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Sioux Center Health welcomes new doctor | Sioux Center News – nwestiowa.com

SIOUX CENTER—Sioux Center Health welcomed family medical physician Dr. Lindsey Junk to its staff this summer.

Dr. Junk, 36, works primarily at the Sioux Center Medical Clinic and provides obstetric services at the Hawarden Medical Clinic. She also provides emergency room and inpatient services in Sioux Center.

“Some people have jobs, others have a calling, a vocation — carrying for people is my vocation,” Junk said.

Different aspects of her life throughout the past decade have molded her into the doctor she is today.

Born and raised in Angola, IN, Junk was the youngest of five children in a lower economic home.

“Being the first person on either side of my family to go to college, my family thought I was going to cure cancer,” Junk said, with a laugh. “Getting into school you learn there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Pursing undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology with minors in history and French from Purdue University in Indiana completed her in ways she didn’t realize initially.

“I grew up agnostic,” Junk said. “When I went to college, I met some pretty incredible people. Through them I was introduced to faith and how it can be both life giving and life saving. Also in college I became epileptic so I have seizures, I twitch sometimes. That was a humbling experience but also took me out of my totally science all the time mode. I realized there are some things we can’t control and we can’t just live angry all the time. There is a way toward better days if our focus is on a higher power and calling.”

Following her graduation in 2009, Junk spent a year and a half working for the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at Purdue “trying to figure out life,” she said.

“I chose public health because I felt that’s a way I could really help a large population,” she said.

Before pursuing her master’s in public health with a focus on epidemiology of infectious diseases from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, Junk spent six months living in an orphanage in Zimbabwe.

“International work is something close to my heart; very long term I want to work in refugee camps in sub-Sahara Africa,” she said. “In Zimbabwe, I realized very quickly that I’d have a hard time helping people in the long term without having the ability to help people in the short term. It’s really hard to teach people about the importance of sleeping under mosquito nets when I can’t help if their kid has malaria. It’s there that I realized with a couple more years of school after getting my masters I could become an MD, so I could teach about cholera and building better latrines but also be able to treat the infection so that they’re well enough to do those things in the future.”

Fascinated by research and in need of raising money to start medical school, Junk spent about with Abbott Laboratories researching emerging diseases as well as working as part-time youth director before starting at Indiana University School of Medicine in their rural medicine track, 2013-17.

She went on to complete her family medicine residency in Columbia, SC, within the PRISMA Health system and most recently was providing care in rural Colorado before to making the move to Sioux Center.

Junk is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“While I’ve both received and given the most stitches in my family, as much as I love surgery it’s not fair to put myself in the surgery seat if I don’t know when I’m going to have a seizure,” she said. “I chose family medicine because it combines getting to know people, which engenders trust, and being able to treat them to live better lives.”

She’s always loved the sciences, but combing faith and an a medical experience her family had when she was 14 helps guide who she is as a doctor today.

“When I was in middle school, my older sister had a fairly serious brain bleed,” Junk said. “She’s fine now. The brain surgeon who took care of her took excellent medical care of her, but my family didn’t really know what was going on. We didn’t feel confident enough to ask questions. … I realized this doesn’t have to be this hard. If your kid is having surgery, whether its tonsils or tubes or something with the brain, if there was someone else who could explain what this means, advocate for the patient, that would be a good way to support not only the patient but the family.

“Medicine is fascinating and every day I’m amazed we’re not just all sick all the time because there are so many ways to be sick but that reinforces faith, too. I believe God created the body in such an amazing way. I do believe strongly in science but I also am awe struck most days with how incredibly we’re put together. I want to be able to take the science and put it into terms people can use and understand. I want people to be able to understand what’s going on with their health because I think if people have better information they make better choices.”

Although her path to becoming a doctor isn’t straight, she’s excited it’s led her to Sioux Center.

“Rural communities get overlooked a lot, but people in the rural community deserve great health care as well whether that’s a rural area in Africa or Iowa or somewhere in between,” she said. “I was excited to come to Iowa because this state does a great job of allowing people to practice full spectrum family medicine — from womb to tomb. We get to walk alongside families in all aspects of their lives.

“I have the privilege of doing that here and alongside other providers who are fantastic and have so much passion for medicine and the people they serve. It’s been really encouraging to work here, to see such passion and support for the community. It’s been delightful to be here.”

When not seeing patients, she likes to travel internationally and domestically to keep up with family and old friends as well as meeting new people. Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, France, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania have all been checked off her to-visit list with all the rest of world just waiting to be explored. Books, building and baking are also interests Junk likes to pursue and use to express some creativity.

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KL Rahul cleared to play Zimbabwe series, will captain the side | Cricbuzz.com – Cricbuzz – Cricbuzz

KL Rahul has received the green signal from BCCI’s medical team, clearing his participation in the forthcoming three-ODI tour of Zimbabwe. Shikhar Dhawan, originally named captain for the short tour, will serve as the deputy to the returning Rahul.

Rahul, who has not played international cricket since February this year, has been laid low by a series of injury and health concerns. Right after the IPL, he was scheduled to captain India in the home T20Is against South Africa but missed out owing to a groin injury. The spell on the sidelines was extended after it was revealed that the 30-year-old would require surgery. Consequently, Rahul missed the tour of England and Ireland.

He was scheduled to return at the just-concluded tour of West Indies and USA but following a positive Covid-19 result, the BCCI medical team advised him rest. He has already been named in India’s squad for the Asia Cup at the end of this month.

India squad: KL Rahul (c) Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.

All the three ODIs of India’s tour will be held at the Harare Sports Club, with the series kicking off on August 18.

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KL Rahul cleared to play Zimbabwe series, will captain the side | Cricbuzz.com – Cricbuzz – Cricbuzz

KL Rahul has received the green signal from BCCI’s medical team, clearing his participation in the forthcoming three-ODI tour of Zimbabwe. Shikhar Dhawan, originally named captain for the short tour, will serve as the deputy to the returning Rahul.

Rahul, who has not played international cricket since February this year, has been laid low by a series of injury and health concerns. Right after the IPL, he was scheduled to captain India in the home T20Is against South Africa but missed out owing to a groin injury. The spell on the sidelines was extended after it was revealed that the 30-year-old would require surgery. Consequently, Rahul missed the tour of England and Ireland.

He was scheduled to return at the just-concluded tour of West Indies and USA but following a positive Covid-19 result, the BCCI medical team advised him rest. He has already been named in India’s squad for the Asia Cup at the end of this month.

India squad: KL Rahul (c) Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.

All the three ODIs of India’s tour will be held at the Harare Sports Club, with the series kicking off on August 18.

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Decriminalizing HIV: Scientifically proven and morally correct – STAT

One hundred thirty-four. That’s the number of countries that currently criminalize or prosecute people based on general criminal laws of HIV transmission, non-disclosure, or exposure.

Not only is this contrary to science on the health and human rights benefits of decriminalization, but it stands in stark contrast to the commitments enshrined in the 2021 Political Declaration to ends AIDS by 2030, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with 165 countries voting in favor. Worse still is that criminalizing HIV is actively harmful: it costs lives and wastes money.

Countries that criminalize people with HIV have lower rates of HIV treatment and viral suppression compared to those with non-discriminatory legal frameworks. For example, evidence shows that decriminalizing sex work would avert at least one-third of new HIV infections among female sex workers.

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Sex workers, along with men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs and their sexual partners, and others represent key populations at higher risk of acquiring HIV. Together, they bear the brunt of the HIV pandemic: 70% of new HIV cases in 2021 occurred among these populations, accounting for more than half of all new cases in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time.

