Merry Christmas 2014!

Published December 23, 2014 by glaumland

christmas2014Merry Christmas from the Glaums in 2014!  This year has been an adventure with lots of new experiences and new friends.  Tony is still working for Burns & McDonnell as a substation engineer.  This year he was promoted to Associate—what an honor.  He’s traveled for work to New England, Illinois and St. Louis.  Tony’s gotten a little hunting and fishing in this year, and he enjoys it when the kids join him.  He had a big garden again, but the temperatures were so cool this summer that the big crops just didn’t do well.  However, we did have some wonderful fruit.  Tony found a motorcycle that he just couldn’t live without—he’s once again an easy rider, complete with a cool new black leather jacket!  The practice where I work was sold to a new owner/veterinarian; I am really enjoying working with her.  jenn_hogJennifer is a sophomore at Basehor-Linwood HS.  She is active in choir and plays the cello.  Last spring she was on the track team and ran 100m and did long jump.  She and Tony went to east Texas last June and they shot a wild hog—yummy!  Jenn enjoys being in youth group at our church and they went to the Ozarks for a summer trip.  Jacob is in the 6th grade at Basehor-Linwood MS.  It has been a big jump but he really enjoys the changes in classes and activities.  Jake still like computers, Lego’s and trains.  He is taking on more responsibilities around the house.  He’s grown A LOT this year (which is reflected in the grocery bill!).  jake skiWe took a fun vacation over spring break to Winter Park for the kids’ first ski trip.  They’re ready to go back again next year.  I traveled with our church group in July to Germany as part of a Luther Tour.  It was enlightening and entertaining; I can’t wait to go back and take some time to visit those places again.  In November, we spent the some time in Washington County visiting our new hunting friends from Texas—we had so much fun for a short trip.  Our families are doing great.  Tony’s parents enjoyed having Terry and family home this fall.  His mom had her knee replaced and is recovering very well.  My parents continue to stay busy.  They’ve joined the Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution and traveled a little to visit family and do genealogy.  We still have critters.  We lost our kitty Captain Lewis this year (15 yrs old) and sold quite a few goats.  Jenn’s pony Smokey Joe will be 33 next spring.  We added many baby chicks and finally Jake is getting to sell some eggs.  We think of you all often and the kids really like it when we tell stories.  You can still reach us at dkglaum@juno.com or see my facebook page www.facebook.com/deb.glaum/photos_albums for more photos.

The Glaums—Tony, Deb, Jennifer & Jacob

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Merry Christmas 2013!

Published December 18, 2013 by glaumland

Merry Christmas 2013 from Glaumland! It’s been a fun & eventful year and there is so much to share. Tony has stayed busy at Burns & McDonnell bringing a very large project in New England to near completion after several years. This last month he was selected by the B&Mc board of directors to become an associate with the company. What an honor! He had a terrific garden this year even though the weather was odd – lots of tomatoes, peppers, peas and onions, but no fruit again this year. He did cut and split lots of wood and filled the shed so we are ready for a cold winter. Tony & the kids continued in TaeKwonDo all year and earned their purple belt in November. I’ve stayed very busy this year. I still work at Ridgeview Animal Hospital, and I’m in the final stages of completing my Master’s degree in Public Health. I did an internship with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Dept this summer and fall, and my goal is to give my Master’s Report in March – finally! Jenn is a freshman at Basehor-Linwood High School. The picture below was her 9th grade graduation dance. She picked the dress and looked amazing and so grown up. During the summer she worked with our friends and tended gardens, picked veggies & flowers, then spent Saturdays working at the Farmer’s Market. She knows how to work hard! She still plays cello in the orchestra, sings in the HS choir, and is involved with the Youth Group at our church, Risen Savior, Basehor. Jake is now in 5th grade at Linwood Elementary – his last year there – playing viola, a whiz at computers, and dreaming big dreams. He had fun this summer visiting grandparents, swimming and riding his bike. He’s growing big and growing up. He likes to help Dad work on the cars and show off his muscles doing chores. We’ve had a lot of fun family time this year as well. In March we took a long weekend and went to Wichita to the Zoo and to a train show (Jake still likes his trains). In May we had the opportunity to drive our car around the Kansas Speedway – Tony got to live his dream of being a race car driver (but in an old Buick!). The kids are hooked on the show Storm Chasers, and last spring were able to meet Reed Timmer during School Day at the K (Royal’s stadium). That’s Jake sitting in the Dominator. Now both kids want to be meteorologists and storm chasers (gulp!). This fall we went to Hutchinson to the 100th Anniversary of the Kansas State Fair. Our families are wonderful. My parents gave up their K-State season football tickets, but stayed very busy with church and grandkids. My brother’s oldest daughter is getting married the weekend after Christmas. Tony’s parents have stayed busy traveling to see family, working and completing projects and gifts. As for our critters, we still have our horse & pony, lots of goats, 3 dogs, 4 cats, lots of chickens and a guinea. Foxes and other varmints have been bad this year; just last night an owl was perched by the chicken house looking for an easy meal. It’s always an adventure! We miss you all and think of you often. The kids are always asking stories about when we were younger so it’s fun sharing memories with them. Please stay in touch by email (dkglaum@juno.com) or on Facebook (lots more pictures). God Bless You in 2014!

