CT Physicians’ Services Winter Newsletter 2012In This Issue: A Word From… Bryan Graven, Executive DirectorA Word From theExecutive Director This is an exciting time to be in the healthcare technology industry with all of the innovation P.1 and advancements taking place. I recently attended the Consumer Electronics Show with the2011 Meaningful Use intent to experience many of the industry’s current offerings, but quickly became captivated by the glimpse into the future of healthcare IT: the introduction of the concept of “digitizingIncentives P.2 humans.”When a Stranger Calls P.3 Mobile devices are already a tremendous part of our lives and physician practices. However, in the near future we will see the industry evolve and take it to another level. Smart phones with embedded sensors could be the center of communication between patients and theirWhat is Population Health? physicians. These devices will be loaded for medicine with the ability to display vital signs in P.5 real time, acquire ultrasound images, perform lab analyses, and even decode one’s DNA.Proper Care of Your Laptop or There was even a mobile device accessory to your iPhone that took saliva samples to decodeTablet P.5 your DNA along with microscopic sensors that would be implanted into your body to track changes in your DNA. I got to see firsthand how some of these devices operate and was truly amazed to see them in action.The Meaning of Log OffWindows P.6 The information these devices gather from your body will create a real time feedback loop from the patient to the provider. The data about your body will be analyzed to provide mean-Meaningful Use P.7 ingful results to the provider for preventive care and give valuable insight to treat patients better. Our bodies will essentially become “digitized.”The Month of February P.7 There are likely many legal and other logistical details that will need to be worked out for these kinds of advancements to be used for meaningful purposes, but it is fascinating to seeLegends of St. Valentine P.8 that this technology has already been developed. These medical diagnostic devices will become commercial realities sooner than we all think; providers adopting EHRs is just the start to jaw-dropping technological advancements that will impact patient care in ways thatValentine’s Day Fun P.9 were mere fanciful fiction just a few short years ago (especially with the continuous develop- ments with nanotechnology, which utilize the smallest of devices that actually work fromValentine’s Day Dinner P.10 within the body at a cellular level).CPS Recipe Corner P.11 Technology innovation is thriving in healthcare like no other industry as our lives become even more infused with these advancements. Doctors will have so many more tools to de- liver patient care and conduct research at a level never previously contemplated. What was once considered limited to the imagination of science fiction is rapidly developing into reality – a very promising, exciting and potentially revolutionary reality with respect to medical technology. -Bryan
CT Physicians’ Services Page 22011 Meaningful Use Incentives Paid $2.5BAlyssa Lynch, Manager, Clinical OperationsThe Medicare and Medicaid electronic health recordprogram has paid more than $2.5 billion to physiciansand hospitals in incentive payments for all of 2011,with December contributing to the steep growthcurve.The final 2011 data will not be in until earlyMarch because physicians can register and attest in theMedicare program until the end of February to receivepayment for calendar year 2011. According to theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services.States also can take weeks to submit their final Medi-caid incentive data. Medicare incentives for demon-strating meaningful use of EHRs reached $1.38 billionfor the year, while Medicaid payments for providers toadopt, implement and upgrade their EHRs were esti-mated at $1.15 billion, for a total of $2.53 billion.In 2011, 176,000 providers have registered in total for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, said RobertTagalicod, Director of CMS’ Office of eHealth Standards and Services, which advises the Office of the NationalCoordinator for Health IT.“December was a strong month for performance, not only in terms of providers who registered, but were paid andcame to our website to attest. We’re seeing an upward trend, and that’s good news,” he told the Jan. 10 meeting ofthe Health IT Policy Committee.More Medicare providers beyond the earliest adopters are expected to sign up for the incentive program in2012, and more states will launch and start making payments under the Medicaid program. In 2011, 41 stateslaunched their incentive programs but only 33 were far enough along to distribute payments since they have startedat different times, said Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for health IT at CMS. Medicaid will also start issuing pay-ments for meaningful use demonstration in addition to updating their systems.Source: http://healthcareitnews.com/news/2011-mu-incentives-paid-25b
CT Physicians’ Services Page 3 When a Stranger Calls Lee Seidman, Manager, Technical Services and Customer Support I recently directly experienced a deliberate attempt at a scam. My wife received a telephone call from someone with an Indian accent claiming to represent Microsoft’s “Technical Department” (caller ID could not identify the source of the call) and offered to help repair her computer’s so-called “system errors.” He claimed that her PC alerted Microsoft’s “core server” to problems because she clicked “send error reports” to Microsoft, which notified them of the issue to repair. My wife was naturally suspicious (after all, she’s married to me) and gave the call to me knowing full well I was going to make a spectacle of this attempt at phishing for information (and payment) and spreading malicious infections if I gave Microsoft’s “Technical Department” access to my workstations. The