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October 23, 2018

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Introduction How’s your breast cancer awareness? Breast cancer affects so many of us. If it doesn’t affect you or your family as well, I hope it’s not because you haven’t been paying attention. Sadly, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s more likely than not that every single one of us has been affected by this, either directly or through a friend or family member. Breast Cancer is Different All cancer is devastating, but something about breast cancer is different. We’ve found the way to eradicate certain cancers and have made remarkable progress on others. Aside from the hereditary component, breast cancer seems so…random, so dehumanizing and so debilitating to so many. Unlike so many of the things I address as an emergency physician, breast cancer isn’t like trauma, STDs and many other conditions, where one is often directly suffering the consequences of their behavior. It is vital that you appreciate the need and value for early detection to give yourself the best possible chance for the best possible outcomes. I’ll be discussing all these considerations in detail throughout the week. Breast Cancer Awareness I appreciate the sentiment behind a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but if I could offer you anything on this, it would be a plea to be ‘aware’ every month, and use this month as a (re)commitment to take basic steps that will reduce your risk, a charge to maintain steps for early evaluation and a prod to point you toward prompt treatment if and when needed. In fact, those three areas will be the topics of my next few posts. In the meantime, please share this or other information about breast cancer with any and all females in your life. I also hope you choose to engage your family, friends and others in conversations geared to improving breast cancer awareness. Odds are many of them have been or will be affected by breast cancer. Follow us! Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. The post October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month appeared first on Jeffrey Sterling, MD.
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October 22, 2018

Domestic Violence Abuse – How to Get Out of an Abusive Situation

Introduction Remember: You are not to blame, and you need not face domestic violence alone. How would you escape eminent domestic violent abuse?. This is the third post in a Straight, No Chaser series on domestic violence. The first post focused on the scope of domestic violence. The second post focused on risk factors and identifying whether your situation places you at risk. There has been a lot of recent attention in the news on domestic violence and debates about responses and responsibility. Hence, this post aims to refocus attention on where it needs to be. Better conversations on domestic violence start with getting the abused individual safely out of harm’s way. When it comes to domestic violence, it is the immediate danger that can make it difficult for you to figure out the safest next move. Thus, it becomes important to know in advance the how and where of your escape plan. Escaping Imminent Domestic Violence Abuse If you are in a crisis situation, first make sure you and any other family members (e.g., children, parents) are safe. Leave the scene immediately. Find safe haven wherever it exists, such as an emergency shelter or the home of a friend or family member. You can find a shelter by calling (800) 799-SAFE. Call the police if you think you can’t leave home safely or if you want to bring charges against your abuser. If possible, take house keys, money and important papers with you. The staff members at emergency shelters can help you file for a court order of protection. Be advised: Do not use drugs or alcohol at this time, because you need to be alert in a crisis. Even while you do what you feel you must do, be aware that use of weapons (even in a life-saving defense) will likely complicate and confuse matters. If you can, just in  case, plan your escape. Establish escape routes and a safe haven. Secure important documents. Where Do I Go If I’m Mentally or Physically Hurt? Talk to a physician or get to an emergency department. We are prepared to check you for any life-threatening consequences to your abuse, treat any medical issue, provide mental health support and make referrals. Should you find an emergency shelter, counseling and support groups are available for you and your children.  Dealing With Your Abuser Your primary focus should be on finding help for yourself and escaping the danger. First of all, call the police if you believe that you are in danger. Also, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), your state domestic violence coalition and/or a local domestic violence agency. Furthermore, seek out and speak with a family law advocate at your local crisis center. He or she can help you press charges against the perpetrator, file a temporary restraining order and advise you on how to seek a permanent restraining order. Don’t keep your circumstances hidden. Discuss them with a physician, nurse, therapist, friend, family member or spiritual advisor when you first believe yourself to be in a dangerous environment. Be careful to avoid advice that attempts to place you back in harm’s way or to do anything that is not best for you or your family. Don’t let someone talk you into doing something that isn’t right for you. Document any attempts at contact by the perpetrator. Save any new messages (especially threatening ones). Keep photographs that show any injuries you received. You will need this should you pursue legal action (e.g., press charges or file a restraining order). While it’s best to avoid the abuser completely, if you must meet to exchange documents or personal effects, do it in broad daylight where plenty of people are around, particularly those you know. Due to safety concerns, it is preferable to have someone else make those exchanges, if possible. After You’ve Escaped You need to remain detached from your former situation as much as possible and implement changes in your life. Consider these following tips: Establish a new routine because someone looking for you will search places you’ve frequented in the past. Maintain an escape plan in your new location. It may seem counterintuitive, but avoid a route that takes you through areas with potential weapons – your attacker may end up with them instead of you. Change your mobile or home phone number immediately after you’ve escaped the situation. Being subjected to repeated domestic violence can extract a devastating psychological toll. Although many domestic violence survivors do not need mental health treatment, and many symptoms resolve once they and their children are safe and have support, for others, treatment is a major component of their plan for safety and recovery. Again, the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You should definitely memorize it, but I hope you never have to use it. Unfortunately, the odds reveal that many of you probably will. I hope you have found the information in this series helpful. Be safe! Follow us! Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Also, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive discounted pricing with bundled orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress The post Domestic Violence Abuse – How to Get Out of an Abusive Situation appeared first on Jeffrey Sterling, MD.
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October 20, 2018

Identifying Risks of Domestic Violence

Introduction Lower your risks of domestic violence. Today we point to knowledge as the key to preventing potential life-threatening episodes in the household. This is the second in a Straight, No Chaser series on domestic violence. The previous post focused on the scope of domestic violence. Another post will focus on actions to take if you find yourself in a relationship in which domestic violence occurs. Considerations reflecting risks of domestic violence Certain environments or conditions may increase your risk of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Here are certain considerations that suggest you may be at risk: Certainly drugs and alcohol can exacerbate an already volatile situation. Also, be aware that pregnancy is a particularly sensitive time emotionally. During this time, abuse may start or increase. Finally, women with fewer resources or greater perceived vulnerability are at even greater risk for domestic violence and lifetime abuse. Unfortunately, this is especially true for girls, those experiencing physical or psychiatric disabilities and those living below the poverty line. Sadly, children have several risks of domestic violence. Often, they are at risk even if they do not initially witness it directly. To protect them and yourself, evaluate your mate or others in a position to exert control over you. Abusers are masterful at isolating, manipulating, intimidating and controlling those they abuse. Abusers don’t always attack with a frontal assault. Abuse may begin slowly and progress. You may accommodate certain demands in an effort to “keep the peace” in your relationship and then find yourself beyond an easy retreat from a once generous and loving person who is now intimidating and threatening. The insidious nature of abuse must be reemphasized. What may seem, at first, to be an isolated incident complicated by theoretically understandable factors may grow into a way of life with seemingly small events triggering abuse. Your abuser may change from an individual showing regret and remorse to someone who seems repulsed by your existence, blaming your every action (or inaction or anticipated action) for the abuse that follows. Conditions suggesting increased risks of abuse The following conditions and circumstances have been associated with propensities for abuse. Don’t consider these as absolute predictors as much as risk factors about which you should be aware. Whirlwind romance Abnormal desire to be with you all the time Tracking what you’re doing and who you’re with Jealousy at any perceived attention to or from others Attempting to isolate you in the guise of loving behavior, including going to lengths to convince you that your friends and family don’t adequately care for you (e.g., “You don’t need to work or go to school” or “We only need each other”) Hypersensitivity to perceived slights Quick to blame you or others for the abuse Pressuring you into doing things you aren’t comfortable with (e.g., “If you really love me, you’ll do this for me”) Do you have risks of domestic violence? Ask yourself these questions. Are you ever afraid of your partner? Has your partner ever hurt or threatened to hurt you physically or someone you care about? Does your partner ever force you to engage in sexual activities that make you uncomfortable? Do you constantly worry about your partner’s moods and change your behavior to deal with them? Does your partner try to control where you go, what you do and who you see? Does your partner constantly accuse you of having affairs? Have you stopped seeing family or friends to avoid your partner’s jealousy or anger? Does your partner control your finances? Has he/she threatened to kill him/herself if you leave? Does your partner claim his/her temper is out of control due to alcohol, drugs or because he/she had an abusive childhood? If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, you could already be at risk for or suffering abuse. It’s personal. The risks of domestic violence are real indicators of danger. We understand, and we can help. Please … contact us if you’re in need of support. Our expert crisis counselors are here for you, 24/7. 1-844-SMA-TALK or www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com. You don’t have to “endure with dignity.” Follow us! Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress The post Identifying Risks of Domestic Violence appeared first on Jeffrey Sterling, MD.
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