May 3 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Babies born experiencing drug withdrawal, medication-dosing errors, permanent patients, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

A study led by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar Stephen W. Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, has received coverage in a number of major media outlets. The first-of-its-kind study examined the increasing trend of drug withdrawal in newborns and its impact on the U.S. health care system. The number of babies born experiencing drug withdrawal increased nearly three-fold between 2000 and 2009, the study finds, and the number of pregnant women using opiate drugs at the time of delivery increased nearly five-fold. During the same period, the cost of health care for these babies nearly quadrupled. Among the outlets to cover the findings: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, NPR, CNN’s The Chart blog, and Fox News. Read more about the study.

The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) featured the work of RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Luvenia Cowart, EdD, RN, one of nine 2012 Post-Standard Achievement Award winners, for her efforts to eliminate health disparities experienced by Syracuse’s African American community. “Since 1999 Cowart has been using black barbershops and churches as her classroom to educate people about prostate cancer, diabetes and other diseases, and the importance of exercise and healthy eating,” the newspaper reports. The winners will be honored at a luncheon May 9.

A study co-authored by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar H. Shonna Yin, MD, MS, finds parents with poor math and reading skills are more likely than others to give their children incorrect doses of medicine, Health Day reports. The researchers found that parents with math skills at the third-grade level were nearly five times more likely to make a medication-dosing error than those with math skills at the sixth-grade level or higher. “Dosing liquid medications correctly can be especially confusing, as parents may need to understand numerical concepts such as how to convert between different units of measurement, like milliliters, teaspoons and tablespoons,” Yin said.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Yonas E. Geda, MD, is the author of a study that finds a combination of moderate exercise and mentally stimulating activities—like using a computer—can reduce a senior’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. Fox News reports on the findings.

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, an alumnus of the Physician Faculty Scholars program, spoke to NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” about “permanent patients”—those who are stuck in the hospital, in need of long-term care, but “with nowhere to go, large medical bills, and no way to pay—a cost that is usually covered at the hospital’s expense.”

RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Mark Hall, JD, spoke to the National Journal about “Why We Trust Doctors.” The Washington Post Wonk Blog also picked up the story.

Beginning this fall, students entering sixth and ninth grades in Illinois must provide proof of receiving the whooping cough vaccination, the Beacon News reports. Kane Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert, MS, RN, CPNP, an alumnus of the Executive Nurse Fellows program, said, “As we approach the end of the school year, I want to encourage parents of next year’s sixth- and ninth-graders to schedule those physicals and shots. You will be taking steps to keep them healthy and at the same time meet the school requirements.”

Joel Cantor, ScD, a grantee of the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) and director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, spoke to NJBiz about the Medical Loss Ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act, and how it will affect insurance companies and consumers in New Jersey.

Tags: Awards & Accolades, Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Health Care Policy, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis