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2020-21 Montclair High School sports accolades

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2020-21 Montclair High School sports accolades
Montclair High School senior Jessie Legister’s fast 400-meter dash time of 47.63 was a personal best and enough to win him the gold medal in the 2021 NJSIAA Meet of Champions on June 19.
COURTESY MONTCLAIR TRACK & FIELD

BY ANDREW GARDA
garda@montclairlocal.news

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, Montclair High Schools’ sports teams found success throughout the past year. Focus on the field translated into multiple titles for the athletics department.

Spring sports have just finished up, so some of them have not received their All-State or All-County honors, but there is plenty to celebrate anyway.

The following are Montclair High School athletic high points from the 2020-21 sports seasons:

Fall

Football: Quarterback Michael Robinson, committed to Rutgers, was added to the North/South All Star game, although the game was not played this year due to COVID-19. Five members of the 2020 Mounties football team were named to the SFC Liberty White All-Division teams, with Raphael Dagniho (OL), Jordan Williams (RB/LB) and Robinson representing the offense while Abdul Hamilton (DL) and Jaheim Lowe (DB) were named for their defensive efforts. Matt Tobin, Ethan Daddabbo, Aqueel Plant and Max Haley-Coley got Honorable Mention.

Girls Soccer: The Mounties won the 2020 NJSIAA Girls North East E championship with a 4-1 win over Livingston, and the last two seasons compiled a 31-1-3 record while allowing only five goals in 2020. Claire Manning, Sydney Masur, Baldwin Gittens and goalkeeper Molly Brumbach all won first team All-SEC honors, while Kiera Hessler, Sonia Neighbors and Stella Tapia were named to the second team and Shelby Duffy and Emily Crane got Honorable Mention. Manning also was named NJ.com’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year and played for the East in the All-American High School Soccer Game, the top high school soccer All Star game in the country.

The 2020 NJSIAA Girls North East E championship Mounties after a dominating 4-1 win over Livingston.
ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

Boys Soccer: Montclair won the NJSIAA North East G, Group 4 championship with a 3-0 win over Livingston.Three players — Felipe Gutierez, Luca Campbell and Soren Tolis — were named to the First Team All-SEC for the American Division. Noah Dinel, Ben Ceccio and Aidan McGrath made Second Team, while Patrick O’Toole and Julian Shorter got Honorable Mention.

Cross-Country: The girls and boys teams finished with a combined 49-3 record, with the boys going 26-2 and the girls finishing at 23-1. Montclair won both boys and girls SEC divisional titles, the first time in the program’s history that the teams swept the county championships. Both teams finished in second place at the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 sectionals. Violet Ross, Meghan O’Brien and Lily Johnston were First Team All-Conference for the girls, with Oscar Counsell and Charles Ehlis representing the boys. Second Team members included Charles Hymowitz, Lucas Dia, Kona Michaud, Maya Kim, Krisantha Spencer, Ella McAdams and Madeline Duncan.

Senior captain Ben Ceccio lays on the Fortunato Field turf after the Mounties won the 2020 NJSIAA North East G, Group 4 championship on Saturday, Nov. 21. Ceccio’s hat-trick powered MHS to their 3-0 win.
ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

Field Hockey: The Mounties had a nice run in the NJSIAA Tournament, falling to Millburn 5-4 in the semifinals. Phebe Campbell and Julia Magaldi were named to the First Team All-Conference, with Natalie Snyder, Elizabeth Haefeli and Lulu Rubin gaining Second Team honors and Isabel Ginns and Charlotte McClenahan getting Honorable Mention.

Girls Tennis: Madeline Schanen was named to the All-SEC American First Team, with Chloe Jordan getting Second Team accolades and Lily McDonald and Eve Friend getting Honorable Mention.

Freshman Morgan Marshall led the Mounties — and the Super Essex Conference — with 337 points this season and along with teammate Ayanna Brantley, was named to the First Team All-SEC Independence.
courtesy Keith Adams

Winter

Girls Basketball: The Mounties won the SEC-Independence Division, undefeated in the SEC with an 11-0 record, along with a 13-2 overall record for the season. Freshman Morgan Marshall and junior Ayanna Brantley were named to the First Team All-SEC Independence, with Phoebe Sullivan and Elsa Taylor-Lillquist on the Second Team and Karen Hankerson getting Honorable Mention. Marshall led the entire SEC with 337 points and was in the Top 15 for steals in the conference, one of three Mounties in the top 15 for steals-per-game, along with Brantley and Hankerson.

Boys Basketball: The Mounties’ season ended a little early due to a positive COVID-19 test, but still showed enough for William Monroe to be named to the All-SEC Liberty Second Team and Elijah Beek and Shahaad Sutton getting Honorable Mention.

Fencing: Both the girls and boys fencing teams had a good winter, with the high point perhaps being when the boys beat Columbia for the first time in five years. Alexander Brown had an exceptional year, notching a 30-3 record and winning 15 bouts in a row in the middle of the season. On the girls side, some of the top fencers were foil fencers Georgia Chen (30-3) and Assata Mutakabbir (18-9) as well as epee fencer Amira Mutakabbir (26-6). Three athletes were named to the N.J. All State teams — Chen and Amira Mutakkabir to First Team All State and Brown to the Second Team.  Amira Mutakkabir won the N.J. individual state high school championship for girls epee, while Brown came in 10th for boys foil.

Senior Amira Mutakabbir (left) was named to the First Team All State for epee, and won the N.J. individual state high school championship for girls epee
ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

Hockey: The Mounties saw Brett Janifer, Ben Peiffer and Mark Rechan get named to the North Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League All-Conference First Team, and George Osterberg and Jared Topf received Honorable Mention honors.

Indoor Track: The boys indoor track team captured its first Essex County championship in 20 years while the girls also took home first place, beating the second-place team by 50 points. The girls also won the County Relays.

Bowling: The girls had Abigail Price make the All-SEC First Team, with Georgia Aishton, Hazel Aiello and Alyssa Phillips named to the Second Team. For the boys, Tal Burns and Aidan Walker were named to the First Team, and Danny Walker and Jayden Robinson to the Second Team.

Devon Muldoon (pictured above at a meet in) gained First team honors in the 200m Individual Medley, as well as in the 200m relay and the 400m Freestyle relay.
COURTESY MHS SWIM TEAM

Swimming: The Mountie girls won every meet this season, going 11-0 (5-0 SEC-American) and easily taking the division while the boys lost just twice, finishing 9-2 (3-2 SEC-American). In terms of All-SEC honors, the 200m relay team of Devon Muldoon, Carly Frank, Olivia Beck and Ela Habjan were named to the First Team. Muldoon also received individual honors for the 200 individual medley, while Frank was named for the 100 freestyle and Habjan for the 100m backstroke. Frank, Muldoon and Habjan were also named to the First Team for the 400m freestyle relay along with squad mate Lily Miklaszewski. Miklaszewski, Sarah Miller, Lauren Wall and Beck were named to the Second Team for the 200m freestyle relay, and Miklaszewski received an overall Honorable Mention. For the boys, Jarrett Driever (200 individual medley), Mizell McEachin (50 freestyle) and Leo Powers (100 butterfly) received Second Team All-SEC honors, while Marcos Gutierrez received Honorable Mention.

Girls Volleyball: Sienna Martinez and Hannah Roche were named to the All-SEC Liberty First Team for the Mounties, with Paige Foley and Brooke Radar making Second Team. Alex Reesch and Elsa Wilkotz received Honorable Mention.

MHS catcher Ethan Daddabbo blasts a pitch deep, for a three-run, bases-clearing triple during Montclair’s 7-0 NJSIAA quarterfinal win over West Orange. MHS won its first State Sectional since 1964, and made its first ever State Group final.
ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

Spring

Baseball: It’s been a season of firsts for the Mounties, who compiled a 24-6-1 (6-4-1 SEC-American) record as they secured their first NJSIAA Sectional title in 57 years, their first-ever NJSIAA Group semifinal win and on Saturday, June 19, their first-ever appearance in the NJSIAA Group 4 championship game. All-Conference teams were not named as of press time, but many Mounties are expected to be on the list when it is released.

Softball: The Mounties had a solid season, putting together a 17-8 (9-3 in SEC-Liberty) record and closing out the season with three straight wins where they outscored the opposition 41 to 5. Postseason and conference awards had not been released by press time.

Boys Tennis: Despite being a young group — there were no seniors on the team — the MHS boys nearly repeated their 2019 NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 championship win, but fell just short against Bergen Tech in the finals.  Postseason and conference awards had not been released by press time.

Boys Lacrosse: The team had a rough early season but after the first five games won 11 of its next 14 games, reaching the Essex County Tournament finals and the NJSIAA North Jersey Group 4 semifinals. Jared Topf,  Matt Skibniewski and Jonas Taylor-Lilquist all took home First Team All-SEC American honors, while Will Labartino, Solomon Brennan and Henry Painter were named to the Second Team. Luca Ward won Honorable Mention.

