Scholars in Health Policy Research
Program alumnus and national advisory committee member John Cawley, PhD, (’99) published “The Consequences of Rising Youth Obesity for U.S. Military Academy Admissions” in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. This study estimates the percentage of the age-eligible population that exceeds weight-for-height admission standards of U.S. military academies, the undergraduate institutions that train officers for the U.S. Armed Forces. The results indicate that the current prevalence of and future trends in obesity threaten to reduce the quality of the officer corps, and thereby decrease U.S. military readiness.

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Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College
RWJF Health Policy Scholar Maria Mejia de Grubb MD, MPH, (’12) published an article in the February 2013 Supplement of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Mejia de Grubb and her team authored “Demographic and Geographic Variations in Breast Cancer Mortality Among U.S. Hispanics.”

Health Policy Doctoral Fellow Courtney Sinclair Thomas (’10) will present her paper, “The Black Middle Class: New Insights for the Study of Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the United States,” at the Society for the Study of Social Problems 2013 Annual Meeting, August 9–11, in New York City. Courtney will present her paper in the “Identity: Rethinking Ethnicity and Race in the 21st Century–THEMATIC” session.

Clinical Scholars
Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Lisa Rosenbaum, MD, (’12) published a Medicine and Society article in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 7 titled “The Whole Ballgame—Overcoming the Blind Spots in Health Care Reform.” The article examines the differences in patients’ and physicians’ perspective of “value” in health care, and what it means to them. The article was mentioned in Newswise, MedicalXpress, MediLexicon, Health Imaging & IT, and

In February, Katherine Vickery, MD, (’12) and Kori Sauser, MD, (’12) published a Viewpoint piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled, “Policy Responses to Demand for Health Care Access: From the Individual to the Population.” The piece offers a historical perspective and opinions about health care access as informed by the Affordable Care Act and the Emergency Medical Treatment Act.

Investigators Jens Ludwig, PhD, (’09) and Philip Cook, PhD, (’02)—along with Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus (’94) and 2011 awardee of the Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Harold Pollack, PhD, MPP, were mentioned in an article in the Washington Post. The article, “Chicago’s Murder Rate Is Finally Falling. Can That Keep Up?,” was posted on March 6, 2013.

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program
A study by Martin Chieng Were, MD, MS, (’11) titled, “Computer-Generated Reminders and Quality of Pediatric HIV Care in a Resource-Limited Setting,” was published in Pediatrics (March 2013). This large, randomized controlled study is among the first to rigorously demonstrate that health information technology can improve compliance with patient care guidelines by clinicians in resource-limited countries. The study found that providing computer-generated reminders to clinicians resulted in a fourfold increase in completion of overdue clinical tasks for children in a pediatric HIV clinic in Eldoret, Kenya. “If a child with HIV does not get the appropriate tests and therapies quickly, he or she can get very sick and may die,” Were said. “In resource-limited settings, health care providers with limited training are trying to provide good care for a high number of patients. The computer-generated prompts help them provide high-quality care for so many patients. With the prompts, not only were they four times more likely to follow the HIV care guidelines, but they completed these important clinical tasks faster.”

Health & Society Scholars
Ryan Masters, PhD, (’11) published a study, “Obesity and U.S. Mortality Risk Over the Adult Life Course,” in the American Journal of Epidemiology (February 2013). The study analyzes age variation in the association between obesity status and U.S. adult mortality risk. Previous studies have found that the association between obesity and mortality risk weakens with age. This study’s findings suggest that survey-based estimates of age patterns in the obesity-mortality relationship are significantly confounded by disparate cohort mortality and age-related survey selection bias; when these factors are accounted for in Cox survival models, the obesity-mortality relationship is actually estimated to grow stronger with age. Masters’ study was covered by the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s “Shots” blog, and, among others.

Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD, MA, (’06) published “Direct-To-Consumer Television Advertising Exposure, Diagnosis With High Cholesterol, and Statin Use” in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (March 2013). Statin drugs are recommended for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), but there is no medical consensus on whether or not a statin should be added to lifestyle change efforts for primary prevention of CHD. Research has yet to examine whether individual-level exposure to direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) may influence statin use among men and women at high, moderate, or low risk for future cardiac events. The authors estimate that exposure to statin ads increase the odds of being diagnosed with high cholesterol by 16 to 20 percent, and increased statin use by 16 to 22 percent, among both men and women (p <0.05). The findings suggest that DTCA may promote overdiagnosis of high cholesterol and overtreatment for populations where the risks of statin use may outweigh potential benefits.

Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research
David Jones, MD, PhD, (’07) has a new book available, Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Continuing his Investigator Award project, “The Rise and Fall of Cardiac Revascularization: Therapeutic Evolution and Health Policy in the Late Twentieth Century,” this book tracks the history of cardiac interventions, analyzes clinical decision-making, and highlights outcomes through extensive archival research. Jones’ book was mentioned in the Boston Globe on March 5.

Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, (’09) published a study, “Changing Interactions Between Physician Trainees and the Pharmaceutical Industry: A National Survey,” in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study found that many U.S. medical students and residents receive meals, gifts, and industry-sponsored educational materials from drug companies despite medical schools’ efforts to restrict this type of contact. Study findings were covered by HealthDay News and republished in Newsday,, U.S. News & World Report, the Examiner, and the Boston Globe.

Harold Pollack, PhD, MPP, (’11) published an article in the March/April issue of Washington Monthly magazine titled, “Reality-Based Mental Health Reform,” which identifies parts of health reform that may help reduce violence by the mentally ill.

New Connections
New Connections grantee Erualdo Gonzalez, PhD, co-authored the article, “Communities Creating Healthy Environments to Combat Obesity,” in a 2012 (Volume 10) issue of the Californian Journal of Health Promotion. Gonzalez also published an editorial in the journal titled, “Health Disparities in Latino Communities.”

Active Living Research-New Connections alumnae Erin Hager, PhD, (’09) and Leah Robinson, PhD, (’11) each presented at the 10th Annual Active Living Research Conference. Current New Connections grantee Erualdo Gonzalez, PhD, (’11) also presented at the conference.

Active Living Research-New Connections alumnus Kevin Nadal, PhD, (’10) was lead presenter on a session on “Risk and Resiliency in Negotiating Multiple Marginalized Identities” at the 2013 National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS). Nadal also participated in another presentation and several roundtable discussions. Current New Connections grantee Ashley Butler-Hines, PhD, presented a roundtable discussion at NMCS as well.

Nurse Faculty Scholars
Tina Bloom, PhD, RN, (’11) assistant professor at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, published a study, “Rural Pregnant Women’s Stressors and Priorities for Stress Reduction,” in the December issue of Issues in Mental Health Nursing. The study indicates that low-income pregnant women in rural areas experience high levels of stress, yet lack appropriate means to manage their emotional and physical well-being.

Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAAN, (’08) an associate professor at the Yale University School of Nursing, co-authored two articles in an issue of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Genomic Nursing Series: “An Overview of the Genomics of Metabolic Syndrome” and “Cardiovascular Genomics.”

Scholars in Health Policy Research
Joanna Kempner, PhD, (’04) was featured in a Health Canal article, “Rutgers Professor on a Mission to Provide Better Understanding of Migraines,” which discusses her research on the sociological aspects of migraines. Her studies were inspired by her own experience with the devastating headaches.

Helen Levy, PhD, (’98) and Sarah Miller, PhD, (’12) each wrote papers that were published in the Winter 2012/2013 edition of Inquiry that examine health reform in Massachusetts. Levy wrote “Findings From Massachusetts Health Reform: Lessons for Other States,” which explains how Massachusetts could serve as a laboratory for health reform, testing novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country. Miller’s paper, “The Effect of the Massachusetts Reform on Health Care Utilization,” analyzes the effect of the reform on reported health care utilization and outcomes. It synthesizes the existing research on Massachusetts health care reform and provides new evidence using the National Health Interview Survey.

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog featured research conducted by Boris Shor, PhD, (’11) in a post titled, “Gerrymandering Is Not What’s Wrong With American Politics.”