first_imgTHE Twin Towns is in mourning following the death of noted businessman Michael Heeney.Michael passed away at his home at Dunwiley, Stranorlar following a short illness.Michael was best known as one of the proprietors of the Heeney’s U Drop Inn on Navenny Street in Ballybofey. Alongside his mother, Bridget, and brothers Terence and Aidan, Michael opted one of Ballybofey’s most recognisable haunts.Michael will be laid to rest following 11am Funeral Mass at the Church of Mary Immaculate, Stranorlar on Saturday morning.He sis survived by his mother Bridget, wife Bernie, daughters Rachael, Michelle and Meghan, brothers Patrick, Aidan, Martina, Eugene, Terence, John and Teresa and a wide circle of family and friends. Twin Towns mourns the passing of Michael Heeney was last modified: October 4th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallybofeyMichael HeeneyU Drop Innlast_img read more

first_imgIt should go without saying that your brand is who you are, what you stand for, and the one thing unifying the goals, ideals, and mission of your business. In short, your brand is an integral part of your business identity, so you want to make a good one right out of the gate. Of course, your business will grow over time, which means it may change. Perhaps your goals will shift. Maybe your mission will develop into something new, or you’ll want to refresh your company’s look and overall vibe. You may even want to offer your customers new services or provide products that are a little different from what you offered previously. When this happens (and for many businesses, it will happen sooner or later), you should begin thinking about re-branding your business. Re-branding is as common as creating a brand itself, but it takes a little extra care. When your business is in a space where re-branding is wanted or needed, the chances are that your company has been in the world for a while. Whether you’ve been around for a year or fifty, when you re-brand, you must reinvent more than just your image so that who your business is on the inside matches the outside and vice versa — all with your customers and employees in mind. To rebrand successfully there are several major do’s and don’ts you must follow for optimal success.Ultimate Guide to Re-branding Your Business: The Major Do’s and Dont’s(Photo Courtesy of Unsplash)Don’t Be Intimidated: Why Re-Branding Might Be Needed and Why It WorksPlenty of brands re-brand. Slack, for example, has already worked through two new re-brands in the last few months. IHOP went through a (very memorable) re-brand during the summer of 2018, and other companies such as Uber, Lyft, Instagram and more have recently undergone some form of re-branding to stay current with their followers, customers, and fans. Though it may seem like a lot of change and uncertainty, re-branding is an opportunity to refresh and revive one of the most critical parts of your company. Re-branding offers lots of room for new opportunities and creativity as well as chances to engage with your customer following in new and dynamic ways. Re-branding doesn’t have to be an entire overhaul of your company image! Instead, think of it as a time when you can tweak and fine tune parts of your company that can be improved for clarity and increased interaction. Let’s think about Slack again: the company itself hasn’t undergone a considerable change. Slack is still a useful app, and network professionals can use to connect, chat, and share information. What has changed is Slack’s look and how it interacts with its customers. A small but profound change, revamping the company look leads to a lot of interest and attention for the company, winning new customers and getting the word out on what Slack does and what it stands for. In short, when you think about your current brand – whether it is your brand’s look and logo, your mission statement and goals, or your products and services – is no longer working, re-branding is the clear next step. So don’t panic. Take a step back and make some time to think about how you want to change your brand for the better.  Re-branding Your Business: The Major Do’s and Don’ts to Keep In MindNow that you’ve got an idea about what re-branding is and why it may be necessary, let’s move on to the actual business of re-branding. There are several do’s and don’ts all companies, whether small, medium or large, must know when re-branding. These do’s and don’ts should help you avoid common pitfalls, save you time and money, and ensure that your re-brand is a complete success:Do’sDo Work from the Inside OutWhen re-branding, you have to think about more than just changing your look. Re-doing your logo and visuals will undoubtedly be some of the more eye-catching changes, but you have to re-brand from the inside out to make an actual impact. Think about the core of your company: your core values, your goals, and your mission statement. When you think about how you’re looking to re-brand and why you can begin identifying how each of these things should shift. As you sort through this step, be sure to include your employees in all new decisions and changes so that you can present a united front when you finally go public.  