call begins pleasantly enough, except it is rife with inaccuracies: 1. He claimed that the error reports that get sent to Microsoft contained my wife’s name, our address, and telephone num- ber, which is how they knew who to reach. No Microsoft product will automatically share any personal information with the company; they honestly do not care where you are nor will they attempt to call you (on a Sunday no less) unless you have opened a ticket with them first. How would Micro- soft receive our telephone number? It is more plausible that Microsoft would have a record of my IP address than my telephone number; even then, that’s stretching the scope of believability. Microsoft does offer error reporting, but its contents are entirely about the machine and software: system information (processor, hardware, and operating system) and application information (which can contain some personal in- formation) kept in memory around the time of the crash. 2. The fellow on the phone explained that he needs to get access to my computer to fix it and the method he was go- ing to use was via remote connection software at www.teamviewer.com. He explained that they prefer to use this tool and insisted it was the only way he would be able to troubleshoot the complication. There is no reason why Microsoft’s “Technical Department” (what the heck is a “Technical Department” for a software company?) would look to use an unaffiliated third party product to remote to a system. Microsoft built its own remote capabilities into Windows operating systems since Windows XP. Also, the standard support protocol for Microsoft’s actual assistance is to request e-mailing or submitting specific log files for analysis via a web submission form. Microsoft is not willing to risk intruding on customers’ privacy so blatantly with a remote connection to one’s home system. 3. To gain my confidence, he instructed me to go to the computer’s event viewer and read him the errors or warnings that were there under the application log. The Windows application log is usually peppered with warnings and a handful of errors, so these really are not of great concern, but this “Microsoft agent” really made them sound devas- tating. He then asked if I could “delete” a log entry. When I informed him I could not (you can only clear an entire log, you cannot pick and choose log entries to “right-click and choose delete”), he gasped with dramatic fervor “your computer is infected with a deadly virus that is going to destroy your operating system and hardware” (a ludi- crous statement upon examination)! He then insisted that I allow him to remote to my system so he can now install a “licensed Microsoft security product” to fix the issue. Any “deadly virus” is not going to be addressed by software licensing. Additionally, Microsoft released their free Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus product for any authen- tic (not pirated) Windows customer in 2009. The “licensed” product to which this caller alluded seemed intent requiring payment, which is definitely nothing in Microsoft’s present anti-malware offerings. Continued on page 4
Page 4CT Physicians’ Services When a Stranger Calls (Continued from page 3) 4. I asked him what did the error report that Microsoft’s so-called “core server” received say was the problem? After all, if my wife’s computer submitted reports on difficulties she was having with her operating system, those submissions must contain some data. His patience started waning and he again directed me to allow him to remote in (“just click on the button on www.teamviewer.com and I will take care of everything for you”). I refused saying I wanted to be sure he really was from Microsoft before I did anything; he then shared his con- tact number 302-721-5254 (research indicates it is really out of Delaware, which does not appear to have a Mi- crosoft office) and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Quick online research of that phone number via Google confirmed already what I suspected: others reported this scam and foretold what the endgame is: sub- scribing to their “security service” for one hundred dollars ($100) per year (“but more years equal very generous discounts”). I asked him if this includes a “monitoring service” that keeps track of my computers’ health; he said Microsoft will call me once per month to check on things. Why would Microsoft need to call me if if their so-called “core server” communicates with my computers all the time as it had already supposedly done? 5. Being the caustic character I can be, I feigned interest in their monitoring service for all my workstations and asked about whether it covered virtual systems. Virtual computers essen- tially are operating systems running within a singular host oper- ating system. CPS engineers rely heavily on virtual technologies to test and evaluate system changes and new software; Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate offer this under the marketing guise “Windows XP Mode” – so it essentially is a Windows XP “computer” running as a program on a Windows 7 system. I also inquired about supporting an Xbox I do not actually own (Microsoft’s competition for the Sony Playstation 3 gaming console). The phisher on the phone informed me that only official Microsoft products are covered by their service. All the aforementioned consumer items are official Microsoft products. Most computer-related phishing assaults are passively e-mailed; this was the first I heard of a direct intrusion from an organized attempt at posing as Microsoft. Online research shows this scam has been around for some time; mostly looking to victimize the citizens of the United Kingdom, but apparently these nefarious activities have now made their way to the United States (see http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/ windows_xp-security/phone-call-from-windows-is-this-a-scam/1164b6ee-e441-41bf-b210-2e293cab96c5? page=5&tm=1328672828569).
