01 October 2013

October Calendar of Monthly Events

Out of the many national topics for the month of October, I selected just two of the national month of October topics. The first is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task."

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) was established in 2001 and assumed responsibility for NDEAM. ODEP has worked to expand its reach, scope, and make this a worthy national event.

This year's theme echoes the message of ODEP's ongoing Campaign for Disability Employment to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. They are striving to expand ideas about what youths with disabilities can do when they receive encouragement and support for their ambitions. Conducted in collaboration with business and disability organizations, the campaign emphasizes that, at work, it is what people can do that matters.

The second national event is Talk About Prescriptions Month (TAP Month). As a person with diabetes, prescriptions have become part of my life. While I don't like many prescriptions, I do need to take the medications. In reading some of the web sites about this, I like the fact that some straightforward ideas were presented.

"Too many times, people misuse medications, either by not following proper use instructions, or not taking them as directed by their physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. This misuse often leads to other health problems. That's why NCPIE is launching the 3Rs for Safe Medicine Use program." Phillip Schneider, NCPIE Chairman. NCPIE stands for The National Council on Patient Information and Education and NCPIE

During ”TAP” Month, on October 15, 2013, NCPIE will launch a new national campaign called the Adherence Action Agenda (The A3 Project), with a particular emphasis on the need to call attention to and address improving adherence by Americans suffering from multiple chronic conditions (MCCs).

This theme was used in a prior year, but still in relevant today. The 3Rs for Safe Medicine Use, focusing on the following key safe medicine use messages for consumers and healthcare providers:
  1. Risk: recognize that all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) have risks as well as benefits; and you need to weigh these risks and benefits carefully for every medicine you take.
  2. Respect: respect the power of your medicine and the value of medicines properly used.
  3. Responsibility: take responsibility for learning about how to take each medication safely. Being responsible also means following this important rule: when in doubt, ask first. Your healthcare professional can help you get the facts you need to use medicines correctly.

Because most doctors bail on doing this, the pharmacists in many states are now required by law to provide this information.

The information at this link was last updated in October 2005, but is as important today as ever. Just understand that many doctors are listening to drug representatives and you need to be sure that the doctor has no conflicts of interest for prescribing a medication. There are some questions that need to be asked of the doctor, but be careful as some doctors are easily offended by the manner in which you chose to ask the question.

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