Community College of Philadelphia and Arcadia University signed a dual admissions agreement at a ceremony recently at Arcadia’s Grey Towers Castle.
President of Community College of Philadelphia Stephen M. Curtis and Arcadia University President Carl Oxholm III, signed an official dual admissions agreement which qualifies participants from the Community College of Philadelphia who graduate with either an associate in arts or associate in science degree guaranteed admission to Arcadia University with junior status if they satisfy all admission requirements. Qualified students are also eligible for academic scholarships.
“Entering into a dual admissions agreement with Community College of Philadelphia exemplifies Arcadia’s commitment to educating members of our own community,” said Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm. “We are a university that looks to support community college students on their path forward by ensuring they do not have to repeat a class when they transfer to Arcadia.
Dual admissions programs enable community college students to reserve a place at one of the partnering four-year institutions and work with advisers at those schools while still at the Community College of Philadelphia.
“This agreement with Community College of Philadelphia expands Arcadia’s academic partnerships across the Greater Philadelphia region,” said Arcadia Provost Steve O. Michael. “We look forward to future academic possibilities.”
Community College of Philadelphia enrolls approximately 37,000 students annually at its main campus, three regional centers and various locations throughout Philadelphia. The college offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes on the Internet.
Arcadia University is a highly-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia and a national leader in study abroad and international education. With more than 80 percent of its students having participated in an academic program overseas by the time they graduate, Arcadia has long been generally regarded as a national leader in undergraduate study abroad. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Arcadia among the top regional universities in the North and as one of the top study-abroad programs.
Hoping to build off last year’s success when approximately eight tons of signs were collected, the Montgomery County Recycling office will again partner with ReCommunity Recycling, Sullivan’s Scrap Metals, Cougle’s Recycling, and the Montgomery County Democratic and Republican committees to collect and recycle all campaign signs, stakes and posts this election season.
This collection program does not seek to take the campaign sign cleanup responsibilities away from the campaigns. Instead, the program hopes to connect candidates and homeowners with dropoff points so that signs can be recycled instead of thrown in the trash.
Following the collection, all signs and stakes will be delivered to ReCommunity Recycling in Philadelphia, Cougle’s Recycling in Hamburg, and Sullivan’s Scrap Metals in Lower Moreland Township for recycling.
The small corrugated and bag-type plastic lawn signs are recyclable, but should not be tossed into a standard curbside recycling bin. Similarly, metal stakes should not be recycled curbside, but can be recovered at a scrap metal facility.
Between Nov. 7 and 21, candidates and homeowners will be able to drop off campaign signs at the following locations during normal working hours:
Abington Township Highway Yard
2201 Florey Lane
Borough of Collegeville
491 E. Main St.
Douglass Township Recycling Center
108 Municipal Dr.
Lower Merion Transfer Station
1300 N. Woodbine Ave.
Lower Salford Township
379 Main St.
Montgomery Township Administration Building
1001 Stump Rd
Pennsburg Borough Garage
76 W. 6th St.
Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Ave
Whitemarsh Township Administration Building
616 W. Germantown Pike
Montgomery County Democratic Committee Headquarters
21 E. Airy St
Montgomery County Republican Committee Headquarters
314 E. Johnson Highway STE 200
Community health centers in New Hampshire were the most likely to keep diabetics' blood sugar under control. Vermont’s health centers had the best child immunization rates. Maine’s centers had the highest percent of pregnant women getting early prenatal care.
A Kaiser Health News analysis of the latest federal data on the nation's nearly 1,200 community health centers showed wide variation in the quality of care delivered by the private, nonprofit clinics which are expected to play a pivotal role under the federal health care law.
More than 20 million people — mostly the poor and uninsured — get primary care at the federally funded centers. To help them prepare to treat millions of newly insured people beginning in 2014, the law is pumping $11 billion into expanding the facilities.
Centers in New England generally performed better than centers in the South and West, according to the analysis of data obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Mississippi's health centers, for instance, had the highest proportion of low birth-weight babies, which puts newborns at risk for lung and other problems. Wyoming and Oregon had some of the lowest child immunization rates.
The differences may partly be explained by higher rates of insurance coverage in New England, which make it more likely people will seek care when they need it. Those without coverage must pay out of pocket for every visit, even if fees are based on a sliding scale. Centers with more insured patients also get paid more for their services so they also have more money to hire case managers and other staff.
Other differences that might affect health outcomes include state income levels, racial and ethnic makeup and dietary habits. In some cases, data reflect larger health-related trends in a state.
But even centers in the same city often performed differently.
"We hope clinics can learn from this information [because] we need a safety net that survives and thrives," said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer advocacy group. He attributed the variation to the fact that some clinics treat a large number of patients speaking multiple languages, or who lack insurance and may be reluctant to buy medicine or follow through with other treatments, or who are migrants or homeless.
The centers are required to submit data to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on 11 quality measures, including rates of immunization and cervical cancer screenings, early prenatal care and how often patients were assessed for obesity and smoking. About half the centers have electronic records and report all their data; the rest provide a sample of their records.
