Download free ASWB real questions with Latest Questions and Test Prep ASWB Practice Questions contains a Complete Pool of ASWB Questions and Answers and practice questions checked and substantial including references and clarifications (where material). Our objective to rehearse the ASWB Questions and Answers is not just to breeze through the Association of Social Work Boards test at first endeavor yet Really Improve Your Knowledge about the ASWB test subjects.

Exam Code: ASWB Practice test 2022 by team
ASWB Association of Social Work Boards

There are 170 questions on the ASWB examination, but only 150 count toward your score.
The content outline for each ASWB examination defines the content that will be measured on the exam. The content outlines were developed through the practice analyses conducted with licensed social workers in a variety of practice settings across the United States and Canada.

Content areas are the broad areas of content knowledge that are measured by each exam. The content areas structure the content for test construction and score reporting purposes. When receiving test scores, failing candidates are given feedback on their performance on each content area of the exam.
Competencies describe meaningful sets of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are important to the job of a social worker within each content area.
Knowledge, skills, and abilities statements (KSAs) structure the content of the test for item development purposes. The KSAs provide further details about the nature and range of test content that is included in the competencies. Each KSA describes a discrete knowledge component that is the basis for individual test questions that may be used to measure the competency.

Reduce test anxiety by helping you understand test construction as well as test content areas and the structure of questions Demystify this high-stakes test with a reassuring inside look at how the exams are created—complete with an in-depth look at example questions, how they work, and how you can apply your knowledge to the exam
Assist you with your test preparation by guiding you through the process of creating your own customized study plan

Licensing exams are a crucial component in nearly every licensed profession, and social work is no exception.
The exams provided by the Association of Social Work Boards are used in every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba.

ASWB administers five categories of social work licensure examinations:

Advanced Generalist
Not every jurisdiction uses all five categories, so candidates must be sure to check with their individual boards to find out which examinations are appropriate for the jurisdiction in which they are seeking licensure.

Each examination contains 170 four-option, multiple-choice questions designed to measure minimum competencies at four categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored; the remaining 20 questions are pretest items included to measure their effectiveness as items on future examinations. These pretest items are scattered randomly throughout the examination. Candidates have four hours to complete the test, which is administered electronically.

Examinations are administered by appointment at Pearson Professional Centers worldwide. There are no fixed administration dates. Instead, registered candidates can go to Pearson VUEs website to schedule a time to take the test.

Association of Social Work Boards
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Killexams : Social-Work-Board Association study help - BingNews Search results Killexams : Social-Work-Board Association study help - BingNews Killexams : Even Chores, Socializing Might Lower Your Odds for Dementia
Even Chores, Socializing Might Lower Your Odds For Dementia

THURSDAY, July 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Your daily walk, cleaning the house and lunch with friends could together be keys to staving off dementia, according to researchers.

A new study looked at lifestyle habits that could help lower risks, instead of factors that may contribute to the disease.

Researchers in China combed the data of more than a half-million British people in the UK Biobank and found that household chores, social visits and exercise were all associated with reduced risks for multiple forms of dementia.

The study, led by Dr. Huan Song of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, followed the participants for an average 11 years. By the end of the follow-up, 5,185 participants had developed dementia.

“We can’t just look at this study and say, ‘if you exercise, you’re going to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s‘ — that is not a conclusion we can come to, but this is one more piece of the evidence that suggests that exercise is really, really good for your brain,” said Dr. Allison Reiss, an associate professor at NYU Long Island School of Medicine who serves on an Alzheimer’s Foundation of America advisory board.

Reiss said the study was well done and exceptional because of its size, though it was also subjective because it was based on questionnaires filled out by participants. They answered questions about their physical activities, including frequency of climbing stairs, participation in strenuous sports and transportation use.

The participants also provided information about their household chores, job-related activities and use of electronic devices, as well as how often they visited with friends and family or went to pubs, social clubs or religious groups. They also reported family history of dementia, which helped researchers gauge genetic risk for Alzheimer’s.

Whether or not they had a family history of dementia, all participants benefited from the protective effect of physical and mental activities, the researchers found.

Specifically, risk dropped 35% among frequent exercisers; by 21% among those who did household chores, and by 15% among those who had daily visits with family and friends, compared to those who were least engaged in these activities.

Chores could be helpful because they’re a form of exercise, Reiss said. People who are cleaning, cooking and gardening may also be living a more active lifestyle.

“I really do think being physically active as you get older is just a very good thing,” she said. “Don’t drop out of life and sit on the couch. Get out and do stuff with people. And if it’s physical activity, it’s great. And mental activity is good. Keep living life.”

Dr. Zaldy Tan, medical director for the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, also reviewed the findings.

He said consistency may be a benefit of household chores. They’re so intertwined with day-to-day activities, unlike exercise, which people may give up for a time, he pointed out.

“And, of course, the goal here is to supplement that with other activities that are not only physically demanding, but also increase our mental simulation and flex our social muscles,” Tan said. “That’s the other interesting aspect of this study is that it’s not just physical activity, but also mental and social activities.”

Sometimes people end up isolated as they enter retirement if all their social interactions are tied to their work, he said. Social isolation is a risk factor for dementia.

“What people can take away from this is that no matter what age, no matter what our life situation, we have to find a way to stay physically active, mentally active, socially engaged as part of the overall approach to keeping our minds and our brains healthy from middle age to old age,” Tan said. He added that other studies have also shown that regular physical, mental and social activity benefits brain health.

Researchers noted that this study can’t be generalized to a diverse group, because most of the participants were white folks in the United Kingdom and because activity levels were self-reported.

Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, said the findings are exciting and warrant additional investigation.

“This type of research is already happening through the Alzheimer’s Association’s U.S. POINTER study, a two-year clinical trial that aims to uncover the best lifestyle ‘recipe’ for reducing risk of cognitive decline and dementia,” Griffin said in a written statement. “We are confident that the combined efforts of researchers around the globe will one day shed light on the possibility of preventing dementia altogether.”

The findings were published online July 27 in the journal Neurology.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

SOURCES: Allison Reiss, MD, member, Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Board, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, associate professor, medicine, NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Mineola, N.Y., and head, NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island Inflammation Laboratory, Biomedical Research Institute, Mineola, N.Y.; Zaldy Tan, MD, MPH, medical director, Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders, and director, Bernard and Maxine Platzer Lynn Family Memory and Healthy Aging Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Percy Griffin, PhD, director, scientific engagement, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago; Neurology, July 27, 2022

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 05:26:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Pleasantville school board, teachers reject social studies textbooks over diversity concerns

PLEASANTVILLE — Local teachers have drawn statewide attention for their work to diversify district curricula at Pleasantville Public Schools — and now they have successfully challenged proposed textbooks as part of that effort.

On Tuesday, the Pleasantville Board of Education voted down a resolution to purchase McGraw Hill social studies textbooks. The decision came after teachers and parents said the textbooks would fall short of the state diversity standards for education they were working to introduce into classrooms.

Tamar LaSure-Owens, director of the district’s Amistad, Holocaust and Latino heritage — or AMHOTINO — curriculum, spoke at the school board meeting against the textbooks. LaSure-Owens, who is responsible for implementing state standards for the district, said she did not have confidence the textbooks appropriately taught the histories of marginalized groups and that they would be incongruous with the district’s broader curriculum.