Do Revamp Your Company CopyIf you’ve been a company for at least a year, the chances are that you’ve got plenty of copy on file. The copy can be anything and everything from your tagline social media posts and e-mails to blogs, articles, and other web content. When re-branding, you don’t want to leave all your old content and copy sitting around. For one thing, the copy may no longer reflect your company accurately, and for another, you may confuse potential customers, investors, and partners about who your company is and what it stands for. In some other cases, your copy may not be that strong or compelling anymore. Whatever the problem, you do want to revamp your company copy during a re-branding. It helps to ensure that everything is up to date, polished, and ready to be read, shared, and engaged. Do Stay Consistent Even in the ChangeRe-branding may be all about making changes, but this doesn’t mean you should lose consistency in who you are and what you do. Re-branding is more about changing how you represent who you are and how you do what you do. Let’s return to the IHOP re-brand: one of the issues people had with “IHOP” becoming “IHOB” for a spell was that burgers are pretty far from pancakes. Though IHOP later clarified that they weren’t turning their back on what made them famous in the first place, how they re-branded had many people scratching their heads. Staying consistent may have looked like keeping their name the same, but launching a burger campaign with a new tagline, logo, and goals specifically for this meal option. When re-branding, don’t get lost in all the new — you also have to remember your roots.Do Get CreativeCreativity is an essential part of any business and should be leaned into at all times. Creative thinking gives way to new ideas, new adventures, new opportunities, and even new customers and fans. In short, getting innovative feeds into all areas of your business and you re-brand: it helps you reimagine your logo, tagline, and visuals as well as other areas. Are you wondering how to provide a product or service that’s already out there? Get creative! Think of how your company can do something the others can’t, whether its providing better quality products, better prices, better customer support, or improvements in another area. Having a creative mind and creative members of your team can open a lot of doors, so be sure that creativity is never stifled.Do Include Employees and Customers AlikeOne thing you must remember during your re-brand is to include internal constituents on the big decisions and changes. If you’re lucky, your employees are loyal to your company and believe in it. With this in mind, you don’t want to begin making changes that your team is not on board with. Beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes can be deeply ingrained in both employees and customers, and for many people change is hard. Keep this in mind when you begin the re-branding process (remember, work from the inside out!) to avoid some severe pitfalls. How can you include employees AND customers? Use insights from your employees, executives, and partners to help craft and fine tune your mission and core values. Offer surveys with rewards to loyal customers to get their opinion on specific changes before they’ve been made. Getting feedback from these parties is valuable and can help make your re-brand smooth and successful. Don’tsDon’t Worry About MoneyWhile it is always important to be mindful of your budget, you don’t want to get caught up pinching pennies and cutting corners to make ends meet. Let’s be real: re-branding can get expensive, but if you plan well and leave yourself some wiggle room, you can keep everything on track. Before you begin, look at other areas of your company where funds may be diverted to add some padding to your re-brand budget. To take things a step further, do your research on how much money your specific re-brand may take, and do your best to plan accordingly. In the end, you have spent a little more than you intended, but having a strong brand identity and strategy can offer a significant return on your initial investment!Don’t Become GenericPart of being a successful business is standing out in a way that is important to your customers. You can give people something they both want and need – something they can’t get from just anywhere. With this in mind, you want to make sure that your re-brand does not strip away any of who you are as a business. Becoming generic reduces your company to just another face in the crowd – another option. Sure, some people may choose you, but what is the incentive? What do you have that others don’t? Keep these questions in mind as you consider why you’re re-branding and what you want the process to do for your company and your customers.Don’t Be In a HurryRe-branding can be a long and deeply involved process, so the last thing you want to do is rush. When changing your company in any way, you must think about what you want, what your customers want, what kind of new customers you want to attract, and how you plan to accomplish your goals while staying in line with your core value. Of course, this is a lot to think about, and so should be given the proper time it deserves. To get the best job done, slow down and make sure that everything is precisely how you want it. It may take longer than you like, but it will pay off in the end. Don’t Recycle Old Content Without Changing or Updating It FirstFor more established businesses undergoing the re-branding process, it may be