THIS WEEK'S MEETING:
Kathleen Mayer - Program Director for Flight for Life Colorado
Flight For Life Colorado is the nation's first and one of the most accomplished, air medical transport programs. It provides critical care transport with five helicopters, three ambulances and three airplanes operating within a 120-mile radius of five Colorado operations bases and. Flight For Life® transports patients across several states in the Rocky Mountain Region and assists search and rescue agencies with specialized services, including aerial search support and their Avalanche Deployment Program. Kathleen Mayer will share the history of this great organization and the impact they’re having today.
THIS WEEK'S MENU:
Bread Service | Salad Bar | Creamy Tomato Soup | Fettuccini Bolognaise | Garlic Bread | Roasted Broccoli Sofrito | Pastries
Feb 7 - Randy Butler - Everyone Can Be A Peace Builder, Especially Rotarians
Feb 14 - CU Opera Theater Singers
Feb 21 - Phyllis Wise - A Colorado Initiative to Change the Health Care Dynamic from Treatment to Prevention
Help Stop a Tragedy Before It Happens
(Click the image above to download the full invitation.)
Saturday, February 8th, 2020
BRC Signature Event
Gold & Bold
You are invited to the Boulder Rotary Club’s 2020 Signature Event
Saturday, February 8 at 5:30 p.m.
The St. Julien Hotel and Spa
900 Walnut Street, Boulder
The event will include dinner, dancing, a Silent Auction, and a Paddle Raiser that will support Native American clean water projects (all proceeds benefit The Boulder Rotary Club Foundation)
Dress is evening/cocktail attire
Dinner options are Filet Mignon, Halibut, or Pumpkin Gnocchi
Tickets are $135 per person
Contact Nancy Chin Wagner for tickets
) (please specify your dinner selection).
Guests may stay at the St. Julien for a reduced rate by mentioning The Boulder Rotary Club Foundation. All questions should be directed to Kitty deKieffer (firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorships are still available.
Rotary in Australia
In the last months Australia has been devastated by wild fire. Many of the fires have ended but twenty four people died, a billion animals have died, thousand of homes have been destroyed and more than 15.6 million acres of bush, forest and parks have been destroyed.
Rotary Australia’s World Community Service section is appealing for help to provide support for all those in need because of the fires. You can learn more or donate by clicking HERE
to go to the Rotary Australia Disaster web site. https://rawcs.org.au/disasters/
Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Spelling Bee
Volunteers are needed for Boulder Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 29. Come help with registration and proctoring of the written exam. Contact Norris Hermsmeyer
Attention Homes Thanked BRC
for Contributions to Their Work
Red Badge Social
Top picture: Ronny Wells, Jamie McCoppin, Bobby Brown, Deborah Kelly, Gordon Gamm, Jim Sullivan, Bill Anderson, (Second row in top picture) Ronny Wells, Nancy Chin Wagner, Linda Davidson, Shoni Kahn, Gary Kahn, Marty Coffin Evans, Mike Brady.
Second row of pictures, left to right; Deborah Kelly & Linda Davidson; Marty Coffin Evans, NCW behind the hand and Mike Brady; Gordon Gamm & NCW.
Third row of pictures; NCW & Shoni Kahn; Jim Sullivan & Bill Anderson.
Photos by Nancy Chin Wagner.
Feb 1 - Jim Rudosky
Many thanks to last week's donors to the Birthday Scholarship Fund - Tom Chesney and George Browning. You guys rock! Thank you all for your generous support of students in Boulder. Your birthday is a great time to share the joy by supporting the BRC Scholarship Program by making a gift of $1 for every one of your years, or more, during the month of your birthday. Put Birthday Scholarships on the memo line of your check and mail to Boulder Rotary Club Foundation, 2995 Baseline Road, Suite 310, Boulder, CO 80303-2318.
Proposed for Membership
Marcia Sprague is being proposed for Boulder Rotary Club membership by Kathy Olivier. This is the second week of publication.
Marcia has had a rich and varied career. With a degree in Sociology, after college she joined the Peace Corps and taught community health and worked with local teachers to improve teaching methods in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The Peace Corps experience was a cultural exchange of a lifetime never to be forgotten!
Most of her life’s work has been in the non-profit world starting up and directing social service programs. Her most rewarding was helping to start a non-profit homeless resource center in 2008 and acting as the first Executive Director. This was a grass-roots start up as a response to a community need and is still a strong and active presence in the community today.
