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Health Influencers Included in ‘Time 100 Health’ List

Time magazine just published a list of the 100 individuals most influential in the world of health right now, “Time 100 Health.” Time has categorized them as Innovators, Titans, Pioneers, Leaders, and Catalysts.

Alameda Post - Social media influencer. An illustration of a person holding a sign with a megaphone surrounded by social media network logos.

Among the list you will find doctors. One of those featured is Dr. Hadiza Shehu Galadanci, OB/GYN and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Nigeria’s Bayero University. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maternal mortality ratio in the African Region in 2020 was estimated at 531 deaths per 100,000 live births. One of the countries with an extremely high rate is Nigeria, with 1,047 deaths per 100,000 live births.

According to “Time 100 Health,” “Galadanci, who is also the director of the Africa Center of Excellence for Population Health and Policy, has worked with a network of collaborators in other countries to implement and study a simple yet effective system for preventing fatal postpartum hemorrhages, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.” The system involves placing a drape below the birthing mother to collect and measure blood loss. The next course of action is based on the measurement, including whether surgery is necessary. This and other procedures Galadanci is studying in partnership with WHO, are making a difference and changing the standard of medical practice.



Also among the “Time 100 Health” honorees is Mike Curtis, President and Chief Executive Officer at eGenesis, who holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. Curtis’s company uses CRISPR technology to edit pig genes in order to make them more similar to human genes, increasing the chance of using their organs as safe transplants. The first patient received a pig kidney in March, and is doing well. This is promising in addressing the need for organs for life-saving transplants.

But, not all those recognized in the “Time 100” list have medical training.

Alameda - Olivia Munn lies in a hospital bed, and Michael J. Fox sits next to his wife Tracy Pollan.
Left: Olivia Munn documented her breast cancer story online. Photo Olivia Munn / Instagram. Right: Michael J. Fox, who created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, sits next to his wife Tracy Pollan. Photo Michael J. Fox / Instagram.

Olivia Munn is an actress. Until last year, I only knew her name and that she was part Chinese. I came to know more about her recently, when she shared the story of her breast cancer diagnosis. When she visited her OB/GYN for her annual pap smear, her doctor used the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, a free online tool from the National Cancer Institute, which indicated that Munn had a 37% lifetime risk of having breast cancer. She had no symptoms and a clear mammogram, but the score indicated she should undergo further tests. An MRI found that she had a spot near her lymph nodes. An ultrasound found two additional tumors in her right breast that were Stage 1 cancer. Another review of her MRI found that there was cancer in her left breast as well. Munn had luminal B Breast Cancer, which required four surgeries including a double mastectomy. She shared her story on Instagram, which led to a surge in visits to the tool’s site and she continues to share her story.

As much as Michael J. Fox is known for Back to the Future movies and numerous other film and television successes, he also is known for bringing awareness to Parkinson’s Disease. He was diagnosed in 1991 at just 29 years old. In 2000, Fox created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, “…dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.” The data from his foundation’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) “played a pivotal role” in the discovery of a biomarker test that shows pathology of the disease in the spinal fluid of people showing symptoms as well as those with no symptoms but at high risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. By putting himself out there as the face of Parkinson’s, his impact towards a cure is phenomenal. As quoted in “Time 100 Health,” he realized that “with me as a touchpoint, it provided the opportunity to raise the profile of the disease and open the door to get some questions answered.” He noted, “We’ve systematically kicked doors open one by one.”

The one hundred who made the Time list certainly deserve the honor, but there are many unrecognized others out there making a difference where health is concerned. Even you, for yourself and your family, can make a difference by learning what you can about healthy habits and making them a part of your lives, without being named to a list. Here’s to your health!

Contributing writer Denise Lum is a Health and Fitness Coach raising her family in Alameda. Contact her via [email protected] or FitnessByDsign.com. Her writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Denise-Lum.

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