Gas Is Too High – I’ll Have to Quit My Job!

May 7, 2011 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Health 

By Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher – HealthNewsDigest.com
Apr 25, 2011 – 6:06:00 AM

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(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Lois is a 65 year-old “care giver” in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Five days per week she tends to her client, a ninety-year old woman with a pacemaker. Her job is to bathe her, do the cooking, shopping, cleaning, make sure her client takes her pills, and to keep her client in good spirits. Lois is about to quit her job because she can no longer afford gas. Are you in the same situation?

Lois’ gross salary every two-weeks is $476.00, after taxes. She leaves her house every day at 8:30am and drives 44 miles round-trip to tend to her patient. She spends $120.00 on gas EVERY WEEK. She recently got a raise of 26 cents per hour. She has no medical insurance (since the recession, her company can no longer afford it).

“I’ll have to quit my job, I can no longer afford the gas” she said, when I asked her how she was getting along. “It’s very gratifying work, that’s why I do it” she replied when asked.

How many of you find yourself in the same situation? Have you avoided driving to your favorite restaurant, movie? Is entertainment of any sort out of the question? If we don’t spend, how is the economy going to improve? Not by pouring our hard-earned dollars down a well. Send your Congressman/Woman an email,or twitter:

“Gas Is Too High – I’ll Have to Quit My Job!”

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Lung Cancer Screening

November 8, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Health 

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher

The Big News this week: Lung Cancer Screening

In what is a watershed moment in the effort to save lives from the nation’s number one cancer killer, groundbreaking news from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) this week confirms what many in the public health community have long held out hope for – that low dose lung cancer screening will revolutionize the battle to detect tobacco-related lung cancers early enough to save countless lives.

What is screening?

Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.

Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to get certain types of cancer. They also study the things we do and the things around us to see if they cause cancer. This information helps doctors recommend who should be screened for cancer, which screening tests shoud be used, and how often the tests should be done.

It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.

For advertising and promotion rates, please contact me at:

[email protected]

877-634-9180

Finally, Some Good News for a Guy Who Could Use Some

November 8, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · 1 Comment
Filed under: Health 

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher

Three months ago, “Bob” returned home to find his 41 year-old wife lying on the floor, dead of a heart attack. Lying on the floor next to her was their 16 month old son, who suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis.

Six months prior to this, Bob lost his business due to the economy. They reposessed his truck. He did not have health insurance. This weekend, they have foreclosed on his house.

His medical bills alone will stagger you. He changes his son’s diaper 6 times a day, as well as feeding him. He cannot leave his son alone, or the state will step in and charge neglect.

Tuberous Sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in many different organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs. You will see it referred to both as tuberous sclerosis (TS) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The term TSC is used in scientific literature to distinguish tuberous sclerosis complex from Tourette’s syndrome.

This past Saturday, this news release came to HealthNewsDigest.com:

FDA Approval
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Announces FDA Approval of First Drug to Treat Tuberous Sclerosis Complex
See article below. I called Bob with the News. He was ecstatic. “Finally, some good news.”

“Hey, Mike, the state helped me get an apartment. I move in next week!”

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) as an Effective Marketing Tool

July 27, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Health 

Michael J. McCurdy – Founder/Publisher
Public Service Announcements (PSAs) as an Effective Marketing Tool

Public service announcements have been around since the 1960’s when a lawyer in Washington thought it would be a good idea as a counterpart to all of the cigarette advertising. It caught on, and the rest is history. The reality is, stations actually need PSAs to fill unsold air time.

The reasons why a PSA can be effective may be as varied as the reasons a nonprofit may choose to undertake a campaign, but generally a campaign can satisfy one of these objectives:
Push traffic to their website. A widely viewed PSA with a call to action that says “for more information go to our website” can be instrumental in driving tens-of-thousands of clicks to your organization’s website.

Support a fundraising effort. A big campaign push on television and radio stations in advance of a fundraising effort means that a viewer may be more familiar with the organization when the mailer arrives at their home.

Promote a new service or program. Whether it’s to promote an effort, get volunteers, or have people sign up for a special service, PSAs are a means to get the word out to the masses.

Set the nonprofit as a leader. It is especially important to “get ahead of the pack” when there are multiple nonprofits with the same or similar mission (for example, there are many breast cancer nonprofits). Frequent visibility can give the sense that the nonprofit is a leader.

While all of these are important reasons to launch a PSA campaign, perhaps THE most important reasons is a benefit many nonprofits are unaware of: the donation of the media time can be taken as an in-kind contribution. This is important because it can help a nonprofit with its programs-to-overhead ratio.

Common Myths

If you’re down on PSAs because you’ve heard that they only air in the “wee hours” of the morning or that it’s only smaller stations use them, you’re falling prey to common myths that we have proven to be false. Year after year we undertake analysis and historically, we find that two-thirds of all airings occur during normal waking ours (5 a.m. – 11 p.m.) and that more than half of the airings occur in the top 100 markets.

New Trends

As we monitor the PSA landscape we are seeing three newer trends emerging.

First is a dramatic increase in Hispanic PSAs. Nonprofits are taking their mainstream PSAs and making them culturally-relevant to the Hispanic community. These campaigns have been wildly successful mostly because the Hispanic community is grossly underserved with PSAs on important topics, especially health, and the Hispanic media has the same needs as their mainstream counterpart, which is to find a way to fill advertising time that goes unsold.

Another new trend is going online with the PSA. This is often through banner placements or other means. The Internet offers benefits like being able to target your audience better by sending the PSAs only to websites that match the profile of who it is you want to reach. Also, if increasing web traffic is one of your reasons for launching the campaign, consider that the person looking at your PSA is already on line and a few easy clicks get them right to your website!

Finally, more corporations get into the act. While stations will NOT donate PSA time to for-profit organizations, corporations are partnering with nonprofits with a like-minded mission. The PSA is distributed on behalf of the nonprofit, and the for-profit has no visibility. One of the most common partnerships is that between pharmaceutical companies and health-related nonprofits. A pharmaceutical company may have a new drug coming out and they may partner with a for-profit dealing with that disease. The PSA message is “check with your doctor for new treatment options.” However, we are seeing more and more non-health partnerships between corporate and nonprofit. It’s actually a win-win for everyone. The nonprofit gets visibility that they otherwise may not be able to afford, the for-profit corporation gets out a message with wide play (since PSAs stay on the air for three to six months and longer) at a fraction of an ad buy, and the consumer hears an important message that may have timely relevance to them.

If this information has motivated you to consider a PSA campaign for your 2010 initiative, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Do seek the help and counsel of a reputable producer/distributor to assure the message is on point and positioned in a way that will give you success with the media. As with anything, there are common dos and don’ts and you can easily avoid pitfalls with free consultation.

We have created, produced and distributed hundreds of campaigns. For a personal presentation, or to receive a Power Point presentation:
Contact Mike McCurdy, Executive Producer of HealthyTelevisionProductions, a division of HealthNewsDigest.com Call toll free: 877-634-9180 or [email protected]

