EPA spreads Christmas cheer

first_imgChristmas is indeed one of the most wonderful times of the year. With the holiday season in full swing, the warmth and joy spread during this time, particularly in Guyana, is felt across the length and breadth of this beautiful nation. It is said that the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family wrapped up with each other’s love. Unfortunately, this is a gift not everyone is fortunate to have, whether at Christmas or any other day of the year.It is on this note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pioneered its first ever “Toy and Gift Donation Drive” on December 21, 2018. Almost 100 children from three care centres across Guyana were targeted in efforts to spread some cheer, warm their hearts and remind them that we care.The St John’s Bosco Home in Plaisance on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), the Ruimveldt Children’s Home in Georgetown, and the Hope Children’s Home in Enmore (ECD) were randomly selected to benefit from this Chartable activity. These homes are all non-profit organisations that provide residential care to children in need.To make this event a success, thoughtful gift donations were made by staff of the Agency for at least one child. In addition to presenting each child with an age appropriate toy or personal care package, officers of the Agency gave talks about the EPA and our role in environmental protection. The children were also told why it is important for them to keep and maintain a healthy environment. They were also encourage to reused gift bags and wrappings and take positive actions for the environment.The EPA embraces its corporate and social responsibility as a semi-autonomous organisation, thereby, valuing and carefully considering human rights, the community, environment, and society in which it operates.The Agency wishes to express gratitude to all our partners and those who have worked diligently to ensure protection of our environment and sustainable use of natural resources. As a new year beckons, we hope the goodwill, love and peace of the season permeate your lives and pave the way for rewarding year ahead. Remember to be a part of the solution, not the problem.A productive 2019 everyone, from the management and staff of the Environmental Protection Agency.You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: eit.epaguyana@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.last_img read more

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Experts urge countries to end marketing of breast milk substitutes

first_imgThe United Nations human rights experts have called on member countries, including Guyana, to do more to protect and support breastfeeding as a human right and to end the “inappropriate marketing of breast milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children”.Emphasising the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, the experts stated that they are concerned about the lack of progress made in improving breastfeeding rates globally and in providing women and their children with the support and protection they are entitled to.However, their concerns focused more on the continued misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children. They pointed out that there is little corporate accountability for the adverse consequences of such marketing practices. They stated that this continues to undermine efforts to improve early and exclusive breastfeeding rates.They added that marketing practices act as barriers for women to exercise their rights, as they often negatively affect the choice and ability of mothers to enjoy the many health benefits breastfeeding provides.They posited that governments should do more, and emphasised that breastfeeding is a human rights issue for babies and mothers, and should be protected and promoted for the benefit of both.They called on governments to recognise their core obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant UN human rights treaties to respect, protect and fulfil children’s right to life, survival and development; their right to safe and nutritious foods, and their right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health; and to ensure that women’s rights are protected from harmful interference by non-State actors, in particular the business sector.Governments were urged to act upon their obligations and take all necessary measures to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, and end the inappropriate promotion of breast milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children up to the age of three years.These measures include the adoption and enforcement of comprehensive legislation to end inappropriate marketing practices, provide adequate maternity protection, and protect women from discrimination linked to breastfeeding.Currently, the Public Health Ministry and the Social Protection Ministry are looking to extend the months of maternity leave for women so as to promote the “golden standard” of breastfeeding. Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence has indicated that in 2017, her Ministry would install a facility so that mothers in the workplace of the Ministry can go to breastfeed their babies.She hopes that this measure would be adopted in other Government buildings and also in the Private Sector community.last_img read more

