Forum Introduction

the forumA forum can be described as a public meeting place or a presentation involving a discussion usually amongst experts and often including audience participation. Since HSC lives primarily on the Internet our forum is governed by how participants can enter our space and interact with our senior fellows, executive editorial board and other commentators. The forum has eight thought groups and a section called open forum whereby a commentator can create a new subject that he is seeking comment on. Our primary areas are 1. Clinical Studies, 2. Health Care Policy, 3. Global Sustainable Health, 4. Proactive Preventive Health Care, 5. Nutrition and Well Being, 6. Integrative Medicine, 7. Technology and Health, and 8. Healthy Lifestyle Change.

In order to participate in forum discussions or comment on any of the eight focus areas, HSC requires a forum contributor application to be completed. Once accepted you may post comments on the forum page and contribute commentary in our open discussion section that allows for new subject matter to be discussed.

HSC’s forum is moderated and guided by subject matter experts. The forum is password protected. When you have successfully completed an application your password will be sent.

Clinical Studies

HSC is dedicated through its senior fellows to exploring new studies that affect health and well being. Where research and the clinical trial is a fundamental tool of modern medicine, we at HSC feel that more public information as to the vast body of clinical studies and research being done should be acknowledged. A service of the National Institute of Health contains thousands of studies conducted around the world to test the effect of experimental drugs, devises and procedures for many diseases and conditions. We urge you to become aware of the vast clinical research that is being done and join us in our forum discussions regarding new and important studies.

Health Care Policy

The term Policy may apply to government, private sector, organizations, groups and individuals. A policy is often described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. HSC is dedicated to exploring how government and the private sector arrive at decisions regarding health care policy. The need to identify and clarify the complex issues surrounding the development of health care policy and further to understand the economic and social affects that follow has become a national and global priority. Health Care systems, surrounded by controversy, account in all countries for the largest area of spending.

Global Sustainable Health

"Globalization is putting the social cohesion of many countries under stress, and health systems, as key constituents of the architecture of contemporary societies, are clearly not performing as well as they should," states the World Health Organization.

It has become a common belief that Global health and sustainability are interwoven. The Brundtland Commission in1987 defined sustainable development as, “development that meets the needs of the present with out compromising the ability of future generations”. Health is both a resource for as well as an outcome of Sustainable Development. The goals of which cannot be achieved when there is a high prevalence of debilitating disease, health system disparities and escalating chronic illness.

Proactive Preventive Health Care

C.E.A. Winslow defined preventive health in 1920 as, "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." The practice of proactive preventive medicine, in today's world directly addresses the necessity for lowering healthcare costs and creating healthy life style choices.

Nutrition and Well Being

"Worldwide under-nutrition accounts for nearly 100-percent of the global burden of disease."
--Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, World Health Organization

Nutrition (physiology) can be said to be the organic process of nourishing or being nourished, the process by which organisms assimilate food and use it for growth and maintenance.

An accepted, and now much focused on, truism is that what you eat has a life long affect on health and well being. The escalation of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and the obesity epidemic, has created a need for more awareness to diet and nutrition. One approach has been to investigate programs based on foods that are predominately alkaline forming and sustain health and immunity. Choosing fresh whole organic foods, eating a wide variety of foods, hydrating and building mineral reserves are part of the path to good nutrition and well being.

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine can be defined as a growing field of medicine in which the patient and provider work together to develop a diagnostic and therapeutic program that draws on a variety of traditions, expertise and modalities to address an individual’s specific needs.

This new field provides care that is patient centered and is healing oriented. It represents a broader paradigm of medicine than the dominant bio-medical model. Integrative Medicine Practitioners are dedicated to involving patients in their medical decision making and self management, providing physical comfort and emotional support, understanding their patients concept of illness and cultural beliefs and they understand and apply the principle of preventive and behavioral choice. They are strong advocates of proactive preventive health care and utilize whatever tools from a variety of modalities that are appropriate for their patients' sustained health.

Technology and Health

One of the main initiatives of the Executive Office of the United States Government has been declared to be transforming Health Care through Information Technology. Almost any discussion related to improving healthcare, whether it implies reduced costs or improved patient safety and satisfaction, usually has technology as a core component. It has become an accepted fact that was described well in the Institute of Medicine’s “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report that the quality of Health Care in the United States leaves much to be desired. A driving force in improving quality is the use of information technology (IT).

There are certain key components to insuring the advancement of policy related to IT in Health Care: standards, incentives, security, confidentiality, professional involvement and research with financial incentives representing a key component. Health Care organizations in the current economic landscape have an immediate need to reduce costs while improving efficiency and focus on quality and patient care. It can be said that the implementation of IT programs often necessitate significant work process and cultural changes.

Healthy Lifestyle Change

The concept of Healthy Life Style Change is in the news daily. From the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama's effort to combat obesity, to the founders of both community gardens and farmers markets, people are talking about healthier ways of living. The movement calls for nutritional diets, organic foods, fitness and an emphasis on ecological awareness. Further it seeks to spread the word about healthy food production and consumption.

The noted Mayo Clinic has developed the EmbodyHealth portal, which combines smart web technology with proven behavioral change approaches. The site seeks to help people improve lifestyle habits, make better treatment decisions and reduce health risks and live healthier lives.

"The trend of Americans making healthier lifestyle changes, such as eating better and exercising more, shows that the U.S. population is taking the necessary steps to becoming a healthier nation," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (Emeritus), Executive Director of American Public Health Association. "Americans need to 'start small, think big,' in transforming our nation into a healthier nation. Individuals recognize that their personal changes can result in broader community impact."

Coming Soon

HSC is pleased to announce the following new forum areas to be opened soon for discussion.

»  Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals
»  Care Facilities and Super Bugs
»  Public-Private Partnerships in Health

 

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