First Federal Monsanto Roundup Trial Begins Monday in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO , CA, USA, February 21, 2019 / — February 21, 2019, San Francisco, California – – The trial of Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company (now Bayer) will begin with opening arguments on Monday, February 25, 2019 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco before Judge Vince Chhabria. Jury selection occurred February 20, 2019 – a panel of seven women and two men were chosen. The trial is expected to last a month.

Mr. Hardeman’s case is the lead case of the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Monsanto and the first of the group to proceed to trial. More than 1,600 cases in the MDL are pending before Judge Chhabria, all filed by plaintiffs who allege exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Case. No. 4:16-cv-00525-DMR / MDL Case No. 3:16-md-02741-VC,Hardeman vs. Monsanto Company et al.

Edwin Hardeman and his wife spent decades living in Sonoma County, California, on 56 acres of land once used as an exotic animal refuge. Mr. Hardeman started using Roundup products to treat poison oak, overgrowth, and weeds on his property in the 1980s and continued heavy spray activity through 2012. In February 2015, he was diagnosed with B-cell NHL, roughly a month before the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, as a “probable human carcinogen.”

Mr. Hardeman retained the law firm Andrus Wagstaff to represent him and filed a lawsuit against Monsanto on Feb. 12, 2016. The lawsuit alleges that exposure to Roundup was a substantial factor in causing Mr. Hardeman to develop NHL. Monsanto denies that Roundup caused Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.
Judge Chhabria selected Mr. Hardeman’s case as the first of hundreds of other federal Monsanto Roundup cancer cases to go before a jury. In January 2019, Judge Chhabria granted Monsanto’s request to bifurcate the Hardeman trial.

Bifurcation creates two phases for trial. The first phase will only address evidence relevant to causation, specifically, whether or not Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide significantly contributed to Mr. Hardeman developing NHL. If the jury finds that exposure to Roundup significantly contributed to Mr. Hardeman’s cancer, they proceed to the second phase, focusing on Monsanto’s knowledge, conduct and damages (both compensatory and punitive).

The following are some of the pre-trial hearings and motions in limine, which Judge Chhabria issued evidentiary rulings regarding what evidence may be presented to the jury:

Evidence allegedly showing that Monsanto engaged in ghostwriting scientific literature is excluded for Phase 1.
Monsanto’s marketing materials are excluded for both phases of trial.
Comparisons between Monsanto and the tobacco industry are excluded.
Arguments that glyphosate is needed to “feed the world” is excluded for both phases.
Certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents will be restricted for Phase 1.
An analysis by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifying glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen is “restricted.”
Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore of Moore Law Group represent Mr. Hardeman. Ms. Wagstaff is lead trial counsel. Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, who served as co-lead counsel in the Dewayne “Lee” Johnson case that resulted in a landmark verdict against Monsanto, will conduct direct examination of Dr. Christopher Portier, one of the plaintiff’s star witnesses.

Dr. Portier was supposed to appear in court for the trial but recently suffered medical complications in Australia. His testimony will be recorded in Australia, where he is recovering.

The lawsuit alleges Monsanto, among other things:

Failed to exercise ordinary care in designing, researching, testing, manufacturing, marketing, supplying, promoting, packaging, sale, testing, quality assurance, quality control, and/or distribution of Roundup and knew or should have known that using Roundup created a high risk of unreasonable, dangerous side effects, including, but not limited to, the development of NHL.
Knew or had reason to know that Roundup was defective and unsafe, especially when used in the form and manner provided by Monsanto.
Failed to sufficiently test, investigate, or study its Roundup® products
Knew or should have known at the time of marketing its Roundup® products that exposure to Roundup® could result in cancer and other severe illnesses and injuries.
Did not conduct adequate post-marketing surveillance of its Roundup® products.
Could have provided the warnings or instructions regarding the full and complete risks of Roundup and glyphosate-containing products because it knew or should have known of the unreasonable risks of harm associated with the use of and/or exposure to such products.
The information that Monsanto did provide or communicate failed to contain adequate warnings and precautions that would have enabled Mr. Hardeman, and similarly situated individuals, to utilize the product safely and with adequate protection. Instead, Monsanto disseminated information that was inaccurate, false, and misleading and which failed to communicate accurately or adequately the comparative severity, duration, and extent of the risk of injuries associated with use of and/or exposure to Roundup and glyphosate; continued to promote the efficacy of Roundup, even after it knew or should have known of the unreasonable risks from use or exposure; and concealed, downplayed, or otherwise suppressed, through aggressive marketing and promotion, any information or research about the risks and dangers of exposure to Roundup and glyphosate.
Continued with their failure to adequately warn of the true risks of injuries associated with use of and exposure to Roundup.
Monsanto denies these and other allegations, insisting that Roundup is safe and does not cause cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Attorneys for the Plaintiff
From Andrus Wagstaff
Aimee H. Wagstaff (Lead trial counsel)
David J. Wool
Kathryn M. Forgie

