIVE: Pretty Lights Details The Vision Behind NOLA Pop-Up Parade, Shares Insight On New AlbumOn August 18th-19th, Pretty Lights (Live) will hit Northerly Island with special guests The Floozies, Big Wild, Soul Rebels, Chali 2na, CloZee, and Maddy O’Neal. General On Sale begins Friday, May 19th at 11am CST right here. Check it out:In a recent interview with Derek Vincent Smith, he confirms there will be a total of eight of these events, including the recently announced The Gorge Ampthieatre weekend and the returns to Red Rocks Ampitheatre and Northerly Island. Two weeks ago, he hosted a surprise second line parade and pop-up show in New Orleans so demonstrate the direction of Pretty Lights.The massive production on Sunday doubled as a celebration and a music video shoot for Pretty Lights’ newest single, “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds,” which we can officially expect to hear next month. The song is also the lead track on the upcoming Pretty Lights album—his first official release since 2013’s A Color Map Of The Sun. More information can be found here.[photo by Phierce Photo]last_img read more

12 Saint Mary’s students receive ministry, service awards

first_imgOn April 24, 12 Saint Mary’s students received awards in the fields of ministry and service at the Sister Rose Anne Schultz, CSC Mission Awards and Appreciation Dinner.Seniors Jessica McCartney and Veronika Hanks received special recognition for the Jane O’Rourke Bender Award. For consideration, students were asked to submit a form of artistic expression that reflected spiritual themes such as forgiveness, service, compassion, social justice, love or option for the poor. McCartney said in an email these themes embody the life of Jane O’Rourke Bender, who dedicated much of her life to the service of others. “Jane O’Rourke Bender graduated Saint Mary’s in 1967 after studying political science,” McCartney said. “She later went on to graduate school for social work, becoming both a social justice advocate and prolific writer.” McCartney said she embodies both of these themes through her devotion to faith and service at Saint Mary’s. “I received this award for my written submissions — an essay and a poem, each focused on the concept of faith and my involvement in service activities on campus,” McCartney said. This is the first year the Jane O’Rourke Bender Award has been given out. McCartney said this honor has inspired her to continue living out Bender’s mission.“It is both exciting and humbling to be recognized for my writing and this award was made especially meaningful knowing that Jane was an active writer herself,” she said. “Learning about Jane’s life inspires me to continue writing about subjects that hold meaning for both myself and others.”As graduation approaches, McCartney’s commitment to service has prompted her to think about the legacy she wants to leave behind at Saint Mary’s. “I would like to think that I’ve shared words that have impacted and inspired others both verbal and written,” she said. “I’d like to think that I’ve shown compassion and lived out my faith, and that, like Jane, I used the time I had here at Saint Mary’s to make a difference for the better.”Sophomore Carey Dwyer received the Patricia Arch Green Award for her service in the South Bend community. “I received this is award through CAT [College Academy of Tutoring], which works with some South Bend schools and provides additional help for teachers and students,” Dwyer said in an email. Patricia Green left behind a legacy of activism in the community and Dwyer said she continues this legacy through her efforts in the classroom. “Patricia Arch Green is an alumna of Saint Mary’s who was very involved in community service,” she said. “My goal is to become a school social worker, so I volunteered as a teacher assistant in kindergarten and first grade at Coquillard [Traditional School], a Title I elementary school in South Bend.” While this experience provided many highs and lows, Dwyer said she believes it helped her grow both as an individual and in her major. “I got to help students with assignments, reading, artwork and other projects,” Dwyer said. “Working with kids can be challenging sometimes, but I loved having the opportunity to connect with and help them, especially because I want to go into a career in this area.”The award was a humbling experience for Dwyer because she was unaware she was nominated for it, she said. “I feel really honored to receive this award,” Dwyer said. “When I started CAT, I didn’t know about this award, so receiving it was a big surprise,” she said. “I’m really glad Saint Mary’s has so many opportunities for community service and that I can be part of it. I look forward to continuing to do more service in the future.”Dwyer said she wants to continue her involvement on campus and helping others in the future. “I’m not exactly sure what kind of legacy I want to leave at Saint Mary’s, but I love how dedicated and involved Saint Mary’s is within the South Bend community,” she said. “I want to continue to help underrepresented children and their families, and I’m looking forward to being involved in more service opportunities next year.” Senior nursing major Madison Carmichael received the Sister Olivia Marie Hutchenson, CSC Award for Service in the Health Field. This award recognizes compassionate service in the nursing field. “Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson, CSC was a compassionate nurse, talented hospital administrator, builder and spiritual guide,” Carmichael said in an email. “She responded to the need of the time and sent fellow Sister nurses to help the people of Cambodia in efforts to rebuild their lives after suffering from the Khmer Rouge regime.”Carmichael said recipients of this award must be involved as a health care provider or advocate and represent the dedication of Sister Oliva Maria Hutchenson. “I was nominated by the nursing department for my work in Uganda with the Sisters of the Holy Cross,” Carmichael said. “Along with a few other students, I worked in a clinic for six weeks and lived with the Sisters in the community.”Carmichael said she worked on ways to improve patient care in Uganda and participated in research that gained recognition from the National Student Nurses’ Association. “I initiated classes for the staff at the clinic on how to improve patient care. My main focus was on pain assessment, which was previously absent from the clinic,” she said. “After the classes, I followed the charting in the clinic as part of a research project in the success of the classes, and presented the research under [associate professor] Dr. Tracy Anderson at the National Student Nurses Association Midyear Conference.” This award is particularly meaningful for Carmichael because she said the Uganda experience had a profound influence on her life.“This award is so special to me,” she said. “I will never forget my time in Uganda. I can’t wait to see what the next group experiences and accomplishes. Saint Mary’s has been such an empowering environment for me, and I hope the next generation of Belles will see that their opportunities are endless.”Senior Katherine Soper, an elementary education major and mild intervention minor, is the recipient of the Sister Maria Concepta McDermott, CSC Award for Service in Education.  Sister McDermott instituted an interdisciplinary approach to teachers’ education at Saint Mary’s College and spent time teaching in Uganda, Brazil and China.“Sister Maria Concepta McDermott — a dynamic, determined young woman — was known by her students and within education circles for her work in multicultural education and among troubled youths,” Soper said in an email.  “Sister Maria was a woman ahead of her time and an outspoken voice for the rights of the poor.”Education department chair Dr. Nancy Turner nominated Soper for the Sister Maria Concepta McDermott award on behalf of the Saint Mary’s department of education.  Soper said serving as a part of the education department has given her the opportunity to observe and teach in six public and Catholic schools in the South Bend community.  Saint Mary’s also sent Soper to Uganda in the summer of 2017 to teach at Moreau Nursery and Primary School.“While there, I lived, prayed and worked with the Sisters of the Holy Cross,” Soper said, “These opportunities have prepared me to educate students hearts, minds and souls.”This award is in remembrance of Sister McDermott’s devotion to education, and Soper said she is honored to have received acknowledgment in the name of someone whose passion for educating students from all walks of life inspires her to be a better teacher.“I hope to emulate her passion in my future classrooms … and leave a legacy of faith, fellowship and perseverance [at Saint Mary’s],” Soper said.After graduation, Soper will be returning to Uganda to teach for seven weeks. Upon returning, she will teach a second-grade class at Saint Joseph’s Grade School in South Bend.Sophomores Anne Maguire, Jessy Nguyen, Chiara Smorada and Yufei Zhang were nominated by the Saint Mary’s department of campus ministry to receive the Sister Olivette Whalen, CSC Award for General Service. Sister Whalen dedicated her time to serving the needs of the poor, promoting the ministry of education and responding specifically to unmet needs in India. While traveling to India in 1941, Sister Whalen was captured and imprisoned for four years, according to the division for mission. Zhang, a statistical and actuarial math major, said that this award is given to students who serve the community and the college with the same spirit of Sister Whalen’s devoted advocacy and fight for human rights.  While she said she did not expect to receive this award, Zhang was honored to be acknowledged alongside her friends. Together, the group started a student club called “Project S.H.E.,” or “Project Spreading Hope through Education,” through which they visited and worked with girls from Coquillard Traditional School, Robinson Community Learning Center and La Casa de Amistad.“We mainly work with girls from elementary schools to empower them to become future leaders through weekly organizing workshops at local schools,” Zhang said in an email.  “Besides our own club, we are also interested and involved in interfaith, intercultural and other events and clubs on campus.”The group of friends was surprised by their nomination, as they consider their work to be a passion project, not anything outstanding or special, Zhang said.“This award is such an honor and a recognition of my work,” she said. “It definitely motivates me to work harder and do more good things to return to the College and to the community.”Zhang said she considers women’s educational rights to be fundamental.“I hope there will be people continuing Project S.H.E. works to empower young women and help them realize their potentials,” she said.In addition, seniors Katherine Dunn and Julia Sturges were awarded the Sister Christine Healy Award for Service with Women. Senior Colleen Zewe won the Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan Award for Ministry.Editor’s Note: Colleen Zewe is a news writer for The Observer. Tags: 2018 Commencement, Commencement, saint mary’s senior awards, senior awardslast_img read more

