The Opioid Crisis in Boston and Beyond

first_imgMassachusetts is in the midst of an opioid epidemic resulting in an unprecedented numbers of overdoses and deaths. On Wednesday, May 3, from 6:30-8 p.m., the Harvard Ed Portal will host a discussion featuring leading medical experts, first responders, pharmacists, and people in recovery. They’ll examine” The Opioid Crisis in Boston and Beyond” and how it’s impacting individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is highly recommended. Please visit to reserve your spot today!Moderator:Dr. Greg Curfman, Editor in Chief of Harvard Health PublicationsPanelists:Mark Albanese, M.D., Addiction Psychiatrist, Cambridge Health Alliance; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical SchoolPatrick Glynn, Detective Lieutenant, Quincy Massachusetts Police DepartmentShelly F. Greenfield, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Academic Officer, McLean Hospital; Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical SchoolEfrain Lozada, in recovery; Recovery CoachJessica Moreno, Clinical Pharmacist, Massachusetts General HospitalScott G. Weiner, M.D., Emergency Room Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospitallast_img read more

Quick Hits: Court stops pipeline from crossing national forest and A.T. + Earthquake in East Tennessee

first_imgStrongest earthquake in a decade jolts Eastern Tennessee On Wednesday a 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck rural east Tennessee, rattling structures as far away as Atlanta. The quake struck at 4:14 a.m. just outside of Decatur, Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. The earthquake was shallow, about 5.5 miles below the surface of the earth, and was the strongest earthquake in the region since 1973 when a 4.7-magnitude earthquake shook Maryville, Tennessee. The United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) said that people in a 310-mile area, from Southern Kentucky to Southwest Georgia, felt the quake. The earthquake struck about two miles east of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, one of the largest nuclear power stations in the country. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant, reported no damage. About 15 minutes after the initial quake a smaller, 3.3-magnitude jolt also struck. The U.S.G.S. reports that the quakes were not on a fault but did take place in the Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone, one of the most active earthquake zones in the Southeast. New organization advocates for Virginia’s trailsFormed in early November, the Virginia Trails Alliance is a new coalition of trail-focused organizations dedicated to advocating for trails and trail funding across the state of Virginia. The group grew out of a recommendation from the State Trails Advisory Committee and will advocate for outdoor recreation with the Governor and General Assembly. The coalition is currently inviting all trail-focused non-profit, for-profit and governmental organizations to join. There are no dues, so membership is free. A court decision on Thursday by Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals cancelled the US Forest Service’s federal approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the George Washington National Forest, Monongahela National Forest and the Appalachian Trail. The ruling found that the Forest Service approval fell short of federal requirements and that the Forest Service failed to evaluate the risks of landslide and erosion or consider alternative pipeline routes that avoid national forests entirely. The Court also ruled that the Forest Service cannot authorize the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is part of the National Park System and has Congressional protection from projects such as natural gas pipelines.center_img Court rules that Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot cross the Appalachian Traillast_img read more

4 myths preventing more fintech+banking partnerships

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Challenges with partnerships between fintechs and traditional banks and credit unions are understandable in a world where a financial institution tries to forge a partnership with a fintech from scratch, figuring out everything for itself. But a disappointment they surely don’t have to be.Solutions exist that make it easier for both sides to participate in building the next generation of financial services. By serving each organization’s needs and simultaneously streamlining what each must accomplish, these partnerships help move innovative — and fully compliant — products to market.The right partnerships, leveraging full-stack and customizable fintech platforms, eliminate potential roadblocks. Equally important is re-thinking what partnerships look like, and the number of players they involve.First let’s examine some of the myths in this area.last_img read more