LIFE WITHOUT A CELL PHONE

July 20, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Health 

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher

Reporting from the Pocono Mountains – 2

LIFE WITHOUT A CELL PHONE

Impossible you say? Walk down any street in New York City and you can bet that everyone is carrying a cell phone. And, it’s a safe bet that at any time 10% of those people are having a conversation with someone else on their cell phone. Have you ever forgot to take your cell phone when you left the house? Did it make you feel naked? All alone? Worried you’d miss a business opportunity; a date? Do you reach into your pocket everytime you hear one go off?
I have been without a cell phone now for 3 weeks; by choice. It’s a surprisingly wonderful feeling. It’s nice not to have to worry about being on a leash. I got tired of carrying my Verizon cell phone and trying to find the perfect high ground, or by standing on a rock on one leg in the Pocono mountains trying to call someone I didn’t really want to speak to in the first place. So I went to Walmart here in Pa. – my first time – and right to the electronics department where I found the staff to be very courteous and well versed, and was told that Verizon didn’t work here. I was told that I needed a local pre-paid phone called Tracfone, with a $60.00 credit. I rushed home to set it up and could not make a call from my house. Went outside, kept walking up the hill until I finally got a connection. Started to make a call, and decided that I was so laid back from being in the mountains, I didn’t want to get back in the tag phone game. However, for the next two days I got a series of calls for Julie from some teenage girls and guys. It seems that they put Julie’s number back in the barrel as soon as she stopped paying her bill.
I go for daily 3-5 mile walks through the forest of the Promised Land state park here in Pennsylvania (I decided to keep my cell phone on a permanent charge at the cabin) and it is so quiet you can hear your thoughts. My only concern is running into a black bear for which they are numerous around here. But mostly they come out late in the day, as I noted last week when I was introduced to a 400 pound bear named Bruno who sauntered up my driveway while I was checking out the stars. A local had mistaken him for another big bear they call Apache.
So, if you want to buy and ad on HealthNewsDigest.com, call me on our free land line:
877-634-1890 or email me at: [email protected]

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MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A 400 POUND BLACK BEAR

July 12, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Health 

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/ Publisher-HealthNewsDigest.com

Reporting from the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A 400 POUND BLACK BEAR

On July 1st we moved HealthNewsDigest.com from our home base in Manhattan, NYC, into a summer house in the northeast Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania . We are 10 miles from the nearest town, and 30 miles from the nearest city. Across the road from our house is a trail that goes through a forest where black bears and deer roam. It is formally known as “The Promised Land” state park. About 3,000 acres in size, it is 1,800 feet above sea level, and is surrounded by 12, 464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest. The forests of the park consist primarily of beech, oak, maple and hemlock trees. Two lakes and several small streams add to the
parks outstanding beauty. The air is so clear, it seems surreal.
I slept 12 hours each night for the first three nights, without Tylenol PM. No fire engines, ambulance sirens or police cars. It was awful :)
As I toured the area by foot, I came across the local gas station about a mile down the road. Much to my amazement, it sells the New York Times, for which I immediately reserved one of the 5 copies it receives each day.
On the fourth day here, I was invited to a ritual of a nightly “bear watch” fire and barbecue, where the locals place breaded and buttered corn in the backyard of one of their houses, and at approximately 9pm each nite, adult bears and their cubs and some deer come to feed. For a true city boy, it is quite a site!
Not so, on the fifth night. As I sat in my driveway, looking at the stars, I heard what sounded like large rakes scraping across the asphalt to my left and rear. As the sounds got louder, I also heard what sounded like panting. A huge 400 pound black bear walked nonchalantly by me within 10 feet, and proceeded across the road and into the forest. It took at least 5 minutes for my body to defrost. It took another five minutes to push my eyes back into my head.
“Oh, that must have been Apache” said a local when I described my experience. “He’s harmless. Loves to introduce himself to newcomers.”
The next night, not to show any fear to the locals, I sat down in the exact same spot. At around 9pm, he came into view from out of the forest, crossed the road walking straight towards me, proceeded up my driveway, passed within ten feet of me, and into the bushes behind the house. It took 15 minutes for my body to defrost and 15 minutes to push my eyes back into my head. This is vacation ?

Next week: Reporting in from the mountains, Part 2

To email me: [email protected]
Phone: 877-634-9180

Financial Health Tip – Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

January 3, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Commentary, Health, Public Service, entreprenuer, financial health, financial success 

He was the worst client the company had. He was abusive, insulting, and arrogant. Two of our company’s salesmen refused to do business with him. An unsigned contract for his business was sitting on his desk for over a month. As the junior salesman, I was next in line to be assigned to his account. The president of the company called me into his office. He gave me advice that forever changed my outlook on life.(I was 26 years old and a bachelor)

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I was instructed to call “John Smith” and make an appointment with him. After doing so, I was to go to the president’s office for a pep talk.

