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Congress Passes 21st Century Cures Act

New 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress, has initiatives to boost mental and physical health.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Congress has passed sweeping bipartisan health care legislation intended to expand medical research and speed up approval of new drugs and medical devices.

The $6.3 billion bill, called the 21st Century Cures Act, is a complex grab bag of initiatives amounting to nearly 1,000 pages that President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law.

In a statement released Wednesday, Obama signaled his support for the bill.

“We are now one step closer to ending cancer as we know it, unlocking cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and helping people seeking treatment for opioid addiction finally get the help they need,” he said. “This bill will make a big difference, and I look forward to signing it as soon as it reaches my desk.”

The Senate passed the bill today by a vote of 94-5, and the House passed an almost identical version on Dec. 1, at 392-26.

The bill contains $4.8 billion in spending over 10 years for new research at the National Institutes of Health, including:

  • $1.8 billion for the cancer research “moonshot” championed by Vice President Joe Biden.
  • $1.56 billion for the BRAIN Initiative, a project to create new technologies that will allow for comprehensive mapping of the human brain.
  • $1.4 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, a project supported by Obama to collect genetic data on one million American volunteers that will be used to help develop new treatments.

The bill authorizes the NIH to finance high-risk, high-reward research using special procurement procedures, rather than through conventional grants and contracts, The New York Times reports. The agency also will establish “Eureka prize” competitions to advance medical research.

The nation’s prescription drug abuse crisis also is addressed in the legislation. States will receive grants worth $1 billion over the next two years for drug abuse prevention and treatment programs.

New positions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be established to coordinate mental health and substance abuse research and treatment.

A number of provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act also are aimed at swift approval of new drugs and devices. These would allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to:

  • Rely on data summaries and “real world evidence” instead of hard clinical trial evidence when weighing the approval of existing drugs for new uses. Right now, for example, the FDA now must consider “patient experience” and anecdotal data in its review process.
  • Use a “limited population” approval pathway for new antibiotics that would rely on a risk-benefit analysis weighing the needs of patients facing severe and untreatable infections against the possible harms to them.
  • Expand its programs for expedited approval of breakthrough medical technologies for patients with life-threatening diseases that have limited treatment options.

Many have applauded the new measures, but critics say these the moves could raise the risk of harmful treatments getting to the marketplace.

“The FDA over all these decades has developed a way to know what products work and which ones don’t, but in the last decade they have been pushed to lower those standards,” Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, told U.S. News & World Report. “With this bill, they’d lower them even more.”

Other provisions strengthen privacy protections for genetic research participants; promote more pediatric research; improve the usability of electronic health records; and strengthen the FDA’s ability to hire, train and retain experienced staff scientists.

Many medical associations and advocacy groups have praised the action by Congress, including the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Human Genetics, the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Heart Association.

“This landmark legislation will spur development and delivery of promising new treatments for patients,” ASCO President Dr. Daniel Hayes said in a statement. “Recognizing the tremendous effort and dedication that went into advancing this legislation, we’re thrilled the bill will soon be headed to President Obama for his signature.”

But watchdog group Public Citizen decried the law, claiming it gives too much leeway to pharmaceutical and medical device makers.

“It is sorely disappointing that Congress gave Big Pharma and the medical device industry an early Christmas present by passing the 21st Century Cures Act,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of the organization’s Health Research Group.

“This gift — which 1,300 lobbyists, mostly from pharmaceutical companies, helped sell — comes at the expense of patient safety by undermining requirements for ensuring safe and effective medications and medical devices,” Carome said in a statement.

More information

Details on the 21st Century Cures Act can be found at the website of the U.S. Congress.

SOURCES: Dec. 7, 2016, news releases from: The White House; American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); Public Citizen; The New York Times; U.S. News and World Report

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4 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Teresa Giudice’s Healthy Italian Cuisine

The Real Housewives of New Jersey Star Teresa Giudice was recently released  from the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut after serving a 12 month prison sentence.  Both Teresa and her husband, “Juicy” Joe Giudice, pled guilty in early 2014 to federal fraud charges–including lying to bankruptcy creditors, mail fraud, and embezzlement.

Prior to her incarceration, you may have known Giudice for her presence on Bravo’s hit reality television show and for her heartfelt advocacy of healthy Italian cuisine.  She is author of four bestselling cookbooks including:

51RbhjBc-eL._SX394_BO1,204,203,200_Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It – Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!

