MNA Employee Spotlight – July
Wanda Hernandez, Placement Specialist
My name is Wanda. I started with MNA in September 2020, as Care Concierge, and really enjoyed the role. I helped the Placement Specialists keep up with their workloads, and most importantly worked with our travelers by assisting with timesheets and answering any questions or concerns they had. In December of 2020, I transitioned to a Placement Specialist, also known as a Recruiter. As a Placement Specialist, the joy I have speaking to my potential travelers is amazing. Each and every one is so unique and different. I have such a sense of accomplishment when I can place a traveler on an assignment. The work our CNAs, LPNs and RNs do on daily basis is immeasurable. They are our true heroes not only during this pandemic but before this chaos started, and I am sure for many more years to come! I salute you all!
I was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to Chicago, IL when I was two. I’ve lived in Florida now for 11 years and moving here was one of the best decisions my family and I made. I’ve formed some great relationships along the way. I’ve been happily married for 25 years and have 3 amazing kids! In my spare time away from the office, I love to spend time with my family. My hobbies are sewing, cooking, reading, going to the beach, and caring for my Sun Conure named Buddy, but we call him “Pterodactyl”. The way he screams for attention is impressive to say the least. 😊
And here is Buddy, helping me sew!
Walking through a field of weeds might give some an asthma attack, but a thunderstorm?
According to the journal PLOS ONE, researchers in Australia think that, under unusual conditions, lightning storms may cause a surge of asthma attacks.
Thunderstorm asthma is rare, but deadly. The first such recorded event occurred in 1983 and 22 accounts have since appeared in medical literature, according to Live Science.
When pollen counts are high, high wind may distribute pollen particles, but the pollen grains are normally too large to get deeply in the lungs. They mainly make you miserable in the eyes and nose.
Thunderstorm asthma events seem to occur when there is high pollen, high wind gusts, little rain and, what may be the key factor, lightning strikes and static electricity in low-humidity air.
Researchers think lightning and static electricity in the air break down the large pollen into breathable particles, triggering asthma attacks. Another theory is that wind gusts drive pollen to the clouds, where water saturates them and they burst.
The most dramatic example of thunderstorm asthma occurred in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 21, 2016. The weather that day was hot and dry. In the peak of the grass pollen season, the air held more than 133 grains of pollen per cubic yard. The storm dumped little rain while lightning and static electricity crackled through the dry air.
Public hospitals saw a 672 percent increase in patients with respiratory problems. Emergency calls inundated the medical system. In the end, 10 died from storm-related asthma.
Australian researchers are trying to develop an early warning system for thunderstorm asthma. They say the lightning theory isn’t perfect and more research has to be done.
Artificial intelligence offers hope for better colon cancer detection
It’s one of the most common — and deadliest — cancers in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal (colon) cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer, after lung, breast and prostate cancers.
While colonoscopies — the standard diagnostic procedure used to screen for irregularities in the colon and rectum — are highly effective, they aren’t perfect, according to Wired. Some precancerous and cancerous spots may be hidden or exceptionally difficult to identify.
Now, Medtronic, the makers of the new GI Genius diagnostic tool, says its AI-powered technology can identify even the most shadowed and difficult-to-identify precancerous polyps along the lining of the colon.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Medtronic has provided data to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety and effectiveness of the device, including clinical data. The results are impressive — one study found that the GI Genius increased cancerous and precancerous cell detection rates by 14 percent over colonoscopy alone.
AI technology is being used to detect more than just colorectal cancer. According to Nature, in one study of about 43,000 lung scans, an AI detection tool outperformed six radiologists who also viewed the scans. The AI tool reduced the number of false positives by 11 percent and false negatives by 5 percent.
While no one expects AI tools to replace physicians, according to Nature, researchers have high hopes for the future of cancer screening as more new AI-powered diagnostic tools are developed.