Volume 1 Issue 6
In This Issue
Science Advisory Board
Roberto Jorge Fernandez
Honorary Professor University Maimonides Argentina Honorary Professor University of Beijing, China
Shimon Slavin, MD
Professor of Medicine Medical & Scientific
Carlos Lima, MD
Zannos G. Grekos, MD
Kitipan V. Arom, MD,
PhD, FACS, FACC, FACCP, FRCST
Now that we know why America was 15th best out of 19 developed countries in 2006, can we get better?
System Capacity to Innovate and Improve: Not Scored
Innovations in the ways care is delivered—from more integrated decision-making and information sharing to better workforce retention and team–oriented care—are necessary to make strides in all dimensions of care.
Investment in research to assess effectiveness, develop evidence-based guidelines, or support innovations in care delivery is low. The current federal investment in health services research, estimated at $1.5 billion, amounts to less than $1 out of every $1,000 in national health care spending. Ideally a national Scorecard would include indicators of the system's capacity to innovate and improve, but good indicators in this area are not currently available—itself a problem.
The Case for a Systems Approach to Change
The Scorecard results make a compelling case for change. Simply put, we fall far short of what is achievable on all major dimensions of health system performance. The overwhelming picture that emerges is one of missed opportunities—at every level of the system—to make American health care truly the best that money can buy.
And let there be no doubt, these results are not just numbers. Each statistic—each gap in actual versus achievable performance—represents illness that can be avoided, deaths that can be prevented, and money that can be saved or reinvested. In fact, if we closed just those gaps that are described in the Scorecard—we could save at least $50 billion to $100 billion per year in health care spending and prevent 100,000 to 150,000 deaths. Moreover, the nation would gain from improved productivity. The Institute of Medicine, for example, estimates national economic gains of up to $130 billion per year from insuring the uninsured.
The central messages from the Scorecard are clear:
Our health system needs to focus on improving health outcomes for people over the course of their lives, as they move from place to place and from one site of care to another. This requires a degree of organization and coordination that we currently lack. Whether through more integrated health care delivery organizations, more accountable physician groups, or more integrated health information systems (in truth, likely all of these), we need to link patients, care teams, and information together. At the same time, we need to deliver safer and more reliable care.
Furthermore, the extremely high costs of treating patients with multiple chronic diseases, as detailed in this report, serve as a reminder that a minority of very sick patients in the U.S. account for a high proportion of national health care expenditures. Payment policies that support integrated, team-based approaches to managing patients with multiple, complex conditions—along with efforts to engage patients in care self-management—will be of paramount importance as the population continues to age.
By assessing the nation's health care against achievable benchmarks, the Scorecard, in a sense, tracks the vital signs of our health system. With rising costs and deteriorating coverage, leadership to transform the health system is urgently needed to secure a healthy nation.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, Why Not the Best? Results from a National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, The Commonwealth Fund, September 2006
FOR THE FULL 2006 ARTICLE:
NEXT ISSUE: THE 2008 SCORECARD
HOW THE NO-CURES-ALLOWED, PATIENTS-BE-DAMNED, PROFITS-ONLY, AMERICAN MEDICAL SYSTEM FELL FROM 15TH PLACE TO LAST PLACE AMONG 19 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN PREVENTABLE DEATHS! BUT YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE YOU ARE #1. SORT OF LIKE THE RUSSIANS WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE LIVING IN A WORKERS PARADISE UNTIL THE BERLIN WALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN.
HOW MANY YEARS OF LIFE YOU ARE BEING CHEATED OUT OF BY THE TWO BILLION DOLLAR A WEEK PROFITEERS AND THEIR MINIONS IN CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE FDA?
JUST DON’T EXPECT THE WALLS OF THE “DEATH ROW” OF WESTERN MEDICINE FOR DISEASES CALLED “INCURABLE” OR “UNTREATABLE” BY YOUR DOCTORS TO COME TUMBLING DOWN ANYTIME SOON. TWO BILLION A WEEK PAYS FOR ALL THE CORRUPTION THEY NEED.
CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?
DENISE LOVE (USA) BLOGGED HER TWO WEEKS IN COSTA RICA FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. IT WAS NO PICNIC---UPS AND DOWNS---BUT SHE SURVIVED.
