Nationally Recognized Food Expert Gives Safety Tips Following E Coli Outbreak

Nationally Recognized Food Expert Gives Safety Tips Following E Coli Outbreak

Angela Paymard, Chairwoman of N2N Global

Orlando, Fla. (PRWEB) June 02, 2011

An outbreak of a dangerous strain of Escherichia coli bacteria in Germany has already killed 15 people and made 1,000 more ill. Early evidence by German researchers linked the outbreak to cucumbers imported from farms in Spain.

“Every expert says there is no immediate risk to the U.S. food supply, which is great news. But consumers wanting to remain aware of any new developments can take some additional steps to ease their fears,” said Angela Paymard, Chairwoman of N2N Global. N2N Global, based in Orlando, Fla. provides operations, compliance, and food safety solutions for food companies which helps ensure the world’s food supply operates more effectively and efficiently. Better and more efficient operations translates to a higher quality of food in the supply chain. Paymard works with food supply chain companies like restaurants, retailers, and distributors all the way through growers, packers, and processors around the world.

“Consumers need to adopt better food safety habits as a rule,” Paymard said. “It’s an opportunity for consumers to become educated in best practices for food safety.”

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, U.S. food consumers are increasingly demanding greater variety, quality, and convenience in the food they consume. As Americans become more ethnically diverse, the American food basket reflects a growing share of tropical products, spices, and imported gourmet products.

Americans have also become much more health conscious, with consumers demanding more nutritious foods. Dietary concerns have changed the emphasis from red meat to fish, fostered growing interest in fresh fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and sparked new interest in green teas, which contain antioxidants. In addition, cocoa (and dark chocolate) contains high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are linked to improved cardiovascular health. Green tea and cocoa butter are also used in beauty products.

But, a growing share of U.S. imports can be attributed to intra-industry trade, where agricultural-processing industries based in one country carry out certain processing steps offshore and import products at different levels of processing from their subsidiaries in foreign markets.

Food manufacturing operations are often spread over many national boundaries to minimize production and distribution costs as well as to enhance the ability to quickly replenish inventories, the USDA concluded.

Whether the food is coming from Europe or other parts of the world, consumers should keep in mind that if food is processed and packaged, the food should be safe as long as the seal is not broken. For fresh foods, the risk of contamination is higher.

While experts say there is no immediate threat to the U.S. consumer, and since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the USDA’s commitment to protect America’s supply of meat, poultry, and egg products from any form of intentional or unintentional contamination has never been higher, consumers can do the following:

1. Check the Country of Origin Labeling on your fresh food. As part of the overall 2008 Farm Bill legislation, retailers must provide country of origin information at point of sale for perishable agricultural commodities. This paved the way for companies to label their packages with the city and state from which the product came. If from outside the U.S., labeling includes the country from which it came. Consumers can decide whether they want to consume product from any particular geography.

2. Visit The FDA’s job is to protect the public food supply. They monitor food domestically and have offices internationally in some countries. The FDA has a great website, Consumers can log on to the website and receive the latest information about radiation safety and the status of any contamination from Japan as seen by the people protecting and examining imports at our borders. Consumers can also log onto N2N Global’s Twitter page for up to date information under

Paymard says food safety risks can easily be avoided at home when consumers adhere to good food safety practices every day. Here are some of Angela’s tips:

    Wash Fresh Foods. As with any good food safety practices, make sure to wash your fresh foods with a thorough rinse. While soap is not necessary, many retailers offer a vegetable rinse for purchase that works great at cleansing fresh fruit and vegetables while not impacting taste
    Wash Your Hands: Consumers should wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Clean hands are one of the best ways to protect your family from illness.
    Clean Your Countertops and Utensils: After cooking wash your surfaces with hot soapy water and run your cutting boards and utensils through the dishwasher every time you use them to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Dishwashers help wash utensils in water of at least 120 degrees or higher for an extended period to help assure contaminants are neutralized.
    Cook to Proper Temperature: Under cooked food is a common cause of food illness. Check the proper temperature of the foods you’re cooking and get a thermometer to be on the safe side. Food thermometers are inexpensive and can be found in most grocery stores.
    Chill and Refrigerate Foods Promptly: Keep foods refrigerated before and after they are served. Refrigeration slows bacterial growth.
While the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, preventing foodborne illness remains a public health challenge, says Paymard. Consumers need to be aware of ways they can protect themselves and their families from all types of illnesses that can be caused by food.

