Review: The Spinning Mathematicians of Kathak Dance

first_imgOne of the strongest attractions of the free Battery Dance Festival is its setting at the bottom tip of Manhattan, with a glorious sunset backdrop of water, sky and the Statue of Liberty. But the sun and moon switching places aren’t the only moving objects in the vista at Robert F. Wagner Park. When a tall-masted schooner looms in nearly close enough to board or a Jet Ski races full speed as if to ram the audience, it can be hard for a dancer to command complete attention.In recent years, programs of Indian dance have met the challenge, the single-region focus encompassing more than enough diversity and beauty to match the background. On Wednesday, Indian Independence Day, the focus narrowed further onto a single form of classical Indian dance: kathak. The idea, as the narrator, Rajika Puri, explained, was to show the range within the form, the different schools and approaches. But the two-hour event proved too much of a good thing. (The same lineup of performers appears in the Drive East festival at La MaMa on Friday night.)It began with neatness and craft, as New York dancers Parul Shah joined Mohip Joarder in Kumudini Lakhia’s 1978 duet “Yugal.” Most of the signature elements of kathak, a North Indian form that combines elements of Hindu and Mughal dance, were clear: the rhythmic footwork with bells attached at ankles; the arms and hands spiraling upward like flames; the tornado-like turns. The work arranged these elements with a careful attention to stage space, and the changing distance between the dancers acquired power from the setting; the negative space was far from blank.Sandip Mallick performs during the Battery Dance Festival at the bottom tip of Manhattan on Aug. 15, 2018. Photo Credit: Nina Westervelt/The New York TimesTraditionally, kathak is more of a solo form, with a tight interplay between dancer and musicians. Sandip Mallick, from Kolkata, was the only one of the evening’s four acts to benefit (immensely) from live music. His performance was a whole show in itself.Solo kathak artists can be like magicians: They explain what they’re going to do, and then when they do it, you can hardly believe it. Mallick gave us a closely observed imitation of a peacock, the Indian national bird. He mimed planting a tree, becoming the tree, chopping it down and becoming its immolation.Anuj Mishra performs during the Battery Dance Festival at the bottom tip of Manhattan on Aug. 15, 2018. Photo Credit: Nina Westervelt/The New York TimesBut kathak soloists are mathematicians above all, expert calculators of numbers and time. It was characteristic of Mallick’s scruffy charm and generosity that before his mouth and feet worked out complex equations of rhythm, he framed them with jokey analogies for the local audience. One was about the stock exchange: numbers that increase slowly but fall fast.After this feast, the remaining two acts felt superfluous. The main distinction of Piyush Chauhan and Preeti Sharma, from New Delhi, was the teasing way they touched each other, very briefly, from time to time. Otherwise, they and the pedigreed trio of Anuj Mishra, Neha Singh and Kantika Mishra, from Lucknow, did many of the same things but in choreography that largely deadened the art with canned, commercial packaging.An exception was Mishra’s solo section. In an evening devoted exclusively to kathak, long chains of spins get old. (Mallick glossed the turns philosophically, as wandering in search of enlightenment; this concert wandered a lot as it grew long.) But Mishra’s spins are special; he can put a ballerina’s 32 fouettés to shame, sequentially shifting the focus of his eyes to the four directions of a compass.Watching Mishra spin is like witnessing the apotheosis of a many-faced god. No Jet Ski can distract from that.Event Information:Battery Dance FestivalThrough Saturday at Robert F. Wagner Park, Manhattan; batterydance.org.© New York Times 2018 Related Itemslast_img read more

Serial Litigant

first_imgAn Indian academic, declared a “vexatious litigant” and banned by the British Attorney General from bringing employment claims in Britain has moved his claims to Northern Ireland, which has a separate judicial body.53-year-old Indian finance lecturer Suresh Deman brought over 40 discrimination employment complaints in the past decade alleging discrimination, securing $400,000 in settlements before he was barred from future claims last year. Justice Underhill said Deman had “an obsession that he is a victim of racial discrimination which exists without reference to the evidence in any particular case.”Between 2001 and 2005 he  received eight settlements from British Universities, the last for $30,000 in November 2005 from Swansea University.He is now pursuing an 11-year-old claim against the Association of University Teachers and Officers in Ireland for failing to offer him proper legal counsel in his discrimination complaints against Queen’s University in Belfast.Deman’s litigation pursuit started in 1996 at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania where he won a $40,000 settlement following his dismissal.His legal claims in employment courts have reportedly cost the government almost $2 million. Deman, who lives in London, has applied for nearly 1,000 academic jobs and often submits alternative applications under non-Asian names to demonstrate evidence of discrimination.  Related Itemslast_img read more

