Q&A with Jennifer Like: County wellness program marks 10th year of no-cost weight loss

OKLAHOMA CITY – County wellness program marks 10th year of no-cost weight loss

Q: How many Oklahoma County residents are overweight, and how is the county’s Total Wellness program helping?

A: The most recent data shows that 30 percent of Oklahoma County residents are obese and around 60 percent are overweight or obese. This is a concern because people who are overweight or obese are more likely to have chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The 2017 Wellness Score shows a 5.1 percent decrease in Cardiovascular Disease Mortality compared to the 2014 Wellness Score. The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is working to reduce the risk of these chronic diseases through programs like Total Wellness.

Q: Registered dietitians are available throughout the program. What are their qualifications?

A: Registered dietitians are considered food and nutrition experts. They have earned a degree in nutrition, completed an intensive supervised practice program and passed a national examination. These dietitians are available to meet with class participants during the program and help meet their individual needs.

Q: How do the Total Wellness classes work?

A: The Total Wellness classes are free and meet for one hour a week for eight weeks. Each week covers a different topic related to nutrition, physical activity or behavior change. Most people know they should eat healthier and exercise more; this class helps walk participants through how to actually make those changes in their lives.

Q: Are there some examples of success?

A: Graduates leave the program having changed their lives in some way. Some of our greatest success stories are when people continue to come back and take the program for several sessions. Quite a few people have lost more than 50 pounds over a year with us. Coming to class each week holds them accountable to keep making healthy changes.

Q: How many residents have participated in classes and how many pounds have been lost in the past decade?

A: The Total Wellness program originally began in 2007 as a Diabetes Prevention and Outreach Program. We have made many changes over the years, but continue to see great success. Since 2007 we have had more than 7,000 people come through our program and lose more than 24,000 pounds.

Q: How can interested persons enroll in Total Wellness classes?

A: Total Wellness classes are offered four times a year with day and evening classes across greater Oklahoma City. Reservations are required and spaces are limited. For information about class times, locations and to get signed up, call 405-425-4422, email [email protected] or visit occhd.org/lose.

PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER

Decision Making In The Endless Struggle To Be Healthy – A Case Of A Nagging & Frustrating Toothache

Everybody falls sick at one moment in a lifetime. By virtue of living in the tropics, we stand high chances of getting sick. Being sick can be so depressing that some people would even think of committing suicide, and annoying so much that others would want to see others sick too. Sometimes so othersome that a sense of comfort is only during some moments of the day, especially whenever friends come around.

At night it can be hell. Take a case of a toothache, acute malaria or influenza. One could for instance imagine that if malaria is that a terrible feeling, what would it feel for one with AIDS condition?

This does not mean to demean those with HIV / AIDS. It is just for the purposes of us all lamenting our experiences with some notorious illnesses. Although management is possible, AIDS pain can be so annihilating for a life time. They are challenges we all need to overcome and only reminds us of a duty to listen to our bodies, understand them and take appropriate actions towards normalcy. For those who still enjoy divine grace -without terrible infections, it becomes primary obligations for them to toil away from them. It would mean using one's highest intelligence and determination to stay safe.

The gravest times could be when besieged by a terrible infection while poor-unable to transport oneself to a health center or eat food of one's choice as sometimes sickness may dictate. Remember some people might not want to be bothered with having to give a hand, which adds an insult to an injury.

As part of one's responsibility, it would be important taking records of occurrences or attacks of infections, the immediate interventions, how interventions worked and possible improvements in such interventions. It is also important to write oneself a report indicative among other things lessons learnt, action plan behavioral or lifestyle changes. Resilience happens to be key during the tormenting times of an illness-while confident that with the little steps towards recovery or improvement are done, sanity would wish.

It could entail finding and being involved in numerous distractions -off the mental focus on pain, seeking medical care, and assuming the position of masterly over one's illness. Part of the lifestyle changes too must be having good dietary choices, stress management and being vigilant at preventing new infections to one's body.

