Category Archives: New Jersey Nursing Initiative

Mar 3 2014
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New Jersey Health Initiatives is the ‘Face of the Foundation’ in New Jersey

Robert Atkins, PhD, RN, is associate professor of childhood studies and nursing at the Camden campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and director of New Jersey Health Initiatives, a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). He is an alumnus of the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars (NFS) program.

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Human Capital Blog: Congratulations on your position as director of New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI). What is RWJF’s vision for the program and for the state?

Robert Atkins: Thank you. As the largest philanthropy in the country devoted specifically to health and health care, the vast majority of Foundation resources are, of course, targeted outside of New Jersey. However, New Jersey is the Foundation’s home state. Consequently, the Foundation has a history and connection to New Jersey that is distinctly different from other states and reflected in the kinds of grants made by the Foundation that benefit individuals, communities, and institutions in New Jersey. Although NJHI is only one facet of the Foundation’s philanthropy in the state, as the only national program office of the Foundation that focuses on a state, NJHI is “the face of the Foundation in New Jersey.”

The Foundation’s vision for NJHI and its other New Jersey or “backyard” grants is that they reflect the very best of what the Foundation can do to improve health and health care. I think this tradition of meeting the Foundation’s highest standards of excellence is evident in the legacy of NJHI, and it is a tradition that I feel privileged to sustain and improve upon.

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Jul 25 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Mortality rates for non-drinkers, screening newborns for rare diseases, air conditioners’ impact on climate, 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:

Previous research has shown that non-drinkers have a slightly higher mortality risk than light drinkers, and a study co-authored by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Patrick Krueger, PhD, is the first to examine the characteristics and mortality risks of non-drinker subgroups to explain the phenomenon. The study confirms that some, but not all, subgroups of non-drinkers have a higher mortality rate than light drinkers, and uncovers some of the reasons. Among the outlets to report on the findings: Health Canal, the Aspen Business Journal, Science Daily and the Denver Journal.

The research of Health & Society Scholars alumnus Andrew Papachristos, PhD, is informing a new technique used by the Austin Police District in Chicago to quell gang violence, the Chicago Tribune reports. Papachristos found that much of the violence on the West Side of Chicago involves a relatively small number of victims and offenders. The Austin District has put those people on a “heat list” and will begin visiting them individually to issue warnings to stop the violence.

States that have expanded family planning services under Medicaid have seen an increase in women receiving potentially life-saving Pap tests and breast exams, according to a study led by Health & Society Scholar Laura Wherry, PhD. Health Canal and Medical XPress are among the outlets to report on the findings.

Rather than becoming depressed or anxious, people who find out they have a gene that predisposes them to Alzheimer’s disease often take steps to reduce their risk, including exercise, healthier diets, and vitamins and medications, according to a study led by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research Jason Karlawish, MD. GenomeWeb reports on the findings.

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Jun 20 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Verbal abuse among nurses, deinstitutionalization, prenatal genetic testing, 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:

Nearly half of newly licensed registered nurses have been verbally abused by colleagues, according to a study by the RWJF-funded RN Work Project. Those who reported being verbally abused had lower job satisfaction and unfavorable perceptions of their work environment, and were more likely to say they intended to leave their jobs within the next year. Nurse.com and the News Press report on the findings. Read more about the study.

Amy Dockser Marcus, AB, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research and award-winning journalist for her coverage of cancer, wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about long-term health effects for adult survivors of childhood cancer. Research shows that more than 95 percent of adult survivors suffer from a chronic health condition by the age of 45, the story reports.

Harold Pollack, PhD, MPP, wrote a piece for the Washington Post Wonkblog about the successes and failures of deinstutionalization. On the whole, he writes, moving individuals with disabilities out of large institutions into family- or community-based settings improved the lives of millions of Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like his brother-in-law. However, it was much less successful for Americans suffering from severe mental illness. Pollack is a recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, and an alumnus of the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program.

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May 23 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: New Jersey nurses, increasing diversity in dentistry, taxes on alcohol, 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 New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), a project of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has graduated its first cohort of doctorally prepared nurses, NJ Spotlight reports. The new graduates are on track to become nursing professors, to help address New Jersey’s staggering 10.5 percent nurse faculty vacancy rate. Read more about the New Jersey Nursing Scholars who graduate this month.

