630 Tarnished

By Stephen Brennan

630. When you read that the first thing that comes to your mind is just a number, and to most people it is a number. But today, April 13th 630 become more than just a number to Alex Rodriguez. He hit homerun number 630 today in Yankee Stadium tying him with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.  Yankee fans jumped in joyous, not only was it number 630 but it was also A-Rod’s first homerun and RBI of the season.

For many people this would be a historical moment, catching Ken Griffey Jr who is considerably the greatest all around baseball player of all time. But in my personal opinion his numbers do not mean anything anymore and he should not even be in the same conversation as Ken Griffey Jr. About 6 years ago there was a secret released that would forever ruin A-Rod’s career and anything he ever accomplished.

Alex Rodriguez tested positive for performance enhancing drugs or as we like to call them steroids. Lately the number of athletes testing positive has definitely increased with all of the medical innovations steroids seem like the logical answer when trying to come back from an injury quicker. But they are illegal to take as a professional athlete and since he tested positive his legacy is forever tarnished.

He should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame, they should even take his home run numbers out of the book and make sure nobody knows about them, just like they should do with Barry Bonds. Cheaters should not be rewarded that sets a bad example for all children growing up wanting to become baseball players. It’s time to lay down the law and make sure that everyone knows that this will not be tolerated. Don’t celebrate 630, destroy it.


The Art of Kindness

By Stephen Brennan

With the 5th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Cleveland Browns select, Trent   Richardson, former RB out of Alabama. This is what Trent Richardson is hoping to hear on Thursday, April 26th and finally fulfill his lifelong dream of playing RB in the NFL. Trent is the top running back prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft and his bulky size and forceful downhill running are very appealing to certain teams in the NFL. But, about a week ago this was not the most important thing happening in his life.

On Friday, April 13th, Trent Richardson had a couple more things to worry about than what was going to happen in the NFL Draft. Introduce, Courtney Alvis who is a 17 year old high school senior but, who is also a cancer survivor. Courtney had to miss most of junior year because of kemo treatments and there had been a lot of rocky times in her life. But on April 13th everything seemed to change when Courtney was getting ready for prom. She finally had all of her hair back, she was confident, Courtney was beginning to look like her old self, but because of the treatments she missed out on a lot of things and did not have a date to the prom.

That’s right folks, Trent Richardson took Courtney to her first prom. What a great night for both of them, Courtney won prom queen and I am sure Trent had a fun time answering everybody’s questions and signing all of those autographs. Trent was quoted as saying, “I’m not doing this just to make someone happy, this was my choice, my mother is also a cancer survivor so this is something that I wanted to do.” He’s an animal on the field, Trent Richardson might just be one of the nicest guys to ever come through the NFL, and would be the perfect face of a franchise down the road.

Steward Health Care System

“We believe in world-class health care where you live.”

By Molly Clarke and Meghan Crozier

Steward Health Care System is a fully integrated community care program headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Essentially, this means Steward is a network of community hospitals and health care providers that works together to serve the health care needs of the surrounding populations. This includes sharing resources such as their world-class physician group and clinical information technology. As a result Steward is able to offer the highest quality of care to their patients.

Steward Health Care is the second largest health care system in New England and also the second largest private employer in Massachusetts.  Steward has approximately 14,000 employees serving more than one million patients annually in 85 communities in Massachusetts.  Their network is currently made up of 10 hospitals and quickly growing.  Steward’s hospitals include:  Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton. President and CEO of Steward Health Care is Dr. Ralph de la Torre.

Steward Health Care is a very new brand.  It was established in 2010 when private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management purchased Caritas Christi Health Care and renamed it Steward Health Care System LLC. Caritas Christi Health Care had been a non-profit, Roman Catholic health care provider consisting of six New England hospitals. After being purchased by Cerberus Capital Management and converted into Steward Health Care System, the network no longer operated as a non-profit and began paying state and local taxes in order to provide established levels of free care to those in need.

Today, Steward Health Care is developing rapidly. They have been selected as one of the 32 health care systems nationwide to participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Steward has also announced that it is looking to expand even further.  CEO, Dr. Ralph de la Torre revealed earlier this year at the J.P Morgan Health Care Conference in San Fran Cisco, that the company has future plans to mimic their regional approach to health care on the national level.

Strategically speaking, Steward Health Care System is positioned to thrive in the new health care environment.  With talk of further growth and expansion, the Steward marketing team is pulling out all the stops.  Coming off a highly successful Super Bowl Ad Campaign, the team has even bigger advertisement efforts in the works.  One medium that Steward has yet to tap into, however, is the world of social media.  Although the company is often ahead of the curve when employing the latest technologies and marketing strategies, their online brand is surprisingly lacking. Currently in place are the company’s main website and YouTube channel.  Other than that Steward Health Care has virtually no other online presence.

