Posted in Heard on the Hill on October 26, 2010 by Website
National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week (S. Res. 643) – Status: Passed Senate. Sponsor: Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI). Recognizes the role that nurse-managed clinics play in the health care system, designating the week of October 3 as “National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week.” States that clinics offer a broad scope of services that may improve access to care in communities, including prenatal ...
Posted in Heard on the Hill on October 26, 2010 by Website
Nationally Enhancing the Wellbeing of Babies through Outreach and Research Now (NEWBORN) Act (H.R. 3470) – Status: Passed House. Sponsor: Rep. Steven Cohen (D-TN). Authorizes $10 million for Fiscal Year 2011 and $50 million between 2011 and 2015 for a grant program to create, implement, and oversee pilot programs in areas with high rates of infant ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on October 23, 2010 by Website
The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that Ms. Jill Siegel of Chicago, IL is the 2010 recipient of its annual Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year. This prestigious award will be presented to Ms. Siegel at its annual benefit gala, Saving Grace – A Night of Hope Around the World, on Saturday, November 6, at the Olympic Fairmont Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The award recognizes an individual who epitomizes the true spirit of volunteerism and has made significant contributions to the Foundation.
Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, said, “It’s hard to identify Jill’s most significant contribution as she has been instrumental in so many areas. In 2009, she served as our Saving Grace chair, organizing, motivating and arranging everything for our annual fundraising gala and throughout 2010 has done an overwhelming ...
What a whirlwind Walk season it has been! The final 2010 Promise Walk concluded just a week ago. This year, a newly formed National Walk Team (NWT) assisted coordinators
around the country in planning memorable and successful walks. The NWT also created a new and dynamic website (www.promisewalk.org) that enabled Walk Coordinators and participants to easily register and raise donations for their local Promise Walk.
More than 30 volunteer coordinators produced fabulous local events - 24 Walks across the U.S. taking place between April and August, including inaugural Walks in Atlanta and Chicago and adding a second Walk location in both California and Iowa. This volume represents a 60% increase over last year. The 24 Walks collected approximately $168,000, which is more than a 150% increase over 2009. There ...
Posted in Research on September 30, 2010 by Website
Last month, a team from the University of Alberta reported in the journal Hypertension on a method to determine that a woman is at high risk of developing preeclampsia. While this method may or may not be developed into a screening test in the future, it confirmed that changes in the metabolism and the vasculature of women who go on to develop preeclampsia can be detected at 15 weeks gestation.
Two Preeclampsia Foundation members were involved in media coverage on the topic and we are very grateful to them for bringing a human face to the stories about preeclampsia. Because of the press conference and media efforts of the University, a lot of lay press picked up the story and we are fortunate that the Foundation was mentioned in several of those stories. The research findings while seemingly exciting to a lay public are far from commercial realization and would need more validation for most governmental oversight bodies (e.g., FDA). Our message of "cautious ...
Posted in Research on August 02, 2010 by Website
Research into preeclampsia and its relationship to the long-term health of mother and baby reveals both good news and bad news for preeclampsia survivors.
Evidence is unequivocal now that women who have experienced preeclampsia, particularly severe or early onset preeclampsia, are at a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular problems later in life compared to women with a history of healthy pregnancies. The "take home lesson" for preeclampsia survivors is to establish a healthy lifestyle (weight loss, exercise, no smoking) and to discuss cardiovascular assessment and follow up with your health care provider.
"There are very few identified risk factors for later life heart disease in women; preeclampsia is one of the few warning signs we'll get and we should take advantage of it," explained Executive Director Eleni Tsigas.
One study demonstrated that women who have a history of preeclampsia experienced an increased risk of ...
Posted in Research on August 01, 2010 by Website
Vitamin D and Microchimerisms:
Could the sun really have something to do with preeclampsia?
"Maternal vitamin D deficiency may be an independent risk factor for preeclampsia. Vitamin D supplementation in early pregnancy should be explored for preventing preeclampsia and promoting neonatal well-being," reads a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2007. Although some of us who had our babies in, say, Portland, Oregon, where the sun rarely shines, would love to claim Vitamin D deficiency, other preeclampsia survivors sweltered under the Arizona or California sun. If you think this might be a possible therapy to explore, talk to your health care professional and check out the discussions in our Community Forum on this topic.
