Dr. Hawkins' Blog

enjoy the latest updates, professional tools, and study helps from FSIHS Executive Director, Dr. Jessie Hawkins

Speculative Medicine: What Can it Hurt?

covid-19 public health Mar 16, 2020

Uncertainty is difficult. In a situation where the entire planet is facing the threat of a brand new virus, we want solutions. And perhaps this is worsened in the Information Age. We expect answers to exist somewhere if we only Google long enough. 

This creates the perfect environment for the incubation of disinformation–a dangerous foe in times like this. During a global public health crisis, factual information–or...

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Epidemiology Primer for COVID-19

covid-19 public health Mar 15, 2020

Epidemiology is the study of the spread of disease. The field began in the mid-1800s as medicine transitioned from a belief in the miasma theory to a more evidence-informed model of practice. 

Thanks to the significant advancements made in the field of public health and epidemiology, combined with advancements in medical treatment and knowledge, the world experienced a shift in the mid 1900s. No longer was infectious disease the...

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Vitamin C and COVID-19

covid-19 public health Mar 12, 2020

Global pandemics are infrequent–thankfully–but there are certain characteristics that stand the test of time:

1. People who are unaffected in the early stages almost always underestimate the threat, increasing the overall risk, and

2. People come out of the woodwork claiming they have exclusive knowledge of secret cures that "they" are hiding from you. 

The first is dangerous. As we know, prevention is worth far...

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Elderberry and COVID-19

covid-19 public health Mar 11, 2020

As the lead author of the only meta-analysis on elderberry for viral infections, my inbox has been exploding with questions and full-text requests related to the potential use of elderberry for COVID-19. I’m enthusiastic in my support of elderberry during the flu season. While the body of scientific evidence supporting elderberry for the flu definitely needs to grow, what does exist in the literature indicates that the botanical, if...

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COVID-19 is not the flu.

covid-19 public health Mar 10, 2020

One of the greatest threats to effective containment of an infectious disease is widespread underestimation of the disease itself. For coronavirus, this takes the form of equivalency claims between the virus and the seasonal flu.

Prior to community spread of this virus, when discussing risk assessment, public health officials stated that the seasonal flu was a greater threat to the American public. At the time, that was factual. Somehow...

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Social Determinants of Health

Health is an elusive target that many of us invest a significant amount of time and money pursuing. Behaviors such as avoiding tobacco, eating a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep, and engaging in stress management can help us make strides towards that goal. 

But our ability to control our health is limited. And we rarely take sufficient time to assess the determining factors of our health that are beyond our control. In reality,...

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Holding Space as an Integrative Health Professional

Sometimes, despite all of our aromatherapy or herbalism or health coaching training, the most important thing we can do with a client is hold space for them. Holding space isn't an action most of us were raised understanding. But it's critical if we are to help others change their lifestyles. 

Let's start with what we mean by "holding space." 

Holding space refers to the ability of a health professional to observe and perhaps...

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Stress Management

According to the World Health Organization, stress is a “global epidemic.” The American Institute of Stress states that 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress, 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders, and stress has been linked to all major causes of disease and death. 

Stress is a serious health concern. 

The term stress was first applied to...

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Health Belief Model

The Health Belief Model (HBM) is one of the most commonly used theories in the health behavior field. It is used as both an explanatory theory and a change theory. The HBM was first developed in the 1950s to evaluate why people were not using preventive services that were available locally. In the decades since its inception, it has been applied to more modern concerns such as utilization of health screening services, sexual lifestyle risks,...

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Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)

When it comes to boosting health, the bottom line is that if a person is unaware of his or her need to change, nothing you do as a health coach will be effective. (This is why court-appointed rehabilitation programs have much lower success rates than voluntary rehabilitation.) The clients and groups you serve must be aware of a need for a health related change.

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM), otherwise known as the Stages of Change...

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