Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Personal Get Fit Initiative

Well the daily walks continue and they are getting easier for my daughter. It is especially nice when the weather is nice. Walking backward and sideways is more helpful to me and also keeping moving even when my daughter stops. I can tell that my mood has improved too. It's amazing what a little walk can do.

My goal is to continue my walking with my daughter and increase my own. My ultimate goal is to run distance. It looks so cool when everyone else does it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Get Moving America

Well, we've taken the plunge.
All of us in the house walked around the block for exercise. My son is on the cross country track team at school so he went for the fun more than the exercise. My daughter and I went for health. We decided to take a page from First Lady Michelle Obama's plan for a healthier America. She promotes getting teens in shape to prevent or combat teen obesity so I modified it to include myself. Here is the video:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies

Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System

New York Is 47th Among All States in Maternal Mortality; 40 Percent of Women Live in a Medically Underserved Areas

NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Amnesty International calls today on President Obama to establish an office of maternal health to lead government effort to reduce appalling U.S. death rate for women having babies. This announcement follows the release of a new report on maternal health nationwide.
Amnesty International revealed that flaws and shocking disparities in maternal health care that the government is ignoring lead to two to three women dying daily in the United States from pregnancy-related complications, with half of these deaths believed preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A state-by-state examination shows that New York is 47th on a maternal mortality ranking, with 16 deaths per 100,000 live births. National Women's Law Center, National Report Card on Women's Health, Maternal Mortality Rate Table; available at spx.

The new Amnesty International report, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA, also reveals that severe pregnancy-related complications that nearly cause death -- known as "near misses" -- are rising at an alarming rate, increasing by 25 percent since 1998; currently nearly 34,000 women annually experience a "near miss" during delivery. With a lifetime risk of maternal deaths that is greater than in 40 other countries, including virtually all of the industrialized countries, the United States has failed to reverse the two-decade upward trend in preventable maternal deaths, despite pledges to do so.

The report cited numerous causes for the crisis and offers lengthy recommendations on improving maternal health care.

Inadequate prenatal care is cited as a contributing factor in the crisis; women who do not get prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die than women who do. In New York, one in six women (15 percent) receive delayed or no prenatal care. The number rises to one in five women (19.1 percent) among women of color.

Obstacles to care are widespread: the most obvious being that across the United States nearly 13 million women of reproductive age (15 to 44), or one in five, have no health insurance. In New York, nearly 15.1 percent are uninsured; among women of color the number of uninsured climbs to 21.2 percent. The state's Medicaid eligibility level for working parents is also low, $26,400. Lack of access to health care centers and providers is a problem nationwide, the report found; in New York 40 percent of women live in medically underserved areas.

"It is inexcusable that the United States is facing a crisis in maternal health care," said Josh Rubenstein, Northeast Regional Director for Amnesty International USA. "Pregnancy and childbirth are not new or rare diseases; they are exceedingly common medical events that impact every family in the nation. The maternal health crisis should be addressed as a matter of national urgency and political unity to better the health and dignity of all Americans."

Maternal health is a human right for every woman in the United States, regardless of race or income. Yet, the United States lacks a systematic, robust government response to this critical problem. Amnesty International is urging President Obama to work with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to establish, and seek Congressional funding, for a single office responsible for ensuring that all women receive quality maternal health care. An Office of Maternal Health would lead government action to reduce the soaring pregnancy-related complications and maternal deaths nationwide.

Additionally, Amnesty International calls for vigorous enforcement of federal non-discrimination laws and an increase in support for Federally Qualified Health Centers by 2011 to expand the number of women who can access affordable maternal health care.

"This country's extraordinary record of medical advancement makes its haphazard approach to maternal care all the more scandalous and disgraceful," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Mothers die not because the United States can't provide good care, but because it lacks the political will to make sure good care is available to all women."

Amnesty International's analysis shows that health care reform before Congress does not address the crisis of maternal health care.

"Reform is primarily focused on health care coverage and reducing health care costs, and even optimistic estimates predict that any proposal on the table will still leave millions without access to affordable care," said Rachel Ward, one of the authors of the Deadly Delivery report. "Furthermore, it does not address discrimination, systemic failures and government accountability documented in Amnesty International's report."

Rapid and comprehensive federal leadership is required, as the report found numerous systemic failures, including the following:

-- Burdensome bureaucratic procedures in Medicaid enrollment
substantially delay access to vital prenatal care for pregnant women
seeking government-funded care. Twenty-one states do not offer
"presumptive eligibility" which allows pregnant women to temporarily
access medical care while their permanent application for Medicaid is
pending. Women who do not receive any prenatal care are three to four
times more likely to die than women who do.
-- The number of deaths is significantly understated because there are no
federal requirements to report maternal deaths or complications and
data collection at the state level is insufficient.
-- Oversight and accountability is lacking. 29 states and the District of
Columbia have no maternal death review process at all.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information or to take action, please visit:\deadlydelivery