Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wed Sep 30, 2009

On Today's Show:

Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy " Before You Go Under"
Fans and family recently marked Michael Jackson's 51st birthday as the inquiry into the singer's death officially became a homicide investigation. The Los Angeles County coroner's office ruled Jackson’s death a homicide and said he died of "acute propofol intoxication”. Jackson’s tragic death has spurred much controversy over the use of the anesthetic Propofol and raised fears about the overall safety of going under. Noted anesthesiologist Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy, author of Before You Go Under, says that although Propofol is a drug to be reckoned with it remains one of the most commonly used. He says Jackson’s death was very preventable and shares the facts and the myths about this drug and why it generated controversy even before it was thrust into the spotlight. Hey Doc, How do you know that I am adequately anesthetized? I have claustrophobia. I get really sick after anesthesia. These are some of the questions and concerns echoed every year by 30,000,000 Americans and millions of other people around the world as they face the unknown world of anesthesia. During my 14 years of practice as an anesthesiologist, I have come across people from all walks of life. A common denominator in all of them is a deep concern and even apprehension when confronted with the question of anesthesia required for their surgical procedure. It is abundantly clear that there is a genuine need for an educational material that would alleviate concerns and would provide you with the peace of mind that going under anesthesia is safer than ever. This material could also potentially increase the safety of anesthetic and surgical procedures. For the average reader, books currently available on this subject are either very technical or too lengthy and confusing. Therefore, I felt compelled to work on a manuscript that in simple terms would answer the most commonly asked questions and would clarify the misconceptions related to the anesthetic experience. BEFORE YOU GO UNDER is the result of this effort.

NEAL BAER (EP, NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit")
Dr. Neal Baer is executive producer of the hit NBC television series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Now in it’s 11th season, this hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. "SVU" has collectively received eighteen Emmy nominations, including this year’s nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Mariska Hargitay and last year’s win for Leslie Caron in Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Hargitay won an Emmy in 2006 for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe in 2005. Prior to his work on "SVU," Dr. Baer was executive producer of the NBC series "ER." A member of the show’s original staff and a writer and producer on the series for seven seasons, he was nominated for five Emmys as a producer. He also received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing in A Drama Series for the episodes "Hell and High Water" and "Whose Appy Now?," the latter of which also received a Writers' Guild of America nomination. Dr. Baer’s other work includes "Warriors," an episode of "China Beach," nominated for a Writers' Guild Award for best episodic drama, and the ABC After School Special "Private Affairs," which he directed and wrote. The Association of Women in Film and Television selected the program, dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, as the Best Children’s Drama of the Year. He wrote "The Doctor Corps," a feature film for Twentieth Century Fox; "Outreach," a pilot for the WB Network, which he also produced; and "The Edge," a pilot for CBS. He currently has several pilots in development with Universal Media Studios. Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow. Dr. Baer's primary medical interests are in adolescent health. He has written extensively for teens on health issues for Scholastic Magazine, covering such topics as teen pregnancy, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, and nutrition. Dr. Baer taught elementary school in Colorado and also worked as a research associate at USC Medical School, where he focused on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Dr. Baer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Colorado College. He holds masters degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. Before working in television, he spent a year at the American Film Institute as a directing fellow. In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Colorado College. Dr. Baer serves on the boards of many organizations related to health care, including the Venice Family Clinic, RAND Health, Children Now, the Huckleberry Fund of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). He is a trustee of the Writers Guild of America Health and Pension Fund, and a member of the Board of Associates at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Dr. Baer received the Valentine Davies Award for 2004 from the Writers Guild of America, West for "public service efforts in both the entertainment industry and the community at large, bringing dignity to and raising the standard for writers everywhere." He has also been awarded the Loop Award from Lupus LA, the SHINE Award for Best Dramatic Episode, the Socially Responsible Medicine Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Image Award from First Star for Children’s Rights, the VOICE Career Achievement Award, the Larry Stewart Leadership & Inspiration Award from the EIC, the Frances M. Wheat Community Service Award from the Alliance for Children’s Rights.Dr. Baer lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Gerrie Smith, and his son Caleb. NBC’S ‘LAW & ORDER: SVU’ RETURNS FOR 11TH SEASON WITH GUEST STARS WENTWORTH MILLER, ERIC MCCORMACK, CHRISTINE LAHTI, SCOTT FOLEY, ROSIE PEREZ, STEPHEN REA, AND GARRETT DILLAHUNT ‘SVU’ PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (9-10 P.M. ET)

Rabbi Irwin Kula (Roman Polanski Capture)
Irwin Kula, the host of Simple Wisdom, is not your typical rabbi. Known as both a provocative religious leader and a respected spiritual iconoclast, Irwin Kula has inspired thousands nationwide using Jewish wisdom in ways that speak to modern life. A renowned thinker, teacher, and rabbi, he is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006) winner of a "Books for a Better Life" award, and selected by Spirituality & Health magazine as one the "10 Best Spiritual Books of 2006" and was featured in a national public TV pledge special, "The Hidden Wisdom of Our Yearnings." A leader of religious pluralism, Kula says that the "freedom and openness of America invites us to bring our traditions to the marketplace of ideas. The challenge is to translate these wisdoms into accessible American idioms that inspire and improve our personal and public lives." A regular on NBC-TV’s The Today Show, and co-host of the popular weekly radio show, Hirschfield and Kula: Intelligent Talk Radio, airing on KXL in Portland, OR - one of the top 25 markets nationwide, Kula offers a perspective often missing in the media. Named by both Fast Company magazine and "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" (PBS) as one of the new leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape, he was ranked two years in a row (no.8, and no.7, respectively) in the "Top 50 Rabbis in America," in Newsweek. In 2004, he wrote and was featured in Time for a New God, an acclaimed documentary shown at film festivals nationwide. Filmed as a moving monologue along the beaches, wharves, and roller coasters of Coney Island, he offers religion as a "giant tool box" for personal and social transformation. In 2003, he hosted a first-ever 13-part public TV series produced by JTN Productions, “Simple Wisdom with Irwin Kula,” using Jewish wisdom to explore such life issues as relationships, money, work, and sex. Kula is the President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center. A popular media spokesperson, he has appeared on "The O’Reilly Factor" (Fox News), was a repeat guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and was featured on "Frontline" (PBS) on the anniversary of 9/11, among many others. A panelist for the Washington Post/Newsweek - "On Faith" online column, he was a regular on the Hallmark Channel’s New Morning show. A nationally recognized educator and lecturer, Kula serves as a consultant to both corporate and family foundations, as well as to religious and philanthropic institutions and non-profit agencies on leadership development and institutional change. A sought-after speaker, he has worked with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama and Queen Noor on compassionate leadership, and has traveled and taught Jewish wisdom in places as diverse as France, Italy, Bhutan, and Rwanda. He is in great demand by leaders from such diverse fields as business, technology, relationships, and religion. Kula is the co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals and Blessings (Jewish Lights, 2001), and co-founder of the Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in Chicago. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University, his B.H.L. from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA) in NY, and his M.A. in Rabbinics and Rabbinic Ordination from JTSA. He has served as rabbi of congregations in St. Louis, MO; Queens, NY; and Jerusalem, Israel. Email:


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