This week: September 29, 2017 - Claes Ryn - The Polical and Economic Effects of the Vanishing American Adult
September 29: Claes Ryn - The Polical and Economic Effects of the Vanishing American Adult

(New location)


August 11th

“Le unsung, the noblest deed will die.” Pindar from Isthmean Odes”

“Titanic in its concentraon of will, with unprecedented triumph in all spheres of material aggrandizement, its civilizaon yet produces as a whole a singular impression of insufficiency, of empness.” José Enrique Rodó from Ariel

On May 1, 2013, The New York Times reported that President Evo Morales announced he was expelling the United States Agency for Internaonal Development (USAID) from Bolivia. He was quoted as saying, “Some instuons of the United States Embassy connue to conspire against . . . the people [of Bolivia] and especially against the country….” and as a result, “We have decided to expel U.S.A.I.D. from Bolivia.” Aer receiving more than $4.7 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds over the past 70 years to support development efforts in Bolivia, how could Morales decide the USAID relaonship should be terminated in such an abrupt manner? The answer to this queson is rooted in a complex slice of history beginning with the assistance provided to Bolivia by the U.S. Government during World War II.

Lawrence C. Heilman is research associate in the Anthropology Department at the Smithsonian Naonal Museum of Natural History. He served twenty years with USAID as a senior foreign service officer.

Sierra Kunkoski, Balmore Longitudinal Study on Aging

July 28th

For the most comprehensive and longest running longitudinal examinaon of human aging in the world, NIA’s Balmore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) had a simple beginning. It started with a conversaon in 1958 between Nathan Shock, Ph.D., Chief of the Gerontology Branch at the Naonal Instutes of Health (NIH), and William W. Peter, M.D., a rered U.S. Public Health Service officer and missionary doctor. Peter had a long-established reputaon for his dedicaon to medicine and wanted to know how he could make a final contribuon—donang his body to science. But Shock had something else in mind. He wanted to discuss with Peter the direcon he believed aging research should take.

Breaking with scienfic convenon, Shock wanted to study normal aging, and he wanted to do it by repeatedly evaluang the same people over me. He hypothesized that important concepts pernent to aging could only be understood by looking at healthy, independently living people at regular intervals over a number of years. Shock didn’t just want bodies donated to study aging aer death; he wanted living people parcipang in scienfic studies. It was a radical concept that intrigued Peter. He volunteered to be the first parcipant.

Soon, Shock and Peter were joined by study coordinator Arthur Norris, described by Shock as his “steady right hand.” The three men outlined the new study’s parameters. The BLSA would “observe and document the physical, mental, and emoonal effects of the aging process in healthy, acve people.”

Women were not originally part of the study design but joined the BLSA in 1978, offering sciensts the opportunity to beer understand the influence of sex on aging, especially important because at the me, women lived 8 to 9 years longer than men. Many of the original female parcipants were wives or widows of male volunteers. Today, NIA’s Intramural Research Program in Balmore welcomes more than 1,300 male and female BLSA parcipants ranging in age from their twenes to ninees, who come regularly for a variety of tests to help sciensts observe changes over years of life.

Mark Foraker, Execuve Director Mercy Health Clinic

July 21st

The mission of Mercy Health Clinic (Mercy) is to provide high quality medical care, health educaon and pharmaceucals to medically underserved, low -income residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. All on-site services are offered free of charge.

Founded in October 2000 by members of the social concerns commiee at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac, Maryland, Mercy started as an all-volunteer clinic occupying a few rooms in the Montgomery Up-County Regional Services Center in Germantown, Maryland. The clinic quickly grew in the number of paents served and the number of volunteer physicians and nurses recruited to serve them. In 2007 Mercy moved to where it is located today, an expanded facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland with nine modern and well-equipped examinaon rooms, a conference room for health educaon classes and meengs, separate space for eligibility screenings and a few administrave offices. Today Mercy has a small paid staff and nearly 50 volunteer physicians who provide primary and paent specialty care to nearly 1,800 paents annually. We are currently providing approximately 7,200 paent appointments annually for our uninsured neighbors. Among the care we provide is a nearly dozen specialty clinics offered on-site including cardiology, dermatology, ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat), endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, pulmonology, psychiatry, rheumatology and urology.

Mark Foraker, Execuve Director is a non-profit execuve with extensive management and fundraising experience in Montgomery County, MD including St. Luke’s House (now Cornerstone Montgomery) and Manna Food Center. He has a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and a PMP cerficaon in project management. Mr. Foraker became Execuve Director of Mercy in June, 2015 and has priorized establishing partnerships with other social service organizaons, implemenng operaonal sustainability and an expansion from uninsured paents to the inclusion addional payors starng with adding Medicaid paents. He has placed a strong emphasis on program evaluaon and has worked with the Medical Director and Clinic Manager to ensure that Mercy is moving towards paent centered medical care and that the organizaon is operang as efficiently as possible while staying true to our purpose as a safety net for the safety net.