For continued self-mastery and hardening of the self it would be interesting and fun to do. Advocacy, reading related or helping literature, attending supportive training, remaining positive about the future, ensuring calm and patience-especially during the worst moments of the illness can be so rewarding.

Interventions too expire with time. This, then, makes it important for one to find more information or updates about treatment illness suffered through consultations and reading a lot of extended literature the subject of interest.

It is also better to set one's standard scale of healthy living. When suffering from an infection, it should not be that fatality on one person could be the same as for another. Most important to note is that the state of the mind or psychological resilience amidst support received externally as medical, counseling, friendship and other rewards from a healthy social relationships.

It should not be that if someone has died of a similar illness or underwant the usual deforming surgeries, in the same way others with similar trouble will. Instead, one could assume a position felt as being above that and understand the fact that little choices and actions will determine nature of consequences.

Family members and friends could come with their own feeling about what to do or advice to take against the illness -much of which can be contradictory, pressurizing and misleading at the same time.

It is very important to think through all advices given and analyze them as they get tested against reality, personal safety and general wellness. It is important however to appreciate them of their kind information, politely. And upon analyzing information given, points could have ranked and important decisions for health improvement taken.

At times employers and at-work team-members may not empathize with one in his or her debilitating illness. They may see it as cheating, laziness or excuses to have personal holidays.

It is pertinent that one humbly and politely explains clearly his or her health condition for necessary advice or help from his or her work-mates or bosses. In the same breath ask for permission to seek medical attention or to get back home till recovery. This is so because sometimes field station can be so hostile that recovery is made slow or not at all.

In the 1990's there was a case in Busoga College Mwiri (Jinja, Uganda) -where a child suspected to be home-sick, lazy was held long in school as his malaria fever worsened. The boy died in spite of his father back home being a medical assistant, who ably could manage drugs at home and have him recover. So this is how far social pressure could drive someone to.

Being knowledgeable about available health systems and part of it or being its beneficiary is very important for well-being-sustainability. While in touch with available health-system, personal discipline in line with responsibilities towards proper health behaviors must be observed.

During one's social roles as advocacy person, information acquired must be proof-read before extradition. It would be one way of building a reputable self-image central to promoting one's ministry or work.

One of the objectives of this advocacy would be to break social resistance, reduce social discrimination, shape society to be hospitable and acceptable to marginalized groups or people infected and affected by certain illnesses. More so, the long-term ones. Social support system that include family members, friends, community health practitioners local leadership should be solicited for and tasked to help out when needed.

As a big sign that one loved himself or had positive regard for himself or herself, bought to find opportunities to train and acquire more skills in drug administration and best ways to help others in the same bracket – those with long term illnesses and the marginalized on The basis of their appearance or defect.

There is an instance of a man who experienced a terrible toothache for over two years. He was motivated to step up action planning to deal with it. He could no longer bare toothache, gum-blisters and bleeding, cost on work, and diminished social interactions.

After spending several thousand of Uganda shillings from his small savings, he realized how impoverishing a toothache could be. He, for example, could not feed well, fail to pay rent on time and forced to withdraw from social interactions.

Firstly of what he did was to revise the history of the toothache and realized he had been a fan of sweets, his brushing frequency was low -and even when he brushed he missed out on the cruel parts of his mouth. He wrote his findings down and began taking immediate action.

In fact in one of the actions taken which was to see intern dental students for advice. According to them, the only option, was to remove four molar teeth -including those that were not aching at all. This, too, was supported by their supervisor-with intimidating statements that the patient was keeping a time-bomb (of a worse toothache), which will in near future necessitate similar recommendation as theirs -regardless of where the patient visited for help. What an ambition decision by them!

Indeed, some of the medical decisions turnout to be full of errors. Upon resorting to bacteria and pain losses in a new relationship with drug-shops alongside effective brushing, the patient recovered until today.

