AAM Honors Middle East Media and Talent at Awards Dinner

America Abroad Media (AAM) is a D.C.-based non-profit organization that aims to encourage free international media. On November 15, 2015 AAM gathered to honor media leaders that have made contributions to Middle Eastern media at its fourth annual Power of Film awards dinner. Honorees were recognized for contributing thoughtful, informative, and free media in spite of challenging circumstances.

The AAM Partner Award was presented to Tolo TV. Tolo TV is Afghanistan’s largest independent media channel with an audience of over 13 million people. The channel provides a wide range of programs including entertainment, drama, and political news coverage. This coverage came at a high price. In January 2016, a bus carrying Tolo TV employees was targeted by a Taliban suicide bomber. The attack killed 7 employees and injured 26 others.

Nasser Al Qasabi, a nationally beloved comedian and TV-satirist was presented with a Power of Film award. Qasabi is known for his comedy skits, where he makes fun of Arab social norms. His most recent comedy show Selfie became one of the most popular shows in the Middle East by lampooning ISIS through comedy. His show earned him a spot on ISIS’s hit-list.

Awards were also presented to congressmen Ed Royce and Eliot Engel. Royce (R-California) and Engel (D-New York) have crossed partisan lines to help make United States broadcasts more accessible to audiences in the Middle East. Their efforts to allow media access to Middle Eastern viewers been seen a large step towards preventing a Middle Eastern iron curtain, similar the iron curtain that occurred in Europe during the Cold War.

Journalist Steven Sotloff, was honored in memoriam. During his career he covered topics such as the Benghazi embassy attack, the Arab Spring, and the foreshadowing of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. He was kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded in 2014. His death sparked a complete overhaul of how U.S. hostage situations will be handled abroad.

The hit television series Homeland was also recognized during the ceremony. The show was praised for shedding light on the complex issues of the Middle East and U.S. National security. Homeland was also praised for giving human faces to the people involved in these current issues.

People in attendance of the event include retired General John Allen, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of Afghanistan Hamdullah Mohib, and Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov.

New President of AAAS

Beginning in February 2015, Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg, MD will take up her new post as the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is currently a board member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She will continue in these roles as she also serves at the President of the AAAS. Dr. Hamburg graduated from Harvard College and then earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical school. She is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Hamburg stated that this is a very exciting time for science. She believes that the opportunities in the medical community are enormous and that the entire medical community needs to work together to be certain that medical and scientific discoveries continue. These discoveries need to be taken as soon and efficiently as possible into products and interventions that will make a difference in the lives of their patients. She believes that support needs to be given to the education and advocacy that science must play in our future and current lives.

Before her current positions, Dr. Hamburg was the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She served in that position for 6 years under President Obama. During her tenure at the FDA, she worked on the advancement of regulatory science and encouraged medical product innovation. She also helped develop laws to increase food safety and help curb the use of tobacco in American citizens. Before she joined the FDA, she was a senior scientist and Vice President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Under President Bill Clinton, she served as the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Services. She has an extensive background, knowledge, and experience to bring to her new position. She has spent her career gaining extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare, science, and regulations that will help the AAAS continue to excel and innovate the boundaries of cancer immunotherapy research. Her leadership will bring a fresh vision, strategic direction, and knowledgeable guidance to the AAAS.

Miami’s Annual 365 Party Fundraiser

The 365 Party and After Party, an annual celebration and fundraiser for Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, was held on November 11th. Cartier and City National Bank partnered in the creation of the event. Ellen Salpeter, Director of ICA Miami, welcomed guests and updated them on the institute’s initiatives and programs.

Among the famous faces who attended the bash were renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and supermodel Elle MacPherson, who served as an honorary chair along with Madeleine Arison and Petra Levin. ICA Miami’s Founder Circle members Allan Yarkin and Ray Ellen were honored for their years of philanthropy in the community. Also recognized was civic leader Alberto Ibarguen, President of the Knight Foundation which promotes the furthering of a healthy democracy through it contributions to journalism and the arts. Also in attendance were ICA Miami committee members Marc Spiegler of Art Basel, collectors Irma and Norman Braman, and Jackie Soffer (OceanDrive.com).

World famous choreographer Michael Clark provided the entertainment for the evening. Clark’s work combines elements of various styles, including pop, rock, punk, and ballet, to create a unique mix of the fluid and the vibrant. Clark has parlayed the attention he has received for his groundbreaking choreography into highly acclaimed collaborations with a bevy of well-respected artists. Trailblazing electronic producer Total Freedom provided the DJ services for the exciting After Party that began around 9:30 p.m. and lasted well into the night.

