A Message From The Creator

“Trust allows you to give. Giving is abundant. As you give so it shall be given to you. If you give with judgment, limitation and stinginess, that is what you will create in your life – judgment, limitation, and stinginess.” 
― Gary Zukav

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

rachel maddow top 100 women

Patrick Kingsley

The Guardian March 7, 2011

Article History

Rachel Maddow

The only openly gay American to host a primetime news show

The only openly gay American to host a primetime news show, Maddow’s MSNBC programme tops a million viewers, and often doubles the audience of her main rival, CNN’s Piers Morgan. Born to a military, conservative family, Maddow studied for her first degree at Stanford. After earning a doctorate in political science from Oxford, she presented American radio programmes for 10 years before making the move to television in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. Almost overnight, according to one pundit, Maddow became the “star of America’s cable television news”. Something she, yet again, puts down to coming out:

Local Inspiration

Julia Medew

March 8, 2012

Jayashri Kulkarni

THERE’S a four-month waiting list to get into the Women’s Mental Health Clinic at The Alfred hospital and it’s easy to understand why. The clinic’s founder, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, has worked hard to create a culture of respect, equality and understanding for patients, which is not always found in other psychiatrists’ rooms.

Most of all, staff at the clinic aim to listen to women for at least an hour to hear about their background and the things that trigger their illness, so they can review their case and see whether any hormonal changes or other reproductive factors are at play.

This line of inquiry might seem obvious, Kulkarni says, but to date many women have been treated for mental disorders without taking their biology into account, let alone their gender-specific social roles and the pressures that come with them.

This struck Kulkarni most when she was training in the late 1980s at the old Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital, where some women remained for years receiving inadequate care.

”Some of the stories women told me were amazing; they were making important observations and saying ‘I do notice that every cycle, I deteriorate pre-menstrually’ and some would talk about deterioration around menopause, but it was always followed up with, ‘Oh, I’ve told so many doctors but they don’t believe me,”’ she says.

These women prompted Kulkarni to start researching the impact of sex hormones on a person’s mental state and vice versa, which led to new hormonal treatments for mental disorders, including the use of oestrogen to treat women of child-bearing age with schizophrenia.

Despite being a significant step forward, she still finds the simple genesis of these treatments staggering.

”The women had said it all and the fact that they weren’t listened to makes my blood boil,” she says.

While the women’s clinic does not have all the answers for everyone, Kulkarni says just listening to patients and making a genuine effort to understand them is improving some women’s health.

”It’s not about listening and saying ‘uh huh’ every now and again; it’s about actually understanding because within that is validation of that person.

”Many times that sense of being invalidated is so overwhelming and so negative that everything tried for that woman falls flat.

”So that simple act of validating her views can be such a breakthrough and it could just be the thing that empowers her to get on.”

While Kulkarni has worked on a large range of research involving males as well, she is best known for her work to help women. Last year, she was instrumental in opening a women-only wing at The Alfred psychiatric unit, enabling women to feel safer and less vulnerable to sexual assault from male patients.

As director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, she is also researching which contraceptive pills cause depression while examining the impact of anti-psychotic drugs during pregnancy.

On top of her demanding job, Kulkarni has managed to raise two daughters who are now young adults.

”I’m madly in love with my kids and always will be, they give me an enormous amount of undefined love, affection, learning, fun and purpose, but it’s always a juggle,” she says. ”I’ve done things like flying to Frankfurt for a day so I don’t miss a daughter’s concert and I pretty much wrote my PhD while sitting in a sandpit playing with my daughter.”

Julia Medew is health editor.

Women In The News

Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer receives grant

Opinion: National Women’s Health Week is reminder of resources availalbe to save lives

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 7:03 AM

By Debby D’Arcangelo

This is National Women’s Health Week, a time when women are encouraged to prioritize their health and schedule wellness checkups that include lifesaving preventive health screenings.

National Women’s Health Week is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health and brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations such as the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health.

As the leading provider of reproductive health care in the country, Planned Parenthood joins these groups in encouraging women to make their health a priority now and throughout the year.

The health of women affects our families, our partners and our communities — and we should work together to ensure that all women continue to have access to care.

Women are often the primary health-care decision makers in their household. Whether it’s the mom taking care of her family or the young woman who worries about how to pay for her annual well-woman exam, we know that health care is a constant concern.

That’s why the new health-care law, the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), is so important. It not only improves access to affordable, quality health care, it has a multitude of benefits that help women lead healthier lives. For women in particular, the ACA represents the biggest advance in women’s health care in a generation and provides a long list of new and specific benefits for women and women’s health.

The ACA increases access to a wide range of preventive health-care services by guaranteeing that they are offered without additional co-pays. This means that women will have access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual well-woman exams, birth control and other preventive health care without costly co-pays.

Under the new health-care law, women are guaranteed direct access to their ob/gyn provider without another doctor’s referral or approval from an insurance company.

The ACA will end discriminatory practices against women.

No longer will women be charged higher rates for health insurance just because they are women.

No longer will women be denied health-care coverage because of a “pre-existing condition.”

