Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Giving and Receiving Care

September 3, 2016


Coping with being a longterm caregiver can be a costly affair, physically and emotionally. Just ask anyone who has ever done it.

However, there are ways to make it less costly, and that’s what the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving is all about.

Gayle Alston, MS, Director the RCI Training Center of Excellence, explained the program recently at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbus, Georgia.

There are a number of ways to do that.  Probably topping the list is to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of someone else.

Taking care of yourself includes making sure you have some time for yourself. To get that time you’re going to need help from others. If a friend offers to come over and sit a while so you can get away from the house for a while, don’t be shy about accepting that offer. If they are true friends they will mean it when they say it.

If you want to learn more about this you can attend Caring for You, Caring for Me training sessions offered in October at the UU Fellowship of Columbus. It will be led by Maureen and Jim Humphies who recently participated in a Trainer workshop at the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving.  Maureen has been involved with the RCI since 1990.

If you would  like more information you can call the Humphries at (706) 505-8223, or email or



The Overburdened, Understaffed Emergency Room – Part 1

April 11, 2011

If you really want to know what an emergency room is like, go as a patient. I did just that when I went to the Columbus Medical Center Emergency Department on  Sunday night, April 3, 2011.  It’s a really nice new facility,  with a professional and friendly staff, which is now a state designated Level Two  trauma center that serves 13 counties in West Georgia and East Alabama. But, there were problems, and they are the same problems emergency rooms face all over the country. 

Since I definitely suffered a trauma when I fell backwards onto a sidewalk, hitting my head, I figured I wouldn’t have to wait long to receive treatment.  After all, there was a really big lump on the back of my head, and I am on a blood thinner for my heart condition atrial fibrillation, which meant I could have been suffering internal bleeding.  I was wrong.

It was on a Sunday night and the emergency room was packed with people waiting to be treated. I knew that all emergency rooms stay very busy because people, who don’t have healthcare insurance and can’t  afford to pay for treatment,  go there to be treated for non-emergency conditions, things like colds and sore throats. But I figured that triage would get me in fairly soon after arrival. After all, a head injury with possible internal bleeding should trump a cold.

I estimate that it took about forty-five minutes from the time I signed in until I saw the triage nurse, a warm, empathetic lady,  who honestly explained the situation.   (Being more concerned about my condition, I didn’t think to advise the staff that served me that I might do a blog on this, so I won’t be using any names.)  She said that some people would be waiting seven hours, and that the average  wait for a night that busy was probably five.  I let her know that with a head injury, on a blood thinner, with possible internal bleeding, I couldn’t wait five hours. She said she knew that and my wait would not be that long since I was a three.  That put me in the middle of the triage line.    There are five triage categories. She explained that five is for people whose condition is the least  urgent.  One, she said,  is for people who need to see a doctor immediately.

Since it was an unusually busy day with a lot of vehicle accidents, including one that involved five motorcycles, there were more number ones than normal.  I would estimate that it took about two hours for me to see a physician, a really nice man, who decided I should have a CT scan.  He said the big bump on the back of my head, an external injury, concerned him a lot less than a possible internal jury.   Fortunately the scan showed my brain had not been injured.  He gave me instructions on caring for a concussion and , after an almost five-hour visit, a friend, who had taken me to the emergency room, drove me home.

Though retired, my reporter’s curiosity , which, after fifty years as a broadcast journalist will probably never go away, inspired me to learn more about  the emergency room situation, not only at the Columbus Medical Center, but nationally.  The common description used by reporters that the facilities are overburdened and understaffed had a true ring to it after my experience.  I’ll tell you what I have learned and discuss some possible solutions in a future post. Stay tuned.


December 28, 2009

You won’t find “yearender” in the dictionary. It’s a term used by broadcasters for reports and documentaries at year’s end to feature the big stories of the year.  That’s what this podcast does, except, being a blog, it get’s personal.

Just click on 2009 YEARENDER

Health Care Reform Petition Rally In Downtown Columbus

September 1, 2009


The only way to overcome hundreds of millions spent by lobbyists in Washington is a groundswell of public support or opposition to a measure.  Perhaps that’s why “Organize for America” is pushing hard to get grassroots support for President Obama’s health-care reform initiative. 

OAF SW GA Field Director Ken King waves petitions in front of Rep. Sanford Bishop's Columbus office

OAF SW GA Field Director Ken King waves petitions in front of Rep. Sanford Bishop's Columbus, GA office

Ken King, Southwestern Georgia Field Director of OFA waved a large stack of petitions to a rally in front of 2nd District Rep. Sanford Bishop’s Columbus office.    The petitions were delivered to Bishop’s Columbus office.  Bishop is one of those “Blue Dog” Democrats whose support President Obama needs.  “Blue Dog” Democrats are the more centrists or conservative party members.  Bishop’s 2nd Congressional District leans conservative.   


Supporters of President Obama’s health care initiative showed up with signs.  It was all very civilized and polite. Maybe that’s because the opposition wasn’t there.   Maybe they didn’t know about it.  Columbus media did, though. They were there.

The petition calls for Congress to support the president’s “three bedrock requirements for real health-care reform.”

 They are:

– Reduce   health care costs.

– Guarantee Choice.  This includes the choice of a public insurance option.

– Ensure affordable care for all.”

Muscogee County democratic Party Vice Chair John Van Doorn

Muscogee County democratic Party Vice Chair John Van Doorn

John Van Doorn, vice chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party,  told the crowd that the big challenge is overcoming lobbyists for health insurance companies, and “big medicine, and big pharmaceuticals.”   He said, “The voice of the people must be heard.” 

Of course, big medicine, big insurance, and big pharmaceuticals also know they can be trumped by the voters. That’s why they are spending millions to pay for advertising against health care reform.  Paul Krugman said in the New York Timesthat health insurance lobbyists are spening $1.4 million a day to influence House and Senate members.

I posed the question about confusion surrounding health care reform legislation.  President Obama is being criticized for not simply fighting for a plan. Former Republican Senator Bob Dole said the president must lead the fight for a plan,  a plan that he must endorse and simplify.  OFA’s Ken King told me that some Democrats thought President Obama should have gotten tougher in his election campaign, but it turns out that his approach worked.  He was elected. He said there are eleven bills on health care now in Congress, and that when one is finally decided on,  the debate can start. He said if Republicans want to face reelection with no health reform plan they support, they can do that. 

It appears to me that a simpler plan will have to presented if there is going to be health care reform. Also, I have to agree with Senator Dole and others who say the president simply has to lead.  Compromise just isn’t working.