ProfNet network experts available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area

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  • Supreme Court's Decision on King v. Burwell
  • Impact of Supreme Court's ACA Decision
  • Gay Marriage Ruling Will Improve Attitudes, But Challenges Will Continue
  • SCOTUS Ruling on Marriage Equality
  • Race, Ethnicity and Religion in America
  • Are States That Fly the Confederate Flag Committing a Hate Crime?
  • Partial Knee Resurfacing a Good Option for Early Arthritis
  • Health Care Data Vulnerable to Cyberattack
  • Using Psychology to Get Patients to Follow Doctor's Orders
  • Cardiac Arrest: Will New Institute of Medicine Recommendations Improve Survival Rates?
  • Report: Creative Ways College Students Are Saving Money
  • Talking to Teens: Build Trust by Understanding Their Concerns
  • Trapped Emotions: The Hidden Epidemic
  • Copper is the Hot Trend for 2015/2016
  • Will Tom Brady Succeed in Getting His Deflategate Suspension Overturned?


  • News Writer – Clinton Herald (IA)
  • Freelance Writer – CraveOnline Media
  • Freelance Social Media Writers – Social5


  • What Makes a Successful Blog?
  • Grammar Hammer: Capitalizing (With a Capital "C")
  • PR Newswire Media Moves, June 22 Edition


Supreme Court's Decision on King v. Burwell
Kosali Simon
Professor of Health Economics and Policy
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs
"The ruling is a very big deal, as the consequences for the marketplace could have been dire. However, while the Court did maintain the status quo, there are other potential challenges to the Affordable Care Act. Several months ago, when King v. Burwell was not on everybody's radar, there were other issues at the forefront, including discussions on repealing the medical device tax and the fact that some states have not expanded Medicaid. While today's decision is a victory, it doesn't mean it's the end."
Simon's research involves applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and healthcare policy. She has published research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance coverage, labor markets and healthcare use, including mental health treatment and emergency department visits.
Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, [email protected]

Impact of Supreme Court's ACA Decision
Katy Beh Neas
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
Easter Seals
"The goal of the health care reform law is to assure that all people have access to quality, affordable health care. Access to the health care system is integral to the goal of enabling all Americans, including people with disabilities and chronic conditions to be healthy, functional, live as independently as possible and participate in their communities. We do not want to return to the days when people had to decide whether to pay for their health insurance or pay their rent."
Neas, an expert in policy for individuals with disabilities, can provide insight on how the Supreme Court's monumental decision to uphold the Affordable care Act will impact the lives of 6.4 million Americans living with disabilities and chronic conditions. King vs Burwell will directly and immediately impact this population by building a system where their health care needs can be met. The Supreme Court's decision in this case means that individuals and families in all 50 states, whose incomes are below 400 percent of the federal poverty line, will continue to be eligible for financial aid to help cover the cost of health insurance premiums.
Neas has been a member of Easter Seals' Government Relations team since January 1995. She has served as one of five co-chairs of the Education Task Force of the national disability coalition, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, since 1996, and oversees the advocacy efforts of the 50 organizations that volunteer on the task force. In addition, she is an officer of the CCD Board of Directors. She has co-authored, with the Center for Law and Social Policy, several policy papers and reports on early education and care opportunities for children with disabilities, including "Coming Together for Children with Disabilities State Collaboration to Support Quality Inclusive Child Care." Prior to Easter Seals, Neas was the associate director of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs for persons with Developmental Disabilities. She also was legislative staff to Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) of the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy between 1987 and 1991, where she worked on all disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Contact: Elsa Remak, [email protected]

Gay Marriage Ruling Will Improve Attitudes, But Challenges Will Continue
Sean Massey
Associate Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Binghamton University
"Today's ruling is a truly amazing step toward full equality. However, the implications of this ruling for national employment discrimination protections and full recognition of our rights as parents are still open questions."
Massey's research found that anti-gay attitudes were still prevalent in how same-sex parents were judged by others. His research on attitudes toward lesbians and gay men also suggests that individuals can hold different, sometimes conflicting, attitudes toward gay people. Says Massey: "This ruling will undoubtedly improve attitudes, but, as the four dissenting opinions suggest, prejudice and discrimination continue to challenges our freedoms and threaten our families."
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Ryan Yarosh, [email protected]

