1 week ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Indiana Community Gifts Pizza Delivery Man A Car
An Indiana community is giving back to the man who has delivered pizzas with a smile for 31 years. Robert Peters, known as Mr. Smiley around the town of Tipton, was gifted a new car after one customer decided to raise donations. Tanner Langley, 28, a customer of the Tipton Pizza Hut said he and his family have been getting deliveries from Robert Peters since he was a child.
When Peters recently told him he was having trouble with his 28-year-old Oldsmobile, Langley decided it was time to thank Peters for the kindness he has shown the town over the years. He started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes to buy him a new car. In just 2 days, with donations from the community, he surpassed the $12,000 goal, reaching over $18,000.
“This community has a countless number of amazing citizens, but there are few people in this world that fill a room with smiles and happiness more than Robert Peters,” Langley wrote on the campaign’s website. “Robert has been delivering pizzas in the same car for a plethora of years, and I think it is about time that he gets an upgrade to his current vehicle!”
On Jan 11, Langley surprised Peters with a 2017 Chevy Malibu. The car’s registration, insurance and taxes were also covered and Peters was given a $500 gas card, plus a $2,500 thank-you tip from the neighborhood. “He makes an impact on everybody and he’s a very kindhearted individual. Every time you see him, he has a smile on his face. He has never not been joyful” Langley said in regards to the overwhelming support for Peters.
Peters was overcome with gratitude for the generosity Langley and the community showed him. He told news outlets it was heartwarming to know Langley and the community would go out of their way for him. ” “I couldn’t believe it, it’s almost like it’s surreal. I just hope that all those who made this happen will be blessed as much as they have blessed me,” Peters said. “This has really been an awesome experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. To me, me this is luxury. This is the first car I’ve had made in the 21st century.”
3 weeks ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Mark Cuban’s Partnership Could Change The Pharmaceutical Market
After Dr. Alex Oshymansky, a radiologist in Dallas, TX started a public-benefit company to combat the exploding prices of certain prescription drugs, he attracted a new partner—Shark Tank billionaire investor Mark Cuban. Oshymansky started in 2015 with Osh’s Affordable Pharmaceuticals and a million dollars in investment capital. Four years later, the new partnership is moving forward under the name Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug Co, and donating medicine to those in need.
Mark Cuban has been outspoken about his disdain of the mixture of FDA demands for approval, and drug company greed creating soaring prices for drugs, making them unaffordable to many Americans. Now under Cuban’s brand name, the private-label arrangement allows Oshymansky to buy from third party suppliers, take care of the labeling and branding laws himself, and sell it at a serious discount with just a 15% mark-up for the business expenses.
This partnership allowed the pair to lower the cost of an anti-parasitic medication called albendazole from its normal U.S. price range of $225-$500, down to just $20. This proved especially valuable for Baylor College of Medicine, who needed thousands of doses of albendazole to complete a study they were doing on U.S. hookworm infections in the South.
“The Germ of the South,” was a catch-all term that characterized a curious lethargy and haziness of the brain, distended bellies, and emaciated shoulder blades, found across the Deep South during the 20th century. Today, American hookworm still infects large numbers of people, particularly children, due to poor sanitation and poverty. A study done in Lowndes County, Alabama of 24 homes found that 34% of stool samples contained the parasite, which is killed rather quickly by albendazole.
Cuban and Oshymansky donated the first 10,000 doses of the company’s albendazole supply to Baylor and the author of the study, Dr. Rojelio Mejia, so that volunteers from Alabama to New York who test positive for hookworm could immediately purge the parasite from their bodies. “We found it deeply troubling that albendazole is extremely expensive in the United States, and are happy to be able to manufacture it for free for this research and provide it at significantly decreased prices to the rest of the U.S. market.”
Other drug companies estimate that the number of doses Cuban and Oshymansky donated would have cost $2 million, an overwhelming cost that would have kept the research from being conducted. Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs is aiming for 100 new drug offerings by the end of 2021, all with no hidden costs, no middlemen and no rebates only available to insurance companies. They’re also in the process of constructing their own brick-and-mortar pharmacy in Dallas where they hope to earn a profit on non-pharmaceutical items that can fund the lower cost formulations and offer drugs for rare diseases directly to patients or through outpatient facilities. If successful, Cuban and Oshymansky’s efforts could force drug companies that continue to overcharge their customers to lower their prices or go out of business.
