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Innovative Health Care Magazine

: from the editor-in-chief 7 InnovativeHealthMag.com Rick Marschall Editor IHM Of Tragedies and Opportunities The recent death of Muhammad Ali had many people talking about heroes, tragedies, and diseases. My friend Milt Priggee, the editorial cartoonist from Washington State, drew a brilliant cartoon after Ali died, a switch on the famous photo of Ali in the ring after a knockdown of Sonny Liston, savagely growling over his opponent, almost inhuman. But in the cartoon, Ali was on the mat, and the victorious fighter was the figure of Death, labeled “29,000 head blows induced Parkinson’s.” Would Ali have quit boxing if he knew Parkinson’s awaited? He grew up among old-time fighters who were “walking dead,” insensate, laughingly called “punch drunk.” The last 30 years, or more, of his life, were wracked by physical and mental debilitation. Junior Seau, whom I met in San Diego and seemed to all the world like an affable and contented retired football hero… shot himself to death, and his autopsy revealed Chronic Brain Damage, a common condition to pro football players. Today, many football players refuse to allow their sons to play football. A major movie, Concussion, is devoted to the sport of personal destruction. I met Muhammad Ali once. My college invited him to speak in the late 1960s, and I was on the Programming Board so was able to spend a few moments with him. I was caught up in the audience’s frenzy after his bombastic speech – actually, a lot devoted to black self-sufficiency – and I was among those who wanted just to pat his back as he walked past. He was charismatic. A few years later, I was involved in a proposed newspaper cartoon feature illustrating his (many) sayings. Memories. The day of Ali’s service a Michigan sports legend died. Gordie Howe was 88; had played hockey longer and scored more goals than anyone in history – and probably into the future. Amazing. He played in an era more supportive of goons and fights, yet remained free of debilitating injures, even after playing into his 50s. A different fate than Ali’s. Is any of this related to Flint, and to innovative health? Certainly. Some people – and some communities – tempt fate. Ali did not know that the final three decades of his life sadly would be spent as a quivering mute – and, as I say, might have welcomed the trade-off if within his power. We can say that the City of Flint tempted Fate, too, by ignoring warnings about its water quality. Specifically: it is not the Flint River itself – not the flinty riverbed in spots, nor even the homes and industries along its flow – but the faulty treatment of the river water, including the klunky stops and starts of source-water, that made water unsafe. The Water Crisis can be called many things, but “tragedy” is not one. The same way that Muhammad Ali’s death was not a tragedy. I sometimes give speeches on certain themes and I will begin by asking the audience for their estimations of the number of people who were terror victims on 9-11. “Three thousand” is the general consensus. Then I explain how wrong that is. The people who died on September 11 were murder victims, not victims of terror. Murder is murder. The rest of us were, and are, victims of terror. That is the definition of terrorism. My point is that Flint’s water crisis, like Ali’s death, and many other things in the news, are not tragedies. A tragedy, by definition, is when a hero or noble personality is brought to ruin or suffers extreme consequences not because of outside factors, but by a weakness or flaw. If we view the Water Crisis as a tragedy – or merely a tragedy – we will do little to address it, because we would virtually and endlessly wring our hands. If there is a tragedy, it is inherent in Democracy itself. However, calling for the impeachment or death of people in Lansing; or decrying an entrenched bureaucracy without accountability in Genesee County; or an old one-party system, in Flint – will not make one Dixie cup of water pure again. Insufficient regulations and, especially, faulty science largely are to blame. We now know that asbestos – once considered a miracle of science with beneficial applications – was a silent killer. America is treating that problem, lung by lung; building by building. In the same way, Flint is only the first of virtually every older town and city that once considered lead pipes state-of- the-art. Engineers were not perverse murderers conspiring against future generations. Now – with Flint as the model – America will be treating water problems, filtration plant by treatment facility; also building by building and home by home; person by person. There is no other way to proceed. Flint’s Water Crisis will be the next generation’s Cold War, or Space Program. We, here, at the watery epicenter, can only decide whether to stand on the sidelines, complaining, or to be part of the solution – watching, learning, testing, helping. We have the opportunity to be an Innovation City attracting the world’s attention again. To make Innovative Health the slogan that guides us to a healthy and vibrant future. MICHIGAN InnovativeHealth W E L L N E S S A N D H E A L T H C A R E M A G A Z I N E V O L U M E T H R E E I S S U E T W O PUBLISHER Karen Smith VP OPERATIONS Kenneth David Fowls EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Rick Marschall MANAGING EDITOR Stephane Irwin PRESIDENT ADVISORY BOARD Sophia Bong CREATIVE DIRECTOR & DESIGNER Nancy S. Kurnik Ardis Advertising & Design CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Matt Schroeder, John Gwynne Prosser, Raney Russell-McAuley, Hildee Johnson, Jim Sitko, Sohia Bong , Mat Dunaskiss, Patricia A. Ellis, Rick Marschall, Nicole Weddington, Amanda Hawley, Susan Walter, Robert Soderstrom, Lindsay Crawford, Stephane Irwin, Therese Leyton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kristine Cochrane, Amanda Hawley, Lindsay Crawford, Therese Leyton, Rachel Williams, Karen Smith VP MARKETING DIRECTOR Lisa Metropoulos VIDEOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHERS/SOCIAL MEDIA Zackary Scott, Rachel Williams, Amanda Hawley, Karen Smith, Kenneth David Fowls CHECK US OUT ONLINE AT Innovativehealthmag.com CONTACT US We want to hear from you. What do you think of our magazine? Please email us your thoughts and ideas to info@InnovativeHealthmag.com Or mail us at PO BOX 197 Flushing, MI 48433 Phone: 810.407.0305 A SPECIAL THANKS TO all of our marketing partners and advertisers that help make this publication possible. We appreciate your continued support for our efforts to educate and inform. As the healthcare changes continue to unfold we will be an advocate and a voice. “Keep informed for the health of it” No part of this publication can be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. All rights reserved, we make every effort to ensure accuracy and will be held harmless of any errors or omissions. All the material in this issue of Innovative Health Magazine is offered as guide to further information and assistance, not to be considered definitive medical advice. We provide helpful lifestyle information for our readers. We urge you to contact your physician or healthcare provider on any matters herein. IHM


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