SCOTUS Ruling on Marriage Equality
Richard E Levy
J.B. Smith Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law
University of Kansas School of Law
"The court's ruling today will have ramifications in states across the nation and will have even broader implications for the direction of the court."
Professor Levy can discuss the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality. A constitutional law expert, he can discuss the basis for the ruling, what it means for states with and without same sex marriage bans, and similar topics.
Contact: Mike Krings, [email protected]

Race, Ethnicity and Religion in America
Jason E. Shelton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
The University of Texas at Arlington
"The bloodshed in Charleston is yet another sign of persistent racial tension in the contemporary United States. While it is probably true that Dylann Roof suffered from mental illness, we cannot minimize the distinctly racial dimension of his actions. Moreover, this issue revives the ongoing debate over the Confederate Flag's relevance in modern America."
Dr. Shelton is the author of "Blacks and Whites in Christian America," which looks at ways to bridge gaps between black and white Protestants, as these groups are important to the progress of American race relations. He is warm, friendly, an excellent teacher, and a strong interview.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Kristin Sullivan, [email protected]

Are States That Fly the Confederate Flag Committing a Hate Crime?
Lisa Durden
African-American Pop-Culture/Political Commentator
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called Monday for the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds but defended the right of private citizens to fly it. The Republican governor, who avoided calls to remove the flag in the first few days following Wednesday's shooting death of nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, said taking the flag down would unite the state. Says Durden: "Every state that flies the Confederate flag is committing a hate crime. It would be no different if someone flew a flag with a symbol of a swastika on it. What message would that send to Jewish people? All confederate flags must come down because it represents slavery for black people. It represents the fight for the South to continue to rape, beat and sell my forefathers. The confederate flag stands for tradition: a tradition of hate. We need to call for a boycott of any retailer who dares to sell Confederate flags."
Durden is a sought-after African-American pop-culture/political commentator booked to share her "keep it real" view on all things hot topics. She appears on Fox 5 News Live at 6 p.m. with Ernie Anastos and as a regular expert guest on nationally syndicated network radio and shows like FOX 5's "The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet,"'s "The Strategy Room," Comcast's "It's Your Call: With Lynn Doyle," My9 News and more.
Contact: Ryan McCormick, [email protected]

Partial Knee Resurfacing a Good Option for Early Arthritis
Michael A. Schwartz, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic & Reconstructive Surgery
White Plains Hospital
If you're between ages 35 and 50 and live with persistent knee pain, you may avoid a future need for total knee replacement surgery by undergoing partial knee resurfacing now. Resurfacing replaces worn cartilage while preserving healthy bone and tissue. The knee will feel more natural and recovery will be quicker. However, it requires great surgical skill. Says Dr. Schwartz: "Partial knee resurfacing is a good option for active people whose arthritis and age are not advanced enough to have total knee replacement. You get a custom fit of the resurfaced area instead of one shape fits all. It preserves the ligament for a more natural functioning and feeling joint."
An expert on the surgery, Dr. Schwartz has authored numerous scholarly research articles and chapters in orthopedic surgical textbooks and presented his work at several professional conferences. He has served as a team physician and assistant team physician with Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, Major League Lacrosse's Philadelphia Barrage, Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul, National Lacrosse League's Philadelphia Wings, and Manhattanville College, Saint Joseph's University and Haverford College. He earned his M.D. from the University of Health Sciences at Chicago Medical School.
Contact: Jeannie Ashford, [email protected]

Health Care Data Vulnerable to Cyberattack
Mark Thibodeaux
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Houston office
Cybercriminals are committing identity theft by targeting Americans' health records, which sell on the black market for 10 to 20 times more than credit card numbers. Says Thibodeaux: "In addition to the economic drivers, it appears that recent cyberattacks on health insurers and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management are at least partly an effort to gather key information about government workers and possibly those with links to dissident movements in their countries. These attacks show signs of deep research, targeting those who might have access to important information the hackers want. Unfortunately, health records are often inadequately protected by outdated techniques and software. These recent attacks should encourage health care companies to dramatically improve their defenses."
Thibodeaux advises health care companies on cyberattacks in his role as the deputy practice leader of the cybersecurity and privacy team at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
Contact: Kit Frieden, [email protected]