Moore Law Group PLLC
Jennifer Ann Moore

Attorneys for the Defendant
From Hollingsworth LLP
Joe G. Hollingsworth
Eric Lasker.

Wilkinson Walsh & Eskovitz
Brian Stekloff
Tamarra Matthews Johnson
Rakesh Kilaru

Covington & Burling
Michael Imbroscio

Jury Selection occurred Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.
Trial begins Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at 8:30 a.m.

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
Judge Vince Chhabria
Courtroom 4
17th Floor

Phillip Burton Federal Building & United States Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

Lindsey Plant
Andrus Wagstaff, PC
+1 303-360-6360
email us here
Visit us on social media:

Source: EIN Presswire

CEO Daniel Waite Continues To Build Consortium Of Integrated Companies At Waite Enterprise

The Developing Holding Company and its Leadership see Strong Growth in the Coming Year

DALLAS, TX, USA, February 21, 2019 / — Waite Enterprise has developed or integrated a number of companies in various sectors over the past few years in an effort to develop a strong, diversified business consortium. The Dallas based holding company, led by CEO Daniel Waite, has developed a core business philosophy of adding successful businesses from diverse industries and growing them by pooling resources, cutting costs and investing profit into new means of generating revenue or streamlining waste. Be it investing in vehicles, real estate, new equipment, new companies or even commodities and resources, the parent company is slowly building a varied field of operations that logically lends earning power and opportunities to eliminate excess cost and waste in the process.

Waite Enterprise already spans several industries with established subsidiaries, including:

Clinical Based Research: A successful CRO or Contract Research Organization
Value Based Data: A unique DATA Company and clinical study sponsor
Americonstruction: An established Dallas area contracting company
LMD Financial: A cornerstone Auto and Loan business
American Medical Devices: An emerging medical Device company
Prior Auth Pros: An important service that provides prior authorizations services for healthcare providers and companies

The company hasn't stopped there, and with an eye to future growth and additions, Daniel Waite and corporate leadership are currently integrating a few new businesses. “Right now we are working on a few new enterprises, including CBD Organix, a Canabinoid company in Texas, and Ameriprint, LLC, a commercial printing company with a state of the art printing system.” Waite explains. “These additions fit our core vision and mission, to build an integrated holding company that helps defray costs, generate sales between companies and common customers, and share resources. The new printing company will cut printing costs for all other companies for marketing materials, sales materials, you name it, while generating service revenue for outside customers. CBD Organix can offer treatments that are in line with the customer base that our other medical companies service. Ultimately we continue to build, grow and diversify, and we intend to keep progressing like this for the foreseeable future.”

About Waite Enterprise:

Waite Enterprise (subsidiary of Waite Capital, Inc.) is a diversified holding company with a vast platform of subsidiaries and investments that leverage resources and growth from various sectors, currencies and assorted commodities, from cryptocurrency to real estate to high end vehicles. The company is being developed by Daniel Waite with the intention of ultimately going public, offering a diversified investment platform designed as a basket that provides revenue streams from digital platforms, currencies, and businesses in the construction, healthcare and financial fields.

don eminizer
Smoulder Pro
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

USPTO Grants Divisional Patent to Integral BioSystems for its NanoM™ Drug Delivery Platform

The USPTO has issued a Divisional Patent for Integral BioSystems’ NanoM™, the firm’s flagship sustained release drug formulation platform

With this Divisional Patent grant, NanoM™ is an even more powerful development tool”

— Dr. Shikha Barman

BEDFORD, MA, US, February 21, 2019 / — Boston-area drug development firm Integral BioSystems has received a Divisional Patent grant from the USPTO on one of its flagship inventions, NanoM™(“Methods and Biocompatible Compositions to Achieve Sustained Drug Release in the Eye”, United States Patent #9931306 issued on April 3, 2018).