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An ambitious youngster

first_img“I knew early on that his enthusiasm and heart was much higher than the average kid’s,” Espinoza said. Espinoza soon realized he would have to give Uriah more training to keep him challenged. Espinoza decided to begin training the boy in XMA or Extreme Martial Arts, a new high-intensity, free-form martial arts program. “It’s like all the Jackie Chan movies, except without the wires,” Espinoza said. When he grows up, Uriah wants to be a martial arts instructor, and to star in martial-arts films. Mother Cindy Sheldon said that’s all right with her. She drives Uriah to training, and also to gymnastics classes and acting auditions. The boy is appearing in a national Midas commercial. She teaches him at home. “Some people in my family have told me not to let Uriah burn out,” Sheldon said. “But we draw limits. He wanted to add horseback riding classes, but I said he would have to give up some other activity because there are only so many hours in the day.” Of his martial arts training, his mother says: “Sometimes I get scared that he’ll get hurt, but I have had to learn to get over it.” With fierce intensity, Sheldon ran across the tae kwon do dojo, and with his forearm broke two pinewood planks held by his instructor. When asked if it hurt, he smiled, then said, “If you think you will get hurt, then you will, but if you say I can do it, than you can, too.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – He can jumpkick, twirl in the air and and break two pinewood planks with his forearm. And he’s only 9. In his gray and black martial arts uniform, Uriah Sheldon could be mistaken for a youngster dressed as ninja for Halloween. But he is very serious about his martial arts. “Sometimes I just close my eyes and think of all my moves,” Uriah said, a smile taking over his face during training last week for his black belt test. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsUriah is preparing to audition for the World Demonstration Team for the American Tae Kwon Do Association in Orlando, Fla. The youngster is already a five-time state champion. Martial arts studio owner Gavin Espinoza, who instructs the boy at his Town Center Drive studio, said he knew Uriah was different from the moment he met him, but it wasn’t by his skills at first. “I was so tickled by his strong Southern accent,” Espinoza said. Uriah moved with his family to Santa Clarita two years ago from rural Alabama, where he’d trained at a martial arts studios and earned his blue belt – six levels below black belt – in tae kwon do, a Korean martial art. The boy’s spirit made him stand out, Espinoza said. last_img read more

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TWIN TOWNS BOXER GETS STAMP OF APPROVAL

first_imgIt was a proud day for the O’Reilly family, the Twin Towns Boxing Club and Donegal when boxer Stephen O’Reilly collected the first 55c stamp in his honour this week.Ballybofey man Stephen, tipped as a future Olympic contender, features on the stamp to commemorate the Centenary of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.Stephen travelled with his family and friends along with loyal members of the Twin Towns ABC. Well-known coach Brian Anderson, who has worked with Stephen since he was a youngster, said the day was a very proud one for all involved.The stamp features Stephen (wearing red) in action against his long-time rival David Joyce of St.Michael’s ABC in Athy.The Donegal sportsman has won nine national titles since taking up the sport when he wandered into the Finn Valley Centre aged just eight and began sparring for fun.The new stamp can be purchased, together with a special edition First Day Cover envelope at www.irishstamps.ie or at the GPO in Dublin. All Stephen needs now is to keep his fingers crossed about a possible chance at the Olympic team where he can prove once and for all he will take some licking after putting his stamp on the sport.The offer of a place on the Olympic Team is probably already in the post!EndsTWIN TOWNS BOXER GETS STAMP OF APPROVAL was last modified: April 14th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:stampStephen O’ReillyTwin Towns ABClast_img read more

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Pompey vs QPR: Joe Gallen looking forward to FA Cup tie against familiar face

