Teaching Heart-Healthy Habits to High-Risk Children and Families

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has received a $3.8 million grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote cardiovascular health through early education and intervention programs targeting high-risk children and their parents in Harlem and the Bronx.

Mount Sinai researchers will study the genes and lifestyles of 600 preschoolers and their parents or guardians who live in these communities, which are associated with high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The investigators will track whether the interventions lead to healthier eating habits and additional exercise. They will also examine the participants’ DNA and RNA to understand how genetics plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

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Young Patients Help Design Reception Area

Pediatric patients and their families recently joined artist and designer Edin Rudic in creating a new interior wall design for the Food for Life program in the Mount Sinai Health System’s Clinic for Inherited Metabolic Diseases. Mr. Rudic donated his services to create the new design located in the reception area of the Medical Genetics Clinic. It incorporates a high-definition screen display of patient photos, and specially coated walls on which children can draw, adding fun to their hospital visits.

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New Research Refutes Long-Held Antiviral Theory

A long-standing belief that mammals use the same potent antiviral molecules deployed by plants and invertebrates is being challenged by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Their findings, published in the July 10, 2014, issue of Cell Reports, surprised many scientists who assumed that antiviral RNA Interference (RNAi) exists in humans as a natural result of evolution.

Scientists know that human cells, like cells in every living organism with a nucleus, encode and generate small RNAs, which influence our genetics. It is also known that mammals combat viruses with interferons—proteins manufactured by immune cells in response to pathogens.

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Better Hygiene Through Humiliation

Recently The Atlantic reported: “As doctors and nurses move through hospitals, they aren’t the only ones making rounds—hitching a ride on their hands are dangerous bacteria that can lead to infections ranging from antibiotic-resistant staph to norovirus.”

“In recent years, a number of companies have designed systems that aim to nudge doctors and nurses into washing their hands regularly. One of these devices, a badge made by Biovigil, aims to exploit a very powerful emotion: shame. When a doctor enters an exam room, the badge chirps and a light on it turns yellow—a reminder to the doctor as well as an alert to the patient that he is about to be touched by someone with unclean hands. If the doctor doesn’t wash her hands, the light flashes red and the badge makes a disapproving noise. After the doctor waves a freshly sanitized hand in front of the badge, alcohol vapors trigger a sensor that changes the light from red to green.”

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“You Wake Up With Chest Pain. Your Smartphone Reads Your ECG. If It’s A Heart Attack, It Calls An Ambulance And Sends Your Data Ahead To The ER.”

Sounds like science fiction?

Recently a Wall Street Journal article noted “A sweeping transformation of medicine has begun that will rival in importance the introduction of anesthesia or the discovery of the germ basis of infectious disease. It will change how patients and physicians interact. It will change medical research and therapy. “Sick care”—the current model of waiting for you to get sick and then trying to alleviate symptoms and make you well—will become true “health care,” where prevention is the mantra and driving force. Welcome to the world of digital medicine.”

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What Is A “Medical Home”?

Wikipedia says “The medical home, also known as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), is a team based health care delivery model led by a physician, P.A., or N.P. that provides comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with the goal of obtaining maximized health outcomes.”

Recently a USNews article explained how the Cleveland Clinic’s medical home program works.

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Chaos In Medical Billing … One Mistake Can Affect Your Credit Rating!

Like most everyone I know I don’t look at the EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) I get from Medicare and United Health Care. Do you?

Recently a New York Times article noted “LIKE most people, I am generally vigilant about paying my bills — credit cards, mortgage, cellphone and so on. But medical bills have a different trajectory. I (usually) open the envelopes and peruse the amalgam of codes and charges. I sigh or swear. And set them aside for when I have time to clarify the confusion: An out-of-network charge from a doctor I know is in-network? An un-itemized laboratory bill from a doctor I’ve never heard of? A bill for a huge charge before my insurer has paid its yet unknown portion of a hospital’s unknowable fee?”

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