Friday, August 30, 2013

Postcards From the Road: Cerner Center for Innovation

The futuristic Cerner Tower is composed of stainless steel reaching high into the sky. A closer examination reveals that it is the famous DNA, double-helix at the core, and wrapped around the core are a series of bits and bytes—1’s and 0’s that hold the whole tower together.  It is majestic in its simplicity and innovative in its design. 
 I just returned from Cerner World Headquarters in Kansas City, where I had the privilege of addressing 150 leaders from across all of their business units.  Cerner invests heavily in education for their team members, emerging leaders and for customers; something that any Dean could really embrace! 
 I spent 2-1/2 hours outlining my vision of where population health has come from and where it ought to go, especially given the changes brought by health reform. They embraced my message and we had an interchange that lasted nearly the entire day.  Cerner has an entire unit devoted to population health and a deep bench strength of consultants fanning out to clients and would-be clients, educating them about population health. 
 The Cerner Innovation Center itself, is a view into the future—a future characterized by linking technology at the level of the patient, to technology inside the hospital, the office, the ambulatory clinic, the pharmacy, and of course, the home. Cerner seems well situated to embrace all that accountable care can deliver for our country. They are going to move from an electronic medical record company to a true healthcare information delivery platform that will demonstrate value. 
Matthew Swindells, the newly appointed Senior Vice President for Population Health and Global Strategy, has recently emigrated from the UK to lead aspects of the Cerner strategy.  He’s joined by other able leaders like Dick Flanigan, Robert Campbell, Chad Greeno, Lisa McDermott, Michael Allison, and Donna O’Connor. 
 I was impressed by the Cerner team and their transformation reminds me of another famous corporate transformation. Remember when IBM built mainframe computers?  IBM transformed itself into a global information powerhouse. I bet Cerner is going to transform itself into a global information powerhouse too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Traycee

This is for my relaxed/texlaxed ladies!  In the following video, Traycee (who is approaching hip-length) talks about texlaxing to maintain thickness, products with protein, and more ...

Mixology || Simple Detangler Recipe Using Shea Butter and Oils

This recipe is ideal for undoing an old set of twists or braids.

4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp melted shea butter (optional, but makes the process much easier)

All you need for this detangler are coconut oil, olive oil, and melted shea butter. Apply this mixture to dry or damp hair, allow it to set, and then proceed to finger detangle. (Leaving coconut oil on dry hair overnight has been demonstrated to reduce combing damage.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ultimate Workout Playlist (60 Songs)

I'm a huge proponent of using music in your workouts to help get you going.  Even on my most low energy, depressed days, when I'm literally dragging myself to the gym or park with a head full of self-talk like, "Just WALK for 15 minutes- you don't have to run or lift weights." If, when I get there, I put my ipod on, after a few minutes, I can't help but start running or working out harder.  Like music magic.

Lyrics, tempo, beat, and rhythm get me in the mood to work out.  I like booty-shakin' music, R&B, Christian Pop, and a little rock-n-roll.  Below are the top 60 songs currently on my "Work Out" Playlist.

To get me moving or start the workout I love to hear "Good Morning" by Mandisa & Toby Mac.

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When it's time to lift heavy weights on squats, "Sober" by Pink is great because it's a little slower (which is how I like to do squats, and I feel like it makes me dig deep).

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In the groove and feeling good?

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If you're working out some emotional stuff, going through a heartbreak, or life is just generally shitty, here are a few songs to give you some encouragement.

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"Overcomer" by Mandisa (I added the lyrics to the whole song because it's so perfect.)

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Ready to cool down and stretch?  "You & I" by Lada GaGa starts with a great slower tempo.

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Let's share.  What are your favorite songs to workout to?  

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If you'd like to enter to win a trip for 4 from NestlĂ©® Pure Life® Purified Water to Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, click HERE or the picture below.  

They are also giving away a YEAR supply of NestlĂ©® Pure Life® Purified Water!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Postcards from the Road... Nash in Nashville Edition

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is one of the largest indoor facilities – with restaurants, gardens, and ballrooms – in the United States. It was the appropriate setting for the annual HealthTrust University Conference and Vendor Fair, sponsored by the HealthTrust Purchasing Group in suburban Nashville, TN.

