New Jersey Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients can be treated with Medical Marijuana, after conventional treatments have failed, under a bill signed by Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday. The new law took effect upon Christie signing the bill.
The bill, which passed with veto proof majorities in the Assembly and Senate, adds PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions that can be legally treated with cannabis under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
In a statement issued with the enactment of the bill, Christie cited the increase in PTSD among military veterans and others since the terrorist attack upon the United States on September 11, 2001. Christie said he was directing the Commissioner of the Department of Health to promulgate regulations to deter the abuse of medical marijuana that might result from the enactment of this new law.
For all of you who followed my five part series on breast cancer, cryoablation, and the trial that may well reduce surgeries for some women, it has been six months since I had the simple procedure which consisted of a radiologist inserting a frozen needle into my breast and killing the cancer that was sitting there.
Although the oncologist, the radiologist, and most of all me, all knew the cancer was long gone, it’s part of the trial procedure to have a mammography six months after to be scientifically sure. Also as part of the trial, I would meet with the oncologist who had given me the option of having her perform surgery or the radiologist eliminating cancer with the needle.
Editor’s note: In this fifth and final article in her series about her breakthrough treatment for breast cancer, Muriel Smith shares her visit to the Israeli company, Ice-Cure Medical that invented the procedure. Paint the Town Pink
Israeli Ice-Cure Medial staff with Muriel Smith at the cyroablation console, with one of the gifts Muriel brought for the staff to remind them where Centra State Medical Center is. Standing left to right: Maya Yurista- QA Manager, Odelya Eliyahu- Office Manager, Ravit Attali- Clinical Manager, Muriel, Gabriel Cohen- VP R&D Manager, Iris Firer- Accountant, Shahaf Yehuda -Production
My trip to Israel went off without a hitch. Traveling with friends from Our Lady of Perpetual Help/St. Agnes parish, on a tour with a travel company which had previously taken me to Greece, Turkey, Ireland, and Italy, the trip could only be made more exciting for me now that I knew I would be meeting with the people who had invented the procedure and equipment to perform cryoablation…freezing to death the breast cancer that had been discovered only 47 days before it was ablated.
Sue Jebsen, the nurse who traveled the United States with the equipment used in this trial procedure, and Will Irby, Ice-Cure Medical’s key person in the USA, had made all the necessary contacts and explained to me that while the staff in Israel had seen and spoken with physicians who had done the procedure, they had never had the opportunity to meet with a woman who had undergone it. Sue was in the room when Dr. Kenneth Tomkovich had performed the approximate 45-minute procedure which killed the small tumor in my right breast. It was she who first called that evening to see if I would meet with the staff in Israel while on my trip.
Editor’s note: This article is the fourth in an exclusive series of Muriel’s inspiring and hopeful message after dealing with breast cancer. Paint the Town Pink!
Muriel Smith and her grand-daughter Becca Marie
February 2! Cryoablation Day. By 11:00, the breast cancer I had only known I had for 47 days would be dead in my chest and I’d be on my way to keep a luncheon date with a friend. Having had procedures and tests at Centra State Medical Center several times in the past, I knew they called you a day in advance to remind you of your appointment. When I had not received a call by 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, I called the hospital to be sure my procedure was still on schedule. They laughed good naturedly at my excitement and assured me everything was right on target and I was scheduled to be called sometime after 4 p.m. to verify it. I did get the call at 4:01 p.m.
Editor’s note: This article is the third in an exclusive series of Muriel’s inspiring and hopeful message after dealing with breast cancer
It was Dec. 18, a week before Christmas, I learned I had breast cancer. But it was little. The tumor couldn’t be felt by Dr. Mary Martucci, the surgical oncologist at Centra State Medical Center, who examined me. But it could be seen on the ultra sound. And confirmed by the biopsy. And it was located pretty well directly in the middle of my right breast.