“Mike” the president began, “Mr. Smith has been a client of this company for almost 5 years. He has always been a really nice guy until this past year, which tells me that he’s having personal problems. So, instead of talking your way into a sale, why not spend the time listening to him. Draw him out.”

From what I’ve heard about this guy, the thought was repulsive, and it showed.

“Mike, tell me something. How long do you think you will spend in Mr.Smith’s office?

I looked skyward and then replied “No more than a half-hour.”

The look on my face prompted another question from the president.

“Tell me Mike, how much commission will you earn for spending just one half-hour with him.”

I looked skyward again. When I realized how much was at stake, I sat straight up in my chair. “Three-thousand dollars!”

“Tell me Mike, what are you going to do with that money?”

An instant vision of a pretty girl I had wanted to date, but thought was out of my reach came into my mind. I saw myself taking her to an expensive French restaurant in my brand new “killer” suit. I had transformed into another person, totally focused, totally fearless. Yell at me all you want!

The president began to speak, but I held up my hand, “Sir,no need for another word. You just did me a big favor…a great lesson…thank you Sir.” I couldn’t wait for my appointment with Mr. Smith.

I now had a goal, mixed with incentive and passion to succeed.

When I walked into Mr.Smith’s office, he greeted me with “So, another new salesman to waste my time.”

As I sat down I gratefully acknowledged a family picture sitting on the window sill behind his desk. “You have a good looking family Mr. Smith.” It was a picture of him, his wife and three young girls. “Yeah, and they’re all a pain in the ass!”

“How’s that, what are they doing to you?” I said with a chuckle and a look of empathy. For the next twenty-minutes I listened to a man who was just seeking a little respect. One of his daughters was chronically ill, and his wife never greeted him with hugs and kisses, but rather taunts on why he wasn’t making more money. I found out that he was indeed a nice guy…if just someone would listen to him, for a change.

“Mike, thanks for listening,” he said with a big smile. “I guess you want me to sign this,” referring to the contract sitting on his desk.

As I was walking down the hall with the signed contract in my brief case, I kept thinking how easy that was. I didn’t say a single word that referred to sales, or the contract. I just listened…and kept that picture in my mind.

When the elevator reached the ground floor, I hit the street running. I rushed unannounced into the president’s office with a huge grin on my face and bowed before him, tossing the signed contract on his desk, “Oh Mighty One, When do I get my commission?” I don’t know who was happier.

So, how does this little story help you pay the mortgage, or the car payment, or get a better job?

Scan your mind for that ideal picture that makes you feel good about yourself. Stir in passion. When you smile…you’ll know you’ve got the right one. You will automatically start to focus on it’s accomplishment. Faith and Willpower are installed as a bonus!

On Dealing with Adversity: Try to find humor in every situation. Prior to going to college, I joined the Marine Corps to fulfill my military obligation. One day in boot camp, a Drill Instructor walked up to me as I stood at attention, and shouted in my face, “Private McCurdy, you’re not good enough to be a pimple on a dog’s ass!”

I bit down on my tongue as hard as I could to prevent myself from busting out laughing!

Here’s to Your Success in 2010!

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher, HealthNewsDigest.com

Eunice Kennedy Shriver – An American Saint

“In the 1950’s, the mentally retarded were among the most scorned, isolated and neglected groups in American Society. Mental retardation was viewed as a hopeless, shameful disease, and those afflicted with it were shunted from sight as soon as possible.”1 

What began as a summer camp at her Maryland farm in 1968, developed into the first Special Olympics which attracted 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada for competition. 

The idea was born when a mother telephoned Eunice Kennedy Shriver and complained that she could not find a summer camp for her child. Mrs. Shriver recalled the telephone conversation this way in an interview with NPR: “I said: You don’t have to talk about it anymore. You come here a month from today. I’ll start my own camp. No charge to go into the camp, but you have to come and pick your kid up.”

“She set out to change the world and to change us” her family said, when she died, “and she did that and more.”

At the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghi,China, a crowd of 80,000 cheered and welcomed 7,000 athletes, a country with a history of severe discrimination against anyone born with disablities.

The program has now grown to three million athletes in 180 countries.

Eunice Kenndy Shriver (puni-Euni, her family nick name)died on August 11, 2009 at age 88.

Eunice, the middle child in a family of nine, grew up with a sister Rosemary, who was mildly retarted. She detested the practice of keeping people with mental disabilities sedentary lest they injure themselves, or of keeping their existence a secret.

“When the full judgement of the Kennedy legacy is made – including J.F.K.’s Peace Corp and Alliance for Progress, Robert Kennedy’s passion for civil rights and Ted Kennedy’s efforts on health care, workplace reform and refugees – the changes made by Eunice Shriver may well be seen as the most consequential.” U.S. News and World Report said in its cover story of Nov. 15, 1993.

So, should Eunice Kennedy Shriver be considered for Sainthood? Consider this:

    In the Catholic Church the formal process of sainthood involves a complicated process taking time, money, testimonies, and miracles, and the church follows a strict set of rules in the process.

    First, to determine who qualifies, the Vatican looks to its Congregation for the “Causes of Saints”. Typically, a would-be candidate’s “cause” is presented to the local bishop by his or her admirers who persuade him that the life of the candidate was a model of holiness.   

     Once the applicant is approved as a candidate, an appointed postulator interviews those who knew the individual. Personal testimonies, letters, and writings of the candidate’s are put together. A relater then sifts through this information and prepares a position paper. If the volumes of evidence prove a life of “heroic virtue”,  the person is given the title “venerable” by the Pope.  

        The next title, beatified (blessed), is attained if it can be proven that a miracle occurred after the death of the candidate, the result of someone praying to that person for help.

       To finalize a canonization, it must be established that a second miracle occurred.  (Martyrs are the exception. The pope can reduce their miracle requirement to one or waive it altogether.)  Most often prayer requests are for a physical healing. 

Verifying a miracle is considered the most difficult hurdle in the process. Just deciding what constitutes one causes debate. A life of heroic virtue is obviously easier to establish than a healing that results from prayers.

Editors note: I’d like to cast the first vote for her as “An American Saint.”

1. The Kennedy Family, and the Story of Mental Retardation…Edward Shorter

By Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher   HealthNewsDigest.com

Gambling – A Most Happy Loser!

May 27, 2009 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Commentary, Health, Public Service 
Gambling – A Most Happy Loser!
By Michael J. McCurdy
Jan 1, 2008 – 3:10:27 PM
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One month out-of-high school, I joined the Marine Corps and underwent a period of four months of intense training – three months of boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina,and one month Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina. I was in incredible physical and mental condition. I also got an incredible education on gambling just after graduation.Upon graduation from Marine Corps Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, I was issued my first paycheck. I remember it being somewhere around $350.00. I was elated, as I walked into the “Rec Room” with a pocket full of money. I was 18 and no longer a boy, but a certified American Marine. The first thing I saw, as I entered the room was a pool table that was covered with a tarpaulin, with a group of older Marines shouting and screaming at something on the table. A “craps” game. I was encouraged to join in. Now, I felt really accepted. Thirty-minutes later, I was broke!

The Navy Department paid it’s Sailors and Marines every two-weeks. I sat out those two weeks with a fierce determination to win back my money, pride and manhood!

I strode up to the table, placed my bets, and within twenty-minutes I was stone broke again. I will never forget those two-weeks that I waited for another paycheck. I couldn’t even buy a 35 cent beer at the base tavern. I sat on my bunk in deep meditation and realized what a total jerk I was for being sucked in. I have never gambled since.

To the Marines who sucked me into those games, you have no idea how many times in my life I have thanked you!

An editorial in the New York Times reminds us how many people get into serious trouble gambling on state lottery’s.

“They can dress it up all they want in slogans about buying a ticket and a dream. But the states are encouraging behavior that is too often addictive and ruinous for people who can least afford it.”

If you think that you or a loved one have a problem, there is hope. Go to: www.gamblersanonymous.org.

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