first_img Getty 8 Following the duo’s short-lived spell at Rotherham in 2016, the next port of call was Fratton Park, with Joe signing on the dotted line a week after Jackett agreed a two-year deal to take over the reins in June 2017.They have surpassed expectations to date, with Pompey currently lying top of League One, ahead of the likes of Sunderland and Charlton.They have already beaten Championship opposition in the shape of high-flying Norwich this season, with Andre Green’s stoppage-time winner securing them a spot in round four of the FA Cup.Saturday’s clash is one where every member of the Gallen family, bar one, will be praying for an away win as QPR come to town. The Blue and White blood runs thick through the Gallen brothers’ veins.Joe, Steve and Kevin all come from footballing backgrounds, with their father Jim the instigator in drumming Queens Park Rangers Football Club into them.The youngest of the three, Kevin, remains a club legend after a superb playing career at Loftus Road.It was behind the scenes where Joe and Steve played their role, and very key ones too, with a particular emphasis on youth. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury “We’re talking win percentages, promotions, buying and selling players, making money – it’s been the same at every club.“Look what he did at Millwall, then there was the record points tally at Wolves, and he isn’t too doing badly here at Portsmouth is he?“People don’t necessarily look at the facts these days.“The truth is there for everyone to see, but some people clearly don’t like it.”So can Portsmouth maintain their surge at the top of League One and be crowned champions?Gallen admits he didn’t expect Pompey to be challenging at the top of the division, but remains hopeful they can maintain their focus in the final few months of the season and get the job done. After having to retire from the game at 26, Joe’s mind turned immediately towards coaching.Within two years he had acquired all his coaching badges, subsequently taking charge of the youth team at QPR in 1998.He went on to hold several different roles in W12, most notably as head of youth development, before eventually departing the club in 2007.Twelve years on and a lot has happened in that time. He continued: “All my family are QPR fans, we love the club. We’ve all sort of worked there as well in some capacity over the years.“Kevin obviously had a fantastic playing career there, and behind the scenes Steve and myself did our bit, too.“We’re all QPR mad. Family wise the cousins, uncles, brothers, sisters – you name it – will be out in their droves and coming to the game.”With three promotions to his name and an average win percentage of over 44 per cent in his managerial career, Gallen insists that close ally Jackett still doesn’t get the respect he deserves.“He’s a very successful manager in his own right, but he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves,” insists Gallen.“If you based it on the stats and the facts, Kenny’s record is absolutely outstanding. Jackett led Wolves back to the Championship at the first attempt in 2014 with a record points tally He has forged a formidable partnership with Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, who enjoyed a successful stint working as Ian Holloway’s No 2 at QPR from 2001 to 2004.The pair have experienced many memorable moments together along the way, achieving promotion from League One with Millwall in 2010 after beating Swindon 1-0 in the play-off final at Wembley.Better was to follow when Joe linked up with Jackett at Wolves back in May 2013.Bereft of confidence having been relegated to the third tier, the pair masterminded an instant return to the Championship, winning the league with a record points tally. latest revealed MOST READ IN FOOTBALL Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions huge blow Portsmouth assistant Joe Gallen, pictured at Wolves, is looking forward to facing his beloved QPR The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Jackett and Gallen are searching for a third promotion working together 8 8 RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Joe’s youngest brother, Kevin, remains a club legend among QPR supporters center_img Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT gameday cracker REVEALED Jackett celebrates play-off glory with Millwall back in May 2010 Portsmouth fans celebrate promotion to League One two years ago Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Middle brother, Steve, right, enjoyed a successful spell coaching numerous age groups at QPR right up to the first team BEST OF 8 The fourth round of the FA Cup is upon us.A competition that started with 736 clubs is now down to the final 32.Barnet are the only non-league team left in the hat, but there are plenty of lower league sides out to take a scalp this weekend.The FA Cup fourth round draw in fulltalkSPORT’s Matchday Live show will be hosted by Adrian Durham at Fratton Park as Portsmouth, currently leading the way in League One, take on Steve McClaren’s QPR from the Championship.Ahead of that match, talkSPORT caught up with Pompey’s assistant manager Joe Gallen – who comes from a family with their fair share of associations to the west London outfit… Speaking to talkSPORT, Pompey assistant Gallen insists that QPR go into the game slight favourites, despite only recently ending a dreadful cup record.He said: “I can sense the QPR fans are really excited about this one.“There hasn’t been too many cups runs for the club over the years, so this is a game for them to really look forward to.“It takes the pressure off us being at home and playing against someone in a higher division.“We pulled off a shock in the last round squeezing through with a last minute goal (at Norwich).“I don’t think we start off as the favourites, though. I think Steve McClaren will be taking this game very seriously, and they’ll be looking to bounce back (from losing 4-1 to Preston).” “All of our focus and energy is on getting this football club promoted to the Championship,” he says.“It’s a fantastic place to be and the fans are something else.“Every game is basically a sell-out at home. Our average home attendance is around the 18,000 mark and that in itself speaks volumes.“The passion the fans have for this club is second to none.“We’ve been up the top for the majority of the season. I personally didn’t expect us to get there and then stay there.”He concluded: “Our players deserve a lot of credit for keeping the momentum going.“We’ve brought in a lot of players on free transfers and from the non-league scene, take Jamal Lowe for example he’s been nothing short of exceptional. 8 8 Kenny Jackett’s men lead the pack in League One Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won SORRY 8 “It’s about getting those rough diamonds and moulding them into better players.“I did think it would take a bit more time for them to settle in as there were a lot of changes over the summer.“We don’t have a big squad and when you look at the stature and financial muscle that some of the other sides in this league have we don’t compare.“Staying up at the top is going to be tough as we’ve got the likes of Luton and Sunderland behind us, but this group of players will not stop going until the very last minute.”It’s that work ethic that Jackett and Gallen have instilled into their respective squads over the years which makes a third promotion together all the more likely come May. 8 Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion last_img read more