Upon doing so, he began to regain his positive-self along side a feeling of a hard-gained relief. Several actions led to a lot more innovations like learning an old tooth brush adopted after losing a new one that could lead to re-infection that was much worse on him than the previous one.

And that instead of following the manufacturers use of a tooth brush: said to be a period of only up to three months, he chose a week of usage to keep away several bacteria accumulating on the tooth brush, and because a period of stipulated three months Only applied to normal teeth or gum.

For those who live several miles from the health facility or in areas where money comes in by accident, it is pretty intelligent to buy oneself a first aid box in which drugs are stocked and re-stocked. With it in place, the care-taker should ensure that at all times, he or she possesses drugs to treat even the most common ailments.

Cleveland to celebrate Global Wellness Day this Saturday

CLEVELAND, Ohio – To celebrate Global Wellness Day, the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland will host a number of wellness activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday.

Global Wellness Day, now in its sixth year, focuses on health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and the planet.

“The principles of Global Wellness Day benefit every individual through the themes of healthy nutrition, exercise, doing good deeds, caring for our planet, each other and our families,” Gloria Treister, U.S. Global Wellness Day ambassador, said in a press release. “This worldwide day is intended to build social awareness, led by people dreaming of a better, more positive life for everyone.”

The event will kick off with a welcome massage at 10 a.m. and end with one-hour walks to Cleveland landmarks. Activities will include free yoga, tai chi, meditation, healthy living food demonstrations, interactive wellness activities, small-business sessions hosted by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumni, wellness ideas activities, education booths, free screenings and a scavenger hunt. Food trucks will be on site starting at 11 a.m.

The Cleveland Global Wellness Day is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is requested.

The Cleveland event is one of more than 4,000 such events being held in 100 countries to celebrate Global Wellness Day.

If you go

What: Global Wellness Day

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 10

Where: Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St. Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Cost: Free, but pre-registration is requested, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/global-wellness-day-northeast-ohio-free-tickets-5035114162?aff=es2 

Enhancing Intelligence With Kids Yoga Stories

In the last decade, studies have been conducted that look into the benefits of Yoga; and several have concluded that with regard to children, consistent Yoga practice is linked to improved academic performance, decreased misbehavior, greater physical fitness, and better overall health.

Use in Schools

Some schools, public and private, across the United States, have incorporated kids’ Yoga into their curriculum, and still others receive subsidies for offering Yoga classes as part of their physical education programs. The results are clear; Yoga definitely helps young people focus, feel better about themselves, and behave more appropriately in an academic setting.

Enhancing Intelligence

It must also be noted that Yoga can help enhance children’s intelligence. Due to the fact that inversion poses improve blood flow to the brain and change the way a practitioner sees the world while practicing, they stretch and stimulate the mind. Yoga poses also feature relaxation techniques that can halt the onset of anxiety, which is a problem experienced by more and more young people and which can block certain brain cells from functioning. As a result of decreased stress levels and increase circulation, children can be more receptive to learning situations. Young minds are so flexible and resilient, increased learning receptivity will naturally broaden the ability to think outside the box.

Storytelling and Kids’ Yoga

To enhance intelligence with Yoga, storytelling is a useful tool that provides a young mind with external stimuli to focus on, while the physical Yoga poses help the child work out excess energy, stress, or other negative emotions. Stories can be told from books, from story boards, or even from memory, as the instructor uses the stories to pace a Yoga asana series and to emphasize certain poses.

In schools, smart teachers can use kids Yoga story time to reinforce their lessons, especially given the enhanced receptivity children have toward learning when they are relaxed. Parents, too, in a family Yoga session, can utilize stories that impart wisdom or moral lessons, to encourage children to grow into kind and wise adults.

