Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holidays, Transplant Odds Go Up !

Guest column: Finding the good’ in holiday tragedy
By Laura Lefler Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last Thanksgiving, my life changed forever. My younger brother and only sibling, Trey, was in a very serious car accident, and after several days in the hospital, he died from his injuries. It was Thanksgiving Day. There is no doubt that Thanksgiving, and life in general will never be the same for those who loved Trey, but I believe the timing of his death was significant. It forced us to approach even our darkest day with a spirit of gratitude. Trey and I both worked for Sen. Lamar Alexander for years, and you can’t work or even be around Sen. Alexander for very long without hearing him quote his friend Alex Haley, who said, “Find the good and praise it.”For me, part of “the good” came when we learned that Trey would die the same way he lived, by loving and giving. I like to say that Trey, more than anyone else I know, tried to live his life according to our Lord’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As a natural extension of his generous spirit he had chosen to be an organ and tissue donor and because of his loving choice at least five people were given new life: two single mothers in their 40s, a 56-year-old mother of two who had been married for 28 years, a 36-year-old gentleman who enjoyed fishing (one of Trey’s favorite pastimes) and a 62-year-old physician and father of four who had been on the transplant list for two years. My family has learned a lot about organ donation in the year since Trey’s death. In particular, we’ve experienced firsthand that while marking “yes” to organ donation is critical, it’s just as important to share your wishes with family members. As the Tennessee Donor Services Web site states: “A discussion with family now will mean a life-affirming decision later.”According to Tennessee Donor Services, Trey renewed his driver’s license at a kiosk in Nashville on May 14, 2007, and marked “yes” to organ and tissue donation. His girlfriend, Jane, also recalled a conversation with Trey just a few weeks before his death indicating his wish to donate “everything.” She remembers him saying, “I’ll be with the Big Guy. Give it all.” As we sat in the hospital waiting room, I struggled with the decision to donate his eyes. It seemed so invasive. But they were not my eyes to give. They were Trey’s. He didn’t need them in heaven, and he had made it very clear to “give it all.”Many people find talk of organ donation uncomfortable and maybe even morbid. And many people believe organ donation is a good thing, but just put off doing something about it for another day. According to TDS, a survey by the National Coalition on Donation found that 91 percent of respondents support donation, and yet 29 percent have taken no action to indicate their wishes via their driver’s license, donor card, living will or by simply telling their family.That was me. I’m embarrassed to say that I signed my driver’s license the day that Trey died. I’m so thankful that my responsible brother was not part of that 29 percent like I was. Because of his decision to be an organ donor, Trey’s story became a resurrection story. Out of death and despair came new life, and our Thanksgiving became an Easter. Through our tears, we rejoiced knowing that five families had gotten a call on Thanksgiving Day with news that their loved one would be receiving a life-giving organ. What an incredible Thanksgiving for them! True story: On my mother’s birthday last March, she was having dinner with my stepfather at a restaurant in their hometown, 250 miles from the site of Trey’s hospitalization, when a gentleman approached her and thanked her for the very special gift her son had given him. It was the 62-year-old physician and the keeper of one of Trey’s kidneys. The gift —the good — had come full circle. Laura Lefler is from Loudon and currently lives in Washington, D.C. where she serves as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. Before his death on Nov. 22, 2007, Trey Lefler, 25, was serving as state field representative for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign.
Editorial : This is not only a great story, it is the "Gift of Life" at its best ! Thanks to Bro.`s RWSGW Dr. Thomas Boduch and Grand Lodge Historian, Bob Demott !

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pulmonary High Pertension~Learn More...

New support group is connecting Wyoming people affected by a rare disorder
By KRISTY GRAYStar-Tribune staff writer

