Focus on recovery as Limerick hosts AA convention

first_imgBusiness photo created by – www.freepik.comLIMERICK will be the venue for this year’s annual Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous which will be held in the Castletroy Park Hotel on February 7, 8, and 9 with an open meeting on Sunday 9 at noon.There will be more than 50 meetings throughout the city and county with a meeting somewhere every night for people in need of support.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The organisation is self-supporting and survives by the voluntary efforts of the members, with no fees other than a collection at the end of meetings of €2 to cover teas and coffee and the use of the venue.“Meetings usually take place in Social Service Centres, Church basements/halls, School halls, Community halls etc and we are forever grateful to all these facilities who have accommodated AA down through the years and continue to do so,” a spokeswoman said.“AA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. ”One member, Louise, shared her experience.“I was not a fall down drinker, did not start out as a regular drinker.    I had a good job, I did not skip work, no matter what state I was in.“Often, my knowledge of the drinking session was somewhat hazy, and my knowledge of getting home was also hazy, I ended up in strange places, places I would not have been in if I had been sober.”After failed attempts to quit, Louise went to a psychiatrist for help and he asked if she would consider AA.” I was appalled and frustrated that this was his best idea. However, I reluctantly agreed to try.“For a long time, I asked myself what I was doing there, the only thing that kept me going, was the people in there had not drank and were quite happy within themselves. I was not in that position, I was discontented, unhappy, blamed everyone and wanted to keep drinking, and I did not like being told what to do.“However, I did not drink, I hung in there when some days I wanted to die. I finally accepted I was not able to drink normally, which left me feeling bereft.”Louise says she got past that and has now been sober for twenty years.“Alcoholics come from all class of societies, in all shapes and sizes, some are well off, some are not so well off, some drink until they die, others give it up every now and then, and they convince themselves they can give it up any time, until they try.“It is difficult to give up drinking on your own for a sustained length of time. I know I tried it. I am intelligent, articulate and you would not know that I was alcoholic. But I know it, and so do my family.”There is a phone helpline available at 085 2406867 for anyone who wishes to talk to another alcoholic about their drinking. This number is given in the Limerick Post Newspaper each week.Full details and a list of meetings can be got at Linkedin Print Twitter Email Advertisementcenter_img WhatsApp NewsCommunityHealthFocus on recovery as Limerick hosts AA conventionBy Bernie English – January 19, 2020 396 Facebook Previous articleLimerick’s Munster Hurling League ReviewNext articleCiaran Carey: Munster League was a good opportunity to blood a few players” Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news.last_img read more

Lifting Healthcare Out Of Its Digital Malaise

first_imgThe power of data in healthcare is nothing new. In 1846, a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis collected data to uncover why so many women in maternity wards were dying from childbed fever. After several outlandish theories, he discovered that medical students were transferring cadaverous particles from autopsies and thus one of the first infection-control hand-washing protocols was born. As a result, the rate of childbed fever fell dramatically. By using data to reach his conclusion, Dr. Semmelweis was a data scientist before his time.Fast-forward 170 odd yearsThankfully, we now have sophisticated data crunching and analysis tools. For instance, data lakes store information in a central repository, where data can be indexed and shared at a moment’s notice. These lakes manage and visualize data from multiple sources and create metaphorical workbenches from which companies can do deep analytics. Why do we need this? New healthcare data is growing at the rate of 48 percent per year. The Internet of Things is creating a lot of this information. In a short space of time, a vast network of sensors will automatically capture real-time biometric data. This information will shed light on the impact of lifestyle on chronic diseases and wellness, and ultimately change behavior.The Cardiac Risk Score visual design, based on the stellar work of David McCandless, is a case in point. From this design an app was developed around clinically derived specifications from Boston Children’s Hospital and was featured on SMART Health IT. Apps like this are designed to empower patients to make sense of their medical records by visually presenting their lab results to show that if they stopped smoking or lowered their blood pressure within normal range for instance, they could reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke by a certain percentage. The app’s dynamic visualizations resonated with patients and provided important insights at the point of care.However, such examples are exceptions rather than the norm. Dr. Joseph Kvedar, author of the Internet of Healthy Things, believes the healthcare industry is at a loss as to what to do with this immense opportunity. A broad list of obstacles is curtailing innovation, from liability concerns and overregulation to complex and long sales cycles. He refers to “chaos” within the ranks.Recent Dell Technologies research certainly bears this out. Some 4,000 senior decision-makers from 16 countries and 12 major industries judged their businesses’ digital capabilities. The findings suggest public and private healthcare organizations are struggling the most. Public healthcare, for example, is the least digitally mature industry on the Digital Transformation Index: only 19 percent of organizations claim to be innovating in an agile way. In fact, the sector is least likely to perform any of the attributes of a digital business well and companywide.These findings are symptoms of a larger malaise, including an aging population, shrinking budgets, staffing pressures, and more. It’s somewhat alarming that only 34 percent credit the C-suite for driving their organization’s digital strategy forward. Leadership is a must because in some respects, the lack of competitive pressure places the public sector at a disadvantage, as it removes the incentive for constant reinvention and improvement.Private healthcare maintains only a slight edge over its public cousin. It’s the second least mature industry on the benchmark. In the same way that public healthcare organizations lack market pressures to compete, evidence suggests private healthcare has taken a laissez faire approach to rising customer expectations, insulated by the knowledge there will always be a stable need for healthcare. 72 percent of respondents in private healthcare admit to not acting on intelligence in real-time, and just half of respondents cite customers as a key influencer driving their digital strategies forward. This is markedly lower than the global average – despite the fact they exist to provide a patient-focused service.Security concernsWhile there are pockets of excellence, the industry faces significant security risks. According to the research, only 31 percent of respondents in public healthcare believe their organization can meet customer demands for better security. Medical equipment, of which there are legion – from diagnostic imaging machines, monitoring devices, etc. – operate as “black boxes,” using their own specialized software and hardware. These devices are typically overlooked when it comes to routine security testing and simulation.The fact that implantables, such as pacemakers and infusion pumps, can be breached and tampered with raises the spectre of serious threats to patient safety. To combat these risks, healthcare organizations need to move well beyond traditional anti-virus software and harden devices with regular patching and configuration management, as well as using robust data encryption and advanced malware protection at all endpoints. In short, what is needed are mature process and platforms to protect this ‘internet of diagnostic things’ from destructive cyber-attacks.Impacting lives with data enabled digital transformationReturning to Dell Technologies’ study, the evidence suggests disruption often motivates a company to innovate and be the best it can be. We can see this in commercial industries. For instance, well over a hundred years ago, ADT Security used to provide armed security guards. It’s now the largest professional installer of home automation solutions in the U.S. It transformed because it had to respond to market disruptors. The adapt-or-die dynamic made the company what it is today.Most industries have witnessed an influx of new competitors, in the form of digital start-ups and industry disruptors, thanks to digital technologies and initiatives. Healthcare recorded the least. But this doesn’t mean the healthcare industry isn’t and shouldn’t be under pressure to transform. We’ve seen several of our data-empowered customers such as Partners Healthcare leaping ahead. This all starts with transparent access to, and elegant visualization of, relevant data. Patients need a healthcare system that can prevent illness, cure cancer and save lives. Their needs are acute and their voices, if heeded, could change the world.We at Dell EMC are committed to delivering technology to healthcare organizations of all types and sizes so they can transform and thrive in the digital economy – in fact, we’ll be discussing how at HIMSS17. Stop by booth #3161, where our team will be discussing the opportunity at hand for all healthcare organizations.Please don’t hesitate to offer any comments below, and I look forward to seeing you at HIMSS17.last_img read more

Network Trafficking Drugs between South America and Spain Dismantled

first_imgBy Dialogo November 16, 2010 The Spanish police have dismantled one of the chief networks trafficking drugs between Spain and South America, in an operation in which 50 people have been detained in Spain and Argentina and more than 5 million euros (6.8 million dollars) has been seized. The network, made up chiefly of Colombians and Mexicans, used shipments of apples to camouflage the drugs in “packets weighing one kilo, perfectly wrapped to protect them from cold and humidity and identified with an image of Donald Duck,” according to the same source. The shipments were sent through a network of import-export firms operating between Spain and Argentina, after which the money obtained from the narcotics was laundered through luxury-car dealerships. These dealerships “received very significant sums of money in cash for cars that would be put in the names of businesspeople who acted as straw men in exchange for an economic consideration,” according to the statement issued by the Spanish police. The operation, which culminated in the detention in Spain of twenty people for drug trafficking and another twenty for money laundering, in addition to ten detained in Argentina, is the result of an investigation opened a few months ago, when the Argentine and Brazilian police seized two containers of fruit loaded with a total of 3.4 tons of cocaine in June. Both containers were headed for Spain, where another container with two hundred kilos of narcotics was seized in the port of Barcelona (Catalonia, in the northeastern part of the country) and fifteen people were detained, according to the same source. The Spanish police believe that this operation has made it possible to dismantle “one of the largest transoceanic organizations trafficking cocaine on a large scale.”last_img read more

