Health and Medical Issues


A daily digest of medical, health, fitness, nutrition and wellness reports

By Catherine J. Rourke  

The Observer's "Health Sentinel" and Medical Reporter


Turbo-Charge Your Health!

Published 2007-2013


Robust Reporting for a Healthier America

by Catherine J. Rourke, the "Health Sentinel"


Most people agree that life itself poses a workout these days.

So who's got time for yoga poses?

Daily juggling acts such as a job, the commute, taking care of a family, pursuing a college degree, doing housework and all those daily errands leave many feeling too exhausted and "fit to be tied" instead of tying their fitness shoelaces.

How can people maintain good health and balance with the stresses of everyday life? More importantly, with all the confusing and often contradictory health reports, how can anyone figure out the best choices in nutrition or even when facing a critical medical decision?

Medical journalist Catherine Rourke flexes her media muscles to help readers out with more than two decades of research on health, nutrition, fitness and wellness issues. Bringing a passion for good living and her insatiable curiosity for the latest data on medical developments and health innovations, Rourke keeps you up-to-date with her lively reports.

Is coffee good or bad for you?

Do mammograms cause breast cancer?

Are pharmaceutical hormones safe?

What is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids and why do you need them?

How can you maintain optimum fitness in just 15 minutes a day?

What's the best and most easily absorbed form of Vitamin D? Can it deter cancer?

Should men test their estrogen levels? And do women need testosterone?

What are some of the latest developments in breast cancer research?

Rourke puts the medical stethoscope under her journalistic microscope to examine all the latest medical findings and address public health concerns, separating the wheat from the chaff of today's often conflicting reports.

With a combined background in hospital public relations, marketing communications and medical journalism, no one is better equipped to dissect medical issues than one who has sat on both sides of the media fence, from creating headlines as a hospital media liaison to writing them here as the Observer's tough-questioning medical Barbara Walters.

Rourke keeps a finger on the pulse of all the latest studies, translating them into simple yet lively articles so readers can make their own educated decisions about their health choices.

Stay tuned here for all the health news you can use and updates about medical developments that can safeguard your well-being. And, remember, there is no medicine like hope and no tonic so powerful as the expectation of a better tomorrow.

Click here to send us your health tips and medical story ideas.


Nutrition - How to Turbo-Charge Your Diet Now!

Studies indicate that cruciferous vegetables contain the largest concentrations of health-promoting sulfur compounds, which increase the liver's ability to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially toxic substances. Learn more about how these foods promote a healthy heart. Read more in Turbo-Charged Nutrition.


FITNESS - Tips & Tricks to Cut Exercise Time in Half!


New research suggest that you can maintain optimum fitness in just less than 20 minutes a day without hitting the gym. Now you find clever ways to incorporate good habits in your daily life. Read the full story here and start moving!

"Truth in Medicine" Investigative Reports



"Health Sentinel" reporter Catherine Rourke puts the medical stethoscope under the media microscope



Winner, 2008 and 2010 National Federation of Press Women awards

"Rourke runs circles around stethoscopes with her pen, carefully dissecting medical issues with the precision of a neurosurgeon, asking tough questions and reading in between the lines of today's medical studies to expose the truth behind the facts. This is "robust health reporting" in the public interest, with the Observer putting some muscle back into investigative medical journalism."                                                                 

                                                                                                                     -- NFPW Judges, 2008

Health Care in America

From Hippocrates to Hypocrisy

The Economics of Breast Cancer




The Truth about Hormones

What's the difference between synthetic and bio-identical hormones? Are they safe? Why do men need hormone therapy and women need testosterone? Find out the surprising facts in this in-depth report and interview with world-renowned pioneering hormone physician Gino Tutera, M.D. Click here to read "The Truth about Hormones."


Viagra Falls?


An estimated 30 million men of all ages take the “male enhancement” drug at an average cost of $15 per pill. Read about the highs and lows of this potentially hazardous pharmaceutical.


You Don’t Have to Live with It!

The Science of SottoPelle

Doctors and drug companies don't want patients knowing about the Power of the Pellet, a safe and natural plant-based medicine that holds the key to human health and is helping thousands of patients with Parkinson's disease, prostate cancer and Traumatic Brain Injury enjoy a better quality of life.


Health Care Legislation: Patient Safety

How the Arizona Hospital Patient Protection Act could affect YOU



Rude Awakening

OSA: The new health epidemic?

Why Obstructed Sleep Apnea cases are on the rise


Health Care in America

Read this alarming report from the National Coalition on Health Care here...




Suzanne Blake's story sends a 911 alert across the valley to anyone who lacks proper medical care and financial resources in the wake of an unexpected accident. Click here to read the full story.

FLATLINED: A Health Care State of Emergency


The Joe Dimarco Story

You've all heard of Joe the Plumber. Now meet Joe the Handyman, of Sedona, Ariz. − a 58-year-old home improvement contractor who lost something far more precious than a house or a car or a savings account. He lost his beloved wife, partner and companion, Andrea, to cancer....


The Sedona Observer is a member of the AHCJ.



Media, Medicine & Morality

A Tale of Two Industries


Read More of Rourke's Reports


Swept Away: Invisible Sedona

Forgotten folks and neglected issues

Winner of a "Community Journalist of the Year" award from the Arizona Press Club in 2006, these columns focus on the city's socioeconomic issues such as subminimum-wage jobs, the lack of affordable housing and proper medical care, plus the plight of undocumented Mexican immigrants. Rourke rides with trash collectors, burns toast with breakfast waitresses and flushes toilets with janitors to reveal the dark side of "the most beautiful place in America" [USA Today, 2003] -- the side of Sedona most tourists never get to see and the one that falls into the cracks of its gilded red rocks.


Rourke's Award-Winning Environmental Reports

Click here to read:

"Barking Up the Wrong Tree?"

Sycamores: Disposable or Indispensable?

The award-winning story that saved Sedona's heritage trees




What is The Sedona Observer?

Launched in 2007, The Sedona Observer is a national nonprofit online newspaper dedicated to public service journalism. What began as a community journalism experiment to report the ignored issues has exploded virally with thousands of subscribers from around the globe. Using Sedona as a metaphor for "the microcosm of the macrocosm," it shuns advertising to prevent censorship and preserve genuine freedom of the press. Produced in Sedona, Ariz., for a national audience of thousands of free subscribers, the Observer is the recipient of six First Place national press awards.


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Your reports are refreshing compared to all the dry assembly-line and cloned reports in most publications. Rourke asks all the right questions and her articles address important perspectives most newspapers overlook and magazines somehow fail to present. She goes where angels fear to tread!

Rita Livingston

Sedona, Ariz.


Thank you Sedona Observer for having the guts to report the real facts about what's going on in the medical, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Americans need to know about the dangers of some of these treatments and the papers just seem to be defending the drug companies. Your article on the "economics of breast cancer" says it all and offers good perspectives on the contributing factors and alternative treatments to the disease. Best of all, it makes us see what is behind all the pink ribbons and mammograms -- lots of money. Well done and well written too.

Judith Burchowski

Sarasota, Fla.


We know things are getting serious when we see doctors and nurses testifying about questionable hospital practices and conditions. It's good to see your watchdog reporter keeping an eye on this and to know that there are still some left. Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping us informed.

Charles Leonardi

Fresno, Calif.







Views and statements expressed here do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of this newspaper. The Sedona Observer abides by media law and upholds the time-honored policies of the Journalism Code of Ethics. It publishes all opinions under the First Amendment and welcomes those with opposing views to submit letters and testimonials.