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"We Are Doc McStuffins". African American Women Doctors Thank Disney Jr.’s And Brown Bag Films For New Hit Show Doc McStuffins.



A few weeks ago we wrote about the importance of the new hit Disney Jr. show Doc McStuffins.  We expressed how delighted we were to see Disney provide much needed diversity for children’s daytime television and how a program such as this could have a positive impact on the healthcare of future generations.


Since that time, we have talked with many other African American women physicians who feel the same way about Doc as we do.  These informal discussions lead to the realization that what we were watching on Disney Jr. was our story.  Every single one of us expressed that our dream to become a physician started when we were a small child and “played doctor”.  We all decided that we wanted to capture this feeling and share it with Disney.  But how?


After a few days of more informal discussion we decided that images can be very powerful and can actually sometimes express true feelings better than words.  Below is our attempt to visually express the power and importance of Doc McStuffins.


We Are Doc McStuffins


We Are Doc McStuffins Collage 2


Disney Jr. and Brown Bag Films may not know it yet, but we believe that a little over 20 years from now we will all start to hear a common story from new African American physicians expressing that their dream to become a physician began when they watched their first episode of Doc McStuffins.  We thank Disney Jr. and Brown Bag Films for this wonderful program and want them to know that “We Are Doc McStuffins”.


You can visit the Disney Jr. Doc McStuffins website by following the link.



Danish Government Publishes List Of Cosmetic And Personal Care Product Companies That Have Voluntarily Removed Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals From Their Products. L’Oreal, H&M, Huggies, Maybelline, Revelon And Others Continue Use Of Toxic Chemicals.


The Danish Consumer Council has released a report listing the 58 cosmetic brands that have voluntarily removed endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from their products.  The Danish Government has been a leader in protecting consumers from exposure to toxic chemicals through consumer products.  They were one of the first nations to ban bisphenol-a (BPA) and are currently the leader in the European Union on banning/removing EDCs.


Why should we be concerned about EDCs?  EDCs are chemicals that are capable of disrupting the normal functioning of our endocrine and immune system.  This disruption causes our hormones to become unbalanced and our immune system to malfunction.  Additionally these chemicals are capable of affecting the human reproductive system, causing infertility, miscarriages and abnormal development of the human fetus in a mother’s uterus.  EDCs have also been connected to prostate and breast cancer. (You can read more about EDCs/hormone disruptors by following the link)


What we find truly refreshing and amazing about this announcement is the willingness of the Danish Consumer Council to openly attack those companies that have decided not to comply with the removal of EDCs from their products.



“While the EU Commission is currently debating whether or not to ban parabens in personal care products for children, 58 brands no longer use the parabens or any other EDCs in their cosmetic and personal care products for children or adults in Denmark. The Danish Consumer Council is pleased with this development, but wants more international brands to phase out the EDCs.


The producers behind the 58 cosmetics brands on the Danish market have proven that it is not necessary to use EDCs in cosmetics and personal care products. Massive consumer pressure has led to a phase out of the 17 substances found in the most dangerous category 1 on the EU list of substances that have endocrine disrupting effects.”


So what companies chose not to remove EDCs from their products?  Here is a list:



Astellass Pharma

Biotherm (Via L’Oreal)

Faaborg

Garnier (Via L’Oreal)

GlaxoSmithKline

Helena Rubinstein (L’Oreal)

H&M

Huggies

Kerastase (Via L’Oreal)

Lancome (Via L’Oreal)

La Roche-Posay (Via L’Oreal)

L’Oreal

Lush

Matrix

Maybelline (Via L’Oreal)

Molton Brown

Ole Henriksen

Oriflame

Piz Buin

Reckitt Benckiser

Redken (Via L’Oreal)

Revelon

Schwarzkopf

Simple

The Body Shop

Veet

Vichy (Via L’Oreal)

WE-HA

Yves Saint Laurent (Via L’Oreal)



We are envious to watch a government do what it is supposed to do to protect their residents.  Just last Friday we saw our own U.S.  Food and Drug Administration continue to demonstrate the ability of corporations to buy off the health and safe concerns of consumers in America by denying the growing science demonstrating the health risks posed by BPA and their decision to once again take no action to protect our public health.


