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Kaiser Permanente to Launch Medical School in Southern California

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Kaiser Permanente to Launch Medical School in Southern California

Challenging the status quo in medicine and education, healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente said it plans to establish a medical school in Southern California.

The nonprofit health system said Thursday it hasn’t selected a site yet for the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. Classes will begin in 2019.

The move is unorthodox and further illustrates the lofty ambitions of Kaiser Chief Executive Bernard Tyson. He strongly believes that Kaiser’s technology-driven, evidence-based model of coordinated care is the answer for what ails the U.S medical system, and he said teaching that approach to young doctors could accelerate change across the country.

Kaiser will face tough competition from more established and better known medical schools in the pursuit of top students and faculty nationwide. The Oakland-based company didn’t provide details on what it expects to spend in creating the school.

“We have the opportunity to help train future physicians on 21st century medicine and be on the cutting edge of all the changes we are experiencing,” Tyson said in an interview. “Our model of care is best for the current and future diverse populations in this country.”

Kaiser runs hospitals and an HMO in eight states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 80% of its 10.2 million members are in California.

It just announced this month that it was spending $1.8 billion in a deal to acquire Group Health Cooperative, a nonprofit insurer in Washington state.

Overall, the company’s annual revenue was $56.4 billion last year, and operating income hit $2.2 billion.

Kaiser is different from most health insurers in that it runs 38 hospitals across the country, owns hundreds of clinics and has nearly 18,000 doctors on salary at its affiliated medical groups. It collects an upfront premium from customers to cover all of their care and has an incentive to keep patients healthy as opposed to the conventional fee-for-service model that can trigger wasteful spending.

Kaiser said medical education, long centered on care being given inside hospitals and physician offices, hasn’t evolved fast enough to meet consumers’ reliance on mobile technology to manage their busy lives.

Kaiser has been a leader nationally at adopting electronic medical records and offering doctor visits online.

Dr. Edward Ellison, executive medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, said Kaiser received strong encouragement in a meeting it held about six weeks ago with leaders in medical education. He downplayed the notion that Kaiser’s move is a knock against existing medical schools.

“We are all in it together on how to prepare physicians for the future,” Ellison said. “Many medical schools are evolving in different ways at different rates.”

Diversity was another motivating factor behind Kaiser’s decision. The company wants to recruit more minority students and teach all doctors how to care for an increasingly diverse patient population in California and nationwide.

Tuition will be competitive with other medical schools, according to Kaiser, and financial aid will be provided to help “disadvantaged students.”

Many details about the school haven’t been finalized, such as its location and what facilities will be built at the new campus. The first class of about 50 students should start in the fall of 2019, and enrollment will grow after that, Kaiser said.

In the coming months, Kaiser said, it would establish the medical school’s legal entity and organizational structure as well as begin the process for accreditation. Another priority for next year is to hire the school’s dean.

Tyson said he was scouting for locations across Southern California and declined to be more specific. The company is considering factors such as the proximity to Kaiser facilities and other teaching hospitals and access to public transportation.

UC Riverside opened its new medical school to students in 2013. It became the sixth medical school in the UC system and first new one in more than 40 years.

Some health-policy experts were surprised by Kaiser’s announcement, but they said a medical school could help fill the company’s own workforce needs as it continues to grow.

Kaiser will be creating a steady supply of physicians it can hire into its affiliated medical groups who practice at the company’s hospitals and clinics, though its graduates won’t be under any obligation to work for Kaiser.

“Kaiser is clearly making a statement that they want to train doctors in their culture, philosophy and way of delivering care,” said Steve Valentine, vice president and West Coast consulting leader at healthcare firm Premier Inc. “It won’t be a fit for some students. They will still want UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins.”

Kaiser works with doctors in training now. It has about 600 physicians currently completing their residency programs, and several thousand more do some of their training at Kaiser each year.

“Medical education needs to change to keep pace with the changing healthcare delivery system and changing patient needs,” said Dr. George Thibault, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, a New York group that supports health education. Kaiser brings its “vast experience with teamwork, coordinated care and technology.”

Some critics worry a Kaiser medical school might put too much emphasis on controlling costs at the expense of patient care.

Some Kaiser patients feel restricted at getting the care they want in the HMO’s system. Last year, the company paid a $4-million fine imposed by California regulators related to inadequate treatment of mental health patients.

“I’d rather have a physician who went to a real medical school and who is focused on what’s the best treatment for this patient,” said Scott Glovsky, a Pasadena attorney who has represented patients suing Kaiser over denials of care. “Kaiser limits creativity in the art of medicine.”

Outside experts, Medicare officials and patient safety advocates routinely give Kaiser high marks for its preventive care and overall performance. Policymakers hold up the company as a model for how it coordinates care across its hospitals and physician offices.

The Affordable Care Act pushes other insurers and medical providers to collaborate in much the same way in hopes that will lead to better care at a lower cost.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

In the operation, dubbed “Operation Child Protector,” undercover officers posed as 13- and 14-year-old children on social media and online dating apps between July 27 and Aug. 1.