I had the privilege of delivering the plenary talk immediately after the charismatic CEO of the company, Mr. Ed Jones, welcomed everyone. The 3,700 assembled supply chain leaders, financial directors, pharmacy managers and others from around the country, were an enthusiastic audience. I strongly believe that hospital and delivery system based supply chain leaders are going to play an increasingly important role in health reform.  After all, they do the bulk of the purchasing and they are on the “firing line” having to demonstrate value for the money being spent.

By becoming more efficient, by demonstrating value, by cutting waste, supply chain leaders are going to play a key role in making the HCA work. I implored the audience to invest in leadership training for clinicians of all types, especially physicians, nurses and pharmacists, as these clinical leaders make most of the decisions about supply chain purchases. The executive leadership team of HealthTrust – Mike Berryhill, John Paul, Gary Pack and Doug Swanson – seemed like a group that “gets it!”

Following my formal remarks, Ed Jones and I engaged in a question and answer session in front of all of the attendees. We reinforced the need to reduce waste and to prepare for moving from a world of volume to value. Were the leaders of your supply chain lucky enough to be in the Opryland Resort and Convention Center? You should save the dates for next year, July 28-30, 2014, also at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Finally, special thanks to the outstanding sponsors who helped to make the conference a possibility, including Astellas, Elekta, and a score of others.

“Nash in Nashville” – it does have a certain ring doesn’t it?

Could we have evolved traits that are detrimental to our survival?

Let us assume that we collected data on the presence or absence of a trait (e.g., propensity toward risky behavior) in a population of individuals, as well as on intermediate effects of the trait, downstream effects on mating and survival success, and ultimately on reproductive success (a.k.a. “fitness”, in evolutionary biology).

The data would have been collected over several generations. Let us also assume that we conducted a multivariate analysis on this data, of the same type as the analyses employing WarpPLS that were discussed here in previous posts (). The results are summarized through the graph below.

Each of the numbers next to the arrows in the graph below represents the strength of a cause-effect relationship. The number .244 linking “a” and “y” means that a one standard deviation variation in “a” causes a .244 standard deviation increase in “y”. It also means that a one standard deviation variation in “a” causes a 24.4 percent increase in “y” considering the average “y” as the baseline.

This type of mathematical view of evolution may look simplistic. This is an illusion. It is very general, and encompasses evolution in all living organisms, including humans. It also applies to theoretical organisms where multiple (e.g., 5, 6 etc.) sexes could exist. It even applies to non-biological organisms, as long as these organisms replicate - e.g., replicating robots.

So the trait measured by “a” has a positive effect on the intermediate effect “y”. This variable, “y” in turn has a negative effect on survival success (“s”), and a strong one at that: -.518. Examples: “a” = propensity toward risky behavior, measured as 0 (low) and 1 (high); and “y” = hunting success, measured in the same way. (That is, “a” and “y” are correlated, but “a”=1 does not always mean “y”=1.) Here the trait “a” has a negative effect on survival via its intermediate effect on “y”. If I calculate the total effect of “a” on “w” via the 9 paths that connect these two variables, I will find that it is .161.

The total effect on reproductive success is positive, which means that the trait will tend to spread in the population. In other words, the trait will evolve in the population, even though it has a negative effect on survival. This type of trait is what has been referred to as a “costly” trait ().

Say what? Do you mean to say that we have evolved traits that are unhealthy for us? Yes, I mean exactly that. Is this a “death to paleo” post? No, it is not. I discussed this topic here before, several years ago (). But the existence of costly traits is one of the main reasons why I don’t think that mimicking our evolutionary past is necessarily healthy. For example, many of our male ancestors were warriors, and they died early because of that.

What type of trait will present this evolutionary pattern – i.e., be a costly trait? One answer is: a trait that is found to be attractive by members of the other sex, and that is not very healthy. For example, a behavior that is perceived as “sexy”, but that is also associated with increased mortality. This would likely be a behavior prominently displayed by males, since in most species, including humans, sexual selection pressure is much more strongly applied by females than by males.