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Two other speakers echoed LaSure-Owens’ thoughts. The school board was receptive to their concerns and voted to reject the textbooks without extensive debate.

“Why are we buying books that just don’t meet our standards?” LaSure-Owens said after the meeting. “We do not teach a textbook, we teach a standard.”

McGraw Hill did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company website does include a section for its “commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion” and highlights the work of its PreK–12 Equity Advisory Board.

“Diverse and inclusive teams are critical to helping us be more creative in our approach, better understand our customers’ needs, and develop programs and materials that address equity issues and reflect the students we serve,” Terri Walker, McGraw Hill’s head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, said in a statement posted to the company website.

The Pleasantville school district has received statewide recognition for its AMHOTINO curriculum, which incorporates lessons about history, tolerance and diversity into all school subjects. It places a special focus on the histories of African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans; the legacy of slavery in North and South America; and the events of the Holocaust and other genocides in world history.

LaSure-Owens said members of the New Jersey Education Association met with representatives from McGraw Hill to discuss its textbooks in 2020. The NJEA members highlighted instances where they believed textbook material was inaccurate or incomplete, such as sections concerning Native American history and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. While there was an understanding between the company and the NJEA about the need to produce more diverse materials, LaSure-Owens said she believes the textbooks currently in use still fall short of state standards.

LaSure-Owens said she particularly wanted to avoid the use of euphemisms when discussing historical atrocities. She cited a curriculum change proposed to the Texas state Board of Education for second graders in which slavery was described as “involuntary relocation.” McGraw Hill in particular attracted controversy in 2015 when it described slaves as “workers from Africa” in a geography-textbook caption. Company leadership apologized for the caption shortly after students called attention to it. She added that she wanted textbooks to reflect other district standards, such as its study of slavery throughout the Western Hemisphere, and was concerned the books could otherwise confuse students.

The school board and New Jersey Department of Education agreed in March to have LaSure-Owens assist the Amistad Commission, which works to incorporate Black history into New Jersey classrooms. The NJEA awarded LaSure-Owens its Urban Education Activist Award in December for her efforts at Pleasantville.

Critical of the processPleasantville Education Association President Joe Manetta took issue with how the textbooks were selected. He said the district officials who made the decisions about the curriculum should have consulted with LaSure-Owens first, given her status as AMOHOTINO coordinator.

“They should have had a conversation with her because that directly involves what she does,” Manetta said after the meeting Tuesday.

New Jersey recently expanded curriculum mandates designed to promote diversity and tolerance in education. Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill in January requiring schools to teach about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It follows the passage of a 2019 law requiring schools to teach students about the history of the LGBTQ community and that of persons with disabilities.

Recent efforts to promote diversity have precedent in past decades. The state Legislature created Black-history standards and the Amistad Commission in 2002. Eight years earlier, in 1994, the Legislature mandated that students be taught about the Holocaust and other genocides.

Parents both in South Jersey and across the country have taken exception to LGBTQ education mandates as well as the sex-education standards. Much of the national debate has centered on state-government efforts in Florida to regulate classroom discussions about LGBTQ topics. Some conservatives have argued that such efforts help ensure lessons are age appropriate, while liberals and LGBTQ-rights advocates have decried the regulations as bigoted.

Attendees at an Ocean City Board of Education meeting in April said the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education encroached upon the role of parents to teach their children about values and morals. Advocates for LGBTQ-rights in Cape May County said they were concerned about being harassed for their support of the standards.

Some Republican lawmakers, including state Sen. Michael Testa, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, had asked that the standards be revised. Murphy promised in April to review the standards and said his administration wanted to include parental input into education. The governor did emphasize that he believes New Jersey schools should prioritize academic performance, mental health and making schools inclusive for all, including LGBTQ students.

Public controversy has not stopped the launch of other, similar education projects. The National Education Association awarded the NJEA a Great Public Schools grant to launch a consortium for New Jersey educators. The consortium will partner with more than 25 colleges and universities, museums, historical commissions and advocacy groups to train teachers to make their classrooms more inclusive and help everyone involved in education “to understand, embrace and celebrate New Jersey’s diversity.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Chris Doyle

Sun, 17 Jul 2022 00:02:00 -0500 Christopher Doyle en text/html
Killexams : What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

There are many different ways to treat, manage and cope with social anxiety disorder.

ne of the most common and effective treatments is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Given how much social anxiety is connected to irrational thought patterns and distorted thoughts about a social setting, CBT helps people by breaking down those thought patterns, disputing them and reframing the thoughts into more rational ones, according to Alison Seponara, a licensed therapist based in Pennsylvania.

“As a CBT therapist, I would begin by asking the client to rate the intensity of their anxiety in different social settings and then break down the thoughts connected to that situation,” says Seponara. “It’s important to recognize these thoughts so you can begin to challenge them and rewire the way the irrational brain is perceiving certain situations.”

A psychiatrist may prescribe medication to help manage anxiety, but other psychotherapies that can be used to treat social anxiety include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Mindfulness-based therapies. These therapies can include mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, in which you’ll observe thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in the present moment, with non-judgmental acceptance.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). With this therapy, you move your eyes bilaterally while recalling a specific memory that you find particularly distressing.
  • Applied Relaxation. This treatment focuses on noticing your early symptoms of anxiety and reacting with a relaxation response.
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This technique includes direct exposure to the source of your stress, without the intent of causing harm.
  • Social skills training (SST). This treatment typically consists of education, modeling, role-play exercises and feedback.

“You never know what type of challenges life can throw at us, but with the right tools we can 100% learn how to manage our anxiety when faced with adversity,” says Seponara. “Healing is a lifelong process.”

(Note: Product details and pricing are accurate as of the publication date.)

Online therapy platforms connect you with licensed providers, which can include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors. Discover our top picks and the best online therapy to fit your needs and preferences here.

Mon, 18 Jul 2022 21:25:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Derald Wing Sue Ph.D.

Derald Wing Sue is Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College and the School of Social Work, Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, and has served as a training faculty member with the Institute for Management Studies and the Columbia University Executive Training Programs. He was the Co-Founder and first President of the Asian American Psychological Association, past presidents of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45) and the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17). Dr. Sue is a member of the American Counseling Association, Fellows of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. Dr. Sue has served as Editor of the Personnel and Guidance Journal (now the Journal for Counseling and Development), is Associate Editor of the American Psychologist, Editorial Member to Asian Journal of Counselling, and has been or continues to be a consulting editor for numerous journals and publications.

Derald Wing Sue can truly be described as a pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology, multicultural education, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/antiracism. He has done extensive multicultural research and writing in psychology and education long before the academic community perceived it favorably, and his theories and concepts have paved the way for a generation of younger scholars interested in issues of minority mental health and multicultural psychology. He is author of over 150 publications, 15 books, and numerous media productions. In all of these endeavors, his commitment to multiculturalism has been obvious and his contributions have forced the field to seriously question the monocultural knowledge base of its theories and practices. As evidence of his professional impact, Dr. Sue's book, COUNSELING THE CULTURALLY DIVERSE: THEORY AND PRACTICE, 2008, 5th Edition (with David Sue - John Wiley & Sons Publishers), has been identified as the most frequently cited publication in the multicultural field; since its first edition, it has been considered a classic and used by nearly 50% of the graduate counseling psychology market. With the help of many colleagues, he chaired committees for the Society of Counseling Psychology and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development that resulted in laying the foundations for the cultural competency movement in the delivery of mental health services to an increasingly diverse population.

