Dr. Weather Looks Back On A Busy Year As NMA President

Dr-Leonard-Weather-Photo.JPG(BlackDoctor.org) — Looking back at his term as NMA president, Leonard Weather, RPh, MD, made an off-hand comment that best describes both his year in office and what the association did during the past year: “We had a mountain of success.”

Last August, shortly after taking office, Dr. Weather, traveled to Australia as part of the NMA’s Global Health Initiative, and a week before this year’s NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly, he returned from Rwanda after a trip for the same program.

Those trips are bookends for his library of work on behalf of the NMA that included supporting the implementation of health system reform, starting We Stand With You — a campaign to show the association supports patients — and establishing task forces dealing with mentorship for young physicians, obesity, environmental health and HIV.

Sprinkle in writing columns for Trice Edney Wire News, blackdoctor.org and daily appearances on Radio One to discuss health issues that affect African-Americans, and Dr. Weather had an exceptional year.

“The high point of the year was the fact that we were able to have tremendous presence at the White House and were able to communicate with the staff at the White House about health care reform as it was being implemented,” Dr. Weather said. “We had an extraordinary number of accomplishments related to the processes in terms of doing this, which moved us to communicate with a coalition of 17 other health care professional organizations.

“We needed to make sure we didn’t lose some of the items important for wellness, and make sure the communities are served properly and have access to care. It was fantastic to do that.”

A second area of focus for Dr. Weather was environmental health, as evidenced by an environmental health session that will be presented Tuesday, with Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaking.

“So much of what happens in the communities is applicable to environmental health, and to the various toxins in the neighborhood,” he said. “We have a task force to help educate physicians and practitioners that the problems they are seeing in patients are related to what’s in the neighborhood, such as toxins in the community and within the home.”

The Obesity Task Force was developed to battle the health issues related to the obesity epidemic, Dr. Weather said. Today’s Opening Plenary Session will focus on obesity from different perspectives, including nutrition, medicine, surgery and national programs.

“The statistics related to the African-American community and obesity are overwhelming and shocking. The NMA Task Force on Obesity consists of primary care physicians, bariatric and general surgeons, psychiatrists, fitness and nutrition experts, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and a health policy expert,” he said.

The Mentorship Task Force was developed to help prepare young physicians and medical students to better prepare for careers in medicine.

“The task force has not been as active, but the second chair is the president-elect (Cedric Bright, MD), and he has an interest in it and will do a great job with it,” Dr. Weather said. “He has done a great job with the students. We will have a winner with that before it’s over with.”

Another program just getting started is We Stand With You, which emphasizes the support of the NMA for its members and their patients.

“We Stand With You works well to help us magnify our concern that we are the conscience of medicine and to let the community know that we stand with them,” Dr. Weather said. “We would like to see the community have better health. Health care reform and elimination of disparities are all things we stand for, and we stand with our patients and the physicians who are taking care of the patients.”

The NMA has also developed partnerships with groups that include AARP, the American Lung Association and the Congressional Black Caucus to work on common causes, including hunger and nutrition issues for seniors. The association also has continued to support the Global Health Initiative to bring health care to developing nations, such as Rwanda, he said.

“We stand for what’s right,” Dr. Weather said. “We stand for what’s right for the patients, for health care reform, for physicians in practice and for taking care of patients. As an organization, we stand with our patients and we stand as the conscience of medicine. We will keep moving for the betterment of society and let the world know about the NMA.”

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5 Things Your Man Wants You To Know

couple sitting and chatting to each other(BlackDoctor.org) — The following statement shouldn’t be much of a surprise: men and women express themselves in different ways.

“For women, the purpose of communication is most often to relate; for men, it’s usually to share information,” says Karen Gail Lewis, EdD, relationship therapist and author of Why Don’t You Understand?

So while it may seem to you that your feelings aren’t important to him, or like he’s ignoring you, he might actually be wishing you’d just tell him what you want.

To help fix that communication gap, here are five things your man would like you to know…

1. A small “thank-you” means a lot to me.

You might think, “I do plenty around here, so why do I have to say ‘thank you’ whenever he pitches in?” But he probably doesn’t agree: “I’d cook, clean, do the dishes and laundry much more happily if my wife said ‘thank you’ more often,” many men have said in study after study. Just like you, he needs appreciation and, yes, a little ego-stroking. “Studies have shown that happy couples give compliments often. Offering a simple ‘thank-you’ is an easy way to show appreciation and make him feel significant,” says Todd Creager, licensed marriage therapist and author of The Long, Hot Marriage.

2. If you want a chore done by a specific time, tell me that.

You’ve asked him four times to fix the broken kitchen cabinet door, but he still hasn’t even touched it. Your complaints about him not doing what you ask seem justified, right? Not necessarily…unless you tell him it’s urgent, he’s going to get to it when he remembers to do it. “When he hears you ask for a task or chore to be done, all he’s hearing is that you want it done — not that you want it done based on a time line you’ve set, but haven’t shared with him,” says Dr. Lewis. “He wishes you knew that he’d be very happy to fix whatever you want fixed, but if there’s a deadline, you need to let him know that: ‘It would be great if you got that cabinet door fixed by the time my parents arrive on Sunday.’”

3. Please be direct about what’s bothering you.

Since human beings lived in caves, men have probably sat around confused by their mates’ moods, wondering why she won’t just say, “I’m pissed off at you because…” instead of, “I’m fine!” through clenched teeth. Umm…he knows there’s something wrong. “You may think you’re not communicating, but you are. What you feel is being transmitted,” says Creager, just not in a healthy way. The key is to be honest and cut to the chase.

4. I wish you didn’t think we had to talk all the time to be close.

You both get home from work, or finally get the kids into bed, and then you just sit there watching a movie rental. Is this togetherness? The truth is that, to him, it is. “The silence in the room, and just your presence, feels like closeness to a man,” says Dr. Lewis. “He doesn’t necessarily need, as you might, to be engaged in conversation in order to feel connected to you.” So every now and then, reach out and squeeze his hand, and if you want to talk, say so––but don’t assume that silence equals his lack of interest.

5. I wish you wanted sex more.

You may complain that your man seems to always want some action, but what you don’t understand is that by rejecting him too often, you’re making him wonder what he’s doing wrong. “Many men think, ‘I must not be good at it,’” says Dr. Lewis. It’s not just about his needs; it’s also about pleasing you. “Both men and women want to feel intimate with each other, and what women need to understand is that men often derive intimacy from sex – whereas women generally need intimacy in order to have sex. So talk about what you both really want, and find compromises that work for the both of you,” she adds. And if you are in the mood? Act on it! He’ll not only love that you initiated it, but also appreciate feeling desired by you.