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Past News Items - March 2014

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In the News

Cleveland HeartLab Receives Crystal Award for Excellence from Ohio's Edison Technology Centers

New Study Results: Calmare® Pain Device Therapy May Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Pain Scores By About 30%

Antioxidant Shows Promise in Fight Against Lou Gehrig's Disease

First Patients Enrolled in a Clinical Study of Drug Coated Chocolate Balloon

Cerebral Palsy and the Potential of Cord Blood Stem Cells

Wakunaga Receives ABC's 7th Annual Varro E. Tyler Phytomedicinal Research Award

Hip, Knee Replacements May Boost Cardiovascular Health in Osteoarthritis Patients

Music Therapy & Military White Paper Provides Model Programs and Research

Chinese herbal therapy debuts at Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals

Herbal Advocate to Receive American Botanical Council Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award

Physicians Practice App Offers Guidance on Boosting Practice Revenue

Released: 03/28/14

Cleveland HeartLab Receives Crystal Award for Excellence from Ohio's Edison Technology Centers

Jake Orville, CEO of Cleveland HeartLab, accepted the Crystal Award for Excellence yesterday from Ohio's Edison Technology Centers. The presentation was made by its Edison Centers Director Council during a luncheon held at the Ohio statehouse and attended by state legislators and executives from other innovative companies.

The six Edison Technology Centers located in Ohio provide a variety of product and process innovation and commercialization services to both established and early-stage technology-based businesses. Each year, the Edison Centers Directors Council recognizes companies that are succeeding at bringing innovative products to market.

Winners of the Crystal Award for Excellence qualify for recognition by having collaborated with one or more of the Edison Technology Centers located in Ohio. Cleveland HeartLab was nominated by BioOhio, an Edison Technology Center based in Columbus that focuses on building and accelerating bioscience industry, research, and education in Ohio.

"This award recognizes our commitment to innovation," said Orville. "It was made possible by our company's shared dedication and commitment to bring to market scientifically proven testing that answers unmet, clinical needs in cardiovascular disease prevention."

Cleveland HeartLab is a leading provider of cardiovascular testing to thousands of the best clinicians in the United States who are focused on wellness and prevention. It offers proprietary inflammation testing and other traditional testing in areas such as cholesterol in order to add risk insights, with the goal of identifying those who might otherwise go undetected.

Source: Cleveland HeartLab Inc, clevelandheartlab.com


Released: 03/26/14

New Study Results: Calmare® Pain Device Therapy May Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Pain Scores By About 30%

The results of a recently published, single-arm clinical study in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, (December 2013) demonstrated how a cohort of 39 chronic, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) patients experienced an average pain score reduction of 31.8 percent in their level of chronic pain undergoing Calmare Pain Device therapy – Competitive Technologies, Inc., (OTCQX: CTTC) (CTI) flagship medical product.

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is damage done to the peripheral nervous system. Typical symptoms include numbness, tingling, or burning sensations that often begin in the fingertips or toes, and often progresses. Patients may notice things that were previously not painful, now cause pain, such as touching hot or cold items, and develop various degrees of weaknesses throughout their bodies. Several chemotherapeutics may cause immediate reaction after the first dose while others have a delayed onset of symptoms. From a pain score perspective, the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA), requires a minimum quality-of-life improvement of 20 percent in order to attain medical device approval.

"The study's results are consistent with the typical Calmare treatment protocol," commented Patrick J. Coyne, MSN, ACHPN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, Clinical Director, Pain and Palliative Care at the Thomas Palliative Care Services at Virginia Commonwealth University. "While the study was a single arm study, the results were statistically significant and draws attention to the fact that Calmare therapy may provide significant chronic pain relief and marked improvement in a cancer patient's quality of life."

According to Competitive Technologies CEO Conrad Mir, "The pain relief obtained in this study supports our effort to further develop and fully understand the technology surrounding Calmare therapy. We are committed to Calmare and its potential for addressing pain."


