Free Prostate Exams Thursday Sept. 20th

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

[UPDATE] Thanks Fred, that was PROSTATE not PROSTRATE (that’s what I get with 3 hours of sleep).

From today’s Daily Tar Heel

Prostate cancer will kill 27,000 men in the U.S. this year who might have survived with early treatment.

So UNC urologists will be giving free prostate screenings today as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. The screenings will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at UNC Hospitals’ Urology Clinic on the second floor of N.C. Memorial Hospital, [MAP] and no appointment is needed.

“The hardest thing is getting people a setting where they can get checked,” said Eric Wallen, a urologist at UNC Hospitals, which has sponsored free screening events for 14 years. “We want to make it convenient for patients to get checked.”

Because prostate cancer is a slow-spreading disease, if it’s caught at an early stage, there is almost a 100 percent chance that it will be cured in five years.

Like a lot of men, I don’t really relish the old prostate exam, but considering the good prognosis if caught early, it’s something well worth doing.

I’m 45 and have younger friends that have dealt with prostate cancer. One of my dear neighbors is dealing with prostate cancer caught further into the progression. Modern tests can help catch this disease well before it becomes untreatable.

African-American men from eastern North Carolina have the highest rate of prostate cancer incidence in the country, Wallen said.

“The main importance of the week is to get men screened,” said Heather Eichhorn, director of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.

Although an N.C. law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for prostate screenings, Wallen said free exams are important because uninsured men often are deterred by the costs and hassle of finding a doctor for the test.

Without insurance, the tests cost between $50 and $150, he said.

Last year 460 men received free prostate exams during UNC’s awareness week, and 56 tested abnormal for the prostate-specific antigen blood test. Elevated PSA levels can indicate a problem in the prostate that isn’t necessarily cancer.

The digital rectal exam is a way to verify that a patient has cancer, and of those 56 men, two also tested abnormal for the DRE.

If you’re in the target age group, have been avoiding the old “bend over for me”, please, please, please avail yourself of this free service.

Lincoln Center Arts Program Needs a New Home

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Karen Fisher’s Feb. 21st letter to the Chapel Hill News:

The Lincoln Arts Center has to find a new home or risk closing its door permanently. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools administrative offices will be expanding into the space that the Lincoln Arts Center pottery studio has leased for 30 years. Chapel Hill is in danger of losing this incredible self-supporting, community resource. All it needs to continue is a space adequate for hands-on artwork, preferably near a bus line.

The Lincoln Arts Center has provided classes for over 8,500 registered students. These students include school-aged children, senior citizens and all ages in between. The center serves students of all skill levels and abilities including students with special needs.

There is a sliding fee schedule that makes these classes accessible to citizens of many different income levels. Where else in Chapel Hill can such a diverse group of citizens find wonderful arts instruction and explore their own creativity?

There is no shortage of fine teachers and able assistants in the area, but where will they teach and inspire their students if the Lincoln Arts Center studio closes it doors? All other hand-on arts/pottery programs in the area are privately held and out of range for many of our citizens.

What does it say about our community if this program closes down for lack of space? Are we supporters of community-based arts? We certainly have some wonderful galleries and fine artists in our midst. Where else but at the community level do we nurture the creativity of our citizens?

Take action: Come to the next Chapel Hill Town Council Meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. and lend your support. A petition to find a new home for the Lincoln Arts Center will be presented at that meeting.

Take action: Write to Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy (e-mail: kevinfoy@townofchapelhill.org or 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill 27514 or telephone: 968-2714) and/or The Chapel Hill Town Council (e-mail: mayorandcouncil@townofchapelhill.org or 306 N. Columbia St., Chapel Hill 27516, telephone: 968-2845).

Absolutely eloquent Karen.

As of now (Mar. 16th, 2007) it appears that the Lincoln Arts Center is homeless and that this unique,self-supporting program is kaput by October unless Council finds it a new home.

I’ll be posting both those calls to save the only publicly supported hands-on arts program in Chapel Hill and further information as the story develops.

ConvergeSouth 2006 – Wrap Up

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

[UPDATE]

Back from a great meal at Ganache. Fantastic conversations with quite a few participants, GerryC, Anglico, SouthernDem, MisterSugar, Josh, Zabouti, Pam, AE, DB, Ed Cone, Anonymoses and so many others. A highpoint of the day was hearing during dinner the incredible backstory of local ‘blogger Serbian Bora Coturnix – Red-State Serbian Jewish atheist liberal PhD student posting on BlogAroundTheClock. It started with his narrow escape just one week from pre-war Yugoslavia. Bora’s story was initiated by Philly.com’s Daniel Rubin Blinq tale of high journalistic adventure following the fall of Milosovich.

It also appears the GSO “secret report” on police chief Wray’s discharge is out in the public domain. A very interesting story in civic discourse. Dave Hoggard says “What I can tell you is the report is complete, disturbing and damning and city manager Mitch Johnson did what had to be done.” Wow! Strong stuff.

More starting here.

[ORIGINAL POST]

Ed Cone starts by announcing that the “confidential” report floating around Greensboro about their police force will surface on a ‘blog sometime today. A special add-on session is being proposed for after the wrap-up to discuss the release.

As far as ConvergeSouth (and I haven’t eaten yet), it’s been fun but there are a couple criticisms I’ve heard from more than a few folks – criticisms I share of what was basically a good conference.

One, that there wasn’t enough “UN” in this unconference. Folks, including myself, were surprised that room wasn’t made for more ad hoc sessions (at BarcampRDU – time and space was allocated for sessions that each person had to pitch to the whole group).

Two, that while last year there were too many interesting sessions concurrently scheduled, this year it felt a bit threadbare.

There was some excellent give-n-take during the sessions, so some of the “UN” was restored.

If one thing comes out of this years ConvergeSouth, I hope it’s the bit of “social networking” I facilitated during the MySpace session results in an under-served GSO community getting free gear and free access.

Now, off to some beer and then dinner. I’ll follow up with any interesting tidbits coming out of our dinner with Ed Cone.

My dinner partners:

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