Culturalist Challenge! Which First-Time Nominees Are You Rooting For at the Tonys?

first_imgThe staff at is crazy about Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and rank your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank—we’ll announce the most popular choices on the new episode of The Show every Wednesday.Last week, we asked an extremely tough question: of all of the awesome musical numbers on Broadway this year, which 10 are you most excited to see? The results are in, and fans are most pumped up to see the silly showstopper “A Musical” from Something Rotten! live on TV. This week, we’ve still got Tony fever, and we’re thrilled so many stars who have never been nominated are in the race this year. Rank your top 10 favorites! Site Producer Joanne Villani posted her list of top 10 picks here.STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and click the “continue” button.STEP 2—RANK: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on your list. Click the “continue” button.STEP 3—PREVIEW: You will now see your complete top 10 list. If you like it, click the “publish” button. (If you don’t have a Culturalist, you will be asked to create one at this point.)Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results on the next episode of The Show! View Commentslast_img read more

Fix Flea Problems

first_imgDon’t wait until it’s too late. Fix feisty flea problems now before they infest Fluffy andFido. “Flea larvae are very sensitive to cold weather, and we have had some cold-enoughweather to kill flea larvae,” said Beverly Sparks, a University of Georgia ExtensionService entomologist. “However, the adult fleas remain on the host, and if the host comesin out of the cold, so do the fleas.” To control fleas indoors, Sparks recommends: “It is necessary to treat the areas of the lawn where the host animal(s) spends a great dealof time,” Sparks advised. “Pay particular attention to where the pets sleep, rest and feed.” * Apply a registered insecticide according to label directions. Allow the insecticide to drybefore letting pets back into the area. * Before you treat, remove and destroy or clean bedding, and remove food and waterdishes. “They are most effective against the adult stage of the flea, which is on the host animal,”she said. “Protect animals by frequently inspecting them for fleas,” Sparks said. “The pills that areavailable now are effective and provide good control. They contain insect growthregulators that affect the immature stages of fleas.” Flea pupae, Sparks said, can survive cold weather with no problem. Remember to treat the carriers, too: your pets. * Thoroughly vacuum carpets and then replace the vacuum cleaner bag. Sweep and mopfloors, too. Thorough sanitation and cleaning can remove a large number of flea eggs andlarvae. Remember: pets also serve as free flea transit. If your pets are inside and outside pets,count on them bringing their freeloaders inside your house.center_img Other treatments include sprays and powders. * Treat the house with a registered insecticide according to label directions. This may be asurface application with an insecticide or a total release aerosol (people often call these”bug bombs”). If you have a heavy flea population, take care to treat both pets and their environments. “Once a flea population is under control, you can go a long way toward keeping themunder control through the use of the insect growth-regulating pills and sanitation,” Sparkssaid. Start now to have a flea-free summer. She recommends these tips: * In heavy flea infestations, you may have to repeat the application in seven to 14 days. If you feel like you are always playing catch-up in the yearly frantic flea cycle, get a headstart this year and cover all the bases. If you think those cold winter nights killed the fleas, think again. “Again, pay particular attention to where pets sleep, rest and are fed,” Sparks said.last_img read more

