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11 events to accompany Smithsonian exhibition in Essex

11 events to accompany Smithsonian exhibition in Essex

11 events to accompany Smithsonian exhibition in Essex | News |  Gloucester Daily Times

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Events To Raise Awareness On Mental Health, Addiction

Events To Raise Awareness On Mental Health, Addiction

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is preparing to celebrate its third annual Recovery Sunday in remembrance of those who struggle with mental health and addiction. The church has invited people to write prayers on fabric to be used as prayer flags in honor of recovery month.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown is hoping to raise awareness for mental health and increase the community’s understanding of the problem of addiction.

The church is partnering with the Mental Health Association to host events this weekend in remembrance of the 53 drug overdose victims from the past year.

This year marks the church’s third annual Recovery Sunday, although the church had held various services over the years highlighting mental health and recovery prior to establishing an annual tradition.

“Addiction and recovery isn’t just someone else’s problem; it’s our problem,” the Rev. Luke Fodor, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, said. “We wanted to make sure the community had this as part of its collective remembrance.”

Jessica Frederick, minister of children, youth and families, said the church will honor the victims of drug overdose by hanging prayer flags from the top of the bell tower to the Main Street entrance of the church for this weekend’s events.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is preparing to celebrate its third annual Recovery Sunday in remembrance of those who struggle with mental health and addiction. The church has invited people to write prayers on fabric to be used as prayer flags in honor of recovery month.

She said strips of fabric have been written on in honor of those who died from a drug overdose over the past year.

“On each of the strips, we have prayers for those who have died and also prayers for healing and wholeness of the recovery community We invited people to write their prayers on the strips of fabric.”


This year, St. Luke’s Recovery Sunday events will begin on Saturday.

“We made a whole weekend out of it,” Fodor said. “On Saturday, we will start with an art recovery show.”

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is preparing to celebrate its third annual Recovery Sunday in remembrance of those who struggle with mental health and addiction. The church has invited people to write prayers on fabric to be used as prayer flags in honor of recovery month.
P-J photos by Timothy Frudd

Fodor said in partnership with the Mental Health Association, an art and recovery class works on art throughout the year, which will be displayed at the Undercroft at St. Luke at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Food and refreshments will be provided at the event, celebrating the second year of the church’s art display.

Some of the art from the show will also be incorporated into St. Luke’s Sunday morning service.

Fodor said one of the pieces featured at the church will be a piece that was inspired by an anger workshop.

“Sometimes we suppress our anger,” he said. “We don’t really deal with it and it pops up in inopportune times.”

The art therapy workshop provided this year allowed people to express their anger through art instead of actions. The art will be displayed before the altar at St. Luke’s for Recovery Sunday.

As part of Sunday’s service, the church bells will ring in remembrance of each person who has died as a result of overdosing in the past year. The service will incorporate a candle lighting, a reading of the names or initials for the victims of drug overdose and special music performed by people recovering from addiction.

After the service, there will be a narcan training available. The art exhibit from Saturday’s event will also be available for the public to view before and after the Sunday service. Additionally, Father Bernard’s Blessed Biscuits will be selling biscuits after Sunday’s service.

“We have a joint enterprise with the Mental Health Association of Father Bernard’s Blessed Biscuits,” Fodor said. “It’s a social enterprise where we sell dog biscuits. People who have fallen out of the workforce because of recovery issues or addiction or mental health can get back in the workforce slowly by learning some skills.”

The church’s Recovery Sunday reflects the commitment of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to the idea that mental health is deeply connected with faith.

“This service is integral to the life of faith,” Fredrick said.


Recovery Sunday is one way Fodor believes the community ensure that the victims of drug abuse and drug overdose are remembered and honored.

One of the points Fodor wants to emphasize throughout the weekend’s events is the importance of connection.

“The opposite of addiction is connection,” he said. “So often, people feel disconnected, usually from themselves first and then the community, so they start to use various substances to deal with the pain. I think that’s true of all of us, whether it’s caffeine in the morning or whatever it is. We all have some sort of usage of chemicals to assist us to normalize our lives.”