Multiple MKA defenders surround MHS senior and Colorado commit Katie Giordano during the ECT semifinals on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Giordano was named to the All-SEC American First Team.
ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

Girls Lacrosse: The Mounties girls reached the semifinal rounds in both the Essex County Tournament and the NJSIAA North Jersey Group 4 tournament.  They lost seven games by just one goal and fought hard all season. Katie Giordano, Emily Crane and Lauren Morganlander were all named to the First Team All-SEC American squad while Sabrina Martin and Megan Previdi landed on the Second Team.   Leigh Naturale received Honorable Mention.

Track and Field: The team had yet another amazing season. The girls placed second in the Essex County Relays and first in the Super Essex County Conference American and Liberty Championships, while the boys placed third in the Essex County Relays and second in the Super Essex County Conference American and Liberty Championships. The girls also finished second, and the boys third, in the NJSIAA Sectionals North 1, Groups 1 and 4. Six individual athletes and four relay teams made the Meet of Champions, where Jessie Legister won the 400-meter dash with a blazing fast time of 47.63 seconds. The time was not only a personal best, but the fastest time run in the state this spring. Meanwhile Elizabeth Fitzgerald hit a height of 12-feet in the pole vault. The top five competing pole vaulters all finished with the same height, so while she placed fourth in the finals due to tie breakers, Fitzgerald’s 12-feet tied for highest in the state this year, and was not only a personal best, but a school record for MHS.

Junior Elizabeth Fitzgerald was the first Montclair High School girls pole vaulter to reach the Meet of Champions, and her 12-foot height was not only a personal best, but set a school record and tied for the highest pole vault by a girls high school athlete in the state this year.
COURTESY KEITH ADAMS

The Mounties medaled in five events overall. In seven of the 10 events in which they completed, they placed in the top 5.

For All-SEC American honors, Jessie Legister (400m), Oscar Counsell (1600m) and the relay team of Legister, Counsell, Truman Williams and Reuven Frye were all named to the First Team for the boys. Stephanie Webb (100m, 200m), Elizabeth Fitzgerald (pole vault) and the relay team of Webb, Ella McAdams, Krisantha Spencer and Kiya Lawson were named to the First Team for the girls. Lawson (100m, 200m), McAdams (400m), Spencer (800m), Violet Ross (1600m), Madeline Duncan (3200m) and Fitzgerald (triple jump) made the Second Team, while for the boys Williams (100m, 200m), Counsell (800m) and Richard Fortune (shot put) were named to the Second Team.

With a list like this, something always gets missed. Did we overlook something or someone? Let us know!

Fall and Winter sports will appear in the June 24 print edition, while Spring sports will see print on July 1.

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What Is Health at Every Size (HAES)? The Approach Focuses on Health vs. Weight

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What Is Health at Every Size (HAES)? The Approach Focuses on Health vs. Weight
anti diet special report bug

Whenever we go to the doctor’s office — whether it’s for an annual physical or a sore throat— one of the first things we do is step on a scale. For some of us, it’s a fraught moment: Will the number be higher or lower than last time? How will we feel about that? And folks in larger bodies, especially, may wonder: What will my doctor think about that?

In a paper published in 2014, researchers found that 21% of patients with BMIs in the “overweight” and “obese” ranges felt that their doctor “judged them about their weight” — and as a result, they were significantly less likely to trust their doctor or even to return for follow-up care. And research shows that this lack of trust is valid: Doctors are more likely to be biased against patients with high BMIs, and that this impacts the quality of the medical care they receive.

After analyzing audio recordings of 208 patient encounters by 39 primary care physicians, scientists found that doctors established less emotional rapport with their higher weight patients, according to a study published in a 2013 issue of the journal Obesity. Other studies have found that this lack of rapport makes doctors more likely to deem a higher-weight patient as “noncompliant” or “difficult,” often before the exam has even begun. And for women, gender non-conforming folks, people of color and people with low socioeconomic status, a doctor’s weight bias may intersect with other biases and potentially make the situation worse.

Medical weight stigma can have dire consequences. When patients delay healthcare because they’re worried about discrimination, they miss regular screening exams and are more likely to be much sicker by the time doctors do see them, which is one of the reasons why some people assume everyone in a larger body is unhealthy and observe correlations (but not causations) between higher body weight and chronic health conditions that benefit from good preventative healthcare.

