Four Great Reads for Long Summer Days

(NewsUSA) – "The Reflecting Pool"
by Otho Eskin Perfect for Grisham and Patterson fans: murder leads to the White House. When homicide detective Marko Zorn encounters the body of a Secret Service agent – a supposed drowning victim – it leads him to a domestic terrorist group with tentacles into the White House, a White House that does not want this death investigated.Zorn is placed in the middle of competing D.C. crime bosses feuding over a shipment of illegal arms – making Zorn the hunted and the hunter. He needs to avoid becoming the victim as he navigates the twin forces of evil closing in on him from his legitimate job and facing down political power. Purchase this book at https://amzn.to/367KWIe"Serving to Lead"
by Sgt. Major Keith Craig In this Amazon international best-seller, Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig says that if it were up to his enemies, he would be dead. He served his country for three decades in six combat tours. Onlookers see the decorations, but not the man behind the missions.The man who was awakened nightly by sounds of war and who had to identify the bodies of his soldiers. A man who grieves for others and himself over what was lost in the combat and trauma of battle, and who has rebuilt himself time after time to overcome the challenges of life. "Serving To Lead" is for anyone who was told they weren’t good enough or didn’t have enough of what it takes to make it. Purchase it at https://amzn.to/2U1Wism"Somersett"
by Phillip Goodrich American printer and scientist Benjamin Franklin found his small world of Philadelphia threatened during King George’s War and the proprietor of Pennsylvania totally unwilling to aid in the colony’s defense. In his frustration, Franklin sought assistance from friends in London to force the proprietor’s hand.Finding no encouragement at any turn, Franklin developed a plan to free Pennsylvania from this oppression. The scope would expand until all the colonies were involved. Launching the plan required political motivation of all 13 colonies, and with vastly different personal interests among the colonies, two very different historical events provided this motivation. The story of how Franklin orchestrated the American Revolution has been hidden for two centuries. Now it comes to life again. Purchase it at https://amzn.to/2ZSxp6u"The Nun’s Betrothal"
by Ida Curtis A tale of court intrigue and forbidden love. Before taking her vows, Sister Gilda, along with Lord Justin, must investigate grounds for the annulment of a marriage between Count Cedric and Lady Mariel. They discover that Mariel believes she actually married Cedric’s younger half-brother Phillip – Cedric’s surrogate – at the marriage ceremony, and that Cedric plans to marry Lady Emma when the annulment is granted. Emma and Phillip, meanwhile, have declared their love for each other.Gilda and Justin must find a just solution that will satisfy the principals, the archbishop, and the king – and deal with their distracting passion. Purchase it at https://amzn.to/38jbyFKNote: BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit BookTrib.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Boost Your Retirement Income with Little-Known Benefits

(NewsUSA) – Retirement is a life-changing experience. For some older adults it can be relaxing, for others it can be energizing. Bu it should never be stressful.But Retirement in the United States can be expensive, and even savvy seniors who have budgeted for this phase of their lives may feel squeezed in areas such as housing and health care. COVID-19 has made things even harder for many.Many older Americans who have worked hard all their lives are unaware that they qualify for a range of public and private benefits to help pay for food, medicine, utilities, and many more essentials that ensure a safe and stable retirement. Every year, $30 billion in benefits go unclaimed because eligible older adults don’t know the programs exist or how to apply.These programs are not scams, and they are not loans. They are legitimate public and private funds designed to help older adults boost their budgets.The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the nation’s oldest and most trusted nonprofit working on behalf of seniors, offers the latest information on benefits programs on its free and confidential website, BenefitsCheckUp.org.The site includes a simple search tool to help retirees and their caregivers safely and securely identify programs that may help meet their financial needs. There are benefits that help pay for medication and other health care costs (including home care and nursing home care), as well as food, housing, and utilities.For those living on a fixed income, an extra $200-$300 a month can make a significant difference in their standard of living and quality of life.Approximately half of all Medicare beneficiaries live on incomes below $26,200 a year. For those who qualify, Medicare’s special programs can save them thousands of dollars annually on their premiums, medications, deductibles, and co-pays. BenefitsCheckUp.org also includes information on employment and volunteer programs, programs for veterans, property tax relief, travel and recreation discounts, and support for families and caregivers.To raise awareness about these valuable benefits, NCOA is introducing an educational campaign called Boost Your Budget Week: Find Your Benefits to Age Well. Planned for July, the week is a great time for older adults to learn about opportunities to boost their budget with benefits.Interested older adults can visit ncoa.org/Boost to start their free BenefitsCheckUp. Or they can connect with one of NCOA’s local community organizations across the country for in-person assistance. Partners can be found on ncoa.org/Map.