St. Luke’s Recovery Sunday will attempt to remove the stigmatization of people who struggle with addiction and mental health.

Fodor said the community’s fear of people who struggle with mental illness or drug usage can lead to people passing judgment on them or labeling them as “outsiders.”

“My hope is that folks will see that this is something that we can make tangible steps by changing our minds,” he said. “So often, the mindset we use is part of the problem. My hope is that through these kind of collective actions that we will begin to realize that we can’t make them other, but realize that we are all part of the same issue.”

While Fodor acknowledged that the problem of mental health and drug abuse will not be solved “over night,” he believes the community can take steps to solve it by working together and having compassion for those who struggle with addiction.

Fodor said “real healing” occurs people have compassion for one another and work together to solve problems in the community.


Fodor believes the work of the Mental Health Organization represents the concepts of resurrection and regeneration.

“Lives that were seemingly dead come back to life,” he said.

Frederick said the church’s interactions with people struggling through mental health difficulties and drug usage should mirror the biblical example of Jesus.

“Jesus was always spending time with people that others would want to overlook,” she said. “This is an essential component of our faith to see people as people. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what mistakes you’ve made or how you’ve been wounded. We all carry wounds and we are all in some form of recovery. That is how Jesus saw and interacted with people.”

Fodor explained one of the key ways to successfully navigate the battle of addiction recovery is to provide meaningful connections with people.

While people may have the desire to feel “whole,” he believes the concept of wholeness cannot be achieved without the community working together.

“They need to be connected to something greater than themselves to find that,” he said.

The task of creating connections is something Fodor believes the church should be responsible for. He said the church should not expect people to attend the church to find help, but that the church should be involved in the community.

“Jesus talked about the 99 sheep that were fine but the one that was lost,” he said. “Sometimes we need to go out and look. By partnering with the Mental Health Association and by making public art displays, we’re trying to say and communicate ‘we’re looking for the lost.’”

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Alternative Retirement Plans for the Health Sector

Alternative Retirement Plans for the Health Sector

Fasken’s Health Group invites you to a webinar featuring Ross Gascho, Leader of Fasken’s Pensions and Benefits Group, and Laurie Turner, Co-Leader of Fasken’s Health Law Group (as moderator).

In this session, Ross will discuss Health sector retirement plans. They are more than just HOOPP! Several new plans allow employers and employees to participate on a fixed-cost basis in a defined benefit or defined contribution plan without the employer having the burden of running the plan. Whether you are administering an existing plan, thinking about a plan for your employees, or are a private physician, this webinar is for you. 


12:00 – 1:00 pm ET live webinar with live Q&A


This event is only available via webinar


Available Via Webinar

* Note: This programme contains 1 hour of Substantive content for the purposes of the Law Society of Ontario’s annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

For CPD/CLE in other jurisdictions, please contact your local Law Society

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Arshad Nadeem wishes injured Neeraj Chopra health, good luck in upcoming events

Arshad Nadeem wishes injured Neeraj Chopra health, good luck in upcoming events
Pakistans Arshad Nadeem speaking to Geo News in Birmingham on August 7, 2022. — Geo News screengrab
Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem speaking to Geo News in Birmingham on August 7, 2022. — Geo News screengrab

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who won the gold medal in the javelin throw event of the Commonwealth Games, on the occasion wished India’s Neeraj Chopra well after he was unable to make it to the competition due to injury.

Speaking to Geo News shortly after bagging the medal, Nadeem said: “Neeraj Chopra was unable to attend the event this time due to injury. I wish him good luck in the upcoming competitions. May God grant him health. If he had been here, it would have been all the more fun.”

Although rivals on the playing field and by virtue of their nationalities, the camaraderie between the two athletes is well documented. They have encouraged and praised each other on multiple occasions and with their bromance have become quite the media darlings of both countries.

Nadeem on Sunday became the first javelin thrower from the sub-continent to cross the 90 metre mark to win the gold medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Nadeem, who regularly competes with Chopra, a Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, came up with a personal best of 90.18m in his fifth throw. 