Commonwealth Fund ranks Vermont #1 in health care

first_imgAttached is the press release and Vermont scorecard from a new health care study being released today by The Commonwealth Fund.  It is the second version of their State Scorecard, which ranks states on 38 indicators in the areas of access, prevention/treatment quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, healthy lives, and equity, and Vermont is ranked #1. It an honor to receive national recognition for successfully implementing comprehensive health care reforms that incorporate aspects of high quality, coordinated care along with expanding coverage to the uninsured. I m so proud of this latest #1 ranking from the Commonwealth Fund, said Governor Douglas.  A major reason for our success is the Blueprint for Health, which provides a roadmap for healthier lives and fiscal responsibility.  The Blueprint is built on the premise that prevention and improved care for chronic illness will result in a healthier population, appropriate and timely treatment, and significant cost savings for individuals and government.Report:Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, 2009October 8, 2009Author(s): Douglas McCarthy, M.B.A., Sabrina K. H. How, M.P.A. and Cathy Schoen, M.S., The Commonwealth FundJoel C. Cantor, Sc.D., and Dina Belloff, M.A., Rutgers University Center for State Health PolicyOn behalf of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health SystemOverviewFocused on identifying opportunities to improve, The Commonwealth Fund’s State Scorecard on Health System Performance assesses states performance on health care relative to achievable benchmarks for 38 indicators of access, quality, costs, and health outcomes. The 2009 State Scorecard paints a picture of health care systems under stress, with deteriorating health insurance coverage for adults and rising health care costs. On a positive note, there were gains in children’s coverage as a result of national reforms, and improvement in some measures of hospital and nursing home care following federal efforts to publicly report quality data. The scorecard highlights persistent wide variation in performance across states and continued evidence of poor care coordination. Increasing cost pressures and deterioration in access across the U.S., together with geographic disparities in performance, underscore the urgent need for comprehensive national reforms to ensure access, change the trajectory of costs, and enhance value.Executive SummaryThe 2009 edition of The Commonwealth Fund’s State Scorecard on Health System Performance finds deteriorating health insurance coverage for adults and rising health care costs, but also improved quality of care on dimensions of performance that have been the focus of public reporting and incentive programs. As reported in the inaugural State Scorecard in 2007, where you live within the United States makes a difference in your access to care, quality of care, and experiences with care providers. The findings of this report point to the urgency of comprehensive national health system reforms aimed at improving health system performance across the country, eliminating disparities, and enhancing and assisting states’ efforts to address population health needs and ensure affordable access.With a central focus on identifying opportunities to improve, the State Scorecard provides a framework for state and federal action to address common concerns as well as specific areas of need. It assesses states’ performance relative to what is achievable, based on benchmarks for 38 indicators of access, quality, costs, and health outcomes. The findings highlight continued wide variability in performance across states. But they also show that all states face challenges posed by rising costs of care and poor care coordination. Although the scorecard does not yet reflect the impact of the economic downturn given the two- to three-year time lag in data reporting the deterioration seen in access to care across the country underscores the need for coherent reforms that would change the trajectory of costs, ensure access, and enhance value.Overall, the 2009 State Scorecard paints a picture of health care systems under stress. Still, improvements made in certain indicators and in certain areas of the U.S. indicate that individual states have the capacity to do much better, especially when their efforts are supported by strong federal policy and national initiatives. In 2009, Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, and New Hampshire lead the nation as the top-ranked states (Hawaii and Iowa tied for second place; Maine and New Hampshire tied for fifth). Their performance ranks in the top quartile of states on a majority of scorecard indicators. In particular, the reforms passed by Vermont in 2006 to cover focused on preventing and controlling chronic disease are providing a new model for other states.Thirteen states Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Nebraska again rise to the top quartile of the overall performance rankings, outperforming their peers on multiple indicators (Exhibit 1). Conversely, states in the lowest quartile often lag the leaders in multiple areas. The persistent wide geographic variation points to the need for national reforms to ensure high performance across the country.Following are some of the cross-cutting state findings and key trends gleaned from analysis of the scorecard results:Since the beginning of the decade, insurance coverage in most states has been eroding for adults while increasing or holding steady for children. This divergence reflects the impact of federal action to expand coverage for children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); rates of uninsured children in 2008 were the lowest since 1987. Nevertheless, high and rising rates of uninsured adults in many states underscore the need for comprehensive national reform to expand coverage in all states, and to further the gains made in Massachusetts, Vermont, and other states that have taken a lead in enacting reforms.The quality of hospital care for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and the prevention of surgical complications improved dramatically, as all states gained ground and the variation across states narrowed. This improvement reflects the impact of national efforts by Medicare to measure and benchmark performance.Key indicators of nursing home and home health care quality improved substantially in nearly all states, with declines in rates of pressure ulcers, physical restraints, and pain for nursing home residents and improved mobility for home care patients. Notably, these long-term care quality metrics have also been the focus of public reporting and collaborative improvement initiatives. Ambulatory care quality indicators, including preventive care, changed little or declined in half the states, with wide gaps persisting across states.In a majority of states, symptoms of poor care coordination and continued inefficiency in the use of resources are evident in the increasing rates of hospital readmissions. And in most states, there have also been increases in hospital admissions and readmissions from nursing homes, as well as hospital admissions for home health care patients. These indicators point to a lack of incentives for effective transitional care and care management.States with the highest readmission rates also tended to have the highest costs of care overall signaling a need for a systematic approach to addressing cost concerns.Rising costs are making care and coverage less affordable for a growing share of families. Across the country, insurance premiums are rising faster than middle-class family incomes.Differences in how well the health care system functions for people based on their income level, health insurance status, and race/ethnicity what is referred to here as the “equity gap” were more likely to widen than narrow. Distinct regional patterns and sharp differences in performance across states with some persistent gaps even in the best-performing states attest to the reality that our health care system fails to provide reliable access to the affordable, effective, patient-centered, coordinated care that everyone should expect, given the large and growing share of the nation’s economic resources that are invested in the health care sector.Distinct regional patterns and sharp differences in performance across states with some persistent gaps even in the best-performing states attest to the reality that our health care system fails to provide reliable access to the affordable, effective, patient-centered, coordinated care that everyone should expect, given the large and growing share of the nation s economic resources that are invested in the health care sector.Highlights and Cross-Cutting ThemesLeading states consistently outperform lagging states across indicators and dimensions; public policy and public private collaboration can make a difference.Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Nebraska again rise to the top quartile of the overall performance rankings (Exhibit 1). Though specific rankings shifted, these are the samegroup of states identified as top performers in the first State Scorecard two years ago. Many have been leaders in reforming and improving their health systems for example, by targeting efforts to reduce rates of uninsured adults and children.Ten of the 13 states in the lowest quartile of performance Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, Nevada, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi also ranked in the bottom quartile in the 2007 State Scorecard. Three others North Carolina, Illinois, and New Mexico dropped from the third quartile, while California, West Virginia, and Georgia moved up out of the last quartile. The 13 states in the lowest quartile lagged well behind their peers on indicators across dimensions of performance. Rates of uninsured adults and children are, on average, double those in the top quartile of states. Receipt of recommended preventive care is generally lower, and mortality from conditions amenable to health care is, on average, 50 percent higher in these states than in leading states.Among the states that moved up the most in the overall performance rankings, Minnesota rose within the top quartile to become the fourth-ranked state, with significant improvement on multiple indicators. In three states Arkansas, Delaware, and West Virginia plus the District of Columbia, at least half of the performance indicators improved by 5 percent or more. Leading states set new benchmarks for 20 of the 35 indicators with trends.  These patterns indicate that public policies, plus state and local health care systems, can make a difference. Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts, for example, have enacted comprehensive reforms to expand coverage and put in place initiatives to improve population health and benchmark providers on quality. Minnesota is a leader in bringing public and private-sector stakeholders together in collaborative initiatives to improve the overall value of health care an approach that is gaining traction in other states. As New York and Utah have made concerted efforts to improve their performance in priority areas, these states’ performance on key indicators has improved. Yet socioeconomic factors also play a role. Many of the states that ranked low on multiple performance indicators have high levels of poverty, making it difficult to provide affordable coverage without federal action.Wide variations in access, quality, costs, and health outcomes persist across states.Overall, the range of performance remains wide across states and across dimensions of performance, with a two-to-three-fold spread between top- and bottom-performing states on multiple indicators (Exhibit 2). On many indicators, the leading states have improved substantially since the 2007 State Scorecard setting new benchmarks.The divergence in performance is particularly wide when it comes to the following indicators: percentage of insured; diabetic patients receiving recommended care; mental health care for children; pressure ulcers in nursing homes; preventable hospital admissions; and mortality amenable to health care. To reach the level of top-performing states, bottom-performing states would need to improve by an average of 40 to 50 percent.Improving the performance of all states to the levels achieved by the best states could save thousands of lives, improve access and quality of life for millions of people, and reduce costs. In turn, this would free up funds to pay for improved care and expanded insurance coverage producing a net gain in value from a higher-performing health care system. If all states could match benchmarks set by the top-performing state, the cumulative effect would mean:Nearly 78,000 fewer adults and children would die prematurely (before age 75) each year from conditions amenable to health care.The number of people without health coverage would be more than halved, with 29 million more people insured.Nine million more adults (age 50 and older) would receive all recommended preventive care, and almost 800,000 more young children would receive key vaccinations on time.Four million more diabetic patients across the nation would receive basic services to help avoid complications such as blindness, kidney failure, or limb amputation.At least $5 billion would be saved from avoiding preventable hospitalizations and readmissions for chronically ill or frail elderly nursing home patients.Savings of $20 billion to $37 billion per year would be possible if annual per-person costs for Medicare in higher-cost states fell to the median state rate or to the average rate achieved in the top quartile of states.Geographic variations remain striking, repeating the same general patterns seen in the first State Scorecard. States in the Upper Midwest and New England continue to lead, and states across the South, the Southwest, and the Lower Midwest continue to trail those in other regions on overall performance rankings. This pattern generally holds for the access, quality, and equity dimensions, though western states tend to perform better on avoidable hospital use and costs of care and on the “healthy lives” dimensions (Exhibit 1). Yet exceptions also exist, especially where states and care systems have made a concerted effort to improve.Improvements in key areas of health care quality are promising.The State Scorecard also documents widespread improvement across states on selected indicators, especially quality indicators for which there has been a national commitment to reporting performance data and collaborative efforts to improve. Notably, for some indicators of hospital clinical processes, the average performance of the bottom-ranked states now exceeds the median state rate of three years ago, with virtually all states improving (Exhibits 2 and 3).These indicators include treatment for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, prevention of surgical complications, and provision of written discharge instructions for heart failure patients.Publicly reported quality measures related to the delivery of patient-centered care in nursing homes also improved substantially across states. The average state performance on reported pain and use of physical restraints on residents improved by at least5 percent in all states, and in the majority of states average performance improved by the same amount for a measure of pressure ulcers; the range of performance between states narrowed as well. One key measure of home health care quality improvementin patients’ mobility also showed a 5-percent-or-greater improvement in most states.Currently, all hospitals are required to publicly report selected quality indicators in return for payment updates from Medicare. Several public and private initiatives have further tied payment incentives to hospitals’ improvement on such metrics. Therapid improvement in a relatively short time illustrates the importance of data in guiding and driving change, as well as the necessity of having incentives in place to foster higher performance. In contrast, hospital readmission rates and several quality indicators that generally are not publicly available at the delivery-system level failed to improve or evidenced mixed performance across states. A general trend toward lower rates of mortality amenable to health care, cancer deaths, and smoking is also promising, although most states’ death rates substantially exceed rates achieved by the benchmark states.Unfortunately, these large gains were not matched in other areas. For example, there were only modest improvements seen in preventive care for adults and in only half the states. The majority of states failed to improve on multiple indicators of ambulatory care quality and access over the two-to-four-year trends typically captured by the 2007 and 2009 scorecards. Many indicators of avoidable hospital use and costs of care failed to improve or grew worse, especially hospital admissions and readmissions from nursing homes highlighting the need for better coordination of care across care settings. It should be noted that the data related to access to care reflect the period prior to the current economic recession, which has likely worsened access for adults. Similarly, the data predate the extension of CHIP, which may be helping to offset the recession s impact on children.On 20 of 35 indicators for which trend data are available, the median state rate (representing the middle of the range) failed to improve or declined by 5 percent or more. Only 15 indicators improved by 5 percent or more, mainly in the quality domain (Exhibit A2). Disturbingly, the range of performance across states widened on a third of indicators often in tandem with a decline across states.Making continual improvement the norm across all performance indicators and in all states will require national as well as state policies that ensure access to care, realign incentives, set targets, and make available the information needed to effect change. Robust measures of outcomes are needed as well to drive transformative system change; “process” indicators alone are not enough. It is also clear that improving care one disease or process at a time will not be an effective approach to achieving high performance across the board.Symptoms of poor care coordination and inefficient or suboptimal use of resources point to opportunities to improve both quality and cost.The State Scorecard points to evidence of gaps in care and fragmented care that reflects health system dysfunction: the failure to provide timely and effective preventive and chronic care; high and, in many states, increasing hospital readmission rates; and rising hospitalization rates for nursing home residents and home health care patients across most states. Despite improvement, rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations remain relatively high in many states. And the gaps in receipt of recommended preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations across states underscore the need for a stronger primary care infrastructure in the United States.Annual costs of health care (average employer-group premiums for individuals and Medicare spending per beneficiary) vary widely across states, with no apparent systematic relationship to insurance coverage or ability to pay (as measured by median income). Moreover, across states there is no systematic relationship between scorecard indicators of the cost and quality of care across states. Some states in the Upper Midwest (e.g., Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) achieve high quality at lower costs. Although these states are exceptions to the rule, they provide examples for other states to follow in pursuit of both goals.States with higher medical costs tend to have higher rates of potentially preventable hospital use, including high rates of readmission within 30 days of discharge (Exhibit 4) and high rates of admission for complications of diabetes, asthma, and other chronic conditions. Reducing the use of expensive hospital care by preventing complications, controlling chronic conditions, and providing effective transitional care following discharge has the potential to improve outcomes and lower costs.Affordability is a growing concern throughout the states.In most states, health insurance premiums have been rising faster than household incomes. Using average employer-sponsored insurance premiums (including the employee share) for individual employees as a proxy for average insurance costs in each state, the State Scorecard finds that by 2008, average premiums amounted to 16 percent or more of median household income in 37 states, compared with 16 states five years earlier (Exhibit 5). In 18 states, premiums amounted to 18 percent or more of median income for the under-65 population. By 2008, only three states (Colorado, New Jersey, and Maryland) had premiums averaging under 14 percent of median income.This upward pressure on the cost of health coverage has led to erosion in the generosity of insurance benefits, which in turn has increased the number of “underinsured” individuals and caused others to lose their coverage entirely. Reversing these trends will require a dual focus on “bending the cost curve” as well as action to secure affordable coverage for all.There is room for improvement across all states.All states have substantial room to improve. No state ranked in the top quartile across all performance indicators. On