Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Heroes: Health Care Heroes *Honorable Mentions*

It's been a great two weeks of sharing with you my health care heroes. Since I only have one more full week of June to write about heroes, I'm afraid it is time to move on and highlight some of my heroes in other fields. But before I go, I want to share with you some of my health care heroes "honorable mentions."

In the category of Health Care Websites and Health Care Advocate Heroes:

DiabetesMine by Amy Tenderich

Invisible Illness Week, Rest Ministries and the Chronic Illness and Pain Support blog by Lisa

And in the category of Health Care Discoveries and Pioneering Heroes:

The Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus

Drs. Michael Houghton, Qui-Lim Choo, and George Kuo at the Chiron Corporation and Dr. D.W. Br
adley at the Center for Disease Control worked together to identified the Hepatitis C virus for the first time in 1987. Dr. Harvey J. Alter, Chief of the Infectious Disease Section in the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the National Institutes of Health confirmed the discovery in 1988. Dr. Alter and Dr. Houghton went on to develop the Hepatitis C antibody test, which today has reduced the risk of becoming infected with Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion to virtually zero. Dr. Alter and Dr. Houghton were honored for their work in 2000 with the Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research.

The Invention of the Blood Glucose Meter

Many diabetics test their blood sugar multiple times per day. What many diabetics don't know is t
hat Anton H. (Tom) Clemens developed the first blood glucose meter, known as the Ames Reflectance Meter, in 1969. Furthermore, it was Richard Bernstein, an engineer back in 1970 who was losing his battle with Type 1 diabetes, that bought this hospital meter for his own personal home use. With the help of the Ames meter, he was able to get his blood sugar under control and reverse the damage high blood sugar was doing to his body. He then wanted to share his success with the medical community, who were less than interested. Undeterred, he pushed the Ames Company and the diabetes treatment community in general to develop the personal blood glucose meter. Dick Bernstein's fight with the medical community is what spurred him to enter medical school at age 45 and become one of the first diabetologists.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about my health care heroes and the ways that you can be a health care hero too by being a clinical trial research participant, blood donor, bone marrow donor and/or organ donor.

Thanks again to all my health care heroes!

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