Month: December 2023

HILL: Smith government must stand up to Ottawa to fix health care

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According to a recent report commissioned by the Smith government, there are several ways the province can improve Alberta’s health-care system. But for fundamental change, Alberta must stand up to Ottawa.

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Health advice: Take precautions when family member has mono

Mono is classically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but very similar symptoms can be caused by other agents, viruses and even a parasite as well. The virus is transmitted through saliva.

Dear Dr. Roach: My daughter was exposed to infectious mononucleosis (“mono”) at college, and she is coming to spend a week at home. What precautions do we need to take to make sure that the rest of the family remains safe? How long does the virus stay active on surfaces?

Also, can she get her flu and COVID shots?


Mono is classically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but very similar symptoms can be caused by other agents, viruses and even a parasite as well. The virus is transmitted through saliva.

The latency period (the time from exposure until the time of symptoms) is longer than you might expect; four to six weeks is typical. Not everybody develops symptoms. Younger children seldom develop symptoms at all when infected, yet still receive immunity. Unfortunately, they may shed infectious virus particles for months, years or even decades.

It is likely that the adults in your family are immune, since 90% of adults have had an EBV infection before. EBV is not a particularly infectious disease, so transmission to family members is uncommon. Still, you should avoid sharing anything that saliva touches, like food, cups or toothbrushes. You don’t need to take special precautions about surfaces.

She can get the flu and COVID vaccines as long as she feels well and doesn’t have a fever.

Dear Dr. Roach: I am an aging athlete (60 years old) with a history of minor injuries and wear and tear on my body that has resulted in minor arthritis. Also, I have recurring bouts of tendonitis, IBS and depression, so I avoid foods that

Talk about getting shirty! Fashion victims who let their quirky clothing do all the talking with very detailed slogans

A T-shirt with a fun slogan can elevate a bachelorette party, family holiday or group outing.

But gone are the days of hoodies with simple nicknames printed across the back, or cheesy puns splashed across the front.

Now, it’s all about bizarre, hyper-specific text, leaving no whacky detail out – and BoredPanda has collated a selection of photos showing fashion hopefuls wearing them in eyebrow raising scenarios.

One man at an NBA game in Philadelphia ditched team merch to don a white top that simply said: ‘Vaccinated and ready to commit tax fraud.’ 

Another man in the US sported a lime green shirt with one – albeit questionable – demand: ‘Legalize mother/son marriage.’ 

Courtside fashion! One style revolutionary sported some unique attire during an NBA game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

Courtside fashion! One style revolutionary sported some unique attire during an NBA game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia 

Another photo showed a commuter in Tokyo sporting a crewneck that simply – yet puzzlingly – read: ‘Dissentery’.

Here, FEMAIL looks at some of the most quirky, and at times bafflingly specific, shirts people have reached for in their closet; for better or worse. 

Questionable taste! One man, understood to be in the US, appeared to lose a bet as he wore a shirt with a very specific demand

Questionable taste! One man, understood to be in the US, appeared to lose a bet as he wore a shirt with a very specific demand

Designer dysentery? A commuter in Tokyo may have had fellow passengers confused with this interestingly spelt print

Designer dysentery? A commuter in Tokyo may have had fellow passengers confused with this interestingly spelt print 

Carp couture! A fishing enthusiast understood to be from the US let other people know exactly what he's thinking

Carp couture! A fishing enthusiast understood to be from the US let other people know exactly what he’s thinking

Fashionable family! One man enjoying his day at Disneyland in Florida proudly wore a very unique gift from his mother

Fashionable family! One man enjoying his day at Disneyland in Florida proudly wore a very unique gift from his mother

Construction chic! One man celebrated forklift operators with a very colorful and eclectic T-shirt

Construction chic! One man celebrated forklift operators with a very colorful and eclectic T-shirt

Garfield's garbs! This extremely specific shirt leaves little room for misinterpretation of what's going on

Garfield’s garbs! This extremely specific shirt leaves little room

VUMC to launch Program for Health Equity Research | VUMC Reporter


by Kathy Whitney

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s new Program for Health Equity Research (PHER), which will kick off next year, aims to become the nation’s leader in health equity research that’s inclusive, supportive and diverse by creating a rigorous environment for application-driven research with rapid response to policies and practices.

The mission of PHER is to establish a community of scholars and collaborators across VUMC to generate and advance research to inform and guide innovative solutions that move beyond addressing health disparities but that also advance our understanding of what works, for whom, and under what conditions to promote health and health outcomes. PHER will be guided by the following goals:

  • Community building among health equity research scholars.
  • Collaboration and training in health equity research.
  • Health equity research workforce initiatives.
  • Health equity research pilot awards program.
  • Relationship building between health equity researchers and community experts.

Administratively, the program will be part of the Center for Health Services Research (CHSR) and is also supported equally by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health and the Office of Health Equity.

“This important new program will provide valuable resources and community-building activities for VUMC faculty and trainees engaged in studying and improving equity in health outcomes,” said Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, SFHM, professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research and of the Center for Health Services Research.

