CHPA announces executive changes
WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Monday named Bill Head as the association’s VP government affairs, effective Jan. 17, and promoted David Spangler as the association’s SVP policy, general counsel and secretary, effective immediately.
Reporting to CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville, Head will be responsible for the association’s state and federal government affairs departments and its political action committee, and will serve as a member of the association’s senior management team. He succeeds Andrew Fish, who recently joined AdvaMed Diagnostics as its executive director.
“Bill’s extensive and diverse background in state and federal government affairs, health care and public policy is the kind of experience we need to lead the CHPA government affairs team at this critical time,” Melville said. “Throughout his professional career, Bill has demonstrated that he is a strong leader who will bring well-tuned political instincts and legislative savvy to this critical function of our association.”
Spangler will continue to serve as a member of the association’s senior management team, overseeing policy initiatives and international efforts, while taking on the added role of directing the association’s legal affairs. Regarding Spangler, Melville said, “He is widely respected for his work both at home and abroad, and he is well prepared to take on the additional role of general counsel and secretary, where he will work closely with me on board matters while overseeing the legal affairs function.”
Head most recently led the government affairs department of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. Prior to that, he served as a lobbyist in the healthcare insurance and pharmaceutical benefit management industries, as an adviser to former Gov. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Head holds a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law, an M.A. from the University of Nebraska and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.
Spangler joined the CHPA in 1984 as a legislative analyst. He subsequently served in a number of roles for the association in the president’s office, project management, international affairs and legal affairs before assuming his position as SVP policy and international affairs in 2006. He is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and the George Washington University National Law Center.
Next-generation telehealth devices featured at CES
LAS VEGAS — The Continua Health Alliance and member companies Intel, Trac, Andago, Bluegiga, Texas Instruments and ZyXEL will demonstrate personal connected health solutions this week at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, held from Jan. 6 to 9 here, the alliance announced Monday.
Demonstrations scheduled include a Bluetooth blood pressure cuff and weight scale from A&D, a Bluetooth pulse oximeter (a medical device that indirectly monitors the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood) from Nonin Medical and a Cypak USB converter cable designed to connect legacy devices to the Continua ecosystem.
In addition, Andago will demonstrate a complete monitoring solution based on Continua Certification Guidelines that works by collecting patient data from a Continua device and sending it to a Linux mobile phone via Bluetooth. The data then is sent through the mobile network and registered in a personal health record to be analyzed by an Open Health Assistant as part of Andago’s care management platform.
Continua will host the closing keynote Digital Health Summit Conference panel discussion Jan. 7. Led by Continua executive director Charles Parker, the panel will include representatives from Intel, Nokia, Ascension Health, Qualcomm and Roche Diagnostics.
Continua is the nonprofit, open industry alliance of more than 230 healthcare and technology organizations dedicated to developing interoperable personal diagnostic devices.
Omega-3s may aid gum, heart health
DENVER — Omega-3 fatty acids from seafood may reduce inflammation and symptoms of gum disease and risk of abnormal heartbeats, according to recent articles in the December 2010 PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life e-newsletters for health professionals and consumers.
Omega-3 fatty acids, namely DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), may reduce disease symptoms and cartilage degeneration based on results from a U.K. study, which looked at the effect of omega-3s in cultured, stressed cartilage tissue. When low levels of EPA and DHA were added separately to the tissue, the release of a protein associated with cartilage breakdown decreased along with inflammatory substances.
"This research demonstrates the potential of omega-3s to reduce some of the damage and perhaps ease the pain that goes with osteoarthritis," stated Joyce Nettleton, editor of the PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life.
Omega-3s also may be helpful with periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory condition that destroys gum tissue and bone if untreated. A recent U.S.-Egyptian study was the first to demonstrate that omega-3s are linked to reduced inflammation and improved symptoms in people with advanced periodontal disease. EPA and DHA (900 mg/day) plus low-dose aspirin led to improvements beyond other treatments.
In another study, patients undergoing different types of cardiac surgery who had no history of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heartbeats) or a pacemaker were given seafood omega-3s days prior to surgery. Nearly half (46%) were less likely to develop atrial fibrillation immediately after surgery than those not given any intervention.