Tag Archives: prevention

Women Working and Daybreak USA are Living with Intent

In the whirlwind since releasing Living with Intent on April 7th, the conversation about what it means to live with intent has been active and thriving. People share what it means to be parents, to be working, to be themselves while pursuing dreams and striving to be the healthiest, happiest versions of who they are.

This is why we love to share interviews and stories with you! Hear Mallika’s story, hear stories from others and then share your own with us by emailing Mallika@MallikaChopra.com.

This interview is the first of a 4-part series with Helene Lerner of Women Working who sat down to ask questions about what it means to live a life of purpose:

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Better Than Before: A Hypochondriac Discovers von Willebrand Disease

 von Willebrand DiseaseThe worst thing you can tell a hypochondriac such as myself, is that there is another illness out there waiting to be experienced. Case in point: The little-known bleeding disorder, von Willebrand Disease (vWD). While it sounds like something you can only catch from effete German aristocrats, it is, in fact, named after Erik Adolf von Willebrand, a Finnish pediatrician who first discovered it in 1926. And the only reason I am writing about it now, is that it turns out that I know someone who actually suffers from it, and she recently described her symptoms to me. (Note: When innocents start doing this and my husband, The Lawyer, is present, he desperately, tries to stop them before I personally start to manifest the symptoms!) Amazingly, it is remarkably common – if not well understood – and by some estimates, affects as many as 1 in 100 people. A genetic disorder, it is non gender-specific, meaning men and women are afflicted equally. Most cases, though, go undiagnosed because the symptoms tend to be very mild.

In order to find out more about vWD, I consulted with the specialty-trained clinicians in the Express Scripts Bleeding Disorder Therapeutic Resource Center, offered through Accredo, who have disease-specific expertise. They help patients understand and manage their condition and treatments. In other words, they are good for me to get to know. (Both the experts and the treatments, that is!)

Here is what Leslie Oygar, a clinical nurse liaison in the TRC, tells me:

Von Willebrand factor (vWf) is one of the key components of the process that helps blood clot. It is produced in the bone marrow and the lining of the blood vessels, where it is also stored. In 99% of us, VWf is released into the blood when an injury occurs and works with platelets to start the clotting process, which ultimately stops the bleeding. If the supplies of vWf are inadequate, it can result in uncontrollable, or poorly controlled, bleeding.

There are three types of vWD. Fortunately, a vast majority –roughly 75% – of patients have Type 1. These patients typically experience less severe symptoms. Type 2 is caused by a qualitative dysfunction of the vWf. There’s enough clotting factor but it does not function the way it should. Type 3 is the most serious, and rarest, of vWD. These patients have a a severe deficiency of clotting factors, and experience significant bleeding –including joint bleeding. Type 3 requires treatment with an intravenous clotting factor containing vWF.

Now for the scary part as far as I’m concerned! That would be the actual symptoms. According to Oygar, these can range widely depending on the person’s gender and type of vWD.

“They can be as minor as light bruising or small knots under a bruised area,” Oygar says.

The more alarming ones include bleeding from the gums and prolonged bleeding after a dental extraction, blood in the urine (kidney bleeding) or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Female patients, as one would imagine, can have additional signs including prolonged or excessively heavy menstrual bleeding, which are in some cases very serious, requiring blood transfusions until it is under control. Postpartum bleeding is of concern as well.

The good news? vWD is treatable, Oygar points out. How? Glad you asked, because Oygar has answers.

• Symptoms of Type I and some forms of Type 2 are often treated with an intranasal spray, Stimate, also offered in injectable form.

• Oral medications, like Aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid, are available to help prevent the clot formed from breaking down after the bleeding stops. They are often used before and after dental procedures.

• Some other forms of Type 2 and Type 3 may call for an intravenous plasma-derived clotting factor.

For patients with any form of vWD, however, below are six useful medication management tips to help ensure that their condition is well controlled. They are important suggestions to keep on hand on your journey to feeling Better Than Before:

1) Be on the alert: If you have vWD, as with so many conditions, the first step is prevention. Similar to people with hemophilia, obviously avoid activities that can lead to cuts and internal bleeding. Less obvious is food-intake related actions. Sharp-edged foods, such as corn chips, may scratch or pierce the soft tissue inside your mouth and cause bleeding. Chewing gum can lead to biting your tongue. And if you are already bleeding, avoid hot foods and beverages, as they can cause vasodilation, causing bleeding to worsen.

