first_imgBrattleboro Retreat,Fueled by an increase in depression caused by economic stress, increased abuse of prescription drugs, plus the launch of a series of new services and programs, Vermont’s largest not-for-profit psychiatric hospital saw admissions jump by a record 23 percent in 2010. It’s an increase that stands out nationally and the growth trend appears on track to continue in 2011.‘The economic downturn and the stress it created on individuals and their families certainly had an impact on the number of new patients’The Brattleboro Retreat provided in-patient care for almost 3,000 adults and adolescents last year and sometimes saw as many as 24 new admissions per day, the most in the facility’s 177-year history. The average in-patient stay last year ranged from 6.5 to 14.8 days.Nationally, psychiatric hospitals saw an admissions increase of about 3.5 per cent, according to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems.‘The economic downturn and the stress it created on individuals and their families certainly had an impact on the number of new patients,’ said Dr. Robert E. Simpson, Jr., president and chief executive officer.The Retreat is currently considering plans to increase the number of inpatient beds by 14 within the next year, Dr. Simpson said. The Hospital is also hiring 35 additional jobs to meet increased demands for services.In addition to the increase in patients suffering from depression, Simpson said other factors have impacted his institution’s jump in admissions including:New clinical initiatives including a program designed exclusively to treat veterans, first responders and other uniformed professionals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other duty-related problems.An expansion of the Retreat’s alcohol and drug addiction treatment.An expansion of the Retreat’s inpatient LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) program which opened in 2009.Greater public awareness and understanding of mental health issues and a reduced stigma attached to those who receive treatment.An increase in the abuse rates of Oxycontin and other prescription opiates.The Brattleboro Retreat, founded in 1834, is a not-for-profit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, providing a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages and their families. Nationally recognized for its premier treatment in behavioral healthcare, the Brattleboro Retreat offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient treatment. BRATTLEBORO, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-last_img read more

first_imgStrong investment performance and increased deficit contributions by employers were behind the reduction in the aggregate deficit, according to Barnett Waddingham.“This is the third year in a row that deficit contributions have increased, suggesting that the FTSE350 companies are stepping up their commitment to paying down DB pension scheme deficits,” it said.However, the report also found that the average deficit contribution paid by FTSE350 companies as a proportion of dividends remained at 10% in 2017.The firm speculated that the Pensions Regulator may be concerned that around 43 companies boosted dividend payments while at the same time reducing deficit contributions. “However, within this group there will be some companies who agreed to pay higher levels of contributions in the short term, which have now done their job in reducing the DB deficit,” it commented.“It is only right that they can now return to more normal contribution levels,” the firm added.Nick Griggs, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said that while the deficit shrinkage was positive news, it would not take much to tip the balance the other way.“Our analysis suggests that a 0.5% fall in bond yields in 2017 would have pushed the aggregate deficit of the FTSE350 DB schemes up to £85bn,” he said.“With the health of the UK and global economy threatened by a lack of progress with Brexit and the threat of a trade war from Trump’s America First assault, there could a major impact on the size of pension deficits and the ability of FTSE350 companies to pay the contributions needed to clear these,” Griggs warned.Separately, consultancy Mercer earlier this month released figures quantifying the likely size of UK DB deficits for FTSE350 companies, saying the aggregate pension deficit had more than halved in 2018 so far, improving by a total of £40bn from £72bn at the start of the year to £32bn.With its figures compiled on a different basis to those from Barnett Waddingham, Mercer included data for July as well as the first half.In July, both asset values and liabilities had risen and the deficit had increased by £3bn compared to £29bn at the end of June, the firm said. Pension deficits at major UK companies have fallen sharply in the first half of this year, but are still susceptible to bond yield shifts, according to a new report.Consultancy Barnett Waddingham estimated the aggregate defined benefit (DB) pension scheme deficit for companies in the FTSE350 index was around £35bn (€38.9bn) on an accounting basis at the end of June 2018, down from £55bn at the end of last year. At the beginning of last year the aggregate deficit stood at £62bn.The £35bn deficit compares to FTSE350 companies’ total pre-tax profits of £210bn, putting the collective deficit at 17% of total corporate profits compared with 70% 18 months ago, according to the firm’s latest report analysing the impact of DB pensions on UK business.This bucks the trend seen since 2011, where deficits steadily increased as a proportion of pre-tax profits from a low of 25% and hitting a peak of 70% in 2016, the firm said.last_img read more