Marcia is also a professional workshop facilitator and has designed many workshops, including an Assertiveness Training for college students at Mt. Holyoke and Amherst Colleges.
Marcia currently works part-time as an independent contractor with Thistle, a Boulder non-profit dedicated to affordable housing. She is part of a national program to assist residents of mobile home parks in purchasing their parks to create a cooperative and own their land for the first time.
Marcia lives in Longmont where she volunteers for the Longmont Community Justice Partnership program as a facilitator for Restorative Justice conferences. She has been an active member and leader in Toastmasters since 2002. Another favorite volunteer activity over the years has been writing newsletters for numerous organizations. She also loves to hike, bike, play games and cards, watch independent movies, play her fiddle, and throw boomerangs.
Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD
The integration imperative:
Advancing Mental Health
One Practice, Program, and Policy at a Time
Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD is the Chief Strategy Officer for Well Being Trust, a national foundation committed to advancing the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation.You can learn more about Well Being Trust by visiting their website, click HERE
or go to https://wellbeingtrust.org/.)
Dr. Miller started his program with a surprising request. He asked the audience to take their cell phones out, unlock them and hand them to the person sitting on to their left. If you were sitting in the audience, you’d notice that the first and second requests were accomplished quickly but the third request, to pass the unlocked phone to the person sitting to their left, made people hesitate. Dr. Miller used that exercise to explain that giving someone access to something so deeply personal (as most of our cell phones are now) can be difficult. He said that this hesitation is our reluctance to open ourselves to the judgement of the other person, we’re not certain if the other person can “handle” our private lives.
Dr. Miller believes that if we, as a nation, want to be more healthy, mentally, we have to be more comfortable speaking about things we don’t speak about readily now. He believes that we will have to be able to speak to our children at the dinner table about mental health questions and concerns and the same is true at work. And beyond speaking about it, we have to respond to discussions about mental health in a way that won’t lead to the discussion ending.
Dr. Miller has been interested in health care policy since he was in high school. As he’s deepened his research, he noted that nearly every President, since 1952, has declared American health care is in an emergency. Sixty eight years later, Dr. Miller says, and very little has changed.
Politics, says Dr. Miller, is part of this discussion. However, he notes that Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress all respond to surveys saying that health care is important- they have different strategies and beliefs in how to deal with it.
Dr. Miller wants us to look at the health care system as a whole and find ways to fix it. He noted, using an illustration from the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), that spending more money does not guarantee a better outcome. He said that it is because money is only one of a large number of issues that affect health care outcomes for people.
What are those factors? Dr. Miller said, for mental health, they include social factors, overall physical health of people and poverty rates.
Digging deeper into the physical health issue, Dr. Miller showed data from the National Center for Health Care Statistics and the Center for Disease Control, (CDC) that shows annual death rate trends from alcohol, drugs and suicide in the United States, between 1999 and 2017. Dr. Miller points out that we’ve had increased death because of alcohol addiction, drug addiction and suicide since 1999. (1999 was the first year that the CDC started collecting data on preventable death from alcohol, drugs and suicide.)
When the data is broken down into a state by state analysis, it is clear that Colorado’s neighbors in Wyoming and New Mexico are suffering.
Dr. Miller points out that even when a person is willing to get help for a mental health issue, the health care system, as it is structured now, does not make it easy to get treatment.
Dr. Miller pointed to our cultures response to mental health problems as one issue we need to address. As an illustration, he played a video, “If Physical Health Problems Were Treated Like Mental Health Problems.” (You can watch this funny, Buzz Feed, 1 minute 28 second video by clicking HERE.) The video shows a woman asking a person who has a cold or a flu, “I know you’re sick and all, but are you even trying to get better?” or a person asking someone with a broken leg to “stop focusing on all the bad things in life.” Poignantly, a woman tells a diabetic, “I don’t think you need to be taking medication every day just to feel normal.” Dr. Miller’s point is that we ask those with mental health problems to deal with those problems in a way we’d never approach diseases and visible physical ailments. Dr. Miller says, “we do this all the time.”
Dr. Miller points out that this culture of responding to those with mental health ailments in a way that we’d not respond to someone with a cold, or a disease, is in our control- it is something that we can change.
Moving to more policy focused changes, Dr. Miller showed that for a patient, in a typical situation, getting help for a mental health issue is very complicated and time consuming. He said that generally, a patient has some sort of incident that compels them to get help. They usually go to the emergency department of a hospital, or someone at a school or public area, or possibly the judicial system responds to the incident. Then the patient is required to go to their primary care physician and get a referral to a mental health provider. That is at least three steps and sometimes more. When someone is experiencing a crisis, navigating this system can be very challenging.