 

 

51YKRt+CQFL._SX399_BO1,204,203,200_Fabulicious!: Teresa’s Italian Family Cookbook

 


51ggWaOT8IL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit: Teresa’s Low-Fat, Super-Easy Italian Recipes

 

 

515qIAArtJL._SX408_BO1,204,203,200_Fabulicious!: On the Grill: Teresa’s Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes

 

 

HTN Magazine has compiled a list of 4 facts you may not have known about Teresa Giudice’s Italian eating recommendations so you can begin eating healthier today!

4.  Her favorite Chicken Bruschetta recipe, was created by accident.

Teresa believes that you do not need to be fancy, an excellent chef, or have a lot of ingredients to cook healthy Italian food.  In an excerpt from her cookbook, Fabulicious Fast & Fit, she writes:

“Like my children, I love them all, but this one just has a special place in my heart (and like one of my children, it happened by accident-kidding!) I’m always mixing and matching ingredients in the kitchen; one day, I mixed up a bruschetta topping but ran out of bread, so I pulled some chicken breasts from the freezer and ecco!”

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Click here to see an online version of her Chicken Bruschetta recipe…

3.  Giudice learned most of her cooking from her mother & grew up in a strict household

In Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It, she writes:

Both of my parents were born and raised in Italy. I was actually conceived there right before my parents moved to America in 1971. (My ma didn’t even know she was pregnant. She just wondered why her clothes kept getting tighter.) My brother and I grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, but inside our house, it might as well have been Salerno. We ate real Italian food—not the bastardized fast-food version of it—every single day. My ma shopped at the farmer’s market and the local Italian grocery to make sure she could get the same little envelopes of spices and secret ingredients from home. Real Italian food uses olive oil, not heavy cream. We grill and sauté; we don’t bread, dunk, and deep-fry. And we use fresh ingredients, not stuff floating in formaldehyde (I know canned foods don’t really have formaldehyde in them, but all those preservatives and artificial flavorings are still like poison to your body).

2.  “The Olive Garden does not serve Italian food”

In all of her cooking books, Giudice clearly states that she is against the high amounts of sugar, sodium and processed ingredients in contemporary Italian-American cuisine.

In Skinny Italian, she writes:

I’m sorry if this dashes your dreams, but you gotta know this: the Olive Garden does not serve Italian food. They serve American-Italian food; and there’s a big, big difference—a difference you will see in your big, big butt if you only eat that kind of food.

Every one of our families came to America from another country at some point in time, and brought with us our cultures, traditions, languages, and, of course, food. But when it’s all thrown into that great big “melting pot,” sometimes the ingredients get more than a little muddled.

I love-love-love my country, but we’re not known for having the healthiest national foods. (God love us, but what other country serves deep-fried butter-on-a-stick?) The Americanization of Italian food has unfortunately given a lot of Italian food a bad rap for being unhealthy.

Giudice goes on to give a checklist of how to spot healthy & authentic Italian dishes…

Cheap Imitation Food Real Italian Food
Vegetable Oil Olive Oil
Heavy Cream Butter
Deep-fried Sauteed
Pasta is the entire plate Pasta is a part of the dish
Creamy sauce Vegetable-based sauce
Starch, cheese, and meat Lots of vegetables
Processed cheese Fresh Italian cheese
Non-dessert recipes that call for sugar Sugar in dessert only
Solid salad dressing Clear salad dressing
Flat, doughy white bread Thin, crispy bread

 

1.  All of Giudice’s recipes are calorie-counted.

Teresa is a big proponent of exercise and believes a combination of diet and exercise should be a fundamental part of any weight loss regimen.  She makes sure all of her meals includes a list of ingredient calories for effective diet planning.

 

For more information on Teresa Giudice’s healthy Italian cooking feel free to visit her website at: http://teresagiudice.com/food/

2nd Annual Lace ’em up on the Levee 5K/10K

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Get ready to run in the Everglades!  The second annual Lace ’em up on the Levee 5K/10K will be underway this Sunday December 20, 2015.  Two races would be conducted, including a 10k which begins at 7:00am and the 5k which begins at 7:40.

Race Day Packet Pick up and Registration:
Sunday Dec 20th, 2015

Markham Park
6:00am Race Day
Prices: 10K $40.00 5K $30.00

For more information, visit: http://www.itzevents.com/#!lace-em-up-on-the-levee/cbtw

Beverly Hills 90210 Star Raises Childhood Hunger Awareness

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Today, Feeding America launched new public service advertisements (PSAs) starring celebrity actress Jennie Garth to bring attention to childhood hunger. Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization, has partnered with the Ad Council since 2008 on a Hunger Prevention campaign designed to raise awareness about hunger in America and the fight to solve it, led by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks. Jennie Garth donated her time and talent for the project, as have other celebrity activists in past PSAs, including Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner.

“No child should go hungry in this country,” said Jennie Garth. “Feeding America is working hard to make sure that, in our near future, childhood hunger will be a thing of the past.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one in five children in America – 15 million kids – struggles with hunger. While food insecurity affects people of all ages, it is particularly devastating for children because of the potential for long-term consequences. Research has shown that good nutrition has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity.

“Childhood hunger is a problem we have the power to solve. It takes motivated people to support local food banks and the acceptance that hunger is faced by far too many children in every community across America,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “We’re so grateful to Ms. Garth for lending her influence to this issue, and hope that these new PSAs allow us to expose the prevalence of child hunger and engage the nation in solving the problem.”

The new PSAs feature Garth in a food bank discussing the disproportionate effect of hunger on children and pointing out the fact that the billions of pounds of surplus edible food wasted each year in the U.S. can help feed families who are hungry. The ads encourage audiences to visit FeedingAmerica.org to learn more about hunger in their communities, and get involved in the fight to end hunger by volunteering at a local food bank, contacting their Members of Congress, and donating food or funds.

“We’re proud to partner with Feeding America to continue to produce compelling work and help solve this critical issue,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “No one should go hungry in America, especially around the holidays. We hope that Garth’s recognition will encourage volunteers, supporters and donors to support the millions of children in need.”

The new PSAs are an extension of the Hunger Prevention campaign which was launched by Feeding America and the Ad Council in 2008. The new TV PSAs were created pro bono by 360i. Per the Ad Council’s model, all PSAs will run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media. Since the launch of the Hunger Prevention campaign, media outlets across the country have donated more than $374 million in support for the PSAs.

Top Holiday Gift: Health Tracking Devices

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Health tracking devices are on the “it list” this season for holiday gifts, but despite double digit growth in consumer usage, many Americans say devices aren’t helping them manage their health. According to an October 2015HealthMine survey of 502 consumers, 38% are confused about what their lifestyle/behavioral health data means, and only 42% know what actions they need to take after looking at this data.

The information collected by fitness trackers, nutrition logs, blood pressure sensors and other emerging behavioral and lifestyle health technologies can offer vital insight into a consumer’s health status. But according to HealthMine’s survey, this health data remains siloed; 39% of consumers are unable to access all of their clinical and behavioral health data from a single source.

Connecting this information to clinical data—medical records, labs, claims, pharmacy history—can inform a more complete picture of an individual’s health. It can also facilitate more personalized healthcare. However, 45% of consumers have never tried to share their self-collected data with their providers. In fact, 37% are not even sure that they own their behavioral/lifestyle data:

Who owns your behavioral/lifestyle data?

Me

64%

My doctor

32%

The vendor that made the application/device

5%

 

Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine said, “Millions of people are now collecting terabytes of continuous health data. It has the potential to illuminate health, yet consumers remain in the dark.” He continued: “When lifestyle and behavioral information remains disconnected from clinical data, consumers, plan sponsors and providers are all left with missing pieces. But if we can unify this data, help people understand what it means and what they should do about it, then technology can deliver on its promise–to empower people to take charge of their own health.”

About the Survey
The HealthMine survey queried 502 consumers planning to enroll in a 2016 health plan and was fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in October 2015. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error is 4%. Survey Sampling International (SSI) has been the Worldwide Leader in Survey Sampling and Data Collection Solutions, across every mode, for 37 Years.

About HealthMine
HealthMine, a leading consumer health engagement company, has developed the wellness industry’s first and only Personal Clinical Engagement technology platform. HealthMine empowers individuals to make meaning of their health information by automatically collecting clinical data, identifying risk for chronic disease, and setting health goals. Making it easy for consumers to manage their own health, HealthMine provides a personalized health portal available on any device, and delivers tailored recommendations, resources and incentives.  HealthMine has more than one million users, and has saved employers and payers more than $100 million in healthcare costs. The company, founded in 2008, is based in Dallas, Texas with offices in San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis.

