Jud Knox, a 73-year-old New York native and former CEO of Maine’s York Hospital, spent decades in hospital administration before his retirement in 2020. His interest in the field began with a fascination with leadership and group behavior. Looking for the close-knit feel of a community like the one he grew up in, he found small hospitals to be a great venue to connect with people.
During the last several years of his tenure, he found an interest in geriatric medicine and rehabilitation. He noticed that, in many ways, medical services geared towards seniors could use some refining. By the time he stepped back, York was recognized as one of the most age-friendly hospitals in the southern part of the state.
So, in the midst of a global pandemic, Jud found himself without the daily responsibilities of work to keep him occupied and was, like millions of others, sitting around at home with his wife thinking of ways he could engage next. Jud’s wife, Laurie, is a retired physical therapist with a long history of working with older adults. They both have experienced caring for aging parents and were keenly aware of those who were struggling the most under the circumstances.
“I was sensitive to the fact that the impact of the pandemic on older adults is disproportionately negative,” Jud says.
Despite being a self-described nature-loving “car nut,” his true passion lies with helping others. Having always enjoyed the feeling of serving people at the hospital, even without the clinical knowledge of the people seeing patients, he knew he wanted to continue. The world was presenting him with a clear opportunity, and in January 2021, Jud and Laurie started Heart to Heart.
Heart to Heart began with the simple goal of helping older adults with whatever needs they stated. He put up a website and a phone number and waited for requests. If he and Laurie could help personally, they would. If they could refer them to other, more specialized organizations, they would do that, too.
As they started talking to people in the community, they quickly realized that transportation was the biggest unmet need and changed their focus. That’s when requests began pouring in. Some people needed to get to medical appointments, which made up about 80% of the rides. Others needed to go to the grocery store or a hair appointment. They don’t judge what is considered an important trip for someone and will drive people anywhere. What may start out as a drive home from a physical therapy appointment will often times turns into a “quick stop at the bank” or a grocery run “just to grab bread and milk.”
“I think in the first month, Heart to Heart had seven requests, and right now, we’re doing 30-40 rides a week,” Jud conveys with pride.
They started recruiting more volunteers and offering technology consultations, phone chats and general assistance to people. Jud likes taking the calls and enjoys building relationships with people in the community. He carries the company cell phone at all times, ready to be there when needed. Laurie is also on call. Judd jokingly calls her the “rescue driver” for those times when rides get scheduled too tightly.
“I often say to folks, this is not about transportation, it is about people. And it is about people sharing lives and sharing life experiences. And it’s about learning every day.”
Sometimes, it’s simply about listening. Jud recounts times when people have really opened up to him on their rides. The seniors he helps often comment about how much of a role his services and companionship play in their lives.
Sue Peterson, a retired teacher and volunteer driver, met the Knox’s through her husband who worked at the hospital with Jud. They’ve known each other for years and she was happy to join the cause as a board member as well.
“[Jud] has just a wonderful way of welcoming people when they call. I don’t think it’s always easy to make that call to say, ‘I need some help.’ And he makes it very accessible to people,” Sue says. “He’s very good at what he’s doing.”
What does the future of Heart to Heart look like? Jud would like to bring another 10-15 drivers onboard so he doesn’t have to turn anyone away due to a lack of resources. With the receipt of a recent grant, he plans to provide modest stipends for mileage in hopes of attracting more volunteers.
In the long term, Jud hopes to create infrastructure that will last well into the future. There will always be a need for the services Heart to Heart provides, and he hopes there will always be people to fill it.
“Volunteering, to me, is a form of love. When I think of providing transportation and listening to people, it’s understanding, and understanding is fundamental to love.”
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Jud Knox? Find local volunteer opportunities.
This post was written by Kristin Park. Points of Light collaborates with voices from various writers to help tell inspirational stories of leadership, volunteerism and civic engagement. We recognize that there are many ways to be civically engaged, as outlined in Points of Light’s Civic Circle, and we are grateful to our writers for helping us illustrate the impact of how everyday actions can change the world.
New Study Reveals Majority of UK’s Young People Unaware of Careers Advice on Offer
3rd July 2023, London, United Kingdom:
- A new study from Youth Group finds three fifths (63%) of 18–25-year-olds are unaware of the current career advice available to them.