Released: 03/25/14

Antioxidant Shows Promise in Fight Against Lou Gehrig's Disease

Researchers at The Center of Free Radical and Biomedical Research at Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay today announced the discovery that the antioxidant MitoQ prolonged the lifespan and health-span of mice suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like (ALS) disease, and successfully improved functional parameters related to muscular strength and reversed mitochondrial damage in nervous and muscle tissue. The study was published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine and the findings of this study point to a positive direction for those suffering from ALS.

MitoQ is a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant created over a decade ago that reduces mitochondrial oxidative stress and, when administered to a mouse model of ALS, delayed the progression of the fatal neurodegenerative disease. Mitochondria are also known as cellular batteries and provide energy to cells.

Commonly known as Lou Gehrig's or Motor Neuron disease, ALS is a disorder within the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement, and ultimately results in progressive paralysis and death. The results of this study show a promise that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants could potentially be of use for the treatment of ALS, a condition for which there is currently no cure.

"This study supports the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the development and progression of ALS, which may allow for the development of more mitochondria-targeted therapies to fight this disease," said Rafael Radi, MD, PhD, Director of the Center and a key member of the study's research team. "We also found that MitoQ has beneficial effects in the murine model of ALS, which will likely lead to clinical trials using MitoQ with ALS patients and hopefully lead to extend the survival and improve the quality of life of ALS patients."

Researchers sought to decrease oxidative stress in mitochondria as a way to slow the death of motor neurons and disease progression within the ALS-induced mice. MitoQ works by accumulating inside the mitochondria and performing antioxidant activity, while allowing the molecule to act specifically at the site of free radical formation in the cells and efficiently reduce oxidative stress.

To conduct their study, scientists administered MitoQ to the mice's drinking water from a time when early symptoms of neurodegeneration had become evident. After 20 days of administration, MitoQ was detected in all tested tissues and the treatment had slowed the decline of mitochondrial function in both the spinal cord and the quadriceps muscles.

"MitoQ increased approximately six percent the survival of the treated mice," noted Patricia Cassina, MD, PhD, another key senior member of the research team. "This might seem small, but it's in the range of the best that other drugs have been able to achieve with this model in which the disease progression is extremely fast and there is a small window of opportunity to improve symptoms and survival." Radi noted that MitoQ administration also resulted in improved muscular strength as evaluated by functional tests performed in the animals.

An advantage of MitoQ is that it has been tested for safety in a variety of clinical human trials since its inception in the late 1990s. The Center of Free Radical and Biomedical Research is now evaluating the possibility of conducting clinical human trials specifically related to MitoQ and its effects on ALS patients.

SOURCE The Center of Free Radical and Biomedical Research


Released: 03/25/14

First Patients Enrolled in a Clinical Study of Drug Coated Chocolate Balloon

TriReme Medical LLC, a subsidiary of Singapore based QT Vascular Ltd. announced today that the first three patients were enrolled in a clinical study of its unique drug-coated Chocolate PTA balloon. Dr. Andrew Holden, co-Principal Investigator of the study, performed these procedures at Auckland City Hospital, in Auckland, New Zealand.

The drug-coated Chocolate clinical study is a single arm trial that will enroll a minimum of 30 patients at up to four centers in New Zealand and Germany. The trial will evaluate the rate of procedural success immediately after treatment as well as persistence of positive outcomes at six and 12 months post procedure. All key outcomes of the trial will be evaluated by independent core laboratories.

The drug-coated Chocolate PTA balloon is designed for the treatment of patients with vascular disease in their legs, known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The drug-coated Chocolate PTA balloon is unique in that it combines the acute benefits of the FDA and CE approved Chocolate PTA balloon with paclitaxel-based coating, an anti-proliferative drug proven to reduce the build-up of tissue in the vessel that can occur months after the original procedure. The underlying Chocolate PTA balloon platform has demonstrated a very low rate of dissections and bail out stenting in clinical studies.

"The first three complex cases in this study highlight the advantages of the underlying Chocolate platform in creating a larger and more uniform lumen while minimizing vessel trauma," stated Dr. Andrew Holden, Director of Interventional Services at Auckland City Hospital and Associate Professor of Radiology at Auckland University School of Medicine.