tempting to post old content on your fresh new site. While recycling material is a good idea, doing so without changes or updates is not. Remember, consistency is critical. It’s vital that your brand voice must stay the same across all avenues. If you have a blog post that contains a lot of useful information, but it was made well before your re-brand, re-visit it and see what elements can be brought up-to-date. Think of it like updating your closet: you don’t get rid of all your old stuff, but you can update looks by adding new pieces among the mix!Don’t OversellFinally, don’t oversell or overpromise anything to your customers or employees. If you oversell what your new brand is going to be and do, it will only be met with disappointment and negative feedback. Such reactions can do severe damage to your business, stunting its growth or making it impossible to recover. If you’re going to create hype around something and make promises, you have to follow through no matter what. A great way to think about it is through your lens: when politicians, friends, family members, or colleagues say they’re going to do something but don’t, how do you feel? Annoyed and let down are usually the top answers. For best results,s be realistic about what your brand will do and stick with it. Re-branding your business is a big job, but when you follow these do’s and don’ts you can ensure that the process will go smoothly. Whether you’re giving your whole company a makeover or are just doing some light housekeeping, these tips are sure to help. After a 10-year career in web development and system architecture, she left her position of Senior Director of Information Systems at a digital security company and cofounded a venture studio. There she noticed a lack of affordable “do-it-yourself” naming services for startups, which in turn became the driver to launch BrandBucket.At the age of 18, Margot was accepted to all 8 Ivy League universities, but shepropel BrandBucket into the successful business it is today.She now spends most of her time doing what she loves most, consulting on naming strategy sessions with tech startups and spreading her wealth of knowledge in the art of naming. CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… Margot Bushnaq Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacycenter_img 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Related Posts last_img read more

first_imgEvery once in a while, a piece of gear comes out that threatens to change everything. In this case, it’s ARRI’s new Orbiter.Nothing excites me more than seeing significant advancements in the lighting field. Cameras are constantly getting updates, but in the grand scheme of things, most cameras already look cinematic, offer good slow motion, and shoot in 4K or higher.To me, the lighting field is where truly cinematic images begin — and where the advancements are most apparent. Just look at the way the Quasar changed the lighting landscape, creating an entire style of music video lighting altogether.This week, ARRI announced the Orbiter. It’s appropriately named, because it looks like something straight out of the latest Sci-Fi movie. The Orbiter, to say the least, looks sick.In some regards, this light represents the first lighting unit that I would firmly say can do anything. It can be a leko light, it can be a softbox, it can be a fresnel, it can hook up to other lights via ethernet — and you can control it wirelessly via DMX on your iPad. It can automatically gauge the light in the room and change seamlessly to varying degrees of brightness and color temperature. It can do many things.Key Features:Variety of optics, including open face, projection, dome, and light banksARRI Spectra six-color, wide-gamut light engineExtremely powerful output for maximum brightness and perfect colorsLighting Operating System (LiOS) with powerful software featuresWeatherproof housingIntegrated color sensor for matching ambient lightRemovable, intuitive control panelFull suite of connectors and sensorsPerfected smooth dimming to zeroInternal power supply, wireless DMX, and battery inputOne thing that I initially thought about this release was how it almost seems like ARRI’s version of many the things that Aputure announced at NAB this last year. Also, the addition of the quick change optics system reminds me quite a lot of the 120 and 300d lighting units (though, this light doesn’t feature a bowens mount like the others, requiring proprietary ARRI modifiers). The Orbiter is obviously a higher-end model, which means a higher price-tag, but these features seem to mirror much of what Aputure is now and will soon be offering.The Orbiter definitely has quite a few impressive tricks up its sleeve. Here are the ones I’m most excited about.Quick Lighting MountARRI has developed a new Quick Lighting Mount system for the Orbiter. Unlike some other products on the market, this system does not involve a bowens mount; rather, it includes their new QLM (quick-lighting mount). This means that if you want to use various modifiers, you’ll need to purchase them from ARRI.So far, this system seems to involve an open face option, a projection lens option (similar to a source four leko), a dome option, and an adapter to allow for soft banks (similar to a chimera system).ARRI Spectra Light EngineARRI units have always impressed with the quality of the light they create. This unit represents a leap ahead of the competition in this regard. ARRI Spectra is a six-color light engine. According to the product pageIncluding a red, green, blue, amber, cyan, and lime LED, the ARRI Spectra six-color light engine translates into a wider color gamut, more accurate colors, and most importantly, higher color rendition across the entire CCT range.This results in an unprecedentedly high CRI of about 98. This engine also includes a color sensor mode, which will read the ambient color surrounding the fixture and match the color with complete accuracy. It can also accurately render colors from 2,000 to 20,000 kelvin.This is the future of lighting — LED lights with high output and nearly flawless color rendition.Fully Waterproof HousingWhile there are certainly more technical specs that are impressive about this light, this one for some reason really catches my attention.This light is fully waterproof. The fact that a light with this much technical capability, output, and everything else can also operate it in any scenario, including rain, is just incredible. This light just seems like the answer to any lighting situation.I think this light represents a shift (that I think other companies had already started) in the lighting industry. LED lighting has now shifted from being a competitor to more traditional lighting styles (HMI or Tungsten) and is now creating a class of lighting all its own. In 5 years or less, HMI or tungsten units may be a thing of the past on the majority of movie sets.We’ll see.Cover image via ARRI.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.Top Equipment Investments for Working FilmmakersThe Video Camera Trends Currently Re-Shaping the IndustryIs Autofocus Finally Ready to Take The Filmmaking Field?Aputure Releases a New Spotlight Mount AttachmentLumix S1H: Panasonic’s First 6K Mirrorless Camera Is Herelast_img read more

first_imgBe sure to check out the new layout for the online TFA Merchandise Shop which includes some new items such as the 2006 State of Origin DVD and the Thompson’s Touch Almanac.Also look out for the new official and casual KooGa range of clothing and accessories in the up and coming weeks.To enter please click on the TFA Merchandise link on the left bar.last_img

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool goalscorer Van Dijk: I’ll take clean sheet over goalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk rates the clean sheet ahead of the goal he scored in victory at Wolves last night.om the Dutchman’s point of view, the three points and a shutout are the most important matters arising from another impressive result.“Not at all – I’m more happy that I’m keeping clean sheets with my team and winning games,” Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com, when asked if he was frustrated to have gone nearly 12 months without scoring for his club.“Obviously scoring a goal is a bonus and obviously a very proud moment and hopefully there’s more to come, but I’m more focused on winning games.“We are very happy and at the end I am happy with the win. In the first half we were a bit sloppy at times, but second half we did it well and we are very happy that we won.“It’s a very tough place to come with these circumstances and how they play. They have shown throughout the season they are very good and disciplined and they have a clear idea. We knew before and it’s how we reacted to it and in the second half we dominated and created good chances.” last_img read more

first_imgUK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD has ruled that two adult online on-demand services have breached new statutory regulations that ban UK VoD services that carry material that would be banned on DVD. The rulings are the first made by ATVOD under new regulations on prohibited material and come as the body introduced new guidance on the statutory rules it enforces.ATVOD held the two services, Glasgow Mistress Megara Furie and Mistress R’eal, were in breach of two new rules,  respectively requiring that material that would be classified R18 by the BBFC for DVD release could only be made available on UK VoD service if access is blocked to children, and that material that would be refused a classification for DVD release is prohibited on VoD.The Mistress Megara service was closed within three days of notice being brought to the operator’s attention, while ATVOD action against the Mistress R’eal service is ongoing.Separately, ATVOD has ruled against three other adult sites – Lads Next Door, Panties Pulled Down and Montys POV – that failed to put hardcore adult material beyond the reach of children. Lads Next Door has subsequently complied with the requirements for adult services, while the other two services have been referred to Ofcom for consideration of sanctions.last_img read more