Developed as a drug delivery platform for the formulation of new chemical entities as well as already-approved drugs in a 505(b)2 environment, NanoM™ technology is a novel, patented, differentiated and improved delivery approach for administering sustained-release medications, both small molecules and biologics to ocular and other tissue types, both as therapies adjunct to surgical interventions as well as stand-alone sustained release drug therapies in ophthalmology, urology and other accessible tissue spaces. The NanoM technology is applied as a biodegradable, nanostructured wafer that has key characteristics unique to its drug release and tissue biocompatibility. This is particularly useful for the development of improved, next-generation therapies in ophthalmic indications in glaucoma, cataract surgery, etc. as well as the development of regimens to treat cancer and infections for other tissues and organs. This innovation can be considered transformational and can be the platform engine for many future sustained release products.

About Integral BioSystems
Since its formation in 2011, Integral BioSystems has established credibility in drug formulation, CMC consulting, analytical method development and methods qualification, as well as scale-up process engineering. Along with its strong presence as an ophthalmic product development CRO, the company also has expertise in other routes, including injectables, infusions, topical dermal gels/creams, and nanocrystals. Integral BioSystems provides expertise and know-how in developing both front-of-the-eye and back-of-the-eye products, offering complete development services in pre-formulation, including bioanalytical.

For companies seeking to develop a new product that is using a re-purposed drug, Integral offers its innovative delivery systems as licensable technologies to build value into prospective clients’ drug products through a 505b2 regulatory strategy. With multiple billion dollar drug products going off-patent, this presents a cost effective way to develop an extended product life cycle with novel IP. In this manner, Integral will offer its insight and technological innovations in drug delivery to strategize and improve the customer’s product portfolio. To this effect, Integral BioSystems has been a development partner for both innovative and generic companies.

Dave Karasic
Integral BioSystems
+1 617-820-8483
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

Marika Haranis Appointed New HPNA Chief Clinical Officer

Ms. Haranis will lead the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association's education and research programs, and represent HPNA in advocacy efforts

PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES , February 21, 2019 / — The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Marika Haranis, MSN, CRNP, ACHPN, as its new Chief Clinical Officer. Her first day with the organization was Wednesday, February 20, 2019. In this role, Ms. Haranis will lead education and research programs and represent HPNA in advocacy efforts.

Ms. Haranis comes to HPNA from UPMC Altoona, where she was the Clinical Director of Palliative Services, Transitional Year Residency Coordinator, Program Coordinator / Palliative Fellowship Coordinator, and a Nurse Practitioner since 2014. She served as a Hospice Clinical Practitioner at UPMC Family Hospice and Palliative Care, a Clinical Practitioner at the Minute Clinic in Washington, DC, and was a Staff Nurse at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Ms. Haranis is an End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Trainer, a POLST Train-the-Trainer, and Pallitalk Trained by AAHPM. She is a member of HPNA and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, UPMC Preceptorship Academy, UPMC Altoona Graduate Medical Education Committee, and the UPMC Altoona Ethics Committee. She is also a Beckwith Institute Grant Recipient of the Palliative Nurse Champion Program, won the UPMC Graduate Medical Examination Team of the Year and Rookie of the Year as well as the UPMC Altoona Guardian Angel Award.

Ms. Haranis earned a Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a Post Masters Certificate as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Systems Executive Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh.

“We are very excited to have Marika join our executive leadership team. Her skills as an expert palliative care clinician, in conjunction with her leadership experience in healthcare, will serve as a great complement to our team as we continue to advance our mission ‘to advance expert care in serious illness,’” said Sally Welsh, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, and CEO of HPNA.

About Us

HPNA is a national nonprofit organization of nursing professionals practicing in the specialty of palliative nursing across the life span continuum. With a mission to advance expert care in serious illness, and more than 11,000 members, it is the only nursing organization of its kind. HPNA and its two affiliated organizations, the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, have a vision to transform the care and culture of serious illness. To learn more, visit HPNA at

Harry Crytzer
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

River Therapies is First in Greater Pittsburgh Area to Use Innovative I-PAS™ for Concussion and Vestibular Patients

River Therapies has added the FDA-cleared I-PAS™ to their practice as part of their River Concussion Group. I-PAS provides a range of OVRT tests and exercises.

