Sporkworld


Subscribe to Sporkworld Microblog by Email

Visit Erewhon 2.0, Sporkworld's current ongoing project.

Support Sporkworld by starting your Amazon shopping here:

I woke up this morning thinking that our doctors need to stop acting like politicians and act like clinicians and scientists, and our politicians need to start acting like statesmen.

Not profound, but it is depressing.

Then I came downstairs and found 20 wild turkeys walking in our yard within 6 feet of where I was standing.

I feel better.

I have joined the Engaged Patient community, and I recommend it to you for your consideration.http://engagedpatients.org/
(With apologies for exerpting an excellent “About” statement)


Engaged Patients is a consumer and advocate-led project to inform, engage and empower you to feel comfortable and even confident in taking a greater role in your own health care. We believe that access to the right information at the right time will transform your health care experiences and improve health care quality and patient safety for everyone… .


We believe that excellent tools, technologies, and strategies empower people to be better informed and more engaged in every health care encounter. To that end, we have worked for over a decade creating patient education resources and building relationships in the patient advocacy community.
http://engagedpatients.org/

A funny thing has been happening in the patient safety movement.
Actually, it is neither funny nor unusual. As resources have become available to promote patient safety, an entrepreneurial and imperial attitude has invaded what began as a grassroots democratic process. All-too-often self-promotion has trumped the original mission.
It’s human nature, I suppose, and it’s a trend that some of us are old enough to have witnessed in other efforts to promote equality: domestic violence movement, civil rights movement, antiwar movements, gender rights movement, various previous efforts at healthcare reform, patient-based support groups secretly funded by pharmaceutical companies, etc.
Sporks are very old, and have seen it all before.
So, it becomes very important to support projects that maintain the integrity of the cause and whose leaders are not in it to promote themselves.
Engaged Patients is one of the good guys. It is free of corporate interests and non-profit in the best sense of the word, depending upon volunteer donations and the generosity of its organizers to maintain the services it provides.
And the services are many ‒ and free. The resources are also well-vetted by the organizers who are well-informed and familiar with the qualities that make a resource reliable.
For the past several years as part of my participation in Consumer’s Union Safe Patient Project network I have carried Julia Hallisy’s materials around with me when I have attended or spoken at conferences, whether in healthcare or poetry (yes, poetry). And I have admired the meticulous, well-crafted and beautifully produced informative pieces she has produced.
Whenever possible, I obtain permission to display books I’ve collected which have been written by members of the Safe Patient Project network. Julia’s handouts which are convenient, attractive and well-crafted, are often picked up both by consumers and by medical professionals.
Therefore, I am really pleased to report that she has partnered with another SPP advocate, Mary Ellen Mannix, a professional child and healthcare advocate who was instrumental in getting legislation through in Pennsylvania to improve safe care for newborns. Together, Hallisy and Mannix have created a project that makes Julia’s materials more easily available online as well as compiling extensive, (remember) vetted free materials from others that can assist families as they approach healthcare facilities.
As I have already said, this Spork has joined the Engaged Patient community, and recommends it to you for your consideration.

I have joined the Engaged Patient community, and I recommend it to you for your consideration.
http://engagedpatients.org/

(With apologies for exerpting an excellent “About” statement)

Engaged Patients is a consumer and advocate-led project to inform, engage and empower you to feel comfortable and even confident in taking a greater role in your own health care. We believe that access to the right information at the right time will transform your health care experiences and improve health care quality and patient safety for everyone… .

We believe that excellent tools, technologies, and strategies empower people to be better informed and more engaged in every health care encounter. To that end, we have worked for over a decade creating patient education resources and building relationships in the patient advocacy community.

http://engagedpatients.org/

A funny thing has been happening in the patient safety movement.

Actually, it is neither funny nor unusual. As resources have become available to promote patient safety, an entrepreneurial and imperial attitude has invaded what began as a grassroots democratic process. All-too-often self-promotion has trumped the original mission.

It’s human nature, I suppose, and it’s a trend that some of us are old enough to have witnessed in other efforts to promote equality: domestic violence movement, civil rights movement, antiwar movements, gender rights movement, various previous efforts at healthcare reform, patient-based support groups secretly funded by pharmaceutical companies, etc.

Sporks are very old, and have seen it all before.

So, it becomes very important to support projects that maintain the integrity of the cause and whose leaders are not in it to promote themselves.

Engaged Patients is one of the good guys. It is free of corporate interests and non-profit in the best sense of the word, depending upon volunteer donations and the generosity of its organizers to maintain the services it provides.

And the services are many ‒ and free. The resources are also well-vetted by the organizers who are well-informed and familiar with the qualities that make a resource reliable.

For the past several years as part of my participation in Consumer’s Union Safe Patient Project network I have carried Julia Hallisy’s materials around with me when I have attended or spoken at conferences, whether in healthcare or poetry (yes, poetry). And I have admired the meticulous, well-crafted and beautifully produced informative pieces she has produced.