CT Physicians’ Services Page 5What is Population Health?Cindy Denno, Application Systems AnalystPopulation Health has been defined as “the health outcomesof a group of individuals, including the distribution of suchoutcomes within the group.” These groups are often geo-graphic populations such as nations or communities, but canalso be other groups such as employees, ethnic groups, dis-abled persons, prisoners, or any other defined group.The health outcomes of such groups are relevant to policymakers in both the public and private sectors. PopulationHealth is an approach to health that aims to improve thehealth of an entire population. One major step in achievingthis aim is to reduce health inequities among populationgroups. Population Health seeks to step beyond the individ-ual-level focus of mainstream medicine and public health by addressing a broad range of factors that impact health on apopulation-level, such as environment, social structure, resource distribution, etc. An important theme in PopulationHealth is the importance of social determinants of health and the relatively minor impact that medicine and healthcarehave on improving health overall.In compliance with Meaningful Use standards Allscripts 11.2 Stimulus Set offers Population Health Management (POPHealth Management). POP Health Management allows patients to be clinically tracked and placed into groups for man-agement (i.e. males over 50 who have not had a colonoscopy). This new functionality allows users to search patient popu-lations, generate a query based on a patient population, and create or edit action set. From within these functions theuser can refine searches by filtering to conduct a narrow, comprehensive search of their patient population.Once these patients have been identified, they can be contacted via phone, mail or through the patient portal to schedulefollow-up appointments, refill medications, get lab work done, etc. This new functionality within Allscripts enables pro-viders to generate patient lists in an efficient and user-friendly manner. How to Take Proper Care of your Laptop or Tablet Bill Hall, Customer Support Specialist Although highly portable tablet devices like the iPad and the Kindle are taking the business and home markets by storm, laptops have become more affordable and popular than ever. When it comes to maintaining your laptop or your new tablet the do’s and don’ts are the same. Here are some helpful steps to keeping your equipment in tip top shape. Keep Your Laptop at Room Temperature Don’t leave your Laptop in the car overnight in the winter. If you do then when you get to the office, take it out of your bag and let it sit for about 10 minutes to warm up gently. The operating temperature specification for most laptops is from 32 to 95 degrees. If it is below freezing there is a risk of condensation building up inside the hard drive or on the system board. We all know how water and electricity don’t mix. Find the Right Carrying Case Before taking it on the road, pack the laptop properly. Depending on your carrying preferences, find a carry case that has a padded section that is specially designed to carry a laptop. For those who want to stay away from the Orthopedic doctors consider a back pack as it provides the best weight distribution. The suitcases with the wheels are not recommended as many of them do not provide proper protection for going over the bumpy sidewalks or through snow banks and puddles .
CT Physicians’ Services Page 6“Log Off Windows” - What Does that Mean?Richard Charron, Customer Support Specialist IIIIn the endeavor to bring everyone up to minimum se-security requirements as defined by HIPAA, CPShas been placing everyone on Active Directory(AD) within their company’s unique domain. Al-though most of you have been on AD for quitesome time now, there is a need to explain some ofthe terminology that is being tossed around.What is Active Directory? Inside Story HeadlineThe short definition is, “Active Directory serves as acentral location for network administration and se-curity,” as listed in Wikipedia. Which further de-scribes AD as “being responsible for authenticatingand authorizing all users and computers within a network of Windows domain type, assigning and enforcing securitypolicies for all computers in a network and installing or updating software on network computers.”For the CPS community of users, this means that you need to “log in” using your own individual credentials (usernameand password) on your company’s established domain (i.e., oahctmd, cmgmds, cpsmdit, etc.). Logging in as generic cre-dential on the computer itself is a no – no in the AD world.SecurityOne of the main objectives of using AD is security. It allows for individual login (unique usernames and passwords orcredentials). Once logged in everything you do is under your account, thus, the need to “log off” when you are leavingyour work area for any length of time. This will prevent another individual from accessing your work, surfing theinternet or doing any other unauthorized activity on that computer under your AD account. How do I “Log Off”? This is very simple process. Save and close all active windows. Click on the start button in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Click on “Shut down.” In the drop down menu where “Shut down” appears, choose “Log off [your username]” and click OK. What this process does is force anyone who tries to use this computer to “login.” Without the proper credentials they will be unable to use the device. The next time you go to use the PC you will berequired to log in with your credentials.There are many other advantages to AD that are mainly used as back-end administration, such as maintenance, applica-tion “pushes,” device inventory, and others.But, for now, the main objective here is to encourage everyone to “Log off” when away from your work station for anylength of time (such as at the end of the day).
CT Physicians’ Services Page 7Meaningful Use: Race and EthnicityBob Volz, Application Systems AnalystIn order for practices to provide a way to prove “Meaningful Use” of an Electronic Health Record (E.H.R.) as outlined inthe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Centricity Group Management and Allscripts have updated theselections for the Race and Ethnicity Fields. These changes conform to the guidelines set forth by the Office of Manage-ment and Budget (OMB). Within Group Management, practices now have the option to require these fields at the timeof patient registration. In addition, practices have the option to default these fields to one of the selections. During theGroup Management update, race selections for current patients were converted to conform with the OMB guidelines.There also is the ability to require and/or default a value for Primary LanguageThe Values for Ethnicity now include Hispanic or Latino, Non-Hispanic or Non-Latino, Declined, Unknown or Blank.The Values for Race now include Black, African American, Asian, White, American Indian,Other Pacific Islander, Un-known or Declined. Please contact Customer Support if you would like to require and/or default the fields for Ethnicity,Race and Primary Language.The following links detail the guidelines for categories of ethnicity andrace:http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards/http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/information_and_regulatory_affairs/re_app-a-update.pdfFebruary is African American History MonthAs a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed thattruth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awarenessof African Americans contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization hefounded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announcedNegro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that en-compassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was over-whelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; andprogressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the ef-fort.By the time of Woodsons death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of AfricanAmerican life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate thecelebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro HistoryWeek. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Ameri-cans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of allcolor on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nations bicentennial. President Gerald R. Fordurged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of blackAmericans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first cele-bration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nationhad come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since theneach American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the associa-tion—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues topromote the study of Black history all year.(Excerpt from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of AfricanAmerican Life and History)