Dr. Miller said that because schools, hospitals, the judicial system, companies and other institutions do not have the capacity or capability to respond to mental health patients, they refer them into different mental health care providers and that creates a back-log in the mental health providers’ system as well.
How do we fix it? Dr. Miller said the first step is to identify where people are going first when they have a mental health concern. He said the main pathway is primary care doctors. About 49% of people with a mental health concern go to their primary care provider first. He said that 96 million people who went to their primary care providers for a mental health concern in 2019, were referred to another provider and had to wait at least a week to see that provider. Dr. Miller said that many of those people who were not able to get treatment immediately decide not to go to the secondary treatment provider because they find it too painful to talk about it again, or they are in crisis and can’t, or don’t have the resources to miss work again, or for other reasons don’t seek further help.
Dr. Miller also shared that mental health was the most costly condition to treat. In 2013, it cost patients $201 billion dollars to treat mental health issues, more than patients spent on pulmonary conditions, cancer, trauma or heart conditions.
Two thirds of primary care clinicians say they are not able to connect patients with out-patient behavioral health providers because of a shortage of mental health providers. And about a quarter of all primary care visits are about mental health. Dr. Miller said that at least half of all adults will have a mental health concern in their lifetime and if someone goes to their primary care provider, about three quarters of of those people will not get any type of treatment for that concern. Dr. Miller said that this one chart is the most compelling statistical analysis of why we need to integrate mental health treatment into our primary care system.
Getting back to “how to change” the system, Dr. Miller said he identified the problem with “fragmentation” (not getting help with the initial contact with the health care system) and changing culture (being aware that mental health is an integral part of overall health.) The third part of the equation, according to Dr. Miller, is engaging the community. Community support includes things like transportation to health care providers, judicial systems that recognize mental health concerns, work-place recognition, education system support and individual awareness of mental health as an overall health issue.
Dr. Miller said that most acute mental health issues are not dealt with in hospitals- they are in prisons and in homes or homeless in our communities. That is why the community is as much of an integral part of the solution as the technical issues of health insurance. He points out that it is too big a problem for politicians or policy makers alone. Everyone, communities, health care providers, policy makers and institutions, must get involved. As an example, Dr. Miller said we should think about how to include mental health concerns in the places where people “are” like hair salons. People talk to their hair stylists. It is a place where mental health issues could come up in conversation. Do we train hair stylists in how to identify mental health issues in conversation? Dr. Miller said we should- that is one of the many ways communities can come together to address mental health. (NOTE: Mental Health Partners is providing another FREE training on suicide prevention. You can participate by clicking HERE; or see the notice in the “upcoming events” section of this newsletter above.)
Dr. Miller said that if mental health treatment is integrated into the primary care system it can save money. The Well Being Trust has tested this hypothesis by giving health care providers a lump sum of money and instructed them to use the money for treatment of both physical and mental health concerns. Over the course of the study, the Trust found that the system they tested saved 4.8% when integrating treatment. That may not sound like much but for the providers in the study it was 1.2 million dollars over an 18 month time frame. Dr. Miller said this was one of the most important considerations that no one seems to be talking about. He hopes that by talking to communities such as BRC, the cost savings of integrating treatment will become a policy mandate for health care providers and politicians.
Dr. Miller ended his presentation with a compelling video about a U.S. Marine Veteran who was diagnosed with sever mental health conditions including post traumatic stress syndrome, addictions, anxiety disorders, and depression. He lost his job in the military, his wife and child and his home. Once he was able to access mental health and physical health facilities in one place, he was able to regain his overall health. He was able to work, to find a home and to be with his son again. If you’d like to see the video, you can watch it by clicking HERE.
Did you miss Friday's program with Dr. Benjamin Miller? It was full of useful tips and important information about how we deal with mental health in our day to day lives and how we can make the system better for all of us. If you want to see the program or see it again, you can! Just click HERE.
And you can see the rest of the meeting by clicking HERE
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You can see our other programs and meetings in the BRC Program Archive. Click on the TV icon below, which will take you to the BRC Program Archive on our website. Please feel free to binge watch.
This article is a synopsis of the program presented to Boulder Rotary Club. The views and opinions expressed by the presenter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, policy or position of the Boulder Rotary Club and its members.
CLUB HAPPENINGS & EVENTS
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