1 month ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on US Oncologist Forgives $650,000 In Outstanding Medical Debt
A US oncologist gave an extraordinary gift to his past patients by forgiving $650,000 in medical bills for cancer treatments. In February of 2020, the clinic Dr. Atik practiced out of closed due to staffing shortages. At the time, there was close to $650,000 outstanding patient debt on the books. Dr. Atik attributed the large sum to the fact that no patient was ever denied treatment, regardless of whether or not they could pay.
After the clinic closed last year, Dr. Atik attempted to settle the debts. He soon realized that many of the people he’d treated didn’t have the means to pay—especially with so much added financial hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic—so with the blessing of his wife, Mehreen, he decided to forgive the outstanding debt.
“My wife and I, as a family, we thought about it and looked at forgiving all the debt… We saw that we could do it and then just went ahead and did it.” Dr. Atik said. It was one final way for Dr. Atik to show kindness and compassion to patients that he had always considered it an honor and privilege to treat. The week of Christmas, Dr. Atik sent out holiday cards to nearly 200 of his former patients that read:
“The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to have you as a patient. Although various health insurances pay most of the bills for the majority of patients, even the deductibles and co-pays can be burdensome. The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients.”
Dr. Atik said “We thought there was not a better time to do this than during a pandemic that has decimated homes, people’s lives and businesses and all sorts of stuff. I just hope that it gave them a little sigh of relief and made it easier for them so they could face other challenges they may be facing in their lives.”
Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Atik founded the Arkansas Cancer Clinic in Pine Bluff in 1991, providing treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and CAT scans. He is now a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In 2013, he was named president of the Arkansas Medical Society. Five years later, he became chairman-elect of the board of governors of the American College of Physicians. He credits much of his success to being in the right place at the right time. “I believe the opportunities that have come my way are, in part, because of where I am,” he explained.
David Wroten, executive vice president of the Arkansas Medical Society advocacy group, said that Dr Atik had called him “to make sure there was nothing improper” about his idea of forgiving patients’ debt. “If you knew Dr Atik, you would better understand. First, he is one of the smartest doctors I have ever known, but he is also one of the most compassionate doctors I have ever known” Wroten said.
3 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Prison Camp Survivor Donating $50 Million Children’s Hospital In New Zealand
Mark Dunajtschik, an 85 year old prison camp survivor committed $50 million dollars of his own money toward building a children’s hospital in New Zealand. Dunajtschik is one of the most successful industrialists and real estate developers in New Zealand and is known for his philanthropic works—having financed the country’s Life Flight Trust helicopter rescue service which has been credited with saving 22,000 lives. Dunajtschik’s latest major humanitarian endeavor is overseeing the construction of a new children’s hospital in Wellington.
Dunajtschik escaped Knicanin prison camp with his mother near the end of WWII and was forced to flee his homeland of Yugoslavia. Five years after the war ended, he became an apprentice toolmaker. He mastered the trade and after spending five years travelling the world, decided to make New Zealand his home. Soon after arriving he established his company Precision Grinders, running the business for 25 years. Dunajtschik was among New Zealand’s most successful property developers and investors, although he only started in the industry as a “hobby” at the age of 57 and has no staff.
Dunajtschik’s life experiences have undoubtedly contributed to the man he is today and his commitment to giving back. Housing in post-war Germany was almost nonexistent, Dunajtschick’s only option at that time was living in a housing facility for the mentally and physically disabled. Seeing the daily challenges his housemates faced made him realize how lucky he was. “Because I was given the opportunity to live in that home, which was founded by an industrialist in the 1880s, now that I am in a position that I can also do something, naturally I want to do it. Those people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health, need our help” he said in an interview.
Over the summer, construction on the exterior of the hospital was completed. Dunajtschik had no desire to simply throw money at the new hospital. He takes a hands-on approach to all his projects so he plans to see it through to completion. “It’s exciting to see that in a little over a year the vision will be realized and we will have a magnificent new purpose-built facility that will help generations of sick kids to come,” said Bill Day, Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation.
