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Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Dr. Robert Dawkins, Clinical Director and Principal of Practical Health Strategies

Dr. Robert Dawkins’ BIO

Robert Dawkins

Robert Dawkins, PhD, MPH, is the Clinical Director and Principal of Practical Health Strategies, a business and professional service of RDawkinsPhDMPH LLC. Practical Health Strategies grew out of his twenty-five plus years of experience working with individuals and in small groups settings in full-service accredited sleep centers. He is currently the Clinical Director of the sleep center at the West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, the Child Neurology Center pediatric sleep center in Gulf Breeze, and the Sleep Disorder Center of Panama City.
Dr. Dawkins received his PhD from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, and his MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. He also holds degrees from Emory University (chemistry) and the University of West Florida (biology). Dr. Dawkins has a longstanding interest in how the environment, both physical and cultural, impacts and determines health status. He is certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and was previously certified in general toxicology by the American Board of Toxicology.

He has been responsible for the clinical management of American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) accredited sleep disorders centers since 1987. For ten years, he was a site visitor for the AASM accreditation program and for five of those years he also served on the Accreditation Committee, which oversees the accreditation program and recommends standards to the AASM Board of Directors. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Sleep Society. He has trained nine physicians for the sleep medicine board exam and has assisted four others with their preparation.

Dr. Dawkins has done consulting work in toxicology and industrial hygiene and has worked as a research scientist in the Clinical Systems Research department of a major medical device manufacturer and as a physical biologist at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory. His communication skills have been honed by his experience as a high school teacher, a college professor, and a frequent public speaker.

Dr. Dawkins is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a member of the Southern Sleep Society, the Obesity Society, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Public Health Association. He enjoys running, sailing, skiing (water and snow), cycling, weight training, and dining out by boat.


1. Tell us about the inception of Practical Health Strategies?

Robert: PHS evolved from my work in clinical sleep laboratories with individuals and small groups. In the early years, the sleep center was more of a wellness center than they currently are, addressing lifestyle issues related to sleep, weight, fitness and stress. Many people even today come to the sleep lab only because of the urging of a significant other or doctor. A common response is “I don’t have a problem, she has a problem.”

I learned that people only made health related lifestyle changes when they saw the benefit for themselves and a practical plan, a plan that could be implemented into their work and family life.

If I have any gift, it’s an ability to explain scientific and technical topics in everyday terms. With PHS, I offer the programs beyond the sleep lab.


2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Robert: The only constant in my daily routine is to start the day about 5 a.m. with news, reviewing email, etc, followed by exercise and to end the day with reading. Between that nothing is consistent but my pace is rarely hectic.


3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Robert: Not the software itself but I “can’t live without” internet access, obviously. Most tasks using other applications can be delegated but I do my own typing if it’s creative work, eg writing or a “slide” presentation. I prefer Corel office tools over the Microsoft applications.


4. What are your tricks for time management?

Robert: I have always had a terrible attention problem. I learned to manage that by having a consistent time and place for things that require concentration: writing, problem solving, etc. I try to keep a “to do” list that is too long to accomplish in one day so when my concentration lags I have a different task ready to shift. Of course, the list must be prioritized so that everything that must be done that day will be done before bedtime. By the way, that is also a sleep related- recommendation.


5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Robert: In graduate school, my major professor insisted that I have everyone who had a related professional interest on my graduate committee. I learned that it helps for others to have a vested interest and shared in my success.


6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for for building awareness of Practical Health Strategies (what do you do for short term and long term growth)?

Robert: Most business comes from personal visibility. Several years ago, I curtailed much of my public speaking. That was a mistake and I am currently working to correct that blunder.


7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished business leader?

Robert: Pride is a trap I try to avoid.


8. How do you achieve balance in your life?

Robert: That is easy. First, I rarely miss my morning exercise and often do a second in the afternoon. I actually like exercise. Second, I love boats, power or sail. Of course, the fact that both are things that can be shared with friends and family is important. And third, reading, which is a solitary activity that adds to family and social life .


