1. Yohee, Melodee consulting editor

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Overseas Internship

In summer'04 two senior Hope College (Holland, MI) nursing students participated in a new internship program focusing on pediatrics and international ministry. Spearheaded by assistant professor Amanda Barton, the two-month program is supported by Hope's CrossRoads Project and funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. In conjunction with Rainbows of Hope, an organization reaching children in need, as part of ministry teams, Jodi Ross served at an orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala; Rebekah Stewart was in Naivasha, Kenya, teaching nutrition and hygiene to children from low-income families in a primary school setting. For more information, contact Dr. David Cunningham, College News, September 14, 2004


Weight-Cancer Link?

The amount of weight a woman gains after age 18 is a strong signal as to whether she will get breast cancer later in life, according to research by the American Cancer Society. The study included 1,934 breast cancer cases among 62,756 women in a separate long-term cancer prevention study. Older women who gained 20-30 pounds after high school were 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer than women who didn't gain. The risk doubled with a gain of more than 70 pounds. Fat tissue makes estrogen, and estrogen can help breast cancer grow. Women taking estrogen hormones were not included in the study. Lean post-menopausal women not taking hormone replacement therapy produce very little estrogen and had the lowest cancer risk in the study.-Associated Press, Pensacola News Journal, February 26, 2004


Crossing the Privacy Line?

A small computer chip that can be implanted under the skin to give MDs instant access to a person's identity and medical records has been approved by the government for use in medical care. Called a VeriChip and made by Applied Digital Solutions, Inc., the device is read by a scanner and linked to a computer database. Similar devices have been used on people in other countries, and in the U.S. to track lost pets. The chips, about the size of a grain of rice, will cost about $200. They are implanted with a syringe in the upper arm, usually with little discomfort. However, privacy advocates have raised concerns about possible misuse, with the government gaining access to private information. The approved chip does not send out radio waves and so cannot track an individual's movements. If a lost person (Alzheimer's patient, perhaps) is found and cannot speak, the chip is scanned, and an ID number can be used to retrieve information. More advanced tracking chips are under development. -William J. Netzer, Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University


Recognizing God

"When you recognize God as Creator, you will admire him. When you recognize his wisdom, you will learn from him. When you discover his strength, you will rely on him. But only when he saves you will you worship him [horizontal ellipsis]. A season of suffering is a small price to pay for a clear view of God."-Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm


Ongoing Tsunami Relief

Gospel for Asia (GFA, Carrollton, TX) supports native missionaries in 10 Asian countries, so immediately after the killer waves hit, was able to place more than 500 workers to bring emergency relief and express God's love to the terrified survivors. GFA president K. P. Yohannan has been coordinating a $6 million effort to bring clean water, food, clothing, medicine, and now, housing, to some of the estimated 5 million people made homeless. GFA is shifting some of their 14,000 native missionaries to help in the relief effort. Yohannan says, "Because we work at the grass roots, we have an infrastructure already in place, supported by 1.5 million South Asian believers, and they are able to minister effectively." To visit GFA's special Tsunami Relief web page, go to


RNs Doing Something Right

For the 5th time in the past 6 years, nurses are the clear choice in the Gallup Organization's annual survey on honesty and ethical standards. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans, or 79%, gave nurses a "very high" or "high" rating in 2004, down slightly from 83% last year. In 2001, firefighters edged nurses with a 90% rating, due largely to the September 11 attacks. Highest ratings go to public service workers, such as military personnel, teachers and health care professionals. Lowest rated? People in sales and big business, as well as lawyers, politicians and reporters. Physicians came in at 67%, ahead of police officers at 60%, and clergy at 56%.-Nursing Spectrum, December 13, 2004


Prayer's Healing Power

According to a National Institutes of Health survey of 31,000 people, prayer is the most commonly used form of alternative medicine. "Spiritual people tend to be optimistic and have more self-esteem and social support, factors that improve health," says Yale researcher Holly Prigerson. She found that the bereaved who relied on faith to cope needed fewer doctor visits. In a 2004 Duke study of 838 hospitalized older adults, those who were more religious had fewer symptoms of depression and better cognitive function. In a 2004 Yale study, doctors reported that poor people in urban areas who believed in a higher power were less likely than their non-spiritual peers to be depressed during hard times. Other studies show that people with strong faith are more optimistic going into heart surgery, and that prayer promotes healing post-surgery. -Jennifer Matlack, Reader's Digest, December 2004


-PulseBeats compiled by


Melodee Yohee, consulting editor