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February 17, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Cheers!

As you know, I’m working as hard as my willpower will let me to stay on my new healthy lifestyle plan.  My plan calls for 40% protein, 40% veg and 20% carbs.  One of the things that I had to release was my palate-addicted love for white wine.  I’ve tasted the best wines in the world.  South Africa, Argentina and Trader Joe’s $2.99 specials are my top three picks.

My old ritual was to have my delicious glass of unoaked Chardonnay right before dinner.  I realized that was not smart because it makes you hungrier, hence overeating mode kicks in.  Then another glass or two just before bedtime to relax me from my overcommitted schedule and hectic day.  But all the sipping, tasting and soothing had gone right to the scale and had blown by my 20% carb quota in just one sitting.  I had to make a choice; it or me.  Today, I chose me.

Ironically, I’ve gone out only twice socially since I de-friended my buddy, Clos du Bois.  When I order a hot tea or spring water instead of a wine spritzer,  my social guests almost seem uncomfortable.  “Are you sure you don’t want a cocktail?” No, a cup of hot tea would be fabulous, I would politely reply.  They would insist and question my decision not to indulge in the wonderful world of Mai Tais and Cosmos, to the point that I had to invent an excuse.  “Oh, I’m getting over a cold,” (which was true but not the real reason I was reaching for the second Diet Coke).  I was too embarrassed to say that for the past three years my healthy lifestyle has gone to the “waist”side and I’m crawling on my knees to get my health back to where I’m not intimidated by a flight of steps. 

So what I realized is that if you give up alcohol all together, some seem to find it extreme or worse, “that you must have had a problem.”  I’m here to say “Yes, my social friends, I have a problem….it’s called too much BMI!!!!! “

Do you remember in the 60’s and 70’s when everyone smoked?  It was cool and fashionable to be a Marlboro Man.  Is that how we are with alcohol?  Could you ever imagine that in 20-30 years from now there will be a revolution to get everyone to stop drinking alcohol like we do now for cigarettes?  I think that there will be, so I’ve decided to attempt to start early.  Wish me luck.

February 15, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

A National Victory

It started with the inability to complete normal tasks.  Her daughters (my aunts) took note of it quickly.  My grandmother, Delores Lee, died after a sad downward spiral of lost memory, confusion and  simple physical functions (such as writing).  I saw this beautiful, vivacious woman fondly known as “Mom-Mom” succumb to this disease slowly, methodically….Alzheimer’s is so calculating.  It is estimated that as many as five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and was the seventh-leading cause of death in 2006.   

On January 4, 2011, The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama after having been passed unanimously in both the Senate and House of Representatives.  NAPA will ultimately create a nationwide strategic plan to address and conquer Alzheimer’s.  For more information about NAPA, please visit:  http://bit.ly/a15gOc

A10 is proud to be currently working with Duke University on a study that is working to find a way to slow or, hopefully, end the Alzheimer’s crisis at hand.  A10 is examining the exponential growth and increase of Americans affected by progressive and ultimately fatal disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. 

This Aging, Demographics and Memory Study is part of a larger longitudinal study by The University of Michigan and Duke University Medical Center for Americans aged 65 and older and their families.  The purpose of this study is to learn more about memory and how it changes with age, identify the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia and to estimate the number of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other type of memory problems.  

A10 is also pleased to support Maria Shriver, niece of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy and daughter of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the first Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver, first lady of California and married to California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger, as she continues her advocacy despite her recent loss of her beloved father from Alzheimer’s.  

Shriver is filling A10 with encouragement and motivation through such media outlets as ABC News, http://abcn.ws/a9rOuB, and The Huffington Post, http://huff.to/997u8G – both are such heartwarming pieces.  “The Alzheimer’s Association tells us as many as 5.3 million people, most of them women, are living with Alzheimer’s disease in our country — and unless something is done, by 2050, it will impact as many as 16 million families directly and millions more indirectly,” Shriver says.  “Seventy percent of the people who develop Alzheimer’s are women, and the vast majority of the people caring for people with Alzheimer’s — and mind you Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, stroke victims — are also women.”

A10 challenges you to join our efforts to help recognize the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia to help our family, friends and loved ones. www.a10clinical.com

February 3, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Just a Heartbeat Away

Need motivation to get healthy?  Read on…… 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States.  While it’s true that the majority of women still believe that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women, the truth is that more women die of heart disease each year than die of all types of cancer combined.  Sadly, the fact is that only 13% of women are even aware that heart disease is number one killer of U.S. women.  Almost 500,000 different women lose their lives to heart disease annually:  Women who are me, you, moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters, daughters, cousins and dear friends.   

Good news!  Heart disease is the most preventable cause of death in women. Unfortunately, many women do not take their risk of heart disease personally.  Many of us rationalize, “It won’t happen to me.”  Many times women don’t realize the connections between such risk factors as stress, hypertension or high cholesterol levels, and how these affect their personal risk of developing heart disease.   A new heart-healthy lifestyle choice will prove beneficial by preventing or reducing your risk of obesity, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many types of cancer.

So, what will you do today to prevent yourself from being a victim of heart disease?  Give me some ideas; I need the motivation, too!

January 31, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Heart your Health

Every minute, a woman dies of Heart Disease. My mother had her moment two months ago.  Every single minute. Is the next minute mine or yours? My mother’s heart disease was genetic.  She had exceptional healthy habits, a lifetime at the ideal weight (I was so jealous of her) and of course she was a non-smoking (thank God that went out of fashion in the 80’s).  More commonly, as in 90 percent of all women, develop heart disease because of unhealthy lifestyles.   That’s me and most likely you. The couch potato hours, the seconds to make a poor food choice and the years of overweight, all add up to the minute that it will take for our heart to stop beating. 

For years, women’s health was looked at secondarily to men’s health issues because we experienced different symptoms for the same diseases and the medical community didn’t have information to help us protect ourselves.  The time has come to fight for our heart health.  This year I have aligned myself as a CEO of a major healthcare company with the American Heart Association. 

I am part of the Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team devoted to raising awareness among women to “know your numbers” and learn about your risk for heart disease and ways to prevent it.  This Friday, February 4, is the AHA’s national “Wear Red Day” in support of the “Go Red for Women” campaign, which provides education about heart-disease risk factors for women, hosts community events, provides CPR kits and raises money for heart disease research.

To learn more about keeping women heart healthy, please visit: http://www.goredforwomen.org/index.aspx.

January 19, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Happy Paps All Around

By accident, I discovered that among other things, this is Cervical Health Awareness Month.  Needless to say, it was my official cue to schedule my annual ‘girl’ checkup. 

Most women I know, including myself, don’t delight in the thought of having their next ‘happy Pap.’  All of us ladies can definitely think of a lot of other things we’d rather be doing.  Eventually though, we ‘get around to it.’  

As a mother of two, I certainly remember being that ‘busy mom,’ continually putting myself last.  I would be sure to take the kids to the doctor, get their routine vaccinations, take my husband to his appointments and the family dog to the vet.  It was easy to let all the time in the world go by before actually stopping to remember to take care of myself.  The phrase, “Oh yeah, me!” came up a lot during those years.    

Hypothetically speaking – what if you were to schedule that annual appointment to find out that there is indeed something wrong; something needing surgery or worse?  Not an avenue I would recommend.

Did you know that 11% of Women living in the United States report that they do NOT have their regular Pap test screenings?  In the United States, about 10,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and approximately 3,700 women die each year from this silent killer.  High-Risk HPV Types are directly related to cervical cancer, yet many women are unaware of what HPV is or the relationship it has to cervical cancer.  In the majority of developing countries, cervical cancer remains the number-one cause of cancer-related deaths among women.

I don’t mean to use the scare factor, but sometimes we ladies need that extra boost to make time for our health; in addition to our families of course.  In short, for all you on-the-go working moms, make sure you get with the program.  Go for your routine checkup.  Why risk an infection or problem?  It’s important for you and your family.  What can you do to minimize your chances of cervical cancer?  When it comes to your personal health, it is okay to put you first – Congratulations ladies; it’s your turn!

January 18, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Dream

I went to the gym today. It’s been a while.  The reason that I stopped is much too painful and complicated to share with you now.  But I will some day; but not now.

While on the elliptical, I thought about the responsibilities I have to my company.  I’m building an institution of groundbreaking healthcare research and disease prevention programs that are cutting edge and that will change how healthcare is delivered in the future.  However, I’m talking the talk, but realized I stopped walking the walk.  

I owe it to my employees at A10 Clinical to demonstrate that we can control costs by staying healthy both physically and mentally.  We can increase revenues by feeding the body and brain with the best nutrition that will open our mind-cells for new innovative thoughts.   I owe it to myself to move my body often and get my required sleep because it just feels better than working on the computer all day and night.

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and I too, had a dream.  I dreamt that I could be the best person that I can, both inside and out. I dreamt that my words would be inspiring to some and my actions are valuable to most.  Yes, I had a dream this morning, a glorious dream indeed.  I dreamt I can show all interested women and minorities that starting a business doesn’t have to remain a dream.  Growing a business is possible now and it’s good for our families and great for the nation. 

I dreamt and I still dream as I‘m writing this that A10 will meet its remarkable and admirable mission to be a clinical powerhouse that heals the world.  Just like back in 1963 when Dr. King gave us hope that our nation could heal; I believe our world will be healed of diseases, war and bias.