An At-Home Study on Heart Health And AFib Detection

While the world is slowly opening back up after being shut down for months, if you or someone you love is 65 and older, home is where you are still likely spending most your time.

And while at home, you can consider participating in the Heartline Study sponsored by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in collaboration with Apple. Since the study is completely virtual, there’s no travel necessary to doctors’ offices or anywhere else.

Desk Booking System & Room Scheduling Software Helps Offices Open Safely

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As offices gradually reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, caution is key to supporting employees as they return to work safely.
To help companies maintain social distancing between employees, software programs such as the
DeskFlex system from Epazz Inc., (ticker symbol: EPAZ) allows users to book conference rooms and select which seats are open and which are not, similar to choosing seats on an airplane when making a reservation.
DeskFlex has a history of offering flexible workspace optionswith desk booking system and room scheduling software that is gaining new attention and applications as companies strive to bring employees back to the office safely and maintain social distancing. For example, meeting attendees can use DeskFlex’s Bluetooth beacons to enter a conference room and find a space automatically reserved for them.
“Organizations of all spaces and sizes are changing the way they view office space,” says Shaun Passley, PhD CEO of Epazz, Inc.
“We have experienced high demand in DeskFlex desk booking software over the last couple of months, as the COVID-19 lockdowns end around the world,” he says.
More companies are changing policies to allow greater flexibility in working from home and to accommodate a rotating and smaller number of employees in the office to help maintain social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading infections.
DeskFlex software allows employees to book a desk in advance and confirm its availability, but also accounts for real-time flexibility as schedules and plans change, which helps avoid double-booking and no-shows.
In addition, the Bluetooth beacons can help colleagues locate each other quickly and easily while maintaining social distancing within the office setting.
DeskFlex also allows for remote booking of equipment such as laptops, projectors, or other items. The Bluetooth beacons may be attached to equipment so users can reserve them remotely for future use.
Up-and-coming from DeskFlex is a feature to alert cleaning staff that equipment has been reserved and needs to be cleaned.
DeskFlex offers customizable solutions to accommodate a range of office settings and business needs that can help companies navigate employees’ return to work safely and effectively.
Visit https://www.deskflex.com for more information about the range of available products and services.

Make the Most of Virtual Meetings

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has accelerated an adoption of online work, video meetings, and virtual conferences that will likely continue.
Almost every business professional has hosted and participated in multiple online meetings, but how many have taken the time to consider how they present themselves on camera and how to make the most of virtual interactions with colleagues, clients, or customers?
If you want to optimize how you appear on video and improve and enhance your ability to communicate in a virtual meeting setting, check out the Presence Summit, a day of professional development and interactive exercises scheduled for July 15. The event is sponsored by camera manufacturer HuddleCamHD and the audiovisual distributor company Starin.
The Presence Summit “is for any individual or business that uses online communications and considers professional development a priority,” according to the meeting website.
Organizers say that “this thought-leader forum is designed specifically for enhancing communications in a video presence era.”
The summit will show the new opportunities that online meetings can provide, and participants will hear from communications experts and industry professionals about how to be more effective in online meetings and how to use video communications to promote products and services, as well as to improve customer experiences.
Keynote speakers will include Joseph Pine, author of “The Experience Economy,” and Fatima Doman, author of “Authentic Resilience.” The live stream of the summit is free, and an optional professional development track (registration required) allows access to Zoom breakout sessions led by experts on topics including identifying and optimizing your communication style, applying best practices for online meetings and priming video meeting participants for success.
In addition, all virtual conference attendees receive a free copy of “The Online Meeting Survival Guide,” by Paul Richards, business development manager at HuddleCamHD.
“The book serves as the pivotal guidebook to help people navigate this new normal of video communication,” says Richards. “Readers will learn about best practices for using the latest software to make online meetings more productive.”
Leading up to the Summit, the book can be downloaded for free at huddlecamhd.com/online-meetings.
Visit PresenceSummit.com for additional details and speaker information. And watch a video about the event on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2Chpki1.

