‘Tis the season for counting your blessings — and we most certainly do feel blessed by the support YourHHRS News has received in its first year. But perhaps we should say “your first year,” since it was YOUR news, views and information about New Jersey’s health, medicine, fitness and nutrition that nourished us: THANK YOU, and you can always share with us just by clicking on the blue box on the right!
This is also the season for looking back over the year in hopes of putting it into some kind of useful perspective. To that end, here are what we consider to be 2014’s most definitive YourHHRS News stories.
Bon Jovi get our vote for Men Of The Year for their tag team support of local medical and health causes. (L-R) Singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist Dave Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, and guitarist Richie Sambora all plunged into the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, while Richie participated in a drug abuse town hall in Toms River and Jon attended a cancer fundrasier hosted by a Swedesboro 10-year-old. Also, Jon has continued his support of the free Parker Family Health Center in Red Bank — which depends entirely upon donations — with a concert that was streamed online.
The bad news: New Jersey leads the nation in autism rates and expensive hospitals (here’s a story about a $9,000 cut finger). The good news: $1.3 billion has been allocated to autism support and research, and Jamesburg social worker Gerriann LaGuardia found a way to help children with autism in the Jamesburg area to visit Santa Claus without the risk of over-stressing them with crowded stores and long lines, giving her our vote for Woman of the Year.
Just saying no to Dark Ages-caliber medical ignorance was an unexpected but not unwelcome trend. A central Jersey reproductive services counselor filmed and wrote about her own abortion. Honorary Jersey Girl Honors go to Bo Stern of Oregon for offering alternative activities to those who found the ALS Ice Bucket challenge to be too trendy; and to senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and nurse Staci Hickcox of Maine for joining New Jersey nursing organizations in refusing to knuckle under to politically rather than medically expedient Ebola virus advice.
The very next day after the Wayne Police force was supplied with the heroin antidote Narcan, it was put to use to save the life. Thanks to a law signed in May, you can now receive immunity from prosecution for reporting overdoses from illegal drugs. But while New Jersey law enforcement can brag of Narcan helping them save more than 300 lives this year, they can’t help but have suspicions over its sudden doubling in price.