At the same time, provider bias can lead doctors to under-treat or misdiagnose their larger patients in all sorts of ways. Patients in larger bodies with eating disorders tend to struggle longer and be sicker when they finally do get treatment, because doctors can ignore their symptoms — or even praise their disordered eating when it results in weight loss. Weight stigma also causes doctors to overlook problems that aren’t about weight. For example, in May 2018, a Canadian woman named Ellen Maud Bennett died only a few days after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis; in her obituary, her family wrote that Bennett had sought medical care for her symptoms for years, but only ever received weight loss advice.

Because of this mounting evidence about the health consequences of medical anti-fat bias, some providers are starting to shift their medical practices to what’s known as the “Health at Every Size” approach, the purpose of which is to take the focus off a person’s weight, and instead look more holistically at their overall health. Of course, many doctors are still using scales and prescribing weight loss. But the Health at Every Size movement can be a model for health and wellness that you can adopt for yourself, too.


anti diet special report bug

While only a fifth of the 600 respondents in a 2012 survey perceived weight-related judgment from PCPs, they were significantly less likely to report high trust in these doctors.


So, what is Health at Every Size?

Most doctors today approach health through what’s known as the “weight-centric” model, where weight is viewed as one of, if not the, most important marker of health. In the weight-centric model, if the patient is in a larger body, many conditions are treated primarily through the prescription of weight loss. Health at Every Size, commonly known as HAES (pronounced “hays”), is an alternative approach, also sometimes referred to as a “weight-inclusive” model of healthcare.

HAES originated in the fat acceptance movement and was further popularized by Lindo Bacon, Ph.D., a weight science research and associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, who wrote the book Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight in 2010 and hosts the HAES Community website. “Health at Every Size is the new peace movement,” writes Bacon. “It is an inclusive movement, recognizing that our social characteristics such as our size, race, national origin, sexuality, gender, disability status and other attributes, are assets and acknowledges and challenges the structural and systemic forces that impinge on living well. It also supports people of all sizes in adopting healthy behaviors.” (If you’re interested, more information about the history and philosophy of HAES is available from the Association for Size Diversity and Health.)

HAES-informed practitioners do not routinely weigh patients, or use weight to determine how healthy a person is. Instead, they look at other biomarkers, like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to assess physiological health. And they consider how various social, economic and environmental factors in a person’s life impact their ability to pursue health. Translation: Instead of assuming you’re lazy or uninformed if you aren’t exercising or eating vegetables, a HAES-aligned doctor will ask about your schedule, responsibilities and priorities, to see what kind of barriers you face to adopting a regular workout routine. And they’ll take into consideration whether or not you live near a grocery store, have time to cook, or can otherwise easily access healthier food.

This doesn’t mean a HAES provider won’t ever encourage you to be more active or change your eating habits; it means they’ll only recommend changes that are attainable and realistic for you. And, most crucially, they won’t be telling you to do these things to lose weight. In the HAES model, weight loss is never a goal of treatment because your body is never viewed as a problem to be solved. You have the right to pursue health in the body you have, rather than waiting for that body to change in order to be deemed healthy.

But isn’t it unhealthy to be fat?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not inherently unhealthy to be fat. Research shows that the relationship between weight and health is much less clear-cut than we’re often told. Weight may be a correlating factor in health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, but scientists haven’t been able to prove that a high body weight causes such diseases. In some cases it may contribute, or it may be simply another symptom of a different root cause. (Consider how smoking can cause both lung cancer and yellow teeth — but nobody assumes that yellow teeth cause lung cancer.)

In fact, weighing more can actually protect you against certain health problems, including osteoporosis and some kinds of cancer. Heart surgery patients with higher BMIs also tend to have better survival rates than their thinner counterparts. The fact that a high body weight actually helps you survive major illness could explain why overweight and low-obese BMIs have the overall lowest risk of dying compared to other weight categories, according to data first published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005. In short, it is absolutely possible to be fat and fit.

Even if you live in a larger body and do have health conditions often assumed to be weight-linked, there is good evidence that you can treat those problems and improve your health without pursuing weight loss. In a 2012 GFN of almost 12,000 adults, researchers found that lifestyle habits were a better predictor of mortality than BMI because regardless of their weight class, people lived longer when they practiced healthy habits like not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily and exercising 12 or more times per month.

That’s good news because despite how often doctors prescribe it, we don’t have a safe and durable way for most people to lose significant amounts of weight. That’s because our bodies are programmed to fight weight loss, for our own good. According to an evidence review of common commercial weight loss protocols first published in 2007, and later updated in 2013: People lose some weight in the first nine to 12 months of any diet, but over the next two to five years, they gain back all but an average of 2.1 pounds. And dieting and “weight cycling” in this way can increase your risk for disordered eating and other health problems.


anti diet special report bug

In a University of South Carolina study, all of the men and women followed over the course of 170 months benefited from the adoption of healthy habits, no matter their size.

