How many times have you heard it said about a musician, or an artist that they "sold out". Ohhhh, the horror. The Indignity. Is this not the worst condemnation that could be ever be applied? Our contemporary version of "selling out" seems to have been invented by the Woodstock Generation, (at least they seemed to popularize the concept), and it's the official scarlet letter for any young artist. A wider lens reveals that throughout history there have been a zillion examples of artists, or enterprising individuals with a concept, a business, or just the germ of an idea---who was faced with an offer they just couldn't refuse. Putting food on the table is a pretty strong motivational tool when it involves the decision-making process.

I just read an article (the article is in the current edition of "Adventure Cycling", but you can't get it---so I wiki'd it up---scroll down to "Company History") about the creator of the "Clif Bar," Gary Erickson, who turned down a $120 million dollar offer from Quaker Oats in 2000. One Hundred and Twenty Million Dollars. Why? He didn't want to give away the identity he'd established. For 120 mil, I'd keep the check and go establish me a couple more identities. However, the perception of selling out was perhaps not what we thought to begin with. Don't take my word for it, from the sounds of things Hopkins is re-inventing the discussion to fit the changing world of academic research. As the article states, science and industry are fast becoming best buds. Maybe you've got a different take? Let me know.

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

Admit it, "personalized medicine," and "medical marijuana" have become the medical buzzwords du jour. Not a day goes by when I'm not seeing the splashed headlines of one or the other. Usually they're attached to something that reads like "the science supports this...." or "the science supports that..."

I've picked out these two because in a broad sense, they may well be linked-up in the not-too-distant future. The grandeur of personalized medicine evokes Julie Andrews twirling on that Austrian mountaintop belting out "the hills are alive with the sound of personalized medicine". It has a utopian zing that puts a glide into your healthcare stride. Ahhhhh, if only we all could be singled out for our own special care, and treatment. No more buying off the rack. We're getting medicinals from the Dolce and Gabbana Specialty Store. But not so fast says Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. As you cruise down this article, you'll see his objections, which practically wolf howl against several of the major prevailing theories. Others have weighed in on the pros and cons, and ultimately they point the finger at that pesky "Big Data" as the key witness (as the case moves forward). 

And in this corner, here comes medical marijuana --- bidding to be a cornerstone of personalized medicine. I posted this on FB, but the image of the storefront weed shop deserved more attention.  One of the pro-weed claims is that it helps certain mental health issues. Here's what helps mental health issues----the less drugs in your body the better. That's my simple, humble take on the matter. Are we that far from one of those "ask your doctor about.....(CUT TO)....(slumped over millenial, earphones attached, head nodding, music vaguely in distance)..."about getting stoned?" I realize this has turned into a hot button topic. Just ask Oakland and Los Angeles (which seems to have multiple personalities regarding the issue). 

Regardless of how it all plays out, what's worth noting is that doors have been opened that may not get closed anytime soon. Sequence my genomes, give me my weed and tell my smart phone if a heart attack is coming my way. The real discovery seems to be how big data is turning into small (individualized) data that's morphing into that pretty red sportscar we can't wait to drive..................................just because we can.

 

Alonzo Lamont

alonzo@jhmi.edu 


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

This is so much fun. I should show up with a Grand Sweepstakes Winner check. But since I don't have one----I show up with the next best thing. Samata Kakkad was nice enough to put on our shirt. Of course, her friend provides all the moral support this august occasion deserves. And just like that it happens. A Photo Op is born. 

I know, I know----you're kicking yourselves for not getting one. But you still can! How?! Click on the FEEDBACK link on WelchWeb, and send us some FEEDBACK. We enter your name in our monthly raffle and you have a chance to win.

"But what if my FEEDBACK is all bad?"

Don't matter!

"But what if my FEEDBACK is not nice?"

Don't matter!

"But what if my FEEDBACK only talks about my big tabby cat named Cherokee Moon Kitty?"

You won't win.

So keep on the straight and narrow. Share some FEEDBACK, and you could be living the dream. We've got another winner this month (we always pick 2), we're just trying to track him down. Stay tuned.

 

 

And now I finally caught up with Andres Quintero. I cornered him outside of the School of Public Health. Andres has hit the medical school ground running and since time was of the essence, I brought T-shirt, he brought himself and away we go.

 

 

 And this is Andres after I told him to ditch the bag. There's only one star in this film and obviously it's that darling lil Welch T.

This could be you. "No it can't". Yes it can. Hit that FEEDBACK link. Tell us what you think about our new Website. We're listening, so what do you have to say?   

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu


CommComm posted on July 17, 2012 22:10

I switched my Doctor a while back (actually my Doctor retired from Doctoring, go figure). Of course my new Doctor requested my medical records from my old one. Let's review: new Doctor wants records from old Doctor. I know it's not a complicated request, but in this case, entire Civilizations have been built with less agravation. My old Doctor's office couldn't seem to manage sending my records along. So it was the tag-team trio of my new Doctor, wife and yours truly that ultimately entered the patient records arena. We made calls. We made more calls. We implored. We questioned. (And we offered our two cents).

A variety of organizations (look at the "Solutions" section in that article) and individuals have chimed in on situations related to the triangulation of Patient/Doctor/medical records partnerships. It's been at least five months since my records were requested. I've even paid a bill sent by a company that says they transported my records. Have my records arrived? New Doc says no. The quest goes on. New Doc says she'll get to the bottom of this. At this point, maybe it's ok that I'm starting out fresh. Who needs those old records anyway. Too much backstory and new Doc might want me to get some surgery, or suggest some horse pills or mental therapy (way too late for that).

I'm starting to embrace the idea that mayhaps my records are somewhere written down by hand, and nobody ever put them into a computer. Maybe they didn't "go digital". Why didn't they? And was that a bad thing?  JAMA thinks the computer is the heavy-handed "third-party" who gets in the way of patient/Doctor engagement. We'll see how this all plays out. But for now, just the process itself has bonded me to new Doc in a way that old medical records never would.

Moral of story? Never underestimate the power of someone who cares.

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu      


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

Many thanks to Robin Sinn, from the Scholarly Communications Group (SCG) up at JHU-Eisenhower Library, for sending me another point of view that falls pretty much on the heels of a FB post I put up on Dissertation (author) rights and how easy it is to sign them away. Here's the original story. 

Kevin Smith, who works with the SCG at Duke University, applies a bit of a smack-down, and more than a little share of "ownership levity" for potential authors who face similiar circumstances. I believe the chief principle is the same for most intellectual rights situations: "buyer beware". This is the same reason artists are encouraged to seek legal assistance before they sign off on any transactions. Before the ink is dry, you've given away the farm and find out all you actually own is your name and a few ears of corn.

The other night, watching the piracy behind the relocation of the Barnes Foundation ," you couldn't help but witness the genuine article that we traditionally refer to as "ownership" being ransacked by the driving will of those more, shall we say, "monetarily empowered". It's a classic case of what can only be viewed as a classic swindle. While the stakes are magnificently higher in "The Art of the Steal," it does provide a context for observing the sharks in the water.

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu    

 


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on July 9, 2012 19:54

Since we never seem to lose interest in ALL THINGS REFWORKS, I'd like to add this little ditty from Ivy Garner, our resident RefWorks Guru. 

"For all  “new” and "current" users of Refworks. Refworks just recently released an updated version of Writencite3, called Writencite4.

However, due to numerous complaints regarding the operation and functionally of  the newest version, (WnC-4), all Refworks users are advised to continue using the earlier version (WnC3) until further notice"

Questions? Comments?

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu


Posted in: Hopkins Community , Technology Updates  Tags:
Lately, so many people have inquired about the status of the Welch Library. I happened to be with a few Informationists the other day at the School of Public Health. We were asked about our status so many times, over and over, I thought I should give you the real story. So here goes.

Not too long ago, an asteroid hit the earth and destroyed the Welch Library.

Strengely, the rest of the world remained unharmed. 

 

But sadly, many of our staff were kidnapped by aliens.

It's not a pretty story. But there it is. Building gone. Staff gone. Yet, our patrons wanted answers. How would they get remote access? What about electronic journal and database access----"How could the Welch Library do this?! "We pay too much money to come to Hopkins JUST TO FIND OUT the building is gone and the staff's been abducted by aliens?! It's not fair?!"

Ahhhhhh. But there is a happier version to our tale of woe. IT NEVER HAPPENED! We're still right here. Still delivering the goods! Folks seem to miss us, but we haven't even been nowhere. How great is that. We've got the glow of Love. Want proof?

Here we are at the School of Public Health Student Activities Fair, July 5th.


Donna Hesson (left), Peggy Gross, newbie Rob Wright and a table ful of give-away swag. We've even got a bowl fulla little sweeties! (No matter what we put out PENCILS are always the star). Notice those SNAZZY Welch Blue Bags.

 

Here's Donna explaining that "yes they're free" --- But, Mr. Student says "they look too pretty to be free".

 

"Ohhhhh yeahhhhh, they're free alright"

 

And just like that everyone wanted one. But they didn't just want a bag or some candy or a T-shirt. They wanted to ask questions, chat about where they could find stuff, who could they talk to, what's the right database, how to negotiate campus. And as the saying goes, "if you've got questions? We've got answers"

And pretty soon everyone was stopping by. People seemed so pleased to see us. We told them we'd been there all along.

And now they're just showing off. Was it hard to get a picture from anyone? No. Everyone was gung-ho. We didn't have to ask anyone twice, that's for sure.


And pretty soon everyone was walking around with our bags. Like it was nuthin.

 

And of course, as is always the case---in a room full of medical students with serious questions----Alonzo finds the avid bicyclist to talk riding. I may seem like I'm making intelligent conversation, but we're just comparing riding (war) stories from her hometown (Houston) and mine (B'More).

Now if you missed us at the SPH, don't worry. We show up at different places around campus. And if you want to see us and don't think we know about your event, give us a ring.

We may not always have a T-shirt, or a spankin new Welch bag to throw your way, but we always bring service (and pencils).

 

 

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

I would call this a disturbing trend, but that implies it's something that flies up and down the recognition meter. No, this is something else entirely. A day or so ago I posted this story (not this link) to Facebook. But it seems that not a day goes by when another story that mirrors my initial story comes our way. I may have discovered the true genesis that links one to another.

Simply put, it's belief. Our own belief system creates these stories. We want to believe that whatever a drug says, is whatever a drug does. Some might think this medical reciprocity is a proverbial "contract" between consumers and their pharmaceutical company of choice. But these days it doesn't matter where you are in the world the odds of being told the exact---make that specific language in that "contract" are----well, the odds are not in your favor. Aspirin seems to be doing ok, but once you venture out past that---it's no man's land, it's no woman's land and if you have children, keep the doors locked. 

Can you put ethics back into business and management? Here's a small British take on that very question. But here's my warning on the label: theory always sounds great. In the meantime, find a pharmaceutical belief system and hope for the best.

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu 

  


Posted in: Director's Corner  Tags:

Search Blog

Authors

Month List