Most Pregnant Mothers Are Missing Critical Vitamins

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Pregnant women are recommended to intake 1,000 mg of calcium daily in their diets to help support the development of baby’s bones, nerves and muscles however, roughly 68% of women are calcium deficient1.  Prenatal vitamins, which supply important nutrients to pregnant women such as folic acid, often come up short on calcium.  In fact, many multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, and mineral supplements provide only 20-30% of the recommended amount of calcium for women who are pregnant. As a result, a new survey2 of 1,000 OB/GYN’s nationwide found that these doctors report discussing calcium needs almost twice as much to pregnant women as they do to menopausal women. The majority of OB/GYN’s surveyed (68%) suggest pregnant women take an additional calcium supplement and of those, 87% recommend Viactiv® the #1 doctor-recommended calcium chew.

“Pregnant women are urged to meet their daily calcium requirements – 1000 mg — in order to preserve their own bone mass while baby is developing,” says Heidi Diller, registered dietician-nutritionist (RDN) and expert for Viactiv. “Unborn babies need calcium for bone development, and if not enough is present in mom’s daily diet, this calcium is pulled directly from calcium stores in her own bones, putting her at risk for osteoporosis as she gets older.”

In addition, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) also recommends 600 IU per day of Vitamin D for pregnant women3. Ongoing research suggests this need may be even higher for improving maternal and infant Vitamin D status.

To help supplement the necessary dietary nutrition expecting mothers require, Viactiv is currently distributing more than 200,000 samples to OB/GYN locations nationwide. Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews (500 mg of calcium and 500 IU of Vitamin D) taken twice daily provides 100% of the daily value of calcium for most pregnant women plus vitamins D and K.

For more information about Viactiv, visit www.Viactiv.com.  To print a Viactiv coupon, visit Viactiv on Facebook or click here.

About Viactiv
Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews, available in milk chocolate and caramel, make fulfilling the calcium needs of women of all ages easy and enjoyable. Just two chews daily provide most women with 100% of their calcium needs. Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews are sold at major retailers nationwide, including CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart, as well as online at http://www.drugstore.com./. To learn more about daily calcium needs and the role of calcium, visit Viactiv.com.

________________________

1 http://pjmhsonline.com/JulySept2012/frequency_of_low_calcium_intake.htm

2 Survey results were gathered July 2015 from a sample group of over 1,000 OB/GYN’s across the country with the organization Scriptbags featuring Viactiv product information

3 https://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D/Vitamin%20D%20and%20Calcium%202010%20Report%20Brief.pdf

SOURCE Viactiv

Catch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Experience a classic Dr. Seuss tale come to life as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts presents a live action performance of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Discover the tale of the Grinch, the notorious miser of Whoville, who hatches a plan to destroy Christmas. First published in 1957, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” demonstrates the power of community, gratitude, & love during this holiday season.

For more information, please visit: http://browardcenter.org/events/detail/dr-seuss-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas

Celebrate Downtown in December in Coral Springs

Bring entire family to Downtown in December, featuring a showing of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other holiday classic shorts on a huge movie screen.

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Free Cookies & Cocoa.  Fun Holiday Surprises. Chance of Snow!

Stroll along the ArtWalk to enjoy an “ice” skating rink, giant snow globe, cookies, hot coco and other winter surprises with food and refreshments for purchase. Be prepared for a chance of snow! For more details, please call 954-344-1111.

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Blankets & lawn chairs may be used in the movie area.

NO PETS or ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Saturday December 12, 2015 at 5 p.m. • Holiday Shorts 6:30 p.m.

ArtWalk • Downtown Coral Springs
9405 NW 31st Court • Free Admission

Celebrate the Coral Springs Holiday Mile & Parade

Celebrate the holidays but coming out to the Coral Springs Holiday Mile and Parade this evening at 6:15pm on Sample Rd between Coral Springs Dr and University Dr.  The holiday parade will feature music & festive holiday floats from organizations, schools, and groups across Coral Springs.

Darth Vader and members of the 501st Legion Everglades Squad (a local Star Wars fan group) are set to lead the processions.

 

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A special mile-long race will be open to participants who wish to join.  The parade is free to watch and the race registration fee is $20.

Holiday Parade 2014/ Pictures by Julian Restrepo for the City of Coral Springs

 

For more information, please visit: http://coralsprings.org/living/events/more-events/holiday-parade  or email kelleinthezone@yahoo.com.