EbeleMary-Anne Umeukeje, MD, MPH, and Velma McBride Murry, MS, PhD, will serve as co-directors of PHER.

Umeukeje is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. She serves as a diversity liaison for the VUMC Nephrology Division, and a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the American Society of Nephrology. Her research aims to reduce the high morbidity and mortality associated with

Over 400K Albertans waiting for health care: report

Millions are on waitlists to receive health care services across Canada, according to a recent report, and while Alberta’s numbers are lower than a few provinces, thousands still face long waits to get the care they need.

Dom Lucyk, communications director with, says the report released on Boxing Day and compiled by the think tank shows a little more than 3.1 million Canadians are waiting for surgery, a diagnostic scan or to see a specialist, and it’s “unacceptable.”

In Alberta, that’s just over 415,000 people waiting for surgeries, diagnostic testing, and for a specialist. Ontario has around 900,000 people on a waitlist, while Quebec has around 1,350,000.

The think tank says the number of Albertans on waitlists rose from 2022, with 1,000 more people waiting for surgeries and more than 6,000 in the queue for diagnostic testing.

“The sheer numbers show that there are thousands and thousands of stories of people that are waiting too long,” Lucyk told CityNews.

He says some people die while waiting and others end up with conditions that are too late to treat adequately.

“Not everyone who is on the waitlist has a story that dramatic. Sometimes it’s something like a hip surgery, where you wait a year — you wait in pain – which is not something you should have to do and your life isn’t threatened — but still, quality of life is important to consider as well.”

However, those numbers are a conservative estimate.

“The true total is actually, probably over five million. We did some conservative estimates because a lot of areas didn’t give us complete data,” he said.

“Alberta actually did, one of the few provinces that gave us waitlist numbers in all three categories, so kudos to them for transparency.”

This follows a recent report from,

The Top Fashion Trends for 2024: Start the New Year Right With On-Trend Clothing and Accessories

As we eagerly await the ball drop, the fashion landscape is already buzzing with the latest trends set to define 2024. Influenced by the glamour of high-fashion runways and the dynamic world of TikTok, the spectrum of captivating 2024 fashion trends runs the gamut. From groundbreaking new styles to the revival of timeless classics, a diverse array of fashion awaits to rejuvenate your wardrobe and infuse a fresh sense of style as you step into the new year.

While the past year celebrated quiet luxury and minimalist elegance, 2024 is ushering in a chapter of unparalleled style with a collection of unique looks. The runways have been ablaze with the most coveted styles, showcasing the irresistible charm of over-the-top florals and the bold sophistication of heavy metals. Beyond the glamour, casual aesthetics come into focus, with the prevalent coastal grandma aesthetic making way for the TikTok-fueled rise of the eclectic grandpa trend. 

In 2024, a nostalgic wave is set to revive beloved classics that might just have you rediscovering hidden gems in the depths of your closet. The resurgence of sporty chic and preppy looks is on the horizon, with polo shirts and rugby shirts poised to steal the spotlight once again. Adding to the nostalgic revival, fringe accessories and clothing that blend timeless elegance with a contemporary flair will make a triumphant return in the new year.

To give you a leg up on the fashion trends that’ll be everywhere in 2024, we’ve pulled together the hottest styles to elevate your wardrobe.

Over-the-top Florals

Florals are set to reclaim the spotlight in 2024, this time reinvented with a modern twist that incorporates styles adorned with three-dimensional floral embellishments. Whether it’s elegant dresses or skirts, get ready to see over-the-top floral clothing, with a specific emphasis on roses.


Sask. family says persistence is key while trying to access specialist care

While recent statistics suggest that Saskatchewan is making progress on shortening waitlists for surgeries and diagnostic scans – some residents are still facing serious delays in accessing certain types of specialists.

After undergoing surgery on his thyroid, Darren Schachtel has faced roadblock after roadblock in his attempts to follow up with an endocrinologist – with the waitlists in Regina measured not in months, but in years.

“You’re kind of left just hanging. You really don’t know. They can’t really tell you. You haven’t got any timeline or anything,” he told CTV News while describing his experience.

According to a recent report from – a think tank that tracks health care delivery across Canada – Saskatchewan is making progress on some fronts.

“We’ve actually seen a positive story in Saskatchewan,” President Colin Craig explained.

As of Dec. 14, 28,361 people are waiting for surgeries in Saskatchewan, while 19,637 residents are in queue to receive diagnostic scans.

The totals mark a -21.2 per cent and a -4.8 per cent decrease since June of 2022.

Part of the improvements, Craig noted, is Saskatchewan’s willingness to adapt in the name of efficiency.

“They’re not afraid of trying different things,” he said. “They’ve decided to send some patients out of province if those patients want to go and get care faster. So that’s a positive thing because for a lot of patients, they just want to put an end to their chronic pain.”

While its good news for those who need surgeries or diagnostic scans – the picture seems to be less bright for those looking to access specialists.