About N2N Global

N2N Global’s product suite brings powerful solutions for all members of the food supply chain. For Supply Side companies, N2N offers agri-ERP solutions, farm management, food safety, business analytics and traceability software. For direct to consumer and buy side companies, N2N offers food safety, compliance, and asset tracking tools to help ensure the food supply is properly managed for minimized risk.N2N Global provides comprehensive solutions for companies looking for ways to improve efficiencies, enhance profitability, and ensure food safety. To contact Angela Paymard directly, visit her on N2N’s twitter page For more information, please visit

N2N Media Relations

Karen McGagh




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Health Advocate, Inc. Makes Donation to Operation Smile

Health Advocate, Inc. Makes Donation to Operation Smile

Plymouth Meeting, PA (PRWEB) August 22, 2011

Health Advocate, Inc., the nation’s leading healthcare assistance and advocacy company, made a $ 600 donation to Operation Smile, an organization whose cause is to help children with congenital facial deformities such as cleft lip or cleft palate. Money for the donation was raised through a corporate donation along with a “Summer Splash” dress down day, a weekday in which employees pay a dollar or more each to dress in casual clothes.

“Many kids who are affected by cleft lip or palate come from families who cannot afford expensive surgeries,” says Marty Rosen, cofounder and Executive Vice President of Health Advocate. “We’re happy to support an organization like Operation Smile that provides those surgeries, and helps change a child’s life for the better.”

“Over 200,000 children each year are born with the condition, which makes not only eating and speaking difficult, but may make them feel embarrassed, or worse, shunned,” says Lauri Catena, National Director of Operation Smile. “This generous donation from Health Advocate will help us transform the lives of children and families in need.”

Health Advocate’s 21 million members across the country, many who suffer from a variety of conditions, are helped by the company everyday to find the most convenient and affordable care. Today, the company’s donation will help two children get the surgeries they need.

About Operation Smile

Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children’s medical charity whose network of global volunteers is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, Operation Smile has treated more than 160,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in more than 60 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and donates crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

About Health Advocate

Health Advocate™, Inc., the nation’s leading independent healthcare advocacy and assistance company, serves 21+ million Americans through more than 7,500 client relationships, including many of the nation’s largest companies, helping members personally navigate healthcare and insurance-related issues, saving time and money. Our Core Health Advocacy service is centered around our Personal Health Advocates, who assist members with a range of clinical, administrative and insurance-related issues, saving time and money. Our Core Health Advocacy service is centered around our Personal Health Advocates, who assist members with a range of clinical, administrative and insurance-related issues. Our spectrum of add-on complementary employee- and employer-based solutions include our Wellness Advocate™, Benefits Gateway and Health Information Dashboard™, EAP+Work/Life™, Chronic Care Management™ and decision support programs. The solutions are designed to lower healthcare costs, increase productivity and improve outcomes.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Health Advocate has been recognized, for the fourth consecutive year, as one of America’s fastest growing private companies by Inc. 500, named one of the fastest growing companies in North America on Deloitte’s 2010 Technology Fast 500™ and is rated one of the Top 20 Best Places to Work by Philadelphia magazine.

Health Advocate is not affiliated with any insurance or third party provider. Health Advocate does not replace health insurance coverage, provide medical care or recommend treatment.


Rhonda L. Lipschutz

Public Relations

Health Advocate, Inc.