2) Have First-Aid handy: Keep popsicles in the freezer as a first line of care for oral bleeding until medication can be administered as ordered by the hematologist. The ice-cold treat aids in vasoconstriction, which is part of the first stage of coagulation. Ice packs for topical use on other areas of the body should be in the freezer as well.

3) Cover all contingencies: Especially in the case of your children who may have vWD, have a plan and discuss it with the school nurse or teachers, and other caregivers. Ensure that medication is available in the school clinic for any episodes of bleeding.

4) Use as directed: Nasal sprays, injectables and intravenous medications for vWD require a hematologist’s supervision and approval and should be used exactly as prescribed. Over-dosing or under-dosing can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Always consult a hematologist or an appropriate clinician for questions about dosing changes. Missing doses or discontinuing the medication could cause the bleeding to resume.

5) Monitor fluid intake: Over-hydration in patients on a nasal spray or injectable form of medication can cause seriously low sodium levels which could lead to seizures.

6) Talk to your clinician: Heavy menstrual bleeding can be dangerous and must be reported to the hematologist or clinician. Let your hematologist know at least 2 weeks prior to surgery or dental work. Be sure to report any symptoms or changes.

As for me, I’ve decided that from now on I probably should stay away from sharp knives; and just to be sure, all cooking utensils! The Lawyer will just have to fend for himself in the kitchen. (Who cares if the odds are 99 to 1 that I don’t have vWD!)

Why You Should Stop Making Excuses & Cook at Home

IMG_4493As a fitness expert, I know everyone wants to look like a supermodel and eat like Miss Piggy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work unless you are one of those rare individuals with exceptional genetics and metabolism. Eating out all the time is too tempting and thus we blow our diets. So I recommend that most people cook at home. In most cases I encounter initial resistance, and a lot of “genuine” excuses. From my experience, the best training results from being careful about what you consume and eating a healthy, balanced, protein-rich diet with fiber, healthy carbs, and healthy oils. Unless you have a personal chef, you will need to shop wisely for healthy, affordable food and cook at least some of the time.

Let me share with you some objections to healthy food preparation that I have heard from my clients, along with my own commentary and insights:

“It’s too expensive for me”
True, it costs more to buy healthy food, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it to add a few more dollars to the grocery bill in order to boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals for the benefit of your skin, hair, body and immune system. There’s no doubt organic food is more expensive than conventionally grown food, but it’s so worth it. It’s your body and you only get one. Even if you buy organic, cooking at home ends up being cheaper when you factor in the cost of health care. Food is prevention; food is a cure to whatever ails us. So many diseases are stopped dead in their tracks by your immune system when you get the nutrition your body needs. We are all exposed to the same environmental stressors (viruses, pollutants and so forth), but not everyone gets sick or to the same degree. Viruses are more likely to thrive in an unhealthy body that is full of pollutants such as chemical additives, preservatives and saturated fats and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Your immune system needs proper fuel to function. Invest in yourself and your health by cooking at home, and spare yourself the days off work, the medication, and the medical bills.

“I don’t have time”
Maintaining health takes time: time to train, to shop, to cook, to research, to plan, to attend workshops, to watch educational or inspirational videos. He who doesn’t invest time in his health will eventually spend that valuable time treating and recuperating from disease. Those who want something badly enough will find the time to accomplish it. If you are a busy person, simply cook for the whole week in advance on the weekend — partition the food into meal-sized portions in Tupperware containers and freeze half of it. Before you leave the house, just grab a container of prepared food and you have a healthy meal ready to eat. If mornings are chaotic and rushed, prepare your breakfast the day before. For example, prepare your shake/smoothie the night before by loading the blender with the various fruits and vegetables and put it in the refrigerator; then in the morning simply take it out, and the ice, liquids (almond milk etc.), powders (protein powder, green powder, etc.) and hit the Smoothie button. Or prepare steel-cut organic oatmeal the night before and reheat it in the morning for a quick and healthy breakfast.

“I have no idea how to cook”
Everyone has family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) or friends who know how to cook. Spend some quality time with them in the kitchen and — who knows — you might even enjoy it! Also, we live in the Internet age, with so many recipes, tips, and instructional videos available at our fingertips. With this wealth of information there’s no way you won’t understand how to cook. Be willing to experiment, to make mistakes, and it will turn out fine.

“I’m not a good cook”
This one is a total cop-out. This means you haven’t put enough effort into it. With enough trial and error, you will get to competence. There’s no need to cook gourmet meals to eat well and healthy. Start with something simple, like an omelet, and move on from there. Take it one step at a time, like a child learning to walk. You wouldn’t expect a baby to run long distances at one year old, so don’t set unreasonable expectations of yourself as a cook either. Encourage yourself every step of the way, celebrate your successes, and be patient with yourself. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. One day you just might surprise yourself by teaching someone else to cook.

You can find me online at www.orionsmethod.com

Deepak Chopra: Why Doctors Can’t Make You Well

sick-care-700x422

For many people, keeping well doesn’t involve taking good advice. After decades of public health campaigns in favor of low-fat diets, moderate exercise, and stress management, it’s still hard to get Americans to comply.  As a society, we are so sold on drugs and surgery as the answer to illness that many of us only register two states of health: Either you are sick or you’re not sick. In the first case, you go to the doctor’s, who is expected to fix you.

The choice should be broader than being sick or not. “I am well” means much more than the absence of active disease. What the public – and most doctors – hasn’t found out is that the cause of illness is becoming more and more murky.  It’s not just germs and genes. The germ theory of disease held sway for over a century after the discovery of microbes and the arrival of antibiotics to combat them. Gene therapy, long promised as the answer to almost any disease, hasn’t actually achieved much success, although in certain cases, such as cancers that are caused by a simple genetic mutation, targeted drug therapies have been successful.

The bigger picture is that genetics has led us into much more complicated view of the disease process, so complicated that it is beyond the skill of doctors.  Too many factors are at work when illness arises, and the disease model itself sometimes breaks down.

A startling article in The Wilson Quarterly covered the current explanations for schizophrenia, which has moved from being a psychiatric disorder to a disorder of the brain. And yet, to quote the article, “It is now clear that the simple biomedical approach to serious psychiatric illnesses has failed in turn. At least, the bold dream that these maladies would be understood as brain disorders with clearly identifiable genetic causes … has faded into the mist.” All simple approaches, from talking to a psychiatrist to taking a pill or holding out for a genetic silver bullet, don’t match reality.

To quote once more, “. . . schizophrenia now appears to be a complex outcome of many unrelated causes—the genes you inherit, but also whether your mother fell ill during her pregnancy, whether you got beaten up as a child or were stressed as an adolescent, even how much sun your skin has seen. It’s not just about the brain. It’s not just about genes.”  The fact is that many diseases are turning out to have multiple causes that change from person to person. Depression, which is much more widespread than schizophrenia, is now known to involve many brain centers, to the extent that no two people are exactly alike in their depression.

Therefore, the conclusion that applies to schizophrenia may be announcing a massive trend.  “. . . schizophrenia looks more and more like diabetes. A messy array of risk factors predisposes someone to develop diabetes: smoking, being overweight, collecting fat around the middle rather than on the hips, high blood pressure, and yes, family history. These risk factors are not intrinsically linked. Some of them have something to do with genes, but most do not.”

What are we left with when clear, defined causes don’t work?, a term even more vague than risk factors: susceptibility.  Susceptibility covers so many things that quite literally everything in life becomes a contributing factor.  A doctor can’t make you well because susceptibility goes back all the way to birth. A wide range of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, autism, and Alzheimer’s, are now traceable to slight changes in the brain that appear many years or even decades before the first symptoms arise.

Much of this evidence has been gained through brain scans and genetic typing, yet these indicators aren’t causes.  We now know that gene output is highly flexible and always changing, while the brain alters its “soft wiring” constantly. Both are highly influenced by behavior, beliefs, lifestyle choices, diet, and so on.  Despite all the new information gained through new technologies, treatment hasn’t generally kept up, and sometimes, as in early signs of a predisposition for cancer, autism, and Alzheimer’s, finding a suitable drug therapy, should one even exist, is years or decades away.

In the next post we’ll discuss what this tremendous shift in explaining illness means for you today, trying to find ways to reduce your susceptibility.

 

(To be cont.)