I have an enormous dream, a focused dream that I will work alongside my extraordinary staff to continue to build a center of excellence for health research and quality healthcare delivery programs.  I dream that we attract only the best and well intended clients and employees to the company.

I dream because it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who sacrificed his life so that I could have endless dreams but most importantly have the opportunity to turn my dreams into reality.

January 1, 2011 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Taking History into the New Year

At a young age, it didn’t seem apparent that I would become an entrepreneur.  Both my parents were teachers who were part of the “get a good job” generation.  They instilled in my head; go to college, get a job, then go to grad school and then get a good job, marry, have children and live happily ever after. Boy, were they in for a big surprise when they had me, the youngest and the feistiest of their two daughters. (Yes, my sister is a high school teacher and Upper School Head at the The Pingry School in New Jersey).  At least one of their daughter’s listened to them!

I didn’t understand why I was so different from the rest of my family. As a little girl, I played cash register or store; instead of with Barbie dolls.  Not sure what girls saw in those stick figures with mashed up blonde hay-like hair?  Finally, my Communications Manager, Kelly Garnett did some digging and she found the story of my ancestry.  Much of it was provided my 70-something Aunt Henrietta.  Here’s the story – I hope you find it fascinating as much as I did.

It all began in the early 1900’s when my maternal great-grandfather, Allen “Papa” Carney, a free African-American man, owned a large farm in Mississippi and sold his vegetables during the time of slavery.  He had 18 children: eight by his first wife who passed away, and 10 by his second wife, the sister of his first wife.

During the Migration in the 1920’s, he took his family north to Chicago.  With his large family and many sons, Allen Carney insisted that his sons become entrepreneurs as he was.  These sons had cleaning services, beauty parlors and barber shops.  They took in laundry and made their own money.  They eventually went on to own candy stores and grocery stores.  Some sold ice cream on the streets of Chicago.  All of the Carney sons lived together during these times to economize and pool their financial resources. Each of these industrious entrepreneurs moved on to own their own homes.

One of Papa Carney’s sons and my maternal grandfather, Henry Allen Carney, left this tight-knit clan in the 1930s when, after years of dealing in chemicals, developed a detergent chemical and was made an offer by a white-owned company in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Such an offer to an African-American entrepreneur was unheard of in this 1934/1935 time period.  This company wanted Henry’s product to be used in their laundry and sterilization units and Henry was proud to launch his product and moved himself and his wife, Dolores, and daughter, Dorothy, to Jersey City.

Papa Carney promptly disowned his son Henry because he had previously vowed his sons would never work for a white man.  So Henry was alone in his new venture, separated permanently from his large family.  He and his wife had five children, my mother, Leander, and her Aunts Henrietta, Dorothy, Dolores “Peaches,” and Uncle Henry, Jr.

Allen and Enid Brown, my paternal grandparents, migrated from Jamaica to New York in the 1930s.  They owned a clothes cleaning shop near New York City’s Harlem on 117th St. and 8th Ave. for 10 years.  They also did tailoring, clothing repairs and dressmaking on premises.

Enid was an extremely talented dress designer for couture dressmakers.  In 1929, she went to design school to further her talent and skills as dress designer.  Her talent was soon discovered, and a very high-end retailer (we cannot reveal the name because this was not a publicly known arrangement) came to Enid at her home in Harlem to have dresses produced.  She designed and made both couture and wedding dresses.

Enid was also sought out by another retailer to create coats for their organization.  The retailer would bring her pieces of sumptuous fabrics and she would create elegant, well-made coats.  She did this from her home while she was raising her three sons, Kenneth, Allen and Bernard.

Allen and Enid sold their cleaning and tailoring business in the 1960s and Allen went to work for General Motors to secure his pension for their future.

In the 1940’s, when my mother and her siblings were young, their father, Henry, passed away.  His wife and my maternal grandmother, Dolores, found “home work” by bringing work home to do to sustain her family.  She brought home work from a company that made pens and mechanical pencils.  Each Saturday morning, Dolores and her five children would sit together and make the small mechanisms inside the pencils and pens.  Dolores would take the parts back to the company on Monday mornings.

So as you see, despite both my paternal and maternal families ending up having “regular jobs”…it was entrepreneurship that was in their blood.  With the migration of industry to the Northeast between the 1940-1960’s; it seemed more practical to get a job that had health benefits and a pension, especially for Blacks. Now the time has changed, we have legislation that provide a fair playing ground for small women and minority owned businesses which has helped paved the way for my business.  So as we enter into this New Year, I would like to give homage to my ancestors that sacrificed for me in their own special way and passing me the entrepreneurship gene!