Sofia Richie’s New Boyfriend Matthew Morton ‘Likes Her a Lot’

first_imgThe 22-year-old model was previously in a long-term relationship with Scott Disick. The former couple were first linked in 2017 before calling it quits in May after nearly three years of dating. While they reconciled two months later, they split again in August.Disick, 37, has also moved on from his romance with Richie. In October, the Talentless founder stepped out for a dinner date with model Bella Banos, whom he was previously linked to in 2017. He was then spotted leaving the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood with model Megan Blake Irwin. On Halloween, he hit up a party with Lisa Rinna’s 19-year-old daughter, Amelia Gray Hamlin.- Advertisement – Disick shares children Mason, 10, Penelope, 8, and Reign, 5, with ex Kourtney Kardashian, whom he dated on and off from 2006 to 2015. The exes have also spent time together since his split with Richie, most recently during Kim Kardashian’s 40th birthday party on a private tropical island.During Disick and Richie’s relationship, it became “more apparent that his family [with Kourtney] was more of a priority than she was,” a source told Us. The insider added that the Flip It Like Disick star is “always going to be in love” with the 41-year-old Poosh founder.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! Going Strong! Sofia Richie’s new beau, Matthew Morton, is very much invested in their relationship.“Matt grew up with an insane amount of wealth, but always remained grounded. He is a hard worker and wants to prove himself to his dad [Hard Rock Cafe cofounder Peter Morton],” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “He used to be somewhat of a player and has always surrounded himself with very pretty girls and dated pretty girls. But he’s calmed down a lot and likes Sofia a lot.”Sofia Richie’s New Man Matthew Morton Likes Her a Lot 1Sofia Richie and Matthew Morton Paul Zimmerman/Shutterstock; Inset: Courtesy of HurdlePodcast/Instagram- Advertisement – Us broke the news of Richie’s new relationship with Morton on October 19. Two days earlier, the duo fueled dating rumors after being spotted grabbing dinner at Nobu in Malibu.“They’re trying not to make a big deal about their relationship or about how serious it is,” an insider told Us at the time. “But they are definitely seeing each other.”Shortly after their romance was confirmed, a source revealed to Us that Morton, 27, is “really excited” about the pair’s blossoming romance. “They both run in the same circle and have known each other. So, it’s easy and fun for both of them,” the insider shared. “Sofia’s family approves of him, which is super nice for her.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug Faces Critical Test Before F.D.A. Panel

first_imgThe Alzheimer’s Association, on the other hand, wrote a letter to the panel supporting approval. It said the F.D.A. should require a post-marketing study but should make the drug to be available while that occurs.“While the trial data has led to some uncertainty among the scientific community, this must be weighed against the certainty of what this disease will do to millions of Americans absent a treatment,” wrote Joanne Pike, the association’s chief strategy officer. “The potential to delay decline would be denied to millions, and that time lost for those spouses, partners, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors cannot be recovered. In the balance of these considerations, we urge approval.”Dr. Eric Reiman, executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, who has been a co-leader on studies with other anti-amyloid drugs but not with aducanumab, said the advisory panel was being confronted with a “very unusual and important” situation, since the clinical trials were discontinued before their scheduled completion in 2021, when the findings might have been more definitive.“They have a Solomonic decision to make, with one study that demonstrated very promising effects and the other study that didn’t demonstrate an effect,” he said. “I think it’s a challenging decision, because everybody wants to do what’s best for patients and families.” Many Alzheimer’s experts, however, are skeptical that aducanumab, made by Biogen, has exhibited strong enough evidence that it can slow cognitive decline. The drug — given as a monthly intravenous infusion — would also be costly, about $50,000 a year. And some experts say that it would be challenging for doctors trying to appropriately prescribe and monitor its use and that approval of such a drug would make it less likely that patients would participate in studies for other Alzheimer’s drugs that might ultimately work better.The drug’s path through clinical trials has been rocky, with only one of two Phase 3 trials showing positive results — and those results emerged only from an analysis of additional data after the trials were stopped in March 2019 by an independent data monitoring committee because the drug didn’t appear to be working. Several experts, including a Mayo Clinic neurologist who was a site investigator for an aducanumab trial, have said that the evidence is too weak for the drug to warrant approval now and that another rigorous clinical trial should be conducted before a decision is made on whether the drug should be made available.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Aducanumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the beta amyloid protein that clumps into plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. Many other drugs that reduce amyloid accumulation have not been shown to help symptoms, so if aducanumab is determined to be effective, it would support a long-held theory that attacking amyloid can help if done early enough in the disease process, when memory and cognitive difficulties are still mild. Its availability would have striking implications — not only for patients, but for doctors, researchers and other drug companies and for health care costs. It would also be a blockbuster drug for Biogen. “Perfection may be the enemy of the good, but for aducanumab, the evidence doesn’t even rise to ‘good,’” the neurologist, Dr. David Knopman, wrote in a comment submitted to the panel before Friday’s hearing. Dr. Knopman, who sits on the advisory panel but was recused from the hearing because of his work with the aducanumab trials, added, “Contrary to the hope that aducanumab will help Alzheimer patients, the evidence shows it will offer improvement to none, it will harm some of those exposed, and it will consume enormous resources.”The panel, a committee of medical experts that advises the Food and Drug Administration, will review evidence of the effectiveness and safety of aducanumab. If it endorses the drug on Friday, that would not guarantee its approval, but the F.D.A. often follows the recommendations of its advisory panels.Nearly six million people in the United States and roughly 30 million globally have Alzheimer’s disease, a number that is expected to more than double by 2050. If approved, aducanumab could serve as a potential medication for the roughly two million Americans estimated to have mild Alzheimer’s-related cognitive decline.- Advertisement – A federal panel will decide on Friday whether to recommend approval of a controversial but potentially promising Alzheimers drug, which would be the first to come to market in nearly two decades.The drug, aducanumab, would not stop or reverse dementia, but some evidence suggests it can slow the progression of memory and thinking problems in people with mild or early symptoms of cognitive decline, giving them a little extra time before they develop Alzheimer’s. It would be the first medication to do so by attacking the core biology of Alzheimer’s disease.- Advertisement – Documents posted by the F.D.A. in advance of the hearing gave the impression that most of the agency’s reviewers were satisfied that data from the successful trial was strong and that safety issues, which mostly involved a type of brain swelling, were manageable.“The applicant has provided substantial evidence of effectiveness to support approval,” Kevin Krudys, an F.D.A. clinical analyst in neurology, wrote in a presentation sent to the committee.But another F.D.A. reviewer expressed concerns in the documents. Tristan Massie, an F.D.A. mathematical statistician, wrote that he believed “there is no compelling, substantial evidence of treatment effect or disease slowing and that another study is needed.”Other experts said that the degree of benefit the trial claims to show is slight, slowing decline over 18 months by half a point on a 3-point cognitive scale.“My view is that it doesn’t do anything,” said Dr. Michael Greicius, medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders, adding that he might discourage his patients from taking it. “For people who are saying, ‘Oh, come on, it’s OK — if it helps a little bit, why not give it to people?’ my response is there’s no data to tell me that this medicine works in Alzheimer’s.”last_img read more