Twelve patients and caregivers came to the first meeting of the Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group held in June. The group was formed by Nancy stearns, top left, and Cricket Mitchell, bottom left. The women, both of Riverton, became friends while helping each other through their illnesses. It's not like cancer.Yes, it drains a patient's energy and robs him of his quality of life. It is expensive to treat. Like cancer, it has no cure and needs money for research.Yes, it can be fatal.But it's not like cancer. Cancer people have heard of. Cancer has support groups and places to go to for information, advice and comfort.Pulmonary Hypertension doesn't even sound that serious. People hear it and think blood pressure, something that can be controlled by medication.But this is different. PH is a rare lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises and can damage the heart. The heart can swell and lose the ability to pump blood through the body.Cricket Mitchell was alone in her doctor's office when she heard the diagnosis. She'd felt out of breath doing the most mundane of activities: running into the grocery store for a quick errand, climbing a flight of stairs. At first, she had chalked it up to being a little out of shape. But she was only 33 at the time, so she went to ask her doctor."He came back and told me that I had this very rare disease and that unfortunately, I could die from it. It was scary. I was in the doctor's office by myself and I was devastated," said Mitchell of Riverton, now 44.This year, she and another Riverton woman, Nancy Stearns, started a support group to help patients and caregivers deal with an illness most people haven't heard of and few, if any, Wyoming doctors specialize in.The Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group held its first face-to-face meeting in June. The pair had spent much of the spring travelling to health fairs across the state passing out information and reaching out to people with the disease."Because it's such a rare disease and it's so isolating and limiting, we knew that we needed support. And because we knew that, we knew that others needed it as well," Stearns said.Mitchell's story began like the stories of many other PH patients: She couldn't breath doing the most menial of tasks. She was diagnosed with primary PH in 1997, meaning hers wasn't a complication of another condition.She went on oxygen full time. When her condition didn't improve, Mitchell's doctor wanted her to start a medication called Flolan, which is still undergoing FDA approval. But she felt like a guinea pig and didn't want to live with side effects that sounded worse than the condition. She decided to put it off as long as she could.In 2002, her doctor told her it wasn't working. She was a walking time bomb. Her heart had enlarged so much that it was practically encased inside her rib cage. If it were to rupture, there'd be no bringing her back.In the kindest words he could manage, her doctor told Mitchell that if she were his wife or his daughter, he'd tell her to go on the medication.Now, Mitchell mixes the Flolan every morning. It is continuously administered through a heart catheter. At 44, she breaths through oxygen tubes day and night.Her doctor, a specialist in Denver, asked if she wanted to talk to any of his other PH patients to find out more. But she pictured people in their 50s and 60s and couldn't relate to them, so she declined."I thought, 'They don't know what I'm going through.' I felt like they weren't in my age group so I would just deal with this by myself."Across town, another Riverton woman was facing her own diagnosis. Stearns was an English teacher at Riverton High School. Just walking to the office to get her messages left her winded and out of breath. She couldn't remember how to spell words at the chalk board and couldn't lead a classroom discussion without the most detailed of outlines.She was diagnosed with secondary PH caused by her severe sleep apnea. Her specialist, also based in Denver, put her on oxygen. She wore the tank all day and all night.Faced with the possibility of going on Flolan, Stears called Mitchell asking for advice. The two became friends.And then they got to thinking: Wouldn't it be nice to have a group closer than those in Salt Lake and Denver where they could talk about mixing medications, living with oxygen, heart catheters and pumps? They had found each other, there had to be others in Wyoming.So they formed their own group. At the June meeting, people from across the state shared their stories, their tears and their triumphs."It's not a visible disease unless someone is on oxygen. We all have to drive considerable distances to treat this. We just felt the need to connect," Stearns said."It was an emotional meeting. Everyone sharing their frustrations, not just the patients but also the caregivers. We were really quite charged up after the June meeting."One of our major goals of the group is to educate. Not just the patients, but the public and the doctors."Though her PH is being managed, learning about the disease has become a passion for Stearns. She figures it's the teacher in her, the need to learn about it and pass on what she's learned to patients, doctors and the public.Lora Knight, 51, of Green River, said the support group has been invaluable."Especially in Wyoming, we're just not a very populated state," she said. "It's just knowing you're not battling a disease by yourself. We don't necessarily like talk to each other every day, but it's knowing that they are there if you need them."Knight has been married for 31 years and has three daughters and six grandchildren. She was diagnosed eight years ago, her PH developing from an autoimmune disease called scleroderma. By the time her doctors found it, they figured she was within two years of dying, she said.Her best weapon against the disease is her positive attitude, as cliche as that might sound. That last time she went to see her specialist in Salt Lake City, he exclaimed: Eight years! Can you believe it? Isn't that great!Now, she wears a pump that administers her medicine, Remodulin, continuously into her arm. Her grandchildren now know to look for the pump so they climb into Grandma's other arm. She's worn her oxygen tubes so long that she feels weird without them.The first year on her medication, it cost $24,000 a month and she has long since hit the $1 million mark for her care. But now, major medical coverage pays much of the cost.Knight looks forward to seeing her doctor for another eight years, even it means travelling to Salt Lake City every three to six months.And she looks forward to more meetings of the support group, though Wyoming weather and distance will keep face-to-face meetings to just a few a year."It's like a family kind of feeling. They're like the extended relatives you see once a year at holidays," Knight said."But I wish those holidays came around more often."Pulmonary Hypertension* What it is: Continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery in the lungs, resulting in an enlarged heart, which can also lose its ability to pump. It can affect people of all age levels and ethnic backgrounds.* Symptoms: Because its early symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, PH is often not diagnosed until the disease is quite advanced. Symptoms include chest pain, breathlessness, low energy, dizziness and fainting, swollen ankles and legs, bluish lips and skin.* Treatments: Until 1990, there were no accepted treatments for PH. Because there are no known PH specialists in Wyoming, patients often have to travel out of state. Some Wyoming doctors have expressed interest in specializing in the disease and some Billings, Mont., doctors have come to the Cody area to see patients, said Nancy Stearns, cofounder of the Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group.Many treatments are expensive and highly invasive, requiring the use of a pump that continuously administers medicine into the heart by an indwelling catheter. Other treatments include heart and lung transplants, supplemental oxygen and medication.* Prognosis: The length of survival seems to be improving with some patients able to manage the disease for 15 to 20 years or longer. With continuing research, specialists hope patients will survive even longer and a cure may someday be found.* Information: Contact the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, 800-748-7274, -- Source: Pulmonary Hypertension AssociationThe support groupThe Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group was founded in April by Nancy Sterns and Cricket Mitchell, both of Riverton.The pair wanted to give a voice to other patients with PH and be a source of information and support to caregivers and patients who have few outreach options in Wyoming. The pair went to health fairs across the state handing out information and looking for PH patients.The group had its first face-to-face meeting in June with about a dozen patients and caregivers. They had a second meeting in September.Sterns and Mitchell hope to host a meeting twice a year. They also put out a newsletter and are networking with PH patients and caregivers from around Wyoming through e-mail and phone calls.To learn more, contact Nancy Sterns at 1206 Timber Lane, Riverton, WY 82501, 307-856-6976 or at Visit the Web site at


Auto Executives Come Back to DC to Request a Much-Needed LoanExecutives from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC made a second attempt on Thursday for federal assistance -- this time for $34 billion -- before the Senate. However, their encore appearance brought "fresh skepticism," according to the Associated Press. A hearing before the House is slated for today (Friday). United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders agreed to let the cash-starved automakers delay billions of dollars in payments to a union-administered trust - called a VEBA, or voluntary employee beneficiary association. The VEBA is set to take over health care for blue-collar retirees starting in 2010, but a $7 billion contribution that GM owes its VEBA could be postponed indefinitely. The auto companies and the UAW agreed to establish the VEBA as a way to transfer future hourly retiree health-care costs off the automakers' books. The VEBA will be funded by employer and employee contributions, including wage deferrals and modified retiree benefits. Several autoworkers pointed out that delaying payments to the retiree health-care trust agreed to in last year's contract means postponing a cost-cutting measure. By 2010, the VEBA trust will cut employer costs for retiree healthcare at Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors by 50%, saving tens of billions of dollars at each company. "The main reason our competitors in the United States have lower costs for retiree benefits is not because they don't have union contracts; it's because they only recently began to have U.S. retirees. In addition, the majority of retirees from companies such as Honda, Toyota, and BMW live in countries where universal, national health systems provide quality, affordable healthcare."

Editorial : Our Elected officials on capitol hill must share/shoulder in the blame for this !