PITTSBURGH, PA, US, February 21, 2019 / — River Therapies proudly announces they are the first physical therapy clinic in the Pittsburgh area to add an I-Portal ® Portable Assessment System (I-PAS™) to their practice. The I-PAS, developed by Neuro Kinetics, Inc. (NKI), is a game-changing, neural functional assessment tool. It is portable, FDA-cleared, and looks much like a virtual reality system. River Therapies can now offer an extensive battery of Oculomotor (eye movement), Vestibular (balance) and Reaction Time (or OVRT) tests and exercises to help the professionals at River Therapies address a multitude of injuries such as concussions.

Over the last 19 years, River Therapies has grown to now offer a variety of services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, and social work. Founder and Director Cherie River became a speech therapist after her nephew was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome. Her passion to help those as challenged as her nephew now encompasses: River Therapies, River Pediatric Therapies, River School Therapies, and River Concussion Institute. These practices treat adults, adolescents, and children in schools, homes, and clinics across the Greater Pittsburgh region.

The clinic will use I-PAS as part of its newly formed River Concussion Group, to address the needs of adult to school-aged children who suffer from mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). River explained that their goal is to bridge the gap between clinic, schools, and work by creating a process that addresses all aspects of concussion treatment and rehabilitation. River Concussion Institute is unique in the sense that they incorporate speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, and counseling into the concussion treatment program as needed per patient. River does not consider the concussion as an isolated event, but rather looks at entire function of the person so that they can start enjoying life again!

“Our experience has taught us how to assess and clinically integrate new technologies. Being the first to integrate I-PAS into our clinical practice provides our patients with the most clinically advanced, neuro-functional assessment tool, allowing River Concussion to design and implement the most appropriate and beneficial treatment possible for our clientele ” said River. “We are going to use it for baselines, for rehabilitation, and for post-treatment and post-season assessments.” She went on to explain that, having observed I-PAS first hand, nothing else provides the insight and neuro-functional measurements that Rivers Concussion and its clientele will be able to get with I-PAS. This puts Rivers’ practitioners in a unique position to design and implement the most powerful treatment plans.

Dr. John Schneider, a Physical Therapist at River Therapies, echoed River’s excitement about the inclusion of I-PAS in their treatment plan. "I couldn't be more excited to use the I-PAS system,” Dr. Schneider said. “It is especially valuable to me as I now have a way to determine if the interventions I choose for my patients are effective, or if I need to try a different approach. Our top priority is getting our patients better and back to doing what they love, and now we have a tool to let us know when and how we are achieving that goal." The objectivity of the data the device provides was also cited as a key benefit in comparison to alternative assessment tools, which are complementary and will be used when indicated to provide additional insight into a patient’s health condition.

NKI has supplied comprehensive neuro-functional diagnostic and assessment tools to professionals around the globe for more than three decades. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared fourteen oculomotor, vestibular, and reaction time tests on NKI’s I-PAS in November 2017. Since then, a series of exciting developments have taken place including Indy Racing League’s, LLC (INDYCAR), announcement to include I-PAS as part of their concussion evaluation protocol. Also, in June 2018 it was announced that NKI’s I-Portal™ technology, including I-PAS, was used to test and confirm inner-ear damage suffered by U.S. Diplomats to Cuba.


Neuro Kinetics, Inc. (NKI) is the leader in clinical eye tracking and non-invasive neuro-functional diagnostics and monitoring. Abnormal eye responses have been connected to more than 200 diseases and medical conditions. With 24 issued patents and over 150 installations, NKI’s FDA-cleared I-Portal® devices are sold to physical therapists, audiologists, ENT’s, neurotologists, neuro-chiropractors, neuro-ophthalmologists and neurologists around the globe. The company's cleared diagnostic platforms include the I-PAS® (I-Portal® Portable Assessment System), I-Portal® NOTC (Neuro-Otologic Test Center), I-Portal® VNG, (Video Nystagmography) and I-Portal® VOG (Video Oculography), along with related accessories, software, training and support services.