The National Association of Community Health Centers, a trade group, questions the data’s usefulness, noting the results are not adjusted for patients’ health status, or for centers that have high rates of migrants, homeless or uninsured patients. Nonetheless, it said it would work with the government "to develop a rigorous and transparent system for measurement and improvement."
Despite those shortcomings, the data are a helpful barometer, said Peter Shin, associate professor of health policy at George Washington University. "It gives centers a sense of where they are and where they have to go to improve," he said.
Unlike government report cards on hospitals and nursing homes, patients are not expected to use this data to shop for health centers. Typically, people go to the clinic closest to where they live or work. And the government has done little to make the data about individual centers available.
The information is geared to motivating centers to improve and to helping the government identify those that need additional help, said Jim Macrae, HRSA associate administrator. "Despite serving a population that is often sicker and more at risk than seen nationally, health centers are making significant progress on improving the health of their patients," Macrae said. "Continuing that progress is a high priority for us."
He noted the average rate of women getting early prenatal care improved by 5 percentage points over the past five years.
Several studies including a July report by Stanford University researchers show the quality of care at the health centers is comparable to that delivered at private doctors’ offices, even though the centers typically see patients who are poorer and sicker.
But like the care given in doctors' offices, the centers' performance varies widely — with some excelling in some areas while doing poorly in others.
Maine placed among the highest-ranked states on five of the 11 measures: prenatal visits, diabetes and blood pressure control, low birthweight babies and cervical cancer screening rates.
In contrast, Wyoming was among the worst-ranked states on six of the measures: diabetes and blood pressure control, child and adult weight screening, tobacco assessment and immunization rates.
Nevada ranked poorly on prenatal care, child weight screening and tobacco cessation counseling.
Dr. Darren Rahaman, chief medical officer at Nevada Health Centers which has 23 clinics, attributed those scores to the large number of uninsured patients who are less likely to get needed care or medicine because they don’t have the money. Health centers are required to charge the uninsured on a sliding fee scale based on their income.
About 30 percent of pregnant women at his facilities get early prenatal care, compared to 70 percent among centers nationally. "Women don’t come in because they are concerned about having to pay out-of-pocket for care," Rahaman said.
Pines Health Services, a health center in Caribou, Maine, near the Canadian border, has some of the best quality scores in the state and nationally. CEO Jim Davis said it helps that only a small percent of its patients are uninsured. Better finances enable the center to use case managers to follow up with patients and make sure they're taking their medications. It also helps that the center works in a relatively small, close-knit community. "Our providers know our patients as friends and family," he said.
Nearly nine in 10 pregnant women at the center get early prenatal care because its obstetricians are well known and make sure women come in as soon as they know they are pregnant. Despite the high marks, Davis said he sees room to improve. "Even if we are good, it is still not enough," he said.
The following is a timeline of sights and observations from Philadelphia Tribune reporters on Election Day 2012.
Engine 73, Philadelphia Fire Department, 7515 Ogontz Ave., 7:30 a.m.
Although there are some issues at some polling locations regarding a few wayward judges of elections telling voters they have to produce a valid state identification card, the only problem at the firehouse at 76th and Ogontz Avenue at 7:30 a.m. was a long line.
In fact, three very long lines – but the voters, young and elderly, were pleasant and patient and even anxious to cast their ballots. There were no signs of electioneering, no one acting in an intimidating manner and no complaints other than the fact that it was cold. There was a lot of conversation about how close the race has been predicted to be, but no one seemed swayed by those reports. The mood was very upbeat and spirited among the 200 or more people.
“This is the second time I’ve voted,” said Linden Gaillard-Bishop, 25. “My first time was in 2008 and yes, I did vote for Barack Obama then and I’m voting for him again. The reason is I’m very concerned about the economy and jobs. I have student loans that I’m having difficulty paying off and finding a better job isn’t easy. Believe me, I’ve been looking, and it’s tough. Do I think Obama is going to win? I really don’t know, I think it’s just too close to call.”
William Barber, 43, said he’s voted in every election since he was 19 and feels this one is even more important that the 2008 presidential election. Barber said he’d wait in line as long as he had to.
“I know some people who don’t vote and don’t want to listen as to why they should. But as far as I’m concerned, if you don’t vote, you really don’t count,” Barber said. “We saw why it’s important when Corbett got elected – low turnout. Now, those same people who didn’t vote are complaining that he’s cutting this and that program. Well, if you don’t vote you don’t count.
I’m here to be counted.”
Chester Park Barn, 143 E. Elkington Ave., Chester, Pa. 8:20 a.m.
The Chester Park Barn was the first stop for many people prior to going to work on Election Day. There was a steady pace at the polls, as Delaware County residents were greeted by about ten volunteers handing out various candidates’ palm cards, the majority of which were in support of Democratic candidates.
“The turnout for this election has been incredible,” said judge of election James Turner. “We already had close to 100 voters. Normally, we don’t reach 100 voters until the afternoon. When I was here at 6 a.m. there were already four people in line to vote.”
