Posted By: Francis Koster Published: October 25, 2020

When compared to other wealthy countries The United States has a life expectancy that ranks 35th in the world, and it is falling. If that was not bad enough, among the 50 states in America, the life expectancy of citizens of North Carolinas ranks 37th.  [2]  Why is that? When I was still working as an administrator in pediatrics, I would often pass through waiting rooms full of mothers holding crying children who had a birth defect.  With proper care during pregnancy, much of this damage was preventable.  These memories still break my heart. A key tool that prevents these birth defects and raises life expectancy is health insurance. As my dad used to say, “All behavior has consequences – good behavior, good consequences, bad behavior, bad consequences”.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: October 19, 2020

I have powerful memories of my mom, the mother of six, counting money at the kitchen table, sighing and scratching items from her shopping list because she realized we could not afford them. Sometimes she cried. While shopping, she taught me how to look out for overpriced items.  If her suspicions were aroused, she would do something like take a five-pound bag of potatoes over to the meat department and ask them to weigh it.  She was usually correct and they would have to reduce the price.  After a series of such events, we switched to another market. All behavior has consequences.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: October 15, 2020

I am one of six kids. My father was a very good man – but he was not what you would call “warm and huggy”. He expected us to pitch in and carry our weight in household chores from about the time the broom was twice as tall as you were, and heaven help you if you didn’t. One of his favorite lines was “All behavior has consequences – good behavior has good consequences; bad behavior has bad consequences”. When a bad consequence arose, he would often remind me and my brothers and sisters of the behavior that got us to it. Didn’t do homework? When report cards came around you were reminded of “All behavior has consequences….” Didn’t tie your shoe? Didn’t check your backpack for your lunch? Late for school because you didn’t keep your bicycle tires pumped up? “All behavior has ……”. I must confess I heard it a lot.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: October 4, 2020

Imagine an evening (pre-COVID-19) where you take your family out to dinner and all order a family-sized meal of seafood gumbo full of clams, shrimp, and other delights.  Yous.  You may get more than you bargained for. Turns out that when someone throws a plastic bottle into the ocean, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes invisible to humans – but it does not go away.[1] Most of the plastic made in the world winds up in water where it breaks down into invisible but long-lasting pieces which gets eaten by wildlife.  The bodies of fish, clams, crabs, and other water critters consume these microplastics contain plastic they ate.  Bigger fish eat the little fish, you eat the big fish and when you eat the seafood, you also get a dose of plastic.[2]  No charge will appear on your bill - but you will pay for it in your healthcare bills. If you ordered hot tea with dinner, things could get worse because a surprising number of brands of tea have plastic in the teabag dissolving astounding amounts of invisible microplastics into the hot tea water which wind up in your tummy.[3],[4]

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: September 22, 2020

Authored by Kevin Kendrick - Published in Wheel of 7680 - Rotary Magazine August 2020 This has been a remarkable year, mostly for all the wrong reasons. But as challenging as it has been for all of us on differing levels, there are people who are likely having more challenges than we can imagine. Some of these are the students attending CMS Title 1 schools and in particular, our 2nd and 3rd grade students. Here are a few facts:

  • 3rd grade reading proficiency is super-important. Educators say this is the point where most children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
  • According to a new report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters," your child's reading proficiency by third grade has a direct correlation to his success in high school and beyond.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 30, 2020

We pride ourselves for being a wealthy nation. It may shock you to learn that in this elite group, we rank 35th in life expectancy. [1] Invisible things in our environment are dramatically impacting our citizen’s health. A major contributing factor to our nation's awful life expectancy is that 72% of all American adults are either overweight or obese – and the percentage is rising. Since 1960, the weight of the average American adult increased by 28 pounds! [2], [3], [4]

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: April 7, 2020

Response to threats to our economy like the coronavirus usually come in at least two waves. We are headed for a real mess - but we could give it a silver lining. To see the size of the mess, look at this chart, which shows the number of unemployment insurance claims filed last week compared to the history of claims filed going back to 1967. Federal and state economic rescue efforts can fix two problems at once if we act quickly.

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 31, 2020

All eyes are watching for the impact of one invisible threat to America. There are actually two threats coming.  Some food will become hard to get. America imports one third of its fresh vegetables and more than half of its fresh fruit from from countries that already have the coronavirus epidemic. Importing food is not limited to acquiring food from other countries - the majority of America's heavily populated east coast states import fruits and veggys from west coast states. [1]

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 29, 2020

Today, using cell phones, apps and the internet, there is a proven, innovative, locally implementable solution that we can use while working from home or elsewhere (using ‘physical distance’, of course).

Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 12, 2017

It might surprise you to know that total healthcare spending in America is more than $10,000 for every man, woman, and child – annually.[1]    This total includes the money paid by private insurance companies, the Veterans Administration, Medicare, Medicaid, and the money paid directly by patients to doctors and hospitals, divided by the number of …

North Carolina Is Breaking My Heart Read More »


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