Today, the Army launched a new website, “Not In My Squad Assessment Resource,” a tool designed to help improve squad leaders’ professional development and make good squads even greater, said Sgt. Maj. David L. Stewart.
Runner Paul Chelimo, a private first class, led his fellow Soldiers to take the first through five top male individual spots during the 31st anniversary of the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 11.
Read more here:: Army team sweeps male individual, team categories at Ten-Miler
Michigan’s First 2015 Confirmed Human Cases of West Nile Virus Reported
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan health officials have identified the state’s first confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2015 in Macomb, Monroe, and Ottawa counties, and are reminding people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
“We have clear evidence that West Nile virus is present in the state again this summer,” says Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Even late in the season, remembering to take a few minutes to protect ourselves and our loved ones from mosquito bites when outside can make a big difference.”
Statewide, 57 birds have tested positive for WNV so far this season, and 11 WNV positive mosquito pools have been detected form Bay, Kent, Oakland, Saginaw, and Wayne counties. Infected birds and mosquitoes can provide an early warning of WNV activity in a community. For the most current information on mosquito-borne virus activity in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.
Michigan residents are encouraged to take the following steps to avoid WNV:
- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
- Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
- Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.
- Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours between dusk and dawn. Use repellent and protective clothing, or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Choose a repellent concentration rated for the time you will spend outdoors. When applying repellent to children, apply it to your own hands and rub them on the child. Avoid the eyes and mouth and do not apply to children’s hands because they sometimes put their hands in their mouths. Do not apply repellents to infants under 6 months of age and instead place nets over strollers and baby carriers.
Most people bitten by a WNV infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever. About one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.
Symptoms of WNV include: encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain linings) include stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.
People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe WNV disease symptoms. Physicians are urged to test patients for WNV if they present with fever and signs of meningitis or encephalitis, or sudden painless paralysis in the absence of stroke in the summer months. For more information and surveillance activity about WNV, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, people can stay healthy by using simple, effective strategies to protect themselves and their families by reading and following all repellant label directions. MDARD also urges residents to consider using biological controls for small lakes and ponds you own, such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which is available at many stores.
There is an effective vaccine for horses and MDARD reminds horse owners to work with their local veterinarian to determine appropriate vaccination status. Because dawn and dusk are worst time for mosquitoes, it is also recommended that horses be kept inside at those times, and it’s important to remove any stagnant water from the premises.
NASA and The Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California, have received confirmation the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) CubeSat spacecraft is in orbit and operational. OCSD launched aboard an Atlas V rocket Thursday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Read more here:: CubeSat to Demonstrate Miniature Laser Communications in Orbit
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced a $50,000 grant for the Food System Economic Partnership in Ann Arbor to help train and support beginning farmers. The funding, which comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, was authorized by Senator Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill. This project will benefit up to 60 farmers and help boost the local economy. ‘Beginning farmers are critical to the future of agriculture,’ said Senator Stabenow. ‘This support will help make sure our beginning farmers in Southeast Michigan have the education, training, and resources needed to grow and produce things right here in our state.’ The Farmer Residency and Farm Incubator Program will help train new and beginning farmers as older farmers retire. This support will give students who complete training programs like the Michigan State University Organic Farmer Training Program the opportunity to apply for the Farmer Residency Program. They will then be mentored by an experienced farmer and gain hands-on experience. Through the incubator program, beginning famers can adopt new farming practices like winter hoop houses to boost their production.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $1,254,412 for three Lansing-based projects to help train and support beginning farmers. This funding for Michigan State University and the Greater Lansing Food Bank, which comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, was authorized by Senator Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill. These projects will benefit hundreds of farmers and help boost Michigan’s economy.
‘Beginning farmers are critical to the future of agriculture,’ said Senator Stabenow. ‘This support will help make sure beginning farmers across Michigan have the education, training and resources needed to grow and produce things right here in our state.’
Michigan State University’s Department of Community Sustainability will get $750,000 to provide training and increase land, capital and market access for new farmers in the region. Greater Lansing Food Bank will receive $365,888 to provide low-income beginning farmers in the Lansing area with resources like mentorship and training in basic farming practices and new technologies. Michigan State University Extension will receive $138,524 for the two-year New FARM Program, which will give approximately 45 new farmers the education and hands-on experience they need to maintain a sustainable agricultural operation in Northwest Michigan.
Mississippi Army National Guardsmen, with the 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery, or ADA, Regiment, finalized their pre-deployment training for a nearly yearlong rotation in the National Capital Region with a live-fire exercise.
Read more here:: Mississippi National Guardsmen prepare to defend capital
A report that provides an update on NASA’s strategy for human deep space exploration that will enable our journey to Mars.
Read more here:: NASA Releases Plan Outlining Next Steps in the Journey to Mars
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today issued the following statement regarding news of the Central States Pension Fund’s proposed cuts to the pensions of thousands of Michigan retirees.
‘A pension is a promise that’s earned and workers should be able to count on it when they retire. I am deeply concerned by news of possible cuts to the pensions of thousands of Michigan retirees who worked hard their entire lives. There is no question that pension funds are facing serious challenges due to the Wall Street financial crisis and other factors that are not the fault of the workers or retirees. Congress should take action to stop these potential cuts and make the long-term protection of pensions a top priority. That is why I am cosponsoring S.1631, the Keep our Pension Promises Act, to prevent the proposed cuts to workers’ earned pension benefits by closing tax loopholes for special interests. I urge its immediate passage.’
Senators Stabenow, Mikulski and Congresswoman Lee Introduce Bill to Improve Seniors Access to Mental Health Services
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) today introduced a bill to help seniors who are struggling with mental illness. The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015 will improve seniors’ access to behavioral health services by updating the way the Medicare program reimburses clinical social workers. Senator Stabenow, Senator Mikulski and Congresswoman Lee are long-time champions of enhancing patient access to quality mental health services.
‘Mental illness is an issue that touches every family in some way, and seniors are no exception,’ said Senator Stabenow. ‘Seniors should be able to get the best quality care from the provider of their choice, and this bill makes sure that clinical social workers are among those providers.’
‘Our nation’s seniors and patients suffering from mental illness deserve to have access to the all the support and services they need at the provider of their choice,’ Senator Mikulski said. ‘As a former social worker, I know that wherever there is a compelling human need, there will always be a social worker standing sentry on the front lines, ready to help. This legislation will expand access to mental health services provided by clinical social workers so that those suffering from mental illness can get the critical care they need, when they need it, from the providers of their choice.’
‘As a psychiatric social worker, I know the importance of providing all people with high-quality mental health services and care. Clinical social workers are the largest source of mental health providers in the nation, with more than 200,000 currently practicing,’ said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. ‘However, due to outdated policies, social workers are not adequately reimbursed for the vital services they provide. This bill will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to the essential mental health services provided by clinical social workers on a daily basis. I’m proud to join fellow social workers Senators Debbie Stabenow and Barbara Mikulski in introducing this critical bill and working to expand mental health services for all.’
‘In any given year, nearly one out of five people in our nation experiences a mental health condition. NASW commends Sens. Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Lee for introducing this legislation, which recognizes the important role access to quality mental health care plays in our nation’s mental health,’ said Angelo McClain, CEO, National Association of Social Workers. ‘We are pleased that Sen. Stabenow and her colleagues appreciate the critical role clinical social workers play in providing mental health care and makes the life-affirming services that social workers provide more available to Americans.’
The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015 would align Medicare payments for clinical social workers with that of other non-physician health care providers like nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This new payment structure, as well as a change to the reimbursements for clinical social workers at skilled nursing facilities, will encourage trained and licensed professionals to care for more seniors in their communities. The legislation would also ensure that seniors have access to the full range of behavioral assessment and intervention services that clinical social workers can provide no matter where they live.