What the Danish Government has done is what our own agencies should be doing to protect consumers.  They Danish Consumer Council has not banned these EDCs but may be doing something more powerful.  By publishing a list of those who have voluntarily complied and those who have not, attention is focused on those who chose to not adopt the EDCs ban. Consumers now know what companies value consumer safety and they can now chose if they are willing to expose themselves to EDCs by using those products that still contain EDCs.  The Danish Consumer Council understands that information is power and providing consumers with basic disclosure of information on the risk of ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products is key to consumer's having power.


We want to thank the Danish Government for moving forward with this effort to remove EDCs from cosmetics and personal care products.  You can view the entire list of companies that have and have not removed EDCs from their products by following this link.


You can read the Danish Consumer Council media release by following the link.  You can stay up to date on the DCC’s campaign to remove EDCs by following the link to their website.


To read more about ingredients you should avoid in cosmetic and personal care products, follow the link to Coily Embraces list.





Disney’s Doc McStuffins Brings Diversity To Children’s Daytime T.V. A New Positive Image For Children Of Color.


Future DoctorI have very vivid memories of my childhood and wanting to become a physician.  I spent many hours, actually days/months/years, playing “Doctor” with my stuffed animals.  I had everything you could imagine in my “office”.  Each animal had their own medical chart.  I had bandages and other “equipment” to perform procedures.  If my patients were “sick”, I could cure them.


I was also very fortunate that my mother, a registered nurse, encouraged my dream to become a doctor.  When I was running low on charts or bandages she made sure that I got more.  She encouraged my pretend play and made sure that no one diminished my dreams.  I know that this “pretending to be a doctor” and the support of my mother played an important part in my becoming the physician I am today.


Recently I was watching Disney Junior with my youngest daughter when I saw an advertisement for Disney’s newest cartoon Doc McStuffins.  The show is based on the adventures of a young African American girl and her ability to talk to and treat the ailments of toys.  As I watched the commercial and the sneak peek episode, I saw myself.  I remembered those days when I “talked to my toys” and cured whatever ailed them.  I remembered how those dreams of a young girl laid the foundation for a future career.

 

Disney Doc McStuffinsMany readers know that we have expressed our concerns here in Coily News about the lack of diversity among medical professionals.  We have written about studies that demonstrating that the lack of diversity among physicians is tied to increasing disparities in the quality of healthcare received by many Americans.  As the United States continues to rapidly become a “majority minority” nation it is crucial for patient care that we have medical professionals that reflect that diversity.  But how will we ever achieve this crucial public health goal?  Disney’s Doc McStuffins is important part of the answer.


In this day and age when children of color are bombarded with media images of “success” that are based on becoming a professional athlete or an entertainer, we should not be shocked that most of our children’s dream career are one of those two.  I see parents spending time and money (large amounts of both) on a child's sports and/or music lessons and develpment.  It seems that parents and children are consumed with winning a “golden ticket” (American Idol) or being the number one pick of the NFL or NBA draft.


What we have not seen for our children are media images that promote careers in medicine.  For every Robert Griffith III, LeBron James, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna there are millions of children who do not achieve career success in sports or entertainment.   Lost in this focus on sports and entertainment are great role models such as Dr. Ben Carson and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin (Xavier University of Louisiana Alumnus).  Just five decades ago these two individuals would have been household names that all of our children would have known.  Parents would be dreaming about their children growing up and becoming the next Dr. Carson or Dr. Benjamin and not the next great athlete with their own Nike shoe.


Disney’s Doc McStuffins provides us with a new opportunity to change our children’s focus away from sports and entertainment.  Doc McStuffins will be viewed by millions of small children each day.  The children who watch Doc McStuffins will start their lives believing that it is "ok" that they dream to be a physician.  They will have an alternative view of life that provides a real career path that is not based on dribbling a ball or singing a song.  Parents will now have a tool to reinforce the importance of education and the real possibility of becoming a physician.  This is a wonderful and exciting development and we should all be “singing” words of praise for Disney.


It was not too long ago that Disney’s release of the Princess and the Frog was viewed by many in “the community” as a half hearted attempt to embrace diversity.  I heard many friends and family criticize the movie for not truly providing a role model for African American children.  They said that Tatiana was not brought to the same level of “being a princess” like the other Disney princesses that had came before her.  Many felt it was not the uplifting and positive story we had all wished for our children.


