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June 3, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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June 3, 2010
 

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THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, JUNE 3, 2010 PAGE 4-B By DR. RANDOLPH HOWES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Ponchatoula Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph. Ponchatoula High School, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "re. tired" now in Kentwood.) Recently, I was co-chairman and moderator for a, conference on "Obama Healthcare Reform & Primary Care Medicine." It was sponsored by the Louisiana University of Medical Sciences, Inc. and was attended by physicians, politicians, business people and laymen. By current estimates, we need 16,000-20,000 primary care physicians (i.e., family practice, ob/gyn and pediatrics) and the American Academy of Family Physicians predicts that the shortage of family doc- tors will reach 40,000 in a little more than 10 years and the As- sociation of American Medical Colleges states that the nation may face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years. That is astounding. We are facing a patient tsu- nami with Obama healthcare reform bringing in 34-45 mil- lion new patients and 75 million Baby Boomers entering an age of increasing medical problems and needs. Politicians can pass all-encompassing, great sound- ing bills but who is going to be on the medical front lines to im- plement these sweeping chang- es? Answer: No one knows! In 2006, Mitt Romney led Massachusetts to enact a proto- type of Obama-care (to provide everyone with health insur- ance) and it has increased pa- tient waiting time from 30 to 63 days to see a family physician. Reports indicate, "What doctors are available, are leaving the state in record numbers, wait- :ing lines are longer and costs :have gone up." Dr. Howes As others have said, "People can have all the insurance they want, but if they can't get in to see anyone, it's not going to do anyone much good." That means that we should have been planning for this for decades, but we haven't. We just keep spending tons of money on bringing in foreign medical graduates and keep- ing a moratorium on opening new U.S. allopathic medical schools, where we could train tax-paying American citizens to become doctors. I calculated that we could open up 40 new medical schools with the amount spent on for- eign graduates. I believe that the federal government and the American Medical Association have been With your help, we can build better communities... With your help, we can build a better Louisiana. li oew, tnm oe HaD and pltals asleep at the wheel or brain dead for decades, or they have intentionally ignored the prob- lem. According to the Med Job Louisiana 2010 website, 85% of Louisiana parishes are des- ignated health professional shortage areas. Also, according to the Medical Education Com- mission, approximately 40% of Louisiana medical school gradu- ates and physicians completing graduate medical education are leaving Louisiana for residency programs and practice opportu- nities in other states. In the America that I love, we realize' that physician shOrt- ages result in poor health sta- tus due to lack of access to pri- mary care. Louisiana has many potential great medical school candidates to train for primary care physicians but they cannot get into medical school because there are not enough openings. That must change. Houston .... er, I, mean, Baton Rouge, we have a problem! St. Tammany Parish Hospital hosting stress management class for cancer patients COVINGTON, LA- St. Tam- many Parish Hospital is con- ducting free stress management classes for cancer patients on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 9 through July 21 at the Cancer Resource Center in the Paul D. Cordes Outpatient Pavilion, 16300 Hwy.1085, Cov- ington. "Mindful Meditation: An Ally In Your Cancer Recovery" is a free stress management class helping cancer patients learn how to use the power of their minds to fight disease, boost their immune systems, find strengths, make the best of their treatments and meet the challenges a significant illness brings. The classes will be guided by certified meditation instruc- tor and longtime retreat fa- cilitator Ellen LaRocca, LMT, CPSM. The program will intro- duce various meditation, guid- ed-imagery and simple relax- ation techniques. Participants may start at any time. The class is cosponsored by the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation and the Leonard C. Thomas HOS Foundation. It is open to individuals with a can- cer diagnosis, their caregivers and health professionals. Call the STPH Cancer Resource Center at 985-898-4581 to reg- ister or for more information. "The act of defending any of the cardinal vir- tues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." G.K. Chesterton A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901 O PHS shares the learning The Ponchatoula High School FFA Chapter completed their current Agriscience lit- eracy program called Aggie on the Road for Title One schools from May 13-19. This was an opportunity for PHS FFA members to take a leadership role in teaching the younger chil- dren about agriculture through hands-on science activities. The high school mentors also taught about teamwork and diversity as part of this outreach which was funded through grants from the Brown Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture. Stu- dents from Robert Head Start and the 1st and 2nd grade at Champ Cooper School were the recipients of this program. Both the FFA mentors and elementary students had an amazing time. The Ponchatoula FFA hopes to continue this outreach next year. (By Sarah McKinney-PHS FFA Reporter) PHS Ag students hit the road The Ponchatoula FFA is holding this Agventures Day Camp as a fundraiser in order to be able to send its state championship win- ning horse judging team to the national competition in Indianapo- lis. Registration forms may be picked up at the PHS main office Monday-Thursday. SUMMER DAY CAMP June 14-18, 2010 Fun, Educational Hands-On Activities Lunch, Drinks and Supplies Included $175 per camper Drop off is 7:30-8:30 a.m, and pickup is 4 p.m, Join us for an exciting, action packed week full of fun and learning about plants, animals and the environment. To sign up call, email us or pick up a form in the main office at PHS. 98 474-8830 or : :. -_ Presented by the Ponchatoula FFA Helping Fatients retain their maximum potential is the commitment of S dalty L TCH Ho oital ol Hamond Call today (985) 902-8148 " and speak with the nurse liaison Speaatty L TCH Hospital ol Hammond 42074 VeJetam Avetw L4 7040J mere i#er m, eleme ew webaU .