PVL men’s: Ateneo wins 6th straight at expense of La Salle

first_imgLATEST STORIES Ateneo chalked up its sixth straight win in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference after cutting down La Salle, 25-15, 25-20, 25-22, Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Blue Eagles, who are on their way to the quarterfinals, hiked their record 6-0 record while the Green Spikers hold the fourth spot with a 3-3 card.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Chooks-to-go Pilipinas yields to Palestine in Fiba Asia Champions Cup Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Bryan Bagunas unloaded 27 points on the sorry defense of UP while Madzlan Gampong and James Natividad combined for 26 points.Wendel Miguel led the Fighting Maroons with 17 points. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Marck Espejo led Ateneo with 16 points while Gian Carlo Glorioso added 11.Arjay Onia and Raymark Woo had eight points apiece to lead La Salle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn the first game, National University tripped University of the Philippines in four sets, 25-13, 24-26, 25-15, 25-17.The Bulldogs improved to 3-2 to stay at third place while the seventh-seeded Fighting Maroons slipped to 1-4. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

Bulls-eye for archers in qualifiers

first_imgIndian archers topped the qualification round in the recurve team and individual events to begin their gold quest at the Games on a positive note at the Yamuna Sports Complex on Monday.In the recurve team event, India topped with 1,944 points. England were second with 1,904 and Australia were third with 1,841.In the men’s category, Rahul Banerjee topped with 679 points, while cadet world champion Deepika Kumari topped the women’s category with 609 points. Rahul’s sister and veteran archer Dola Banerjee came second, four points behind Deepika.Jayanta Talukdar finished second three points behind Rahul, while Canadian Jason Lyon was third with 674 points.India’s Tarundeep Rai stood 13th with a score of 647.In the women’s individual recurve event, Naomi Anne Folkard of England was third with 642. Bombayla Devi of India was ninth with 624 points.Monday’s show left India topranked in the elimination round for the men’s and women’s recurve event on Tuesday. However, India did not fare well in the individual compound event for men and women.In the men’s compound event, South African Septimus Cilliers topped with a score of 704, while Englishman Duncan Busby finished second a point behind.Kiwi Stephen Clifton took the third spot two points behind.India’s Jignas Chittiboma ( 693), Chinna Srither ( 691) and Ritul Chaterjee ( 685) finished 17th, 18th and 21st respectively.In the women’s compound section, Gagandeep Kaur came 15th, followed by Jhanu Hansdah, 17th, and Bheigyabati Chanu, 21st.last_img read more

Naseeruddin, Ratna to bring alive magic of theatre at Mountain Echoes lit fest

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The Eastern Himalayas will come alive with theatrical tales as veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah will bring to life the many facets of Indian theatre at the upcoming Moutain Echoes Literary festival.The festival, scheduled to begin on August 23 in the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu, will see Ratna take the audience through the evolution of theatre, giving them a glimpse of its current 21st century avatar with fellow actor Sanjana Kapoor.In a separate session, she will team up with her husband for what promises to be a once in a lifetime experience for audiences.”The two will bring to life a series of Vikram Seth’s poems from the ‘Beastly Stories’ collection and James Thurber’s short stories,” organisers said.The Shahs will also be part of a roundtable discussion that will shed light on both India and Bhutan’s culture of cinema.Also, part of the discussion will be members of the Bhutanese film industry, including Kunga Tenzin Dorji, Tandin Bidha, Chencho Dorji, Dechen Roder and Druksel Dorji, as well as other Indian actors like Vani Tripathi and L Somi Roy.In its ninth edition, the festival will host over 35 sessions by stalwarts in different fields from across the world, over the course of three days and five venues.An initiative of the India Bhutan Foundation and Indian literary agency, Siyahi, the festival, this year, will also celebrate 50 years of Bhutan-India ties.The shared history of the two nations will manifest itself in the form of an engaging tete-a-tete between Bhutan’s Ambassador to India, General V Namgyel and his Indian counterpart Jaideep Sarkar.advertisement”Mountain Echoes is an exuberant celebration of cultural connectivities, resonating with the joys of books and cinema, the shared narratives of music and folklore, food and sport, as well as deep spiritual perspectives, and the challenges of our changing world,” Namita Gokhale, co-founder of the festival, said.The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival will come to a close on August 25. PTI TRS TRS TRSlast_img read more

Interesting Facts About Kansas As Oklahoma State Heads To Lawrence

first_imgHere are a few facts you might not know about KU as OSU heads to Lawrence on Saturday.• Homecoming Unis. KU will suit up in their “limestone” edition uniforms for the Homecoming game this Saturday and Coach Gundy will be reunited with original staff member and former OSU special teams coach Joe Deforrest (or “Defo”). Defo did an incredible job with OSU special teams coaching the likes of Ray Guy winner Matt Fodge and all-time great Dan Bailey among others.• Near Miss on Russell. In July of 2011, Baylor quarterback Seth Russell was committed to play quarterback from the Kansas Jayhawks. He de-committed after then coach Turner Gil was fired and decided to look a little closer to his home in Garland, Texas eventually winding up in Waco.• Famous alums. Include Bill James (sabermetrician discussed in the movie Moneyball), actor Paul Ruud, most famous basketball coaches (Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Phog Allen, Ralph Miller) and• Broken Arrow Punter. KU Punter Cole Moos was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his monstrous 50.4 yard per punt average last week against Baylor, including an unreal 82 yard punt where he had one foot in one endzone and the ball was downed at the opposing three yard line. While Cowboy fans are very much contented with Zach Sinor, Moos hails from close by Broken Arrow.• Academic Advantage. As conference expansion was recently on the minds of the Big 12, KU with a struggling football program is at times considered to be an odd man out but something KU has working in their favor is they are an AAU (Association of American Universities) member.This indicates a stellar academic reputation (among other research requirements) that only 60 schools in the country have, but is essentially a must have if you want to join the Big 10 conference. Rutgers and KU football games would be… must-not-see football.• Rock Chalk. The famous “Rock Chalk” chant was started by a chemistry teacher on campus in 1886 for the science club. Originally “Rah, Rah Jayhawk, KU”, “Rock Chalk” was substituted as a tip of the cap to all of the limestone around campus that is often referred to as chalk rock. 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.last_img read more