The question of how many people are seeking care from specialists remains a mystery – as Secondstreet’s data contains holes – with specialist

Navigating Singapore’s Evolving Healthcare Landscape: An Update on the Health Information Bill

The Ministry of Health in Singapore has introduced the Health Information Bill (“HIB”) to facilitate the collection and sharing of patients’ health data through the National Electronic Health Record (“NEHR”). The bill aims to ensure data accuracy, simplify data sharing, and establish cybersecurity safeguards. All licensed healthcare providers are mandated to contribute to the NEHR under the HIB, with stricter regulations for Sensitive Health Information. The legislation outlines the rights and obligations of both patients and healthcare professionals, emphasising data protection measures and penalties for non-compliance. The HIB reflects Singapore’s commitment to leveraging technology for enhanced healthcare but underscores the importance of legal compliance and adaptability in this evolving landscape.

First announced in 2022, the Health Information Bill (“HIB”) seeks to facilitate the collection of patients’ health data and allow healthcare providers to share health and administrative data with one another for specific purposes through the National Electronic Health Record (“NEHR”). As Parliament intends to table the HIB within the first half of 2024, the Ministry of Health (“MOH”) is conducting a public consultation from 11 December 2023 to 11 January 2024 on the proposed HIB.

Through the HIB, the MOH intends to achieve the following objectives:

  • ensure health information is kept updated, accurate and accessible;
  • simplify the health data sharing framework to facilitate flow of information between healthcare providers and social care services; and
  • set in place cybersecurity and data security safeguards which providers must comply with.

In this client update,[1] we discuss the significance of the HIB and provide our brief insights on what this new bill may mean to you.

Types of health information covered

In Singapore, the NEHR serves as a central repository of patient health records. Through the HIB, health information recorded on the NEHR will facilitate the

Our best expert advice of 2023 for better mental health

Psychiatrists and psychologists suggest ways to counter anxiety, depression, loneliness, poor sleep and other issues

An illustration of a woman in a boat rowing down a stream beside a mountain. She is rowing towards another mountain that is in the shape of a woman's head with her eyes peacefully closed.
(Celia Jacobs for The Washington Post)

Every week on Well+Being, psychiatrists and psychologists suggest ways to improve our mental health. Here are the 10 of the most popular On Your Mind columns of 2023 with a summary of the advice shared by experts.

1. Three ways to stop getting up at night and improve sleep

Everyone wakes up a few times per night. Cycling out of sleep roughly every 90 minutes to two hours is normal. But frequent wakings can affect physical, emotional and mental functioning. We fail to get adequate quantities of the deepest stages of sleep, and react to disruptions with metabolic, inflammatory and stress responses.

Three less well-known solutions for light sleep and wakings can help. Minimize bathroom breaks by aligning your biological clock with your intended sleep schedule. Treat your sleep apnea by desensitizing yourself to your CPAP machine. And relax hypervigilance and work on feeling safer to sleep better.

Read more on reducing frequent night wakings

2. Avoidance, not anxiety, may be sabotaging your life

By Luana Marques, PhD

In my practice, I see many patients beaten down by anxiety.

Anxiety, though, is not the puppeteer pulling the strings in many of our lives. There is a more subtle and insidious one, and it’s called psychological avoidance. When we avoid certain situations and decisions, it can lead to heightened anxiety and more problems.

Psychological avoidance is a powerful enemy, but there are three science-based skills to fight it. Check in with your thoughts and challenge them. Ask yourself: What is one small step I can take

‘Textile zombie’ v fossil fashion: the battle to clean up the clothing industry in 2023 | Fashion

The year 2023 has been one of hyper-fast fashion, extreme price tags (both high and low), and toxic spills of polyester clothing. It was the year the zombie in the room – the sheer volume of clothing we are producing and buying – took on a life of its own.

The connection between fossil fuels and the synthetics in our clothes really hit home. “Fossil fashion is at the core of many of fast fashion’s worst problems: cheap materials, over-reliance on synthetics, a spiralling waste crisis and spiking emissions,” said Fossil Fuel Fashion, a new organisation that launched at New York Climate Week in September, bringing together a coalition of organisations aiming to phase fossil fuels out from the industry.

Fossil-fuel based polyester is cheap and is the fibre of choice for hyper-fast fashion, which has continued to dominate the market, despite a torrent of criticism in June after the leading producer, Shein, paid for six fashion influencers to travel to their factories in China. The influencers then posted glowing reviews from behind the scenes and the $66bn fashion brand continues to seduce us into buying clothes we didn’t know we wanted and definitely don’t need. The race to the bottom has only just begun, however. The Chinese shopping app Temu, which is giving Shein a run for its money, with its “lightning” 99% discount deals, has been downloaded more than 7m times since it launched in the UK in April.

Justine Aldersey-Williams models her jeans Credit: Raw Photography
Justine Aldersey-Williams models her jeans. Photograph: Raw Photography

But it hasn’t all been bad news. The link between farming and fashion has never been more talked about; “regenerative” is one of the year’s biggest buzzwords. As Safia Minney, founder of Fashion Declares, which is calling for radical change in the industry, explains, fashion is not just

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