The Top Indian Doctors In America

first_imgIt’s like bringing them back from the dead.The patient had already undergone seven heart surgeries and this was to be his eighth. When he came to Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam at the University of Chicago Hospital, he had been turned away by several other hospitals as too risky a case: being a Jehovah’s Witness, the patient would not, could not, take a blood transfusion during surgery and that made the case doubly challenging.“It is a high wire act, because not only are you doing a reoperation, but you’re doing it where you can’t give any blood. So you are stretching the limits of what is deemed to be possible,” says Jeevanandam, who is a heart failure specialist. “The most challenging cases are the ones where patients have already had several operations and we have to chip out the heart. We call it cardiac archaeology – finding the structure to the heart during surgery.” Dr. Subhash Jain: Every human being deserves to be without pain. The quality of life of a person should be brought to the level where they can function as a human being.Every week he operates on four to five such hopeless cases that no other physician wants to touch – from a patient who refuses blood transfusions because of religious convictions to someone who’s 85 years of age and has already received three valves, a bypass and needs a re-operation. Says Jeevanandam, “A lot of our patients had already been written off and been referred to a hospice and we take them on and they actually do very, very well.”Jeevanandam is one of nearly 100 Indian American physicians listed in Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors, a leading source for the most eminent medical specialists across the United States in 25 specialties and 90 subspecialties identified by The American Board of Medical Specialties.The 2007 edition lists nearly 5,000 doctors from among 650,000 practicing physicians nationwide, the top 1 percent. The nearly 30,000 Indian American physicians constitute nearly 5 percent of the profession, so the 2 percent of the Indian physicians are significantly underrepresented on the list.Jeevanandam, who hails from Curin in Tamil Nadu, is an acknowledged rainmaker for the hospitals, driving up volume with difficult cases that other hospitals often pass on. After his fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, he went to work at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia just as the whole transplant program moved to a competing hospital. He was thinking of leaving when he was made director of a new heart transplant program.  He recalls, “So we started doing transplants then and a lot of it was learning in the line of fire, because we didn’t have a cardiologist, there was no infrastructure. I was the infrastructure for about two years.”Jeevanandam mastered the complete management of a transplant station, creating the program from scratch, going from zero cases to 54, surpassing the 30 cases the hospital had done the previous year. He recalls, “Everybody was kind of shocked, including myself, because I didn’t think we’d be that successful.”In fact, Temple, although a relatively small hospital, hit the ranks of the top four hospitals nationwide for heart transplants and even led the rankings a few times. He performed over 100 transplants a year there. Since not every case was suitable for transplants, Jeevanandam came up with creative restructuring and the whole area of operating on inoperable cases became his speciality.At the University of Chicago Hospitals, where he is professor of surgery and chief of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, he performs over 30 transplants a year and 250 heart repair surgeries a year. As he told Business Week, “Think of us as Ellis Island – send us the patients you don’t want to operate on, the difficult cases, the complicated patient, give us your worst. We’ll take care of them!” Valluvan JeevanandamJeevanandam uses many different techniques from transplants to restructuring. The innovations include newer drugs and techniques like micro bypass circuitry and the implant of CardioVad, an experimental ventricular assist device, which pumps blood more efficiently to take pressure off a weak heart.“The big advantage of the CardioVad is that you can turn it on and off,” says Jeevanandam.  “It gives patients a great psychological boost because they feel they are in control and we are the only site in the entire world doing it. It’s kind of my baby, from taking it from a very early stage and hopefully getting it in a year to general clinical practice.”From the hospice we move to the delivery room. At the Texas Nerve & Paralysis Institute in Houston, Tex., Dr. Rahul Kumar Nath, who is founder and director, often deals with patients only a few days old who suffer a particular kind of nerve injury at birth, which affects the growth and function of the arm and hand. Not all the nerves may be as severely injured as others, so half the arm might grow quite normally and the other half may not. This brings about imbalances and abnormalities, known as twisting deformities at the bone. Similar injuries can also occur in adults who are involved in road accidents.Brachial Plexus Palsy is a rare injury affecting 3 in 1,000 U.S. births, giving rise to nearly 15,000 such births annually. A similar numbers of adults are affected from injuries every year and often it’s difficult to get help locally. The most common of the injury is Erb’s Palsy, paralysis affecting the shoulder and arm. Normally these injuries are addressed with nerve grafting, but Nath has developed new nerve transfers, and for children specifically he’s developed special surgeries for the muscle and bone deformities. Traditional surgeries take 8 to 9 hours to perform but Nath has fine-tuned the process to just over an hour.Recently he had a 4-year-old patient whose arm was paralyzed after a fall from a motor scooter. She had seen four different physicians before being referred to him. After the one and a half hour operation, Nath had her arm moving again in a few months.Nath, who was with the Texas Children’s Hospital for many years, is chairman of the International Society for Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury and also founder and co-editor of the only journal addressing this issue. He’s also the only surgeon in the U.S. who’s developed a special surgery for Foot Drop, an injury to nerves in the foot.His research has led to the creation of equipment and techniques for difficult nerve repair, which have been patented by him. Currently he’s working on developing artificial DNA in the lab to block scar production in wounds, surgical areas and nerves and ultimately in the skin as well.“It’s a fascinating field. Earlier people had thought that paralysis could not be cured, but it’s absolutely the opposite,” he says. “It’s an absolute revolution in that particular field. The key thing though is that patients have to be evaluated by a specialist within 3-6 months of the onset to get the best results, so there is a time limitation.” Dr. Rahul Kumar Nath: Earlier people had thought that paralysis could not be cured, but it’s absolutely the opposite. It’s an absolute revolution  in that particular field.Nath has treated over 5,000 patients in the U.S. as well as from 26 countries, and has made the Top Doctors list consistently for the past seven years. Since he is licensed to practice in 16 states, he conducts satellite clinics in several cities, and also trains physicians from developing countries in these techniques.Asked about the most gratifying part of his work is, he says, “Every day you see babies, and grownups too, who could not move, move – and what can be better than that? It’s great to see children, an hour after the operation, being able to lift their arm over the head or to be able to feed themselves.”The super bug MRSA, a dangerous bacterium, has become the new four-letter word around hospitals and is responsible for many complications in patients recovering from surgery. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Nalini Rao of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh is an acknowledged expert. Rao, who is clinical professor of medicine and orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, led the western Pennsylvania area initiatives to control MRSA in the hospitals and authored “Preoperative Eradication of STAPH,” a seminal paper in the field.“In the hospital you can pick up infections when you’re going in to get better,” she says. “The patient is at high risk to get MRSA, colitis and other illnesses so now the state has mandated that all the hospitals have to put together a preventive program. We have created several initiatives in the Pittsburgh area to prevent blood, urinary tract and other infections.” Rao, who is the chief of the Division of Infectious Disease and director of Infectious Control Program, has a large private practice and also conducts research and clinical trials on bone and joint infections.“The nice part of my profession is the gratification I receive because of my patients,” she says. “I am indeed a patient advocate and when the outcome is favorable it literally makes my day.”Within Infectious Disease, she specializes in hospital related infections and travel medicine, a sub-specialty in which she counsels people going overseas on health hazards and infections. In Pittsburgh, she directs the only international travel health center, which offers counseling, immunizations and health certificates,The other part of her complex specialty is bone and joint infection. In the U.S., close to half a million people undergo implants for the joints, due to accidents, and when screws and plates have to be attached to the extremities, there is a risk for infections. Rao is one of only a few specialists in the country with an expertise in muscular skeletal infections.Rao has made Top Doctors in America listing every year in the past seven years and travels around the country to give lectures on bone and joint infections.One of her most satisfying cases has been of a patient who had an MRSA infection of a total knee replacement on two occasions. He had many risk factors, including his heavy weight, and was told that he could not get a new knee put in, and the upper and lower portions of his leg had to be fused with a rod. “This was extremely painful as the rod almost hit the hip joint. He could not drive and felt very crippled, was very depressed and had gained a lot more weight,” says Rao. “He came to me and said I need to get something done about this, otherwise I’d rather just die.” Dr. Nalini Rao: He came to see me and I couldn’t recognize him! He can now bend his knee to a full motion, like normal people.She treated the MRSA infection and he was able to get a third knee replacement. After rehab, he remained free of the infection and was able to get a gastric bypass surgery and lost over 100 pounds. Recalls Rao, “He came to see me and I couldn’t recognize him! He can now bend his knee to a full motion, like normal people. I did a total physical on him – he looks healthy and he’s lost his weight. He’s able to drive and wants to get back to work. He’s like a new man!”From complex infections many of us might hear about only in medical journals we move to ailments almost all of us suffer at one time or another and which often sideline us from daily activity – chronic back pains and headaches. After some time, even families tend to lose patience and compassion for these daily sufferers, but Dr. Subhash Jain, who runs the Centers for Pain Management in New York and New Jersey, takes it all very seriously for his belief is “Every patient is the only patient.” Besides being acknowledged in the Top Doctors of America, Jain has been recognized for eight consecutive years by New York magazine as one of the best doctors in the city. For 22 years he was an attending physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was founding chief of the Department of Anesthiology’s Pain Service and director of the hospital’s fellowship program. He was also Chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Pain and Palliative Care.Almost four in five people suffer some back pain. Most of the time it is just an irritant, but sometimes it can be deadly serious. Jain recalls a 28-year-old man who suffered from constant back pain and had found no relief from either over the counter medication or pre scri ption pain-killers. Jain’s examination and tests revealed that he had a pancreatic tumor.He employs state-of-the art techniques to manage and treat acute, chronic and cancer pain, including pharmacological, psychological, neuroblative, and neural blockage. “My personal philosophy is that I focus on the cause and how to eliminate the cause. For example, a lot of smokers smoke and cough and their posture changes. There’s a direct co-relation between smoking and back pain. I focus on their day-to-day life.”Jain rose through the ranks to become chief of Pain Service and director of the Pain Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where he remains a consultant in pain management. A clinician, researcher, and teacher in pain management, he has lectured internationally and written extensively on the subject.While he treats all aspects of pain, his research expertise has been in back, pelvic, reflex-sympathetic dystrophy and cancer pain. He is consulting with the Ministry of Health in India to develop a new curriculum for physicians and nurses in pain management and introducing a sub-specialty certification for pain management in India.Asked about his work philosophy, he says, “Every human deserves to be without pain. The quality of life of a person should be brought to the level where they can function as a human being.”Parkinson’s disease can be devastating, especially when it hits you when you’re only 33 years old. In 1985, when Dr. Kapil Sethi was himself just 32, he had a patient about his age, not unlike the actor Michael J. Fox who developed Parkinson’s disease at 28. Sethi recalls, “I had to tell her and slowly broke the news to her. It was quite a shock. She had two little kids and thought that was the end. She and her husband were totally scared. Luckily they stuck together and we went through it together.”Over the following 