Strength in love, hope in science

first_imgWhen young love faces death, tragedy too often follows. But what if science throws in on the side of the lovers?Husband and wife Eric Minikel and Sonia Vallabh, both Harvard Ph.D. students, have through fate and choice become a test case. The couple has embarked on a journey both personal and scientific, one that began five years ago in a mother’s horrifying decline into dementia and death from a rare brain disease, the tracks of which appear in Vallabh’s DNA.Their search for a treatment is off to an encouraging start. Still relative newcomers to the lab, Vallabh and her husband have two research papers under their belts, and have exhibited enough energy and intellect to make some of the world’s top scientists enthusiastic supporters and cautious believers. The genetic bomb of prion disease that killed Vallabh’s mother is almost always fatal, but usually doesn’t strike until middle age, still years away for her 31-year-old daughter. In the meantime, every moment counts.“When a force of nature meets a force of nature meets a tragedy, what do you get? You get Sonia and Eric,” said Stuart Schreiber, the Morris Loeb Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the head of the Broad Institute lab where Vallabh and Minikel are conducting research. “I don’t know the final outcome, but I think the early steps toward remedy look promising. They bring otherworldly intellect with a heavy dose of urgency to prion disease.”A devastating decline It’s a long way to brain science from transportation planning, in which Minikel trained at MIT, and alternate dispute resolution, which was Vallabh’s focus after graduating from Harvard Law School in 2011.The journey began in early 2010. The couple, living in the 630-square-foot Central Square apartment they’d shared since moving to Cambridge from California in 2008, started to hear from Vallabh’s mother, Kamni, that she was losing weight and having trouble with her vision.“It just seemed like minor things,” Vallabh said. “Winter in western Pennsylvania can be a tough time for everyone. I was thinking, ‘It’s not a great winter for Mom.’”But when Vallabh visited home in May, her mother’s deterioration was frightening.“It happened really quickly that she wasn’t able to get to the end of a sentence without losing her train of thought, trailing off into murmuring or into non-sequiturs,” Vallabh said. Her mother “couldn’t remember for any period of time that she wasn’t strong enough to stand or walk. If you turned your back for a second, she would try to stand and fall.”The family’s search for answers took them to specialists in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Boston, but the doctors were stumped. Lyme disease and heavy-metal poisoning were among the possibilities considered and then dismissed. An early spinal tap to check for prion disease came back negative.“Every time there was a new hypothesis … there was an uptick in hope for the whole family,” Vallabh said. “Then it would fade away.”Kamni’s condition worsened. In and out of hospitals, she underwent a tracheotomy and was put on a respirator. She developed pneumonia and, finally, in December, after nearly a year of rapid decline, underwent another spinal tap. It came back positive: a tentative diagnosis of sporadic prion disease.Vallabh’s mother died on Dec. 23, 2010, still lacking a confirmed diagnosis. Her father, Sagar, decided to have an autopsy done, but the results would take some time. Vallabh returned to Cambridge to finish her legal studies, graduating from Harvard Law in May and starting work at a small consulting firm in Boston.A few months later she was back in Pennsylvania for a friend’s engagement party. At the airport for her return flight, her father asked if he could talk to her alone. Kamni had indeed died from prion disease, he told her. And, though most cases develop spontaneously, her mother’s was genetic.Lethal proteinsIt took science some time to come around to the idea that disease might spring from proteins, which seemed strange bedfellows with viruses and bacteria. Proteins are important elements in the diet and essential to the body, providing the building blocks for muscle, red blood cells, hormones, enzymes, and a wide array of other tissues.But they can go wrong. Proteins are long molecules, containing hundreds or even thousands of atoms that fold themselves into 3-D structures. These structures are characteristic for each protein and influence how they work. Folds can expose or hide parts of a molecule, making them more or less likely to interact. In prion disease, prion proteins begin misfolding into a malignant form.The genetic mutations that can cause genetic prion disease all occur in the prion gene, PRNP, and are dominant. That means that only one copy is needed to seed disease and that Vallabh had a 50 percent chance of inheriting the copy from her mother.Though several different prion-related diseases are recognized by medical science, Minikel and Vallabh have come to believe that they’re all variants of the same condition, traced to different mutations of PRNP and the misfolded protein it encodes.On the flight back to Boston, Vallabh told her husband the news.“I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs to breathe,” Minikel said. “I was holding Sonia … not letting go. The flight attendant kept coming by — ‘Are you OK?’ We weren’t, but what could we say?”With no treatment or cure, someone else might have passed on testing for the gene.But Vallabh’s decision was immediate: She had to know.“We can never go back to a time [when] we didn’t have the question,” Vallabh said. “Rather than live with the question, I wanted to have the answer.”Minikel and Vallabh have found a home for their research at the Broad Institute. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn December 2011, several torturous weeks after providing a sample, Vallabh met Minikel amid the bustle of Park Street station. They rode the E train out to Brigham Circle and walked a short distance to Brigham and Women’s Hospital.When the geneticist and a genetic counselor came in, they delivered the news simply: “The same change that was found in your mother was found in you.”As the information sank in, Vallabh heard the geneticist say that he was “cautiously optimistic” a treatment would be developed eventually. But in the moment, there was no escaping the likelihood that her mother’s fate would be her own.After the couple shared the test results, friends converged on the Central Square apartment, and Vallabh’s father flew to Boston. The weekend passed in a sort of mourning, as the couple and those closest to them absorbed the news and tried to understand what it meant for the future.“That grieving process lasted a week,” Vallabh said. “Then we had a visit from Stevie.”Help from a friend Stevie Steiner was a doctoral student at MIT and an old friend of Minikel’s. The two had met in 2000 as freshmen at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, bonding as fellow nerds. They lost touch after graduation, but reconnected in Cambridge thanks to a chance meeting on a corner near the MIT campus.When Steiner heard about Vallabh’s diagnosis, he was unconvinced. As a scientist, he held faith in the power of science, but he also remained clear-eyed on its limits, not least when it came to rare conditions such as genetic prion disease.“My first reaction was, ‘We don’t know what we don’t know,’” Steiner said.Steiner, working on his doctorate in materials chemistry and engineering, was no expert on the disease. But he knew that there was a lot more going on in prion labs than physicians would discuss with patients. He also knew that much of that work was available in scientific journals. So he searched for articles in a database, and then loaded them onto a flash drive.Steiner “brought with him a very different energy,” Vallabh said. “Everyone [else] was, ‘Wow, this is hard.’ Stevie came in the door with his own agenda.“He said, ‘Guys, science has answers. Don’t lie down and take it. Things are happening.’ This was so different, we almost couldn’t handle it.”Steiner left the flash drive, but neither Vallabh nor Minikel touched it for several days.“Some of my reluctance was disbelief,” Vallabh said. “My mother saw some of the best neurologists in the country and still died without a diagnosis. These diseases were too rare. It didn’t seem plausible to me that people were working on them.”Finally, they plugged in the drive.“What I didn’t appreciate was the [divide] between research and the clinical side. Looking at the articles I realized that maybe there’s nothing making it from the lab to the clinic now, but there’s a huge backstage warren of activity pointing in that direction. As soon as we realized that people are out there devoting their careers to working on prions, defining prions, understanding disease, and thinking about treatment, we started looking ourselves.”The couple set off on their own search of journals, a search that soon became addictive for Vallabh. “It had an optimistic energy to it that I liked. It was helping, it [made] me feel better. It felt like a sabbatical from my normal life to get up to speed on science.”In January 2012, she quit her job.Lab lessons Before long Vallabh was sitting in on MIT classes. Next she enrolled in a molecular biology course at Harvard Extension School. One night after class, she approached teaching assistant James Walker, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) scientist and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).“She told me the story from the beginning,” Walker said. “It was captivating. She was hesitant to say ‘This is what I want to do,’ but she was wondering whether there were opportunities.”Vallabh asked Walker about possible volunteer positions in a lab. Though Walker knew Vallabh was a newcomer to science, he also knew she was smart and driven. He’d see what he could find.It didn’t take long. Marcy MacDonald, an HMS professor of neurology and a Huntington’s disease researcher at MGH’s Center for Human Genetic Research, had an opening for a technician and agreed to take on Vallabh. The first day in the lab was surreal.“I kept thinking, ‘Any minute now, I’m going to say something dumb and they’re going to take [this] away from me,’” Vallabh said. “It was very hard for me to accept that they hired me on the premise that I was a beginner and I’m really going to try hard.”Vallabh survived the day, and over the weeks to come, won the respect of her lab mates. Marta Biagioli, then a third-year postdoctoral fellow, said she didn’t know what to make of Vallabh when she arrived. MacDonald had warned her that Vallabh was a beginner, so on that first day, Biagioli lined up a few simple tasks to ease her into her duties: use a pipette, make a solution.The newbie proved a fast learner.“She practically jumped from very basic pipetting to more complicated experiments in a couple of months,” Biagioli said. “That was really impressive to me.”Vallabh soon realized her “sabbatical” from legal work was morphing into something more permanent. Her time in the lab felt meaningful beyond anything she could imagine in law. She and Minikel began to think about what came next.‘Engaging with science … is really different from thinking about my own mortality every day. In some ways one has displaced the other.’ —Sonia VallabhThe couple had already founded the Prion Alliance, aimed at supporting work toward a treatment. Minikel began to blog about the disease and eventually followed Vallabh to MGH, leveraging his analytic skills and experience in an Extension School bioinformatics course to find work in a different lab. Formal scientific training emerged as the next shared goal.At first the couple looked at schools where prions were a major focus, which left out Harvard’s Division of Medical Sciences, the Harvard Medical School-administered Ph.D. program of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Among the top candidate schools was the University of California at San Francisco, the base of Stanley Prusiner, who won a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his discovery of prions as a new kind of infectious agent.Then, at a reception for prospective graduate students, Vallabh and Minikel struck up a conversation with Harvard’s Schreiber. He challenged the notion that the only path was an established prion laboratory.An alternative, he offered, would be to join a multidisciplinary team of scientists who might not be expert in prions, but who knew a lot about modern therapeutics. He knew exactly where to look — his own lab. The plan held risks, not least that the prion expertise would depend on a pair whose primary training was in transportation planning and law. But the combination of therapeutics and prion research might just accelerate a treatment.In the fall of 2014, Vallabh and Minikel entered Harvard’s biological and biomedical sciences Ph.D. program. And when it was time to find a lab for their research, they turned to Schreiber.Onward, together In January, Minikel and Vallabh were the first authors on a study with a fraught question at its heart: If you have the gene, what are your chances of getting the disease?Some genes confer near-certainty that disease will develop, but most of the time cause is blurred, a blend of genetic roots — often from multiple genes — with environment and lifestyle. Minikel and Vallabh’s study used multiple databases of both sick and healthy people to investigate 63 different prion disease mutations, including the one Vallabh carries.They were able to draw conclusions for 10, finding that three mutations thought to cause disease were likely benign and that three more caused disease in far fewer cases than originally thought. For four mutations, however, including Vallabh’s, they found “penetrance” to be nearly 100 percent. In other words, those who have the mutation will almost certainly develop the disease.But the study also carried good news. It documented three people in good health even though one of their prion genes was shut off. Such a “loss of function” mutation means that drugs that might one day reduce prion protein in the body will likely be safe.“We’re optimistic and hopeful that we’re moving the ball forward. We can put energy there instead of spinning wheels for things I can’t affect,” says Vallabh. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe research also eased the mind of at least one worried woman, according to Robert Green, a geneticist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The daughter of a deceased patient who tested positive for prion disease had been concerned that the disease was genetic and that she herself was at risk. Minikel and Vallabh’s study showed that although the mother did have a mutation for prion disease, that particular mutation was likely benign, allowing Green to call and ease the daughter’s concerns.For Schreiber, the article carried another benefit: It provided evidence of the couple’s scientific chops. The publication, their second, struck him as a sign of more to come. “Any one of these would be the paper of a lifetime,” he said, adding: “We believe in Sonia and Eric. I’m in it for the long haul.”It’s a belief Minikel and Vallabh have taken to heart, making a second home of the Broad, which has provided separate lab space for their research and extra backing in the form of a BroadIgnite grant.The couple once imagined speeding through doctoral studies to focus on prions in their own lab, but no longer. They have been able to dive right into prion research and draw on the material and intellectual resources — including platforms in genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and small-molecule screening — of one of the world’s top biomedical research centers.“I feel like we’ve landed,” Vallabh said. “We found our place where we can do science. We just got to do it, make the most of the opportunities here.”Those opportunities leave scarce time to dwell on disease and the uncertainties of tomorrow.“Engaging with science … is really different from thinking about my own mortality every day,” Vallabh said. “In some ways one has displaced the other.“We’re optimistic and hopeful that we’re moving the ball forward. We can put energy there instead of spinning wheels for things I can’t affect.”Meanwhile, the idea of raising a family is more and more on their minds. Vallabh and Minikel have fertilized embryos — safely frozen for now — that tests have shown are free of the genetic mutation for prion disease. Sometime in the next couple of years, they may take yet another leap.“Some people have five or six generations of disease in their family,” Vallabh said. “To take it into our own hands to end transmission through your germline I think is miraculous. It’s so powerful. What an amazing gift to be able to give your kids.”last_img read more

Rector provides details on Walsh Hall renovations

first_imgAs the fall semester drew to a close, the Walsh community girls gathered for a meeting with the Walsh Hall renovation team to discuss the changes to the building. According to Liz Detwiler, the Walsh Hall rector, the building will have a number of updated features including expanded rooms and new common areas.“For the new renovations, I know that all of the piping and plumbing in the building is going to be new,” Detwiler said. “Some of the rooms are going to be resized to be more appropriate to the amount of people in them. … We’re going to have lounges on every floor with full kitchens.”The dorm will have a new elevator and the private restrooms connected to individual dorms will be replaced with public restrooms. The renovated residence hall will also include new apartments.“We’ll be getting a new apartment space for in-residence priests, or faculty members and probably most importantly, it’s going to be accessible for people of all physical abilities now,” Detwiler added.Walsh Hall president Aly Sonnen said before the meeting, the Walsh community girls did not know much about the renovations.“We had a ton of questions,” Sonnen said. “Until the presentation, we really did not know much about what was going on. You can’t see that much from outside the building.“There were a lot of questions just about what it’s going to look like and what our lives next year are going to look like as a result of the renovation. They answered them all really well, though.”Freshman Sammie Escamilla said she thinks Pangborn Hall is a nice building, though she has not lived in Walsh Hall yet.“I was never in Walsh, so I know nothing different,” Escamilla said. “To me … [Pangborn is] nice. Other people say it’s not so nice. When you tell people you live in Pangborn, they kind of give you the ‘Oh, I’m sorry face’ but I mean, I think it’s a nice building. The rooms aren’t too small. We have no headroom but other than that, it’s not too bad.”In Walsh Hall, each floor consisted of one long hallway and there weren’t any sections. Junior Shea Kelly-Buckley said she first noticed Pangborn’s hallways when moving into the dorm, as they were very distinct from Walsh’s.“It was different,” Kelly-Buckley said. “It felt a little bit smaller. There were sections, which was new. Just having corners was something kind of different. But my room in Pangborn is actually bigger than the rooms in Walsh, so it’s been very comfortable.”Pangborn’s smaller hallways have been an adjustment for the community, according to Sonnen.“I think the biggest thing is that Walsh as a building made for community really easily,” Sonnen said. “Pangborn has a lot narrower hallways and a lot less common space that, when we’re throwing events or even just meeting new people, it’s harder to do that.”Sonnen said the “non-physical” aspects of Walsh have not changed.“We talk about ‘Walsh Love’ a lot and we have three main tenets of our being,” Sonnen said. “They’re safety, inclusion and community, so that’s really what we’re trying to cultivate in Walsh.”Kelly-Buckley said in some ways, moving to Pangborn has not changed the feeling of dorm life for the Walsh community.“Because they kept the whole Walsh community together, it feels the same to me inside the dorm,” Kelly-Buckley said. “Obviously the physical location is different, but you know, we’re still Walsh.”Tags: Construction, Pangborn Hall, Walsh community, Walsh Halllast_img read more

Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program in the works

first_img July 1, 2000 Regular News Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program in the works A proposed program to handle minor client complaints against attorneys before they become full-fledged grievances has won approval from the Bar’s Program Evaluation Committee. Committee Chair Tod Aronovitz reported to the Board of Governors last month that the proposed Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program has been forwarded to the Budget Committee for further review. He also told the board that PEC was recommending the continuation of four Bar committees. “ACAP, the Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program, is a program that has been implemented in a number of other states,” Aronovitz said. “It is designed as a part of the disciplinary arm. It is designed to screen telephone complaints before they become disciplinary complaints.” The goal, he said, is to resolve minor problems before they become formal complaints, and similar efforts have been successfully set up in other states. The Bar also experimented with a pilot program in its Tampa branch office. The Disciplinary Procedure Committee extensively studied the issue, set up the pilot program and recommended that the Bar expand the project statewide, which prompted the PEC review. “It was the opinion of PEC that this new program appears extremely promising,” Aronovitz said, adding the committee gave its unanimous endorsement. On other matters, PEC reviewed four Bar committees and recommended all four continue in operation. The board approved all the recommendations. Aronovitz said PEC found that the Federal Court Practices Committee provides valuable liaison and review services related to federal courts, federal court practice rules and federal bar associations. A new mission statement for the panel was also approved. PEC recommended a change in the mission statement for the Student Education and Admissions to the Bar Committee, he said. The new mission statement, which was approved by the board, includes that the committee will facilitate good relationships with law schools and help law schools prepare students for the practice of law. PEC reviewed the Quality of Life/Stress Management Committee and was “convinced their mission is adequate and they provide services to lawyers in a number of ways,” Aronovitz said. “They address the needs of lawyers relating to stress and making the practice of law a more enjoyable experience.” Likewise, PEC found that the Relations Between The Florida Bar and the Institute of CPAs Committee, although a small group, provides valuable services. That panel, Aronovitz said, is both a liaison between lawyers and CPAs and offers joint continuing education programs. The committee also is likely to be a valuable resource as the Bar addresses issues related to multidisciplinary practices, which frequently involve accountants, he said. Attorney-Consumer Assistance Program in the workslast_img read more

Credit unions applaud bipartisan reform bill on FHLB membership

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Would create parity between banks and credit unions, restrict FHFA limits.by: Trey GarrisonThe National Association of Federal Credit Unions is lauding a bipartisan bill that would grant credit unions parity with banks under Federal Home Loan Bank membership criteria.NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler  said the legislation introduced by Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., and Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, the ranking member and chairman of the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, is a big help for credit unions, especially smaller ones.“We thank Chairman Neugebauer and Ranking Member Clay for their leadership on this issue,” Thaler said. “Many credit unions look to the Federal Home Loan Banks for mortgage liquidity, and this bill would help ensure that access. We look forward to working with the lawmakers and their staffs toward enactment of this important measure.”The bill would revise the Federal Home Loan Bank Act definition of a “community financial institution” to include small credit unions – those with less than $1.1 billion in assets. The statutory change would ensure credit unions parity under any final rule changes by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in the FHLB membership criteria. continue reading »last_img read more

HZJZ: Recommendation for work / stay on yachts, boats and other vessels during the epidemic COVID-19

first_imgPassenger records.  Crew health monitoring by daily temperature measurement.  The Croatian Institute of Public Health published recommendations for work / stay on yachts, boats and other vessels during the COVID-19 epidemic. Other recommendations as well as the procedure in case of symptoms indicative of COVID-19 can be found in the appendix. It is recommended that vessel personnel keep records of passenger contacts and passenger entries and exits, so that in case of detection of a sick person on board, territorially competent epidemiologists can identify and inform the patient’s contacts as soon as possible and implement measures to prevent further spread of infection. Before starting work, all crew members must measure their temperature in the morning and will not start working if it is higher than 37,2oC and / or they have respiratory problems. In case of fever and / or respiratory problems with or without fever, employees will contact the employer and the competent family doctor by phone and will not start working until the cause of respiratory disorders or fever is determined. Attachment: HZJZ: Recommendation for work / stay on yachts, boats and other vessels during the epidemic COVID-19last_img read more

Majority of Indonesians find distance learning costly: Study

first_imgThe majority of Indonesians find distance learning costly, especially among those with a lower socioeconomic status, a survey conducted by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC) has shown.The survey, which was conducted from Aug. 5 to 8 and polled 2,201 respondents across the country, found that only 6 percent of respondents said they did not find distance learning costly.”Among respondents with family members carrying out distance learning, 67 percent them said it was very or quite costly,” SMRC public policy manager Tati Wardi said in a virtual presser on Tuesday. Tati said the government should pay attention to this issue as students had been forced to study from home for months during the COVID-19 pandemic.“Of course the government should implement this […] However, they need to pay serious attention to the economic burdens,” she said.The survey showed that the higher a person’s education, the lower the tendency to state that distance learning was quite or heavily costly, and the higher a person’s income, the lower the tendency to state that it was costly.“There is 80 percent of respondents with a maximum income of Rp 1 million (US$67) per month who stated distance learning is quite or heavily costly,” she said. Read also: COVID-19 crisis opportunity for education reform in Indonesia”So obviously, distance learning has a serious impact, especially among those with a lower socioeconomic status.”Tati added one of the factors behind the burdening cost was internet, noting the survey also found that 92 percent of students said they had experienced obstacles in distance learning.“Around 47 percent of the respondents spent more than Rp 100,000 per month on internet for distance learning and about 52 percent spent a maximum of Rp 100,000 per month.”She concluded that the implementation of distance learning policies was still far from ideal. However, it was also unfair to blame the government for not anticipating the problems related to distance learning.“These findings indicate a crucial problem regarding the right to education and its relation to socioeconomic status. Those with higher incomes do not see it as a heavy burden, but it doesn’t apply to the poor. The government needs to respond to this gap.”Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim recently allowed the reopening of more schools amid the pandemic after previously giving the green light for schools in COVID-19 green zones, or low-risk areas, saying the policy was difficult but a necessary trade-off to maintain students’ spirits in a time of crisis. The move sparked criticism from teachers and pediatricians, who called for schools to stay focused on distance learning as they feared that sending children back to school could put them at risk of contracting the coronavirus.Topics :last_img read more