With a small margin in Georgia, a recount is inevitable, state officials say.

first_img– Advertisement – – Advertisement – “With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said on Friday at the state Capitol.He added: “The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country. The stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right, and we will defend the integrity of our elections.”Gabriel Sterling, an official with the secretary of state’s office, said that a pool of about 4,200 ballots — most of them absentee ballots — remained to be tallied in four counties: Floyd, Cobb, Cherokee and Gwinnett, where the largest tranche is to be counted and which contains Atlanta suburban communities that have gone from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic in recent years. The state must also deal with ballots from military and overseas voters, which will be counted if they arrived in the mail before the end of business on Friday and were postmarked by Tuesday.Mr. Sterling said that the unofficial tally of the votes could be completed by the end of the weekend.Flipping Georgia, a state last won by a Democrat in 1992, and where Mr. Trump won by more than 200,000 votes four years ago, would represent a significant political shift this year. The state has shown signs of trending blue, and when Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, he did so by five percentage points, a far slimmer margin than Republicans had enjoyed in previous presidential elections.- Advertisement – Stacey Abrams, who earlier this year was on the Biden campaign’s short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, was celebrated as Mr. Biden took the lead on Friday, a sign of her remarkable ascent as a power broker since her failed bid for governor of that state in 2018.Celebrities, activists and voters across Georgia credited Ms. Abrams with building a well-funded network of organizations that highlighted voter suppression in the state and inspired an estimated 800,000 residents to register to vote. ATLANTA — The presidential race in Georgia is so close that a recount is inevitable, Georgia’s secretary of state said on Friday.As of Saturday morning, Joseph R. Biden Jr. led President Trump in Georgia by more than 7,000 votes.- Advertisement – Ms. Abrams declined to comment on Friday. But in a tweet, she wrote, “My heart is full” and cited the work of other activists.last_img read more

Senate’s dumbest member surpasses previous dumbness, with a dollop of soliciting election fraud

first_imgThe Senate’s dumbest member is at it again. Sen. Ron “Genius” Johnson of Wisconsin apparently just got wind of the whole Project Veritas fiasco and decided there was gold there. Because he is that stupid.xMy committee has jurisdiction over USPS and the federal workforce. I’m asking anyone who knows of irregularities related to mail-in or absentee ballots to contact our confidential whistleblower hotline: whistleblower@ronjohnson.senate.gov— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) November 12, 2020- Advertisement – WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) delivers opening remarks during a hearing about the recent OPM data breach in the dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Office of Personnel Management Director Kathrine Archuleta said that the recent report that 18 million current, former government employees and people who applied for jobs had their personal data stolen is not confirmed and that only 4.2 million records had been breached. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) There actually was U.S. Postal Service (USPS) chicanery at the very top with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Remember this pronouncement from Judge Emmet Sullivan after he ordered broad sweeps of postal facilities on Election Day, an order that was ignored by the USPS: “Someone may have a price to pay for that.” He was clear who he meant when he told the Justice Department lawyers who broke the news that his order was disregarded: “It’s your clients. Each and every one of them, starting at the top of the food chain. […] I don’t want you to keep falling on the sword. […] The postmaster’s going to have to be deposed or appear before me,” Sullivan said, adding, “I’m not going to forget it.”center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Jack Grealish: England midfielder says he ‘loves pressure’ after impressing in Belgium | Football News

first_img Ashley Cole and Jamie Redknapp discuss what Jack Grealish offers England and how he fits into Gareth Southgate’s system England’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals were ended as they lost 2-0, but Grealish earned man-of-the-match honours as Gareth Southgate’s side produced an encouraging second-half display.“I absolutely loved it,” Grealish told Sky Sports. Harry Kane said he enjoyed playing alongside Jack Grealish in the Aston Villa man’s first competitive start for England against Belgium on Sunday 4:38 – Advertisement – Gareth Southgate praised the performance of Jack Grealish in England’s Nations League defeat to Belgium “For me, this is what I have been waiting for. These are the games that I dreamed of playing in. This is what I love, the pressure of needing to play well.”Grealish’s initial failure to break into Southgate’s squad – and then into his starting lineup – has been a bone of contention among many onlookers, who are convinced the 25-year-old offers a level of creativity that England are otherwise missing.While Grealish has made a fine start to the Premier League season, scoring four goals and providing six assists in Villa’s opening seven games, it was perhaps only injuries to first-team regulars Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling that saw him given his chance.Asked if Grealish had moved up the pecking order, Southgate told Sky Sports: “Yeah, 100 per cent.“I sort of explained to him what we wanted to see when we brought him in in September. I think it’s been helpful for him to bed in with the group so that he knows the way we want to play and the players get an understanding with him. And today was a great game for us to see him in and to see the level, and I couldn’t speak highly enough of his performance.“What I saw that I knew I would see was somebody with the bravery to play. I think he took the ball in tight areas, his techniques were good, he took players out of the game – we knew he would buy a lot of free kicks, which of course he did. I just thought he was outstanding and he should be absolutely delighted with the way he played.” Jack Grealish England Chat Thumbnail England captain Harry Kane provided an additional stamp of approval on Grealish’s display.“Fantastic player, really like him, really like training with him,” Kane told Sky Sports.“It was great to get out there on the pitch with him today. You can see his qualities on the ball, once he gets on it he’s not afraid one-v-one, always looking for that pass forward, which is obviously great for a striker.“So really positive signs, he’s obviously been on great form for his club as well, so he’s just got to keep his head down, keep working hard as he has done and I’m sure he will get plenty of opportunities in an England shirt.”Despite the high praise from coach and captain, Grealish is refusing to get ahead of himself and remains aware of the hard work that will be required to keep his place in the starting lineup. – Advertisement – Jack Grealish was the star of the show even in defeat for England and now his manager Gareth Southgate sees it too, writes Adam Bate.“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood,” wrote George Orwell. This was the night, surely, even in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium that ended England’s Nations League hopes, that Gareth Southgate came to understand Jack Grealish.The touch that will be remembered for some time came in the 79th minute, a delicate caress with the outside of his right boot that deceived Thomas Meunier and allowed Grealish to race free. The pass to Harry Kane that followed proved it was not just for show.There were plenty of them on a night when England lost but Grealish won. The debate about whether he should be in this squad is over. Discussion over whether he has a place in this team should stop too. A more fitting question is whether he is now England’s best player. Jack Grealish impressed on his first competitive start for England 5:51 Jack Grealish says he “loved the pressure” that came with making his first competitive start for England as he starred despite a Nations League defeat to Belgium.The Aston Villa midfielder started last month’s friendly victory over Wales but had lodged just 14 minutes of competitive action – in September’s 0-0 draw in Denmark – before Sunday’s encounter with the world’s top-ranked side in Brussels.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Jack Grealish in action for England against BelgiumImage:Jack Grealish produced a brilliant performance for England against Belgium 0:27 “He’s [Southgate] just obviously praised me after the game, which is obviously nice,” Grealish said.“He’s been brilliant with me since I first come here in September. He’s told me what I need to do to get into the side and I’ve gone away and worked on that. At the end of the day that’s what you need to do in football, there’s only one person that you need to impress if you want to get in the team and that’s the manager.“You look around the changing room and there’s unbelievable talent. There’s people that weren’t in this squad, the likes of Marcus and Raheem, there’s even Jadon (Sancho), Phil (Foden), there’s Mason (Mount) – all in my position, who are all world-class players.“Especially the two that aren’t here at the moment, Raheem and Marcus, when they’ve both been here I’ve tried to learn little bits off them and hopefully I can continue to do that because it would obviously be a dream for me to play with them one day.”Grealish genius earns Southgate trustlast_img read more