Concussions, as mTBI’s are widely known, are an increasing public health concern. The need for an objective diagnostic device has made health care practitioners eager for a system that can measure concussion symptoms acutely and over time with speed, precision and reliability. Recent third-party research initially indicates a battery of OVRT (oculomotor, vestibular, and reaction time) tests, in combination with NKI’s I-Portal devices, can support a more accurate diagnosis of mTBI (concussion) symptom measurement both acutely and during convalescence. Please refer to NKI’s website and the resources page for papers reporting on I-Portal’s role in various concussion studies. NKI is actively working toward gaining clearance for its I-Portal® systems as an aid in the diagnosis of concussion based on this and other research. To learn more about NKI, please visit


River Therapies is a dynamic private practice serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area of Pennsylvania comprised of River Therapies, River Pediatric Therapies, River School Therapies, and River Concussion Institute. They are staffed with a combination of over 50 outstanding, certified, and licensed Speech Language Pathologists, Developmental Therapists, Behavioral Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, and Social Workers who treat adults, adolescents, and children. Services are provided in schools, homes, or within the Fox Chapel and Cranberry Clinics. Together they provide a comprehensive approach to intervention that focuses on the whole person because “Each step counts!”

From warm-water pool therapy to their especially designed and unique equipment, River has clients covered for an efficient and effective treatment plan. Pediatric, school-age services, in particular, are designed to heighten the sense of joy and accomplishment and to optimize the benefits of the natural environment. This is achieved by consulting in the child's school, home, preschool, or day care, and by helping their teachers, caregivers and family members to become a part of the process in reaching the child's goals. Combining nearly 20 years of experience with friendly and caring service, River Therapies focuses on your therapy needs in a positive and fun atmosphere! To learn more about River Therapies, please visit

Cherie River
River Therapies
+1 412-767-5967
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

Helping Bile Duct Cancer Patients Find Specialists Nationwide

The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation and Komodo Health Offer a First of Its Kind Interactive Map Connecting Patients and Doctors

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, USA, February 21, 2019 / — The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF) has partnered with Komodo Health to create an interactive map for patients to find healthcare providers experienced in cholangiocarcinoma, nationwide. Patients may access CCF’s Specialist Finder here.

Cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile ducts, is often labeled a silent disease because many times the signs and symptoms go unnoticed until the cancer is in the advanced stage. Even when early signs and symptoms become known, they may be vague and easily attributed to another disease. Approximately 9,000 new cases are diagnosed each year—and these numbers are growing as cholangiocarcinoma has the second highest rising incidence rate amongst all cancers.

“Our patients struggle to find healthcare providers that provide the best standards of care for cholangiocarcinoma,” Stacie Lindsey, CCF Founder and President said. “Komodo Health’s healthcare map creates access for CCA patients to healthcare providers that are experienced with cholangiocarcinoma” Stacie continued.

Komodo Health and the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation began their partnership in May of 2018. The agreement allows the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation to access disease-specific insights to help get cholangiocarcinoma patients the right care at the right time.

“Specialist Finder will connect patients with the best standards of care and reduce the burden of this deadly disease.” Said Dr. Aswin Chandrakantan, Head of Product and Chief Medical Officer of Komodo Health.

Jordan Giles
Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation
+1 888-396-6731
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

Intermountain Healthcare Reduced Number of Opioid Pills Prescribed by 3.8 Million in 2018

As part of its ongoing opioid-reduction initiative, Intermountain’s 2019 goal is to reduce opioid tablets for acute pain by an additional five percent

Utah has great coalitions that are coming together for the safety of our families, our friends, and our communities.”

— Lisa Nichols, Intermountain Community Health executive director

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, February 21, 2019 / — Intermountain Healthcare reduced the number of opioid tablets prescribed to patients in acute pain by 3.8 million in 2018, a step that’s helping to reduce the risk of opioid dependency and misuse in Utah.

Intermountain has made opioid reduction a top priority, and the dramatic drop in opioid tablets prescribed by Intermountain clinicians in 2018 means the system cut opioid prescriptions by more than 30 percent last year. Acute pain is categorized as short-term pain that typically accompanies events like a broken arm or a surgery.

“We knew these would be lofty goals and we’re encouraged by the reduction in opioid tablets and the success of our other opioid-reduction efforts. We knew these were the right steps to take,” said David Hasleton, MD, Intermountain Healthcare’s associate chief medical officer. “We’re continuing our focus to implement appropriate evidence-based opioid treatments, provide alternative forms of pain control for our patients, and educate providers and the public about the safe use of opioid medications.”

Related accomplishments in Intermountain’s opioid-reduction efforts:

• Intermountain exceeded its goal to increase medically-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders by more than 10 percent.

• Intermountain reduced by 29 percent the number of patients prescribed both opioids and benzodiazepines, a medication commonly used to treat anxiety and other psychological conditions. The combination of these two medications could put patients at risk for suppressed breathing.

As part of its ongoing opioid-reduction initiative, Intermountain’s 2019 goal is to reduce opioid tablets for acute pain by an additional five percent. Intermountain will also continue to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependency and continue to advance opioid co-prescribing, which allows pharmacists, as well as physicians, to provide opioid-reversing drugs that can save the lives of people who overdose.

The state of Utah has made significant strides in addressing the national opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in August that Utah was one of a few states that saw a decline in opioid-related deaths.

The CDC reported a near 12 percent reduction in deaths in Utah from January 2017 to January 2018. Efforts by providers such as Intermountain, and increased access to the opioid-reversing drugs naloxone and Narcan, have contributed to this reduction.

Intermountain’s efforts to reduce opioid misuse also includes medication disposal and collaborating with state, local governments, and community partners through the “Use Only As Directed” public awareness campaign. More information on public awareness messaging can be found at

Intermountain pharmacy drop-boxes have received over 26,000 pounds of medication since February 2015. Intermountain has also helped give out more than 1,700 naloxone kits. Intermountain pharmacies also offer naloxone kits for purchase without a prescription and the system has helped to fund additional kits for Utah Naloxone, which is a coalition of prescribers, pharmacists, public health workers, recovery advocates, and people who’ve lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic.

“We understand it takes all of us working together to reverse the opioid epidemic. Utah has great coalitions that are coming together for the safety of our families, our friends, and our communities,” said Lisa Nichols, Intermountain Healthcare’s Community Health executive director. “We’re encouraged by our successes so far, but we’re not where we need to be yet. We’re committed to continuing the fight against opioid misuse and abuse.”

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 23 hospitals, 170 clinics, a Medical Group with some 2,300 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through evidence-based best practices, high quality, and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
+1 801-442-2834
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

“Overdosed” Documentary Screening in Clearwater Brings Human Scale to Drug Crisis

Kimmie Lynn Markwood (center) answers questions from the audience as ‘Overdosed’ director Mary Sue Connolly (left) and producer (right) look on. ‘Overdosed’ chronicles the effect that the opioid drug crisis had on three small communities in West Virginia.

'Overdosed' is a story of a small town, but thousands of towns across the country fell victim to the same fate. It's a small-town-story that hints at the bigger picture.”

— Mary Sue Connolly, Director of "Overdosed"

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, US, February 21, 2019 / — The opioid crisis was in the hearts and minds of the 100 people who attended a special screening of the documentary “Overdosed” on February 9th at Clearwater’s Fort Harrison. The documentary is a tour-de-force by director Mary Sue Connolly, which looks behind the startling figures of opioid abuse in West Virginia and the root causes of the crisis.

“I lost my beloved nephew to an overdose,” said Mary Sue Connolly, the director of the film. “This loss awakened me to an immense problem across the country and I was determined to find out what gave rise to this deadly scourge. As I said to my sister at the time; ‘I will keep walking over the hot coals of West Virginia until I find out what happened to Paul.’”

At the same time, Kammie Lynn Markwood, (who is featured in ‘Overdosed’), was experiencing the scourge first-hand. After suffering from addiction and turning to dealing, it was her own near-death by overdose that showed her she needed to change her life and re-make her community.

“Before the pill mills arrived, West Virginia was warm summer nights, bonfires, fishing, camping, ATV riding, lots of dirt and laughter,” said Markwood. “We were a hardworking, fun loving, happy group of people. But now, this is not the place I grew up. This is not the place I once loved – I stay because I have so much family here – including siblings, nieces, a nephew, and cousins – who can’t leave. Since I can't move them, I am determined to do everything in my power to give them a better, safer future.”

Markwood has since founded West Virginians for Change and is helping addicts get into rehab. Both Markword and Connolly first ran into resistance, but this did not stop them from moving forward.

“Making the film was a risky endeavor,” said Connolly. “We found ourselves in compromising situations, but there was never even a flicker of doubt about what we had to do. Overdosed is a story of a small town, but thousands of towns across the country fell victim to the same fate. It's a small-town-story that hints at the bigger picture.”

After screening the film, Connolly and Markwood joined their executive producer for a Q and A about the making of the film. One question was how will others be able to see the film?

