If you get the feeling Martha Stewart has become ubiquitous since she skipped out of prison, here's further evidence. The lifestyle mogul is getting into healthcare, too.
Earlier this month, Stewart celebrated her mother's 91st birthday on her nationally syndicated television show, "Martha," by pledging $5 million to fund the construction of the conveniently named Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The pledge came from the Martha and Alexis Stewart Charitable Foundation.
Scheduled to break ground in November, the eponymous center will provide medical treatment and care for the elderly and also "operate as a think tank, creating business and educational models that address the needs and challenges" of our most senior citizens, according to the news release from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Mount Sinai officials are hoping that the models for management of older patients to be developed at the center can be exported to healthcare institutions around the country, says Lucia Lee, a Mount Sinai spokeswoman.
Stewart "is very interested in longevity. Longevity runs in her family," says Brent Ridge, director of clinical strategies for the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai. "What she wants to do is change the way that people view aging and people's perceptions."
After she baked a carrot birthday cake, which Stewart shared with the studio audience, Ridge was introduced to announce the donation. "I am thrilled to be working with Martha to lead a revolution in the way we all think about aging," Ridge said.
Stewart then presented her mother, birthday girl Martha Kostyra, with a bonsai tree, the center's chosen symbol. Properly nurtured, a bonsai can live for centuries -- a trick the center hopes to emulate.
Will Martha still be telling people how to live then?
What would Bulworth do?
Goading California's governor has become almost the raison d'etre of the 60,000-plus member California Nurses Association. Ever since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed to relax California's nurse-to-patient ratio rules, the CNA has doggedly taunted the Republican, jeering him at rallies, in advertisements, even with an airplane (dubbed Air Arnold) that tows mocking banners over the governor's Sacramento office.
Late last week they went further, getting Warren Beatty to give the keynote address at the union's biennial convention, and perhaps edging the actor into a possible challenge to the governor.
Beatty -- a seasoned political activist and, of course, Hollywood actor, producer and director -- has been named as a possible Democratic candidate to unseat Schwarzenegger next fall. Beatty has teased before, speculating on a run for president, but so far has shied away from actually mounting a campaign. He did play a cynical senator who reawakens as an activist in the movie "Bulworth."
The 68-year-old Beatty blasted Schwarzenegger before University of California at Berkeley graduates in May.
"I'm an opponent of his muscle-bound conservatism with a longer experience in politics than he has, and although I don't want to run for governor, I'd do one helluva lot better job than he's done," he said, according to a transcript of his remarks. He chided Schwarzenegger for labeling opponents "stooges" and "girly men."
"Can't we accept that devotion to the building of the body politic is more complex and a little more sensitive than devotion to bodybuilding?" Beatty asked the crowd. "Does that make me a girly man?"
Beatty may say he doesn't want to be governor, but so far he has refused to rule out a run.
Red Sox fever a cure-all?
It's one thing to schedule dates around Boston Red Sox games, as depicted in the movie "Fever Pitch" ... but an emergency room visit? Researchers from Children's Hospital Boston say they've found evidence that rabid Red Sox fans may have done just that when the team broke its 86-year drought without a championship last year.
The researchers, led by physicians John Brownstein and Ben Reis, tracked ER volumes at six Boston-area hospitals using a computerized disease surveillance system. They adjusted the volumes recorded during the hours the games were televised for factors such as the time of day, day of week and seasonal variations, and then plotted those volumes on a chart against the local Nielsen ratings of Red Sox playoff telecasts in the American League Championship Series and the World Series in October 2004.
The results, published in the October issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed that not only did volumes decrease compared with the expected levels, but also that the effect was stronger when the TV ratings were stronger. The effect reduced volume by about 5% during the lower-rated games and by 15% during the highest-rated games -- the final games of both the ALCS and the World Series.
"The public health finding here is people use discretion in deciding when to show up in the emergency department," says senior study author Kenneth Mandl, an attending physician at Children's and a faculty member at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology.