RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Robert Wears, MD, (’09) was quoted in the media regarding his editorial accompanying a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine about the increased use of computerized tomography (CT) scans in the emergency room (ER). The study found that use of CT scans in the ER more than quadrupled over recent decades, with more than one in eight patients getting the tests in 2007. Wears cautions that some of the increase is legitimate, such as when scans are ordered in the ER rather than after patients are hospitalized, helping to prevent unnecessary stays at the hospital. Wears acknowledges that conducting the scans on people who probably do not need them slows down the ER and delays CTs for patients who do need them. Wears was quoted by Reuters, the Baltimore Sun, and FoxNews.com, among others.
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Clinical Scholars Sidney Coupet, DO, MPH, (’11) wrote an opinion article that was published (September 22) in The DO, an online publication analyzing issues affecting osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students. The piece discusses the cholera outbreak in Haiti, which has caused more than 3,000 deaths since October 2010. Coupet writes about the necessary interventions for cholera to prevent morbidity and the spread of the disease. He proposes and details a comprehensive interventional approach to control outbreaks of cholera; the approach includes acute cholera care, education of high-risk communities, and public health measures.
Linda Rosenstock, MD, MPH, (’80) dean of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health and a professor of medicine and environmental health sciences, chairs the Institute of Medicine’s Preventive Services for Women Committee and in 2011 was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. In July 2011, the panel recommended that insurers be required to provide birth control and other women’s preventive health services without copayment under the new health care reform law. On August 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would enforce the panel’s recommendations, and that health insurance companies will be required to provide women free birth control, as well as other preventive services free of charge including screening for gestational diabetes, human papilloma virus testing for cervical cancer, breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. The announcement received significant national media coverage and included quotes from Rosenstock. She also was featured in a live Q&A on the Washington Post website. In “Equality-in-Quality in the Era of the Affordable Care Act,” a commentary published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, co-director of the University of Michigan Clinical Scholars program, and Jennifer K. Walter, MD, PhD, (’10) warn that health care reform will not be adequate if disparities related to such factors as race and social status are not addressed. Davis and Walters argue that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s focus on improving quality does not address concerns related to health disparities. They also note that the bill’s language is inconsistent with recent positions of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Institute of Medicine.
University of Alabama professor, John R. Wheat, MD, MPH, (’83) was selected to receive the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award. The award acknowledges significant contributions by a graduate of the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Graduate School, or Mayo Medical School. Accomplishments may be in a clinical, research, educational, or administrative field. Wheat was recognized for his efforts to help recruit and train Alabama’s citizens to become primary care physicians and return to work in their hometowns or in similar underserved rural communities of Alabama. Read the Mayo Clinic announcement.
Community Health Leaders Organizations run by 2010 Community Health Leaders Judy Berry, Roseanna Means, MD, Andru Ziwasimon-Zeller, MD, and Shira Shavit, MD, have been selected as innovative programs by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and were profiled in the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange. Berry is the founder of Lakeview Ranch Dementia Care Foundation in Darwin, Minn. In memory of her mother, Berry spent her own funds to build a facility addressing dementia patients’ emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. Lakeview Ranch welcomes patients of all economic levels and works to reduce medications in managing aggressive behavior. It has achieved a 93-percent decrease in behavior-related hospitalizations. Means is the founder and chief medical officer of Women of Means, which organizes teams of volunteer doctors and staff nurses who visit shelters in and around Boston, cutting through red tape to give free, patient-centered medical care to women and children. Ziwasimon-Zeller operates Casa de Salud, a clinic for low-income and uninsured patients that combines conventional and natural medical practices to meet physical and spiritual health needs in a culturally sensitive environment. Shavit operates the San Francisco-based Transitions Clinic, which reaches out to individuals who have recently been released from prison and suffer from chronic health conditions, providing them with transitional and primary health care and case management services, including referrals to needed social services.
Gregg Croteau, MSW, LCSW, (’06) is the executive director of the United Teen Equality Center, which received the 2011 Innovation Award from the Small Business Association of New England. Located in Lowell, Mass., the nonprofit was one of nine awardees selected from 185 nominees across New England. It is a youth-led safe haven for youth development and grassroots organizing.