“I thank Allah and my parents who prayed for me and the Pakistani nation who stayed up and prayed for me. Alhamdulliah, God has granted me a medal and I am very happy,” he told Geo News.

Nadeem said that he did not want to let down his fans who had been cheering him on to finally win a gold. “I had come with the hope that I will win a gold medal for my fans and so with their prayers, I have won it.”

The athlete, commenting on his injuries and how he had managed to participate in spite of them, said: “I had elbow and knee injuries and Alhamdulillah [but the doctors] really worked on me, my injury.”

He also thanked the Pakistan Sports Board and the Punjab Sports for facilitating his participation.

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COVID vaccination clinics to be held at Caribbean Carnival, other summer events in Toronto – Toronto |

COVID vaccination clinics to be held at Caribbean Carnival, other summer events in Toronto - Toronto |

Toronto Public Health (TPH) says it will be holding COVID-19 pop-up vaccination clinics at the Caribbean Carnival and other summer festivals this week.

“Bringing COVID-19 vaccines to social and cultural events is part of Team Toronto’s ongoing equity-focused, hyper-local mobile strategy, providing accessible and convenient vaccination opportunities to residents in places where they live, work and play,” TPH said in a news release.

Read more:

COVID cases are rising across Canada. Where are the country’s top doctors?

According to TPH, the clinics will be held at the following locations:

  • Under the Stars at Regent Park located at 620 Dundas Street East on July 27 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Toronto Caribbean Carnival at Marilyn Bell Park located at 1095 Lake Shore Boulevard West on July 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Ghana Fest Canada at Earl Bales Park located at 4169 Bathurst Street on July 31 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

TPH said the clinics are family friendly and will offer first, second, third and forth doses, as well as pediatric shots to those who are eligible. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available.

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The city said no appointment or health card is needed, and the clinics will operate on a walk-in basis.

Read more:

Toronto Pearson operator ‘pleased’ to see random COVID testing moved offsite

“All eligible residents are encouraged to get their third and fourth doses as soon as possible. As with vaccinations for other diseases, people are protected best when their COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date,” the news release read.

TPH said COVID-19 vaccinations “have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death while protecting people, their loved ones and the community.”

Click to play video: 'Experts urge caution amid summer COVID-19 surge'

Experts urge caution amid summer COVID-19 surge

Experts urge caution amid summer COVID-19 surge

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Art from the heart event Thursday supports local mental health

Art from the heart event Thursday supports local mental health

Organizers created the July 14 event to provide a safe space where people can participate in movement therapy and art workshops

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, the community can come out to the Kinbridge Community Association, at 200 Christopher Dr., for Art from the Heart.

The event was created by Rhythm and Blues Cambridge to support people’s mental health by coming together to process what happened over the last few years.

The ‘Processing Night’ will provide movement therapy and art workshops.

The organizers hope to provide a safe space where people can talk about their emotions, mental health and chat while having fun through, art, music and movement.

“In Jamaican culture when you’re grieving, we do something where you play a lot of music and let your feelings out,” said Krysanne Mclean, the organizer of the event and one of the founders of Rhythm and Blues. 

She mentioned how they wanted to show the community that there are different ways to grieve and let feelings out. Dancing is encouraged, she added.

Rhythm and Blues aims to provide safe spaces to empower, inform and inspire the Black community in the city.

“This year I wanted to focus on mental health and continue that in different forms.”

Mclean knows the pandemic has impacted people’s mental health locally and they want to provide events this year where people can feel connected again.

In addition to the unique non-traditional therapies and workshops at the event this evening, there will be face painting, food trucks and door prizes.

The three women who organized the event met during Rythm and Blues’ Black Girl Excellence program and wanted to create events where people can come let their feelings out, similar to how they do in their culture, which is generally more celebratory.

One of the organizers, Alannah Decker, is a local visual artist who will be conducting a Paint and Flow Music Healing Workshop.

