Top 10 Health-Related News Events in Colorado Springs

by Amy Porter on December 31, 2011

Everyone has their top 10 favorite events.  What are yours? These are Terra Essentials, the good, the bad and what needs to be  remembered in alternative and holistic health for the year 2011.

  1. Regional Planning
    When does emphasis on planning take precedence over actually making change?  These are 3 examples of on-going regional plans.  It’s the last one that deserves the praise.After months of working on Phase 2 of the Pikes Peak Regional  Sustainability Plan which includes a very well-scripted health section, El Paso County Commissioners shot down the proposal after giving tentative approval.Colorado Springs released its Quality of Life Indicators(QLI) to mixed reviews.  (Yes, there was an overlapping of people on the 2 plans.)  My favorite quote from one official after learning we had gotten high marks on only 8 items, “Well, it (the QLI) gives us room to grow.”Manitou Springs Forward – Manitou’s planning was the most effective.  They were very inclusive, inviting the townspeople ALL to participate and take an active roll in the planning.  Wisely they set their meetings around potlucks, creating a cooperative atmosphere to talk and visualize.  They then started to act, implementing plans.  I found the informality refreshing; the involvement and buy-in, wonderful; the bureaucracy and paternalism, minimal.
  2. Occupy Monosanto
    When Colorado Springs hosted its first Monsanto protest in 2011, it was before the Occupy movement began.  Now Monosanto is considered one of the Wall Street bad boys.Whether it is because of the national outcry, their sappy corn syrup commercials or the international embargos on GMO seeds, the attitude towards Monosanto products is changing..As a side note, I read in Thursday, December 29, 2011 edition of the Gazette (yes, I read print media – there’s nothing like newsprint on my fingers) that the seed corn that includes insecticide in it has created a superbug that isn’t affected by the insecticide anymore.
  3. 2012 is the Year of Obesity
    At least that’s what we were told at the various planning meetings, I attended.  Under President Obama’s health initiatives, 2012 will focus on obesity in children and adults.  For adults, this will include information on nutrition and fitness.  For children, it will look at school lunches, fast and pre-packaged foods, and school gardens.On another side note: the City is closing all of the public swimming pools again, except in affluent areas.  They will be re-opened at a later date.  It’s too bad that they didn’t let people know before they ran the Living Social coupon for Memorial Park’s Recreation Center’s pool.
  4. Care and Share (C&S)
    I do love this organization.  Last year, when I interviewed one of their board members about the quality of their food (lot of pre-packaged items), he said “It was better to have a full belly, than no food at all.”  This year, the new spokesperson talked about the C&S farm program that has C&S partnering with local farms and buying their produce.  Their focus is now to provide healthy, fresh & raw foods to the 30 some counties they worked with.
  5. Immunization Forms for Schools
    Before July, parents who wanted to opt out of vaccinating their children, used to fill out a ½ page form (back and front), return it to the school secretary/nurse and then expect a harassing call from an organization questioning the parents decision.Well that’s no more.  Much too many of our surprise, legislation was passed in Denver that allowed the state to produce an intrusive 2-page form that had to be properly signed by a limited number of professionals.  According to one news source, only one other state has requirements this stringent.  Parents rights are being usurped again.
  6. Peak Vista to Buy the Old Community Hospital
    While we may disagree on pharms, I am totally impressed with all Peak Vista has accomplished this year.  This is an organization that has stepped up to provide quality western health care to thousands of uninsured or under-insured people.  When El Paso County Health wasn’t able to fund their breast exam program, Peak Vista took on their clients.  When seniors found it too confusing to deal with multiple locations for their doctors, they created a “patient-centered” campus where all the senior doctors were in one location.Now that most indigent health care is centered either downtown or way north, Peak Vista is looking to buy the Community Hospital building on Academy to provide health care for the rapidly expanding east side.
  7. Thermography Image Courtesy of Integrated Health Solutions

    FDA Waffles Once Again on Thermography
    In June, Marsha Henderson, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health (Acting), issued a warning on using thermography in place of annual mammograms.  The warning wasn’t because she was against thermography.  Thermography uses infra-red scans to detect heat-signatures throughout the body.  It can detect an abnormality before a mammogram can.  They work well together.  In addition, thermography machines costs less as well as it can travel.Ms Henderson’s objection was strictly because there were not enough machines available.  Instead of saying “No to thermography!” she should have said, “How can we make more machines available?”

  8. The Memorial Hospital Saga
    Ever read a story and know that it’s all fiction?  That’s what the citizens are hearing about the sale of Memorial Hospital.  This has been an on-going saga since I moved back to the Springs in 1981.  The question is why sell the hospital when it doesn’t take money from the taxpayers; provides a majority of the indigent care; and has a decent patient to nurse ratio?In this version of the story, the hospital will be leased to the CU Medical School.  That does fill the current need (read the Quality of Life Indicators) of providing first a medical residency program; and then a medical school.
  9. Homicides, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse Fill the Press
    This last week the media described the increase in violence, including the death of another infant.  Some of the increased violence was tied to PTSD.Our region needs to look at the increase of PTSD, both traumatic and chronic and how it affects our citizens.  This is not the first time this has been an issue.  (My soapbox)  PTSD is not treated with a pill as the military alleged last week.  It requires a community effort from medical doctors (treating physical problems); to acupuncturists (resetting the Sidereal clock); to bio-chemists and nutritionists (detoxing and rebalancing adrenaline) and neurofeedback therapists (closed head and trauma issues).Having been a part of this community most of my life, I’ve seen what’s happened after Vietnam and Desert Storm.  PTSD is a community issue.  Left untreated it becomes a homeless issue as well as domestic and child abuse.
  10. Fear – In the year leading up to 2012 we have been inundated with fear: from food shortages and taintings, to planetary alignments, to solar flares, and the end of the Mayan Calendar.  For some reaso, we are supposed to be afraid.What I hope we have learned from the Occupy Wall Street movement is that we are the change.  If we don’t like something, then it is up to us to bring about change.  We have to take responsibility for how things got into disarray and how to fix them.You can buy into the fear or you can buy into being part of the Community.  The choice is yours.

Here’s your first opportunity.  Add to the list.

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