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens (Video)

first_imgThe 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm was officially opened on Thursday, 6 September, at a ceremony in Barrow in the north-west of England. The project, owned by Ørsted (50%) and its partners, the Danish pension funds PKA (25%) and PFA (25%), will thus leapfrog the 630MW London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm.Walney Extension features 40 MHI Vestas 8MW wind turbines and a further 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines installed across an area of 145km2 in the Irish Sea. The project becomes Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the UK.Construction of Walney Extension was co-ordinated from Ørsted’s West Coast Hub, at the Port of Barrow, which will now become home to the project’s operations and maintenance team. The West Coast Hub also services three further Ørsted offshore wind farms, Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands.The completion of Walney Extension brings Ørsted’s total capacity operating out of Barrow up to 1.5GW. Ørsted’s ongoing operations and maintenance activities will support more than 250 direct jobs in the region, the company said.“The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK Managing Director, said.”The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Ørsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy. The North-West region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here.”Video: Ørstedlast_img read more

Embarrassing Accounting in Australia

first_imgThe big news yesterday was that the vote on gay marriage to be held in Australia will cost half a billion dollars. Wow! But where did the accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC)which is a public supporter of gay marriage – take note) get that figure?As an accounting graduate, PWC are embarrassing.it on $281m for the TIME OF THE COST OF VOTING (yes – the money you could be earning at work instead of exercising your democratic right), and $20m for MENTAL HEALTH HARMS to 50,000 LGBTI Australians.(yes – democracy and public debate causes mental harm – apparently.)Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!Imagine if PWC priced a general election? Most countries would be bankrupt!As an accounting graduate, PWC are embarrassing.But when you hear the NZ media repeat the $500m figure, ignore them.http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/mar/14/marriage-equality-votes-true-cost-attacked-by-conservativeslast_img read more

People’s right to confidentiality must be respected

first_img Sharing is caring! 29 Views   no discussions Tweet Share LocalNews People’s right to confidentiality must be respected by: – August 23, 2011center_img Dr. Valda Henry. (file photo)The Chief Executive Officer of a local consulting firm here is calling on nurses to refrain from abusing the special privileges afforded to them.Dr Valda Henry of VF Inc made the remarks at a ceremony yesterday to mark the fifty forth anniversary of the Dominica Nurses Association under the theme “Embracing Ethics over Privilege.”She told nurses that they must be held accountable for actions and omissions in their practice and must always be able to justify their decisions, and that people’s right to confidentiality must be respected.“As nurses you have special privileges, access to clients’ confidential information, even when people will not admit to themselves what they have, you know. That’s a privilege that must be taken with utmost responsibility. Trust is a very funny thing. You cannot demand trust, you have to earn it,” she said,Meantime, President of the Dominica Nurses Association, Julie Blaize told nurses that they must uphold the ethical practices of their profession.“There are many privileges that we have as nurses; therefore we must be mindful that what we say and what we do in these capacities, that the ethical principles of justice are always our main priority,” she said.Blaize asked nurses to examine themselves to determine whether they are meeting the ethical standards of the profession.Dominica Vibes News Share Sharelast_img read more

September 7, 2018 Police Blotter

first_imgSeptember 7, 2018 Police Blotter090718 Decatur County EMS Report090718 Decatur County Fire Report090718 Decatur County Jail Report090718 Decatur County Law Report090718 Batesville Police Blotterlast_img