Whenever possible, I obtain permission to display books I’ve collected which have been written by members of the Safe Patient Project network. Julia’s handouts which are convenient, attractive and well-crafted, are often picked up both by consumers and by medical professionals.

Therefore, I am really pleased to report that she has partnered with another SPP advocate, Mary Ellen Mannix, a professional child and healthcare advocate who was instrumental in getting legislation through in Pennsylvania to improve safe care for newborns. Together, Hallisy and Mannix have created a project that makes Julia’s materials more easily available online as well as compiling extensive, (remember) vetted free materials from others that can assist families as they approach healthcare facilities.

As I have already said, this Spork has joined the Engaged Patient community, and recommends it to you for your consideration.

Black-throated Blue Warbler — A Life Bird

This bird first appeared September 14th when I was busy making breakfast, because it was late and I was hungry, so who cared about the bird that flitted through the elderberry bush just outside the kitchen window.  Besides, I had the wrong lens on the camera.

Even though I was pretty sure I had never seen this bird before.

But when it stuck around, I managed a dreadful shot (worse than these that you see here) — which is the only reason I can say for sure that what I saw through the old window with the wrong camera set-up is the same species I saw today when there were at least two of them, both highly photogenic, both posing very close to the windows — in bad light and flitting rapidly from branch to branch.

So these images will have to do.  And they do prove the identification.

How pleasing to get a life bird clearly visible (if poorly photographed) less than 6 feet away, viewed extensively with the naked eye…

The Spork parents married at a deeply serious time.  And yet — the father/grandfather was a local newspaper reporter.  So the paper published a souvenir issue — unknown how many copies — after removing the headline and at least two photographs.

Hitler’s demands on Poland still appear.

Incalculable suffering happened during those years.  People in the US were still hoping the war would stay overseas, and so there was levity on a very dark day.

As for this Spork’s parents — they left for their honeymoon at Acadia on Mt. Desert, Maine, and then to Orleans on Cape Cod.  They read no newspapers and learned of Hitler’s invasion of Poland after they returned home some time after September 1.

It’s an odd bit of family history: the horrors of this particular war not lost on a couple of newlyweds, but awareness postponed and thus allowing adventures in two of their favorite places.  Places they took pains to introduce their children to over the next 60 years.

Eastern Niagara Hospital in Newfane (Niagara County) NY.

Spork’s Letter to the Editor of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal speaks to what she believes is behind the ad placed in the same issue of the paper.

Do not take anything you read in the ad at face value.

And particularly:  Think about the plan to have an Emergency Service in a facility with a “D” rating from Leapfrog in patient safety, nearly 20 minutes from the nearest inpatient bed if one should be needed.

Think about the mentality of the person who took pains to assure the community that the ER will be staffed by physicians, implying that physicians in an ER are an extra.

Note that for the past two days, everyone at the Lockport facility aka the surviving facility has been drinking bottled water after Legionella bacteria were discovered in the hospital’s water lines.  But, “there is no outbreak” in the same announcement that noted a case of Legionnella in the hospital.

The hospital spokesperson never mentioned which facility is affected — Lockport or Newfane.

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/water-use-retrictions-in-effect-at-eastern-niagara-hospital-20140823

The hospital system’s website was silent about the water problem.

The hospital system’s website does not mention patient safety.

Our advice:  Do not get sick in Niagara County, NY.

A Tale of Two Grandfathers and Wartime Security in WW I

The Sporks had a bunch of grandfathers and this is a story about two of them: Spork Major’s grandfather and Spork Minor’s Grandfather. Not surprisingly, since the Sporks are related, the two grandfathers were as well — Father and Son.

William J Deed, Jr. was the father of Robert F Deed. WJD was a naval architect, so when WW I came along, he built sub chasers at a boatyard in Clayton, NY. Robert F Deed was 4 years old at the time.

The boatyard was off limits to the public, guarded by armed men at night, and most of the construction took place in a huge shed built close to the water.

When a reporter from The Watertown Daily Times came calling, there was not much that the Navy guy (WJD) could say:

[T]he United States is engaged in a real war and we must realize that in order to win we must fight it out in the best way possible; and one important thing to do is to keep the enemy as ignorant as possible regarding our implements of warfare. They may get the information through their spy system, but we shall have the satisfaction of knowing we did not hand it out to them.—Watertown Daily Times, Wednesday Afternoon, July 18, 1917

CLAYTON BUILDS U-BOAT CHASERS

Good Progress Made on Four Boats

Naval Officer’s Story

What a surprise, then, to come upon a drawing, nearly 100 years later of a boat by “Robert, Nov 7” with “17” written above the month and day. These notations are in adult hand.

This would make the artist 4 1/2 years old and might serve to explain the difficulty of deciphering his handwriting, which reads “Subchaser 337.”

