Health

BGSU, UT to go separate ways with nursing programs

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS In order to meet the demand for more nurses in the region and across the country, The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will pursue independent nursing programs to educate additional health care providers. UT and BGSU currently partner in a joint nursing consortium. Moving forward with independent programs will provide opportunities for both universities to focus on separate strategies to educate and grow the supply of nurses, which is critical to meeting the future healthcare needs of the region. All current BGSU nursing students and new students beginning their studies in Fall 2018 will continue with the consortium program through graduation and will not be impacted by the change. Under the existing agreement, about 50 BGSU pre-nursing students annually go on to complete their required nursing coursework and clinicals through the UT College of Nursing after two years of pre-nursing studies at BGSU. While the students take their classes at UT during their junior and senior years, they remain BGSU students and are awarded their bachelor’s degree by BGSU. “Health care is a rapidly changing industry and universities need to continue to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide the best education for future health care providers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The nursing profession is more critical than ever and this new organizational structure will allow both UT and BGSU to grow our programs to better meet the need for more high-quality nurses in Ohio and beyond.” The demand for nurses in Ohio and across the nation far exceeds the current supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16 percent to 3.2 million by 2024 with more than one million job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements. “We agree that the time is right to pursue new partnerships,” BGSU President Rodney…

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Luck of the Irish won’t help drunk drivers

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s most popular times to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking alcohol, making this holiday also one of the most dangerous. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on the road our nation’s roads. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 269 lives were lost due in drunk- driving crashes. In 2016, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. To keep the roads safer, Wood County Safe Communities is reaching out with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you plan to celebrate with alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to stay safer:  Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.  If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.  Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let him or her get behind the wheel.  If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, pull over to a safe location and call the police. Your actions could help save a life. Remember this St. Patrick’s Day: Plan Before You Party! Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.


Wood County youth vaping more, drinking alcohol less

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Local teens are downing more caffeinated energy drinks and inhaling more vapors. But fewer are using alcohol, painkillers, cigarettes, cocaine, meth and steroids. More than 10,000 students, in all of county’s public schools’ grades 5 to 12, responded to the biennial Wood County Youth Survey coordinated by Dr. Bill Ivoska. For those who question the wisdom of trusting kids to tell the truth on the surveys, Ivoska wholeheartedly agrees. “Kids lie. We know kids lie,” Ivoska said Friday morning as presented the findings of the survey to its sponsors, the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Board, the Wood County Educational Service Center, and the Wood County Prevention Coalition. The anonymous surveys are designed to catch kids who were fibbing. For example, students who reported using drugs with made-up names were booted from the results. Kids who reported to using all drugs, all the time, had their surveys tossed out. What was left were survey results that local experts feel accurately reflect drug, alcohol, and mental health issues faced by Wood County students. In some ways, the surveys reveal a “whack-a-mole” problem. When local services focus on one issue, that problem decreases. Meanwhile, another problem arises.  For example, local teens have faced heavy-duty warnings about smoking for years. The survey shows the results of that, with cigarette use down 84 percent in teens from 2004 to the present. “Think of the long-term health benefits for those kids,” Ivoska said. Local efforts have been so successful, that the results stand out as better than national trends. “Rates of decline in Wood County are sharper and faster,” Ivoska said. “We’re closing that gateway.” But when one gate closes, another one opens. Vaping has seen a 17 percent increase in use among seniors in the last two year. “Vaping is in a honeymoon period right now,” he said. Many teens consider vaping as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, especially with harmless sounding…


Health district investigates possible sickening of people at fundraiser

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Health District is investigating the possible sickening of guests at a fundraising event Saturday at Glass City Boardwalk. The health district has received reports of 10 to 15 people becoming ill after attending an event for the “We Are Outdoors” organization on Saturday evening. The number of people sickened is actually close to 100, according to a person who attended the event and suffered from stomach and intestinal problems afterwards. So the health district’s sanitarians and epidemiologist are trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to determine what may have caused people to get sick, according to Lana Glore, director of the environmental division at the health district. “We have just started our investigation,” Glore said Wednesday morning, after being notified by a few people late on Tuesday of their sickness. “It’s real preliminary right now.” A health district sanitarian inspected Glass City Boardwalk, at 27820 East Broadway Road, in Moline, Wednesday morning. The business hosts events such as wedding receptions, corporate gatherings, conventions and seminars. The sanitarian collected information on any sick employees, food handling practices, food temperatures, and food storage. The menu for the Saturday evening fundraiser was reportedly steak, potatoes, green beans and salad prepared by Glass City Boardwalk. Dessert was a sheet cake from Kroger in Perrysburg. The next step in the investigation involves health district epidemiologist Connor Rittwage interviewing those attending the event who were sickened, and look for commonalities in the items they ate that evening. Samples are reportedly being sought to send to Columbus for possible pathogens. An estimated 300 people attended the event, which was the inaugural fundraiser for “We Are Outdoors,” a group that combines the interest of hunters and fisherman with the concerns of environmentalists and conservationists. “Now we just have to put pieces together,” Glore said. Glore was uncertain if any of those who became ill had to be hospitalized. She said that past sanitarian inspections at…


Opioid war being waged, with casualties close to home

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The chief toxicologist with Lucas County Coroner’s Office studies death for a living. He has never seen anything like the opiate epidemic. “There has never, ever, ever, ever been anything in our country like this,” Dr. Robert Forney said Sunday during an opioid forum sponsored by the Eastwood Community Improvement Corporation and led by Dr. Ted Bowlus, a Wood County commissioner and physician. “We are killing more people every year than we lost in the Vietnam War,” Forney said at the meeting held in Pemberville. The death statistics are similar to a 737 crashing each day. “The numbers are just unbelievable.” Forney’s toxicology work covers 21 counties, including Wood. In 2010, his office saw eight opioid deaths. By 2017, that number had jumped to 350. “There are going to be more in 2018,” he predicted. Others on the panel are working to prevent those numbers from growing in Wood County. Most recently, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson set up the Addiction Response Collaborative. “There is an industry out there that hates what we’re doing here today,” Dobson said of the illegal drug trade. “We’re at war with that industry.” Dobson, who lost a stepson to opiate overdose, said his office takes that war seriously. “We’re one of the most aggressive offices prosecuting drug dealers who kill their buyers.” But that isn’t enough, he added. “In a war, we take in the refugees.” That’s where ARC comes in. Belinda Brooks and Deputy Ryan Richards work with ARC to keep track of opiate addicts and give them every opportunity to get clean. For Richards, that means random checks. “I want to make sure he knows I’m watching him.” For Brooks, that means getting the addicts set up with Medicaid and other services. “We stay with them for the long haul. It’s so easy for them to relapse,” said Brooks, whose daughter was an opiate addict. Since ARC started in November, the program has…


Dozens ready to go bald for a cause at BGSU St. Baldrick’s event

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of children’s cancer research, will host one of its signature head-shaving events at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union at Bowling Green State University Feb. 18, when more than 60 people will shave their heads to raise money for lifesaving childhood cancer research. The event will include barbers from Ambrosia Salon & Spa, Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards, BGSU Interim President Dr. Rodney Rogers, BGSU Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost Dr. Thomas Gibson, the St. Baldrick’s Honored Family the Roszmans, additional speakers, musical performances and a raffle. Over the past 6 years, BGSU has raised more than $108,000 for St. Baldrick’s, shaving 635 heads and donating 343 ponytails. Every 2 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide, and in the U.S. one in five kids diagnosed won’t survive. Those who do survive often suffer long-term effects from treatments too harsh for their developing bodies. As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. From its beginnings, St. Baldrick’s has believed that kids deserve the chance to be kids – fun-loving, carefree, refreshingly honest, and always a little goofy – and deserve the chance at a healthy future. That’s why donations raised at events like this have made it possible for St. Baldrick’s to fund more than $232 million to support the best childhood cancer research, wherever it takes place. About St. Baldrick’s Foundation As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer by funding some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just…


Hospital, chamber team up to offer blood analysis screenings

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Wood County Hospital and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will host their 14th Annual Blood Analysis Program on Saturday, April 28 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Wood County Hospital. This comprehensive blood analysis screening is for multiple health risk indicators including but not limited to kidney function, electrolytes, liver function and lipid profile and requires a 10 hour fast. Additional available tests are PSA for men and TSH (thyroid) for men and women. Cost of the program is $50 for BG Chamber Investors and $60 for Non-Investors, with $25 each for the additional tests. Blood pressure checks are also offered. The results of this fasting blood test should be used as a guide to determine your current health status and to make positive changes in diet, exercise or lifestyle to enhance your well-being. The screening should not take the place of routine physicals. Although normal ranges are listed, only you and your physician can establish what is normal for you. A report providing all test results will be sent to the participant or his/her physician. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship Funds. The Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship is designated for full-time undergraduate students at BGSU. The scholarship is awarded annually to one student. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Scholarship is a $2,000 award that is given annually to one Chamber-affiliated student for their study at BGSU. Appointments are required. Starting now, you can call the Chamber office at (419) 353-7945 to schedule an appointment. Registration will be taken until April 13th, or until all spots are filled. Prepayment is required at time of registration by cash, check or credit card, and must be paid prior to event.