Taking Care of Contamination Inside The Medical Factory

A key focus of my blog is STEM. While we tend to focus most of our attention on the practitioners, a major part of the Healthcare Industry is the manufacturing. With the products being intended for use on patients, it’s critical that they have no contamination and be as sterile as a possible. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, Taking Care of Contamination Inside The Medical Factory.

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When it comes to healthcare, most of us think about family doctors or hospital staff. Some may even spare a brief thought for those in research labs. Either way; we always tend to reach for obvious choices. That’s because they’re the positions which have most impact on the experiences we have when we go to our local health facilities. Many people forget that there’s also manufacturing involved in every aspect of health care. From the machines used to treat us to the medicine we take; someone has to make it in the first place. And, it’s this neglected manufacturing process which we’re going to focus on today.

If you’re interested in health care without the patients, this could be the ideal career solution for you. Even better, the fact that this side of the business so often gets forgotten means that you could soon become a forerunner in the industry. At least, you could if you remember one important factor.

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Let’s face it; factories are usually pretty messy places. We’re talking oily hands and overalls which haven’t seen the wash in weeks. On a medical manufacturing line, though, hygiene is everything. If you approach your factory with a mess in mind, you’ll soon find yourself shut down with lawsuits on your hands.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent that happening. First, let go of that messy mechanic idea you have of how your factory should be. Then, consider the following ways to make sure your health care factory is as clean as a doctor’s surgery would be.

Are you working to FDA standards?

The biggest thing you need to bear in mind is that the FDA have strict regulations for anyone manufacturing medicines of any kind. The Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMPs) should be the first port of call for anyone looking to break into this industry. You need to know the rules inside out to ensure that your factory and processes are as clean as they can be. In many ways, you may also find that this guideline helps you to get going in the first place. In short, CGMPs ensure that every process and method you have in place works towards a safe and reliable product. These guidelines are essential when you consider that you as the manufacturer can’t necessarily ensure product quality any other way. While testing is also essential, it’s not a sure-fire way to ensure quality across the board. But, CGMPs are. Once you’ve done your homework and built a safe space for production, it’s essential that you get an FDA member to approve what you’re doing. They’ll be able to pick out both what you’re doing right, and what you’re getting wrong. That alone can be a huge help in your battle against contamination.

The equipment you use

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It is also worth bearing in mind the equipment you choose. This can both help you to keep everything sterile and pose a risk of its own. First, consider whether production equipment meets with the standards mentioned above. Machinery which makes life easy is crucial in any factory, but it’s even more critical in yours. That’s because fast and machine-focused processes are your best chance at keeping things clean. You want regular sanitation along your production line, with air blowers which can dry products fast after they’ve been disinfected. You also want machines which package your products for you without risk of contamination along the line. More than being useful additions, machines like these are essential for a safe production line. You also want to make sure that you’re sanitising your machines themselves. That means cleaning them regularly, and even keeping certain devices covered when not in use. If your team also rely on one-use items along the way, you should keep these in sterile packaging until your team come to need them each day. You need to think, too, about the equipment required for your products themselves. These are at the worst risk of contamination because they come into your factory from outside. It’s worth ordering separately packaged items in coatings which you remove the moment they arrive. You can then carry all products into your warehouse, safe in the knowledge that they’re sanitary. All the better to ensure you aren’t bringing contaminants into your space.

The staff involved

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Speaking of bringing contaminants into your space, you also need to think about your staff. They are, after all, the only outside factor aside from your production materials. The first thing you need to do is make sure that they’re well trained in the health and safety aspects of what you do. You may find it beneficial to hire those who have worked in similar fields before. That way, you guarantee that they already understand at least some of your processes. It’s also worth putting every team member through intensive FDA-approved training before letting them into your factory space. On top of all those precautions, you also need to consider the uniforms you provide. As we mentioned at the start of this post, the majority of warehouses involve scruffy overalls and hi-vis jackets. Whatever happens, you need to make sure you aren’t making that mistake. The clothes your staff members wear in this space need to be as sanitary as everything else. That means newly washed items every single working day. You should also consider sterile covering for everything from hair to shoes. Your staff may end up looking like they’re dressed for surgery, but these are necessary precautions. Think how much harm even one misplaced hair could do. It could see your factory shut down, that’s for sure, and isn’t a risk worth taking.

