While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Brad Underwood is not afraid of ChangeThis is tremendous on how Underwood flipped OSU’s season.The big difference this time around was that the antidote for Oklahoma State’s ailments wasn’t a spread offense or a lineup rearrangement. It was, however, a deviation from what Underwood had had success with in the past. “You kind of have to get out of your own way,” he says. “It was about helping this team become the best it can be. And that’s my obligation.” [Yahoo]Music to these ears.Loss won’t LingerUnderwood doesn’t expect the Wednesday outcome to result in a Cowboy hangover or anything that might resemble the slump of January.“Boy, I sure hope we’re not that shallow,” he said. “You don’t go to West Virginia and win, and you don’t go to (OU) and beat a Lon Kruger team, without being a good basketball team.“I can’t say enough how good this league is. My goodness, you better not feel too sorry for yourself. You better strap it up and go. See you Saturday.” [Tulsa World]Oh yes we will.Move The College Hoops Season?May Madness?The riskier strategy is making it a one-semester sport. Ideally, it could make almost the entire season relevant nationally. It would certainly be true for early-season matchups, where titanic battles between blue-blooded, top-10 teams are commonplace. Far more common than in college football. But for basketball, games like Kentucky-North Carolina and Indiana-Kansas earlier this year barely registered for sports fans at large. [Sports On Earth]As proprietor of a college sports blog, I’m all in on either of these ideas.OSU and NCAA NotesNick Saban keeps going through offensive coordinators … Great Jordan Sterns interview here with CRFF (killing it on the interviews, guys!) … Gundy will probably name an OL coach by the end of the week … Yo … what?VCU allowed a go-ahead 3-pt FG with 0.4 seconds left in each of its last 2 games. VCU won both games. pic.twitter.com/r9wjhyGHgb— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 9, 2017What You Missed On PFBHow Mike Gundy gets his team and coaches on the same page.Why is Oklahoma State not better at recruiting?Notebook on last night’s game.Wednesday night was a glimpse of what GIA could be again.More Stuff I’m ReadingWhat does Durant, OK think of Kevin Durant’s return? …
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed fourth-year cornerback Tyler Patmon, the team announced on Monday.Patmon, who began his career with the Kansas Jayhawks, played a graduate transfer season with the Cowboys in 2013 and went undrafted, but later signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Last season he spent the preseason training camp with the Tennessee Titans after being claimed from the Miami Dolphins, and has since served as a practice squad member with the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers. He didn’t play in the NFL last season, so he’s relishing his new opportunity.“Every little opportunity you get in this league is big,” Patmon said. “For the Jaguars to bring me in, sign me and give me that chance; it’s a great opportunity for me.”Patmon has appeared in 24 career games with two starts and totaled 21 tackles and seven passes defensed, including one INT in his short professional career. With experience under his belt and a hungry mentality, the Jaguars could be the start of a new beginning for the 26-year-old.“I feel like I can do it all,” Patmon said. “I’m going to come in here and the first thing I’m going to do is work hard, work my butt off for the coaches and do whatever they want me to do. I can play special teams, I can play corner, I can play nickel, so wherever they see me fit is what I’m ready to do.”At the top of the Jaguars’ depth chart is former FSU standout Jalen Ramsey, who was taken No. 5 in the NFL draft last year. Patmon will be competing alongside former Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin and seventh round selection Jalen Myrick. Patmon fills the final spot of Jacksonville’s 90-man roster.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. OSU is hopping in the game late with Brown, which leads me to ask two questions: Do they know their fate with Israel Antwine, the newly decommitted OKC area prospect? And are they still in it with Tayland Humphrey, the top JUCO d-tackle? My guess is that both questions don’t have answers. But if I were betting, I’d say OSU has a better shot at landing the latter than the former.Brown is a pipe-dreamer, in my opinion. But his evaluation from Scout suggests he’s a cant-miss player worth taking a shot on.With outstanding frame potential for the interior defensive line in multiple schemes, Bobby Brown has emerged as one of the top D-line prospects in the state of Texas for the 2018 class. Brown possesses good height and rare length, even for a defensive end, though he projects best to the interior as a tackle, most likely in a four-man front. That said, Brown has the athleticism to fit multiple roles in varying schemes, giving him coveted scheme- and position-versatility. Brown is a high-motor prospect who comes from a good program (Arlington Lamar) that competes in Texas high school football’s largest classification. He shows the ability to maintain his balance and leverage mid-contact, which is not often the case with young prospects who possess his height and length. Once he gets more consistent with his get-off at the snap, Brown will be a dangerous pass-rusher, especially considering his wingspan. Brown is raw right now, but possesses uncommon physical characteristics that suggest he’s primed to emerge as one of the top defensive line prospects in the state – and potentially the nation – for the 2018 recruiting cycle. — Gabe BrooksPrediction: Alabama2020 cornerback Korie Black offeredWaco area prospect Korie Black reported his second Division-I offer after mini-camp Saturday from OSU. Being from Waco, Black was first discovered by the Baylor Bears early in Matt Rhule’s regime.Blessed and honored to have received my second offer from Oklahoma State University #gopokes ??? pic.twitter.com/JPMlgKcDM1— 2 (@Mightyy_K2) July 30, 2017Black is a 6-foot standout from Connally High School, and while his recruitment is way too early to call, I’ll predict he stays home and plays for Baylor. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap catching you up to speed with the latest Oklahoma State recruiting news, with an ear to the ground for what to expect.Four-star 2018 tackle sets commitment dateTop-ranked offensive tackle prospect Darrell Simpson has set his commitment date for August 12, he announced this week on Twitter.Simpson is a four-star, top-200 talent from Northwest High School in Justin, Texas, widely viewed as a top-10 prospect at his position in the region. He has been on OSU’s radar for years now and recently included OSU in his group of final 8 schools.I predicted this spring (a bold prediction, admittedly) that OSU would be his landing spot. But I don’t see the Cowboys winning this battle. The 6-7 talent is a heavy OU lean by most prognosticators, and I think that’s where he ultimately winds up. But keep an eye on any late developments that could swing his recruitment in the final days before he pledges.Oklahoma State has commitments at offensive line from Bryce Bray, Hunter Anthony, Hunter Woodard, Tyrese Williams and Jacob Farrell, but Simpson would be a must-take under any circumstance. Despite Josh Henson’s accomplishments in filling out a star-studded class to this point, landing Simpson would be the crown jewel of not only his group, but also of the 2018 class.Prediction: OklahomaFour-star 2018 d-lineman offeredFour-star defensive lineman Bobby Brown was one of two prospects to pick up an offer over the weekend at OSU’s final mini-camp of the summer.Brown is an Arlington Lamar prospect with 20 scholarship opportunities and counting, rated as the No. 14 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by 247Sports.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. You know it’s officially football season when OKC Dave puts together his annual survey for OSU fans.Incredibly, this year is the 10th edition of what has now evolved into a preseason ritual for most people, myself included. Please take the survey in the link provided and feel free to leave any additional comments below. Dave will close the survey on August 11, and results (which will be up on the site) should be available around August 15.Here are the results from last year.Take The SurveyAdChoices广告
