2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Google “electronic voting security” and you’ll get a lot of hits. With a contentious Presidential election just around the corner, people want their votes to count, and concerns about outdated electronic voting machines and the physical security of polling places are real.Fortunately for credit unions, leading technology available for running online votes about board members, bylaws changes and mergers is completely different from—and considerably more secure than—the general election voting systems now in the headlines.In fact, the national voting systems and the CUES eVote: Elect and Educate system are “two completely different systems and they can’t be compared,” says Deepak Prakash, vice president of eBallot (formerly Votenet Solutions), which powers eVote. “We do not share any systems or processes that general elections currently use.” continue reading »
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Quantum Governance team has had the opportunity to work with a great many credit unions throughout the U.S. and Canada—often with the core objective of improving the working relationship between the board and the CEO (including the members of the senior management team that report directly to the CEO). Frequently we are asked, “Is there an approach towards credit union governance we should adopt to best achieve this vital goal?”For most, we recommend adopting the framework of a “constructive partnership” between the board and the CEO/senior management team. One of our clients recently challenged us to define what we mean by a constructive partnership and put it in writing. This blog is the result of that thoughtful challenge.Origins of the Concept of ‘Constructive Partnership’The concept of a constructive partnership was first developed by Richard Chait, Ph.D., a nonprofit governance expert at Harvard University. In his book Governance as Leadership, Chait suggests the best way to frame the relationship between a board and CEO is by focusing primarily on effective collaboration, rather than on effective control (as is the case with the Carver model of “policy governance”).
This finding could mean that the Capitol area generally was contaminated with anthrax, which fits with certain environmental sampling data, or it could mean that some subjects were exposed to the anthrax envelope before it was opened or had contact with those in groups 1 and 2, the article says. The other three groups, enrolled for comparison, were from outside the Capitol area and consisted of (5) 2 people who had contracted anthrax infections as a result of previous attacks in 2001, (6) 12 with no anthrax exposure, and (7) 7 who were unexposed but had previously been vaccinated against anthrax. Among nonimmunized people, anthrax antibodies were found only in those who were in the building at the time of the attack, mostly in those who were in Daschle’s offices (when tested before vaccination). Anthrax was found in the nasopharyngeal samples of slightly less than half (47.5%) of workers in groups 1 and 2, including all 13 who were in the office where the letter was opened and lesser proportions of those in adjoining offices. None of the people outside the building had positive samples. All the volunteers in groups 1, 2, and 3 (those in the building when the letter was opened) were given antibiotic treatment immediately, and 10 of the 20 people in group 4 (those outside the building but in the vicinity) also opted to take antibiotics. In addition, 51 of the 59 people in groups 1 and 2 received 3 doses of anthrax vaccine starting several weeks after the attack. The postexposure 3-dose vaccination schedule was “highly immunogenic,” given that anti-PA antibodies were found in more than 94% of subjects and CMI responses were seen in more than 86%, the researchers write. In other studies, 99% to 100% seroconversion was seen with a preventive 3-dose schedule. The standard anthrax vaccination schedule, used in the US military, involves 6 doses over 18 months. The researchers studied 124 people, divided into seven groups. The first four groups consisted of (1) 28 people who were in or near Daschle’s office and had positive nasopharyngeal cultures for anthrax, (2) 31 who were in or near the office but had negative cultures, (3) 24 who were elsewhere in the Hart Senate Office Building, and (4) 20 who were outside the building but in the Capitol area (and were presumed to be unexposed). Scientists who prospectively studied people who were in the vicinity when the letter was opened report that even people who were outside the building showed immune responses to anthrax, suggesting that the deadly spores spread more widely than expected. The letter was one of several mailed to two US senators and several media offices in the fall of 2001, resulting in 22 cases of anthrax, 5 of them fatal. Two tests (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and fluorescence-activated cell sorting) were used to examine the subjects’ antibody and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses to two anthrax proteins: protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF). They conclude that antibiotic treatment protected the infected subjects, who were generally young, from becoming clinically ill. “We do not know whether higher exposure could result in clinical disease even with antibiotics or what happens in immunocompromised or immunologically immature populations,” they state. “Despite postexposure prophylaxis with antibiotics, inhalation of B[acillus] anthracis spores resulted in stimulation of the immune system and possibly subclinical infection, and the greater the exposure, the more complete the immune response,” says the report by Denise L. Doolan of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md., and associates from there and several other institutions. “Our data demonstrate that exposure to B. anthracis spores primed antibody and cellular responses in a dose-dependent and antigen-specific manner in