After watching Doc McStuffins, I believe that Doc McStuffins is the Disney character and program we had all hoped for.  Not only does Doc McStuffins provide much needed diversity for Disney, it provides us with the ability to refocuses our children on new possibilities for their future.  Those new futures may end up playing an important role in ensuring the well-being of all Americans.  Imagine in a few years there will be another young lady, who will remember watching Doc McStuffins and playing doctor with her stuffed animals, whose “golden ticket” will not come from a singing competition but in the form of an acceptance letter to the medical school of her dreams.  Now that is something worth celebrating.


We want to close by thanking Disney for developing and airing Doc McStuffins.  You can visit Doc McStuffins Disney Junior page by following the link.  Doc McStuffins premiers on Disney Junior on Friday, March 23 at 7:00am EST.





Pennsylvania Law Will Prevent Doctors From Telling Their Patients Why They Are Sick. Another Example How Corporations Use Government To Get Between You And Your Doctor.


For the past few months we have seen far too many stories about elected officials using new laws to interfere in the physician and patient relationship.  First it was the attempts by many states to regulate a woman’s body.  Today it is a new law in Pennsylvania that will ensure that physicians cannot share information with their patients are ill due to the toxic chemicals used by gas companies who are “fracking”/drilling for natural gas.


The Atlantic Magazine has a story today about a new law that has recently gone into effect in Pennsylvania dealing with health issues that may arise for individuals who become ill due to exposure from the chemicals used for drilling for natural gas.


“Pennsylvania law states that companies must disclose the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information in order to diagnosis or treat a patient that may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical. But the provision in the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else -- not even the person they're trying to treat.


Really?  A physician can have the information but they can’t share it with their patient that is ill?  How is this even acceptable to anyone?  Wow.


We are getting tired of watching those on the political “Right” argue that attempts by the President to provide health insurance to all Americans is a threat to healthcare and that it violates the physician and patient relationship.  They spend hours spreading lies about “Death Pannels” and other ways that it will destroy our ability to have quality healthcare when we need it.  Yet they stand by and sneak language into legislation that actually will do real harm to individuals and will undermine the physician and patient relationship.


There is growing outrage over this blatant attempt by the natural gas companies to continue to claim that the makeup of their fracking fluids are proprietary and confidential.  These natural gas companies know that these chemicals can cause serious illness and they are attempting to follow the path of “Big Tobacco” and deny everything until forced to reveal the information decades from now.  By that time they will have made most of the money they were going to make from drilling and will be more than willing to declare bankruptcy when faced with paying huge amounts of settlements for the serious harm they have caused to the health of many individuals.


We hope that everyone will read and share The Atlantic Magazine story with friends and family.  It is time to demand accountability and transparency from those that would harm your health in the name of corporate profits.


Detroit HIV Numbers Reach Crisis Level. Are Detroit Numbers A Look At Our Future?


Todd Heywood, The American Independent, writes a truly scary story about the HIV infect rate numbers currently facing African American in Detroit.


“The risk category of men who have sex with men (MSM) looms large over all other risk categories in Detroit. Those men account for 43 percent of all cases of HIV in Detroit, while an additional four percent of men have the dual risks of needle sharing and being men who have sex with men.


The numbers are even more revealing when viewed through the prism of race. While the U.S. Census reports that 82.7 percent of city residents identify as black, 89 percent of all HIV cases in the city are found in people who identify as black. Black men account for 88 percent of all male HIV cases, while black women account for 91 percent of female cases.”


Shaking our heads is all we can do after reading these two paragraphs.  Many of you know we feel that the real problem behind numbers like Detroit is the inability of the community to come to terms with HIV.  We have argued that until the community takes on the openly hateful rhetoric being preached by the “black church” we will continue to see infection rates grow and grow.


Near the end of the article, we see a quote that picks up on this issue with the “black church”:


“For Lipscomb, another key ingredient in addressing the HIV epidemic is the black church in Detroit. He says many “still believe that gay men deserve to get HIV,” and a result, the church has not fulfilled its usual role in addressing issues within the community. He says he is only aware of two mainstream black churches that are open and affirming of people living with or at risk for HIV, out of “hundreds” of such institutions in the city.


“If a church isn’t welcoming, it leaves a person wondering where they can get help,” he says. “That’s why the black gay community has to strengthen its own faith institutions.””


It is time for an honest discussion within the community about this deadly disease.  Placing blame and preaching hatred is not a solution to this epidemic.  If we are not willing to raise our voices and demand real solutions we will eventually see these types of infection rates in every city in America.  That should be unacceptable to everyone, no matter your religion or sexual preference.


You can read and share Mr. Heywood’s story by following the link.