As you can see, a lot goes into keeping a factory like yours safe and sanitary. As much as they sound like hard work, these processes will soon become second nature to you and your team. Then, you can enjoy what you do without having to worry all the time that it’s about to blow up at you.

The Dangers Of Diagnosing Yourself Online

Two of the focuses of my blog are Health/Wellness and Technology. One of the advantages of our current digital age is that the profuse amounts of information available and our access to it. The danger though is that not all of the information is accurate, and it is so readily available. In some instances false information about health can have harmful effects. The following contributed post discusses and is entitled, The Dangers Of Diagnosing Yourself Online.

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The internet is a pretty wonderful invention and one that’s changed our lives – mostly for the better. We have the ability to connect with people from all over the world with the touch of a button, can learn basically anything about anything, and really have so much knowledge and information at our fingertips than we’ve ever had before.

We can start businesses, organize our lives, make money, order things without ever leaving the house, and even get things like doctors to speak to us over the computer – basically we can do anything we want to do from our computers and smartphones these days, which is a good thing if you choose to look at it that way.

However, we can’t pretend it’s perfect. Like everything, there are always going to be downsides, and the internet certainly isn’t exempt from that.

One of the things that the internet is pretty famous for – especially since the rise of social media is the amount of false information “fake news” if you will, and basically a lot of misinformation that can cause feelings of fear and impending doom.

This is very commonly seen when it comes to our health. You will know yourself if you’ve ever had something perfectly innocent like a bad cough or cold and suddenly a Google search has you dead and buried before you’ve even opened the first link it produces.

The rise in things like health anxiety is directly linked to the amount of people now being able to access so much information without limits online, but the danger is that they’re attempting to self-diagnose themselves and this is a very dangerous practice.

Now, of course, this isn’t to say that you won’t find genuine medical literature online, but the fact of the matter is, if you’re genuinely concerned about symptoms such as a cough being something more serious, then it’s time to speak to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Even if it turns out to be something, then they will talk you through things like Lung Cancer Treatment if that’s what you need.

Googling your symptoms from questionable online sources is not going to lead anywhere good, and in this post, we’re going to share with you some of the real dangers of diagnosing yourself online.

It will make your anxiety soar:

If you’re already someone who suffers with anxiety – specifically health anxiety, then trying to look up symptoms online os going to make this completely unbearable for you, so it’s really not advisable.

It causes stress:

Anxiety is going to stress you out far more than you already are – add to that the ongoing worry from what you’ve just read and it will be a miracle if you can sleep or function normally.

You can miss a real health condition:

Diagnosing yourself online doesn’t always give the worst case scenario – sometimes it can tell you it’s nothing when it’s actually something that you should see your doctor about, but if you follow online advice then this could lead to a much bigger problem if you don’t actually go to the doctor.

Is The Private Health Sector Where The Money Is At?

Three of the focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. The Health Sector touches everything from our personal well-being, to the economies and governments of whole countries. As such it’s important to keep an eye on the sector. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Is The Private Health Sector Where The Money Is At?

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Private health care is something that’s either going to be really familiar to you, or something that’s going to totally be an alien concept. To those of you who receive state funded health care, or the equivalent in your own country, then you will definitely notice a difference between the two. Sometimes you might go private for a really minor procedure that you just can’t be bothered to wait for. Something like a dentist appointment. Your eyes are opened to a much better standard of healthcare, and it’s easy to see why so many are making millions from an investment into the private health care sector. But the current health situations in so many countries at the minute is just poor, so do you think the private health care sector is where the money is really at? Well, let’s do some digging and find out if it would be worth your while to invest in the private health care sector.

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The Growing Market

The growing market for private health care is definitely one that’s moving at a quick rate. You’ve got countries like the US which is all private health care and all treatments cost. But there are countries like the UK, where funded health care is available, so not as many people go private. But still, more and more are now turning to private health care for better and faster treatment, no matter how much it’s going to cost to do so. Some are going private because they feel in countries like the UK, that the NHS is too stretched to have the time to deal with their issues properly. But the market is also growing, because the price that private trusts are now able to charge, is going up. A more premium service than ever before is being offered, and it’s a luxury that everyone wants a taste of at the minute.