 

www.deepakchopra.com

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Deepak Chopra: The Higher Health — A New Map for Prevention

Wellness seems to have reached a plateau in America and other wealthy industrialized countries. The information about how to prevent many kinds of lifestyle disorders, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, has been widely distributed. Longevity steadily increases. Advanced research on incurable diseases moves forward, if only by small increments.

You might think that the picture of health is clear. All we need is two things to achieve wellness for almost everyone: more compliance and a major leap in genetics.

The first is certainly true. America’s obesity epidemic isn’t improving because the information about how to reverse it didn’t lead to motivation. The same is true for the other standard points of prevention, such as a reduced fat diet, less red meat, more vegetables, lower salt and sugar, and more fiber. The government can jiggle the food pyramid, but that won’t matter as long as Americans haven’t stepped on to the pyramid in the first place. The same goes for exercise, since only a small minority of adults get even the minimum amount to promote good health.

But this post isn’t a scolding about compliance. It’s the second part of wellness – waiting for genetics to deliver amazing cures and new wonder drugs – that is not a promise likely to be kept. If we want to rise above the plateau where we find ourselves, we actually have to reverse the promise of genetics. Instead of waiting for science, each of us must learn to influence our genes in a new way.

Ten years ago, with the map of the human genome in hand, researchers ran eagerly after magic bullets, that is, simple treatments for fixing damaged genes or “bad” genes that were causing everything from cancer and type 1 diabetes to obesity and smoking, not to mention mental disorders like depression and free-floating anxiety, both of which are reaching epidemic proportions.

No one is talking about magic bullets anymore, for the genetic map, combined with imaging techniques like the MRI and CT scans, revealed the opposite of what everyone wanted to find. Instead of simple genetic connections, there are dozens and sometimes hundreds of genes involved in various disorders. Even to find fixed sets of these genes has proved elusive. Each individual seems to possess unique patterns of genetic influence.  Now medicine realizes that breast cancer, for example, isn’t one disease but dozens. Faced with such unforeseen complications, the hope for genetic cures, while still alive, has become ten times more complex.

Yet in a different way the human genome has opened the door for the higher health. We now realize that our genes are far more flexible, changeable, and easily influenced by lifestyle choices. This post is too short for me to detail how such a revolutionary change occurred in genetic thinking, so I will only point to the findings of Dr. Dean Ornish, the country’s most respected advocate for heart prevention, which indicate that improving your diet, exercise, and stress levels leads to improved genetic output from 400 to 500 genes.

This indicates that standard prevention has a real physiological basis, which is good news. Compliance is more than ever the wisest choice. But the new view of genetic flexibility points much further. You are in a constant conversation with every cell in your body, meaning that at the molecular level, every thoughts and action has consequences. It has become clear that genes are eavesdropping on every detail of life, including not just diet and exercise but your moods, beliefs, and every experience that registers in the mind.

In other words, you can be the controller of your body’s trillions of cells, and the control switch lies in consciousness. Higher health depends on taking advantage of this breakthrough idea.  Far beyond the placebo effect and psychosomatic illness, beyond faith healing and spontaneous remissions, the mind has unlimited potential for achieving a higher vision of wellness, as we’ll discuss in the next post

(To be cont.)

www.deepakchopra.com

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How to Keep Your Man Safe On Super Bowl Sunday

Few associate Super Bowl Sunday with danger. However, the medical community warns that on this day some men will suffer heart attacks, emergency room visits for gastrointestinal problems due to junk food and broken bones due to excess alcohol consumption.  Methodist Hospital in Houston points out that domestic violence cases increase in households where there are already existing difficulties. It is always easier to prevent than to treat.

 Here are some tips on managing testosterone running rampant at home.

* For a man meat is comfort food. Prepare club sandwiches with lean meats like roast beef, ham and turkey. Use low-fat cheese and mustard instead of mayo. Add tomato, onion, roasted peppers and arugula to score points with veggies.  Whatever you are serving keep it lower in sodium (substitute peppery spices to give it a kick), focus on veggies like vegetarian chili, and substitute baked instead of fried. Cut up fruits and veggies with low-fat dips and position them front and center.

* Alcohol can make people do crazy things and get hurt as balance is affected. Create awareness and call a family meeting regarding excess alcohol consumption; plan in advance to substitute every second drink with water, non-alcoholic beer, coffee or a soft drink. Make sure no one is driving after the game.

