Child Safety

An accident or injury can occur in any part of your home. Some safety hazards are obvious, but others are not so easily identified. Every day, 39,000 children get hurt seriously enough to seek medical attention in the United States, according to preventinjury.org. Many of these injuries are caused by burns, falls, drowning, poisoning and motor vehicle crashes. So, how can you keep your child safe? Kisha Price, health educator at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center, tackles the questions that may be on many parents’ minds.

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Gallup, who conducts the annual Johns Hopkins Medicine Employee Engagement Survey, examined 49,928 business or work units in 34 countries and found that employee engagement has a strong effect on organizational outcomes such as fewer patient safety incidents, higher productivity and lower turnover. What are the aspects of your job that keep you motivated and engaged at work? Take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

What Makes You Feel Connected at Work?

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Do you have a favorite restaurant? Maybe it's your favorite lunch spot, or a good place to take a date. Share your favorite place to dine on this week’s Hopkins Happenings “Question of the Day.”

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H. Ballentine Carter, M.D.

Prostate cancer is the second-most-common cancer among men, behind skin cancer, with African-American men having the highest prostate cancer incidence in the world. Understanding and treating prostate cancer is a constantly evolving science. Recent information may leave men confused. Here, Johns Hopkins prostate cancer expert H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., tackles questions that are on many minds.

Q: How can I tell that I, or someone that I know, has prostate cancer?

A: Early prostate cancer may be present without any symptoms. It can often be detected with screening tests.

Q: Should I get my PSA levels checked?

A: PSA testing has become a polarizing topic, with experts insisting the risks outweigh the potential benefits. If you’re between the ages of 55 and 69, are African-American or if you have a family history, speak to your doctor about prostate cancer screening. Only you and your doctor can determine the appropriate course of action based on your health and background.

Q: What is the survival rate for someone living with prostate cancer?

A: In the past 25 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages combined has increased from 68 to nearly 100 percent, thanks to better detection and treatment.

Q: Can a baldness drug prevent or reduce the incidence of prostate cancer?

A: Finasteride, a baldness drug, has generated buzz after two studies suggested the drug was capable of reducing the incidence of minor prostate cancers. Dr. Carter, after reviewing the methodology, believes the results are overpromising and that finasteride does not appear to be an effective method of prostate cancer prevention.

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: Visit hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/september_prostate_cancer_awareness_month.html for more information. Also, you can join Johns Hopkins radiation oncologists Ted DeWeese, M.D., and Danny Song, M.D., on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 8 p.m. for an online webinar as they discuss  advanced options for increasing the effectiveness of the treatment while reducing side effects. Sign up today for the health seminar.

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Did you know that September is National Yoga Month? We want to know: Are you practicing yoga, or is there some other type of fitness routine that you prefer?

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The workplace is a prime location to meet people and develop relationships, and a number of faculty and staff met their spouses at Johns Hopkins. Whether it was at work or school, through a blind date or online dating service or during a social event, we invite you to post how you met your husband, wife or "significant other." Feel free to share a photo.

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Ken Grant and DeNiro DeGross

DeNiro DeGross has advanced from a part-time nutrition services worker to a full-time patient transporter under the mentorship of Ken Grant, vice president of general services.

Johns Hopkins Medicine's five-year strategic plan identifies mentoring as a key strategy to "attract, engage, retain and develop the world's best people.” Whether you participate in a formal mentoring program, such as the nurse residency program called SPRING or Master Mentors program that teaches senior faculty the essentials of successful mentoring, or support a colleague in adapting to the workplace culture, please share your mentoring story or tips.

Read more about mentoring and professional development in the September 2013 edition of Dome.

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Heidi ConwayHeidi Conway, senior director of benefits at The Johns Hopkins University, provides an update on the 2014 benefits plan for school of medicine and other university faculty and staff. Annual enrollment will take place Oct. 22 through Nov. 12. Town hall sessions and a benefits fair are being scheduled, so watch for details on these activities, rates and enrollment information when they become available at benefits.jhu.edu.

What changes will university faculty and staff see in the 2014 benefits program?

  • As announced last year (as an outcome of the Benefits Advisory Committee’s work), JHU is moving toward an employee cost-sharing of 25 percent for family coverage. Employee contributions for medical coverage will continue to increase.
  • We will continue to price our plans based on the six salary bands. Those who are paid less will continue to have lower premiums.
  • Other medical and pharmacy plan features (e.g., deductibles, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximums, etc.) will have one small change: Consistent with health care reform requirements, the deductible amount will be included in the out-of-pocket maximum. Our benchmarking has shown that these amounts continue to be in line with what’s offered at JHU’s peer organizations.

Will we gain any new benefits?
Yes! We’re adding a new voluntary legal services benefit, and relaunching critical illness coverage, so give them some consideration when you enroll.

When is Annual Enrollment?
Annual Enrollment will take place Oct. 22 through Nov. 12. It’s the time to evaluate and decide on the right coverage for you and your family. Rates will be available by early October, with town hall sessions and benefits fairs beginning Oct. 1. Even if you’re not planning to make any changes, be sure to learn how the 2014 changes may impact you.

How does health care reform affect benefits?
We anticipate health care reform will have limited impact on the university’s health plans for 2014, but with the delay of the law’s employer mandate, the university is in the process of reviewing and understanding the impact.

What does the health care exchange mean for JHU employees?
You should know that the health care exchange takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. Beginning Oct. 1, you can evaluate the health plans offered to the public through the government-run health insurance exchange, but if you are a full-time employee, the university’s coverage will likely be your most cost-effective choice. According to the law, any employee who does not have health care coverage must pay a penalty, which will be levied through the Internal Revenue Service.

Where can I find more information about benefits and wellness?
Stay tuned. We’ll be posting information at benefits.jhu.edu.

What about benefits for Johns Hopkins Health System employees?
The JHHS Benefits Office has posted important information at ehp.org/benefitsupdate. Information about the benefits programs for employees of Howard County General Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital and Suburban Hospital will be available to them in the upcoming weeks.

Hopkins Happenings note: To ask a question or make a comment, please click on the button below. Please do not ask about personal situations or include personal health information or your medical history in your question or comment; these questions can be sent directly to benefits@jhu.edu for an individual reply. Throughout the day, review the comments to see responses from Heidi Conway and the JHU benefits team.

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