The Investment Needed

The investment needed is going to be rather big, but there are plenty of ways that you could do it. You could start up your own center, employ doctors on a locum basis, and go from there. Of course, it’s just not that easy. There are far more rules and regulations than with any other investment you could have chose. From setting up healthcare payment systems, to ensure you’re working at the highest levels of safety, to keeping to safeguarding rules etc. it’s so complex that it’s not your average investment, but it would more than likely pay off in the end. Or you could just simply invest money in a private organisation that’s already established, and have a percentage back on the investment. There are simpler ways, but they are still both hard routes to follow.

What It Could Do For You In Terms Of Business?

It could give you endless opportunities to make money. The private sector isn’t just going to go away, and if anything, it’s only going to get bigger as time goes on. There are so many private investors at the minute as well, that you’re best off getting your foot in the door before the popularity increases more, and the value decreases.

Staying Healthy on a Cruise

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. Cruises are popular vacation activities destinations. With so much available to you once your excursion starts, it’s important to think about maintaining your health when you on the ship so you aren’t shocked when it’s finished. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, Staying Healthy on a Cruise.

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A cruise can be a great vacation, but many people get off them heavier than when they started out. It is very easy to overindulge in delicious food and drink, and then you may not be quite so healthy as when you boarded. This does not have to be the case though; you can still have a lot of fun and stay healthy at the same time.

Take The Stairs, Not The Elevators

The large cruise ships are like floating cities and have elevators to get you from floor to floor. If you take the stairs instead, you will be getting some good exercise and not have to waste time waiting for the elevator to arrive. Walking to the restaurants and activities is also exercise you will not particularly notice, but is good for improving your cardio and strength.

Opt For The Restaurants

Most cruise ships will have several eateries. Some will be restaurants and other will be buffet style. In these, you pay the price and then eat as much as you want. This can make it very tempting to overeat, where at least in a restaurant you will have the size portion you are served. Dietary concerns are usually better handled in restaurants as well.

Be Active

Cruises have endless activities you can take part in, and as long as you are busy you will be less likely to be eating more than you should. There are generally fitness centers and exercise programs if you want to follow them, but there will also be dancing most evening, tennis games, swimming and many other activities you can enjoy.

Pamper Yourself

You will be able to have a spa, massages, facials and get your hair done. These things are all available on cruise ships, and they will make you feel good about yourself.

Seek Medical Attention If You Become Ill

Some people will not go on cruises because they are concerned that they will feel ill or have an accident. The ships do have medical teams on board, but if you are worried about something happening that they could not cope with, watch the Air Evac videos to put your mind at rest. It’s much safer than you might think.

Drink Plenty Of Water

When you are active and spending time ion the sun, your body will lose fluids through sweating. If you become dehydrated you will start to feel sluggish and not be able to enjoy yourself, in good health as you should. Drinking plenty of water can help to prevent this from happening.

Get Some Sleep And Rest

In between activities and pampering yourself, you need to make sure you get some rest too. Sit back and relax for a while to give your body chance to calm down, and at night try to still get your 8 hours sleep.

Getting the right balance of eating, exercise and rest is a vital part of everyday life, and you should try to maintain this while you are on a cruise. You will then get off the ship as healthy as you were when you boarded, and your clothes will still fit without having to leave the top button undone.

Promoting Better Mental Health in the Workplace

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Health and Wellness. Creating a healthy workplace for our employees is critical. Mental health is particularly important. The greater the better the mental health of your employees, the more productive they’ll be. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, Promoting Better Mental Health in the Workplace.

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The way your employees feel when they are at work con Impact on your business. It can affect productivity, communications and safety issues. Promoting a good atmosphere for them to work in will help with a good mental attitude in the workplace, and as an employer, you should be taking steps to make sure this is the case for your staff.

