Archive for the ‘UAB’ Category

>Good things

October 22, 2009

>Today I am waiting on a call from the Jefferson County sheriff’s department, but that’s a good thing.

U. S. HUD announced that they will implement non-discrimination policies so that LGBT individuals and couples are treated fairly in housing and FHA loans, and that is a good thing. That means here in Bessemer, as well.

Tonight is the Jefferson Jackson dinner at which democrats eat well and meet and greet and listen to party stars, and that will be a good thing. West Virginia governor Joe Manchin will be the speaker.

Paving 18th, 19th and 20th streets in Bessemer will begin within 30 days, and that is a good thing. Except it costs $13 million for 27 blocks. That’s almost $50,000 a block. Are you in the wrong business? I am.

UAB is offering same-sex partner insurance benefits, reported today in the Birmingham News, but reported weeks ago on Examiner.com. Now the University of Alabama is looking into offering benefits as well, and that would be a good thing. Auburn? (My call to Auburn’s Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual caucus have not been returned yet).

Christmas is 64 days away. That is a good thing. (Don’t think this display is complete. It will be fabulous when it is completed).

Here is the video that helped inform the UAB community about the need for fairness in benefits policies. The article says the video was not a factor in making the decision, but we know better.

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The Nation, The University, The City

January 30, 2008

1. The Nation

Did you notice that I made no comments after the president’s State of the Union Address? I was just so glad that it was the very last time we have to be subjected to that type of event with him in charge.

But Tuesday night was a different story. Tuesday itself was full of Biostats and such, and I anticipated coming home to relax. (Even with two tests on Wednesday). But how can one relax when their candidate is experiencing a huge win in Florida?

No delegates for the democrats, you say? That will be argued later when the Florida Party officials are lobbying to have their delegates credentialed. No, this vote was very important because of this >>> The candidates did not campaign in Florida…but Florida voters are not without televisions, computers or newspapers. They are well aware of the bickering between the candidates, the media bias, and of Barack’s big win in South Carolina. And they still are giving Hillary a 17% win, with 50% of the vote.

The Floridians had the same amount of candidate contact that most of the Super Dooper Tuesday voters will have. We for the most part, across the 24 states, have to depend on media reports…and word of mouth from friends and neighbors. We will not have candidate saturation like South Carolina had. People interviewed from Florida said that is what they did, and they propelled Hillary Clinton to a huge victory. And as a result, she got great air play from her win and her speech last night.

I just learned that John Edwards has dropped out of the race. It is hard to judge who this will help, the “white” vote might go to Clinton, the “anti-Clinton” vote will go to Barack, some will stay home (but come back out to vote in November). But it does mean we will have a one on one debate tomorrow night between just Barack and Hillary.

2. The University

UAB had a “Free Food For Thought” yesterday, a forum in which students, faculty and anyone else can come and get free food in exchange for participating in a round (rectangle) – table discussion. This month’s topic was “Is UAB Committed to Diversity?” On the flyer above the word “diversity” was a rainbow colored graphic, and also a collage of diversity was pictured. UAB does mention sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

The event took place in the Ryals Building which houses the School of Public Health, so it was easy for me to attend. The School was well represented, but there were also students and staff from the School of Medicine, undergraduate, the radio station and more.

One important point brought up is that the appearance of diversity does not indicate diversity in reality. The student who mentioned this used the Bush administration as an example, but even among the public health students this was noted. We are probably the most diverse School on campus, attracting students from around the world, with many students from various African countries along with India, Iran, Bangladesh and more. We are represented by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Christians and more. Sexual orientation is understood (as presented in various classes) as a part of the normal spectrum of people.

So I was surprised to hear my fellow students voice opinions that did not reflect this. Too much Christianity an American said. Too much gathering of Indians with Indians and Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites in the hallways, another said. Yet another public health student said the biostats all hang together, the epi people all hang and the maternal and child health people do the same.

My feeling is that none of that reflects the University’s commitment to diversity, rather the natural tendency of people to associate with people like themselves.

But I was able to bring up an issue that reflects the University’s lack of commitment, or at least their lack of realization that they are breaking their own anti-discrimination policy by refusing to offer benefits (insurance) to same sex (or opposite sex) unmarried partners of employees who are insured. A commitment to diversity should include all people and treating all people equally.

Don’t let UAB tell you they can not do that because the administrator of their plan does not offer it. I am not sure if Blue Cross Blue Shield is the administrator of their (self insure) plan or not, but regardless, other “self insures” like Wachovia, RBC Bank, and Southern Progress offer such benefits, and I think they are administered by BC/BS. Correct me if I am wrong.

Then others like Terry Kellogg from BC/BS who spoke at the Over The Mountain Democrat forum a couple of weeks ago say economics will not allow it, but that is a fallacy. Studies show that costs are less for most same sex couples because most of them do not incur health care costs for things like pregnancies and childbirths.

What’s in it for UAB if they offer insurance benefits? Many top professors and research scientists overlook UAB for this reason. They may not be gay themselves, but they want to work in a place that offers equality. Some probably realize that if one group is discriminated against, it might not belong before another will be.

I made those points in about four sentences, and no one else commented on it, but I did notice some nods from some faculty types that were there. And sexual orientation was mentioned by a couple of other people as being a part of diversity.

All in all the forum was worthwhile and the food (Mexican) was good.

3. The (little) City

Bessemer is trying its best to become “Little Birmingham.” (not to be confused with the liquor store by the same name on the outskirts of Panama City Beach that was the first stop on the beach road for our family vacations when I was growing up!)

I mean, here is Bessemer about to turn control of their water filtration plant over to an outside agancy with no control reserved for the city, like the Birmingham Water Works, sort of. Then, last night at a Council meeting during which the public turned out to voice concerns, Mayor Ed May, Council President Jesse Matthews, Councilors Dorothy Davidson and Earl Cochran, and others, put on an embarrasing display of childish behavoior, arguing and raising their voices until finally the meeting was adjourned having accomplished nothing.

I take that back. Something was accomplished. Information that I learned at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting Monday was released. $3 million or so is missing. This is bond money that during Quitman Mitchell’s administration was supposedly placed in irrevocable trust to draw interest to later pay on the $56 million bond issue that GUSC has only been making interest payments on. Money that was to be used now, or in 2009, to make the principle payment that everybody is worried about.

Those of us who wonder why only interest has been paid also wonder where the $3 million went. We do have copies of a resolution from 2000 which authorized GUSC to make “the first four payments of the $3.7 million from GUSC” to “the City of Bessemer General Fund…”

Alice Martin where are you?

>The Nation, The University, The City

January 30, 2008

>1. The Nation

Did you notice that I made no comments after the president’s State of the Union Address? I was just so glad that it was the very last time we have to be subjected to that type of event with him in charge.

But Tuesday night was a different story. Tuesday itself was full of Biostats and such, and I anticipated coming home to relax. (Even with two tests on Wednesday). But how can one relax when their candidate is experiencing a huge win in Florida?

No delegates for the democrats, you say? That will be argued later when the Florida Party officials are lobbying to have their delegates credentialed. No, this vote was very important because of this >>> The candidates did not campaign in Florida…but Florida voters are not without televisions, computers or newspapers. They are well aware of the bickering between the candidates, the media bias, and of Barack’s big win in South Carolina. And they still are giving Hillary a 17% win, with 50% of the vote.

The Floridians had the same amount of candidate contact that most of the Super Dooper Tuesday voters will have. We for the most part, across the 24 states, have to depend on media reports…and word of mouth from friends and neighbors. We will not have candidate saturation like South Carolina had. People interviewed from Florida said that is what they did, and they propelled Hillary Clinton to a huge victory. And as a result, she got great air play from her win and her speech last night.

I just learned that John Edwards has dropped out of the race. It is hard to judge who this will help, the “white” vote might go to Clinton, the “anti-Clinton” vote will go to Barack, some will stay home (but come back out to vote in November). But it does mean we will have a one on one debate tomorrow night between just Barack and Hillary.

2. The University

UAB had a “Free Food For Thought” yesterday, a forum in which students, faculty and anyone else can come and get free food in exchange for participating in a round (rectangle) – table discussion. This month’s topic was “Is UAB Committed to Diversity?” On the flyer above the word “diversity” was a rainbow colored graphic, and also a collage of diversity was pictured. UAB does mention sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

The event took place in the Ryals Building which houses the School of Public Health, so it was easy for me to attend. The School was well represented, but there were also students and staff from the School of Medicine, undergraduate, the radio station and more.

One important point brought up is that the appearance of diversity does not indicate diversity in reality. The student who mentioned this used the Bush administration as an example, but even among the public health students this was noted. We are probably the most diverse School on campus, attracting students from around the world, with many students from various African countries along with India, Iran, Bangladesh and more. We are represented by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Christians and more. Sexual orientation is understood (as presented in various classes) as a part of the normal spectrum of people.

So I was surprised to hear my fellow students voice opinions that did not reflect this. Too much Christianity an American said. Too much gathering of Indians with Indians and Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites in the hallways, another said. Yet another public health student said the biostats all hang together, the epi people all hang and the maternal and child health people do the same.

My feeling is that none of that reflects the University’s commitment to diversity, rather the natural tendency of people to associate with people like themselves.

But I was able to bring up an issue that reflects the University’s lack of commitment, or at least their lack of realization that they are breaking their own anti-discrimination policy by refusing to offer benefits (insurance) to same sex (or opposite sex) unmarried partners of employees who are insured. A commitment to diversity should include all people and treating all people equally.

Don’t let UAB tell you they can not do that because the administrator of their plan does not offer it. I am not sure if Blue Cross Blue Shield is the administrator of their (self insure) plan or not, but regardless, other “self insures” like Wachovia, RBC Bank, and Southern Progress offer such benefits, and I think they are administered by BC/BS. Correct me if I am wrong.

Then others like Terry Kellogg from BC/BS who spoke at the Over The Mountain Democrat forum a couple of weeks ago say economics will not allow it, but that is a fallacy. Studies show that costs are less for most same sex couples because most of them do not incur health care costs for things like pregnancies and childbirths.

What’s in it for UAB if they offer insurance benefits? Many top professors and research scientists overlook UAB for this reason. They may not be gay themselves, but they want to work in a place that offers equality. Some probably realize that if one group is discriminated against, it might not belong before another will be.

I made those points in about four sentences, and no one else commented on it, but I did notice some nods from some faculty types that were there. And sexual orientation was mentioned by a couple of other people as being a part of diversity.

All in all the forum was worthwhile and the food (Mexican) was good.

3. The (little) City

Bessemer is trying its best to become “Little Birmingham.” (not to be confused with the liquor store by the same name on the outskirts of Panama City Beach that was the first stop on the beach road for our family vacations when I was growing up!)

I mean, here is Bessemer about to turn control of their water filtration plant over to an outside agancy with no control reserved for the city, like the Birmingham Water Works, sort of. Then, last night at a Council meeting during which the public turned out to voice concerns, Mayor Ed May, Council President Jesse Matthews, Councilors Dorothy Davidson and Earl Cochran, and others, put on an embarrasing display of childish behavoior, arguing and raising their voices until finally the meeting was adjourned having accomplished nothing.

I take that back. Something was accomplished. Information that I learned at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting Monday was released. $3 million or so is missing. This is bond money that during Quitman Mitchell’s administration was supposedly placed in irrevocable trust to draw interest to later pay on the $56 million bond issue that GUSC has only been making interest payments on. Money that was to be used now, or in 2009, to make the principle payment that everybody is worried about.

Those of us who wonder why only interest has been paid also wonder where the $3 million went. We do have copies of a resolution from 2000 which authorized GUSC to make “the first four payments of the $3.7 million from GUSC” to “the City of Bessemer General Fund…”

Alice Martin where are you?

Planet Hater Rush Limbaugh, and Antarctica Stuff

November 6, 2007

Rush Limbaugh has to be one of the most irresponsible people on the planet. Yesterday he had one of those little fits he sometimes has, this time about global warming and MSNBC. Limbaugh was critical that NBC and all the little NBC’s are going green, and in particular he didn’t like Bob Costas bringing this up during the NFL pre-game show.

Limbaugh said he didn’t think politics was supposed to be brought into sports, since his Donovan McNabb incident a few years ago, but that NBC is doing it.

Rush…heads up. This is not a political issue…it is an enviromental issue.

Limbaugh then went on to show his lack of knowledge and understanding of science in general and climate change in particular, and is just another planet hater. (Similar to the editor of the Western Star, except Limbaugh knows not to plagiarize).

My mother used to use an expression something like “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” and Limbaugh did just that when he said he said turtle season was over so he turned on all his outside lights, more than usual, and left them on to counter the effects of those turning off their lights to conserve energy.

Why don’t you leave your car running all night too Rush, or leave the windows open when you run your air conditioner? Conservative is supposed to mean conserving (that includes energy), and you promote wasting? Oh, just like the republican led congress and president did with our money prior to 2007.

Any normal and responsible person, even if they were not aware or convinced of climate change, would still want to conserve energy and work to improve the enviroment.

NBC has sent the Today Show’s Ann Curry to Antarctica, and Matt Lauer to the Arctic to report on climate and environmental issues.

But did you know that UAB has a connection, a major one, to Antarctica? In fact, an island has been named for two UAB researchers , Charles and Margaret Amsler?

UAB has had scientists in the frozen land doing research. Look at this video …it’s just a couple of minutes long. See who, from our community, is involved in this important work, and hear them tell us why.

*******************************************************************

One thing I like about fall is seeing certain flowers make their last effort at blooming before cold weather sets in. The little noisette roses that I have pictured before are doing just that.

When really, they should be satisfied with already producing numerous bright orange rose hips like these.

Dogwoods are known around here for their flowers in the spring, but in the fall they produce vibrant leaves and bright red berries.

And mums come in all colors, but look at these. They came from the Publix on Highway 150, if you want one.

>Planet Hater Rush Limbaugh, and Antarctica Stuff

November 6, 2007

>Rush Limbaugh has to be one of the most irresponsible people on the planet. Yesterday he had one of those little fits he sometimes has, this time about global warming and MSNBC. Limbaugh was critical that NBC and all the little NBC’s are going green, and in particular he didn’t like Bob Costas bringing this up during the NFL pre-game show.

Limbaugh said he didn’t think politics was supposed to be brought into sports, since his Donovan McNabb incident a few years ago, but that NBC is doing it.

Rush…heads up. This is not a political issue…it is an enviromental issue.

Limbaugh then went on to show his lack of knowledge and understanding of science in general and climate change in particular, and is just another planet hater. (Similar to the editor of the Western Star, except Limbaugh knows not to plagiarize).

My mother used to use an expression something like “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” and Limbaugh did just that when he said he said turtle season was over so he turned on all his outside lights, more than usual, and left them on to counter the effects of those turning off their lights to conserve energy.

Why don’t you leave your car running all night too Rush, or leave the windows open when you run your air conditioner? Conservative is supposed to mean conserving (that includes energy), and you promote wasting? Oh, just like the republican led congress and president did with our money prior to 2007.

Any normal and responsible person, even if they were not aware or convinced of climate change, would still want to conserve energy and work to improve the enviroment.

NBC has sent the Today Show’s Ann Curry to Antarctica, and Matt Lauer to the Arctic to report on climate and environmental issues.

But did you know that UAB has a connection, a major one, to Antarctica? In fact, an island has been named for two UAB researchers , Charles and Margaret Amsler?

UAB has had scientists in the frozen land doing research. Look at this video …it’s just a couple of minutes long. See who, from our community, is involved in this important work, and hear them tell us why.

*******************************************************************

One thing I like about fall is seeing certain flowers make their last effort at blooming before cold weather sets in. The little noisette roses that I have pictured before are doing just that.

When really, they should be satisfied with already producing numerous bright orange rose hips like these.

Dogwoods are known around here for their flowers in the spring, but in the fall they produce vibrant leaves and bright red berries.

And mums come in all colors, but look at these. They came from the Publix on Highway 150, if you want one.

UAB Remembers Virginia Tech

April 24, 2007

This worker is painting the trim on Broken Vessel church, undergoing restoration in the South Highlands neighborhood of Bessemer. They expect to be using the church within a few weeks.

There is beautiful and there is ugly, and sometimes the two are linked.

Last night a candlelight vigil was held at UAB Commons to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Several hundred students and staff were present, as several people spoke, including Dr. Carol Garrison, the president of UAB and Dr. Jeff Graveline, the president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Club of Greater Birmingham. Most moving were the remarks by Melissa who spoke of her friend Ryan Clark, a triple major, 4.0 student who she had known for eight years since they served together as counselors at a camp. She said media reports said Ryan died a hero coming to the aid of another student in the dorm where he was resident assistant, but she tearfully said that he was a hero long before that. She had worked her way up to assistant director and Ryan had become music director, and he was always a favorite of the campers. They became close friends even away from camp and her description of his concerns for others and the way he encouraged and helped friends who were troubled were an inspiration. She said the world was already a darker place without his light shining, yet through her words his light shines on.

Then there is the ugly.

The American Family Association has released a DVD that begins with a letter being read. “Dear God,” the letter begins, “Why didn’t you save the students at…” and then a long list of cities where school shootings have occurred is read, ending with Blacksburg, Virginia. “Signed, Concerned Student.”

Dear Concerned Student” the voice over continues. “I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.”

The narrator then goes on to describe how this came about, blaming Madeline Murray O’Hare for removing God from schools, Dr. Spock for the lack of discipline our kids recieve, the removal of corporal punishment in schools, internet child predators and the legalization of abortion, among other things. The dialogue ends with “You reap what you sow.”
Finally, the truth.

When you sow gun laws that allow the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, you reap murder. When you sow ignoring requirements that certain mental health patients can not purchase guns, you reap mass murder. When you skirt federal law requiring reporting of patients who have been determined to be danger so that they will be flagged during the laughable instant background checks and prevented from buying guns, as the state of Virginia did, you get Blacksburg, VA. When you sow arming the general public, including students in classrooms, as some have proposed, you get disaster.

Let me remind you of something. Last year a man shot and killed five girls at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, PA, a location curiously left off the AFA list of “Godless schools”. If God was ever present in schools, the Amish schools for sure would be filled with his presence. The Amish practice discipline in the manner the AFA suggests, and I assume the Amish do not support abortion. So God being in the schools, and disciplining children does not protect the students.

How can people who claim to be Christians overlook the facts and distort the truth to promote such views? Why don’t they focus on fixing the mental health system? Why don’t they work to promote responsible gun ownership and laws that protect the public? This is no different than Jerry Falwell blaming 9-11 on homosexuals. In my view, they lose all credibility and are more likely to drive people away from Christianity rather than attract people to it. Of course, people need to be driven from this radical Christianity, which really isn’t that much different from radical Islam, but that is a different subject for a different day.

>UAB Remembers Virginia Tech

April 24, 2007

>

This worker is painting the trim on Broken Vessel church, undergoing restoration in the South Highlands neighborhood of Bessemer. They expect to be using the church within a few weeks.

There is beautiful and there is ugly, and sometimes the two are linked.

Last night a candlelight vigil was held at UAB Commons to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Several hundred students and staff were present, as several people spoke, including Dr. Carol Garrison, the president of UAB and Dr. Jeff Graveline, the president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Club of Greater Birmingham. Most moving were the remarks by Melissa who spoke of her friend Ryan Clark, a triple major, 4.0 student who she had known for eight years since they served together as counselors at a camp. She said media reports said Ryan died a hero coming to the aid of another student in the dorm where he was resident assistant, but she tearfully said that he was a hero long before that. She had worked her way up to assistant director and Ryan had become music director, and he was always a favorite of the campers. They became close friends even away from camp and her description of his concerns for others and the way he encouraged and helped friends who were troubled were an inspiration. She said the world was already a darker place without his light shining, yet through her words his light shines on.

Then there is the ugly.

The American Family Association has released a DVD that begins with a letter being read. “Dear God,” the letter begins, “Why didn’t you save the students at…” and then a long list of cities where school shootings have occurred is read, ending with Blacksburg, Virginia. “Signed, Concerned Student.”

Dear Concerned Student” the voice over continues. “I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.”

The narrator then goes on to describe how this came about, blaming Madeline Murray O’Hare for removing God from schools, Dr. Spock for the lack of discipline our kids recieve, the removal of corporal punishment in schools, internet child predators and the legalization of abortion, among other things. The dialogue ends with “You reap what you sow.”
Finally, the truth.

When you sow gun laws that allow the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, you reap murder. When you sow ignoring requirements that certain mental health patients can not purchase guns, you reap mass murder. When you skirt federal law requiring reporting of patients who have been determined to be danger so that they will be flagged during the laughable instant background checks and prevented from buying guns, as the state of Virginia did, you get Blacksburg, VA. When you sow arming the general public, including students in classrooms, as some have proposed, you get disaster.

Let me remind you of something. Last year a man shot and killed five girls at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, PA, a location curiously left off the AFA list of “Godless schools”. If God was ever present in schools, the Amish schools for sure would be filled with his presence. The Amish practice discipline in the manner the AFA suggests, and I assume the Amish do not support abortion. So God being in the schools, and disciplining children does not protect the students.

