The Secondary Effects of the Ebola Outbreak

Freetown - Sierra Leone
Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people, but its effects have gone much further than these deaths, sadly. One of the biggest fears that health professionals in the region have isn’t the disease itself, but rather what is going ignored because of it.

The beginning of malaria season in West Africa has marked the beginning of more deaths as well. Many health clinics that would normally treat malaria have closed due to Ebola related fears, and, sadly, in some cases, the clinics are closed due to staff fatalities from trying to treat the deadly disease.

Health workers in the region are being told to stay away from clinics due to Ebola fears. An NPR report noted that in Sierra Leone, the country’s Health Ministry doesn’t want workers drawing blood to test for malaria because Ebola can be contracted via direct contact with blood. The problem with this policy, and others like it, is that many groups (including Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry) require a blood test before malaria can be treated.

As a result of the Ebola outbreak, many individuals are going untested and untreated for malaria, leading to a rise in deaths from this disease as well, especially among children.

It’s a disturbing trend. Many of the preventative measures in place to help stop the spread of Ebola have led more deaths from childbirth, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.

Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations’ top man in the Ebola response, said, “One of the things that we do need to do is ensure that services get back up and running as quickly as possible, so people can access what they need in terms of health care, in terms of food and water and sanitation.”

Without basic, yet critical, infrastructure and preventative clinical measures, the death toll from Ebola and other diseases is sure to rise. Sadly, though, many of these deaths are likely not to be due to a higher rate of infection, but because those impacted individuals now are not getting the health care they require.

For more information on malaria, pneumonia or the other health risks that you could be exposed to while traveling to Africa contact a Passport Health travel health specialist.

Meet the Team: Michael Haddad, Passport Health’s Director of Technology

Meet the team: Michael Haddad, Director of Technology

Michael Haddad is Passport Health’s Director of Technology. In this role, Michael is responsible for the development and maintenance of all technology solutions at Passport Health – and he certainly stays busy! His responsibilities include oversight of and continued improvements to the company’s proprietary, cloud-based systems and its global websites that support the operations and interoperability of all Passport Health clinics worldwide. The functions of the cloud based system, called PASSageware, include appointment scheduling (phone and online), end-to-end patient electronic medical record management, a Vaccine Registry, customized corporate client portals, inventory control, billing and transaction management, marketing automation, forecasting and reporting. In short, Michael’s work is tremendously important to ongoing clinic operations and continued improvements in service delivery.

Michael Haddad: Travel Memory

As does the entire Passport Health team, Michael has a deep commitment to customer service. In fact, he says that the best part about working for Passport Health is that he “gets the opportunity to work on technology solutions that are used by our customers that visit our clinics. Even before our customers enter the doors of one of our clinics, they are already interacting with the various technology solutions that we have built by booking their appointment over the phone or online, receiving emails regarding their appointment, and filling out their medical history online. This is just a subset of the many things we do from a technology perspective that impact our customers, and, for me to know that I have a hand in that, makes my job rewarding.”

Like most of the team at Passport Health, Michael also loves to travel, and his favorite travel memory is when he and his wife took their daughter to Hawaii for the first time. Michael had visited Hawaii several times before with his wife, but being able to share this special place with his daughter made him love it even more, as she was so happy being there. Michael says, “The added bonus was that we stayed at the Disney Aulani Resort, so we got to see and hang out with the various Disney characters, which my daughter absolutely loved since she is a Disney fan and had never got to see them in person. Seeing the joy and how much fun she had definitely made that Hawaii trip my favorite trip.”

We agree that travel is not about where you go, but rather the human connections you make along the way! Do you have favorite travel memories? Feel free to share them as a comment to this post!

Why do I need a wellness program at work?

Workplace Wellness Program

 

Health is important no matter whether people are at work, school, home or traveling. Staff members who are healthy have higher productivity, lower absenteeism and lower costs related to healthcare, insurance, worker’s compensation, disability and training. The implementation of a workplace wellness program benefits employees and employers and is a cost-effective measure to promote everyone’s health.

What Is a Workplace Wellness Program?

A workplace wellness program is a comprehensive set of programs, policies, benefits and environmental supports uniquely designed for a particular organization to meet the health and safety needs of all employees. No two workplace wellness programs will be alike due to the different working environment, characteristics and staff needs. These programs are often managed by an independent agency working together with health insurers and business managers.

What Does a Workplace Wellness Program Include?

Workplace wellness programs include an assessment of the worksite to determine any health risks present in the environment. Next, planning takes place to determine interventions and infrastructure changes to the facility. The program is then implemented for all staff and includes health promotion interventions and risk reduction measures. Typical activities or interventions in a workplace wellness program include health education and personalized health coaching, weight management programs, health fairs, medical screenings, on-site fitness programs and healthy cooking demonstrations. Finally, an assessment is done to determine the effectiveness of the program. If the program is to be ongoing, interventions may be updated, and assessments may continue on an intermittent basis.

The Benefits to Employees

There are many benefits to introducing a wellness program at work. The benefits include financial, productivity, loyalty and health improvements.

  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases
  • Lower stress
  • Better weight management
  • Improved stamina and productivity
  • Lower costs for prescription medications, healthcare premiums and doctor’s office co-pays

Employer Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs

More than 200 scientific studies have been published attesting to the benefits of instituting workplace wellness programs. Many of the reasons for their implementation are benefits to the employer, such as:

  • Increased retention and recruitment of high-quality staff
  • Lower healthcare costs
  • Less employee absenteeism
  • Improved employee morale and interpersonal relations
  • Enhanced team-building
  • Lower rates of workplace illnesses and injuries

Setting Up a Wellness Program at Work

Business owners who are ready to lower healthcare-related costs and enjoy all the other benefits of a workplace wellness program can contact Passport Health’s travel health specialists for guidance and assistance with program implementation. Passport Health travel health specialists offer services that include vaccinations, advice on travel health, assistance with preparing medical and travel supplies, guidance on the use of mosquito repellent and sunscreen, and testing for infectious and chronic diseases. Employees can also receive personalized consultations including pre-travel health exams for work-related travel.

Sources:
Workplace Health Promotion
Wellness in the Workplace
Benefits of Worksite Wellness Programs

Staying Healthy While Enjoying Experiential Travel

Experiential Travel

 

Long gone are the days when people just wanted to sit in a chair and watch the world go by while on vacation. Today’s international travelers increasingly seek adventure and thrills that capture the essence of the place they are visiting. However, with the rise in experiential travel also comes an increase in the risk for injury, illness and infection. Learning how best to protect yourself can help ensure that your adventure will be fantastic from start through finish.

What Is Experiential Travel?

Experiential travel is a vacation taken up a few notches to include experiences that resonate at an emotional or even spiritual level. These sorts of trips are more personalized, more hands-on, more adventurous and more attuned to the local culture of each destination. Some people take part in experiential travel for the purposes of self-discovery while others want to immerse themselves in the unique aspects of what drew them to the destination in the first place.

Health Risks of Experiential Travel

There are several components to experiential travel that can put the health of travelers at risk. These risks include:

  • Far-off destinations. An adventure to a rainforest or exotic locale may be far from health care facilities should you develop a sudden illness or become injured during your trip.

  • Action. Experiential travelers are not content to sit in a chaise at the side of the hotel swimming pool for a week. Rather, they want to get out and do things. Many activities increase the risk of injuries, exposure to mosquitoes carrying parasites, and other infectious diseases spread by animals and insects.

  • Exposure to endemic diseases. In these out-of-the-way world destinations, the locals may not have been vaccinated against diseases that are rare in North America. As a result, you could become exposed to diseases such as polio, yellow fever and typhoid.

  • Poor sanitation. You will likely have a difficult time finding filtered or bottled water while skydiving off cliffs in Nepal or exploring the Amazon. There is a risk of food-borne and water-borne diseases.

How to Stay Healthy During Your Adventure

With some preparation and preventative action, you can head out on whatever type of experiential travel adventure you can imagine and still protect your health. About two months before your departure, schedule a pre-travel health exam with a travel health specialist. You will receive any necessary travel vaccinations to reduce your risk of picking up infectious diseases during your trip. Travel health specialists can prescribe preventive medications such as anti-malarial drugs to begin taking before you depart. You will also receive guidance on packing for a healthy trip, such as which sunscreen to take, the best type of mosquito repellant and how to select a water purification kit. You may also want to consider travel health insurance, trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation insurance in case of an illness or injury during your adventures.

