Wiley J. Villines, aWorld War II veteran, died on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Saunders House in Wynnewood. He was 90.
He was born Jan. 9, 1923 in Person County, Roxboro, N.C. He attended Person County Training School in his youth and joined Union Grove Baptist Church at an early age.
He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940. He served the country as a heavy equipment operator in the South Pacific during World War II. He built roads and landing strips for airplanes in New Guinea and the Philippines. He served in the Army for six years, earned a Bronze Star, and was honorably discharged in 1946.
After his discharge from the Army, Villines lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., briefly and then returned to Roxboro. He met and fell in love with Dorothy Magnolia Blackwell in 1947. They were married Dec. 24, 1947. Three sons were born to their union.
Villines and his wife moved to Philadelphia in 1948, and he began working at the Reading Railroad. He worked there until 1963 when he attained a position at the Naval Supply Depot. He retired from the Naval Supply Depot in 1973.
Villines and his family joined 48th Street Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in 1951. The family attended services faithfully. He traveled to Roxboro, N.C. for the yearly July 4 family reunion until his health failed. His family said he was the life of the party and loved to dance, keeping active until age 85. He attended all of the “The Brothers V” affairs hosted by his sons.
“Wiley was known for his impeccable style of dressing. He possessed a profound love and sense of loyalty to family,” his family said
Villines was preceded in death by his wife and a son, Bernard Wiley.
He is survived by his sons, Spencer Thomas (Felicia) and Rodney Lorenzo (Valerie); grandchildren, Jerod Villines and Maya Royster; a special daughter, Ana Santos; sibling, Johnnie Villines (Percilla) of Washington, D.C . and Maxine and Diane Villines of Temple Hills, Md.; sister-in-law, Louise Villines of Greensboro, N.C.; loving companion Gladys Smalley and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held June 18 at 48th Street Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, 56th and Vine streets. Viewing will be at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
When noted civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton spoke during the Philadelphia FIGHT’s 14th annual HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit, he gave a message of inspiration.
More than 1,000 HIV prevention workers, city agency representatives, youth and faith-based organization leaders and people living with HIV attended the summit held Wednesday at Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Sharpton addressed topics ranging from the importance of HIV testing to ending stigma around the disease. His message elicited rousing applause and laughter from the crowd that packed the summit’s opening plenary.
“The work that is being done around HIV and AIDS awareness and testing and awareness is of paramount importance in this country,” said Sharpton, who is the founder and president of the National Action Network and the host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC.
“Any crisis that concerns the health of Americans ought to be something that requires the reaction of all Americans.”
Sharpton highlighted the importance of ensuring that HIV testing becomes commonplace.
“We must first take the stigma away from people finding out where they are in this. Testing ought not be an option, it ought to be something that everyone proudly does and engages in. We ought to be testing everywhere and we ought to be saying to people testing is not something that we ought to run from and be ashamed of,” he stressed.
Sharpton called for the end of the “scarlet letter attitude” towards people who are HIV positive. He noted that there some have biases about how others may have contracted the disease.
During his presentation, Sharpton targeted messages toward those who work in service organizations, government agencies and faith-based organizations.
“You that are leaders and you that operate service agencies and faith agencies and government, you ought to come off your arrogance and realize that you are here to serve and that those who need you are not here to serve you, or you become irrelevant to the process and an impediment to progress,” Sharpton said.
He had a message of hope for those who are impacted by HIV.
“Don’t get bitter, trying to get better. Whatever your situation is, use it and the time you have to build towards your legacy, rather than be angry at your situation. It doesn’t matter who looks down on you. Stop looking down on yourself. Don’t feel sorry for yourself and don’t be apologetic. You may have a sickness but it doesn’t stop you from being productive and relevant,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton also encouraged leaders of the religious community to stop judging people with HIV/AIDS.
“You don’t require nobody else to be perfect in your faith institutions so why do you require those in the HIV and AIDS community?” he questioned.
Sharpton rounded out his presentation by reminding summit attendees that they are the ones who will lead the fight against HIV.
“You are the ones who will lead this battle. Ordinary people can turn this around. Great movements don’t come from the top down. They come from the bottom up,” he stressed.