Participate from Home: A Study on Heart Health and Detection of AFib

(NewsUSA) – This is a call to engage in heart health and potentially reduce the risk of stroke – all from the comfort of your home.If you or someone you love is 65 and older, home is where you are likely spending most your time. And while at home, you can consider participating in the Heartline Study sponsored by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in collaboration with Apple. Since the study is completely virtual, there’s no travel necessary to doctors’ offices or anywhere else."People can participate from the safety of their home," says Paul Burton, M.D, Chief Global Medical Affairs Officer at Janssen Scientific Affairs. "They’ll be able to participate in a heart health engagement program with activities that may help improve sleep, fitness and wellness, while contributing to innovative heart health research."The study explores whether the Heartline Study app, and heart health features on the Apple Watch, can improve clinical outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke from earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). The Heartline Study also has articles and facts to keep you engaged in your heart health.AFib is a common form of irregular heart rhythm that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates is responsible for 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalizations annually in the U.S. It also accounts for more than one-third of all strokes. However, as Dr. Burton notes, "it can be difficult to diagnose since people often do not experience symptoms."Here are some tips that can help you take control of your heart health even from home:• Engage in short bouts of physical activity. AFib incidence increases with age – about 70 percent of AFib patients are between 68 and 85 – and even the slightest activity can improve everything from energy to focus to overall health. One starting point: pacing while doing those virtual chats so many have grown accustomed to during quarantine.• Eat heart-healthy food. "Fruits, vegetables, and fish or chicken are obvious places to begin," Johns Hopkins Medicine advises.• Manage high blood pressure. It’s one of the top risk factors for AFib. Readings above 140 for systolic pressure or above 90 for diastolic pressure are considered high.Who is eligible for the Heartline study? You must be 65 or older, have Original (Traditional) Medicare and own an iPhone 6s or later model. Individuals with or without a diagnosis of AFib may qualify. Other eligibility criteria apply.There are a variety of ways to participate in the Heartline Study. You will need to have an iPhone 6s or newer. Some participants will take part using only their iPhone. Some participants will also be asked to wear an Apple Watch. Those asked to wear a watch will be offered two options: purchase one, or get one on loan for the duration of the study and return it when your participation in the study ends. Johnson & Johnson and Apple are committed to ensuring that participation in the study is not limited based on financial need.To learn more, and to download the Heartline Study app, visit Heartline.com.

Participate from Home: A Study on Heart Health and Detection of AFib

(NewsUSA) – This is a call to engage in heart health and potentially reduce the risk of stroke – all from the comfort of your home.If you or someone you love is 65 and older, home is where you are likely spending most your time. And while at home, you can consider participating in the Heartline Study sponsored by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in collaboration with Apple. Since the study is completely virtual, there’s no travel necessary to doctors’ offices or anywhere else."People can participate from the safety of their home," says Paul Burton, M.D, Chief Global Medical Affairs Officer at Janssen Scientific Affairs. "They’ll be able to participate in a heart health engagement program with activities that may help improve sleep, fitness and wellness, while contributing to innovative heart health research."The study explores whether the Heartline Study app, and heart health features on the Apple Watch, can improve clinical outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke from earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). The Heartline Study also has articles and facts to keep you engaged in your heart health.AFib is a common form of irregular heart rhythm that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates is responsible for 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalizations annually in the U.S. It also accounts for more than one-third of all strokes. However, as Dr. Burton notes, "it can be difficult to diagnose since people often do not experience symptoms."Here are some tips that can help you take control of your heart health even from home:• Engage in short bouts of physical activity. AFib incidence increases with age – about 70 percent of AFib patients are between 68 and 85 – and even the slightest activity can improve everything from energy to focus to overall health. One starting point: pacing while doing those virtual chats so many have grown accustomed to during quarantine.• Eat heart-healthy food. "Fruits, vegetables, and fish or chicken are obvious places to begin," Johns Hopkins Medicine advises.• Manage high blood pressure. It’s one of the top risk factors for AFib. Readings above 140 for systolic pressure or above 90 for diastolic pressure are considered high.Who is eligible for the Heartline study? You must be 65 or older, have Original (Traditional) Medicare and own an iPhone 6s or later model. Individuals with or without a diagnosis of AFib may qualify. Other eligibility criteria apply.There are a variety of ways to participate in the Heartline Study. You will need to have an iPhone 6s or newer. Some participants will take part using only their iPhone. Some participants will also be asked to wear an Apple Watch. Those asked to wear a watch will be offered two options: purchase one, or get one on loan for the duration of the study and return it when your participation in the study ends. Johnson & Johnson and Apple are committed to ensuring that participation in the study is not limited based on financial need.To learn more, and to download the Heartline Study app, visit Heartline.com.

