Donating miles to troops overseas
Have extra frequent-flier miles? If you're feeling patriotic, consider donating them to help troops on emergency leave from Iraq or Afghanistan reach their destination. Although service people can fly for free to airports at Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; or Dallas, Tex.; they have to pay for connecting flights. That means that the cost for someone to get home to Idaho for a family funeral, for example, can be pretty steep. The miles you donate to Operation Hero Miles also can be used by family members to fly overseas to be with soldiers being treated at U.S. military hospitals. To find out more, visit http://www.heromiles.org, where you'll see a list of participating airlines and directions on how to donate frequent-flier miles. Service members can visit the site to learn how they can get complimentary tickets.
Help stamp out health disparities
In April, to celebrate National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association (APHA) launched a campaign called Eliminating Health Disparities: Communities Moving from Statistics to Solutions. These disparities encompass differences in health care delivery that occur because of patients' gender, race, ethnicity, education level, income level, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation. Examples include unequal treatment for minorities, the lack of physicians in rural areas, low health literacy, and lack of insurance. Focusing on best practices nationwide, the campaign offers statistics and solutions as well as state-by-state programs online at http://www.apha.org/NPHW.
New clinical guidelines
[black small square] American Heart Association (AHA): "Evidence-Based Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women," published in Circulation (109:672-693, February 2004) and available online at http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/109/5/672
[black small square] National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN): "Practice Guidelines in Oncology." Scroll down to select "Colon Cancer," available online at http://www.nccn.org/physician_gls/f_guidelines.html
[black small square] Panel on Clinical Practices for Treatment of HIV Infection, Department of Health and Human Services: "Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents," available online at http://www.aidsinfo.nih.gov//guidelines/adult/AA_032304.pdf
[black small square] U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF): "Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Adults: Recommendation Statement," published in Annals of Internal Medicine (140(6):462-464, March 16, 2004) and available online at http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/140/6/462
Standard mileage rates for 2004
The Internal Revenue Service released the standard mileage rates to use in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business. Beginning January 1, 2004, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups, or panel trucks) is 37.5[cents] a mile for all business miles driven, up from 36[cents] a mile in 2003.