On the other hand, I was at the Star & Barry Tobias Women’s Health Center at Freehold’s Centra State Medical Center where radiologist Dr. Kenneth Tomkovich was involved in a nation-wide trial procedure. I fit the criteria to participate in it. Even better, Dr. Martucci, the surgeon who would have done the lumpectomy had I opted for that option, said that whichever I chose…surgery or the trial, cryoablation, would be ok. A surgeon who certainly put her patient first! And I was grateful.
Editor’s note: This article is the second in an exclusive series of Muriel’s inspiring and hopeful message after dealing with breast cancer
It was Nov. 25, two days after my 79th birthday, when Dr. Ann Hughes, the interpreting radiologist for the Star and Barry Tobias Women’s Health Center at Central State Medical Center, wrote to let me know my mammogram showed a finding “that requires additional imaging studies.” The radiologist sent the same information to Dr. Robert Pedowitz, my general practitioner, who immediately called me. He wanted me to see Dr. Mary Martucci, the medical director and surgical oncologist at the Women’s Center. I’m not saying it’s cancer, he cautioned, simply that he would like an oncologist involved right from the get go. Just in case.
Editor’s note: This article is the first in an exclusive series of Muriel’s inspiring and hopeful message after dealing with breast cancer
Muriel J. Smith
It’s quite a story. Full of coincidences, a new invention, a forward thinking radiologist, a medical center that has the integrity and strength to offer its patients an economical and painless alternative to surgery, a private physician who suggests, explains, and urges a woman to review all options, a surgical oncologist who explains everything in simple detail then encourages a patient to make her own decisions, an international meeting, a team of young, bright, intelligent Israelis who are on the cutting edge of tomorrow’s cancer cures. And me. I’m part of that story!
And it all started with a special sales offer for a body massage at Hand and Stone on Route 33 in Howell. That’s the embarrassing part. Read the rest of this entry »
“Women’s Healthcare Options Open, Available and Accessible”
Photo Credit: Dave Lewis, LewisArtandPhoto.com
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called out his colleague, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D- Newark) for continuing to perpetrate the myth that New Jersey short changes funding for women’s healthcare.
“I count at least seven line items where we put money to women’s healthcare, including $135 million for family health services to provide prenatal and perinatal care for expectant mothers and their children,” said O’Scanlon. “The results of the Republican investment in women’s healthcare speak for themselves. New Jersey is in the top five States with the lowest STD rates in the country. Other states look to New Jersey as a model for STD prevention.” O’Scanlon also pointed out that the Democrats have failed to provide any additional funding for Family Planning Services in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget they passed last June.”
When a New Jersey lawyer named Philip received legal papers last year informing him that his former psychologist’s practice was suing him over an unpaid bill, he was initially upset they could not work out a payment arrangement outside of court. It was only later, Philip said… Read the rest of this entry »
Recently the Asbury Park Press published a story based on a widely criticized and discredited State Comptroller’s 2012 report examining the state of health benefits for public workers of municipalities, county governments and school districts. The report, which was panned by most benefit and insurance professional at the time as being actuarially and statistically invalid, also failed to accurately reflect the process local governments must use when selecting benefits for its employees. The report made for good headlines, but it didn’t make for good policy.
The takeaway of the report was that local entities in New Jersey — counties, townships, boroughs, school districts — could simply join the state health benefit plan and save the state $100 million dollars. But that wasn’t correct then and it isn’t correct now. The report overlooked the fact that benefits are collectively bargained for and can’t simply be changed on whim or all at once. It also made the false assumption that just by merging all the groups across the state, their claims history, which is how insurance policies are priced, would miraculously get better and generate savings. Finally, the report largely blamed local benefit brokers and consultants for the high cost of health care for public plans even though the cost of brokerage services is about 2% to 3% of the total cost of healthcare. The state plan is a solution for many public employers as are other private plan options. The key is to examine all of the options and align the entity with the best solution for their circumstances.
The report was largely discredited and dismissed at the time of its issuance by industry experts for being naïve and non-factual. But because it includes an eye-popping alleged savings number, the nearly 4 years old report is regularly dusted off and re-circulated by political operatives and media types looking to re-create a controversy that never existed.