Because of a personal life-changing experience with racism directed toward his family, Dr. Sue's research direction has progressively turned to the psychology of racism and antiracism. When he was invited to address President Clinton's Race Advisory Board on the National Dialogue on Race and participated in a Congressional Briefing on the "Psychology of Racism and the Myth of the Color-Blind Society", Dr. Sue realized that the invisibility of "whiteness" and ethnocentric monoculturalism were harmful not only to People of Color, but Whites as well. These experiences and activities have resulted in his critically acclaimed book OVERCOMING OUR RACISM: THE JOURNEY TO LIBERATION, 2003 (Jossey Bass Publishers). Written primarily for the general public, it directly confronted White Americans with their White privilege, inherent biases and their unintentional oppression of Persons of Color. As expected, the book aroused intense feelings and generated difficult dialogues on race.

These reactions led Dr. Sue and his research team at Teachers College to undertake a 6-year study on the causes, manifestations and impact of racial microaggressions. Their groundbreaking work resulted in a taxonomy of racial microaggressions that empowers People of Color by making "the invisible, visible," by validating their experiential realities, and by providing them with a language to describe their experiences. Dr. Sue is currently broadening research on microaggressions to include religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation and other marginalized groups. Contrary to the belief of most White Americans that microaggressions create minimal harm, his studies suggest that these daily assaults and insults are responsible for creating inequities in education, employment and health care and for producing emotional distress in People of Color. His most recent book, MICROAGGRESSIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE: RACE, GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION (John Wiley and Sons Publishers) has already generated much excitement.

Dr. Sue's services have been widely sought by many groups and organizations. He has also done extensive cultural diversity training for many Fortune 500 companies, institutions of higher education, business, industry, government, public schools, and mental health organizations. In that capacity, Dr. Sue has worked with mental health practitioners, university faculty, teachers, students, community leaders, senior executives, and middle-level managers. His work is recognized not only on a national level, but on an international one as well. Dr. Sue has presented and traveled in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, the Philippines, and Singapore), New Zealand and Europe. He is frequently sought as a spokesperson on issues of racism, multiculturalism, and diversity by the press and other media outlets. Dr. Sue has been interviewed on many television specials and is frequently quoted in the press.

As recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Sue has been the recipient of numerous awards from professional organizations, educational institutions, and community groups. He has been honored by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development with the Professional Development Award and the Research Award; by the Asian American Psychological Association with the Leadership Award, Distinguished Contributions Award and President's Award; by the Third World Counselors Association with the Leadership and Distinguished Contributions to Cross Cultural Theory Award; by The Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues with the Mentoring and Leadership Award; by Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning Diversity with the Diversity in Teaching and Learning Lifetime Achievement Award; by the California Psychological Association with the Distinguished Scientific Achievement to Psychology Award; by the American Counseling Association with the Professional Development Award; by the Society of Counseling Psychology, Sage Publications and The Counseling Psychologist for the Outstanding Publication of 2001; by California State University, Hayward, Alliant University and Teachers College, Columbia University for Outstanding Faculty or Teaching Awards; by the American Psychological Association with the Career Contributions to Education and Training Award and a Presidential Citation for Outstanding Service; by the National Multicultural Conference and Summit with the Dalmas A. Taylor Award; by the University of Oregon with the Outstanding Alumnus Award, by the American Psychological Foundations with the Rosalee G. Weiss Outstanding Psychologist Award, by the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues with Lifetime Achievement Award and by the Los Angeles County Psychological Association for the Distinguished Service to the Profession of Psychology Award. As evidence of Dr. Sue's stature in the field, a national Fordham University study of multicultural publications and scholars concluded that "Impressively, Derald Wing Sue is without doubt the most influential multicultural scholar in the United States".

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 05:52:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : Lifestyle habits like chores, socializing may lower risk of dementia No result found, try new keyword!Your daily walk, cleaning the house and lunch with friends could together be keys to staving off dementia, according to researchers. Thu, 28 Jul 2022 07:55:39 -0500 en-us text/html Killexams : Association of American Medical Colleges slammed for pushing critical race theory on students

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The group that sets the standards for medical education recently released standards that force students to study and apply ideology typically pushed by the far-left while integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into formal curricula. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published the New and Emerging Areas in Medicine series to help students benefit from "advancements in medical education over the past 20 years," and the third report from the collection "focuses on competencies for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)."

The report notes that recent medical school graduates must demonstrate "knowledge about the role of explicit and implicit bias in delivering high-quality healthy care," "describe past and current examples of racism and oppression," identify "systems of power, privilege and oppression and their impacts on health outcomes" including "White privilege, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, religious oppression" and "articulate race as a social construct that is a cause of health and health care inequities."


Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a board-certified kidney specialist, feels critical race theory will be an integral part of the education of medical students because of the AAMC’s agenda.  (Fox News Digital)

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a board-certified kidney specialist, is the Board Chair of Do No Harm, a group of medical professionals dedicated to eliminating political agendas from healthcare. He feels the AAMC is doing more harm than good with its new standards that he believes will irk the American people. 

"The AAMC agenda means that critical race theory will be an integral part of the education of medical students and this can only lead to discrimination against one racial group vs. another. One of the leaders of CRT, Dr. Ibrim Kendi, has declared that past discrimination can only be cured by future discrimination. I do not think the American people will like this kind of health care," Dr. Goldfarb told Fox News Digital. 

The group that sets the standards for medical education recently released standards that force students to study and apply ideology typically pushed by the far-left. (iStock)


"The AAMC sets the standards for medical education," Dr. Goldfarb continued. "This latest set of expectations for the education of medical students and residents is nothing more than indoctrination in a political ideology and can only detract from achieving a health care system that treats all individual patients optimally."

In May, Legal Insurrection’s, which monitors CRT curricula and training in higher education, found that at least 39 of America’s 50 most prestigious medical colleges and universities have some form of mandatory student training or coursework on ideas related to critical race theory. 

"The national alarm should be sounding over the racialization of medical school education. The swiftness and depth to which race-focused social justice education has penetrated medical schools reflects the broader disturbing trends in higher education," Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson told Fox News Digital at the time. 

A clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, also found that 39 of the top 50 medical schools "have some form of mandatory student training or coursework" related to CRT. (iStock)


Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, also found that 39 of the top 50 medical schools "have some form of mandatory student training or coursework" related to CRT and 38 offered materials by authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, whose books he said explicitly call for discrimination. 

"Mandatory so-called 'anti-racism' training centers ideology, not patients, as the focus of medical education. This is a drastic change from focusing on the individual, rather than racial or ethnic stereotypes," Jacobson said. 

In 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) committed to utilizing CRT in a variety of ways and criticized the idea that people of different backgrounds should be treated the same. All 50 schools examined by are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which sponsors the Association of American Medical Colleges, which has also taken steps to support anti-racist initiatives, and the AMA. 

