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Exploring Michigan

Posted by: coccolr | July 31, 2014 | No Comment |

July is coming to a close and so are my opportunities for adventures before PA school begins again. So when two of my long-lost friends invited me to play hooky on Friday, I couldn’t refuse one last hoo-rah.

Our three-woman adventure is a little more subdued than your imagination may forecast, but I’m looking forward to it! We will take I-96 through Grand Rapids and Muskegon and see what Western Michigan has in store for us.

I packed plenty of portable veggies, so we should be good to go! Even this little cold-spell can’t stall this adventure!

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S, 2016

under: July 2014

How to beat jetlag

Posted by: coccolr | July 28, 2014 | No Comment |

Globalization is certainly not a new phenomenon. In fact, autocorrect even knew how to fix my improper attempt to spell the word. ;) The unfortunate part is that a single human body has a little more difficulty adjusting to time zone changes than what human commerce demands.


I’m talking about the human circadian rhythm and how to account for the variation in time zones. There are a few ways to approach this. The medicinal approach may be effective way to go about it, in which case I suggest an over-the-counter dose of Melatoinin just before bed. This is a hormone found in your body that simply says “daytime, we’re awake!” or “darkness, time to sleep!”. So all that it does is make you sleepy when darkness falls.

The high-tech approach is through an Iphone App (what else?). Designed at the University of Michigan, the Entrain App is not only designed to monitor how you sleep, but to also help bridge and prepare your body for time-zone changes. How? If you tell the app your fight dates and locations, it will give you a suggested sleeping schedule that will help your body adjust to the new time zone upon arrival and/or return.

As a frequent flyer to California (and an over-stressed PA student that sometimes forgets the difference between night and day), the potential for reduced jet lag is thrilling! I’ll give it a go on my next trip and report back. :)

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S 2-16

under: July 2014

Happy 313th Birthday, Detroit!

Posted by: coccolr | July 25, 2014 | No Comment |

The (313) area code is celebrating its 313th birthday all this week with concerts, stories, and general good cheer. The majority of festivities took place yesterday (June 24th), with day-long concerts at Campus Martius, Hart Plaza, and Grand Central Park. There was also a birthday party at the Detroit Historical Museum with events, concerts by local artists, and some favorite food Detroit food trucks.

Of course there are many articles and blogs on this week’s excitement, but I’d like to direct you to this ClickonDetroit article that explains a bit of the evolution and history of Detroit.

Take care and happy celebrating!

Lisa Cocco, PA-S, 2016

under: July 2014

“Cured yesterday of my disease, died today of my doctor” – Shakespeare

Medical errors have been officially ranked as the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Not that I think that medical malpractice has increased, mind you. On the contrary, I think that health care teams have been doing a phenomenal job at bettering mortality rates, but it was never socially acceptable to list hospital mortalities amongst other causes until now.

This transparency may appear disheartening, but it is the basis for a rally of regulation according to Health Leaders Media. Medical doctors from around the country addressed U.S. senators on July 18th to encourage the regulation capabilities of the CDC, specifically to create a means for monitoring, regulating, and transparently reporting on the top incidence rates and causes of harm.

At the moment, hospital statics are and transparency is regulated by individual states. While Washington state is required to report the transplant rates for hip and knee surgeries, Texan hospitals are not required to publish – or any – such data.

This movement would be a large imposition to the CDC, but there is not a more fitting company for the job. Volunteered transparency can be very unappealing for the the salary of a CEO or the reputation of an individual hospital. For instance, a hospital may volunteer their statistics based on good faith, but if their patrons have no standard of comparison from other hospitals, how do they know what is good, poor, or normal? It is this fear – that good information becomes mis-information – that limits any good intentions to publish one’s own negative-looking statistics.

Two of the lobbyists in Washington were Ashish Jha, MD, founder of the Initiative on Global Health quality at the Harvard School of Public Health and Peter Pronovost, MD, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Both concluded that “until we get to the point where the CEO of the hospital is lying awake at night worrying about patient safety, I don’t think we’ll really move the needle beyond these leading organizations, which are going to do it no matter what incentives are there.”

Well said, I think.

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S 2016

under: July 2014

Discovering the Detroit Public Library

Posted by: coccolr | July 17, 2014 | No Comment |

I know that you’re not expecting a post from me just yet, but I am so excited that I just need to share this!

I have never set foot in the Detroit Public Library. Ever. I’ve been musing around it and making excuses to go…followed by excuses not to go. And whiles I’ve passed by the beautiful structure many times on my way to the DIA, the inside remains unexplored.

Today, that will change.

After I happened a glance at the Detroit Public Library website, I fell in love with the passion, dedication, and sheer activity of the place! Open the link and look at the sidebar on the left (the calendar). On any given day, they have an incredible selection of free activities and tours – everything from learning how to mix colors and dye clothes to learning how to conduct a free genealogical (family tree) search! While these events will happen while I am at work, I am over-the-moon excited about becoming a little more familiar with my lovely local library.

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S, 2016

P.S. the Library offers free art and architectural tours at 1pm on the first Saturday of every month. I think that I may find myself at the library in two Saturday’s time. ;)

under: July 2014

I feel like a made a profound leap toward adulthood today. Not that the occasion was expected nor was it followed by pomp and circumstance. In fact, it was a rather humble and subdued thought that came to me as I was debating two things independently. The first thought (more subconscious) was, “I am so passionate about the medical field and dedicated to my studies, but why am I struggling so much to meet par?”. My other, more conscious thoughts were focused on a few assignments for my Research 5500 course, where were are not only learning to synthesize and evaluate the most recent medical literature, but also how to implement evidence based practice.