“Alannah wanted to do art therapy in a different way,” said Mclean about the workshop.

The third organizer of Art from the Heart, Nicole Brown Faulknor, is a registered psychotherapist, child and youth worker, yoga instructor and embodied coach of ‘Mama Soul-House Rides.’

Faulknor will be hosting ‘yoga soul’ a movement therapy and stretch class, combining her passion for mental health with her knowledge of yoga.

“We can always be working on our mental health in different settings,” Mclean said.

The event is free and open to everyone.

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With BA.5 on the rise, what should event organizers keep in mind? An expert explains

With BA.5 on the rise, what should event organizers keep in mind? An expert explains

At the same time, many people have lots of summer events planned, including weddings, birthday celebrations and casual get-togethers. What should event organizers keep in mind? How can people think about their own risk in deciding whether to attend and precautions to follow? What if you have to attend something — for example a work function — but really don’t want to bring Covid back to your family? And what about people who have already recovered from an infection — do they still have to worry about reinfection and the risks of illness, including long Covid?

Dr. Leana Wen: BA.5 is now the dominant variant here in the United States and in many parts of the world. It appears to be the most transmissible variant yet. It also may be partially immune-evasive, meaning that people who have gotten their vaccinations or who have previously had Covid-19 may not have much protection against mild or asymptomatic infection.

However, vaccination does protect against severe illness. People who are unvaccinated should get vaccinated, and those not yet boosted should do so. Being up to date on vaccines will help to protect you from the potentially severe consequences due to Covid-19, which ultimately is the goal of vaccination.

The reason it’s a concern now is that there are high levels in many parts of the country. In areas with a lot of circulating virus, with such a transmissible pathogen, one’s chances of catching Covid-19 are high.

CNN: Does that mean people should cancel in-person events?

Wen: After two and a half years of the pandemic, I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask that people continue to forgo weddings, birthday parties and other get-togethers. A lot of people have decided that as long as they are unlikely to become severely ill from Covid-19, they will not take precautions to avoid it.

On the other hand, a lot of people still really want to avoid Covid-19. Event organizers should take into account the wishes of those gathering.

CNN: What are some things people can do if they are organizing a get-together?

Wen: First is recognizing that any time people are gathering, especially indoors, there will be a risk of coronavirus transmission. This is especially true with a very contagious virus, and when there is so much virus around us. It’s not realistic to set the expectation that no one could get coronavirus at the event, though you should try to reduce risk.

Some ways to do that include, first and foremost, trying to have the gathering outdoors. We have said this throughout the pandemic, and it remains true now that outdoors is much safer than indoors. Coronavirus is airborne, and the more air circulation you have, the better.

Meeting outdoors is "much safer" than indoors when it comes to risk of Covid-19 infection, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. College students socialize on March 18 in New Orleans.

Ventilation also matters. A partial indoor/outdoor space where there is good air circulation will be better than one that’s entirely enclosed. And one with open windows and doors and lots of spacing will be lower risk than a small, enclosed room with everyone crowded together.

If organizers want to reduce risk further, they could ask that everyone take a home rapid test just prior to the event. Rapid tests aren’t perfect, but they are very good at detecting if someone has enough virus at that point in time that they could infect others. Providing testing at the door is an additional safeguard, in case not everyone has access to testing beforehand.

Of course, masks can also reduce virus transmission. At this point in the pandemic, it may be difficult to get people to keep masks on when most places no longer require them. I think it’s more realistic to plan for an outdoor event, and, if it has to be indoors, to ask for testing instead of required masks (though masks should, of course, be an option for those who want additional protection).

CNN: What’s your advice for immunocompromised individuals or folks who just really want to avoid contracting Covid-19?

Wen: When you are invited to an event, find out what precautions the organizer is taking and then gauge risks accordingly. An outdoor event, or at least one where you could stay outdoors the entire time, is quite low risk. An indoor event that requires either testing or masks is also lower risk.