22 years, the patient went through several surgeries, participated in research and underwent different treatments, but is still functional. Life went on for her and she gave birth to two more children. One child is in college and another is now getting married. Says Sethi, “They are still with me. We are facing new problems everyday, but she’s there. The other day we had a Parkinson’s walkathon– she was leading it. She’s still around.”Sethi, a neurologist and a professor of neurology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga., heads the Movement Disorders Clinic and also researches and educates residents and medical students. His medical focus is in movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors, Restless Leg Syndrome, so his connection with patients is often life-long. He is one of the pioneers in the study of this disease in Georgia. “Parkinson’s disease is an immune degenerative disease and is slowly progressive. We don’t know what causes it and we don’t know exactly how to slow it down,” he says. “It’s a very frustrating disease simply because patients get worse eventually and till we know what causes it, it will be difficult to find ways to slow it down. Whatever little progress we make is very gratifying not only to the patient but to the person who is treating him or doing the research. Even small baby steps are important, because right now we have no way to slow it down.”One attempt is to study Creatine, a supplement used by athletes to boost energy levels and build muscle,  which may slow the progression of neurological and neuromucular diseases, such as Lou Gehrig’s and Parkinson’s disease. According to Sethi, mitochondria, the powerhouse for cells, become dysfunctional in the brain, muscle,  and platelet cells of many patients with Parkinson’s disease and this dysfunction is visible in postmortem brain studies and in muscle biopsies and measures of platelet activity in the living. “By giving more energy to the cell, you are giving them a safety margin,” says Sethi says. “If a cell is dying, it takes another route and that would be surviving.” He notes that Creatine has virtually no side effects and helps build muscle and could well slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Sethi is the local investigator for the national investigations being conducted by the National Institute of Health through the Parkinson Study Group.Sethi is also active in the India Alliance, a nonprofit organization, which has set up a network of leading academic Parkinson disease doctors in India and the US to foster research and pharmaceutical trials.What does he think is the most satisfying part of his work? “I think it’s my contact with my patients and their families over the years and the fact that I’m with them from the beginning to the end. Parkinson’s is a chronic disease, not like taking somebody’s appendix out. It’s an over 20 year relationship.”So is that what it’s all about – helping your patients get a better quality of life and walking them through the tough times? “Exactly,” says Sethi.For the patients in the care of Dr. Naynesh R. Kamani at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., it’s literally a matter of life and death. “If the treatment we deliver works, then the patients are cured. If it doesn’t work, the patient dies. Every time we treat a child with a bone marrow or cord blood transplant, the outcome will determine whether the child will live or die.”  Kamani is in charge of the blood and marrow transplant program and researches the use of umbilical cord blood as a source of adult stem cells for transplantation. “Bone marrow and umbilical cord blood are two different stem cell sources that we use for the purpose of transplantation in the cases of a large variety of malignant and nonmalignant childhood disorders,” he says.He performs transplants in 70 to 80 different pediatric diseases, including terminal cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, brain tumors and inherited diseases of the blood and immune system. He has treated children with severe combined immune deficiency, commonly known as the Bubble Boy disease, a disease where children are born without a functioning immune system and in the absence of a transplant they die within the first six months or a year.Kamani is doing cutting edge research in using cord blood cells as a source of stem cells to correct inherited diseases of the blood, participating in national and local clinical trials: “A lot of innovations are being made because traditionally it’s not a disease that’s been treated with cord blood transplantation.”He recalls a family in which two siblings were affected since this is a genetically inherited disorder: first the girl received the cord blood transplant and five years after the transplant, she’s doing well. Subsequently, her brother too had the disease. Says Kamani, “He also got a cord blood transplant and he’s also doing fine, about two years after the transplant. So both kids are completely healthy, have no significant long term complications and are doing great.”And if they hadn’t received the treatment? He says, “They both would have died during infancy basically. This is a disease which kills during infancy if left untreated. The other alternative would have been bone marrow transplant but they didn’t have a sibling who could have donated marrow to them. They did not have a donor so they had no other option.”Kamani, a strong advocate of bone marrow donations, is on the board of the National Marrow Donor Program, which runs a 4 million strong registry of volunteer bone marrow donors all over the country. There is a shortage of minority donors, which can greatly hamper the task of finding compatible donors, since the chances of success are greater if the donor and patient are from the same racial or ethnic background.“One should always consider signing up because for most of these donors that will be the only opportunity they’ll ever have of saving someone’s life,” says Kamani. He is also assisting with the establishment of cord blood banks and bone marrow transplant programs in several cities in India.Dealing with children with fatal illnesses on a daily basis is difficult but he says he enjoys it because he loves kids and tries to interact with them and their parents on different levels.“The challenge is that our field is fraught with a lot of poor outcomes,” he says. “A number of our patients still don’t do well even after what we think is the best therapy available out there. So we deal with failure quite often and we’ve got to learn from our failures. But we also have to relish our successes because without these successes we wouldn’t be able to continue, we would get burnt out quite quickly.”Asked about the rewards of the job, Kamani says, “The rewards are really to see the children after they’ve been cured, seeing them graduating from high school or college, or getting married. As their physicians, we often become part of the families and those are the rewards we live with, when parents of children and the children themselves recognize you as someone who’s made a difference in their lives.” Indeed, for these physicians, the rewards are complex and intangible, much more than a passion for their work and go a lot deeper than status or a bank balance. It is a pact with the patients, which is sacred, and which is the main reason for the well-oiled, detailed machinery of the best medical care to be set in motion.Valluvan Jeevanandam, the heart failure specialist from Chicago University Hospital, sums it up succinctly: “I put everything into perspective. When someone tells me I’m a great doctor, I tell them, ‘Listen, if your house had a leak, you’d be extremely grateful that a plumber was there. So I’m a glorified plumber, electrician, carpenter all rolled into one. Everybody in the world has their own role in life and mine happens to be of the surgeon. But there are people in the operating room who are as important, and everything we do, we do as a team.” INSIDE TRACKAsk him what drives him to take on impossible cases, and Dr. ValluvanJeevanandam, a believer in Sai Baba, says, “A lot of it is technique, but a lot of it is also faith. A lot of people don’t want to operate on Jehovah’s Witnesses because they think their statistics will look bad if the patient dies. The way I look at it is I feel God has given me a gift so if I do it with good intentions with my best efforts and if a patient doesn’t make it and believes in not getting blood, I’ve done everything that’s possible and then it’s in God’s hands.It’s the ability to have faith and do the operations, knowing that if you do the right thing you’ll get the right results.”  Indian Doctors, American LandscapeAsked about the changes he’d like to see in the medical profession, Dr. Kapil Sethi says, “You know, I think medicine is going the wrong way – the connection between the doctors and the patients is being lost by the intervening self-interest people like administrators and politicians. You are not rewarded for spending time with the patient; you are rewarded for doing an unnecessary test.” He finds that amongst Indian physicians, there is a considerable share of good academicians, but fewer cutting edge researchers. Things, however, are changing with the new generation of American born Indian physicians, who do not have the roadblocks the Indian-born physicians had to face.Sethi, who was the first Indian physician to join the board of the American Academy of Neurology, believes Indian physicians need to play a more active role: “We need to get involved with the politics of medicine, not just the science and the research and the practice of medicine, and assume leadership roles, because legislation sometimes is passed to the detriment of foreign medical graduates.” Physicians from India face certain hurdles such as retraining and cultural issues, but also larger issues: “There’s a big difference between the western and eastern philosophy. We see a lot of patients being kept alive on life support and all the health resources are being wasted. That debate has just started to occur here and they desperately need end-of-life care specialty in this country. It’s just not there.” THE REST OF THE BEST Indian physicians are making a mark in major hospitals from Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center to the Mayo Medical Center, where they are doing cutting edge research in many different disciplines. Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors lists nearly 100 Indian American physicians, nearly 2 percent of all listings, which is half the Indian representation in the profession. Here’s a sampling of some of the other Indian American physicians listed in the directory.Manjit Singh Bains, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Lung Cancer Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NYBrajendra Agarwala, Congenital Heart DiseaseUniversity  of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL.Kanwaljeet Singh Anand, Pain Management, Critical Care Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR.Chitranjan Ranawat, Hip and Knee Replacement Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NYRay Bahado Singh, Pregnancy High Risk, Genetic disorders, Twin to Twin Transfusion syndrome Hutzel Hospital, DetroitInder Jit MD, Thyroid Disorders UCLA Medical Center, CADattatreyudu Nori, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer Radiology NY Presbyterian Hospital and Weil Cornel Medical Center, New York, NY.Saroj Gujral, Urologic Cancer Albert Lea Medical Center, Mayo Health System  Albert Lea MNMurali Guthikonda, Skull Base Tumors, Brain Tumors Detroit Medical Center Detroit, MIAnand Jillela, Bone Marrow Transplant, Leukemia, Lymphoma Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinic Augusta, GAVikram Kamdar, Diabetes, Thyroid DisordersSanta Monica UCLA Medical Center, CAShreekanth V Karwande, Thoracic Cancers, Lung CancerUniversity Utah Hospitals, Salt Lake City, UTBalakuntalam Kasinath, Diabetic Kidney Disease Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital, San Antonio,  TX.Sanjiv Kaul, Cardiac Imaging, Echocardiography OR Health and Science University, Portland, ORSandeep Khosla, Osteoporosis, Bone Disorders Mayo Medical Center, Rochester, MN.Legha Sewa Singh MD, Melanomia, Thyroid CancerSt. Lukes Episcopal Hospital,  Houston, TXVijay Maker, Cancer Laser SurgeryIllinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago ILDevinder Singh Mangat, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery St. Elizabeth Medical Center,  Edgewood, KYRam Menon, Growth, Development Disorders,  DiabetesUniversity of Michigan Health System , Ann Arbor, MIMani Menon, Prostate Cancer, Robotic SurgeryHenry Ford Hospital Transplant KidneyUrologic Cancer Vattikutti Urology Institute, Detroit, MIBharat N Nathwani, Hematopathology, Leukemia, LymphomaLAC and USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, CAMathew Ninan, Lung Cancer, Transplant LungVanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TNMukund Patel, ArthritisVictory Memorial Hospital, Brooklyn NYNarsing Adupa Rao, Uveitis/AIDS, Eye PathologyUSC University Hospital, Los Angles, CAArjun K Singh, Cardiac SurgeryRhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI WALKING OUT OF AFRICADr. Naynesh Kamani, who grew up in Ethiopia, likes to say he walked out of Africa – literally! His parents are originally from India, but he grew up and completed medical school in Addis Ababa just as a military regime came to power after the revolution. At that time there was no possibility of pursuing post-graduate studies and it was impossible for anyone to leave the country. He recalls, “I had to leave by unorthodox means. I literally walked out of the country, because there was no official way of leaving. I walked for two weeks, took buses and trucks, finally reaching the Sudan.”Fortunately for all the patients he treats in the U.S., Kamani finally made it to America. Being of Indian origin himself and having worked in Ethiopia, he realizes the value of every human life:  “In third world countries children die of very common diseases that are easily treated in the developed countries. I saw a lot of kids that should not have died, die because of their inability to access good health skills.” Related Itemslast_img read more