some indicators, even the top rates are well below what should be achievable. In each of the states with the highest overall rankings, several indicators declined by 5 percent or more; each also had some indicators in the bottom quartile or half of performance. At the same time, in each of the lowest-ranked states, there were certain areas of performance that improved some quite significantly.While leading states such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont have enacted policy reforms that are extending coverage, promoting community health, and building value-based purchasing strategies through public private collaboration, thishas not been the case in the vast majority of states. Encouraging the adoption of systemic improvements will likely require Medicare’s participation in state payment initiatives and will require collaborative federal and state efforts to develop the informationand shared resources infrastructure necessary to achieve high performance.Key Findings and State Variations by Dimension of PerformanceAccessFor the most part, performance on the State Scorecard’s health care access indicators failed to improve from 2003 to 2008. Gaps in health insurance coverage between the top and bottom states remained wide, with uninsured rates for children ranging from 3 percent to 20 percent and rates for adults ranging from 7 percent to over 30 percent.Since the start of the decade from 1999 2000 to 2007 08 the number of states with high uninsured rates (23% or higher) for nonelderly adults rose from two to nine, while the number with low rates (under 14%) dropped from 22 to 11. In contrast, the number of states with high children’s uninsured rates (16% or more) declined from nine to three during this time, reflecting federal support of CHIP.From 2004 05 to 2007 08 the time span represented in the State Scorecard’s coverage indicators trends in coverage were negative in most states for adults and in two of five states for children (Exhibit 3). That this was true even before the severe recession underscores the challenge that states face in ensuring coverage for children and adults in the absence of federal action. Massachusetts, which had only begun to implement its universal health insurance program during the period covered by theState Scorecard, had the greatest increase in coverage for adults and made gains in coverage for children between 2004 05 and 2007 08, becoming the top-ranked state for the coverage of both adults and children as well as the top-ranked state for access to care overall.Across states, the percentage of adults who reported going without health care because of the cost is  closely associated with insurance coverage and is up to three times greater in states with the highest uninsured adult rates than in states with the lowest uninsured adult rates (19% vs. 7%).Prevention and TreatmentAlmost all states improved on process indicators of the quality of hospital treatment (48 states by 5% or better) and nursing home care (38 to 51 states by 5% or better across three indicators). On a set of hospital clinical quality measures, the rate in the five lowest-performing states in 2007 had risen to the level of the five highest-performing states three years earlier. On an expanded set of measures to prevent surgical complications in hospitals, the variation in performance among states narrowed by half.Despite a 30 percent narrowing in state variation on nursing home care, the range has remained wide, with a two-to-five-fold variation between the top-five and bottom-five states.States have failed to match these gains when it comes to the quality of ambulatory care; even in the best states, quality continues to be well below standards. The percentage of adults age 50 and older receiving all recommended cancer screenings and immunizations ranged from a high of just 53 percent in Delaware to a low of 35 percent in Oklahoma. Only about half the states improved by 5 percent or more. The proportion of diabetic patients receiving three basic services to prevent disease complications varied from two-thirds in Minnesota to one-third in Mississippi. The rate worsened or failed to improve significantly in 24 of 42 states for which data were available. More than one-quarter of young children in the bottom-five states did not receive timely preventive medical and dental visits and recommended vaccinations, and in the bottom five states more than half of children who needed mental health care did not receive it. Top states, in contrast, achieved vaccination rates of 90 percent and preventive visit and mental health care rates that were 20 and 30 percentage points higher, respectively. Only nine states improved substantially (by 5% or more) on vaccination rates, while 10 lost ground. And only 21 states improved substantially on child mental health care, while 12 declined substantially.In 48 states, there was no appreciable change in the percentage of adults who had a usual source of care not surprising, given the lack of improvement in health insurance coverage. The proportion of children who received effective, patient-centered care coordination from a primary care medical home ranged from more than two-thirds (69%) in New Hampshire to less than half (45%) in Nevada.Across all states in 2007, there was a divergence in how Medicare patients rated their care, with provider interactions rated more highly and overall care experience rated more poorly than in 2003. (These trends should be interpreted with caution, however, because of changes in survey administration.) More data are needed to judge whether these shifts are an anomaly or represent an enduring change in patients’ experiences.Potentially Avoidable Use of Hospitals and Costs of CareHospital admissions among Medicare beneficiaries for ambulatory care sensitive conditions improved (i.e., declined) in a majority of states, although rates fluctuated from year to year illustrating the importance of looking at long-term trends when assessing improvement. Declining hospital admissions may reflect patients improved access to medications for chronic conditions, or incentives provided to manage such conditions better. (The way hospital administrators code diseases for reimbursement purposes also has changed, potentially influencing trends for some conditions.)Hospitalization rates for pediatric asthma declined across most of the 32 states that reported data in both time periods. Yet despite some narrowing in state variation, rates were three times greater in the highest-rate states compared with the lowest-rate states, indicating that an opportunity exists for further reductions to benchmark levels. Hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions among nursing home residents increased by 8 percent and 11 percent, on average, between 2000 and 2006, with negative trends seen in a significant majority of states. Rates went up by 5 percent or more in 29 to 37 out of 48 states for which trend data were available for these two indicators. Rates in the worst-performing states (i.e., those with the highest admission rates) were two to three times higher than in the best-performing states, and the ranges widened.The 30-day hospital readmission rate among all Medicare beneficiaries either failed to improve or increased across most states from 2003 04 to 2006 07, with continued sharp variation across states. Readmission rates in 2006 07 ranged from lows of 13 to 14 percent in the best-performing five states (Oregon, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho) to highs of 21 to 23 percent in the worst-performing five states (Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Nevada, and the District of Columbia). Improvements in some states, as well as recent experience in some hospitals, suggest that all states could improve if incentives were better aligned to support care transitions and improve quality of care.Medicare fee-for-service spending per person grew by 6.5 percent per year from 2003 to 2006 for the median state more than twice the rate of general inflation. The gap in per-beneficiary spending between the highest- and lowest-cost states widened. By 2006, average per-beneficiary spending in the five most costly states was 50 percent higher than average spending in the five least costly states ($9,439 vs. $6,027).Employer premiums (including the employee shares) for a single individual rose an average of 4.5 percent per year in the median state from 2004 to 2008; average annual increases ranged from 8.5 percent in Utah to less than 1 percent in neighboring Nevada. Premiums bought less coverage, as annual deductibles and cost-sharing went up during this time. By 2008, average premiums in the highest-cost states were 30 percent higher than in the lowest-cost states ($5,056 vs. $3,904).Equity In most states, there are wide “equity gaps” in performance on access and quality indicators based on income level, health insurance status, and race/ethnicity. Disturbingly, in the majority of states, these equity gaps widened over time. Equity gaps were most likely to worsen for access and coordination of care. (Equity gaps measure the difference between the experiences of vulnerable population groups in each state and the national average for a total of 24 equity comparisons, only 17 of which had data that could be compared over time.)Only eight states Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Utah, Wisconsin, Oregon, Montana, and Michigan saw the equity gap narrow, with the vulnerable group improving on more than half of equity indicators and improving relative to the national average. The greatest gains in equity across states were in mortality amenable to health care. Yet even on this indicator, in only half the states was the gap reduced for blacks relative to the national average; moreover, within all states, white black differences remained large.In those states ranked at the top for equity overall, the gaps between vulnerable groups (low-income, uninsured, and minority) and national averages tended to be smallest. Six of the 13 top-ranked states Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Iowa scored in the top quartile on this dimension for all three vulnerable groups. Conversely, five of the 13 states in the bottom quartile of the overall equity rankings score in the bottom quartile for all three groups.In some higher-performing states, traditionally disadvantaged groups reported quality of care that exceeded the national average. For example, the percentage of low-income diabetic patients receiving basic recommended services was higher in 11 states than the national average for all diabetics (44%). In a few instances, the care received by vulnerable groups was on par with that received by the typically advantaged group.The performance patterns for the equity dimension indicate that it is possible to close gaps and raise the floor on performance for vulnerable groups in comparison with national averages.Healthy LivesRates of mortality for conditions amenable to health care improved in most states from 2001 02 to 2004 05, but wide regional variation persists. Average death rates were 68.2 per 100,000 persons in the lowest-rate states (Minnesota, Utah, Vermont, Colorado, and Nebraska) compared with 135.4 per 100,000 in states having the highest mortality rates (Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee) and the District of Columbia.Looking just at white mortality rates for conditions amenable to health care, the spread across states is also wide, ranging from a low of 61 deaths per 100,000 in Minnesota to a high of 111 deaths per 100,000 in West Virginia.In all states, potentially preventable deaths among blacks are considerably higher than among whites. Even in the five states with the lowest rates for blacks on this indicator, there is still an average of 92.0 deaths per 100,000 blacks, which exceeds the national average for whites. Preventable deaths among whites have gone down in most states, yet some states have had increases in black mortality, resulting in widening disparities.State variations in breast and colorectal cancer narrowed between 2002 and 2005, as bottom-ranked states improved faster than states with the lowest cancer mortality rates. Notably, rates of colorectal cancer deaths in the bottom states are now at the median state rate observed in 2002.Few states experienced appreciable improvement in their infant mortality rates from 2002 to 2005. Signaling the need for urgent action, several states with already high rates experienced further increases, reaching an average of more than 11.0 deaths per 1,000 births more than double the rates of states with the lowest infant mortality (4.5 to 5.1 deaths per 1,000 births). Smoking rates among adults declined by 5 percent or more in the majority of states from 2003 04 to 2006 07. Yet more than one of four adults smoke in high-rate states, compared with just one of 10 in Utah, the lowest-rate state.Obesity is a growing concern across states. As of 2007, at least a quarter of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese in all but three states (although these states are not far behind). And one of three children is overweight or obese in 17 states, with regional patterns closely tracking mortality amenable to health care.Summary and ImplicationsIn the midst of the current national debate on health system reform, the State Scorecard provides a framework for states to take stock of how they are currently performing and where they have opportunity to improve. The challenge for all states and for all private-sector health care delivery system leaders is this: to learn to use health care resources more effectively and efficiently, so that greater value and greater gains in outcomes can be realized. Achieving this goal will require incentives to improve and payment systems that support high-value care. There is also a need for greater integration of medical and public health interventions to help people adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles, as a means to counter the growing threat of obesity and prevent the development of chronic diseases a major source of health care costs.The erosion of insurance coverage (with the notable exception of a few states) and the high uninsured rates in many states underscore the need for national reform and federal action to extend affordable insurance and ensure access for everyone. Federal and national reforms also are needed to enable all-population data, spread the adoption and effective use of health information technology, and initiate payment reforms. The Medicare program, as the single-largest payer of hospitals and physicians, has the ability to serve as a national leader in the area of payment reform.Wide geographic variations, as well as states’ commonly shared concerns over care coordination and rising costs, further point to the need for national reforms that would stimulate and support state initiatives to improve performance. In the State Scorecard, those states that face the greatest health care challenges often have high poverty rates and more limited resources to invest in improvements. Moreover, the experience of the economic recession highlights the challenges of “going it alone” even for states at the top of the scorecard rankings. State action is similarly critical. States play many roles in the health system: purchasers of coverage for vulnerable populations and for their employees; regulators of providers and insurers; advocates for public health; and, increasingly, conveners of and collaborators with other health system stakeholders.State action is also key to improving primary care infrastructures and community-wide systems that facilitate access, improve coordination, and promote effective care. Hence, a cogent and congruent set of national and state policies is needed to move the country further on the path to higher performance. Disparities across states point to the importance of federal action that raises the floor on performance levels across all states and creates a supportive climate for state innovation and achievement. The Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System has identified five essential strategies for comprehensive reform. States can play an important role in fulfilling these aspirations as part of a broader national effort.Affordable coverage for all. In addition to working toward comprehensive insurance coverage reforms, states can improve affordable access and efficiency in the organization of insurance through effective oversight and reform of insurance markets and value-based purchasing of health plans for state employees. Expanding eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP and improving payment for health care providers would lead to greater participation in these programs and expand access to care for low-income families. Federal action is essential for setting a national floor of coverage across states that ensures access and financial protection and eliminates disparities.Align incentives with value and effective cost control. The U.S. health system s reliance on fee-for-service reimbursement creates incentives for providers to increase the volume of services they deliver irrespective of the value of that care. Strategic payment reforms include reimbursing providers with more “bundled” payments for services with accountability to encourage efficiency, and providing financial support to develop and spread primary care medical homes. Several states are looking to multipayer initiatives to move in the same direction, with an emphasis on value and on bending the cost curve. Given the fragmentation of health insurance, it will be critical for public and private payers to work together to create consistent and coherent incentives.Accountable, accessible, patient-centered, and coordinated care. States can design their Medicaid and CHIP programs in a way that links enrollees with a personal source of care that can serve as a medical home to facilitate appropriate care and manage chronic conditions. Several states are collaborating in multipayer, public private demonstrations to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of primary care medical homes. The federal government recently announced a new demonstration that will allow Medicare to participate in such initiatives. States are also investing in key support systems for smaller physician practices including more nurses and modern information systems to facilitate delivery of effective, patient-centered care and to build community capacity.Aim high to improve quality, health outcomes, and efficiency. Benchmarks set by leading states, as well as exemplary models of innovation found throughout the U.S., show that there are broad opportunities to improve and achieve better and more affordable health care for all. Information is critical to guide and drive change. The federal economic stimulus legislation provides the opportunity for states to play an important supporting role in the development of health information exchanges, which can help improve quality and efficiency by allowing providers to get timely information needed to treat patients effectively and prescribe drugs safely. States can also play a central role in building all-population, all-payer databases on costs, quality, and outcomes that can inform improvement and hold providers accountable for the care they deliver. Such systems also facilitate goal-setting and monitoring of the effect of policy and practice changes over time.Accountable leadership and collaboration to set and achieve national goals. Top-performing states set benchmarks and provide examples of the leadership and collaboration necessary to improve. They and other states that have made gains have established quality improvement partnerships with other health system stakeholders to promote standard approaches to quality measurement, public reporting and transparency, consumer and provider engagement, and payment reform to encourage value-based purchasing. With the prospect of national reform, there may be new opportunities for Medicare to put in place the payment policies that are necessary to move forward.The State Scorecard shows that all states can aim higher in their health system performance. But without federal reforms to help states stem rising costs and provide more affordable coverage, access will likely deteriorate. At the onset of the current recession, 1.5 million more adults were uninsured in 2008 than in 2007 because of a drop in employer-sponsored coverage, while the rate of uninsured children declined to its lowest level since 1987 an accomplishment made possible by coverage gains under government-provided health insurance such as Medicaid and CHIP. Estimates have the number of uninsured climbing to 61 million by 2020, with millions more expected to be underinsured.Such erosion in access and the ability to pay for care would exacerbate financial stress for families, overwhelm safety-net providers, and undermine the financial foundation of community health systems putting quality care at risk for everyone. With rising costs putting pressure on families and businesses alike, it is urgent that states and the federal government join together to take action to enhance value in the health care system and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in it fully.D. McCarthy, S. K. H. How, C. Schoen, J. C. Cantor, D. Belloff, Aiming Higher Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, 2009, The Commonwealth Fund, October 2009.Source: Governor’s office. 10.8.2009last_img read more