How do I practice HAES — and how do I get my doctor on board?

Practicing Health at Every Size will look different for everyone, because that’s part of its beauty: You get to decide your own health priorities and can focus on the goals that are accessible and realistic for your life, rather than following a doctor’s “one size fits all” approach to health. But there is one universal tenet: Your weight is no longer part of the conversation. That might mean that you ditch your scale, stop dieting and exercising for weight loss, start to explore intuitive eating and joyful movement — or all of the above.

But while there is growing awareness of HAES in the medical community, it is not the default approach in most healthcare offices. To find doctors or other practitioners in your area who identify as HAES-aligned, you can start by checking the HAES provider directory. But if not, it may be possible to have a productive conversation with your current doctor about why you’d like to take the focus off your weight. One simple way to set this boundary is to decline to be weighed at the start of the visit.

You may worry that the doctor’s office won’t allow you to skip the routine weigh-in, but you have a right to refuse to be weighed, says Dana Sturtevent, R.D., a dietitian and co-founder of Be Nourished, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon, which offers workshops, retreats and e-courses for healthcare providers on how to offer trauma-informed and weight-inclusive care. “This can be a very real and potentially vulnerable step towards self-care,” she says. If your doctor objects, you can ask: “How will this information be used?” There are times when a weight is medically necessary, such as when it’s needed to determine the correct dosing of certain medication. If that’s the case, you can ask to be weighed with your back turned to the scale so you can’t see the number. But if you’re told it’s routine or that they just need to write it down for insurance purposes, you can ask that they write “patient declined” instead.

It can also help to give your doctor a heads up that you would prefer not to discuss weight or weight loss at your appointment. If you feel anxious about bringing this up in the exam room, you can download this letter, created by HAES providers Louise Metz, MD., and Anna Lutz, R.D., to send ahead or give to the nurse who takes your vitals at the start of the appointment. Dr. Metz has also collaborated with health coaches Ragen Chastain and Tiana Dodson to create the HAES Health Sheets Library, which contains downloadable fact sheets on how to treat conditions commonly linked to weight from a HAES perspective.

If your doctor persists in a weight-focused approach to your care, remember that you have the right to switch providers. But more importantly: “Remember that you are not required to be a certain weight in order to be worth of love, respect, belonging or decent medical care,” says Sturtevent. “Your body is your body.”

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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

You’re already well-acquainted with Amazon as your shopping preference for everything from household products to books, tech accessories to groceries. But since 2017 one of the world’s largest retail marketplaces has made a pointed effort to expand past their traditional stock. In less than four years, Amazon has introduced dozens of in-house fashion brands, making their mark on the style world in the process. (And with free speedy shipping on most Amazon Prime items, there’s never been an easier way to do a spot of last-minute shopping).

We’ve gathered the nine standout Amazon fashion brands you need to know below. Whether you’re looking to refresh your underwear drawer, update your closet with some trend-focused finds, or simply add a few wardrobe essentials, the mega-retailer is literally your one-stop destination.

Core 10

What it is: High-quality workout-wear with tons of amazing reviews

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If you’re looking for affordable activewear that performs just as well as brands three times the price, Core 10 is your answer (it comes in extended sizing as well). Sports bras, leggings, shorts, hoodies, and more—it’s got all your workout needs covered.

Highlights include a ’90s-fantastic collaboration with Reebok launched earlier this summer and a “Build your own” legging option. Shoppers can customize their perfect pair with three lengths and three waistband styles, resulting in one shopper saying that they’re the “best leggings [she’s] tried. Hands down.”

Wild Meadow

What it is: Basics with a ’90s feel that all cost less than $30

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Launched this spring, Wild Meadow brings that easy-breezy youthful ’90s vibe and all styles are offered up to a size XXL. The best part? Not a single item costs more than $30, which means you should stock up—ASAP.

In the market for a tie-dye cami dress? A tie-front cropped tee? Still hunting for that perfect slip dress that will take you from day to night with a simple shoe swap? Wild Meadow has you covered with all that and more.

Amazon Essentials

What it is: Non-basic basics that are budget-friendly

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The Amazon Essentials brand includes food, household items—and wardrobe basics. Essentials, yes, but they’re anything but boring. Expect to find everything from floral t-shirt dresses to cozy fleeces, yoga leggings to bathing suits.

