Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Health Roundup

Welcome to the Center for Health Innovation’s Weekly Health Roundup, where we’ll take a look at what’s making news in the world of health.

Autism appeared on the international agenda this week when the United Nations 67th General Assembly heard a resolution that “calls for greater participation of the U.N. in recognizing autism as a public health crisis and encourages Member States to tackle developmental disorders at the local, national and international levels.” World leaders also attended Autism Speaks Fifth Annual World Focus On Autism, and further emphasized the importance of raising awareness.

Meanwhile, collection sites across the United States are getting ready for Saturday’s National Take Back Drugs Day, which helps in the safe disposal of expired prescription drugs. The improper disposal of expired or unused medications can pose health risks to children and pets.Adelphi will have a collection site open on Saturday, September 29, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Ruth S. Harley University Center Lobby, and has an early drop off box available today, in the Public Safety Office, Levermore Hall, lower level.

If you are catching up on the latest fall TV premieres, you may be interested to know that a new study in the Journal of Communication finds that “social bullying is common on TV, even in shows made for kids.” Researcher Nicole Martins, PhD, used Nielsen Media Research data to determine the 50 most popular shows for viewers aged 12 and younger, and watched 3 episodes of each show. Dr. Martins found that “a total of 92% of the viewed episodes included incidents of social aggression, with verbal aggression accounting for about four out of five of these incidents.” She identified this as an opportunity for parents to talk about social bullying with their children.

And finally, we all know it’s rude to “eat and run,” but this week, researchers at the University of Copenhagen discovered that there may be benefits to people who “learn and run.” They asked a group of healthy males to repeatedly complete a complicated motor skill task on a computer, with some of the men exercising before they began, others after they had tried the task several times, and others still not at all; all participants came back a week later to repeat the task. Researchers found that the group who had exercised after learning the task “were noticeably better at remembering the task…which suggests…that physical exercise may help the brain to consolidate and store physical or motor memories.”

See you for next week’s Roundup!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adelphi University Pioneers Aphasia Group in Suffolk County

by Bonnie Soman, D.A., CCC-SLP

In September, the Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders (Adelphi University’s Speech and Hearing Center) started a program for individuals with aphasia at our Hauppauge Center. The Center now offers a weekly communication group run by graduate students in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders under the supervision of Dr. Bonnie Soman, clinic director and licensed speech-language pathologist. This is the first group of its kind in Suffolk County.

Aphasia is a communication disorder resulting from some type of brain injury. Oral communication (speaking and understanding of  language), as well as written language (reading and writing) may be affected. Although most typically caused by stroke, aphasia may result from traumatic brain injury or brain tumor. Although more common in older adults, aphasia may occur in individuals of any age. Each year, more than 100,000 people in the United States acquire aphasia.

There are three goals in running our aphasia group:
  • Therapeutic – to assist participants in communicating with one another, as well as with the clinicians;
  • Support – to offer the support of others who have had similar experiences;
  • Social – to provide the opportunity and the assistance so that participants can interact with one another in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
Aphasia affects not only the individual who acquires this disorder but family members as well. Serving as a caregiver may interfere with work and other family responsibilities. The caregiver often neglects his/her own needs to care for the person with aphasia. To address this, the Hy Weinberg Center in Hauppauge is running a weekly support group for family members.

Enrollment is ongoing. For information, contact Dr. Bonnie Soman:
  • (tel) 516-877-4845
  • (email)

Dr. Bonnie Soman is a speech-language pathologist and Director of the Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders on campus. Her work involves supervising students as they engage in clinical practice coursework. She has worked with clients across the lifespan, but has a particular interest in working with adults with communication problems and their families.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Working Together for a Healthier World

by Caroline T. Roan

When I was invited to post on Think About It, I was reminded of a recent article by Paul Klein on the Forbes CSR Blog, “Defining the Social Purpose of Business.”  I was included in interviews he did with business leaders on social purpose and its relationship to a company’s approach to corporate responsibility.

Mr. Klein believes that “every corporation has an overarching social purpose that transcends the operations of corporate social responsibility and, when well understood and effectively integrated, can have profound business and social results.” At Pfizer, we agree with him. The social purpose of our business is to discover and develop new and innovative medicines that prevent and treat disease, allowing individuals to live longer and healthier at every stage of life. That is why my colleagues and I come to work every day.

Corporations have a responsibility to provide value to their shareholders. But these days, the definition of value is expanding. It is more than just monetary. In exchange for providing companies with a license to operate, society has great expectations. Companies are, rightfully, judged on issues far beyond just the profits they make.

Pfizer is one of many companies that now reports on both financial and non-financial performance indicators. Two years ago, we began combining our Annual Report with our Corporate Responsibility Review into a single review. Our web site, and our annual integrated report highlight our financial, environmental and social performance.  Additionally, we voluntarily participate in various sustainability questionnaires, such as those offered by Carbon Disclosure Project (carbon, water), Bloomberg (Climate Innovation Index), and Newsweek (Green Rankings).  We are committed to improving our transparency through reporting.

In order to address current and future public health challenges, everyone involved in the health care dialogue will need to listen with an open mind and commit to working together for a healthier world. That isn’t just our tagline, it is the purpose of our business.

Caroline T. Roan is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Reputation at Pfizer Inc, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical company headquartered in New York.  She is also President of The Pfizer Foundation. Under Ms. Roan’s leadership, Pfizer continues to be a top corporate donor and has received local, national and international awards and recognition for its corporate responsibility programs. She will be speaking at the Adelphi University President’s Series on Critical Issues on Thursday, September 13, 2012, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.