In the past, some health insurers have claimed that pregnancy or being a survivor of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition, but ACA puts a stop to that.

The new health-care law will provide affordable health insurance to millions more individuals.

Nearly 13 million women of reproductive age will become newly eligible for health insurance coverage under ACA. This will be a huge relief to the millions of women who currently don’t have health insurance.

The ACA expands coverage for young adults by allowing them to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26. This provision is needed so that young adults who are fortunate enough to already have coverage can continue to be insured as they transition from their education into careers. As of June 2011, nearly 69,000 young women and men in New Jersey gained insurance coverage as a result of this provision.

In short, through the ACA, more women will be able to take charge of their own health and stay healthy.

Screenings and early detection are so important: Cervical cancer, breast cancer and many STDs are more successfully treated when caught early, so getting regular checkups is crucial. Early detection and treatment of these diseases save lives.

We know firsthand the importance of checkups in preventing more serious health issues.

More than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area does at its three health centers in Mercer County — in Trenton, Hamilton and at The College of New Jersey — is life-saving cancer screenings (including clinical breast exams and pap tests), birth control, prevention and treatment of STDs, vasectomies, health counseling and sexual health education and information.

Planned Parenthood has been part of the community for almost 80 years, and it is proud to continue to offer these vital services.

In 2011, it helped more than 12,000 people in the community with its comprehensive reproductive health-care services and education/outreach programs.

Early detection and treatment save lives. I urge every woman to make an appointment for a preventive checkup with her health-care provider.

Debby D’Arcangelo is interim CEO of the nonprofit Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area. Contact plannedparenthood.org/mercer to learn more about women’s health or to schedule a checkup.

In Remembrance Of A Rock Legend

I just want to take the time to pay tribute to a Rock Legend Mr. Robin Gibb who passed away today.

RIP Mr. Gibb.

Born: December 22, 1949 in Manchester, England

Along with his twin brother Maurice Gibb and his brother Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb was the third member of the popular ’70s and ’80s band, the Bee Gees. Their albums have sold more than 100 million copies. In the more than 25 years that the band has been together they have recorded more than 25 albums and have had eight singles reach number one on the -Billboard Pop Singles chart in the U.S., three singles hit number one in the U.K. and many more hit the top of the charts worldwide.

Born in England, Robin Gibb emigrated to Australia with his parents in the early ’60s. With his brothers he formed the band the Bee Gees which came from the Brothers Gibb. Their career began in 1963 when they performed their song “The Battle of the Blue & Grey” on television. Anxious to be where the big-name musicians were, the trio moved back to Britain in 1967 to compete with bands such as the Beatles. 

The Bee Gees were a smashing hit in the U.K. during the ’60s and ’70s. Their fame became international when their hit “New York Mining Disaster 1941” reached the United States music charts. Other hits were “Massachusetts,” (their first number one in the U.K.) “World,” “I Started a Joke,” and ” I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” claiming spots on both the U.K. and American charts. 

In the spring of 1969, Robin Gibb left the Bee Gees to pursue a solo career. As a songwriter and a singer, he had the talent and had already built a name for himself as a member of the Bee Gees. His brothers decided to continue singing and songwriting without him. During his brief solo career, Robin Gibb produced a chart-topper with his first single “Saved by the Bell.” After releasing his first solo album Robin’s Reign, Robin Gibb returned to the Bee Gees in 1970. 

During the ’70s the trio produced their first U.S. numer one hit in 1971 with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” Unfortunately, the music scene was going through a transition period and the Bee Gees gradually lost popularity. In 1975, the group regained success when they produced Main Course with American producer Arif Mardin. The hit “Jive Talkin'” sent the band back into the popular music scene once again. The late ’70s brought about incredible success for the Bee Gees. Some of their songs were used on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, bringing them fame during the disco phenomenon. “Jive Talkin’,” “You Should Be Dancing,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “How Deep Is Your Love” were used in the film. In 1978, “Night Fever” became the group’s biggest hit from the soundtrack. 

The ’80s were less successful for the group as disco fell out of favor and they struggled with musical and personal difficulties. Robin released three solo records in the mid-’80s that did not meet much success: How Old Are You? in 1983, Secret Agent in 1984, and Walls Have Eyes in 1984. Tragedy struck the Gibb brothers in 1988 when their musically inclined brother, Andy Gibb, who had several number one hits himself, died of a cocaine overdose in England. The group made a bit of a comeback in 1993; the album Size Isn’t Everything produced the modest hits “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Paying the Price of Love,” and “Above and Beyond.” 

The Bee Gees are noted for their versatile singing and songwriting, having produced hits over a two-decade span. During the course of the Bee Gees’ musical career, they have written songs for such artists as Andy Gibb, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and Dionne Warwick. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed in the music industry. In 1996 the group earned the lifetime achievement award at the Brit Awards, followed by the lifetime achievement award at the American Music Awards in 1997. The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In early 2003, the Brothers Gibb lost Maurice to heart failure and decided to retire the Bee Gees name. Also in early 2003, Robin released a solo single “Please” which was followed by his first solo album in 15 years, Magnet. Kim Summers, Rovi

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