Giammattei Calls Venezuela a ‘Narco-state’

first_imgBy Eugenia Sagastume / Voice of America November 20, 2019 Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei said that some of the main insecurity problems the Central American nation face are due to narcotrafficking, and Venezuela is a “narco-state” that contributes to drug shipments into Guatemalan territory.Giammattei spoke at a press conference upon arriving in Guatemala from Venezuela, after being expelled from the country on October 12. He added that 80 percent of drugs crossing into Guatemala and a large part of Central American territories come from Venezuela by air and through the country’s seaports.In his statement, he recounted his trip to Venezuela, where he said he was escorted by units of the Bolivarian National Guard from the moment he got off the plane and taken to migratory authorities to board a departing flight.“That’s how dictatorships operate: one, by telling lies, just as they have been doing, and two, trying to justify their actions by saying that we had to request permission from a man [Nicolás Maduro] we do not recognize as the president of Venezuela,” he said.Giammattei’s attempt to use his Italian passport to enter Venezuela also caused controversy. He said that after requesting advice from the Venezuelan Embassy, he decided to submit his Italian ID to avoid procedures that would take at least two months to complete.In a press release, the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplored and condemned the incident, and “called for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to respect the rights of any Guatemalan citizen who is in or  attempting to enter Venezuela.”Giammattei urged member nations of the Organization of American States to unite as a humanitarian effort and ask Maduro to release all political prisoners, as well as to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. He also reaffirmed his support for Interim President Juan Guaidó: “President Guaidó, you are not alone! Guatemala is vigilant and alert.”He concluded with a warning message to Maduro: “We’ll see after January 14 [2020], when I am president with a diplomatic passport, if the Maduro government denies me entry to Venezuela to express my solidarity to the Venezuelan people and to the legitimate government of Venezuela.”last_img read more

Student T-shirt company raises money for community

first_img“We really hope to just provide support to these businesses and say that even though we’re not on campus, and we’re not actually patronizing your store in person, we’re still here for you and we still appreciate what you’re doing for us as students,” Monro said. Monro said Fight Online is also currently creating a licensing agreement with the help of Wright and is considering donating to establishments depending on the number of students who visit.  Of the Fight Online duo, Fisher takes on the product design and development, using skills she accrued with her communication design minor. Monro handles the entrepreneurial side, working with mentors from the Marshall Career Advantage Mentor Program to help reach out to different offices on campus and to facilitate the growth of the business.  The duo named their clothing line Fight Online to commemorate USC’s transition to online learning. The business initially started with a playful intent. After realizing a deserted campus also meant that many local businesses near USC, including Caveman Kitchen and El Huero, were losing sources of revenue from student customers, they decided to refocus their work to provide financial support for local businesses. “What touched me about [Fight Online] was that recognition that our students are getting to know the local vendors,” Folt said. “They want to find a way to do something that I think is artistic and entrepreneurial.” For Folt, initiatives like Fight Online show how students respond to crises: by helping those around them.  Monro and Fisher received increased support after emailing President Carol Folt to see what avenues they could explore with their idea. Folt put them in contact with David Wright, senior vice president of administration, whose duties include overseeing the USC Bookstore, and Wright helped the pair sell more shirts and receive more donations by advertising the product on the USC Bookstore website and expediting the licensure process for the business.  “We wanted it to be really simple and sleek and not obnoxious or anything,” Monro said. “We found different design templates on the Bonfire website, and Fisher was able to put something together to make it look clean and sharp.” center_img Monro and Fisher originally spent a few days designing the T-shirts before working through Bonfire, a site that facilitates custom shirts for fundraising.   The brand has sold nearly  600 shirts through the Bonfire website and the USC Bookstore and continues to grow its customer base through social media and USC newsletters of organizations including the Blackstone Launchpad. Awaiting purchase money from Bonfire, the pair has yet to distribute financial proceeds to local businesses, including El Huero and 3 Brother’s Bike Shop.  With the coronavirus pandemic forcing institutions to postpone college milestones, including graduation, many students will instead spend the remainder of their spring semester indoors on Zoom. Seniors Claire Monro and Claire Fisher decided to commemorate their last semester at USC through their clothing business Fight Online while giving thanks to the local businesses that helped make their experience on campus worthwhile. “When we were thinking about who to donate to, we kept going back and forth thinking who really had an impact on our time at USC and it differed for every person we asked,” Monro said.  Fight Online, the brainchild of two Marshall School of Business seniors, launched last month. The founders, Claire Monro and Claire Fisher, said they wanted to raise money for businesses that made their time at USC memorable. (Photo courtesy of Fight Online) “I think they were able to double the amount of money that they could actually donate because they got to work in partnership with the bookstore,” Folt said. “It’s one of those things that people want to help each other. It’s just so touching to me that everybody that writes to me seems to want to help somebody else and so whenever I can help someone help someone else, I’m finding that’s something that I really want to do.” last_img read more