Jun 28 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Asthma education, sleep deprivation in hospitals, nurses on boards, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, alumni and grantees. Some recent examples:

The dark blue dye used to identify lacerations and tears on the skin of rape victims doesn’t show up as well on dark skin, Phys.org reports, which means injuries that could move cases through the criminal justice system may not be documented. RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars alumna Kathryn Laughon, PhD, RN, FAAN, is working to create a fluorescent dye that will show up on all skin types. WTVR-TV (Richmond, Va.) and Newsplex.com (Charlottesville, Va.) also report on her work.

The Chicago Tribune [subscription required] reports on a program that is teaching children how to control their asthma, how to recognize common triggers for asthma attacks, and how they can educate their communities about the disease. Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, an alumna of the RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars program, who spearheaded the asthma education program, said:  “These kids didn't know they had a voice, (that) they could actually use it to make a change… My dream is to have a map of Chicago and you click on a neighborhood and you can see these videos and tools the students have made in each neighborhood.” Central Kentucky News also reported the story. Read a post Gupta wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about her research on food allergies.

“As a profession, we feel passionate about protecting the safety and quality of our patients [by] serving on committees and boards,” RWJF Senior Adviser for Nursing Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, told AMN Healthcare about nurses serving as board members or in other leadership positions. “That means you have to raise your hand and say ‘I’ll do it.’ It’s a time commitment.”

Abigail Saguy, PhD, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumna and author of What’s Wrong With Fat?, wrote a post for Time Magazine’s Ideas blog about the recent decision by the American Medical Association (AMA) to classify obesity as a disease. “If the AMA’s goal is to address the serious diseases of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, it would be more productive and accurate for the association to urge doctors to focus on cardiometabolic risk, recognizing that there are both metabolically healthy and metabolically unhealthy individuals in all categories of weight,” she writes.

McKnight’s Long Term Care News reports on a webinar about new approaches to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Jason Karlawish, MD, was among the speakers. Read a post Karlawish wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about Alzheimer’s.

Peter Ubel, MD, an alumnus of the RWJF Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars program and recipient of an Investigator Award, wrote an article for The Atlantic about sleep deprivation in hospitals and its consequences. “How do we make sleep protocols the norm among stable hospitalized patients?,” Ubel writes. “We change hospital practice so that minimization of sleep disturbances becomes the default condition for how to care for non-critically ill patients, with more frequent sleep interruptions only occurring when physicians actively indicate that such interruptions are clinically necessary.”

Two RWJF Scholars wrote recent pieces for the Huffington Post. Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus Dalton Conley, PhD, MPA, writes about genetic markers that predicts cancer and a recent Supreme Court ruling on patents for genetic tests. Investigator Award recipient Alexandra Minna Stern, PhD, writes about a new law in Argentina that subsidizes in vitro fertilization for its citizens.

Tags: Asthma, Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars, Human Capital, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Leadership development, Media Coverage, Nurse Faculty Scholars, Nurses, Nursing, Patients, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research