NSG Defers Indian Nuclear Deal

first_imgThe U.S.-India nuclear deal was dealt a jolt in Vienna when the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the global body that governs the legal trade in nuclear materials, deferred a decision on India’s application for civil nuclear cooperation with the United States.India has already secured an inspections agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but requires NSG approval before the Bush administration can submit the deal to the U.S. Congress. The Bush administration is anxious to push the deal through before its term expires at the end of this year.Nearly half the NSG countries sought revisions to a U.S. draft, expressing concern that exporting nuclear fuel and technology to a country that has not made a legally binding disarmament pledge sets a dangerous precedent. The NSG approval is the last hurdle before the deal is submitted to the U.S. Congress.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Little Master’s Big Record

first_imgSachin Tendulkar has displaced West Indian Brian Lara as the leading run-scorer in test cricket.Tendulkar hit 88 runs on the first day of the second test between India and Australia, to total 12,027 runs in 152 tests, averaging 54.17 per turn at bat. In so doing, he bested Lara, who retired in 2007 with a world record of 11,953 runs in 131 tests, averaging 52.88, with 34 centuries and 48 half centuries.Tendulkar, 35, affectionately known as the “Little Master,” already holds the record of most centuries in tests with 39, three ahead of Australian Ricky Ponting. He also has 50 half centuries. Tendulkar holds the record for the most limited-overs runs with 16,361 from 417 one-day internationals.Australian Don Bradman, who ran up 6,996 runs at an average of 99.96 in the 1930s and 40s, is considered the greatest test batsman of all time. Related Itemslast_img read more

5 Signs You’re on Thin Ice at Work (& How to Fix It)

first_img21 Hot Jobs That Pay Over $100K This Summer In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to guess whether or not you’re failing to hit the mark at work. Your boss would meet with you regularly to supply open and honest feedback, and you could nip any emerging problems in the bud as soon as they flag them to you. But human beings are complex characters — whether your colleagues and superiors are afraid of confronting you with negative feedback, too busy to check in with you, or simply aren’t good at communicating, workplace grievances against you may pile up until eventually, they land you in hot water.On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes we tend to simply judge ourselves too harshly. Perfectionists out there will often perceive innocuous actions or poorly-phrased comments from co-workers to be slights on their performance, causing them to work themselves up over nothing.So between managers whose communication skills need improvement and your own self-doubt, how can you really tell if you need to get your act together at work? Read on below to learn five sure-fire signs that you’re faltering at work, as well as advice on how to get back on track.1. Your Boss Has Changed Their TuneWhen your manager’s disappointed in your performance, it’s often hard for them to conceal it — usually, their behavior or tone will shift in a noticeable way. A few indicators might be if “your formerly buddy-buddy boss is getting agitated with you or is being more short or cold with you,” says Jill Santopietro Panall, HR consultant and owner of 21Oak HR Consulting, LLC, or “if they have become more aloof or seem to be avoiding any conversation with you except for essential communication,” says Valerie Streif, Senior Adviser at Mentat. “Sometimes this sign isn’t as clear depending on how your initial relationship with your boss was, but if you notice that they seem to avoid you, are sharp and short when answering your questions, and don’t engage in conversation with you outside of strictly business, it could be a sign they are getting ready to get rid of you, or that an awkward conversation in a negative performance review is imminent,” Streif continues.What To Do When You Think Your Performance Review Is Wrong?The confrontation averse may be tempted to ignore these signs, but addressing the problem is essential if you want to get back in your manager’s good graces. “I would say, ‘I notice that lately you seem less happy with my work. What can I do to change that?’ Then, listen as nondefensively as you can and take notes on what they want you to do,” Santopietro Panall suggests.“Be upfront and sit down with management to address any issues and see if it can be resolved before you get a negative review,” Streif agrees. “If they have noticed that your performance isn’t what it used to be, you could explain yourself. If you’ve been unhappy or feeling unfulfilled, a simple conversation could lead to a promotion that could give you more responsibility and a sense of purpose again. It can be hard to sit down with management in these situations, but most likely you have nothing to lose and it could be the opportunity for a major positive change.”2. Your Responsibilities Have Shifted in a Major WayYou might be secretly rejoicing if your boss moves a few things off of your plate, but beware: rather than just giving you a break, this could be a sign that they don’t think you’re capable of managing your tasks. “Employees who perform well are typically rewarded with more responsibility and more complex tasks, leading to career growth and paving the way for future promotions,” says Mary Grace Gardner, career strategist at The Young Professionista. So “if you suddenly notice your manager consistently passing you up and giving coveted assignments to your coworkers or if your manager assigns you tasks that feel like a step backward, it may be an indication that you’ve lost their trust.” Similarly, if “your workload gets lighter” or “you are now receiving the grunt work,” that could spell trouble, says resume writer & career transition coach Wendi Weiner.Before you confront your manager, “think back and identify if you made a recent error. Perhaps you missed a deadline without appropriate notification, didn’t take action when a problem occurred, or reacted in a non-constructive way in a tense situation,” Gardner suggests. “Then, do some damage control and own up to the mistake. Let your manager know you recognize what you did wrong, what you learned, and what you will do going forward. Taking ownership and bringing up the issue first helps with rebuilding trust.”It’s also worth letting your boss know that you do feel that you’re willing and able to take on some extra work. “A great way to turn this around is to tell your boss that you are happy to take on all tasks, which can contribute to more productivity, and you don’t mind putting in the extra time or effort to get these tasks done,” Weiner says.3. You Keep Hearing the Same Negative FeedbackNo matter how hard you work, you’re bound to get some negative feedback from time to time — after all, there’s always room for improvement. So if you get the occasional reminder from your manager about something you could be doing better, you don’t need to sweat it. But if you consistently hear them bringing up the same issue over and over, it may be cause for concern.“Once your boss has talked to you about it a few times, if they don’t see the change they want to see, you can expect that a warning is on the way,” says Santopietro Panall. If you find yourself on the receiving end of repeated feedback, “be sure you are VERY clear in your mind on what expected changes they are looking for or what goals/metrics they [want] you to hit before you get further warnings… I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in on termination meetings with an employee who has been given multiple warnings or is on what I thought to be a very clear performance improvement plan and they are confused or asking ‘Why is this happening?’ even though they knew they were on thin ice.”Even if you are taking the right steps to address the issue at hand, make sure that you’re communicating that with your manager so they know that you are taking their feedback seriously and are working on overcoming challenges.“Clarity is going to help you at all times… be clear on your role and the expectations, be clear on your boss’ concerns and pressures, be clear on the timing of events, be clear on what you can lay down to pick up new responsibilities,” Santopietro Panall advises.What to Do When Your Boss Is Mad at You4. Your Desk or Office Location Is DowngradedIn the most recent season of HBO’s Silicon Valley, all-powerful Hooli CEO Gavin Belson passive aggressively expresses his annoyance with one of his employees by “promoting” him to a new position that requires him to move his desk to the basement, surrounded by nothing but servers and maintenance workers (oh, and a nice view of the men’s restroom). While this is on the more extreme end of the spectrum, it’s still true that a significant change in your workplace settings could be a sign that your standing at work is less than solid.“I once worked with a colleague whose office was right in the middle of all the action. She was situated next to the executives and she had the chance to interact with leadership every day. Unfortunately, she never seized the opportunity to demonstrate her value. She was soon relocated to an office on a different floor without any windows. She didn’t take the hint to step up her game and her manager finally let her know that she wasn’t fit for the job,” Gardner shares. While Gardner acknowledges that “it’s difficult to recover from an unfavorable relocation… there are ways you can turn things around,” she says. “First, seek ways to add value specifically with respect to the company’s goals. Next, make sure your work is visible in a way that isn’t bragging but demonstrates your contribution. Finally, seek feedback from your supervisor. Not all supervisors are generous with both positive and constructive feedback, so you sometimes have to ask for it to get it,” she says.5. You’re Encountering Challenges Every Step of the WayEveryone deals with bottlenecks at work — maybe your manager is dragging their heels on reviewing an essential document, or your department head shuts down your budget proposal. It’s perfectly normal for things like these to happen every once in a while, but if they become an every day (or more) occurrence, you may want to examine things a little more closely.“Is it getting harder to arrange a time to meet with your boss? Are your requests constantly getting denied? Are you being given the most tedious tasks to complete? If so, this may be a sign that your supervisor is encouraging you to quit and avoiding the task of giving you constructive feedback,” Gardner says.If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get proactive about preventing roadblocks before they pop up. “Set a regular cadence to check in with your boss and establish mutual expectations on how you engage. Ask for feedback and do so often… Focus on adding value, stay aware of the changing environment at work, and adapt to changing circumstances,” Gardner recommends. “While getting assigned more difficult, complex tasks over time is a good sign, feeling blocked at every turn is a definite red flag.”last_img read more

5 Reasons You May Not Be As Influential As You Think You Are

first_img Kitchen Manager Famous Toastery Myrtle Beach, SC 23 hours ago 23h N/A Manager In Training Crew Carwash, Inc. Cumberland, IN 23 hours ago 23h Restaurant Manager Old Chicago Peoria, IL 3.4★ Store Manager Northern Tool + Equipment Midland, TX Restaurant Manager Red Lobster Orland Park, IL 4.8★ Available Manager Jobs 3.2★ 3.8★ 23 hours ago 23h 4.3★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h You may not be as influential as you think you are. This may be a bold statement, especially because you don’t know me. But what if I’m right? Have you or your team ever considered how you, your message and the experience people have with you come across?Have you ever given thought as to how your communication may be sabotaging your influence without you even knowing?Most leaders I’ve worked with haven’t given thought to this question, much less taken steps to increase their awareness of how their listeners hear and see them (rather than what they believe to be true).  You can’t imagine how many times I hear these misconceptions:I communicate all the time. I’m comfortable, therefore I’m a good communicator.When I know my topic, it’s easy.Be careful with these two. “Comfortable” and “easy” do not equal influence. It is a natural human tendency to base our opinion of ourselves on how we feel when we communicate rather than on the facts of how we actually look and sound. Our thinking is, “I feel good, therefore I am good.” More often than not, what we feel inside doesn’t translate to what listeners are seeing and hearing.And the third excuse:Our titles determine the level of influence we have.Influence is not a badge of honor. It’s a choice that takes discipline and a lot of hard work every day.17 Proven Ways to Be A Dynamic LeaderOne of the reasons that leaders believe they’re more influential than they really are is because our definition of influence is flawed. There’s a misconception of what influence is and an outdated, inadequate understanding of what it means to be influential.You may be familiar with this definition: the ability to motivate people to take action. This is true, but it’s not the complete picture. This definition misses a key component of influence. Influence is more than turning it on when you think you need it the most.Instead, it involves these five crucial things:1. Influence is Monday to Monday: Your body language and message are consistent during all interactions, no matter whom you’re talking to and what medium you’re pushing your message through. If you have ever set a New Year’s Resolution or you know individuals who have, you have to be all in: Monday to Monday. You can’t eat healthy Monday to Wednesday and slip the rest of the week. Influence requires the same level of discipline Monday to Monday.2. Influence means you have the ability to move people to take action long after the interaction occurs.3. Influence is built on verbal and nonverbal communication.4. Influence is measured not by how you feel, but by the results you consistently achieve.5. Influence is a critical skill that can be developed by anyone through feedback, practice and accountability.Accomplishing these definitions of influence is difficult because we live in a new world of work; it’s noisy 24/7. Think about how many messages you have already received today. We have noise from our own dialogue and the multitude of messages we receive 24 hours a day, every day.The critical first step to taking a closer look at your level of influence requires you to be open-minded, vulnerable and committed. Influential communicators acknowledge that they don’t know everything, and they are open to self-discovery.To enhance your influence, you need to evaluate your communication based on facts, not feelings. You need to get to the heart of what is really going on by experiencing your communication through the eyes and ears of your team and colleagues.Applying this practical and immediate advice will help you gain a greater understanding of how you communicate and continuously grow you and your team’s influence.Stacey Hanke is the founder and communication expert of Stacey Hanke Inc. She is the author of Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday and Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others to Take Action. Stacey and her team have delivered thousands of presentations and workshops for leaders of Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Nationwide, FedEx, Kohl’s and AbbVie. Learn more about her team and company at: www.staceyhankeinc.com. Canvass Manager HomeGuard Roofing & Restoration Denver, CO Manager Cafe Rio Mexican Grill Lynnwood, WA 23 hours ago 23h 4.7★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.3★ Store Manager Chico’s FAS Braintree, MA 3.0★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.4★ Restaurant Manager The Saxton Group Waco, TX 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Store Manager Infinite Hair & Beauty Opelousas, LA See more Manager jobslast_img read more

5 Online Privacy Mistakes that Could Cost You Your Job

first_img RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX 23 hours ago 23h John Stevens is the CEO of Hosting Facts. He is a regular contributor to top publications including Business Insider, Adweek, Internet Retailer and Entrepreneur. LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL Part-time Day Associate Crew Carwash Indianapolis, IN 23 hours ago 23h 3.5★ 2.8★ Paramedic* Mecklenburg EMS Agency – Medic Rochester, NY Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV 23 hours ago 23h 4.8★ 23 hours ago 23h 2.3★ 3.0★ ICU Registered Nurse Del Sol Medical Center El Paso, TX Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ 3.4★ Browse Open Jobs Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT People get fired for a lot of reasons. However, in an age where the Internet and social media is a part of our day-to-day lives, privacy mistakes is quickly becoming one of the top reasons people get fired. Examples abound.One notable example is Kimberley Swann. She just got hired at a new job, and she thought the job was boring. So she went over to Facebook and posted the message, “first day at work. Omg (oh my God)!! So dull!!” It didn’t take long for the message to get to management, and she lost her job just three weeks after getting hired.Another notable example is that of Georgia high school teacher Ashley Payne. Payne’s mistake was posing with pictures of herself drinking while on vacation. Upon her return from vacation, the local school board pulled her aside, showed her the picture and fired her.In a lot of cases, we slip off and post/do horrible things online. People won’t always punish you for jokes and slip offs you make, but you’ll almost always be punished for privacy mistakes in the workplace.Here are five online privacy mistakes that could cost you your job:1. Having Your Bosses and Co-Workers as Friends on Social MediaFor many people, this doesn’t seem to be a privacy blunder but it is one of the biggest you can make. Your private life should be your private life. As unfair as it might seem, the moment you start having your bosses and co-workers as friends on social media is the moment you make your private life your professional life. Anything you post — whether it is an attempt at humor, a mistake or you just being you — that could have ordinarily be acceptable to friends could be used against you in the workplace.Here’s one employee’s experience about this:“I was younger and an idiot. I posted something on facebook about wanting to go home and play The Sims so I could create [telecommunications store I worked for] on it and then slowly kill off all the customers. I was working a late night shift in a mall and forgot our new co-worker had added me on Facebook days before.”Also, although her profile was private, the high school teacher we mentioned earlier got into trouble because she added her co-workers as friends on Facebook.8 Things You Should Never Say To Your Boss2. Not Changing Your Social Media Privacy SettingsBy default, social media sites want your privacy settings to be set to public so that everybody will be able to see what you post all the time. Unfortunately, this might not always be a smart idea — you want to first consider what you post on social media. If you’re more of the “real you” on social media, you should ask yourself if you will be comfortable letting the whole world in on all the conversations you would ordinarily have with your friends. If the answer is no, you should revise your privacy settings. Set it so that only friends can see your posts, and in cases where you want to make a status public there’s an option to do that.3. Making Your Location Information AvailablePretty much every social media site available today wants to know your location, and, worse, they want the world to see it. Unfortunately, as an employee, this can do you more harm than good — especially when it comes to how your off-work hours is being spent: while we recommend being completely honest with how you request leave or time-off at work, you can’t be too careful with your privacy settings. Here’s one how one employee’s not being discreet about his location cost him his job — from a manager’s perspective:“I had to fire someone for this. He was a volunteer firefighter and left for a call which I allowed. Fifteen minutes later someone showed me his five minute-old post of him riding quads saying something along the lines of ‘Sometimes you just need to F-off from work.’ That put him on a final warning. He then left because he said HIS house was on fire then half-an-hour later his wife tagged him in a photo of him sitting in a kiddie pool in front of his house. The funny thing is, in both cases, if he had simply asked to leave early I probably would have said yes.”6 Things You Should Never Do On Your Work Computer4. Assuming All Networks are Safe to UseUnfortunately, this is one of the innocent privacy mistakes that can be very costly to people who are not very tech savvy. Just because a network is available does not mean it is safe to use. This is especially important if you have the privilege of accessing sensitive information on your corporate server — it’s easy to connect to that free Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, or in the bus, but an hacker could be eavesdropping — this could lead to sensitive information being compromised and you could lose your job. There are privacy steps you can take to protect yourself: this includes using a VPN or even avoiding public Wi-Fi in general.5. Being a “Click-Happy” EmployeeJust because someone sent you a link or attachment doesn’t mean you should click or download. Ransomware attacks were huge in 2017, increasing a whopping 36 percent and experts predict it will increase even more in 2018. One of the top ways computers get infected by ransomware is by downloading an unsafe attachment; so clicking unnecessary links or downloading unnecessary files on your corporate server, and potentially infecting the server with a ransomware in the process, will only come back to bite you hard. 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 2.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.1★ N/A 23 hours ago 23h 4.7★last_img read more

