World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st


Tomorrow March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day. This a day dedicated to raising awareness of Down Syndrome. 2018 marks the 13th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, and this year focuses on how people with Down Syndrome make meaningful contributions throughout their lives. This years hash tag related to World Down Syndrome day is #WhatIBringToMyCommunity.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, which is where genetic material is stored. Genes carry the instruction manual for all of our inherited traits, and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. In the typical person, each parent provides 1/2 of every pair of chromosomes (23 pairs in total). Down Syndrome occurs when a person is born with a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material changes development and causes the characteristics associated with Down Syndrome. Nearly 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States has Down syndrome.

Physical Traits and Characteristics of People with Down Syndrome

  •  Low Muscle Tone
  • Small Stature
  • Upward Slant to the Eyes
  • Flatter Faces
  • Protruding Tongue
  • Loose Joints

Babies born with Down Syndrome are typically an average size at birth, but may grow more slowly than others. Additionally, due to their low muscle tone and loose joints, they may have trouble holding themselves and keeping their heads upright.

Misconceptions about Down Syndrome

Traditionally, parents who had children with Down Syndrome were encouraged from an early age to institutionalize them, the reasoning behind this being that they would not be able to live normal lives, and be a burden on their families. In reality, many people with Down Syndrome live on their own with limited assistance, hold jobs, and have romantic relationships just like anyone else. Below are some additional popular misconceptions about Down Syndrome.

  • Only older parents have children with Down syndrome
    • According to the CDC, about 80% of children who have down syndrome are born to women younger than 35. There could be a discrepancy in this information, however, as on average younger woman have more babies.
  • People with Down syndrome die young
    • The average life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome is nearly 60 years old. Some people with Down syndrome live into their 80s.
  • People with Down syndrome can’t read or write
    • The majority of children with Down syndrome can learn to read and write.
  • All people who have Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer’s disease
    • Nearly 100% of people with Down syndrome will have the plaques and tangles in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, however this does not mean that they have the actual symptomatic disease. One study from 1989 indicates that between 20-55% of people with Down syndrome with develop symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.
  • People with Down syndrome cannot have children
    • While it is true that a person with Down syndrome may have challenges conceiving, women who have Down syndrome are fertile and can give birth. There are some older studies that are currently being investigated, which claim that men with Down syndrome are infertile. However, there have been a handful of documented instances in which men with Down syndrome have fathered children.
  • People with Down syndrome are always happy
    • People with Down syndrome have different moods and feelings, the same as anyone else. In fact, one recent literature review of previous studies found that people with Down syndrome are at a higher risk for depression, and there is evidence to suggested that it is under-treated.



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Fargo-Moorhead Event on March 21! Keeping Tech/Social Media Positive & Healthy

Cyber Bulling statistics show that over half of teens have been bullied online and have engaged in cyber bulling. They also show that more than 1 in 3 teens have experienced cyber threats online. Come join Professor Dave Eisenmann on March 31st for a presentation for parents and students about keeping technology and social media positive and healthy for students of all ages.  This is a FREE event and is open to the community. Eisenmann will be giving the presentation from 7PM-8:30PM at the First Lutheran Church in Fargo. This presentation will cover topics about cyber bullying and harassment, sexting, and the dangers of pornography. Why students should be careful about information that they share online through Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter and how this a permanent digital record will also be covered in the presentation by Eisenmann. Attend this event to help students all ages understand how to keep their technology and social media positive and healthy.

For more information about this event click here:

Poison Prevention Week 2018


2016 statistics show that there is an average of 1 poison exposure reported to U.S. poison control centers every 14.6 seconds. Fortunately, not all reported incidents resulted in an actual poisoning. Do you know how to avoid a poisoning incident or what to do in the case a possible poisoning does occur? The Health Resources and Services Administration has dedicated March 15-21 as Poison Prevention Week to bring awareness. Read on to learn more about poison prevention and care.

  • A good start to preparing for or handling a poison incident is to have the Poison Help line written in a convenient location. That number is 1-800-222-1222. Keep the number in your phone and have a magnet on your fridge.
  • Poison proof your home. Keep medications in properly labeled containers and stored appropriately. Have properly functioning carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms and furnaces. Keep cleaning supplies in proper containers and out of reach of children. Keep an eye on children when they are using craft supplies that may be made with chemicals and wash all surfaces after contact with the supplies. Use proper food preparation and storage techniques such as washing hands before handling food and storing foods at proper temperatures. Know what animals, insects, and plants are in your area that may be poisonous such as snakes and mushrooms.
  • What do you do if you suspect a possible poisoning? Do your best to stay calm and call the Poison Help line. Doing so may save you a trip to the Emergency Room. However, if the person is not breathing you must call 911. When you call the help line, an expert will be able to help you by giving first aid advice. If the poison was inhaled, get fresh air immediately. If the poison came in contact with the body, take off clothing that has been touched by the poison and rinse the skin with running water for 15-20 minutes. If the poison in in the eyes, rinse the eyes with running water for 15-20 minutes.