"First Generation drug-coated balloons are based on Plain Old Balloon Angioplasty (POBA) technology that goes back more than 30 years. POBA is well known to induce significant vessel trauma and often requires adjunctive stenting to complete the procedure," added Dr. Eitan Konstantino, President and CEO, TriReme Medical. "The mere addition of a drug does not solve this issue. The drug coated Chocolate PTA balloon is the only product that is designed to address both the acute trauma and long term results."

SOURCE TriReme Medical, LLC


Released: 03/21/14

Cerebral Palsy and the Potential of Cord Blood Stem Cells

March is designated as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The national health observance aims to foster greater public recognition of the developmental disorder and to heighten awareness of the innovative efforts to discover new treatments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that nearly 1 in every 323 children in the United States has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy — a group of disorders that affects an individual's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. The all too common condition is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain. Current treatment options include: surgery, medications, orthopedic braces, and physical, occupational and speech therapies.

While cerebral palsy has no cure today, treatment will often improve the capabilities of a child living with the condition. For children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the promise of stem cell therapies offers great hope. A growing body of research provides evidence that stem cells derived from cord blood can be used to repair damaged or diseased tissue or organs. Once universally regarded as medical waste, cord blood may hold the potential for medical applications not previously imagined.

Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) is fueling innovation in newborn stem cell research. CBR is partnering with two preeminent institutions, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Georgia Regents University, to establish FDA-regulated clinical trials investigating whether an intravenous infusion of a child's own cord blood cells, banked at the time of their birth, will lessen the symptoms of cerebral palsy.

"Despite remarkable medical advances, the incidence and prevalence of cerebral palsy has increased over time," notes Heather Brown, Vice President of Scientific & Medical Affairs at Cord Blood Registry. "CBR is the only newborn stem cell bank connecting client families to more potential treatments through FDA-regulated clinical trials. Cord Blood Registry's collaborations with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Georgia Regents University are a strong demonstration of our commitment to expanding the potential scope of newborn stem cell therapies that may be available to patients and their families," adds Brown.

For further details regarding eligibility criteria for the cerebral palsy autologous cord blood trials being conducted at UT Health Science Center at Houston and Georgia Regents University, visit cordblood.com/stem-cell-research/cord-blood-research

SOURCE: Cord Blood Registry




Released: 03/12/14

Wakunaga Receives ABC's 7th Annual Varro E. Tyler Phytomedicinal Research Award

The American Botanical Council (ABC) has presented its 2013 Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award to Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., of Osaka, Japan. Since its founding in 1955, the company has been committed to rigorous scientific and clinical research of its products, including its top-selling, clinically researched odorless Aged Garlic Extract¨.

"The ABC Varro E. Tyler Award represents our extensive chemical, pharmacological, and clinical research on Wakunaga's proprietary Aged Garlic Extract, sold as Kyolic® Aged Garlic Extract in the USA and almost 50 international markets," said Albert Dahbour, Vice President of Wakunaga of America, a subsidiary established in the early 1970s. 'We invest a lot in scientific discovery and to be recognized for our dedication to botanical research is very inspiring for us."

The late Prof. Tyler — who has been described as one of the most respected men in late 20th century herbal medicine and pharmacognosy (the study of medicines of natural origin, usually from plants) — was an early trustee of ABC, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Purdue University, and vice-president of academic affairs at Purdue. He was the senior author of six editions of the leading textbook in the field, formerly used in every college of pharmacy in the United States, as well as numerous other professional and popular books and many articles in the academic literature.

"Prof. Tyler always believed that herb companies should reinvest a portion of their annual sales revenues into legitimate scientific and clinical research, and that is why we established this award in his name," said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. "In our view, Wakunaga merits ABC's recognition for its outstanding commitment to such research, as evidenced by its strong record of funding hundreds of chemical, pharmacological, and clinical studies on its unique, proprietary garlic preparation."

