Alzheimer’s Patient Improvement Due to Hyperbaric Treatment

An article recently published by the Advocate, describes the amazing brain improvement of an Alzheimer’s patient after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is when the patient breathes in pure oxygen, usually in a pressurized tube or room. While in the room or tube, the air pressure will increase, this enables the patient’s lungs to take in more oxygen. The increase of oxygen stimulates stem cells and growth factors, which actually help heal the body.

Injured tissue needs more oxygen to heal and survive, that includes the brain. Dr. Paul Harch (LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) and Dr. Edward Fogarty (University of North Dakota School of Medicine) have presented a case of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’ disease“is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life”. This affects about 5.7 million Americans alone. Most of the people being over the age of 65. It also affects about 200,000 people who are under the age of 65.

Deaths because of Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. 14 million cases are expected to be present by 2050. That’s only about 31 years away. “The load of toxins, food additives, pesticides in chemicals — all take a toll,”said Dr. Harch.

The case report that Dr. Harch and Dr. Fogarty presented was a case about a 58-year-old woman. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her memory and motor skills were beginning to deteriorate. However, after 21 treatments of the Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, her activity and energy levels had improved. And most importantly her mood improved. Her performance of day to day activities improved and she could even work on crossword puzzles.

They then proceeded to 40 treatments. She began to eat more and she also was not as frustrated. Her memory increased which also meant her concentration increased. She was even sleeping better; her bad days became less frequent.

Not only did her actions and symptoms show the results of the treatment, but so did the PET scans that were taken of her brain. Dr. Harch states that even a third grader could notice that there was improvement. In the brain’s metabolism, the whole improvement went from 6.5 percent to 38 percent.   

If this treatment could potentially stop but also, just temporarily reverse what the Alzheimer’s disease did in the first place. This case study is just one out of eleven that will be using hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment for Alzheimer’s. Imagine if this is the outcome for all of the patients.

The only problem was that once the treatment stopped, her symptoms came back. Alzheimer’s has no cure, but the process can be slowed down. She was, thankfully, retreated for 20 months and the symptoms had stopped progressing.

Dr. Harch said, “The results of the study suggest that Alzheimer’s can be treated in the long term with hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with drugs”. He also describes how medicine is quite slow, doctors must overcome the misunderstanding of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Which he then goes on to describe as “gene therapy”.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not only for Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Harch has used hyperbaric oxygen therapy on patients who have nearly drowned. He showed the regrowth of brain treatment, using hyperbaric oxygen therapy on a toddler who nearly drowned. Many doctors believed that the child would never talk or even walk again. But because of the therapy she is talking and she is even waking.

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Louisiana’s Jump Start 2.0 Program

The Department of Education just released a blueprint for public feedback on the Jump Start 2.0 program. Louisiana is taking a step forward to reduce the negative connotations surrounding career and technical education and making sure those with a Career Diploma are ready to enter high-wage career sectors. In a blueprint titled Jump Start 2.0, the state is attempting to further its nationally recognized program Jump Start created in 2014.

The Jump Start program “prepares students to lead productive adult lives, capable of continuing their education after high school.” Students leave the program with a Career Diploma- signifying the students obtained industry mandated and valued credentials. With this program, students are able to leave high school with the ability to secure a high-wage or high-demand career. Jump Start is also an elective path which can be taken by students wanting to further their education.

Before the initiation of Jump Start, less than two percent of Louisiana’s students graduated with a Career Diploma. In 2018, over 90,000 students graduated high school with a Career Diploma- a drastic increase from 2014’s 17,885 students.

With the initiation of Jump Start 2.0, the program will grow even further. The blueprint signifies that:

  1. Every student that graduates with a Career Diploma will show they can succeed in the workplace- fully prepared to work in a high-wage, high-growth industry. The program will increase its workplace learning, prioritize the most valuable opportunities, and better align its 51 possible pathways to career clusters.
  2. Every state resident will know the Jump Start career path as well as the TOPS program. The program will do this by celebrating successful Jump Start graduates, launching an interactive website for students and families, and investing in further professional development for its career and technical education leaders.
  3. Community leaders will create various systems to conjoin education and employment throughout Louisiana without the state interfering. Jump Start will do this by creating new governance structures and supporting ideals that take the experience past high school graduation.

The Louisiana Department of Education released the new blueprint initiative after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) instructed the Department to assess how the Jump Start program offerings aligned with the workforce needs of the state. The Department of Education released a report which stated that while students were gaining more credentials, but not receiving the experience necessary for the high-wage, high-demand jobs available in the region. Of the top 15 industry-based credentials earned, only three were truly aligned with regional needs.

As a way to improve, the Department of Education paired with not only education leaders, but also business leaders across the state to create a more comprehensive blueprint for Jump Start 2.0. The Department then turned to state residents interested in career and technical education in Louisiana. The public feedback form closed March 15.

The Department of Education will now evaluate the feedback to improve the blueprint and share it at the April 2019 BESE meeting. All changes to the program will be carried out keeping in mind the needs and commitments of participating schools, students, and school systems. Some of the changes may be enforced as soon as the 2019-2020 school year.

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Six Louisiana Schools Nominated for Blue Ribbon Award

Louisiana Believes website recently announced that several schools were in the running for The National Blue Ribbon Award.  The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a federal program whose mission is to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access” as stated on their website.  The award recognizes schools based on their overall academic excellence and progress with closing achievement gaps. Every year the U.S. Department of Education celebrates great American schools that have been successful in showing that all students can achieve at high levels. More than 8,500 schools across the country have been presented with this highly coveted and prestigious award. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students succeed.

Schools may be nominated for the award only once within a five-year period and are nominated by their Chief State School Officer.   The U.S. Department of Education determines the number of nominations per state based on the number of students and schools in each state.  One-third of the public schools nominated by each state must include student populations with at least 40% of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This year, six Louisiana schools have been nominated to be recipients of the award which will be announced in September of 2019.  Four of the nominated schools are recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools” and two of the nominated schools are recognized as “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools.”  They are among the state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments.

The schools include:

Blue Ribbon Award

Haynes Academy School for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish

Early College Academy, Lafayette Parish

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, Jefferson Parish

Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish

Bayou Black Elementary School, Terrebonne Parish

St. Charles Elementary School, Lafourche Parish

School administrators were over the moon upon hearing of the recent nominations.  Karla H. Russo, Principal of Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish: “We are honored to be nominated as a potential National Blue Ribbon School. Our faculty, staff, students, parents, and community work together to create an environment that fosters student achievement and success, and I am proud to see their dedication and commitment to learning recognized.”  Alexander Melton, Principal of Early College Academy in Lafayette Parish: “Early College Academy is honored and excited to be the recipient of a Blue Ribbon School nomination. To be mentioned in the same category as the other fine Louisiana schools who have been nominated is humbling for us. All of our stakeholders, especially our students, faculty, and staff, work hard to achieve the best results possible. We are both proud and excited to be recognized for that hard work.”

John White himself commented on the nominations and overall success of many Louisiana schools in a released statement: “These six schools stand out for their ability to either steadily improve student achievement over subsequent years or consistently remain one of the top performing schools in the state.  This is a commendable achievement worthy of this distinguished honor.”

The winning school will serve as a model of effective school practices for state and district educators as well as throughout the nation.  Staff at winning schools are often sought out as mentors to discuss key elements of their success, from individualized student supports, research-based instruction, collaboration, and targeted curricula. Representatives from schools will be invited to Washington DC to be honored at an annual awards ceremony. The school itself will receive an engraved plaque and flag with the official seal signifying its winning status and the year of the award.

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Nicholls Students to Compete in 16th Annual Bayou Sales Challenge

Nicholls released that it will be among several universities to participate in the 16th Bayou Sales Challenge of 2019 which is an amazing opportunity for students in the southern U.S. to show and fine-tune their professional sales skills.  Among the participating schools are Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southern University, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Xavier University.  44 individual students will compete in high-pressure sales simulations in Nicholls’ state-of-the-art Sales and Interactive Training Lab built in 2003 with a generous donation from Northwestern Mutual.  That Fall, the very first Bayou Sales Challenge was held. ​

Once the top two students of the competition emerge, they will progress and face off head-to-head. There will also be a Team Selling challenge, a career expo and two discussion panels: one from professional salespeople and the other from judges and customers.  

Bayou Sales Challenge News at Nicholls

The Team Selling Challenge is a new addition to the event this year.  Two teammates will enter the room together to sell something to the customer. ​  This round of competition is only 15 minutes long but allows for a lot of creativity. ​​The team who scores the highest total combined points wins.

Some of the skills and attributes that will be evaluated are:

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Strategic PRospecting Skills
  3. Rapport Building
  4. Buyer/Seller Agreement
  5. Active Listening
  6. Communication
  7. Qualification Questioning
  8. Time Management
  9. Objection Prevention
  10. Demo Skills

“The Bayou Sales Challenge provides students with an experience that instills in them the confidence that they can compete in the marketplace,” said Dr. Laura Valenti, director of the Bayou Sales Challenge and assistant professor of marketing. “The competition also gives students an opportunity to network with top businesses.”

The event is very Shark Tank-esque and is great practice and exposure for future business men and women.  As on the award-winning reality show Shark Tank, the sharks often find weaknesses and faults in an entrepreneur’s concept, product, or business model, yet some of the investors try to soften the impact of rejection.  Unlike the show though, this is a safe place to learn and grow as young business people without the fear of loss of investment or risking business assets.

The Director of the event, Laura Lott Valenti, released the following letter regarding the event:

Dear Students, Coaches, Sponsors, and Volunteers,

Over the last eleven years, I have had the honor of meeting most of the program’s supporters and participants, and I am excited to bring another great coopetition to you in February 2019.

The Bayou Sales Challenge is known for its strong connection to the region because of its ties to supportive, well-regarded sponsors and volunteers.  While preparing students for success in sales or related careers, top-notch coaches bring their star students to compete in our two-day role-play competition.  Celebrating the talent we see each year is something I have always looked forward to because when these major pillars convene the students benefit greatly. I am honored to carry the torch for a wonderful program that enables such a unique opportunity of impact.

The 2019 competition marks the sixteenth annual Bayou Sales Challenge, and once again you will see some subtle changes that should enhance the overall competition.  Whether your role is a sponsor or coach, you can expect to experience a well-run competition with the same great southern charm and comradery.

Students, coaches, and volunteers are the most valuable component to the Bayou Sales Challenge’s success.  I thank each of you for the inherent commitment of making a career in sales one that it worthy of recognition.

Reach out to me should you have any questions, and cheers to this amazing opportunity to make an impact with our students.

Sincerely,

Laura Lott Valenti

Both students and event creators are looking forward to seeing the new young talent and their inspiring methodology and ideas.  


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Program Launches for Teacher to Advocate for Education Initiative

The Louisiana Department of Education has developed a new program that would allow one teacher to take a year off to go around the State advocating for the education initiative of their choosing.  The teacher that will be chosen will come from nominees for Louisiana Teacher of the Year from the previous year. The fellowship was announced at the 12th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Awards Gala, and was awarded to 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Kimberly Eckert, who will continue her efforts to recruit and train the next generation of Louisiana educators.

Eckert, who is an English teacher at Brusly High School in West Baton Rouge Parish, spent some of her time as 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year recruiting new educators and elevating the teaching profession. She will continue this work by focusing her fellowship on pioneering the national “Educators Rising” program in Louisiana. The program identifies young people, starting with high school students, interested in teaching and provides them with the information, skills and hands-on experience to become successful educators.

The fellowship is supported by a $50,000 stipend of state funding that is paid directly to the recipient’s school system. It allows the teacher to take a year-long sabbatical and may be used to help pay for their substitute, travel costs, and any other expenses incurred during the advocation period by the recipient.

“Louisiana has taken the Teacher of the Year award and turned it into a true leadership opportunity. Our winners and finalists are scholars, spokespeople, mentors,” said State Superintendent John White. “We need to be doing more to nourish and support them in realizing their leadership potential.”

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Fletcher Tech Students Land Jobs

All 13 of Fletcher Tech Community College’s graduates in the cardiopulmonary program have landed jobs before they even officially finished the program.  They have finished their courses at this point but still have a pinning ceremony this week to commemorate the completion of the program and transition to the workforce.  The 2 year program has been located at Fletcher since 2010 and is very fast paced.  It prepares students to treat patients of every age that have been diagnosed with severe and chronic cardiopulmonary conditions.  These patients may have underdeveloped lungs and/or lung disease. Students learn to help patients on mechanical ventilation with oxygenation, ventilation and airway management to maintain life support.

Chancellor Kristine Strickland said, “A true testament to the achievements of these students and the quality of the program at Fletcher is indicated by the 100 percent placement rate of our students.  Fletcher recognizes that our work is aligned with the needs of our business and industry partners and we are pleased that so many organizations have recognized the quality of our graduates and offered them positions.  We wish our students the best of luck as they begin their new careers in healthcare.”  For more on this story, click here.

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