CDC says declaration won’t change its pandemic plans

first_imgJun 11, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) pandemic declaration today isn’t a surprise and won’t affect the United States’ response to the spread of the novel flu virus, which is already aggressive, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, who as the CDC’s new director spoke today at his first press conference on the novel H1N1 virus, said US officials expected the declaration. He added that the decision fits with the scientific data supporting continued human-to-human transmission in more than one WHO region.”For all intents and purposes, the US government has been in phase 6 of the pandemic for some time now,” he said. “This, however, is important, because is does send the strong message that the virus is here, and, in all likelihood, it’s going to stay.” He emphasized the pandemic level change doesn’t signify a change in the severity level or behavior of the new virus.Moving forward, the CDC’s goals are to identify where the virus is spreading and blunt its impact, particularly on vulnerable populations, such as those with chronic health conditions and infants, Frieden said.Preparing for a second waveHeath and Humans Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said today in a joint statement that the next challenge is to prepare for a possible return of the virus in the fall. CDC officials said today that it has deployed its scientists to several southern hemisphere countries to directly monitor developments.Napolitano said in the statement, “We are reaching out to our partners in state and local government, in school districts and the private sector to urge them to modify and update their pandemic plans.”She added that the government is working with scientists to test and prepare a possible vaccine and comparing notes on the virus with experts in other countries.Virus acting much like seasonal H1N1Anne Schuchat, MD, interim deputy director CDC’s science and public health program, told reporters that though the CDC has reduced its focus on case numbers, the agency has received reports of more than 13,000 cases, more than 1,000 hospitalizations, and at least 27 deaths. The highest illness rates are in children younger than age 5, followed by the 5- to 24-year-old age-group, she said.The novel H1N1 virus is behaving like its seasonal H1N1 counterpart, which typically has a bigger impact on younger people, Schuchat said.Of people who were hospitalized with novel flu infections, 71% had underlying conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immune deficiency, or pregnancy, she said.CDC officials said people should contact a healthcare provider right away if they or a loved one has a measured fever of 100.4°F or higher with a cough or a sore throat, along with an underlying health condition such as asthma or pregnancy.Though the CDC sees ongoing transmission in all states, two regions are above the influenza-like illness baseline for this time of year—New England, particularly Massachusetts, and the New York and New Jersey area.Schuchat said CDC is still emphasizing the steps Americans can take to reduce the impact of the virus: cover coughs, stay home when sick, avoid travel when sick, and prepare for more illnesses in the fall.Vaccine developmentThe CDC has ordered novel H1N1 vaccine components from five companies, $650 million worth of antigen and $287 million worth of adjuvant. Schuchat said, however, that the CDC doesn’t have a projection for the number of doses, because researchers haven’t yet pinpointed how much antigen and doses will be needed.”Even if the decision to use the vaccine is not made, these orders permit the chemicals to be stored in bulk where they could be later formulated,” she said. “We’ve done this in a way that’s giving us a lot of options for the future.”So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that circulating novel H1N1 strains won’t be a good match for the seed strains used in the vaccines, Schuchat said in response to a reporter’s question. Testing of isolates from different countries and states so far shows no changes. “But with influenza, we need to keep looking,” she added.In the months ahead, the CDC will be analyzing its pandemic response and make revisions to plans if needed for the fall. She said the CDC is working with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in a series of regional meeting scheduled for July, to gather lessons learned from the response components and to explore any supply-chain weaknesses.See also:Jun 11 HHS-DHS joint statementlast_img read more

COVID-19 has not stopped Garuda from flying, says chief

first_imgThe airline industry has been suffering significantly during the pandemic as a result of travel bans, restrictions and virus fears.Garuda Indonesia, for instance, saw its passenger numbers fall to single digits in May. But the national flag carrier has not stopped flying during the pandemic.  “We’re proud to say that Garuda Indonesia is one of a few airlines that has continued to operate during the pandemic,” said Garuda Indonesia president director Irfan Setiaputra during a virtual event on Tuesday, as quoted by He said the airline was still serving several domestic routes but that some flights to less popular destinations had been temporarily suspended. The same applies to international routes. Although Garuda Indonesia has stopped flights to China and Saudi Arabia, it still provides flights to countries such as the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia at least once a week. Read also: Garuda paints masks on aircraft to support health campaign Instead of ceasing its operations, Garuda Indonesia has reviewed its routes and reduced the frequency of flights. Irfan said one flight to the Netherlands now departed per week, down from the previous six flights a week.He added that the flights to the Netherlands were always full. “We continuously monitor [the performance of each route].”The country’s airlines were facing tough times, Irfan said, because they had missed out on peak travel periods such as between Ramadan and the season of the haj. Travel restrictions contributed to the decline of passengers. “Indonesia is among the countries that prohibit foreigners from entering, except under certain conditions. Some countries also require international travelers to spend 14 days in quarantine,” said Irfan.Read also: Domestic market to be driver of recovery, Garuda chief saysHe added that Garuda Indonesia’s international flights were carrying passengers for repatriation only. Irfan said the company had decided to keep operating because Garuda Indonesia was established not simply for profit but to connect regions and nations. In a research note published in September, Lee Young Jun from Mirae Asset Sekuritas said the airline’s monthly seat load factor (SLF) would not likely exceed 50 percent this year and that the SLF stood at 30 percent in July. “Although the management has claimed that the improvement should continue until the end of 2020, we believe that the monthly SLF will not exceed 50 percent, given the fact that new COVID-19 cases are continuously hitting new records,” the research note reads. Mirae Asset Sekuritas expected Garuda to book $1.63 billion in revenue by the end of 2020, a sharp drop from its revenue of $4.5 billion last year. (jes) Editor’s note: The following is part a campaign by the government’s COVID-19 task force to raise public awareness about the pandemic.Topics : #covid19taskforce #mothermessage #wearmask #keepyourdistance #washyourhand #socialdistance #avoidcrowd #usesoaplast_img read more

Arsenal defender David Luiz admits he wants to go back to Benfica

first_imgArsenal defender David Luiz admits he wants to go back to Benfica Luiz has hit the ground running for the Gunners (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal defender David Luiz has revealed he is looking forward to a ‘very special’ return to his former club Benfica before he hangs up his boots.The experienced centre-back was given his break in European football by the Portuguese club in 2007, before moving on to Chelsea in 2011.The 33-year-old has been a key part of Arsenal’s revival under Mikel Arteta following a difficult start to his Gunners career after his summer move from Chelsea.Former Manchester City coach Arteta admitted he can see the Brazil international becoming a manager in the future, but that might not be at a Premier League club.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTLuiz told SporTV: ‘I never lost my connection with Benfica, I have that in my heart, everybody knows I want to come back.‘I want to wear the Benfica shirt again and feel that sensation. The day I come back to the Estadio da Luz it is going to be very special, one of the greatest feelings of my life.’Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 22 Apr 2020 11:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link331Shares Comment Advertisement Luiz broke through at Benfica (Picture: Getty Images)Luiz has claimed league titles in England, France and Portugal, and the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, but was initially hesitant to depart the club that handed him his first opportunity to shine.He added: ‘I was scared to leave Benfica, scared to start a new story.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘So Rui [Costa], the director of football, pulled me aside and talked to me. I was scared to bring my story at Benfica to a close, my love and the pleasure I had for living in that country and playing for Benfica.‘I told [Costa], ‘I don’t want to go, I want to stay, I want to stay.’ Rui told me something that touched my heart: ‘The doors will always be open for you. You need to show off your football to the whole world.”MORE: Mikel Arteta names his three favourite Arsenal midfield partnersMORE: Darren Bent slams ‘snake’ in Arsenal dressing room after Mesut Ozil exposedFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.last_img read more

Italy approves new investment rules for second-pillar pension funds

first_imgThe revised law removes quantitative regulatory limits to investment in almost all asset classes, moving from a prescriptive approach to a principles-based one.Pellegrini adds: “The attention of the regulator shifted towards the ability of pension funds to manage and monitor investments.“Although some quantitative restrictions remain, funds can invest in whatever they want – so long as their investments match their approved policies, and they can demonstrate they can actually do the investment.”In practice, funds that have adequate internal control structures and monitoring capabilities will be allowed to go beyond the traditional 60% fixed income, 40% equity portfolio allocation.Covip figures showed that, at the end of 2013, half of overall pension fund assets were invested in domestic fixed income.Corporate bonds were 11% and equities 16.1% of the assets, respectively, while mutual funds and real estate took up 12.5% and 3.4%.Less than 2% was allocated to alternatives, and around 5% was in cash.The previous version of the 703 law, approved in 1996, set strict quantitative limits on what assets Italian second-pillar funds could invest in, including limitations on investment outside OECD countries.Among the freedoms granted under the new 703, investment in mutual funds and OTC derivatives is permitted, as is investment in listed and non-listed non-OECD assets.However, short-selling remains prohibited, and funds will be required to allocate a minimum of 70% of assets to listed instruments.Investment in closed funds and alternative funds will be limited to 20% and 25% of funds’ assets, respectively.Regulatory control over portfolios for second-pillar funds will be articulated in three levels.On the first level, the custodian bank alerts regulators when funds fail to meet the few restrictions still in force.Second, funds will be required to comply with the official document that sets out their investment policy, which the vast majority of pension funds have approved over the past two years.Finally, Covip will continue to ensure that official figures submitted by pension funds monthly, quarterly and annually match their investment policies.Pellegrini pointed out that the approval of the new law will make way for a similar piece of regulation for casse di previdenza, Italy’s first-pillar funds for professionals.Historically, casse di previdenza have had greater freedom on investment and have been known, at times, to invest in risky and illiquid assets.One example is Enpam, the €15bn pension fund for doctors, which built up an exposure to Lehman Brothers CDOs prior to the crisis.The fund underwent a complex process of restructuring of the investment to make up for the significant loss in value.However, Enpam announced today that the eight CDO papers, which now represent 4% of the fund’s portfolio, had recouped their full value, including restructuring costs.The allocation is now worth around €750m.Alberto Oliveti, Enpam’s chairman, said the fund would “never again” invest in derivatives.“These investments have proved to be an unsuitable product for a pension provider,” he said.“Today, we are satisfied we have been able to secure this portion of investments, which many had declared to be lost.“We refused to sell them and continued to manage them in the interest of our members, until we were able to make a profit from them.”Enpam said it expected the CDOs would be reimbursed or sold by 2017. The long-awaited revision of the law that regulates Italian pension fund investment has come into force.After years of discussion, and delayed approval by Italian lawmakers, the ‘new 703’ is now a reality, allowing much greater investment freedom for the country’s second-pillar pension funds.Paolo Pellegrini, deputy director of pension think tank Mefop, says: “We see it as the missing piece of regulation in a process that had already been initiated by Covip, the Italian pension fund regulator.”Covip had begun to clear the ground for the new law at the end of 2012, by requiring that pension funds formalise their individual investment policies in an official document and set up internal investment teams.last_img read more

Maersk swaps surcharge mechanism ahead of 2020 sulphur cap

first_imgThe shipping giant A.P. Moller – Maersk said it will use a new Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) surcharge in order to recover Maersk Line’s cost of compliance with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap. Whereas today ships can use fuel with a sulphur content of 3.5 percent, the new sulphur cap will be 0.5 percent, as the regulations come into force on January 1, 2020.To become compliant shipowners will have to invest in compliant fuels, LNG or scrubber technology. This is expected to lower global shipping’s sulphur emissions by more than 80 percent.Speaking on the new rules, Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S, “The 2020 sulphur cap is a game changer for the shipping industry. Maersk preparations to comply are well underway and so are our customers’ efforts to plan ahead. The new BAF is a simple, fair and predictable mechanism that ensures clarity for our customers in planning their supply chains for this significant shift.”The regulation will bring increases and uncertainty to fuel costs for shipping. The BAF surcharge is designed to recover increases in fuel-related costs. It will be charged separately from Maersk Line’s freight rate.According to industry estimates, more than 90 percent of the global vessel fleet will be relying on compliant fuels when the sulphur rules step into force on January 1, 2020. This will also be the case for the Maersk Line fleet, despite a recent investment in a limited number of scrubbers.The company said earlier it is looking into all possible and available opportunities to ensure we are ready to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap,  that is compliant fuels, LNG and scrubbers.Using scrubbers is just a part of Maersk’s overall 2020 fuel sourcing strategy to ensure compliance in time.The new BAF surcharge mechanism consists of the fuel price which is calculated as the average fuel price in key bunkering ports around the world, and a trade factor that reflects the average fuel consumption on a given trade lane as a result of variables like transit time, fuel efficiency and trade imbalances between head haul and backhaul legs.Combining the two factors give customers full predictability of their costs at any given fuel price both before and after 2020.To allow customers to familiarise with the changed formula, Maersk Line’s BAF surcharge will be introduced on January 1, 2019.last_img read more

Younger Students More Likely to Get A.D.H.D. Drugs

first_imgNew York Times 20 Nov 2012A new study of elementary and middle school students has found that those who are the youngest in their grades score worse on standardized tests than their older classmates and are more likely to be prescribed stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.The findings suggest that in a given grade, students born at the end of the calendar year may be at a distinct disadvantage. Those perceived as having academic or behavioral problems may in fact be lagging simply as a result of being forced to compete with classmates almost a full year older than them. For a child as young as 5, a span of one year can account for 20 percent of the child’s age, potentially making him or her appear significantly less mature than older classmates.The new study found that the lower the grade, the greater the disparity. For children in the fourth grade, the researchers found that those in the youngest third of their class had an 80 to 90 percent increased risk of scoring in the lowest decile on standardized tests. They were also 50 percent more likely than the oldest third of their classmates to be prescribed stimulants for A.D.H.D. The differences diminished somewhat over time, the researchers found, but continued at least through the seventh grade.The new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, used data from Iceland, where health and academic measures are tracked nationally and stimulant prescription rates are high and on par with rates in the United States. Previous studies carried out there and in other countries have shown similar patterns, even among college students. read more

National offers hospice boost

first_imgStuff 13 August 2014National has pledged an extra $20 million a year in funding for hospices if re-elected in September.National’s health spokesman, the retiring Health Minister Tony Ryall, said the funding would allow hospices to provide more palliative care.Ryall said last year more than 15,000 people received care and support from the country’s 29 hospices while their palliative carers made over 145,000 visits to people in their homes.Demand on hospice services would increase with an ageing population and this needed to be catered for.“Hospices make a huge difference to people’s lives by ensuring terminally ill people are as free from pain and suffering as possible,” Ryall said.“They also provide care and support for families and friends.”Of the new funding, $13m would go towards helping the country’s hospices care for terminally ill people in their homes while $7m would fund 60 new palliative care nurses and educators. read more