I'm an anxious new mom. Here's why I've decided to vaccinate my baby

What about crowded indoor events that don’t require testing and masks? One-way masking with a high-quality mask — N95 or equivalent — remains protective, but your mask must be well fitting and you must keep it on the entire time. If you go, consider eating beforehand and taking off your mask only when outdoors or in a place where you are by yourself.

At the end of the day, there is no clear answer to whether you should go — it depends on how much you want to avoid Covid-19 versus the benefit you would derive from attending.

CNN: If someone has had Covid-19, do they need to worry about reinfection? What do we know about the risk of long Covid with reinfection?

Wen: Reinfection is certainly possible. Those who had pre-Omicron variants like Delta or Alpha are susceptible to reinfection with Omicron subvariants. We are even seeing reinfections with people who had the original Omicron variant and are now getting BA.5.

The chance of reinfection within the first two or three months following the initial infection is pretty low but increases after that. People previously infected benefit from vaccination and boosting, which further decreases their chance of both severe illness and infection.

There is a new study, posted online but not yet peer-reviewed, that shows those with reinfection are at higher risk for long Covid and other potential consequences with each infection. These results could well prompt some people to say they want to avoid reinfection as much as possible.

CNN: A lot of people are having to travel for conferences, meetings and other work functions. What’s your advice if they don’t want to bring Covid-19 back to their families?

Wen: There are two options. One is to try to reduce their risk while traveling and at these functions as much as possible, including limiting time indoors with others, masking during all indoor interactions, and avoiding indoor events with food and drink — or at least keeping a mask on during these functions and eating and drinking separately elsewhere.

The second option is to assume that you will be exposed and could contract Covid-19 during these work functions, then quarantine yourself and test before interacting with family members. Not everyone is able to do this — perhaps they have young children or other family responsibilities — but that is another option that may be right for some people.

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Steven Henke discusses 2 ribbon cutting events from DAP Health in Indio – KESQ

Steven Henke discusses 2 ribbon cutting events from DAP Health in Indio - KESQ

Steven Henke discusses 2 ribbon cutting events from DAP Health in Indio – KESQ

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KESQ News Team

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Fund-raising events held for Indus Hospital and Health Network

Fund-raising events held for Indus Hospital and Health Network

ISLAMABAD    –    The fund-raising events for Indus Hospital and Health Network (free of cost cancer hospital Lahore) held in Berlin, Frankfurt and Münich the other day.

Dr Abdul Bari Khan, the founder of Indus Hospitals Network, along with his two dedicated team members Ibrahim Jamali and Pervaiz Ahmed arrived in Germany and participated in the fund-raising events.

Besides, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany Dr Muhammad Faisal, Counsel General Zahid Hussain, Head of chancery Shafaat Hussain, famous Pakistani TV artist/actor Nauman Ijaz also joined the events and appreciated the noble cause.

In the events, the Pakistani Community in Germany participated with full enthusiasm and donated 1,67,000 Euros to the administration of Indus Hospitals Network.

Dr Muhammad Faisal, the Ambassador, and Nauman Ijaz, the TV actor, along with other speakers addressed the ceremonies.

They thanked to the Pakistani community in Germany for donating funds for a free of cost cancer hospital chain wholeheartedly.

The said fund-raising can be a good and noble cause and empowering, especially when you know how much it matters to the people your efforts will help.

“To date, our fund-raising volunteers have tackled all manner of challenges,” said Dr Abdul Bari Khan in his address.

He said the Pakistani community in Germany has not only helped raise cancer awareness but they have also restored hope to hundreds of cancer patients in Pakistan.

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Shortages from syringes to dye for diagnostic exams: How world events are straining everyday health care supply

Shortages from syringes to dye for diagnostic exams: How world events are straining everyday health care supply

In May, clinicians and patients at the University of Arizona Health Network had to delay non-urgent CT scans that required contrast media, a type of dye injected into the body to make organs and blood vessels more visible. It’s used to aid in the diagnosis of a variety of conditions, including some serious ones, such as cancer and blood clots.