Sources:
Peak & Skift: The Rise in Experiential Travel
National Geographic: 7 Travel Trends You Need to Know Now
Centers for Disease Control: Adventure Travel

HPV Vaccine Protection Extends Well Into the Future

Healthy and Happy Young Adults

 

In an ongoing study of the efficacy of HPV vaccines at Stiftung Juliusspital in Weurzburg, Germany, researchers examined the antibody levels of girls who received the vaccine at ages 10 through 14, which is the recommended time period for vaccination. The Adjuvanted HPV vaccine is a three-dose series of shots that aims to prevent infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for the majority of cases of cervical cancer. Scientists continue follow-up of the cohort to determine how long the vaccine can protect against HPV infections.

What Is the Adjuvanted HPV Vaccine?

The adjuvanted HPV vaccine is bivalent, which means it contains antigens against two types of HPV. To receive the full benefits of HPV vaccination, you need three shots. The second shot comes one month after the first shot, and the third shot comes six months after the first shot. In the U.S. and Canada, Gardasil, a name-brand HPV vaccine, is recommended for use in young men and women ages 13 to 26.

Why Is HPV Vaccination Important?

HPV is responsible for causing over 17,000 cancers annually in women and more than 9,000 cancers annually in men. In addition, it’s the cause of a common sexually transmitted infection, genital warts. HPV is passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activities. It can affect the throat, anus, penis, cervix and vagina. There are no screening tests for many of these cancers, some of which are not detected until the disease is severe and no treatments are available. Treatment for genital warts can be uncomfortable, and the condition may be embarrassing. Vaccination against HPV can minimize your risk of these painful, serious and sometimes deadly infections.

Who Is Eligible for HPV Vaccination?

Women aged 13 to 26 and men aged 13 to 21 are eligible for HPV vaccination. It’s important for both young men and young women to be vaccinated because men can spread HPV to women through sexual contact. The vaccine can help lower the risk of cancers in all young adults. The researchers at Stiftung Juliusspital in Germany estimate that HPV vaccination provides detectable protection for at least two decades, which covers the time when young people are becoming sexually active and planning families of their own.

Benefits of HPV Vaccination

The repercussions of cancers caused by HPV in women can lead to the need for radical treatment such as hysterectomy. This surgical procedure renders women infertile. HPV vaccination also prevents cancers in men. Early vaccination against HPV before the onset of sexual activity minimizes the risk of such drastic complications to reproductive and overall health.

How to Get Vaccinated Against HPV

If you’re in the eligible age range for vaccination, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. You can also complete the HPV vaccination series if you’ve only had one or two of the shots. Parents should schedule this vaccine for their sons and daughters to help protect their future health. To schedule your vaccination against HPV, you can contact your physician, pediatrician or a travel health specialist at Passport Health. Travel health specialists can also provide you with other vaccines to help guard against infections during domestic and international trips. You’ll receive guidance for packing, such as what benefits you can get from sunscreen, mosquito repellant, water purification tablets and sunscreen.

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: HPV and Cancer
Infectious Disease News: Adjuvanted HPV Promoted Long-term Antibody Persistence in Preteen, Adolescent Girls
CNN: HPV Vaccine Effective in Men

What Does the “Pure, Safe, and Effective” Flu Vaccine Mean for You and Your Family?

Healthy People

 

Passport Health is proud to partner with Protein Sciences to make the company’s Flublok influenza vaccine available to a greater range of clients, and Protein Sciences formally announced this partnership yesterday. Flublok is an influenza vaccine that allows almost anyone to be inoculated against the flu.

What makes Flublok so special is that it contains no egg protein, gelatin, latex, antibiotics, formaldehyde, or live influenza virus. Flublok essentially cuts out everything that might keep someone from being vaccinated. Pregnant? Not a problem. Allergic to eggs? Not a problem. Worried about a live or dead virus? There isn’t one.

Flublok uses modern DNA and cell cultures to produce just the protective ingredients needed to be vaccinated against the flu without having to worry about being exposed to the virus. And, with minimal side effects and triple the strength of traditional flu vaccines Flublok could be the solution to the flu problem.

Just like other immunizations, it is advisable to talk to a medical professional before receiving Flublok or any flu immunization, but doing so will put you one step ahead in the fight against the most prevalent of bugs.

Every year in the United States, influenza and its related complications result in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and as many as 49,000 deaths. If you’re interested in getting a flu shot and would like to know more about flu immunizations or Flublok, contact a Passport Health professional at 1-888-499-PASS (7277)

Links:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/flublok-influenza-vaccine-will-be-available-at-over-230-passport-health-locations-nationwide-2014-08-19
http://www.passporthealthusa.com/vaccinations/flublok-egg-free-cell-based-influenza-vaccine/
http://www.flublok.com/faq.html

Why Do I Need an On-Site Flu Vaccination Program at My Work?

Onsite Flu Vaccination Clinic in the workplace

 

If you think that you don’t need an on-site flu vaccination program at work, think again! A dedicated immunization effort will have several positive effects on your business. Many people do not end up getting a flu vaccine on their own time since they are unaware of the need to do so, and in turn, they may end up spreading the disease throughout the workplace. This is your chance to engage in public health education with the people who matter the most to your business — your employees. Here are some ways that an on-site flu vaccination program can have a positive effect on your business operations.

Reducing Absenteeism

When workers contract the flu, they tend to lose an average of five working days annually as they try to recover from the illness. However, some people take longer to recover than others, and they may begin to get better as others get sick. Your workplace could be suffering from absenteeism and staffing shortages for a couple of weeks if the flu hits your employees hard. After a while, this could lead to contracts not being upheld and profits being lost. Up to 20 percent of American workers will fall ill with the flu each year, so it makes sense to vaccinate your employees and ensure that they will be present at work during the flu season.

Boosting Employee Morale

When a large portion of a community is ill, productivity tends to suffer. People might stay at home due to their concerns about getting the flu and passing it on to their family members. Your bottom line will begin to suffer as projects fall behind and people avoid the workplace out of a fear of illness. By encouraging employees to get vaccinated at work, you can help them feel safe about coming in to perform their essential tasks. The protection granted by the flu vaccine extends far beyond the workplace, which can calm their fears of spreading the flu to other people. Your company will continue to thrive during the flu season if you set up an on-site vaccination program.

Reducing Travel-Related Illness

Perhaps your employees travel frequently in order to serve the needs of the company. During the height of flu season, they might be traveling through airports or public transit hubs. This could put them at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it back through the workplace, which in turn causes productivity to suffer. By starting an on-site flu vaccination program, you can make sure that anyone who travels for work stays safe and healthy.

On-Site Flu Vaccination Programs: A Key Part of Public Health

If you are interested in starting an influenza vaccination program at your workplace, you should strongly consider using Passport Health’s corporate services. We will assign travel health specialists who can visit your office and administer flu vaccines to employees who need them.

Vaccination is the smart choice for a business that doesn’t want to slow down because of an outbreak of illness. By maintaining a positive public health environment in your office, you can boost productivity and play an active role in the health of your employees. Contact Passport Health today for more information about setting up an account.

Sources
CDC Key Facts Page on Flu Vaccines
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Guide to Establishing a Work-Site Influenza Program
Passport Health Article on Establishing On-Site Vaccination Programs

Be Flu Free! Don’t Let These Myths InFLUence You!

The flu is serious business, but this common ailment is commonly misunderstood. Watch this video to dispel 8 of the most prevalent flu myths.

Myth: The flu isn’t that bad.
FACT: Being sick with the flu is terrible!

Myth: I’m healthy, so I don’t need the flu vaccine.
FACT: Even healthy, active people need the flu shot.

Myth: I can protect myself from the flu by washing my hands and bundling up in the cold.
FACT: Influenza is spread through the air, so hand washing cannot fully protect you.

Myth: I got the flu shot last year, so I don’t need to get it again.
FACT: The strains of flu virus that circulate change every year, so last year’s shot may not protect you this year.