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet Tom Kilgore~CEO TVA

Tom Kilgore
President and Chief Executive Officer...TVA

Tom Kilgore was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority in October 2006, having served as Acting CEO since March 2006. He was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer in March 2005. He is responsible for managing all aspects of TVA, including power production, transmission, power trading, resource management programs, and economic development, as well as TVA’s corporate functions. He heads TVA’s Executive Committee and chairs its Business Council. Kilgore came to TVA from Progress Ventures, where he served as president and chief executive officer. Progress Ventures is a subsidiary of Progress Energy. The company has a diverse portfolio of energy-related businesses in fuel extraction, transportation, energy marketing, energy trading, and other areas. Kilgore previously served as president and chief executive officer of Oglethorpe Power Corporation in Georgia. He joined Oglethorpe in 1984 and held numerous management positions, becoming president and chief executive officer in 1991 and serving in that capacity until 1998. Prior to joining Oglethorpe he worked for Arkansas Power and Light Company and for the U.S. Department of Defense at Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas. Kilgore serves on the board of directors of the American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation and has served on the boards of directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the United States Council for Energy Awareness. He has also been a member of the industry advisory board of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. A native of Alabama, Kilgore earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972. In 2002, he was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. Kilgore and his wife, Myra, have a daughter, two sons, and four grandchildren.

Editorial : He also makes very good/too much money !

Tennessee Valley Authority ~ CEO Tom Kilgore...Big Raise !

TVA Raises CEO's Pay to $3.27 Million

Reported by: Associated Press Email:

The Tennessee Valley Authority board has approved increasing the utility chief executive's compensation by nearly a half million dollars.The increase comes a month after the largest power rate increase in three decades took effect.Meeting in Nashville, board members approved improving President and CEO Tom Kilgore's compensation from about $2.7 million to $3.27 million, effective with the next fiscal year.Kilgore's base salary of $650,000 has remained the same since he became CEO in 2006. He said after the meeting he would not decline the board's decision to raise it to $850,000. On Oct. 1, TVA put an effective 20 percent electricity rate increase into effect, raising the average residential monthly power bill by between $15.80 and $19.80.

Editorial : Poor Ole Tom, I do not see how he gets by ? It seems that not only CEO`S of Major Corporations get obscene pay amounts, but now the public sector is trying to catch up ! I have learned today that your rates will only increase by 15% instead of 20% ! The cheaper oil rates are the cause. I kinda believe that it was, because you the public turned up the heat on Ole Tom Kilgore CEO. Mr. Kilgore gets a half million more, you get 5% off !

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tennessee County Clerks~Organ/Donor Awareness Program

Organ/Donation...The Gift of Life !
By: Don Jones...11/12/08

I have today visited my County Court Clerk in Dresden Tennessee to purchase my license plate for my old truck, cost $65.00 per year. The real cost is $64.00, but back a few years ago, our clerks adopted the Organ/Donor program across the state of Tennessee. When you purchase your license plates, you can donate $1.00 to the County Court Clerks Organ/Donor Awareness program. What a nice thing to do ! These clerks were not mandated to this, they volunteered. My/Our County Court Clerk, Ms. Pat Scarborough not only does a great job, but is on the statewide board to oversee this wonderful life saving project. "Thank You" Pat ! She not only works hard on this program that is close to my heart (no pun intended) but, she has a nice clear collection box on her counter, where she serves us/you, kinda like McDonald's has on their counter. She said today, that she does quite well in her on counter collections. So, when you are in her office to purchase your plates or for any other business, that you might have with her office, donate to her/our Organ/Donor Awareness fund for Tennesseans across this state who are waiting on life saving organs. So, my hat is off to the Tennessee County Court Clerks association, who do such a great work for this program !

"Give The Gift of life, Be an Organ/Tissue Donor, it`s The Masonic Thing to Do"!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tennessee Valley Authority...CEO`S Out of Control !

TVA, You Should Be Completely Ashamed Of Yourself
Oct 30th, 2008
by newscoma.

KAG reports this:
Within weeks of the largest rate increase for consumers in recent memory, TVA has upped its CEO’s salary to $850,000. I am speechless. Even if their only interest is in public relations, this is a bad, bad move. Just as with Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe makeover, it’s bad form to lavish money like this when your fellow Americans are in a world of hurt. I couldn’t agree more with her post. People are wondering what they are going to do and then you read about crap like this.

Meeting in Nashville, board members approved improving President and CEO Tom Kilgore’s compensation from about $2.7 million to $3.27 million, effective with the next fiscal year.
Kilgore’s base salary of $600,000 has remained the same since he became CEO in 2006. He said after the meeting he would not decline the board’s decision to raise it to $850,000.
Un-Damn-Believable. I guess will just burn fires in the yard to keep warm this winter. The deal is done already. But it doesn’t make the burn of this any left. Everyone I know, including myself, are looking at getting part-time jobs. It’s a sinking ship for some folks.
Posted in: Tennessee.

Editorial : I read this on Newscomas blog...I had to re-print it ! This is as she said, Un-*AMN believable ! CRAP is a nice word for it ! Tennesseans if this does not upset you...then you can`t be upset. You have been *crewed again !

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Allomap ~ Testing Approved by FDA !

FDA OK's New Non-Invasive Test for Heart Transplant Rejection
August 27, 2008

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDAFDA Clears Test to Help Doctors Manage Heart Transplant Patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it has cleared for marketing a non-invasive test that uses molecular expression techniques to assist doctors in managing heart transplant patients post-surgery for potential organ rejection."AlloMap can help contribute to an appropriate treatment plan by identifying those patients not experiencing post-operative heart transplant rejection," said Daniel G. Schultz, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "It is an example of how advancements in science and technology are leading to new medical care diagnostics."AlloMap measures genetic information contained in the white blood cells (cells of the immune system that defend the body against invading viruses, bacteria or other foreign material) from a patients blood sample.Specifically the test measures gene expression—or how DNA transcribe sits genetic instructions to RNA, the nucleic acid that translates and carries out those instructions—of 20 different genes, resulting in a score that indicates whether a heart transplant patient is unlikely to be rejecting the new organ. Nearly every cell of the body contains a full set of chromosomes and identical genes but only a fraction of these genes are turned on or expressed in any given cell. Gene expression occurs when certain molecular information contained within DNA is transcribed to create molecules known as RNA. These molecules in turn make the proteins that perform most of the critical functions of cells.Following a heart transplant, physicians regularly monitor patients for transplant rejection, a significant risk to patient survival.Rejection occurs when the patients immune system fails to accept the new organ and begins to attack it. Successful heart transplants depend on a balanced immune system response—a response that is suppressed enough to accept the new organ but strong enough to protect the patient from infections.Clinicians often rely on heart biopsy to gauge whether a patient is rejecting the transplanted heart. However, biopsies are difficult to perform and can be risky for the patient.According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, half of all possible rejections happen during the first six weeks after surgery and 25 percent of patients have signs of possible rejection at least once during the first year following a transplant.XDx Inc. developed AlloMap using blood and biopsy samples and other information collected from heart transplant recipients at nine U.S.heart transplants centers participating in the Cardiac Allograft Rejection Gene expression Observational study (CARGO). CARGO provided data from 153 patients on 300 medical visits at various times after heart transplant study.According to the American Heart Association, there were more than2,000 heart transplants performed in the United States during 2006.AlloMap is the third in vitro diagnostic multivariate index assay(IVDMIA) cleared by the FDA. IVDMIAs are medical devices that combine the values of multiple variables to yield a single, patient-specific result.

"The Gift of Life, What a Loving thing to Do"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pulmonary Hypertension ~ Update !

Shortness of Breath...Not Much Fun !
By : Don Jones...8/18/08

I have been an official Pulmonary Hypertension patient now, since July 7, 2008...As I `ve said before, shortness of breath is not much fun. It took Vanderbilt almost two years to diagnose me. It is not that they were not trying, but, pulmonary hypertension is most difficult to diagnose. I have met another PH patient right here in my hometown. He is a pastor at one of our local church`s. He is just 41 year`s old. We have compared notes already. I have joined a group on-line, "Pulmonary Hypertension Association"! Click on the title of this article, it carry you there ! The medical profession does not know a lot about this disease. Dr. Mark Wigger, Heart-Transplant Director, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, prescribed a drug for my disease called Nitro-Biden, it is a paste that I had to apply to my body one inch every 8 hours. The first couple of days, I thought it might be working, but, alas, it did not. Dr. Wigger has now prescribed a drug called Revatio. Now, Revatio is a derivative of Viagra. Please, no jokes. He started me out on one 20mg. tab. three times a day. He has now put me on 40mg. three times a day ! I`m not positive, but, I believe it might be helping. A few words about Revatio, It is manufactured by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. Each tablet is a cost of $10.00 ! So, $60.00 per day alone just for one medication. A 30 day supply = $1,800.00 ! Lets just say, that without insurance, I could not pay for this drug. I ordered a book off of the PH web-site > <. I have learned that a particular drug may work for a patient, and not for another patient. I have also learned that more women than men get this disease. I am checked monthly for my oxygen levels in my blood, Dr. Slovis my pulmonary Dr. at Vandy, says that if it is more than 50, I am to have a phlebotomy. You ask, what is a phlebotomy ? It is, as in middle ages, you are bled. They draw off a pint of blood monthly. I am learning as I go forward with this disease called "Pulmonary Hypertension"! PH is now referred to as the other high blood pressure, in my terms, it is simply high blood pressure in/of the lungs ! Not too pleasant. With the minimum amount of exertion, I get short of breath. As long, as I`m in-active, I seem perfectly normal. I am not. I am just beginning this trip with PH, as I learn, I will share it with you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

VEBA ~ Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. & USWA

Health-plan ruling promised ASAP
Fund for 30,000 Goodyear retirees' health care must receive approval from judge
By Jim Mackinnon Beacon Journal business writer
Published on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008

And now for the $1 billion question:

When will a federal judge rule on an independent health-care trust for Goodyear's Steelworker retirees, the key issue in contract talks that led to an 85-day strike in 2006?
District Court Judge John R. Adams said ''as soon as possible'' at the conclusion of closing statements that ended a hearing Wednesday in his Akron courtroom. Adams, who is charged with giving the final thumbs up or down on the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, has said he needs to make sure the proposed plan is fair and economically viable.
The plan is designed to provide health-care benefits to about 30,000 retired Steelworkers, including thousands of retirees and their spouses in the Greater Akron area. Goodyear ultimately agreed to make a one-time payment of $1 billion into the plan, after which it would not be responsible for providing health-care benefits to the union retirees. Current working Steelworkers will be required to pay a portion of cost-of-living increases and profit-sharing into the plan. Adams spent much of Wednesday asking lawyers and witnesses if the union membership was adequately informed about how the VEBA works. Steelworkers official Ron Bloom, a former investment banker, said he thought the Goodyear union members understood the issues.The union has agreed to VEBAs at other companies, including steel companies that have since gone bankrupt, he said. If there is no VEBA and Goodyear goes out of business, retirees will get no company-provided health-care benefits, he said. A VEBA could keep providing benefits, although probably not forever, he said. ''We are often called to choose between non-ideal alternatives,'' Bloom said. An actuarial consultant filed papers saying that the VEBA could, with $1- to $1.80-an-hour contributions from active workers, remain stable for 30 years. More information is available at Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or

Editorial : Bottom line, Goodyear does`nt give a flip about its retiree`s ! So, We`re hoping that the Union does ?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Diagnosis` "Pulmonary Hypertension" ! Definition =

Dr. Mark Wigger Dr. Bonnie Slovis
Definition of Pulmonary Hypertension...

Our Pulmonary hypertension Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary hypertension: High blood pressure in the pulmonary artery that conveys blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. The pressure in the pulmonary artery is normally low compared to that in the aorta. Pulmonary hypertension can irrevocably damage the lungs and cause failure of the right ventricle. Pulmonary hypertension is conventionally divided into primary and secondary types. Primary pulmonary hypertension is considered idiopathic (of unknown origin). It occurs sporadically with no family history of the disorder and in a familial form. Secondary pulmonary hypertension may be due to congenital heart disease, pulmonary embolism, portal hypertension, collagen vascular disorders (such as lupus), sarcoidosis, and HIV infection. The goals of treatment for pulmonary hypertension are to treat the underlying cause, to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, to slow the growth of the smooth muscle cells and the development of blood clots; and to increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, while reducing its workload. Treatments include medications, oxygen, and lung transplant. The main medications for pulmonary hypertension include: anticoagulants (to reduce the formation of blood clots); calcium channel blockers, which relax blood vessels and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, while reducing its workload; continuous intravenous epoprostenol (prostacyclin currently considered the most effective therapy) which widens the lung arteries and prevents blood clot formation; treprostinil, another prostacyclin, also relaxes blood vessels and increases the supply of blood to the lungs, reducing the workload of the heart; bosentan, a relatively new treatment that widens the lung arteries and reduces blood pressure; nitric oxide inhalation, which causes the pulmonary arteries to widen or open; Viagra (sildenafil) which causes the pulmonary arteries to open; and diuretics which may help ease symptoms and improve the heart's performance in some patients with pulmonary hypertension.

