Diabetes Awareness and the Impact on Health Care Reform

As most clinicians know, diabetes is a serious disease that requires life long management and is one of the biggest challenges to U.S. healthcare. But an even more pressing problem is the dramatic increase in diabetes while awareness of the disease and how to prevent it remains low. Causes of diabetes, particularly type 2–sometimes referred to as adult-onset diabetes–are primarily due to the lack of a healthy diet (adding to the nation’s obesity epidemic) and a sedentary lifestyle. While the causes and effects of this disease are well known among the medical industry and insurance companies, evidence indicates a profound lack of diabetes awareness among the general population.

This phenomenon is not unique to the U.S. Just as our diets and lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past few decades, such as dining out more often, increasing our intake of corn sugar, and replacing physically demanding jobs with desk jobs, we’re also exporting these bad habits across the globe. Countries such as China are experiencing an explosion of obesity in their population, something that was almost unheard of in the past, as they’ve taken a liking to western foods and habits. The obesity epidemic in China is a precursor to a diabetes crisis of their own. It’s estimated that the number of people living with diabetes worldwide will rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030. The impact on society in health care costs (including health insurance and medical treatments) and lost productivity will be enormous, and no amount of health care reform will be able to manage the resulting deluge.

But what can be done to raise awareness and stop the rise of this disease and reduce the resulting health care costs? Isn’t it a matter of personal responsibility to develop healthy lifestyles for true health? Many ideas are being considered in health care reform and by insurance companies to pursue this course of action. For example, health care reform may initiate a Fat Tax on overweight individuals. People suffering from diabetes have on average higher medical treatment costs. Would this be a good example of personal responsibility? It would increase awareness, but there may be a backlash. And what role should insurance companies play in this debate? As it now stands, insurance companies are still going to play a big role in health care reform. One of the biggest changes for these companies is the requirement that no more than 20 percent of revenues can be used for anything other than direct medical costs. This provides a big incentive to reduce health care costs by promoting healthy lifestyles. Another consideration by insurance companies is increasing health insurance rates for overweight individuals through charging higher co-pays or annual premiums, or to cap medical treatment (ration health care). And what if insurance companies simply dropped high risk individuals? Many who practice personal responsibility for their health care argue that they pay too much in health care costs because they are force to share the costs of the unhealthy through higher health insurance rates.

So how can we promote healthy lifestyles and personal responsibility in a way that will improve overall health care and reduce health insurance rates such as improving a healthy diet to reduce the obesity epidemic? This is the perhaps the biggest issue facing the U.S. healthcare system today. By developing a healthcare systems that promotes personal responsibility to prevent disease rather than one that focuses on medical treatment, we all win with the resulting healthier population and significant health care cost savings. It will require a paradigm change for all citizens and the medical community, but if we’re to live in a country that can provide affordable health care and health insurance, and afford health care reform that will underwrite health care costs for the poor and elderly, we’re going to have to move in this direction.

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Order of the Eastern Star decorative wall plate – the back indicates that it was hand painted in Japan. I’m guessing only the stars were hand painted.
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Image by antefixus21
Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives[2] as well as allowing Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangles (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when of age.

The Order was created by Rob Morris in 1850 when he was teaching at the Eureka Masonic College in Richland, Mississippi. While confined by illness, he set down the principles of the order in his Rosary of the Eastern Star. By 1855, he had organized a "Supreme Constellation" in New York, which chartered chapters throughout the United States.

In 1866, Dr. Morris started working with Robert Macoy, and handed the Order over to him while Morris was traveling in the Holy Land. Macoy organized the current system of Chapters, and modified Dr. Morris’ Rosary into a Ritual.

On December 1, 1874, Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 became the first Prince Hall Affiliatechapter of the Order of the Eastern Star when it was established in Washington, D.C. by Thornton Andrew Jackson.[3]

The "General Grand Chapter" was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 6, 1876. Committees formed at that time created the Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star in more or less its current form.[4]

The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards towards the manger. In the Chapter room, the downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories inspired by Biblical figures:

Adah (Jephthah’s daughter, from the Book of Judges)
Ruth, the widow from the Book of Ruth
Esther, the wife from the Book of Esther
Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus, from the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John
Electa (the "elect lady" from II John), the mother

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Order of the Eastern Star

General Grand Chapter logo
The Order of the Eastern Star is a Freemasonicappendant body open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a noted Freemason. The order is based on teachings from the Bible,[1] but is open to people of all religious beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter.

Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives[2] as well as allowing Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangles (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when of age.

Contents
HistoryEdit
The Order was created by Rob Morris in 1850 when he was teaching at the Eureka Masonic College in Richland, Mississippi. While confined by illness, he set down the principles of the order in his Rosary of the Eastern Star. By 1855, he had organized a "Supreme Constellation" in New York, which chartered chapters throughout the United States.

In 1866, Dr. Morris started working with Robert Macoy, and handed the Order over to him while Morris was traveling in the Holy Land. Macoy organized the current system of Chapters, and modified Dr. Morris’ Rosary into a Ritual.

On December 1, 1874, Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 became the first Prince Hall Affiliatechapter of the Order of the Eastern Star when it was established in Washington, D.C. by Thornton Andrew Jackson.[3]

The "General Grand Chapter" was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 6, 1876. Committees formed at that time created the Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star in more or less its current form.[4]

Emblem and heroinesEdit
The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards towards the manger. In the Chapter room, the downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories inspired by Biblical figures:

Adah (Jephthah’s daughter, from the Book of Judges)
Ruth, the widow from the Book of Ruth
Esther, the wife from the Book of Esther
Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus, from the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John
Electa (the "elect lady" from II John), the mother
OfficersEdit

Officers representing the heroines of the order sit around the altar in the center of the chapter room.