It’s affordable—prices are pretty much all under $50, with most under $25—and available in plus sizes. An important-to-know factor that makes this label stand out is how many maternity options there are, should you be in the market. In short, you can curate your entire wardrobe virtually no matter your size, budget, or stage of life.

Goodthreads

What it is: Trend-driven closet essentials

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Goodthreads started as a menswear-only Amazon brand but quickly expanded into the womenswear market. This line has a lot of wardrobe essentials, like button-down shirts, chinos, and sundresses, but they’re a bit more fashion-focused than some of Amazon’s other basics go-tos (like Amazon Essentials).

Here, you’ll find cinched-waist midi dresses, tops with subtly ruffled sleeves, and colorfully striped button-downs. The biggest draw, though, is the denim, which is sold in six different silhouettes, showcasing an impressive number of length and wash options. The size range for Goodthreads is XS-XXL on most pieces.

There is

What it is: Everyday underwear and lingerie, plus great swim options

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Amazon’s own lingerie brand offers everything from underwire bras to slinky slips and lace-trimmed thongs. If you’re looking for underwear or sleepwear of any kind, this is your brand.

For casual everyday wear, Mae offers cotton briefs and bras, lacy bralettes, and future go-to t-shirt bras to name a few. If you’re looking for more of a special lingerie moment, consider their wide selection of sexy, flirty sets and separates. The brand has expanded into swim, shapewear, and pajamas, too.

Daily Ritual

What it is: Comfortable basics that go up to 7X

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Daily Ritual is your go-to for comfortable options that look presentable enough for stepping out with friends or running errands. The brand is known for its selection of casual essentials that are anything but basic, and most items are made of a super soft cotton jersey or fleece.

There’s a bit of everything, including puffer jackets for when temps get chilly, but the majority of the pieces focus on classic cotton tees, joggers, and the like. An impressive amount is offered in plus sizes up to 7X, providing real universal appeal. For the shopper who loves to dress simply, stay comfortable, and look put-together, this is the Amazon fashion brand for you.

The Drop

What it is: Limited-edition collections co-created with some of today’s biggest social stars

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Built on the concept of curated, limited-edition capsule collections that are only promised to be available for a quick 30 hours, The Drop is Amazon’s most coveted line. Each collab is designed and curated by a rotating list of bloggers and influencers uniquely catering to their individual style at affordable prices—it’s either pieces they want for their own wardrobe or have developed a signature look around.

Past influencers to participate include Charlotte Groeneveld of The Fashion Guitar, Leonie Hanne of Ohh Couture, Quigley Goode of Officially Quigley, and more. Depending on the influencer, The Drop could include everything from wrap dresses to faux leather pants; teddy bear shearling coats or shackets. You have 30 hours to order originally, but some styles (like the below) make a reappearance.

Cable Stitch

What it is: Classic knitwear silhouettes, updated

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The name literally says it all: Cable Stitch is the Amazon brand to go to if you love a good knitwear moment. Cardigans, pullovers, dresses…you name it. The range will appeal to minimalists and maximalists alike, with classic solid colors and brightly colored stripes in the mix.

When Amazon creates an entire line centered around knitwear, you know they’re going to go big or go home. You can shop an array of the more unconventional knits that are trending (like side-slit midis and puff-sleeve pullovers) as well as basics. Most pieces retail between $20 and $60, though some outliers will exist from season to season.

The Fix

What it is: Stand-out shoes and bags that can upgrade everything in your closet

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Accessory obsessed? You need to know about The Fix. Specializing in the little pieces that make or break a look, this is your shop for all the trendiest footwear and handbags you’ve been coveting since you first saw them explode on the street style scene.

At The Fix, you can shop heels, flats, sandals, and sneakers in a range of head-turning styles. There are certainly no basics here, with every style boasting at least one special detail that makes them stand out from the rest. Whether that’s an ankle strap or chunky heels covered in velvet, special details let you transform your look by swapping in a new accessory.

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Marshfield Clinic Health System saves $1.2M with parts procurement automation

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Marshfield Clinic Health System saves $1.2M with parts procurement automation

Marshfield Clinic Health System is a fast-growing health system in Wisconsin. Since 2017, it has jumped from one to nine hospitals and now has more than 1,200 providers totaling 86 specialties.

MCHS also has a health plan and a healthcare technology management department that manages more than 32,000 pieces of equipment. That department also has grown exponentially: In 2018 it managed just 8,000 pieces.

THE PROBLEM

“There was no way we were going to keep up with this growth without adding substantial biomedical support staff,” said Jay Olson, system biomed director at Marshfield Clinic Health System. “And when you need support staff for the support staff, that doesn’t fly. In our world of managing equipment and people, the last thing you want to do is add more people.