The undercovers made contact with each of the suspects before proposing they meet at a location in Polk County, where they were busted.

In total, the arrests led to 49 felony and two misdemeanor charges. Those arrested were aged 26 to 47. All were from Central Florida except for one 33-year-old man from California.

“What you see on this board … are deviants. Incredible deviants,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference on Tuesday, motioning to photos of the alleged pervs. “They travel from as far away as Clewiston, Florida. One even came from Los Angeles.”

“Much to their chagrin, instead of meeting with young children, they were met by law enforcement officers who were online undercover posing as children.”

Kenneth Javier Aquino, 26, a lifeguard at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World, was arrested while still wearing his Disney polo shirt and swimsuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Aquino engaged in an online conversation on social media with an officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl, authorities said. He then asked the “girl” to send photos, and sent her an explicit video of himself, police said.

Aquino told officers he is a Navy veteran and has a pregnant girlfriend.

Jonathan McGrew, a 34-year-old custodian at Disney World, was nabbed by an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

disney-world

McGrew allegedly told the “girl” that he wanted her to come over and have sex with him and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Savannah Lawrence, who also works as a custodian at tourist mecca.

McGrew sent her explicit videos of him and Lawrence performing sexual acts on each other, authorities said.

A rep for Disney World didn’t immediately return a message.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

He began experiencing nausea, vomiting, fever and neurological issues, and died in May.

Blood and saliva samples were tested and researchers in April found evidence of the Monkey B virus, also known as the herpes B virus.

Researchers said a male doctor and female nurse who were in close contact with the victim tested negative for the virus.

The Monkey B virus is prevalent among macaque monkeys but infection among humans is extremely rare. Since the virus was identified in 1932, just 50 cases have been reported, with the majority of those in North America. Untreated B virus infections in humans are serious, however, with a fatality rate of about 80 percent.

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and progress to more serious complications such as swelling of the brain and spinal cord.

Laboratory workers and veterinarians in close contact with the animals are most at risk as people typically get infected with the virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque, or have contact with the monkey’s eyes, nose or mouth.

But the virus is unlikely to mutate in a way that poses a problem to the general population. Just one case of human-to-human transmission of the virus has ever been documented.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

In New York, a dispute over coronavirus-safety precautions is leading to split-screen remembrances Friday, one at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner. The Pentagon’s observance will be so restricted that not even victims’ families can attend, though small groups can visit the memorial there later in the day.

Trump and Biden are both headed — at different times — to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Trump is speaking at the morning ceremony, the White House said. Biden plans to pay respects there in the afternoon after attending the observance at the 9/11 memorial in New York.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is also due at ground zero — and then at the alternate ceremony a few blocks away.

In short, the anniversary of 9/11 is a complicated occasion in a maelstrom of a year, as the U.S. grapples with a health crisis, searches its soul over racial injustice and prepares to choose a leader to chart a path forward.

Still, 9/11 families say it’s important for the nation to pause and remember the hijacked-plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the trade center, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, shaping American policy, perceptions of safety and daily life in places from airports to office buildings.

“I know that the heart of America beats on 9/11 and, of course, thinks about that tragic day. I don’t think that people forget,” says Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John and is now on the board of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum.

Friday will mark Trump’s second time observing the 9/11 anniversary at the Flight 93 memorial, where he made remarks in 2018. Biden spoke at the memorial’s dedication in 2011, when he was vice president.

The ground zero ceremony in New York has a longstanding custom of not allowing politicians to speak, though they can attend. Biden did so as vice president in 2010, and Trump as a candidate in 2016.

Though the candidates will be focused on the commemorations, the political significance of their focus on Shanksville is hard to ignore: Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both. Trump won it by less than a percentage point in 2016.

Around the country, some communities have canceled 9/11 commemorations because of the pandemic, while others are going ahead, sometimes with modifications.

The New York memorial is changing one of its ceremony’s central traditions: having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes.

Thousands of family members are still invited. But they’ll hear a recording of the names from speakers spread around the vast plaza, a plan that memorial leaders felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

But some victims’ relatives felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact. A different 9/11-related group, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, set up its own, simultaneous ceremony a few blocks away, saying there’s no reason that people can’t recite names while keeping a safe distance.

The two organizations also tussled over the Tribute in Light, a pair of powerful beams that shine into the night sky near the trade center and evoke its fallen twin towers. The 9/11 memorial initially canceled the display, citing virus-safety concerns for the installation crew. After the Tunnel to Towers Foundation vowed to put up the lights instead, the memorial changed course with help from its chairman, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Tunnel to Towers, meanwhile, arranged to display single beams for the first time at the Shanksville memorial and the Pentagon.

Over the years, the anniversary also has become a day for volunteering. Because of the pandemic, the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance organization is encouraging people this year to make donations or take other actions that can be accomplished at home.

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