Despite Tweet, James Washington Appears to be Healthy

first_imgThen on Friday, @CowboyFB tweeted out practice highlights, and Washington was spotted catching passes from No. 2. So he either sent a hologram or is in fact all right and playing through the hernia.Now it’s important to remember here that this doesn’t necessarily mean Washington is 100 percent. Maybe he will have surgery in the future. Who knows? But it wouldn’t appear as if he’s going to miss the first four games like @PardonMyTake reported originally.That #FridayFeeling… ??? #okstate #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/fwT6rSpCu6— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) August 11, 2017We followed up with multiple people and still haven’t heard anything more substantial than what Rew reported. The original tweet by @PardonMyTake was a pretty bold position to take, especially from a verified account that has one of the most popular podcasts going today. And especially given how they arrived at the news.They have Responded‼️‼️ Oklahoma State News after Midnight pic.twitter.com/eJuAd3nWvq— Boone Pickens State (@BP_State) August 11, 2017More like pardon my (fake) take. 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. Cowboy Nation had a collective heart attack when, on Thursday evening, the Twitter account @PardonMyTake tweeted out that James Washington would miss the first four games of the season with a hernia injury.For those wondering what all the James Washington chatter is about. The tweet has been deleted. pic.twitter.com/MbwxAJBmMB— Brian Gittings (@BrianHD79) August 11, 2017The tweet has since been deleted, but why was it sent out in the first place? On Friday, Lauren Rew reported that Washington was checked out and that a hernia was discovered, but it didn’t seem super serious (at least in the short term).AdChoices广告Re @PardonMyTake, source tells me James Washington had ab pain; ultrasound discovered old hernia. No surgery now, will try to play thru it.— Lauren Rew (@Lauren_Rew) August 11, 2017last_img read more

Why Donors Want to Help One Person but Not Every Person

first_img1. Donors want to feel happy and hopeful when they give. Hearing a story and framing an ask to help on a small scale is the way to go.Here’s an example: Message 2: “A $20 monthly gift will make sure a veteran gets the job training she needs.” = My donation can actually help! According to psychologist Paul Slovic’s research about how the head and heart can influence how much people want to give to support a cause, your message is more compelling when you tell the story of one and stick to how a donor’s investment can help that one person, not many. An NPR story caught my attention this morning. Maybe you heard it too? The story was about a psychologist’s study onwhat kind of message inspires people to give more. 2. People get too caught up in the numbers. Annual reports with numbers are necessary, I know, but don’t get carried away! Tell the whole story, but highlight statistics that show how your work really made a difference instead of focusing on all the work yet to be done. In Slovic’s study, volunteers heard a story about a young girl suffering from starvation. The researchers then stepped into the fundraiser’s role and made an ask. They measured how much this group was willing to donate to help this girl. Next, a second group of volunteers heard the same story about the little girl and were told some overwhelming statistics about starvation. The same story + stats on what the issue looks like overall. Are you surprised to learn that the second group gave only about half of what the first group gave? I’m not surprised, and here are three reasons why: 3. Stories get the job done. Stories connect with the heart, and numbers make sense in your head. Potential donors will be more willing to give when you inspire them with a story. Specifically, a story that makes them feel good about what they can do to help. Message 1: “Thousands of veterans need our help transitioning back to civilian life. Please give now!” = Overwhelming. My donation won’t even make a dent. Want to read more on this topic and how it relates to fundraising success? Download Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: The Truth About How People Really Think and What It Means for Promoting Your Cause.last_img read more

Half of Your Email Subscribers Are Ignoring You

first_imgNew 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.last_img read more

New Grant Aims to Curb Infant Mortality in Ghana by Helping Mothers to Reach Hospitals

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 31, 2012Click 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)On October 29th, the New York Times reported that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently provided a grant to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Massachusetts nonprofit, to identify strategies for helping pregnant women in Ghana to reach hospitals.From the story:Child mortality is very high in Ghana, but many newborns can be saved if the mother gives birth with someone trained, even rudimentarily, in Western medicine and if the baby is seen within two days by a doctor or nurse.But in rural Ghana, explained Dr. Pierre M. Barker, vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which received the Gates grant, there are many obstacles. Besides the obvious, like rutted roads, there are prejudices against wives or newborns leaving the house.Sending expert committees to visit village chiefs, he said, has turned many into advocates for getting women to clinics instead of giving birth with untrained local midwives who may be unable to diagnose pneumonia or who have habits that cause tetanus, like cutting umbilical cords with dirty blades.Read the full story here.Share this:last_img read more

Reminder: International Conference on Family Planning Call for Abstracts

first_imgPosted on April 12, 2013March 13, 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)The 2013 International Conference on Family Planning, which will be held from 12-15 November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is accepting submissions of abstracts. However, the deadline is quickly approaching.From the call for abstracts:The organizers encourage abstracts on cutting-edge research and program results that enable individuals, particularly in low-income areas, to achieve their contraceptive and reproductive intentions. Of particular interest are abstracts that demonstrate how family planning advances the health and wealth of people, and those which discuss high impact or best practices of family planning programs and service delivery models. Abstracts using strong scientific evaluation methods will be given priority.Abstracts are invited from individuals, and also from preformed panels. The deadline for submissions is 1 May 2013.For more, including information about registering for this year’s conference, visit the conference website here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

PBS Blog Series Explores mHealth in Africa

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 13, 2013May 19, 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)PBS is in the midst of publishing a ten-part blog series exploring the connections between between mobile technology and health in Africa. In its latest post, the series highlights the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action’s (MAMA) Ask MAMA Mobi, which uses a website, social networking, text messaging and a smartphone app to provide women in South Africa with information and education on healthy pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Recent posts have also featured stories about two efforts in Malawi to address issues relate to maternal health using mobile technology: a national effort supported by the Ministry of Health and John Snow International that uses a mobile tool known as “cstock” in its effort to better maintain stocks of essential health supplies;  Village Reach, which operates a hotline to respond to questions about health concerns, schedule appointments and generally improve communications and information-sharing as part of an effort to improve maternal health.Throughout, the series highlights how various organizations are attempting to harness the recent, massive expansion of mobile phone ownership in sub-Saharan Africa in order to address persistent health challenges. In doing, blog posts underscore both the immense opportunities and promise for this sort of innovation and some of the challenges that they face in attempting to improve communication within health systems and engage the public.To read more, visit PBS’s Rundown blog. Share this:last_img read more

Increasing Midwifery Care in Mexico: Interview With Cris Alonso

first_imgPosted on August 29, 2014August 10, 2016Click 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)Luna Maya is a midwife-run birth center in Chiapas, Mexico. It was created in 2004 through a MacArthur Foundation (MAF) statewide initiative to reduce maternal mortality in Chiapas. Despite many years of interventions and investment, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Chiapas had remained stagnant over the previous 10 years. We talked to Cris Alonso, the director of Luna Maya, to ask her some questions about the center and what it has done for the women of Southern Mexico.Q. What need did you identify in Mexico that led you to envision and create a birth center?When the MAF initiative launched, NGOs, government and experts were convened to form a commission to design an inter-institutional strategy to reduce maternal mortality. At the time, access to emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) was the first line intervention in both evidence and practice. I was on the commission and as we designed the proposal and it was evident that there was a lack of creating access to normal birth. With increased access to facility-based delivery in a country where midwives are not part of the health system, without a goal to increase access for normal births, the risk was that medical interventions, cesareans and thus maternal mortality would continuously increase adding obstetric violence to the problem.It seemed evident that the proposal also needed an expert entity in training community midwives, or TBAs, on safe delivery and to hold the space for normal birth. A logical step therefore was the opening of a midwife-run birth center where traditional and professional midwives could train and where low-risk women could access normal birth and be referred in a timely and safe way in the case of complications.Here two issues were evident: first, there was need to improve the skills and training of professional midwives and, second, a need to document the safety of midwifery-led care in a state and country where this had barely been done.The Luna Maya model, therefore, was conceived as a pilot project to demonstrate the efficacy and cultural pertinence of midwifery-led, primary level care units (birth centers) for attending normal birth. This would also provide improved secondary level care as the local hospital would decrease the amount of normal births attended, freeing up resources to attend to high-risk cases in a better way.Q. Why did you choose Chiapas as the primary place for your intervention?Chiapas had maintained a consistently high MMR over the last 10 years. Safe motherhood interventions were consistently lacking in cultural competence, and homebirth with traditional midwives remained the norm. It was a logical step to keep birth at home, where women felt safe and comfortable, but to improve the skills and competencies of midwives, while at the same time improving referral networks and access to EmONC.Q. What experiences led you to the founding of Luna Maya?In my apprenticeship as a midwife I worked in an urban birth center in Guatemala City, at CASA in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and in a rural homebirth practice in Louisiana. I was familiar with cultural competence as a pillar of midwifery care and valued continuity of care as a positive health intervention that not only improved outcomes, but also increased maternal satisfaction enormously.In my public health training I had interned and then consulted with Marie Stopes International, a reproductive health clinic network that provides family planning and post-abortion care. My vision with Luna Maya was to integrate the positive aspects of a birth center with the positive aspects of a family planning center, centering the care on femifocal care throughout the lifetime, knowing that women bond with their midwives and feel comfortable receiving care from them.Q. What is innovative about Luna Maya’s model of care?Once open, Luna Maya took an interesting turn. Other family care experts approached us and asked to join the team. Quickly, we also had a pediatric clinic, prenatal yoga, childbirth education, acupuncture, psychotherapy, massage and osteopathy. We, therefore, developed a model where the entire family could access a model that integrated complementary and medical care that also focused on continuity of care.What is unique about the Luna Maya model is that it honors women´s choices throughout the lifetime. Women had sexual and reproductive needs as well as other wellbeing needs. We also know that women more and more integrate complementary and medical therapies in their care program and it made sense that all providers were working together with the woman to design a health and wellbeing program, which included prenatal care, treatment for an STI, infant illness, etc. By working together, the medical and complementary health providers could be informed of progress and ensure best outcomes. However, Luna Maya puts women at the center of the health care decisions. We provide a plethora of providers and services and the woman can thus chose what best suits her health care values and beliefs. If a woman is central to her health care program she is much more likely to adhere to treatment and attend consultations or therapy.The Luna Maya model therefore is femifocal in that it expands much further than motherhood. It explores women’s health as something that happens to all women: women who are mothers, lovers, wives, single, lesbian, stressed, infertile, raped, tired, sick, happy, exposed to STIs, deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy, choosing a family planning method, taking care of children, and who are part of a family system. I believe that this most reflects the reality of health, as part of a system where we take the woman as a central, intelligent agent of decisions and action.Check back in next week for the second part of this two part interview.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

A Year of Mentoring, a Lifetime of Impact: The Maternal Health Young Professionals Program in India

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 17, 2014November 2, 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)At the beginning of this year, the MHTF teamed up with St. John’s Medical College and Research Institute to launch the Maternal Health Young Professionals (MHYP) program; a year-long mentoring program for health professionals throughout India.This professional development program supported eight young health professionals from the private, public and practice sectors to enhance their research, evaluation, and managerial skills – equipping them with the skills they need to be national and global leaders in maternal health.In September, the MHYP showcased their projects, which were made possible by this unique skill building and mentoring process. Applying scientific writing, statistical methods, and program evaluation training, MHYPs presented projects on low-tech solutions for home-based blood pressure monitoring, acceptability of diverse folic acid delivery methods, quality of midwife-based antenatal care, impact of implementing the “WHO Safe Birthing Checklist,” Lamaze breathing for labor pain control, and home-based pre-eclampsia care.Many of these projects were created based on both professional and personal experiences with the health care system. Sushmita, a nursing professor, experienced a long painful labor with her second birth – a stark contrast to the ease of her first birth when she used breathing exercises taught to her by a nursing classmate. Interested in a low-tech solution to the dearth of pain management techniques for labor in India, she studied the effectiveness of Lamaze breathing exercises on pain control and other birth outcomes. Since breathing exercises are not utilized in India, this intervention has the potential for being a high-impact, low-tech solution to long and painful labor.The transformative aspect of this program was mentoring. Mentoring is rare if not completely absent from medical and nursing education and training in India. One of the MHYPs, Latha, a nurse, said, “Before [this program] we had to learn by our mistakes, but this program allows us to be guided.”Working with both a mentor from their own institution and a mentor from an external institution—such as Jhpiego, St. Johns Research Institute, Myrada, Institute of Public Health, and the National Institute of Epidemiology—these MHYPs set out to put their new skills to use through a variety of projects. When MHYPs and their mentors were interviewed about these projects, a common theme emerged. The research methodologies learned and practiced in this program were invaluable.Dr. Dutta, a mentor, shared, “What India lacks are good researchers… [and a] research bent [is one] that every public health professional I reckon should have so they can generate evidence… [and] so that it feeds back into improving the system. That edge was definitely missing before the MHYP program.”Sushmita agrees with Dr. Dutta and has learned a variety of skills to improve management and patient outcomes. “My knowledge of the research methodology… has improved a great extent and I am confident in managing man power, the resource utilization, [and] patient care,” she said.As the MHYP program comes to a close, the MHTF, along with with St. John’s Medical College and Research Institute, congratulates the eight MHYPs on their efforts to improve maternal health in India.Share this:last_img read more