How to Mourn Your Old Normal and Adapt to The New

(NewsUSA) – Deaths from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 have surpassed 110,000 in the United States and mourning the losses of these lives is important. In addition, we are also mourning lost habits and ways of life that are casualties of the coronavirus.Going out with friends, hugging a grandparent, even opening a door in a public place are on hold. Some of these changes were temporary. However, even as states begin to open up, changes in how we interact with each other and the world will likely continue for far longer."We need to grieve the ways of life we have lost," according to William Glover, Ph.D., president of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA)."Mourning is hard work," Sigmund Freud once wrote in his essay, "Mourning and Melancholia." What makes mourning so hard is having to give up attachments – whether to people or to a way of life – that can’t be replaced. Letting go of what we have lost helps us move on with our lives, although we will always miss the people, places, and things we have lost; in that sense mourning can never be complete.Mourning and grief are an important part of coping with loss and essential in managing changes and accepting new realities. Recognizing that our pre-COVID lives may never return is a loss to be mourned, and the work involved in this mourning can help us move on and into the new reality. However, some people struggle with the process more than others, and resist by responding with illusions of control, refusing to take precautions, and showing contempt for politicians and public health officials who try to explain the changing realities of daily life.In an article post on APsaA’s Psychology Today blogsite, psychotherapist Shelley Galasso Bonanno, MA, LLP, writes, "Each person processes and expresses grief in their own individual ways, yet there is comfort and power in understanding that one is not alone during this pandemic." One way to cope with grief is by finding meaning in the present situation, although how one does so may be different for everyone.Yet finding meaning is different for everyone. For some, it may mean providing food or assistance to a homebound neighbor, making masks for members of their community, or even donating money to help beloved organizations and venues stay afloat. Others may find meaning by expressing their emotions and reflecting on them with a therapist.Undoubtedly, there will be new ways to maintain relationships, enjoy life, and participate in activities with family and friends. Meanwhile, being able to tolerate the pain of grief and find meaning helps sustain us in difficult times.The American Psychoanalytic Association has created a resource page for the public and mental health providers with resources to help cope with anxiety and grief during this global pandemic.Visit apsa.org/coronavirus for articles and videos and information on how to find a psychotherapist near you. 

International NASH Day Draws Attention to Severe Liver Disease

(NewsUSA) – An advanced form of liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) affects more than 115 million people worldwide and is expected to double by 2030. If left untreated, NASH may result in serious outcomes, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver transplant, or death.NASH is the advanced form of a chronic, progressive fatty liver disease called NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). NASH and NAFLD occur when fat accumulates in liver cells and causes cell inflammation and injury. Symptoms of NASH can be difficult to recognize and many people are unaware that they have the condition until it has progressed. NASH is the second leading cause of liver transplant in the US, and is predicted to become the leading cause. However, the early screening by a healthcare provider and the adoption of lifestyle changes can slow disease progression and may even reverse the condition if it is identified in early stages.To raise awareness of NASH and NAFLD, the Global Liver Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for greater awareness of liver health issues, hosts International NASH Day on June 12, convening more than 80 partners from around the world to draw attention to the most pressing topics in the fight against NASH.This year the event is endorsed by the major hepatology organizations in both the United States and Europe: the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the European Association for the Study of Liver Diseases."International NASH Day unites and inspires a collective call to action, which is never more urgent than in 2020 when we are set to yield the harvest of years of diligence and investment in drug and diagnostic technology development and momentum in awareness and policy," says Donna R. Cryer, JD, founder and CEO of the Global Liver Institute. "We must make the most of this moment together."Millions of people worldwide are at risk for the potentially fatal liver disease of NAFLD and its more severe form, NASH, which is expected to double by 2030. NASH is a major risk factor for many other health conditions. People living with NASH usually have one or more metabolic disorders (such as obesity, type II diabetes, or cardiovascular disease). Thirty-seven percent of people with obesity have NASH. Similarly, 37% of people with type 2 diabetes also have NASH. Under- identified and untreated, NASH may result in serious outcomes including cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver transplant, or death. Now more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic adds additional risks for those with NASH.This year’s event includes virtual panels featuring 30 experts from around the world who will describe current challenges and collaborate on innovative cross-disciplinary solutions to prevent, identify, treat, and improve the lives of people living with NASH. The virtual panels are scheduled for 7 am-4:15 pm EDT on June 12. The event will also be posted on June 16 @gliliver, and on June 17 on GLI’S YouTube channel.Topics include NASH as a global health crisis, as well as NASH in special populations, such as children and cancer patients. In addition, medical experts emphasize how factors that increase the risk of NASH, namely obesity, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure, also increase the risk of serious illness for individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus.Find out more about International NASH Day at international-nash-day.com.For more information on preventing and managing all types of liver disease, visit GlobalLiver.org and follow the Global Liver Institute on Twitter @GlobalLiver, Facebook @GlobalLiver, and Instagram @globalliverinstitute.

