Category Archives: Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico
Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of the Foundation’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other essential nursing issues. Following are some of the stories in the February issue.
Preparing Nurses for Leadership in Public Policy
Many nurse education programs, including those that confer doctoral degrees, fall short in educating nurses about public policy, leaving them unprepared to maximize their expertise in policy arenas. To help change that, the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico hosted a recent conference that brought together leading nurse educators, public policy experts, social scientists, and others. The goal was to identify and share effective ways to prepare students in doctoral (PhD and DNP) nursing programs to be health policy leaders. Talking to lawmakers is “high-stakes communication,” one speaker said, and nurses need to know how to do it.
Nurse Leader Urges Nurses to Study Political Science, Too
Nancy Ridenour, PhD, APRN, FAAN, has combined a lifelong passion for policy with a drive to improve public health. Throughout her career, she has fought state laws that prevented Nurse Practitioners from practicing to the top of their education and training, and spoken out on health policies affecting access to care for patients in rural communities. “Policy is a tool to foster social change. Leadership and expertise in health policy ensure that nursing expertise is used to improve the health of the nation,” Ridenour says.
Elizabeth Dickson, MSN, RN, is a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at University of New Mexico. Earlier in her career, she worked at a school-based health center (SBHC). This post is part of the “Health Care in 2014” series.
As a public health nurse, I have worked with children in schools for much of my career. From 2009 until 2013, I worked at a SBHC in New Mexico that was located in an alternative high school in southern Albuquerque. Although small, many students at this school came from families of mixed immigration status and had experienced high levels of street violence, alcohol and drug abuse and overdose, suicide, poverty and food scarcity, minimal health care access, and high teen pregnancy rates.
These kids saw and experienced more than many outsiders of the community could have imagined. The SBHC was open one day a week during school hours and employed a staff that included a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, public health nurses, administrative staff, and mental health counselors. I worked with an incredible team that provided many health services and screenings, including mental health support, in the limited time that we had.
Abigail L. Reese, CNM, MSN, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her master of science in nursing at the Yale School of Nursing. She has worked at a birth center on the U.S./Mexico border, and coordinated a federal women’s health grant in Vermont. This post is part of the “Health Care in 2014” series.
My resolution for the U.S. health care system in 2014 is to make strides in addressing one of the greatest health disparities affecting women and girls in this society and the world over: the experience of interpersonal and sexual violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that, in this country, one out of every five women has experienced rape or attempted rape. One in four has experienced “severe physical violence” at the hands of an intimate partner. Furthermore, the evidence tells us that victimization and its consequences begin early. Nearly half of all women who experience rape are assaulted before the age of 18, and 35 percent will be re-victimized during their lifetime.
Those of us who provide health care services to women are first-hand witnesses to the health-related consequences of interpersonal and sexual violence. These women are at greater risk for a range of potentially devastating health problems including: debilitating depression and anxiety, substance use disorders, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and giving birth to preterm or low birth weight infants. They have higher reported rates of frequent headaches, chronic pain (including chronic pelvic pain), diabetes, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome, among other conditions. Therefore, many of the symptoms and conditions that bring women into our care are related to their experiences of violence.
LisaMarie Turk, RN, MSN, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico, working toward a PhD in nursing with a health policy concentration. She was awarded a Hearst Foundation Scholarship in 2010. This is part of a series of posts looking at diversity in the health care workforce.
Ample scientific and empirical evidence supports increasing diversity in the health care workforce in order to decrease health disparities and advance health equity.
I am a registered nurse and PhD student in Nursing and Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. New Mexico is known for its depth of cultural diversity; however, this state joins the nation in experiencing negligible diversity in its health care workforce.
I was honored with the opportunity to complete a policy internship focusing on nursing workforce diversity at the Division of Nursing of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions. From this experience, I gained increased awareness and resources to affect change in nursing and health care workforce diversity in New Mexico.
Human Capital News Roundup: Gun violence, incarceration and psychiatric disorders, extremes in body weight, 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:
RWJF Clinical Scholars program alumnus Arthur Kellerman, MD, MPH, FACEP, was quoted in a Washington Post story on the Obama Administration's push to renew federal funding for public health research on gun violence. Language initially included in a 1996 appropriations bill has, he said, "virtually stopped good public health science on [gun research] for the last 10 to 15 years.” White House lawyers recently concluded that the law doesn’t prohibit such research. Kellermann, also an alumnus of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program, co-authored an article on the subject in the Journal of the American Medical Association with Clinical Scholars alumnus Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH.
RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program Director and Health Policy Fellows alumna Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, was also in the news discussing gun violence. Boufford wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Idaho Statesman and Long Island, New York's Newsday, about the public health effects of gun violence. “As a society, we address public health threats by identifying the root causes, reducing exposure, and instituting protective measures… In the same way, we must protect Americans from irresponsible gun use,” she writes.
A study by RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research recipients Jason Schnittker, PhD, and Chris Uggen, PhD, finds that incarceration increases the risk of mood disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia after release. That, in turn, is strongly related to disability and increased incidence of substance abuse and impulse control disorders. United Press International, Medical Xpress and Science Day are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog post about the study.
A member of the Navajo Nation, Lisa Palucci, MSN, RN, is a nurse consultant at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. This post is part of the "Health Care in 2013" series.
As the nation trudges forward in its quest to improve health care access for all Americans, I think it is essential that we continue to make progress in decreasing the health disparities and social determinant of health gaps that continue to be ignored in mainstream health policy initiatives. Throughout the course of my PhD program at the University of New Mexico (UNM), we have had numerous opportunities to experience nursing and health policy in action by attending national conferences, meetings, and orientation programs. To my disappointment, discussion about improving health disparities and social determinants of health are seldom a topic on the agenda. This poses the question: Aren’t the health disparities and social determinants of health what got us to the point of an inequitable health care system in the first place?
Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, MS, BSN, is executive director of Healthy Communities International at Minot State University, and a doctoral fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. She has been awarded numerous grants for her work on tobacco control policy. This post is part of the "Health Care in 2013" series.
This is an exciting time for the U.S. health care system or, as I prefer to call it, the U.S. health system (because health “care” system limits what one includes as part of the “system”). As a public health professional for nearly 30 years—about 20 years as a frontline public health nurse, and now 10 years in academia—I have discovered the need to educate people on all that the state and federal public health systems do to improve the health of not only individuals and families but also communities.[i] [ii]
More than half of my professional career, both as a practitioner and academic, has focused on tobacco prevention and control policies.[iii] Professional and nursing colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and family often think of my work in tobacco control policy as separate from my public health nursing career. The reasons for this, I believe, are at least two-fold. First, nursing is often equated with direct client care; second, the tobacco industry effectively confuses many into believing the science of tobacco control is controversial and thus spending public health and tax dollars on tobacco control seems wasteful to the public. (As an aside, many nurses are involved in tobacco control. Please join us!)[iv],[v],[vi]
The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) named 70 new members and 10 foreign associates at its 42nd annual meeting. Among the new members with RWJF connections: RWJF Clinical Scholars alumni Christopher J. Elias, MD, MPH, and Tracy A. Lieu, MD, MPH; RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipients Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, Jens Ludwig, PhD, Jack Needleman, PhD, FAAN, and Sara Rosenbaum, JD; and RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus Paula M. Lantz, PhD.
Sally S. Cohen, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico (UNM), has been named to the UNM School of Nursing’s newly created Virginia P. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Nursing—the School of Nursing's first endowed chair.
Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH, an alumnus of the Clinical Scholars program, was awarded the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics Outstanding Achievement Award in the application of epidemiologic information to child health advocacy.
Robin Newhouse, an Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) grantee, was appointed vice-chair of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Methodology Committee.
What the Election Means for Health and Health Care… The Country Needs More Providers, Better Mental Health and Elder Care, and an End to Poverty
Carolyn Montoya, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. A PhD Candidate, Montoya serves on the New Mexico Medicaid Advisory Committee, an advisory body to the Secretary of the state’s Human Services Department and the Director of the Medical Assistance Division Director. The RWJF Human Capital Blog asked scholars and fellows from a few of its programs to consider what the election results will mean for health and health care in the United States.
Human Capital Blog: Do you think there will be fewer challenges to the Affordable Care Act and more attention to how to implement it?
Montoya: Now that the election is over, the reality is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be repealed. As we go forward with the ACA in place, a strong emphasis should be placed on evaluation. Outcome measures, such low rates of diabetes complications or increased immunization rates, will be essential in terms of being able to establish what aspects of the ACA are working and which ones need to be revised.
This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.
New Mexico is widely known for its scenic vistas and its rich cultural heritage. Thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), it may soon add its health policy experts to the list of notables. The RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico is preparing a new generation of diverse, PhD-prepared nurses to meet the nation’s health policy challenges.
Fellows are exploring a vast array of health care challenges with a specific focus on public policy solutions. Their research ranges from childhood obesity prevention policies, to cost analyses of obstetrical care, to enhanced access to mental and behavioral health, and more.
Through the program, fellows develop a unique understanding of the factors influencing public policy, and learn how they can become a powerful voice in that process.
Earlier this year, two of the program’s fellows, Laura Brennaman, MSN, RN,CEN, and Lauri Lineweaver, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, attended the historic Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Brennaman was also present in the chamber when the final decision was announced on June 28. The program strives to bring its fellows into events like these, which impart a profound lesson about the interconnectedness of the health care and policy worlds.