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doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000248
Department: PulseBeats
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Teens, Chronic Illness, and Substance Abuse; Practice Greenhealth 2015 Report

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PRACTICE GREENHEALTH 2015 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

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Practice Greenhealth is the only report that provides comprehensive data on how industry leaders are successfully reducing their environmental footprint, achieving financial savings, and changing the culture of their organizations by addressing environmental issues and opportunities in energy, waste management, safer chemicals, water reduction, healthy food, green buildings, and climate impact. See the report at 2015 Environmental Excellence Awards Sustainability Benchmark Report (https://practicegreenhealth.org/tools-resources/sustainability-benchmark-report-0) for 2014 information regarding 220 hospitals.

The report shows how hospitals are developing organizational leadership and effective purchasing strategies for environmentally preferred products to effect change. “These leading hospitals are embedding sustainability into the culture of their organizations through the decisions, actions, and results described in the report,” states Jeffrey Brown, executive director of Practice Greenhealth. The report provides a glance at sustainability in award-winning hospitals and addresses questions, such as, “How much waste per adjusted patient day, per bed, or per square foot are these facilities generating?” “How did single-use device reprocessing divert over 873 tons from medical waste, while saving award-winning hospitals $29.2 million?” and “Which chemicals and attributes are avoided in purchasing practices and policies?”

Brown comments, “The report provides an excellent indication of the environmental and financial benefits that can be realized across the full sector of over 5,500 hospitals.”—Practice Greenhealth Press Release 8/20/2015

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TEENS, CHRONIC ILLNESS, AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Researchers learned that more than a third of high school students with chronic disease had consumed alcohol in the past year; one-fifth had used marijuana in the last 12 months.

Elissa Weitzman, Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, and her colleagues surveyed 400 students, 82% in high school. All had a chronic disease, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, Type 1 diabetes, juvenile arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease. The participants completed the electronic survey during a visit to one of their specialists. “We thought having a chronic illness might be protective, to some extent, given the potential for near-term serious health harm and the high value youth place on staying healthy. While it's tempting to think that these youth are somehow immune from typical adolescent risk behaviors, they are not.” In addition, teens who consumed alcohol were more likely than the nondrinkers to have missed or skipped taking their medications.

“Alcohol has the potential to affect lab test results and can interact negatively with medications. But nearly two-thirds of the teens reported not knowing whether alcohol use can interfere with accuracy of lab test. Almost half didn't know if alcohol could interfere with the effects of their medications,” said the researchers.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Associate Professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, said, “If we can help educate them, we may be able to improve their compliance with their meds. There needs to be an honest discussion about what they need to do to manage their disease, and the role that alcohol or marijuana or any substance can play in the effectiveness of their medication or how it's helping them.”—http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-healthnews-719/many-teens-with-chronicillnesses-use-pot-alcohol-702766.html Accessed 10/6/2015

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DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER

“One mark of a good team is that people are different from, and complement, one another. ...Because each person in the group is different—in the way he thinks, in his skills and talents, in his perspective—very seldom do we miss an important ‘take’ on the agenda.”

“But these same differences also have potential for irritation, even conflict. Such conflict is not necessarily bad and should not automatically be avoided. I recall a speaker pointing out that ‘commitment plus conflict equals change.’ As we work in teams with people equally gifted but very different from us, we get the opportunity to learn the cardinal character qualities of humility, meekness, and patience. Not surprisingly, we also discover that we are inclined to be proud rather than humble when things don't go our way, angry rather than meek when our rights are violated, and impatient and irritable rather than longsuffering when a discussion drags on.”—From Catching the Wind of the Spirit by Sunder Krishnan, 2010, Wind Spread Publishers, Camp Hill, PA

PulseBeats compiled by Cathy Walker

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