Robert Fullilove, associate dean for community and minority affairs, Columbia University, served as the summit’s opening speaker. He encouraged HIV prevention and service agencies to adapt to the changing times where HIV funding has been impacted.
“If we are unable to change and adapt to what I see is a very rapidly changing environment in funding, like the dinosaurs we are at risk of becoming obsolete,” said Fullilove.
During the summit, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Donald F. Schwarz noted that 40,000 Philadelphia residents have HIV. He said about 29 percent of those infected were diagnosed at the time when the disease had progressed to AIDS.
The summit featured more than 30 workshops on topics ranging from HIV research and domestic research, HIV related issues facing women, the LBGT community, the Latino community, youth and sex workers.
The event was a part of AIDS Education Month, which has been organized every June by FIGHT since 1994. Now in its 19th year, AIDS Education Month features the prison reentry summit, a youth summit, and an HIV prevention summit as its key activities.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has marked a significant milestone.
Eighteen years after opening its Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, CHOP is celebrating the birth of its 1000th fetal surgery patient.
“The 1,000th operation on babies before birth is a big milestone for our team and it takes a multidisciplinary team to do this sort of work, a very special team which we’ve honed over the last 18 years at CHOP,” said Dr. N. Scott Adzick, who leads the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.
According to CHOP officials, approximately 4,000 fetal surgeries have been done worldwide.
The 1000th surgery was a complex open surgery on a mother whose fetus was diagnosed with spina bifida.
Jackie Oberio was just 19 weeks pregnant when she and her husband learned that their unborn daughter had myelomeningocele, the most several form of spina bifida, a condition in which part of the developing spine fails to close properly.
After speaking with several local specialists near their home in Baltimore, Md., many of which advised them to terminate, the Oberio’s ended up coming to CHOP in February.
“The doctors at CHOP went over what would happen if we had the surgery, what would happen if we didn’t do the surgery, what happens if the baby is born preterm, what happens if the baby needs a shunt, what was going to happen to me,” Oberio said.
“Every little thing that could happen they went through in detail five times, helped with questions and emotionally supported us.”
Oberio qualified for the surgery and on March 6, surgeons successfully closed the opening in her unborn baby’s spine. For the next two and a half months, Philadelphia became Jackie’s home, where she was restricted to bed rest, while her husband Gideon traveled back and forth to Baltimore for work.
The Oberio’s baby, Audrey Rose was born May 28 in CHOP’s Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit. She weighed a healthy five pounds, eight ounces and had nothing more than a scar where her spina bifida had been. Audrey Rose is doing well and is expected to head home in the next week or so.
“We were told originally when we first got diagnosed that our baby would probably be in a wheelchair and that could still happen later down the road. But right now she’s moving her toes and she’s not showing that’s she’s paralyzed from the waist down like we thought. There is already improvement with swelling in her brain that we thought was going to be a problem, so far it’s okay,” Oberio says of her daughter’s progress.
CHOP’s medical professionals will have to monitor Audrey Rose’s progress overtime.
“We have to have our guard up a little bit and follow the baby and make sure that she doesn’t have any problems, but things so far are looking very good,” said Adzick.
The team led by Adzick pioneered a surgical procedure to repair spina bifida before birth and have been performing it at CHOP since 1998. The team found that addressing spina bifida by operating on the baby in the womb, months before birth, could reduce the need to divert fluid from the brain, improve neurologic function and increase the likelihood that a child would be able to walk independently.
Since its inception in 1995, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment has evaluated more than 15,000 women from throughout the United States and 50 countries whose babies had prenatally diagnosed birth defects.
“In the terms of fetal surgery, when you company 1,000 surgeries to 15,000 mothers you can tell that it’s rare in mothers carrying babies with birth defects. Most birth defects don’t require surgery before birth. Most birth defects require delivery in a special unit at CHOP after birth,” Adzick pointed out.
Oberio encourages other parents who are facing a similar situation to become informed about their possible options.
“We want people to look into it as a possibility as opposed to jumping to conclusions to make sure that they get all the information. That is probably the smartest thing that we did is to go to multiple locations and get the consults. You have to go overboard for your kids,” Oberio added.
Grassroots efforts to encourage Gov. Tom Corbett to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania are underway.
During a rally held at 15th and Market Streets, a group of energetic advocates from the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Fight for Philly highlighted how the uninsured could benefit from the expansion of Medicaid.
The event was held against the backdrop of the “Lives on the Line” clothesline exhibit featuring portraits of Pennsylvania residents who need health insurance. The pictures depicted residents holding signs that read “I can’t afford health med” and “I could use health insurance, just like you.”
“We are here today to demand that Gov. Corbett accept the Affordable Care Act, it’s only the right and fair thing to do,” said Sam Jones of Fight for Philly.
During the rally, Ronald Blount, president of United Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, spoke about coping without health coverage. He said he hasn’t had health insurance since 1983.
“If I get sick, I have no choice but to go to the emergency room. When I go to the ER, who’s going to pay for it? It’s not like I sit at home every day. I go out every day and I work. I do the best that I can,” said Blount.
Blount said about 85 percent of the city’s 5,000 taxi drivers are uninsured.
Blount wonders how the taxi driver who was shot on June 4 in West Mount Airy would fare since he also lacks coverage.
The expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania could lead to coverage of approximately 700,000 uninsured residents.
The federal government would foot nearly all of the cost of providing health care to hundreds of thousands of additional Pennsylvanians by widening Medicaid’s income eligibility guidelines to about $31,300 for a family of four. The federal law initially promises 100 percent funding to expand Medicaid eligibility beginning Jan. 1, 2014, primarily to extend insurance to low-income working adults. After three years, the federal government begins to drop its portion of the cost to 90 percent.
A new study by the RAND Corporation indicates that states that choose not to expand Medicaid under federal health care reform will leave millions of their residents without health insurance and increase spending, at least in the short term, on the cost of treating uninsured residents.
RAND Corporation studied 14 states including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. The 14 states in the study were the first whose governors said they would not expand Medicaid.
According to the study, if those 14 states governments decide not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, they collectively would spend $1 billion more on uncompensated care in 2016 than they would if Medicaid was expanded.
“Our analysis shows it’s in the best economic interests of states to expand Medicaid under the terms of the federal Affordable Care Act,” said Carter Price, the study’s lead author and a mathematician at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
“States that do not expand Medicaid will not receive the full benefit of the savings that will result from providing less uncompensated care,” Price said.
“Furthermore, these states will still be subject to the taxes, fees and other revenue provisions of the Affordable Care Act, without reaping the benefit of the additional federal spending which will costs those states economically.”
Wallace E. Bullock was self-employed.
Bullock died on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. He was 87.
He was born on March 4, 1926 to Doc and Lily Bullock in Durham, N.C. He was the fourth child out of five siblings, Irene, Hazel, Thomas (JB) and Alex. He attended school in the Durham public school district.
Bullock married Helen Allen on June 18, 1945 and from this union seven children were born. They were married for 68 years.
He owned a barbershop, two stores and rental properties.
He was very active in the community and coordinated several programs for youth and community growth. He was an Army veteran serving in World War II. He was a longtime member of the Prince Hall Masons in Philadelphia.
Bullock enjoyed hitting golf balls from the range, listening to baseball on the radio and watching Westerns. His family said he had a beautiful singing voice and most of his children inherited this gift. They would spend hours singing, dancing and playing the piano at the numerous family gatherings.
He had a special relationship with each of his children and grandchildren. His family said everyone had a unique experience to share at family gatherings.
“His love for his family and his way of making everyone feel special is why he is loved so much and will always be remembered,” his family said.
Bullock was preceded in death by his son, Phillip.
He survived by his wife Helen; children and their spouses, Audrey (Michael) Snell, Pamela Moralis , Carolyn (Bernard) Moore, Anthony (Connie) Bullock, Sharon Williams, Eric Bullock; grandchildren, Wytina, Tamella, Kenny, Anthony, Andre B. , Natia, Tamika, Andre M., Antwain and Warren; great-grandchildren, Dwayne, Allante, Tyreek, Malik, Chieyenne, Nashe, Kennedy, Dalil, Jymeer, Andre Jr. and Hakine; great-great grandchild ,NaZirah; a special nephew, Zack; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on June 12 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Avenue. Viewing will be held at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.