first_imgOTT and IPTV technology specialist TV2U is using IBC to unveil its new real-time analytics service and content aggregation engine.It is also showcasing its Intelligent Video Accessible Network (IVAN) white label OTT/IPTV delivery service that unifies the delivery of content straight to the playout device.The company says that a key objective of the IVAN platform is to offer customers the advantage of tapping into real-time analytics, which are gathered from multiple sources including the delivery platform, player applications, and social media.The analytics generate detailed insights about users such as their demographics, location (with the ability to pinpoint their postal code) and viewing habits including their OTT/IPTV technology specialist TV2U is using IBC to unveil its new real-time analytics service and content aggregation engine and is also showcasing its Intelligent Video Accessible Network (IVAN) white label OTT/IPTV delivery service that unifies the delivery of content straight to the playout device.The company says that a key objective of the IVAN platform is to offer customers the advantage of tapping into real-time analytics, which are gathered from multiple sources including the delivery platform, player applications, and social media.The analytics generate detailed insights about users such as their demographics, location (with the ability to pinpoint their postal code) and viewing habits including their content consumption patterns, details on which devices they use, and their likes and dislikes.The real-time analytics engine, lets content owners and advertisers know to what extent customers are engaging with their material, according to the company.TV2U will exhibit at IBC on stand 9.LP12last_img read more

first_imgService provider WiFi technology specialist AirTies has completed its acquisition of Technicolor’s WiFi management software business, also known as Wireless Doctor. AirTies and Technicolor  have also struck a partnership covering technology integrations and sales channels to offer smart WiFi solutions to service providers globally.Bart VercammenBart Vercammen, who previously served as CTO for the CPE business unit of Technicolor and led the Wireless Doctor team, has joined AirTies as EVP and general manager of its software product line. He will report directly to Philippe Alcaras.As part of the acquisition, AirTies takes over the Wireless Doctor software portfolio, related intellectual property and approximately 30 employees from Technicolor. It also gains access to relationships with existing Wireless Doctor customers and partners.Wireless Doctor will be used to complement and integrate features with AirTies’ Remote Manager, its own cloud-based Wi-Fi network management tool that gives broadband service providers real-time visibility into subscribers’ Wi-Fi usage, allowing remote diagnostics and troubleshooting.“The acquisition of Technicolor’s talented team further scales our software development and management capabilities to meet the increasing demand for Smart Wi-Fi,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies.“We’re also very pleased that Bart Vercammen will join our senior leadership team and bring his extensive industry knowledge, skills, and vision to AirTies. We also look forward to our brand-new business relationship with Technicolor, working as mutual preferred partners, to serve operators worldwide.”AirTies agreed the acquisition in January, when CEO Philippe Alcaras told DTVE that the deal would give the company access to millions of homes installed with this technology” and that that the Wireless Doctor technology would extend AirTies’ reach beyond its core market of MESH-based WiFi installations.last_img read more

first_imgHealth care in the U.S. Virgin Islands remains in a critical state, five months after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria pummeled the region. The only hospital on St. Thomas, the Schneider Regional Medical Center, serves some 55,000 residents between the islands of St. Thomas and St. John. Schneider’s facilities suffered major structural damage, forcing a decrease in its range of services, mass transfers of its patients, staff departures and significant losses in revenue. Only about one-third of the beds are currently available for patient care.In early September, when Irma hit the Virgin Islands, most of Schneider’s staff members were on duty. At the height of the storm, a large window on the hospital’s top floor gave out. “You had winds of 175, 180 miles per hour whipping through here,” says the hospital’s Vice President Darryl Smalls.The screws holding the window in place failed. The window itself, made from hurricane impact glass, remained intact. It’s here, leaning against a nursing station that’s now in shambles. Ceiling panels are gone, exposed pipes and ducts are damaged and sagging in places. A large plywood barrier covers the window opening.When the window tore off, Smalls says the staff worked quickly to evacuate some 20 patients to a safer part of the hospital. They couldn’t use the elevator in the middle of the storm, so staff transported patients from the fourth floor to the third floor using the emergency stairwells. “We literally took the patients on the mattresses, slid them down the stairs, down to the third floor, across the building and up onto the other side,” Smalls says. “We have a surgical unit which was not compromised and capable of handling patient care.”Eventually, all of the patients who were at Schneider during the storm were evacuated off of the island. But even as staff dealt with a host of problems, the hospital remained open. In the emergency room, which flooded badly from a leaky roof, Smalls says, “You probably had about 3 to 4 inches of water on the floor in here. I had pumps. I think we probably had 50 people in here at any given time just trying to evacuate as much