Chelsea ace Hazard: Conte system behind my form

first_imgChelsea ace Eden Hazard credits last season’s form to manager Antonio Conte’s three-at-the-back system.Conte helped him return to his best form after a disappointing 2015-16 and he thrived in the Italian’s 3-4-3 formation.Speaking to Chelsea Magazine, Hazard said: “Personally and as a team it was a very good season.”After a bad campaign it’s obviously very important to bounce back and become champions again.”I stayed at the top level last season in almost every game so I was happy with my own form.”I know if I score I can help the team win games and in the new system I have been closer to the goal so it’s been easier to penetrate, make assists and score goals.”But our success was down to all of the players. Everybody’s form was fantastic, which was great for us.”last_img read more

Tottenham refuse to give Man Utd price for Eric Dier

first_imgTottenham refuse to offer Manchester United a price for Eric Dier.The Daily Mail says Spurs will not put a price on Eric Dier as they have no intention of selling the England international.Manchester United are keen on Dier and believe the 23-year-old is open to joining them as he would be allowed to play in his favoured central midfield position and be offered substantially better wages.Manager Mauricio Pochettino will not want to listen to bids for a player who has been crucial in successive second place Premier League finishes for Spurs.Tottenham’s ceiling of £100,000 a week is causing consternation among the squad as they see other clubs paying greater salaries.last_img read more

Man Utd or bust for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata

first_imgManchester United are growing increasingly confident of signing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.ESPN says United are making progress on a move for the former Juventus man.And there is optimism a deal could be agreed in time for Morata to attend the Red Devils pre-season tour of America on July 9.Personal terms should be agreed quickly as the striker is keen to move to Old Trafford.And the only sticking point will be the two clubs settling on a transfer fee for the Spain international.It’s also claimed United are the only club in negotiations with Real for Morata.last_img read more

Valverde facing opposition to bring Deulofeu back to Barcelona

first_imgBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is pushing to sign Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu this week.Diario Gol says Valverde has made a personal request that Barca trigger their buy-back option in the Spain international’s deal.The €12 million option remains in place until Friday, June 30. However, a deal remains anything but straightforward.Deulofeu is reluctant to return to Barca without playing guarantees from Valverde. After a superb six months on-loan with AC Milan, which culminated in a call-up to the Spain squad, Deulofeu is desperate not to take a step back in his career.Barca’s board, meanwhile, are also at odds with Valverde’s opinion. Where the coach views Deulofeu as an ideal addition to his squad, directors would prefer to buy the midfielder back and sell him on for a profit before the summer market shuts.last_img read more

Developing a Strategic Communications Plan

first_imgResourcesStrategic Communications for Nonprofit Organizations: Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Plan (Nonprofit Law, Finance, and Management Series) by Janel M. Radtke is a comprehensive, hands-on guide that helps nonprofit organizations get their messages across.The National School Boards Foundation, through their Institute for the Transfer of Technology to Education, has created an Education Leadership Toolkit. This Toolkit includes information on creating a communication plan. Developing a strategic communications plan will be less overwhelming if it is viewed as a series of steps. Here are some questions to ponder before you create your plan. If you know the answers to these, the creative process should be smoother.What is the mission/vision of this organization? Where are you today as an organization, and where do you want to be in three years? (Be specific.)What is the overall goal(s) of this organization? Do our current communications efforts support our goal?What barriers must be overcome to reach overall goals? What are the benefits of reaching the goals?How visible is our organization now? Do the people we need to reach know we exist?What are the current skills of the staff? Do we have the resources to bring in new people with communications expertise? Can our budget support a consultant?What does the annual budget for our organization look like? Does our budget align with our priorities? Does our budget sufficiently support communications efforts?Are we familiar with what similar nonprofits are doing with strategic communications? What do we admire in others?Plans can be organized and created with more detail, but a communications plan should include the following six components:ObjectivesAudiencesMessagesTimetableBudget, Staff Skills, and Hiring ConsultantsTop Management Buy-Inlast_img read more

Make Your Website a Hit: Improve Your SEO in 4 Steps, Step 1: Keywords

first_imgStep One Checklist:Submit your website to directoriesList keywordsTest your keywords with online toolsResearch title and header tagsImprove your websites content by adding keywordsSource/contact: Lance@TicketPrinting.com, http://www.ticketprinting.com/ Do you ever wonder why some websites seem to steal the top positions on search engines?  No, it is not magic, and yes, your nonprofit can do it too.  The “secret” to achieving this success for your website is by harnessing the power of search engine optimization. By following this step-by-step guide, you will be well on your way to drastically improving your websites standing in only four steps.What you need to know:Despite what some companies may want you to believe, there are no tricks or shortcuts to search engine optimization (SEO) and you will not top the list of search results overnight.  Three major areas should be focused on for a successful SEO campaign.  These areas include:KeywordsWebsite designLinksStep 1: KeywordsObjective:Your first set of objectives include submitting your site to several link directories and improving your websites keyword structure.Let’s Get Started:Directories- Submitting to nonprofit directories such as CharityNavigator, Yahoo Health, idealist.org, and fundsnetservices or general directories such as Business.com, Best of the Web, and DMOZ will immediately affect your website’s search rankings.  While listing your site on directories is worth your time, the links are of little overall value and will only have a minimal impact on your ranking.Keywords- Keywords are the words/phrases that tell search engines about the purpose of your site.  It is important to identify which words are most advantageous to your organization so they can be optimized in your content.  Begin selecting keywords by brainstorming every word/phrase that is topically relevant to your organization.  Remember, put yourself into the shoes of the searcher and avoid industry jargon.   Be sure to include the name of the organization and the main service the organization provides.  Additionally, when selecting keywords try to avoid general terms such as “nonprofit”, “charity”, or “fundraiser” and select keywords that are unique and relevant.  Two problems arise when general keyword terms are used:The phrase becomes more competitive and harder to rank well on.The site receives traffic from people who are looking for a different service than your organization provides.Nonprofit organizations in particular need to include action keywords such as “donate” or “contribute” to make their fundraising campaigns more successful.  If you are still unable to generate keywords, browse through websites of similar nonprofit organizations and look which keywords are used on their sites.Keyword Tracker Tools- Once you have developed a starter list, you are ready to test the words using one of the many online keyword tracker tools.  The best free online tool today is yahoo’s Overture.  This will show the popularity of the keyword entered during the last month and give a rough idea of what additional keywords may work for the organization.  However, for the organization that wants to launch a more targeted and successful SEO campaign, Wordtracker is the correct instrument to use.  Wordtracker has additional features such as the inclusion of plurals and misspellings in its search.  Most importantly Wordtracker includes the competition for each of the keyword phrases.  The trick here is to select keywords that are popular searches but not commonly used by other organizations.Keyword Density- There has been a great deal of hype regarding keyword density and finding the correct density for each search engine.  Keyword density refers to the frequency that the keyword is used.  According to the most current and accurate articles written on the subject, such as the Unfair Advantage (within searchenginenews.com), keyword density is in fact much less important than originally predicted.  The only standing rule of keyword density is not use “keyword stuffing” techniques where the phrase is repeated multiple times.  Search engines now monitor this tactic and will actually lower your sites ranking if they detect stuffing.  Search Engine Land’s article, SEO “Don’ts”: 20 Fatal Mistakes You Must Avoid to Succeed, gives an accurate list of pitfalls such as keyword stuffing that you will want to steer clear of when implementing your SEO strategy.New Website Content- When incorporating keywords into the websites text, be sure to look at the content from the users’ point of view, and strike a balance between the user and the search engine (priority always goes to the user), making content friendly for both.  For further reading on how to layout your website to optimize its effectiveness with search engines read Matt McGee’s 21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques or one of the many articles on the subject in Search Engine Land.Title and Header Tags- The most important keywords identified should be included in the websites title and header tags.  A title tag is a short html code that tells search engines about your site, while headers are viewed by users on the top of each page and tell the purpose of the page.  The 7 Essential Title Tag Strategies of High Ranking Web Pages in 2006 has further information about how to improve title tags to optimize your search performance.last_img read more