Flu vaccine delay affects toddlers

first_imgOct 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said yesterday that most of this year’s supply of seasonal influenza vaccine for children aged 6 months through 3 years will not reach pediatricians until at least November.Sanofi Pasteur announced last week that distribution of its Fluzone injectable vaccine—the only flu vaccine licensed for this age-group—would be about 3 weeks later than last year. Because of this, the AAP said, “Plenty of Fluzone will be available, but pediatricians will receive most of their FluZone supply in November and December.”About a third of the projected 2006 supply of Fluzone has already been sent to healthcare providers, Sanofi said in last week’s announcement. “Some healthcare providers may not have their full allotment of vaccine until November or later, depending upon when and from which manufacturer they ordered,” the company said.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting flu shots in October or November, before the flu season usually begins, but says vaccination is still worthwhile in December or later, because the season typically doesn’t peak until February. The agency said last month it expected that about 75 million doses of vaccine, or three fourths of this year’s supply, would be distributed by the end of October.Delayed delivery of Fluzone does not conflict with the CDC’s recommendation for immunization, Sanofi said.The AAP is urging pediatricians to notify parents about the delay and encourage them to bring children in for vaccinations later in the year when the vaccine is available.”The flu season does not usually peak until late December through March, so children will still benefit greatly from receiving the vaccine into December, January, and beyond,” the AAP said.However, Richard Lander, MD, a New Jersey pediatrician and chairman of the AAP’s administration and practice management section, told the Associated Press yesterday that the delay is significant because children should be immunized as soon as possible. “The longer the flu vaccine is in the body, the greater chance the body can build up antibodies against the flu,” he said.In June, federal health officials recommended that toddlers aged 2 through 4 years be immunized against influenza each year, adding millions of people to the groups included in flu vaccination recommendations.The CDC recommends that children aged 6 months to 9 years who have never received a flu shot should receive two doses of vaccine. Those who receive an injectable vaccine should have a booster 1 month or longer after the initial dose, before the onset of the flu season.A Bloomberg News report yesterday said that Sanofi attributed the delay to a slow-growing strain of influenza used to make this year’s vaccine supply. Bloomberg reported in early September that two other vaccine makers—GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis—also had trouble growing the influenza A(H3N2) strain in this year’s vaccine.In July, the US Food and Drug Administration warned Sanofi about contamination in a component of Fluzone, but the FDA and Sanofi said they did not expect the problem to significantly limit production of this season’s vaccine. The company planned to make about 50 million doses, which represents roughly half of the US vaccine supply.See also:Oct 12 Sanofi press releasehttps://www.vaccineshoppe.com/secure/pdfs/release_10_12_2006.pdflast_img read more

