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Health & Fitness Center Membership Policies

April 11, 2011

Weather: In case of severe weather (i.e., ice, snow, tornado, hurricane, etc.) please call the fitness desk at 919-660-6660 to confirm the fitness center hours. If an event occurs overnight, there will be an announcement recorded by the start of business hours.

Identification badge: We ask that you wear your ID badge at all times when exercising or using the fitness facilities. If you forget your ID badge you will be asked to sign-in and wear a generic badge. If you damage or lose your ID badge, there is a $5 replacement cost. Any Fitness Center staff member can provide you with a replacement badge.

Key disc and locker policy: You may use a locker during your exercise session or you may rent a locker on a monthly or yearly basis. Locker keys may be obtained at the front desk by exchanging car keys or driver’s license for the locker key. All lockers with items left overnight will be emptied. If you lose the locker key you must pay a replacement fee of $25. Lockers may be rented through the front desk.

Sauna: Each locker room has a dry sauna for your enjoyment. We are concerned about your safety. Individuals at high risk (pregnant women, individuals who take prescription medications or use alcohol, individuals with elevated blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease) should be advised not to use the sauna unless authorized by their physician.

Whirlpool (spa) and pool: Showers are required before entering the pool or whirlpool. No tissues, open wounds, or bandages are allowed in the pool or whirlpool. Please refrain from wearing dirty shoes into the pool area. We are concerned about your safety. Individuals at high risk (pregnant women, individuals who take prescription medications or use alcohol, individuals with elevated blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease) should be advised not to use the whirlpool unless authorized by their physician.

Attire: Comfortable clothes are recommended for ease of movement. Closed toe shoes must be worn during exercise. We strongly recommend wearing pool shoes when involved in pool activities. Pool shoes protect your feet from abrasions and also help to prevent slipping on wet surfaces.

Perfume/cologne: In consideration of our clients with allergies or other pulmonary concerns, please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or after-shave in the facility.

Guests: Guests are welcome at Duke Health & Fitness Center. Visitors will be asked to complete an exercise waiver before engaging in any activity. Guest passes provide access to the facility and services, and may be purchased at the front desk for $12. A “guest badge” will be issued and should be worn while in the Fitness Center. Each Fitness Center member is entitled to two free guest passes each year, at renewal time.

Children: All minors (under the age of 16) must have an agreement signed at the front desk by their responsible adult to enter the building. Children under the age of 16 must remain in designated areas. Membership is limited to those 16 years old and older.

Cellular phones: Please be aware of your safety and be considerate of others when using a cell phone in the facility. The staff may determine that you are posing a risk to yourself or others and ask you to refrain from cell phone use.


Health care reform affects health insurers and businesses alike

April 5, 2011

On Christmas Eve, the Senate passed its version of health care reform 60-39 and with no Republican backing. With uneasiness in the Democratic party, there are rumors that a few Democrats will change parties, as did Alabama’s representative, Parker Griffith on December 22nd. Despite these reports, the health care reform bill will greatly affect both insurers and businesses alike.

In early January, the Senate will meet to put together the final version of the health care legislation. This final version will then have to pass through both the House and the Senate before finally moving on to President Barack Obama to sign it into law. Some of the differences that will be looked at include the language dealing with restricting abortion funding and the approach that will be used to pay for the health care system overhaul. Although the bill will most likely pass, Republicans have vowed to keep blocking efforts by the Democrats, writes Reuters.

Businesses and health insurance companies both have concern over the final elements that will go into the legislation. Although, both industries show some support. They hope to be able to change some last minute details to their benefit. Health care reform will affect all areas of business and health insurance according to the Wall Street Journal.

The industry that will be most affected is the health insurance providers. The legislation has the ability to disrupt profits. The major source of funding for the proposed health care overhaul would come from Medicare Advantage, which is a privately run health coverage for the elderly. An excise tax on most insurers could cost the industry as much as $70 billion over the next ten years. In addition, with the expected new coverage of the 30 million uninsured, an influx of new consumers, even if they are healthy, will be challenging for insurers as they will likely be heavy users in the early years by attending routine doctor visits.

Consumers who have pre-existing conditions will also be very costly for insurers to cover.

Alarms for the business industry include in the health care reform bill, both the House and the Senate versions, could come years before any measures for change in the health care system goes into effect. Before any cost containment is required for doctors and hospitals, businesses will incur costs years ahead. John Castellani, head of the Business Rountable that represents major corporations, told Wall Street Journal, “The final bill needs to accelerate the delivery-system reforms, and to get rid of the mismatch in new taxes and fees, and the arrival of the measures that will lower costs.” Medium and small businesses have completely denounced the whole overhaul as their costs will be driven up.

As the Senate meets to finalize the last version of the health care overhaul, health insurers and business leaders will work to moderate changes to the health care legislation. It is hoped that the final version that makes it way to President Barack Obama will meet the needs of health insurers, businesses, and the American people overall.

Little Rock to Host ‘Free’ Health Care Clinic November 21

January 19, 2011

Arkansas Lt Governor Bill Halter held a press conference yesterday to encourage more nurses and doctors to volunteer for the free health care clinic to be held Saturday November 21st in downtown Little Rock.

At the time of the press conference, 70 doctors and 125 nurses had volunteered to staff the free health care clinic which is being operated by the nonprofit National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC). Those doctors and nurses are only a small part of the more than 800 volunteers who have registered to work at the free health-care clinic.