Connolly and the film’s producers will continue to make the film festival circuit with ‘Overdosed’ and will then distribute the film on other channels. Residents in Pinellas County will be able to see the film at 4:00 on March 31st at Blur in downtown Dunedin, as a special presentation by the Dunedin International Film Festival.

The February 9th Screening was sponsored by the Concerned Businessmen’s Association of Tampa Bay, Consumer Energy Solutions, and MGE Management Experts.

The Fort Harrison is the international religious retreat for the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization.

“We were very proud to show this film,” said Lisa Mansell, the Public Affairs Director for the Church. “Humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard wrote, ‘Research has demonstrated that the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs,’ and we see evidence of this every day. Educating others on this issue is something that we can do to help."

To learn more about future screenings of ‘Overdosed’, or to schedule a screening in your area, please go to


Since completing construction in 1926, the Fort Harrison has been the home to many events for charitable organizations. The latest owner, the Church of Scientology, completed a top to bottom restoration of the Fort Harrison in 2009, and since then has hosted over 400 community events there. Scientology is an applied religious philosophy, founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The Church makes its facilities available to non-profit groups as a service to the community.

Pat Harney
Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire

SMi’s Pharma Microbiology West Coast 2019 chair and speakers announced

Micro WC brochure cover

Pharmaceutical Microbiology West Coast is back after a successful event in 2018. This year the confex is at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, USA on June 5-6, 2019.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES , February 21, 2019 / — SMi's 3rd Annual Pharmaceutical Microbiology West Coast conference and exhibition is sponsored by: Associates of Cape Cod, bioMérieux, Bioscience International, Charles River, DuPont, FujiFilm and Microbiologics

I am pleased to announce the Chair for the conference Ms. Ziva Abraham, CEO at Microrite, who will be joining us again due to the positive feedback received from past attendees.

Ziva has 25+ years of academic, research, clinical and industrial experience in microbiology and quality assurance. She received her master’s degree in microbiology with a focus on mycology and has conducted research on developing microbial Insecticides using entomogenous bacteria and fungi for her PhD degree. At present she is the CEO and Founder of Microrite, Inc., a California based consulting firm providing consulting and training services to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics in the areas of quality assurance, quality control, microbiology, and validation.

As well as chairing the 2-day conference, Ziva will also be leading one of the two pre-conference workshops on 'Assessing a Holistic Approach to Microbial Contamination Control' details below.


IRVING FORD, Head of CAR T QC Laboratories, Celgene Corporation
Irving has over 28 years of QA/QC experience in pharmaceutical/biotechnology and cell/gene therapies industries.
Currently, Irving is working on a task force for creating an ISO Standard for apheresis collection. Irving is also co-authoring a White Paper for appropriate microbiological controls for ATMPs manufacturing.
Irving will be presenting a keynote session on 'Just in time release of CAR-T Cell therapies' on day one.

FRIEDRICH VON WINTZINGERODE, Senior Manager gASAT Microbiology, Global QC, Roche Diagnostics Gmbh
He is Head of Roche-Genentech global Endotoxin Expert Group and Roche-Genentech global SME on microbial impurity contaminations and LER. He joined Roche in 2001 working as Micro lab Manager and Senior Manager on various topics (environmental monitoring, biochemical cleaning analytics, microbiological IPC and analytics for release, endotoxin testing, LER).
Friedrich will be presenting a spotlight session on ‘Low Endotoxin Recovery (LER) on day one.

ANITA BAWA, Quality Control Director, Bayer Healthcare
Anita has 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and blood bank industries.
In 2012, she joined Bayer to manage the Microbiology and Virology groups, currently manages Quality Control Microbiology/Environmental Monitoring/Cell Biology/Virology departments and oversees the operations, method validation, microbial identification, and discrepancy groups.
Anita will be speaking on ‘Investing Sterility Failures’ on day one.

LUCIA CLONTZ, Quality Director, Xellia Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Clontz has more than 30 years of industry experience in quality, pharmaceutical microbiology, laboratory management, operational excellence initiatives, and training. Dr. Clontz is a published author, speaker, and workshop leader at both national and international conferences, and in 2004, she received the PDA’s Distinguished Editor/Author award.
Lucia will be presenting an opening address on day one on ‘Strategic approaches to contamination control’.

HEIDI ANDERSON, Principal Scientist, Microbiology, Abbott
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology she began her career with Abbott’s Diagnostics Division and has continued to work there for nearly 15 years.
Heidi will be speaking on ‘The Conundrum of Microbial Identification’ on day one.