immunized and unimmunized subjects, enhanced AVA-boost responses, and boosted recall responses in previously immunized subjects,” the researchers write. No significant differences in symptoms were seen between subjects with and without anthrax exposure and with and without immune responses, except for headache, which was more common in exposed people but correlated with the duration of antibiotic use. Jan 10, 2007 (CIDRAP News) The anthrax-laced letter sent to Sen. Tom Daschle’s office in 2001 may have affected more people than was recognized at the time, but the antibiotics and vaccinations given to potentially exposed people were highly effective, according to an immunologic study of the event. See also: The researchers, writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, also report that those who were exposed showed immune responses to anthrax even though they were immediately put on preventive antibiotic treatment. Further, they found that 3 doses of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)versus the standard 6-dose regimentriggered a strong immune response in those who were vaccinated after the attack. The researchers also report an inverse relationship between CMI responses and antibiotic treatment, which suggested that the treatment impeded anthrax spore germination, the report says. In the previously vaccinated volunteerswho were revaccinated during the studyimmune responses were strong even after a single new dose of vaccine. Doolan DL, Freilich DA, Brice GT, et al. The US Capitol bioterrorism anthrax exposures: clinical epidemiological and immunological characteristics. J Infect Dis 2007 Jan 15;195(2):174-84 [Full text] In the tests for CMI, the researchers found a direct relationship between presumed anthrax exposure and response rate. Unexpectedly, however, they found evidence of CMI in some people who were outside the building (group 4). For example, monocytic responses were detected in more than 70% of groups 1 and 2, 37.5% of group 3, and 30% of group 4. Monocytic responses for group 4 were significantly higher than those for unexposed controls (group 6). Hadler JL. Learning from the 2001 anthrax attacks: immunological characteristics. (Editorial) J Infect Dis 2007 Jan 15;195(2):163-4 [Full text] The data suggest, they add, that low-level anthrax exposure induces asymptomatic cellular immune responses without antibodies and that intermediate exposure induces both cellular and antibody responses.
Leading Edge Blog.com 18 Aug 2014Brendan Malone of The Leading Edge blog.com has just published an exclusive article exposing the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ) for their dishonesty and hypocrisy in using a new front website to target NZ medical professionals who don’t share their political and ideological views on abortion.ALRANZ have failed to disclose that they are the owners of the new website www.mydecision.org.nz , either on the website itself or in the official media release about the website yesterday.“Not only have they failed to disclose this important fact, but they have even used deliberately misleading statements, such as the claim that this website is a “new grassroots project” in their official media release” says Brendan Malone of the Leading Edge Blog.com.“This website exposes ALRANZ as an organisation riddled with grave hypocrisy. Just last year they strongly condemned a group of Southland pro-lifers who had requested that their local DHB release the details of practitioners who were participating in abortions in their local area so that pro-life people in Southland had the option to use alternative providers who did not carry out abortions if they so desired. ALRANZ called this “bullying” and “intimidation”, and they were vehement and did not hold anything back in their public condemnation of the proposal to publicise the names of NZ medical practitioners who carried out abortions.”“Yet, what ALRANZ is doing here is actually far worse because they have set up a website where people can make anonymous allegations against any medical practitioner or crisis pregnancy service without any acceptable standard of proof, or any basic natural justice protections for those New Zealanders who are being publicly accused on this website,” says Mr Malone.“This website is highly unethical and almost certainly leaves ALRANZ open to serious legal ramifications whenever false allegations are made on their new website – something that is inevitable given the nature of this site.”“This is probably why they have made the calculated decision to deliberately hide their involvement in this ugly attempt to target NZ medical practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres who exercise their legal right to not refer for abortions” says Brendan Malone.Read more details at the Leading Edge Blog.com article here:http://theleadingedgeblog.com/?p=6914Database lists GPs opposed to abortion Stuff co.nz 19 August 2014A new online database that lists doctors allegedly opposed to terminations and contraception is a “name and shame” exercise, an anti-abortion group says.The database on the website My Decision, which opened on Sunday, lists dozens of medical professionals who are said to oppose abortion. The site’s advocates say patients, as consumers, have a right to know who does not offer contraception or abortion referrals because of their moral or religious views.Patients are being invited to add to the list – and practitioners are also being invited to add their own names.However, a pro-life group said the database was a name and shame exercise that targeted doctors’ reputations.My Decision spokeswoman and reproductive rights activist Terry Bellamak said the database gave patients options to seek healthcare that met their needs. “From a consumer protection standpoint it makes sense for patients to know what their healthcare provider’s stance is before they get in there prepared to make decisions.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/10396593/Database-lists-GPs-opposed-to-abortion