Being aware of possible poisoning incidents will help you be better prepared when a real incident occurs. Know what materials and organisms may be putting you at risk. Finally, if an incident does occur, do not wait for signs of a poisoning to call for help.

Where will you travel to in 2018? Be safe while you are there!


In 2017, about 79,767,026 United States citizens traveled internationally. Traveling has increased in popularity over the years and the industry grows every year. Traveling is exciting and fun, but it is important to stay safe and healthy while at your chosen destination. Whether you are traveling for work or adventure, take a look below for some safety and health tips while traveling abroad.

  • Travel Advisories: Are you traveling to a safe location? The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs issues travel advisories for each country. There are four levels based on safety and security risk. Where does your destination land?
    1. Exercise normal precautions
    2. Exercise increased caution
    3. Reconsider travel
    4. Do not travel
  • STEP: This acronym stands for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. It gives travelers information and updates about their location. It also allows the U.S. Embassy to contact you in the case of an emergency.
  • Weather: What’s the weather like? Does it rain often? Is it tropical storm season? Bring appropriate clothing and have a plan in the case severe weather conditions occur.
  • Driving and Road Safety: Do you plan on driving yourself while at your destination? Make sure you know the laws and road conditions (and what roads to avoid) as well as driving norms (i.e. driving on the left side of the road rather than the right side). Carry spare tires and extra fuel. Make sure you have the proper driving permits and documentation. Some countries require international driving permits
  • Medications, Vaccines, and Hospital Availability: Will you be bringing medications with you? It is advised to carry a doctor’s note that describes your medical condition, leave your medications in their original container with a clear label. Check out your destination’s drug policies to see if your medications are allowed. Another tip to consider is to see what vaccinations are recommended for traveling in general or for your particular destination. You should also have a plan if you do happen to get ill or injured. Find a doctor or hospital to go to and see if your insurance covers you while abroad. It’s important to be prepared.
  • Food Safety: Avoid foodborne illnesses and other diseases by practicing good eating and drinking habits. Safe foods are typically thoroughly cooked and hot. Packaged foods are also typically safe to eat. Bottled and canned beverages are also safe to drink. However, make sure bottles have not been tampered with and wipe the mouth of the can clean before drinking. Raw food, tap water (and ice made from tap water), and fountain drinks can be risky. Also use precaution when eating from street vendors as they may have decreased hygiene standards.
  • Belonging Safety: We all may have heard stories about belonging getting stolen while traveling. To avoid having your own belongings taken, don’t keep everything in one place. When going out, only bring the necessities and do not carry them in your back pocket. If you are carrying a purse or bag, keep it toward the front of your body. If you happen to be in a situation where someone is trying to take something of yours, it may be best not to fight for it. Although this may be hard to do and not your first reaction, you should remember that your safety is more important.
  • Money: What kind of money is used (i.e. Euros, Pesos, British pound)? You may wish to pick up some currency at your U.S. bank to reduce the cost of exchanging dollars into local currency overseas. Research the use of credit cards if you plan to use one. Call your credit card company to let them know you are traveling or your card may be declined overseas.

While these tips do not cover all areas of travel health and safety, they are a good start! We hope that this information will provide a safer and healthier experience while traveling abroad.

Calling All RNs! RN-BSN Applications Due April 1st, 2018!


Interested in earning your BSN? Check out MSUM!


  • TOTALLY ONLINE. MSUM’s RN to BSN program is totally online, it is highly regarded, students love it, and employers see great gains with BSN graduates.
  • EXPERT FACULTY Your faculty are experts in their area of practice, as well as distance education.  Dedicated, accessible and supportive.
  • EFFICIENT PATH. On average, it takes AD-RN students just 40 credits to complete the BSN. The typical part-time path takes two years. (the pace depends on your transfer courses and personal situation)
  • AFFORDABLE. The MSU Moorhead tuition is very reasonable, your degree at MSUM is a value beyond any in the region.
  • INDIVIDUALIZED. Each RN-BSN student works at their own unique pace without any pressure to stay within a ‘cohort’ or prescribed schedule. Some students study one course/term and others go full-time – it’s YOUR decision.
  • REAL EXPERIENCES. Four courses include clinical assignments which occur in YOUR community (few work with you to arrange them – no traditional clinicals here).
  • AND MORE !



  • The next general application pool review deadline is April 1, 2018.  Rolling admissions will continue into April/May, and close as soon as the Fall 2018 course fills.


Application Info & More


Thank YOU !  

How to Stay Safe over Spring Break

Spring Break

Spring Break is here! But before you celebrate, make sure to check out some information on how to stay safe over spring break. Below we’ve included a couple of popular places college students go for spring break, and how to stay safe.

1. Key West

Known for its thriving nightlife, unenforced open container laws, and lenient nudity laws, Key West is every party lovers dream. However, if you are planning on drinking heavily or spending lots of time in the sun, there are a few things you should know.

