Category: Public Health Issues - Part 29

Posh Aspen provides dismal health coverage

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon ASPEN The mountain man drives up the aptly named Castle Creek Canyon in a beat up 1981 rust-colored Chevy pickup. He winds past massive multimillion dollar estates owned by California wine billionaires and Texas oil barons. Hollywood stars Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith own a home nearby, and tennis great Martina Navratilova lives up the road. Wearing a gas-stained Aspen Ski Co. parka from decades ago when he worked on World Cup courses, A. Paul Disnard drives as far as he can. Then, the jeep road becomes impassable, buried in several feet of snow. The 64-year-old…

Record suicide toll rocks Colorado. Could altitude be to blame?

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon The iconic Western cowboy has long enchanted artists and pioneers alike. Who could be more carefree than a man alone on his horse, herding cattle as jagged peaks tower overhead? The romance with the Rocky Mountain West is fundamental to our American DNA. Yet, there is a hidden peril for these mavericks and stoic ranchers, as poisonous as cigarettes were to the rugged Marlboro man. Depression and suicide rates are alarmingly high among ranchers and rural residents in Colorado. Throughout the state, Colorado has set an unfortunate record with the highest number of suicides ever recorded…

Son’s suicide in sacred mountains shatters nature photographer

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon For John Fielder, Colorados mountains are his medicine and his muse. Craggy high-altitude peaks, bathed in the glow of a new days light, have fed the soul of Colorados most famous nature photographer for nearly four decades. Fielder has captured achingly beautifully images and fought to save sacred lands, including his most recent preservation project: Ranches of Colorado . Yet, the mountains were also the setting for the most tragic moment of Fielders life. On March 21, 2006, Fielders oldest child and only son, John J.T. Fielder III, killed himself on a 13,000-foot ridge above Butler Gulch near Empire. It…

Opinion: Suicide prevention: moving to inter-dependence

By Jarrod Hindman, M.S. Ask for help if you need it. Say yes to someone who asks you. Those two simple things can help to reduce the frequency of suicide, which claims more lives in Colorado than do motor vehicle crashes, homicide, breast cancer and diabetes. Research has shown that people who are suicidal do not want to end their life. Rather, they want to end their pain. If a caring person can listen without judgment, talk with them about their suicidal feelings, and get them connected to professional help, there is a great opportunity to save a life. We…

Elective induced labor risky, costly

By Diane Carman The March of Dimes has a news flash for women everywhere: pregnancy is more than a nine-month commitment. Actually, its closer to 10. And if you want a healthy baby, there are no loopholes. As a society weve really focused on nine months of pregnancy, said Scott Matthews, director of program services for the Colorado Chapter of the March of Dimes. Surveys have found that women view pregnancy as 36 weeks long. But full term is 40 weeks, and research has shown that significant fetal respiratory and brain development occurs in those last four weeks. In the…

Opinion: Reducing late preterm births good medicine, public policy

By William W. Hay, Jr., MD In 2003, 12.3 percent of births in the United States were preterm (less than 38 completed weeks of gestation). This represents a 31 percent increase in the preterm birth rate since 1981. As of 2010, the U.S. preterm birth rate has not declined significantly. The largest contribution to the increase in preterm births is from births between 34 and 38 completed weeks of gestation (term is after 38 weeks), known as late preterm births. Late preterm births have been increasing over at least the past two decades to a much greater extent than earlier…

Republicans cheer ruling challenging health law

The Wall Street Journal reports that Republicans are cheering Mondays ruling on the Affordable Care Act. Afederal judge in Virginia declared a central plank of thehealth care law requiring most Americans to carry insurance unconstitutional.