may2013 dress schooldayatK 074web schooldayatK 077web speedway

To Eat Or Not To Eat – That Is The Question

Published October 3, 2011 by glaumland

These passages are from another paper I worked on during my class Trade and Agricultural Health for my Master’s degree. Food safety is a very important topic, as well as a timely one (there is a Listeria outbreak in cantelope from Colorado).

Background on Food Safety

Food safety has been a concern since the advent of ancient civilizations. Although many areas of the world had small populations of hunter-gatherer tribes, a few regions with temperate climates and resources of domesticable livestock and cereal grains found the establishment of agrarian
societies. These early farmers had to develop methods of collection, processing and storage to keep their food wholesome until the next growing season. With the advent of ‘new’ technologies like plowing, fertilizing and irrigation leading to excess food production, these societies moved away from subsistence agriculture to cultures with divisions of labor. Thus this agricultural revolution left some members of society free to be bureaucrats, soldiers, laborers, artisans, innovators and heads of large families.

Excess food production created a need to find methods for food storage and food preservation. After 10,000 BCE, people living in the Fertile Crescent found themselves with an abundance of cereal grains and in response developed technologies needed to keep food edible. That early cultures invented techniques for cooking, preserving and storing food is shown through archaeological evidence as well as writings from ancient civilizations including the Chaldean, Egyptian, Greek and Roman. [1]  Passages from Genesis 12 and 42 inform that while other parts of
the Middle East were experiencing famine, Egypt could be depended upon as a source of grain. Egyptians had developed silos to preserve their crops by keeping the grain cool and dry. Many other inventions and technologies, like pottery, fermentation, and smoking, were developed world-wide as the availability of food increased.

However, these ancient peoples learned that the presence of food did not necessarily lead to good health. After removing wholesome grain from storage, the Egyptians would make flour by
grinding the grain on stones in the open air. This led to a high level of contaminants and particulates in the food, and the Egyptians suffered from excessive tooth wear as well as dental infections and abscesses. [2]  In 500 BC in China, the Confucian Analects gave warnings about
fish, meat and grains that were improperly cooked or kept long enough to spoil. [3]

In more recent times, many developments in food storage and preservation were travel-related, where people needed food that they could carry with them for extended periods of time in different
climates.  Mainly this travel was due to exploration, war or trade. During the Renaissance period, brining became a common method of preserving food and salted food became the main staple of sailors and soldiers.   Nicolas Appert from Paris became the ‘father of canning’ and won a prize from Napoleon who was attempting to expand across Europe and needed a way for his armies to
carry wholesome food with them. [4]

The Spanish-American War lasted for only a few months in 1898, and of the 5642 related deaths, only 379 were due to combat; food poisoning was responsible for ‘thousands of deaths.’ [5, 6]  The US Army bought a 500,000 pound shipment of meat from Armour and Company of Chicago, IL. This meat shipment traveled to and from Liverpool England in 1897 and had been inspected and
stamped by the Bureau of Animal Industry. An army inspector discovered that in the boxes of this meat (which one general referred to as ’embalmed’ meat, having been preserved with nitrate of potash and boric acid and also had food coloring added) many of the tins had burst open and the rotted meat had contaminated the rest of the contents . [7]

