Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Kiran Bedi

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Kiran Bedi

Women’s Health: U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths

Women’s Health: U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspiration Of Motherhood:Vanessa Minnillo: “I’m Excited” to Become a Mom!

Inspiration Of Motherhood:Vanessa Minnillo: “I’m Excited” to Become a Mom!

Inspiration Of Motherhood:Vanessa Minnillo: “I’m Excited” to Become a Mom!

Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey are well-equipped for the arrival of their firstborn.

But given that their son’s birth is still months away, Minnillo is taking things day-by-day. “We’re still working on everything,” she told Us Weekly at Disney/ABC Television Group’s All-Star cocktail reception in Beverly Hills July 27. “I’m excited about my shower. . . It’s an exciting time.”

PHOTOS: A bikini-clad Vanessa Minnillo shares her workout tips

Minnillo, 31, was already pregnant when she began filming the new season of ABC’s Wipeout. “It was easy to bring the baby to set, you know what I mean? He’s just there [in my belly]: I don’t have to bring a car seat, I didn’t have to feed him, I didn’t have to change his diaper,” she said. “Next season will be interesting having a baby and working.”

When Us caught up with Minnillo’s husband three days earlier at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, the Stars Earn Stripes competitor admitted he’s ready to embrace “the unexpected.”

VIDEO: Who’s more competitive — Vanessa Minnillo or Nick Lachey?

“The nursery’s ready, we got the stroller, we got the car seat. Now it’s just emotionally figuring out what we do, and I don’t think that ever ends,” the 38-year-old said. “I’ve assembled a couple strollers at this point, and I’m pretty confident. If my brother [Drew Lachey, 35] can handle putting in a car seat, I feel like I have a pretty good chance. If he can do it, anyone can do it!”

PHOTOS: Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo’s most romantic moments

A lot has changed for the couple in the past year, Lachey acknowledged. “You get married, you get pregnant, and it all kind of happened so fast,” he told Us. “But it’s very exciting!”

A Message From The Creator

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke

Women’s Health: U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths

By Malena Amusa

WeNews correspondent

Monday, July 30, 2012

As the U.S. maternal mortality rate continues to increase, the new health care law could offer improvements in preventative care for women. Yet, definitive answers to why more American mothers are dying remain scarce

(WOMENSENEWS)–The future of pregnant women in the United States will significantly change Aug. 1.

That is when the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will require insurance providers and Medicaid to cover clinical preventative services for women, including pre-natal care, all without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible.

Under the new guidelines, millions of women will gain access to health care services for free, including well-woman preventative care visits and screenings for gestational diabetes and sexually transmitted infections. These guidelines do not include maternity care or simply any service the doctor orders. However, starting in 2014, all maternity care will be covered by all new individual, small business and government exchange plans.

“This will provide an extraordinary opportunity to improve women’s health not only during pregnancy but before, between and beyond pregnancy, and across the life course,” said Dr. Michael C. Lu, the associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Not only will preventative care be provided next year without cost to women, under the new health care law, $125 million will go this year to the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to expand maternal and newborn support for mothers at home.

The changes are being introduced amid a wealth of data indicating that the number of mothers dying in America during or shortly after pregnancy is consistently growing. The rate of maternal mortality in the United States has more than doubled, rising from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16. 1 per 100,000 live births in 2009 – the highest among developed nations, Lu’s agency reports.

Various studies have attributed higher risk of maternal death to race, income, region, C-section rates, obesity-related problems and chronic disease. States where poverty exceeded 18 percent, the immigrant population exceeded 15 percent and the C-section rate exceeded 33 percent had 77 percent, 33 percent and 21 percent higher risks of maternal mortality, respectively, a 2007 report by Gopal K. Singh of the Health Resources and Services Administration indicated.

Women’s eNews has also reported previously that African American women’s maternal mortality rates are higher than those of other American women. African American women, regardless of levels of income and education, are three to four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy. Yet conclusive data answering the question of why are scarce.

Government Funding

Ahead of the federal health insurance reform, several states have already been using funds provided by the federal government’s Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program to improve pregnancy care.

For example, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative develops toolkits, protocols and recommendations for hospitals to tackle the leading causes of maternal death and morbidity, including hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) and preeclampsia (extreme high blood pressure).

At least two-thirds of California hospitals have adopted the toolkits. At the same time, the collaborative is devising a program to reduce first-birth C-sections, which range from 15 percent to 45 percent of births in California.

“The challenge is getting hospitals to adopt recommendations and change, but this is an area that we are making real progress in,” said Dr. Elliot Main, medical director of the collaborative. “It’s a shame mothers are still bleeding to death in the United States.”

In addition to the block grant, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau has developed intervention programs for low-income women at risk of having a low-birth weight baby, including the Home Visiting program and Healthy Start.

In 2009, 685 U.S. mothers – up from 548 in 2007 – died of pregnancy-related complications during or within 42 days of the end of their pregnancy, according to unpublished data provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

As a result, the United States is one of 23 countries – including Zimbabwe and Costa Rica – where maternal mortality rates have increased, according to a 2010 World Health Organization report “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990- 2008.”

Many pregnant mothers go into labor with chronic health problems, the top being diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The federal maternal health agency reports that these contribute to poor maternal outcomes, but these studies are not conclusive and do not explain the maternal mortality difference between white, African American and Hispanic mothers.

Higher rates of health disorders are reported during pregnancy as well. In 2008, among the 27 states that collect this information, gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension were reported in 40.6 mothers per 1,000 live births and 38.7 mothers per 1,000 live births, respectively.

Clear Backsliding Trend

Final maternal mortality and morbidity data for 2010 are not yet available but the trend is clear. While developing countries are lowering their maternal mortality rates, the United States is backsliding.

The problem here does not correlate to monetary expenditure. The United States spends more on health care than any other country and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care, according to a 2010 report by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International.

Lu, at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, has been researching maternal distress for years.

“To improve maternal mortality in America, there are two things we must do,” he said in an e-mail interview. “First, we need to improve women’s health before they get pregnant. Second, we need to improve the quality of care that women receive during pregnancy.”

That echoes an international consensus that maternal deaths are preventable in most cases and that maternal morbidity can be foreseen and addressed long before the mother gives birth.

Improving women’s health before pregnancy involves what Lu has described as a “life course model” that begins in early life and extends to checkups for teens and access to contraceptives, all of which are covered by the health reforms about to take effect.

“Programs and policies that improve women’s health before they get pregnant, including those that address social determinants of health over the life course, as well as those that improve the quality of care women receive during pregnancy, will be critical for offsetting the risks which contribute to increased maternal deaths,” Lu said.

Malena Amusa is a freelance reporter based in St. Louis.

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Kiran Bedi

Kiran Bedi (born 9 June 1949) is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. Bedi joined the police service in 1972 and became the first woman officer in the IPS. Bedi held the post of Director General at the Bureau of Police Research and Development before she voluntarily retired from the IPS in December 2007. Bedi was the host and judge of the popular TV series “Aap Ki Kachehri” (English, “Your Court”), which is based on real-life disputes and provides a platform for settling disputes between consenting parties.

She has also founded two NGOs in India: the Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation for welfare and preventative policing in 1988 which was later renamed as the Navjyoti India Foundation in 2007, and the India Vision Foundation for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention and child welfare in 1994. Bedi was awarded Ramon Magsaysay award in 1994 for Government service.

Kiran Bedi was born in AmritsarPunjabIndia. She is the second of four daughters of Prakash Peshawaria and Prem Peshawaria. Her three sisters are; Shashi, an artist settled in Canada, Reeta, a clinical psychologist and writer, and Anu, a lawyer.

She attended the Sacred Heart Convent School, Amritsar, where she joined the National Cadet Corps(NCC). She took up tennis, a passion she inherited from her father, a tennis player. She won the Junior National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1966, the Asian Lawn Tennis Championship in 1972, and the All-India Interstate Women’s Lawn Tennis Championship in 1976. In addition, she also won the All-Asian Tennis Championship, and won the Asian Ladies Title at the age of 22.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English (Hons.) from the Government College for Women, Amritsar in 1968. She then earned a Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab UniversityChandigarh, graduating at the top of her class in 1970. She later obtained Bachelor of Laws in 1988 from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. In 1993, she obtained a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Department of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of TechnologyNew Delhi, where the topic of her thesis was ‘Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence’.[10]

In 1972, Kiran Bedi married Brij Bedi, a textile machine manufacturer whom she met at the Amritsar tennis courts. Neither of them were particularly religious, so they married in a quasi-religious ceremony at a local Shiva temple. Three years later, in 1975, they had daughter Saina, who is now also involved in community service. In one of her lectures to a corporate meeting, Kiran Bedi expressed her belief that everyone in society has an important role to play which will enable others to fulfill their duties (or important tasks), quoting the example of her uneducated housemaid whose help in Bedi’s daily household work had helped Bedi to complete an important task of writing a book.

She began her career as a Lecturer in Political Science (1970–72) at Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar. In July 1972, she joined the Indian Police Service, becoming the first woman to do so. Bedi joined the police service “because of [her] urge to be outstanding”.

She served in a number of tough assignments ranging from New Delhi traffic postings, Deputy Inspector General of Police in Mizoram, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau, to a United Nations delegation, where she became the Civilian Police Advisor in United Nations peacekeeping operations. For her work in the UN, she was awarded a UN medal. She is popularly referred to as Crane Bedi for towing the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi‘s car for a parking violation, during the PM’s tour of United States at the time.

Kiran Bedi influenced several decisions of the Indian Police Service, particularly in the areas of narcotics control, Traffic management, and VIP security. During her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail (Delhi) (1993–1995), she instituted a number of reforms in the management of the prison, and initiated a number of measures such as detoxification programs, Art of Living Foundation Prison Courses, yogavipassana meditation, Murat redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs.[16] For this she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship‘, to write about her work at Tihar Jail.

She was last appointed as Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development.

In May 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of her “humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing”.

On 27 November 2007, she expressed her wish to voluntarily retire from the police force to undertake new challenges in life. On 25 December 2007, the Government of India agreed to relieve Bedi of her duties as Director General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Kiran Bedi along with 17 other police officers set up Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) in 1987,  NIF started with a de-addiction and rehabilitation initiative for the drug addicts and now the organization has expanded to other social issue like illiteracy and women empowerment. In 1994 Bedi setup India Vision Foundation which works in field of police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. Her efforts have won national and international recognition, and her organizations were awarded the “Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award” for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations.

Kiran Bedi is one of the prominent members of the India Against Corruption (IAC) along with Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. IAC has been actively protesting against corruption and is urging the government of India to enact a strong Lokpal Bill. On August 16, 2011, Key members of the India Against Corruption including Bedi were arrested four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike by Hazare. However, Bedi and other activist were later released in the evening same day. After twelve days of protests and many discussions between the government and the activists, Parliament passed a resolution to consider three points in drafting of Lokpal bill.

In July 1994, Kiran Bedi, the then Inspector-General of Prisons of Tihar Jail was pulled up by the Supreme Court of India for ignoring the apex court directives for providing medical attention to a foreign under-trial prisoner by initiating contempt proceedings against her. In 1988 Wadhwa Commission criticized Bedi for her role in lathi-charge on lawyers protesting against a colleague’s arrest outside Bedi’s office. Karan Thapar, host of many popular interview shows published an article on controversies surrounding Bedi after she pulled out of one of Thapar’s interview show.

Bedi was criticized for being a hardliner in the negotiations with government over Lokpal bill. Later members of parliament proposed to bring a breach of privilege motion against Kiran Bedi and a few other activists for allegedly mocking the parliamentarians during the lokpal bill protests,  however withdrew the notice later.

Kiran Bedi was alleged to have charged her hosts full fare for air tickets despite her paying discounted fare. She was also alleged to have charged her hosts business class fare while flying economy class. Kiran Bedi was also accused by an NGO of claiming business class fare from Delhi to Mumbai, while her travel intineray communicated to them showed she was flying from nearby Pune. Kiran Bedi has said that money was not earned for personal gains, but given to her NGO.

In 1992 Kiran Bedi’s daughter was given admission for MBBS course in Delhi’s Hardinge College under a quota for student’s from North-East. Kiran Bedi was posted in Mizoram at that time. She had defended the move to get her daughter admitted in a reserved seat saying that Central Government employees are entitled to such schemes.

On 26 November 2011, based on a complaint filed by a Delhi-based lawyer Devinder Singh Chauhan, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate Amit Bansal has directed the crime branch of Delhi police to register a case against Kiran Bedi within 24 hours, for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for her NGOs.  Consequently, Delhi Police has registered a case against Bedi under Section 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 120 b (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.

A non fiction feature film on Kiran Bedi’s life, Yes Madam, Sir, has been produced by Australian film maker, Megan Doneman. This film is being screened in film festivals around the world. Its commentator is an Academy Award winner, Helen Mirren. Kiran Bedi was present during its screenings in Toronto, Dubai and Adelaide, and to address the Q&A sessions at the end of each show.

The documentary has made a clean sweep of the award categories—“Best Documentary” with a cash award of $100,000, the biggest prize for a documentary in any film festival in the US and the Social Justice Award with $2500 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Yes Madam, Sir got a unanimous vote from the jury.

In 2006, Norwegian Mpower Film & Media and film maker Oystein Rakkenes released another documentary on Bedi and her prison revolution in Tihar Central Jail, In Gandhi’s footsteps. The film was awarded Best Documentary at the Indo-American Film Festival in Atlanta, in November 2006.

Kiran Bedi also became host in 2009–10 on the TV show Aap Ki Kachehri Kiran Ke Saath on Star Plus.

Biographies of Bedi:

  • I dare!: Kiran Bedi : a biography by Parmesh Dangwal
  • Kiran Bedi, the kindly baton by Meenakshi Saxena
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