The Institute of Contemporary Art works to provide free access to contemporary art in an effort to give Miami’s residents a wide range of cultural knowledge. Besides acting as a fundraiser, this year’s 365 Party begins the official countdown to the opening of ICA Miami’s new permanent home in the Design District. Enthusiastic guests between $250 for individual tickets and $25,000 for a Gold level table for ten (Full details on the website).

5 Benefits of the FDA that Might Change Your Perspective

The Food and Drug Administration of the Unites States, better known as the FDA, play an integral part in consumer health. The FDA designates the framework that ensures the safety and quality of consumer products, ranging from foods to cosmetics. They regulate the production, wholesale process, and consumer sales of all food and drug products produced or sold in the United States. According to the FDA, this tremendous effort costs taxpayers a mere 3 dollars on average and maintains our country’s high quality of health and wellness. If you are unfamiliar or confused about what the FDA does, here are 5 benefits that will likely impress you:

1. They make some important food decisions. They control everything from what goes into your food to how a supermarket or restaurant can store it. They monitor produce and determine the maximum level of pesticides. Moreover, when a food supply does not meet the FDA’s qualifications, corrective action will be taken. Former Commissioner Margaret Hamburg helped to pass important initiatives like the ban on trans fats. The FDA urges consumer feedback, positive or negative. They also conduct thorough research and are responsible for product recalls and are considered a consumer safety net.

2. They regulate illegal drugs. While the FDA regulates over-the-counter and prescription drugs, they are also responsible for the regulation of street drugs. They are also responsible for interpreting studies that may determine a street drug’s potential medicinal use.

3. The FDA promotes innovations in disease prevention. In 2012, they established the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) which is intended to increase involvement and production of drug and medical supply innovators.

4. They are an integral part of national security. The FDA regulates all medical products and that includes vaccinations. By ensuring that vaccinations are readily available and continuously developed to support ongoing medical advancements.

5. They help your pets too. The FDA didn’t forget about our furry friends. They are also responsible for regulating veterinary medicine and foods intended for animals. This FDA has a center that is strictly dedicated to studying veterinary medicine. If your pet has an adverse reaction to a medicine or you have a concern, they want to hear from you.

The FDA has a long history of protecting consumers and ensuring the nation’s health. Visit the FDA website today and find out what the FDA is up to today.

WellCare Members with Medicare May Use JenCare in Atlanta and Chicago

WellCare Medicare members now have access to JenCare facilities in Atlanta and Chicago, and the new system will help families enter the urgent care facilities when needed. There are quite a few people who need help with their personal medical care, and JenCare has the most family-friendly offices. This article shows how JenCare is the perfect partner for WellCare Medicare participants.

#1: The New Partnership Opens JenCare to All Members

The new partnership at JenCare is a friendly way to offer services to as many people as humanly possible. JenCare has partnered with Medicare to ensure families have a safe place to go, and there are simply more JenCare facilities to choose from. Someone on Medicare may have driven quite a way to visit a doctor, but they may go around the corner to a JenCare facility instead.

#2: Medicare Members Have Less Billing Issues

Medicare members must ensure that they are going to providers who will accept their insurance, but there have been problems in the past concerning where a Medicare member may visit. WellCare members may go to any JenCare facility, and the JenCare website offers a list of every facility they have open in Atlanta and Chicago. They may expand their services in the future, but the beginning of the change is happening in Atlanta and Chicago.

#3: WellCare Members May Receive Their Checkups

WellCare members may come to JenCare facilities for help with their checkups. Checkups are important for those on Medicare, and the doctors in JenCare facilities are prepared to offer basic checkups to all patients. The process for receiving care at JenCare is quite simple, and anyone may call for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, and patients may establish a relationship with the office staff upon their first visit.

JenCare is opening its doors to everyone who is on the WellCare program. There are several people who are in need of assistance with their medical care, and Medicare users may come to JenCare for help. They will get the medical attention they need instantly, and their insurance will be accepted at every appointment they make.

Food and Drug Administration Takes Steps to Eliminate Trans Fats from Food

In what can be described as a landmark ruling in food safety and regulation, the Food and Drug Administration has said that food manufactures have a period of three years to eliminate the use of artificial trans fats from their products. Former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg played a role in pushing this ruling. The ban on artificial trans fats will officially begin in 2018. Many companies have already taken steps to find replacements for trans foods in their food products so that they will meet the guidelines.