Only a few years later, the meat-packing industry suffered a major blow following the release of the book ‘The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair based on his undercover experiences in the Chicago slaughterhouses. Sinclair’s goal was to expose the corruption of capitalism, and his story was about a fictional immigrant family set in the real world of Chicago and the meat industry with its unsanitary conditions and inhumane treatment of animals and workers alike. ‘The Jungle’ shocked the world with its revelations, and American citizens demanded action from the government.
President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a leader in the progressive movement to reform political corruption and corporate powers, responded by passing the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and its companion,  the Pure Food & Drug Act. The Meat Inspection Act gave the government jurisdiction over meat-related commerce and applied standards for product inspection and plant sanitation. [8]

Many acts of legislation have been passed and many programs implemented to protect consumers from unsafe food. Perhaps the most important occurred in the 1960’s after the United States
entered the space race. NASA needed a way to provide food for astronauts that was nearly 100% pathogen free, so they turned to the Pillsbury Company, whose researchers worked on that problem plus the complications from providing quality food in situations with zero gravity. Pillsbury realized that their usual quality control programs could not provide the safety requirements; they needed control over the raw materials, environment, production and employees to meet these goals. This multi-step program, the Hazards Analysis and Critical
Control Points System (HACCP), was adopted by the FDA and is now the primary tool used in this country and provides a basis for food safety protocols world-wide. [9, 10]

Despite the progress made in food safety, transportation and storage, there are still many challenges facing the world. With the increase in industrial food production and international shipping, adverse events that used to occur locally (such as food poisonings at church dinners, weddings, etc.) now have the capability to have global effects. The access to nearly instant
internet communication allows any food-related event to be noticed very quickly. Products that are contaminated or potentially dangerous can be swiftly identified and removed from store shelves.

In today’s international food trade, produce and products are shipped world-wide and finally end up in local supermarkets and on the table. Although the importing of fresh and processed food from developed nations should lead to better nutrition and improved health, access to the modern
technologies that support these industries can be limited or cost-prohibitive in developing and least-developed countries. The breakdown of a local food safety system and bureaucratic corruption can prevent wholesome food from getting to the people, and may lead to fighting over limited resources and widespread malnutrition.

Malnutrition can be due to infectious and immunologic disease as well as limited access to food. A 1997 US survey (Morris) found, of the deaths where diarrhea was a contributing factor, that
89% of the victims were children less than 5 years and adults over 55 years of age. [11] Access to more food can be a two-edged sword – the resultant increase in infant and adult survivability means that there is an increase in the numbers of individuals with weak immune systems who
are more likely to propagate or succumb to an insult. The presence of an effective food safety system is necessary to protect all members of society.

International support for developing and least-developed nations is vitally important. Any progress made agriculturally will lead to additional advances in these cultures and countries. Not only will their citizens be healthier, more individuals will have time and resources to invest in other activities, leading to better physical and economic health within these communities. Historically it has been shown that societies that participate in the exchange of agricultural technologies are more likely to become involved in the exchange of other products, opening new markets and new trade
avenues. [12]

Food safety is no longer merely a local concern. Food-borne diseases can potentially threaten the global community, decreasing the health and economic productivity in any region that it touches. As the international organizations address global issues, food safety, especially freedom from
contaminants and pathogens, must be foremost in their goals.

Notes & Resources

1  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_processing

2  http://www.world-foodhistory.com/2008/07/grain-in-egypt-1300-bc.html

3  http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/food-safety

4  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_processing

5  http://www.food-safety-and-you.com/HistoryofFoodSafety.html

6  http://www.spanamwar.com/casualties.htm#American

7  Zinn, Howard. A people’s
history of the United States: 1492 – present. (New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2003) 309.
Retrieved from http://books.google.com.

8  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upton_Sinclair

9  http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/food-safety

10  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HACCP

11  http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/food-safety

12  Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York, Norton, 1997) Kindle location 3305 of 8299.

Is History Science Or Literature?

Published October 3, 2011 by glaumland

This is from a paper I wrote for my Master’s class last spring: Trade & Agricultural Health. It was an excellent class – not only did I learn a lot, I also had the opportunity to put my thoughts on paper. So now I thought I would put them here…

Is History Science Or Literature?

“With the historian it is an article of faith that knowledge of the past is a key to understanding the present.”

 Kenneth Stampp, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley (1946–1983) and author.

There has been a debate for centuries among scholars as to whether history is science or literature. There have been historians who apply scientific method to events; in the laboratory of human existence they gather their data from chronology, geography and antiquities. They can point to the fact that certain events look to have a cause and effect relationship. These scientific historians tend to see history in cycles, and will often propose that without an understanding of history, mankind is doomed to repeat past mistakes. Unfortunately though, history cannot predict the future.

The other school of thought is that written (and oral) history is a narrative form of non-fiction. They would argue that all parts of history are unique and can only be understood when they are studied in context. Theodore Roosevelt, as president of the American Historical Association, gave a speech in Boston in 1912 that addressed this very topic. Roosevelt argued that history cannot be limited to merely reciting facts or repeating tales; history needs to be full of powerful images and language that engage the student, fill him with a sense of wonderment, and give him the ability to look at history from a personal point of view.

 “One man finds what is of most importance to his own mind and heart in tracing the effect upon humanity of the spread of malaria along the shores of the Ægean; or the effect of the Black Death on the labor-market of medieval Europe; or the profound influence upon the development of the African continent of the fatal diseases borne by the bites of insects, which close some districts to human life and others to the beasts without which humanity rests at the lowest stage of savagery. One man sees the events from one view-point, one from another. Yet another can combine both.”

Annual address of the president of the American Historical Association, delivered at Boston, December 27, 1912. From the American Historical Review, Volume 18, Issue 3, p. 473-489. http://www.historians.org/info/AHA_History/troosevelt.htm

The greatest historians, Roosevelt thought, were those that had a great command of literary skills. For centuries, when the Greek and Roman cultures were dominant in the world, poetry was seen as the appropriate way to record history and to teach science as the rhyme and meter made it easier for the student to retain the information. These scholars understood that it was important to have a strong grasp of history to be able to make better decisions and question others who had different points of view.

When writing instruments became more accessible and mankind became more literate, the oral tradition was replaced by written passages and monographs. Unfortunately, there were many ‘historians’ who embellished their work or combined bits and pieces of various events and personalities. Another problem that arises with historical literature is that many authors advocate for their point of view without considering other alternatives; the facts presented with an emotional argument must always be held suspect.

So how should history be approached? In researching for this essay, there appeared to be some consistent steps followed by modern historians.

1. Research the topic, gathering information from the different sources of evidence: public and private texts, data and antiquities.

2. Analyze the information and examine the historical context of the event.

3. Scrutinize the event’s interpretation from other historians; it is at this point that the logic of their conclusions must be accepted or discarded.

4. Examine other events for similarities & differences; gather more evidence and finally consider a personal interpretation of the episodes.

5. Develop and propose questions that arise; organize the facts, thoughts and arguments to develop sound conclusions that will make better policy.

[a good resource is http://www.historyguide.org/index.html ]

Today, as the economies and cultures of our world are more intertwined than ever, it is especially important for history to be examined. As historical events are understood, the knowledge gained can be applied to incidents that are in common for all nations: those of trade and public health at all levels.

History is fun!

Until next time…

Look Who Is Crying Over Spilt Milk — Or The Danger Dairy Fairy Tale

Published September 24, 2011 by glaumland

Well, here’s an OMG post for today.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/05/epa-to-regulate-dairy-milk-spills-as-per-oil-spills/

http://www.thecompletepatient.com/storage/WIorder-clarification9-11.pdf

 

Once upon a time, in the land of the free and the home of the brave (and the rest of the world for that matter), there was this amazing substance called ‘milk.’ So magical was this liquid, that it was fed to the babies of many & varied creatures in the animal kingdom known as ‘mammals.’ More wonderful than water, milk was composed of proteins, fats and sugars, vitamins, minerals & water, the basic nutrients needed to keep the infants alive. So important were these nutrients, that female mammals actually had a way to produce and store milk until it was needed by their young. After the babies grew up and were able to find their own food supply, the mothers quit producing this ‘milk’ until it was needed by the next round of offspring. Some mothers produced extra milk, much more than their young ones needed, and these became known as ‘dairy’ animals.

How blessed the mammals felt to have this ‘liquid nutrition.’ Humans, too, recognized the importance of milk. The starry path in the night sky was called The Milky Way. The Promised Land was referred to as the Land of Milk & Honey. Even acts of generosity were recognized as ‘the milk of human kindness.’

The wise people of the kingdom realized how precious this milk was and they looked for different ways to share with others and keep it for future use. They discovered contamination, fermentation, & coagulation, and they called their products ‘cheese,’ ‘buttermilk,’ & ‘cottage cheese.’ Other learned people developed the processes of pasteurization & homogenization to keep the milk safe & creamy. Best of all, a method called ‘refrigeration’ was invented and people learned just how good milk was when chilled or frozen! Some humans would stand in lines at a store to buy this milk, others would pay to have it delivered fresh to their homes.

The people in the kingdom rejoiced. “Happy Cows” (California Milk Advisory Board) were celebrated and Dairy Princesses were appointed. Many dairy lovers would greet each other in the street by saying, “Got Milk?” Meanwhile word spread quickly in the kingdom: “Milk – It Does a Body Good,” (National Dairy Council); “It Builds Bonnie Babies,” (Glaxo Dried Milk); and “Drinka Pinta Milka Day,” (Milk Marketing Board).

But the glory of the dairy days could not last forever. Soon, nannies (those all-knowing dears who only want to do what is in your best interest) complained that this ‘milk’ could be dangerous, so the lords and justices of the kingdom passed legislations and regulations to make the glorious liquid safer for storage and comsumption. And the people of the kingdom rejoiced, although these new rules made the kingdom’s milk more costly and less tasty.

After much study and contemplation, the wisest of the people in the kingdom discovered that these new dairy processes destroyed some of the nutrients in this glorious milk, and the nannies said, “The children need these nutrients that the milk used to have!” So the lords and justices of the kingdom passed more legislations and regulations to add ingredients back into the milk, calling their new product ‘fortified.’ And the people of the kingdom once again rejoiced, even though it required more coins to buy this milk and it tasted even worse than before.

Years passed, and the people of the kingdom still felt blessed by this ‘fortified’ milk (even though it was so bland and costly), and many infants grew into adulthood and then raised their children with this milk. But there were rabble-rousers that began to rumble in the kingdom that they did not want this ‘fortified’ milk from these dairy creatures. So the rousers went to the wise people and instructed them to find a nutritious liquid from other sources. And the wise people, being of course very ingenious, found this liquid and the called it ‘soy milk.’ However, only some of the people in the kingdom rejoiced, as the ‘soy milk’ tasted strange and required them to exchange even more coins.

However, in parts of the kingdom were people who remembered the old ways and honored the dairy mammals. They grumbled at all of the changes that had been made to milk and wanted their glorious milk to come straight from the magical mothers; this milk they called ‘raw.’ And these grumblers went out into the kingdom and gathered these divine dairy creatures to themselves, drinking the ‘raw’ milk without pasteurization and homogenization and fortification. And these people rejoiced and no longer grumbled, for they felt renewed and invigorated by all of the nutrients in their special milk that was so tasty and cost very few coins.

But the nannies, DOING good because only THEY know what IS good, saw these happy people drinking their milk from their dairy animals and exclaimed: “They can’t do that!” The lords stood idly by, worrying about their own lands, jingling the kingdom’s purses and thinking about ways to spend the peoples’ tax monies. The justices agreed with the nannies; ‘raw’ milk was dangerous and the common people must be protected from themselves. So the justices passed new laws stating that people could not drink ‘raw’ milk from their own dairy creatures, nor could they sell their milk to others without complying with the legislations and regulations of the kingdom. And the nannies rejoiced but the grumblers began to grumble once again.

How does this dairy-tale end? If you listen closely, you can hear the grumbling growing louder. But we’ll have to wait and see…

Until next time…

You Be The Judge – Who Is More Effective?

Published September 23, 2011 by glaumland

Happy US Energy’s Solar Decathalon Day! Too bad nobody remembered to order sunshine. The people who visited the competition at the National Mall had to walk around in the rain with umbrellas. I’m sure there is a joke in there somewhere about climate karma, but honestly, with a price tag at $100,000 per team (19 this year) I don’t know what there is to laugh about.

The first thing I noticed http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/solar-decathlons-rainy-start_594112.html was that the price tag of the model shown came in at about $450-500,000. The goal is to create an energy efficient home, but at this rate nobody could afford one. That’s a great example of government INefficiency.

Now here are some examples of homes that entrepreneurs are developing to help create affordable housing: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/openhouse/  &  http://www.thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/ . Cute, affordable, and energy efficient.

OK, so we’ve paid nearly $200K for 19 government-sponsored homes, when we could have gotten 100 tiny homes from private industry. Remind me again, why the government isn’t good at this game?

