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Training for Disaster Outreach

International Bible Society (IBS) is now training interested staff in disaster outreach as part of a new initiative with The Salvation Army (TSA). The IBS program is dubbed SOS, Scripture Outreach Servants, and team members will collaborate with TSA as they provide spiritual and physical aid to people in crisis situations. Four training sessions will include an overview of disasters and general disaster outreach, basic Scripture evangelism training, an explanation of IBS disaster products, and training for volunteerism within TSA. Team members will be deployed in groups of four or five when disasters strike. For more information, call Judith Billings at 719-488-9200.


Try It; You May Like It

Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology is a monthly newspaper delving into the complex issues related to science and religion, as well as spirituality and health. The editor in chief, Harold Koenig, MD, Duke University, has done extensive work researching and publicizing the link between health and religion/spirituality. The publisher is offering 6-month free subscriptions to interested JCN readers. You can sign up by e-mail or call 866-363-2306.


New Way to Avoid Adhesions?

About 3 million women have surgery annually for ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis and other pelvic problems. Frequently post-op adhesions develop. Sometimes these bands of scar tissue wrap around the reproductive organs, leading to infertility and chronic abdominal pain. A squirt of a new FDA-approved gel, Gynecare Intergel Adhesion Prevention Solution, into the pelvic cavity immediately after surgery may reduce the chance of scarring by almost 60 percent, according to a University of Southern California study. The gel acts as a barrier around organs while they heal, preventing adhesion formation.-Redbook Magazine, December 2002


Dying Get Mediocre Care

The American health-care system does a mediocre job of caring for dying patients, according to a state-by-state report card on end-of-life care. Most Americans die alone in hospitals or nursing homes, in pain and hooked up to machines, even though they say they would prefer to die at home with adequate pain control and without heroic measures, according to the report from a national coalition of more than 1,000 organizations. A national poll conducted in conjunction with the report card found nearly 60 percent of respondents said the health-care system did a fair or poor job of caring for the dying, and 93 percent said it is important to improve the care. Less than 25 percent of hospitals offer hospice, and 14 percent offer palliative care, focusing on relief of pain and other symptoms, while giving emotional and spiritual support. About 42 percent had pain management programs. Few primary-care physicians and RNs are certified in palliative care.-Chicago Tribune, November 19, 2002, quoting The Boston Globe


On-Line Resources

Here are some Internet resources you probably want to know about.


* Medical dictionary, a searchable dictionary created by Graham Dark, containing terms related to biochemistry, cell biology, chemistry, medicine, molecular biology, physics, plant biology, radiobiology, science and technology. It contains more than 65,000 medically related definitions; entries are cross-referenced. It can be added to Microsoft Word as a dictionary file, and is found at


*, dedicated to health professional and public medical education, offers free, high quality medical textbooks in emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, and many others. Doctors and pharmacists write and maintain the texts and constantly update the information.


* Other sites of interest include;;;;;;;



The Power of Presence

Who we are may affect our patients as deeply as what we know. We can often heal with our understanding and our presence things we cannot cure with our scientific knowledge. The power to make a lasting difference in another's life may ultimately be a function of the heart as well as of the mind.-Rachel N. Remen, "The Power of Words," Western Journal of Medicine, November 2001


Visitors Perk Up Patients

Photographer Renee Lamm Esordi had a yearlong project. She followed animal assistant therapy volunteers and their pets on visits to hospitals, senior homes, schools, a youth camp and special functions. She talked with health care staff, volunteers of various organizations and many others about their experiences with these special visits. She witnessed and recorded the joyous responses of patients and residents who looked forward to the companionship and conversation the visits provided. Now she has published her experiences in You Have a Visitor: Observations on Pet Visitation and Therapy.-NurseWeek, November/December 2002


Easing the Caregivers' Financial Pinch

Caring for an aged or ailing relative-or working with someone who is? To ease the financial burden, consider joining The Caregivers Marketplace for rebates or discounts on items like bathing supplies and incontinence products. To enroll, call 866-327-8340 or visit' Home Journal, November 2002


Drive-Through Deliveries

Sending a new mother home from the hospital the day after she delivers her baby appears to pose no harm to the child or mother, according to a study of 20,366 births in Massachusetts covered by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Surprising the researchers, the practice also did not appear to save much money, shaving only $90 off the $2,599 typical delivery cost. Two important notes: the Harvard program also included a home visit by a nurse within 48 hours after the woman was discharged; and the study included only vaginal deliveries, not Caesarean sections.-Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2002


Questions About the Christian Faith?

Want some help answering the difficult faith questions of your patients and colleagues? As a follow up to the book Walking Away from Faith by Ruth Tucker (InterVarsity Press), IVP has established a website where the author interacts with responders, and tackles their hard faith questions. Log on at compiled by Melodee Yohe, consulting editor