Keeping kids Yoga stories creative and fun can also enhance intelligence. One way to do this is to give the class a role in creating the story, by contributing one line at a time, or by giving children responsibility to come up with unique poses to fit the Yoga story’s contents. Allowing young people to author their own Yoga practice can be rewarding for them physically, as well as mentally.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Wellness Coaches unveils new mobile technology suite

Onsite wellness coaching firm Wellness Coaches is set to unveil a suite of health and wellness applications that merges mobile technology with inspiration and motivational content with data analytics for companies that do not have access to live, in-person wellness coaches. The new solution will not only work with the coaches and the employees who sign up for the service from the employer’s benefit plans, but it also connects benefit providers and clients with their personal wellness coaches.

The suite, called Wellness Coaches, is being tested by a sample of employers and benefit providers and should be officially rolled out in late Q3 or very early Q4 of this year. It is aimed at small- to large-group companies and adds remote access features for employees who work outside the main office.


Bloomberg/file photo

“We were averaging 80% engagement in work environments with live wellness coaches. We cracked that code, but we realized that something was missing to extend to the reach people who wouldn’t be necessarily available [to a live, in-person wellness coach] on a regular basis,” says Gene McGuire, managing partner, Wellness Coaches. “So, we found great partners that are going to allow us to extend our reach.”

The new Wellness Coaches suite has four elements: a web portal, motivational content, a tool for syncing data from wearable devices, and a health data analytic tool that shows trends in medical care usage among employees.

The web portal technology comes from a partnership with Twine Health, the provider of the remote access coaching portal. This portal will allow employees and their spouses and dependents to interact with wellness coaches by video conferencing on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. This portion of the Wellness Coaches suite will also allow benefit brokers to interact clients to discuss, for example, scheduling in-person coaches or virtual sessions for remote employees.

“It extends the reach to workers who are not onsite, and extends that reach to dependents and spouses,” says McGuire.

Wellness Coaches will “white label” the Twine Health portal with its own logo. “Our goal is to create something that will be seamless to the broker partners, and then for the client,” says McGuire.

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Corporate wellness provider CoreHealth provides the technology to sync the data from employees’ wearable devices, such as Fitbits and Apple iWatches. CoreHealth partner Inspired Perspectives of Jacksonville, Fla., will provide content such as blogs and newsletters to inspire employees through via the portal. They will also deliver what McGuire calls “incentive tracking” to create challenges among the remote employees as well as the workers inside the main hubs of the employer’s organization.

Inspired Perspectives works with Wellness Coaches’ social media partners “to bring more content to the equation,” he says.

Target interventions
Health data analytics will be provided by employer-facing analytics Springbuk, and it is designed to shine a light on gaps in an employee’s self care. McGuire says the Springbuk portion of the suite will be populated with medical-use data from the employees and will conduct predictive modelling that allows Wellness Coaches to understand where future costs are originating. Possible data points include an employee’s weight, frequency of doctor visits and any diagnosis for co-morbidities like heart attack and diabetes.

“We can now identify them upfront and create group activities and promotional efforts for future and chronic conditions. It can help people in need of TLC now, like are people doing what they should, are they using prescriptions as they should?” he says.

The information will be sent to coaches who can then “develop more targeted interventions, programming and strategies to help contain costs,” according to the company.

Stuart Migdon, director of employee benefits with benefit brokerage Business & Governmental Insurance Agency, is most excited about the data analytics portion of Wellness Coaches and has already recommended it to clients.

“We are going to be one of the first brokers to offer this to our clients. It’s a no-brainer from my perspective,” says Migdon. He adds that the data analytics lifts the curtain on the ROI of these services. “For the first time we can look under the hood and see those employees who are coached and those who are not coached.”

He adds, “Not only can we see empirical claims data, we can see what percentage of those employees coached are getting their physical exams every year, and how many are involved in the care coordination. It opens so much more in seeing the value of wellness coaches from a pure and real ROI perspective.”

The Healthy 10: WNY’s top wellness events for this week

The next Buffalo Slow Roll, a mid-week meditation class and a free dinner program on knee pain treatment options are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in the region. To see this week’s complete calendar, click here.

MONDAY

“Walk This Way”: Catholic Health dinner program on treating knee pain, 5:30 p.m., GrapeVine Banquet Hall, 333 Dick Road, Depew. For more info and to register, click here. Free. Catholic Health invites area residents to attend up to three free dinner programs per calendar year. After that, admission for each program is $20 and includes dinner.

Slow Roll: Slow Roll Buffalo. Meet at 5:30 p.m., roll at 6:30 p.m., African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. Roughly 10-mile guided ride for all ages and abilities. Free. To register for your first ride or more info, visit slowrollbuffalo.org.

TUESDAY

WheelWorks outing: 6 p.m., Campus WheelWorks, 744 Elmwood Ave. Five categories range from fast-paced, 30-mile course to a shorter “ice cream ride.” Bike helmet mandatory. For information on this and other excursions, visit campuswheelworks.com.

WEDNESDAY

Meditation and relaxation: 11 a.m., Karuna Yoga Buffalo, 5225 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. Learn and practice traditional meditation to cultivate joy, happiness, relaxation, concentration and skill in everyday living. For more info, visit karunayogabuffalo.com.

THURSDAY

Dementia caregiving training: Offered by the WNY Alzheimer’s Association, 9 a.m., Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 345 Main St., Aurora. The church respite care program seeks compassionate volunteers to assist those with dementia. Those wishing to attend training should call 652-0500.

NAMI family education meeting: 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4007 Main St., Snyder. Guest presenter Kelly Gotham, a Mental Health Court attorney, will give a talk entitled, “How to Navigate the Court System When Your Loved One is Arrested.” For more info, call the NAMI office at 226-6264.

SATURDAY

Williamsville Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its original location at the Old Mill, Spring Street, Williamsville.

“Buprenorphine Waiver training – Prenatal Care, Pregnancy and Addiction Focus”: The Western New York Public Health Alliance will host a free class at Catholic Health, 144 Genesee St., for physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which includes Continuing Medical Education credits. The class will focus on managing prenatal care and special issues associated with pregnant women who have opiate use disorder. For more information, email [email protected] or call 858-4941. To register, visit ecdoh-jun10.eventbrite.com.

Taoist tai chi: Free open house 10 a.m., Taoist Tai Chi Society of USA, 968 Kenmore Ave. Demonstrations, talk to instructors, learn about beginner class time. For info, visit buffalo.taoist.org, email [email protected] or call 876-7218.

We Can: 1 p.m., The Genesis Center, 2161 Seneca St. Peer-run support group for teens struggling with mental health disorders and drug and alcohol addiction. For more info, visit thegenesiscenter.us.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura – Could Sugar Be a Contributing Factor to Your ITP Disorder?

Could what you eat trigger your ITP disorder? There is a strong possibility, especially when it comes to Sugar.

If  you have just found out you have Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura or have already run the gamut of conventional medical treatments, and have already exhausted some of the options of traditional ITP treatment, only to find that every time you lessen or cease the doses, that your blood platelet levels  start to tumble again,  have you considered the possibility that maybe sugar could be contributing to this blood disorder, or any other auto immune disorder for that matter.

If  you are actively seeking more knowledge about your ITP blood disorder and what might be causing it. Lets have a look at these three forms of sugar substances that can be seriously affecting your health.

Sugar in General – One of the most insidious food culprits known to mankind, and one of everybody’s favorites. Everything just has to be so sweet! Unfortunately, we as a society consume way too much refined sugar. Did you know that the average American consumes a whopping 180 pounds of sugar each year . That’s approximately 1/2 pound per day. When you think about it this, it’s down right scary. And did you realize that many in and outside the medical profession recognize that sugars, high fructose corn syrup products, and refined carbohydrates are considered to be one of the major contributing factors  to most of our modern day health issues from obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and a whole range of auto immune disorders such as Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. Too much sugar in refined and unnatural forms acts as an irritant to our body, causing chronic inflammation and compromises our immune system.

Soft Drinks – Don’t get me going on these useless beverages. It is now being acknowledged throughout the medical and scientific community that we seriously harming our immune system by drinking cola drinks. Not only do the chemical food additives such as artificial flavoring, coloring and preservatives present a problem, but because of the extremely high sugar content coupled with the fact that the sugar used is not just common sugar, but High Fructose Corn Syrup, a single can of soda has been acknowledged to disrupt the immune system by up to 50% for up to 8 hours. How many soft drinks did you drink this week? What about your kids? What if you are one of those people who drink multiple sodas each and every day? This is not good. My advice to you is … Do not drink soft drinks at all especially if you have a compromised immune system and are fighting an auto immune disease such as ITP. And especially if your ultimate goal is to be well! 

High Fructose Corn Syrup – Sounds so innocent, doesn’t it? You thought I made common sugar out to be a monster, well the mother of all food monsters is High Fructose Corn Syrup, otherwise known as HFCS. This sneaky little demon is everywhere and just happens to be one of the most commonly used food additives. Isn’t it only just sugar made from corn, you ask? No, No and Absolutely not! HFCS is a man made sugar derived from the fructose in corn (an offshoot of the corn industry). HFCS is instantly absorbed by the body and goes directly into your cells wreaking havoc with your metabolism.

This sugar substance has only been on the scene for about the last 40 years or so and is suspected to be responsible for our current obesity and daibetes epidemic that is prevalent in society today. But besides these two well known health diseases, it also is responsible  for acute chronic inflammation in the body and can trigger a host of other immune diseases such as ITP disorder. In 1970, the annual consumption of HFCS was approximately 10 ounces per person per year and by the year 2000 was now in over 40% of all sweeteners added to our food and drinks. that is why we are seeing such an increase in modern diseases and immune system disorders.

Controlling  your sugar intake could be a very positive step forward to regaining or preserving your precious health.

Wellness & Recovery Symposium is June 30 | Local News

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — A Wellness & Recovery Symposium is June 30 at New Beginnings Church of God, 13226 Leslie Road.

Anyone who has received, currently receives or may be interested in receiving social, mental health, addictions, corrections, child welfare, domestic violence, education, juvenile/adult criminal justice or intellectual disabilities services, as well as other supports through community, faith-based, professional or volunteer organizations, groups or agencies should attend, organizers say. 

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Seating will be limited to 300 attendees. Registrations will be accepted, pending seat availability, until noon on June 22. 

Community and professional organizations are invited to reserve tabling space.

The event is sponsored by the Crawford County Suicide Task Force, a community initiative of Crawford County Human Services, and the Crawford County System of Care/Safe Schools-Healthy Students Partnership.

• More information or to register: Visit pasocpartnership.org/wellness-recovery-symposium or contact Mela Calomino at [email protected] or 724-8380.

De Rerum Sinarum – Rethinking China As Production Outsourcing Paradise

Not long ago, it seemed a foregone conclusion that any company that produced goods of almost any type would outsource production to China. Recent events have demanded forward looking businesses beginning to question the wisdom of convention. Wages are on the rise, as are political tensions. Real and audible public outcries deny the very labor practices that have made China such a popular destination for manufacturing. Additionally, domestic politics in the US have fanned flames of uncertainty as to the future of outsourcing.

Exploding Labor Costs

There have been alerts before that rising wages would soon end the attractiveness of doing business in China, and those alerts have been false. In a 2006 article in Business Week, 1 year wage increases of up to 40% in some regions as well as significant jumps countrywide were used as evidence that China's costs would rise enough to be 'game changing'. As is appropriate, the past five years have not seen a significant slowdown in production, even with continuously rising labor costs.

An Elusive Breaking Point

However, common sense suggests that there will be a breaking point. At some point, wages will rise high enough that outsourcing production to China will cease to be as profitable as it once was, and at some point may even determine to be profitable at all. The question, of course, is when that breaking point will come. As we'll discuss below, there are other factors such as domestic taxation schemes that will factor into when such a breaking point will be reached for individual companies.

Producing in China: No Longer a Foregone Conclusion

Neverheless, indicators now point to another spike in wages, such that the decision to do business in China, while not untenable, should not be an automatic decision. Furthermore, rising wages are no longer merely the result of natural economic forces or a labor shortage, as was the case in 2006, but of a restricted government policy to improve standards of living. In addition to expected wage rises of between 11 and 40% between 2011 and 2015, the state will be requiring better worker protection and benefits, further raising costs to prospective outsourcers. Wages across most sectors will remain well below their counterparts in the developed world, but not as far as before.

US Politics: Soft Protectionism?

In the State of the Union address and in many major speeches since, President Obama has begun calling for policies that amount to soft protectionism in order to promote American jobs. The White House has hosted a bevy of high level meetings over the past few years to find out how to bring jobs back to the States and prevent more from leaving. In 2012, the President has begun to outline what he has in mind to achieve this goal: higher taxes and closed tax loopholes on outsourcers, and tax breaks for companies that choose to remain in the US Exactly how this will play out in the two ring Circus of the Senate and House, especially in the run-up to elections, remains to be seen. However, there is at least a moderate risk that outsourcing will soon become more expensive by some degree.

Americans Want Better Working Conditions for the Chinese?

Another issue is the vocal response that American consumers have had revelations that American companies have been working with Chinese factories that treat their workers in a way unpalatable to many Americans. This has been particularly poignant as regards Apple, a company with an interest in pleasing socially engrained urban elites. Media and public protests notwithstanding, however, Apple sales remain strong. Furthermore, smaller producers and companies with a more varied consumer base would seem to have less to worry about. A rigid public relations, naming and marking and labeling regime would probably be required to effect any large-scale change in purchasing patterns. Neverheless, this factor may play a part in future outsourcing decision-making.

Uncertain Chinese Politics and International Relations

Even more uncertain than the tax system in the US (and this is saying something) is the future of the Chinese governmental position on a host of issues, as well the response of the US and international community to such positions. China has been stepping up its campaign to assimilate the Tibetan population, and reports of violence have risen of late. Additionally, China has held the line on the US and Europe? S drive to address the situation in Syria through the UN. After the US suggested it would 'pivot to Asia' in its military stance, China did not react with unmitigated glee. In contrast to recent years, the US has been increasingly vocal in its practices. China is certain to have a new president soon, Xi Jinping. While he is generally regarded as more personable than the reticent Hu Jintao, his policies are unilaterally to be any more palatable to Western governments.

It bears mention, of course, that the US has not been quick to respond economically in the past to reports of human rights abuses by the Chinese, with international political and economic policies seemingly existing in disparate spheres. On the other hand, since China's rise the US has never before had so many calls for protectionism or so many worries about the domestic job situation. While it is far from likely that the US would institute any overt economic punishments, or even certain that subtle trade issues may come into play, there is still an increased risk in global politics that should play into any calculus when considering whether to begin or bolster Outsourcing in China.