Jacobson believes "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion entrenched bureaucracies promote, protect and relentlessly expand their administrative territory in medical schools," but the resources should instead be used "to expand medical knowledge and patient care, not to enforce an ideological viewpoint."


The Association of American Medical Colleges sent Fox News Digital the following statement:

"Our goal, and the goal of every medical school, is to recruit a diverse class of talented medical students and educate them to Improve the health of their patients and the communities they serve in an evidence-based manner. Students must learn to consider all factors that affect health. As science advances and we understand more about what impacts health, medical schools will incorporate these discoveries into their curricula.

The AAMC’s responsibility is to work with our member institutions to disseminate effective new curricular approaches based on scientific evidence. With the common goal of achieving better health, we must recognize that changes to medical school curricula based on evolving evidence will ultimately help us achieve that.

The recently released competencies are grounded in the STEM disciplines that are taught in medical school and that future physicians need to care for their patients.  

We have evidence that supports that race is a social construct, and there is a growing body of evidence about what race is and isn’t, and its impact on health. These new insights are improving medical practice and allow us to shift our thinking in medical education to better prepare tomorrow’s doctors.

The medical profession is grounded in the human interaction between doctor and patient and the factors that affect a patient’s health. We have an obligation to address and mitigate the factors that drive racism and other biases in health care and prepare physicians who are culturally responsive and trained to address these issues. Ignoring these facts would be detrimental to being able to provide sensitive, individualized, and medically appropriate care to each patient. The next generation of physicians must have the comprehensive skills and knowledge needed to heal all those in their care."

The article was updated to include a statement from the AAMC. 

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 08:05:00 -0500 Fox News en text/html
Killexams : UNIOSUN’s no-work, no-pay policy, others shields us from strike –VC

The Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Prof Clement Adebooye, talks BOLA BAMIGBOLA about the ongoing faceoff between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government, and how the dispute can be resolved

How will you describe the experience since your appointment as vice-chancellor about seven months ago?

 It’s been challenging but it is the responsibility of human beings to face challenges and respond to the challenges of life. We are moving on smoothly and we are at cruising altitude, trying to stabilise the system. So as much as is given to us, is as much as we have delivered, trying to make the system work and to work not as just a university but as a 21st-century university. That is exactly what we have done in the last seven months that I assumed duty as the vice-chancellor of the university.

 Some cases were instituted against the process that produced you as VC. How are you managing that area to ensure smooth industrial relations on campus?

It is guaranteed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that an aggrieved party or parties have the liberty to approach the court of law to seek redress as my colleagues did before my appointment and the issues were resolved also in the court of law, with the university winning the legal suit. Immediately, after I came in, the first thing I did was to make peace among the different stakeholders in the university. I met the different categories of members of staff, starting with the professors, deans, provosts, heads of departments, management, principal officers, committees, and trade unions in the university, like ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, National Association of Academic Technologists and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions. I even went as far as meeting the students union group, so I was able to tour the six campuses of the university and the Isale-Osun (Osogbo) annex of the university.

 I also met traditional rulers where our campuses are located and different stakeholders, like security agencies, including the police, military, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Federal Road Safety Corps. So, the dust settled within one month of my assumption of duty. It is gratifying to report that I am enjoying close to 100 per cent support from workers and students of this university. The strategy of dialogue, consultation, discussion, focus group meetings, and more is what we have used to make things work for everybody and also to have respect for the different categories of workers within the system and treat them as stakeholders in the system and not just workers within the system.

 Your predecessor, Prof Labo Popoola, contended with different issues, especially the unions on the campuses while in office. Have those issues been addressed?

 Those issues are no longer there. First, there were six members of staff on interdiction when I came in. They have been interdicted for three and a half years, almost going to four years. They were on half salary and by the grace of God, within my first three weeks in office, I put politics and strategy into play to meet all parties at various levels. I succeeded in approaching the council and doing the necessary things that led to the resolution of the crisis, including the withdrawal of the court cases against the six individuals, and the matters were resolved and council approved and the six people are back in the university now and their full entitlement for the period that they were on interdiction has been paid to them.

Another issue was about trust which I have tried to build since I came in. You know, as human beings, we differ and there is no complete human being. So, probably little changes in attitude have influenced the peace that we enjoy now in the system.

 While most universities in the country are on strike, your school has enjoyed a stable academic calendar for almost six years. What are you doing differently?

 Public universities, which include state and federal ones, are run on three models. The Federal Government operates a 100 per cent funding model for personnel costs. Some state universities also run that same model of 100 per cent funding. Some other universities run a 50/50 or 60/40 model of university funding and then the state contributes to the personnel cost. For us in Osun State University, we run the approximately 50/50 model whereby we contribute 50 per cent of the personnel cost and the state also contributes 50 per cent of the cost.

 Also, we take care of almost 100 per cent of the running cost of the university, running costs in terms of gardening, maintenance, cleaning services, sanitation, security services, accreditation, laboratory materials, equipment, and other things except some of them provided by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund. So, the major contribution that makes the university to be able to stand on its feet is the 50 per cent personnel cost from the state added to the 50 per cent personnel cost by the university. Therefore, our employees in this university know very well that this system is like a ‘work-and-eat children’s football tournament.’ It is when our students are here that we can get 50 per cent of the personnel cost which is added to the one from the state and it is also at that time that we get our running cost. So, when students are not here, we don’t get both the 50 per cent personnel cost and almost 100 per cent running cost. So our employees are conscious of this and the university council is also conscious of this very important element of our funding and decided on March 18, 2018, that if this university needed to survive, we should run on a ‘who-does-not-work, does-not-deserve-a-pay,’ (policy) and that has become a tradition here and that is what has been sustaining the system.

 Do you think other universities should adopt your strategy?

 I am not going to suggest it to the Federal Government because it is an entity and our state is also an entity. This kind of thing can be implemented when a university has students contributing to personnel costs. If you have gone on strike for three or four months or even more and you are paying salaries when students are not around and you have to continue running the semester when the students are back, where do you get the money to pay? Osun State University has done very good arithmetic of how much we need per semester. We have a template, we have the way we spend our money. So if there is a shift either by strike or something, the university equilibrium is shifted and the university will lose balance. That’s why our workers have understood over time that it is better to keep this system as it is. It is an understanding between the management and the workers.

Is your kind of model not anti-labour and will it not be impossible for unions on campus to protest against any issue they are uncomfortable with?

 I met them (the unions) almost every month and we discussed. We meet on the road and stop and talk. They don’t book an appointment to see me. We discuss in the corridor and that is my style. When they have issues, they do call me at midnight. We are very free. We discuss freely. Honestly, they are good and understanding people. The way we resolve our issues is very easy. They (unions) know we can meet anywhere and they know that for everything we do, there is an explanation and we do listen to them too and in a way, we incorporate their suggestions into what we do because they are stakeholders, not just workers.

 A VC will go, but they will remain here until retirement. I am not going to be here until retirement. They own this system, so their stake here is far more than mine and that is why we must try to sit down, hear and crystalise their side of the story so that we are guided.

 Other Nigerian universities have been on strike for several months. How does that make you feel?