* Many men identify strongly with their team and if their team loses, they become depressed and experience grief; another manifestation of this kind of depression is an angry outburst. This could lead to a cardiac episode especially if he has high blood pressure or is out of shape.  A football team often becomes an extension of personal identity. If the team wins, status is increased and if the team loses, he might feel like a loser. Losing is layered on to previous losses – old hurts. Therefore pre-game – before drinking and excitement rule – discuss the possibility of a loss and reframe it with a more resilient interpretation. Create a more optimistic scenario to take the sting out of it.

* Reward good behavior with a romantic post- game celebration. You can bet on the outcome (even if you are clueless). The winner gets his or her sexual fantasy gratified. You just might be interested in watching the game too!
 

Nuts Prevent Heart Attacks

A review of 25 studies shows that eating nuts (including peanuts) lowers cholesterol to help prevent heart attacks (Archives of Internal Medicine, May 10, 2010).  Eating an average of 2.5 ounces of nuts per day lowers total cholesterol 5.1 percent, LDL (the bad cholesterol) 7.4 percent, and triglycerides 10.2 percent. It even lowers Lp(a), a genetic component of cholesterol that increases risk for strokes and heart attacks in young people. The more nuts a person eats, the lower the cholesterol. Those with the highest bad LDL cholesterol had the greatest lowering when they ate nuts.

An earlier review of five large epidemiologic studies and 11 clinical studies showed that eating nuts reduces risk for heart attacks (Nutrition Reviews, May 8, 2001).  The most improvement came from eating two ounces (four tablespoons) of nuts five or more times a week. Eating an ounce of nuts more than five times a week can result in a 25 to 39 percent reduction in heart attack risk.

Nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Before the bad LDL cholesterol can form plaques in arteries, it must be converted to oxidized LDL. LDL formed from monounsaturated fat is highly resistant to oxidation, so the LDL is less likely to be converted to its form that damages arteries. The nuts in these studies included almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts. Among Americans, peanuts account for approximately half of all nuts consumed.

 

13 Steps to Droughtproofing Your Home

 

The American West is dry and getting drier. In the summer of 2007, over one-third of the continental United States suffered through a drought for the age, and in much of the country, particularly the Southwest, conditions haven’t much improved. In fact, long term projections by credible climate scientists show the drought turning into lasting desertification. So picture the American West as a permanent Dust Bowl. We think it’s time to start learning how to make do with less water, so we called up Lynn Lipinski… 

of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for some advice. Here are some tips for living without wasting the waning resource, both inside and outside your home:

Indoors:

1) Track your usage over time with your utility bill. Jot it down in a notebook, or make a spreadsheet. If there’s ever an inexplicable increase, you may have a leak somewhere.

2) Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when their full. No sense using twice the water to clean the same amount of stuff in two half-loads. You’ll save between 15 and 50 gallons every wash.

3) Check all your faucets for leaks. Even a slow drip can cost you gallons every day.

4) Everyone’s least favorite: set a timer for a five minute shower. That’ll use 25 fewer gallons of water than an average American shower.

5) Of course, the one we all remember from grade school: turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You’ll save 3 gallons every scrub.

Outdoors:

1) When you’re mowing your lawn, don’t cut the grass shorter than 3 inches. This helps reduce evaporation considerably.

2) Install a “smart” sprinkler system. Like a programmable thermostat inside your home, a “smart” sprinkler can be set to spritz your lawn at the most efficient times of day for your local climate and weather patterns. This could save around 40 gallons a day.

3) Water your yard before peak morning sun. Before 8 am is a good reference point. It’s less windy at this hour, meaning more of the glistening drops actually land where you want them do, and there’s less direct sun, meaning less evaporation. Saves up to 25 gallons a day.

4) If it’s not mandated already, try to limit yourself to watering your yard just three days-a-week, rather than everyday. Savings: a whopping 1,200 gallons per month.

5) Throw some mulch (preferably organic!) around your outdoor plants to help reduce evaporation. This will save hundreds of gallons per year.

6) Quit hosing down your driveway and sidewalks! Bust out the broom and sweep them clean. You’ll save around 150 gallons every time.

7) Check your sprinkler system routinely for leaks, for broken sprinkler heads, and for “overspray“- water that sprays onto surfaces that don’t need to be watered, like driveways, decks or doghouses. Diligent sprinkler monitors save up to 500 gallons per month.