The term "pulmonary hypertension" is composed of "pulmonary" for lung, "hyper" for high, and "tension" for blood pressure = pulmonary high blood pressure, or pulmonary hypertension.

Editorial : (Above is my Diagnoses) I have been having a breathing problem for almost three years now. I was referred to Vanderbilt Pulmonary, Dr. Bonnie Slovis. She had a heck of a time diagnosing me. Finally, she conferred with Heart-Transplant Dr. Mark Wigger. They put me in the Vanderbilt University Hospital on Monday July 7, 2008. After a right heart and left heart cath, and a biopsy. They concluded that I had pulmonary hypertension. They are now treating me with Nitro-Bid 1 inch strip(nitroglycerin) of paste on body every every 8 hours. I`ll try to keep you updated ! There is a lot, I do not understand, quite yet !

"Give The Gift of Life, The Only Cost is a Little Love"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tennessee Organ/Donor Registry

Please feel free to copy and paste the email below to send to your co-workers, friends and family to register on the Tennessee organ and tissue donor registry. Remember to put your name at the bottom, but make sure you leave the links as they are.

Dear Co-workers, Friends, and Family,I am happy to announce that the Tennessee Organ Donor Registry is now up and running! Please take a minute to register yourself as an organ and tissue donor to save lives in the future. One donor can save the lives of up to 8 people with organs and enhance the lives of up to 50through tissue donation.Please join me in saving lives by registering at today! By clicking on the Tennessee state flag on the front page you can see the percentage in your county that are registered donors.If you are not a resident of the Tennessee please visit this link and click on your state to register there. Thank you for your time and commitment to saving lives!Sincerely,Misty Armour

PS. If you receive an error message when registering please forward it to Misty Armour at so the issue can be fixed.Misty Armour Public Education Coordinator DCI Donor Services 615-564-3633


Thursday, May 08, 2008

America`s Race to The Bottom ?

Q: Who Needs the Employee Free Choice Act?
A: You and Everyone Else that Thinks the U.S. Should Have a Middle Class

It’s no coincidence that the times when the middle class made the most gains in this country
are the times when unions were strongest. Right now, with each of us feeling the pressure of
rising costs, stagnating paychecks, increasingly out-of-reach health care, jobs lost to unfair
trade, insecurity in retirement, difficulty at the bargaining table and so many other issues that
are undercutting the middle class, we need strong unions more than ever.

But today, it’s extremely difficult for people to form a union :
• Workers come under intense management pressure when they try to form a union.
• Workers are forced to sit through anti-union meetings run by management or the “union-busting” firms they hire.
• Workers get harassed and even fired for speaking out.
• And, if workers overcome the odds and form a union, it can take years – if ever – to get a first contract.
We need the Employee Free Choice Act to:
• Strengthen penalties for companies that coerce or intimidate employees trying to form a union.
• Establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on a first contract.
• Enable employees to form unions when a majority signs authorization cards.

The more people in unions, the more power we have to rebuild the middle class and raise the
standard of living for America’s working families. Watch for the kick-off of a major national action on the Employee Free Choice Act next week!

Editorial : Where there is no union, there is no middle class ! Where there is no middle class, it is a third world country ! Wake up America !
"Saving America"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fairness Hearing ~ VEBA~Goodyear~ USWA

As part of the required legal process to establish a Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association trust (VEBA), a fairness hearing was held April 11 in U.S. District Court in Akron. A judgment was not announced by the court.The settlement agreement, which was filed October 29, 2007 and granted preliminary approval on December 14, reflects the terms of the agreement made between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers Union during 2006 contract negotiations. As required, after a judgment approving of the settlement agreement, the company will contribute $1 billion to the VEBA to provide health care benefits to current and future USW retirees. If the court approves the VEBA settlement, Goodyear’s obligations for retiree health care will be transferred to the trust. Creation of the VEBA will result in cost savings of approximately $110 million a year for the company. Once the required legal process is complete, Goodyear will eliminate approximately $1.2 billion liabilities for current and future post-employment health care benefits from its balance sheet.

Editorial : I feel another Big Bonu$ coming for good ole Bob Keegan CEO-Chairman of the Board and President of Goodyear ! Wow. Who`s gonna stop him... That's why he`s smiling !"roflmaon"...
"Oh The Blimp is flying High"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Once More ~ It`s The VEBA ~ Volunteer Employee Benefits Association :

USW Lawsuit Results in Continental Tire Agreeing to Provide Retiree Health Care
Union Thwarts Attempt to Short-Change Workers

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers said today that Continental Tire North America, (CTNA) has agreed to make $158 million in payments to a retiree health insurance fund. The settlement is in response to a lawsuit filed by the USW and a class of retirees when CTNA implemented a $3,000 cap on its payments for retiree health coverage, a change which forced many retirees to pay $1000 or more monthly for coverage. “This was an unconscionable attempt by an employer to strip away benefits from retirees who had already paid for them with a lifetime of work,” said USW President Leo W. Gerard. “We couldn’t let that happen, especially given the current shambles of our country’s health care system.” The lawsuit asserted that CTNA’s unilateral modification of retiree health care coverage in April 2007 violated federal law. Last July, Judge Jack Zouhary of the Northern District of Ohio agreed by ruling that the company had no right to reduce or terminate benefits.The settlement provides for a fund to provide retiree health benefits for a group of about 2,300 retirees as well as about 100 active employees who are eligible for coverage upon their retirement. When the settlement becomes effective, CTNA will make payments into a Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) to be used for retiree health benefits, which are worth about $158 million in today’s dollars. The payments include:
$40 million immediately;
$3 million compensation to Class Members for the period in 2007 when Continental Tire’s $3,000 cap on its contributions for all Class Members was in effect;
$21 million paid in seven annual installments; and,
Retiree Medical Benefit Liability Payments paid over twenty years, with an approximate present value of $94 million.
CTNA’s corporate parent, Continental A.G., is providing a corporate guaranty for $65 million of the $94 million Retiree Medical Benefit Liability Payments. If the settlement is approved by the Court and becomes effective in 2008, retiree health benefits for this group will be provided through a new retiree health care plan that will be funded by the VEBA, on January 1, 2009. If the settlement becomes effective in 2009, the new plan will begin to provide benefits on January 1, 2010. Until the settlement is approved, CTNA is providing interim benefits for most Class Members’ households.The VEBA trust Committee will consist of five members, two of whom will be appointed by the United Steelworkers. CTNA will have no representatives. The Committee will have the power to establish benefit levels, including the ability to raise or lower benefits for plan participants.The USW represents 1.2 active and retired members in North America in a broad cross-section of industries, including, steel, aluminum, paper, forestry and oil. Some 70,000 active members are employed in the tire and rubber industry.

"Unions Trying To Save America"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Heart-Transplant ~ Second Chance !

Taking heart on the highest mountains...

A jubilant Kelly Perkins, with husband Craig, in the Swiss Alps. The pair would go on to climb to the peak of the Matterhorn in a day-long ascent.
('Email story');

Kelly Perkins accepted her donor heart while standing atop the world
Apr 01, 2008 04:30 AM Nancy J. White Living Reporter
At age 30, Kelly Perkins, an avid mountain climber, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a chronic heart muscle disease. For more than three years, she lived in and out of hospital, so frail her husband Craig carried her up stairs. Then in 1995 she received a heart transplant and began reclaiming her life, one mountain top at a time. She's scaled some of the world's most famous peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, to raise awareness for organ donation. The author of The Climb of My Life, Perkins is to speak in Toronto at LifeFest Saturday.
From her California home, Perkins talked to the Star about the need for success stories, nearly fainting astride an icy peak and finally accepting the heart as hers.
Q: Did you know anything about the donor?
A: I knew she was five years older than I was, and she was athletic and my size, petite. She'd fallen while horseback riding and been admitted to hospital. She developed an aneurysm and died in hospital.
Q: Any problems with rejection?
A: I had six months of severe rejection. None of the usual drugs worked. Then they tried an experimental procedure, basically sterilizing my white blood cells.
When they told me I was in rejection, I was shocked. It was like I'd been thrown a life raft and then I found a hole in it.
Q: No nerves are connected to your heart, so your brain can't tell it when to speed up or slow down. What's that like?
A: I'll start up the stairs but for my heart it's as if I'm still sitting in a chair. So I get really out of breath. (Eventually) adrenaline starts flowing ... I have to warm up before I get going and taper off at the end.
Q: Were you wary of exertion?
A: I was super cautious. I remember stepping off a curb and landing with more impact than usual. I panicked that my heart would come loose.... But soon the issue was to redefine my self image, to distance myself from being a patient.
Q: There are lots of ways not to be a patient. Why mountain climbing? The strenuous exercise, high altitudes, remote locations – it seems like the worst thing for a heart patient.
A: The purpose became bigger than the climb. Every time I did a mountain, it was like getting a clear biopsy. The bigger the mountain, the better the health report.
Q: Ten months after the transplant, you tackled the 4,100-foot ascent of Half Dome to an elevation of 8,842 feet in Yosemite. You ended up in hospital.
A: I admit now it was too soon. I ended up getting dehydrated. But I had to get to know my body again.
Q: Of your many mountains, what was your physically toughest climb?
A: Probably the Matterhorn in Switzerland. When you climb that, you stay in a hut and get an early – 4 a.m. – start. You go to the summit and back in the same day. There are a lot of other climbers. So speed is very important and because of my heart, speed is my biggest battle. I had to really keep it together for 12 hours.
Q: Scariest?
A: New Zealand. We were on a big snow peak at a 45-degree angle. We had to cross a traverse very exposed on both sides. There were three of us roped together with me in the centre and Craig behind me. For some reason I came to a stop and my blood pressure dropped. I went dark. Craig grabbed the back of me and pushed my head down (to keep from fainting). So there we were at a 45-degree angle with our crampons and ice axes. I came out of it and said I was fine.
Q: At some point, did you accept the heart as yours?
A: We'd just made it to the top of Mt. Fuji in Japan, when Craig handed me a pouch containing my donor's ashes. It was quite a surprise.
He'd been in touch with the donor's daughter to ask if she had a wish she'd like us to make for her. We always made wishes once we reached a mountain top. She asked us to release the ashes. I felt the moment's gravity. But once I let the ashes go, it was so uplifting, as if she was free and I was free to accept my heart as my own.
For more information about Perkins, visit Details about LifeFest at
"Give The Gift of Life, Be An Organ/Tissue Donor, Its The Masonic Thing to Do"!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hon.Tommy Douglas ~ The Greatest Canadian ! Father of Universal Health !

Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas, PC, CC, SOM (October 20, 1904February 24, 1986) was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a prominent Canadian social democratic politician. As leader of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from 1942 and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, he led the first socialist government in North America and introduced universal public medicare to Canada. When the CCF united with the Canadian Labour Congress to form the New Democratic Party, he was elected as its first federal leader and served in that post from 1961 to 1971. He is warmly remembered for his folksy wit and oratory with which he expressed his determined idealism, exemplified by his fable of Mouseland. In 1930 Douglas married Irma Dempsey, a music student at Brandon College. They had one daughter, actress Shirley Douglas, and they later adopted a second daughter Joan, who became a nurse. Through Shirley, he is grandfather of actor Kiefer Sutherland. In 2004, he was voted "The Greatest Canadian" of all time in a nationally televised contest organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The miniseries Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, was filmed between February and May of 2005 and aired on CBC Television in two parts on March 12 and 13, 2006.

Editorial :

There were times when I worked at the Union City TN. Goodyear Plant, that I would talk with the Truck Drivers who made deliveries to receiving. I asked different drivers from Canada, at different times, what they thought of Canada`s Health care system? They all loved it !
"Saving America"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Addictions ~ An insight into the World of Drugs

By : Steve Sauter

Listen please ! to this prediction.The death of freedom may be addiction. Don't know what I mean, don't have a clue ? Think of the things you just have to do.You may think that no one knows what causes that odor upon your clothes.You give it power, when the habit lingers,that creates those stains upon your fingers. Perhaps you think there is more bounce,in a life consumed by the ounce.There will come a time, you'll need support,when you're consuming life by the quart. Say ! What is the big alarm, a little needle hole in your arm.Tell me again how life just glows, when you're sniffing that stuff -- up your nose. I know you say it's just for fun. All day and night you play twenty one. Knowing you can " quit anytime ", I still find it funny; you never leave the table until you're out of money.Think, if you will, back to the start,that private addition to a body part.That compulsion that almost makes you bleed. when sex is not love, but a driving need.What's that ? Don't call you a jerk ! It's just you really like your work.You'll find it really hard to surmount, that reliance upon a bank account. I mention this and you'll call me crude but are you addicted to your food.You can stop eating, but I have a hunch,You'll suggest we discuss it over lunch.There are no habits you can't stop --you tell me as you leave to shop. Communication would improve, I'll bet, if we just turn off - that TV set. And couldn't we talk by the hour about - how good it feels to be in power.That feeling, " you have things under control",comes from your mind - not your soul. If judging others is your thing, the truth of this might just ring."I'm not like the others, it's plain to see", heard the scribe say to the Pharisee. Please ! Give yourself some space keep these things within their place. Control these habits we shouldn't mention there are things that deserve our attention. Search for the power that dwells within,That's where your freedom will begin.One last thing that is for sure putting your life in God is the cure.