CT Physicians’ Services Page 8Legends of Saint ValentineMari Skarp-Bogli, Executive and Technology AssistantEarly Christian history indicates the presence of at least two saints named Valentine. Some scholars, however, saythat there were as many as seven saints credited with the name of Saint Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom lived inthe third century and apparently died on the same day. Given here are some of the most popular of all legends ofSaint Valentine:Saint Valentine of Rome - IAccording to one very popular legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome who lived during the reign of EmperorClaudius II. Under his regime, Claudius is said to have engaged Rome into several bloody battles. To strengthen hisarmy, the Emperor continuously needed to recruit soldiers. However, Claudius found that not many soldiers werekeen to join the army because of attachment with their wives and families. In order to sever the bond of attachment,Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine - a romantic-at-heart priest, defied this cal-lous decree of Claudius by secretly arranging marriages of young men and women. When Valentines defiance wasdiscovered by the Emperor, he was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD.For his martyrdom and dedication for the cause Valentine was name a Saint after his death. By the Middle Ages,Saint Valentine became popular as the patron saint of love and lovers in England and France to the extent that PopeGelasius declared February 14 as Valentines Day on 498 AD and put an end to pagan celebrations. Thus, Saint Val-entines martyrdom day became an occasion to celebrate love.Saint Valentine of Rome - IIAnother famous legend on Saint Valentine states Valentine was an earlyChristian in Rome who was very popular amongst children. But duringthe time when Valentine lived, Roman regime was not in favor of Chris-tianity and it even persecuted Christians to make Rome free of the fol-lowers of Christianity. In spite of this strict law, Valentine continued topractice his faith and refused to worship Roman gods. This enragedEmperor Claudius II and he put Valentine into prison.Valentine is said to have spent a year-long imprisonment during which he was missed a lot by children. They beganto toss loving notes and flowers between the bars of his cell window. To the extent, this legend may explain the tra-dition of exchanging notes and flowers on Valentines Day.Some scholars believe that during his stay in prison, Valentine made friends with jailers blind daughter who at timesbrought to him notes and flowers from children. Whenever, possible Valentine also replied to the notes. Days beforehis execution, Valentine prayed for the jailers daughter and she regained her sight. Before his death, Valentine isalso said to have written a farewell note for the jailers daughter and signed it "From Your Valentine”. This expres-sion is popular to date.Some scholars believe that Valentine was killed because he tried to help Christians escape from the Roman prison asthey were being tortured and beaten. Yet another set of scholars say Emperor Claudius II was impressed by Valen-tines kindness and good behavior. He even stated that Valentine could be freed if he agreed to worship Roman gods.Valentine did not just refuse he even tried to convert the Emperor to Christianity. This made Claudius very angryand he ordered his execution. Valentine was beheaded on February 14.http://www.stvalentinesday.org/valentines-day-fun-fact.html
CT Physicians’ Services Page 9Paper Love Bugs! Valentine Heart NecklacesCindy Denno Cindy DennoWhat you’ll need: Ingredients: Empty toilet paper tube 1 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup white sugar Pink paper 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla Scissors extract 1 tablespoon lemon zest Glue 2 1/2 cups sifted all- purpose flour Pipe cleaners 1 teaspoon baking powder Pen, marker, crayons or pencil 3 cups confectioners sugar 1/3 cup butter, softenedInstructions: 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 tablespoons milk1. Paint or cover an empty toilet paper tube 3 drops red food coloringwith pink paper to make the body of the 2 1/4 ounces colored candy sprinkles, 60 long red vine licoricebug. Cream 1 cup butter or margarine and 3/4 cup white sugar together.2. Cut two hearts from construction paper. Blend in egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and grated lemon peel. Sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and baking powder. Add3. Attach these with tape or glue on either to creamed mixture and blend well. Cover and refrigerate doughside of the body. for approximately 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).4. Encourage your child to draw a face onthe top of the tube. Pipe cleaners make great Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use aantennae. floured heart shaped 1 to 2 inch cookie cutter and cut dough into heart shapes. Place the cut-out hearts on greased cookie sheets. Using the drinking straw, make a hole at the top center of each heart before baking. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. To Make Butter Frosting: Mix 3 cups confectioners sugar and 1/3 cup butter together. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 2 table- spoons milk. Beat until smooth making sure frosting is of spread- ing consistency. Stir in food coloring to create a pink or red colored frosting, if desired. After cookies have cooled, frost and decorate them with nonpareils, sprinkles, dragees, or colored sugar. Use a toothpick to dislodge the hole, if necessary. Let the frosting dry. To make a necklace, tie the ends off of two pieces of red colored lico- Write a cute message on the wings such as rice with a knot. Thread it through the hole at the top center of the "Valentine, you make my heart flutter." cookie. Tie the other ends off with another knot to create a "chain." Makes approximately 30 heart necklaces.