Organizers would like to have at least 120 doctors and 150 nurses to care for the expected crowd of 1,000 plus patients. The Little Rock C.A.R.E. Clinic will provide medical treatment for uninsured Arkansans between the ages 6 to 65. Clinic hours will be from noon to 7 p.m. at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Potential patients are encouraged to reserve an appointment by calling 1-877-236-7617. Operators working with the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) are fielding the toll-free calls. The NAFC, a Virginia-based non-profit organization, will operate the free clinic. Walk-ins are not guaranteed care.

Kimberly K. Garner, MD, will serve as the clinic medical director. Dr. Garner is a geriatrician/researcher at the Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“We are extremely gratified by the tremendous support from people across the state. Volunteers are signing up in big numbers,” Halter said. “Our emphasis now is getting the word out to uninsured Arkansans so they will call the toll-free patient hotline and come to the clinic for immediate treatment as well as for information about where to access medical care in the future.”
Anyone wishing to volunteer can register with the NAFC on-line at or at Potential volunteers also can call the toll-free patient number to register.

The NAFC operates as an advocate for more than 1,200 free medical clinics and the people they serve nationwide. Recently, the non-profit received more than $1.2 million from people responding to a call from MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann for free medical clinics in six states, including Arkansas.

Lieutenant Governor Halter helped the NAFC secure 80,000 square feet of space at the Statehouse Convention Center for the free clinic. Halter’s office has since connected the NAFC with an Arkansas team of health-care providers, non-profit associations and government offices to help gather volunteers and otherwise prepare for the free clinic.

This team includes to date Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Heart Hospital, Arkansas Surgical Hospital, Baptist Health, Harmony Health Clinic, Mountain Home Medical Clinic, St. Vincent Health System, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Association of Charitable Clinics, Arkansas Black Nurses Association, Arkansas Health Care Access Association, Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Medical Society, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas Nurses Association, American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas, Arkansas Interfaith Alliance, Catholic Charities of Arkansas, City Connections, River City Ministry, the City of Little Rock, the City of North Little Rock, Community Health Centers of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Health.

Why Congress Is Exempt From Public Health Insurance

January 19, 2011

The country is getting ready for a possible public health insurance. However, Congressman John Fleming asks if it’s so great how come the members of Congress who vote for it actually sign up themselves and make their families be covered by the government run affordable health insurance plan? Discussing his H. Res 615 with Fox New’s Meghan Kelly Fleming says go to his House website to see if your congressman has signed on for H Res 615.

People want to know an answer to a very simple question. If the public health insurance plan is so great, why can’t the Congress be a part of as well. Fleming, a congressman from Louisiana, says people are very upset about this.

The H. Res 615 is available at and it reads in particular.

“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Members who vote in favor of the establishment of a public, federal government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.

Mr. FLEMING (for himself, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. BARTLETT, Mr. LINDER, Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. SCALISE, and Mr. ALEXANDER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Members who vote in favor of the establishment of a public, federal government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Members who vote in favor of the estab3
lishment of a public, federal government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.

Under the current draft of the Democrat healthcare legislation, members of Congress are curiously exempt from the government-run health insurance option, keeping their existing health plans and services on Capitol Hill. If Members of Congress believe so strongly that government-run health care is the best solution for hard working American families, I think it only fitting that Americans see them lead the way. Public servants should always be accountable and responsible for what they are advocating, and I challenge the American people to demand this from their representatives.

Asbestos-Related Public Health Emergency Declared by EPA in Montana

January 17, 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared it’s first public health emergency. Using the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the EPA declared that the asbestos-related conditions in Libby and Troy, Montana were a serious threat to the public health of the area.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the announcement in a joint press conference with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Libby and Troy are two small communities in northwest Montana where there have been hundreds of documented asbestos-related diseases over the past several years.

The citizens of the communities were exposed to high levels of asbestos from the vermiculite mines which has been inactive since 1990. The vermiculite was discovered by gold miners in 1881. In the 1920s the Zonolite Company formed the vermiculite mining company which was later purchased by W.R. Grace in 1963. It is estimated that the Libby mine was the source of over 70 percent of all vermiculite sold in the United States from 1919 to 1990.

Investigations have found the incidence of occurrence of asbestosis, a lung condition, in the Libby area staggeringly higher than the national average for the period from 1979-1998. EPA is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services, which is making available a short-term grant to provide needed asbestos-related medical care to Libby and Troy residents.

Two HHS agencies (the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) will support a new grant to assist affected residents who need medical care which should be awarded in August of this year. Local officials are currently putting together a grant proposal that will lay out options for provision of medical care that will work for the residents of Lincoln County.

Asbestosis is a respiratory disease brought on by inhaling asbestos fibers which can cause scar tissue (fibrosis) to form inside the lung. Scarred lung tissue does not expand and contract normally, and cannot perform gas exchange.

The severity of the disease depends on how long the person was exposed to asbestos and the amount inhaled. Often, symptoms and lung fibrosis do not occur and are not noticed for a period of 20 years or more after the asbestos exposure.

Asbestos-related disease includes pleural plaques (calcification), malignant mesothelioma, and pleural effusion. Mesotheliomas may develop 20 – 40 years after exposure. Workers today are less likely to develop asbestos-related disease because of government regulations.

More information:

Department of Health and Human Services
National Library of Medicine

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January 17, 2011

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