Steve Sauter 1998

The author of this poem, is my Friend, Steve Sauter. Thanks Steve, this is so insightful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sam Odom, Past-President URWA~Labor Giant in Union City TN

It is my sad duty to inform you that our beloved Past-President, Bro. Sam Odom of Local#878-Union City Tennessee, Goodyear Plant, has today passed away ! What a tremendous loss it is , not only for labor, but, the entire community ! Sam was the first President of Local#878-Union City, Goodyear ! I remember the first words, I ever spoke to Sam. He was up in a pick-up truck bed, trying to get us/workers to return to work. We were on a wildcat strike at the time. Wildcats were common in the early 70`s ! Goodyear treated us like dogs. They did not want us to organize, but, in so doing, they literally helped us create one of the most dynamic locals in the URW ! He told us to go back to work. I hollered up at him, Lead the way Sam ! Of course, he did not. But, he had fulfilled his obligatory duties`s as President. Sam, was President when we organized, he had very little power, except his charismatic way with his members. He was one of the fairest men, I have ever met ! Sam Odom, probably will not go down in the annals of history, as say, Walter Reuther or John L. Lewis, but he should ! I, as a member and voter for Bro. Sam Odom, will always cherish his memory and remember his contributions to free democratic trade unions. I considered Sam, my friend, and he was ! I think, I could go on and write more, I think, I will stop here. "Thank You" Bro. Sam Odom, my friend, my president, I know, that your family loved you and I know, that we loved you. You`ll be missed my friend !

Bro. Sam Odom, will be at White-Ransom Funeral Home in Union City Tennessee.

You may pay your respects on friday February 29, 2008 from 5:00pm. til 8:00pm.

His funeral will be Saturday at 11:00am. White-Ransom Funeral Home.

Bro. Jim Hurt, will conduct a Masonic Funeral service for Bro. Sam Odom, member of Union City#538...Saturday March 1, 2008 @ 11:00am. @ White-Ransom Funeral Home in Union City Tennessee...please attend if you can.

"Saving America" "Sam Odom, made it Better" !

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Goodyear Tire Employee Rebate Program...Terrible

By : Don Jones~Retiree...2/16/08

I received my Goodyear-Dunlop-Kelly Tires, tire rebate coupons on Wednesday February 6, 2008 ! Not Too good. Several thousand years ago, I was working at the Goodyear Union City Tennessee plant, Mr. Robert Mercer, Chief Economic Officer, was visiting our plant. I was invited to attend a meeting he held in the meeting room up front. I cannot remember all the things he talked about, but when he was finished, he asked if there were any questions in regard to his talk or anything else that involved Goodyear ? Mine was the first hand up. Mr Dick Davies was the plant manager at the time. He called on me. My question to Mr. Mercer had to do with our Tire discount program, I explained to Mr. Mercer, that the present discount was not only non-existent, but could be manipulated. Thus there was no employee tire discount program. He turned to Mr. Davies and asked, is this true Dick ? Mr. Davies, said he did`nt know. He turned to me and said, Don, I do not know the answer to your inquiry, but I assure you, I`ll get back with you. I thought to myself, that's the end of that. I was wrong, not only did he get back with me, Mr. Mercer implemented a new Goodyear Employee Tire Rebate program, and it was a true employee discounted tire program. I am sorry to report that our present employee tire rebate program is almost non-existent. Goodyears Employee Tire Rebate program has deteriorated into a non-existent discount program once again. It seems that Goodyear and Mr. Bob Keegan have found another source of income. They send you a non-discounted tire`s rebate coupons and you/we buy Goodyear products. For the first time in over 30 years, I have bought non-Goodyear made tires and purchased them cheaper than I could have Goodyear Tires with my so-called Goodyear Tire Rebate program. I really hate that. The most discount you as an employee can receive is $20.00 on certain very expensive tires, about five different kinds. All other Goodyear-Kelly & Dunlop, branded and light truck bias and Marathon trailer tires, you get a whopping $10.00per tire. Light truck bias and Marathon tires, you get a huge $5.00 per tire. Goodyear calls this "The 2008 Associates Mail-In Rebate Program". I call it, The Goodyear Tire Rip-off program. I am not surprised at this turn of events. So, I say to you as employees/associates..."lol" There is no incentive to purchase the product that you manufacture. I really hate it. Hey Goodyear, can we get there from here ? Probably so, but, not on Goodyear-Kelly-Dunlop Tire`s ! In other words, the next step is that, you cannot afford to purchase the tires you make and build. Good ole Bob Keegan, can get another big bonus. My friend Sam Sinclair Sr. has always maintained that, Don Jones caused us to get a true Employee Tire discount program. I`m not sure about that ? I am sure that Mr Robert Mercer was a principled man. He realized a problem and fixed it !
If you see a word, mis-spelled, My Spell Checker is not working. "Neither is America" !


I wrote corporate Goodyear on their site on-line ! I sent them the above ! Below is their reply thus far !

From: on, 03/18/2008 02:58 PM Sent by: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Consumer Relations 728 1144 East Market Street Akron, OH 44316 Voice #: 800.321.2136 Fax #: 330.796.6829 Thank you for contacting our website and letting us know your concerns. We will file your complaint. Jamie, Consumer Relations.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Goodyear~USWA & The VEBA Settlement !(#2)

-----Original Message----

-From: Don Jones [] Sent: Sun 1/20/2008 1:41 PM

To: Goodyear Veba Settlement Subject: VEBA > Who and How Much...1/20/08

To Whom it May concern : 1/20/08

My question`s are multiple ;

(1.) Who are/is being considered for the Board/Committee for the VEBA ? How many will be on the Board/Committee ?

(2.) How much will they be compensated ? Who sets their pay ? Who are they answerable too ?

(3.) By what date will they be appointed ?

