Category Archives: Physical activity policy

Jan 19 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Nurse faculty shortage, cervical cancer among Latinas, fitness benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, and more.

Here’s a sampling of recent news coverage of the work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars and Fellows:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Juliann Sebastian, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, wrote an op-ed in the Journal Star about Nebraska’s nursing shortage. “The growing shortage of nurses is not for lack of interest among students,” she writes. “We cannot accept more students, however, for two primary reasons: We lack adequate space to accommodate their instruction, and we do not have enough faculty to teach them.”

Teresa Garrett, MS, RN, also an Executive Nurse Fellows alumna, spoke to the Salt Lake Tribune about the importance of exercise in preventing colds. “We’re always telling people exercise is good for you,” she says. “It builds up your immune system, you are healthier, you drink more water, you do all the things you’re supposed to do.” Garrett is director of disease control and prevention at the Utah Department of Health.

Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Cynthia Barginere, RN, DNP(c), FACHE, vice president and chief nursing officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, spoke to and WSL-TV about the Center’s new 14-story hospital building.

Researchers at UT Medicine, the faculty medical practice of the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio, are looking for healthy, ethnic minorities in South Texas to participate in a research trial on the health effects of taking baby aspirin every day, according to the Southside Reporter. RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program scholar Sara Espinoza, MD, is the lead investigator for the “Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly” study.

Zane Gates, MD, an RWJF Community Health Leader, spoke to WTAJ-TV about changes to eligibility criteria for food stamps in Pennsylvania – changes driven by state and federal funding cutbacks. The new criteria will reduce the number of state residents who qualify for assistance. Gates runs a free clinic in Altoona, and many of his patients receive food stamps, the station reports.

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Jan 12 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: RWJF Scholars in the Media Discussing Children's Playgrounds, Women's Health Costs, and Much More

Here’s a sampling of recent news coverage of the work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars and Fellows:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Senior Program Officer Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN, was a guest blogger for The Doctor Weighs In, posting about the importance of interprofessional collaboration and coordination, drawing on the latest edition of Charting Nursing’s Future. Ladden is also an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program.

RWJF Health & Society Scholars program National Advisory Committee member Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, wrote an op-ed for the Austin American Statesman about Salud America, an RWJF research network working to prevent obesity among Latino children.

Gary A. Taubes, MSE, MS, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, was featured in an Orlando Sentinel four-part special report about why so many Americans are obese. The series examined what we eat, the influence of heredity, lifestyle and the environment. Taubes is the author of “Why We Get Fat.” Read more about Taubes’ work.

The reasons that some playgrounds don’t appeal to children are explored in new research by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumna Kristen A. Copeland, MD, FAAP. MedPage Today reports on the study’s findings. Reuters and United Press International (UPI) also reported on Copeland’s research. Read about Copeland’s research on factors that impede physical activity in child care settings.

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Jan 3 2012

Physical Activity is Essential

As we head into 2012, the Human Capital Blog asked Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, program directors, scholars and grantees to share their New Year’s resolutions for our health care system, and what they think should be the priorities for action in the New Year. This post is by by Rashawn Ray, PhD, RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of California, Berkeley.

My New Year's resolution for the United States health care system is to more systematically include physical activity to get people moving to a healthier lifestyle. The health care system is more than markets and insurance. It includes prevention, maintenance and community resources to get people healthy and keep them that way. Physical activity is one key way to accomplish these goals.

Physical activity increases life expectancy, reduces the likelihood of obesity, some cancers, and chronic diseases (e.g., type-2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease), improves self-rated health, mental health and quality of life, enhances productivity at work, helps maintain full functioning and independence among the elderly, and decreases the costs of late life care.

Despite these benefits, 60 percent of adults do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity, which is at least 30 minutes per day, five times per week. Like other outcomes, there is a racial difference in who attains the recommended amount of physical activity. Roughly 50 percent of blacks are physically inactive, compared to one-third of whites. These percentages correspond to the percentage of individuals who are obese.

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