CUNA joins class action suit against Home Depot

first_imgCUNA has agreed to join credit unions and other financial institutions nationwide as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against The Home Depot following the merchant’s massive data breach in September 2014.“Credit union members need a solution to the problem of merchant data breaches,” said Jim Nussle, president/CEO of CUNA. “Credit unions around the country have been dealt a huge blow by merchant data breaches and CUNA expended significant resources and has been diligently working with its credit union members to address and respond to the Home Depot data breach. CUNA did not make the decision to join the lawsuit lightly; we stand with our credit union members and believe consumers must be protected from merchant negligence. Home Depot continues to operate using the inferior systems and procedures that gave rise to the breach and it is unacceptable.”CUNA has been heavily involved in the issue of merchant data breaches by corresponding and meeting with federal lawmakers and their staffs and will continue all efforts to ensure any and all data security-related bills afford credit union members with the greatest protection possible. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Record-breaking day for Allsop

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Police chief aims to persuade locals over COVID-19 hospital plan in Batam

first_imgNational Police chief Gen. Idham Azis is scheduled to meet with people living on Galang Island in Riau Islands to discuss turning a former refugee camp on the island into an infectious disease hospital.Locals have objected to the government’s plan to build a hospital specifically to treat infectious diseases on the island following the country’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). They claimed authorities had yet to tell them about the plan.Galang district secretary Hardianus said the police general was scheduled to meet with locals  on Sunday to explain the government’s plan. Riau Islands Police health division head Sr. Comr. M. Haris confirmed to the Post that the police chief would visit the island on Sunday.Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono visited the site on Wednesday. They were unable to say when the construction would begin but asserted construction would be completed within a month.The Post observed on Thursday that a technical team from the ministry had started working on the site. Heavy equipment, such as cranes, were also seen at the site.The hospital is expected to be able to accommodate 1,000 patients with 500 rooms, 2 percent of which would be designated as isolation rooms to comply with the recommended protocol of the World Health Organization (WHO).Galang Island is located about 50 kilometers southeast of Batam, with a bridge connecting the two islands. The 80 hectare camp was used between 1975 and 1996 to house 250,000 Vietnamese refugees fleeing their homeland during the Vietnam War.More than 12 million South Vietnamese fled after the war ended and sought political asylum in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia; but many were cast ashore on the islands of Indonesia.Read also: Health Ministry has doctors, nurses observed after death of Singaporean in BatamInitially managed by the United Nations during the refugee crisis, Galang Refugee Camp is now under the management of the Batam Indonesia Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam) and is maintained as a tourist attraction that draws both former refugees and tourists to Batam Island. Several facilities at the camp and horticultural crops have been preserved in the area.Authorities have been working to persuade locals about the plan by disseminating information that was expected to calm them down.”The Sulianti Saroso [Infectious Disease] Hospital [in Jakarta] is located among cramped residential areas. However, people are not affected by it,” Haris said. “We only need spare land of 2 meters from the infected patients as a precautionary measure.”A local figure in Galang district , Anwar Sadat Pulungan, who has been living near the former refugee camp for more than 10 years, said he was worried about the plan.”All residents in the area were surprised with the sudden announcement of the hospital being built here. Why not choose vacant island that has no residents? Don’t build it here,” Anwar said. (ars) “There are pros and cons with regard to building a hospital in the former Vietnamese refugee camp,” Hardianus told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Officials from Riau Island and Batam, as well as local councillors previously met with representatives of locals on Thursday, on the occasion of which the people voiced their objections to the plan.Read also: COVID-19: Batam authorities succeed in quarantining two ‘evaders’“The National Police chief will come here to persuade residents to agree with the plan,” Hardianus went on to say.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia scrambles to contain coronavirus as most hospitals not ready

first_imgThe fast-response team is also responsible for handling surveillance and isolation of suspected COVID-19 patients and coordinating with relevant stakeholders to ensure effective containment measures to curb possible wider contagion, including at the country’s airports and sea ports.Commuters on a train from Jakarta to Bogor on March 12. (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)Jokowi reiterated that the government had prepared 132 referral hospitals across the country. “The Health Minister said there were 132 referral hospitals, from 100 previously. We will add more: 108 TNI hospitals, 53 hospitals under the National Police and 64 hospitals under state-owned enterprises,” he said.A leaked document obtained by The Jakarta Post on Friday, however, showed that out of the list of 132 hospitals, only 49 were “ready”. The document is the minutes of a meeting between several institutions including the BNPB, Health Ministry, Executive Office of the President and the offices of the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister on March 10. The government announced three new deaths and 35 new COVID-19 cases, including two toddlers, on Friday as it scrambles to contain community spread and get referral hospitals ready to face the pandemic. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government had established  a “fast-response” team, led by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).Under the coordination of the BNPB, the Health Ministry, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police, the team was tasked with, among other things, spearheading the measures to trace the movement of COVID-19 patients and those who had come in contact with them.”We know that this virus spreads rapidly. Thus we should carry out prevention and mitigation efforts simultaneously,” Jokowi said on Friday, “The government has and will continue to carry out tracing of contacts in this case.” BNPB head Doni Monardo did not confirm the information in the document to the Post, nor did he deny the content.A source who requested anonymity told the Post that in the meeting it was revealed that out of 132 hospitals designated as referral facilities “only 49 hospitals are really ready” for COVID-19, while the other 83 were in the “preparation stage”.Read also: COVID-19: Referral hospitals in West Java lack protective gear, medical equipmentSome referral hospitals for COVID-19 in West Java have reported a lack of protective gear for medical personnel who handle patients suspected of having been infected with the virus.Eight out of 52 hospitals in the province have been appointed as referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients, including Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung – the largest hospital in the province – and Dr. Slamet Hospital in Garut.West Java Health Agency head Berli Hamdani Gelung Sakti said the medical team at Dr. Slamet Hospital had to transfer a patient because of a lack of protective gear, although the hospital had an adequate isolation room and other medical equipment.”The Health Ministry responded by saying it was ready to supply all the necessary protective gear requested by the referral hospitals. We are still calculating whether we have sufficient equipment [to handle COVID-19 cases],” Berli told The Jakarta Post on Monday.The agency head said he hoped the ministry could send protective gear soon to COVID-19 referral hospitals across the province because the isolation room at Hasan Sadikin Hospital was full.Raden Rara Diah Handayani, a pulmonologist at Persahabatan Hospital in Jakarta, one of the referral hospitals, said that when COVID-19 patients suffered from light pneumonia they could be cured faster. However, when they have developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), that means the patient’s lungs are already infected, causing respiratory failure, then they really need the ventilators to breathe.“And now the hospitals treating the confirmed cases of COVID-19 are facing a crisis because ventilators are expensive, but we really need this technology and equipment. This is what we are thinking right now, hospitals need more ventilators and [isolation] rooms,” Diah said in a discussion on Wednesday.“And we don’t only need the equipment but also the human resources. We need medical workers who are experienced and understand infection control,” she added.She also said the government must pay attention and protect the medical workers treating COVID-19 patients.“This disease is highly contagious. We must not only save the sick ones but also the healthy ones. We need healthy medical workers. They must be equipped with a protective suit when they treat patients. We must protect them because medical workers are the front line in this fight against the disease,” she said.In West Java, due to the limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hazmat suits, medical personnel of a public hospital in Tasikmalaya, West Java were forced to wear thin plastic raincoats, costing Rp 10,000 (70 US cents) apiece, when transporting patients under observation for COVID-19.“Yes, it’s true that our staff were wearing just raincoats,” Tasikmalaya Health Agency head Uus Supangat said on Wednesday as reported by “The city [administration] bought 100 plastic raincoats at the store for a total of Rp 1 million.”Read also: COVID-19: West Java medical personnel forced to use raincoats in lieu of hazmat suitsSome of the main referral hospitals have also reported that they have only a few isolation rooms. With growing numbers of positive patients, Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Saroso) in North Jakarta, for example, only has 11 isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients.)On Friday, Jokowi also stated that they were going to immediately finish the construction of a health facility specializing in treating COVID-19 patients on Galang Island in Batam, Riau Islands.However, the plan to build a health facility in Galang was criticized by epidemiology experts.Syahrizal Syarief, an epidemiology expert at the University of Indonesia, said building a new hospital would be a waste of money that would have been better allocated for ventilators and protective suits for medical workers.“That’s also what we really need right now. I hope the government think thoroughly when they make policies like this,” he said.Arya Dipa contributed to this story from Bandung.Topics :last_img read more