“However, the way we ran the HTM department was very inefficient,” he continued. “Like many healthcare organizations, we weren’t using automation or leveraging analytics to manage the procurement of parts and services for medical equipment. Instead, we were using paper purchase orders.”

Plus, each hospital had its unique parts ordering system or procurement service, which added complexity. When these individual hospitals joined the MCHS system, the purchasing processes were all different.

“On top of this, we were relying on our biomed technicians to do the bulk of the heavy lifting in purchasing: calling around or searching online sites for the best prices and deals, making snap decisions about the quality of parts and equipment, and using paper requisitions to create orders and faxing them to suppliers,” Olson explained.

They also had to follow up on orders and reconcile any issues, which is stressful since they often need to get the parts quickly to fix often-crucial equipment.

“As might be expected, this was a time-consuming process, and wasn’t the best use of the technicians’ time,” Olson said. “Their job is to fix equipment, and their first priority is to have the equipment up and running so the clinical staff can focus on patient care.”

Data integrity also was a major concern. The past purchasing process lacked accurate order confirmation and tracking. Staff often discovered that orders were never actually placed. And when orders were placed, technicians had to manually enter purchased part numbers into the system, from Accruent Computerized Maintenance Management Systems.

“I have some amazing technicians that can fix high-end imaging equipment, and they save us millions of dollars a year, but even they could accidentally input duplicate part descriptions or introduce discrepancies,” Olson noted.

Additionally, the purchasing compliance rules created conflicts and delays.

“This data-driven approach also lets us make smarter decisions faster, like having the instant comparison to either purchase a $300 new part versus the cost of sending the equipment out for repair, which is a $150 flat repair rate.”

Jay Olson, Marshfield Clinic Health System

“We have select vendors that we’re supposed to order all of our parts through, but since I can’t get everything I need in one place, you have to be able to go to other stores,” he explained. “However, we weren’t able to do that without setting up a whole new company in our database. It’s a week-long process to just get a part that nobody else sold for us.”

PROPOSAL

First, Olson took advantage of MCHS being in its rapid growth phase and made an operational change: Instead of every individual hospital department having its own biomed spend, he proved that the health system could save money by creating one in-house service.

The health system took all the costs and all the spend and put them in one account. That simplified everything so Olson could get control over ordering the parts.

Once leadership gave him the ball, he had to run with it – and he turned to vendor PartsSource.

“PartsSource Pro was the best solution for our consolidated department,” he said. “Their e-commerce platform integrated easily with our existing purchasing processes and CMMS, so we didn’t have to install expensive new equipment or undergo significant employee training for implementation.

“The only thing a biomed technician needed to do was login to existing systems and start the work order, click on the PartsSource area – which had a customized interface for every one of our parts – complete their shopping cart, and then close the work order when they finished the repair.”

Because PartsSource’s service platform is based on evidence and quality data, it also offered MCHS a way to streamline and optimize how it purchased medical equipment parts and services.

“Our biomed technicians would have instant access to internal inventory numbers and the ability to track orders, as well as the ability to consolidate suppliers and access high-quality clinical resources at the point of purchase,” Olson noted. “All of this was more efficient: biomed technicians had more time in their day, as they weren’t working on following up on orders, and the workflow process ran smoother.

“PartsSource ended up becoming an extension of our team, which was the best option for our operational needs,” he said. “We were at the point where we either had to add staff or we had to go with the program. Go big or go home, as I like to say.”

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Olson and staff report being very pleased with the results.

PartsSource’s platform integrated seamlessly with our existing system, the Accruent Transportation Management System (TMS) and CMMS and purchasing workflows,” he said. “The clinical engineering department, specifically our biomed technicians, used this combined platform for ordering, and were able to open a work order and access the PartsSource marketplace with the click of a button.

“Rather than making multiple calls or conducting time-consuming research, they had costs and reliability figures at their fingertips to support their decision-making,” he continued. “After receiving a part and then making a repair, all they had to do was go back in and close the work order out. Best of all, everything technicians did – from the time they purchased something to shipping info – was available right there in the work order.”

This deep integration led to greater data integrity, as tracking this information automatically (and correctly) resulted in better access to the kind of data staff needed to drive activities such as a capital replacement strategy, alternative equipment maintenance (AEM) schedules and total cost of ownership.

Previously, manually entering orders could lead to confusion over inventory – whether something is in stock or even on order – or duplicate entries. From a safety standpoint, if there is a recall, the staff can actually determine where a part is in that moment.