The decision to finally institute a ban on trans fats in foods made in the USA comes after a long lawsuit by the Center for Science in the Public Interest against the FDA to fast track the ban. Both the FDA and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are in agreement that the proposed elimination of trans foods from all foods in the USA is a good decision. Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the director of the FDA says that this ban will help prevent heart attacks, heart disease and high cholesterol. These diseases have now become an epidemic in the United States. The director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest echoed the statements of Dr. Ostroff. He said that the elimination of trans fats will create a healthier food supply that will result in fewer heart and cholesterol problems.

Artificial trans fats have now been removed from the GRAS listing of the Food and Drug Administration. This means that they are no longer considered as a generally recognized as safe substance by the FDA. The move by the FDA comes not only after public pressure but after scientific studies have shown that artificial trans fats have been found to increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Consumption of trans fats has also been correlated to an increase in heart attacks and stroke. Weight gain is also believed to occur from consumption of trans fats.

Trans fats can be currently found in a limited number of foods. This includes frosting, sprinkles, pastries, pie crusts, biscuits and some types of microwave popcorn. Trans fats are also used for frying foods. Under the current laws of the FDA regarding trans fats, a food product can contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving and still be labelled as trans-fat free. The new ruling would eliminate this loophole. Trans fats are made when a liquid vegetable oil is injected with hydrogen to make it solid like butter. Unfortunately, the introduction of hydrogen into the liquid oil changes the chemical composition of the oil and makes it harmful when consumed. This is why the FDA has decided to phase out artificial trans fats over a period of time.

Jackie Soffer & Craig Robins Donate 100 New Works to Perez Art Museum

Miami real estate mogul and land developer Craig Robins may not be well known for his deep and abiding enthusiasm for the Arts but he very likely will be now. Very recently, Mr. Robins and his wife, Jackie Soffer generously donated a whopping one hundred pieces of fine art to the renowned Perez Art Museum of Miami.

The donations were made to commemorate the hard work, dedication and zeal of the previous curator, Mr. Franklin Sirmans. Mr. Sirmans was highly praised by both colleagues dedicated museum goers alike, but none, perhaps, gave the storied curator more laudable praise than Mr. Craig Robins himself. Mr. Robins noted that he wished to donate in honor of Mr. Sirmans due to the man’s ability to discern the importance of timing as it relates to art – an empathetic sensitivity to the cultural zeitgeist, if you will.

This is Mr. Robins’ second major donation to the Perez Art Museum and his second largest, for back in 2013 the art loving real estate developer donated 102 different pieces of art to the aforementioned institute. However, Mr. Robins was not the only generous donor to give to the Perez’s vaults.

Other contributions made by various different well known, as well as lesser known, art personalities attached to the institute, aside from Mr. Robins, included cash donations as well as personal gifts and large scale installation pieces such as the imposing statuary of Ernesto Neto and P. Atchugarry. Mr. Robins contributions mark one of the absolute largest gifts bestowed upon the Perez Art Museum of Miami in its storied and over two-decade old history.

Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer’s donations include work on mediums that run the entire gamut of fine art – and even a little beyond – such as sculpting, filmic motion art, photosets, paintings as well as various integrated media pieces. The pieces themselves are quite notable and include art work from such famous modern artists as J. Caesar, Patty Chang, and Justin Lieberman. The museum has yet to release a price on any of the pieces but one can rest assured that should the Perez ever be forced to sell them the collective works will fetch a princely sum.

Top Five Arizona Golf Courses For All Player Levels

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Maricopa

In Maricopa, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is a paradise for the pro and a godsend for Phil Mickelson. The landscape offers calm surroundings, enabling golfers to focus on their game. Not content to be second best, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes stays on top of its conditioning and playability. There’s no time for slow-pokes, as a steady, sustained game is encouraged on the 18 hole course. With native turf, flowing hills, and tees ranging up to 7500 yards, the upscale Ak-Chin Southern Dunes golf course is maintained by Troon Golf.

Troon North Golf Club, Scottsdale

Located in the Sonoran Desert, the thirty-six hole,semi-private Troon North Golf Club stands out as a gem of Arizona courses. Spanning the foothills and ravines, its a challenge for all levels, Troon North Golf Club is on every list of “must play” courses. Breathtaking views and recent course changes by Tom Weiskopf have taken the experience on the course to a new level. Fresh and original configurations make the course less intimidating and elevated its playability.