Eastern Star meeting room
There are 18 main officers in a full chapter:

Worthy Matron – presiding officer
Worthy Patron – a Master Mason who provides general supervision
Associate Matron – assumes the duties of the Worthy Matron in the absence of that officer
Associate Patron – assumes the duties of the Worthy Patron in the absence of that officer
Secretary – takes care of all correspondence and minutes
Treasurer – takes care of monies of the Chapter
Conductress – Leads visitors and initiations.
Associate Conductress – Prepares candidates for initiation, assists the conductress with introductions and handles the ballot box.
Chaplain – leads the Chapter in prayer
Marshal – presents the Flag and leads in all ceremonies
Organist – provides music for the meetings
Adah – Shares the lesson of Duty of Obedience to the will of God
Ruth – Shares the lesson of Honor and Justice
Esther – Shares the lesson of Loyalty to Family and Friends
Martha – Shares the lesson of Faith and Trust in God and Everlasting Life
Electa – Shares the lesson of Charity and Hospitality
Warder – Sits next to the door inside the meeting room, to make sure those that enter the chapter room are members of the Order.
Sentinel – Sits next to the door outside the chapter room, to make sure those that wish to enter are members of the Order.
Traditionally, a woman who is elected Associate Conductress will be elected to Conductress the following year, then the next year Associate Matron, and then next year as Worthy Matron. A man elected Associate Patron will usually be elected Worthy Patron the following year. Usually the woman who is elected to become Associate Matron will let it be known who she wishes to be her Associate Patron, so the next year they will both go to the East together as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. There is no male counterpart to the Conductress and Associate Conductress. Only women are allowed to be Matrons, Conductresses, and the Star Points (Adah, Ruth, etc.) and only men can be Patrons.

Once a member has served a term as Worthy Matron or Worthy Patron, they may use the post-nominal letters, PM or PP respectively.

HeadquartersEdit

The International Temple in Washington, D.C.
Main article: International Temple
The General Grand Chapter headquarters, the International Temple, is located in the Dupont Circleneighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the former Perry Belmont Mansion. The mansion was built in 1909 for the purpose of entertaining the guests of Perry Belmont. This included Britain’s Prince of Wales in 1919. General Grand Chapter purchased the building in 1935. The secretary of General Grand Chapter lives there while serving his or her term of office. The mansion features works of art from around the world, most of which were given as gifts from various international Eastern Star chapters.

CharitiesEdit
The Order has a charitable foundation[5] and from 1986-2001 contributed 3,147 to Alzheimer’s disease research, juvenile diabetes research, and juvenile asthma research. It also provides bursaries to students of theology and religious music, as well as other scholarships that differ by jurisdiction. In 2000 over ,000 was donated. Many jurisdictions support a Masonic and/or Eastern Star retirement center or nursing home for older members; some homes are also open to the public. The Elizabeth Bentley OES Scholarship Fund was started in 1947.[6][7]

Eureka Masonic College, also known as The Little Red Schoolhouse, birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star

Signage at the Order of the Eastern Star birthplace, the Little Red Schoolhouse
Notable membersEdit
Clara Barton[8]
J. Howell Flournoy[9]
Eva McGown[10]
James Peyton Smith[11]
Lee Emmett Thomas[12]
Laura Ingalls Wilder[13]
H. L. Willis[14]
See alsoEdit
Achoth
Omega Epsilon Sigma
ReferencesEdit
^ "Installation Ceremony". Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star. Washington, DC: General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. 1995 [1889]. pp. 120–121.
^ "Eastern Star Membership". General Grand Chapter. Retrieved 2010-06-03. These affiliations include: * Affiliated Master Masons in good standing, * the wives * daughters * legally adopted daughters * mothers * widows * sisters * half sisters * granddaughters * stepmothers * stepdaughters * stepsisters * daughters-in-law * grandmothers * great granddaughters * nieces * great nieces * mothers-in-law * sisters-in-law and daughters of sisters or brothers of affiliated Master Masons in good standing, or if deceased were in good standing at the time of their death
^ Ayers, Jessie Mae (1992). "Origin and History of the Adoptive Rite Among Black Women". Prince Hall Masonic Directory. Conference of Grand Masters, Prince Hall Masons. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
^ "Rob Morris". Grand Chapter of California. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
^ "OES Charities". Retrieved 2016-04-15.
^ "Elizabeth Bentley Order Of The Eastern Star Scholarship Award". Yukon, Canada. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
^ "Eastern Star has enjoyed long history". Black Press. Retrieved 2009-11-05. The Eastern Star Bursary, later named the Elizabeth Bentley OES Scholarship Fund, was started in 1947.[dead link]
^ Clara Barton, U.S. Nurse Masonic First Day Cover
^ "Sheriff 26 Years – J. H. Flournoy Dies," Shreveport Journal, December 14, 1966, p. 1
^ by Helen L. Atkinson at ALASKA INTERNET PUBLISHERS, INC
^ "James P. Smith". The Bernice Banner, Bernice, Louisiana. Retrieved September 13,2013.
^ "Thomas, Lee Emmett". Louisiana Historical Association, A Directory of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 29, 2010.
^ Big Muddy online publications
^ "Horace Luther Willis". The Alexandria Daily Town Talk on findagrave.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
External linksEdit
Official website
Eastern Star Organizations at DMOZ
Pride of the North Chapter Number 61, Order of the Eastern Star Archival Collection, located at Shorefront Legacy Center, Evanston, Illinois

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