Myth: I already got sick this year; I can’t catch the flu again.
FACT: Even if you were already sick with the flu, your body may not be immune to all circulating flu virus strains.

Myth: Antibiotics can fight the flu; I’ll just take some pills if I get sick.
FACT: Antibiotics cannot treat or prevent the flu.

Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu.
FACT: The flu shot cannot give you the flu.

Myth: You need a doctor’s appointment for a flu shot.
FACT: You can get the flu vaccine at Passport Health locations nationwide or at an onsite flu clinic at your office.

What are you waiting for? Get the flu vaccine and be Flu Free this year!

Finding Healing in Solo Travel

Written by: Kristin Meekhof

Kristin Meekhof

When Passport Health asked me to write about my travel journeys, I immediately said, “Yes”. I didn’t have to think twice. I loved the idea of talking about why I started to do more solo traveling after my life changing event. While this next paragraph may seem a little dark, I encourage you to read on. I share my tips for taking solo adventure.

I was 33 in 2007 when my husband of four years was diagnosed with adrenal cancer. About eight weeks after his first doctor’s appointment he died. We didn’t have any children together, so I was truly alone. He died in November a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and his birthday was in early December. I was anticipating a tsunami of loss with these two dates followed by the December holidays. I shared this with a dear friend. My friend sustained a personal loss as well, and I felt she understood my situation. She suggested that I “do something different” this December. She shared how following their family’s own devastating loss, she and her husband took their children on a holiday.

I lived in Michigan, and the thought of being in a warmer climate for an extended weekend seemed very attractive. I booked a trip to Florida and made certain that my trip had all of the necessary creature comforts. I didn’t want to rent a car, so I took a shuttle from the airport straight to the hotel.

Kristin Meekhof, Northern Michigan

 

Prior to being married I had traveled alone, but this trip was different. It was less than four weeks after the funeral, and I was feeling raw and vulnerable. I booked the trip online and when asked who my emergency contact was it gave me pause. I tried to skip that part; however, the website wouldn’t allow me to continue. I quickly entered my uncle’s contact information. I packed the essentials in my carry- on, tucked a snapshot of my husband in between the pages of a book, printed my boarding pass, and headed to the airport.

The first solo restaurant meal was difficult. Looking at the menu, I immediately thought of my husband. I noticed that they offered a dish of mussels prepared exactly how my husband loved. I started to question myself if this was a smart decision because now I was looking at the lobster, and remembering the time we were together in Maine eating lobster. However, these intense moments passed. The second and third meals were easier.
Since that first Florida trip, I’ve traveled solo on several occasions. I’ve literally taken planes, trains and an automobile to reach my destination. On multiple occasions, I’ve traveled by myself to northern Michigan, New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

While you may not have experienced a death of a loved one, you may have experienced a different type of loss: a job, a friendship, a relationship, or a divorce. These types of losses are often unexpected, unwanted, and unplanned, which makes it even more painful. Personally, my journey of healing began with that extended weekend to Florida. However, you don’t have to travel a great distance to move closer to your own transformation. If you are planning solo travel for the first time, and you find the task daunting, here are some suggestions:

Kristin Meekhof

1. If you’ve never traveled alone, you may want to plan a day trip before scheduling a week long solo vacation. This will get your feet wet so to speak. For example, you will experience dining for one. Getting to know a place through your own lens is a different experience than sharing it with others, but don’t be intimidated.

2. When you are setting your itinerary, be sure to have a back-up plan. Earlier this year I was in Boston when an extreme blizzard hit. The airport, museums, major highways, and some restaurants were closed. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself snowbound to my hotel, but I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to meet my family. I ordered a few movies, instead of having a pity party. Also, plans can quickly change even on a sunny day, and if you have a few alternatives in mind, it is easier to adapt to a sudden schedule shift.

3. Don’t expect a major transforming moment to occur because you may be setting yourself up for a large disappointment. While you may be saying “goodbye” to something or someone, don’t set your expectations too high. It is often in the smaller, unplanned moments that give birth to something new. On the Florida trip I began meditation, and it is something that I still practice.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you a part of my journey post loss. I will be traveling this fall to Kenya. A part of the trip will be to visit organizations that service widows. The second part of the trip, I will be on a safari. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you when I return.