How I Started My First Monthly Giving Program

first_imgNote from the editor: Because our subscribers don’t always have the opportunity to read every post we have published on this blog (over 2,650!), we’ll be sharing some top posts to give you plenty of fundraising and marketing ideas to implement over the next few months.In this post about monthly giving, guest blogger Sandy Rees tells you how she created her first monthly giving program, lessons learned, and tips you can put into action right now.—————–I didn’t know much about monthly giving until she called in late December that year.She was one of my newest donors, and told me her family had just moved here from another state. She had given monthly to the food bank there, and now would like to give monthly to the food bank here. (That would be us).Oooookay.I didn’t have a monthly giving program and didn’t know how they worked, but I knew I had to think quickly—I could send her 12 reply envelopes so she could send in a gift each month. It would be simple for her and easy for me. So that’s what I did, and my first-ever monthly giving program was born.I remember counting out the envelopes, and writing the month on each one. I thought that would help us both keep up with what she had given.It was a simple beginning.Looking back at it, I have to laugh. I had no idea what I was doing. I simply had a request from a donor, and was trying to honor it. Little did I know it would turn out to be a great thing for my organization.I sort of knew how monthly giving worked, and I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it as well as I could. I wondered if there were people already making monthly gifts to us, and I just hadn’t noticed it yet. I pulled a report from my trusty software, and I was thrilled to find six regular givers! How had I never seen that?I pulled together a letter and sent it to those six, telling them that we were officially starting a monthly giving program, and inviting them to join, especially since they were already doing it. I heard back from all six—a resounding YES!That Spring, I attended the AFP Conference and heard Harvey McKinnon speak about monthly giving. It turned on so many light bulbs in my head, that I’m surprised I wasn’t blinded from the light! I picked up his book Hidden Gold and read it before my plane landed back home.I did a little research to see what other nonprofits in my area were doing with monthly giving, and I got a few more ideas for my program. I named it Hunger’s Hope and created a brochure to give to prospects to help them understand what their monthly gift would do, and to help them see how little it took to feed a hungry person. I was lucky – just $0.81 would cover a day’s worth of food, and $24.30 covered a month. So, I asked for $24.30 to feed one person for a month, $48.60 for two people, and $72.90 for three.Next, I started to market the program. I put a piece in my next print newsletter about the program, and made it look like an article and a coupon that people would cut out, fill in, and mail to us. (Email wasn’t commonly used back then or I would have made that an option, too). I pulled a list of donors who had given three or more times in the previous 12 months, and sent them a special letter, telling them about Hunger’s Hope and inviting them to join.Slowly, people signed up.My finance guy laughed at me when I first started the program. He thought it was a crazy idea and a waste of time. But when the monthly gifts started to add up, I had the last laugh.In about 18 months, I had signed up 110 people in Hunger’s Hope, with people giving anywhere from $10 to $100 a month. Even though I offered them specific amounts, I also gave them the option to choose the amount they wanted to give, which turned out to be a smart move because many gave more than I asked. The total annual value of the program was over $50,000, which was a revenue stream that made a difference for us.Here’s what I learned from that experience of going from zero to $50K:Start somewhere. It doesn’t have to be perfect to get started. The most important thing is to start. You can always tweak and improve later.Work on it consistently. I never stopped looking for donors for my monthly giving program. I was always on the lookout for a way to let folks know how they could join and why it mattered.The reason is important. Be clear about why people should make a monthly gift. Few people want to give monthly just to support your nonprofit. But many people will give to help you make a difference. When I shared that their $24.30 would help feed a person for a month, it was tangible and understandable, and it resonated with my donors. And they signed up.Be ready to manage the back end. I realized quickly that I had to keep up with the details of who had joined, how much they pledged monthly, and who hadn’t given recently. I got into the habit of checking at the beginning of each month to see who hadn’t given in the past two months, and calling those folks. I had some of the most amazing conversations with those donors. They’d tell me how they’d lost their job and needed to stop giving for a while, but as soon as they were able, they’d start again. Or they’d tell me about a family member with an illness. I’d thank them for their past support, show true concern for their circumstances, and offer any help I could. Most of them came around and re-joined later in the year.Be creative in thanking them. My monthly donors didn’t want a monthly thank you letter. They’d tell me “please save the postage.” So, I got creative. One month, I’d send a hand-written note. The next month, I’d call them. The next month, I’d have a volunteer call them. And so forth. It kept things fresh, and they seemed to enjoy it.Offer multiple ways to give. One of the things I learned from Harvey is that people who put a monthly gift on their credit card give longer and more consistently than folks who pay by check. And those who give by electronic bank draft are best, because they don’t usually stop or change the gift unless they change banks, which is uncommon. At that point, we had the ability to take credit cards, but I had no idea how to do automatic bank drafts. I called our bank and told them what I was trying to do, and they agreed to set it up for me with no fees as part of their support of our work. It was nice to offer a payment choice to donors so they could pay by check, credit card, or automatic bank draft.Since then, I’ve helped start numerous monthly giving programs. They’re a great way to create a predictable revenue stream for the nonprofit and make giving easy for the donor.And I won’t ever forget those humble beginnings.Do you need software to help you set up and run your monthly giving program? Talk to us!Sandy shows passionate nonprofit leaders how to fully fund their big vision, so they can spend their time changing lives instead of worrying about money. She has helped dozens of small nonprofits go from “nickel-and-dime fundraising” to adding 6 or 7 figures to their bottom line. As a trainer, she shows her students how to find ideal donors, connect with them through authentic messaging, and build relationships that stand the test of time, so that fundraising becomes easy and predictable. Sandy is based in Loudon, TN. Find out more about her fundraising system at www.GetFullyFunded.com.last_img read more

Bridging Equity Gaps and Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Care Post-2015: How Will We Hold Ourselves Accountable?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 17, 2015October 13, 2016By: Emily Peca, Technical Advisor, Translating Research into Action (TRAction), University Research Co. LLCClick 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)The global public health community has made significant gains to date improving maternal and newborn health, but as we approach the post-2015 landscape, we are confronted with the important and ambitious objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 3 states that we must, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” and the first two targets of this goal are to reduce maternal mortality and end preventable deaths of newborns and children under age 5.[i] If we are to narrow equity gaps and improve quality, we must investigate what is happening among populations who have historically been socially excluded. As such, the 2015 Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference (GMNHC) in Mexico City has chosen three timely and important themes: quality, equity and integration. These cross-cutting themes invite us out of our topical or service-specific silos to confront critical dimensions of care that, if addressed, will improve health outcomes and increase the likelihood of achieving the SDGs.Let’s consider the example of Latin America, which is known for significant improvements in terms of development, but marked by extreme disparities. The maternal mortality ratio in Latin America (excluding the Caribbean) has reduced over time from 130 in 1990 to 77 per 100,000 in 2013.[ii] Additionally, 94% of pregnant women in Latin America and the Caribbean have a skilled birth attendant present at their deliveries.[iii] Despite these overall gains, maternal mortality ratios range widely from 22 per 100,000 in Uruguay to 200 per 100,000 in Bolivia.[iv] Those at highest risk of not receiving adequate care are the geographically isolated, rural poor residing in certain low- and middle-income countries.[v]Guatemala, which has the second highest maternal mortality ratio in Latin America, is a great example of how one half of the population drives up national gains in health and development and thus masks underlying disparities. The other half of the population that identifies as indigenous has disproportionately lower health and development outcomes, including a maternal mortality ratio that may be three times that of the non-indigenous population.[vi] Not only are indigenous populations located on the fringes of the formal health system and less likely to seek care, but they are also more likely to be disrespected and abused during facility-based childbirth compared to non-indigenous populations when they do seek care, as our forthcoming research shows. How will we achieve progress if we further marginalize the most vulnerable?Failure to address the needs of “left behind” populations will hinder the achievement of national and global maternal health goals and targets such as universal health coverage and the SDGs.[vii] As we forge ahead to improve maternal and newborn care, we should ask ourselves: Do we know what works? Why it works? And how it works in particular contexts? Equally as important, do our approaches improve equity and enhance the provision of high quality care?At the GMNHC conference, I look forward to discussing how the global community will be accountable in our efforts to facilitate equitable and high-quality services across the continuum of care. A critical and honest assessment of our program implementation will hold us accountable to our investments, safeguard target populations from shouldering unintended consequences and inform policy makers and implementers about how to better serve their communities.__[i] United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 – Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/.[ii] World Health Organization et al. (2014). Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013. Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division. ISBN 978 92 4 150722 6. World Health Organization. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112682/2/9789241507226_eng.pdf?ua=1.[iii] Boerma, J. T. (2015). World Health Organization, Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, and World Bank. Tracking Universal Health Coverage: First Global Monitoring Report.[iv] World Health Organization et. al. (2014).[v] Byrne, A., Hodge, A., Jimenez-Soto, E. and Morgan, A. (2014). What Works? Strategies to Increase Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health in Difficult to Access Mountainous Locations: A Systematic Literature Review. Edited by Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087683.[vi] Shiffman, J. and Garces del Valle, A.L. (2006). Political History and Disparities in Safe Motherhood between Guatemala and Honduras. Population and Development Review 32(1): 53–80. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2006.00105.x.[vii] Boerma, J. T. (2015). World Health Organization, Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, and World Bank. Tracking Universal Health Coverage: First Global Monitoring Report. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/174536/1/9789241564977_eng.pdf?ua=1.Share this:last_img read more

Black Mamas Matter! Building a Human Rights Movement for Maternal Health in the U.S.

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 11, 2016October 12, 2016By: Katrina Anderson, Senior Human Rights Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights; Pilar Herrero, Human Rights Fellow, Center for Reproductive RightsClick 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)This post is part of “Inequities in Maternal Mortality in the U.S.,” a blog series hosted by the MHTF.The United States (U.S.) lags behind much of the world in terms of ensuring maternal health and survival. Despite spending more money on health care than any other high-income country, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is worse than 45 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Libya.Moreover, while most countries are making progress toward better maternal survival rates, the situation in the U.S. is backsliding. Today, women in the U.S. are actually more likely to die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications than they were two decades ago, and Black women are nearly four times more likely to die than White women. These trends are a wake-up call that rising maternal mortality and morbidity is not only an issue for women outside our borders – it is a domestic human rights crisis.Over the past year, the international community has called for urgent action to address this crisis. In August 2014, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) raised concerns about the U.S. failure to eliminate disparities in sexual and reproductive health, including maternal mortality (available in other languages), and called on the government to improve data collection and accountability systems. In May 2015, the UN Human Rights Council facilitated a review of the U.S. and issued a recommendation from Finland calling on the U.S. to ensure equal access to quality maternal health services. And just this month, members of a UN Working Group concluded a visit to the U.S. with a recommendation that government authorities summon the political will to remedy pervasive racial disparities in maternal health.These international critiques help to raise awareness of maternal health problems in the U.S. by showing that other countries have done far more to reduce their maternal mortality rates, and with fewer resources. They also support a more expansive approach to the issues involved, urging a disruption of the professional silos that inhibit our ability to address a problem as complex as maternal mortality. Most importantly, human rights standards remind us that preventable maternal mortality violates a fundamental contract between government and its citizens, and that government ought to be held accountable when it breaks.Efforts at the local level are spurring this renewed attention from international human rights bodies by empowering Black women and elevating their voices. In 2014, SisterSong, a reproductive justice organization based in Atlanta, hosted story circles with Black women living in the South. The Center for Reproductive Rights partnered with SisterSong to document these stories, which were included in a report to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). As ICERD reviewed U.S. efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, the stories summarized in the report provided crucial information about discrimination in health.Building on that momentum, we invited a group of experts to a multi-disciplinary convening at the SisterSong Mother House in June 2015. The “Black Mamas Matter” convening included academics, public health practitioners, doctors, midwives, doulas, community organizers, policy experts, funders, and advocates. Participants—many of whom are Black women from the South—shared information, identified current challenges, articulated visions for the future, and discussed strategies.One key theme that emerged was the need to openly discuss the impact of racial discrimination on maternal health outcomes. This requires looking at the experiences of Black women that go beyond the clinical encounter and begin well before they become pregnant. Participants identified the need to address structural inequalities that influence the social determinants of health, particularly for women of color. These include access to quality health care along the entire reproductive life course, safe, affordable housing, and paid parental leave. They noted the importance of confronting racial bias in health care settings, and called for better health surveillance systems and data collection methodologies that capture the lived experiences of Black women. In short, their collective vision is a holistic health care model that invests in Black women and their families.Since the Black Mamas Matter convening, participants have been cultivating a cross-sectoral network of individuals and organizations committed to addressing Black women’s maternal health in the South. CRR is also working closely with members of this network to develop a toolkit for state-based advocates interested in learning more about the problem and potential policy solutions.The policy solutions we propose are grounded in reproductive justice theory and human rights law. This approach is valuable because it recognizes the intersectionality of rights, issues and identities in ways that our domestic legal and policy framework does not. The human rights frame is also unique in that it emphasizes participation and transparency throughout decision-making processes. In the U.S. context, a human rights-based approach to maternal health policy cannot be implemented without the participation of Black women. Instead, it depends on recognizing Black women’s leadership, and scaling up the work that they are already doing in their communities.Share this:last_img read more

