JOINT COMMISSION JOURNAL ON QUALITY AND PATIENT SAFETY: Two articles focusing on disability, authored by CBH faculty were published in the October, 2021 edition.
1) Use of Accessible Weight Scales and Examination Tables/Chairs for Patients with Significant Mobility Limitations by Physicians Nationwide, by Eric Campbell and Julie Ressalam and 2) Implementation of Collection of Patients’ Disability Status by Centralized Scheduling, by Megan A. Morris.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR PHYSICIAN LEADERSHIP: Interview with Dr. Matthew Wynia on a range of topics around the pandemic, including the need to improve systems of care to avoid medical errors, and to consider applying that same lens to address racial and socio-economic disparities in health care.
AP NEWS: Center Director, Dr. Matthew Wynia, said state authorities should be responsible for establishing strategies needed to make triage decision fairly, so doctors and nurses aren’t left making those calls on their own at a patient’s bedside. “There’s no way to look at this and say this is OK. It’s not OK,” he said. But it’s necessary if hospitals are running out of resources, “which is happening right now.’’
HONOLULU CIVIL BEAT: Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities said, Hawaii’s plan is very similar to other states and largely uses boilerplate language, but is unusual in how it explicitly describes age and life cycle considerations as determinants. “I see a problem with having an explicit age cut off,” he said. “There’s really very little to differentiate a 64-year-old from a 65-year-old.”
BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO NEWS: Center Director Matthew Wynia explains, If you talk to anyone in the health care system who sees the current wave of infections and death as being avoidable. And so, there is an enormous amount of anger. There's even anger across states. You know, if you go to the ICUs in Colorado right now, my colleagues in the ICU are fielding 30, 40 calls a day from out of state hospitals seeking to transfer patients to us. And I have to say, there are people in our ICUs that are starting to say, really, you know, ”We're pretty full right now. Is it our responsibility to bail out the states that are not doing what they need to do to keep community transmission rates low?”
PEDIATRIC OBESITY: It is estimated that 13.7 million US paediatric patients have obesity and 6% have severe obesity. These conditions can decrease life expectancy by 2 to 20 years. Evidence suggests that metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is the most effective and durable treatment for severe obesity and complications of obesity in both adults and adolescents. However MBS remains underutilized with prior estimates suggesting that less than 1% of eligible paediatric patients undergo MBS. In this study, authors Sarah Ogle, Julie Ressalam, Christine Baugh, Eric Campbell, Megan Kelsey and Thomas Inge describe the demographic, medical comorbidity and insurance status of eligible, referred and receivers of MBS at a freestanding academic children's hospital with dedicated weight management and MBS programmes as an initial exploration of extent that referral acts as a barrier to MBS. Secondly, they explored predictors that may influence referral for MBS.
PATCH: Bucks County, PA Free Library Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15, by featuring "Eschucha Mi Voz." Written in both Spanish and English, this book by Warren Binford, JD, PhD, tells the stories of children detained at the US-Mexico border.
VOICE OF AMERICA: Warren Binford, a law professor at the University of Colorado, was part of a remote, entirely digital network of volunteers who, she estimates, assisted 1,400 Afghans in getting out. "The State Department had been put in charge of an evacuation from a warzone," she said, contending that as a result the military did not have the full command of the operation. They learned to "pivot and adapt on a constant ongoing basis", she said.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “It’s total chaos,” said Warren Binford, a law professor at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities who has been working on evacuation efforts. “What’s happening is that we’re seeing a massive underground railroad operation where, instead of running for decades, it’s literally running for a matter of hours, or days.”
THE HASTINGS CENTER: This question sparked debate recently after the leak of an internal memo of the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force, that proposed using patients’ Covid-19 vaccination status as a factor to assign intensive care beds. Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, and co-authors conclude that with surges occurring across the U.S. and in many other countries, it is tempting to blame individuals who prefer not to be vaccinated despite vaccine access. But using vaccination status as a first-order triage consideration is not clinically justified at present, since it should not be assumed that vaccinated patients have a survival advantage once they require mechanical ventilation, at least until more information is available.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE: One of many recommendations by Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH and co-authors is that specialty societies, major health care systems, public health departments and officials, and private sector health information technology partners should work together to leverage AI to assist in developing better prognostic tools for critical illness in general, as well as for disease- and injury-specific situations, and to develop systems for tracking the effects of using these algorithms on key measures of equity.
BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL: Lisa Bero, PhD and co-authors found that the pharmaceutical industry contributes considerable funding to the fertility sector and conclude that the conflicts of interest created by these payments, together with the commercial influences associated with the private model of service provision, are likely to contribute to the overuse of fertility services.
DISABILITY EQUITY COLLABORATIVE: "The DEC Research workgroup conducted this study during the COVID-19 pandemic—making the work considerably more challenging,” said CBH faculty Dr. Megan Morris. “However, it also created an important opportunity to shine a bright light on the gaps in health care accessibility for people with disabilities."
CHALKBEAT COLORADO: "A common misconception is that because the vaccines are currently under an emergency use authorization, that they are experimental, which is false," said Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD. “If it’s gone through the process to get emergency use authorization, it is an approved intervention. In terms of the amount of data that we have, these are the most evaluated therapies we’ve ever used anywhere."
FOX31 DENVER: Many people have asked: Is it legal for employers or the government to require the shots? Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH says, “The answer to your question, are vaccination mandates legal, is yes. They are clearly legal under U.S. law and under the U.S. Constitution, and that has been litigated repeatedly and essentially always comes up with the same answer.” He said things have been that way since the early 1900s, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld smallpox vaccine mandates.
Over the last year, CHWE partnered with CBH on a webinar series focused on ethics and occupational health. Through the Work & Play in a Pandemic Series, we have educated over 1,000 individuals on a variety of meaningful topics directed to a wide range of audiences including vulnerable worker populations; collegiate athletes; COVID-response workers facing moral distress; vaccine guidance for employers; and the future of OSH in light of the November 2020 election.
WINNER OF 2020 AJPA EDUCATION JOURNALISM AWARD: Center Director Matthew Wynia encourages medical schools to incorporate the Holocaust into bioethics training. "There is no topic you can imagine in bioethics today that has not been influenced by the actions of doctors, nurses and other health scientists during the Holocaust." This interview, Hard Lessons, by Andrea Jacobs from the Intermountain Jewish News, won the 2020 award for best education journalism from the American Jewish Press Association.
BOULDER DAILY CAMERA: Something remarkable has been happening in a pocket of rural Southwestern Colorado. Bruce Evans is chief of the Upper Pine Fire Protection District in the city of Bayfield, which is 18 miles east of Durango in La Plata County. Both his 33-person crew and the approximately 12,000 people they serve in the Four Corners region look to their chief — who has 37 years of experience in emergency services —as a trusted leader. Which is why 200 people came when the district hosted what was reportedly one of the first COVID-19 vaccine clinics at a firehouse in the state earlier this year.
DENVER GAZETTE: Matthew Wynia and State Rep. Andres Pico share their viewpoints. Wynia concludes, Maybe the idea of a sweepstakes just doesn’t appeal to you. Fair enough, but it does appeal to some who’ve been on the fence. Achieving herd immunity is hard, and one approach won’t work for everyone. But herd immunity is our ticket out of this pandemic, just like it was for diphtheria, polio and smallpox — each of which was once a worldwide scourge. We need to work all angles to get people vaccinated.