Keeping Your Family’s Quarantine Cool This Summer

(NewsUSA) – As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly turned the "new normal" household into hubs for all daily activities, Summer 2020 now means moving parents’ offices, kid’s camps, vacation destinations, and virtually everything under one roof.Although this dynamic could forge family bonds, it can also ignite the already heated stresses and struggles facing many Americans during this difficult time – making optimal home climate control a critical key to keeping their cool as temperatures heat up this season.Recent studies show how our increased togetherness can significantly disrupt domestic bliss. In fact, research suggests that people forced to live in quarantine conditions face a greater risk of anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, insomnia and post-traumatic stress symptoms.And, despite feeling close to their children during the pandemic, 61percent of parents say they have shouted, yelled, or screamed at them at least once over the past two weeks, according to a University of Michigan study. Further, married and engaged couples in quarantine are fighting more, with only 18 percent of surveyed couples reporting satisfaction in communication with their partner, according to a survey conducted by the publication, "The Knot and app Lasting."When temperatures – and tempers – rise, a dreaded "Family Thermostat War" can ensue. Following are some useful tips to help you save money on utility bills and keep your family cool.With home heating and cooling accounting for nearly half of home energy use and air conditioner energy expenses costing homeowners more than $11 billion a year, small steps can go a long way.* Ease Into Electric: According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, electric systems are a solution to decarbonize home climate control. Among the most energy-efficient heating and cooling products, electricity-powered ductless mini-split systems, offered by companies including Fujitsu General America, can save as much as 25 percent on your energy bill. Mini-splits use thin copper tubing to pump refrigerant from an outdoor compressor directly into an indoor air-handling unit, where the air is quietly distributed to the interior space.* Get "Smart" About Climate Control: When it comes to smart home temperature control, there are Smart HVAC Systems and Smart Thermostats. Smart HVAC systems have built-in Internet capability and can be controlled directly without additional equipment. Smart Home Thermostats create "smart" systems by enabling remote temperature control via a mobile or Internet-connected device or voice-operated home automation system.* Voice Your Preference: Take control of your comfort. Most HVAC manufacturers offer apps that enable systems to be controlled from anywhere using a mobile device. Voice-control capability uses digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, to verbally dictate home temperatures. Easily controlling the temperature more closely allows homeowners to be more comfortable and improve energy savings.* Find Your Efficient Comfort Zone: Many of us live in homes designed for bigger families, but have yet to downsize. If you find yourself using a fraction of your home on a regular basis, consider upgrading to a zoned, ducted, or ductless system. That will allow you to save energy heating and cooling spaces where you and your family don’t spend a lot of time. This will multiply savings as you’re not only needing less cooling, but you also gain from a more efficient system in the spaces you do still use.* Try Low-tech Fixes: Simple changes can have a big impact. Try to use heat-producing appliances – stoves, irons and dryers at night or early morning. Switch to LED light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs – which consume 90 percent more power. Seal air leaks around windows, doors, and places where pipes and wires come through walls. And check existing caulking and weather-stripping for gaps or cracks.Achieving a sense of peaceful co-existence in your increasingly crowded, multi-functional home does not need to make your family members hot under the collar. If a new system is right for you, many Fujitsu systems with the Energy Star rating are more than twice as efficient as the minimum standard set by the government. To learn more or find a contractor near you, call 888-888-3424 or visit www.constantcomfort.com