Turbo-Charge Your Health!
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?
Health journalist Catherine Rourke flexes her media muscles to help readers out with more than two decades of research on medical, 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 brain surgeon, asking tough questions and reading in between the lines of today's medical minefield 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
What's the difference between synthetic and bio-identical hormones? Are they safe? Why do men need hormone therapy? Find out the surprising facts in this in-depth article and interview with world-renowned pioneering hormone physician Gino Tutera, M.D., by the Observer's "Health Sentinel" reporter Catherine Rourke in her ongoing "Truth in Medicine" series. Click here to read "The Truth about Hormones."
With an estimated 30 million men taking the “male enhancement” drug at an average cost of $15 per pill, just do the math to calculate the profits of the drug czars at Pfizer, the manufacturer that holds the patent on sildenafil citrate. Read about the highs and lows of this potentially hazardous pharmaceutical.
Learn the real truth behind those pink ribbons...
While the ubiquitous Pepto-Bismol pink appears on everything from NFL uniforms and yogurt to toilet paper and donuts in "search for the cure," some reports suggest that the cure remains suppressed to ensure the profits of a multi-trillion dollar industry laughing all the way to the bank off women's unnecessary anguish.
HEALTH CARE COSTS
Are patients getting clipped for unnecessary costs for surgical procedures? Is cancer simply just a big business, with information about viable cures being suppressed from the general public? Rourke asks all the tough questions and presents some painful findings.
OSA: The new health epidemic?
Why Obstructed Sleep Apnea cases are on the rise across America
Read this alarming report from the National Coalition on Health Care here...
Cartoon courtesy of Konopacki
What's happening to our neighbors across the valley who lack medical insurance? Why are patients, doctors and nurses filing allegations about patient neglect at one regional medical facility? Are these reports false or is there a valid concern? Rourke goes out into the medical trenches to interview patients and medical personnel to find out the truth about health care in the Verde Valley.
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.
You've all heard of Joe the Plumber. Now meet Joe the Handyman, of Sedona, Ariz. − a 58-year-old home improvement contractor who says he has been "shortchanged, defaulted, repossessed and foreclosed" on everything he’s ever worked for, saved for and lived for due to what he calls "excessive medical expenses."
In March 2008, Joe Dimarco 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 a cancer that, according to Joe, went improperly treated....
Photo by Catherine Rourke
Could proper medical intervention have saved the life of 21-year-old mom Leslie Anne Piper? Read the full story about her mysterious and untimely sudden death and why Leslie's parents allege that officials at FMC have swept the details under the rug to cover up a potential medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical Workplace Issues
Local nurses, doctors and hospital workers remove the mask to speak out
Observer medical reporter Catherine Rourke spent months interviewing doctors and nurses and gathering the testimonials from dozens of local medical workers to investigate their side of workplace conditions in her alarming reports. How did NAH administration respond to the allegations and why did officials refuse to comment? As a longtime medical writer and hospital media liaison, Rourke understands the issues from both sides of the fence. Read her full story about the challenges facing regional nurses as she interviews them and tells their stories in their own words, offering remedies for patients as well as the workers and facilities that serve them.
Click here to read: Nurses Rally for Patients at Flagstaff Medical Center
Why are nurses and hospital workers on strike at Northern Arizona Healthcare? Why have two of its facilities lost their accreditation and what are the nurses' allegations against NAH that brought in the National Labor Relations Board? Rourke talks to medical workers on the picket line and in hospital corridors as well as administrators to get to the root of what ails Northern Arizona Healthcare.
Catherine Rourke is an award-winning professional journalist who specializes in health, medicine, wellness, nutrition, work-life balance and socioeconomic issues. Read her investigative reports on women's health issues such as breast cancer, menopause and hormonal balance in her riveting "Truth in Medicine" series.
Click here to read Rourke's "Invisible Sedona" series,
winner of a "Community Journalist of the Year" award from the Arizona Press Club.
INVISIBLE SEDONA - Forgotten folks, neglected issues
With a focus on the city's unchronicled socioeconomic issues --such as subminimum-wage jobs, the lack of affordable housing and proper medical care, plus the plight of undocumented Mexican immigrants --Rourke reveals the dark side of "the most beautiful place in America" [USA Today, 2003] -- the side of Sedona most tourists never get to see and that falls in the cracks of its gilded red rocks.
The Sedona Observer is a member of the AHCJ.
More Reports by Rourke
Forgotten folks and neglected issues
swept under the rug
Click here to read Rourke's "Invisible Sedona" series, winner of a "Community Journalist of the Year" award from the Arizona Press Club. With a 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 reveals 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:
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.
The nonprofit Observer relies on public donations to maintain its site hosting fees and production costs. Your donation is tax-deductible; click here to make a donation and receive an instant receipt.
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE
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!
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.
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.