If you fail to do so, depression and anxiety could mean a lot of extra sick days, which will make your business less successful and harder to run. Your employees can be your most valuable assets and investing in them is vitally important for the future of your business.

Create A Healthy Workplace

This is easy to do by sometimes making just a few simple adjustments to your workplace and the way you treat your employees. Make sure that the environment they are in is a healthy temperature and that the air is fresh, Just these two things are a great start to making them feel better about themselves.

Do not expect them to work all day in your workplace and then go home and do even more work. Most people spend about one-third of their life in work and that is long enough. Expecting them to work a 60-hour week or to deal with emails and queries from home is not only unfair, but it will also make them feel discontented and that their efforts while at work are not appreciated.

Make sure they take their breaks and have somewhere that they can socialize for them. Some social interaction is a great way of relieving stress and they will return to their workstations more alert and ready to work.

Some experts, including Cynthia Telles of Kaiser Permanente, have spent years researching and dealing with these matters, and their opinions are very highly respected. She has been involved in several programs that aimed to improve the mental health of employees in all walks of life.

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Help Employees Identify Mental Health Problems

It is thought that in the US, one in four employees suffers from mental health problems to some degree and that most of them suffer in silence. This is in part because many of them do not recognize the cause of their problem and think it because of aging, the menopause or any one of a number of other things. Some workers think it is normal to feel this way and you need to help them identify when the way they are felling is not part of normal stress.

Helping them to recognize the symptoms and the triggers is one of the most effective things an employer can do for their workforce. You could invite a mental health expert to your business to give them a talk on what to look for and how to deal with it. There are confidential mental health screenings available and sometimes a questionnaire about their habits and symptoms can be very enlightening for someone that has been trained in these matters. There are also free online screening tools that you could encourage them to use.

The whole point is that a happy workforce will be more productive and produce a better quality of work. The time taken to ensure that none of your employees are suffering from mental health problems because of their job, or that none happen in the future, could save you a lot of time, effort and money ion the long run.

Assist Them With Their Treatments

Most mental health issues are very treatable, but they may need some time to seek the help they need. Letting them leave work for weekly therapy sessions that are during business hours for example, could prevent that employ from being off work long-term while they are treated.

Most employers would not have a qualm in calling for help if an employee becomes physically ill while they are at work, but those same bosses will totally ignore mental health issues. There is still something of a stigma attached to mental health problems, but many of them could have been prevented to start with. To the sufferer, they are just as bad and sometimes worse, than a physical illness and they deserve the same care and attention as someone who is having a heart attack while sitting at their desk.

If you any idea that a member of your staff may be becoming depressed or anxious while they are at work, speak with them or get someone else trusted to, and suggest that they seek treatment before it gets even worse.

Are You Struggling To Cope? Spotting Warning Signs

One of the focuses of my blog is Health/Wellness. A major aspect of this is mental health which is arguably more difficult to manage than physical health. One of the first steps is identifying when something is wrong. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Are You Struggling To Cope? Spotting Warning Signs.

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Many of us utter the words ‘I can’t cope’ without really giving much thought to what they mean. This phrase is often used in jest when watching videos of impossibly cute puppies, for example, but what happens when you feel like you need to use it in its true form? The reality is that it’s absolutely fine to say that you’re struggling, but so many of us find this a virtually impossible task. If life is hard at the moment, you may be intent on soldiering on, but it’s always beneficial to understand that saying that you can’t cope is not a failure or a character flaw. If you feel like you’re struggling, here are some signs that it may be time to ask for help.

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You’ve adopted unhealthy or unsafe coping mechanisms
Everyone is different, and we all react to stress, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty in different ways. You may find that you reach for your gym kit if you’re feeling blue, which can be incredibly cathartic and invigorating, but many people adopt a crutch that isn’t always the sturdiest, most stable option. If you turn to drugs or drink, you punish yourself with abusive thoughts or harsh criticism, or you binge eat fast food every time life takes a negative turn, this is a sign that you’re not coping well. It’s particularly worrying if you continue to do something even if you know the implications could be dangerous or damaging. If you’ve been drinking, for example, and you get in the car, you probably know that you shouldn’t be behind the wheel, but at that moment, you choose to turn the key and put your foot on the gas. This decision could land you in a situation where you need a DUI lawyer, but it could also have disastrous consequences for your health and the safety of others around you. If you’re relying on coping mechanisms that have the potential to make the scenario worse, reach out, open up, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