Prof. Tyler urged his students and colleagues "not only to seek the truth but, after finding it, to discard any preconceived ideas which it may reveal as untrue." He encouraged scientific and product integrity, and envisioned a rational herbal healthcare sector that valued the proper evaluation of products quality, safety, and efficacy.

According to Jay Levy, director of sales for Wakunaga of America, the company's focus on research is part of its commitment to promoting public health through herbal medicine. "This mission is accomplished by providing products of the highest quality, which are supported by truthful science and accompanied by helpful consumer information," he said. "We are extremely proud that we now have over 700 peer-reviewed, published papers on the efficacy of Aged Garlic Extract. Our future plans are to continue to invest in the research of herbal products."

In 2012, garlic was the second best-selling herbal dietary supplement in the food, drug, and mass-market channel in the United States with sales of almost $35 million in that channel alone. Kyolic, Levy noted, is responsible for 70 percent of branded garlic sales in the natural foods category in the United States.

Kyolic, as stated on Wakunaga's website, is 'designed to support and strengthen [the] cardiovascular system by reducing major risk factors and promoting overall heart health." Recently, a clinical trial published in the European Journal of Clinical Medicine and featured in ABC's HerbClip service found that Kyolic significantly reduced blood pressure in participants with hypertension. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, various formulations of Kyolic have been studied for the ability to support digestive health, the immune system, circulation, and more.

"We are deeply honored to receive the Varro E. Tyler Award from the American Botanical Council," said Dahbour, "and will continue Prof. Tyler's passion for botanical research and discovery."

Previous recipients of the ABC Tyler Award include Horphag Research of Switzerland for 2012, Bioforce AG of Switzerland for 2011, New Chapter, Inc. of the United States for 2010, Bionorica AG of Germany for 2009, Indena SpA of Italy for 2008, and Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals of Germany for 2007.

The ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award was announced at the 9th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 6 in Anaheim, California. The ABC event occurred during the NEXT Innovation Summit (formerly Nutracon) nutrition, natural products, and dietary supplements conference and Natural Products Expo West.

The ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony was underwritten by generous contributions from the following members of the herb, dietary supplement, and natural products industry (i.e., raw material suppliers, supplement and tea manufacturers, analytical laboratories, a law firm, an insurer, a media company, and a trade organization):

Alkemist Labs   Mega Food
Amin Talati   Natural Factors Nutritional Products
Christie Communications   New Chapter
ChromaDex   New Hope Natural Media
EuroPharma   PlusPharma
Grifcon Enterprises   RFI Ingredients
Horphag Research   Traditional Medicinals
Indena USA   United Natural Products Alliance
Martin Bauer Group


Released: 03/12/14

Hip, Knee Replacements May Boost Cardiovascular Health in Osteoarthritis Patients

Hip and knee replacements have long been known to reduce pain and increase mobility in persons with moderate-to-severe arthritis. A study presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) also found that total joint replacement (TJR) may reduce the risk for "cardiac events," including heart attack and stroke, and boost long-term survival.

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Osteoarthritis - a progressive disease of the joints affecting a third of persons over the age of 65 - causes pain and limits mobility.

More recently, "there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that arthritis is associated with increased mortality secondary to cardiovascular disease, and that this risk is proportional to the degree of disability secondary to arthritis," said Bheeshma Ravi, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Toronto Medical Center. Dr. Ravi is the lead author of the study, "TJA Appears Cardioprotective in Patients with Moderate severe OA: A propensity-score Matched Landmark Analysis."

In the study, researchers reviewed the medical data and outcomes of patients, ages 55 and older, with hip and knee arthritis between 1996 and 1998. The groups were similar in terms of age, sex, body mass index and medical comorbidities. Half of the patients received TJR and half did not.

The study found that patients who received a hip or knee replacement were more than 40 percent less likely to have a serious cardiovascular event, including a heart attack, stroke, emergent coronary revascularization or death resulting from any of the above.

The study authors concluded that TJR has a cardioprotective benefit in persons with moderate-to-severe arthritis of the hip or knee, possibly due to the increased capability for moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk several times a week), which has "direct benefits for hypertension, obesity and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and all of which are highly prevalent in individuals with osteoarthritis," said Dr. Ravi.