  • Remember Your Suncreen
    • Many people while on spring break forget about practical concerns while having fun. If you are going to be spending all day at the beach, bring along a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Wearing sunscreen reduces the risk of a sunburn, which can range from uncomfortable and unflattering to dangerous. Sunscreen can also help prevent skin cancer
  • Drink Water
    • Most people know that it’s important to drink water in conjunction with alcohol, but its also important to rehydrate if you are doing something that makes you sweat a lot, such as dancing in a club or tanning at the beach. Dehydration can make you dizzy or give you a headache, and if you become severely dehydrated, you may even need to go to the hospital to get an IV, which is not the kind of spring break destination most people are seeking.
  • Watch Your Drink
    • Keep an eye on your drink. Don’t leave it unattended while you use the washroom, accept drinks from strangers, or leave it at the bar when you go to dance. These give someone the opportunity to dose your drink with any number of drugs, including but not limited to rohypnol and ketamine. These can leave you incapacitated and highly suggestible, and are the most popular date rape drugs.
  • Don’t Feel Pressured to Keep Up
    • People who consume alcohol, especially those under the legal drinking age, are known to partake in binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as drinking 4-5 drinks in the span of about two hours. Binge drinking can stress your liver, as well as cause vomiting and impaired coordination. Additionally, don’t feel pressured to keep up with other people drinking. Recognize when you have had enough to drink, and be okay with calling it quits.

2.  Colorado

Colorado is a very popular spring break destination due to its popular hiking, skiing, and its many local craft breweries. It is also visited because marijuana is legal. Below are some tips on staying safe in the Centennial State.

  • Be Prepared
    • Before hiking or skiing, research the level of difficulty of your slope or path, and don’t go too high above your skill level as its not safe. Check the weather and make sure you are dressed appropriately. If the forecast calls for cold or snow, dress in heavy materials and thick socks and boots. If it calls for rain, wear a rain jacket and rain boots or waterproof tennis shoes, and if it calls for sun, make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
  • Do Some Research
    • An attraction of Colorado is their legal marijuana status. If you choose to partake, research laws and make sure you are doing so legally. Additionally, if you have never used marijuana before, make sure you take it slow and don’t feel pressured to keep up with more experienced smokers.

Some Additional Tips

  • Use the Buddy System
    • Try to always go to places either in a group or with someone else. If you do need to leave a situation or want to go somewhere by yourself, make sure to tell your friends so they know where you are going and when you arrive safely at your destination.
  • Protect Yourself
    • Make sure you are protected from both potential thieves and attackers. Do not stay on the first floor of a hotel, as it is a prime target for thieves. If you must, store your valuables in a hotel safe when sleeping or leaving your room. Make sure to carry pepper spray or a sound grenade to defend yourself. Do not depend on your physical ability alone.
  • Practice Safe Sex
    • Make sure both you and your partner are able to consent: if someone is drunk or otherwise inebriated, they cannot give consent. Use protection, and ask your partner if they have any history of STI’s. Remember- condoms do not prevent all STI’s, and birth control, while it does prevent pregnancy, does not protect against any STI’s.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

Links Used

America’s Top 20 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations 2015


Rare Disease Day: What is a Rare Disease?

rare-disease-day-logoRare Disease Day is tomorrow, February 28th. The objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness about the impact of rare diseases on peoples lives. It targets not only the general public, but also policy makers, researchers, health professionals, and other people in places of power that have an ability to make change. Rare Disease Day is always on the last day of February. The first Rare Disease Day was on February 29th, as it is considered a “rare” date. However now it is on the last day of February every year, as February has a “rare” number of days compared to other months.

What is a Rare Disease?

A disorder or disease is defined as rare in the USA when it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time.

  • 80% of rare diseases have been identified to originate in genetic code. The remaining 20% are the result of infections, whether that be bacterial or viral, allergies and environment, or are degenerative and proliferate. 50% of these rare diseases affect children.

Common Problems Faced

Many patients wait a long time to receive a diagnosis due to a lack of scientific knowledge and quality information on rare diseases. This can prolong pain and suffering and delay treatment that may alleviate some symptoms or pain. There are often no existing effective cures to rare diseases, which adds to the high level of pain and suffering experienced by patients and their families. Additionally, due to the lack of knowledge, there are many difficulties in accessing treatment and care, which can cause excessive social and financial burdens. Misdiagnosis is not uncommon, as there are many disorders with relatively common symptoms that can hide underlying rare diseases. Symptoms not only differ from disease to disease but also from patient to patient, adding to the difficulty of diagnosis.

Some Examples of Rare Diseases

  1. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria
    • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria is a genetic condition that is characterized by the dramatic physical changes, namely rapid aging in childhood. There is no cure or established treatment procedure. Doctors mainly focus on reducing complications that arise with the condition
  2. Fields’ Disease
    • Fields’ Disease is named after two twins from Wales, and does not have a medical name. Doctors class it as a neuromuscular disease which causes the muscles in the body to slowly deteriorate.
  3. Von Hippel-Lindau
    • Von Hippel-Lindau is characterized by the growth of tumors in the central nervous system. The tumors are often benign, and are made of blood vessels. They are medically known as Hemangioblastomas, and can grown in the retina, brain, and spinal cord.



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