I have worked all over the world. I have taught at eight universities abroad, including the best universities, like the University of Manitoba, the University of Bonn, and a university in Stuttgart, Germany. You can’t see anywhere in the world that universities are closed for this long period and that is the bitter truth. At the risk of being called names, we have to find something around this at the level of the government and the level of unions. A nation cannot grow the way we are going.

 You were, at a point, a union secretary at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and you must have fought against some of the issues causing unrest on campuses presently. Are ASUU’s demands not justified?

 You are right. We did and we fought them and that is what I am saying on the side of ASUU and the side of the government. Given the quantum of money that federal universities get from the Federal Government, members of staff of such universities should be asking their vice-chancellors questions on how they spend the money. They should ask them. It (funds) may not be enough but what they are getting should provide some basic minimum. However, what happens in this country is what I don’t understand. I am a vice-chancellor of a state university. Go to our research laboratory, and see our infrastructure. We don’t have all our roads tarred on campus, but when you go into our campuses, you will see features of university development. What I am saying is that the little we get should be used judiciously.

You are insinuating mismanagement?

There are issues about Nigeria that are very difficult to discuss and I don’t want to discuss them. But unions should start asking vice-chancellors questions.

 A piece was circulated on social media recently that your university may cancel its Arabic/Islamic course. Is that true?

 It is all a tissue of lies. In fact, there was no meeting, no contemplation of such. If anything, we are trying to grow our Department of Islamic and Arabic Studies. Do you know that we have a Department of Common and Islamic Law in this university and it is one of the most subscribed departments in this institution? It is on the Ifetedo campus. Recently, we met to give scholarships to students in this university, and Arabic and Islamic Studies got 35 per cent tuition support for students who want to study Arabic and Islamic Studies, approved by the council of this university. So, where this news came out from, I don’t know. Our university is a religion-tolerant institution.

My registrar is a Muslim, and the chairman of the council is a Muslim. Actually, the majority of members of the council are Muslims. Most officers who work in the office of the vice-chancellor are Muslims appointed by me.

My deputy vice-chancellor, appointed by me, is a Muslim. He is the Chief Imam of the university. Please help us to dispel this rumor quickly and to tell them that our university is tolerant. We are a mixture of different religions in South-West, Nigeria, and we are not known for this kind of rubbish.

 What is your university doing to provide solutions to societal needs through research?

I have said a million times that we should try to justify the reasons that universities should continue to exist. One of the reasons is for universities to make inventions and discoveries and that is what we are posed to do in the next five years here. We are consolidating our centre for renewable resources where technologies will be rolled out. I tell you I have just selected a professor of high standing to head that unit in the university to do things that will Improve the quality of life of our people not only in Nigeria but all over the world. So, this university will increase its global visibility through research. Many things are coming on board. Just this morning, I received a mail from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that one of our professors was awarded a grant to study how to mitigate the effect of malaria and COVID-19 in this part of the world. Several things are ongoing. Our colleagues in Ikire are trying to investigate issues that are related to religion and culture, and our living together. In Osun State, we have four dialect groups. We the Oyos, Ifes, Ijesas and Igbominas. Those are the four categories of people that we have in the state. Our researchers are looking at those things that join us together. Issues are being investigated all across our campuses. So, I tell you, by the grace of God, within the next one to one and a half years, UNIOSUN will be in the news in the area of discovery and inventions. New things are coming up to Improve the quality of life of the people.

 What is the management doing about its internally generated revenue?

 We are trying to do our best. For example, at the moment, we have a farm on our Ejigbo campus that produces eggs and broilers. We market that and we make some money. We have our established palm plantation that is yielding already and selling. We also have a garri processing plant on the Ejigbo campus. We have a water factory plant here on the Osogbo campus. Our water is a household name in Osogbo. Everybody wants to buy UNIOSUN Water. We have a block-making firm. You can see the Navy trying to erect a fence on their land in Osogbo. It buys all the blocks from UNIOSUN.

 Is your stable academic calendar attracting more students to apply to the university?

It is bringing pressure. How we are going to manage the admission this year is my problem now because I am sure that our quota this year will not be more than 6,000 or so, even with the expansion of infrastructure. I do not know yet how we are going to accommodate the number of students that may want to come to this university but whatever it is, we have more opportunities because we have three streams of admissions approved by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. We have full-time, part-time programmes and sandwich (programmes) which is the weekend programme. So, any student that could not make it into the normal full-time undergraduate programme will make it into either the part-time programme, which will be 150 per cent of the time or sandwich. So, that is what we are going to do this year and we are strategising for that already.

 What is your recommendation to ASUU and the Federal Government concerning the current industrial action?

They should resolve this matter. One thing I have to say is that it is bad that you are paying someone the same salary since 2009 and this is 2022. The government should look at that. It is not fair to the professors and not even fair to the civil service. The government should have looked at that a long time ago. Inflation has eaten up all the money. The prices of rice, garri, elubo yam, bread, and other things have gone up. I am pleading with the Federal Government to look into the salaries of the academic staff members and that of all other workers in this country and give people a bit of a life of ease. The pressure on people is much. Secondly, ASUU itself should be asking the vice-chancellors questions about the management of the university.

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 11:50:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : CU Regents retreat: Study associates higher education with positive impact on lives

University of Colorado Board of Regents on Thursday took its first look at a new study that shows a college degree can positively impact someone’s life during its annual summer retreat at Gateway Canons Resort & Spa in Gateway.

“There’s a very strong association with scoring higher on pretty much all of these dimensions as you move through your educational attainment,” said Phyllis Resnick, a Colorado economist who led the study.

This is the board’s first time hosting a retreat in Gateway. In recent years it was hosted at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, and before that it was held at former CU President Bruce Benson’s mountain ranch near Kremmling.

CU Regent Heidi Ganahl was not present for Thursday’s session.

CU acting Chief Financial Officer Chad Marturano said creating a “valuemetric” to study the different ways higher education can positively affect someone’s life is a concept the four-campus system started working on about 18 months ago.

“We’ve always talked about the economic earnings relative to educational attainment, and we kept going back to the board and saying ‘What are other ways we can think about this but not just talk about them in a piecemeal, anecdotal way but actually put something to that (and) have data to back it up?” Marturano said.

Resnick’s study pulled data from various sources and examined five metrics that impact people’s lives: economic; health; home; civic and social; and professional. Using this data, Resnick compared how the variables changed based on a person’s level of education. The levels of education she used included no degree, an associate’s or vocational degree, a bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree.

When Resnick compared the five metrics to the four education cohorts she found that people with a bachelor’s degree scored about twice as high on the valuemetric in comparison people with no degree.

“We got this really nice kind of result that as you move forward on your educational pursuits or attainments, you score higher and higher on that data,” she said.

Resnick said the study is just a snapshot over time using information from four sources with respondents varying in age.

CU President Todd Saliman said this initial study is just another tool the university has for its outreach, marketing and legislative work.

“It’s another tool in our toolbox to talk about the value of higher education depending on the audience that you’re talking to and to demonstrate analytically that there is this connection or association,” he said.

During Thursday’s retreat, board members also discussed their role in leadership and governance after listening to Peg Portscheller, president of education consulting company Portscheller & Associates.