9. Your top 3 book recommendations?

Robert: I usually cover about two to four books per month but most of my reading is scientific journals. Most books I read are history or specific business or technical topics. However, I wouldn’t presume to recommend that someone else needs to read any particular one.


10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

Robert: I would rather not discuss.


11. Who has influenced your career the most?

Robert: Not a person but the most important influence was a liberal arts education. Much discussion in the media has focused on the value of education for employment, but the value of a good liberal arts education is that it prepares one for the journey of life. Jobs come and go and those that stay change beyond recognition but a broad education is the key to adapting.


12. What is your advice for someone interested in starting a business?

Robert: Know what motivates you. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal…..” (Winston Churchill)

Dr. David Hanscom, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Author, & Founder of the DOCC Project

Dr. David Hanscom’s BIO

Dr. David Hanscom

Dr. David Hanscom is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the surgical correction complex spine problems in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. He has expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis. A significant part of his practice is devoted to performing surgery on patients who have had multiple prior spine surgeries

Current Positions:

  • Orthopedic spine surgeon, Swedish Neuroscience Specialists, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • Orthopedic consultant for Premera (Blue Cross/LifeWise of WA, OR, AK)
  • Co-director of the Swedish Neuroscience Specialists spine fellowship, Seattle, WA
  • Member of Best Doctors of America
  • Partner in Charter for Compassion


His medical degree is from Loma Linda University in 1979. His residency training began with internal medicine in Spokane, WA from 1979-1981. Orthopedic surgery training was at the University of Hawaii from 1981-1984. He did an orthopedic trauma fellowship at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA. His spinal deformity fellowship was completed in Minneapolis, MN at Twin Cities Scoliosis Center in 1986. He has been performing complex spinal surgery since 1986.
Structured Spine Care

Around 2001, he began to share his own stress management tools with his patients that were in pain but had no indications for surgery. He also had spent most of his career with rehabilitation physicians learning non-operative care. By 2006, a structured spine treatment protocol evolved. It was named the DOCC project (Defined Organized Comprehensive Care). He has published a book, Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain that is the basis of the structured spine care program.

Other Projects

He is the founder of the Puget Sound Spine Interest group, which was formed in 1987. It is a non-profit educational group, which provides a regional forum for physicians from multiple specialties to share ideas regarding optimum spine care.

Awake at the Wound is a process, which brings athletic performance principles into the operating room. The emphasis is consistency of performance. He co-founded the program with his golf-instructor, David Elaimy, in 2006. Burnout is an issue that does adversely affect physician performance in and out of the OR. Teaching strategies to prevent and deal with it is a significant part of this effort.

Books in Progress

  • What You Should Know About Back Surgery: A Spine Surgeon’s Surprising Advice
  • The Curse of Consciousness
  • Awake at the Wound


1. Please update us on your ‘happenings’ since your first BSO Interview (1/17/2012).

David: I am helping assemble a Mind Body Syndrome Center at my hospital, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA.

My second book has been picked up by Berrett-Koehler publishers. It is titled, What You Should Know About Back Surgery: A Spine Surgeon’s Surprising Advice.

My wife and I, along with Dr. Fred Luskin from Stanford, put on a five-day seminar for people in chronic pain. It was held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. All 11 of the participants shifted out of their chronic pain and seven have remained that way. It was centered around structured group activities and play. Pain pathways are permanent but so are play pathways. It is a powerful way to create a central nervous system shift.


2. Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

  • Tuesday is my clinic day. I wake up at 5:00 and I am in the gym by 6:00 for a one-hour workout with my trainer and three other guys.
  • 7:30 – 8:15am – rounds/ breakfast
  • 8:15 to 8:45am – meeting with my team
  • 8:45 to 12:30pm – clinic
  • 1:30 to 5:00pm – clinic
  • 5:00 to 6:00pm – case presentation conference with the spine fellows and residents
  • 6:00 to 9:00pm – paperwork/ meetings/ project work


3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

David: Believe it or not, I do not use applications much.


4. What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?

David: I am extremely organized. I don’t put things off and will pick deadlines well before the real deadlines.

I always make sure I take care of my patient issues first. I am essentially never behind with my practice.