Business summit panelists stress practicality to slow flu spread

first_img “There are detectable levels at the tail end of infection,” he said, “but it is not very transmissible.” Another CDC policy that was deemed reasonable by the panel was the recommendation to allow people to remain at work when they have sick family members. The important thing, according to CIDRAP Medical Director Kristine Moore, MD, MPH, is to continually balance limiting transmission and being reasonable about letting work continue. The 2-day conference, “Keeping the World Working during the H1N1 Pandemic: Protecting Employee Health, Critical Operations, and Customer Relations,” is sponsored by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and wraps up today. In terms of providing a good health check to monitor their employees’ health, Druckman emphasized that no perfect solution exits. Rather, he stressed the importance of establishing a proportional plan or one that is targeted to a very specific situation. “This goes way beyond any support from the evidence,” he said. Sept 23, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – To mask or not to mask, hand washing versus hand sanitizers, how long to stay away from the workplace if sick with novel H1N1 influenza, tips for travel—these were some of the issues addressed in a panel discussion yesterday during a business preparedness summit in Minneapolis. A more controversial prevention tool is wearing masks or respirators. “A religious war goes on between face mask people and respiratory people,” said Merlin, “and it will go on for awhile.” Merlin, deputy director of the CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit, said that, although the virus can be shed at low levels for 7 to 10 days after onset of symptoms, transmission is much more likely when viral shedding is high, within the first day or so after symptom onset. Despite the controversy in the United States about masks, Druckman pointed out the need to recognize culture differences and cited the prevalence of masks worn by people in Asian countries, as well as in Mexico during the spring wave of the H1N1 outbreak. In providing employers answers to vexing questions about preventing transmission of the H1N1 virus in the workplace, the panel emphasized scientifically grounded yet practical responses. According to Merlin, loose-fitting surgical masks provide a barrier over the nose and mouth and prevent a person from touching the nose and mouth and transferring the virus that way, but they do not reliably filter out small particles. As such, they are not considered needed in the general population. The only recommendation by the CDC is the use of a face-fitted N-95 respirator for healthcare workers who work with patients who have influenza and may transmit the virus, he said. Companies, he said, need to provide tools to their employees for handling a number of issues that may arise. Challenges not only include the actual health risks in other parts of the world, but the possibility that employees who travel may be stranded or quarantined in another country. Another issue is how to handle people who are re-entering the workplace after returning from traveling to a potential outbreak region.center_img Depending on circumstances, he said, answering a health questionnaire may be enough to satisfy safety concerns, whereas in a more severe situation, temperature screening may be necessary. Merlin agreed. “Perception clearly drives a lot of decision making,” he said. Underlying all of this is the need for the company to be perceived as doing something to safeguard its employees. “It is a bit like security in an office building,” he said. It is important that global companies have a consistent message for all of their employees who travel, he emphasized. Merlin summed up simple behaviors that, taken together, can provide a strong chance for prevention. “None of the interventions are perfect. But a reasonable policy of sick people staying at home, reasonable advice on hand and cough hygiene, a vaccination policy, and good education, you end up with a combination quite powerful.” Addressing whether guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people sick with the H1N1 flu should stay out of the workplace until 24 hours after their fever has passed without medication use still holds true in light of recent reports that people can shed the virus up to 10 days, the CDC’s Toby Merlin, MD, said it does. For people at high risk of developing complications from infection of the virus, such as pregnant women, educating them about the importance of symptom recognition and quick action with a consultation with a physician and antiviral therapy is particularly critical. “The most important thing is educating people and helping people understand what the symptoms are and how it is transmitted, so as soon as they develop symptoms, it is their responsibility to take themselves out of the workplace,” said Moore. “There is a slippery slope problem when it comes to masks,” said Merlin, adding that the recommendation by the CDC for the use of a respirator in a particular circumstance has led some people to think that respirators are needed for other situations as well, say for a bus driver who comes in contact with the public. Nuts and bolts of preventionAmong the simple steps people can take to prevent transmission are washing hands or using hand sanitizers, according to the panel. Moore emphasized that both are good options, but with the caveat that hand washing requires at least 20 seconds of washing and not a simple water splash and that hand sanitizers work best on hands that are not physically dirty. Tips for travelFor Myles Druckman, MD, vice president of medical services for the Americas region with International SOS Assistance, the initial outbreak of novel H1N1 in Mexico in April brought to the forefront travel health and issues involved in managing a global workforce.last_img read more

Sanja Buterin appointed President of the Management Board of Kompas dd

first_imgAt the end of April, the process of taking over 86% of the total share in the joint stock company Kompas dd from Zagreb was completed, which made the company Inspire Investments doo the majority owner of this travel agency Kompas dd on behalf of the Inspire Fusion Fund.By taking over one of the leading domestic tourist agencies, Kompas dd, Inspire Investnents continues the announced investments in the tourism sector. With the earlier takeover of FLEET rent a car, and future investments in the most potent economic sector, the construction of a new, strong grouping entity will begin, which will further improve the development of tourism in the coming years and certainly positively affect the overall result of domestic tourism.The new owners, in line with the new and different business policy, today appointed a new President of the Management Board, Sanja Buterin, who will take up her new position as CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, which is known as one of the world’s largest marketing communication agencies. On the occasion of her appointment to a new position, Buterin points out that for her it represents a desired business step into tourism and destination management. “My personal and company goal is to position Kompas as one of the leading tourism companies in the region. The task of the entire team that I will manage is to successfully achieve business goals that will bring significant benefits to the entire tourism sector while creating new technological and tourism trends in everyday business.“Points out Sanja Buterin, the new President of the Management Board of Kompas dd.Buterin has a rich business career behind him in the management positions of some of the renowned domestic and foreign companies operating in the domestic market and in the market of the CEE region. In recent years, before coming to Kompas, in addition to the aforementioned Dentsu Aegis, she held some of the leading positions in Atlas, Mercedes-Benz Croatia, Nokia, Valvoline, Croatia osiguranje, PZ Autu…By the way, the travel agency Kompas Zagreb celebrated 25 years of pols this year. It currently operates through eight branches, and has been recording stable revenues for the past four years, and last year ended with a revenue increase of over 20 percent. Related news: INSPIRE FUSION INVESTMENT FUND TAKES OVER KOMPAS TRAVEL AGENCYlast_img read more