water out of the facility.”Today, the hospital continues to provide surgery, labor and delivery care, radiology and lab services. But its cancer center, a $28 million facility, remains closed because of extensive storm damage. The hospital can now only provide limited services for patients requiring dialysis. Meanwhile, Schneider Medical’s sister center, the only hospital on St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ other major island, suffered even more extensive damage to its operating rooms.Without adequate medical services available, Schneider Regional CEO Bernard Wheatley says most patients who evacuated St. Thomas have not been able to return. “It’s over 400 that have been transferred off island,” Wheatley says. “And to this day, we’re still transferring some patients, especially the ones requiring extensive length of stay.”Along with the lack of facilities, another major problem is staffing. Wheatley says he’s lost 150 of the hospital’s 600 employees — many of whom left the island after the storms destroyed their homes. “The sad part of it, we’ve lost a lot of nurses,” he says. “If you ask me right now, what’s my key entity in terms of shortages, from a clinical standpoint it would be the nursing staff.” Shanique Woods-Boschulte, who directs Schneider’s foundation says, “Every day we get one or two resignations.” After five months, Woods-Boschulte says, the daily struggle is wearing down many staff members. “The morale was really high after the storm because we saw what we were able to accomplish — no patients hurt,” she says. “But now things are trickling down and everyone is leaving a broken hospital and going home to a broken home.”Adding to the woes, the hospital is in desperate financial straits. Revenues are half of what they were because there are far fewer patients. The government-supported hospital is projecting a $7 million loss.With all the competing problems on the islands, CEO Bernard Wheatley says it’s not clear how much help the local government can provide. “The territory itself is projecting a $400 million loss,” he says. “They don’t have the hotel rooms, tourism is down. It’s just not the same island.”The U.S. Virgin Islands is now looking to Congress to help decide what to do about its battered hospitals. The local government is in talks with FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers to determine whether the hospitals can be rehabilitated, or if new facilities will be needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

first_imgDoctors who are opposed to abortions don’t have to provide them. Since the 1970s, a series of federal rules have provided clinicians with “conscience protections” that help them keep their jobs if they don’t want to perform or assist with the procedure. Religious hospitals are also protected. Catholic health care systems, for example, are protected if they choose not to provide abortions or sterilizations. Doctors who work for religious hospitals usually sign contracts that they’ll uphold religious values in their work. But as the reach of Catholic-affiliated health care grows, these protections are starting to have consequences for doctors who do want to perform abortions — even as a side job.Religious hospitals often prohibit their doctors from performing abortions — even if they do so at unaffiliated clinics, says Noel León, a lawyer with the National Women’s Law Center. León was hired about two years ago to help physicians who want to be abortion providers. They have little in the way of legal protection, she says. “Institutions are using the institutional religious and moral beliefs to interfere with employees’ religious and moral beliefs,” León says. This kind of legal argument, León says, may prevent doctors from providing care they feel called to offer. And since many clinics that provide abortions rely heavily on part-time staff, it may also prevent these clinics from finding the doctors they need to stay open. Dr. Kimberly Remski sought help from León when she was job hunting. She is a primary care physician but had always been interested in women’s health. When she first set foot in a clinic that provides abortions, she realized it was her passion. “A lot of the things we spend our time doing in training are monotonous, or you’re getting swamped in work,” she says. “I just remember leaving the clinic feeling like I was doing something really important.”She interviewed for a job as a primary care doctor with IHA, one of the largest physician groups in Michigan, in 2017. She says she was clear about her desire to work one day a week in an independent clinic that provides abortions. Part-time work is common for outpatient physicians, and Remski says the doctors she interviewed with were receptive. “I was very upfront. I told that them that was a special interest of mine. I wanted to be able to pursue it,” she says. She signed a contract, and started preparing for her move. Then she got a call that the offer was off. Remski learned that her potential employer was actually owned by a larger Catholic hospital network called Trinity Health, and it requires physicians to “provide services in a manner consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” according to her contract. And, she says, she was shocked to learn Trinity Health would also have had a say over how she spent her free time. IHA officials