5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

David: Take time off. I have fallen out of that mode the last couple of years but am actively working back towards it. I am hopeful I will be back on track by the end of this year.

Follow through with one thing before you start another. It is my hardest challenge, but I am not bad.


6. What are your strategies for building awareness of your services, for the short term and the long term?

David: I am working on building an infrastructure of services to deal with all aspects of the patient’s spine problem. Surgery is never the whole solution. Physical conditioning is key as well as the central nervous system. I have assembled a deep team to help with these aspects of patient care.

Long-term, I am working hard to bring Mind Body Syndrome principles into main stream medicine. The book is just one strategy. I am working with computerized platforms as well as developing seminars. I may also take it to the media in a big way.


7. What are your proudest achievements, personal and professional?

David: I have a great family and have felt we have all learned to weather adversity well. Here is a link to a blog I just wrote about my son.’s-winning-run-–-off-of-the-hill/

I am grateful that I have been able to share the tools with my patients that I used to bail myself out of severe burnout. They are reflected in my book, Back in Control and I have witnessed hundreds of patients become pain free.

I developed a seminar,  Awake at the Wound, that teaches athletic performance principles so surgeons. It quickly teaches them to be more consistent with their performance.


8. How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally
to you?

David: I don’t have a work/ life balance. I work 12-16 hours a day. I am compelled by the problems in spine surgery and chronic pain that are solvable. I am encouraged by the fact that most change historically has come from one person, although I don’t think I will see the results in my lifetime.

I do work out at the gym for an hour at least three times a week. I could not maintain my pace without the endurance created in the gym.

When I relax, I am able to relax. I actively work on taking breaks from electronics.


9. What are your top 3 book recommendations?


  • Antifragile
  • The Swerve
  • Man’s Search for Meaning


10. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?

David: I am launching a major effort to bring stress management tools into the school system beginning in pre-school. Without basic tools, anxiety is intense early and continues to grow. Teen anxiety is epidemic and is also a risk factor for adult disability. It is solvable in the school system if there is a large enough effort.


11. Who has influenced your career the most? 

David: Dr. Paul Brand – He was a committed orthopedic hand surgeon who discovered why diabetics and lepers had so much trouble with breakdown of their extremities. He worked full-time well into his 90’s lecturing all over the world. He was also one of the most humble people I have ever met. His accomplishments and dedication are truly inspiring. His life is reflected in his autobiography, Pain, the Gift That Nobody Wants.

The Hoffman Process teachers. They are all unusually aware and committed. Hoffman is an eight-day in-house process that works on connecting you with your authentic self. It clears out the patterns in your nervous system created by your parents and family. I left Hoffman five years ago with a laser-beam focus and have not deviated one millimeter since I left. I have accomplished more in the last five years in a leadership role than I have in the rest of my entire life.


12. What is your advice for someone interested in starting a business?

David: First, connect with who you are. Then with what you want to give back and in what form? You don’t have to have your life consumed by it, but you do need a directed focus.

Patricia Salber, CEO of Health Tech Hatch

Patricia Salber’s BIO

Patricia Salber

Dr. Salber is the Founder and CEO of Health Tech Hatch, a resource for healthcare entrepreneurs that provides a platform for crowdfunding as well as concept testing by representative end-users (patients, caregivers, clinicians). The site recently served as the co-design platform for HHS’ mobile app Challenge and ONC’s Blue Button Patient Co-Design Challenge. Also, the company was chosen to be a delegate to the inaugural TEDMED Hive.

She is a board certified Internist and Emergency Physician with for more than 15 years experience as a physician executive. She has had leadership roles in many different areas of health care including medical groups, health plans, employer groups, and non–profit organizations. She served as the first Physician Director of
National Accounts for Kaiser Permanente, Medical Director of the Kaiser Permanente-General Motors Team, and Chief Medical Officer for a Medicare Advantage plan as well as the Center for Practical Health Reform. She has founded three companies and served on the boards of a number of other healthcare organizations. She also founded and contributes regularly to a popular, widely read healthcare blog, The Doctor Weighs In and she is co-founder of Health Innovation Media that brings together influential healthcare bloggers, journalists, and social media leaders to provide an independent view of healthcare innovation.