*The study, "TJA Appears Cardioprotective in Patients with Moderate-severe OA: A Propensity-score Matched Landmark Analysis," was published in the Oct. 30, 2013 British Medical Journal.


Released: 03/05/14

Music Therapy & Military White Paper Provides Model Programs and Research

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) announces the publication of Music Therapy and Military Populations: A Status Report and Recommendations on Music Therapy Treatment, Programs, Research, and Practice Policy. This landmark report discusses the profession of music therapy with a focus on both active duty service members and veterans. The publication may be obtained online at musictherapy.org under the "Latest News" section.

The music therapy profession's rich, enduring contributions to readiness, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness among America's military populations are explored. The white paper presents exemplary model programs and highlights the strong foundation of published research and evidence to inform practice. This information provides the groundwork to improve access to music therapy services among military populations and inform strategic plans for expanded and prioritized implementation of music therapy programs, research, and practice policy in the military.

The demand for music therapy services for America's service members, veterans and their families by board certified music therapy clinicians is growing. The benefits of music therapy services are largely untapped at America's military health facilities. Music therapists serve as members of patient-centered interdisciplinary teams. Working alongside other creative arts therapists and allied health professionals, music therapists provide a vital service at America's veteran hospitals, military health facilities, and military installations.

Recommendations contained in the paper span research, policy, and program development. Fascinating and important research in music therapy interventions on topics affecting today's service members and their families is active and growing among various related populations. It is critically important for this research to be tested, replicated and conducted with service members and veterans. Recommendations in the area of practice policy include a call for an updated review of federal job classifications that enable board certified music therapists to provide music therapy interventions.

Music therapy in the US military has a history of over 70 years, covering the entire continuum of care among service members, veterans, and their families. Music therapy services are an integral part of treatment delivered in military treatment facilities and VA medical centers throughout the country. Today's healthcare standards dictate that the provision of quality music therapy services must be delivered by board certified music therapists. Currently, music therapy as a profession is recognized throughout agencies of the federal government including the Departments of Education, and Health and Human Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by various accrediting bodies. More music therapy and credentialed music therapists are needed to keep pace with the current needs of our military populations.


Released: 03/05/14

Chinese herbal therapy debuts at Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals

Changes made to state laws have opened the door for certified herbal therapists to prescribe custom Chinese herbal therapy blends and traditional formulas to patients within a clinical practice.

Instead of having to travel out of the state for herbal therapy – to use alone or as a supplement to other prescription medications – Northeast Ohio residents now have two options close to home.

Chinese herbs may be used for a variety of things, such as to alleviate chronic conditions such as sinusitis and insomnia; to help decrease cold and flu symptoms and pain; to regulate menstrual cycles in women trying to conceive; and to improve digestion.

Other candidates for herbal therapy are patients who have multiple, complex symptoms; have exhausted other medical treatment options; or need additional therapy to counteract the side effects of prescription medication.

In early 2013, the State Medical Board of Ohio began regulating the practice of Oriental medicine, which includes the practice of acupuncture and the use of herbal therapy.

That paved the way for the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to each hire an acupuncturist who is also a certified herbal therapist.

Since January, the Chinese Herbal Therapy Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic has been operating as part of the Center for Integrative Medicine (recently named in honor of Dr. Tanya Edwards, the center’s medical director) in Lyndhurst.

And this month saw the start of herbal medicine consultations at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, through the Connor Integrative Medicine Network.

"Patients over the years have really been seeking out Chinese herbs and a lot of physicians had been contacting us asking if we used Chinese herbs," said Jamie Starkey, the lead acupuncturist at the Center for Integrative Medicine - housed within the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute - and one of five acupuncturists on staff.

Starkey, who manages the Clinic’s acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Therapy clinics, conducted a national search to recruit an acupuncturist who was also trained and licensed in Chinese herbal medicine.

Now, instead of wondering what type of herbal therapy patients are taking, and where they got it, the new law allows for complete oversight, Starkey said.