Examples would be aggressiveness and propensity toward risky behavior, especially in high-stress situations such as hunting and intergroup conflict (e.g., a war between two tribes) where being aggressive is likely to benefit an individual’s group. In warrior societies, both aggressiveness and propensity toward risky behavior are associated with higher social status and a greater ability to procure mates. These traits are usually seen as male traits in these societies.

Here is something interesting. Judging from our knowledge of various warrior societies, including American plains Indians societies, the main currency of warrior societies were counts of risky acts, not battle effectiveness. Slapping a fierce enemy warrior on the face and living to tell the story would be more valuable, in terms of “counting coup”, than killing a few inexperienced enemy warriors in an ambush.

Greater propensity toward risky behavior among men is widespread and well documented, and is very likely the result of evolutionary forces, operating on costly traits. Genetic traits evolved primarily by pressure on one sex are often present in the other (e.g., men have nipples). There are different grades of risky behavior today. At the high end of the scale would be things that can kill suddenly like race car driving and free solo climbing (, ). (If you'd like to know the source of the awesome background song of the second video linked, here it is: Radical Face's "Welcome Home".)

One interesting link between risky behavior and diet refers to the consumption of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Risky behavior may be connected with aggressive behavior, which may in turn be encouraged by greater consumption of foods rich in omega-6 fats and avoidance of foods rich in omega-3 fats (, ). This may be behind our apparent preference for foods rich in omega-6 fats, even though tipping the balance toward more foods rich in omega-3 fats would be beneficial for survival. We would be "calmer" though - not a high priority among most men, particularly young men.

This evolved preference may also be behind the appeal of industrial foods that are very rich in omega-6 fats. These foods seem to be particularly bad for us in the long term. But when the sources of omega-6 fats are unprocessed foods, the negative effects seem to become "invisible" to statistical tests.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tasty Fruit & Veggie Protein Smoothies

When I did the Jamie Eason 12-week trainer, one thing she recommended was drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of working out to aid in muscle growth and recovery.  I do this pretty religiously, making my shake as soon as I get home or ordering one at the gym if I'm not coming straight home after my workout.  Protein is essential for muscle development and recovery, but you can get the adequate amount from whole foods, like meat, fish, beans, egg whites, nuts, and milk too.

I'm usually a protein powder plus water and a few ice cubes kind of girl, but lately I've been trying more fresh fruit and veggie smoothies (with protein powder).  The other day, I added about 6 ounces of Odwalla Superfood drink to my protein powder and it tasted so good.  Although Odwalla is made with all natural ingredients, the calorie content and sugar is high, so I'd use it sparingly.  Mixed frozen bagged fruit is usually what I use.

Since I don't like a huge shake (it feels so daunting- like a chore to chug down), I make just a regular sized glass or mason jar size.  

I add about a scoop and a half of my protein powder (30 grams of protein) as opposed to the recommended 3 scoops (60 grams) because I don't think I can process that much protein at once, nor do I need it.  I'm currently using Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 and I like it because it has amino acids (great for muscle growth and energy).  I have the chocolate powder too and just blend it with water and a few ice cubes and it's pretty good.

The best results I've seen working out were when I was adding BCAA (branched chain amino acids- Amino Fuel) to my diet.  The BCAAs are among the nine essential amino acids for humans, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids.  It's easy to do- I add 3 tablespoons of the liquid right into my water bottle when I work out.  It tastes like orange juice, so it's like drinking citrus water.  But, if I don't put the Amino Fuel into my water, I just add it to my shake.  

Chia Seeds are another ingredient in my diet (they are full of omega-3 and fiber) and go in my protein pancakes or oatmeal, but I'll also add a teaspoon to my shake.  I've gotten hooked on mango lately and this Bolthouse Farms mango drink is good (but again, sugary- sweetened with fruit- so use sparingly).  

I'll also add about two big hand-fulls of spinach (the pre-washed bagged kind) to the mix.  I feel good knowing I'm getting my greens in. 

I tried adding two small carrots to a smoothie and have to admit, I didn't love it.  It wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'll do that again.  

