Mar 22 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Dental care for underserved children, HIV/AIDS testing, "mixed-use" neighborhoods, and more.

Around the country, the news media is covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholars, fellows and grantees. Here are some examples.

“Louisville [Kentucky] is going high-tech to try to figure out what’s behind the city’s problem with asthma,” the Courier-Journal reports. The city will use technology developed by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholars alumnus David Van Sickle, PhD, MA, that uses global-positioning technology to capture where and when asthma patients use their inhalers. Read a Human Capital Blog Q&A with Van Sickle on his work and upcoming projects.

Lisa Berkman, PhD, a Health & Society Scholars program site director at Harvard University, spoke to U.S. News & World Report about “Why Good Friends Make You Happy.”

Lucy Marion, PhD, RN, FAAN, an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program and dean of Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) College of Nursing, was recently interviewed by the Augusta Chronicle for two separate articles. She discussed the merger of the nursing programs at GHSU and Augusta State University, and the work of the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network, which she helped found.

"Just about everyone now has heard of someone they know who's done something online that they wish they hadn't done,” RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Ryan Greysen, MD, MA, told Health Day. Greysen is the lead author of a study that examined the pervasiveness of physician misconduct online and the repercussions of those actions. “I think the message is that medical professionals are responsible for what they put online—not only responsible for the information, but accountable,” he said.

The Pine Journal (Cloquet, Minn.) spoke to Executive Nurse Fellow Julie Myhre, MS, BA, RN, PHN, about a local initiative to provide reduced-cost dental services for underserved children. Myhre, who is part of the Northeast Minnesota Oral Health Project, said the lack of adequate dental care for children has reached an “epidemic level.”

Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Mary Burman, PhD, RN, gave comments to the Casper Star-Tribune about a report by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services that projects the state will add nearly 5,700 health care jobs by 2020, with especially strong growth predicted for registered nurses. Burman is dean of the University of Wyoming School of Nursing.

The Gothenburg Times profiled RWJF Summer Medical and Dental Education Program alumnus Peter Sam, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who plans to become an interventional cardiologist.

The Grio and Science 2.0 report on a study by Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, an alumna of the Health & Society Scholars program, which finds that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) participants redeemed their benefits at higher rates at farmers’ markets when there were more vendor-operated wireless point-of-sale terminals. Read a Human Capital Blog Q&A with Buttenheim about her findings.

A study co-authored by Health & Society Scholars alumnus Molly Martin, PhD, MS, finds low-income mothers may skip meals and eat cheaper, but less nutritious food, when they are struggling to feed their children, putting themselves at risk for obesity. United Press International (UPI) reports on the findings.

UPI also reports on a study co-authored by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH and Health & Society Scholars alumnus Arijit Nandi, PhD. The researchers correlated suicide rates with the state of the economy and found that suicides in New York were 29 percent higher at an economic low point than at a high point. Wall Street volatility, however, did not seem to correlate with suicide rates.

Elizabeth Wildsmith, PhD, spoke to the Portland Tribune about a study by Child Trends which finds that the majority of women under age 30 in the United States with children are not married. “Many women are identifying marriage as something you do once you have reached financial security,” she said. “They see it as sort of the end game, not the beginning of the game.” Wildsmith is a research scientist with Child Trends and an alumna of the Health & Society Scholars program.

Cure magazine interviewed Jonathan Samet, MD, a member of the Health & Society Scholars National Advisory Committee (NAC), about the link between environmental carcinogens and cancer.

James Knickman, PhD, also a Health & Society Scholars NAC member, wrote about “Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of Health Reform” on the Huffington Post.

Health & Society Scholars alumna Wizdom Powell, PhD, is the lead author of a study that finds African-American men who hide their emotions “while enduring subtle, insidious acts of racial discrimination” are more likely to be depressed, Psych Central reports. Medical Xpress also reports on the findings.

The Vancouver Sun interviewed Richard Carpiano, PhD, MA, MPH, about a new “mixed-use neighborhood” that combines housing with retail outlets and transit access. Carpiano, a Health & Society Scholars alumnus and assistant professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, has researched how local community conditions and social networks foster, maintain, and even constrain residents’ quality of life and health.

A Chicago Reader article cites a study co-authored by Health & Society Scholars alumna Reanne Frank, PhD, MA. The study finds that socioeconomic status is a significant cause of health disparities along lines of race.

RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research Rashawn Ray, PhD, was a guest on The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur to discuss Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager who was shot and killed last month by a “neighborhood watch captain.” Ray is the editor of “Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy.”

The Washington Post Answer Sheet blog reports on a new book, edited in part by Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Greg Duncan, PhD, called “Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances.” The book “makes a strong case that a student’s class background is the single most important factor in their academic achievement,” the blog post says.

Yolette Bonnet, MBA, an RWJF Community Health Leader alumna and executive director of the Comprehensive AIDS Program (CAP) of Palm Beach County, spoke to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about CAP’s work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s year-long "Take Charge" campaign to encourage vulnerable populations to get tested for HIV/AIDS. reports on the 27th annual Nurses Day at the General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia. More than 675 Virginia nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty attended a legislative session on health care, the story reports, and visited with lawmakers to discuss upcoming legislation that could affect nursing. The event’s keynote speech was given by Susan C. Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist at the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and RWJF.

The University of Michigan Health Systems reports on a paper by Stephen G. Henry, MD and Michael D. Fetters, MD, MPH, MA, that describes how primary care researchers can use video elicitation interviews to investigate physician-patient interactions. Henry is a Clinical Scholar and VA Scholar at the University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Fetters is also an alumnus of the Clinical Scholars program, and of the RWJF Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars program. The new paper builds on the pair’s previous research on how nonverbal communication affects provider-patient relationships.

Tags: Center to Champion Nursing in America, Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Executive Nurse Fellows, Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nursing, Publications, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research, Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, Underserved Populations