Building Momentum for the Expansion of Midwifery in Mexico and Beyond

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 16, 2017November 16, 2017By: Sharon Bissell, Director, Mexico Office, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur FoundationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Over the last five years, countries around the world have begun to undertake new initiatives to improve maternal health outcomes by strengthening midwifery care. The 2011 and 2014 State of Midwifery in the World reports, the 2014 and 2016 Lancet series on midwifery and maternal health and the World Health Organization’s 2016 Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities report represent an effort to recognize a historically overlooked cadre of the health workforce.The International Confederation of Midwives and its member associations have garnered greater awareness and helped position midwifery as a legitimate and essential—yet often missing—part of reproductive and sexual health services. New initiatives like the Midwifery Services Framework have begun to systematize and guide how countries can and should rally behind midwives. Thanks to the collective work of these and other players, there is now strong evidence that midwifery is associated with more efficient use of resources and improved health outcomes for women and babies, especially in settings where teams of health providers work together and referral systems are robust.The Lancet’s case studies on India, Brazil and China show how promoting facility-based delivery and emergency obstetrics and newborn care can help reduce maternal and perinatal mortality. However, when these are not accompanied by the integral care that midwifery offers, there can be unintended negative effects including an increase in unnecessary, expensive and potentially harmful interventions and inequities in access to care. A paradigm shift towards a woman-centered, respectful maternity care model entails generating sufficient practitioner capacity and recognizing midwifery as a legitimate and necessary element of maternal and reproductive health care.In order to facilitate implementation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has funded projects to promote midwifery, establish knowledge and models that encourage the effective integration of midwives into the health system, increase the legitimacy of and demand for midwives and generate a supportive legal and regulatory framework.In 2015, the Foundation launched an ambitious time-bound initiative to strengthen professional midwifery in Mexico, where roughly 23,000 traditional midwives provide care for less than 3% of the nearly 2.4 million births annually. While there are 16,000 obstetric nurses in Mexico, many have not been properly trained in the full range of midwifery skills. This undertaking requires incorporating diverse voices and mobilizing local communities. Grassroots organizations in states such as Guerrero and Chiapas are working with traditional and professional midwives to foster an environment that respects and meets the cultural needs and desires of indigenous women who often lack access to high quality, culturally appropriate maternity care.Many organizations have been working towards this goal, sharing information online through the Midwifery Community of Practice launched this month. Some work in conjunction with the Mexican Ministry of Health (MoH) aims to expedite movement towards the midwifery model of care. For example, through an intersectoral group for the promotion of midwifery, the MoH, Pan-American Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund, National Safe Motherhood Committee and the MacArthur and Kellogg foundations launched a competition for state ministries interested in strengthening local initiatives that incorporate professional midwives. Selected states will receive technical assistance, equipment and financial support for these efforts. Next year, the MacArthur Foundation will assess progress in building momentum around midwifery to improve women’s access to high quality maternity care in Mexico, comparing advances to its 2015 baseline report.All of this is happening in a country that is facing severe challenges including budget cuts, human rights violations, violence and corruption—all of which have negative implications for the health system. Despite tremendous challenges, champions in Mexico and elsewhere are moving the needle towards adopting a midwifery model of care, illustrating the power of collaboration among passionate individuals to drive improvements in maternal health care quality.—Have you tried similar strategies to promote a midwifery model of care? We want to hear from you!Read an interview with the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)’s Rima Jolivet about the role of midwifery in reducing maternal mortality.Explore other posts from the MHTF’s Global Maternal Health Workforce blog series.Learn about organizations working to improve maternal health in Mexico.Share this:last_img read more

Collecting from clients

first_imgIf you took our annual survey earlier this year, you might remember that it focused on client nonpayment and unemployment insurance. Our forthcoming survey report shows that 75% of respondents have had trouble getting paid at some point. The New York Times small business section has an article with tips for getting paid. The number one recommendation is not to procrastinate–they say you should go ahead and send that reminder to your client, rather than simply hoping the check is in the mail.last_img read more

Women in comics stand together for fair payment

first_imgThe Comic Book Industry holds a deep place in my heart. It has kept generations of people throughout the country and the world, not only entertained but has served to educate and expand artistic horizons.Initially considered to be only a children’s hobby, the average age of American comic book buyers ranges from 18-45 years old; with a growing demographic of young, female readership. The Industry is growing in both content and audience which should be something that companies as well as the fandom should and deserve to celebrate.However, there is a concern amongst various creators; the talented artists and writers that work so diligently to produce comics- both independently and in the mainstream- that their compensation should reflect all the hard work they put into their comic books.Freelance Comic Book Artists and Writers work hours upon hours to make comics. They are paid based on an agreed upon page rate with a company or individual people that want a comic book published. Page rates can range from the double digits to the triple, (and rarely the quadruple), digits.In my experience as a Publisher, due to the higher standard of living, American page rates are higher than their overseas counterparts, which often prices out up and coming Artists and Writers as contenders for jobs throughout the industry for both independent and mainstream companies. From a business standpoint, due to set budgets, companies have every right to get a bang for their buck when it comes to whatever services they need.Nevertheless, there are many Artists and Writers throughout the country that are taking pay cuts, working Net 90, and agreeing to contracts that are sometimes not to their benefit; all because they need the work. There are also instances of non-payment and worries of being replaceable in an industry where there are thousands of Artists and Writers hungry for work. A healthy dose of competition doesn’t hurt anyone- until competitors are continually asked to lower their page rate in order to determine who will be hired for a job.As the Founder and Coordinator of Women in Comics Collective International, helping female creators is my focus. Women across all industries make less than their male counterparts and with that in mind our members are encouraged to propel themselves forward by taking an overview of their basic and most important financial needs and apply that to their current or desired page rate. Many of them have families and responsibilities on top of more responsibilities; an increase in wage would be beyond beneficial; as the price of living grows, it’s now necessary.Some of our members find themselves juggling multiple, large projects in order to make ends meet in addition to working a regular 9 to 5 job. I both admire and worry for them. For those members, their hearts are with comics, but their households still need food on the table. It can be quite a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be.The power is in our hands; as colleagues and industry hiring professionals we can help change the way our Artists and Writers are paid so that it benefits everyone involved. Instead of page rates perhaps a set hourly wage or annual salary/stipend can be given to artists and writers who are contracted to be on call, or a standard page rate for both new hirers and industry veterans for each company based on size, revenue and budgets.There are plenty of ideas that can be brought to the table on how we can increase wages while still keeping comic books affordable and companies in the black. Happy employees make happy companies and in an industry whose history is based in entertainment we shouldn’t expect anything less.Support better payment practices: Sign the petition to pass the Freelance Isn’t Free Act.last_img read more