Dr. Salber went to medical school and trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a Pew Fellowship in Health Policy at the same institution. She has an MBA from the University of California, Irvine. She was the first woman to serve as President of the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and she went on to serve on the board of the national organization. She founded Physicians for a Violence-Free Society while working full-time as an Emergency Physician at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco. She was one of the first physicians to advocate for physician training in the area of Domestic Violence.

Pat has been honored with many awards over the years including being featured on the cover of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s 1997 Annual Report for outstanding contributions to the Program. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and serves as a peer-reviewer for many others. She is a frequent speaker and author of a book (The Physicians Guide to Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse), numerous textbook chapters and well as journal articles.


1. Please tell us about the inception of Health Tech Hatch.

Patricia: As I contemplated how I could contribute to the burgeoning mHealth revolution, I spent a lot of time talking to entrepreneurs in the space.

I am a physician executive with years of experience as a clinician and a health insurance executive. I am not a developer, so I was looking for ways that my particular background could bring value to the space. When I asked entrepreneurs what they needed, they responded “help me raise money and help me connect with physicians and patients to get early feedback on my product.” So that is what we built.

We went live as a crowdfunding platform at the 2012 Health 2.0 meeting in San Francisco. A few months later, HHS approached us about providing a platform to help patients link with developers for the HHS Challenge.


2. Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Patricia: Whew! This is a hard question. Needless to say the days are long and jam-packed with things to do ranging from product development to customer engagement. We have bootstrapped so haven’t really been spending time on fund-raising, but that, of course will be in the near future.


3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Patricia: Expensify –helps me organize expenses related to travel – very helpful to have it all organized before the trip is over. All things “G” – we use google drive, google calendaring, google+, google hangouts (and now we use the new uberconference addition to google hangouts).

Twitter! We are big fans of twitter and use to engage in the health tech conversation and quickly learn about new trends, companies, products andso forth.


4. What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?

Patricia: Just do it. Don’t let things pile up on your desk. If you really can’t do it now, be sure it is on a “to do” list or entered into your calendar so a reminder is generated. Once you have cataloged the issue, then put it in a file where it can easily be found.


5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Patricia: Another interesting question. Let me start with worse advice – my college counselor said “don’t be pre-med, women don’t get into medical school” And, in fact, they didn’t in those days. In med school, the person who was to become my husband said, “reach high – think big” – it has helped to make my career quite a wild ride.
• Self-control. Managing disruptive impulses.


6. What are your strategies for building awareness of Health Tech Hatch, for the short term and the long term?

Patricia: We rely heavily on social media to build awareness – @healthtechhatch has about 6700 twitter followers and my blogging persona, @docweighin, another almost 14,000. We try to stay active on LinkedIn, Facebook, google+ and others. We have also engaged a professional PR person on occasion. Then of course, there is the every important strategy of “showing up.” You need to be where the action is.


7. What is your proudest achievements, personal and professional?

Patricia: Personal: being the mother and step-mother to three kids all of whom are grown now. One is a radiologist, another a nurse, and a third works on the business side of healthcare. Also, my almost 35 year relationship with my husband has served as an important foundational element in my life. I have been very lucky in the personal realm.

Professional: I think having the opportunity to work with young companies and entrepreneurs to help them achieve their dreams. I had a well-compensated and interesting career as a health insurance executive, but it wasn’t nearly as rewarding, personally, as what I am doing now.


8. How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally
to you?

Patricia: Since I was balancing kids and family life when I was a medical resident and first in practice, work life balance is a breeze now that I am running Hatch. My offices are located in my home. My husband also works at home. So work and family life just sort of happen.


9. What are your top 3 book recommendations?

Patricia: Biz Books: The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, and Cracking Health Costs by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.

Entertainment: Best book recently “The Book Thief” – I listen to all my entertainment books using The reading of the Book Thief was magical.


10. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?