Meet the man that transformed Lidl’s booze and he’s only just 30

first_imgBarely 30 years old and already heading up international wine & spirits for Lidl with a catalogue of big wins behind him. How has TNT alumni Ben Hulme done it?,Lidl’s international head of wine & spirits buying sticks out like a sore thumb. Fresh-faced and barely 30 years old, Ben Hulme must be a decade younger than your garden variety category director. Yet he arguably wields greater power than a fair few combined. Working out of Lidl’s head office in Neckarsulm, Germany, Hulme is responsible for buying and strategy for wine and spirits across 28 countries. Modest, reserved and utterly devoted to his employer, he’s the polar opposite of the ‘lazy millennial’ type British newspapers love banging on about. So how did Hulme end up commanding such a vital part of Lidl’s business at so young an age? Like many employed by the discounter, he’s a ‘lifer’ who’s been with Lidl his entire career. After studying German at the University of Birmingham (and graduating with distinction), he was accepted onto Lidl’s graduate buying programme, and in under a year was working on the condiments, wines and spirits categories.Entries now open for Top New Talent awards 2018“It was a rather strange mix,” he laughs. “I was essentially buying wines, spirits and mustard for a while. Wine and spirits was so much larger and much more strategic, but some of those other categories allowed me to really cut my teeth as a buyer and hone my skills.”Signs of his promise didn’t go unnoticed. By 2014 he was a senior buying manager, and in 2015 (by which point Hulme had developed a somewhat more finessed understanding of alcohol) he was named head of BWS for Lidl UK at just 27, having helped significantly shift public opinion around the discounter’s booze offer, an area in which Lidl (and closest rival Aldi) had always under-traded. “We had to work out how to get the general public in the UK to take Lidl seriously as a retailer of wine,” he says. “We all knew we had great quality wines, but had never really been very good at marketing that.”Enter the Lidl Wine Cellar. “We enlisted master of wine Richard Bampfield as a consultant, we started making booklets, doing adverts and press tastings – we’re now even doing TV adverts – and in the first year we increased our turnover by 38% in wine, which gave us the confidence to expand.”The Wine Cellar has since been renamed the Wine Tour, but to this day it’s a fundamental part of Lidl’s success in the category, giving its buyers (now led by Hulme’s protégée Anna Krettmann) an opportunity to be more experimental and showcase less traditionally-lauded wine-growing regions such as Hungary.SnapshotName: Ben HulmeAge: 30Death row meal: Just a really good rare steak with potatoes. I don’t need three courses, as I’m far less adventurous with food than with wine. To drink, I’d be going for a Syrah from Gimblett Gravels in New Zealand.The best business advice you’ve ever received: Be yourself and trust your judgement. It was a really empowering thing to hear when I was learning on the job, and helped me develop into a very decisive person.And the worst: An overzealous buyer once told me to never back down or be prepared to compromise.If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive: It would be my grandad – my father’s father. I’d love to have dinner with him because I never got to meet him. I’d love to get his outlook on life and what advice he’d have for a young man these days.Top New TalentIt was primarily plays like that that in wine that won Hulme his place in The Grocer’s Top New Talent in 2015 – a “massively proud” moment for the young buyer. But it wasn’t just wine that he helped revolutionise for Lidl. Beer, too, required a rethink. “We did another concept called ‘The Brewery’ which was all about promoting smaller regional breweries across the UK and creating regional assortments, like having a specially selected Scottish premium bottled ale range in Scotland. “We’ve not got a lot of wine production in the UK but we do produce a hell of a lot of really great beer. We’ve got so many breweries, all with their own character and that was something we really wanted to get involved in.”In spirits, meanwhile, Hulme recognised that it was fundamental to challenge the belief that discounters couldn’t do premium, and began ranging high-quality spirits including whiskies and ports. A quick Google search of ‘Lidl Scotch’ reveals just how successful this move has been – and continues to be. It brings up a stream of tabloid headlines gushing about the discounter’s outrageously low £39.99 price tag for a 22-year-old single malt.Or there’s how, in 2016, its Glen Alba single malt (£29.99/70cl) beat the likes of Johnnie Walker Blue Label at the World Whiskies Awards, alongside Best Islay Malt and Best Scotch Limited Release for the aforementioned Ben Bracken 22yo and Queen Margot 3yo Blended respectively. “I still think that with everything we’ve done on wine, with ‘The Brewery’ and with spirits, we’ve got the most innovative alcohol offer in the UK. I truly believe that.”Moving upThat the discounter’s booze sales were growing so quickly didn’t just light a fire under Lidl’s British rivals – it drew the attention of the company’s head office in Germany. Last year, Hulme was approached about taking on responsibility for wine and spirits at a global level. He accepted in a heartbeat and upped sticks to Neckarsulm. “It was a massive challenge,” he admits. “I was taking over from someone who had been in the role for 10 years, inheriting an extremely experienced team where I was a complete newbie, and having to contend with a new country and a new culture – let alone dealing with the most difficult wine harvest for forty years. There were some real moments of thinking ‘what on earth have I let myself in for?’”But he adds: “Yes it’s intense, but this was a chance to grow, wield influence and develop wine on an international level. Of course I was nervous. But if you don’t believe in yourself in a role like this you might as well just quit.”The Grocer Cup 2018: which nominee gets your vote?His move also came at a time when the traditional role of the buyer is significantly changing. As The Grocer’s Alcoholic Drinks Power List 2018 (on which Anna Krettmann features) explores, the age of the hubristic ‘rock star’ booze buyer of past decades is well and truly over. Many voices in the drinks industry now complain that buying has become an act of pedantic data and sales analysis rather than a creative, human endeavour. Hulme isn’t convinced by this argument. “I think what’s changing is the amount of information available. There is so much data and information now. But this doesn’t necessarily make your job easier. You can so easily get overloaded with data, and there are so many different figures and statistics that they frequently contradict each other.“Yes, you now need to be able to process a large amount of data in a small time, but you need to also make decisions and stand behind them. Retail, particularly discount retail, lives on innovation and being able to move fast. If you only base your decisions on data, you’re only ever going to do what’s already been done.”Global outlookSince taking up the international role, Hulme has put his UK expertise to good use, taking initiatives like its premium Scotch whisky project into new European markets such as France, Spain, Germany and Poland. And while his daily routine is less UK-orientated these days, Hulme still has a soft spot for the UK booze sector. “It’s probably the most interesting market in Europe,” he says. “When I compare it to places like Spain, Italy and France where consumption is something like 99% domestic, in the UK we’d got to a stage where we were doing Hungarian wine promotions and selling things like Canadian iced wine. There’s a willingness to try new things which makes it one of the trendsetters for the rest of Europe in terms of BWS.”And perhaps thanks to the broader market view the international outlook affords him, he’s less fussed about Brexit than one might expect, dismissing it as “a crystal ball situation”. “There have been even more acute changes recently, such as the new levy on bourbon whisky imports into the EU, which we’ve had to react to fairly fast. We had to very quickly assess how much stock we had and exactly how much actual costs were going to come through.”He’s equally nonplussed at the prospect of a Tesco discount chain trying to encroach on Lidl’s turf. “I don’t think anything really fills us with dread. I think the key to a successful retail concept is obviously to be aware of the competition, but don’t just follow and be led by what everyone else is doing. If someone comes along and they think they’ve got a better concept, we’re happy to let the customer decide.”Think you could follow in the footsteps of Ben and the other illustrious TNT alumni? Then fill in the simple entry form here. Entry is free and open to anyone working in the grocery space, aged 35 and under at the time of entry. All winners will be invited to a special awards ceremony held in London on 12 November.last_img read more