In the 2008 presidential election, the Chester Park Barn saw a steady pace of local residents coming out to vote throughout the day. In this year’s presidential election, according to Turnor, there has been an increase in both turnout and enthusiasm.
“This election is more intense, and there is more at stake for a lot of people, which is why we are starting to already see an increase in numbers during the morning,” Turner said. “However, we are still expecting to draw huge crowds throughout the day. People are concerned about their country and their future. They want the right person in office to lead this country. They want their voices to be heard, but most importantly they want their vote to make a difference.”
Joseph Pennell Elementary School, 1800 Nedro Ave., 9 a.m.
When poll workers opened the doors to the Joseph Pennell Elementary School at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, they were greeted by a line of about 50 voters.
As of 9 a.m., even though fewer than 10 people were still waiting to cast their votes in the school’s auditorium, poll workers said it had been busy throughout the morning. About 90 people had voted at that point.
“It’s been pretty brisk,” said Donna Williams, judge of elections.
At that point, the atmosphere outside the school was quiet. No one was observed passing out cards or flyers to voters as they came in.
Mallery Recreation Center 6349 Morton St., 9:20 a.m.
If using early-morning voting at Mt. Airy’s Mallery Recreation Center is any indication, there will be a lot of provisional ballots to count during this election cycle.
The rec center, which serves the 13th-15th divisions of the city’s 54th Ward, was adequately staffed and had half a dozen voting machines. While that part of the process appeared to run smoothly – there were no long lines although more than 300 people had already voted by 9:30 – there was some confusion with the provisional ballots.
Provisional ballots are used if a voter has changed addresses before the election, but has not yet received confirmation from the voter registration agency of their new voting place. In this case, voters are required to manually check off their selections on the ballot; the front of the ballot contains the open offices, while the back has measures and changes to the city’s charter that voters can select from. After making the selections, the voter must fill out and sign two envelopes for the ballot to be mailed in. Election officials at Mallery said voters should call a secure number and provide the unique identifier included on the ballot to ensure their vote was counted.
While the process is straightforward, voting in this manner can be uncomfortable, as several people were seen folding or otherwise obscuring their ballots from what they thought might be prying eyes.
St. Maron’s Church, 1013 Ellsworth St., 10 a.m.
South Philadelphia was bustling but orderly on Election Day morning. Usually on Election Day, the front steps of St. Maron’s is crowded with volunteers handing out palm cards. On Tuesday there was just one, a man from the Democratic Party.
Voters from four divisions on the city’s Second Ward vote there, and poll workers at each of the four tables set out in the church hall had a line.
At the table for the 8th Division, 91 people had already cast their ballots.
“Sometimes we go all day without that many,” said one poll worker who asked not to be named. “It’s been busy.”
Some voters presented photo IDs without being prompted. Others were asked, and still others voted without even having to confront the issue that has vexed voter advocates for most of the year.
“They’re even busier at other tables,” the worker said.
The crowd was diverse. As the woman paused to speak to the Tribune, three young Black men bent over the voter rolls to sign their names and cast their ballots.
At the back of the room two women, one elderly and the other middle-age, took part in the same ritual before stepping behind the blue curtain to vote.
--Tribune staff writers Chanel Hill, Ayana Jones, Eric Mayes, Larry Miller and Damon C. Williams contributed to this report
A new study indicates that the risk of fatal coronary heart disease is higher among Black men and women.
In an examination of the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the U.S. by race and sex, Black men and women had twice the rate of fatal CHD compared with white men and women — with this increased risk associated with a greater prevalence of CHD risk factors, according to a study appearing in November 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was released online to coincide with the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.
“Although mortality rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and coronary heart disease have declined in the United States since the 1970’s, both death certificate data and evidence from four U.S. communities suggest a steeper decline in acute CHD mortality between 2000 and 2008 for whites than for Blacks, widening a long-standing disparity,” according to background information in the article.
Dr. Monika M. Safford of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues conducted a study to examine racial and sex differences in incident total CHD, fatal CHD and nonfatal CHD across race sex-groups. The study included 24,443 participants without CHD at the beginning of the study from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort, who resided in the continental U.S. and were enrolled between 2003 and 2007, with follow-up through December 2009.
Blacks and whites had similar average age, but smoking, diabetes and reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (a measure of kidney function) were more prevalent and systolic blood pressure and body mass index were higher among Blacks than whites.
The average follow-up time was 4.2 years. There were 659 total incident CHD events through December 2009, including 153 events in black men, 254 in white men, 138 in black women, and 114 in white women.
The researchers found that although the measured incidence rate of total CHD was similar among Black men and white men, Black men had higher incidence of fatal CHD and lower incidence of nonfatal CHD. Women had lower incidence rates than men within each racial group. However, Black women had higher incidence rates for total CHD, for fatal CHD, and for nonfatal CHD, compared to white women. The increased risk of fatal CHD among blacks was associated with a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors.
“Excess risk factor burden among black men and women continues to be a major public health challenge, along with their high risk for death as the presentation of CHD. Increased emphasis on optimizing well-established CHD risk factors among blacks could potentially reduce these disparities,” the authors conclude.