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Premier League winners’ podium spotted in Liverpool on final day

first_img gameday cracker Premier League officials have decided to send the real trophy to the AMEX Stadium, while a replica, which is identical to the real thing and also made from solid sterling silver, will be at Anfield.If Liverpool do win the title, they will receive the real thing at a later date.In previous years, the league have put on helicopters to transfer the trophy around the country if needed but that won’t be the case this time. REPLY ADVICE REVEALED Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ huge blow no dice Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card center_img Liverpool can lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in their history on Sunday afternoon.The Reds must get a result at home to Wolves and pray for a slip-up from title rivals Manchester City, who travel to Brighton with a one-point advantage. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS tense Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City The Premier League winners podium is all set at Anfield.#LFC pic.twitter.com/Vxr0biqnAM— Thatsagoal (@thatsagoal) May 12, 2019And while City are strong favourites to retain their crown, only a fool would try and predict the next chapter in what has been a remarkable week of football.In case the title ends up in Merseyside, the Premier League are ready and waiting with the winners’ podium at Anfield.However, the Reds will not lift the real trophy if they seal a first top-flight title since 1990 this afternoon. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury shining last_img read more

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WCU Breaks Record for Enrollment

first_imgThe size of the student body at Western Carolina University is at an all-time high, with the university posting a record total enrollment this fall that is getting a boost via a corresponding record in freshman enrollment.Total enrollment at WCU now stands at 10,806 students, smashing the old record of 10,382 students set in the fall of 2014. WCU’s freshman class this year totals 1,913 students, surpassing the old mark of 1,859 students set in 1972 during an enrollment boom near the end of the Vietnam era.University officials’ expectations of record enrollment numbers were confirmed Friday, Sept. 2, when the figures for fall were released by WCU’s Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, which compiles official census statistics for reporting to the University of North Carolina system.Although classes began at the university Monday, Aug. 22, enrollment numbers are not official until after the 10th day of classes, referred to as “census day.” Even then, the numbers are not written in stone until any errors have been corrected and files submitted to UNC General Administration.This year’s total enrollment increased by 466 students over last year, a 4.5 percent jump. That surge is driven in large part by a nearly 18 percent increase in the number of first-time, full-time freshmen. This year’s freshman class grew by 289 students over last year.Phil Cauley, WCU’s director of student recruitment and transitions, said many factors contributed to the size of the freshman class, including some that are external, such as growth in the numbers of high school seniors. This year’s increase also involves strategic moves taken by the WCU Office of Admission, he said. With most North Carolina high school juniors now taking the ACT college admissions test, which focuses on overall achievement rather than a student’s ability to take a standardized test, the admission staff was able to reach out to more students who have academic and co-curricular interests that would be a good fit at WCU.Also, the Office of Admission revamped its communications with potential students and school counselors and strongly encouraged students to visit campus. As a result, attendance at open house events and for weekday campus tours increased over prior years, with those coming to campus having a chance to see construction taking place on several exciting building projects, he said.In collaboration with WCU’s Honors College, invitations for students to join that program for high-achieving students went out earlier and to more applicants, Cauley said. To attract other prospective students, scholarship information and awards were sent out earlier, academic programs across campus expanded outreach efforts, and numerous offices joined in recruitment initiatives.