In an op-ed for the Daily Journal, New Jersey Nursing Scholar Marlin Gross, MSN, APN, NP-C, writes, “I’m able to combine my love of nursing practice and education because NJNI put me on a fast track to a master’s degree in nursing… I also benefited from the program’s professional and personal development activities and its many mentoring and networking opportunities. But most importantly, NJNI helped me re-imagine my future. I now see myself as an emerging nurse leader and plan to enroll in a doctorate program in the fall to realize that vision.” Robert P. Wise, FACHE, a member of NJNI’s Leadership Council, also wrote about NJNI in an op-ed for The Times of Trenton.

Insight Into Diversity reports on the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute, an RWJF-funded project led by the American Dental Education Association and the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. It is funding dental schools to create new recruitment projects that will help increase the number of underrepresented students at their institutions. Read a post on the RWJF Human Capital Blog by National Learning Institute Director Paul Glassman.

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May 16 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Oregon’s Medicaid system, ‘healthy’ fast food restaurants, primary care workforce innovation, 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:

RWJF Clinical Scholar Alan Teo, MD, MS, is the lead author of a study that finds the quality of a person’s social relationships influences the person's risk of major depression, regardless of how frequently their social interactions take place. “The magnitude of these results is similar to the well-established relationship between biological risk factors and cardiovascular disease,” Teo told Health Canal. “What that means is that if we can teach people how to improve the quality of their relationships, we may be able to prevent or reduce the devastating effects of clinical depression.”

RWJF recently announced the selection of 30 primary care practices as exemplary models of workforce innovation. The practices will serve as the basis for a new project: The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP). Among them is CareSouth Carolina, the Hartsville Messenger reports. Learn more about the LEAP project and the practices selected for the program.

Low-income Oregonians who received access to Medicaid over the past two years used more health care services, and had higher rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduced financial strain than those without access to Medicaid, according to a study co-authored by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Amy N. Finkelstein, PhD, MPhil. The study found no significant effect, however, on the diagnosis or treatment rates of hypertension or high cholesterol levels.  Among the outlets to report on the findings: Forbes, the New York Times, the Washington Post Wonk blog, Health Day, and the Boston Globe Health Stew blog. Read more about Finkelstein’s research on the Oregon Medicaid system.

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Mar 14 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Television ads for statins, advanced nursing education, treatment for gunshot wounds, 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 and grantees. Some recent examples:

In a piece about the growing need for advanced nursing education, Nurse.com interviewed a group of nurse leaders working to fulfill a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which calls for doubling the number of doctorate-level nurses by 2020. Among those quoted: Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, co-principal of RWJF’s RN Work Project; RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Jane Kirschling, RN, DNS, FAAN; and Susan Bakewell-Sachs, RN, PhD, PNP-BC, program director for the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a program of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Nurse.com and Infection Control Today report on an RWJF-supported study that finds hospitals that have higher percentages of nurses with baccalaureate degrees have lower rates of postsurgical mortality. The study, published in the March issue of Health Affairs, stems from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for ActionRead more about the study.

“I recently traveled to Singapore, where I met with other doctors and told about being the emergency department (ED) doctor at the University of Colorado Hospital the morning of the Aurora theater shootings on July 20, 2012,” RWJF Clinical Scholars alumna Comilla Sasson, MD, MS, FACEP, writes in an op-ed for the Denver Post. “One thing dawned on me as I spoke: I had seen more gunshot wound victims in that one night than these doctors will see in their entire careers.” Read a post Sasson wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the Aurora theater shootings, and learn more about her experience talking to the national news media afterward.

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Feb 14 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Chronic migraines, food recall ‘message fatigue,’ longevity and obesity, 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 and grantees. Some recent examples:

Health Canal reports on a study led by RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumna Joanna Kempner, PhD, that examines the social stigma surrounding chronic migraine sufferers. “The enduring image of the typical migraine patient is a white, middle-class woman who just isn’t good at handling stress,” Kempner said. “She is seen as neurotic and weak, a stigma that has been hard to change.”

RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar alumna Ruth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, FAHA, was featured in MyHealthNewsDaily, an online health care news digest, for her study suggesting Tai Chi can reduce the number of falls in adults who have survived a stroke. Taylor-Piliae, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, surveyed 89 stroke survivors and found that practicing Tai Chi helps alleviate balance problems that afflict many survivors. Read more about her work.

Medpage Today reports on research co-authored by William K. Hallman, PhD, director of the Rutgers University Food Policy Institute and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, about how to motivate consumers to look for and discard recalled food products. Hallman participated in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting this week on breaking through food recall “message fatigue” [free subscription].

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Jan 10 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Study partners for Alzheimer's patients, medication color changes, the 'bystander effect,' 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 and grantees. Some recent examples:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy named RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, one of the “Five from the Nonprofit World Who Will Influence Public Policy in 2013.” She was also featured in a profile in the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, as part of a series profiling “some of the people who make the Garden State special.”

RWJF Senior Communications Officer Linda Wright Moore wrote a piece for Ebony.com about the work of Debbie Chatman Bryant and Ifeanyi Anne Nwabukwu, who were honored last year as RWJF Community Health Leaders for their work to fight cancer. Bryant cares for the underserved in the Low Country of South Carolina, and Nwabukwu helps African immigrant women in the Washington, D.C. area.

John R. Lumpkin, MD, MPH, senior vice president and director of the Health Care Group at RWJF, and Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, program director of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) and interim provost of the College of New Jersey, published a guest editorial in the Newark Star Ledger about NJNI’s work to solve the state’s nurse faculty shortage. Since its launch in 2009, NJNI has supported 61 New Jersey Nursing Scholars, providing tuition and other support while they pursue master’s or doctoral degrees that qualify them for faculty positions. NJNI is a program of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“I have a lot of experience when patients of mine come and say, ‘I was taking a green pill and now it’s pink. What's going on?’” Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient, told Reuters. Kesselheim’s new research finds that patients are less likely to take their medication if the color changes, which often happens when they switch from a brand-name to a generic drug. The findings were also covered by the New York Times Well blog, CBS News, and Health Canal, among others. Read more about Kesselheim’s work here and here.

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Nov 29 2012
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Human Capital News Roundup: Aging in place, unemployment’s link to heart attacks, AIDS support groups, 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 and grantees. Some recent examples:

The New York Times spoke with several RWJF scholars for a story about how hospitals are taking steps to avoid financial penalties from Medicare for having too many patients readmitted soon after discharge. “Just blaming the patients or saying ‘it’s destiny’ or ‘we can’t do any better’ is a premature conclusion and is likely to be wrong… I’ve got to believe we can do much, much better,” RWJF Clinical Scholars Yale site director Harlan Krumholz, MD, said. Clinical Scholars alumnus Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, and RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumnus Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, were also interviewed for the story.

Two other Clinical Scholars were featured in the New York Times. Alumna Leora Horwitz, MD, MHS, wrote an op-ed about the risks and benefits of electronic medical records, and RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Jason Lott, MD, MSHP, published a letter to the editor about the cost of robotic surgery and single-incision operations.

A program headed by RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, CRNP, is helping elderly Baltimore residents improve the safety and living standards of their homes so they can “age in place” instead of having to move to nursing homes, the Baltimore Sun reports. In addition to handyman services like installing ramps and handrails, participants are paired with occupational therapists and nurses who teach them medication management and other skills.

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) is making headway in recruiting, educating, and retaining nurse faculty in the state, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Leaders in health, business and academics testified at a state Senate committee hearing last week about NJNI’s progress in addressing the nurse faculty shortage. Read more about the hearing.

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Nov 23 2012
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Human Capital News Roundup: The nurse faculty shortage, discharging homeless patients, “diaper deserts,” 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 and grantees. Some recent examples:

NJ Spotlight reports on a state Senate committee hearing in New Jersey this week at which legislators heard from health, business and academic leaders about how the New Jersey Nursing Initiative has made progress in addressing the state’s staggering 10.5 percent nursing faculty vacancy rate. Among those testifying was John Lumpkin, RWJF senior vice president and director of the Health Care Group. Read more about the hearing.

A study by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Haslyn Hunte, PhD, MPH, and colleagues find that Blacks who feel discriminated against or mistreated are more likely to abuse alcohol and illegal drugs, Medical XPress reports.

Kelly Doran, MD, an RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about why “Hospitals Should Never Discharge Homeless Patients to the Streets.” Hospital care teams often discharge patients “to home” without asking or thinking about their housing situations, perpetuating their cycle of homelessness by sending them back to the streets instead of supportive housing, she writes. Fierce Healthcare also reported on Doran’s post.

Brendan Nyhan, PhD, an alumnus of the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program, gave comments to the Daily Beast about political reporting and predicting election results.

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