I think the point is to just experiment to see what you like, what combinations taste best to you and what other nutritious things you can add to your shake.  After looking at the nutrition on the prepared drinks, I'll probably just stick to my bagged frozen fruit.  

Are you a smoothie person? 

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This, That and the Other...

I find facebook a pest and an irritant, but just occasionally I stumble upon interesting stories and individuals. Overwhelmed with work, (but with determination to provide some interesting texture, as well as funding and job opportunities), this week’s blog offers two-such links. Click on the photograph above to discover the work of Jill Peters and her documentation of burneshas, that is females who have lived their lives as men for reasons related to their culture and society. Very interesting and badged up by Peters as Sworn Virgins of Albania and thinking of the reporting around Chelsea Manning this week, it can only be healthy to understand different cultural and political influences on gender, sexuality and equality.

"Artists 'better protected' against dementia" 
Neurologists at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto found that artists suffering from vascular dementia may still be able to draw spontaneously and from memory, despite being unable to complete simple, everyday tasks. "We discovered that there is a disproportion between the degree that artists lose some of their memory function, their orientation and other day-to-day cognitive functions. But at the same time, some of their art form is preserved," Dr. Luis Fornazzari, a neurological consultant at St. Michael’s Hospital memory clinic and lead author of the paper, told CBC News. You can read more about this research, by clicking on the not-entirely-irrelevant image of Willem de Kooning above.

June 2013 – November 2015
We are seeking an experienced evaluator or research organisation with a strong track record in both the arts and public health arenas to provide guidance in selecting and managing the internal evaluation and monitoring processes, and to carry out independent analysis of the programme as a whole.  We are looking for robust evidence of the impact of arts approaches in addressing health and social care priorities to provide effective advocacy tools.

The role of the appointed evaluators will be to interrogate the following questions:

· How effective are arts and cultural interventions in addressing health and wellbeing agendas?
· What are the opportunities and challenges presented to organisations working collaboratively in this field?
· What are the benefits (financial, organisational, qualitative) to commissioners of the Creative Communities Consortium model of working?

We are offering an inclusive fee of £10,000 for this piece of work, plus £500 for the production (design and print) of a final report and are inviting suitable bodies and individuals to submit proposals for how this work would be carried out. Papers relating to the membership criteria and procedures of the consortium and to the tendering process for the arts and wellbeing programme are available on request.

Closing date for submission of proposals to undertake this evaluation work – Thursday 19th September 2013. All enquiries to Abby Gretton

British Academy - Small Research Grants 
The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, has announced that it is planning to issue a call for a further round of Small Research Grants on the 4th September 2013. Under the Small Research Grants programme grants of between £500 and £10,000 over two years are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Funds will be available to:
· Facilitate initial project planning and development
· Support the direct costs of research
· To enable the advancement of research through workshops, or visits by or to partner scholars.  
The closing date for applications will be the 16th October 2013. Read more at:
The Triangle Trust 1949 Fund is currently inviting applications from charity organisations to support projects that support the rehabilitation of offenders and ex-offenders.  The Trust would like to see applicants use these grants to develop sustainable income sources, so that when the grant comes to end the applicant organisation’s income will not be reduced.  Grants are available for up to £40,000 or 50% of the organisation’s current annual income, whichever is lowest, per year for 3 years. The Trust would expect to see the amount requested each year tapering down as applicants develop other income streams to replace the grant income.   The 50% of annual income limit is in place to discourage smaller organisations making an unrealistic step change in income that cannot be sustained when the grant ends. The closing date for applications is the 7th November 2013. Read more at: 

Music Grants for Older People 
The registered charity, Concertina which makes grants to charitable bodies which provide musical entertainment and related activities for the elderly has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 31st October 2013. The charity is particular keen to support smaller organisations which might otherwise find it difficult to gain funding. Since its inception in 2004, Concertina has made grants to a wide range of charitable organisations nationwide in England and Wales. These include funds to many care homes for the elderly to provide musical entertainment for their residents. Read more at:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Time to Get Movin' Again // Cardio & Bike Riding

Whenever I've let exercise slip to the back burner, when I start back up, I like to add in several sessions of hard cardio to get my heart pumping again.  This week, I've been doing 50 minutes at a time in the gym: 20 minutes on the treadmill at level 4 (a brisk walk), then 30 minutes on the stair climber at level 60-70.  I make sure to bring my ipod or a magazine to keep me company for that amount of time.  I also cover the clock on the machine so I'm not aware of how slowly the time passes and just check periodically.  It feels so great when you're done and in the following days as you can feel your body responding, getting lighter and stronger.

Last week, my 3 year-old son got a bigger bike with training wheels, which prompted me to bust out my bike. I haven't ridden in years!  But as soon as I got back on, I remembered how much I like it.  Now, I want to ride my bike everyday.

Not to mention, it's great exercise and always a good idea to get out of your exercise rut and try something new.  I put my gears on a hard setting that makes me work for each pedal and then ride around the neighborhood.  I'm a little scared to try the bike trails in our park for fear of getting run over by the more experienced, fast riders.  Bike riding can be challenging, but it's mostly fun and a great way to get exercise outside of the gym! 

Have a great weekend!  Take care of YOU!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jamie Eason Meatloaf Muffins

When I'm looking for something healthy and high in protein that I can eat over and over to help lean out, (fitness model) Jamie Eason's meatloaf muffins fit the bill.  I made them for dinner, then had them for the next several lunches and dinners until they were gone.  A serving size is 1 or 2 for me, depending on how hungry I am and what I'm having with it. This recipe makes 12.


    *Quaker Oats - Quick 1 Minute - Dry, 1 cup 
    egg white, fresh, 3 large (I used All Whites)
    Onions, raw, 1 cup, chopped 
    Celery, raw, 1 cup, diced (I didn't have any celery, but used a red bell pepper instead)
    *Jenni-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast, 2.5 lbs (I mixed that and Laura's lean beef)
    *Ground cumin, 0.5 tsp 
    *Herb - Thyme, Dried Ground (1 tsp), 1 gram 
    *Mustard Yellow, Emirel's Mellow Yellow (1tsp/5g), 2 tsp 
    *Black pepper (spice) 2 tsp 
    *Chipotle pepper, ground, 2 tsp (I omitted this and used salt-free seasoning)
    Salt, 1 tsp 
    Garlic powder, 2 tbsp (remove) (I used 3 fresh cloves)
    - I also added a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

I chopped the onion, red pepper and garlic.

And then combined all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Using my hands, I portioned the mixture into 12 large meatballs. 

Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or so.  I reheat them in the microwave for about a minute. 

For this dinner I steamed up some broccoli and asparagus as a side veggie.  I like a little ketchup on the side too.  I like how the red pepper looks in the meatballs, I'll probably add green or yellow next time also.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


As you know, life is full of ebbs and flows.  Although I always exercise at least semi-regularly, there are times when I'm super dedicated and work out intensely and there are times when other things demand my attention and there just aren't enough hours or energy in the day.  At those times, I may let exercise slip, but I pay for it and don't feel as good.

I've had a lot going on with work, relationships, my dad's illness, my son starting pre-school, my blog, and on and on.  We all have struggles so I know you can relate.  When things are extra stressful in my life, exercise helps me cope.  And I've been doing a lot of that lately.  Getting really good and sweaty and fighting wars in my mind.  Cursing cancer and feeling blessed for the experience of love.  I'm also trying to add in periods of rest.  Stillness.  Time to just





Time to listen to my heart.  Time to share my thankfulness and blessings with God.  And time to listen for HIS guidance.  I don't know why it's so hard to just take these moments for myself, but I know they are necessary.  I find that right after dropping my son off at school, just sitting alone in my car for a few quiet moments can help ground me and prepare me for the day.  But it's not enough.  There needs to be more time to turn off the constant slew of thoughts, fear, worry, anxiousness, sadness.

I set out some goals for myself for 2013 and they have been really challenged.  I'm "renewing my vows" :) to myself right now.  I feel like if I don't examine my life and what's important and how I want to live, then I will just be on the wheel, going nowhere.  In the stillness, answers come.  Through exercise and getting stronger answers come.

I'm wishing moments of peace and stillness for you too.  Have a beautiful day. 

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