September 11, 2018

Around the nation: This man walks 6 miles to visit his wife at the hospital every day—and he's 99 years old

Daily Briefing

    Luther Younger's wife of 50 years was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009, in today's bite-size hospital and health industry news from California, Georgia, and New York.

    • New York: Luther Younger, age 99, walks—and sometimes runs—three miles to the hospital and three miles home to visit his wife, Waverlee, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009. Younger walks six miles every day, even in 90-degree weather, to see his wife of 50 years. "I ain't nothing without my wife," Younger said. Waverlee, who is paralyzed, will be released from the Rochester hospital soon to "live out the rest of her days [at] home," according to the couple's daughter Lutheta (May, USA Today, 9/7).

    • California: Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson announced that the health system plans to be carbon-neutral by 2020. To meet the goal, Kaiser is building solar and wind farms and purchasing large amounts of renewable energy. Tyson said, "The massive fires that we're dealing with in California—I don't need to debate whether that's a climate issue" (Herman, Axios, 9/10).

    • Georgia: The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is providing child cancer patients with robotic therapy ducks to comfort them while they receive treatment. The patients can bathe, feed, and medicate the ducks, including giving them chemotherapy. Patients can also use radio-frequency identification-enabled emoji cards to control the ducks' emotions. The "My Special Aflac ducks" are meant to be a source of comfort for pediatric patients as they go through treatment. Through the Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign, Aflac, the insurer,  plans to expand the project across the country in late 2018 (Spitzer, Becker's Health IT & CIO Report, 9/7; Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign webpage, accessed 9/11).

    Next, get URMC's end-of-life conversation prompts

    When it comes to end-of-life care, most organizations struggle to meet patients' needs. In a recent poll, 87% of Americans age 65 and older said that they believe their doctor should discuss end-of-life issues with their patients; however, only 27% of those polled had actually discussed these issues with their doctor.

    Download URMC's conversation prompts to start improving end-of-life care for patients.

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