Patricia: MedShare – it is an organization that repurposes hospital equipment and supplies. This accomplished two things: it makes needed equipment available to hospitals in the developing world (and here in the US) available and it keeps this equipment out of landfills. I am a member of the Western Regional Council of the Organization.

Futures without Violence – years ago I founded and ran a non-profit called Physicians for a Violence-free Society. I was working closely with the Futures organization (then called the Family Violence Prevention Fund). Futures has had a global impact on violence prevention with domestic violence assaults in the US now down by more than 60%.


11. Who has influenced your career the most? 

Patricia: The turning point for me was in graduate school when my major advisor said to me, “I know you really want to go to med school instead of being a PhD researcher. I am going to help you.” And, he did.


12. What is your advice for someone interested in a career in the healthcare industry?

Patricia: The healthcare industry is very complicated. Try to get experience in many different aspects of the industry – ranging from care delivery, to insurance, to private purchasers, and government entities. The more you know, the more valuable your contributions.


Amy March-Comins : Improving the Lives of Patients while living with Cystic Fibrosis

Amy March-Comins’s BIO

Introducing Amy March-Comins , Helping to improve the lives of patients diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis while she herself copes as a CF sufferer .

NOTE  FROM  EDITOR::: Amy’s story is unique in what she has accomplished professionally despite her illness which, as you will read, affects her daily activities significantly. What touched me most about Amy’s story are her drive and passion to excel in order to be a role model to her young sons but also to pursue her dream of helping other CF sufferers. Amy reached out to me to help her strengthen her web site, since her goal is to raise funding for her medical expenses. I wanted to learn about her as a person and a professional to gain a better sense of her talents and expertise. Therefore,  I felt that sharing her personal story through BSO would provide a fuller picture of the “who, what, & why” behind her web site.

As Founder & Editor of BSO, with this interview, it is my goal to help her bring awareness to Cystic Fibrosis to the larger community and to inspire those in need of her professional expertise to connect with her. Talent draws attention and I’d like to play a small part in helping her realize her career goals while facing CF each day.

Here is Amy’s story :

I grew up in Orem, a small town in Utah State. We moved here when I was 6 years old. I come from a small family of 5 people and we are all very close to this day. I met my husband Matt (from Bountiful, Utah) in 2006 and immediately, I knew that I loved him.

A month later, we were married. We’ve now been married for 7 years. We have two beautiful little boys, Matthew Jr. (6 yrs old) and Alexander (3 yrs old). They are both very happy and energetic little boys and I’m so blessed to have them in my life.

 In the Spotlight Interview

1. Please share with us your professional credentials.

Amy: I was always fascinated by medicine and by the human body itself at a very young age. I knew one day that I was going to study the human body.

I am also truly passionate about working with the elderly. I enjoy being around them and the company of my elders. To be around their sweetness and stories made me realize that they are in fact our greatest treasures.

I attended Utah Valley State College & obtained by Associate Degree of Applied Science. I also attended Stevens-Henager College for my Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy. My work experience is as follows:

1) As an LPN/RMA Cardiology in Cardiovascular ICU , I would oversee the care of patients in the cardiac care unit. Most patients in the unit were pre and post operation cardiac patients. Some of the procedures include: cardiopulmonary angioplasty, cardiovascular angiography, cardiac ablation, pacemaker placement, stents, cardiovascular balloons, cardioversions and thallium stress testing. I also would manage the patient medications under the direction of the cardiologists. Patient care and instruction are crucial, along with after care and recovery for patients to begin a new life. Including cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, nutritional education and educational tools and skills to help patients have a successful recovery and begin living a healthier lifestyle.

2) As a Polysomnographer PSG, I would work with individual patients who have a diagnosed or suspected sleep disorder. I would observe patients in a sleep clinic setting and in diagnostics I would study and read a series of tracings accumulated from over 20 electrodes placed on the scalp, face, and limbs of the patient’s body. Each electrode is responsible for identifying activity in the area of the brain or body to which it is attached, while the patient sleeps. Then it is my responsibility to read, evaluate the results and to find irregular readings that may point to the cause of my patient’s sleep issues. In addition, I am responsible for the care and safety of the patient during the sleep study. It’s not uncommon for the study to discover serious medical conditions like irregular heartbeat, cessation of breathing and also the patient having a cardiac arrest during the night of the study which I would address immediately to keep the patient safe.

3) As a Respiratory Care Practitioner RCP, RRT,  CRT  I worked in a home care setting with an advanced respiratory home care program for my patients. Patients are currently being discharged from a hospital setting or rehabilitation center to go home, then are referred to me for constant home care and evaluation for respiratory needs including but not limited to: Aerosol Therapy to provide treatment to patients who suffer from illnesses such as Asthma, Emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Along with equipment, education and medication administration education is crucial for patients to learn how to manage and treat their condition.

CPAP/BIPAP are used to treat patients with obstructive, central and complex sleep apnea. Home Ventilator systems are set up for patients who require either invasive or noninvasive ventilator assistance to help the patient breathe. Lastly, Oxygen therapy and in home oxygen saturation testing. If the need requires it, a home oxygen therapy system is set up in the patient’s home and education, teaching and demonstration is also given to the patient in order to help the patient be an active supporter in their therapy.


2. You were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 22 years of age. Please share with us what that has meant for you. How has CF affected your daily life and life goals?

Amy:  Being diagnosed at 22 yrs of age  was devastating. I didn’t know anything about CF, and receiving that type of diagnosis chamged my life completely from that day forward. The only thing I did know about CF was that the mortality at that time for anyone with CF was 30 years of age. I was 22, so all I heard that day in the exam room was that I have 8 years left to live and that there was a limit taken out on my life. I was devastated.


3. Take us through a typical day, start to finish.

Amy:  I don’t use an alarms to wake up- my body will usually wake me up around 5:00a.m. to suffocating breaths and pain. When I finally realize in the haze of the morning that I’m in need of some breathing assistance is when the pain comes rushing back to me, the painful breathing and body pain wake me into reality and I’m once again acutely aware of all my pain.

I start with my pain medications and breathing treatments every morning along with my chest therapy. I have chest physical therapy 4-5 times a day, 30 minute sessions at a time. It usually comes out to 2.5-3 hours a day of sitting on a breathing machine, hoping for the chance to take a deep breath.

The chest therapy is done 4-5 times a day with a breathing machine call The Vest. It is in fact a Vest that I wear, and is filled with pressurised, pulsating air that shakes and vibrates my chest to break loose the thick mucus stuck inside my lungs. It helps to loosen the mucus enough that I can then cough it out, in hopes for a clear airway.

During the 30 minute vest therapy, I am also hooked up to a nebulizer machine dispensing aerosol medications and antibiotics to open up my airway and treat infection as well. I have to set 4-5 different alarms throughout the whole day to help me know when it is time for another 30 minute breathing session. Whatever I’m doing when the alarm sounds off has to wait. You’d be surprised about the fight that goes on in your head when that alarm sounds. ‘Can’t I just finish dinner?! Or should I breathe?’ ‘Maybe I should just finish folding this load of laundry or should I breathe?’. I feels somewhat crazy.

The next step of the day is PILLS. I take about 22 different oral medications, 5 nebulized medications, and 2 inhalers throughout a 24 hour period. The only challenging thing is battling the side effects to some of the medicines. I’m a mommy and I don’t want to have a medication decrease my ability to be the best mom I can.

I also have to do pulmonary rehabilitation everyday which I call cardio. Through the severe pain, suffocating breaths and struggling oxygen saturation, I still have to pull my body up to a treadmill and work out everyday. It’s painful but it keeps my lungs clear of bacteria infested mucus and it also keeps my joint mobility strong when CF is tearing apart my joints.
I have to look and watch the weather to see what is has in store for the day. Extreme heat, sever cold and overcast weather affect my CF, energy, fevers, joints, pain and my breathing. I have to plan carefully what I do. One bad plan, and I’m sick in bed with a high fever the following day.

I have to be careful not to over exert myself in things I do. Normally, a person can look around their home and see a task that needs to be completed and you complete it. With having CF, the simplest of tasks can be difficult to complete. For example, small tasks like showering, blow drying hair, running errands, vacuuming, bathing my 2 year old or simply walking outside to get the daily mail…as simple as these tasks sound, on my good days, they are difficult to do ;on a sick day, they are impossible to complete. With any activity, I do throughout the day, I have to think ahead about how I will be after the activity and if i’ll be able to be function and be the mommy I need to be.  So I plan very carefully.


4. If you were hired as an independent consultant using your professional expertise, what would be your dream job?

Amy:  My dream job would be to create a social site that any respiratory patients can connect with other patients suffering with their same ailment. Also, to have a Respiratory Theripist online to answer any questions reapiratory and to have support for their suffering.

Cystic Fibrosis patients are not allowed to have any contact with each other. The reasoning being that is cystic fibrosis patients have bacteria sitting in their lungs 24/7, and if we were to cough around each other, we risk cross contamination of bacteria one to another. One of the risks, being that some bacteria are highly resistant to all antibiotics and that itself is a death sentence to anyone with cystic fibrosis.

When I was diagnosed, I found cystic fibrosis to be very lonely. Being admitted for weeks on end in a hospital, and knowing right on the other side of my hospital wall was another person suffering with Cystic Fibrosis and we couldn’t even say hello. I craved contact from other people with Cystic Fibrosis after being first diagnosed. Just to ask the simple question ‘is this normal?, did this happen to you? Do you ever experience this? And is it normal to feel this way?’

I believe that no patient should be alone in their disease. That is why this forum for patients with any respiratory ailment can connect and know that they are not alone and find others with their same challenge to bring hope. Hope for things unseen, through a connection. That’s my dream job 🙂


5. What’s your life goal?

Amy:  I want to inspire my sons and other people.
I want Matthew Jr. And Alexander to look at me and say, ‘because of you, I didn’t give up. Because of you I kept going and because of you, I’ll fight to the end.’

Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were. It’s what you do after that moment that defines you as a person. You have the right to choose what your own legacy will be.

I want my sons to see that you can live through your deepest nightmare or see your own mortality in front of you at a very young age and still have something to fight for. It’s all about the fight.

I’ve lived through so many horrific events in my life and I know I survived those things because my boys needed their mommy in their future. The one prayer I have every morning and night, is to see my little boys grow into amazing men. This fund ( IS my life, it would give me a chance to have a longer life expectancy. It’s everything to me, it’s my air in my lungs that I’m humbly asking for. No gift of support is too small. Every gift would help ease my burden of struggle.


6. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?

Amy:  I don’t have much, but I always believe in paying it forward. I’m a very active supporter in the CF community. One of the programs that my sons love to participate in is to provide Christmas to a CF family in need. Just to see the joy my sons have in helping someone they have never met and giving freely to them is one of the best lessons they can learn in this life. I hope they will carry on that siprit of giving into adulthood. Being a CF sufferer myself, it’s very dear to my heart.


International Best Selling Palm Beach Author & Physician George Moricz,MD Releases The Body Hormone Balance Revolution Creates New Paradigm In Anti-Aging Medicine

George Moricz’s BIO

As a thought leader in anti-aging, Dr. Moricz has integrated hormonal balancing, weight management and control over fatigue. He has advanced cutting edge anti-aging philosophies with the release of his international bestselling book The Hot and Sexy Hormone Solution – for smart and savvy women over 40 , a game changing concept for taking “years off” their years.

With his proprietary Youthful Blueprint System™, Dr. Moricz continues to provide these life changing therapies that have delivered small miracles to his clients, even when nothing else has worked.

Having practiced internationally, Dr. Moricz draws VIP clients from all over the US and even overseas for his therapies. A few things you may not have known about Dr. Moricz is that his VIP clients have fondly named him their “youthful sexuality doctor” and are no longer surprised that he doesn’t sugar coat the truth.

Released for the FIRST TIME in public…

Join 100 of Dr. Moricz’s closest VIP clients behind closed doors…

AND be a ‘fly on the wall’ in the comfort of your home

and eavesdrop on this ‘once in a lifetime’ DISCOVERY…


Get your SNEAK PEAK right now…the-way-it-REALLY-happened….html

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