When interviewing Chris Murphy, director of media relations, we were able to ask him why the company had not attempted to harness the power of social media.  His answer, Steward Health Care has been in a constant state of growth since its establishment in 2010. The marketing team has been focused on larger initiatives in order to effectively support this growth.  However, now that the company has become more established, the team is beginning to consider the use of social media as a way to increase their online presence.

For health care providers, using social media constructively has almost become an exact science. Concerns about privacy and liability surround the use of social media in this field causing many to hesitate before jumping on the social media bandwagon.  In February however, many logged on to Twitter to witness the world’s first ever live-tweeted open-heart surgery from a hospital in Houston; a sure sign that the hospital industry has begun to welcome social media with open arms.

Our social media plan for Steward Health Care System has been created methodically to ensure that the company is able to learn for themselves how best to leverage social media in a manner that enables them to meet their specific organizational and business goals without violating industry guidelines.

Before embarking on their social media quest, we suggest that in order to have complete control over social media messaging, distribution and interaction, the company should strictly develop an online brand for Steward Health Care rather than dividing social media use by individual hospitals.  Steward should also distinguish and set specific goals for themselves as a company regarding what they wish to accomplish through the use of Social Media.  More specifically, it will be important to pinpoint the main audiences they wish to target online and even more importantly which social media platforms are best suited to reach this audience. We urge Steward to systematically plan their use of social media in stages rather than rushing into all platforms at once. This will help the company create a more effective and lasting social media presence.  Once a specific plan has been laid out, it would be beneficial for Steward to consider what type of branding they will be doing online and how to present consistent messaging across all social media platforms.

Having given these specific instructions and discussing them with Chris Murphy, we suggest that Steward Health Care utilize social media to expand the Steward Brand. This may include emphasizing company news, outlining the new business model, marketing physicians and important medical advances, and lastly gaining and keeping a strong patient following.  According to Steward’s specific goals and needs we have recommended that, over time, they create accounts on both Facebook and Twitter. We also suggest that they create a company blog and continue to post all company videos to the Steward Health Care System YouTube channel. These four outlets will provide access to Steward patients across the system and if used effectively each social media platform will be able to drive traffic to each of the others for optimum social media exposure.

We believe that creating a company blog will be the most beneficial platform to begin online branding. Blogging gives companies a great amount of freedom to control and develop content that their consumers, or in Steward’s case patients, will be interested in. Posts on the blog could focus on something as particular as a single physician or even something as broad as the health care industry. Other ideas include posts about company growth, leadership, and the healthcare reform. Local, regional, and even national industry news would also make appropriate blog posts. Posts can take the form of traditional articles, question and answers, professional commentary, links, and relevant videos.

A Steward-branded Twitter account would be useful in directing traffic towards all other social media platforms, particularly the company website and blog.  We suggest tweeting about news articles, executive speaking engagements, new initiatives, and new technologies at hospitals within Steward Health Care System.  It is important to follow other health care leaders as well as regularly engagE with them. This could take the form of retweeting noteworthy information or quoting an important speaker. This step will help Steward gain a larger following and could result in improving its’ name.

Facebook could be used similarly to cross-promote Steward’s presence. Facebook differs from Twitter in that it is more effective in sharing photographs and we suggest that Steward Health Care use this difference to their advantage. Facebook is also a great tool to get patient feedback. Prompt responses to both complaints and praise will be a valuable step to creating a good reputation for Steward online.  Many companies use Facebook to hold contests and offer deals to their online following. Although the health care industry is slightly different and may not be able to do so, we urge Steward to think creatively to engage their Facebook fans.

One thing we asked Steward to keep in mind is that Social Media, unlike almost every other form of marketing and advertising, is interactive. They will receive all types of feedback from their audience- good and bad. A company must be willing to take both constructively and respond in a way that reflects the values and goals of Steward Health Care. Although this poses concerns for many, we choose to see this as an opportunity to remain open and honest with consumers.


Reduce stress: get a pet

By Alicia Deily

When many college students leave home for the first time they often report missing their pets the most out. As students move through their college career, move off campus and graduate, they may get a pet of their own. Is getting a pet actually beneficial?

I got my first pet on my own this summer when my roommate rescued a cat from her hometown. We named our new cat Babygirl. At first I wondered if we would have enough time to care for her or if she would have enough space in our tiny city apartment. I was used to my parents caring for our cat and being able to let her out to roam free outside. However, within the first few months of owning Babygirl I came to realize that I truly enjoyed having a pet.

After a long stressful day Babygirl is always at the front door waiting for me and following me around the apartment. She is also always the center of attention at parties and friends always  stop by to see her.

Studies have long shown that having a pet can be greatly beneficial to the elderly and the sick. However, recent studies also show that pets can help young adults cope with stressful or difficult situations. Learn more about the benefits of pet ownership as a student.

Both young adults and college students typically deal with a lot of stress. They often work long hours with little pay and must deal with school related work. Owning  a pet may be the thing to help relieve this stress.

Research also shows that pets can promote a general sense of health and well being. Taking care of another living thing can also be a way to gain more responsibility and learn valuable life skills. Studies show that people who own pets are actually less selfish. Read more about the benefits of pets here.

A cat may be a good ‘starter pet’ since they tend to be more low maintenance. A dog may be the pet to own when you have a more reliable job schedule. This is due to the fact that they need to be let out every 7 or 8 hours.

Here are some links to some ‘No Kill’ shelters in the Boston area. If you are living off campus next year or graduating definitely consider getting a pet.

Text and Its “Emotions”

ROTFL = a quiet smirk

By Zachary Gray

At lunch the other day, a group of friends sitting behind me were discussing interpretations of text messages. The debate was over the meaning of a girl sending “hey,” but with multiple “y”s. It may seem far-fetched to determine a person’s motives or emotions via text, but in a day and age where asking someone on a date via text message is common, it may not be that crazy.

My personal experiences with conversation via text start back in 7th grade, when I created my AOL Instant Messenger account. This was a time before I had a cellphone, so AIM was the place to keep in touch with a majority of my friends in school. I had to decipher the lol’s, omg’s, and lmfao’s and translate them to real-life human emotions. The longer the lmaooooooooo or the capitalization of HAHAHAHH, the stronger the emotion.

I would come to the realization that the hours spent on AIM would simply be a waste. “Friends” I’d talk to online or via SMS text message in the following years lacked the desire to speak in person. It was as if they were a completely different person online as opposed to the real world. In some cases, they were just bored at home and felt like wasting time typing on a keyboard.

After several years of meaningless conversation, I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to interpet text is simply illogal. The younger generations have lost their ability to communicate in person like normal human beings. Even when a person types “lol,” he or she is typically staring emotionless at the screen. They’re incapable of communicating in person and lack personality via text.

So the next time you or some friends are debating what “heyyyyyyy” means chick’s message, she probably really enjoys the letter Y.

Boston-You’re my home

By Justyn Loguidice

Many say that they will travel anywhere if a good opportunity arises. To be brunt, I am not one of them. Growing up in New England has become a way of life. This custom lifestyle though at times mundane is something I have no interest in leaving anytime soon.

Do I wish I had the ability to change the abundance of cloudy days, the 5 months of cold and snow, of course I do, but it all adds to the lifestyle. Once you really sit back and look at it from a New Englanders’ perspective, it sure is tough to leave.

Once I graduate my responsibilites will be to enter the working world, but this working world is not going to change where I am or how I live my life. Time will be less abundant, money will be going to bills, but I will remain entranced in New England culture.

The ideal situation is to have a winter home in a warmer state, but to have no residency in New England is just not an option. While many complain (including myself), there truly is no place like it. From the sports to the people to the lifestyle, it is all unique.

Whether you are taking a walk along the Charles, going to a Red Sox game, going “up north” to New Hampshire to check out the foilage, New England offers and array of desires, desires that I cannot see leaving. To grow up here is something that I have cherished, and wouldn’t be something that I would willingly leave from. A ten below wind chill battering your face on a cold winters day is all part of the glory (For the most part)

New England is not made for everyone, and I truly feel it takes a special breed to live and prosper in it. If you are one of the lucky ones that is able to have grown up in such an environment, think of all the positives, and admire the location surrounding you. While it is not always perfect that Standells said it best: “Oh, Boston you’re my home” .

Easter at Lasell

By Will Henry

The holiday known as Easter is celebrated differently by many of the students who take classes here at Lasell College. Many students go home while other students stay here at school. There are a number of reasons as to why most students, including myself, may have chosen to stay here at Lasell rather than go home to spend the holiday with their family members. Here are a few of them.

One reason as to why Lasell students such as myself choose to stay on campus for Easter is our weekly class schedules. Many students have classes the day after Easter that can complicate their plans to get back to school for their classes that could take place in the early morning hours on Monday. I myself had a class at 8am this morning which really drove my plans of seeing my family into a rut. I told my parents that in order for me to come home for Easter, they would have to drive me back to school on the same night. I don’t have a car of my own on campus that would allow me to travel back and forth from Lasell to my house at my own leisure. Because of that 8am class, Easter time with my family was a no-go.

Another reason for many students here at Lasell not to go home for Easter is the distance from their hometown and the college. Many friends of mine here at Lasell live out of state and when I mean out of state I really mean put of state. Two of the basketball players here at Lasell that I know very well, Brock Walters and Arthur Alexander, live down in Florida. Nery Guerra, one of the star Men’s Soccer players, lives down in Guatemala, so traveling home for Easter is way out of the question for him. It makes me feel bad that I only live 30 minutes from this college while other students don’t have that kind of travel luxury.

Another reason many students couldn’t go home for Easter was that they were athletes who had games to go to or had practice to take part in on Sunday or Monday morning. Athletes can’t miss practice and/or games of their sport for these kind of reasons, which is kind of unfair when you look at it.