Consulo Indicium - 6/2/22

Information for your Consideration…

CEO Resignations Accelerate – Challenge, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (CGC) – an industry tracking group – has been monitoring CEO changes across the spectrum of industries since 2002. Recent findings were a warning that the “Great Resignation” has seeped across the various roles of companies and has now entered the C-suite. Over the period of January – April, 2022, CGC found that there were 518 CEOs who departed their roles across industries, including healthcare. Among the healthcare services group, 36 CEOs have so far announced their departures compared to only 20 for the same time period in 2021.

Why the increase? And, why now? The CGC report points to several inherent challenges including: inflation, potential concerns about the recession, the handling of staffing shortages due to the pandemic and, the looming pressure-cooker environment for the C-suite in many organizations. One positive outcome from the CEO turnover, however, has been the increased rate of women in assuming these roles. Women took on CEO roles at a 26% higher rate in 2022 compared to 2021 and held steady on a year for year basis. In fact, one-fifth of the outgoing CEOs this year have been women, compared to 16% of the 440 CEOs who left their roles during the first quarter of 2021. For all of 2021, 19.6% of the CEOs who left their roles were women.

Don’t Panic…Be Vigilant – The outbreak of monkeypox has caught the public’s attention even though the nature of the outbreak is still under investigation. The disease emanates from west and central Africa and rarely spreads outside of those geographic confines. So, the question that’s been put forward is why monkeypox? Why now? Under what parameters? The media alarm bells went off and science has needed to weigh in on the spread of monkeypox. So, here is what the scientists know so far:

  • Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a very distinctive bumpy – almost bubbly – rash that can appear on the soles and palms as well on other areas of the skin along with lymphadenopathy
  • There are currently two strains in the environment: (a) the West African strain, which has a very low fatality rate of about 1%; and, (b) the Congo strain, which has a higher mortality rate upwards of 10% of cases.
  • The UK cases have been reported as the West African variety.
  • The virus spreads through close physical contact usually from animal to human transmissions BUT, the UK cases have been troubling since there is no known animal connection nor have the nine cases reported as of May 19 had a common connection.
  • In addition to the UK and US (= Massachusetts) case, other reported locations for monkeypox infections are Portugal, Spain, and Canada.
  • A smallpox vaccination history protects against a monkeypox infection!
  • For further information, you can go here

COVID Considerations – The pandemic is NOT over!! So, it will be important to remain vigilant and continue in your cautious ways. Here are a couple of items to be aware of over the coming weeks: 

  • Long COVID Still A Risk Among The Vaccinated – While vaccines are still the best way for avoiding COVID infections and reducing infectious possibilities, you can still become infected with the virus. In such situations, there is a risk of “long COVID”. In a new study, vaccinated individuals were shown to still be at risk of long COVID even though they were protected from many of the short-term acute problems that are often life threatening.
  • Reconsidering Paxlovid Treatment – The CDC recently released a notice that those individuals treated with Pfizer’s Paxlovid did, in fact, see a reduction in their symptoms when they received the medication. However, there was a resurgence of symptoms following completion of the course of treatment. As a result, increasing numbers of physicians were moving toward a reconsideration of Paxlovid treatment for lower-risk patients noting that these individuals should isolate themselves from others – a good strategy in the first place. 

Flipping A Switch – Turning On Memory – Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply flip a switch and turn on our memory button? Efforts are underway at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) to do just that!! The basic idea is to identify a genetic “switch” that allows the brain to slow the memory generalization process down a bit. The generalization process is where we lose the specific details of events and interactions over time that contribute to age-related memory impairment as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our memories are generated in the hippocampus which then sends the information to our prefrontal cortex. My interpretation is that the hippocampus is the “chief organizer” of memories and the prefrontal cortex is the “storage unit” of memories. If the switch that controls our memories can be identified, perhaps there is a way of managing the switching process that would prevent detail loss as we age. Now, where was I going with this discussion?

Drug Overdose Spiking Among US Teens –In a letter published in JAMA an analysis of the death rate from drug overdoses revealed that “the death rate… had been generally stable for a decade, then nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020 and continued to rise early in 2021, reaching a rate of 5.49 deaths per 100,000 adolescents.” The data also revealed that fentanyl was involved in more than 77% of those adolescent overdose deaths. Furthermore, racial disparities were also prominent with the highest rates of death among the Alaskan Native, Native American and Latino teens.

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