Laker Secondary Schools achieves gold wellness award

PIGEON – Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Secondary Schools recently became a Michigan School Wellness Gold Award recipient because of the work the school does every day to ensure students’ health now and into the future.
“Laker (Secondary) School is a shining example of what it takes to build healthy school environments,” stated an email from Lonias Gilmore, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Laker Secondary School Principal Jon Good and Scheurer School Clinic nurse Susie Irion attended the Michigan School Wellness Award Ceremony at the Michigan State Capitol Building recently. State Rep. Ned Canfield attended the event and congratulated Lakers on its accomplishment.
Lakers has received two bronze school wellness awards in previous years. This is the first gold award the school district has received.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for all the hard work that has been done by many people,” Good said. “It is a testament that the Laker District and community as a whole are committed to doing what is best for our students.”
Irion said Scheurer Hospital, which partners with Lakers to offer the clinic at Laker Secondary School, is proud to work with a school that addresses more than just the basic educational needs of students.
“(Lakers) provides the nutritional, physical and emotional support students need to be successful in school and in life,” she said. “The support the staff has given the Scheurer School Clinic has been a huge part of the positive response we have seen in the students and faculty.”
Irion said the award represents the district’s open-mindedness, as it was the first school to establish the wellness clinic in partnership with Scheurer.
“With this being my first year in the clinic, I can honestly say I am proud to be a part of what our hospital and school offer, which supports the success of our kids,” she said. “With the presence of the clinic, the students are able to take ownership of their health and well-being. The motto of the clinic says it all – ‘Students must be healthy to be educated and educated to be healthy.'”
To achieve gold status, Lakers had to complete several steps when applying for the wellness award. Some of those steps included completion of the HSAT School Core Assessment and other assessments; an HSAT Action Plan with at least one action that has been worked on or completed; a School Health Team that meets at least four times a year; and submission of a school success story that meets the School Wellness Award criteria. The school needed to achieve an overall score of 275 or above.
Laker Superintendent Brian Keim said the gold award was something several staff members worked hard to achieve.
“There was a determination to reach the gold level after earning bronze the past two years,” Keim said. “I can’t say enough about the efforts of our staff and students, the Scheurer School Clinic, our food service group, our school board, and everyone else who has made school wellness a priority here at Lakers.”
As for the success story, Lakers submitted information about the district’s Farm to School program, led by coordinator Cinamon Marker. She was hired by the school as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School planning grant the school received.
“Students are being introduced to a variety of fresh produce and lunch specials using fresh ingredients twice a week by the Laker Farm to School coordinator,” the success story stated. “A network of organizations and individuals work together to provide local produce and develop new fresh recipes for the students. One of the most popular lunch specials was a non-processed version of Lunchables. Students receive a plate of whole-grain crackers, ham, turkey, a variety of cheeses, fruit and vegetables, such as carrots and sugar snap peas.”
In addition, Laker students at all grade levels receive a snack of fresh, in-season produce once a month as part of the Chef Ann grant. Some of the snacks so far have included grapes, sugar snap peas and jicama. Marker shares nutritional information as the snacks are distributed.
The success story also shared details about cooking classes for secondary school students, which was made possible through a grant from the Huron County Community Foundation. The participants have been learning many basic cooking skills, and during an upcoming cook-off event, the students will compete to see which one of their lunch entrees will be chosen to appear on a future school lunch menu.
“Farm to School activities help students learn more about where their food comes from and what it means to eat healthy,” the success story stated. “Also, getting the student’s input on what they like gives them more ownership of what they consume at lunchtime.”
Marker said she has enjoyed coordinating the Farm to School program, especially the Chef Ann grant.
“Exposing students to new fruits and vegetables gives them the opportunity to try them, and this has been a wonderful for the kids,” she said. “The kids are so excited when we have our tastings.”
Marker said the Farm to School program offers another way to teach lifelong wellness.
“I am honored to be a part of a compassionate, caring school district that has so many options for educating our students on health and wellness,” she said. “We are what we eat. A nutritional, balanced meal keeps kids focused so they can perform well in school. It takes a village to raise a child, or so the saying goes. I am certainly proud to work with a staff of people that promote what is best for kids’ education, health and wellness.”
In other school wellness efforts, Laker Secondary School offers gym classes, which include weight lifting, to all grade levels 6-12. Special seminar time activities for junior high students include physical exercise activities, such as walking, floor hockey and basketball. Secondary school students also receive health classes, including a freshmen health class that covers a variety of subjects, such as sexually-transmitted diseases.
Keim said he hopes the gold award communicates that Lakers cares a great deal about students’ overall well-being, because in order to learn well, students must be in good health.
“We’re not perfect, but we make an honest effort to promote a school culture where students can grow and develop into healthy individuals — physically, mentally and emotionally,” Keim said. “That’s not something you can accomplish alone. Everyone has to do their part, so this is a true team award. That makes it extra special.”
The School Wellness Award program is conducted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Action for Healthy Kids.