Nevenka Kovač, SB Medico: We have a lot of stories about strategies and possibilities of health tourism, and too little is done in the field

first_imgThe medical tourism market, ie its annual turnover, is estimated at more than 100 billion US dollars, with a projection of future annual growth of 15 to 20 percent, while research shows that foreign tourists in this segment spend 2,5 times more than domestic.The potential of health tourism has existed for years, growing by over 20 percent annually, and is slowly developing in Croatia as well. More and more is being written about it, various clusters and associations have been established, and most importantly, Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, without which health tourism cannot be developed. They are the main base, but the institutions themselves do not constitute health tourism. Indeed, they are the first and main motive for coming and the most important link, but their job is not the development of a tourist destination and health tourism. Here we come to the main question: Are we developing health tourism in Croatia or is it just happening to us again, not with the help of the system and thanks to the proactivity of individuals?On the topic of the development of health tourism in Croatia, I talked to dr.sc. Nevenka Kovač, MD, director of the Medico Special Hospital from Rijeka which is one of the leaders in the development of health tourism in Croatia. “In fact, the only branch of health tourism that really exists in our country and is actively developing is dental tourism. We can say that medical wellness has also developed to some extent, although its definition is quite “fluid”; namely, we have not yet developed control mechanisms to distinguish who is really engaged in medical wellness, and who is just declaring so, because now almost all wellness is proclaimed as medical. „Points out dr.sc. Nevenka Kovač, MD from SB Medico and adds that health tourism conducted by special hospitals and spas is in its infancy.Personally, I have the impression that it all comes down to the individual efforts of individual clinics, which invest their own resources, turn out of necessity into tourist boards and DMC agencies, just to offer tourists the whole package, which is neither logical nor natural. Healthcare facilities need to be what they are and the best at it, and not worry about what the guest will be doing seven days in the destination. The director of the Medico Special Hospital, Ph.D. Nevekna Kovač, MD And this is where the biggest problem lies, which again we do not systematically and strategically deal with the development of health tourism. “The reason for this is partly a vague and vague legislative framework, so every institution in the market is struggling with administration, demand recognition, marketing and sales, not only selling ourselves, but the entire destination. “Says Kovač and points out that these are most often people who do other jobs in administrative services and who are not professional enough. “Because we do not have professional training / education for staff who understand the specifics of health and the laws of marketing and sales for the demanding commercial market of health tourism. If healthcare institutions could have professional people who would deal with the sale and marketing of their services and together with tourism professionals create additional programs – that would be a winning combination. They cannot do without each other because the tourist workers do not know the specifics of the health service, so that they can create quality patient free time. For example, a person who has had breast augmentation surgery and it is desirable for me to stay a few days near my operator, and there is no need to be constantly in the hospital, you can not offer a bathing arrangement on Opatija beach, but you can offer a tour of castles in Zagorje. That is why we need to work on the development of health tourism jointly, multidisciplinary and multisectoral, and that is in Croatia hardest”  Kovac pointed out. Health tourism, as well as other forms of tourism, without the synergy of all participants in the chain and a strategic and complete tourist product cannot be developed in a quality and long-term manner. How do health tourism “live” in the Medico Special Hospital every day, I was interested in whether Croatia is recognized as a brand and whether it has value and trust in the European market for health tourism? “Croatia is not yet a brand of health tourism on the European market, but it is a brand in tourism in general. In Italy we are a brand for dental tourism, but we are certainly not in the Netherlands. Therefore, the strength of the brand that we have should be used for additional positioning in the health tourism market. Foreign tourists do not have a generally developed trust in the Croatian health care system, but they base it on individual experiences that can range from the best to the worst, and that is not nearly enough for branding. Given that Croatia is moving to conquer this new market with a strong tourism brand, the main carrier of the development of the new market is the Ministry of Tourism. They have already developed promotion and sales channels in which they only need additional new content and services that the health sector can help them develop. But in reality it works differently; when our tourist board appears at fairs and ask them to put your advertising materials on the Croatian stand – the question arises who will carry these materials there, who will take care of placing them on the stand or who will clean them up and return them if they remain unused, because they have too much “their” material and can’t take care of ours! It always comes down to “yours” and “ours”. We need to think synergistically, the sale of Croatia as a destination should be approached at the level of all available content, knowing that in the end everyone benefits from it – every tourist who comes, regardless of travel, local community and local suppliers, service providers can offer something more. “Says Kovac.It’s up to the people, we have all the resources and potentials, knowledge, experience, but again it’s all about the people. No one is to blame, neither the EU nor any third “enemy”, the biggest enemy only to ourselves. On the other hand, we deal with so many absurd problems that it’s ridiculous, especially in 21st century business. Do healthcare institutions really have to think about the problems mentioned above? The whole paradigm is set wrong, tourist boards and institutions are there for the private sector and tourism workers, not the other way around.We are constantly talking about extending the season, ie the problem of seasonality, health tourism can and must be one of the solutions to this problem. The implications are certainly multiplying in the whole chain, and the fact that Kovač points out that this is most obvious in Kvarner because the Opatija promenades are not full of foreign tourists who use the benefits provided by hotel facilities mostly speaks volumes. medical wellness, and which do not come for the sea and sunbathing but for the sake of well being. ” Health tourism absolutely compensates for seasonality and implies everything in the economic chain as well as in “seasonal” tourism. All health tourists have to eat, sleep somewhere, go to shops, buy souvenirs, go to museums… of course, if we offer them all that. It is a culture of living that is extremely strong in the territory of the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. New services such as systematic examinations or surgeries should be slowly added to these facilities. That is why it is important to connect tourist and health facilities, which is planned in Kvarner through the Health Tourism Cluster. They still have a lot of work to do on this topic. ” Kovac points out.Unfortunately, while we have been talking about potentials for ten years, the competition is not sleeping, on the contrary, others, such as Slovenia, are moving forward at full speed, developing cycling tourism, active holidays and health tourism.In our country, the situation on the ground is in chaos again, and this is confirmed by Kovač, who points out that hotels, polyclinics and surgeries still function as “separate galaxies” and are looking for their place under the sun. “We are still all in competition with each other and there is no sincere decision / desire / realization that only together can we develop this story of health tourism faster. The shift is big back ten years because now at least we are all talking about the importance of health tourism, but for more significant development it will take 2-3 times as much. Where will the others be then? Who will overtake us all with less potential than ours? I am afraid that we will lose the advantage we have in this race as well, given our potential, and that is our beautiful country and our healthcare professionals. We should look at successful examples, such as Istria becoming a destination for top olive growing and rural tourism. This is the result when everyone blows in the same sails and then the ship moves… commitment to the goal, quality on the way to it and togetherness in achieving it is the formula for success and should be applied to the development of health tourism. “Kovač points out and adds that the competition is doing its job and is already making good use of our drowsiness, with poorer natural, cultural, historical and enogastronomic resources redirecting guests that we do not know how to bring.If we talk about tourism, apart from authenticity as the main component, the next is certainly the synergy of all tourism stakeholders that make up one rounded tourism product. We cannot develop tourism if we have excellent hotels and accommodation facilities, and we do not have quality clinics, and vice versa. Also, if we cannot offer our guests quality, diverse and authentic content, which is, among other things, a solution to the problem of seasonality, we cannot even develop tourism. The synergy of all is crucial, and yet it is most lacking. Without synergy there is no success, no matter what certain individuals pull, there is no way they can do it alone.Again, to go back to the beginning of the story, entrepreneurs need to be what they are and be the best at it, and there is a system that I need to connect it all, provide a platform and framework for development, and offer a complete tourism product. But the situation on the ground is unfortunately just the opposite. As Kovač points out, there is no real support for the system or strategic development of health tourism. “Uncoordinated, fragmented resources, and inconsistent policies are the “logistics” of health tourism. We in Croatia are talking about health tourism as a strategic branch, and in the whole country we have two accredited health institutions, of which only Medico Special Hospital has American accreditation (AACI) of clinical excellence. The impression is that there is a lot of talk about strategies and opportunities, principles, plans… and too little work in the field; the flow of information and the interconnection of tourist entities are insufficient and in practice have so far been reduced to self-initiative activities and their own “sales” motives and skills. “Also, when we talk about health services, then we are talking about trust and safety, and it is necessary to have a top and quality service, which is guaranteed by certain certificates. This is extremely important because one bad move, ie an unprofessional omission and incident, can collapse the entire market. That is why there are quality standards and various certificates that guarantee that these are highly professional services – they give trust and security. “Quality is the foundation of the service business, especially health, and accreditation is independent proof that it is a prerequisite for the development of the health tourism market. A patient will come to Croatia from another country for treatment because they may have to wait a long time for a procedure or examination in their country, which may be a cheaper procedure in our country, which will combine a vacation in a great tourist destination with health care, but only if he knows he will get quality service here. We on the ground know that we can only rely on our own strengths. There are examples of cooperation between individual health care institutions, but they are rare and local in nature; for example, a patient who comes for dental services also wants some of the aesthetic treatments. Basically, there is a fear of losing the patient, so the one who grabs him first tries to meet all his needs, which is often at the expense of quality. So today blepharoplasty, filler or botox are done by dentists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons. So often patients get some top-level service and some average. Today in the health tourism market it is not enough to be average, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative. So what you do you have to do the best, but it’s not enough for you to think about yourself. You have to prove it by accreditation where someone else evaluates you and assesses whether you are the best.Quality is the foundation for everything else – Nevenka KovačNot much has changed in the perception of patients, because accreditation has only given legitimacy to the top service we have been offering from the very beginning, for more than 20 years. But our options are now far wider – with international accreditation, we are becoming all the more attractive to patients, as their insurance companies approve of covering the cost of treatment. This is not the case with non-accredited institutions. ” Kovac pointed out.UNESCO has included Mediterranean cuisine in the list of cultural heritage as the healthiest cuisine in the world, can it use this fact and combine it with health tourism, Kovač points out that we can do anything and points out that everything related to health can be used for product development “health tourism” , and so is Mediterranean cuisine. ”We are reluctant to give health a commercial connotation, it is almost a heresy in our area. Health tourism needs to be addressed more by marketing experts who, with an economic perspective, can certainly contribute to the development of a quality action plan for the development of health tourism. We must not forget that the concept of health tourism is very broad: from medical wellness to medical tourism, ie from aromatherapy to the installation of an artificial hip. Therefore, each type of health tourism should be considered in its specificity and positioned in this specific market. The strengths and opportunities, competition and targeted markets of each segment of health tourism are very different and require a different approach and strategy. It should also be considered in the regional context and define a strategy for regional development of health tourism. The region of Istria and Kvarner, as well as Zagreb, given the resources at its disposal are ideal for the development of dental tourism, but not Slavonia, which as a region is more suitable for the development of rural and health tourism (Bizovačke toplice, Lipik, Daruvarske Toplice), as well as the region Zagorje (Krapinske, Tuheljske, Stubičke, Varaždinske Toplice, Jezerčica). As a region, Kvarner is suitable for the development of health (hotels, Thallassotherapy Opatija and Crikvenica), medical (SB Medico, SB Nemec, SB Veli Lošinj) and dental tourism… and in each region the strength of tourist and health capacities and resources should be networked ” concludes Kovac.HEALTH TOURISM – AN OPPORTUNITY WE MUST NOT MISSIt is ungrateful to say that nothing or nothing is being done to develop health tourism, but the fact is that it is too slow, without synergy, connections, professionalism, uncoordinated and in the end unsuccessful enough. Especially when we put in context our potentials and resources, as well as the level of today’s business.As Kovač pointed out, today it is not enough to be average on the market, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative… on average it is not enough and that is why synergy of all stakeholders of health tourism and the entire tourism sector is needed to create pressure on the system and policy. again not from political connotations but from market ones, to begin to respect the profession, professionalism and business of the 21st century. Time flies, we are lagging behind the competition more and more, the opportunity is there, we have everything and everything is up to us.According to estimates, the total revenues that are generated globally in the field of medical tourism today exceed 60 billion dollars, and in just a few years that number will exceed 100 billion dollars. The potential of health tourism has been there for years, and now Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, but without a strategic and complete tourism product there will still not be much progress. We have too late coast and climate, top specialized health facilities, excellent connectivity, ie accessibility, as well as amazing tourist stories – we just have to pack them nicely into a rounded tourist product and tell our guests the story.Do we want to develop quality health tourism or not? If the answer is yes, then the rules of the game should be respected, which are synergy, a complete tourist product, strategic development and expertise and professionalism.. We are constantly talking about potentials, it is time to concretize those potentials. Right now and now, because when if not now – when Croatian tourism is a trend in the focus of global tourists and the media.last_img read more

Promotional video “Ambassadors of Croatian Tourism” named the world’s best promotional video for 2017

first_imgPromotional video of the Croatian National Tourist Board “Ambassadors of Croatian tourism“, Which in a short time achieved multimillion viewership in foreign emitting markets, by the decision of the American expert and representative jury Citizine Networks i National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), won the prestigious award “Travel Video Awards”In category”Best Video by a Tourism Organization”.Also, in addition to the expert jury, the promotional video was recognized by the audience, which in the online voting declared the Croatian promotional tourist video the best tourist promotional video for 2017. Otherwise, “Citizen’s Travel Video Awards“Is an organization founded by independent filmmakers and brands from around the world that rewards innovative and inspiring independent as well as branded videos.The awards ceremony was held in the center of Las Vegas, in the House of Blues, and the recognition was personally taken over by the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić by Philip DeBevoise, founder and President of the Board of Citizine.tv. “With great joy and pride we received the news about the candidacy of our promotional video in the category for the best video of a tourist organization, and the won award for us represents great joy and satisfaction. This is a confirmation that in the Croatian National Tourist Board, together with partners, we create top promotional content that is internationally recognized and accepted by the profession, but also by many travel enthusiasts around the world., said director Stanicic.The CNTB points out that the awards were given in total 9 categories within which more than 360 of submitted projects, and each category had four finalists. CNTB promotional video won in the category for the best promotional video of a tourist organization for which they even arrived 44 applications, while promotional videos were shortlisted Croatia, Peru, Colombia and Jordan.Promotional video “Ambassadors of Croatian tourism“Filmed in various recognizable locations in Croatia and it was attended by 10 famous and famous people from the world of sports and art, among whom are Luka Modrić, Иван Ракитић, Mario Mandžukić, Mateo Kovačić, Dejan Lovren, Dario Šarić, Marin Čilić, 2Cellos, Максим Мрвица, and Zrinka Cvitešić. With this promotional work, Croatia is additionally positioned on the international market through famous and successful personalities, and in addition to well-known Croatian destinations, the video also promotes other forms of Croatian tourist offer, such as cultural and historical heritage, eno-gastronomy, active vacation, nautical, natural beauty and other segments. Croatian tourism.</p>
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