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Guest Blog Post: MA DPH Raises Prediabetes Awareness for Diabetes Alert Day

The following is a guest Blog Post from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in recognition of Diabetes Alert Day (March 28th)

Type 2 diabetes is a serious and costly public health issue affecting tens of millions of Americans. Older adults have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. For those over 65, 1 in every 2 has prediabetes. In Massachusetts, there may be as many as 1.8 million adults who have prediabetes.

What is prediabetes? Prediabetes happens when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes.

An intervention, however, in the form of a prediabetes screening and referral to an evidence-based lifestyle change program, can help prevent the development of diabetes and the many serious conditions and complications associated with it. Continue reading

How Community-Based Organizations Can Support Value-Driven Health Care

Cross-posted from HealthAffairsBlog
By Anand Parekh, MD, MPH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Robert Schreiber, MD, Hebrew SeniorLife

As our health care system transforms more quickly than ever from paying for volume to paying for value, providers have strong incentives to ensure that their patients’ care plans are reinforced and supported outside the clinical setting in people’s homes and communities. Continue reading

Member Spotlight: Dr. Milagros Abreu

Milagros Abreu, MD, MPH is the founder and Executive Director of the Latino Health Insurance Program, Inc. (LHIP), and serves as a Chair on the committee for diversity of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the executive committee of the Healthy Aging Collaborative. She recently received the Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health.

You founded the Latino Health Insurance Program (LHIP). What is the LHIP?
The LHIP is a nonprofit organization that was founded to address the issue of access to medical care for Latinos in Massachusetts. Latinos are among the most affected populations when it comes to lack of medical coverage. Continue reading

8 Easy Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Cross-posted from Hebrew SeniorLife
By Jennifer Rhodes-Kropf, M.D., Hebrew SeniorLife

February is American Heart Health month, which makes it a great time to make changes that can improve the health of your heart. As a geriatrician at Center Communities of Brookline, I’m thrilled when patients want to make changes to positively impact their health, especially the health of the heart. Cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure) continues to be the number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S. This amazing organ needs to be protected and properly cared for to remain healthy for years to come. Continue reading

Fighting Chronic Illnesses with Evidence-Based Programs

By Rob Schreiber, MD, Medical Director, Massachusetts Healthy Living Center of Excellence

I often find myself doing things that only five years ago were being done by others. Self-checkout at the grocery store, online banking, arranging travel, self-education, and buying products over the Internet are just some of the examples that illustrate the basic fact that I must take charge. Continue reading

Chronic Disease Self-Management Training at the Department of Revenue

Cross-posted from WellMASS
By Ana Karchmer, CDSME Program Coordinator, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Many of us have to deal with one or more chronic health conditions. Learning how to successfully manage our conditions is key to living active and productive lives. Regardless of the particular illness we might have, we all have similar emotions when dealing with chronic illnesses. We might feel angry, depressed, anxious, frustrated, and afraid. Sometimes, we may wish we had a set of “tools” we could use to help us deal with these unpleasant emotions. Continue reading

Aging with HIV

by Stewart Landers, Director, U.S. Health Services, JSI Boston

While combination anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has transformed HIV from a killer into a chronic disease, it has created a large and growing group of people aging with HIV. People aged 50 and older accounted for almost one quarter (24 percent, 288,700) of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV infection in the U.S. in 2012. In addition, the CDC reported that in 2013, people aged 50 and older accounted for 21 percent (8,575) of the estimated 47,352 AIDS diagnoses in the United States. Continue reading