A strict COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai, China, had shut down a plant that manufactures the contrast and the 30-hospital medical center, like many others, suddenly found itself in short supply of the important diagnostic agent.

“The shortage has hit us fairly acutely,” says Geoffrey Rubin, MD, chair of the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and clinical service chief of medical imaging at Banner University Medicine – Tucson.

In response, Rubin and his colleagues quickly rallied to create a tiered protocol that prioritized the most critical medical procedures. Some tests were done using alternative tools, such as CT scans without contrast or MRIs, if it made sense for the patient.

Also, because the health system sources its contrast media from two companies, only one of which was impacted by the Shanghai lockdown, their supply wasn’t completely cut off.

But this was not the case everywhere.

Contrast media is used in about 50 million exams per year in the United States, and about half of the market procures its contrast from GE Healthcare, which sources most of its product from Shanghai, says Matthew Davenport, MD, vice chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Quality and Safety and a professor of radiology and urology at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor.

“Health systems that used GE Healthcare as their preferred vendor for iodinated contrast media had an immediate crisis,” Davenport says.

According to a GE Healthcare spokesperson, the company is currently working on restabilizing its supply and continues to evaluate its global footprint to maximize resilience.

Contrast media is just one item on a growing list of medical supplies that are becoming harder to come by due to world events impacting the supply chain, from COVID-19 lockdowns in China and manufacturing errors in the United States to the rising cost of fuel and the war in Ukraine.

The Food and Drug Administration lists more than two dozen medical items currently in short supply, including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as surgical gloves and gowns, reagents for laboratory testing, and several dialysis-related products.

“[Health systems are experiencing] 8-10 times higher shortages than they were pre-pandemic,” says Kyle MacKinnon, senior director of operational excellence for Premier, a group purchasing company. “We are seeing more frequent short-term shortages than we ever have in the past.”

A history of shortages

Shortages of important medical supplies in the United States due to supply chain issues date back as far as World War II, when supply of a common malaria drug that was sourced in the Japanese-occupied East Indies was cut off. Since then, the United States has faced both consistent and acute shortages, according to a 2021 study by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

In 2017, Hurricane Maria wiped out a main supplier of saline solution in Puerto Rico, creating a grave shortage. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers resorted to reusing PPE and crafting gowns out of trash bags as deliveries of Chinese-made materials slowed to a trickle.

The country has also faced shortages of a variety of drugs, such as anesthetics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy agents, for decades. Often, the shortages are exacerbated by regional disasters that disrupt the supply chain.

Currently, in addition to the shortages caused by COVID-19 lockdowns and disruptions, the war in Ukraine has the potential to worsen shortages of helium, which is used in MRIs and CT scans, and neon, which is essential for making semiconductors used in MRIs, pacemakers, blood pressure monitors, and other common medical devices.

Since Russia is no longer exporting as much natural gas to some European countries, other countries have begun filling in that supply via pipeline, reducing the need to convert the gases to liquid form. Because liquification facilitates extraction of helium from natural gas, this shift has also halted some helium production processes. This is on top of several helium plants shutting down in recent months for safety reasons.

“What a convoluted way to have medical supplies disrupted by the Ukraine war,” says Wally Hopp, PhD, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor who chaired the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine task force to study medical supply chain resilience. “These supply chains are so complicated, so long, so interconnected, you can get crazy side effects like that.”

Also, Ukraine is a major global supplier of neon, which may exacerbate further shortages as the war stretches on.

“At this time, we haven’t seen direct shortages of semiconductors yet,” MacKinnon says, But “access to that is becoming a problem.”

Finding solutions

While the contrast media plant in Shanghai is now fully operational and hospitals across the country are gradually getting back to a regular supply of its product, it’s likely that supply chain disruptions for this and other medical supplies will continue to be affected by world events, says Tinglong Dai, PhD, a professor of operations management and business analytics at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.

This means that people in the medical industry, from medical students to administrators, should be prepared to both adjust to disruptions that occur and work to prevent them from happening.