“The old adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ can be amended to ‘it takes a campus community to attract and retain a student,’” he said. “Of course, word-of-mouth is the best advertisement, and the enrollment and retention gains that WCU has made in recent years mean more continuing students and graduates are sharing WCU success stories with friends, relatives and colleagues.”The “retention” referred to by Cauley is the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate, the percentage of fall 2015 freshmen who returned this fall to start their sophomore years. WCU’s census report indicates that retention has remained steady since last year at just over 80 percent. That figure has risen about 14 points in the last decade.Another factor in the growth in total enrollment over last fall is an increase in the number of students taking graduate courses offered by WCU. That number grew by 7.6 percent, from 1,519 students in 2015 to 1,635 students this year.Brian Kloeppel, dean of WCU’s Graduate School and Research, said the jump in graduate enrollment is a result of a combination of factors including the quality of the academic programs, an increase in resources targeted toward marketing and student recruitment, and an effort to streamline application steps and reduce hurdles to enrollment.Even though WCU’s enrollment numbers for this fall have just come in, the admission staff is already deep into the next student recruitment cycle and is working on contacting students who might be interested in being part of the freshman class of 2017, Cauley said.WCU’s online student application was activated in mid-August, and more than 2,400 high school students already have submitted applications. Also, the high school college fair season is getting cranked up and admission counselors are hitting the road to talk to prospective students at events around the state and Southeast, he said.“We encourage interested high school seniors to make application during the early action period, which ends on Nov. 15,” Cauley said. “The early applicant has the greatest opportunities to be considered for admission and for other opportunities such as the Honors College and scholarship consideration. With changes to federal financial aid regulations, applying early is especially advantageous since students will now be able to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also known as FAFSA) beginning in October, as opposed to having to wait until January.”Prospective students will have an opportunity to see what college life is like at WCU by attending an Open House scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, or one of two others to be held in early 2017, on Feb. 25 and March 25. More information and registration is available at openhouse.wcu.edu.Also, WCU representatives will be going on the road Monday, Sept. 12, through Wednesday, Sept. 14, to introduce WCU to prospective students during evening events in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. Information about those events is available at ontour.wcu.edu.last_img read more

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GameServers Responds to the Call of Duty with Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 Family

first_imgDownload now  To support the much-anticipated multiplayer launch of Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops* game, hosting provider GameServers needed to substantially expand its data center capacity, delivering outstanding performance for millions of new players while controlling power, cooling, and real estate costs. The company decided to build a cloud environment stretching across 25 data centers with new servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series. The new servers increased processing density by 150 percent, enabling GameServers to provide an exceptional gaming experience while keeping customer pricing low.“It was clear that Intel Xeon processor 5600 series could deliver the best performance and greatest density of all the processors we tested,” explained Anthony Quon, chief operating officer for GameServers.To learn more, download our new GameServers business success story.  As always, you can find this one, and many others, in the Intel.com Reference Room and IT Center.*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.last_img read more