Researchers have found that women with preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure in ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2010 by Website
Although the literature is scant, research has shown that lack of patient information is correlated to poor health outcomes. Our own research shows that fewer than half of pregnant women are educated about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia by their health care providers. (As an aside, we've been working with epidemiologists at the University of Iowa to conduct deeper analysis of our data; this research has been deemed compelling enough that we'll be sharing our findings via an oral presentation at the ISSHP World Congress in Melbourne, Australia.)
Thus, patient education is high on our list of priorities. This includes involving a broad spectrum of health care providers in this effort.
There are many occasions where pregnant women come in ...
In April, a New York Times article cited a study from the medical journal The Lancet that indicated for the first time in decades, researchers are seeing a significant drop worldwide in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth, to about 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980.
Several reasons were noted for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health ...
Posted in Research on May 04, 2010 by Website
Blood pressure cuffs, urine dipsticks, and the scale: for decades, these simple tools have aided health care providers in the detection of preeclampsia. As a woman's pregnancy progresses, her prenatal visits come closer together, so that her weight gain, urine, and blood pressure readings can be monitored for signs of the disorder. However, this system isn't perfect. While preeclampsia most frequently occurs at term, it can sometimes strike much earlier. The disorder can sometimes progress rapidly between appointments, or the warning signs can be too subtle to trigger alarm.
But soon, clinicians may have another method for detecting preeclampsia: a reliable screening test that can spot changes in the bloodstream relatively early in pregnancy, warning healthcare providers when preeclampsia may occur before term.
In the past eight years, a substantial amount ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on September 23, 2009 by Website
Minneapolis, MN – September 24, 2009 – The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that Ms. Kara Boeldt is the 2009 recipient of its annual Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year. This prestigious award will be presented to Ms. Boeldt at its annual benefit gala, Saving Grace – A Night of Hope, on Saturday, October 24, at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The award recognizes an individual who epitomizes the true spirit of volunteerism and has made significant contributions to the Foundation.
Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, said, “It’s hard to identify Kara’s most significant contribution as she has been instrumental in so many areas. This past year she served as our National Walk Coordinator, organizing, motivating and supporting the work of two dozen local walk coordinators across the country. This is our largest awareness event of the year.”
Boeldt also has served for several years as a moderator ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on October 04, 2008 by Website
Preeclampsia will feature prominently in a new feature film set to go into production in March of 2009. How did this come to be? Is the writer a female preeclampsia survivor? Did the director lose a loved one to the disease?
Neither case is true.
What is true is that the writers were in search of an illness that would occur during pregnancy. Their research led them to learn about preeclampsia and the Preeclampsia Foundation. At the time the writers, Craig Weintraub, Brian Steinbach, and Joey O’Bryan, had never heard of it, which was fine with them since they did not want to incorporate something that was really well known. That was in 2005, around the time of the first Saving Grace gala in Minneapolis. Weintraub, the film’s Director, and his partners were still writing the story at the time, so they attended the event to learn more from survivors and medical practitioners. Once they learned, as Weintraub puts it, “How could you not want to become more ...
Posted in Health Information on October 04, 2008 by Website
Say “matrix” and visions of a kick-boxing, black-clad Keanu Reeves may come to mind. No, this is not a movie review.
Every day, a small army of Harvard Medical School researchers reports to The Life Sciences Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. It’s new, ultra high-tech. It towers over its neighboring hospitals and research facilities and, with its clean lines, giant glass panels and sweeping marble stairway, would be a set designer’s dream for another sequel to “The Matrix”. The men and women who spend so much of their lives in this futuristic workplace are pulmonologists, oncologists, nephrologists, neurologists; they are natives of France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, India, China, Japan, Turkey, and the U.S. They study and work under the leadership of Dr. Raghu Kalluri, Chief of the Division of Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Composed of proteins and found throughout the body, the matrix serves as a platform for ...
The Preeclampsia Foundation recently “signed on” to a letter to Congress that was generated by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research. You may know that we are members of “Friends of NIH (National Institute of Health)” and it is through that association we are able to make our voice heard in such matters. Make no mistake about it, we are friends of NIH . . . but as most of us know, even the best of friends can have disagreements. However, before I go there, let’s address the areas in which the Preeclampsia Foundation strongly supports the NIH.
These are clearly tough economic times, and it seems there is a “bail out” or “recovery package” (depending on whom you are talking to) for almost everyone, and we want to make sure that NIH is not left in the cold. Accordingly, we have supported the recommendation that an additional $1.9 billion be allocated for NIH in the current economic packages that are being debated in Congress. Now, before you get ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2008 by Website
Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses are a key way for medical professionals to upgrade their skills, master the latest research and qualify for promotions and membership in industry organizations. Last year the Preeclampsia Foundation and the University of Minnesota’s Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health joined together to create the first-ever online CME course devoted to preeclampsia prediction, management and outcomes. Now that the first offering of the course is complete, feedback from participants suggests that it could play an important role in improving awareness, diagnosis and treatment.
The CME was divided into three modules: one devoted to diagnosis, a second with the latest treatment and management information, and the third focusing on heart disease prevention in preeclampsia survivors. Physicians Dr. Thomas Easterling, Dr. Michael Katz and Dr. Tanya Melnik conducted the lectures, which were accompanied by online PowerPoint ...
Posted in Health Information on July 04, 2008 by Website
After several years of trying, the Preeclampsia Foundation was recently notified that it has finally been accepted in to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).
As anyone familiar with the CFC knows, the application and review process for acceptance as a CFC charity is rigorous. Among other things, to be part of the national campaign, each charity must prove that it actually does have a national presence. As always, our Preeclampsia Foundation volunteers came through with data, facts, and figures that enabled staff to complete the application in timely fashion and make the cut!
For those who may be unfamiliar with the CFC, it is the only authorized fundraising entity for federal government employees, including postal employees and military ...
“I have learned through bitter experience this one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger. And as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled, can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.” The quote above is from Mohandas Gandhi. I think it captures a very real component of human nature and gives us pause to examine our own behaviors and actions. Tragedy and sadness of any sort can fuel a torrent of emotions—among them anger.
Anger is a reasonable response for a woman who has had preeclampsia and perhaps lost a child or suffered debilitating damage to her body. Anger seems most rational for the husband who finds he is a single parent because of preeclampsia. Anger is almost logical for parents of a premature baby who may face a lifetime of physical and developmental challenges because of preeclampsia.
I get angry too ...
Posted in Research on February 12, 2008 by Website
On November 20-22, 2007, a meeting was held in Vancouver, British Columbia to discuss The Preeclampsia Integrated Estimate of Risk Study (PIERS) which was lead by Dr. Peter von Dadelszen. Besides being the lead investigator for the study, Dr. von Dadelszen is also a member of the Preeclampsia Foundation’s prestigious Medical Advisory Board, President of the North American Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (NASSHP), and the President of ERIPED (Equipede Recherché Interdisciplinaire sur la Pre-Eclamspie et ses Determinants), Canada’s preeclampsia research alliance.
The goal of the 41-month PIERS study was to create a rigorous standard care protocol for the diagnosis and intervention of preeclampsia and the purpose of the meeting was to move to the next level of the PIERS study. After prospective gathering of data for seven years, and publishing the findings, the next step was to strategize about what had been learned and figure out how to get hospital ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on December 03, 2007 by Website
I found the Preeclampsia Foundation website in January 2003 when I was pregnant with my second child – and terrified of what might happen. That second trimester panic so many of our members know all too well.
I’ve been a volunteer ever since. Anne Garrett was my savior, and by the time my daughter Camille was born, I was a devotee for life. I thought Anne’s vision and leadership were amazing, and I wanted to help her and the Preeclampsia Foundation in any way I could. I’d have washed her windows if she’d asked me.
When I had severe preeclampsia during my first pregnancy in 1998, there was no one there. No one to help me pick up and keep going after that freight train hit. But the Preeclampsia Foundation is that ‘someone’, or rather many ‘someones’, dedicated to raising awareness and funding research. Most of all, the Preeclampsia Foundation is here providing support for women and families who need someone to turn to after preeclampsia ...
Posted in Health Information on January 04, 2007 by Website
Several years ago, Dr. Jun “Jim” Zhang, a senior investigator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development approached the Preeclampsia Foundation about working together on an epidemiological research study. Here was the study’s rationale:
“Preeclampsia is a syndrome of hypertension accompanied by proteinuria. It is a major pregnancy complication, associated with premature delivery, fetal growth restriction, abruptio placentae, and fetal death, as well as maternal morbidity and mortality. Although preeclampsia has been recognized for centuries, the etiology of this disorder remains unknown. Familial clustering of preeclampsia has long been identified, leading to the concept of a genetic basis for this syndrome. We propose a familial genetic study of preeclampsia. As such a study is often difficult to do, we plan to conduct a pilot study to test the feasibility, logistics and examine frequency of genetic polymorphism of certain genes in the target ...