When humanity transcends global politics

A recent Boston Globe story just blew me away.  Amid the usual uninspiring tales of  the fiscal cliff, famine in Africa, and the overuse of antipsychotics in elderly nursing home patients, today’s op-ed page featured a story of extraordinary human kindness.

It’s a story about a boy. But because the boy is Palestinian, his story is intertwined with geopolitics. The boy was born terribly ill. He got treatment, for years, at an Israeli hospital, financed largely by the Israeli government. And when Israeli doctors felt they couldn’t perform the complicated surgery he needed, they turned to Boston Children’s Hospital, and to a group of mostly Jewish benefactors.  They came together, across borders and boundaries, to save a boy — but they were also well aware of the statement they were making.   Read Joanna Weiss’  beautifully told story here:

Social Media for a Better World?

I just read a new report by the Bridgespan Group, which suggests the social media strategies may add more cost than benefit to small nonprofits.  In Tweeting for a Better World, Bridgespan suggests that many nonprofits are failing to think through their strategy, define their target audience, match online tactics to real world goals, or consider how they might measure success and learn from failure. Read more

Addressing the Nonprofit Leadership Drain

I re-read a sobering report the other day originally published in 2007 by the Bridgestone Group.  They studied the leadership requirements of nonprofits with revenues greater than $250,000 (excluding hospitals and institutions of higher education) and found that:

  • Over the next decade, these organizations will need to attract and develop some 640,000 new senior managers—the equivalent of 2.4 times the number currently employed.
  • Depending on consolidation and turnover rates, this number could fall as low as 330,000. On the other hand, given historic trends, the total need could well increase to more than one million.
  • By 2016, these organizations will need almost 80,000 new senior managers per year.

Using Outcomes Measures to Improve Your Grant Proposals

A recent article from Advancing Philanthropy suggests that incorporating outcomes measures into your funding proposals can show potential grantors exactly what your organization plans to do with the funds.  Read more

The Smoking Gun

A just-breaking piece in the Lancet suggests that in the UK, patients who receive the lungs of smokers have a better overall chance of survival than those who remain on waiting lists, despite the fact that they tend to survive for a shorter period after transplantation than those who receive the lungs of non-smokers.   While this intuitively makes sense to me, it still gives me the creeps! Read more

Is ‘good’ cholesterol actually bad?

Remember when we learned that hormone replacement therapy might harm—rather than help—postmenopausal women?  Or when the new PSA testing guidelines turned conventional wisdom on its head?  Remember the droves of anxious patients who worried that they had been mistreated, overtreated, or misled?  Read more

Taking the Patient Into Consideration

I just read a very thought-provoking article in a recent New England Journal of Medicine that discussed the concept of goal-oriented patient care. Read more

Removing Barriers to Diabetes Treatment

The Diabetes Working Group, composed of representatives from various medical associations, recently released a white paper containing recommendations for addressing barriers that prevent providers from delivering appropriate care to patients with diabetes. Read more

When Volunteerism Meets the Workforce

Many companies have employee volunteer programs, but lapses in the economy have left many of these programs underfunded, underdeveloped and underutilized.  I would argue that building a culture of volunteerism among your staff can promote an engagement in the workplace and a greater commitment to the organization.

Read more

Why Measure Outcomes?

I gave a talk the other night to a local nonprofit umbrella group and spent some time talking about outcomes.   I was surprised at the number of attendees who were not aware of the importance of outcomes measures to the accomplishment of their vision.

Outcome measurement has become one of the most important activities that nonprofit service organizations undertake. There are several compelling reasons to measure outcomes: Read more

National Public Health Week

This week is National Public Health Week.  Start small, think big: We can make it happen! Read more

China is a key destination for international learners

A record 292,611 students from 194 countries and regions studied in China in 2011,up 10.38 percent from the previous year, figures from the Ministry of Education show. Read more

New report: “Trends in International Student Mobility”

I just read a new research report from World Education Services (WES) called  “Trends in International Student Mobility.” Written by Dr. Rahul Choudaha, director of WES Research & Advisory Services (RAS), the report provides an in-depth understanding of the trends and issues related to international student enrollment, helping institutional leaders and administrators make informed decisions and effectively set priorities for 2012 and beyond. Read more

Social Media and Peer Behavior

A new study published in the journal Science has shed some interesting light on what influences health behaviors.  In a study of how people behaved relative to a fitness and diet intervention, study participants who were grouped alongside folks with characteristics similar to their own were more likely to use a diet diary and pursue healthy behaviors then those grouped with characteristics unlike their own. Read more

Bug news….

Two infectious disease articles caught my eye this week.  The first was published in JAMA  and the second was published in NEJM.   Read more


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