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It’s Time We Made Technology Work for Clinicians

first_imgWhen systems that are designed to support medicine aren’t embraced by clinical teams, the adopted solution is often forced rather than re-evaluated. It’s therefore refreshing to see organisations take a more pragmatic approach, and at the King’s Fund Annual Conference in November, two talks in particular challenged the way in which existing healthcare practice and IT systems adapt to one another to ensure successful outcomes for patients.Humanising care with technologyDr Parashkev Nachev, a Senior Clinical Research Associate at UCL and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University College London NHS Foundation Trust, talked about the choice we face between mechanising humans, or humanising machines. For too long, he argues, digital patient record systems have been a disruptive factor in patient care, because they aren’t designed with input from clinicians. He pointed to the fact that, especially in hospital care, clinicians need to be hands-on – looking at, touching, and examining patients. But health record systems require users to turn away from patients to enter data via a keyboard, which represents a barrier between patient and carer.This turns highly trained consultant physicians into data-entry clerks – mechanised humans. A more obvious solution is to rethink the way this data is recorded so it reflects how clinicians work – to humanise the technology.This led to Dr Nachev and his colleagues at UCLH developing the StrokePad – a comprehensive, natively tablet-based, digital patient record for stroke care, which was demonstrated at the conference on a Dell Venue 11 Pro device, powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 Processor. Crucially, it natively supports a range of inputs that come naturally to clinicians in the way they record data, including handwriting, iconography, and the spatial positioning of notes.Another huge benefit of the system is that it can produce human-readable discharge reports by combining the patient data that it holds with natural-language-generation techniques. These reports are vital for follow-on care once a patient leaves hospital, and can take up to an hour for a human to write-up manually. Indeed, most stroke units will commit time equivalent to one junior doctor per day to writing these discharge summaries. Existing digital patient record systems can produce them, but the output is more of a data dump, whereas caregivers want readable prose – another example, Nachev says, of software design that doesn’t take end-user behaviour into account.He adds: “StrokePad lets us digitise data at the point of care in a way that properly engages with the natural modes of communications that doctors use, and it takes advantage of digitisation to save time in accumulating data and distilling it into a letter. Then it generates an output that’s intelligible to a human being, not a machine. No systems, certainly in stroke care, do this adequately at the moment.”One view into patient dataHasib Aftab, Assistant Director, IT and Systems, NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was facing a different set of problems, but the theme was the same: technology that should have been making care easier was actually adding complexity.Healthcare in Camden was delivered by multiple providers who all used different systems to store their patient records, making accessing and sharing information very challenging. To overcome this, NHS Camden CCG set about building Camden Integrated Digital Record (CIDR), a web-based portal based on Dell/Intel architecture that allows health and social care professionals in the borough to view information from multiple care providers in one place.It combines data from four NHS Trusts, the local authority, and the NHS Coordinate My Care system, and covers eight different information systems. Future developments include more comprehensive single-sign-on capabilities, more integrations with care and technology partners, and mobile applications.Improving the quality of careThe primary driver for this was improved quality of care. By having visibility of all of a patient’s data, clinicians can make more informed decisions, better understand a patient’s previous experience, and ensure patient safety in areas like prescribing.Patients most likely to benefit are those with the highest need and most complex conditions. On top of this, CIDR obviously reduces the administrative complexity and cost of delivering good care by reducing duplication.The StrokePad and NHS Camden CCG projects have a common goal at their heart: the adaptation of technology to suit the needs of healthcare, rather than compromising healthcare practices to fit in with technology that doesn’t support them in the right way.With a vast number of opportunities available and a growing appetite to innovate, healthcare organisations need to ensure they are equipped and ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Better collaboration between organisations and technology providers will ensure that all parties are able to identify what capabilities they need and understand how technology can help address them.Dr Parashkev Nachev and Hasib Aftab presented alongside Gordon Morrison, Director of Government Relations, Intel Security, as part of a session entitled “Technology solutions for better value.” Read Gordon’s blog Shifting our thinking: Healthcare and the cyber security landscape to learn more about the event. Read more about Intel Health and Life SciencesJoin the discussion @IntelHealthLatest health IT news: Sign up for the Intel NewsletterContact the author on LinkedInlast_img read more

