Dr. Yvonne Thornton

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Free Birth Control For All? Yes!

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

When you’re on a strict budget, out-of-pocket costs can convince a woman to forego birth control. But getting pregnant is a much more expensive proposition and comes with a lifelong commitment — one that many women are neither emotionally or financially ready to make.

The new health care law requires the Department of Health and Human Services to create a list of health services that new health insurance plans must provide without deductibles or co-pays. And the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) has prepared a report recommending that birth control be on that list.

…the Guttmacher Institute estimates that 98 percent of sexually active women will use contraception at some point during their reproductive years, and that cost concerns are frequently cited as a reason for inconsistent use or use of a less then optimal method.


In fact, Guttmacher said in testimony submitted to the IoM earlier this year, “Women citing cost concerns were twice as likely as other women to rely on condoms or less effective methods like withdrawal or periodic abstinence.”

Along with the recommendations concerning birth control, the IOM recommended a number of other preventive care services for women be made available without deductibles or co-pays:

…annual “well-woman” visits; screening of pregnant women for gestational diabetes; screening for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; more support for breast-feeding mothers; and counseling and screening for possible domestic violence.

I urge HHS Secretary Sibelius to accept the IOM recommendations. Women’s health issues have taken a backseat for too long.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Something To Prove Wins Top Prize from New York Book Festival!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I’m thrilled to report that Something to Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy earned the Grand Prize from the judges in “The New York Book Festival,” besting hundreds of rivals in every category for the title.

Although I wish I could be at the ceremony on June 10, 2011, at the Algonquin Hotel, to accept the award, I have a previous commitment. I will be the lead panelist at the “100 Black Men of America Annual Convention,” in San Francisco that day.

My fellow panelists include Terri McMillan, bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and several other books, radio talk show host Shirley Strawberry, and TV personality Star Jones, best-known for her long-running stint on the popular talk show, “The View.”

Although I won’t be there to accept the New York Book Festival Award in person, you can bet I’ll be there in spirit. I am so honored to have been chosen to receive this recognition, and so very, very grateful to the judges who chose Something to Prove over so many other terrific books.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Lioness Mom, Yvonne Thornton meets Tiger Mother, Amy Chua

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Because of my lofty ambitions for my children, which I wrote about at length in Something to Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy, I’ve been compared often lately to Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. She and I were both guests on Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning show last week.

You can hear the program here.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Hear (and See) My Radio Interview with Leonard Lopate of WNYC

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I had a great time visiting with Leonard Lopate of WNYC Radio, and talking about my new memoir, Something To Prove.

We spoke of my father, Donald Thornton, how our girl band, The Thornton Sisters came into being, and how sexism has often been a greater impediment than racism in my career.

The interview was videotaped and posted to YouTube, so here it is.

Let me know what you think.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Dr. Yvonne Thornton Discusses “Something To Prove” on Nurse Talk Radio Show

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The week before Christmas, I was a guest of co-hosts (and registered nurses) Casey Hobbs and Dan Grady on the award-winning “Nurse Talk,” a radio show with a sense of humor similar to the popular NPR show, “Car Talk.”

You can listen by clicking the link below (I’m the second guest, so I’m a bit after the halfway point), but stay for the entire show. It’s a lot of fun – and you’ll learn a lot, too. Nurse Talk with Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton, author of Something To Prove

And if you’re in New York City, please be sure to stop by and see me tonight, January 4, 2011, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway at 82nd St. (212) 362-8835. The event is free and everyone is invited.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Blizzard Forces Postponement of Chuck Scarborough Interview

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I don’t need to tell you how chaotic New York has been after the big snowstorm. We’ll re-schedule the interview with Chuck Scarborough of WNBC-TV once the weather improves. See you then.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH

Aspirin, a “miracle” drug, adds another notch to its belt

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Most people know that daily low-dose aspirin is often prescribed by doctors to help prevent heart attack and stroke. Now, a new study shows that aspirin may help prevent cancer, as well.

We’ve known for some time that people who take aspirin appear to have lower incidences of certain cancers, but this study, published in the December 7, 2010 issue of The Lancet, and authored by Oxford University neurologist, Peter Rothwell, offers far more convincing evidence than we’ve had to date. Rothwell analyzed eight previous randomized, controlled studies, that studied the effects of regular aspirin use among more than 25,000 people. About half were given a daily low-dose aspirin (equivalent to a “baby” aspirin) and the other half were given a placebo. Those on aspirin had a 21 percent lower death rate from solid tumor cancers.

According to Time magazine, here’s what Rothwell found:

“Deaths from esophageal cancer were reduced by 60% in the aspirin-takers (who took the drug for at least five years), compared with the placebo group. Lung cancer deaths were reduced by 30%, colorectal cancer deaths were cut by 40% and prostate cancer deaths were lowered by 10%, compared with the patients who got placebo.

“What’s more, the longer people took aspirin, the greater their reduction in cancer risk. The findings are in line with other research that has found anticancer benefits of aspirin in the lab, as well as observational studies that have shown aspirin’s protective effect against colorectal and other cancers. Researchers say the drug’s benefit may have to do with its anti-inflammatory effect.”

Does this mean that everyone should take aspirin? Well, no. Even that innocent looking little pill you buy over-the-counter at the drug store comes with some very serious potential side-effects. Bleeding in the gut, caused by aspirin, can, itself, cause serious illness and even death. Only use aspirin on a regular basis  – or any other drug, over the counter or not –if your physician has recommended it and is monitoring your use.

But if your doctor already has put you on an aspirin regimen, it’s good to know that you might be getting a very valuable side-benefit.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH