1. Walker, Cathy

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Right of Conscience

Stay updated on developments in the fight to maintain healthcare workers' right of conscience at, a coalition of healthcare, public policy, and legal organizations dedicated to preserving historic American civil rights and freedoms in healthcare.


Get More D's

Currently, vitamin D deficiency is determined when blood levels drop below 11 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Some experts consider a level of 30 ng/mL or higher to be desirable for overall health, and many think the cutoff for deficiency should be 20 ng/mL, which would push many more U.S. teenagers into the vitamin D-deficient category.


Overweight teens are twice as likely to have a deficiency, according to Dr. Sandy Saintonge and colleagues at Weill, who suggest teens take supplemental vitamin D and have blood levels routinely checked.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants, children, and teens get 400 IU of vitamin D daily. Milk, breakfast cereals, and orange juice fortified with the vitamin are the main food sources, along with some fatty fish. Experts recommend vitamins taken with meals for children who do not get enough D from food.-


Heat Goes to the Head

Warmer weather and changes in atmospheric pressure may trigger headaches and migraines. A U.S. research team found that each temperature increase of 9 degrees Fahrenheit appeared to increase the risk of severe headaches by nearly 8% compared to cooler days.


Air temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are often cited as reasons for headaches but until now there has been little concrete evidence to support this. Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and colleagues studied 7,000 men and women diagnosed with a headache or migraine at the hospital emergency room between May 2000 and December 2007.


Findings revealed that of all environmental factors tested, higher air temperature in the 24 hours before a hospital visit was most closely associated with headache symptoms. Mukamal said, "These findings help tell us that the environment around us does affect our health, and in terms of headaches, may be impacting many, many people on a daily basis." - 7/15/2009.


High-Tech Shoes Track Alzheimer's

A shoe with built-in GPS device could help find "wandering" seniors suffering from Alzheimer's disease. "The technology will provide the location of the individual wearing the shoes within 30 feet," said Andrew Carle, an assistant professor at George Mason University who served as an advisor on the project.


Sixty percent of individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's disease are involved in a "critical wandering incident" at least once. Carle said Alzheimer's victims tend to remove unfamiliar objects placed on them but getting dressed and wearing shoes is one of the last types of memory they retain.


"The shoe we intend on developing will enable authorized family members, friends, or caretakers to locate their loved ones instantly with the click of a mouse," said Chris Walsh, chief operating officer of GTX Corp. -


Pandemic Declared

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled a global pandemic of novel influenza A (H1N1) was underway. This action reflects of the spread of the new H1N1 virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus.


Since the WHO declaration, the new H1N1 virus has continued to spread. This summer, the Southern Hemisphere's regular influenza season began, and countries reported spread of the new H1N1 virus along with regular seasonal influenza. In the United States, the CDC anticipates there will be more cases, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with seasonal and H1N1 flu this fall and winter during the influenza season. - 7/16/2009.


Stay Informed About H1N1

The American Nurses Association is maintaining a 2009 H1N1 Information for Nurses Web site at


Caring Across Cultures

Considering short-term missions? "Being a missionary nurse with North American credentials does not automatically qualify you to practice in another country.... Responsible short-term medical mission projects will seek permission from the host government while on the project.... It is your responsibility to make sure you are practicing legally within the host country. Being a U.S. citizen and licensed to practice nursing in your state does not automatically transfer to the laws and nursing practice in the country you are visiting."-From Caring Across Cultures: Preparing for Effective Missionary Nursing, pp. 42-43, Grace Tazelaar, 2003. Available at or


For more on Best Practices in Christian Healthcare Missions, check out