Cancer and The Lack Of Integrative Care - Why ?

When Celebrities like  Michael Douglas announce a cancer diagnosis , as he did last September, it catches people's attention. Thankfully Michael had a good reaction to treatment and his stage 4 throat cancer tumor was gone in January of 2011. Fortunately Mr. Douglas lives in an area that offers some of the best treatment options available. Not everyone is so lucky.

I successfully (knock on wood) navigated through cancer in the past few years (see my talk on cancer below) I know first hand that many in the traditional sick care system still do not offer integrative wellness services for cancer patients. Despite having the most advanced radiation and chemo therapies available, I was unable to receive alternative therapies that would have helped me to cope and recover from traditional treatment methods. An example is acupuncture therapy. It simply was not readily available where I live.

Working in fitness and wellness this really made me wonder, Why? When I mentioned to my surgeon and oncologist about my work out regimens and how I had lost all of my energy and was unable to be physically active, there was never a mention of alternative therapies I could have used. Essentially there was NO integrative care available to either myself or the many other souls suffering around me.

The good news is that many alternative therapies are becoming more available. Trouble is for the clear majority of patients, they are not available. Furthermore, because these therapies are largely private pay, for most people without financial means they simply could not benefit from them if they were available. It cost too much.

So please tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, why aren't alternative therapies more readily available ? Let me know your thoughts about creating a "Circle of Health" that encompasses traditional and preventative therapies.

Bryan K. O'Rourke On His Cancer Experience from Bryan ORourke on Vimeo.



Its All About Your Attitude

Check out this wonderfully animated video, Professor Philip Zimbardo (of the famed Stanford Prison Experiment) "conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world."

Helping Organizations Succeed - Leadership & Emotional Intelligence

Its funny, with all of the existing and emerging tools, the biggest challenge facing businesses is not technology, its people. To get folks to work together well takes a lot of ingredients. Unfortunately in many instances "leadership" is not helping. The issues at the top burden and stiffle the organization and inhibit the potential that readily exists but is unrealized because of the lack of awareness at the top. I have seen it over and over again in many businesses which I have consulted with and participated in.

Daniel Goldman shares some interesting instights on Emotional Intelligence pertaining to leadership. This Harvard Business Review clip, part of an excellent series, is worth a look to learn more about how organizational achievement in the LONG RUN is largely influenced by the emotional intelligence of its leadership.


How Health Care Kills People

My Dad, William R. O'Rourke, Jr., passed away on Sunday, December 27, 2009; a day after his 72nd birthday (details here for friends and family). He suffered from CLL, a form of leukemia and had a tough battle during his final days. Dad was a terrific man. He had a distinguished career as a highly dedicated Air Force officer and pilot. He was a consultant to, ironically, the health care industry and served as a contract executive for a number of firms. He was a professor and intellectual while being a very down to earth and personable man and I loved him very much. Thanks for everything Dad - you will be missed.

We all have or had fathers and many of us are lucky enough to have received their support and love during our lives. Given this, what is painful to see first hand is the nature of the health care system they enter into when they are very ill. My experience personally during the past year is wrought with evidence of a dysfunctional system. When people get really sick, its broken nature becomes all the more apparent. This is not meant as an affront to the many professionals who attempted to provide care, nor is it about being able to afford care because Dad thankfully had the means. My sentiments are based on witnessing a SYSTEM that fails to provide quality because it is based on flawed economics.

If you haven't read David Goldhill's New Yorker article, How American Health Care Killed My Father, you must. See some of his views above in the video. While my Dad was ill, I can promise you the quality of his life and his experience of care was woeful and would have been much better if the system were changed fundamentally. David's testimony above reflects many of the same things I experienced.  As a business executive like me, David began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. He has a radical solution to this agonizing problem.

Evolution of God - The Past & Future of Human Spirituality

Author, blogger and editor Robert Wright draws from multiple disciplines, including science, religion, history and politics, in his search for strategic perspectives on today's problems, particularly terrorism, while offering hope for where humanity could be headed. A Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Wright also hosts an interview series with celebrated thinkers at and . Read his latest book Evolution of God where the basis is formed for an understanding of what makes people tick and where human spirituality will likely evolve from here to the future. You can see his hour long lecture at Google Talks on the book, or watch this brief description of the book on the video below for more information.