Feb 9 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Taking the scare out of dental care for kids, stroke-related memory loss, and more.

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

“As a physician, I have seen the tremendous capabilities of nurses—capabilities that are essential to meeting patient needs,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, writes in Medscape [free subscription]. “But to ensure that they maximize their contributions to health and health care, nurses will need advanced skills and expertise in care management, interdisciplinary teamwork, problem solving, and more. This makes higher levels of education imperative. In addition, having a larger pool of highly educated nurses will be necessary to expand the ranks of nurse faculty, addressing the shortfall that now causes nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants each year. These advanced degree nurses are also needed to help ameliorate the worsening primary care shortage.”

RWJF Clinical Scholars program alumna Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, continues to receive media coverage for her work to map Philadelphia’s automated external defibrillators (AEDs) through the MyHeartMap Challenge. The Philadelphia CBS bureau and the Daily Pennsylvanian are among the outlets to report on the project. Read a post Merchant wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the MyHeartMap Challenge.

RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, spoke to Nurse.com about how the Texas Action Coalition—which she co-leads—is working to advance the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report. Learn more about the Action Coalitions across the country, and watch a series of videos highlighting their goals and ongoing work.

Patient outcomes are better at hospitals with higher proportions of registered nurses, RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, and hospitals should “foster a culture that encourages employees to get more training, have good communication among nurses, physicians and managers, have enough people to do the work, and provide nurses with the tools they need.”

Eric Klinenberg, PhD, recipient of a RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, was interviewed by Slate magazine about his new book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone,” and the differences in how men and women react to and handle living alone. Among the other outlets to cover Klinenberg’s research: Boston Magazine, the New York Observer, and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show. Read a Human Capital Blog Q&A with Klinenberg about his book.

Health Leaders Media cites an RWJF Charting Nursing’s Future brief on the role of nurses in designing health care facilities, and the built environment’s role in patient outcomes. “Nurses at all levels and in every setting have a critical role to play on multidisciplinary teams charged with assessing, planning, and designing new and replacement facilities,” the brief says.

Paul Kuehnert, MS, RN, CPNP, an alumnus of the Executive Nurse Fellows program and executive director of the Kane County (Illinois) Health Department, spoke to the Trib Local—Geneva about food safety tips for buffet-style Super Bowl parties.

Having the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori may be a strong predictor of developing type 2 diabetes later on, according to a study led by RWJF Health & Society Scholars program alumna Allison Aiello, PhD. Reuters reports on the study’s findings.

Health & Society Scholars program alumna M. Maria Glymour, MS, ScD, is co-author of a study that examines memory loss before and after strokes, Health Day reports. People who are at risk for a stroke have rapid memory decline before and after a stroke, the researchers found, and those who have rapid memory loss before a stroke are more likely to die shortly thereafter.

Attending a school with limited financial resources may increase a student’s chance of becoming overweight—even outweighing the effects of family poverty—according to Penn State sociologists and Health & Society Scholars alumnae Michelle Frisco, PhD, MA, and Molly Martin, PhD, MS. Frisco and Martin spoke to Health News Digest about their findings.

Clinical Scholar Rebekah Gee, MD, MPH, is lead author of a study that examines the “void” of leadership training in medical education, News Medical reports. “Gee is the only physician from the United States to serve on the inaugural Inter Academy Medical Panel Young Physician Leaders program held during the third World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany.” Its charge was to begin to remedy this deficit.

“Shape Up RI, a statewide exercise and weight loss challenge, is now in its seventh year,” the Warwick (Rhode Island) Beacon writes. The program was started by RWJF Community Health Leader Rajiv Kumar, MD. “The result is a community-based weight loss system. In 2011, 12,892 people participated, and the average participant lost 7.8 pounds… Having a support system for weight loss isn’t just a popular idea, it’s been proven affective.”

Deb Jastrebski, also a Community Health Leader, spoke to MetroKids about how to “Take the Scare Out of Dental Care” for children. Inspired by her son, who was born with Down syndrome, Jastrebski founded the nonprofit Practice Without Pressure to help people with disabilities manage routine health exams. Learn more about her work and all the 2011 Community Health Leaders.

A Huffington Post article cites an April 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story in which Investigator Award winner Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, explained how the body metabolizes sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Read more about Taubes’ research on sugar and nutrition.

Investigator Award winner Howard Markel, MD, PhD, FAAP, spoke to the ABC News Medical Unit blog about an 80-year-old medical kit containing four capsules of radioactive radium that was recently discovered in a waste station in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Markel is a medical historian at the University of Michigan. He explained that the capsules would likely have been used to treat cancer.

Alexandra Stern, PhD, also an Investigator Award winner, commented to the Associated Press about a vending machine at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where students can purchase the “morning-after” pill.

Tags: Charting Nursing's Future, Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Executive Nurse Fellows, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurse Faculty Scholars, Nursing, Research & Analysis