Susan Rodriguez, (’10) founding director of Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research and Treatment (SMART), was selected as one of 31 long-term survivors of those infected with HIV, reflecting on 30 years of AIDS for the June 2011 issue of POZ magazine. Rodriguez told POZ that the best advice she received about coping with HIV was that correct treatment information is critical for making informed decisions about one’s health and care. SMART provides treatment, health, and prevention education for women living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in a safe and supportive environment, the SMART University.
Bev Tittle-Baker, (’06) the chief executive officer of the Mesa, Ariz.-based Community Asset Resource Enterprise, was profiled May 27, 2011, on the local ABC affiliate station. Her nonprofit has provided health services, dental care, after-school programs, an emergency Santa shop, and a food bank, helping almost 20,000 people each year.
Cross-Program In “Catching Obesity From Friends May Not Be So Easy,” an August 8 New York Times piece about obesity’s spread through social networks, the author discusses a few highly publicized studies showing that many unhealthy behaviors are contagious through social networks, and how these have recently drawn heated criticism from other scientists. One of the studies discussed in the article was completed by Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, (’00) investigator and Clinical Scholars alumnus, while Scholar In Health Policy Research Hans Noel, PhD, (’08) was quoted as one of the scientists criticizing these theories.
Executive Nurse Fellows Multiple Executive Nurse Fellows have recently been appointed deans to nursing schools. Judy Beal, DNSc, RN, (’08) was appointed dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Simmons College; Stephen Cavanagh, PhD, MS, MPA, RN, (’09) was appointed dean at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Nursing; Victoria P. Niederhauser, DrPH, MSN, APRN, PNP-C, (’08) was appointed dean and professor of the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing; and Rosalie Mainous, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, (’09) was appointed dean of the College of Nursing and Health at Wright State University.
Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, BSN, RN, A-CCC, (’08) was appointed to the RWJF (regional) the Action Coalition: Future of Nursing in Louisiana Campaign for the Action Core Leadership Team to promote the Future of Nursing initiative for Louisiana.
Jerry Mansfield, MS, RN, CAN, (’05) became the first chief nursing officer for ambulatory services at Ohio State University Medical Center on July 1, 2011. Leadership responsibilities include oversight and coordination of all nursing clinical ambulatory practice and nursing care coordination/health promotion to solidify nursing’s impact on the medical center’s ambulatory growth strategy.
Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’06) was promoted to full professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and co-chair of the Professional Education Sub-Committee of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care.
Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Ana Krieger, MD, (’09) director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, was quoted in a WebMD news article on a Pediatrics study that finds that an expectant mother’s snuff use during pregnancy may increase a newborn’s risk for sleep apnea—brief pauses in breathing during sleep. “Mothers who use snuff or other nicotine replacement therapies may be getting more nicotine than they would if they were smoking cigarettes,” Krieger said.
Health & Society Scholars Allison Aiello, PhD, MS, (’03) appeared September 16 on Dr. Oz to discuss pandemic preparedness. Aiello participated in a panel discussion with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, and film director Steven Soderbergh, whose recent film Contagion depicts a global pandemic. Aiello also was quoted in a September 16 ABC News item about children who died of flu-related causes last year: “There is a myth that the vaccine causes individuals to get influenza. This is not true, and side effects of the vaccine are very rare. The most common side effect is simply soreness at the site of injection. Benefits greatly outweigh any risks associated with the vaccine.” Aiello is associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
Alison Buttenheim, PhD, (’09) is among the inaugural group of recipients of the National Institutes of Health’s Research Career Development in Comparative Effectiveness Research (KM1) Awards. The two-year fellowship is designed to support Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) scientists at various career stages, extending from fellows to junior and senior faculty. KM1 scholars supported through this program will complete mentored research projects focusing on the generation, translation, and dissemination of evidence in the area of CER, including medical interventions that address prognostic, preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, or palliative goals. Buttenheim, assistant professor of family and community health at the School of Nursing and a Leonard Davis Institute senior fellow, will assess the effectiveness of vaccine messages, materials, and communication strategies developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations With Parents initiative. She will identify the parental sociodemographic and cognitive characteristics associated with the effectiveness of these communication materials, methods, and strategies.
David Grande, MD, MPH, MPA, (’05) published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer (September 16) supporting Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s decision not to accept funding from the soft drink industry lobby to fund an anti-obesity program. “If the city’s Department of Public Health accepts soda industry money, making public programs dependent on that money, you can bet those programs will become bargaining chips in future political fights. Can we really believe that such programs wouldn’t be vulnerable if the city passed a soda tax?” Grande asked in the op-ed, “Big Soda Won’t Solve Obesity Problem.”