Had blood work done this morning then at 3:00pm physical therapy. That’s it for today. We set Sams watch in Dallas 2 hours ahead between flights on Friday, not realizing we should have changed it back 1 hour in Costa Rica. For the last 2.5 days we have been 1 hour early. We waited this morning for our shuttle bus for an hour before we realized the correct time... that could only happen to me and Sam!!! Staff at the ICM is great, very friendly and know what they are doing.
I will email tomorrow with updates...
Bye for now,
Yesterday I had a pre-op consultation and consultation with the plastic surgeon (lipo). Both went well. I had physical therapy and Rachel worked me pretty good. I was a wet noodle for most of the day. Today I feel fantastic!! I have my first Intrathecal injection. Injection in my spine, then I have to lay flat on my back for 5 hours. Excited to get started but nervous. That’s about it for now.
Bye for now....
Yesterday I have the mini lipo. I was so nervous the doctor had to give me an anxiety shot... hahaha, as it turns out it wasn't so bad. The doctor started the operation on my tummy, but I didn't have enough fat so she had to take the remainder out of my thighs. I am wearing a funny girdle for a few weeks. Still no tightness in my shoulders and I can still lift my left leg. Not bad after only one injection. Later today I go for another, then rest for the weekend. Hope everybody is well and I will talk to you all soon.
Today at 2:30 I have the third injection... that's it!!! After the injection I have to lay flat for 5 hours. I am bruised from the lipo all over my hips and right inner thigh. I have pictures I can share for those of you who wish to see. Excuse my buttock!!!! Yesterday, Sam, myself and another couple hired a tour van and we drove 4 hours around San Jose. Some pretty scary neighborhoods. Steve will love the graffiti pictures we took. Had a nice lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Then we sat out of our hotel room and visited with all the other MS patients. It was a good day. Tomorrow all I have is physical therapy at 9:00am so I won't email. Wednesday in an injection day and also the first day I have the intravenous treatment (fat from lipo stem cells) - Don, sorry I'm not explaining it well!!
I will email after Wednesday procedure. Hope everybody is well.
PS - progression: I can lift my left leg and knee, wiggle my left toes and still no tightness in my shoulders. Yippie
At 9:00am I had physical therapy, it went pretty well. Moving much better than the first day I arrived. Then at 10:30am I had both injections. 1) Intrathecal - spine injection 2) IV injection - from fat. When the doctor came in to give me the injections he said we have VERY good news... I had an abundance of stem cells from the fat, so much that I am getting an extra injection on Friday. Average is 40-45 millions cells and I have 200 million. The most they have ever seen. I guess it pays to be extra healthy. If I have to come back in a year or two, they have enough cells so that I can use my original cells instead of harvesting like most have too. Harvesting tends to weaken the strength of the stem cells. Tomorrow I have to go thru all the same procedure as today, so I won't email until Friday. Hope everybody is well and I will chat to you soon.
Well, I had a couple of somewhat bad days... Wed night I started to get really tired, just couldn't move. I heard that was normal. Thursday I could barely move, again just heavy. I had to have 1 IV injection, spine injection and physical therapy on Thursday. After the spine injection my tail bone really hurt. When I got home to rest for 5 hours I took a pain killer, fell asleep and didn't stir until this morning. Today I'm much better. I had my last IV at the clinic then physical therapy. Just got home and Sam went out to get Subway... my reward!!!! THAT IS IT!!!! Now we wait. I've heard in about 6 weeks things will really start to improve. Fingers crossed. I am still better than when I first arrived. My mobility is still shaky, but I can lift my left leg and straighten my left arm. Things are looking up. I will keep in touch with everybody as I progress. Thank you all for your support and emails throughout the 2 weeks; it gave me strength to move on. Take care all and I will talk to you soon.
Another Heart Failure Patient Saved By Stem Cell Research
Barbro Lowed, a retired air hostess from London, England says that stem cell research using Adult Stem Cells removed from her bone marrow has given her her life back. Barbro had previously been suffering from congestive heart failure before the stem cell treatment. The heart failure was caused by a faulty valve.