My profound leap is a newfound self-application for the word “change”. In the medical field, some things stay consistent (anatomy, for instance), but almost everything else moving, changing, evolving. As a PA student, I am trying to get a grip on a rolling stone – one that’s rolling downhill at an ever-steeping gradient. If love what I’m doing, them I can’t give up my chase until I learn how to run on top of that rolling stone. In school, the exams are reflective of the uncertainties of medical practice; even when you think that you know the general idea, you don’t know about the parts that matter. So what do we do? We maintain a spirit of inquiry and always ask about the details around the obvious answer. We remind ourselves that failure can be for our own benefit, humility can be inspirational, and we do know more than what numbers can demonstrate.

Nothing is impossible with your head held high and your eyes on the prize.

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S, 2016

under: July 2014

From plant to fuel in under a million years!

Posted by: coccolr | July 12, 2014 | No Comment |

The petrified and petrolified forests and fossils of the prehistoric eras have been a major resource for humans. Coal and oil have fueled the most rapid evolution of mankind’s culture, possessions, and very living. Now we’re taking a look at an even more conserved and refined process for energy conservation: photosynthesis.

The only way to properly replicate a system is to study and synthetically redesign those parts. We’ve been pretty sure that we know the general mechanism for photosynthesis, but the size and speed to the reacting molecules have evaded objective microscopic observation. That dilemma changed when an interdisciplinary team decided to use high-powered lasers to watch, record, and analyze a water molecule splitting into its component parts thru photosynthesis. The team has their sights set on the generation of an artificial leaf that could be used to harness solar energy.

I have to agree with the team’s philosophy: though it may require all of our brain power and techy toys to study the basics of nature, only nature’s existing mechanisms have stood the test of time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S 2016

under: July 2014

Adventure Belle Isle and Detroit

Posted by: coccolr | July 7, 2014 | No Comment |

My man was on my side of the country for 1 day only, so we enjoyed Detroit like it should be enjoyed! Went to:
Belle Isle
-Aquarium (the OLDEST in America!)
-Nature Zoo [we fed European deer that were gifted to Belle Isle in 1920!]
-Greenhouse and gardens
-Great Lakes Museum (surprised me! it’s a gem!)
-The bell tower, Fountain, and Casino
-Did you know that Belle Isle has a sand beach that overlooks the Detroit?

Maccabbe’s for Brunch. (EXCELLENT restaurant! Look for the brunch Groupon.)

DIA (They didn’t have their Sunday jazz yesterday, but if they had…)
Detroit Riverwalk [So much stuff to do there, I can't even list it]

And EVERYTHING WAS FREE! (Except for the $25 for brunch for 2, Parking is free on Sundays and after 6pm; admission is always free for everything.)

We didn’t make it to the Detroit Public Library, Studio A, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, The Michigan Science Center, the Detroit History Museum (among other city gems), but that’s just all the ore reason to return! I’m proud to be in Detroit!

Take care,
Lisa Cocco, PA-S, 2016

under: April 2010

The Avenue of Fashion will have a literary make-over with the latest installment, Pages on Livernois. A well-loved pop-up in the Rust Belt Market (a Ferndale treasure trove of creativity!), Pages on Livernois will permanently plop itself on 19344 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI.

According to their blog, Pages was supposed to open in September 2013 as a Revolve Detroit Initiative. However, renovations for this forgotten space on Livernois was taking longer than expected and the opening date is still undetermined. (Check out these photos from Curbed Detroit to see the before and after shots!) This space, along with some of the other new beauties along the avenue of Fashion, are designed for congregation and curiosity. A place for people share food, and idea, or just good vibes. This sense of public community has never been lacking in Detroit, but there hasn’t been a rally and a place for congregation. Until now.

Thank you, REVOLVE Detroit, Livernois SOUP events, the DCDC, and all other collaboratives that could see something beautiful in Detroit when othesr rolled up their windows and locked their doors. Thank you for literally paving the way to show us that not only is Detroit beautiful, but so are the hearts within.

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S 2016

under: July 2014

Bus bench by day, homeless shelter by night

Posted by: coccolr | July 1, 2014 | No Comment |

Lately, everyone has dedicated their energies toward software updates and installments. Lets take a step back and take a look at the hardware installments that deserve some attention!

Jenna Kagel of News.Mic wrote a great article about the juxtaposing methods for dealing with the homeless. A few upper-class areas in London have installed “anti-homeless spikes” (warning: that is a media-term. Those that installed the spikes claim that they were erected to discourage smoking and drinking in remove corners near the store entrances, but the spikes more effectively prevent a person from sitting or laying than simply standing). Meanwhile in Vancouver, bus benches are being converted into night-time shelters for the homeless.

What’s the installment? It’s a simple as a hinge! A locking hinge is attatched to the back of a bench so that, when opened, the bench becomes a three-sided shelter where one person could sleep. So simple, so useful, so practical!

Take care,

Lisa Cocco, PA-S 2016

P.S. Happy Canada Day!

under: July 2014

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