Gold Canyon Golf Resort, Fold Canyon

Far from the standard course layout, the Gold Canyon Golf Resort is recognized as the top- rated Arizona public golf course. Designed according to the confines and contour of Dinosaur Mountain, the course has a high playability for all levels of golfers. With shifts in elevation, long fairways and an abundance of native trees and cacti, the Gold Canyon golf course introduces a bit of a challenge for players.

Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale

Grayhawk Golf Club is certainly on the bucket list of any golfer. Home to the most desirable courses in Arizona. The golf club features the finest 18-hole courses in Arizona, the Talon and Raptor. Overlooking the McDowell Mountains, the courses are comfortably squeezed into rising canyons, sheer drop-offs and native trees and flora. All levels will enjoy Grayhawk Golf Club as it’s recognized by Golf magazine as one of the “Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona.”

TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale

Considered by many as the “mecca” for golf in Arizona, TPC Scottsdale is a class above golf courses in Arizona. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, the “Stadium” course combines skill, knowledge and challenge for the beginner to the pro. Beginners will delight in mastering a professional course. Known for its lavish, manicured greens and the surrounding environment, TPC exceeds the expectations players have.

Birdies for the Brave how its helping soldiers heal

Birdies for the Brave has proudly raised more than $15 million to help Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Homes for Our Troops, Navy SEAL Foundation, Operation Homefront, Military Warriors Support Foundation, Green Beret Foundation, United Through Reading, K9s for Warriors and other organizations that help American military troops and their families. Over 20 Professional Golf Association (PGA) Pro players have made a commitment to assist these various groups.

When a PGA event is held, Birdies for the Brave gives away many complimentary tickets to active and reserve military members. Often times, these are tickets that the military member could not otherwise afford. The support at each event, however, does not stop there. The military members in attendance receive complimentary food and beverages in a designated area where they can talk and laugh with others who have bravely served the country. Furthermore, Birdies for the Brave often presents military programs honoring these outstanding men and women. Those military members who are able are given the opportunity to caddy for a professional golfer during PGA events.

Military members enjoy many long term benefits from Birdies for the Brave. They can receive a set of golf clubs from Callaway Golf along with free golf lessons. Some of the money raised is used to provide service dogs to military members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorders or with traumatic brain injuries. In cooperation with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, select military members can also receive a 100 percent mortgage free home. It can be very traumatic to give birth when your spouse is on active duty overseas, therefore, these women are given a baby shower to help make the time easier for them.

Phil and Amy Mickelson created Birdies for the Brave in 2006 to support combat-wounded veterans. They felt that family was the most important thing in their lives and wanted to assist these veterans so that they could concentrate more on giving back to their own families. The partnership has been a huge success that continues to grow larger every year. This worthwhile program will continue to grow in the years ahead as more people become aware of it.

Best Buddies International Celebrates its 19th Year

To celebrate the 19th year of Best Buddies International, a huge gala took place in Miami last November. Over nine hundred people attended the celebration including a number of celebrities that have been supporting the organization, such as Verne Troyer and Steve Aoki. The event, co-chaired by power couple, Jackie Soffer and Craig Robins, proved to be a huge success and ended up raising over two and a half million dollars—all of which will go to furthering and developing the Best Buddies Foundation.

The event made for a great night, complete with a fantastic dinner, cocktail hour, and a silent auction, which is where a huge portion of the proceeds came from.

Some of the items that were auctioned off during the night included items that are themed around the Best Buddies organization, memorabilia, a plethora of trips that involve luxurious vacations all over the globe. One of the biggest items that were given away during the silent auction was a trip to attend the Olympic games that will be held next year, in the summer of 2016 in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.

Steve Aoki also put on a brilliant performance at the gala, as he is one of the most well-known and celebrated DJ’s that are around today.

Although the event was capped off during the evening hours with the entire presentation, silent auction, performance and dinner events, the day started bright and early, with a 62-mile charity bike ride that was held throughout the streets of Miami. Alonzo Mourning was also in attendance and was handing out signed balls to anyone that donated one thousand dollars or more to the organization.

All in all, the event was a tremendous success, as a great deal of people that have a lot of influence on the general population and the community came together to support a great cause. Everyone needs someone in life to have a connection with, who they know they can turn to if they need something and providing people with this type of love and support is what Best Buddies is all about. The night was a huge success and the amount of money that was raised what a huge plus, which should help the organization to continue to thrive in the years to come.