Portscheller helped the board think about working collectively as it transitions regents Lesley Smith and Ken Montera into their new roles as chair and vice chair, prepares to lose three regents while gaining three new ones and begins working with CU’s new President Todd Saliman.

Portscheller told the board it needs to think of the retreat as a way to reflect on how it’s doing, the way it’s moving the university’s strategic plan forward with a new president and the chancellors and what it still has to accomplish.

“We are coming together and thinking about how we all work together,” she said.

The board began reviewing old goals that it formed during a 2020 winter retreat to discuss which it wants to keep, which it wants to start and which it wants to stop.

Regent Glen Gallegos said he believes the board has been doing well given the challenges it has faced in recent years with the coronavirus pandemic, new board members and a new president.

“Are we functioning as a board? In a lot of ways, but I think we can certainly do better,” he said.

The Board of Regents’ retreat continues until about 1 p.m. Friday.

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 21:38:00 -0500 Annie Mehl en-US text/html
Killexams : SU student named to State Education board

Jul. 30—The Daily Item

A Susquehanna University student who is a Selinsgrove High graduate is one of the latest members of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.

On Friday, the Department of Education announced that soon-to-be SU junior Natalie Imhoof will serve as the board's Junior Postsecondary Student member. She is joined on the board by Claire Chi, a junior at State College Area High School.

"Student voices are critically important as we work to develop policies and best practices in schools across the commonwealth, and we welcome the unique perspectives that Natalie and Claire will bring to the State Board of Education," said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. "Through their participation in a number of important conversations, these two bright young leaders will help shape the vision of education for decades to come."

Imhoof is a biology and management major at Susquehanna University and serves as a student ambassador at the university and is a summer intern at the Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. Imhoof also serves as a Vertical Garden Project leader of Partners for a Healthy Community, where she creates and coordinates installation of indoor gardens at senior living facilities and researched the effects of gardening on social isolation and loneliness, a study which she will provide to the National Gardening Association.

She is also the treasurer of serves as the American Sign Language (ASL) Club Treasurer.

"The board values the input and perspectives that our student members provide on issues that are important to Pennsylvania's students," said Chair of the Board Karen Farmer White. "By including student leaders on the Board, we seek to encourage civic participation among Pennsylvania's youth and to empower student voices in education policymaking."

The State Board changed its bylaws in May 2008 to incorporate student representation in a non-voting capacity on the Council of Basic Education and the Council of Higher Education. Student members must attend and participate in board meetings, advise, and consult with the board, and adhere to board regulations. They will also establish an ongoing relationship with other students throughout the commonwealth to more effectively represent students in Pennsylvania's educational policymaking. The State Board of Education's members — and four student representatives — convene every other month throughout the year to discuss and vote on education policies and procedures.

Sat, 30 Jul 2022 05:20:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : DeSantis Wages War Of Words To Oppose Abortion And Transgender Healthcare

Clever rhetoric has been utilized to advance causes since at least the 5th century B.C., but even the ancient Greeks couldn’t match the level of sophistry being practiced in Florida these days, to win support for restrictions on reproductive and transgender rights.

The ballroom drama event of the week came Thursday when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the suspension of a duly-elected state prosecutor for what he called “neglect of duty.” Florida state attorney Andrew Warren is accused of believing that he “thinks he has the authority to defy the Florida Legislature and nullify... criminal laws with which he disagrees,” said DeSantis at a news conference in Tampa that his press secretary promoted on Twitter as the “liberal media meltdown of the year.”

“State Attorneys have a duty to prosecute crimes as defined in Florida law, not to pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal agenda,” the governor said.

Since then, politicians, pundits and protesters have sounded off about Warren’s removal, condemning the move. Some prominent members of Florida law enforcement hailed DeSantis’s decision at his news conference, but there have been crickets and “no comments” from Hillsborough County police chiefs and other officials.

The governor has found support from his followers on social media and in an interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, who blamed billionaire George Soros for “funding soft-on-crime prosecutors across the country.” It should be noted Carlson made no mention of the hefty financial support conservative attorneys general and judges have received in their races from the likes of the Koch family and Federalist Society executive vice president Leonard Leo, an advisor to former President Donald Trump.

What proof does DeSantis have?

The Republican, who is running for re-election this fall and reported to be considering a run for president in 2024, suspended Warren in an executive order he signed Thursday, dramatically citing evidence labeled “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B.” The first is a June 2021 letter Warren signed along with other prosecutors, vowing not to use their “limited resources” on enforcing any laws that criminalize trans people or physicians that provide gender-affirming care.

“Bills that criminalize safe and critical medical treatments or the mere public existence of trans people do not promote public safety, community trust or fiscal responsibility,” the letter said. “They serve no legitimate purpose.” The letter goes on to vow prosecutors will use their discretion when it comes to enforcement of those anti-trans laws. At present, Florida is one of 18 states that bans trans student-athletes but has not thus far enacted any laws barring gender-affirming healthcare.

However, there is a new development: when the Florida Board of Medicine met today, Friday, to consider the DeSantis administration’s proposal to deny Medicaid coverage for all gender transition-related care for both trans youth and adults, the panel voted to adopt new state guidelines that would ban and restrict gender dysphoria treatments, but only for children and adolescents, according to WKMG-TV. Next, the Florida Board of Medicine will follow the rules-making process to determine a standard of care for state physicians and medical experts.

“B” as in “ban” on abortions

“Exhibit B” is a letter that was signed on June 24 of this year by local prosecutors nationwide, opposing enforcing abortion-related crimes. Warren was the only Florida-based state attorney to sign on.

Within days of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade in June, Warren—a Democrat—also made his feelings clear in a tweet that labeled state restrictions on abortion “unconstitutional.”

On Thursday, Warren tweeted again, this time issuing a statement in response to his suspension and replacement, calling it a “political stunt” and accusing DeSantis of “using his office to further his own political ambition,” going against voters who “elected me to serve them, not Ron DeSantis.”

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, DeSantis’ order said those two letters Warren signed amounted to a blanket refusal to enforce, or a “functional veto,” of the law, which amounts to neglect of the state attorney’s responsibilities.

What happens now?

Provided Warren fights his suspension, it’ll be up to the Florida Senate to decide whether to reinstate him or remove him from office after a hearing in which both sides will be able to make their case by presenting evidence, calling witnesses and having them give sworn testimony. According to State Senate rules, a notice of an initial hearing has to be announced within 90 days of the suspension, and the Senate’s final decision must be made by the end of the next legislative session, which does not start until next March and ends in May 2023.

That timeline may change should Warren take the governor to court, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Doubling down on anti-trans rhetoric

At that same news conference introducing Hillsborough County Court Judge Susan Lopez as the judicial district’s new prosecutor, DeSantis referred to gender-affirming healthcare as "disfiguring young kids.” He repeated an analogy he’s made before: “A 12-year-old boy can't go in and get a tattoo, but yet somehow, if the legislature were to say, that you can't get a sex change operation...” DeSantis paused for applause before continuing.

“They are literally chopping off the private parts of young kids,” he claimed, and hinted at future legislation on "protecting child welfare," which he said is currently being done "administratively and with medical licenses," as WPEC-TV reported.