Direct: 610.397.7446

Toll Free: 866.385.8033 ext. 6374



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Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine Awarded ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 EHR Module Certification

Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine Awarded ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 EHR Module Certification

Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) July 19, 2011

Orion Health, Inc., global leaders in Health Information Exchange(HIE) solutions, announced today that the Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine and Rhapsody Connect versions 4.1 are compliant and certified as an Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) Module by ICSA labs, an independent division of Verizon.

Christopher Ward, Orion Health Senior Vice President of Marketing says the certification is advantageous to both customers and partners, especially those looking for a public health reporting solution. Rhapsody 4.1 helps providers and hospitals seeking eligibility for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by assuring they meet 100% of the security/privacy- and public health-related criteria.

“Rhapsody is one of the most broadly adopted and reliable solutions available and now offers an even greater value by helping customers meet government requirements for Meaningful Use while simultaneously helping them plan for future growth and innovation. Rhapsody’s depth of functionality helped in meeting all eight of the government mandated security objectives and in turn, supports those organizations who are looking for superior security and overall solution integrity. Similarly, we drew on our experience across the 52 state and local health departments where Rhapsody is currently deployed to also meet the ONC’s public health criteria,” Mr. Ward continues.

In addition to ONC certification, Rhapsody is registered as a Class I Medical Device by the US Food and Drug Administration. The combined certifications demonstrate Orion Health’s commitment to quality and high standards in producing healthcare technology solutions.

“Another key benefit of Orion Health solutions is that they do not require an organization to replace entire systems, meaning they can continue to leverage their existing IT investments,” Mr. Ward concludes.

Orion Health’s intensive focus on serving the healthcare industry has driven Rhapsody’s success and adoption both as an independent data integration platform and an embedded component in medical devices. Currently, Orion Health helps facilities and healthcare communities that connect 35 million patients with tens of thousands of active users. Rhapsody has been developed with a focus on the needs of IT professionals, with the inclusion of features and functionality including testing and secure FTP options that ease the migration process and streamlined message exchange between clinical and business systems, both internally and externally in anticipation of future HIE activity.

The Rhapsody Integration Engine and Rhapsody Connect versions 4.1 will each have certifications for inpatient and ambulatory, and meet meaningful use objectives:

    170.302 (k) Submission to immunization registries
    170.302 (l) Public Health surveillance
    170.306 (g) Reportable lab results
    170.302 (o) Access control
    170.302 (p) Emergency access
    170.302 (q) Automatic log-off
    170.302 (r) Audit log
    170.302 (s) Integrity
    170.302 (t) Authentication
    170.302 (u) General encryption
    170.302 (v) Encryption when exchanging electronic health information

This EHR Module is ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

About Orion Health™ Rhapsody Integration Engine

Orion Health Rhapsody is a powerful integration engine that delivers advanced messaging capabilities between systems for health organizations of all kinds. Rhapsody is designed for rapid, effortless installation and use, and enables quick accurate and efficient exchange of electronic data. For more information please see

About ICSA Labs

ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, offers third-party testing and certification of security products and network-connected devices, such as printers and faxes, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance to many of the world’s top security vendors. Visit and for more information.

About Orion Health Inc.

Orion Health™ is the leading Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution provider with expertise in clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector. Orion Health’s easy-to-use solutions and applications improve patient care and clinical decision making by enabling the exchange of healthcare information among disparate systems and providing integrated health data in a single, unified view. By extending existing healthcare information systems, the Orion Health™ Rhapsody Integration Engine, recently registered as a Class I Medical Device with the FDA, and workflow solutions provide healthcare workers with easy access to patient data and trends, and reduce errors and omissions by streamlining information transfer. The HIE and EHR also supports Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) continuing their goal of improved care coordination, cost savings and better quality of care.