New strategies to guide interventions for those experiencing clinical depression are discussed in an article on the Prevention Action website examining research by Katie McLaughlin, PhD, (’08). Internet- and technology-based intervention is an emerging field that could hold promise for new universal strategies. It is relatively inexpensive and does not rely on trained professionals, and these approaches allow interventions to be delivered exactly as they are intended to be. “Evidence suggests that Internet-based approaches to intervention delivery can be as effective as those delivered by clinicians and can reach substantial numbers of people for low cost,” said McLaughlin.
Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, MS, (’05) has been chosen for the prestigious White House Fellows program. The nonpartisan program is designed to offer hands-on, up-close experience in government, with participants working at senior levels of the Executive Branch of the federal government. According to the White House, “Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow to senior White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally.” Powell will spend her fellowship at the U.S. Department of Defense. She is currently on leave from her post as an assistant professor of health behavior and health education at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, and from her faculty position at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Powell’s research focuses on the impact of neighborhood, health care, and socioeconomic resources on racial health disparities; she has focused particularly on health disparities among African American men.
Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research The New England Journal of Medicine published “HIV Surveillance, Public Health, and Clinical Medicine—Will the Walls Come Tumbling Down?” a perspective by Investigators Amy Fairchild, PhD, MPH, (’01) and Ronald Bayer, PhD (’01). Fairchild and Bayer make the argument that HIV surveillance data must be used in new and expansive ways to benefit both population health and the health of individuals.
A perspective by Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, (’09) “Who Owns Federally Funded Research? The Supreme Court and the Bayh-Doyle Act,” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Kesselheim addresses the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Stanford University does not hold the primary claim to federally funded inventions patented by its faculty. The ruling was handed down in response to the long-standing patent-infringement dispute between Stanford University and Roche Molecular Systems over the development of a commercially profitable diagnostic assay for HIV. Most recently, Kesselheim was the lead author on “ ‘Pay for Delay’ Settlements of Disputes Over Pharmaceutical Patents,” also published in the New England Journal of Medicine and co-authored by two colleagues including Investigator Michelle Mello, JD, PhD (’07). The authors review the “pay for delay” practice, which involves the manufacturers of brand-name drugs paying manufacturers of generic drugs large sums of money in a settlement to delay the introduction of a generic drug to market. Both brand-name and generic manufacturers continue to lobby for the legality of this practice, at a substantial cost to patients and payers.
The New York Times published the op-ed, “The Annals of Extreme Surgery,” by Barron Lerner, MD, PhD (’03). Barron—also an alumnus (’91) of the Clinical Scholars program—addresses the use of heated chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer, and the issues underlying the use and pursuit of aggressive treatment therapies.
An Anatomy of Addiction, a new book by Howard Markel, MD, PhD, FAAP, (’07) received the lead review in the New York Times’ “Sunday Book Review” on July 21, 2011. The book was described as “a tour de force of scientific and social history.” Markel’s Investigator Award focused on nonpharmaceutical interventions during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic, and his latest work (which is not related to his award) is on the cocaine addictions of Sigmund Freud and William Halsted. The book was published by Pantheon, a division of Random House, in July 2011.
Why We Get Fat, the new book by Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, (’08) was reviewed in the September issue of The American Conservative. In his review, “Weighing the Evidence,” Mark Nugent likens Taubes to food traditionalists such as Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan and states, “Taubes and other food traditionalists suggest an alternative to expensive and dangerous drugs and medical procedures—go back to what our forefathers wanted to eat.” Taubes also was interviewed on the University of North Carolina-sponsored National Public Radio show, “The People's Pharmacy.”
Nurse Faculty Scholars Jennifer Doering, PhD, RN, (’08) was a guest on Milwaukee Public Radio to discuss her research on the relationship between sleep deprivation and depression in women after childbirth.
Scholars in Health Policy Research A letter to the editor by Alan Cohen, ScD, program director, was published in the Boston Globe on September 19. Cohen responds to a letter that concurred with the political characterization of the Social Security program as a “Ponzi scheme.” Cohen writes that the letter writer “left out an important detail in his definition of a Ponzi scheme: criminal intent…. The [Social Security] program was intended to protect workers and their families from the ravages of poverty in old age, and it has done so quite admirably for more than 75 years.… While Social Security may need periodic adjustment to keep it afloat, it is wrong to equate it with a nefarious scheme.”
Dalton Conley, PhD, MPPA, (’96), who is also a 1999 recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, wrote an August 28 New York Times op-ed about how the Internet has affected the way people meet each other. Conley uses the college roommate placement process as an example. He writes that while the Internet has made it easy to reconnect with people in our pasts, “it has made it a lot more difficult to meet them in the first place, by taking a lot of randomness out of life.”
Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, (’09) published “Why Summer Camp Isn’t as Safe as You Think” in the Huffington Post on August 9. Friedman questions how qualified some camp counselors are to take care of and teach children in summer camp, as they are neither required to be certified to work with young children nor to be treated as experts in a given subject area. She urges parents to consider expertise and teaching experience (including formal teaching credentials) and safety as they sign their children up for summer camps, and she gives tips on how to be better informed during the process.
Ann C. Keller, PhD, (’02) received the Don K. Price Award from the Science, Technology & Environmental Politics Section of the American Political Science Association for her book Science in Environmental Policy (MIT Press, 2009). The Don K. Price Award is given for the best book in science and technology politics published in the past three years.
Trevon D. Logan, PhD, (’09) an economist, is the recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities’ 2011 Best Article Award for his article, “Personal Characteristics, Sexual Behaviors, and Male Sex Work: A Quantitative Approach” (American Sociological Review, 75(5): 679–704, 2010).
Lauren M. MacLean, PhD, (’02) was awarded the Giovanni Sartori Book Award by the Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section of the American Political Science Association for her book Informal Institutions and Citizenship in Rural Africa: Risk and Reciprocity in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The Giovanni Sartori Book Award is granted to a single-authored or multi-authored book, or to an edited volume published in the calendar year.
Helen B. Marrow, PhD, (’08) received the Distinguished Contribution to Research Article Award from the American Sociological Association’s Latino/a Sociology Section for her article “Immigrant Bureaucratic Incorporation: The Dual Roles of Professional Missions and Government Policies” (American Sociological Review, 74(5): 756–776, 2009). The Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association recognizes with this award a colleague who has published an outstanding article in the area of Latina/o Studies.
Susan Moffitt, PhD, (’06) received with co-author David K. Cohen the Best Paper on Public Policy Award from the American Political Science Association’s (APSA’s) Public Policy Section for their paper, “The Politics of Bad News: Policy and Practice in K–12 Education.” The Best Paper on Public Policy Award is given for the best paper on public policy presented at the previous APSA Annual Meeting.
Michael A. Neblo, PhD, (’01), Kevin Esterling, PhD, (’00) and others received the Heinz I. Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association for their article “Who Wants To Deliberate—and Why?” (American Political Science Review, 104: 566–583, 2010). The Heinz Eulau prize is awarded annually for the best article published in the American Political Science Review.
Kaiser Health News published a July 26 article in which experts are asked to weigh in on what conditions could lead the federal government to decide if the time is right to revamp a popular program like Medicare. “The right time is in the eye of the beholder,” was a response from Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus, Jonathan Oberlander, PhD, (’95). Oberlander notes, “The status quo is very strong,” and wonders, “Can a debt crisis do the same political gymnastics that a trust fund crisis performs in Medicare?”
Rashawn Ray, PhD, (’10) published an op-ed on August 14 in the New York Times “Room for Debate.” The piece, “Is Spanking a Black and White Issue?” discusses how punishing methods differ among races. Ray notes that the racial gap has closed in recent decades, and that while previous generations of Black parents spanked first and asked questions later, current Black parents seem to spank as a last resort. Ray implies that a parent’s likeliness to spank also has to do with social class and geographic locations, but notes that Blacks and Whites may face different pressures regarding spanking.
Mark Q. Sawyer, PhD, (’03) co-authored with E. Telles and G. Rivera-Salgado, Just Neighbors? Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States (Russell Sage Foundation, September 2011). Dr. Sawyer is associate professor and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics in the Department of Political Science and Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los
RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
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RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jennifer Bellot writes about losing her grandmother to complications from a medical error.
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Hilary Levey Friedman, author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, writes about youth sports.