Nysha Recent News

Dancing pediatric PA assistant inspires following, healing

Orange, California — Tony Adkins, PA-C is a physician assistant in the pediatric neurosurgery dept. of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).  His own life story is inspiring enough to make anyone dance—raised by a single mom, he grew up to join the U.S. Army, marry and become a professional healer.


And use the joy of song and dance to bring healing to children beset by serious illness.


Videos of the young PA singing and dancing with his young patients in the beds and hallways of CHOC have earned him an admiring following of over 26,000 worldwide.  Patients are even calling ahead of visits to ensure that he’ll be available for a therapeutic dance session.


“Being celebrated through song and dance brings them much joy and helps to get their minds off their disease,” Adkins recently wrote.  “In an area of medicine where the stakes are high and the spirits often low, I believe it’s important to create an outlet for kids to have fun because laughter and silliness is one of the best doses of medicine I can provide.”



U.S. hospitals pay up to 6x more than Germany for cardiac implants: study

London, England — British research finds that U.S. hospitals pay up to six times more for coronary stents and pacemakers than do hospitals in Germany. 


Researchers looked at quarterly hospital spending between 2006 and 2014 in the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy and Germany—finding, for example, that U.S. hospitals reported paying $670 for bare-metal stents, as compared to $120 in Germany.


The research was recently published in Health Affairs.



Conscientious chef quits restaurant to revolutionize institutional food

Berlin, Germany — Professional chef Patrick Wodni, 29, quit his job at a top-ranked Berlin restaurant to do “something useful,” he told The New York Times in an Oct. 5 article.


Now heading the Havelhöhe hospital’s food program, he’s replaced the facility’s commercial frozen-food orders with locally-harvested organic vegetables and fish, cut back on meat usage, and made oats and other bland-tasting health foods taste good, the Times reported.


Despite presiding over 550 fresh meals served a day, he’s cut the hospital’s food costs down to about $5.50 per person per day, the Times noted.  “Mr. Wodni has shown it is possible to improve the quality of hospital food while keeping costs low.”


The Times also reported that the chef wants to create a bigger revolution—“a first step in transforming the way institutions like schools and hospitals prepare and procure food.”



Rising rural hospital closures: Report looks at underlying factors

Washington, D.C. — According to a late-September report released by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), 64 rural U.S. hospitals were shuttered from 2013 to 2017—over twice as many as those closed between 2008 and 2012.


However, the report noted several key facts, variables and other factors.  These include that waves of closures have hit rural U.S. hospitals before, often due to federal policy changes.  For example, from 1985 to 1988, 140 rural hospitals—or five percent of rural hospitals then in existence—closed due to the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System created in 1983.


In a similar vein, Medicare payment reductions were also a major factor.  In 2016, according to the GAO, the average rural hospital counted on Medicare for 46 percent of gross patient revenue.


However, the report also noted that 53 percent of the hospitals didn’t actually close, but merely converted into an urgent care, primary care or emergency services facility.



Hospital therapy dogs can spread superbugs to kids

Baltimore, Maryland — A study by Johns Hopkins University Hospital found that the therapy dogs used by the hospitals to boost the spirits of children with serious illnesses can carry dangerous bugs, too.


Doctors were suspicious that the hospitals’ four trained canines might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune systems. So they conducted some tests while the animals were visiting pediatric cancer patients—discovering that kids who spent more time with the dogs had a six times greater chance of coming away with superbug bacteria than kids who spent less time with the animals.


However, the study also found that washing the dogs before visits and using special wipes while they’re in the hospital took away the risk of spreading that bacteria.


Pet therapy can help people recover from a range of health problems.  Past studies have shown dogs or other animals can ease anxiety and sadness, lower blood pressure, and even reduce the amount of medications some patients need.