Worldwide, Orion Health has deployed health information communities involving over 35 million patients with hundreds of thousands of active clinical users including Maine’s HealthInfoNet, Alberta Health Services and Spain’s IB Salut. Orion Health’s partners include leading health system integrators and IT vendors such as Accenture, Allscripts, IBM, Oracle, Philips and others. Orion Health has more than 1,000 clients around the world, including Lahey Clinic, Ochsner Health System, UCLA Medical Center, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spain’s IB Salut, South Eastern Norwegian Regional Health Authority, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Orion Health is a preferred Canada Health Infoway Solution. More information can be found at

Orion Health and Rhapsody are registered trademarks of Orion Health Inc, its parent/or its affiliates. Other names used may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE): Eliminating Health Disparities and Improving the Health for all Connecticut Residents

Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE): Eliminating Health Disparities and Improving the Health for all Connecticut Residents

Hartford, CT (PRWEB) May 02, 2011

The Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE) will hold a series of Public Forums on Health Disparities held in May.

State data reveal that minorities, largely African American, Hispanics, Asian American/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans, are less likely to have access to quality health care and to suffer from more disease over the life course. Social factors, when combined with racial and ethnic minority status, can result in reduced access to quality health care and disparities in health outcomes. Connecticut data mirrors national statistics that show that racial and ethnic minorities as well as low-income groups are likely to die considerably younger than their white or more affluent counterparts.

“This effects all of our lives,” says Executive Director of CHE, Dr. Raja Staggers-Hakim. “At every level persons of color, less educated populations, and poorer communities are vulnerable to health disparities.”

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines disparity in health as “the condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree.” Differences in health care for different populations may be the result of a number of causes. At the individual level, a patient may receive different treatment because of stage of disease process, personal choice, insurance coverage, language barriers, race, ethnicity, gender or a host of socioeconomic conditions such as poverty, homelessness, disability, and old age. While it may not be possible to delineate the cause or causes of treatment differences, how individuals and groups of individuals are provided treatment can be documented to determine disparities.”

In 2008, the General Assembly of Connecticut approved and Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law Public Act No. 08-171: An Act Establishing a Commission on Health Equity. It was predicated on three important assumptions. First, high quality health care is a human right and a priority of the State of Connecticut. Second, state-based research and experience reveal that Connecticut residents face barriers to high quality health based on racial, ethnic, national origin, and linguistic ability. Third, such barriers should be addressed through the collection, analysis, and reporting of information that identifies causes and leads to the development and implementation of policy solutions that both address health disparities and improve the health of Connecticut citizens.

The twenty-eight members of the Commission represent all departments of the Executive Branch of the State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut, Yale University, Black, and Hispanic Caucuses of the General Assembly, key community and legislative groups representing African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and Women and members of the public representing disenfranchised populations.

“The Commission has done some research and highlighted certain health priorities that are more pervasive in communities of color,” says Dr. Staggers-Hakim.

The Commission approved the recommendations of the Data Committee identifying cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality/low birth weight, diabetes and asthma as the most salient health issues requiring urgent efforts to improve racial and ethnic health equity.

“We have a lot of work to do to understand the totality of factors that support and aggravate health disparities at all levels across the State,” says Dr. Staggers-Hakim. “The forums are an avenue to hear from the communities themselves to understand those key factors that are occurring and how people see these inequities persisting.” CHE’s Public Voice Committee found that consumers, community leaders, faith-based organizations and health institutions need to strengthen collaborations for information-sharing, cultural competency education, workforce development and policies and procedures for health promotion/disease prevention. Dr. Raja Staggers-Hakim says, “We hope to draw the greater public, health professionals, public officials, and the academic community for a discussion on health disparities across communities.”

The Public Forums will include a showing of “Place Matters” from the documentary, Unnatural Causes.

This is event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The schedule for the CHE Public Forums on Health Inequity is as follows:


Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 6p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Bridgeport Public Main Library (Burroughs & Saden), Performing Arts Room, 925 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604


Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 6p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street Hartford, CT 06103


Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 6p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Waterbury, New Opportunities, Inc. 232 North Elm Street – Waterbury, CT 06702

In conjunction to the CHE Public Forums Health Justice CT — an innovative initiative designed to use social media channels for raising awareness about the issue of racial and ethnic disparities — will moderate a live Tweetchat during the event using hashtag #CHEmeeting.