Until next time…

This Vet Learning About Healthcare Globalization

Published September 8, 2011 by glaumland

This is another journal entry from my class on Healthcare Organizations. Just when I though the healthcare industry couldn’t get any bigger or scarier, we looked at it on a global level. We also looked at longevity that week, but I’ll save that for another post. Wow!

THE GLOBALIZATION OF HUMAN HEALTHCARE

Wow! There is a lot of stuff to think about this week. I hardly know where to start. But I think
I’ll start with the articles.

 “How Health Insurance Design Affects Access To Care And Costs By Income In Eleven
Countries” by C. Shoen et al. – I found this a very interesting article,
but probably not for the reason the authors intended. What I found interesting
was the efforts to make ‘science’ out of opinion. It’s really quite easy, and
lots of ‘scientists’ do it all the time.

 Here’s how it works…you ask people how they feel about a subject and then use their
response to come up with statistics (confusing subjective and objective
information). The authors of this study did exactly that. To establish incomes,
respondents were told their country’s median income then asked if they felt
they were about average, much or somewhat above average, or  much or somewhat below average.  In other words, how do you feel about your income compared to the average? The biggest problem with this methodology is that it can introduce bias issues into your study, and although the authors
admit this problem when it comes to estimating medical expenses, they don’t
mention it about income. Ideally, the authors would have given an exact range
(if the median income was $35K, then ask if people make $30-40K (about
average), $15-30K (somewhat below average), $40-70K (somewhat above average),
etc.) That is a number most people have a pretty good idea about and can answer
truthfully, giving better data. (And about the truthful answer part, another
way to introduce bias is when the respondent either answers untruthfully
because they don’t think it is your business what their income is – I’ve done
that before – or they reply with what they think the correct answer is trying
to please the questioner.)

 Anytime you ask people about their ‘experiences’ you are introducing the potential for more
bias in your study. I can say this from personal experience. If a survey was to
catch me during a bad time with one of my health issues, my responses may
revolve around that one episode and not necessarily take all circumstances into
account. When I’m grumpy and hurting, I’m not necessarily the font of wisdom.
Likewise, asking a patient if they are confident they could get ‘the most
effective’ treatment, how are they to know? Is this their opinion or have they
educated themselves to know the different options and what will work for them?
Also, are they speaking of their own experiences or are they considering those
of friends and relatives in their answer?

 There were a couple of other things I didn’t like about this article. First, they really stressed
that low-income people are more likely to suffer more chronic conditions and be
elderly. Whereas I believe that it is the elderly and those with more chronic
conditions who are more likely to have lower incomes. I think that dollars
earned by the elderly during their working years are not worth as much during
their retirement years, thus many of them fall into the low income category.
This is especially true during this economic downturn when nearly everyone’s
financial worth has taken a hit. I also believe that people with chronic
conditions are less able to have an active or productive work-life (this would
include me) and that is why many have low incomes. It comes down to the
‘chicken or egg’ argument, but I don’t believe that having a low income leads
you to be elderly or sickly; that isn’t logical.

 Another statement in this article was that the countries varied in their ability to provide access
to 24 hour healthcare outside of the emergency room. My first reaction was
“so?” Isn’t that the reason for emergency rooms? I don’t see why this
topic was presented as an ‘oh my gosh’ one. It just seems like a no-brainer to
me.

 That’s true of many of their arguments. Maybe I’m naïve (some of my friends tell me that!) or
narrow-minded (some different friends tell me that!) so perhaps I’m just not
open to these studies that push the benefits of healthcare reform. Although I
have to say I didn’t know that was the purpose of the study when I started
reading it. But by the time I started going through their survey results, I had
a pretty good idea what their conclusions would be. I do know I am suspicious –
it comes with age and experience.

 I know that surveys are difficult to do (and especially in different languages and cultures); it
takes a lot of work and careful consideration to do a survey properly. Adding
in a potential for a lot of bias, then covering it with statistics, just leads to
the creation of junk science, and that’s what I think they have here. I can
honestly say I was not as impressed with this report as with the other articles
we read this week where ‘real’ numbers were used. And there I’m exposing my
bias against healthcare reform, as I don’t believe one bill can effectively or
efficiently cure all issues. I think there are some ways in which really good
studies could have been designed (like retrospectively looking at
post-hospitalization surveys). I do agree that you will miss some important
sections of society and some important information, but again, I don’t think
you can design one study to get all answers.