first_imgPublic Discourse 16 May 2016Family First Comment:  This is a great read.“The foundation of the pro-abortion movement is the mantra “My body, my choice.” The problem is, this pro-abortion language of personal rights and physical autonomy is clearly at odds with the natural response of the female body to a healthy developing fetus. The female body is not at all ambivalent about the abortion issue. When a woman becomes pregnant, everything in her body is gearing up to welcome the new life she carries. At conception, a complex transformation begins, one that is designed to protect and nurture the developing fetus. A mere eight days after fertilization, the growing embryo produces human chorionic gonadatropin, HCG. HCG is what enables the pregnancy to continue—and what gives a positive result on a pregnancy test. Endocrinologist Joel Brind calls this “baby’s first cry.””“When a woman decides not to carry her child to term, a division takes place in her mind and heart. This is powerfully apparent for women whose abortion decisions are fraught with anxiety, confusion, and pressure or coercion from others. Yet it is also true for those who seem to approach the decision with ease.”As the Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, hundreds of post-abortive women shared their stories in amicus briefs. Pro-abortion activists are now recognizing what abortion healing ministries have known for decades: women and men who were part of abortion decisions and procedures benefit from telling their stories. This can be a cathartic and empowering experience, ending their secrecy and isolation and putting them on the road to recovery.It’s not only telling the stories that is powerful. Hearing such stories can also have a profound impact on those who have not experienced abortion. Savvy pro-abortion advocates have begun to use the power of personal stories to support allegations that Texas abortion restrictions unfairly limit women’s access to an essential and empowering medical procedure.As co-founders of Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortion recovery programs and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, respectively, we have each encountered thousands of women and men across the United States and around the world who have experienced abortion loss. Their stories reveal that many women and men are deeply wounded by their experience of abortion.…. Is the Female Body Pro-Choice?The foundation of the pro-abortion movement is the mantra “My body, my choice.” The problem is, this pro-abortion language of personal rights and physical autonomy is clearly at odds with the natural response of the female body to a healthy developing fetus. The female body is not at all ambivalent about the abortion issue. When a woman becomes pregnant, everything in her body is gearing up to welcome the new life she carries. At conception, a complex transformation begins, one that is designed to protect and nurture the developing fetus. A mere eight days after fertilization, the growing embryo produces human chorionic gonadatropin, HCG. HCG is what enables the pregnancy to continue—and what gives a positive result on a pregnancy test. Endocrinologist Joel Brind calls this “baby’s first cry.”When a woman decides not to carry her child to term, a division takes place in her mind and heart. This is powerfully apparent for women whose abortion decisions are fraught with anxiety, confusion, and pressure or coercion from others. Yet it is also true for those who seem to approach the decision with ease.…. Abortion is a complex issue, even when the decision appears to be the only clear and rational course of action. We can’t minimize the anxiety and stress of an unplanned pregnancy and the conflicts that pregnant women face. But abortion is not just a choice—it is not a mere decision, based on a list of “pros” and “cons.”Abortion is fundamentally about relationship, a relationship that is broken by the procedure—and one that desperately needs to be healed.READ MORE: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/05/16974/?utm_source=The+Witherspoon+Institute&utm_campaign=e3cd6d5ec6-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_15ce6af37b-e3cd6d5ec6-84094405last_img read more

first_imgMembers of the Undergraduate Student Government presented a resolution on college affordability at the Senate meeting Tuesday night. The resolution, drafted by USG President Rini Sampath, Academic Cultural Assembly assistant director Luis Vidalon-Susuki and USG marketing assistant director Paul Samaha, suggested greater transparency in University finances.The resolution asks for a tuition freeze, an interactive website that outlines a tuition spending report and the reinstatement of the University Student Fee Advisory Committee. This committee would be comprised of two faculty appointed by the Faculty Senate, five undergraduate students and five graduate students appointed by their respective student body presidents.The resolution presentation began with the results of a college affordability survey conducted a few months ago. The results gathered 1,903 responses over a period of three weeks and showed considerable majorities.Eighty-four percent of respondents believed that a tuition freeze would alleviate the financial burden for students. Seventy-six percent knew of someone who had transferred from or considered taking a leave of absence from USC due to high tuition costs. Ninety-eight percent did not know the reason for the 2015-2016 $2,000 tuition increase. Ninety-three percent did not know where their tuition dollars went.The authors of the resolution argued that the University should direct their resources more toward current students than future ones. They pointed out as examples the construction of The Village and the renovation of the Coliseum, two projects budgeted at $650 million and $270 million, respectively.“This falls into the lack of student voice and how we want to reprioritize funding at our school to go back to the students now, not the students in five years, and not a bid for the 2024 Olympics, which is what this renovation is,” Samaha said. “If they can ask for $270 million to be raised from alumni and donors, you would hope that we could have some priority also on helping alleviate some funds from students who are forced to drop out or transfer out because of tuition costs.”The authors also mentioned the USC 2014 Financial Report. Samaha talked about the difficulty found in the report, and how Neon Tommy writer James Tyner was the one who presented the data in simple charts.“You [were] presented with a 72-page PDF, and these graphs are not in the document — these graphs were made by the courtesy of [Tyner],” Samaha said. “In the 72-page report, it is usually just tables and numbers, usually very hard to read.”Samaha also said that the Budgeted Expenses section was “alarming” because of a possible discrepancy.“So USC releases their planned budget. However, they don’t actually show what was spent in the end,” Samaha said. “They will give a budget in the financial report, but they won’t follow up and say if the budget was met, what was actually spent. They just show a vague breakdown of expenses.”Residential Senator Alec White, the resolution’s sponsor, also commented on the report’s apparent vagueness.“There are ‘current expenses’ but we don’t know what those current expenses are,” White said. “And then ‘other salaries’ but we don’t what these salaries are for, who’s getting them. This is over half of the money, too.”USC Graduate Student Government Campus Affairs director J. Andrew Clark then spoke about the original student fee advisory committee. Clark said the committee was eventually dissolved because the administration was unhappy with the feedback they were receiving from students.“We would get these really thick packets, all these budget proposals back from 2013 to 2014 … We would sit down and they would give us all these facts and figures, projections and increases, there were always increases in tuition … but they never really told us why they would increase tuition or where this money was going,” Clark said.last_img read more