by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/sproing">Sproing!</a></h1>

This time it happened while doing yard work – it was a sudden flash of pain in my back and I could hardly stand up.  After the initial shock, moving continued to hurt and going from laying down to sitting up was agony.

Who would have thought picking up a bunch of twigs and branches would do it to my back?  These things weren’t even that heavy!  However, an afternoon of reaching and twisting to prune the trees combined with the bending and lifting to pick up the debris all combined to cause back pain.

The Mayo Clinic says that most people will experience this type of low back pain at least once in their lives and back pain is a leading cause of loss of work. 

So, aside from not doing yard work, how can you protect your back and avoid pain?  Safe lifting and carrying are paramount to protecting your back.  OSHA has prepared a seven page document on safe lifting and carrying techniques that can be found here and on in our Resources Section.  The Mayo Clinic also provides tips on preventing back pain.

What about after you’ve experienced back pain?  The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has a helpful Low Back Pain Exercise Guide to help through all stages of recovery. 

Fortunately I’ve done this before so knew the steps to take to reduce the inflammation and pain so I’m well on the road to recovery.  However, in a couple of years I will probably let down my guard and do it again. . .

by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/friday-roundup-061314">Friday Roundup</a></h1>

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

15 Spiritual Books To Take To The Beach This Summer from Huffington Post
Nothing says summer more than a trip to the beach; and nothing says beach more than a good book. The warm weather and calm splash of waves offers the perfect setting to settle down with a book that makes us think and realign with our spiritual core.

Do You Really Need That Antibiotic? from US News & World Report
Beware: That innocent-looking little pill you just took for your sore throat may make you sicker someday. Most of us have taken our fair share of antibiotics – for strep throat, an earache and even the run-of-the-mill cold. And in most of those cases, an antibiotic was entirely unnecessary. That alone may not be such a big deal, but the collective overuse of antibiotics has caused widespread resistance to them, as well as a subsequent rise in bacterial infections like MRSA, a serious skin infection that used to be confined to hospitals.

Hit by a car, an emergency doctor experiences firsthand the shortcomings in ER care from The Washington Post
It was just after 6 p.m. on December 7, 2011, when I went to meet a colleague for dinner at a restaurant in Washington. It was dark and rainy, and I was about a third of the way across the intersection when I heard a loud thump and felt a sharp pain squarely in my backside. It took me a few moments to realize I’d been hit by a car. Before I could make sense of the situation, I had flown through the air and landed on the street.

Episcopal Relief & Development photo exhibit celebrates 75 years from Episcopal News Service
If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a new traveling photo exhibition previewed here June 10 is a more-than 33,000-word photo essay about Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75-year legacy. The 75th Anniversary Photo Exhibition shows the organization’s global reach of its mission “healing a hurting world,” as its tagline says, from China to Ghana to El Salvador to Louisiana to New Jersey, and points in between.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!


by Sue Hacker Nelson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/friday-roundup-060514">Friday Roundup</a></h1>

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

13 Essential Summer Reads According to Book Critics in 1852 from Mental_Floss
Looking for a good summer read? In 1852, the New York Times highlighted the following notable books to get you through the hot months. Due to copyright lapses and fair use laws, all of these are available to read now, so dive in!

Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II, dies from CNN
For more than two decades, Chester Nez kept silent about his role as one of the original Navajo code talkers responsible for developing an unbreakable code during World War II.

The GPS In Your Head May Work A Lot Better Than That Phone from NPR
If I tell you to make your way to NPR's headquarters from the NOMA Metro stop a few blocks away, odds are you'll get yourself here, no problem. But how? By using two GPS systems in the brain, one that determines the direct distance to the destination, and another that calculates the twists and turns you'll need to take along the way.

Kids who get health insurance are more likely to finish high school and college from Vox
We know health insurance influences health — but can it change educational outcomes, too? A new study says yes. The paper, recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, examined expansions of Medicaid in the 1980s and 1990s. The authors found that the expansions resulted in consistent improvements in high school and college attainment.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!


by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/join-me-in-the-notonemore-campaign">Join me in the #NotOneMore campaign!</a></h1>

"Is there anyone who disagrees that gun violence is a public health issue?" 

I asked this of an admittedly friendly audience in my workshop for the Episcopal Health Ministries conference in New Orleans last month. No one felt they needed further justification to include this issue in their health ministry. 

As Christians, we are charged to give voice to those among us who are vulnerable, grieving or marginalized. -The Rev. Nicole Janelle, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Isla Vista, CA

Indeed, EHM has been working to provide the Episcopal Church with resources on violence prevention and intervention for some time now. I was a presenter during a panel discussion at the recent 'Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace' conference in Oklahoma City. A few weeks later, I spoke alongside victims of gun violence, including parents of children killed in Columbine and Newtown, at the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America press conference, held as a response to the NRA Convention held in Indianapolis that same week. 

Call to Action

Now I call on Episcopalians to join me in the #NotOneMore campaign:

"Today, I’m going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician they can think of with three words on it: Not One More." -Richard Martinez, whose son was killed in the Santa Barbara shootings

I just sent a Not One More postcard to my elected leaders. Join me and send one today.

Other suggestions for action:

  1. Taizé Prayer for Peace: In the wake the most recent shooting tragedy, members of the Church of the Beatitudes are bringing "Taizé Prayer for Peace" to Isla Vista, CA. This one-hour service will incorporate simple participatory chants, silent meditation, scripture and candlelight. The monastic Taizé Community in eastern France has long been a pilgrimage site for young adults dedicated to peace, justice and reconciliation. Join us from 8-9pm on Wednesday for an hour of community healing and prayer in our chapel. Consider holding something similar in your community.
  2. Include worship resources from Episcopal Peace Fellowship in your services.
  3. The voices of the faith community are critically important in these discussions. Seek out ways to make your voice heard!

Matthew Ellis is the CEO of Episcopal Health Ministries. 

by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/jill-pavka-health-care-hero">Jill Pavka: Health Care Hero!</a></h1>

Congratulations, Jill!

Jill Pavka is the diocesan liaison for Episcopal Health Ministries in the Diocese of Michigan and has presented at many of our conferences. We are thrilled to hear she has been named a "MICHUHCAN Health Care Hero!"

Health Care Hero 2014
Since its opening in 2002, Jill has been  running the St. Peters Free Clinic in Hillsdale. Beyond providing health care to those in need, Jill has been a consistent voice for increased health access for the uninsured.

Jill was a vocal and effective advocate for Medicaid expansion in her District. She utilized the voices of her patients as well as her own voice to tell stories of need.

Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network (MICHUHCAN) is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy.