Category Archives: Publications

Aug 15 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Brain cell regeneration, malpractice concerns, reducing drug overdose-related deaths, 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:

Newly licensed registered nurses who experience high or moderate levels of verbal abuse by physicians have less favorable perceptions of their work environments, lower intent to stay in their jobs, and lower commitment to their organizations, according to a study by the RWJF-supported RN Work Project. Health Leaders Media, Becker’s Hospital Review and Medical XPress are among the outlets to report on the findings. Learn more about the study.

Can social media accurately measure public opinion and be a good indicator of how people will vote? Research co-authored by RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus Fabio Rojas, PhD, finds a strong correlation between how often a candidate is mentioned in tweets—regardless of what is said about him or her—and that candidate’s final share of the vote. The researcher team’s data predicted the winner in 404 out of 406 competitive races using data from 2010, Rojas writes in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

Physicians who worry about malpractice lawsuits order more diagnostic tests and refer patients to the emergency room more often than other physicians, according to a study co-authored by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Michelle M. Mello, JD, PhD, MPhil. The result is higher medical costs for patients, MarketWatch reports.

The Herald (Rock Hill, SC) reports on a study led by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna Margaret Sheridan, PhD, that finds that a mother's perceived social status affects her child's brain development and stress indicators. “Our results indicate that a mother's perception of her social status 'lives' biologically in her children,” Sheridan said.

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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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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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Dec 4 2012
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Board Leadership for Nurses: The First Steps

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report recommends that nurses serve on boards and in other key leadership positions at every level, but getting a board appointment and taking on that responsibility can be daunting. In an article for American Nurse Today, RWJF Senior Adviser for Nursing Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, offers advice for nurses looking to take the first steps toward board service.

Before considering board service, Hassmiller writes, consider creating a personal strategic plan and finding an organization outside your workplace with a mission and issues you support and understand. She suggests starting locally to find opportunities to serve in leadership positions, and building connections outside, as well as within, your profession.

“With activities taking place across the nation to make the IOM recommendations a reality, this may be one of the most exciting times in the history of nursing,” Hassmiller writes. “Make the effort to do the work required to prepare for leadership and to step onto the first rungs of community board service—and beyond.”

Read the article from American Nurse Today.

Sep 28 2012
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Stay Up to Date with RWJF Human Capital!

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Sep 18 2012
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Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas

Natasha Dow Schüll, PhD, MA, is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Program in Science, Technology and Society. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholars program (2003-2005). Her recent book, Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, examines the ways that the gambling industry has designed gambling machines that encourage addiction.

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Human Capital Blog: In your book, you describe how electronic gambling machines—the modern equivalent of slot machines—are designed in such a way that they encourage addiction. Tell us about that, please.

Natasha Dow Schüll: If you have never actually been in a Las Vegas casino and your idea of it comes from a James Bond movie, you'd be surprised by what you'd find. Of course they still have card games and roulette wheels, but most of the money casinos make is from electronic gambling machines, which are amazingly sophisticated versions of the classic three-reel slot machine. Every aspect of their design—the hardware, the software, the math, even the seating components—is carefully designed to keep players at the machine, playing game after game. Play is simple and amazingly fast—it takes only three to four seconds per spin. The machines are programmed so gamblers win every now and then, and they give audiovisual feedback to encourage them to continue. They induce players to gamble quickly and repeatedly, developing a sort of rhythmic flow that can sweep them away. Gamblers talk about getting into a "zone" where everything but the game just drops out of their awareness. After a while, they crave the zone itself, so it stops being about beating the machine and becomes instead about staying on the machine for as long as they can so they can be in that zone. They're addicted, and they develop all the behaviors of an addict as a result.

My point is that it's no accident; the machines are designed to drive the kinds of behavior—playing faster, longer, and more intensively—that turns gamblers into addicts.

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Sep 13 2012
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Human Capital News Roundup: September 11th, Medicaid, an Egyptian boy king, 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/ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Charles D. Scales, Jr., MD, spoke to NPR about a kidney stone “epidemic.” Scales led a study that finds the prevalence of kidney stones has nearly doubled since the mid-1990s, likely due to dietary and lifestyle changes that have led to increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and gout. Read more about his research.

RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Matthew C. Nisbet, PhD, MS, also spoke to NPR about his research on how to frame the climate change debate to best persuade and move people to action. Nisbet conducted the research with fellow Investigator Edward W. Maibach, PhD, MPH. Read more about their research, and read a Q&A with Nisbet about framing public health issues.

Separately, the Christian Science Monitor spoke to Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, about a poll the Center conducted last spring on global warming and how much of a priority the issue should be for the President and Congress.

 “After 9/11, America’s about 10 million Arab and Muslim Americans, who were too often the victims of association with the perpetrators of the attacks, were—and continue to be—subjects of suspicion, discrimination, and abuse,” Clinical Scholars alumnus Aasim Padela, MD, MSc, writes on CNN’s Global Public Square blog. “As researchers who study the health of Arab and Muslim Americans, we regularly see the toll this climate of discrimination takes upon these communities… Healing our country after 9/11 must mean healing all Americans affected by that day, and the memory of 9/11 should not be used to discriminate against or marginalize any American. Ensuring that this is the case is the only way this country can continue to work to heal the gaping wound those attacks left on the social fabric of our entire country.” Read a post Padela wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

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Aug 28 2012
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Nurses' Evolving Role in Primary Care

While policy-makers in Washington and in state capitals across the nation have been embroiled in a debate over health care reform, many aspects of the health care system have been evolving in response to economic and demographic pressures. The latest issue of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s ongoing Charting Nursing’s Future (CNF) series of policy briefs highlights a number of examples of that evolution, all related to nurses’ changing role in primary care.

The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change Advancing Health, noted that nurses “are poised to help bridge the gap between coverage and access, to coordinate increasingly complex care for a wide range of patients, to fulfill their potential as primary care providers to the full extent of their education and training, and to enable the full economic value of their contributions across practice settings to be realized.” In fact, as the CNF brief points out, “Nurses are already leading the way in keeping patients healthy, managing their diseases, and reducing their use of costly hospital care by increasing the availability and scope of primary care services.”

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Aug 20 2012
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An Opportunity to Update the Way We Think About Training Health Professionals

Catherine Dower, JD, is the associate director for research at the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco. Dower recently wrote a policy brief for Health Affairs about the state of graduate medical education funding. Read the brief on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website.

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Human Capital Blog: What is graduate medical education (GME) and why is it important?

Catherine Dower: GME refers to the practical training doctors undergo after medical school, when they work for a few years as ‘residents’ – usually in hospitals – under more experienced physicians before they can practice on their own. As all doctors must go through GME before being licensed, it’s a big piece of their professional preparation.  Also, the number of doctors who go through GME correlates directly with the number of doctors who can be newly licensed each year, affecting supply. The number of residencies has always been larger than the total number of U.S. medical school graduates, with the gap being filled by internationally-trained medical graduates, who often stay in the U.S. to practice. Importantly, residents play a big role in a hospital’s labor force and GME is expensive.

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Aug 20 2012
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Sharing Nursing's Knowledge: What's in the Latest Issue

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 latest nursing news, research and trends.  Here are descriptions of some of the stories in the July issue:

RWJF Fellow to Become Dean of Duquesne School of Nursing
Mary Ellen Glasgow, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, the new dean of the school of nursing at Duquesne University, credits the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF) program with helping her achieve her career goal. Several members of her ENF cohort are nursing school deans, and they rallied around her upon learning of her desire to join their ranks. Together, they helped prepare her to interview to become dean at Duquesne, even holding a mock interview so she could rehearse answers to potential questions.

Nurse Leaders React to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Ruling
Read a roundup of nurse leaders’ reactions to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, touching on the law’s impact on patient care and the profession of nursing. Although the decision settles questions about the law’s constitutionality, it did not bridge the political divide over health care reform, including among nurses serving as members of Congress. Read more reactions from nurses and other health leaders in the RWJF Human Capital Blog “carnival” about the decision.

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