This research story starts with Barbro going into congestive heart failure because of a leaky heart valve. Then in Barbro’s own words -
“Unless it was repaired, my heart would steadily worsen, until it couldn’t function any more. Even though I needed the operation straight away, the NHS waiting list was two years, which really worried me. After six months, with no sign of an operation date, I was getting desperate. I felt dizzy and lethargic all the time and couldn’t even walk to the local shops without struggling for breath.”
When Free Health Care Isn’t Free Anymore
Ok, I will give the US FDA a day off and target Socialist (Free?) Healthcare today. Can you imagine needing an operation yesterday and having to wait 2 years? That is shameful. And this is what Obama has in mind for us? I hope not. But no more ranting- on with the stem cell story….
Finding A Stem Cell Doctor Who Used Her Own Adult Stem Cells
Barbro found Professor Andreas Zeiher in Germany who had been performing stem cell therapy using the patient’s own Adult Stem Cells for many years. Now this is where the story gets a little confusing (at least to me):
Stem Cell Therapy for Congestive Heart Failure
According to Barbro’s account, Dr. Zeiher implanted the stem cells into her heart valve which apparently improved both her valve and her congestive heart failure. But if you look at the article, then in part 2, Dr. Zeiher describes implanting the stem cells into the arteries to cure the heart failure and in turn the heart valve?
Very confusing, but the most important part of the story is that Barbro now has her life back thanks to being implanted with her own Adult Stem Cells.
How Do the Stem Cells Do That Thing They Do?
Also from the article is this interesting tidbit from Dr. Zeiher: Stem cells have this extraordinary ability to turn into other cells. They help the heart heal by encouraging the formation of new blood vessels, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.
And as far as we know, unlike drug treatments, stem cell transplants have no undesirable side-effects. The process is also less risky than conventional open-heart surgery, as it doesn’t involve a general anesthetic, which is always a concern with a heart failure patient.
All of us at RSCI know that Autism is Don’s favorite RSC disease. Don is always ranting to anyone who will listen that the seemingly simple improvements most kids get from RSC are, in his words, “enormous.” Well, the following is doubly important---not only a successfully treated 10-year old, but at one of our eight centers. Enjoy:
For Judy DiCorcia, it took a leap of faith to take her 10-year-old daughter, Lauren, to Germany for stem cell therapy. Just six short weeks after returning home and observing her daughter’s progress, she knew that her faith had been rewarded, prompting her to bring her daughter’s story to the attention of President Obama. Here is what she wrote to him:
Dear President Obama,
I am the mother of a 10-year-old autistic daughter. In January, we took Lauren to Cologne, Germany for Adult Stem Cell therapy. The center used her own stem cells drawn from her hip bone marrow, centrifuged the next day, and then reinserted via lumbar puncture the following day (2.95 million cells). Both procedures were quick and not invasive at all. In the past 6 weeks we have seen significant improvements in our daughter’s behaviors, focus, hyperactivity, and insomnia. I would rate a general improvement of about 40% – this is HUGE for a family living with autism.
Our daughter started sleeping through the night for the first time (yes, she is 10 and got up every night) since stem cells.
Lauren is happier just in her own skin – so much less frustrated and just generally happier.
She is getting through her one-on-one therapy more quickly, better focused, and more compliant.
Of course, it amazes me that this simple, non-controversial therapy cannot be done here in the United States. ***
Now, five months since Lauren’s Repair Stem Cell treatment, Mrs. DiCorcia reports that her daughter is still doing well, “Lauren is doing well. I would have to say that she ‘plateaued’ at about the 12-week mark. Her situation is stable and fortunately all positive effects have persisted. I wish the doctor could fly to the US and perform the therapy here!”***
The autism treatment at XCell-Center employs (autologous) stem cells that come from the patient’s own bone marrow. After the stem cells are separated from the bone marrow, they are implanted into the spinal canal under local or general anesthesia depending upon the specific needs of the patient. The procedure, including stem cell collection, processing and therapy, costs a total of $12,000 US dollars + airfare. Over 1000 patients have been treated by XCell for over 20 different diseases.