"We can chart everything the patient is taking and look for herb-herb and drug-herb interaction," she said.

In recent years, health care providers have become more informed about the benefits of acupuncture and Eastern medication, Starkey said.

Acupuncture has proved to be beneficial for cancer patients dealing with the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, for example.

For patients with other conditions who don’t respond to acupuncture, herbal therapy is now an option. All herbal therapy patients are closely monitored, with regular checks of their liver and kidney function.

The Clinic gets its Chinese herbs from Crane Herb Company in Massachusetts. Along with Crane, UH's herbs come from the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon and Mayway in Oakland, California.

The Clinic requires a physician referral for Chinese herbal therapy. No referral is needed for an herbal medicine consultation at UH.

"I wanted to make sure not only patients had access to an herbalist but the highest quality of herbs," Starkey said. "I needed to make sure the products carrying were of utmost quality."

"Now we’re able to offer a more well-rounded approach to care," Starkey said.

Since the fall, Yoder, 33, had been a patient at the Clinic’s Wellness Institute, getting acupuncture on a regular basis.

With the arrival of the certified herbal therapist, Yoder jumped at the chance to try herbal therapy, especially since she was still bothered by chronic itchiness caused when she stopped taking the antihistamine Zyrtec over the summer.

"Nothing is instantaneous, but the results are better," Yoder said. "I was a little nervous [about trying herbal therapy], but there haven't been any side effects."

The ability to provide Chinese herbal therapy is "an incredible step for patient care," says Dr. Melissa Young, an internist and integrative medicine specialist at the Clinic. "The beauty of it - it's so complementary.

"As an integrative medicine physician, to have more tools to benefit patients really optimizes patient care," she said.


Released: 03/05/14

Herbal Advocate to Receive American Botanical Council Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award

The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that herbalist and educator Sara Katz has been selected as the second-ever recipient of its Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award. The award is granted to persons in the herbal medicine community who have played a significant role in creating a sense of community among herbalists, researchers, members of the herb and natural products communities, and related groups who work in the area of medicinal plants. It was created in 2013 and is named after ABC's Founder and Executive Director, Mark Blumenthal.

Among her many noteworthy accomplishments, Katz is co-founder of the herbal products company Herb Pharm, a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild, and board president of United Plant Savers (UpS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation and sustainable production of indigenous American medicinal plants. She has served on numerous local and national boards — including that of the American Herbal Products Association — and she has organized and co-organized multiple herbal conferences throughout the United States, notably five UpS conferences at Herb Pharm between 2000 and 2012, with proceeds benefiting the conservation nonprofit.

Along with strong support from others in the herbal community, Katz received a nomination for the honor from the recipient of the inaugural Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award, celebrated herbalist, author, and UpS Founder Rosemary Gladstar. "[Sara] is a driving force in the herbal community and is involved in so many herbal ventures. In fact, there's very little Sara's not involved in, or [hasn't] supported in one way or another," said Gladstar. "The thing is, she does it quietly, often behind the scenes … but she's always speaking out, doing, helping, being involved in the greater circle."

"I am so humbled, floored, and surprised. To be in the same teacup as Mark and Rosemary — I cannot imagine a more meaningful award…. I couldn't be happier and I am over-the-moon honored," said Katz. "The herbal community is international, ranging from scientists to herbalists to farmers," she observed. "There is a spirit and a spark and an understanding that unites all of us, and that's a lot of people."

Katz grew up in south Florida without much exposure to herbs or the natural-living culture. "In my early 20s, I chose to break away, and I went about as far as I could — to Portland, Oregon," recalled Katz. In search of a career and drawn to natural healing, Katz enrolled in Western States Chiropractic College (now the University of Western States). Though bodywork ultimately was not Katz's calling, her chiropractic training did connect her with a group of like-minded individuals endeavoring to establish an herbal medicine-centered naturopathic college. The start-up funding for what became the Pacific College of Natural Medicine was raised through conferences Katz co-organized.

