PHI Membership Memo (No. 77)


As you may have noticed in the pages of the last Post-Polio Health, PHI recently rolled out a new campaign in which you can honor the health professionals, past or present, who have made a positive difference in your life.

The "Shining Star" campaign allows you to publicly convey your gratitude toward and provide well deserved recognition to that special health care worker – a person in the health care arena who really made a positive difference in your life.

We have all had medical people in our lives who do ordinary things that have made an extraordinary difference! They shone brightly for us during our darkest times. This is your chance to honor them in a meaningful way and support your post-polio cause. It is a win-win for all.

Read how to submit a nomination and see who has already been honored here.

PHI also offers a number of Zoom lectures for local support groups to utilize for their meetings. See all the topics we have on offer and talk to your support group leader about this great opportunity.

PHI President Daniel Wilson Interviewed for Article on Pandemic

PHI Board President Daniel Wilson, PhD, was recently featured in a Salon article, “How will COVID-19 change the future? Look to history.” Remarking on the development of the polio vaccine, Wilson says, “Culturally, the Salk vaccine especially, since it eliminated the fear of the most dreaded childhood disease, significantly increased the appreciation of what modern medicine could accomplish.” Read the rest of the article here.

Here are some more recently published articles on polio history:

"Racial Health Disparities Didn’t Start With Covid: The Overlooked History of Polio"

A new short video by Retro Report, produced by Karen Sughrue, looks at the history of racial health disparities as it pertains to polio. The piece points out that the coronavirus pandemic has been twice as deadly for Black Americans than whites and has highlighted racial disparities with roots in the past. The history of polio, they note, shows that racial and health disparities are not new, and that often they have been deliberately ignored.

Gini Laurie Featured on Missouri Historical Society Blog

The Missouri Historical Society recently highlighted the life and accomplishments of PHI founder Gini Laurie in their History Happens Here blog (“The ‘Grandmother’ of the Independent Living Movement”). The article includes images from the exhibit Seeking St. Louis: Reflections, which features a number of archival materials on loan from PHI and is currently on display at the Missouri History Museum.

New Portal Tracks COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Caregivers

The NIDILRR-funded Center for Research, Training, and Dissemination of Family Support for People with Disabilities Across the Life Course has published COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Caregivers, a portal for information about vaccine eligibility for unpaid family caregivers in each US state. Users can sort the data by state or eligibility, and can also search to find information about eligibility in a given state, including any required documentation. Each entry includes a link to a public information source such as a state agency or community health provider. The table is updated weekly on Mondays.

2021 National Survey on Health and Disability

The NIDILRR-funded Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) is conducting the 2021 National Survey on Health and Disability to understand how access to health care, insurance, and the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting the lives of people with disabilities. The survey is open to US adults over 18 years old, with any disability and any type of health care coverage, including no coverage. Individuals from southern states and those who identify as male are encouraged to participate. For more information, call 855/556-6328 (Voice/TTY) or email Participants may also complete the survey by phone. Participants will have a chance to win a $100 gift card. The survey closes April 30th.

Fear of Falling May Be Linked to Lower Physical Activity for People with Physical Disabilities

In NARIC's Research In Focus, they find that staying active may help people aging with physical disabilities to build strength, endurance, and balance, but fear of falling may keep them from getting out there. A growing number of people are aging with physical disabilities acquired earlier in life, such as muscular dystrophy (MD), multiple sclerosis (MS), post-polio syndrome (PPS), or spinal cord injury (SCI). People with these long-term physical disabilities may have fears about falling while performing everyday activities. Read the article.

From New Mobility

10 Step Guide to Accessible Gardening
If you've never tried gardening before, the benefits are enormous — from reduced stress to providing nutritious, inexpensive food. Tim Gilmer, who spent decades as an organic farmer, gives you a detailed breakdown for how to set up a manageable garden space on a deck, patio or other easily-accessible area.

Jeremy Strong to Play Jonas Salk in Adaptation of 'Splendid Solution'

Jeremy Strong is set to play Jonas Salk in the screen adaptation of Jeffrey Kluger’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, which follows Salk as he begins his polio research and his eventual discovery of the vaccine. Strong was last seen in Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 and is currently filming the next season of Succession, the hit HBO show that recently earned the actor an Emmy. His other feature credits include The Big Short, SelmaZero Dark Thirty and Lincoln.

Polio Survivors Encourage Others to Get Vaccinated

PHI relies on the generous support of our members. Please consider donating to support our efforts. Read our most recent annual letter to see the ways PHI has been busy supporting polio survivors.

Brian Tiburzi
Executive Director