8) Replace your lawn with drought tolerant plants. If we’re really on the verge of a permanent Dust Bowl, we might have to start rethinking the lawn. You could save up to 1,800 gallons per month, depending, of course, on how much grass you replace.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user °Florian

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today. 

 

 

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)

 On February 17th, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law.[1]  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is administering $1.5 billion of this $787 billion stimulus package through its Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).[2]  HPRP funding is truly significant since it equals HUD’s entire annual homeless assistance budget.[3]

While the overall goal of HPRP is housing stability for those being helped, HPRP funds will provide two-fold relief: 

1. Homelessness prevention assistance for households who would otherwise become homeless and

2.  Rapid re-housing assistance for persons who are homeless.[4]

HPRP funds are intended for short- and medium- term financial assistance for housing stabilization, linking program beneficiaries to community resources and mainstream benefits and helping beneficiaries develop a plan for preventing future housing instability.[5] It is noteworthy that HPRP funds are not for mortgage assistance nor are they intended to provide long-term support for beneficiaries.

HUD provides the following funding table[6] to show the intended categories for distribution of HPRP funds:

Activity                                                                                   Funding Level

Direct financial assistance, such as rental assistance, etc.                 $820,875,000.00

Housing relocation and stabilization services                                    $447,750,000.00

Data collection and evaluation by grantees                                       $149,250,000.00

Grantee administrative costs                                                              $74,625,000.00

HUD will provide training, technical assistance, monitoring

enforcement, research and evaluation activities                                     $7,500.000.00

 

TOTAL                                                                                          $1,500,000,000.00

By the terms of ARRA, each HPRP grantee must expend 60% of their grant within two years of receipt and 100% of its grant within three years of receipt of its grant.[7] 

With a grant minimum of $500,000, funds have been awarded to U.S. territories (0.2 percent of total funding allocation, i.e., $3 million), metropolitan cities, urban counties and states for distribution to local governments and private nonprofit organizations.[8]  There are 540 eligible grantees[9] and funds have been awarded pursuant to the Emergency Solutions Grant Program, formally the Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) Program, formula.[10]  

Under HRPR, grantees will provide reports on a monthly and quarterly basis and HUD will do remote monitoring. Further, grantees and subgrantees will collect data through the Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).[11]

 HPRP funds may benefit individuals or families with or without children for any number of months up to 18 months of assistance.[12] However, these funds are to be paid only to third parties, such as landlords or utility companies, "[I]n an effort to…avoid mismanagement of grant funds."[13]

The ultimate beneficiaries of HPRP funds, known as "participants," are those people who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless.  While HUD "allows grantees significant discretion in program design and operation," it does admonish that "grantees and subgrantees should carefully assess a household’s need and appropriateness for HPRP." [14]

 HUD sets forth the following minimum criteria that grantees of HPRP funds must consider before assisting individuals and families, whether homeless or housed:[15]

1.  Participants must have initial consultation with a case manager who can determine the appropriate type of assistance to meet their needs,

2.  Participating household must be at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).  While income limits are available at www.huduser.org/DATASETS/il.html, grantees are advised to use HUD’s Section 8 income eligibility standards for HPRP and

3.  Participating households must be either homeless or at risk of losing its housing and          

            (1) No appropriate housing options have been identified, plus

            (2) The household lacks the financial resources and support networks needed to obtain immediate                                  housing or remain in its exiting housing. 

Regarding the prevention of homelessness, HUD "strongly encourages" its HPRP grantees and subgrantees to assist those individuals and families at the "greatest risk of becoming homeless."[16]  It asks that grantees and subgrantees remember to ask themselves, "Would this individual or family be homeless but for this assistance?"[17]

Grantees in California include:[18]