4 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on NJ Man Mows Lawns For Free To Help Seniors During Pandemic
With many unemployed during the pandemic, it’s uplifting to hear about those that have found a way to help others during this stressful time. Brian Schwartz, an advertising executive who lost his job due to the pandemic founded the nonprofit I Want To Mow Your Lawn to help seniors, veterans and the disabled with their lawn maintenance for free.
Schwartz started out small, covering areas in northern New Jersey but he has a vision of helping people on a scale beyond his own part of the country. While he is using his own knowledge to market this idea, he is looking for volunteers from all over to join his crusade. Schwartz welcomes any and all help ranging from kids in school up to professional landscapers.
Schwartz said “It may sound like a bumper sticker, but it’s true: it just feels good to help out, to do something tangible that people need done and can’t quite do themselves, something straight-forward and clean-cut as newly mowed grass. It really is helpful, it makes an immediate difference that people can see, and people are so appreciative because it is free, no strings, no small print, no paperwork at all. We come, we mow, we go.”
The volunteers are the backbone of this non-profit, some also found themselves out of work and looking for some way to give back to their community. Volunteers can have their own shareable profile URL, custom email alias and phone # extension. Any and all help is welcomed, ranging from kids in school up to professional landscapers.
There is no better feeling than helping out someone in need and kindness is contagious. Schwartz is looking to keep growing nationally. Volunteers must have their own landscaping equipment, be able to transport it and be willing to travel within a 5-10-15 mile radius. To volunteer or request free mowing services you can find more information at IWantToMowYourLawn.com or check out the Facebook page.
Schwartz refuses to accept payment or tips, and he says there’s no fine print to this good deed. “I believe in putting some good into the universe. I see what’s going on in the world, and I just want to help.” His decision to not wallow in the loss of his job in a grim job market and instead, find a way to help others is a testament to who he is. He has helped many in his area and given those that want to help those in their community a way to do so.
6 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Michigan Reaches $600 Million Settlement in Flint Water Crisis
The state of Michigan has reportedly reached a deal to pay out about $600 million to victims of the water crisis in Flint. The crisis began in 2014 when Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by then-Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched the source of the city’s drinking water in order to save money. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency said it had found dangerous levels of lead — which can affect the heart, kidneys and nerves — in the water flowing into residents’ homes.
The water source move has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as well as widespread lead poisoning in residents, including 12,000 children. Dozens of lawsuits, including class-action cases, filed against Michigan and the city of Flint followed. Many cases emphasize the youngest victims — the children whose exposure to lead and toxins could lead to neurological disorders and learning disabilities, among other conditions.
The Supreme Court this year said it wouldn’t block a lawsuit by Flint residents seeking to hold city officials accountable. Lawyers for the city had asked justices to step in, saying their clients had immunity from such lawsuits. A previous ruling from a federal appeals court also sided with the residents. “Knowing the Flint River water was unsafe for public use, distributing it without taking steps to counter its problems, and assuring the public in the meantime that it was safe is conduct that would alert a reasonable person to the likelihood of personal liability,” the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals held.
In March 2017, nearly three years after the incident first came to light, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded $100 million to fund water infrastructure upgrades in Flint. A few weeks later, city officials declared the city’s drinking water was safe to drink. Six years later, the city has inspected more than 25,000 service lines and has replaced 85 percent of the pipes. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put work on hold. Residents are still scared to drink the water after city, state and federal officials have been accused of ignoring, denying or covering up complaints that started immediately after the switch.
Tens of thousands of Flint residents are expected to be eligible to receive money from the settlement. The settlement will establish a court-monitored victim’s compensation fund that will provide the direct payments to Flint residents. Nearly 80% of the money will go to those who were younger than 18 at the time of the crisis. Besides the state of Michigan, the settlement includes the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the individual defendants, including former Gov. Rick Snyder, according to a news release. Litigation will continue against other defendants, including two private engineering firms charged with professional negligence.
6 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Campuses in US Switch to Virtual Learning Amid Outbreaks
The U.S. reported another 43,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 deaths from COVID-19 on, bringing the official U.S. death toll to nearly 172,000. Public health officials are expressing alarm as the number of daily COVID-19 tests across the country has dropped 17% since mid-July, making it harder for states to track the outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control is warning infection rates are “steadily increasing” in children as millions of students have started or are preparing to return to school.