- Just under half (48%) feel they are limited when it came to accessing vital career guidance.
- Findings revealed to coincide with the anticipated launch of Season 3 of ‘My Duvet Flip: The careers show for young people’ fronted by UK’s Chief Youth Officer Jack Parsons.
- The latest season of My Duvet Flip is backed by returning Season Two partners Aviva & EY, who are now joined leading UK jobs platform Totaljobs.
- Season 3 is available to watch on LinkedIn, Youth Space, TikTok, and YouTube, starting from July 1, 2023.
Youth Group, the nation’s leading youth employment company with over 1.7 million members, have published new figures underlining the extent to which young people are being left without the necessary access support and guidance needed to successfully start their careers and navigate the UK’s turbulent job market.
Figures released by Youth Group reveal a clear gap between the guidance currently provided and the needs of young job seekers. The majority of young people (16–24-year-olds) are simply unaware of the available career advice resources on offer. A further 48% also found that when trying to access these resources they have felt restricted in terms of the advice they were able to access.
It is response to clear gap in careers guidance that ‘My Duvet Flip: The Careers Show for Young People’ is returns this July for its highly anticipated third season.
Backed by returning Season 2 partners Aviva & EY, season three also introduces a brand new partnership with leading UK recruitment solutions provider Totaljobs, part of global digital recruitment platform, The StepStone Group.
Totaljobs is well-aware of the considerable challenges being faced by young people in the UK. Their own report in the nation’s future talent, released in October 2022 found that half (48%) of 16-18 year olds in the UK believed they were receiving a lack of career advice at school.
Totaljobs has over 20 years’ experience helping individuals find the best job that suits their life circumstances. Whether it’s the first step in their career or a job to cover their expenses, together, this partnership seeks the best guest line-ups, whilst providing educational and job advice to instil confidence in young people across the UK to achieve their employment goals.
By joining forces with ‘My Duvet Flip‘ Totaljobs aims to empower and inspire the youth of the UK. Season Three, presented UK’s Chief Youth Officer, Jack Parsons will continue to engage in up-front, candid conversations with global business leaders, entrepreneurs, and politicians. The show explores their career journeys and seeks to extract valuable tips and advice for viewers from their own experiences. The series also offers insights into what motivates these leaders to succeed and what inspires them to start their day with a positive mindset.
Season Two saw an incredible line-up of guests, such as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Debbie Hewitt, FA Chairman, Sebastian Dettmers, Chief Executive Officer, of The Stepstone Group, and President of Google Europe; Matt Brittin.
The second season of ‘My Duvet Flip’ attracted an impressive 9 million views and generated over eight times more engagements compared to the previous season.
Jack Parsons, CEO of Youth Group and the UK’s Chief Youth Officer says:
“I’m excited to present the third season of ‘My Duvet Flip’ and share the motivational and honest conversations I’ve had the privilege to experience with some of Britain’s most successful business leaders, including Sebastian from The Stepstone Group,” shared Parsons. “The podcast is all about supporting the millions of young people across the UK and empowering them to achieve their goals.”
Sebastian Dettmers, Chief Executive Officer of The Stephone Group said:
“I am proud that Totaljobs will now be a partner of ‘The Duvet Flip’ for the 3rd season. Earlier this year, I guested on ‘My Duvet Flip’ and met Jack in person and was very excited by his mission: to be an inspiration and support to young people in the world of work. This fits very well with what we do at The Stepstone Group and at Totaljobs where we help to help find the right job for everyone.”
Jack Parsons, has already earned multiple accolades, including being recognised as LinkedIn’s ‘Top Voice for Young People’ and ‘Top 15 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch,’ hopes that the second season of ‘My Duvet Flip’ will inspire young individuals across the UK to realize and fulfil their potential.
Notes to Editors:
Survey conducted by Youth Group between February to April 2023. The total survey sample was 15,847 young people between the ages of 18-25.
Brayan Jimenez talks about Maximizing Business Growth: Unleashing the Power of a Strategic Financial Controller in Fintech and Business Improvement
In the fast-paced world of business and fintech, organizations face unique challenges that demand a strategic approach to financial management and operational enhancement. A skilled and experienced strategic financial controller proficient in implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and optimizing processes is the catalyst for unlocking growth potential and mitigating risks.
