SLEEP ACTIVIST UPDATE

Featuring Dave Hargett and Joe Guilford

Updated April 25, 1997

 

G. L. "Joe" Guilford

Joe has been a CPAP user for 4 1/2 years and also happens to work for an American Sleep Disorders Association (ASDA) accredited sleep lab in Washington state's Tri-City area of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick. His expertise in the sleep lab is in fitting CPAP/Bi-Level (BiPAP) masks and ensuring compliance. Joe has written an article for one of the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) supplier magazines on what DME providers can do to increase their CPAP patient compliance rate. His sleep labs compliance rate is currently 87.35% based on 520 patients prescribed with CPAP/Bi-Level. Joe is also the coordinator for the Tri-Cities A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) support group.

His activist work includes e-mailing and faxing letters to his Senator(s) and Representatives and speaking professionally to various groups in the community about sleep and sleep disorders. Joe does about 50 presentations a year to groups like the Society of Nuclear Engineers, the Federated Business Women's Club, and many Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.

Joe is amazed at the amount of disinformation that has been put out by the medical professionals who are not familiar with sleep disorders and try to tell their patients they don't have a sleep disorder. He believes if we could get every GP, FP and Internist to ask their patients two questions they could significantly reduce the number of people who die from heart attacks, suffer strokes and thousands of people who are killed by falling asleep at the wheel. The first question should be "Do you snore?" and the second question (to the bed partner if possible) "Does he/she ever stop breathing when they are asleep?"

When speaking, Joe tries to show them the seriousness of sleep disorders and also have a little fun with the snorers in the audience and drive home the point of getting their sleep disorder taken care of NOW. Joe customizes his presentations to fit the group he is speaking to. Sometimes he does his presentation in sound bites, compressing a 50 minute presentation into 10 minutes. At times he has to be very "tech" oriented. When he spoke to the CPA's he had a lot of fun with the right brain-left brain syndrome. They loved looking at the polysomnograms he showed using overheads. Joe believes it is very important for patients who have been helped to tell their stories. Joe personalizes the presentation by telling his own story about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and how it affected him and how CPAP changed his life.

Even though sleep disorders are serious business, he does like to have some fun with his presentations. He is definitely not stuffy, how could he be when he talked about the loss of sexual drive to a group of retired business women, all of whom are over 70 and most of them widows!!

I think you will agree that due to Joe's active participation in educating the public about sleep disorders, many people will be saved from suffering and dying. Excellent work Joe Guilford !!

 

Dave Hargett


Dave is a sleep apnea patient, an A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) member and voluteers as the Newsletter editor for his group. Dave was recently elected President of the Elk Grove Village A.W.A.K.E. group, when they had their first formal election of officers. He is also a very effective activist who works hard to get the message out about sleep disorders and stimulate funding for the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. He was chosen to speak on behalf of all sleep apnea patients at The Great American Sleepwalk!  Dave is from Bolingbrook, Illinois.

On saturday, November 16th, from 1-3 pm, St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana is holding an area meeting on Sleep Apnea Awareness with Dave as the keynote speaker. They hope to get to the nucleus of an A.W.A.KE. group started from this initial session!

Dave was instrumental in starting the new A.W.A.K.E. group at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. While in Washington DC, he met Dr. Ruzica Ristanovic and spoke to her about starting a new group. He later met with her, Dr. Rosalind Cartwright and the lab manager to give them an outline on how to run an A.W.A.K.E. group. Dave was pleased to be invited to attend their first meeting, on October 23, 1996, and spoke to the group about the benefits of participating in a support group.

On July 10, 1996, Dave made his cable TV debut with a 20 minute segment of a local talk show by demonstrating C-PAP and talking about treatment and A.W.A.K.E. groups. Dave is well on his way to his goal of speaking at all the A.W.A.K.E. groups in the Chicago area. You're doing great, Dave! Here are some of the things he has been involved with recently.

August 20, 1996

Sleep Activists stay busy!

Last week I spoke about sleep apnea to the Villa Park, IL Lions Club meeting, a crowd of about 30 Lions. Because the restaurant's banquet room was in use for another event, the Lions luncheon meeting was set up in the bar area. I spoke to the Lions group, plus a half-dozen other men who were eating lunch at the bar and wound up listening whether they wanted to or not. However, one of them even thanked me for the talk and took a copy of my handout material.

I also visited with the doctors who run the sleep disorders center at a major Chicago hospital about the possibility of starting an A.W.A.K.E. group at their facility. I feel pretty good about the chances the group will get started.

Monday morning, I taped a 25 minute interview about sleep apnea, to be aired on September 7th, at 6:30 am and 12:00 noon. The interview is part of the public service program "For Your Information", produced by WJCH, a Joliet, IL FM radio station. WJCH, a 50,000 watt station, is one of 38 AM & FM stations in the Family Stations, Inc. network, a group of non-denominational religious radio stations, which broadcasts to much of the US and around the world via it's shortwave stations. My interview will be heard in the Chicago and Northern Illinois area only. I have suggested that this topic would be a good one for them to do on a national basis as well.

I also continue to offer Chicago AWAKEnet, a voicemail only phone at 847-622-3687, where I will respond to requests about sleep apnea, local AWAKE groups or other sleep related questions.

Feel free to use any of this material above, as a way to show that patient activists CAN make a difference!

Dave Hargett

Please note: If you see a mistake, or wrong information, please E-mail: Nodmaster.

Do you know of any other people who have been effective advocates of sleep? Please let us know about them, so we can share all the good work that volunteers are doing to promote sleep disorders awareness. We welcome your comments or notification of sleep related information.

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