You feel like you’re in a constant battle or a race that doesn’t have a finish line
We’ve all had days when we feel like we’re swimming against the tide, but can you imagine feeling like that over a period of days or weeks? If you feel like you’re constantly fighting a battle or you’re running a race with no finish line in sight, this suggests that you need to take time out, slow down, and try and find a more tranquil headspace. Life in the modern world can be hectic, but we all deserve time to step back and take some enjoyment out of our sometimes crazy existence. When you feel like you’re spinning plates, this can contribute to chronic stress, it can affect your mood and your mental health, and it can prevent you from living life to the full. Sometimes, something as simple as finding a babysitter, talking to your boss and taking a couple of days off or revising your schedule can help to restore a sense of balance. Meditation, reading, and exercises like yoga and Pilates can also help to provide breathing space.

Stress is part and parcel of everyday life, but it shouldn’t define you or take over your life. If you’re resorting to crutches or coping mechanisms that are damaging your physical or mental health or you’re struggling to see a light at the end of the tunnel, now is the time to ask for help.

When Enough Is Enough: Knowing When It’s Time To Quit Your Job

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and a key focus is Career Discussions. In any job, it’s critical to know when to leave. The reasons vary and it’s different for everyone based upon: personal health, promotion potential, and whether or not it’s still a good mutual fit. How do you know when to quit your job? The following contributed post is entitled, When Enough Is Enough: Knowing When It’s Time To Quit Your Job.

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Knowing when to quit your job isn’t always straightforward. You need the money, after all. But if your health is at risk, or if you know you aren’t where you are supposed to be, then you do need to consider the option. Life is too short to stay in a job that isn’t benefiting you.

If anything we say in this article relates to you, then start to plan a career move. It could be the best thing you do today, especially if you are reading this now, feeling utterly miserable because of the job you are currently in.

These are some of the reasons why you should say “enough is enough” and call it quits on your current position.

1. You wake up with a feeling of dread every morning

Most us resent the intrusion of the alarm clock at some point in our lives. The thought of going into work doesn’t always provoke happy feelings. But if you feel dread at going into work every morning, then something is clearly wrong. It could be for one of any number of reasons – your boss is an idiot, your colleagues are bullies, the job role holds no meaning for you – and if you can’t change the situation that is causing you to feel dread in the morning, then getting out of there could be the best thing you can do.

2. Your workplace is a health and safety nightmare

Your employer’s legal duty is to care for your safety and well-being while at work. But if that safety is compromised in any way, perhaps because you haven’t been given the correct training to handle a dangerous job role, or your employer is cutting costs and corners within safety measures, then you need to think about your health and safety. You may have legal protection should an accident befall you at work – check here to find out more – but do you really want to work in a place where safety measures are not placed as a priority? It shows lack of care in you, as the employee, for starters. Moving into a new career could be a literal life-saver!

3. Your job role isn’t safe

If involuntary redundancies are common in your company, then it may be in your best interest to find another job before you find yourself on the unemployment line. This is especially true if the industry in which you work isn’t considered safe anymore. We are heading into a world without employees, where robots and machines are literally taking over some job roles, so if you work within a particular career type, such as any of those listed here, then a career move could well be in order before an autonomous drone shuffles into your position. There are other job types that will survive the robot invasion, including anything that is primarily people-oriented, such as teaching, healthcare, and social work, so consider your options if a career move is the right thing for you.

So, is it time to call it quits on your job? If your physical and mental health is in danger because of the role you are in, or if you are feeling insecure because of the threat of being made redundant, then yes, you are probably right to move on. Figure out your next move, do what you need to do to secure a new job role, and then say “enough is enough” to the position you are currently in.

Healthcare Business Ideas You Can Set Up Yourself

Some of the key focuses of my blog are: Financial Literacy, Wealth Building, and Business and Entrepreneurship. It is predicted that there will be a lot of opportunities for growth in the Healthcare industry. The following contributed post is thus entitled; Healthcare Business Ideas You Can Set Up Yourself.