How can people who claim to be Christians overlook the facts and distort the truth to promote such views? Why don’t they focus on fixing the mental health system? Why don’t they work to promote responsible gun ownership and laws that protect the public? This is no different than Jerry Falwell blaming 9-11 on homosexuals. In my view, they lose all credibility and are more likely to drive people away from Christianity rather than attract people to it. Of course, people need to be driven from this radical Christianity, which really isn’t that much different from radical Islam, but that is a different subject for a different day.

>This was life saving for me

March 12, 2007

>Today I am going to address a subject that is icky for a lot of people. As you are reading this, I am either having a colonoscopy or recovering from it. This is my second. A colonoscopy can be a life saving event. Really and truly, the first one saved my life. Read on, my personal experince is down below. No, it’s not fun, and the prep time is just as bad as the procedure. First this.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. My doctor gave me a blue bracelet to remind me to get screened (I already had the appointment) but I am wearing it to remind me to tell others to do the same.

During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, these important points about colorectal cancer are communicated:
Colorectal cancer can be prevented.
Screening for colorectal cancer can identify polyps – grape size growths in the colon and/or rectum. These can be removed to prevent cancer from ever occurring.
Starting at age 50, men and women who are at average risk for colorectal cancer should get screened. Men and women who have a higher risk of the disease may need to be tested earlier and should talk to their health care professional about when.
No matter what your age, know the risk factors, know the symptoms, know your family history.
Colorectal cancer is treatable.
Talk with your health care professional today.
Go to this site to learn more. On the left of the page are various topics and a FAQ link that will provide lots of information.

http://www.preventcancer.org/colorectal/facts/crc.cfm

If you are 50, or if you have a sibling or a parent who is 50, they need to know this.

My own experience

When I had my colonoscopy at age 50 two polyps were found and removed. Had I not had the procedure, by now, or in the not too distant future, I would most likely develop colon cancer. A friend of ours was not so lucky. Soon after my procedure, he had the same procedure for the first time. Colon cancer was discovered, and a few months ago he died. He was older than me, and had he been screened at age 50, he might still be alive today.
This is serious stuff. And it is one of the easiest cancers to prevent, by having this simple (well, sort of) procedure. Do your self, and your loved ones a favor. Get screened.

On a more positive note…I learned this week that I have been accepted in to the Masters Program in Epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health. Of course, I am already taking some courses there, but now they can be applied to my degree.

This was life saving for me

March 12, 2007

Today I am going to address a subject that is icky for a lot of people. As you are reading this, I am either having a colonoscopy or recovering from it. This is my second. A colonoscopy can be a life saving event. Really and truly, the first one saved my life. Read on, my personal experince is down below. No, it’s not fun, and the prep time is just as bad as the procedure. First this.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. My doctor gave me a blue bracelet to remind me to get screened (I already had the appointment) but I am wearing it to remind me to tell others to do the same.

During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, these important points about colorectal cancer are communicated:
Colorectal cancer can be prevented.
Screening for colorectal cancer can identify polyps – grape size growths in the colon and/or rectum. These can be removed to prevent cancer from ever occurring.
Starting at age 50, men and women who are at average risk for colorectal cancer should get screened. Men and women who have a higher risk of the disease may need to be tested earlier and should talk to their health care professional about when.
No matter what your age, know the risk factors, know the symptoms, know your family history.
Colorectal cancer is treatable.
Talk with your health care professional today.
Go to this site to learn more. On the left of the page are various topics and a FAQ link that will provide lots of information.

http://www.preventcancer.org/colorectal/facts/crc.cfm

If you are 50, or if you have a sibling or a parent who is 50, they need to know this.

My own experience

When I had my colonoscopy at age 50 two polyps were found and removed. Had I not had the procedure, by now, or in the not too distant future, I would most likely develop colon cancer. A friend of ours was not so lucky. Soon after my procedure, he had the same procedure for the first time. Colon cancer was discovered, and a few months ago he died. He was older than me, and had he been screened at age 50, he might still be alive today.
This is serious stuff. And it is one of the easiest cancers to prevent, by having this simple (well, sort of) procedure. Do your self, and your loved ones a favor. Get screened.

On a more positive note…I learned this week that I have been accepted in to the Masters Program in Epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health. Of course, I am already taking some courses there, but now they can be applied to my degree.