When DIY freelancing goes wrong

first_imgIt never fails to happen. When I reconnect with a former student or colleague, the question of, “So, what are you up to these days?” comes up.Such was the case a few days ago when I met with a former student for breakfast.“I am freelance writer now.”“Sweet! You get to work at home in your pajamas.”“No. I prefer yoga pants.”We both chuckled because she knew me from my tailored suits and high heels days.“Would you do it again?”The question was innocuous enough, but it did cause me to pause. Rarely, if ever, does anyone ask me that. I guess because most of my peers are my age, they understand the nuances of secondary and even tertiary career shifts, but looking into the eyes of a bright-eyed, corporate, 25-year old melted a layer of defensiveness and I answered as honestly as I could.“Yes, but there are so many things that I wish someone had told me before I started freelancing.” And thus, our conversation became the inspiration for this article.When contemplating the world of freelancing, many of us think about the freedom that comes with it, the flexibility of working from home or a coffee shop, and the ability to carve out a work/life balance that some of us never experienced in previous lives. I loved the idea of being able to write and being able to work remotely, literally, from anywhere.Yet, for all of the joys of doing this work, there are a few egregious missteps that I made and that I have seen others make that can be avoided by having a firm understanding of the following: Doing-It-Yourself (DIY) may work for building a trench in the backyard or adding backsplash in a kitchen, but you may want to rethink DIY when it comes to being a freelancer.Prior to leaving an anchor institution, my experiences revolved around teaching others the joys of reading and interpreting literature and the merits of expressing oneself in writing. Throw in a few ancillary responsibilities and that was the extent of my professional life. All of my degrees are in English. I never took a business class—not even as an undergraduate. I never had to. My entire life was mapped out by someone’s HR department, accounts payable office and business management team. Understandably, and perhaps arrogantly, my biggest concern was with keeping up with my bi-weekly paycheck.The minute I transitioned from being paid by someone else to paying myself, my world turned topsy turvy. Suddenly, spending hundreds of dollars on a purse seemed foolish. Treating my friends to an elaborate dinner, just because, became a bad investment. And getting a new car simply because that year’s model had an extra exhaust pipe became laughable. In other words, I started to see money, my spending, and my professional aspirations through a different lens.For the first few years, I struggled because I only wanted to focus on the creative side of writing. I wanted to create art for art’s sake. In the meanwhile, I still had fiscal responsibilities that needed to be met. Stressing about paying my bills and keeping the lights on created anxiety and stress and before I knew it, my writing suffered.DIY was going horrible wrong.After almost finding myself in financial ruin and on the cusp of looking for a full-time job, I did what I should have done from day one. I finally came clean with myself and admitted that I did not fully grasp the commerce side of writing. My business acumen was in need of retooling and I needed help in doing so. Being a neophyte freelancer was like being a one-woman business entity without understanding the rules of engagement.I started to study my industry. How much did other writers and editors charge? I discovered that I was not charging enough. I met with my accountant and we began projecting my 12 month cash flow: costs, expenses, revenues, and shortfalls. With the advice of legal counsel, we created contracts, invoices, and other documents. At the advice of another friend, I started leveraging the LLC that I created years before—although this may not be a viable option for all freelancers. I also started an email list and learned the value of branding and promoting my freelance writing on social media.I started reading books by business industry leaders and I even took a few online self-study classes for entrepreneurs. My right brain lamented that she was tired of my left brain getting all of the attention.Having an infrastructure and a team has turned everything around. I am still learning, but now, I really can focus on my craft because I have a system in place that allows me to ebb and flow as a freelancer.There are those who may believe that once freelancing starts to feel like a pseudo-corporation then you are no longer a real freelancer—somehow the essence of your craft is diluted. From my personal experience, that train of thought actually pushes freelancers back into traditional jobs. It prevents well-meaning freelancers from fully embracing their ability to benefit from the commerce side of their art.Instead of creating an arbitrary either/or dichotomy, I have another suggestion, especially for writers: You can practice your craft, be impassioned about your subject matter and get compensated for your writing—just be careful of DIY all by yourself.last_img read more

Real talk: Is dental insurance worth the investment?

first_imgAs freelancers, we work hard for every penny of income that comes in — which means that we are also extremely cautious about every expense we agree to cover. So, while health insurance is clearly a non-negotiable (even now that lack-of-coverage penalties have been eliminated), you may be wondering: do I really need to shell out for dental insurance? Before we can help you answer that question, let’s take a closer look at how dental insurance typically operates.Dental insurance vs. dental discountsWhen it comes to purchasing dental insurance, you may be distracted by discount plans. These offer a guaranteed discount on approved services, every time you see your dentist. And there are no limits on how many times you can cash in on those discounts. Sounds tempting, right?It may, until you consider this: while you will be spending less money on each visit, you will still be spending money each and every time you step into your dentist’s office, whether it be for preventative care or for a scheduled procedure like a root canal or a cavity filling.If, however, you purchase a dental insurance plan, the entire game changes. While you do pay a monthly premium for your plan, you get some serious benefits. First and foremost, most dental insurance plans offer 100% coverage for preventative care — sometimes or only one annual checkup and cleaning, but often for two visits each year. This is a big deal, since annual visits are likely to reduce the need for major procedures by catching problems early on.If, however, you do need to undergo dental work, your insurance plan will still have you covered. While each plan is different, most forms of dental insurance cover between 70-80% of basic procedures (fillings, extractions and gentle gum work), and around 50% of major procedures (root canals, crowns, implants etc.)Limits on dental insuranceWhile dental insurance plans offer guaranteed coverage, they aren’t limitless. Many plans have waiting periods for dental procedures (meaning you must be a plan member for a set amount of time before any portion of your major procedures will be covered.) Waiting periods vary by plan, although they typically range anywhere from six to 18 months. It is important to note that those waiting periods do not apply to preventative coverage, so you will still be able to enjoy a cost-free cleaning as soon as you sign up for a plan.The other limit that comes with dental insurance is your maximum annual benefit (the top dollar amount that your plan will agree to pay towards dental procedures.) Again, the cost of preventative care is usually not counted towards your maximum benefit, but costly procedures like dental implants can quickly take you to the limits of your plan. Once that annual maximum has been reached, you will be responsible for 100% of your remaining balance.What are the different kinds of dental insurance?There are three main types of dental insurance: DHMO, PPO and Indemnity plans.DHMOWhen you purchase a DHMO plan, you will be given a list of dental providers that you can visit (you will not receive coverage for work performed by providers who are not on that list.) With this type of plan, routine care — annual exams, cleanings and X-rays — will be covered in full.For most procedures, like a filling or tooth pulling, you will be subject to a co-pay rather than a portion of the procedure’s total cost. That co-pay will be due at the time of your procedure. If, however, you need a more complex procedure, you will need your primary dentist to give you a specialist referral. DHMO plans tend to offer lower premiums and great coverage, which is why Freelancers Union offers members the MDG Dental plan, Guardian’s DHMO coverage option.PPOWith a PPO plan, you can visit any dentist you like, although you’ll be billed less for an in-network provider and pay a higher premium if you go out-of-network. With this plan, you do not need a referral in order to see a specialist. Most PPO plans are subject to deductibles, which means you will have to pay 100% of costs (even for preventative care) until that deductible has been met. Once you reach your deductible, however, you will only have to pay for the agreed-upon percentage of your dental work — i.e. 20% in an 80/20 plan. Monthly PPO premiums are higher than those for DHMO plans, but coverage tends to be more extensive if you need care that goes beyond the basics.IndemnityIndemnity plans allow you to visit any dentist you wish, with no restrictions. The catch? You will have to pay your entire bill upfront, then submit your claim to the insurer. Of course, with this type of plan, you will not immediately know the value of your reimbursement.Why dental insurance is a smart investmentNow that you understand how dental insurance works, you are hopefully convinced of its importance. The ability to visit your dentist, free of charge, for preventative care will help protect you from costly and invasive dental procedures down the road. Still need convincing? Know this:According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, Americans lose 164 million work hours each year because of dental problems. When you freelance, even one day off of work is a day you don’t get paid. Investing in preventative care for your teeth is a good way to make sure you’re able to keep earning.Dental costs are on the rise: according to the Pew Center for Research, they went up about 58% between 2017 and 2018. When you invest in dental insurance, you know that you will only have to pay a small portion of whatever those increasing costs may be.Your teeth are a good indicator of your overall health. While many freelancers are too busy to see our primary physicians regularly, your bi-annual dental exams can help identify illnesses like diabetes and certain cardiovascular disorders, which both carry oral health symptoms.Ready to make the investment? Check out the coverage available through Freelancers Union, or reach out to us at membership@freelancersunion.org with any of your burning insurance questions.last_img read more

Sweeten Up Your Grocery and Beauty Budget With a Little Honey

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more