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If you are looking for a business idea which makes a big difference to people’s lives, you need look no further than setting up a healthcare company. With a rising and ageing population, there is always going to be a demand for a wide range of products and services directly related to people’s health and wellbeing. There is also more of a widespread focus on health and wellness than there has ever been before. However, you may feel like you need a bit of focus when it comes to what sort of healthcare business you would like to establish. To give you a helping hand, here is some inspiration in this regard, here are some possible ideas about the type of company that you could set up.

Home Healthcare Service

Nowadays, there is a greater and greater strain being put on hospitals. And as beds continue to fill up, there is a call for more healthcare at home to pick up the slack. Just some of the types of people who could utilise home healthcare include those recently discharged from hospital, senior citizens, and those in regular need of personal support. Of course, you will need to have all the proper skills and qualifications, as well as equipment like a portable ultrasound machine for sale. With all of this, you could have a very rewarding business concept on your hands.

Medical Records Management/Admin Business

One of the main problems which many medical professionals have is trying to keep up with the mountain of paperwork which regularly comes their way. You could help to alleviate this issue by setting up your own medical records management and administration business. Of course, you will need to have a high level of organisational skills and a keen eye for details to make a success of this particular venture.

Physical or Occupational Therapy Centre

Another area of medicine which comes in for high demand these days is physical or occupational therapy. Pursue this particular business path and you can play a central role in helping patients recover from their injuries, regain a full range of the motions which they had before, and perform some of the tasks involved in daily living. Again, you are going to need to have the correct certification and qualifications in order to pursue a business of this variety.

Nutritionist or Dietician Business

A lot of people are highly concerned with what they are putting in their bodies these days, and if you are one of these people, you could start your own business as a nutritionist or dietician. Since this is becoming a more complex field these days, you could even specialise further to focus on an area such as sports nutrition, weight loss or something else.

As we mentioned at the start, healthcare is always going to be a field which requires dedicated people working to improve it through innovative businesses, and these are just some of the business types which you could set up yourself.

James Tate discusses fitness, health, wellness and his new book: Kool Kids & The Land Of The Giants

One of the goals for my blog is to help expose for other individuals with new and novel ideas/projects of their own which is in line with my principle of “Creating Ecosystems of Success” – a major part of which is health and wellness.  Occasionally my alma maters will show up in my writings, and in the spring I conducted an interview with Robert Ridley, President of Johnson C. Smith University’s DC Alumni Chapter regarding our “150 and Beyond Campaign” to raise money for our scholarship endowment.

I recently heard about a children’s book created by another fellow JCSU alumnus; James “Big Dogg” Tate, who has his hands in numerous projects relating to health and wellness.  I thought interviewing James would be make for a compelling interview for both of us, and would further be educational for any readers based on his passion and knowledge of health and fitness.  In the following interview, James talks a little bit about his background, and his new book Kool Kids & The Land Of The Giants.

Anwar Dunbar:  Hello James.  First, thank you for agreeing to do this interview and discussing your new book, Kool Kids & The Land Of The Giants on my blog.  It looks like you’ve created something really positive and helpful here.  I graduated from JCSU in 1999, so I vaguely remember seeing you on campus.  Where are you originally from?

James Tate:  I was born and raised in Washington, DC.

AD:  Where did the nickname “Big Dogg” come from?

JT:  I had many nicknames growing up, but that’s the one that stuck.  Because I was an overweight child, teen, and adult, I had nicknames like “Fatz”, “Biggie”, “Big Daddy”, “Pooh”, etc. – but “Big Dogg” has stood the test of time, through different schools and states.

AD:  What did you major in at JCSU?

JT:  I’m a 2002 graduate of JCSU.  I majored in Computer Science/Engineering.  I am also a member of the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

AD:  A couple of years ago, you were the featured speaker at our JCSU DC Alumni Club’s monthly meeting where you gave us a powerful talk about diet, health, and fitness.  With your training at JCSU being in Computer Science/Engineering, what got you into health and fitness?