The artist was a future journalist, and so apparently cutting his teeth early on the need for precision, included a label for his subject, which was built in that shed, off limits to the public, but not, apparently, off limits to little boys.

Sub chaser 337 appears on an index of boats built for the Navy in WW I.

http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/smallships/pc1.htm

The boat’s wartime service and a photo of the boat, mostly obscured by a boat next to it, appears in the public archives. The official photo provides considerably less detail than Robert’s drawing, it should be noted.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/150337.htm

Sub chaser 337 was launched a month after Robert made his drawing.  We don’t know what use it might have been to the enemy if the enemy had thought to search a little boy’s room.

I was entranced by Jack Kerouac as so many are beginning in high school. Kerouac’s writing went well as a balance to a strait-laced upbringing.

This video uses one of Kerouac’s Buddhist texts in a near-commercial way.

But, I like it even though some of the transitions give me a jolt.

We’ve had a sudden appearance of a wheelbarrow load of rocks and dirt in our compost heap — and we are actively seeking the culprit who wheeled her or his load of dirt 20-100 feet into our yard to make this deposit and mess up our compost.  Who knows what was in this dirt?  How annoying is it?

It appears that this corruption of our soil is a repeat of an unfortunate episode deep in my family’s past.  And I have to say, our esteemed ancestor was none too happy about his experience either.

This is what he wrote July 21st 1869:

Things are growing finely all except sweet Corn — That seems stunted — Fault of manure — got Aaron to misx that poudrette and he ruined it.

Notice that he named names — and I am not.

Patient Safety Day 2014
At a recent meeting with staff of a local hospital, I mentioned that our conversation, of course, occurs in the context of the fact that we all have to die some time.  The Chief Medical Officer immediately responded, Yes, but in our time, not before our time.  That’s what we aim for here: That our patients do not die before their time.There are facts about this hospital that convince me the CMO is not simply saying what I want to hear.  The hospital is making huge strides in creating a safer place for patients, and there is both dissatisfaction within administration about safety levels and a determination to do something about safety to make things better.A breath of fresh air, certainly.Speaking of which, yesterday morning we discovered a single specimen of Helen’s pinks.  She grew them for years in her gardens in Bowmansville, NY.  After her death, her sons and daughters each took seeds, and we all planted them in our gardens.  But after several years, they disappeared.This year – a sign of hope dare I think?  That single pink, heavy with brilliant blooms, so that even the casual gardener noticed.Helen Suckow grew up on a farm, toughened by life and weather, in a place with a street named after her farming ancestors.  She dwelt in fact, laced with ties to family, the tiny community around her, and church.She spent the last several years of her life in an assisted care facility and eventually a nursing home, and she had the courage to make the decision herself to leave her home for a more protective environment.That is why I write about her today:  Hers is one of the stories that worked out well.  Hers is a story that needs to be commonplace instead of exceptional.The continued care from assisted living to nursing home was seamless, and lined with caring staff, comfortable, attractive surroundings, and attention to her wishes regarding end or life care.When her time came, there were no heroic (undesired) measures, and she died in her own bed with family present.So, my wish is for more of us to die in our own time and with suffering minimized.

Patient Safety Day 2014

At a recent meeting with staff of a local hospital, I mentioned that our conversation, of course, occurs in the context of the fact that we all have to die some time.  The Chief Medical Officer immediately responded, Yes, but in our time, not before our time.  That’s what we aim for here: That our patients do not die before their time.

There are facts about this hospital that convince me the CMO is not simply saying what I want to hear.  The hospital is making huge strides in creating a safer place for patients, and there is both dissatisfaction within administration about safety levels and a determination to do something about safety to make things better.

A breath of fresh air, certainly.

Speaking of which, yesterday morning we discovered a single specimen of Helen’s pinks.  She grew them for years in her gardens in Bowmansville, NY.  After her death, her sons and daughters each took seeds, and we all planted them in our gardens.  But after several years, they disappeared.

This year – a sign of hope dare I think?  That single pink, heavy with brilliant blooms, so that even the casual gardener noticed.

Helen Suckow grew up on a farm, toughened by life and weather, in a place with a street named after her farming ancestors.  She dwelt in fact, laced with ties to family, the tiny community around her, and church.

She spent the last several years of her life in an assisted care facility and eventually a nursing home, and she had the courage to make the decision herself to leave her home for a more protective environment.

That is why I write about her today:  Hers is one of the stories that worked out well.  Hers is a story that needs to be commonplace instead of exceptional.

The continued care from assisted living to nursing home was seamless, and lined with caring staff, comfortable, attractive surroundings, and attention to her wishes regarding end or life care.

When her time came, there were no heroic (undesired) measures, and she died in her own bed with family present.

So, my wish is for more of us to die in our own time and with suffering minimized.