Jan 26 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Benefits of living alone, screening for osteoporosis, the impact of racism on health, and more.

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

Smithsonian Magazine interviewed Eric Klinenberg, PhD, recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, about his new book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg and his research team conducted more than 300 interviews for the book and concluded that living alone can have benefits for an individual and for society as a whole.

Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, an Investigator Award winner and author of “Why We Get Fat,” wrote a letter to the New York Times in response to an article on obesity and calorie consumption. His letter was co-signed by more than 250 medical experts. Read more about Taubes’ research.

A study by Geri Dickson, PhD, RN, and Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN, grantees of the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI), continues to receive media coverage. “It seems each new study that examines a particular facet of nursing also reinforces the notion that nurses are the backbone of healthcare delivery in the United States,” Health Leaders Media writes. “The common sense findings in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study this month underscore the importance of nurses' critical thinking skills as the key component in reducing errors and improving outcomes.”

INQRI grantee Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, commented to the Associated Press about how severe mental disability may affect a patient’s probability of receiving a kidney transplant. Happ’s research focuses on communication with non-vocal patients.

Bone density scans to check for osteoporosis may not be necessary for half of women over age 67, according to a study led by Margaret Gourlay, MD, MPH, an alumna of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program. The study’s findings suggest that women who show no or very little bone loss on their first scan may not need another bone density scan for 15 years, NPR’s Shots blog reports.

RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Amal Trivedi, MD, MPH, also continues to receive coverage for a study he co-authored that finds Medicare Advantage plans could attract healthier and less costly enrollees if they included fitness benefits like gym memberships for patients. Trivedi spoke to the Salt Lake Tribune about the findings.

One of the 2011 RWJF Community Health Leaders, Deb Jastrebski , was honored at an awards ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware, the Community News reports. Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn were among those in attendance. Jastrebski founded the nonprofit, Practice Without Pressure. Learn more about her work and all the 2011 Community Health Leaders.

Investigator Award winner Howard Markel, MD, PhD, FAAP, was a guest on NPR’s Science Friday, discussing the origins of the word “moon” and some of the legends and stories surrounding it.

The Chicago Tribune spoke to Investigator Award winner Celeste Watkins-Hayes, PhD, author of “The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class and Policy Reform” about the issue of welfare in politics.

Health Canal reports that Investigator Naa Oyo Kwate, PhD, is leading the Black LIFE (Linking Inequality, Feelings, and the Environment) Study. It will study the effects of racism on an individual’s immune system. The study is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Community Health Leader Zane Gates, MD, is quoted in a New York Times article on why “Men Struggle for Rape Awareness.”

“We need to make sure that all of the students we admit we can give a quality education to. That’s our number one commitment,” RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Peggy Hewlett, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, told the University’s student newspaper, the Daily Gamecock. “Choosing nursing is the best choice you could ever make for a career.”

Lucy Marion, PhD, RN, FAAN, also an alumna of the Executive Nurse Fellows program, recently spoke to the Augusta Chronicle about local health care initiatives. She discussed the work of the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network, of which she is the secretary, and the merger of the nursing programs at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Georgia Health Sciences University. Marion is the dean of Georgia Health Sciences University’s College of Nursing.

Executive Nurse Fellow Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, gave comments to MedScape [subscription only] about a report that finds emergency department visits are linked to an increased risk of infection in elderly patients. "I am not at all surprised with the findings, and they really do match my anecdotal experiences,” Carrico said.

Tags: Awards & Accolades, Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Diversity, Executive Nurse Fellows, Health & Health Care Policy, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurses and Nursing, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Publications, Research & Analysis