You’re in the business not only of doing good; you’re in the business of making people feel great. I like to quote the researcher M.A.Strahilevitz on this topic: “Most fundraisers probably don’t think of themselves in the business of selling happiness to donors, but that is … their job.”In an interview with Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, Gretchen Rubin quotes Lyubomirsky on why this is the case:“Research shows that there are many simple activities that reliably make people happier. My favorite is doing acts of kindness. The generous acts don’t have to be random and they don’t have to be a certain kind (e.g, anonymous or social or big, etc.). We have found that almost any types of acts of kindness boost happiness. And two hot-off-the-presses studies reveal even bigger benefits. An experiment we just published in PLOS ONE showed that when 9- to 11-year old kids were asked to do acts of kindness for several weeks, not only did they get happier over time but they became more popular with their peers. And another big intervention we just finished at a company in Spain showed that asking some employees to be generous to a randomly chosen list of colleagues (we called this our “Secret Santa” manipulation) produced huge benefits (for increasing happiness, connectedness, flow, and decreasing depression) not just for the givers, but for the receivers and even for observers. The recipients of kindness “paid the kind acts forward” and even acquaintances of the givers became happier and were inspired to act more generously themselves.”Smile, you’re in the happiness business.
New research from the 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study tells us that, on average, almost half (45%) of small nonprofits’ email subscribers are inactive. Yikes!Inactive could mean different things to different organizations. Many organizations define inactive subscribers as those who’ve gone one year with no activity. (These don’t necessarily include lapsed or inactive donors. We’re simply talking about people in your database who haven’t opened an email in a really long time—donors and nondonors.) However you define your inactive subscriber base, I think we can all agree that you need a plan of action to reengage with people who were, at one point, interested in your organization.Why do anything with inactive email addresses?You’re probably thinking, “My list is really small as it is! Why would I want to make it even smaller by choice?” I hear you! I’ve worked with organizations that have email lists of around 1,000 names, and they are hesitant to do any deleting or suppressions. However, this dead weight is hurting your open rates, and if you continue to send emails to people who aren’t engaging with you, it will affect your deliverability rate.Trimming and suppressing parts of your email list will boost your confidence the next time you’re testing subject lines. And it will more accurately reflect—and improve!—your open and click rate.What should I do to reengage with inactive email addresses?First, segment your list. I recommend pulling a list of people who haven’t opened any email in the past 12 months. Send them an email to let them know you miss them. Make the subject line snappy. Be sure to have a clear call to action in the email that asks people to confirm that they still want to hear from you.You can even go a few steps further and send a drip campaign with the goal of getting this group to reengage. Karla Capers wrote a guest post on the blog Getting Attention! about how she reactivated $13,000 worth of inactive names with a simple three-email drip approach. I love the subject lines she chose and the careful approach she took to reengage with these subscribers.Why are email addresses inactive in the first place?Only your email subscribers can tell you for sure why they don’t open your emails, but here are a few common responses:You send too many emails. It’s easier to delete them all.Your sender’s name/subject line doesn’t make it clear the message is from you.It lands in my junk box, and I can’t figure out how to make you a safe sender.Your emails always come at bad times.I want you to send emails to a different email address (work/personal).If inactive subscribers are a big problem for your organization, it might be worthwhile to survey those who haven’t shown interest in your emails and find out why they aren’t opening them. This can be challenging in itself: How can you get someone to open an email and take a survey about why they aren’t opening your emails? If you have the resources, it might be worth taking the conversation offline.What do I do with people who didn’t reengage?After your reengagement campaign has run its course, you need to honor your subscribers’ preferences. You will not hear back from every inactive subscriber. Some won’t make it clear if they want to hear from you again. Leave these people in your inactive list and suppress them from your mailings as you see fit, but make it easy for them to reengage if they want to. I wouldn’t recommend adding them to your unsubscribe list, because they didn’t explicitly tell you they wanted to unsubscribe. If they notice they’re no longer getting emails from you, let them subscribe again without making it too difficult to return them to your active list.Want to get fancy?If you’re open to testing with Facebook ads, you might try using a custom audience ad as part of your reactivation campaign. Although I would caution against spending too much on folks who aren’t engaging with your emails, Facebook ads can be very affordable. Facebook makes it really easy to import a list of email subscribers you want to reach. If the email address is associated with a Facebook account, Facebook will deliver an ad to their feed. If you want to just check if your donors use Facebook, John Haydon has simple instructions on how to upload your list without paying for an ad.What if I don’t have time for all of this?If you’re in a crunch and can’t manage a reactivation campaign right now, try simply suppressing inactive email addresses from your email sends for a few months and watch your open rate go up. I know you might be nervous about voluntarily sending an email to fewer people, but it’s just a test! It’s time to face the reality: These people haven’t opened an email from you in the past 12 months. Suppressing them from a few email sends as part of a test won’t do any damage.For more stats and best practices on digital fundraising, download The 2015 Online Fundraising Report.
Ready to see big fundraising results from your board? Check out our on-demand webinar and discover the 3 Ways Every Board Member Can Raise $5K in 30 Days. Watch it now! In another recent Nonprofit 911 webinar, Claire Axelrad shared strategies to help nonprofits transform their board from reluctant fundraisers into ready fundraisers. We had so many fantastic questions during the webinar that we weren’t able to address, so I’ve asked Claire to tackle them here. Read on to learn how to help your board become passionate fundraisers for your nonprofit.Could you address overcoming quid pro quo—where many board members don’t want to ask friends because they don’t want to be asked in return? Claire Axelrad: This fear stems from believing that asking is an arm-twisting, guilt-inflicting, “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours” endeavor. It’s not!Asking should be about sharing one’s passions with others, and then asking them to join you if they share your passions.“Different strokes for different folks” is the way around the quid pro quo dilemma.It’s quite possible that you and your friend both love music. So when you ask her to make a gift to the symphony on whose board you sit, this makes sense. When she later asks you to make a gift to the environmental organization on whose board she sits, it’s okay for you to decline if environmental issues don’t particularly float your boat. And you explain this to your friend exactly this way:“Sarah, I’m so appreciative of the gift you made to the symphony. I know how much we both love classical music. I’d love to support a cause of yours, too, but this one just isn’t my thing. I’ve decided to make impact gifts to five philanthropies annually, which means I stick with the causes closest to my heart. This just isn’t one of them. I respect the work you’re doing for them and hope you understand.”And one more thing: Quite often, the quid pro quo ask never materializes. Your friend may or may not give to your organization; you may or may not give to your friend’s. And she may or may not ask you to do so. How do you respond to board members who say, “I don’t know any rich people”?CA: There are two ways around this one. The first is to say:“You don’t need to know rich people. Just think of your peers. Are there any who might be interested in what we do? You’re making a stretch gift here. Maybe they’d like to join you. You love this organization. Perhaps they will, too. Don’t assume they won’t be interested and say no on their behalf. Let them in on what we’re accomplishing here—maybe they’ll get just excited about it as you are!”The second is to offer a different fundraising assignment. They don’t have to identify donor prospects, at least not until they become comfortable doing so. Board members can play a number of different fundraising roles—as ambassadors, advocates, and askers. Ultimately, it’s my goal to get them to wear all three hats. But sometimes you must work up to this slowly. Try this:“If you can’t think of anyone to refer right now, let’s look at some other ways you might be able to help us with donor development. Would you be willing to make thank you calls, write personal notes on appeals, speak on our behalf at a community group, take prospective donors on tours? How might you be comfortable sharing your passion about our mission with others?”Isn’t it true that development and relationship building should be the board’s highest priority? I ask because our board is already stretched very thin.CA: Nonprofits are established to meet demonstrated community needs. A board’s highest priority is to assure these needs are being addressed. They do this through their double-fisted governance and financing roles.The board as a whole has governance responsibility to establish policies, programs, procedures, and budget and to assure the mission is carried out effectively. In this regard, it also collectively hires, evaluates, and fires the executive director.The board members as individuals have the responsibility to assure that financing is in place to carry out the mission. If they refuse to ensure that funding is in place to carry out the plans and budgets they’ve approved, they’re essentially creating an unfunded mandate.Often, staff will criticize board members for “underperforming.” But how can they perform well if they don’t understand their role and responsibilities? Staff have an ongoing responsibility to orient, educate, and develop their board so they can effectively fulfill their job. For an interesting take on board roles, check out Problem Boards or Board Problem?If board members are uncomfortable with the roles you’ve defined, is it acceptable to ask them to step down?CA: Absolutely! Board slots are valuable, and you can’t afford to have them filled with folks who just sit on the sofa. Plus, cranky and passive board members drag other members down. One rotten apple truly can spoil the whole barrel. Ask them to do something else if being a board member is not a good fit for them at this point in time. Suggest they may be more comfortable, and more useful to you, on a committee or advisory group. Or set them up with a meaningful volunteer activity.How can we implement these ideas with an “old” board? Many of our members are still from the founding board (30-plus years ago).CA: Boards really should have terms of office established in the by-laws. You need to escape from the cycle of “that’s not how we do things here.” Plus, you need opportunities to move new folks onto your board as a big “reward” for being a dedicated donor and/or volunteer. If you limit the ways new folks can get involved with your organization, you limit your ability to raise funds going forward.And then there’s the issue of group dynamics. Board leaders who fear fundraising spread that fear. A scarcity mindset prevails where everyone whines about how difficult it is to raise money—to the point where it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cup-half-empty boards lead to cup-half-empty nonprofits. You won’t be able to grow. And in today’s competitive environment, if you don’t grow, you die.Many board members are unaccustomed to the relationship cultivation and solicitation required to land major donations and are fearful because they don’t know how to do it. It’s the job of a nonprofit’s leadership to work with such board members to help them feel both passionate about the cause and confident in the fundraising process.Board members will often gravitate toward special event fundraising, such as selling tickets to a cocktail party or a golf outing, because it’s an easy way to solicit support without having to make the case in person. However, leadership should help board members realize that people typically give major donations only to other people, not to paper. Even the most inspiring newsletter can’t match the emotional connection of a face-to-face appeal.Board members are best equipped to make these appeals when they’re passionate about what they’re “selling.” Leadership should help board members identify which services speak most to them and make those services the heart of each person’s appeal. It comes down to inspiration trumping hesitation.Everything really boils down to inspiring philanthropy. And it begins with igniting your board members’ passions so their important role of ensuring that your mission will survive and thrive follows as naturally as flowers follow spring showers.Thanks to Claire for sharing her insight on getting board members more comfortable with their role in fundraising.Ready to see big fundraising results from your board? Watch our free webinar and discover the 3 Ways Every Board Member Can Raise $5K in 30 Days. Watch it now!
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 26, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A special panel discussion on women’s and children’s health was held yesterday at the UN General Assembly. A full video of the event is now available for viewing via UN Web TV.As the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health noted: “The event, hosted by the Government of Canada, Tanzania and Norway, with the support of the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sought to place at the heart of its discussions, the need to sustain momentum and focus on women’s and children’s health; ensure interventions integral to this group are implemented and reiterate the importance of championing key measures needed to strengthen accountability.”Among the highlights were remarks by Prime Minister of Stephen Harper, who announced that funds pledged as part of the G8’s Muskoka Initiative will go to nine projects meant to accelerate progress toward the maternal and child health goals. Throughout the event, speakers not only emphasized the need to “stay on course” to accelerate progress toward improvements in maternal and child health. Speakers, including President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke of the need to not only expand investments in essential areas, such as increasing the number and improving the skills of health workers, but also in the area of vital statistics and record keeping systems – which are essential to tracking progress and setting priorities for investment.The panel was followed by a second discussion, moderated by Richard Horton, Chief Editor of The Lancet and co-chair of the independent Expert Review Group. That discussion focused on critical opportunities and challenges for coordinating efforts to accelerate progress toward improving maternal and child health at global and national levels. For instance, panelists discussed the opportunities, challenges and risks that have come with the rapid expansion of global health initiatives for actually achieving improvements in health and well-being.Share this:
Five ways an innovative program increased facility birth in NigeriaThe Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) was set up as a game changer to reduce maternal and child mortality so Nigeria could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health (MCH). Since the publication of our PLoS Medicine paper, the MSS has subsequently been scaled up from 625 PHC facilities to an additional 375 facilities, providing 1,000 facilities across Nigeria with an additional 4,000 midwives and 1,000 community health extension workers. The MSS, in addition to the MCH component of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) it inspired, has decreased maternal and neonatal mortality. In addition, it inspired a national policy change to allow community health extension workers, who form the bulk of the PHC workforce in Northern Nigeria, to provide contraceptive injectables to women. Lastly, it has also increased community engagement and inspired a conditional cash transfer program, which has increased facility birth by 27%.Share this: Posted on January 15, 2015October 28, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Over the last three weeks, we’ve heard from authors around the world who have seen concrete practice and policy results from their articles in our MHTF-PLOS Collection for Maternal Health. Our Translating Research into Practice Series featured these authors and the influence of their papers. Find a summary of the collection below. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: From inaction to advocacy: placing women and children at the center of sustainable developmentWhile a maternal death is devastating in its own right, a mother’s death is not an isolated event; when a mother dies there are immediate and lasting repercussions for her children, her family, and the broader community. As the dawn of the Sustainable Development Goals fast approaches, it is important that we turn to evidence from the Impacts of Maternal Death on Living Children Study to inform advocacy efforts toward the inclusion of women’s reproductive health and gender equality as a central, fundamental part of global development. Toward this end, we convened a panel of maternal health experts for a live webcast to discuss the implications of this research and the strategies advocates can use to mobilize influential donors and decision-makers to prioritize investments in sexual and reproductive health.Emergency obstetric referral and transport in low- and middle-income countries: the direction of travelOur study called for research to understand how referral and transport interventions work for obstetric emergencies. This research is crucial since decisions to seek care can be deferred or hindered, and even if decisions are rapidly made to seek care, transport may be unavailable or slow. This call has been met with research from Wilson and colleagues that elicited key factors that affect the use and uptake of transport in obstetric emergencies and Nwolise and colleagues that found where community-based loan funds were used along with other interventions, the utilization of health facilities for childbirth increased. Our topic has also received international attention with the World Health Organization supporting an international panel that recently identified research on transport and referral solutions as a priority area to improve maternal and newborn health in low-resource settings.Improving birth and pregnancy outcomes through registries in southern EthiopiaDeveloping countries lack vital registrations that are present in high-income countries. Because of the shortage of such essential information, translating policy into action and monitoring programmes to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths is difficult. As a follow-up to our paper, Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in South-West Ethiopia: Estimates and Socio-Economic Inequality, we developed, validated, and used community-based birth registration in a population of about half a million people in four woredas, or districts, in rural southern Ethiopia. The most important lesson we learnt is that it is possible to obtain high-coverage birth registration and measure maternal mortality in rural communities with trained community health workers.Using research findings to influence maternal health action: An example from NigeriaOur paper—When Women Deliver with No One Present in Nigeria: Who, what, where and so what—revealed that over one in five births in Nigeria was delivered with no one present (NOP) with 94% of those deliveries occurring in northern Nigeria. Our paper has shaped the discourse on maternal and newborn health in Nigeria in the following ways:The start of a statewide community-based distribution of misoprostol and chlorhexidine to link mothers to providersA policy dialogue involving influential local religious leaders who now promote facility birthsGiven the influential nature of our paper, it was chosen as one of three presented at a launch event at Harvard for the MHTF-PLOS collection in November 2013
Posted on August 17, 2016September 26, 2016By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In July 2016, global leaders gathered for the second annual Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop (SMNLW) hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) in partnership with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and The Aga Kahn University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The participants represented 26 countries from five continents. SMNLW participant Hemant Shah is Chief of Party, Technical Support Unit for CARE. He previously worked as the Director of the State reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent (RMNCH+A) unit in Bihar as well as a maternal health expert in the Integrated Family Health Initiative project and led quality improvement activities in health facilities in Bihar.K: Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.H: I am heading a project in the state of Bihar in India, which is implemented by CARE India and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We are providing technical support to the government of Bihar, particularly in the health and social welfare departments in two aspects: RMNCH+A health and nutrition.K: What is the biggest challenge in maternal and newborn health in your country?H: I will comment about a state in which I’m working, not the country as a whole. The biggest challenge for us is that we have a maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 208 per 100,000 live births. The neonatal mortality rate is 28 per 1,000 live births. The volume with which we are dealing is a big challenge. From a maternal mortality point of view, it’s estimated that there are about 6,000-7,000 maternal deaths every year. We are providing support through the state government, starting from the state level to the block level. Our work can be divided into three categories: improving quality of care in the facilities; building capacity of frontline workers to improve services at community level; and working on health system issues like supply chain management, human resources, etc.K: What kind of leader do you aspire to be? How can quality leadership in maternal newborn health help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?H: All leaders require different skill sets. For the work I do, technical knowledge is important, so that’s number one. The second skill is being able to bring all stakeholders together. The third characteristic of an effective leader is being able to lead from the front and take responsibility for failure instead of blaming the team members. For example, as a leader, you can assign your colleagues or team members to do advocacy with the state government. On the other side, sometimes as a leader, you might directly take responsibility and do advocacy work. Sometimes when a leader himself or herself takes a responsibility, especially on a difficult issue, it builds the confidence of the team that their leader is also ready to try his or her best to pursue the government and is part of the team.From the SDG point of view, one of the qualities required in a leader is perseverance, because achieving the goals is not going to happen in the next one or two years. If you consistently pursue the things with your all, honest efforts, sooner or later, you will get the results.K: What would you like MHTF readers to know?H: By increasing institutional delivery alone, we cannot reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Quality of care in the facility is a very important issue to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity and similarly, newborn mortality and morbidity.For example, we are doing a number of things to improve quality of care. One thing we are doing is increasing the capacity of auxiliary nurse midwives and nurses working in public health facilities in India. One of the problems we identified was that many of them don’t have the skills required to conduct normal deliveries or identify complications and stabilize and refer patients. The second problem we identified was delivery training. Previously, nurses and midwives would be pulled out from the facility and sent to another hospital for 21 days to be trained. Since there are very few people who are capable of conducting deliveries, many midwives or nurses who were capable of doing deliveries were never sent to the training site. So we reversed the training mechanics. We recruited senior nurses as mentors and built their capacity. Now, every month for about seven to eight months, these mentors visit the facility for one week and build the capacity of nurses and midwives working at that facility. The advantage is that they are building the capacity in the nurse and midwives’ real environment with incremental learning opportunities. What we are trying to achieve is not only knowledge and skills improvement, but also behavior change, bringing cultural change into the facility. When someone coming from outside demonstrates better practices, it gives staff the confidence and opportunity to practice.—Read previous interviews in the Global Leaders in Maternal and Newborn Health series with Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa from Nigeria and Dr. Joannie Bewa from Benin.Read a summary of the Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) website.Receive the newest interviews in this series delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the MH Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Vice Principal for Academic Affairs at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA), Dr. Trudy Ann Barrett, has highlighted the need for greater research on and documentation of the Jamaican arts.“There is a paucity of research. There is not enough data, which we can readily access,” she said.Dr. Barrett, who was addressing a JIS ThinkTank on Wednesday (February 26), said that the EMCVPA has a role to play in preserving cultural narratives.“We have a role in helping to properly document the arts, so that others can have a model from which they refer,” she said.Director of Studies at the EMCVPA’s School of Arts Management, Dr. Anthea Octave, in her remarks, emphasised the need for Jamaicans “to begin to write about ourselves”.Director of Studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA), School of Arts Management, Dr. Anthea Octave, speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (February 26). (Photo: Rudranath Fraser). She said that no one can “explain the Jamaican culture better than Jamaicans”.“We have a history of persons from the outside coming in to write about us…to speak about our culture, to speak about our art”.“No one else can explain it better than us. They can come in, they can look at it, and they can assume and interpret it, but no one else can write about us,” Dr. Octave added.
Coach Urban Meyer and members of OSU football team before a game against Virginia Tech on September 7 in Blacksburg, Virginia. OSU won 42-24. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorAfter returning to campus at around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning after beating Virginia Tech 42-24, Ohio State has the task of a very short turnaround to its next game.“It’s real difficult right now,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said. “Guys are still sore, banged up. That was a tough game.”Now with the Labor Day challenge against the Hokies in the win column, the Buckeyes (1-0) are set to welcome the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-0) for OSU’s home opener.Despite Saturday’s game marking the first-ever meeting between the two programs, Meyer said that the Hawaii game was not mentioned once until the Virginia Tech one came to a close. The coach described the preparation for Virginia Tech as a “Super Bowl-type atmosphere” and prepared for the game like there is “no tomorrow.”Potentially putting the Buckeyes at a further lack of preparation for Saturday’s game is the fact that Meyer and his coaching staff were not allowed to hold a practice until Wednesday, just three days before the game.“We appealed to the NCAA to let us meet with them yesterday and all that, and they said no, so those are all things probably before you schedule a Monday night game we should ask those questions because we’re way behind,” Meyer said.The coach further added that Wednesday’s practice was an abbreviated one because players were still tired from playing two nights before.However, Meyer said that he “feels great” about the team being fresh enough to play as well against the Rainbow Warriors as it did against the Hokies, crediting the depth that OSU has at just about every position as a reason for confidence.Previously for HawaiiDespite being outgained by 71 total yards, the Rainbow Warriors held off Colorado at Aloha Stadium 28-20 on Thursday night.Senior quarterback Max Wittek completed 19 of 38 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Columbus native Paul Harris led the way on the ground. The junior rushed for 68 yards on 17 attempts.The offensive highlight of the game for Hawaii came from a 79-yard connection from Wittek to junior receiver Marcus Kemp in the middle of the second quarter to put Hawaii up 15-7 at the time.Senior defensive lineman Luke Shawley starred on defense for Hawaii, racking up 14 tackles, including 1.5 sacks.Joining the partyWhen OSU topped Virginia Tech on Monday, it did so without the benefit of four major players. Those four will be back on the gridiron against the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday.Redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, junior H-back Dontre Wilson, redshirt senior receiver Corey Smith and junior defensive end Joey Bosa were all suspended for the opener due to violations of athletic department policies.Marshall, Wilson and Smith are poised to bolster an offense that already crushed Virginia Tech to the tune of 572 total yards and a school-record 10.2 yards per play.Bosa, a 2014 unanimous Associated Press All-American, should force the opposing offensive line to return to its usual double-teaming of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native, which sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan said could enable the rest of the defense to run wild.“Joey is one of the best, if not the best, player in the nation,” McMillan said. “Having him back on the field with us, even though we had guys step up last week, having him back on the field will be fun.”Awards and recordsWith the Virginia Tech game approaching, there was plenty of doubt about how Braxton Miller, a former quarterback turned H-Back, could contribute turn right out of the gate.The redshirt senior quickly put those doubts to rest, putting up not only a strong game but an award-winning one.Miller, after catching two passes for 78 yards and rushing six times for 62 yards, with a touchdown doing both, was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week for the fourth time in his career.Additionally, the Huber Heights, Ohio, native’s 54-yard receiving touchdown early in the third quarter tied Art Schlichter’s school record for career touchdowns responsible for with 85, while his 53-yard run later in the quarter set the new mark.Up nextAfter the 3:30 p.m. game against Hawaii on Saturday, the Buckeyes are scheduled to continue their three-game non-conference homestand against Northern Illinois. Kickoff is again set for 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Ohio Stadium.
This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves With E3 2019 right around the corner, it’s a better time than ever to make sure your gaming gear is as up-to-date as it can possibly be. There’s a deluge of new, taxing games coming to PC, and you’re going to want to make sure you can run anything you throw at your dedicated gaming machine.The impressive Asus ROG Strix Scar II Gaming Laptop is currently up for grabs for a pretty insane discount, and you’ll want to jump on it before it (very rapidly) goes out of stock. This model, which typically retails for $1,699.99, is currently on sale for $400 off at $1,299.99. This is an excellent price if you’re looking to pick up a new gaming laptop, especially with the impressive tech you’re getting here.It boasts a 17.3″ inch IPS panel display, an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GB GDDR5, as well as a 1TB HDD and customizable RGB keyboard. If you want to light up your keys with your favorite colors and alternate them to your liking, you can absolutely do that. Plus, with a brushed aluminum lid and a slim bezel around the display, it’s an attractive laptop that you’ll love opening up any time you’re ready to dive into the latest new release.It also comes packing three USB 3.1 type-A ports, a USB type-C port, HDMI, a mini Display port, Ethernet, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card slot as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Most importantly, it’s good to go when it comes to just about any game on the horizon. And, yes, before you ask, it can handle Fortnite on the go.Had your eye on this bad boy for some time? Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger now that it’s significantly cheaper. Stay on target
The New Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer Is Nearly Four Feet LongLego Makes Building Sets Accessible to the Blind Ever wished you owned your very own R2 series astromech droid? Lego wants to make your dream a reality… and teach you a little coding along the way!For this year’s May the Fourth festivities, Lego announced a brand new addition to their already expansive Star Wars collection. It’s a three-pack of buildable droids that features R2-D2. Also included are a mouse droid and a gonk droid.These droids aren’t just meant to be built and posed, though. They’re a part of Lego’s Boost series.A Lego Boost set doesn’t just guide you through construction process. It’s designed to give Lego fans a fun, uncomplicated way to explore the worlds of coding and robotics. When they introduced Boost in 2017, they pitched it as a less complicated take on Mindstorms.This is Lego’s first licensed Boost set, and the Star Wars universe is a perfect fit.Once you’ve finished building your droid you can fire up the mobile app and take it for a spin. The programming interface is a bit like Scratch. You piece together routines by dragging and dropping different steps into a sequence. Lego keeps it simple by structuring Boost code like sentences — you build them from left to right.Other Boost set come with activities that you can walk through to get comfortable with the coding process. This one’s Star Wars themed, however… so Lego opted to call them “missions” this time around.The original Boost Creative box was already an amazing little kit and a great way to get kids interested in STEM activities. By adding Star Wars to the mix, Lego has upped the cool factor considerably.You definitely don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Lego Boost, either. Especially not this one, Star Wars fans. These really are the droids you’re looking for!The 1177-piece Lego Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set will hit stores on September 1st with a retail price of $199.99.More on Geek.com:Lego Made Bricks to Help Kids and Adults Learn BrailleCool Gifts for Every Star Wars JunkieLego Unveils Massive New Star Wars Tantive IV Set Stay on target
Tempest is one of the most celebrated arcade games ever produced. It was revolutionary for its time, offering a gameplay experience like no other. And that’s what makes this 1:6 scale playable Tempest arcade machine so exciting, especially since it’s on sale for just $99.99.It was all the back in 1981 that Tempest first hit arcade floors. What helped make it an instant classic was the fact that it offered 3D vector graphics and it gave players the option to skip levels they’d already mastered. The unique triangular aesthetic of the game cabinet was also a draw and continues to be a source of nostalgic euphoria for those that remember playing it.And that’s why original Tempest arcade cabs continue to be in high demand. Unfortunately, finding an original in working condition is difficult and, if you do happen to locate one, you can expect a huge price tag to be attached to it. That puts the ownership of an original cab out of reach for most, which is what makes this scale replica so exciting.From the folks at RepliCade, this 1:6 scale Tempest arcade cab is a fully playable work of art. It matches every aspect of the original in stunning detail. The angles of the cabinet are accurate, the side artwork is perfect, and even the marquee and coin slots light up.And, though the cabinet is scaled down significantly, it still manages to offer a gameplay experience that’s just like the original. It features modern controls that are as responsive as can be and the high-resolution screen will let you see even the smallest objects in great detail. The cabinet itself is made with wood and metal for durability and the game ROM is officially licensed from Atari.Never played before? Then this is a fantastic opportunity to experience what it was like to play Tempest in an arcade. To win, players rotate a gun around the edge of a geometric playing field and shoot enemies as they approach. The geometric shape of the playing field changes from level to level, becoming progressively difficult. Which was really unique for the time, as most other games — like Pac-Man — maintained the same playing field throughout.Start collecting your quarters because this vintage styled arcade cabinet would look great in any games room, office, or bar. Get your game on and save 16 percent off the cost of the Tempest 1:6 scale playable arcade machine, available now at the Geek Shop for just $99.99. Stay on target This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves Tempest x Replicade 1:6 Scale Playable Arcade Machine – $99.99See Deal
Stay on target Christian Bale Shares Cheeky Batsuit Advice for Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson Describes Trying on the Batsuit for First Time Before the Caped Crusader conquered every medium out there, from video games to movies to cartoons to Prince music videos, Batman was first of course a comic book character, the comic book character of DC Comics alongside Superman. And Batman’s history in his home medium is rich and unexpectedly varied if all you know of him is a gravely Christian Bale voice.If you want to familiarize yourself with Batman’s comic book legacy, you’ll soon have an exciting new chance. The Society of Illustrators, a New York City art society, is about to open three new art exhibits celebrating 80 years of awesome Batman drawings.Opening June 12 and running until October 12, these three exhibits collectively showcase over 200 pieces of original Batman art that fall under all sorts of different themes. If you don’t know where to start, consider going to the opening reception on June 21 kicking everything off.“Illustrating Batman: Eighty Years of Comics and Pop Culture,” the main exhibit, is a comprehensive look at Batman in comics. Famous Batman creators like Bob Kane, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee are all featured. And along with illustrated art you can enjoy Batman toys and commercials and essays.“Batman Collected: Chip Kidd’s Batman Obsession” is a more personal collection from graphic designer Chip Kidd. But you’ll still recognize rare pieces from heavy hitters like Alex Ross and Bruce Timm.And for all you folks who wish Batman was more anime, check out “Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan” and discover the quirky classic 1960s Bat-Manga by Jiro Kuwata.If you’re in New York and this all sounds cool to you, head over to the Society of Illustrators for Batman tickets while there’s still time. For more on Batman, get ready for Robert Pattinson’s take on the Dark Knight in the upcoming movie and revisit the 1989 Tim Burton classic.
Stay on target Starbucks to Deliver Nationwide Via Uber EatsUber’s New Rideshare Tier Is the Height of Comfort Uber Elevate, Uber’s aerial ride-hailing division, is not making its big debut yet, however, Uber will start offering Uber Copter, a helicopter transportation service, in New York City next month.Starting July 9, Uber Copter will only be available to Uber users who are Platinum and Diamond members of Uber Rewards, the company’s loyalty program, The New York Times reported. Users can book the aerial service via Uber’s app, which will transport them between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport in a quick eight-minute flight. The aim of Uber Copter is to axe the total time it takes to travel between both places, which could take at least 60 minutes and during rush hour, more than two hours, Engadget reported.Like Uber rides, Uber Copter will determine pricing based on demand and the average ride will cost users between $200 and $225 a person. However, this price also includes ground transportation to and from each point on the trip. In Lower Manhattan, customers will be picked up or dropped off by car to the Uber Copter helipad and at Kennedy International Airport, they’ll be picked up by a car at the helicopter tarmac and driven directly to their terminal and vice versa if they’re coming back from airline travel.Here’s how it works: Customers can book an Uber Copter trip right on the spot or up to five days in advance of their desired flight time. Each helicopter can fit up to five passengers and will be in service from Monday to Friday during afternoon rush hour. Once a user reserves a seat, they will receive an email confirmation and boarding pass from Uber.An Uber Copter boarding pass. (Photo Credit: Uber)Uber Copter’s helicopter service will be operated by Newark-based HeliFlite. For each flight, there will be two pilots on board and passengers will be shown a 90-second safety video before they leave. One downside though is that these helicopters can’t accommodate large suitcases, so passengers will only be allowed to travel with one carry-on weighing 40 pounds or less and one personal bag.Even though Uber Copter will only be available in New York City for now, Eric Allison, the head of Uber Elevate, said the company aims to bring Uber Copter service to other cities in the future.“This is a trip that so many travelers make a day, and we see an opportunity to save them a huge amount of time on it. Our plan is to eventually roll out Uber Copter to more Uber customers and to other cities, but we want to do it right,” Allison said told The New York Times. “The main goal of this initial venture is to understand the operations behind aerial vehicles.”Watch: Melbourne to Be First International City to Trial Uber Air Flying TaxisMore on Geek.com:Uber Now Deactivates Poorly Rated RidersUber Black Users Can Silence Drivers With New ‘Quiet Mode’Uber Reveals the Most Bizarre Items Forgotten By Riders
Stay on target Watch: Marvel and Square Enix’s ‘Avengers’ Gameplay Still Creeps Us OutPlay These E3 2019 Video Games Right Now It’s not that Bethesda doesn’t have cool new video games to show. It’s just when the publisher tries to fill an entire E3 press conference with its upcoming lineup, things start to feel a little bit like filler. And that’s before the constant cheering interruptions. Before you ask, no, we didn’t hear anything about Starfield or The Elder Scrolls 6 aside from Todd’s confirmation that they still exist.Instead, we got updates on already released games like new content for The Elder Scrolls Online and Elder Scrolls Legends. Rage 2 got a Too Many Cooks-style parody sitcom trailer to showcase new weapons, enemies, and cheat codes. On the mobile game front, deep cut Id Software throwback Commander Keen is returning as a cute but unfortunately free-to-play game. And Elder Scrolls Blades is coming to Nintendo Switch, which is cool but perhaps a little redundant considering you can already play Skyrim on that device.The Bethesda game most in need of an update though is Fallout 76 which launched last year in very rough shape. It’s weird to even say this, but the Wastelanders update brings back NPC quests and dialogue options and this was treated like a huge deal, not the game being brought up to the standard it should’ve been all along. At least it’s