This article delves into the significance of having a strategic financial controller, the risks associated with neglecting one, and the exceptional value they bring to businesses in the fintech sector.
What is a Strategic Financial Controller?
A strategic financial controller is a highly skilled professional who plays a crucial role in managing an organization’s financial operations and driving its financial success. They possess a deep understanding of financial management, accounting principles, and business analytics, allowing them to provide strategic insights and guidance. Unlike traditional financial controllers, they take a proactive and forward-thinking approach, aligning financial strategies with the organization’s overall objectives.
They work closely with key stakeholders to develop and execute financial plans, optimize profitability, and mitigate risks. A strategic financial controller also excels in identifying opportunities for operational improvement, implementing efficient processes, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
Their expertise in ERP systems and data analysis enables them to provide accurate financial insights for informed decision-making. Overall, a strategic financial controller is an invaluable asset in driving financial stability, growth, and long-term success for businesses.
The Value a Strategic Financial Controller Brings to Businesses
A strategic financial controller brings immense value to fintech businesses, mitigating risks and driving growth through their expertise in various key areas.
- Financial Strategy and Planning: A strategic financial controller aligns financial strategies with business objectives, providing guidance on capital allocation, funding strategies, and financial forecasting. This ensures businesses are well-positioned for growth and financial stability.
- Operational Efficiency: By implementing ERP systems and optimizing business processes, a strategic financial controller enhances operational efficiency, minimizes costs, and maximizes resource allocation. This leads to improved productivity, reduced inefficiencies, and increased profitability.
- Risk Management and Compliance: In the fintech sector, compliance with regulatory requirements is paramount. A strategic financial controller helps navigate complex regulations, ensuring compliance and mitigating legal and reputational risks. They also establish robust risk management frameworks, safeguarding against potential threats and strengthening data security measures.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: A strategic financial controller has extensive knowledge of financial management and data analysis. They empower executives to make informed decisions, spot market trends, and spur innovation by converting complex financial data into usable insights. This gives companies a competitive edge and encourages long-term growth.
The Risks of Ignoring the Role of a Strategic Financial Controller
Failure to employ a strategic financial controller exposes businesses in the fintech sector to numerous difficulties and risks. Without their expertise, organizations may encounter:
- Inefficient Financial Operations: Inadequate streamlining of financial processes leads to errors, delays, and subpar financial reporting, hampering decision-making and compliance efforts.
- Regulatory Non-Compliance: The highly regulated fintech landscape requires meticulous adherence to complex regulatory requirements. Without a strategic financial controller’s guidance, organizations may struggle to navigate these regulations, resulting in legal and reputational risks.
- Inadequate Risk Management: Fintech companies handle sensitive financial data and are prone to cybersecurity threats. The absence of a strategic financial controller increases vulnerability to data breaches and financial fraud.
- Missed Growth Opportunities: Absence of a dedicated professional overseeing financial strategies may result in missed growth opportunities, failure to optimize revenue streams, and suboptimal investment decisions.
In the ever-evolving world of business and fintech, the role of a strategic financial controller is pivotal. Neglecting to employ one exposes businesses to inefficiencies, compliance risks, and missed growth opportunities. However, by harnessing the expertise of a strategic financial controller in ERP systems, financial management, and operational enhancement, fintech organizations can thrive, outpace their competitors, and achieve sustainable growth. Investing in a strategic financial controller is a strategic decision that ensures financial stability, streamlines operations, and propels businesses towards unprecedented success.
Breast Cancer: Facts, Symptoms, Prevention and Latest Research
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women worldwide. While significant progress has been made in early detection and treatment options, it remains a serious health concern with potential life-altering consequences. This article provides an overview of breast cancer facts and statistics, symptoms to look out for, ways to lower risk factors, screening methods available for early detection, and the latest research developments in finding better prevention measures and treatments.
Facts and Statistics
Breast cancer is the most common cancer globally, accounting for 12.5% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide. In the U.S., an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in 2022. About 13% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The risk factors for developing breast cancer include being a woman and getting older; however, some genetic mutations can also contribute to its development. While about 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease, Ashkenazi Jewish women have a higher risk due to a higher rate of BRCA mutations.
