Sunday, August 31, 2008

2008 World's Strongest Man Competition, Charleston, WV

The 2008 World's Strongest Man Competition will be coming to Charleston, West Virginia next week, September 6-14. Find the full schedule of events and locations here and a list of the international competitors who will be arriving in Charleston to compete.

Phil Pfister, Charleston native and 2006 winner of the competition, will be competing this year in his home town. Today's Charleston Gazette has a feature sports article on Phil who will likely be competing in his last strongman competition.

I know Phil and his family personally because our sons go to school together at Mountaineer Montessori. Phil is a great guy and ambassador for West Virginia.

The first time I met Phil was through my son back in 2006 when he came home from school one afternoon and said, "Guess what, Wyatt's dad can pull a fire truck." I said, "Sure he can . . ." Then a couple of days later he came home and said, "Wyatt's dad is the strongest man in the world." Again, "Yea, sure he is . . ." Then I met the 6' 6" 375 lb. Phil at a school event and realized my son's stories were not just playground talk.

I hope that everyone in Charleston and West Virginia will come out to support Phil and the event.

  • Photo of Phil Pfister showing perfect form in the keg toss by Charleston based photographer and blogger, Rick Lee, who I suspect will get some great shots throughout the competition.
  • Strongmen have big hearts too - they made a visit to the East End Family Resource Center to spend time with kids in the after school program. Check out the details at Jim McKay's blog, Wabi-Sabi. Also, if you plan to go to the events stop by the Strong Families Festival. Check out the video highlights of their visit below.

UPDATE (9/12/08):

Today is the first day of the finals of the event. Today's Daily Mail gives a run down of the events scheduled for today and over the weekend. A second article also covers ESPNs film crew and their effort to capture the beauty of West Virginia for the cut away shots during the final produced show for ESPN. Great to see them adding this footage into the final production.

There is also a photo of the 10 finalists. The top finishers in the preliminaries who will be competing over the weekend, including Charleston's own Phil Pfister are:

Sebastian Wenta, Poland; Arild Haugen, Norway; Tarmo Mitt, Estonia; Dave Ostlund, Minnesota; Travis Ortmayer, Texas; Terry Hollands, England; Jason Bergmann, Wisconsin; Derek Poundstone, Connecticut; and reigning champion Mariusz Pudzianowki, Poland. The alternate is Jimmy Marku, England.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Twoctor, Twoctor . . I've Got A Bad Case of Tweeting You

Nedra Weinreich over at Spare Change explores uses for Twitter to improve health care in her post Twitter for Health. Great ideas on how Twitter might be used by those of us in the health care industry.

Thanks to Jen McCabe Gorman for tweeting the recent post.

John Stossel's Perspective on WV Certificate of Need Law

Yesterday's Daily Mail article reports that John Stossel, co-anchor of ABC's 20/20 speaking at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Business Summit spoke out against West Virginia's Certificate of Need laws. Stossel argues that free market is better than regulation of health care.

Regulation vs. free market makes for great conversation. The debate as it relates to health care is made more complex when we have a largely single payor (government funded) health care reimbursement system in West Virginia. I don't know the actual statistics but well over half and probably near 75% of health care costs are paid in West Virginia by Medicare, Medicaid, PEIA and other government payors. As for private payors we only have a few that have any influence in West Virgina. This makes West Virginia close to a microcosm for a wwhat a single payor government run health care system might look like. What impact does this stagnation of competition on charges/costs have on the regulation vs. free market question. Is a single payor system better for West Virginia and the U.S.? Interesting questions as we approach the election in November.

Also, in my inbox this morning was an email from friend and health colleague, Mike Ryan, letting me know about the HealthDecisions '08: Obama and McCain on Health Care. Although I haven't had a chance to explore the site in detail I like the side by side comparison on the main page.

The press release indicates:
HealthDecision '08 by is an initiative to inform, educate and deploy the power of the web to gather public opinion on the health care proposals put forth by Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. HealthDecision '08 provides a side-by-side comparison of Obama's and McCain's healthcare positions and proposals, along with interactive voting tools that enable users to vote for their preferred health care plan and offer their own comments after weighing through the issues.
What do others think? Post your comments.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why WV is Wonderful . . .

Another great example of why West Virginia is Wild and Wonderful. Rainy day in Charleston today - but this brightened my morning.

Thanks to Rick Lee who has a knack for capturing the beauty of our state.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

eHealthWV: West Virginia EHR Public Service Announcement

As a part of West Virginia's participation in the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (HISPC), West Virginia Medical Institute and its partners launch the eHealthWV website focused on educating consumers about electronic health records and health information exchange.

West Virginia was one of a number of states awarded a grant by RTI International to participate in the HISPC, a national collaborative effort to study health information security and privacy. To learn more about EHRs and HIEs check out the website. They also have a toolkit of brochures for physician practices to use.

Project Director, Patty Ruddick, notified me last week that they had filmed a new EHR/HIT public service announcement that will start airing across West Virginia over the next few months. I thought I would upload the PSA to YouTube and share a copy (click below to watch).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is blogging good for your health?

Is blogging good for your health?

This Boston Globe article, Cancer blogs become part of treatment, indicates that blogging about your condition has a positive impact.

The article states:
Boyd is one of a growing number of cancer patients turning to the Internet to discuss their disease, keeping friends and family updated, and connecting with other patients, according to oncology social workers and psychologists. Personal blogs, listservs, and sites like CarePages, CaringBridge, and Breast Cancer Stories give patients an outlet to express the emotional turmoil associated with the disease, enabling a virtual catharsis for some. . .
. . . While there hasn't been much research done on the relatively recent phenomenon, patients attest to its many benefits. And two Ohio State University researchers, conducting one of the first studies on cancer patient blogs, said their preliminary findings suggest that online journals indeed help.
Thanks to Alan Goldberg for pointing out the article on the AHLA HIT listserve.

ADVANCE Magazine - Article on EHRs and PHRs

Recently I was interviewed for an article looking at the legal issues involved in the developing world of EHRs and PHRs written by Beth Walsh for ADVANCE Magazine. The article, Looking at Legality: Medical Records - New questions and concerns are popping up around the legalities of EHRs and PHRs, appears in the August 11, 2008 edition of the magazine.

Those interested in reading the article can register for the free online digital edition of ADVANCE Magazine (left side bar). The article appears on page 24.