Shortly thereafter, Katz and herbalist Ed Smith chose to diverge from that path, forging a trail that led to their 1979 co-founding of Herb Pharm — today an award-winning herbal extract manufacturing business and certified-organic farm. "We packed up our bags, found a rental, and moved to Williams, Oregon, where we started making extracts in our kitchen. Ed traveled the country teaching herb classes, and people were fascinated by our extracts, so we joined forces and started doing everything about herbs," said Katz. She added: "It was the most modest home business that you can imagine, the way it started."

Katz and Smith's "Pharm Farm" in southern Oregon grew simultaneously with their Herb Pharm Herbaculture Intern Program, which currently offers three 10-week sessions per year. During that time, the interns live on site, spending weekdays learning medicinal plant cultivation and harvest, and evenings and weekends in classes devoted to topics ranging from plant identification to therapeutic herbalism. Over the past 35 years, the program has provided training to thousands — many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in natural medicine. It stands among Katz's proudest and most passionate efforts, along with her "completely gratifying" work to conserve and protect indigenous medicinal plants with UpS.

"What motivates me is working toward purposeful goals with a dedicated, passionate, intelligent group of people," said Katz. "The role I find myself in now is as a mentor in the various nonprofit organizations that I'm involved with. In many cases, the way is being led by remarkable young women, and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to help them navigate the world of business and organizations with all I've learned through the years."

"Herbs lead the way," she continued. "For me, it's a spiritual path; it's what connects me to the unknown and the world of nature, and I think it's that way for many of us. When you get that spark of the medicine plants, it's forever."

"Sara is a truly amazing person, perhaps a proverbial 'force of nature,'" noted Blumenthal. "I remember, back in the late 1970s or early 1980s, her working in her home late at night, packing orders for the line of 'home-made' herbal extracts that she and Ed made, sending them to herbalists and alternative healthcare practitioners all over the United States. She was like three people in one — her energy and enthusiasm seemed boundless. And, she's taken that high level of energetic commitment beyond the business to educational activities and organizations across the United States, particularly with her dedicated volunteer work as president of United Plant Savers."


Released: 03/03/14

Physicians Practice App Offers Guidance on Boosting Practice Revenue

UBM Medica US today announced that Physicians Practice, the award-winning practice management resource for physicians and medical office staff, released the latest issue of its free tablet application, available from the App Store. This issue includes advice from peers and practice management experts to help physicians run profitable practices in spite of the challenges associated with the changing healthcare environment.

According to results from UBM Medica's 2013 Physician Compensation Survey featured in this issue of the app, over half of the respondents expressed some degree of disappointment with their income. To help address this concern, Physicians Practice offers suggestions for maximizing revenue without increasing already full patient loads. Additional topics covered in the issue provide guidance on decreasing patient no-shows, making smart technology purchases, and thoroughly preparing for the ICD-10 transition - each of which can have a positive impact on a practice's bottom line

Also included is Physicians Practice's exclusive Best States to Practice 2013, an interactive feature ranking states to show which locations provide the most physician-friendly climate for running a private practice. Multi-media features accompany the rankings, allowing readers to delve deeper into the analysis. Users will also have access to:

  • An infographic highlighting the rankings in several statistical categories including malpractice payouts, cost of living, and physician competition
  • A clickable map with links to data and insights from physicians in each state
  • An interactive tool that allows physicians to select their ideal location based on the factors that are most important to them

"Our goal with this issue was to help physicians take steps to address the daily frustrations they face in their practices," said Keith L. Martin, group editorial director at UBM Medica US. "With options ranging from small operational changes that boost revenue, to more drastic measures such as relocation, we believe the practical advice found in the app will help our readers take control of their business challenges so that they can focus more on patient care."

For nearly 25 years, Physicians Practice has provided practical advice on the business of medicine through a variety of mediums including print, digital, and live events. The Physicians Practice tablet app debuted three issues for the iPad in 2013, combining practical advice with interactive features such as podcasts, videos, personalized checklists, and featured issues. In 2014, the second volume of the app will increase to six issues throughout the year. A version for Android tablets will be available soon in the Google Play store. For more information on the iPad version, visit the App Store.


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