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November 15th, 2011
05:20 PM ET

Gabrielle Giffords improving 'by leaps and bounds'

The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

Looking back over the past nine months, Gabrielle Giffords’ neurosurgeon remembers several high points in his patient’s recovery – and the most recent one involves his suit and tie.

“I usually wear scrubs to my appointment with her, but one day I wore a suit instead, and she looked at me and said, ‘Wow, you have a suit on today. What’s with the necktie?’” remembers Dr. Dong Kim.

“She really gave me grief with great fluidity,” he says, laughing. “It was such a great moment that we could interact at that level and hang out and talk.”

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November 15th, 2011
04:09 PM ET

Health threats loom at Occupy protests

The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

As fall turns to winter, health problems could plague Occupy protests across the country, infectious disease experts say.

In New York City, police removed Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park, citing an “increasing health and fire safety hazard to those camped in the park.” A judge subsequently issued an injunction allowing the protestors back in.

Occupy movements across the country face three challenges: winter, sanitation, and crowding, says Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious disease expert and associate director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Program.

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November 15th, 2011
07:29 AM ET

The Human Factor: Fat Joe 'drops a body'

In The Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness, or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, rapper Fat Joe opens up to CNN Medical News Senior Producer Ben Tinker about his dramatic weight loss.

I was talking to my trainer the other day and he asked, "So when was the last time you were slim?" And I said, "I swear to God, when I was a month or two months old." That was it. I was Fat Joe ever since.

My parents are overweight and I think the biggest problem we have in America is a lack of education. The place to start is with parents and teaching them to cook healthier. They're eating rice, beans, fried chicken and lard. They'll still eating dessert every single night. They think they're doing the right thing, but they're not.

Like I used to love going to my Aunt Barbara's house. I opened the kitchen cabinet and they had every Oreo, every Twinkie. I never wanted to come out of her house. And you know, we're thinking that's love - but at the same time - that's what causing childhood obesity. That's what's causing diabetes and so on.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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