told her that she couldn’t work on the side as an abortion provider if she took the job, Remski says. Trinity Health had merged with IHA in 2010, part of a wave of mergers that has led to a net increase in Catholic ownership of hospitals. According to a 2016 report from MergerWatch, an organization that tracks hospital consolidation, 14.5 percent of acute care hospitals are Catholic-owned or affiliated. That number grew by 22 percent between 2001 and 2016, while the overall number of acute care hospitals dropped by 6 percent. And as Catholic-affiliated health care expands, says León, doctors increasingly encounter morality clauses that prohibit them from performing abortions.León says she has worked with at least 30 physicians and nurse practitioners from 20 different states who faced problems similar to Remski’s when they disclosed to their employers, or potential employers, that they planned to provide abortions. “They’re being told, ‘We can’t provide the care we went into medicine to provide,’ ” León says. “We shouldn’t be putting providers in the position of caring for their patients or keeping their jobs.”Representatives of IHA would not agree to a phone interview about Remski’s situation, but spokesperson Amy Middleton explained in an email that IHA “works hard with our physicians to enable them to pursue other positions.” But, she added, “outside work that interferes with a physician’s ability to serve patients or contradicts the organization’s practices could present a conflict of interest.”IHA physicians follow Catholic health care guidelines, Middleton wrote, which requires that physicians “not promote or condone contraceptive practices.” Dr. Barbara Golder, the editor of the Catholic Medical Association journal, Linacre Quarterly, says that language about morality is ubiquitous in contracts — and that it is reasonable that religious institutions might not want to be associated with abortion providers. “The person is seen primarily as Dr. X of Catholic hospital Y, and then it turns out that Dr. X of Catholic hospital Y is doing abortions on the weekends,” Golder says. “There’s sort of a cognitive dissonance about that. It’s in opposition to what Catholic health care is.”According to Lance Leider, a Florida attorney who has reviewed hundreds of physician contracts, it is “exceedingly common” for contracts, not just at religiously affiliated hospitals, to include language about the reasons an employer can fire a doctor, including but not limited to morality clauses.”There’s always a laundry list of things the employer can terminate the contract for,” Leider says. “There’s usually a catch-all. Anything that calls into question the reputation of the practice.” These clauses tend to be vague, León adds, which means employers can invoke them to prevent a wide range of activities, like political activity, controversial posts on social media or, in religious hospitals, physicians spending time at clinics that provide abortions. The restrictions may have ramifications not only for physicians but for many clinics that provide abortions. Smaller clinics may be staffed almost entirely with part-time doctors, and when they can’t find enough, they’re sometimes left unable to meet the demand for services. “We don’t have full-time doctors,” says Shelly Miller, the executive director of Scotsdale Women’s Center in Detroit, one of the clinics where Remski worked. “We really cannot afford to have a provider sit here all day and wait for patients to come in.” Through her involvement with the National Abortion Federation, Miller often talks with other directors of small clinics that provide abortions and sometimes other women’s health services. She says that many of her counterparts say they exclusively hire part-time physicians because they simply don’t need somebody full time. If more physicians are prohibited from part-time abortion work, it may put some smaller clinics out of business, Miller worries.It’s hard to know exactly how many of these clinics primarily use part-time staff, according to Rachel Jones, who studies the demographics of U.S. abortion services at the Guttmacher Institute, a family planning research organization. Ninety-five percent of abortions take place in clinics as opposed to hospitals, Jones notes, which may be more likely to utilize a team of part-time staff. León doesn’t have data to show how common it is for physicians to be threatened with termination for providing abortions. She guesses that doctors will either give up on providing abortions — or, like Remski did, look for a different job that allows them to. León spends much of her time speaking to groups of doctors about how to approach contract negotiation if they want to provide abortions. Ultimately, Remski says, she parted amicably from IHA, since “it felt like the wrong place for me.” She ended up finding a job at an urgent-care clinic in Michigan, which allowed her to work part time at three separate clinics that provide abortions. She has since moved to Chicago, where she also splits her time between providing abortions and primary care. “I was providing a service that was needed and necessary,” Remski says. “I realized it was something I really needed to do.” Mara Gordon is a family physician in Washington, D.C., and a health and media fellow at NPR and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more