Don Jones, TN 38237-5240
e-mail > <

Mr. Jones , 1/25/08

This is in response/answer to your questions above regarding the VEBA Committee created by the Goodyear settlement agreement : How many will be on the Board/Committee ? The VEBA will be controlled by a nine member VEBA Committee that will be independent of Goodyear. The VEBA Committee will initially be made up of two members selected by the class representatives who represent Goodyear retirees, three members selected by the United Steelworkers Union (USW), and four Public Members designated in the settlement agreement and who in the future will select their own successors. How much will they be compensated ? The Public Members and Class Committee members will receive an annual retainer of $16,000 and a meeting fee of $2000 for each meeting of the Committee that the member attends. However, each member cannot receive more than $28,000 per calendar year in meeting and retainer fees combined. Under the rules agreed to for the VEBA Committee, two of the three USW Committee Members (Duzak and Ivey) do not qualify for compensation because of their status as an employee of the USW or a USW local (respectively). However, all members of the Committee are entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.Who sets their pay ? The Committee members’ pay is set by the settlement agreement. These amounts will be adjusted in the future for inflation.Who are they answerable to ? The VEBA Committee is answerable to all participants in the VEBA, as it has a fiduciary duty act to prudently and to administer the VEBA in a manner that takes into consideration the interests of VEBA participants. By what date will they be appointed ? The settlement agreement creating the VEBA first has to be approved by the court. There is a hearing regarding the settlement agreement on April 11, 2008. The court may approve the settlement that day or in the following weeks, may ask that changes be made to the settlement agreement, or may reject the settlement agreement. Who are/is being considered for the Board/Committee for the VEBA ? The proposed members of the VEBA Committee are: Tom Duzak (Chairman) (appointed by the USW): Mr. Duzak is the Director of the USW Pension and Benefits Department and Executive Director of the Steelworkers Health and Welfare Fund which provides healthcare coverage for over 40,000 USW members and retirees nationwide. Mr. Duzak currently serves as a trustee or committee member for nine other USW negotiated VEBA trusts. Mr. Duzak has been a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council since 1997 and has been Council Chairman for three years. He previously served as a member of both the U.S. Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. John Sellers (appointed by the USW): Mr. Sellers is a retired Vice President of the USW Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference (R/PIC). Mr. Sellers held this post from March, 1996 until his retirement from the USW in 2005. Mr. Sellers joined URW Local 639 in 1966 and was appointed to the URW staff in 1978. He joined the International staff in 1991 and served as organizing director, education director and political education director. He also coordinated successful strategic campaigns to win contract settlements from major tire manufacturers. Jerry Ivey (appointed by the USW): Mr. Ivey is a Pension and Insurance and Policy Committee Member from Local 878 in Union City, Tennessee. Mr. Ivey began working for Goodyear in 1976. He has served as a P&I representative for the past 13 years and has been elected to the Policy Committee for the past 9 years. During his tenure as a local union representative, Mr. Ivey has served as a Union Steward in the plant and has been elected to the Executive Board and the By-Laws Committee for 9 years. Mr. Ivey has been selected as a delegate to every International Convention since 1976 and currently serves as a member of the International Medical Benefits Compliance Committee (MBCC), which was established in 2003. Mr. Ivey actively participated in the negotiations for the 2000, 2003 and 2006 collective bargaining agreements between the USW and Goodyear. Simone Rockstroh (Secretary)(appointed by the Class Representatives): Mrs. Rockstroh is President and Treasurer of Carday Associates, Inc., which has provided administrative and consulting services to a variety of employee benefit funds since 1952. She is a member of the Administrators Advisory Committee of the National Coordinating Committee of Multi-employer Plans and the Executive Director of the Health Care Cost Containment Corporation of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Mrs. Rockstroh is Secretary of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plan's Board of Directors. Jeffrey Lewis (appointed by the Class Representatives): Mr. Lewis is a shareholder and founding partner of the law firm of Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson in Oakland, California and has specialized in employee benefits law since 1975. He is a Senior Editor of Employee Benefits Law and has served as Co-Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Labor and Employment Section of The American Bar Association and as Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers Association ERISA Committee. He has testified before Congressional committees regarding pension issues. Mr. Lewis was elected as a charter fellow of the College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and he is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Scott Spencer (Public Member): Mr. Spencer is an insurance executive who currently is the Senior Vice President of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). He serves as Chairman of the Board of Employee Benefits Research Institute and as a member of the boards of directors of other employee benefits interest groups. Over 25 years ago, Scott was a member of the USW legal staff for an eight year period at the beginning of his career (1975-1983).Teresa Ghilarducci (Public Member): Dr. Ghilarducci served for 25 years as a professor of economics at Notre Dame University, where she was also director of the Higgins Labor Research Center. Dr. Ghilarducci, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, will soon join the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City where she will be the Bernard I. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Analysis. Dr. Ghilarducci is the author of numerous books and articles on pension and retirement issues and testifies frequently before the U.S. Congress. She serves as a public trustee for the Health Care VEBA for UAW Retirees of General Motors and previously served on the Board of the State of Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund and the Advisory Board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Nell Hennessy (Public Member): Ms. Hennessy is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiduciary Counselors, Inc., which provides investment advice to employee benefit plans and also provides expert counsel on fiduciary matters. From 1993 to 1998, she served as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Ms. Hennessy has chaired the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee in the ABA Section of Business Law. Since 1985 Ms. Hennessy has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she helped develop the graduate certificate program in employee benefits. She was a founding Board member of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. She is also a founding member and past President of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB). Phyllis Borzi (Public Member): Ms. Borzi is of counsel with the Washington, D.C. law firm of O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue LLP, where she specializes in employee benefit plan matters. She is also a research professor in the Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, and The George Washington University Medical Center, where she is involved in legal research and policy analysis involving employer-sponsored health benefits, managed care, access to health care and electronic health information technology. She served as pension and employee benefit counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Labor-Management Relations of the Committee on Education and Labor for sixteen years. In 1993, in connection with the Presidential Task Force on Health Care Reform, chaired by former First Lady and now Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Borzi served on working groups dealing with insurance reform, workers' compensation and employer coverage. Ms. Borzi is a charter member of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel and currently serves as its immediate past president and a member of its board of governors. I hope this answers your questions. If not, or if you have any further questions, you can reply to this e-mail or call our toll free number: 1 (877) 633-2455. If you call, please mention that you had sent a previous e-mail. In addition, there are answers to many of the frequently asked questions about the settlement on the settlement's website:
"Saving America"