The main problem with these statements by Gov. DeSantis is that they are not true.

Some facts

As The Washington Post has reported, no surgeons are “chopping off the private parts of young kids.”

  • “Transgender children are not offered puberty blockers or hormone treatments until they reach puberty.”
  • “Medical guidelines generally do not recommend genital gender-affirming surgeries before a child reaches age 18.”
  • “Chest surgeries can be performed on transgender teenagers before the age of majority in a given country (age 18 in the United States), according to standards of care from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, ‘preferably after ample time of living in the desired gender role and after one year of testosterone treatment.’”

It should be noted that there are always exceptions, such as South Florida reality TV star and author Jazz Jennings, who underwent a vaginoplasty—commonly referred to as “bottom surgery”—at age 17. That operation involves or is preceded by an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of the testes, which are often repurposed in the creation of a neovagina in gender confirmation surgery. In his remarks on Wednesday, in which he chose to misgender trans girls who are actually too young to get this operation, Gov. DeSantis called it “castration.”

DeSantis also used a phrase that fell out of favor during the era of bell bottom jeans, “sex change,” and called for doctors who perform such operations to be sued, but he did not specify by whom.

According to the latest Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), mastectomies, often called “top surgery” in relation to trans boys, trans men and nonbinary individuals, are not considered “genital surgeries.” It’s actually plastic surgery and there’s no minimum age. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 64,470 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on people age 13 through 19 in 2015.

Read “What You Need to Know About Transgender Children” from the Washington Post by clicking here.

Twitter: Favorite tool of the Florida spokespeople

While spoken rhetoric is especially useful in the era of TikTok and YouTube, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the era of written propaganda, especially when it comes to transgender youth. Especially when there’s Twitter to spread that propaganda.

The day before DeSantis suspended Warren, Florida officials pumped up their spin machine in response to two bombshell reports. One was a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics, which poked a ginormous hole in the claims that “social contagion” is to blame for a suspected spike in the number of youth identifying as trans, and that they do so to “flee LGB-related stigma.” As Stanford child psychiatry fellow Dr. Jack Turban tweeted, neither claim was supported by their research.

The spokesperson for Florida’s department of health, retired chemist Jeremy Redfern, didn’t challenge Dr. Turban’s study directly. He instead retweeted a thread of questions from writer/filmmaker Nathan Williams, and added a GIF from the opening scene in the film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. It’s apparently meant to convey, “Oops!”

Turban didn’t respond to a request for comment as of press time.

“NO, this is NOT an appropriate use of our work”

The other blockbuster report this week revealed that state health officials working to put an end to gender-affirming healthcare in Florida reportedly misrepresented what 10 researchers found in order to bolster their claims.

As Vice News podcast producer Sam Greenspan tweeted on Wednesday, their investigation started with their own curiosity. They’re a former Floridian and transgender, and not a scientist.

Greenspan tweeted, “My reporting revealed a concerted attempt by a very small group of people working to seed evidence for lawmakers, muddying the waters of real science and providing confirmation bias for anti-trans agendas.”

The ten scientists told them they were shocked to learn their research was being used by Florida’s Department of Health to justify denying gender-affirming care to all minors in the Sunshine State.

“NO, this is NOT an appropriate use of our work,” one researcher cited in Florida’s memo reportedly told Vice News. “This does not mean denying transgender youth and certainly not gender-affirming care!”

The department issued its memo in April, following the enactment of what opponents have called the “Don’t Say Trans or Gay” law.

That memo goes so far as to recommend against the practice called “social transition,” usually marked by a change in gendered clothing and adoption of pronouns that differ from those a child used previously.

In addition to reporting that the researchers were unaware of how Florida was misusing their findings, Greenspan noted that all 12 of the citations in the health department’s memo were distorted or relied upon anti-trans activists who oppose the use of gender-affirming care to treat trans youth. They wrote that officials “reverse-engineered” their rationale for a policy completely counter to research-based medical best practices.

Florida officials respond, and don’t hold back

While Redfern dismissed Greenspan, telling them the data supported the state’s policy and suggesting they do some memorizing about “how the ‘burden of proof’ works in the sciences,” it fell to this reporter to seek further comment from the state government.

Brock Juarez, communications director for the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), responded to an introduction from DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw. Juarez is in his fifth month on the job following his 18 months as the director of corporate and strategic initiatives at Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, and before that working for Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

“The Agency for Health Care Administration released a report that found several services for the treatment of gender dysphoria promoted by the Federal Government—i.e., sex reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers—are not consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards and are experimental and investigational with the potential for harmful long term affects [sic],” Brock wrote in an email, apparently meaning to type “effects.”

“The Biden Administration was found to be using ​low-quality studies to affirm the guidance they released,” he said. “The Agency’s report is an evidence-based report that speaks for itself.”

If it did speak for itself, it would be lying. Juarez’s claim that the treatment of gender dysphoria he mentions “are not consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards” is entirely false.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) has on its website links to almost 30 respected medical associations which endorse such treatments:

As to Juarez’s claim about gender-affirming treatments being “experimental,” Dr. A.J. Eckert and Dr. David Gorski write in that this is a red herring.

“The intent behind this disparaging and dismissive use is to promote the view that the safety and efficacy of GA [meaning “gender-affirming”] care is so much in doubt that it cannot be generally used and requires more clinical trials to evaluate its efficacy and safety before it can be recommended,” they wrote. “Of course, there is also a not-so-subtle implication behind labeling GA care ‘experimental,’ namely that it is also dangerous, which then often leads to further claims that clinical trials of GA care would be unethical. In essence, those promoting these bills seem to be deceptively conflating experimental medicine (i.e., unproven treatments) with ‘disproven’ treatments, safe in the knowledge that most people outside of medicine will not know the difference.”

What about that claim gender-affirming care like puberty blockers could have “harmful long-term” effects?

“This assertion is, quite simply, untrue,” they write. “A systematic literature review of research from 1991 to 2017 noted 52 studies (listed here, along with links to the individual studies) showing overall improvement in the well-being of trans people following GA medical and/or surgical interventions, four studies showing mixed or null findings, and zero studies that GA interventions cause overall harm. More recent studies confirm that gender-affirming care can be immensely beneficial in properly selected candidates.” Eckert and Gorski provided the hyperlinks to research that supports their statement.

“FDA slaps warning on puberty blockers”

Earlier this month, nearly every conservative news media outlet and even some television stations based in red states posted bulletins with incendiary headlines like, “FDA Officials Warn Of Brain Swelling, Vision Loss In Minors Using Puberty Blockers”

The real story, of course, is a whole lot less alarming. On July 1, the FDA did indeed add a new warning to the label for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which are mostly used to treat precocious puberty in children, as well as in gender-affirming care as puberty blockers. The medication hasn’t been recalled and no treatments have been banned; it’s just an update for prescribers to note and be aware of a new risk related to this treatment.

The warning is about something called pseudotumor cerebri, aka “idiopathic intracranial hypertension,” a condition that occurs when pressure inside the skull increases for no obvious reason, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can happen to any child or adult, but it’s most often found in women of childbearing age who are obese.