“This crisis provided us with an opportunity to think through protocol when we have contrast restrictions and shortages,” Rubin says. “We had never experienced that before. Now we have a set of guidelines.”

For affected health systems, this required a variety of interventions, including lower dosing, performing CT scans without contrast and using alternative imaging strategies when appropriate, and triaging so that the most urgent exams were performed first. Although there is no longer an acute shortage, Davenport suspects that use of iodinated contrast media may go down if research shows lower-dose or unenhanced scanning is as effective as pre-shortage procedures.

“We have to be really attentive to what’s going on around the world, especially [when it comes] to health care.”

Tinglong Dai, PhD
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School

During the shortage, Rubin held a meeting with his radiology residents to walk them through the crisis, from why it was happening to how the health system was responding to it. He believes that clinicians will have to learn to be more adaptable to whatever shortages and challenges their field faces.

“Oftentimes, there’s so much to learn in medicine [that] people in training — medical students — are focused on the domain of the specialty. The macro-level activities that allow health care to run are not really focused on,” Rubin says. “I think it is increasingly recognized [that] medical students, residents, and fellows [should] have their focus turned more toward these macro-level issues.”

Dai says that hospital administrators, and especially procurement officers, will also need to be more aware of geopolitical issues and how they might impact the supply chain.

“We have to be really attentive to what’s going on around the world,” he says. “Especially [when it comes] to health care.”

Fortifying the supply chains of the future

In response to a request from the U.S. Congress in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee to assess the security of the nation’s medical product supply chain. In its report, released in March, the committee made several recommendations to improve supply chain resilience.

“Medical supply chains are really behind other industries in terms of building supply chain resilience,” says Hopp, who led the writing of the report.

He explains that Hurricane Katrina in 2005 resulted in unexpected supply chain shortages because companies didn’t realize that the materials they were buying were sourced from the Gulf Coast. This realization prompted many in supply chain logistics to better track where various materials needed for manufacturing their products were coming from, including risk assessment and diversification of where they sourced the materials in case of a regional disaster.

But this still isn’t common in the medical industry, at least in part because there is a lack of transparency in the production of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, Hopp says. Procurement officers at health systems often don’t know where the companies they contract with are sourcing and manufacturing their materials.

This becomes particularly problematic when health systems contract mainly with one company to get the best price and when they use a “just in time” inventory approach, meaning they only stock enough supply for a week or two to save money on storage costs, he adds.

“Transparency has to be step one,” Hopp says, explaining the committee’s foundational recommendation to create a public database that documents where materials are sourced and manufactured so that experts can better analyze risk and make further recommendations for fortifying the supply chain.

In addition to being aware of possible natural disasters, Dai emphasizes the importance of geopolitical awareness.

“A large proportion of medical supplies come from China. Most of the generic drugs are manufactured in India,” Dai says. “We are so dependent on countries that are geopolitically incompatible [with] us.”

He says that the United States can protect its future supply chains by focusing more on sourcing and manufacturing closer to home, not only in the United States, but in Canada and Latin America, or by strengthening our supply chain relationships with countries that are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while moving away from reliance on countries where there may be more political issues.

Hopp cautions against the idea of focusing solely on “on-shoring,” the manufacturing of goods on United States territory.

“It’s difficult to make every raw material, every intermediate step inside the U.S., [and] it’s expensive to do it in some cases,” he says.

Instead, there should be a variety of responses, including potentially stockpiling raw materials, mapping out supply chain routes to assess risk, and building contracts that incentivize companies to reduce the risk of complete disruption, Hopp says.

Many of these steps would require the federal government and manufacturers to act, but health care system administrators can also drive change by demanding better transparency and reliability from manufacturers as well as reconsidering their stockpiling strategies, according to Hopp.

Another key to securing the future of the U.S. medical supply chain, according to Dai, is ensuring that the country is on the forefront of developing innovative ideas that improve supply chains.

“If we lose the ability to innovate, that [would be] devastating,” he says. “The government can take an active role [by] investing in research and development, investing in universities and national labs, and providing support for new ideas.”