Friday / Weekend Open Lines


National Rehabilitation Awareness Week ends tomorrow. One of goals of the annual event is to salute the determination of the nation’s 56.7 million residents who confront their disabilities as they go about their daily lives. Another is to say thanks to the thousands of rehabilitation professionals, such as the nation’s 204,000 physical therapists, who help those in need adapt to and overcome their disabilities. About 18 percent of the population is living with some form of disability; half of them age 65 and older. Nearly 31 million have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and 12 million require assistance with daily routines at home, such as dressing, bathing or preparing meals. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at <www.census.gov>.

Saturday, September 27th. On this date in 1772, America’s first medical licensing law was enacted by the colony of New Jersey. A licensing board was set up with three members, and the practice of medicine was forbidden without the approval of the panel. The licensing board was comprised of two New Jersey Supreme Court judges and a third member chosen by the judges. Exempted from its oversight were colonists who pulled teeth, bled patients, or gave free care or assistance. Medical education and licensing has grown considerably stricter since 1772. Today, there are some 691,000 physicians and surgeons, working in 221,000 medical offices, and practicing in the more than 6,700 hospitals across the country. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.

Sunday, September 28th. As National Hispanic Heritage Month continues, and another fiscal year draws to a close, much attention is focused on the country’s economic performance. The 53 million strong Hispanic community in the United States inhabits a formidable and expanding place in the nation’s economy. Over 19 percent of Hispanics over the age of 16 work in management, business, science, and arts occupations. When tabulated recently, there were 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., an increase of almost 46 percent from five years earlier. A greater surge is seen in revenues from Hispanic-owned businesses. Receipts totaled over $350 billion, up more than 58 percent from the earlier figure. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at <www.census.gov>.