CT Physicians’ Services Page 10Valentine’s Day DinnerAlyssa LynchVeal and Artichoke InvoltiniThese involtini, or rolls, are made with veal which is considered a specialoccasion ingredient in Liguria, Italy. The region is rocky and rugged, so landfor grazing animals is scarce.6 medium artichoke hearths, cooked3 oz Asiago cheese, thinly sliced2 Tbs. chopped fresh, flat leaf parsley1 1/2 lb veal cutlets, pounded 1/4 inch thickSalt and pepper, ground, to taste1/2 cup all-purpose flour4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces3 tbsp olive oil1/2 cup white wine4 Tbs. fresh lemon juicePut 2 tbsp artichokes, 2 slices cheese and 1/2 tsp parsley on each veal cutlet. Roll veal around filling; secure with a toothpick. Gen-erously season with salt and pepper.Preheat electric skillet to medium-high heat. Spread flour on plate. Lightly dust veal rolls with flour; shake off excess. In skillet, melt1 Tbs. butter with oil. When butter foams, brown veal rolls on all sides, 6-8 minutes total. Transfer to plate and loosely cover withfoil. Pour wine and lemon juice into skillet; scrape up browned bits. Bring to simmer, then turn off heat. Add 3 Tbs butter, stirringconstantly until melted. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Remove toothpicks from rolls, top withsauce and slice crosswise. Serves 6. Valentines Day Word Search! CPS Team Chocolates Love Gifts Candy Sweetie Cupid Roses Friendship Arrow Flowers Heart Remorse Romantic Candles Ball and Chain
CT Physicians’ Services Page 11 Valentine’s Day Massacre Drink Recipe Mari Skarp-Bogli Did you know… The Saint Valentines Day massacre is the name given to the 1929 murder of 7 mob associates as part of a prohibi- tion era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. Former members of the Egans Rats gang were also suspected to have played a large role in the St. Valentines Day massacre, assisting Al Capone. Ingredients: 1 oz Smirnoff No. 21 vodka Directions: Add Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, 3 oz tomato Juice tomato juice, red and green hot sauces, 2 shots red hot sauce, 2 shots green hot sauce Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pinch salt/ 1 dash Worcestershire sauce pepper. Pour back and forth between two mixing .5 oz lemon juice glasses and strain into an ice-filled highball glass 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper garnish with celery, lime. Enjoy! 1 celery stalk, limeLindt Ultimate Hot Chocolate Chocolate CoveredMari Skarp-Bogli1 quart (liter) milk CPS Strawberries Cindy Denno Recipe Corner Ingredients:1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split 16 oz milk chocolate chips1 stick cinnamon3/4 tsp black peppercorns (whole) 2 tablespoons shortening2 bars Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa 1 lb fresh strawberries with leaves(chopped)Heat the milk with spices in a saucepan over medium Directions:heat until it reaches a boiling point, but do NOT allow 1. Insert toothpicks intoto boil. tops of the strawberries.Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.Remove from heat and let rest 25 minutes to release 2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate andspice aroma, strain and reheat before serving. shortening, stirring occa-4-6 Servings sionally until smooth. (Editor’s note: You can also melt chocolate in the microwave, combine chocolate and shortening and microwave 1 cup at a time for 1 minute, stopping at each 10 second burst for a few seconds before continuing. Stir softened chocolate with a spatula to blend after 1 minute) 3. Holding the strawberries by the toothpicks, dip into the chocolate mixture. 4. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick end held into a Styrofoam block for the chocolate to cool. Another option would be to lay the strawberries on wax paper lined cookie sheets placed in the refrigerator. The bottom will not be as pretty but they will still taste just as delicious! Enjoy! Editors: Bryan Graven, Lee Seidman, Alyssa Lynch Newsletter Design and Layout: Mari Skarp-Bogli www.mariskarp.com