The word of the week: perseverance. The appropriately named NASA rover Perseverance, became a new national superhero with its flawless landing on Mars. In Texas, millions of American showed their ingenuity and grit to survive frigid temperatures, with no heat and water. And while winter storms delayed shipments of six million Covid-19 vaccine doses this week, the Biden administration is taking steps to extend delivery windows and speed shipments. Also this week, HealthCare.gov, reopened for enrollment for 12 weeks. Perseverance – it’s a part of America’s DNA.
This Weekend Reading Series begins with the Tribute to African American History and the inspiring story of Vivien Thomas. With no formal medical training, he developed techniques and tools that would lead to today’s modern heart surgery. Next, check out the Penalties & Pricing for the latest list of hospitals penalized by the federal government for failure to meet readmission and patient safety requirements – and the latest research by Rand on potential approaches to address hospital costs. Do not miss Heart Matters for heart health myths, treatment disparities and a Detroiter’s personal story of living with heart failure. Last but not least, check out On Ice – a perfect fit for wintery weather!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. Tribute to African American History
- Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions: Vivien Theodore Thomas (short read)
- Washingtonian: The Remarkable Story of Vivien Thomas, the Black Man Who Helped Invent Heart Surgery (long read)
- Something the Lord Made (2004)- biographical drama film about the black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas (1910–1985) and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock (1899–1964), the “Blue Baby doctor” who pioneered modern heart surgery. The film was nominated for nine Emmy Awards and won three. The American Film Institute, which named Something the Lord Made the Best Television Movie of the Year for 2004, called it “a revelation…a bittersweet story [that] is an important tool for America as it continues to search for a public vocabulary to discuss issues of race. Available on many streaming platforms.
2. Penalties & Prices
- Kaiser Health News: Medicare Cuts Payment to 774 Hospitals Over Patient Complications
- Hospital Look-up Tool
- Healthcare Dive: Capping hospital prices could save $235B annually, Rand study says
- Rand: Impact of Policy Options for Reducing Hospital Prices Paid by Private Health Plans
3. Heart Matters
- Mayo Clinic: Consumer Health: Secondhand smoke and heart attack risk — what’s the connection?
- WebMD: What It’s Like to Live With Heart Failure
- Medical News Today: Medical myths: All about heart disease
- U.S. News & World Report: Race Affects Outcomes for Young Heart Transplant Patients
4. On Ice
- New England Historical Society: Frederic Tudor in 1806 Brings Cocktails and Ice Cream to the Rest of the World
- Health: Is It Safe to Eat Snow? Here Are a Few Things You Should Consider. This goes for icicles too.
- New York Times: With Indoor Rinks Closed, Players Turn to ‘Speakeasy Hockey’
- Vox: Figure skating is on thin ice. Here’s how to fix it.
- The Spruce: How to Build a Simple Backyard Ice-Skating Rink
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]