Breast cancer death rates have been decreasing since 1989 due to treatment advances and earlier detection through screening; however, persistent disparities exist among different racial or ethnic groups. Black women are more likely than any other group to die from breast cancer due partially to high rates of triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer symptoms can vary from person to person, and some individuals may not experience any signs or symptoms at all. However, there are warning signs that people should be aware of.
These include the appearance of a new lump in the breast or underarm, thickening or swelling of part of the breast, irritation or dimpling of breast skin, redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or on the breast, pulling in of the nipple or pain in this area, nipple discharge other than milk (including blood), and any change in size/shape/pain experienced within any portion(s) of your breasts.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also occur due to non-cancerous conditions; thus it is recommended for an individual with such concerns to seek advice from their healthcare provider as soon as possible so they can determine if further testing is needed.
Ways to Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer
There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, but there are steps that can be taken which may help to reduce the risk. Some risk factors are beyond an individual’s control, such as age and gender; however, other factors like body weight and alcohol consumption can be modified.
For all women, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life by balancing food intake with physical activity is crucial in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. Regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 150-300 minutes per week (or any combination of these) is also recommended.
Alcohol should either be avoided or limited to one drink per day at most since even small amounts have been linked with an increase in breast cancer risk.
Breastfeeding for several months after childbirth might also lower the chances of developing breast cancer while using hormone therapy after menopause can increase the risk. In case hormonal treatment options are required post-menopause, non-hormonal options should be discussed with healthcare providers.
For women who are known to have an increased risk of developing breast cancer due to certain genetic mutations or family history etc., medical interventions like genetic counseling/testing and prescription medicines like tamoxifen and raloxifene could help lower their chances of getting it. Preventive surgery or close observation for early signs of this disease could also be considered based on individualized assessments made by healthcare professionals.
Screening for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer screening is used to detect the disease before symptoms appear. Tests like mammography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used for screening. The primary goals of breast cancer screening are early detection and reduction or elimination of deaths from the disease. Mammography is currently considered to be the best tool available for breast cancer screening as it has been shown to reduce fatalities resulting from this type of cancer.
While digital mammography may be more effective at identifying cancers in dense breasts, 3D mammograms may improve sensitivity even further by reducing false-positive results that lead to additional testing and anxiety. However, overdiagnosis remains a potential issue with this method.
Other tests such as ultrasounds and MRIs are not routinely recommended unless there is a high risk of developing breast cancer due to genetic mutations or other factors.
The frequency and type of breast cancer screenings recommended depend on individual risk factors, age, health status, etc., so it’s important to discuss options with your doctor. Different organizations have varying recommendations regarding when women should start getting screened for breast cancer as well as how often they should receive these tests.
It’s worth noting that while clinical breast examinations (CBEs) are included in some guidelines along with mammography, others do not recommend them for women who are not at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Breast self-examination is also not proven to lower mortality rates but can help people become familiar with their bodies in order to better identify changes that could indicate a problem.
Latest Research on Breast Cancer
Researchers are studying various aspects of early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer to find ways to prevent the disease, provide better care, and improve treatments. This includes identifying causes such as environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and endocrine disruptors. Additionally, they are developing new methods for evaluating genes and proteins in order to determine the best treatment options for each individual patient.
Other areas of research include finding more effective ways to prevent breast cancer or detect it at an earlier stage; determining whether ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) should always be treated with surgery; identifying which molecular subtypes of cancer require chemotherapy; testing new drug therapies for different types of breast cancer; exploring approaches like targeted radiation therapy schedules and reconstructive surgery techniques; improving hormonal therapies for ER-positive breast cancer patients; managing symptoms associated with treatments that affect the quality of life.
In conclusion, breast cancer is a serious disease that affects many women worldwide. While there are steps to reduce risk factors and early detection through screening, ongoing research is necessary to improve treatment options and overall outcomes for patients. Recommendations include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular screenings based on individualized assessments by healthcare professionals, and staying informed about the latest research developments in breast cancer. It’s important for individuals to discuss any concerns or questions with their doctor and follow recommended guidelines for prevention and care.
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