Wilson Center Event | Too Much Too Soon: Addressing Over-Intervention in Maternity Care

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Check out past dialogues in this series.Read key findings from The Lancet Maternal Health Series on the MHTF blog.Share this: Posted on April 17, 2017November 6, 2017Click 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)We are excited to announce the upcoming policy dialogue, “Too Much Too Soon: Addressing Over-Intervention in Maternity Care.”  The event will take place at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. (and online!) on Monday, 24 April 2017 from 11:00am – 1:00pm. This dialogue is part of the Maternal Health Task Force’s Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series, in partnership with UNFPA and the Wilson Center.Interested in attending or following along online? See the invitation from the Wilson Center below to learn more and register for the event.The growing rate of unnecessary cesarean sections, continuous fetal monitoring and overuse of antibiotics after vaginal delivery in medical facilities demonstrate how too much is done too soon—when it’s not needed—in maternity care. Last September, The Lancet released its second maternal health series, which warns of the increase in over-medicalization and over-intervention in health systems. Although high-income countries have historically been more likely to practice over-intervention compared to low-income countries, lower-middle-income and middle-income countries are increasingly practicing over-intervention, with cesarean sections rates in Mexico observed at about 50 percent, compared to the United States at 32 percent.On April 24, please join the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative, United Nations Population Fund and the Maternal Health Task Force for a discussion of this important topic. Lunch will be served after the discussion.SpeakersSuellen MillerDirector, Safe Motherhood Program; Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health Sciences, University of California, San FranciscoSaraswathi VedamAssociate Professor, Midwifery Program, The University of British ColumbiaMyriam VuckovicAdjunct Assistant Professor, International Health Department, Georgetown UniversityModeratorAnneka KnutssonChief, Sexual and Reproductive Health, United Nations Population FundHostRoger-Mark De SouzaDirector, Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson CenterEvent detailsMonday, April 24, 201711:00am – 1:00pm5th Floor Conference Room | Wilson Center | Washington, D.C.Lunch will be served after the discussion.Want to attend but can’t? Tune into the live or archived webcast at WilsonCenter.org the day of the event.Join the conversation on Twitter by using #MHDialogue and following @NewSecurityBeat and @MHTF. Find related coverage on NewSecurityBeat.org.RSVP FOR THIS EVENTlast_img read more

New Guidelines for Preventing and Treating Malaria in Pregnancy

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Access the full MiP guidelines in English, French and Portuguese.—Learn more about malaria in pregnancy.Read a summary of the newest WHO ANC guidelines.What are your thoughts about these MiP guidelines? We want to hear from you!Share this: Posted on July 25, 2017July 26, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, 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 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new antenatal care (ANC) guidelines with the aim of promoting evidence-based practices and improving women’s pregnancy experiences. Notably, the new WHO ANC guidelines include a recommended change from four visits to at least eight ANC contacts.Addressing the issue of malaria in pregnancy (MiP) is a key component of providing high quality ANC, particularly in endemic areas. A group of experts representing a number of organizations recently published a brief containing guidelines for preventing and treating MiP in the context of the updated WHO ANC guidelines.Key messages1. All pregnant women living in areas at risk for malaria transmission should:Sleep under an insecticide-treated net (ITN).Seek prompt quality diagnosis when signs and symptoms of malaria are present and receive effective malaria case management with an appropriate drug at the correct dose.2. Pregnant women living in moderate to high malaria transmission areas in Africa should also receive:Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) under directly observed therapy (DOT) starting as early as possible in the second trimester, with doses given at least one month apart until the time of delivery.To enable pregnant women in endemic areas to start IPTp-SP at the beginning of the second trimester, policymakers should put in place supportive policies to ensure that women have an ANC contact at 13 weeks’ gestation.IPTp-SP should be given to a pregnant woman at every ANC contact starting from 13 to 16 weeks, with each dose being given at least one month (four weeks) apart.Pregnant women who have an ANC contact twice between 13 and 20 weeks, at least one month apart, should receive IPTp-SP by DOT at both contacts.If a woman comes for her first second-trimester contact anytime between 13 and 20 weeks, she should receive IPTp-SP, and at every following contact, with doses one month apart.Pregnant women can receive IPTp-SP safely starting as early as possible in their second trimester up until the end of pregnancy.center_img SP should not be administered to women living with HIV who are receiving co-trimoxazole.3. Countries should only provide quality-assured SP for IPTp to ensure effective care for pregnant women.Current procurement sources of quality-assured SP can be found on the Global Fund’s list of pharmaceutical products compliant with the quality assurance policy.4. Iron and folic acid requirements increase during pregnancy.Administer 30 to 60 mg of elemental iron and 400 mcg (0.4 mg) of folic acid.last_img read more