JT:  I was actually forced into health and wellness.  I was an overweight child, an overweight teen, and an overweight adult.  I was involved in an accident that left me immobile for a year. After that year, my weight was over 400 pounds.  I then had three years of physical therapy.  My doctor told me that my injuries would never heal unless I lost weight.  With me being overweight my entire life, I didn’t think it was possible.

I rededicated my life to Christ at the New Year’s Eve service going into the 2010 year.  I prayed for help, and I started studying scriptures about health and wellness.  I read Christian wellness books, and attended Christian wellness group meetings.  By the end of 2010, I had lost over 200 pounds naturally.  I then went to nutrition school and finished with my first certification. I currently hold six wellness certifications and own my own wellness practice.

AD:  Wow, that’s amazing.  I too was overweight as a child for a little while until my mother stepped in and made me get more active and controlled my portion sizes; so we share some common ground there.  In middle school I had some nicknames that I wasn’t too fond of myself.

Before we talk about the Kool Kids, I started reading SALT: Black America’s SILENT KILLER.  I pretty much knew about kidney dialysis, but Dr. Surender Reddy Neravetla also went into graphic detail about cardiac bypass surgery – specifically, how high blood pressure can persist even after the operation, and how the surgeon can only prescribe more blood pressure lowering medication at that point.  There’s a definite mental/quality of life cost to having conditions like diabetes, and heart disease.  There’s a financial cost as well to the individual and to society.  With all of the debate here in Washington, DC about the Affordable Care Act, I think there is something to be said here about preventative care/lifestyle.  I mean who wants take 10 medications and go on dialysis if they don’t have to?  Can you say anything about the financial costs of being unhealthy in terms lifestyle – maintaining a poor diet and not staying physically active.

JT:  That’s a great question.  Healthcare starts in your kitchen and obesity costs our country a lot of money annually – roughly 200 billion dollars depending on the source reporting the dollar amount.  Many of us don’t consider the cost of obesity and obesity-related diseases.  We only consider the cost of the food we purchase today.  Because we think this way, we go for the cheapest, most convenient options, not thinking about the long-term effects of that food.  I like to say that people will put 93-Octane fuels into their $50k car, but will consistently put 87-Octane (regular) foods into their multi-million dollar bodies and expect them to run at an optimum level.  Ironically, they’re shocked when their bodies eventually break down. For African Americans, 95% of the chronic illness that we suffer from today are caused by poor food choices.   That means that a lot of what we suffer from is preventable.

AD:  How did you come up with the idea for Kool Kids & The Land Of The Giants?  Just briefly, without giving too much away, what’s it about?

JT:  The Kool Kids are a group of Christian kids who will motivate, educate, and inspire you and your family to defeat the giants in your life/land – giants such as Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Depression, Debt, etc.  We have become comfortable living with certain diseases and have even given them cute nicknames like calling diabetes, “A touch of sugar.”  I wanted to remind people that diseases are monsters and we should treat them as such.  Also, it’s been said that this is the first generation of children that will not outlive their parents due to obesity and diseases related to obesity.  So I want to teach them about health and wellness in a new and fun way with characters that they can relate to while including biblical principles.  I was unable to find any health and wellness books that were biblically based that starred super heroes of color, so I decided to create one.

AD:  Wow.  That’s a great idea James.  Are you envisioning any sequels?

JT:  Yes. The Kool Kids is a series and in each book they will take on a new giant.

AD:  Where can people purchase the Kool Kids?

JT:  You can order a copy of The Kool Kids from my web store, http://store.beyondw8loss.com. You will also find Kool Kid merchandise there as well.

AD:  Do you have any parting words?

JT:  First, thank you for interviewing me, and I thank everyone who takes the time to read this interview.  It’s my prayer that we learn to take our health seriously.  Again in terms of the chronic illnesses that we suffer from, especially as African Americans, 95% are caused by poor food choices.  We can change and reverse so much just by paying attention to what’s on the end of our forks.

AD:  Well James, thank you again for agreeing to do this interview.  I’m going to get a couple of copies Kool Kids for some of the folks in my own network.

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