May 15 2014
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RWJF Scholars in the News: Budget cuts and babies’ health, nurse engineers, 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:

New research led by RWJF Clinical Scholar Nicole Brown, MD, MPH, suggests that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be from families affected by such stressors as poverty, divorce, neighborhood violence, or substance abuse, HealthDay reports. Researchers analyzed survey responses from parents of more than 65,000 children. Approximately 12 percent of the children had been diagnosed with ADHD, and their parents reported higher rates of those stressors than other respondents. “Knowledge about the prevalence and types of adverse experiences among children diagnosed with ADHD may guide efforts to address trauma in this population and improve ADHD screening, diagnostic accuracy and management," Brown said. The HealthDay article was republished in Philly.com, U.S. News & World Report, and WebMD.

RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, RN, examined 11 years of data on budget cuts at 100 county health departments in Washington state and Florida in order to understand and quantify how the cuts affected children’s health, My Northwest (Washington) reports. She focused on the impact of funding reductions to such services as the Women, Infants and Children program and nutrition advice for mothers. Bekemeier found a direct correlation between budget cuts for such programs and the number of low birthweight babies. Children born with low birthweight, she notes, often have greater health care needs that may end up costing counties as much or more than the money saved by the original budget cuts.

Duquesne University is pioneering the nation’s first dual degree in nursing and biomedical engineering this fall, according to the Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh). Mary Ellen Glasgow, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, dean and professor of the Duquesne University School of Nursing, said the dual major will provide engineers with hands-on clinical experience in patient care that will give them a better perspective on the practical applications of solutions to health care problems. “We aren’t going to be putting out millions of nurse engineers,” Glasgow, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, said, predicting that nurse engineers will help pioneer advances and efficiencies in health care through their direct experience with patient care.

WITF’s Smart Talk (Pennsylvania) features an interview with Susan Schrand, PhD, ANP-BC, FAAN, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow. Schrand discusses scope-of-practice limitations on nurse practitioners in the state and the growing role nurses play in treating Pennsylvania patients.

According to a recent study led by Michael Schoenbaum, PhD, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus, the higher risk for suicide among infantry soldiers may be attributable not just to the burdens of combat, but also to their psychological make-up and pre-deployment training, reports the Florida Times-Union. Schoenbaum says some people in combat roles may experience an elevated suicide risk before they deploy.

No matter which political party holds power, female members of the House of Representatives from the minority party have been reaching across the aisle more effectively than men for many years, Craig Volden, PhD, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus, tells NPR. Volden and colleagues studied every House bill introduced between 1973 and 2008 and found that legislation introduced by women from the minority party generally went farther than legislation introduced by men from the minority party. In all, Volden reports, women were 33 percent more effective by that measure.

A Pacific Standard article describes a University of Michigan website devoted to the American influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, funded in part by RWJF. The site provides information from records related to the epidemic, including more than 16,000 newspaper articles, medical reports, and other documents, as well as images. RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipients Alexandra Stern, PhD, and Howard Markel, MD, PhD, FAAP, wrote and edited the site, and Stern is the project director.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Continuing education, Executive Nurse Fellows, HC Website Feature, Human Capital, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurse Faculty Scholars, Nurses, Nursing, Nutrition, Research, Research & Analysis, Scholars and fellows, Scholars in Health Policy Research