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Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A winter storm that had been forecast to bring up to 8 inches of snow to Long Island was pushed south by northerly winds, leaving Nassau and Suffolk with just a dusting.The storm was expected to impact the region through noon Monday, but the Island was spared from the latest round of significant snowfall—although freezing temperatures are not going anywhere for a few days.Temps are forecast to stay in the 20s through Tuesday before reaching above freezing during the day Wednesday through the weekend, then dropping down again after sundown.A slight chance of precipitation, possibly just flurries, is also in the forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. read more
Most of us like the idea of buying something shiny and new, but that’s not always the best option for our budget. Despite the creative advertising campaigns that draw us in, remember buying new also means high mark ups and high rates of depreciation. Here are five things we should consider buying used to save money.CarsThat “new car smell” sure is enticing, but don’t forget that your new ride comes high dollar signs. There are many reasons why buying a used vehicle is better for your bottom line. One reason is that the original owner has already absorbed the depreciation associated with buying new. For example, if you buy a $30,000 car and sell it down the road, chances are you’ll be hit with depreciation of at least half the original cost. Secondly, buying used also means you’ll see lower insurance premiums, which can benefit your monthly budget.ClothingStyles change quicker than the blink of an eye, so instead of dropping serious dough on a brand-new wardrobe, consider hitting up your local consignment store. Many social media sites also provide access to high-end consignment or resale groups, offering quality clothing and accessories at reduced prices.Sports gearAs children bounce from sport to sport, you could end up spending an arm and a leg on various types of equipment. Instead of buying new at big retailers like Academy Sports, check out other options such as Play It Again Sports. This chain sells quality sporting goods for low prices and also allows customers to trade in or consign their used sports equipment.BooksThink about it: how often do you really go back and re-read your favorite page-turner? Chances are once they’re read, they go straight to the shelf to collect dust. Buying a new book may not seem like a huge purchase, but think about how much you’re spending over time. Instead of buying new, check out your local book exchange or online sites like eBay or Abe Books.Children’s apparelKids grow so quickly it’s hard to keep up. They barely stay in one size clothing for a significant period of time. Don’t make the mistake of buying them a brand-new closet full of clothes for every season. Instead take advantage of family hand-me-downs or gently used clothing from second-hand shops. You’ll be amazed at the name-brand items you can find if you’re willing to take the time to look. 58SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details read more
Welcome to the CUInsight Minute, sixty seconds from our Publisher & CEO Lauren Culp with the top three of our favorite things from the week.Mentioned this week:Growth After Traumaby RICHARD G. TEDESCHI, HBRWhat good can come of this? In times of stress, crisis, or trauma, people often ask that question. This year we’ve been hit by a pandemic that has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, unprecedented unemployment, and a global economic downturn. In the face of such a tragedy—personal and collective—it might appear that the answer is “Nothing.” (read more)Strategic planning during COVID-19by RUSSELL FURZE, CSICOVID-19 has fundamentally changed member and employee expectations and will likely prompt transformation in the financial services industry for many years to come. By preparing to adapt to future challenges with strategic planning, your institution can avoid reactionary decision making and work toward solutions-based growth and positive outcomes. (read more)3 members, 3 financial outcomes: How COVID-19 is impacting members differentlyby BRUCE DRAGT, CO-OP FINANCIAL SERVICESWhile not a single one of us has been insulated from the effects of COVID-19, the financial impact has been very different for large segments of the population. 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last ten weeks;1 and while many expect to be re-employed when the economy recovers, some may not. (read more)Do not outsource DEIby HUMANIDEI“Why do you have to bring in someone from another place to talk to me? You are my neighbor. Why didn’t you just introduce yourself?” It was a conversation that left me stunned, and a little embarrassed. With the best intentions of serving our whole community, I had hired an external consultant to help connect the organization with parts of the community we had not reached. (read more) ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lauren Culp Lauren Culp is the Publisher & CEO at CUInsight.com.She leads the growing team at CUInsight, works with organizations serving credit unions to maximize their brand and exposure, connects … Web: https://www.cuinsight.com Details read more
Editor’s note: CIDRAP’s Promising Practices: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Tools (www.publichealthpractices.org) online database showcases peer-reviewed practices, including useful tools to help others with their planning. This article is one of a series exploring the development of these practices. We hope that describing the process and context of these practices enhances pandemic planning.Jun 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A couple of years ago, the system for reporting and evaluating influenza-like illness (ILI) outbreaks in Fort Worth, Tex., schools—a key part of Tarrant County’s disease surveillance program—didn’t exactly yield fine-grained information in real time.School districts gathered up attendance information from their schools once a week and sent it by fax, or in some cases e-mail, to Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH). At TCPH, officials analyzed the data manually. In case of outbreaks, they issued fact sheets and reports to the school districts on an as-needed basis.That somewhat creaky system began to change about 2 school years back, when TCPH developed a Web-based system that permits school nurses to submit daily reports on absenteeism and ILI directly to the health department. The same system allows TCPH to analyze the data in a more automated fashion and to provide abundant information to school nurses via the Web.Now the Tarrant County School Health Surveillance System (SHSS) program is making headway, TCPH officials say. It has been embraced by about a third of the schools in Tarrant County, and it has overcome a number of glitches. Officials say they are encouraged.Under the old system, TCPH received only weekly, school-district–wide data, making it hard to quickly pinpoint outbreaks, and if a report wasn’t submitted, data for a whole district was missing, said Dean Lampman, regional surveillance coordinator for TCPH.”So we wanted to fix all those things, and the system we’re developing is our attempt to do that. And it’s been mostly successful,” Lampman said.Quest for surveillance improvementsWithin TCPH is the Southwest Center for Advanced Public Health Practice, a program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop exemplary public health practices that can be readily replicated by others. There are seven such centers around the country, Lampman said.In line with that program, Lampman said he was looking for ways to improve the whole spectrum of TCPH’s disease surveillance tools, including hospital data, over-the-counter drug sales, ambulance calls, emergency medical service data, and school absenteeism reports, among other things.The idea of developing an Internet-based system for school disease surveillance emerged from discussions Lampman had with Tabatha Powell, MPH, who at the time was a doctoral student in public health, and others, he said.”I thought if I could develop a system that could collect data electronically and have it flow into the ESSENCE system, we might be on to something,” he said. ESSENCE is the computer program Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, which is widely used in public health to look for statistical anomalies in disease data, he explained.Electronic reporting and automated analysis were two of the key objectives, said Lampman. Two others were to gather reports more than once a week and obtain them from individual schools, not just whole districts.Speaking of the novel H1N1 virus, he said, “Let’s say this was a deadly pandemic like we had in 1918—if we collected weekly, we wouldn’t be happy with that. So we asked for daily collection.”More generally, the program was designed to ease information exchange between TCPH and county schools, support early detection of ILI, focus public health resources in response, and give school nurses one-stop access to information to help them promote disease prevention, according to a report Lampman and colleagues wrote after the program’s first year.Dual development tasksDeveloping the system involved the dual tasks of laying the groundwork with school nurses and building the electronic tools.TCPH held half a dozen meetings with nurses from the county’s approximately 300 public schools to enlist their support and gather suggestions on how the system would work, Lampman said.Getting their support “wasn’t as easy as we might’ve hoped,” he said. “However, we didn’t get into this with any misconceptions that it was going to be easy. Even with the old program we had less than 100% compliance.”None of the nurses thought the SHSS was a bad idea, but some were concerned about how much time it might take, Lampman said. In the end, “We decided there was enough of a green light to go ahead.”On the electronic side, the system was built on an open-source platform called Dot Net Nuke. The heart of the tool is a daily report form that nurses see after they log in. There, nurses are asked to report total absences, absences due to ILI, the number of students seen by the nurse, and how many of those students had an ILI.In addition, nurses are asked to report whether the number of students with ILI seems to be increasing, decreasing, or static. Additional fields ask for information on faculty absences, including those related to ILI.Other pages on the Web portal provide maps of changing disease patterns, access to flu prevention resources, news items, analysis, and action items suggested by TCPH, according to Lampman’s report.With the use of open-source software, the SHSS wasn’t very expensive to launch and was supported by TCPH’s Advanced Practice Center funds, he said. Later, TCPH applied and received flu surveillance money from the Texas Department of State Health Services.Slow-motion launchTCPH launched the system in the fall of 2007. It quickly became clear that broad participation wasn’t going to be achieved overnight.”We rolled it out to everybody all at once, sent all the instructions—and then found that almost nobody started reporting immediately,” Lampman said.Eventually, TCPH officials met with the nurses to promote the program further and get their feedback, Lampman said. “It took the epidemiologist to engage with the school nurse and the lead nurse and have a face-to-face meeting, and then it came around,” he said.Part of the problem was that at the start of the school year, nurses are focusing on dealing with children’s vaccination records, said Diana Cervantes, a TCPH epidemiologist. “I think at the beginning of the year the reporting is lower because that’s their emphasis,” she said.Lampman’s official report says more than 200 school nurses in 7 of the county’s 16 school districts were trained to use the system and the online report form, which they could complete in less than 5 minutes. However, the initial data harvest varied in quality and was hard to assess because only about 60% of the nurses in the seven districts actually reported.A chart of system statistics shows that participation grew over the past 2 school years and peaked late in the flu season each year. The peak for the 2008-09 year came the first week in March, with 104 schools from nine districts reporting. (The chart covered records only through April.) The previous year, the peak came in mid-February, with 84 schools from four districts reporting.H1N1 experienceWhen the novel H1N1 virus emerged in April and May, officials saw increased reporting, Lampman reported. He said the epidemic seemed to improve the quality of the reporting, as several nurses took time to call or e-mail corrections to some of their data.When H1N1 cases broke out in Fort Worth children, the school district there closed at the recommendation of TCPH. The health department advised another district to shut down, but instead the district closed just the one school where a case was found, Lampman said.Those closure recommendations were not driven specifically by the SHSS, said Cervantes. They were shaped more by traditional “shoe-leather epidemiology,” the gathering and testing of specimens from local clinics and hospitals, she said. “The School Health Surveillance System is still kind of in its infancy; it wasn’t something that we really used when H1N1 hit to really detect any increase in absenteeism,” she added.One of the key remaining challenges for making the SHSS fully useful is to determine baseline levels of ILI in the schools, Cervantes said. “We still need to work to establish a baseline so we know when there’s an increase in ILIs or other illnesses. At this point it’s difficult to say if a certain level of ILI or illness is unusual.”Another challenge is to persuade school nurses to report daily. “They were doing it as they had time, which was basically once or twice a week,” Cervantes said.She hopes that when the system becomes more mature, it will be of greater help in making school closure recommendations and other actions.”That’s our hope, that when the reporting becomes a little more consistent and we’re able to extract the data and use it more in a real-time sense, and we can establish a baseline, that in the future it’ll help us make those decisions.”But already the system has strengthened the health department’s links with school nurses and their ties with one another, she reported.”They feel it’s a good way to get information from the health department, and keep two-way communication open with us. They feel it’s more personalized; they do enjoy that. There’s a field [on the report form] where they can add comments and give us information,” which was helpful when some Streptococcus infections cropped up.”It also kind of helps build community with other nurses,” she added. “It had them speaking to other school nurses in their area. Whenever I meet with them, that’s the feedback.”Next stepsLampman said the system needs some technical enhancements. One is to make the data transfer and analysis more automated. Right now a technician has to transfer data from the system into ESSENCE, a step that Lampman hopes to eliminate with a change in the database structure.Other future plans call for developing a “full-blown guidance document” and conducting an exercise simulating a hypothetical disease outbreak. “If H1N1 didn’t sufficiently impress or engage some people, presumably a tabletop exercise will,” he said.See also:SHSS materials on CIDRAP Promising Practices site read more
The Independent 11 April 2015Students who were banned from smoking legal cannabis in Dutch coffeeshops were found to be more likely to pass exams, specifically maths-based ones, according to researchers. The findings were worked out during a temporary “partial-prohibition” of cannabis cafes in the city of Maastricht, in which people were not allowed to enter on the sole basis of their nationalities.Students who were banned from the 13 coffee shops in the city have been 5.4 per cent more likely to pass their courses, economists at the University of Maastricht found.The effect is “five times larger” for courses requiring quantitative thinking and maths-based tasks, the researchers wrote.Lower performers – who had a pre-study GPA below the median of 6.62 – were most impacted by the ban with a 7.6 per cent increase in probability of passing a course. This may be down to ‘high’ achievers already getting top grades, regardless of cannabis consumption, they added.The study comes after 20 US states legalised the use of medicinal cannabis and 14 others took some steps to decriminalise possession. Uruguay is planning to become the first nation in the world to fully legalise all aspects of the cannabis trade.http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/students-banned-from-cannabis-coffee-shops-more-likely-to-pass-exams-a-dutch-study-claims-10169625.html read more