free. The game is also getting a battle royale mode, Nuclear Winter, because hey why not?When it comes to big console games though Bethesda’s future does look pretty bright. In just a few weeks we’ll get to slay Nazis in the 1980s as B.J.’s twin daughters, the stars of Wolfenstein Youngblood. Also on July 26 Wolfenstein Cyberpilot brings the series to VR. We didn’t see gameplay of GhostWire Tokyo from Tango Gameworks or Deathloop from Arkane. But both trailers impressed with their creepy Japanese ghost vanishing and stylish 1960s time repeats, respectively. For more on E3 check out what Microsoft said about the next Xbox and watch these trailers. But really the reason to stick around with this Bethesda show was to see new gameplay of Doom Eternal. This religious experiences sees the Doom Slayer fighting demons through Hell, Mars, Earth, and maybe even Heaven itself? It looks great. Even the multiplayer seems worthwhile this time. In this asymmetrical fight, two wily demons take on one powerful slayer. Doom Eternal launches November 22. And if you haven’t played the first one you’ll be able to stream it soon through Bethesda’s new Orion technology.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman was left fuming over his side’s costly mistakes following their 2-1 defeat to FranceA Kylian Mbappe first-half opener was cancelled out by Ryan Babel after the break for Holland.But Olivier Giroud muscled past Virgil van Dijk and produced a superb volley from Benjamin Mendy’s cross to seal France their fifth successive victory over the Dutch.“‘You play against France and do not expect you to be in charge of the field for ninety minutes but the dangerous moments also came from our mistakes. That’s what it’s about. I am really angry now,” said Koeman, according to Football-Oranje.“Fortunately, we have some colour on our face. We have not only worked hard and hard, but also the way we have played. After the break, we were better and France had to return.Van Dijk isn’t better than Messi & Ronaldo, says Van der Vaart Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Rafael van der Vaart reckons Virgil van Dijk is “special”, but he’s still behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best players.“But at a number of crucial moments it was not good on our part. The 2-1 of France was painful and unnecessary. That is not allowed, it has nothing to do with quality.”But there were some aspects of the performance that the former Everton boss was happy with.“I think we are on the right track. We have shown that in large parts of the match,” he said.“But we also need to improve things, certain moments are punished.”
People1768.681527.5715.8 CELEBRITYH1 2010H1 2009%CHNG Star698.8558.8325 Entertainment Weekly502.53412.0122 In Touch456.68393.4216.1 Life & Style242.51172.6940.4 OK!560.06429.4330.4 According to Barr, the magazine’s revenues are consistent with its ad page growth. “And our expenditures are those you’d see regularly associated with publishing a weekly magazine,” he says. “Our profits are in line with growth expectations and the normal economic fluctuations. Again, we’re happy to be seeing profitability, but we’ve had out weeks with losses just like others inside and outside of our competitive set.”Circulation DeclinesMeanwhile, the magazine recorded an overall circulation of 695,197 through the first half and missed its 800,000 rate base, according to ABC numbers. OK! saw a 9.6 percent decline in newsstand sales (which made up about half of the magazine’s overall circ) and 35.3 percent decline in verified circ. While Barr says he isn’t overly worried about the declines, he does want to “take the appropriate steps” to address the issue, including coming up with a new subscription model and delivering on rate base.“We take into account that newsstand sales are a reflection of the economy and consumer purchasing habits and also take note that more of our competition has moved away from a heavily-weighted newsstand model,” he says. “Our editors are mindful of consumer wants and each week deliver an editorial product that will generate interest. We’ve introduced more beauty and fashion service, and continue to evolve our take on entertainment to further differentiate from the competition, but with the celebrity category, weekly relevance is key. So, our editors strive to produce the right formula –that delicate balance that services the news interest and the lifestyle interest—that will deliver us positive newsstand results.”The Magazine is Not ClosingBarr admits that OK! is still a work in progress, and takes exception to reports that the magazine is losing millions and is on the verge of shutting down.“The negativity, which will tell you otherwise and speculate about the magazine’s closing, seems to come from a mixture of sources competing for business and overzealous reporters,” Barr says. “We don’t dwell on it, but on more than one occasion, and even very recently, we’ve seen a reporter use and twist legitimately old numbers to substantiate a story. Luckily, we know better.”Celebrity Ad Pages Through the First Half (PIB): Celebrity glossy OK!, which was launched into the U.S. market in 2005 by U.K.-based owner Northern & Shell, has since enjoyed steady ad page growth and has been the subject of much criticism—especially on the financial end of the business. According to several reports, Northern & Shell pumped more than $100 million into the launch. And, more recently, reports have indicated that the magazine is losing more than $700,000 per issue.“Financially, the reports of our ‘losses’ are completely exaggerated,” says recently-installed OK! publisher Stephen Gregory Barr. “We’ve said this many times on-the-record: In just five years—during which many magazines have closed their doors—we’ve launched, made ourselves a recognizable name in a crowded category and have indeed achieved run-rate profitability in the past year. Based on this, OK!’s parent company, Northern & Shell has made a fully committed monetary, product extension investment in the U.S.”Barr, who joined the magazine at the end of June, previously served as associate publisher of sales and marketing at Zinio/VIV Magazine and as advertising director at Time Inc.’s InStyle. Through the first half of the year, OK!’s ad pages have increased more than 30 percent, according to PIB figures. Pages grew more than 20 percent through all of 2009. Us Weekly824.85827.33-0.3