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House Prepares to Move STEM Immigration Reform

first_imgCongress could be inching closer to allowing more high-skilled foreign workers to remain in the country. The change in U.S. immigration law would be a huge victory for a popular idea that has been battered by the sharp political in-fighting over the broader question of illegal immigration. Heartened by the tenor of a House of Representatives’ hearing last week on the topic, advocates see growing support in Congress for giving permanent residency status—commonly known as a green card—to foreign-born students who have earned graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The students would need to have attended reputable U.S. institutions and have a job offer that pays the prevailing wage. High-tech entrepreneurs who start companies that hire U.S. workers and become successful would also be eligible for green cards. The changes are aimed at keeping talented STEM professionals from going back to their home countries and competing against U.S. firms. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), who is chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has been the main stumbling block to any major reform affecting STEM professionals. Despite White House support for the idea, reform bills introduced this year by both Democrats and Republicans have languished because of his opposition. Smith appears most concerned about the unintended consequences of expanding the pool of legal immigrants. He has questioned whether the benefits should extend to those with masters’ degrees as well as doctoral recipients, and the definition of which fields should be eligible for such favored treatment. He also worries about opening the door to fly-by-night institutions enrolling students who are more interested in obtaining a green card than pursuing a career as a scientist or engineer. 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At the 5 October hearing he asked the four witnesses for yes or no answers to five pointed questions relating to these issues. Despite their different perspectives on the value of more STEM-trained immigrants, all favored some version of the reforms being debated. And those in attendance are guessing that the answers Smith received will eventually be folded into legislation. Smith won’t disclose his plans. But a committee staff member says that he “is considering a few proposals. Last week’s hearing by the Judiciary Committee’s immigration panel, the staffer adds, “shows that [the topic] is on his radar.” Advocates expect him to either introduce his own bill or throw his considerable weight behind one of several pieces of legislation with similar goals. “He has expressed support for a STEM bill, and told us that it could happen this year,” says Russell Harrison, a lobbyist for IEEE-USA, the public policy arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. “If he introduces his own bill, the odds of its passage would be very good.” One of those proposals, expected to be introduced as soon as today, comes from Representative Raúl Labrador (R-ID). A former immigration attorney who grew up in Puerto Rico, Labrador is not a member of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the topic. But Labrador has been working with another freshman legislator, Representative Tim Griffin (R-AR), who chaired last week’s hearing and is preparing his own bill. Labrador’s bill contains several of the safeguards that Smith believes are essential, including asking the National Science Foundation to certify the research quality of the eligible institution. It would also give NSF control of 87% of the money generated by a $2000-per-person fee collected from companies seeking to hire such graduates. The fees would support college scholarships for U.S. students in STEM fields, improvements in elementary and secondary school STEM education, and research on enhancing undergraduate STEM education at minority-serving institutions. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Labrador’s bill is its extensive overlap with another bill, HR 2161, that was introduced in June by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Lofgren’s bill is given no chance of passage because she is a member of the minority party in the House. But that doesn’t mean its contents aren’t important. As Lofgren, a long-time champion of STEM immigration reform, noted during last week’s hearing, “as I heard Mr. Smith ask his questions, I said to myself: ‘Yes, that is already in my bill.’ ” However, lobbyists don’t expect Labrador’s bill to be the one that emerges from the pack. And it’s an open question whether Smith will seek Democratic co-sponsors if and when he does endorse a bill. (According to those who follow the STEM immigration debate closely, Lofgren wanted to co-sponsor a much narrower bill introduced last month by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that would lift the current ceiling limiting the number of immigrants according to their country of origin. The Chaffetz bill, HR 3012, would benefit information technology companies trying to retain Indian software engineers who now face a 70-year wait for a green card. But Smith nixed the offer as payback for Lofgren’s opposition to Smith’s attempt to toughen E-Verify, a system for employers to weed out illegal aliens.) “[House Republicans] may need to create their own bill, with only Republican sponsors,” says Amy Scott of the Association of American Universities, a member of the pro-reform COMPETE America coalition. “But I would hope that [Lofgren] would help move the bill forward, even if she’s not a sponsor.”last_img read more

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