Curbing the Opioid Epidemic, Tackling Cancer & Men Breastfeeding!


Working to curb the opioid epidemic

Virginia-based Optima Health was able to reduce prescription opioids by 49 percent for Medicaid members by focusing on fewer prescriptions and lower doses, the company recently announced. The reduction was the result of a unique collaboration with other Medicaid health plans and health-care organizations throughout the state to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. According to Optima Health, the effort’s results included 30 percent fewer members receiving a prescription for an opioid, a 43-percent reduction in prescriptions and 2.5 million fewer pills prescribed. In addition to increased emphasis on decreasing opioid use amongst its members, Optima Health has also committed to increasing access to addiction treatment services.


Weight, in pounds, of your gut microbiota. That’s more than your brain weighs!

Helping the Community for Free

Sentara Healthcare last year provided nearly $39 million of uncompensated medical care for underinsured and uninsured patients, community-based education and screening programs and investment in medical education at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Among the community programs that the not-for-profit hospital system offers include the HeartSafe Alliance, which works to speed bystander responses to heart attacks; mobile mammography; and an outreach program that sends nurses into homes and onto the streets to help indigent patients.


Percentage of doctors between the ages of 35 and 44, which makes up the majority of practicing doctors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only 12 percent are 65 or older.

Even Better Poised to tackle Cancer

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) has been accepted as an associate member of the Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) at the National Cancer Institute. This membership means access to resources intended to aid in cancer research efforts. HU is the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to become part of this network of research institutions, which promotes research, development and clinical validation of quantitative imaging tools and methods for cancer diagnosis. HUPTI opened in 2010 as the country’s eighth proton treatment center and is committed to the latest in cancer-fighting technologies.


Money a Georgia high school teacher recently won for reading the fine print in her travel insurance policy. The Florida-based insurance company Squaremouth rewarded the first person who actually read through the contract as part of its “It Pays to Read” contest.

Now Men can “breastfeed” too

A Japanese tech company has created a wearable device that allows fathers to nurse babies. The device — which straps over the man’s shoulder — is shaped like a woman’s breasts and features a tank to hold milk or formula and a nipple. It also vibrates to help a baby sleep and alerts parents to feeding patterns. The “father’s nursing assistant” was introduced in March at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. “We aim to decrease the amount of burden on mothers and increase the amount of time infants sleep by enabling fathers to breastfeed,” the Dentsu Group says.

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