Archive for  April 12th 2019

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Pain management is a daily routine for many who suffer from endometriosis.  “It is a multi-systemic disease.  Tissue similar to what is found in your uterus grows all over your body,” said Katie Joy Ussery who has dealt with that pain for fourteen years of her life.

In March, Ussery, from Des Moines, was suffering from ovarian cysts and sought help at the Iowa clinic OB/GYN.  “I already had an established OB/GYN at that clinic that I loved.  She wasn’t available so the clinic gave me the next available physician.”

Ussery claims that physician immediately recommended a clinical trial of Orilissa made by the company Abbvie, which she did not want to use.  “I felt he became confrontational when I dared to stand my ground, advocate for myself and disagreed with his opinion,” said Ussery.

After the appointment, she researched http://www.openpaymentsdata.cms.gov which is a public site that tracks payments from pharmaceutical companies to doctors.
Ussery said, “I found that from 2013-2017 he was paid almost $350,000 in associate research funding by that same company.”

Ussery took to Twitter to post a negative review of the physician only to find out at her next appointment in April she was discharged, and unable to receive treatment from any of the Iowa Clinic physicians.  “I was told I tweeted something against this physician,” said Ussery.

Without any endometriosis specialists in Iowa, Katie was now blocked from receiving the vital treatment she needed from a place she had also seen as the right fit.  “I feel I was punished for advocating for myself and my health care was jeopardized because I spoke out about the health care I received,” Ussery said.

The Iowa Clinic responded to Ussery’s claims in a statement saying, “If a physician within our OB/GYN department chooses to discharge a patient – that patient is not able to schedule with anyone else within that specialty. Our OB/GYN department has this policy because patients are shared among all partners.”

With a new pain, Ussery is now looking at her legal options.  “I have a feeling of betrayal, mistrust and heartache,” she said.

In response to the physician receiving funds for clinical trials, The Iowa Clinic has also stated, “The Iowa Clinic embraces medical research and the role it plays in providing new treatment options for patients. The claims made by Ms. Ussery on social media regarding our participation in clinical trials for Orilissa (Elagolix) are misleading. Highly regulated industry protocols require us to identify a Principal Investigator for every study, and all financial reporting falls under his/her name.  The Principal Investigator does not receive all of the funding for a clinical trial. The funding is used to cover expenses associated with that trial, and a percentage will go to the Principal Investigator for his/her work and oversight.”

SAN BERNADINO COUNTY, California –It was the ordeal of a lifetime for Iowa native Eric Desplinter and his co-worker Gabrielle Wallace.  The two had being trapped on Baldy Mountain just northeast of LA since Saturday. The pair of hikers were rescued Wednesday night after crews found footprints and called in a helicopter. The chopper was able to spot the pair’s campfire.

“Thank you to all the volunteers that were helping look for us, we are very grateful to have been found tonight.  I’m ready to get to bed and get some rest” said Desplinter.

The two chose to summit Mt. Baldy after another pair of hikers they were with turned back to camp. According to his mother, the two experienced hikers tried to find a less challenging path down and ended up losing the trail.

“[We] rationed our food, drank water through a LifeStraw, kept as warm as possible” said Desplinter.

The LifeStraw was critical to survival. A $20 piece of equipment, it allowed them to drink fresh water when they ran out of their own supply.

“So, the life straw filters out bacteria and protozoa. It’s good for 1000 liters of clean, flowing water so great to have for anyone to have in their pack” said Taggart Lewsander, manager of the REI in West Des Moines.

Lewsander says you should also carry a map and compass in case cell service is poor, more food than you think you need, and a way to start a fire.

“Tried and true, just a waterproof pack of storm proof matches and a little bit of tinder in there” he said.

As for Desplinter’s mother Karen Ziebarth, all she can say is ‘thanks’.

“You can’t put words into what I feel. I keep looking at these workers and I keep saying ‘thank you’. You say thank you because it’s just words that come out of your mouth, because it’s not enough. I can’t say anything for the amount of work that they put in daily, and a lot of these people, most of these people are volunteers and they work out here and they came out all day to save Gabby and Eric. It’s a miracle, it’s truly a miracle” said Ziebarth.

She says her son is thinner than when he went up the mountain, but otherwise the two are in good health.