People-centered, equity-first policies that enable access to HIV services must be scaled up. To end AIDS as a public health threat, the world needs to achieve the UNAIDS 10-10-10 targets: less than 10% of people living with HIV and key populations experiencing stigma and discrimination; less than 10% of people living with HIV, women and girls, and key populations experiencing gender-based inequalities and gender-based violence; and less than 10% of countries with legal and policy environments that deny or limit access to HIV services.

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The United Nations Development Programme, which I work for, has convened the Global Commission on HIV and the Law to help countries and communities dismantle discriminatory laws that unjustly punish people, trap them in a cycle of illness and poverty, and prevent progress toward ending AIDS.

To date, the commission’s recommendations have helped at least 90 countries advance legal reforms. While no country is on track to meeting the 10-10-10 targets, the actions of these 90 countries show that change is possible. I offer three concrete strategies to drive further progress based on lessons learned from decriminalization efforts.

First, a whole-of-society approach led by people living with HIV and key populations has proven the most effective path to change. Laws are shaped and enforced by complex networks of parliamentarians, law enforcement, lawyers, and judges. Changing laws and removing barriers requires engaging these authorities and sensitizing them to the lived realities of HIV-positive people and key populations. Conducting government-led participatory legal environment assessments, which meaningfully engage communities, has been successful in advancing legal reform, including decriminalization of HIV.

In 2019, the UNDP worked with Zimbabwe to conduct a legal environment assessment, which identified criminalization as a barrier to health care and a driver of stigma. Based on these results, stakeholders including Zimbabwe’s National AIDS Council, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, parliamentarians, civil society activists and key populations worked to advocate for decriminalization. In early 2022, Zimbabwe repealed its legal code criminalizing HIV.

Second, a well-informed judiciary is often key to protecting the rights of vulnerable people and laying the groundwork for more inclusive legal systems. Ensuring that judges have up-to-date information on the science of HIV results in more informed rulings and drives positive change. This includes preventing overly broad interpretation of the law, such as Covid-19 lockdown policies that were used to justify the arrest of 23 people at a shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youths in Uganda. Many of them were later released by the order of a Ugandan court.

Safe spaces for peer-led conversations can be a critical venue for disseminating this kind of information. The UNDP supports regional networks of judges in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and the Caribbean. These forums provide an opportunity to share the latest knowledge on HIV science, public health, law, human rights, and the lived experiences of key populations. The results speak for themselves: In July, the high court of Antigua and Barbuda struck down its laws criminalizing sex between consenting same-sex adults.

Third, decriminalization must be complemented by the creation of legal environments that actively safeguard human rights and protect vulnerable communities from stigma and discrimination. Access to legal services is a cornerstone of an enabling legal environment, but only 41% of countries report having mechanisms to connect people living with HIV and key populations to services. This disconnect with legal services has a real effect. In a survey of people in 18 countries, over the last 12 months less than 50% of people living with HIV whose rights were abused sought legal redress.

Civil society organizations, like the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice, play essential roles in delivering services to and advocating for people living with HIV and key populations. But countries are increasingly passing laws that restrict the ability of these kinds of non-governmental organizations to operate. In 2019, 50 countries had drafted legislation or implemented laws that prevent NGOs from performing their work. Since then, restrictive legislation has continued to appear, in Mexico, Tunisia, and elsewhere. The UNDP is working with multiple stakeholders on strategies to create an open civic space and legal environments which allow full engagement of civil society.

Efforts to halt the spread of HIV and to care for people living with it are far less effective in countries that criminalize people living with HIV and key populations, and decriminalization efforts are moving far too slowly. There is, however, cause for hope. At the recently-concluded 24th International AIDS Conference in Montreal, there was a sense of renewed purpose, solidarity and a recognition of the need to urgently advance decriminalization efforts.

If the world does not act on the science now; move toward decriminalizing and stop prosecuting people for HIV transmission, non-disclosure, or exposure; and deliver on its obligations, it won’t be possible to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Mandeep Dhaliwal is the director of the HIV and Health Group for the United Nations Development Programme.

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