It becomes evident with several symptoms: headache, papilledema, which means swelling around the optic nerve, blurred or loss of vision, diplopia, which means double vision, pain behind the eye or pain with eye movement, tinnitus, dizziness and nausea.

You would think from the headlines that hospitals coast to coast were going to be inundated by an epidemic of brain-swelled, suddenly blind trans kids. While no one wants to see even one child fall ill because of a reaction to a medication, the truth is there have so far only been six cases of pseudotumor cerebri linked to GnRH: five cisgender girls and one trans boy, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years. Only the trans boy was prescribed GnRH for transgender care; the rest were being treated for precocious puberty.

Already, three of the six patients have recovered and are experiencing no symptoms at all, according to the FDA, and one patient was on their way to a full recovery. No information was available about the other two. Three of the six patients discontinued use of the medication. And again, GnRH is still being prescribed and used, mostly to treat cisgender children, as it has been for generations.

“Quality of Evidence”

Juarez’s other claim, that “The Biden Administration was found to be using ​low-quality studies” is unsubstantiated and appears to be a matter of opinion. This one gets even deeper into the weeds, but what I learned is that his claim relies upon a concept called “quality of evidence” that Redfern, in a separate email, explained with a quip: “It appears that you need to check out the evidence-based pyramid.” Here’s what he sent me:

I shared Redfern’s response with Dr. Lynne Kelly, an author and award-winning professor of research communication—among other things—at the University of Hartford. Although she said this pyramid isn’t something she uses to teach graduate students, she agreed to help me help readers understand what “quality of evidence” is, and what Redfern and Brock are claiming when they call peer-reviewed studies “low quality.”

“The figure that you were sent illustrates different forms of research evidence that can be evaluated in terms of their quality,” Kelly wrote in an email. “The figure suggests that as you go from the bottom (bright green) to the top (pink), the evidence increases in quality but that’s debatable. Depending on how it is done, someone might find a randomized control trial to be superior (i.e., higher quality evidence) than a critically appraised individual synopsis, but it also depends on how those terms are being used in the figure. I would agree that these are all forms of evidence that can vary in quality.”

So, it appears that the determination a study is of “low quality evidence” is merely a matter of opinion, not a scientific fact.

That didn’t stop Juarez from continuing to make his claim when pressed for a comment on Greenspan’s investigation for this report.

“I am sure as a journalist focused on writing a factual non-biased story you will be sure to note many of the ‘experts’ refuting our report are relying on studies and surveys deemed low or very low quality and insufficient to meet medical necessity criteria. Many of these ‘experts’ have also shown a remarkable blindness to what is happening in Northern Europe on this very topic. I am still waiting for the critics to provide a logical and well-reasoned case based on quality evidence. However, rather than cite quality evidence, they have simply ignored the AHCA report’s main arguments while disseminating misinformation and making false claims. Our main focus has always been on the real evidence, rather than the eminence of a medical society or association.”

“If Mr. Juarez had read our article, he might have been surprised to learn that the experts refuting Florida's ‘report’ are the same experts he himself is quoting,” responded Greenspan. “That was the crux of our entire endeavor. We did reach out to Juarez for this story, but did not receive a response.”

Read more about Vice News’s investigation, “How Florida Twisted Science to Deny Healthcare to Trans Kids,” by clicking here.

“Gender-affirming healthcare”

In his report, Greenspan noted Redfern “often uses his personal Twitter account to tweet disinformation about gender-affirming care and troll members of the press when they seek clarity on the state’s policies.”

“I would just note that “gender affirming healthcare” is a political term, not a scientific or factual one,” wrote Christina Pushaw, press secretary for DeSantis. Together, with Redfern, these two spokespersons spend a rather sizable amount of their time tweeting.

And lately, those tweets have been to troll journalists—including Vice News managing editor Leah Feiger—about the phrase, “gender-affirming healthcare.”

It’s unknown why Pushaw has no use for the hyphen in “gender-affirming,” an adjective modifying the word “healthcare.”

“As Governor DeSantis noted at the press conference,” Pushaw wrote in her Thursday email to me, “the reality of ‘gender affirming care’ is life-altering experimental pharmaceutical and surgical interventions on children, such as double mastectomies and puberty blockers that can cause blindness and sterility. Reporters should strive to be accurate in describing procedures and medical interventions, rather than cloaking the reality in misleading euphemisms like ‘gender affirming care’. The public, especially parents of kids with gender dysphoria or confusion, need to understand what that actually comprises. So if Vice wants to discuss ‘twisted science,’ perhaps they should scrutinize those who promote these radical procedures on kids and teens, based on low quality evidence.”

"’Gender-affirming healthcare’ is, in fact a medical term,” said Greenspan in a response to Pushaw’s statement. “But its history and usage, especially in light of anti-trans legislation, the term has been weaponized.”

Last word on the “gender-affirming healthcare” debate goes to Joanna Harper, a doctoral researcher at Loughborough University in the U.K. She’s a medical physicist by profession, an avid distance runner by choice and the only person in history to publish a peer-reviewed article on the performance of transgender athletes. In fact, she is the first author on four peer-reviewed papers on the subject of transgender athletes. She was the first transgender person ever to advise the International Olympic Committee on matters of gender and sport.

“There is plenty of peer-reviewed research showing the positive benefits of gender-affirming care,” Harper told me. “It is unfortunate that the politicians running Florida refuse to accept it.”

What do Floridians think?

Last month, Axios reported a majority of Floridians disapprove of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, with 44% saying that they "strongly disapprove." Those are the findings of a statewide poll from the University of South Florida and Florida International University. Roughly a third said the state should pass a law protecting the right to an abortion.

According to GLAAD, an estimated 4.6% of Floridians identify themselves as LGBTQ+ and 24% of LGBTQ+ people in Florida are raising children. The state ranks 3rd in the nation with the most same sex couples, behind New York and California.

So given that GLAAD released a poll of LGBTQ+ Floridians on Aug. 1, its findings bear relevance here, even though the survey was conducted a few weeks prior to this week’s news.

As GLAAD noted, the Florida governor’s race of 2018 was decided by only 32,463 votes out of 8+ million. If there’s a similar result his November, this poll suggests LGBTQ+ and ally voters could be decisive: 77% of LGBTQ+ and ally voters have an unfavorable opinion of DeSantis.

The pollsters say voters want their political candidates to address these top issues: restoring abortion rights (47%), reforms for gun safety (31%), high housing costs and inflation (22% each), and protecting LGBTQ+ equality (19%).

With 70% of respondents saying Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies are designed to attack LGBTQ+ people and are emotionally damaging to the population, leaders for equality hope to see a big turnout on Election Day in November.

“Florida’s LGBTQ voters and ally voters have grave concerns about their basic human rights, including access to abortion, freedom of speech, and evidence-based healthcare for LGBTQ youth,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “They’re motivated to make a difference in this crucial election.”

“The stakes are as high as ever: our civil liberties, the progress we’ve won, and our very democracy are on the line,” said Equality Florida press secretary, Brandon Wolf.

“It is imperative that Floridians use the power of their votes to hold Governor DeSantis and his right-wing allies accountable for the hate and bigotry they have unleashed on our state.”

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 11:39:00 -0500 Dawn Ennis en text/html
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