CHOP Doc Gets $1 Million to Further Pediatric Cancer Research

The Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania at UPENN.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia | Photo by Jeff Fusco

It’s the end of the workweek and we could all use a good, stress-relieving happy cry, couldn’t we? Well, here we go: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Richard Aplenc, who has been working with pediatric blood cancer at CHOP since 2000, was just awarded a $1 million grant by Hyundai Hope on Wheels to further pediatric cancer research and hopefully take a step toward transforming the way acute myeloid leukemia, which currently has a cure rate of between 50 and 60 percent, is treated. As he says, “We are very, very excited. This gives us resources to do something we wouldn’t be able to do before.”

If you are tearing up right now (because money to help sick kids!), feel no shame: I might’ve teared up as I was talking to Dr. Aplenc, which is significantly more embarrassing. Read more »

The Checkup: The Argument for Going to Happy Hour Tonight — for Your Health 

• From the director of a 75-year study on happiness and health: “Over and over in these 75 years, our study has shown that the people who fared the best [health-wise] were the people who leaned into relationships with family, with friends and with community.” So instead of heading home and curling up on the couch tonight, grab some friends and catch up over happy hour (we have plenty of healthy picks here) or go get your dance on or, if you’re not into going out, have a Netflix and chill session with your BFF — for your health. [The New York Times]
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Study: Segregation Is Bad for Your Health

Economic Segregation

Different worlds.

Segregation makes you sick.

That’s one of the conclusions of the 2016 County Health Rankings released earlier this month, and it’s a bit of news that doesn’t bode well for Philadelphia.

Why? Because the study’s own rankings suggest Philadelphia is very segregated — the county scores a 71 on the study’s 0-100 segregation score, with 100 being “most segregated — and that’s just the latest in a long series of reports suggesting that blacks and whites in the area live separate lives. (The study doesn’t directly compare big cities, but Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, scored 65 on the index, while Chicago’s Cook County scores 79. New York scores a 68, while Washington D.C. also scores a 71. Boston’s Suffolk County scored a 70.)

The result is likely taking a toll on our collective health, according to the study. “Residential segregation of blacks and whites is a fundamental cause of health disparities in the U.S.,” the authors write. Segregation was added as a measure to the rankings this year because of those health implications. Read more »

Forget Everything You Thought You Knew: A Cold Soda Isn’t the Cure for an Upset Stomach

As a child, my mother brought a sick, couch-ridden me many-a cold ginger ale to soothe the stomach flu. And as an adult, I have stumbled into a corner store on more than one occasion in search of an ice-cold can of fizzy ginger ale after a night spent downing too many margaritas (and, let’s be honest, probably making other questionable life decisions). And all these times, I thought that cold, bubbly beverage was doing me a favor — but in a new video put together by the folks at STAT, a gastroenterologist says cold, fizzy ginger ale might actually make you feel worse when you’re nursing an upset stomach.

What the whaaaat? Read more »

The Checkup: The Gross Reason You Shouldn’t Go to Bed with Wet Hair

• Going to bed freshly showered is like waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing you don’t have to go to the office: It just feels good. But turns out, going to bed with wet hair could be contributing to an uptick in dust mites — hello, asthma and sinus infections — and mold (gross!) in your pillow. [Health] Read more »

Philadelphia Ranked Least Healthy County in Pennsylvania

Welp, this is upsetting: Yesterday, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a non-profit organization that — you guessed it! — ranks the country’s counties based on health, released its 2016 rankings. Can you guess where Philadelphia falls when it comes to health in Pennsylvania? Dead last, folks. Of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County is ranked as the least healthy. But, while this is upsetting, it’s nothing new: Philadelphia has consistently scored at the bottom of the list since County Health Rankings started ranking the country’s counties in 2010. Read more »

Over 31,000 Cases of Canned Tuna Recalled Due to Possible Health Risk 

Before you whip up a batch of avocado-tuna salad for lunch, go ahead and check the can: San Diego-based company Bumble Bee Foods has recalled over 31,000 cases of Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna due to process deviations that might have resulted in “contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens,” according to a press release from the company. Read more »

4 Self-Defense Moves Everyone Should Know, According to Philly Pros

Photo courtesy Brian Rago

Defending against the choke hold from behind | Photo courtesy Brian Rago

Self-defense: it’s one of those topics everyone files in the “I really should get around to learning that” compartment of their brain. I know I did. But when I realized the only thing I knew about self-defense was what Sandra Bullock taught me in Miss Congeniality, it was time to make a change.

I went to Queen Village’s Gracie Academy at 325 Bainbridge Street, where Jiu-Jitsu instructors Brian Rago and Samantha Faulhaber showed me some basic self-defense moves that everyone should know. They teach under the assumption that your attacker is bigger, faster and all-around better at fighting than you, so you won’t learn any fancy eye gouges or sneak attacks that require brute strength. “The stuff we teach grandma, we teach you,” joked Faulhaber.

Honestly, the whole process was pretty damn empowering. The more I practiced, the less freaked out I was. Faulhaber and Rago both said that’s the point. Repetition plus awareness are key. Below are four simple self-defense moves you, too, can practice at home. All you need is some floor space, some spare time and a willing roommate. And note: If you want to learn more, Gracie Academy offers free self-defense classes for women. They’re the first Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. Read more »

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