The live “Tweetchat” will be held at each event and moderated by Health Justice CT. Participants can follow the discussion using the hashtag #CHEmeeting. Just go to and enter #CHEmeeting in the search box to follow the discussion. Questions and comments can be submitted directly to Health Justice CT (@healthjusticect) using your twitter account.

Also, TweetChat hosts free online discussion forums conducted via Twitter. To follow the discussion on TweetChat, please visit:

For more information about the Public Forum please contact Dr. Raja Staggers-Hakim at Raja.Staggers-Hakim(at)ct(dot)gov or call (860) 297-3847.

About Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE):

The Connecticut Commission on Health Equity was established to eliminate disparities in health status based on race, ethnicity, gender and linguistic ability, thereby improving the quality of health for all of the state’s residents. For more information on CHE visit the website at:

About Health Justice CT:

Health Justice CT is an initiative designed to use social media channels as the foundation for creating a movement of Connecticut residents dedicated to working together to raise awareness about the issue of racial and ethnic disparities, find innovative solutions, and ultimately achieve health justice for everyone in Connecticut. The project is funded by the Connecticut Health Foundation ( and is being managed by the foundation’s grantee, the Society for New Communications Research ( To join the conversation, find us on Facebook ( and Twitter (


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STC Hosts 9th Annual User Group Meeting in Scottsdale

STC Hosts 9th Annual User Group Meeting in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) June 21, 2011

Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC), the nation’s leading public health IT firm, will be hosting its 9th Annual User Group Meeting (UGM) this week at the Arizona Biltmore in Scottsdale. STC develops and maintains state immunization registry solutions and this weeklong event allows public health leaders from all over the country the opportunity to come together and discuss best practices. Event topics will include public health outcomes, innovation, funding opportunities, interoperability, and meaningful use.

STC has complied a captivating agenda for its weeklong event. Deborah Allwes, Director of STC’s Public Health Practice, will be leading a session on public health outcomes, while STC Vice President and Managing Partner Mike Garcia will be covering many topics including registry updates, interoperability, funding opportunities, and meaningful use. Pennsylvania Immunization Registry Administrator Frank Caniglia and STC’s Janet Balog will be discussing registry interfaces while syndicated columnist and renowned author Dale Dauten will be leading a session on the culture of innovation.

STC CEO Mike Popovich says, “The UGM is an opportunity for our customers to share best practices and discuss goals, challenges, and expectations for the coming year with STC partners. It’s also a chance for our customers to provide one-on-one input to our development team and to collaborate with peers to set the direction of our joint public health efforts for 2011 and beyond.”

With a national emphasis on health information technology modernizations and outcomes, STC demonstrates the value-added benefits of applied health IT to real world problems. STC values the participation of its clients at this event so they can work together to protect and improve the health of communities. Together, STC and its clients work to set the bar across the country for policy makers to measure others against.

STC is widely recognized as a leading public health informatics company in the U.S. Their products and services play a key role in protecting the public from diseases. STC leverages more than twenty years of experience in developing solutions important to addressing and solving critical public health issues. STC is committed to improving public health through the applied use of population health data collected through modernized information systems. Their staff is a unique blend of public health specialists and applied information system developers who come together to create cost effective public health technology solutions. STC continually shows its clients the value of investing in public health information exchange through high quality service, innovative software solutions, and population-based outcomes. STC delivers and installs quality products and services in a timely and efficient manner.

To learn more about STC, please refer to the attached documentation, which outlines STC’s immunization registry expertise. If you would like additional information about any of STC’s products and solutions, visit the all new or contact: Todd Commyn, STC Director of Sales and Marketing 520.202.3333



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