As global confirmed coronavirus cases topped 22 million, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday that young adults and children are increasingly driving the spread of COVID-19. WHO officials said recent outbreaks in Australia and the Philippines were sparked mostly by people younger than 40, while WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove warned younger people are not immune to the worst effects of the virus.
A surge in coronavirus cases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has forced the school to switch to remote learning, after 177 students tested positive for COVID-19 during the first week of in-person classes. The school said in a statement that the Covid-19 “positivity” rate jumped to 13.6% from 2.8% just a week before. At the time of the announcement, the school had tested 954 students, with 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus.
In Indiana, the University of Notre Dame canceled all in-person classes and said it would move to online-only instruction. The university’s sole testing site has been inundated since students returned in early August, identifying a total of 336 coronavirus cases. Notre Dame contends that most infections stem from two off-campus parties thrown by seniors but cases have surged as students introduce the virus to new social groups, straining the school’s resources.
Michigan State University announced it would require undergraduates to study remotely (graduate students and students who take part in athletics are exempt from the mandate). According to NPR, the directive was issued before many students returned to campus, as classes don’t resume until early September. The university released a statement on Tuesday saying, “Given the current status of the virus … it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus.”
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people had an age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic white people. COVID-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people. While there’s no evidence that people of color have genetic or other biological factors that make them more likely to be affected by COVID-19, they are more likely to have underlying health conditions. Having certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, increases your risk of severe illness with COVID-19. But experts also know that where people live and work affects their health. Over time, these factors lead to different health risks among racial and ethnic minority groups.
A summer of waning social distancing restrictions has caused a surge in Covid cases among those under 35. Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead and an infectious disease epidemiologist warns “We are seeing people, even young people, who are ending up with severe disease. We are seeing young people who are ending up in ICU. And we are seeing young people who are dying from this virus.”
6 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Portland Violence Continues As Judge Extends Order Against Federal Marshals
A U.S. district judge in Oregon has extended a restraining order against the U.S. Marshals Service and agents with the Department of Homeland Security, ordering them to stop attacking journalists and legal observers at Black Lives Matter protests in Portland. The ruling came over the objections of the federal government, who argued that the restraining order issued against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service was now irrelevant.
That order barred federal officers from using physical force, arresting, or dispersing anyone they should “reasonably know” was at the protests as a journalist or observer. Attorneys for the federal agencies argued the circumstances had changed with the federal presence in Portland supposed to wind down — and that the order should therefore be allowed to lapse.
Judge Michael Simon sided with attorneys working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, who argued that the threat of violence remained even as the federal officers became less visible. The ruling comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Oregon, alleging local and federal law enforcement have been targeting and attacking journalists during more than two months of nightly protests against racism and police brutality. Two weeks ago, Simon issued an initial restraining order on the federal officers, following mounting accounts of officers injuring journalists and observers on the ground.
Protests in Portland continue for the 11th straight week as the city’s mayor pleaded for protesters to stay off the streets, saying those who barricaded the doors to a police precinct the night before and tried to set it ablaze were not demonstrators, but criminals. The majority of sit-ins and marches have been peaceful with no police interaction. A smaller element continues to violently clash with police after most of the several hundred peaceful demonstrators have cleared the streets.
Within a week of the restraining order being extended, police declared riots as a march turned violent. Police repeatedly blocked marchers as they made their through neighborhoods. The tactics prevented people from gathering outside local police buildings, which have been the recent focus of raucous demonstrations. Portland police pushed people, shot them with impact munitions and set off smoke devices after people threw water bottles and paint toward officers. As protestors left the area to make their way down another street they were repeatedly met by police blocking the march.
Each time protestors marched a different street another standoff with police ensued. Videos have circulated of the confrontations showing objects being thrown at officers from a crowd and others of officers advancing on protestors, knocking people to the ground as they walk down the street. The incident drew immediate criticism, including from Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the council’s leading advocate for police reform.
6 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Covid 19 Cases Rising Worldwide
Worldwide there are over 19 million confirmed cases and over 780,000 deaths. Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States have topped 5.3 million and 166,000 deaths — by far the highest caseload in the world. Brazil has over 3 million confirmed cases and 165,000 deaths, the second highest number of cases behind the US. As the new school year starts or approaches for kids across the US, a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that nearly 100,000 children contracted COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July.