Using Psychology to Get Patients to Follow Doctor's Orders
Carl Christman
Mentalist and Communication Professor
"Up to 40% of patients do not follow their doctor's recommendations. This leads to thousands of needless deaths each year. If doctors were able to get more patient compliance, their health outcomes would improve. There are various psychological principles that can be used to accomplish this. Patients are more likely to follow through when they feel they are getting special treatment and that their doctor is giving them an exclusive recommendation. It can be difficult to relate this feeling when seeing dozens of patients a day, but if a doctor can build rapport and make the interaction seem unique, the patient is more likely to take his or her advice."
Christman is a teacher, author, and speaker. He plays with language, psychology and non-verbal communication to educate and entertain audiences. His bestselling book, "How to Read Minds and Influence People," explores communication from a radically different perspective. It unlocks the science of mind reading and helps people harness the power of persuasion. It offers readers the tools to relate to people and positively influence them.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: [email protected]

Cardiac Arrest: Will the New Institute of Medicine Recommendations Improve Survival Rates?
Jonathan Epstein, MEMS, NREMT-P
American Red Cross
"The Institute of Medicine's new report on cardiac arrest, available publicly June 30, examines current statistics and survival rates of cardiac arrest in the United States, assesses evidence on existing lifesaving therapies such as CPR and AEDs, and recommends public health strategies. It's important that we in the resuscitation field pay heed to the new guidelines recommended in the IOM report so that we can marshal the necessary resources to continuously improve survival rates."
Epstein, a paramedic and CPR instructor trainer, is senior director of science and content development at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C.
Contact: Marie Manning, [email protected]

Report: Creative Ways College Students Are Saving Money
Kevin Walker
Co-founder & CEO
"More than ever, students today are burdened with the rising cost of tuition, room, board and other college expenses. What we found is that students are being very proactive and creative about finding ways to reduce the burden of these expenses."
Walker can discuss how students are coping with rising costs, as well as the company's recent "Student Trends 2015" report, which outlined students' perceptions of the cost of college and their tactics for managing those expenses. According to the College Board, the average undergraduate student should budget between $1,200 and $1,300 for textbooks and supplies each year. That's as much as 40 percent of tuition at a two-year community college and 13 percent at a four-year public institution. With the cost of tuition and textbooks continuing to rise, ValoreBooks set out to better understand the creative ways in which college students are saving money. The report found that most college students strongly agree that the cost of college textbooks and materials is too high, with three out of four students reporting that they pay for their own books. Only 19 percent of students responded that their parents pay for their textbooks and fewer than 10 percent of students purchase new textbooks.
Contact: Kristen Wiltse, [email protected]

Talking to Teens: Build Trust by Understanding Their Concerns
Larry Pearson
Communication Expert and Seminar Leader
"Here are three tips for parents to keep in mind to build trust and open communication: 1) First, really listen: Many parents talk first and listen later. Flip-flop that for more effective communication. If you are focusing on what you are going to say while your child is talking, you are probably not really listening. 2) Address their concerns: A pitfall for many parents is trying to justify, explain or argue with their kids without speaking to their concerns. Your children's concerns are valid. Respecting and addressing their concerns will strengthen your communication and your family. 3) Talk straight: If a child is asking something and the answer is 'no,' parents often try to soften the blow by saying 'not now' or 'maybe later.' It actually helps when you just say 'no.' For instance, if your child tells you she wants something the family can't afford, simply talk straight about how the family budget is tight."
Larry Pearson is a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that's had more than 2.4 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives and communities, generating more than 100,000 community projects around the world. He holds a master's degree in social work from the Graduate School for Social Work at State University of New York at Albany, and earned a bachelor's degree in social work from State University of New York at Albany.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Michelle Tennant, [email protected]

Trapped Emotions: The Hidden Epidemic
Dr. Bradley Nelson
Bio-Energetic Medicine and Energy Psychology Expert (Holistic Chiropractic Physician)
"When people use their own intrinsic genius to find trapped emotions and release them, their pain goes away, their diseases improve and sometimes disappear, and they no longer have depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or phobias. They stop sabotaging themselves, improve their health, and often improve their love life by getting rid of their emotional baggage."
Among thousands of patients he has treated, Dr. Nelson estimates more than 90 percent suffer health effects related to past emotional trauma. He can share tools and techniques for uncovering and relieving the emotional roots of common illnesses, from depression and obesity to neck and back pain. His bestselling book, "The Emotion Code," offers step-by-step instructions for working with the body's own healing power.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Michelle Tennant, [email protected]

Copper is the Hot Trend for 2015/2016
Michelle Ropp
Interior Designer
Michelle Ropp Design
"A lot of designers have been obsessing over the return of brass, but I'm not quite as enamored. In my opinion, copper is what's hot for 2015/2016. Copper exudes much more warmth and dimension than brass and even pewter, for that matter. Although I still love pewter and incorporate it in my work for clients, copper is definitely the 'it' metal right now. Use it in light fixtures, frames, decorative trinkets -- even in wall color or accent pillows."
Since 2002, Ropp has dedicated herself to pursuing her (main) passion and profession, interior design and, more recently, production design. When she relocated to Seattle in 2002, Ropp reconnected with an old friend, Tami Michaels, who essentially took her under her wing. Michaels is known as the "Home Improvement Guru" in the Pacific Northwest. She's had her own radio show for the last 15 years or so, and remains a TV personality on KOMO News 4 in Seattle. Ropp's clients include notables Louise Sorel, Tony Horton, Clare Carey, Matisyahu, Ken Mok and Courtney Wagner, among others. In the spring of 2012, she was hired as production designer and art director for a production called Treasures, which will be completed this summer.
Contact: Ken Greenberg, [email protected]

Will Tom Brady Succeed in Getting His Deflategate Suspension Overturned?
John Snyder
"The NFL's current approach to meting out punishment for violation of league rules is arbitrary, capricious, lacks guiding principles, and hurts the league's credibility. It can also be fixed. The NFL suspended Brady for four games because he 'probably' was 'generally aware' the Patriots equipment managers deflated footballs before the AFC Championship Game. The league also fined the Patriots $1 million and took away a first round pick in 2016 and a fourth round pick in 2017. Less than a year ago, the NFL decided that a two-game suspension was appropriate punishment for Ray Rice, who had brutally assaulted his fiancée in an elevator in Atlantic City. (The NFL, facing withering public criticism, awkwardly increased that punishment to an "indefinite" suspension -- a decision that was rightly thrown out by a retired federal judge last November.) When the 'Deflategate' punishment was announced, many observers noted its disproportionality. In the NFL, you get a two-game suspension for KO'ing your fiancée in an elevator, but you get four games (plus heavy fines and lost draft picks) for 'probably' playing with a slightly underinflated football? If this seems stunningly illogical, it is."
Snyder is a recognized sports guru, as well as a forceful trial advocate and creative legal strategist. He also serves as counselor and personal advisor to executives and entrepreneurs. He was recently named to the American Society of Legal Advocates' "Top 40 Under 40" list of New York litigators, and has been rated a "Rising Star" by SuperLawyers since 2013.
Contact: Ryan McCormick, [email protected]


Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • News Writer – Clinton Herald (IA)
  • Freelance Writer – CraveOnline Media
  • Freelance Social Media Writers – Social5


Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at [email protected]

  • WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL BLOG? Many bloggers dream of seeing their stats skyrocket out of nowhere, though most have no idea how to achieve it. Yesterday, ProfNet hosted a Twitter Q&A with Bryce Gruber, co-founder of, to find out her tips for promoting and marketing a blog. If you missed it, here's a recap of the discussion:
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: CAPITALIZING (WITH A CAPITAL "C"). One of the biggest mines in the grammatical minefield is when to capitalize beyond the first word of a sentence. We all have a pretty good handle on the basics (proper nouns, days of the week, months of the year), but the rules get a little fuzzier for some when it comes to capitalizing a person's title. The Grammar Hammer shares a few key rules to follow when considering whether or not something needs to be capitalized:
  • PR NEWSWIRE MEDIA MOVES, JUNE 22 EDITION. PR Newswire's weekly audience research newsletter, PR Newswire Media Moves, is chock-full of media news and job changes. In this week's issue, you'll read updates on NBC Nightly News, Dallas Morning News, National Journal, Politico Pro, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, CNET,, Real Simple, Southern Living and many more:



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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