Researchers report new way for creating tracers used with medical imaging

first_imgWhat is believed to occur is that tumor molecules uptake these resources faster than healthy cells do. What we’ve contributed to the field is a new method to introduce radio-labeled isotopes of atoms into drug molecules in a way that hasn’t been done before.”David Nicewicz, PhD, professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Chemistry and the co-corresponding author of the study Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 21 2019In an advance for medical imaging, scientists from University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a method for creating radioactive tracers to better track pharmaceuticals in the body as well as image diseases, such as cancer, and other medical conditions.The researchers reported in the journal Science a method for creating tracers used with positron emission tomography, or PET, imaging. Researchers said their findings could make it possible to attach radioactive tags to compounds that previously have been difficult or even impossible to label.”Positron emission tomography is a powerful and rapidly developing technology that plays key roles in medical imaging as well as in drug discovery and development,” said the study’s co-corresponding author, UNC Lineberger’s Zibo Li, PhD, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiology, and director of the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Program at the UNC Biomedical Research Imaging Center. “This discovery opens a new window for generating novel PET agents from existing drugs.”PET scans track a radioactive tag that is attached to a compound. These tracers are generally injected into the body, and they produce bright images on medical scans as the tracer accumulates in the targeted lesion, organ or tissue. Scientists can attach tags to molecules like glucose, which will accumulate in tumors as cancer cells consume a lot of sugar to drive their overactive growth, or to amino acids, which, as the building blocks of proteins, are can be highly consumed in tumors. They can also attach them to potential new drugs to track their course in the body. In their study, the researchers described a new way of attaching the radioactive molecule Fluorine-18, a widely used isotope in PET imaging, by breaking a specific chemical structure of carbon and hydrogen atoms. In the presence of blue light from a laser and after the addition a catalyst material to speed the reaction, the researchers could break existing chemical bonds in the structure and insert Fluorine-18. Once attached, the tracer emits gamma rays that are picked up by imaging. The researchers used a cyclotron, a particle accelerator, in UNC’s Biomedical Research Imaging Center to create Fluorine-18.Related StoriesPorvair Sciences’ ultra-flat Krystal glass bottom microplates for imaging applicationsNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccinePhasefocus to launch new cell imaging system with smart incubation technologyResearchers envision multiple potential applications for their discovery, including for medical imaging to screen patients for response to a drug, or to aid in drug development research.”Not only can we study where drugs are localized in the body, which is something that’s important for drug development work, but we could also develop imaging agents to track cancer progression or inflammation in the body, aiding in cancer research and Alzheimer’s research,” Nicewicz said. “Having more than one method for tumor detection may give you cross-verification to make sure what you’re seeing is real. If you have two methods to validate a scan – two is better than one.While existing radiolabeling methods requires the synthesis of dedicated new compounds to attach the radiotag, researchers say their approach may allow them to attach a tag existing compounds – a boon for drug development research.”In this study, we showed that we could label a broad spectrum of compounds,” Li said, including for anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific amino acids to show that they could image tumors.Li also said the information obtained by the new PET tracer could lead to the development of corresponding treatment plans, depending on the imaging result, which would be an important step in providing personalized medicine.The researchers said the next step is to develop a device that would make it easier for scientists to use this new method for creating radiolabeled tracers. In addition, they are working to expand their technology to develop other tracers that use a different radioactive material, such as Carbon-11.”This discovery opens a new window for generating novel PET agents from existing drugs,” Li said. “Many very complicated, or almost impossible to label drugs, could potentially work using this method.” Source:UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Centerlast_img read more

Hesperos multiorgan model correctly determine cardiotoxic mechanisms

first_imgUnderstanding the inter-relationship between pharmacokinetics (PK), the drug’s time course for absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, and PD, the biological effect of a drug, is crucial in drug discovery and development. Scientists have learned that the maximum drug effect is not always driven by the peak drug concentration. In some cases, time is a critical factor influencing drug effect, but often this concentration-effect-time relationship only comes to light during the advanced stages of the preclinical program. In addition, often the data cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans.”It is costly and time-consuming to discover that potential drug candidates may have poor therapeutic qualities preventing their onward progression,” said James Hickman, Chief Scientist at Hesperos and Professor at the University of Central Florida. “Being able to define this during early drug discovery will be a valuable contribution to the optimization of potential new drug candidates.”Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysMetabolic engineering of cannabinoids – are we there yet?Scientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchAs demonstrated with the terfenadine experiment, the PKPD modeling approach was critical for understanding both the flux of compound between compartments as well as the resulting PD response in the context of dynamic exposure profiles of both parent and metabolite, as indicated by Dr. Shuler.In order to test the viability of their system in a real-world drug discovery setting, the Hesperos team collaborated with scientists at AstraZeneca, to test one of their failed small molecules, known to have a CV risk.One of the main measurements used to assess the electrical properties of the heart is the QT interval, which approximates the time taken from when the cardiac ventricles start to contract to when they finish relaxing. Prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram can lead to a fatal arrhythmia known as Torsade de Pointes. Consequently, it is a mandatory requirement prior to first-in-human administration of potential new drug candidates that their ability to inhibit the hERG channel (a biomarker for QT prolongation) is investigated.In the case of the AstraZeneca molecule, the molecule was assessed for hERG inhibition early on, and it was concluded to have a low potential to cause in vivo QT prolongation up to 100 μM. In later pre-clinical testing, the QT interval increased by 22% at a concentration of just 3 μM. Subsequent investigations found that a major metabolite was responsible. Hesperos was able to detect a clear PD effect at concentrations above 3 μM and worked to determine the mechanism of toxicity of the molecule.The ability of these systems to assess cardiac function non-invasively in the presence of both parent molecule and metabolite over time, using multiplexed and repeat drug dosing regimes, provides an opportunity to run long-term studies for chronic administration of drugs to study their potential toxic effects.Hesperos, Inc. is the first company spun out from the Tissue Chip Program at NCATS (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences), which was established in 2011 to address the long timelines, steep costs and high failure rates associated with the drug development process. Hesperos currently is funded through NCATS’ Small Business Innovation Research program to undertake these studies and make tissue chips technology available as a service based company.”The application of tissue chip technology in drug testing can lead to advances in predicting the potential effects of candidate medicines in people,” said Danilo Tagle, Ph.D., associate director for special initiatives at NCATS. Source:BioscribeJournal reference:McAleer, C. et al. (2019) On the potential of in vitro organ-chip models to define temporal pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships. Nature Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45656-4 The ability to examine PKPD relationships in vitro would enable us to understand compound behavior prior to in vivo testing, offering significant cost and time savings. We are excited about the potential of this technology to help us ensure that potential new drug candidates have a higher probability of success during the clinical trial process.”Dr. Shuler, President and CEO, Hesperos, Inc and Professor Emeritus, Cornell University Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 4 2019Hesperos Inc., pioneers of the “human-on-a-chip” in vitro system has announced the use of its innovative multi-organ model to successfully measure the concentration and metabolism of two known cardiotoxic small molecules over time, to accurately describe the drug behavior and toxic effects in vivo. The findings further support the potential of body-on-a-chip systems to transform the drug discovery process.In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Hesperos described how they used a pumpless heart model and a heart:liver system to evaluate the temporal pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PKPD) relationship for terfenadine, an antihistamine that was banned due to toxic cardiac effects, as well as determine its mechanism of toxicity.The study found there was a time-dependent, drug-induced response in the heart model. Further experiments were conducted, adding a metabolically competent liver module to the Hesperos Human-on-a-Chip® system to observe what happened when terfenadine was converted to fexofenadine. By doing so, the researchers were able to determine the driver of the pharmacodynamic (PD) effect and develop a mathematical model to predict the effect of terfenadine in preclinical species. This is the first time an in vitro human-on-a-chip system has been shown to predict in vivo outcomes, which could be used to predict clinical trial outcomes in the future.last_img read more

What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal

Citation: What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal to boost America’s lead in its development? (2018, March 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-5g-trump-nix-huge-tech.html The new standard is 10 times faster than 4G and is expected to make buffering video a thing of the past. Its connectivity is also superior, resulting in less aggravation for people seeking a cell signal.A rollout of 5G probably won’t gain momentum until next year, though providers have recently been teasing the technology. Samsung and Intel showcased the new standard at last month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (The technology was used to direct a fleet of 1,200 LED-affixed drones that put on a light show during the opening ceremony.)Whether any Chinese telecommunications companies will get to wow U.S. audiences remains to be seen. Tensions are rising between Washington and Beijing over trade and protection of intellectual property rights.Though some Chinese firms have made inroads in Europe, they have failed to gain traction in the U.S. because of national security concerns. A bill was even introduced in Congress that would ban the U.S. government from doing business with two of China’s market leaders, Huawei and ZTE.ZTE was fined $1.19 billion by the U.S. Department of Commerce a year ago after pleading guilty to breaching sanctions by selling equipment to Iran and North Korea. Huawei, meanwhile, has been hitting roadblocks in the U.S. for years, most recently with American cell carriers that refuse to sell its phones.Huawei and ZTE say they are independent of the Chinese government. But Chinese companies, particularly those in strategically important sectors like telecommunications, have to work closely with Chinese authorities because they also supply equipment to China’s mobile network. Those close ties have raised red flags given China’s history of corporate espionage.Last month, U.S. lawmakers and spy chiefs warned a Senate hearing that China was trying to steal U.S. technology and intellectual property through contact with universities, business joint ventures and telecommunications firms such as Huawei and ZTE.”The reality is that the Chinese have turned more and more to more creative avenues using nontraditional collectors,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told the panel.Still, some analysts say the threat posed by the Qualcomm takeover bid, which would have been the biggest-ever tech acquisition, has been overstated—suggesting Monday’s executive order was driven by protectionism, one of Trump’s signature campaign platforms, as much as it was by national security.A chief point of disagreement is the assertion by CFIUS that Broadcom wasn’t interested in long-term investment in 5G.”The narrative that Broadcom was not investing in (research and development) is a gross oversimplification,” said Mark Hung, an analyst for Gartner. “They’ve been very diligent in terms of investing in technology and products that have profitable commercial applications. 5G fits that bill. To say it would acquire Qualcomm and not invest in 5G is ludicrous.”Broadcom was in the process of redomiciling to San Jose when the deal was shot down—a move that would have made it an American company again (it was founded in Westwood) and free of CFIUS’ jurisdiction. The company also pledged it would continue Qualcomm’s investment in 5G if the deal went through. It also promised a $1.5-billion fund to train U.S. engineers with the goal of making the country the leading innovator in wireless technology.Qualcomm isn’t the only U.S. company that can be counted on to advance 5G technology. Its much larger rival Intel is also working on 5G chips, though it’s playing catch-up to Qualcomm, which has focused on mobile equipment longer. Qualcomm chips can be found in most leading Android phones and many iPhones.Patent filings loosely suggest Chinese brands are working just as hard, if not harder.The most recent statistics available through the World Intellectual Property Organization show ZTE led the world in patent applications in 2016 with 4,123, a 91 percent increase from the year before. Huawei was second with 3,692 applications and Qualcomm was third with 2,466.A massive effort is needed to upgrade the world’s wireless network to 5G, which will be a global standard. That’s unlike its predecessors, which often varied from country to country. That means all 5G devices will be able to communicate with one another seamlessly. The standard is set by an international body called 3GPP.”It will eventually be a game-changer,” Hung of Gartner said of 5G. “But the amount of investment required means it won’t happen overnight. It will take many years of development in infrastructure.” The fifth-generation mobile network will vastly expand the speed and volume of data that can be shared wirelessly, bringing the world closer to the autonomous age and generating enormous wealth and power for the companies that supply the equipment.That’s what made the Trump administration and other federal agencies so skittish about a hostile takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom—leading to the White House’s unprecedented move Monday to block the proposed $117-billion deal because of national security concerns.Qualcomm, the Trump administration argues, is needed to boost America’s lead in 5G research and development. Should the San Diego chipmaker fall behind, Chinese manufacturers could fill the void in U.S. and global markets.That would be a blow for U.S. innovation, as the mass market could be beholden to foreign hardware. Worse, Beijing could have an advantage in discovering vulnerabilities in the technology that it could turn into so-called backdoors used for spying.”Having a well-known and trusted company hold the dominant role that Qualcomm does in the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure provides significant confidence in the integrity of such infrastructure as it relates to national security,” said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, a panel of federal agencies charged with scrutinizing foreign deals that raised major concerns about Broadcom’s bid.What makes the introduction of 5G so sensitive is that its chips will be included in anything that requires access to the internet. That makes it a bigger source of risk than software. The discovery of security flaws called Spectre and Meltdown this year affected virtually all computers because of the ubiquity of the compromised chips made by Intel, AMD and Arm.Once adopted, 5G stands to revolutionize communications. If 4G’s breakthrough was enabling people to stream high-definition video on handheld devices, then 5G might be remembered for ushering in an age when we can power the most intricate technologies like drones, robots and city grids from devices we carry in our pockets. Self-driving cars. Internet-connected homes. Smart cities. Innovations like these are expected to reshape the technology industry and society at large—but none will take off without stronger wireless infrastructure, known as 5G. Broadcom withdraws Qualcomm offer after Trump blocks bid This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further ©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. read more