For more information on XCell-Center and the other top 5% of stem cell treatment centers in RSCIs world:
***Next issue, Don will explain why this will not happen. Can you handle the truth?
Denver, Colorado, June 4th, 2009 – Building on the momentum of their previous events, The Stem Cell Awareness Association (www.stemcellaware.com) will hold a Stem Cell Awareness Rally in Denver, Colorado on June 13th, 2009. The group’s last event, in Punta Gorda, Florida, drew past patients, prospective patients, news media, U.S. physicians and specialists, as well as members of the public interested in learning more about stem cell treatment.
Since their first Stem Cell Awareness Rally on July 24th, 2007, the association has steadily increased its following as more and more patients have returned from abroad after receiving stem cell treatment for diseases deemed untreatable by their US doctors.
Carol Peterson (See http://www.cameronsmiracleofsight.com), who launched the association at the first event, summarizes the mission of the association in four simple words, “Educated Freedom of Choice.” “Our group is mainly made up of patients who have experienced what is really available in other countries and while we don’t want to exert influence over other patients’ decisions, we do want to make sure they are aware that what is available in the US is not representative of what is available throughout the world.”
A key component of the rallies is for patients who have returned from treatment abroad to share their stories, both good and bad, with those in attendance.
One such patient is David Aldrich from Florida who is a spinal cord injury survivor and was legally blind before his treatment abroad. (http://stemcellschina.com/blog/david/)
“I am pretty worn out from dealing with a medical establishment that does not provide me with the best treatment available and even at times tries to stop people like me from seeking treatment abroad under the guise of protecting me,” said Aldrich. “My short term goal is to let people know that there is help available, no matter what your physician says. But my real goal is focused on bringing people together to figure out what can be done so I don’t have to go abroad for my next treatment.”
The group’s mission incorporates David’s ‘real goal’ and is focused on increasing the U.S. medical community’s knowledge and acceptance of stem cell therapy by encouraging patients who go abroad to do evaluations with their local doctors before and after the treatment and by inviting the doctors to engage in dialogue about what is happening abroad.
Shel Morse spoke at the 5th rally about the association’s mission and what it meant to her to see her sixteen year old daughter, Macie, get her driver’s permit after returning from treatment in China. Macie was treated in July 2008 and has ONH, a leading cause of blindness in children. The following is an excerpt of Shel’s speech:
"Macie's journey to stem cells started when she turned 15 and asked for a driving permit. It wasn't even an option with her current vision, not to mention the fact a vision teacher of hers had stated it was never going to be possible and we should just face reality. At that point I knew that it was my mission to let people know that they don’t necessarily have to live with the diagnosis their locals doctors give them.
“Macie’s doctors not only criticized the companies we told them about but actively discouraged us from help overseas - help that they could not offer. The reason why I got behind this organization and decided to set up this event in Denver is because the patients need to join together to have a voice.” said Shel Morse. “Our medical society needs to get serious about real health care, we cannot rely on our current system - it is broken. US doctors and scientists need to focus on doing what is necessary to help patients instead of their reputations and how they can make money.”
The rally this June will continue to create a community as stem cell patients from across the U.S. and Canada are provided the opportunity to share their experiences with prospective patients. It will also provide an opportunity for doctors and medical specialists to not only connect with patients but also consider how stem cell technology can be successfully implemented in North American medical systems.
Complimenting their Stem Cell Awareness events, the Stem Cell Awareness Association web site (http://www.stemcellaware.com) serves as a community forum where people can discuss stem cell therapies, policies, options and treatment experiences.
All patients who are considering stem cell treatments or have already had stem cell treatments are welcome to join the next Stem Cell Awareness Rally:
Location: Denver, Colorado
Place: Stella's Coffee House
Date: June 13th, 2009
Please contact Shel Morse (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit http://www.stemcellaware.com for more information about the event and Carol Peterson (email@example.com) for information on how you can get involved in the Stem Cell Awareness association.
About the Stem Cell Awareness Association
The International Stem Cell Awareness Association focuses on increasing the public’s awareness of stem cell treatments available around the world. The association’s immediate goals are to help educate patients about the best treatment options available today and provide a forum for past patients to connect with people considering stem cell treatment and to help those that need treatment to raise money. The long term goals are to encourage acceptance within the U.S. medical community of stem cell therapies currently only offered abroad and promote faster adoption of stem cell technology
USA Direct Line:
Don Margolis, Chairman
This Newsletter is for
educational purposes only and not to be taken as medical advice.