Alameda                                               552,208.00

Alhambra                                             567,605.00

Anaheim                                            2,046,908.00

Bakersfield                                        1,372,351.00

Baldwin Park                                        605,041.00

Berkeley                                            1,332,952.00

Chula Vista                                          819,738.00

Compton                                              848,514.00

Costa Mesa                                         560,237.00

Daly City                                               510,070.00

Downey                                                611,834.00

El Cajon                                               512,686.00

El Monte                                            1,110,506.00

Escondido                                            709,782.00

Fremont                                                682,331.00

Fontana                                                783,380.00

Fresno                                               3,130,746.00

Fullerton                                               622,710.00

Garden Grove                                  1,068,707.00

Glendale                                           1,346,899.00

Hawthorne                                           703,261.00

Hayward                                               703,342.00

Huntington Beach                              566,611.00

Huntington Park                                  656,002.00

Inglewood                                            918,344.00

Irvine                                                     540,656.00

Lancaster                                             564,646.00

Long Beach                                      3,566,451.00

Los Angeles                                  29,446,304.00

Lynwood                                              646,575.00

Merced                                                 515,203.00

Modesto                                               966,016.00

Moreno Valley                                     732,872.00

Norwalk                                                633,782.00

Oakland                                             3,458,120.00

Oceanside                                           742,791.00

Ontario                                                  997,869.00

Orange                                                 545,636.00

Oxnard                                               1,124,994.00

Palmdale                                              615,530.00

Pasadena                                            908,395.00

Pomona                                             1,164,766.00

Rialto                                                    546,485.00

Richmond                                            559,735.00

Riverside                                           1,383,070.00

Sacramento                                      2,375,126.00

Salinas                                              1,013,978.00

San Bernardino                               1,455,066.00

San Diego                                         6,168,104.00

San Francisco                                  8,757,780.00

San Jose                                           4,128,763.00

Santa Ana                                         2,831,989.00

Santa Maria                                         521,839.00

Santa Monica                                      553,576.00

Santa Rosa                                          516,527.00

South Gate                                           865,273.00

Stockton                                            1,725,572.00

Sunnyvale                                            508,191.00

Westminster                                         511,454.00

 

Alameda County                                 802,915.00

Contra Costa County                     1,421,551.00

Fresno County                                 1,634,630.00

Los Angeles County                     12,197,108.00

Kern County                                    2,076,503.00

Marin County                                      659,106.00

Orange County                                1,556,026.00

Riverside County                             4,276,900.00

Sacramento County                        2,396,773.00

San Bernardino County                 3,040,382.00

San Diego County                          1,925,974.00

San Joaquin County                       1,460.619.00

San Luis Obispo Country                  855,184.00

San Mateo County                         1,166,526.00

Santa Barbara County                       829,013.00

Santa Clara County                            717,484.00

Sonoma County                                  817,572.00

Stanislaus County                           1,023,163.00

Ventura County                                   826,094.00

 State of California                         44,466,877.00

 Funding directly allocated to the State of California is the largest state allocation in the U.S. to date and is being distributed to 31 California agencies and local governments.[19] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has commented, "This funding will boost efforts helping those who find themselves on the edge of homelessness and add support for the homeless – and it couldn’t have come at a better time thanks to President Obama’s Recovery Act."[20]

What outcomes are hoped to be achieved through HPRP?[21]

• Reducing the length of stay in shelters or in homelessness

• Reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time

• Increasing the number of people who are diverted from shelter to stable housing

• Reducing repeat episodes of homelessness

• Reducing the number of people overall who are homeless

 For additional information about HPRP, please visit www.HUD.gov/recovery and www.HUDHR.info.

I look forward to your comments.

Thank you,

Christine           


[1] "News Alert:  Congress Passes Economic Recovery Act," Funders Together to End Homelessness at www.endlongtermhomelessness.org/press_center/news_alert_congress_passes.aspx.

[2] HUD Program-Level Plan Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program at www.hud.gov/.

[3] "Report:  2009 Regional HRPR Training," Slide 16, SNAPS and HUD..

[4] HUD Program-Level Plan Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program at www.hud.gov/.

[5] Ibid.

[6] American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), HUD Program-Level Plan, HPRP at www.recovery.gov.

[7] "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program," www.hud.gov/recovery.

[8] Ibid.

[9] "News Alert"  Congress Passes Economic Recovery Act," Funders Together at www.endlongtermhomelessness.org/press_center/news_alert_congress_passes.aspx.

[10] ESG formula explained at HUDHR.info, www.hudhr.info/index.cfm?do=viewEsgDeskguideSec2.

[11] Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) at www.hud.govoffices/cpd/homeless/hmis/

[12] "Report:  2009 Regional HRPR Training," Slide 7, SNAPS and HUD.

[13] "ARRA Program Level Plan HPRP," HUD, www.recovery.gov.

[14] "Notice of Allocations, Application Procedures and Requirements for HPRP Grantees under the ARRA, p. 22

[15] Ibid., p. 23-24.