RESULTS

MCHS saw an immediate impact. For example, via PartsSource, the staff bought a specialized X-ray tube for $89,000 – a savings of more than $30,000 compared to the price from the vendor they had usually purchased it from. They had the part in-house the next day.

“Big wins like that, and all the little wins underneath of it, really justified the program,” Olson said.

Because PartsSource orders are imported right into the database, staff members now have better visibility into their spending and purchasing behavior, which has helped them plan and control costs.

“I can actually balance our general ledger for our cost centers against our TMS, and it’s spot on, because the cost of the part is tracked all the way – from the time it gets ordered to the time it gets put in the machine,” he explained.

“This data-driven approach also lets us make smarter decisions faster, like having the instant comparison to either purchase a $300 new part versus the cost of sending the equipment out for repair, which is a $150 flat repair rate,” he continued.

“We saw financial benefits immediately with access to this new information. In fact, after just one quarter, we saw a cost savings of 35%. At the end of 2019, MCHS’ use of PartsSource saved the organization $1.2 million just in parts.”

The solution allowed staff to consolidate parts procurement from multiple different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers into one centralized, easy-to-use e-commerce platform, integrating with CMMS and purchasing workflows, he added.

“Our odds-and-ends parts are all ordered via one-stop-shopping. We can go into PartsSource’s catalog, and there they are,” he said. “These parts have also been verified. But if we do have problems, we can send them back and contact PartsSource and give feedback: ‘Hey, this part wasn’t what it was cut out to be.’ They go to a different vendor and fix the issue.”

This system has helped MCHS maintain excellent return rates on defective replacement/repair parts for medical equipment. To date in 2021, the health system’s quality return rate is 0.3%, with the industry benchmark being 2%; and an overall return rate of 2.4%, again beating the industry benchmark, 3%.

“Consolidating parts procurement from 471 different OEMs and suppliers eliminated significant waste in the procurement process, which alleviated the burden of purchase order management,” Olson said. “Decreasing the time to procure parts increased productivity for the department.

For example, the time from requesting the part to delivery used to be nearly 90 minutes. However, implementing PartsSource nearly halved this time throughout our partnership,” he continued. “Technicians could then dedicate these hours instead to customer support and service, repairs, cybersecurity, and sustaining the incredible growth MCHS has undergone.”

Plus, the automation has been a lifesaver, Olson said.

“Technicians don’t have to manage and follow the order confirmations. It’s all done automatically,” he explained. “This allowed us to give them back time in their day to focus on different, clinically focused tasks that they didn’t have time to focus on before, such as troubleshooting.

“With our existing staffing model, when employees are tied up with researching parts and working on getting equipment up and running, that’s less time they’ll have to look at other pieces of equipment that might need repairs,” he added. “In that case, we’ll call the vendor and have them help us out. But if they have extra time in the day, they can go attack another piece of equipment without having to call the vendor and/or switch around resources.”

Staff members always try to keep their resources deep enough, but it’s always more cost-effective if they can do it themselves, he said.

Today, as MCHS is building a tenth hospital, it has been able to keep up with the growth. In fact, it is at a point where it has added a couple of managers to oversee its southern and northern regions.

“Right now, we have an approval process, so if anyone is spending $1,000 or more on a part, I can approve it quickly, as I have PartsSource on my phone,” Olson said. “Now, however, these new managers can focus on the spend and make my life easier. There’s a lot of days I’ll see a part order come across, and I don’t have time to drill down on why it’s being ordered or why he’s doing OEM instead of third party. Now I can pass these on so I don’t delay the orders.”

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

“Organizations should first drill down on their existing pain points and look at what their specific needs are,” Olson advised. “Don’t be afraid to even make a list, ranking in order of importance your most crucial needs and what you’re looking for in a holistic solution and a valued partner.

“If you’re in a growth phase, you have to jump on board,” he continued. “Don’t be afraid of a data-driven solution, even if it is different from the paper-based way you’ve done things in the past. If you’re going to keep up with the industry, you have to keep an open mind. You don’t want to cut back staff, but utilize your staff in different ways.”

For example, instead of having two people placing orders, Olson has one staff member who helps with contract management, and another one who assists with all the invoicing that seems to stack up when one adds nine hospitals.

“If you can get into the growth phase like MCHS is in right now and keep services in-house and under control, you can do so much in savings moving forward,” he concluded. “For 32,000 pieces of equipment, we have a director and two managers and enough staff to run it. And it’s all because of the money that we’re saving because of working smarter.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bsiwicki@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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