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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Cerebral Palsy

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Cerebral Palsy.


Cerebral palsy is a group of problems that make it difficult for people to control their own physical movement. A child with cerebral palsy can't move muscles normally. Cerebral palsy is caused when the part of the brain that controls muscle movement doesn't work properly. How much control the child has of movements will depend on how much the brain differs from normal.

In most cases, cerebral palsy doesn't worsen with age. This means children don't usually lose things they have already learned. Most children benefit greatly from treatment and therapy.

Getting  Help

If you have a child from the age from birth to three years old, you can have your child screened for cerebral palsy through the Florida Early Steps program.  Click here to see a list of Early Steps offices in your area.

More Information

To get more information about Cerebral Palsy, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Health Care Reform for Local Employers

Are you an employer with 25 or less employee offering health care insurance or have question about what the new health care laws mean for your business?  Career Central is offering three seminars in the Pasco/Hernando areas to get more information.  Please RSVP as seats are limited. The dates are below:

Thursday, August 5, 2010
9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
4440 Grand Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL 34652

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
7361 Forest Oaks Blvd.
Spring Hill, FL 34606


Tuesday, August 3, 2010
9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
6038 Gall Blvd.
Zephyrhills, FL 33542

TO RSVP, contact:

Ana Segovia
Business Services Consultant
(352) 293-1335

Congress recently enacted the Patient Protections and Af­fordable Care Act (PPACA) and Health Care and Education Affordability Recon­ciliation Act (HCEARA).  These two pieces of legislation constitutes a massive overhaul of the United States health care system.

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Time Pasco Student - Health Requirements

Do you have a child going to a public school for the first time this year in Pasco or Florida? You will need proof that your child's immunization records are up to date and a physical. Both are sometimes referred to as "blue (for immunization) and gold (for physicals) forms". However, not all physicians or health care facilities provide proof on blue or gold forms - the schools will accept either on any color of paper as proof.

You can get immunizations shots at either your child's physician office, a health care facility, or the Pasco health department. A list of of immunizations by age is available at the Pasco County School Board site. A schedule of Pasco Health Departments is here. Physicals can be performed at your child's physician office or a health care facility.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Washington State victory

I was thrilled to learn that Washington State will be creating new rules for pharmacists who have conscientious objections to providing services or products they find morally objectionable. It will allow pharmacists to refuse to sell anything or provide services that go against their conscience and deeply held beliefs.
The reason for the new rules was because of a lawsuit concerning a pharmacy that, against the objections of the state, refused to stock or dispense the Plan B morning-after pill, based on their belief that life is sacred from the moment of conception and the pill can sometimes work as an abortifacient.
This is a great turnaround by both the state and the Pharmacy State Board, which for several years maintained that religious freedoms of pharmacies and pharmacists had to be restricted in order to ensure patient access to the morning-after pill.
In 2006, Pharmacy Board members unanimously supported a rule that would protect conscience for pharmacists and pharmacy owners. Shortly after, though, the board buckled under political pressure and mandated pharmacies to stock and dispense the medication despite any conscientious objections.
The board adopted this regulation even though it admitted it found no evidence that anyone in the state had ever been unable to obtain Plan B (or any other time-sensitive medication) due to religious objections.
In the aftermath, a pharmacy and two individual pharmacists filed suit to prevent the new regulation from forcing them out of their profession. The Becket Fund also came to their defence.
In its most recent filing, the state conceded that allowing pharmacists with conscientious objections to refer patients to other pharmacies “is a time-honoured pharmacy practice that is often in the best interest of patients, pharmacies and pharmacists, and [does] not pose a threat to timely access to lawfully prescribed medications.”
Although I do not advocate mandated referral, this is a clear victory for the profession and it sends a clear message to all: The state and professional boards ought to remain neutral in matters of faith and morals as they relate to individual conscience, in so far as there is no threat to public safety or to the common good.
While the state plays an important role in ensuring the health, peace, morality and safety of its citizens, it should not use its power in a dictatorial way, imposing limits on individual conscience in legitimately disputable matters.
But is this not a case of a religious pharmacist or store owner imposing his or her values on others, and will it not cause great inconvenience to customers, which some would argue should be a professional’s first priority?
To the question of fairness I would answer that justice is for all. In any agreement, one party must not be oppressed at the expense of another. In the case of the Plan B provision, both parties can be readily respected by placing the onus on provincial pharmacy boards to provide information on non-dissenting providers via toll-free numbers.
Some might argue that inconvenience is a form of oppression. But isn’t it a greater oppression to ask one to betray deeply held beliefs than walk a few extra blocks?
A version of this article was originally published in “Holy Post”, the religion blog of the National Post.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning.  Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems. 
Characteristics and Behaviors of Children with FASD
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidney, or bones
More Information

To get  more information about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Autism Spectrum Disorder

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of disorders typified by a child's problems with social skills, effective communication and behavior. Autism Spectrum Disorders make a child experience the world differently from the way most other children do. It affects the brain and can make it hard for them to understand social situations and to get along with other people.  Each child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder has different symptoms. Some children may have mild symptoms and other children, more severe symptoms.
In the diagnostic manual used by professionals, these disorders are called Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Autism (Autistic Disorder), Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger's Disorder (or Asperger Syndrome), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome are all in this category.

The different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be confusing. Sometimes parents will see different professionals, and their child will receive a different "label" from each one. For example, a neurologist might say the child has PDD-NOS, while the psychologist says the child has autism. In other instances a doctor might say the child has Asperger's, and another doctor could say the child has PDD-NOS or autism.
Remember that most times the specific label isn't really that important. What is important is that a professional has recognized that your child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Then, based on your child's individual strengths and weaknesses, a treatment and educational plan can be developed. A child with a diagnosis of autism may well be qualified for more services.

Everyone is different, and every person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder has particular strengths and areas of growth. Your encouragement, love and support help your child have a full, happy and independent life.


  • As a baby, he/she does not imitate other children and does not reach out to you.
  • Doesn't look up or respond to his/her name. May seem deaf at times.
  • Does not seek you out for attention or for only social reasons.
  • Does not point or gesture.
  • Voice and facial expressions can be flat, lacking "feeling" and may not match what the child is saying.
  • Difficulty understanding what people around them think and feel.
  • Delay in speaking, or has speech and then loses it.
  • Speaks in great detail about one subject of topic (for example, only wants to talk about dinosaurs).
  • Has difficulty having a conversation (back and forth)
  • Has difficulty talking about abstract ideas or emotions; takes everything at face value.
  • Does not develop age-appropriate peer relationships (does not play well or have friendships with same-age children), and has difficulty mixing with others.
  • Obsessive (must do something the same way each time) or doesn't play in a usual way. (for example, needing to line up toys or spin objects over and over again).
  • Eats only certain foods or only likes clothes that feel a certain way.
  • Has a hard time relating with people around them.
  • Does not handle change well.
  • Problems with motor skills such as tying shoes, buttoning a shirt and handwriting.
  • Upset when normal routines are changed in any way.
  • May smell or lick toys.
  • May react strongly to loud noises such as car horns.
More Information

To read more information about  Autism Spectrum Disorder, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site