[16] Ibid., p. 24

[17] Ibid.

[18] See Allocations By Grantee, "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program," at www.portal.hud.gov/portalpage/portalRECOVERY/programs/HOMELESSNESS

[19] www.hcd.ca.gov/econrecov/ARRAhomelesspreventionchart.pdf

[20] "California Receives Largest State HPRP Funding Allocation in the United States," RealEstateRama:  California, by Governor Schwarzenegger, September 23, 2009 at http://california.realestaterama.com/2009/09/23/california-receives-largest-state-hprp-funding-allocation-in-the-united-states-ID0466.html

[21] "Report:  2009 Regional HRPR Training," Slide 33, SNAPS and HUD.

 

Disease Driven Earnings: Is It Time for A New Prescription for Generation Rx?

Today’s headlines are enough to make any mother wary. As we battle our toddlers in the grocery store, we hardly have the energy left to decipher the headlines: Organics aren’t healthier, death panels await health care reform, bankers receive record bonuses, swine flu pandemics swirl . What has happened to the world that our children are inheriting? And does anyone care?

Perhaps we should. Because the children of today represent the economy of tomorrow. Today’s parents and grandparents are raising the "think tanks" that are going to be the solutions to tomorrow’s problems . Today’s children will reinvent energy technology, redefine reform and regulations and enhance agricultural productivity in ways that we can not even begin to imagine. But only if we give them the tools with which to do it.

Obama insisting on school and education, with the support of Laura Bush, is a start. But more fundamentally, what about health? Today, 1 in 3 American children now has autism, allergies, ADHD or asthma. 90% of the worlds ADHD medications are prescribed to the American kids, while the US only represent 5% of the world’s population. According to MSNBC, sales of EpiPens are up, while test scores are down. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 2 African American kids and 1 in 3 Caucasian kids born in the year 2000 (that is this year’s 4th Graders) will be insulin dependent by the time they reach adulthood.

And while Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart formulate their products differently for children overseas (with reduced fat, salt and synthetic ingredient content, our National School Lunch Program continues to be a dumping ground for the remnants of the agrichemical corporations who are unable to dispose of their technology laced corn and soy in grocery stores, restaurants or to the livestock industry. And while we allocate $600 billion to the Pentagon in 2009, we only allocated $9 billion to the National School Lunch Program and a meager $2.4 billion to the FDA.

And we wonder why our children have earned the title Generation Rx or why our economy is heaving under the burden of health care costs.

According to the World Health Organization, the US ranks 37th out of 40 countries (on par with Slovenia) in terms of "health care". According to the American Cancer Society, the US has the highest rate of cancer of any country in the world, with migration studies showing that if you are to move here from somewhere like Japan, your likelihood of developing cancer increases four-fold.

We’ve done a lousy job of preventing illness in our country. And while that’s been good for Big Pharma, the costs being born by the majority of American citizens now far outweigh the benefits being reaped by a few corporate ones.

As we watch family members suffer from diabetes, cancers and asthma, it begs the question: Why? Why are these conditions often referred to as "American epidemics" in international publications like The Economist? Why does health care spending consume over 16% of our economy here in the US, while its associated economic burden in France is closer to 8%? Why does Starbucks spend more on health care than it does on coffee?

The reasons? There are many. But perhaps the most differentiating is that in our country, sickness sells. With Money Driven Medicine, there is little incentive to prevent illness. Sickness is good for business. Disease enhances earnings. So if the processed food we buy in Aisle 9 contains ingredients linked to hyperactivity in children, then rather than ban the use of that synthetic ingredient and insist on the use of a more natural alternative, as countries around the world have done, we simply have to walk a few aisles over in the grocery store to pick up our ADHD medicines from Aisle 2.

And our economy hums along. Or does it?

In 1946, Harry Truman said, "A nation is only as healthy as its children". And 50 years ago, we paid close heed, reaping the rewards of today’s Bill Gates and Meg Whitmans. Thirty years ago, we were still paying attention, as evidenced by today’s Mark Zuckerbergs and Sergey Brins.

But what about tomorrow? Given that our future productivity, economic viability and financial stability are contingent on the health of today’s children, perhaps we should pause and consider the seeds that we are sowing with Generation Rx.

And if you are inclined, you can Do Something about it and be part of the solution.

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