You can visit me at my website where I talk about my upcoming book Just Widowed and some of the other travel adventures I’ve taken.


Kristin Meekhof is a graduate from Kalamazoo College, and completed the Master in Social Work program at the University of Michigan. She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and The Shriver Report, where she writes about healthy living. She recently ran a half-marathon in California to benefit The Weightless Project, a program supported by Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KristinMeekhof

Featured Traveler: Tempe Sister Cities Chapter

Established Relationships Nurtured During Trip Abroad

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

 

Name: Marcus Newton
Lives in: Chandler, AZ, USA
Destination: Balkans
Trip Date: May 28 – June 15, 2014

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy, Sister Cities International is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States. President Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be a champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world. By forming these relationships, President Eisenhower reasoned that people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts. Sister Cities International advances peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian, and economic development exchanges. It serves as a hub for institutional knowledge and best practices in the field of citizen diplomacy.

Marcus Newton, owner of Printing Specialists (an Arizona business for over 33 years), has been volunteering for the organization since 1986 and is currently the Vice President for the Sister Cities chapter in Tempe, AZ. He, his wife, and 16 other members of his local chapter recently traveled abroad to attend the Balkan Sister City Conference in Skopje, Macedonia. They also met with many mayors as they toured other Balkan countries in search of additional future Sister City relationships.

Did you visit any other countries in the area? If yes, which countries?
Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina

How did the daily life of the locals differ from the life you live back home?
There was not a noticeable difference among the daily life of the locals from ours. We met many locals and the only difference was language, but we are all faced with similar problems; the only slight difference may be intensity.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

Did you eat any local delicacies or interesting foods during your trip?
We had many opportunities to eat the local delicacies and partake in cultural experiences. We were guests at many banquets hosted by various Eastern Europe cities that were often 4-6 course meals that lasted from anywhere of 3-4 hours in length. These lunches/dinners gave us an opportunity to not only converse with the locals, but also taste many of their beloved cuisine, listen and dance to their local music. Almost every day, we ate the local vegetables, meats and drank local beer/wine. In Skopje, we were guests at a local restaurant, in which the owner and chef personalized our menu after the local favorites. He cooked all of our food in a specialized wood oven. This specialized oven was the only equipment in his kitchen. The dishes he created were amazing! While we were in Albania, we did have a fish that only can be found in the great depths of Lake Ohrid of the Balkans. The locals informed us that the Queen of England is known to favor this fish and it is imported from the lake to her table.

How was the weather different than in Arizona? Was it challenging to acclimate?
The weather was absolutely wonderful. The only difference was the high humidity that we are not used to in Arizona. The sun shined every day and the waterway breezes cooled us off. When it was hot, many of our new local friends would help us find an area of “shadow” (that is what they referred to as shade) and joined us for a drink at many of the beautiful cafés.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

What was the most memorable experience during your trip?
The beautiful scenery, but most of all the opportunity to meet many new friends.

Did you find any cultural similarities between your destination and home?
Throughout our travels, we have learned that people are very similar no matter where they live. We all have the same problems (family, work, government and etc…). We have all loved, felt pain and laughed.

What was the most surprising thing about your trip?
The most surprising thing about our trip was the beauty of Serbia. Serbia was so clean, green, and blooming with flowers. It was amazing to see how the wine industry has flourished in the Balkan countries. We saw so many miles of vineyards along the Balkan coastline and countryside. We tasted many of the local wines and they were incredible. It was evident that the Balkans are serious about their wine.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

What places of interest or activities do you recommend?
Everyone must visit Istanbul, Turkey. It is an intensely beautiful country that is so rich with history. The restaurant, hotel and tourism service is outstanding.

How did your trip impact the way you view life abroad??
That communism was a huge failure and still presents many obstacles for many countries to overcome.

Will you be traveling abroad soon? Be sure you are healthy and fully prepared for your trip by scheduling a visit with a travel health specialist before you go.

Sister Cities International
Tempe Sister Cities Chapter
Passport Health blog- Doing Good Globally: Sister Cities International