Across five US states, more than 2,000 students, teachers and school employees have been quarantined, after hundreds tested positive for the coronavirus at the start of the school year. That includes nearly 1,200 people quarantined in the Cherokee County School District outside Atlanta, Georgia. In another Georgia school district, a high school that recently suspended two students for posting images of classmates ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks announced it is implementing remote learning for part of the week, after at least nine students and staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
A school district in Arizona canceled its plans to reopen schools after several dozen teachers staged a “sick out” in protest. “We have received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students,” Gregory Wyman, the superintendent of the J.O. Combs Unified School District, said in a letter to families posted online Friday. “In response, we have received a high volume of staff absences for Monday citing health and safety concerns.” All classes, including virtual learning, will be canceled, though breakfasts and lunches will be available for pickup, he said. Arizona has over 190,000 confirmed cases and over 4,000 deaths.
In California, the director of the Department of Public Health abruptly resigned Sunday, following the discovery of a computer system failure that led to an undercounting of California’s COVID-19 cases. California has a recorded 630,000 cases and 11,545 people have died. With cases still surging, most schools in California will not be reopening for in-person education this month.
Across the globe in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Auckland may go back into a lengthy lockdown, after 13 new community coronavirus cases were detected. New Zealand spent more than 100 days without reporting any cases, after health officials responded early and aggressively to the pandemic. They have 1,458 confirmed cases and just 22 deaths.
In Australia, Melbourne remains on a strict lockdown as the country reported a record 21 coronavirus deaths. Sixteen of the deaths are linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Australia has over 23,000 confirmed cases and over 400 deaths recorded.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the deadly virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the US earlier this year. “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas.” Birx stressed that Americans need to follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Birx would not give a projection of how many deaths the US would see by the end of year, but she said a death toll largely depends on southern and western states to maintain and accelerate their mitigation efforts. Those states have become hot spots for the virus
6 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Mass Resignations After Lebanon Blast
Protests raged following the catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut, which killed at least 200 people and injured over 7,000 thousands more and leveled neighborhoods. The explosion was triggered by 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate left unattended in a warehouse for six years and left more than a quarter-million residents homeless. An investigation into what triggered the explosion is under way, and early reports suggest that it was probably a nearby fire.
Protesters stormed three ministries as security forces unleashed tear gas and rubber bullets on demonstrators. Public anger mounted after the blast, focusing on the carelessness that led to one of the worst explosions in Lebanon’s history. The Port of Beirut and customs office is notorious for being one of the most corrupt and lucrative institutions in Lebanon where various factions and politicians,
The mass resignation of Lebanon’s top government officials, including Prime Minister Hassan Diab has failed to quell anger over a crushing economic crisis, record rates of COVID-19 infections and last week’s catastrophic blast. Losses from the blast are estimated to be between $10 billion to $15 billion and has left nearly 300,000 people homeless.
The highly explosive material that leveled the city found its way to the warehouse in 2013 when a ship transporting it stopped at the Lebanese port to pick up more cargo as it was headed to Mozambique. There was a legal dispute over port fees and the shipping company was in debt so the 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, was impounded and unloaded; the Russian crew had to stay on board for nearly a year and was then released.
The port’s customs director says he sounded several alarms about the material. Since the blast, some port officials have been placed under house arrest. The New York Times reports an American contractor working with the U.S. Army warned over four years ago about the hazard posed by over 2,700 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer left unattended at Beirut’s port. The U.S. State Department reportedly then failed to pass along the warning to U.S. allies.
An official letter circulating online showed the head of the customs department had warned repeatedly over the years that the huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate stored in the port was a danger and had asked judicial officials for a ruling on a way to remove it. In the letter, the customs chief warned of the “dangers if the materials remain where they are, affecting the safety of port employees” and asked a judge for guidance. He said five similar letters were sent in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The letter proposes the material be exported or sold to a Lebanese explosives company. It is not known if there was a response.
Lebanon already was on the brink of collapse amid a severe economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Many have lost their jobs and seen their savings evaporate because of a currency crisis. Food security is a worry, since the country imports nearly all its vital goods and its main port is now devastated. Drone footage showed the blast tore open a silo structure, dumping its contents into the debris. Estimates suggested about 85% of the country’s grain was stored there. Economy and Trade Minister Raoul Nehme said all the wheat was contaminated and unusable.