FARNAZ NOWROOZI, Scientist and Manager, Genentech, Inc Farnaz Nowroozi
Farnaz is an SME for Low Endotoxin Recovery topics and a key member of Endotoxin Expert Group at Roche-Genentech.
Farnaz will be speaking on spotlight session on 'New Endotoxin Testing Methods – A mass Spectrometry Based Approach'

For the full agenda and speaker line-up visit the website to download the brochure here –

The event is CPD accredited.

Part of the conference there will also be two interactive half day pre-conference workshops taking place on June 4th, 2019

WORKSHOP A – 08:30AM – 12:30PM
Assessing a Holistic Approach to Microbial Contamination Control
Led by: Ziva Abraham, CEO, Microrite

WORKSHOP B – 1.30PM – 5.30PM
Reviewing the Road Map to a Holistic Approach to Microbial Impurities, Endotoxins and LER
Led by: Friedrich von Wintzingerode, Senior Manager gASAT Microbiology, Global QC, Genentech & Farnaz Nowroozi, Scientist and Manager, Genentech

If you would like to attend as a delegate at this event take full advantage and save US$400 for the 2-day conference (standard price is at US$1999). Register at

Sponsored by: Associates of Cape Cod, bioMérieux, Bioscience International, Charles River, DuPont, FujiFilm & Microbiologics

Interested in sponsoring, exhibiting or speaking at this event?
Contact Alia Malick, Director, on +44 (0) 20 827 6168 or email

For media enquiries, contact Simi Sapal on +44 (0) 20 7827 6000 or
Pharmaceutical Microbiology West Coast
June, 5 – 6 June 2019
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Hotel, CA, USA

—- END —-
About SMi Group: Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward-thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at

Simi Sapal
SMi Group
+44 20 7827 6000
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire


Foundation for a Drug Free World Florida Chapter volunteers meet to coordinate presentations on the Truth About Drugs Program to schools and groups all over the greater Tampa Bay area. To attend a seminar or book a lecture, please call 727-467-6962.

There is a misconception that because marijuana is a plant, it’s ‘natural’ and so it’s harmless. But it’s not.”

— Julieta Santagostino,President of the FDFW Fl Chapter

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, US, February 21, 2019 / — On February 13th, the President of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World Florida Chapter gave a drug education presentation to a group of teens in Tampa. The presentation included the facts about marijuana, including its role as a ‘gateway drug.’ Ten teens attended.

“There is a misconception that because marijuana is a plant, it’s ‘natural’ and so it’s harmless. But it’s not.” Said Julieta Santagostino the President of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World Florida Chapter. “Hemlock, a poisonous plant, is also ‘natural,’ but it can kill.”

“Marijuana is a drug like alcohol, cocaine or ecstasy,” said Santagostino. “And like these other drugs, it has side effects that can be harmful. There are 400 chemicals in Marijuana and the chemical that causes intoxication or the ‘high’ in users is called THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol). THC creates the mind-altering effects that classifies marijuana as a ‘drug’.”

The seminar utilized materials from the Truth About Drugs program, including a booklet on Marijuana and an excerpt from the award-winning “Truth About Drugs” documentary.

These materials form the basis of a full anti-drug educational program that is available to educators at no cost.

“I learned a lot about drugs that I did not know,” said one student. “I am glad I came today to find out what marijuana actually does.”

To find out more about the effects of marijuana on the body you can get a free copy of the “Truth About Marijuana” information booklet.

The Florida chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World also offers free seminars every Wednesdays at 7:00PM in their information center located at 41 N. Fort Harrison Ave in Clearwater. And provide free drug education materials, including 14 different booklets and a documentary DVD “Real People Real Stories.”

Anyone who would like more information or get a copy of the Truth about Drugs information booklets can visit the Foundation for a Drug-Free World information center at 41 N. Fort Harrison Ave or contact them at 727-467-6962 or email

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a non-profit organization that educates youth and the community on the truth about drugs so they can make the right decision to live drug-free. The Church of Scientology is a sponsor of the program making it possible for the Foundation to provide educational materials at no cost to educators, law enforcement and the community. Humanitarian and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, said, “Drugs rob life of the sensations and joys which are the only reasons for living anyhow.”

Pat Harney
Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire